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Old 10-24-2012, 11:59 PM   #166
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Ugh, fascist scum. Even worse is that a lot of them are part of the Greek police force (about 50% of the Greek police force voted for GD, I believe), but that shouldn't be so surprising.

Solidarity to the immigrants.
Solidarity to the Greek people, too, even if some make abhorrent political decisions in light of abhorrent circumstances.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:42 AM   #167
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Agreed. I've read plenty of harrowing articles about how the workers are dealing with their crisis, it's a real shame and I can empathise with them, not being particularly wealthy and such.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:41 PM   #168
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Golden Dawn has infiltrated Greek police, claims officer | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:36 PM   #169
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Germany's revenge on the world for the Treaty of Versailles?
Isn't it ironic with cold chills?
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #170
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Isn't it ironic with cold chills?
Indeed.

How are things in Portugal?
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:36 PM   #171
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Indeed.

How are things in Portugal?
Worse. As I predicted, we're becoming Greece. We're just 18 months late in the episodes, but the movie is the same one.

The unemployment rate is 16% (official) and I'll probably reach 20% in 2014; the GDP decreases and we're at the level of 1996; the public debt jumped from 86% in 2010 to 117% now (124% next year); the budget deficit is yet 7%.
We're already the 2nd european country with the heaviest tax burden. Part of these new taxes are in fact a confiscation, a capture, of the salaries, pensions and labour income. Our real salaries (not counting with inflation) decreased 10% over the last 2 years. And we don't see these taxes applied in a strong social welfare state and social protection. In fact, the public services (health service, transports, education, etc) have a much worse quality since then.
Add to this the fact that Portugal is the 2nd or 3rd european country where the gap between rich and poor as well as social inequality and distribution of richness and wealth is the worse.

Meanwhile, everything is being privatized. We privatized or we're privatizing the national energy net, EDP (the biggest electric company); some public transports; TAP (the national airline company); the enterprise that manages the national airports.
BPN, a fraudulent private bank that the State had to nationalize to avoid bankrupcy and contamination; the biggest scandal in 2008 where the taxpayers buried €9000 million... Was reprivatized by... €60 million.
The Government also wants to privatize RTP/RDP, the public television and radio, turning Portugal the only European country without a public service in radiodifusion and television. They also want to privatize the news agency Lusa (the equivalent to Reuters or Agence France Press); the water distribution network... And I'm forgetting many things they want to sell by a ridicuously low price... To "friends" of them.
The Health Minister closes public hospitals, urgencies and local health centers... And the week/month after, a private health service opens in the same city. Notice: the Health Minister comes from an private group who has businesses in the health sector.

Plus, we have a Prime-Minister who's a son of a bitch, who uses the typical european-catholic strategy of the guilt and, with the help of the media, he blames the people for where we are now, making them feel guilty, so his agenda is implemented. It's for our own good.
He (and his ministers) have also already told the young people to immigrate because they have no place here; he has already call us slobbery and sentimental for complaining against this, and says that we deserve this and that this is the only way and there are no side options. He wants to change the Constitution in the same way Orban made in Hungary, turning it also into a proto-fascist regime.

Socially, people are furious and unstable but tired and powerless.
Unlike the greeks and the spanish, we complain a lot, but we don't have much action. We're taken by the fear, because that's what we're put: to live with constant fear. Fear of losing the job, of losing the house, of not having money to eat or send the kinds to the school, of not having money to medicaments, etc.
However, it feels like a time-bomb. On September 15th there was a demonstration, not called by a trade union (which is unusual, but it reflects that people don't even trust any more in trade unions) that joined 600 000 people only in Lisbon. For the size of Portugal and the city it's impressive. It was the biggest demonstration since 1974 and it had people of all kinds, all political views, all social classes. This time it was peaceful. But I don't know for how long people will hold the rage and explode. There are already a few violent signs here and there in singular events.

There's a huge speech in the streets, the cafes, on the internet, against all kind politicians, from left to the right, against trade unions. People are starting, to believe, for example, in populist big-ego journalists with politic aspirations. The President of the Republic - the biggest culprit of all this because he was Prime-Minister for 10 years between 1985-1995, back to our integration in the UE, where money rained from mostly from Central Europe to shut down our productive sectors (like all industries, like fishing, like agriculture) - doesn't appear, doesn't speak to the country and sends messages... On his facebook.

Portugal became a Republic on October 5th 1910. So, 102 years ago. It's a national holiday.
It won't be any longer... Because they want to end with this (and others) symbols of the national identity.
This year's commemoration was a mirror of how the country is. Instead of celebrating to date in town halls of Lisbon (an outdoor space where all people could attend) as usual, the President and the politicians "ran away" from the people's anger and celebrated it "hidden" in a closed space. The most comically ridiculous part was when the national flag was hoisted... Upside down! In military terms, to hoist a flag upside down, it means that the country was taken over by squatters...

The Finances Minister is an autist with Asperger Syndrome who dreams about his Excel sheets and his theorical ultraliberal models that are so good that he failed every since forecast he made in his reports since the Government 16 months ago. For example: he and the "troika" had initially predicted an unemployment rate of 12,9% for 2012. We don't know the numbers of September yet and in the summer it was already 16%.
The Justice Minister is a dangerous woman, who makes statements that give me cold chills, that remind me of the justicialism of 1950's South America.
There's no Culture. Culture always represented a ridiculous part of the national budget, no more than 0,5%. With this government, it's 0,1% of the 2012 budget. Most cultural structures are shutting down. This government sees Culture and the artists as an enemy.
The Education Minister is as dangerous as the Justice Minister. He's pratically a fan of Salazar's education policies, as he demonstrates in his articles before he came to the government.

The government is making blind cuts in Education and Health. 2013's budget is having less 11% in Education and less 14% in Health.
But, in the other hand... Guess what? Both Defense and Internal Administration (Police, etc) are gonna have more 17%!

Here in our neighbours Spain, they have an unemployment rate of 25%. I don't know how a country can live with it.
And they don't even have "troika" yet. Because when they won't hold anymore, ask for a "bailout" and a "troika" arrives, the unemployment rate will easily jump over 30%.
This week I heard news that in Spain some people are already commiting suicide the day before they are dumped out of their houses.
Plus, as predicted, nationalist tensions are growing a lot. Cataluña wants independence and they're releasing a referendum. País Basco (where the heirs of Herri Batasuna, the political party linked to the ETA terrorists, had great elections results last weekend) will follow right after.
Spain will collapse. It'll be a tragedy for Portugal, because Spain is our biggest commercial/economical partner and we're Spain's too.

If a new Salazar came, people would embrace it.
The media shoots logs to the fire and demands a portuguese Mario Monti, which is non-political a Prime Minister (seen as a senator of the nation) non-elected, supported by the government parties, who can hold the legislature and the troika memorandum.

The leader of the (pseudo-)Socialist Party, the other party who uses to be in the governement, is a moron, a doggie. A populist, doesn't have an opinion about anything, his speeches are the most plastic and "convictionless" thing ever heard, and he and his party votes as abstention for everything that is important. He's as credible as the Prime Minister.
The two right parties in the Government are "dead" in the opinion pollings (24% to PPD/PSD and 6-10% to CDS-PP).
The PS (pseudo-Socialist Party) has 29-34%. The two real left parties are too small to make Government. And the three left parties (I shouldn't count the PS, because they're left only in the name) are enemies and will never make a coalition.
So, there's no political alternative to this and people trust no party, no leader, no politicial. It's a political swamp. The most dangerous thing, I think.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:24 PM   #172
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Wow. I am so sorry.

From my judgment, it appears that there are structural and cyclical components to Europe's economic woes (as is the case in the US), but that dealing with the cyclical component with austerity is truly causing disaster. Production is falling and that is making things worse, and budgets just can't be balanced with falling production and tax revenue. Production seems to be somewhat of a function of money in circulation, and taking money out of circulation, including de facto monetary instruments (bonds) is causing production to fall sharply, no matter what Classical Macroeconomic theory dictates.

And through all of this, southern European people seem to be blamed with almost racist vigor at times, and it seems quite unfair to me.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:43 PM   #173
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Wow. I am so sorry.

From my judgment, it appears that there are structural and cyclical components to Europe's economic woes (as is the case in the US), but that dealing with the cyclical component with austerity is truly causing disaster. Production is falling and that is making things worse, and budgets just can't be balanced with falling production and tax revenue. Production seems to be somewhat of a function of money in circulation, and taking money out of circulation, including de facto monetary instruments (bonds) is causing production to fall sharply, no matter what Classical Macroeconomic theory dictates.

And through all of this, southern European people seem to be blamed with almost racist vigor at times, and it seems quite unfair to me.
Yes, there's some sort of racism against the South Europe countries. You can clearly realize that in articles of some media of some central/northern european media.
The financial media also gave some help with expressions like the PIGS.
But the numbers and the statistics don't lie and they say that this is not our fault, that (specially in Portugal and Spain's cases) we're definitely not lazy big spenders.
Example: Spain's public debt was 36% in 2007, when the average of the EU was 65% (Germany was 67% and Portugal 64%).
Example: the OECD says that Portugal and Greece are some of the countries where people work more hours/year. Curiously, Austria, Germany and some north Europe countries are on the opposite side of the chart.
Example: Portugal's minimum monthly wage is €485. Many people earn little more than this. How can we be big spenders with €485/month?

...Well, €485 when it is €485. Then, some companies and firms take advantage of the present situation. For example, last month I was proposed to work in a comunication agency, fulltime, by €360/month net salary... And not as an intern, not as a cleaner. Of course I almost replied «f*** off».
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:48 PM   #174
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It's a pretty sad myth that this is a truly debt-caused crisis, that's for sure. Maybe somewhat in Greece, but in Spain and Portugal, I think this is pretty strong evidence that austerity doesn't really work.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:49 PM   #175
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Thank you for writing all of that.

It is a lot of information. I am sorry that there is nothing very positive in your remarks. I do hope things improve.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:12 AM   #176
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Things will not improve. Personally, I have no hope at all.

Germany rules Europe. It's a dictat. With some support of France, but it's mostly the german finance who rules all this, who rules the ECB, and their puppet's are Merkel and Draghi.

Merkel, on the other hand, has general elections to win next year. So, it means that Europe will not make any big decision until the end of 2013 because her campaign cannot be disturbed by the noise came from the European problems and issues.
If the opinion pollings are right, Merkel will retire.
In fact, he conservative party will win elections (with 35 to 39%). But her coallition partner, the liberalists, have only 3-5% in the pollings (they had 15% in 2009) and you need 5% to enter the Bundestag, the german parliment.
The most probable thing is the reedition of the SPD+Greens coalition.

The problem is that, just like the portuguese (and other european) self-called socialist/social-democrat parties, the SPD is in fact Third Way/social-liberalist.
The newly elected leader of the SPD, Peer Steinbrück was Finances Minister who applied desregulation in the economical sector and he's... Anti-keynesianist policies.
Who can a social-democrat be anti-keynes? So, he's not social-democrat.
And it means that, even if SPD+Greens win, nothing will really change.

I have the opinion that so much damage is done... A huge part of the house is on fire and if we won't "die" burnt, by contamination to the other divisions (countries), we'll "die" by the collapse of the house.

It is fake to say that this is a debt crisis.
Many of these countries did not have debt problems (or serious debt problems). Spain is a good example.
Most people do not remember this, but after the collapse of the american banks, the debts popped suddenly, after 2008, because the ECB gave instructions to the governements to run into debt, to save the economies and the enterprises and protect them of the contamination. That's the reason why this is not, in fact, a debt crisis.
It's a financial crisis. Because, since the ECB is forbidden to lend money to the States, it was the banks who did it.
And when the portuguese (and say greek, irish, etc) debt exploded when their "troika"'s arrived, it still is a financial problem, not a debt problem.
We did not create most of this debt and I don't feel that I have to pay it. Specially when a huge part was imposed by the ECB and mostly when a huge part of this debt is not real debt but criminal especulative interests charged against our economy.

I do not deny that the State needs changes. I do not deny that even some State's function need to be minimized (others maximized). I do not even deny, for example, that retirement age need to be increased or the Social Security system (made to a much younger society) will collapse.
But not this. This receipt doesn't work. It was obvious. This receipt never worked wherever it was applied, why should it work now, applied to countries that not even have monetary mechanisms like its own currency they can manipulate, for example?

So, next time you read on the international press about «Portugal, the good pupil», «Portugal, the sucessful case», «Portugal and its structural reforms», as I read many times in international "recognized/specialized" press... Do not believe in a single word print about it.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:51 AM   #177
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Geez, that sounds awful, I haven't been paying much attention to Portugal due to my interest in Greece, so it is mildly surprising that's it as bad there as it is in Greece. The fact that the citizens themselves have to pay for it is disgusting, but hardly surprising given the sort of people in charge.

I know you've said you have little hope, but ideally, what would you want to see?
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:38 AM   #178
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the thing i don't understand - here in France, everyone is morose, saying how difficult everything is, yet, half-term holidays have just started and nearly everyone i know here, and practically all of my kids' schoolfriends have pissed off somewhere for a two-week holiday! this happens every holiday, people go off for a whole month in the summer, and during EVERY school holiday throughout the year - and these are just regular French families who claim that they scrape by and aren't even eligible to pay income tax - i honestly don't know how they can afford it - we rarely can afford holidays even though i regularly work 50+ hour weeks and have a relatively good job...
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:32 AM   #179
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what i mean is, i think France is still in cloud cuckoo land... you have villages here where the mayors still think they can spend silly amounts of money on flowers and frivolous things while more serious issues are swept under the carpet... i can't see how it can continue, but people still seem to be living in a bubble (for now)
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:45 AM   #180
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Geez, that sounds awful, I haven't been paying much attention to Portugal due to my interest in Greece, so it is mildly surprising that's it as bad there as it is in Greece. The fact that the citizens themselves have to pay for it is disgusting, but hardly surprising given the sort of people in charge.

I know you've said you have little hope, but ideally, what would you want to see?
What do I want, Vlad? I'm not sure anymore. Things are so strange now that it becomes hard to wish something that appears to be possible.
In Portugal, I wanted a complete change in the justice system that would put an end to corruption, which is one of our biggest problems (just like Italy and Greece).
I'd like to see changes in the representation method (the Hondt method) on elections, ending with the favoritism on the two biggest parties.
In Portugal we only had (after the '74 revolution) Governments composed by PS (Partido Socialista = social-democrat/social-liberalist); PSD (econo-liberalist/social-conservative, but self-called... social-democrat) and CDS-PP (populist conservatives).
I'd like to have, for once, a true Left government. I want to see them in the Government and see if it works... At least better than what we've been having on the last 38 years.
More than having better salaries and retirement pensions (the minimum is a ridiculous amout of €189), I want a much better distribution of the the richness produced by the country. It implies reformulation of the taxes system, specially for the medium/small/micro enterprises who represent 97% of the business tissue here and who are suffocated with taxes and loaded with treasury problems.
I want a strong State presence in Education, Health, Social Security (to me, these sectors are not business, although the Government wants it to be) and I want the State in the control or regulation of vital things or elements of soveraingnty, like the electric and water distribution nets (that this Government wants to sell... or sold to the chinese in the EDP case).

In Europe, many things would have to change. I'm a pro European Union, but I'm an anti-federalism, because I think that european are too nationalist of their own lands to ever a federalist project works.
I want the ECB to work as a normal central bank, who prints money, who creates inflation (that Germany has horror of), that lends money directly to the States and not only to the banks (at 0,75% interests, which after that lend to the PIGS at criminal interests).
I want the Euro to be highly devalued. The Euro's "weight" should be the average of all the Euro economies and not at the image of the Deutsch Mark (in fact it's even "stronger" than the old Deutsch Mark). Countries like mine cannot support a strong currency like the Euro and to have a weak and small economy.
I want the EU institutions to be totally revamped. Most of that people were not elected, they have no legitimacy at all. I voted for the European Parliment, but I didn't elect the asshole of (portuguese) Durão Barroso. I didn't elect Mario Draghi. Who the fuck elected Van Rompuy? Who elected Trichet and Juncker? Who the fuck are them and who elected them, for them to rule and say whatever they want about me and my country?
I want Portugal to have industries, agriculture back. I want Portugal to fish again. Portugal although it is small, it has great mediterranean-type soils, it has one of the biggest "official economical sea areas", why can't we take advantage of it? Why do/did we have to be payed to destroy boats, to shut down factories, not to produce many things, so France and Germany can do it?

But this is all dreaming. I still think that so much damage was done that the ship will really sink. Whatever they're doing now, it's just postpone the disaster for some minutes. This is no more than Europe being herself and repeating its own history and behaviour.
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