by Markus Stolz


byMarkus Stolz
December 20, 2010, 8 Comments

One of the Greek nations most pronounced characteristics is that they are masters in providing quick fixes – as a matter of fact, quick and dirty fixes. No problem is a real problem: It is stimuli to be creative about a workaround,  if no obvious or fast solution is at hand. I have experienced this in numerous ways over the past seven years during everyday life.

Workarounds should serve the purpose of being a provisional measure before a more structured problem solving practice is applied, however one of the country’s most widely applied proverbs refutes this: ‘Ουδέν μονιμότερο του προσωρινού’ (“nothing is more permanent than the temporary”). And proverbs are rarely wrong.

The most recent quick fix that I came across was actually in the wine industry and made me smile warmly:

It seems that the word has arrived in Greece that there is a shift in trend taking place towards lower alcohol wines.  The EU requires by law that the alcohol content needs to be printed on the label, offering a 0.5% alcohol statement tolerance. The final percentage needs to be rounded up or down to the next half percent increment. For example, a wine containing 12.3% alcohol may be labeled at 12% or 12.5%. If the trend of the consumer shifts towards lower alcohol wines, it makes sense to opt for the lower percentage option. But what can be done with wines that are already labeled with the higher option of 12.5%? The answer for the Greek branch of the giant German discounter Lidl seems simple: Identify and use a shortcut. As can be seen in the picture, their shortcut certainly involved true outside the box thinking! I for one am quite sure that no German was involved in the creation ;). Let’s see when the “new” print label will be introduced.

For more in tongue in cheek posts about everyday life in Greece look here.

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  1. elloinosDecember 20, 2010, 7:37 pm

    Viviane, I thought the timing was right to enter the holiday season with a light hearted post. I love the Greeks and Greece, and things like this really do bring a warm smile to my face. Call it sense of belonging, I belong here, it is my home!

  2. Viviane Bauquet FarreDecember 20, 2010, 7:57 pm

    Dear Markus, Your feeling at home in Greece shines through every post you write and every tweet you chirp. It is a very contagious feeling – as you know you’ve hooked me! Greece is lucky to have you…

  3. smarofrDecember 20, 2010, 8:49 pm

    I definitely agree!!! Greeks provide quick fixes…! Probably they printed the labels in a SIEMENS printer, the truck to carry the bottles was made by MAN etc. Because the German they bother only with big things…After all they build the best washing machines…(they even launder money!)

  4. elloinosDecember 20, 2010, 9:41 pm

    Smaro, I am honestly very sorry you feel this way.

  5. Global Greek WorldDecember 21, 2010, 9:46 am

    Lol, don’t be so sure that German fingers weren’t involved… Kala Xristougenna! :))

  6. Greek Restaurant OwnerDecember 22, 2010, 5:15 am

    Have you ever wondered where the reference to wines being the “nectars of the Gods” comes from? It comes to us from the myths of ancient Greece of course where wine was revered as part of many ancient religious festivals known as Bacchanals and where it was a wonder potion that was also known to restore virility, bestow mortality and revive the dead.

  7. Cookie@Unique Gift BasketsDecember 26, 2010, 6:22 pm

    The permanence of the temporary is a beautiful thing. I love the relaxed attitude and cleverness of the Greeks. How wonderful this is.