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Old 01-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #271
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I think we all know what happened the last time Europe bathed together with fascism.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:05 AM   #272
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I think we all know what happened the last time Europe bathed together with fascism.
But does Greece have that much influence over Europe? Germany was more of a superpower, or maybe a former superpower, in the 1930s.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #273
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It doesn't, but then Greece isn't the only country with rampant fascist groups, there's also Hungary for example.

These sorts of economic conditions can become a breeding ground for fascist groups.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:37 AM   #274
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(Golden Dawn) Hell is ours - YouTube
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #275
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It's only Europe self-destructing.

Last week it was the italian elections after the non-elected-technocrat Mario Monti-government. Many say the results were a surprise. For me it wasn't.
Bersani, a dinossaur of the center-left only got 25,4% and 29,5% linked with other small left parties. It was the "hope" to get Italy out of it, but Bersani is so empty, so cliché'd, so weak, that only got it.
Surprisingly, Berlusconi got back and other 1/4 of the voters choosed him again.
The biggest surprise was Pepe Grillo, a populist ex-comedian who doesn't have an ideological vision of society,just random populist proposals and a anti-politicians speech. Of course it's not any wonder why he got 25,5% of the votes.
Mario Monti, supported by a few right parties only got 9% or 10%. So, the solution that Merkel and the EU choose for Italy without the italians consentment... Lost, by far. The problem is that, just as the german SPD leader, Steinbruck, said, half of the italians voted in two clowns. One of them very well known, Berlusconi, the other, new, Grillo.

Now, no one wants to link with no one and Italy remains ungovernable.
First, Greece. Now, Italy.

I'm living in Spain now and the situation is not very different from Portugal. Spain basically is living Portugal's movie with a delay of 18 months.

In Spain people are angry. I'm living in Catalunya, and there's a strong and crescent anger, but most of all a crescent separatist will. Many people here want Catalunya to become independent. There'll be a referendum next year. No one knows what's gonna be the result, because the public opinion is too much volatile now.
In Basque Country it's not very different, obviously.
Spain has now an unemployment rate of 27% and many people are being evicted from their homes. Firemen are refusing to help with it.

In Portugal it's a bit different. Yesterday there was another demonstration all over the country with more than 10% of the population of the whole country adehering. There are differences with the September demonstration. In September people were still hopeful, screaming and hoping things still could change a little.
Yesterday, you could easily see that people are mostly sad, hopeless, and thinking that this Government is not falling even if a asteroid hits their headquarters. It was more emotional, specially when people all over the country sang in unison one of the main songs of the 1974 revolution.
The present portuguese Government is mostly a dead-walking, who doesn't have the popular support of almost no social sector (neither the employers, neither the church, neither many people of their own parties), only of the "troika" and the President of the Republic who's a mummy that "doesn't exist", who's also "dead". The public debt is now in 123%, the structural deficit is way bigger than told, our real income decreased about 20% (including/mostly unemployed and pensionists), the scandals around the Government are almost daily - in "normal times" this Government wouldn't even last 4 months. The "social contract" was tear with no mercy and the Government still insists in putting social/professional classes against others and humiliating social classes/groups (last week, the new insult was saying that those who are employed are accomodated, for instance), etc. The (official) unemployment rate is now 17,6% - remembering that in 1999 it was 4% and in 2005 was 7%.
But the Government, not only refused to resign, as it insists on an ideological programme that wasn't voted and that's pure social engineering. I hear many times that this Government is Neo-Liberalist. I'm an anti-Liberalism, but I disagree. This Governement's ideology is the Social-Utilitarism.

I couldn't take it anymore and decided to come to the neighbour Spain. Spain is not much better (the unemployment rate, as I told, Europe's worse, 27% is pure madness), but I had to get way from it.

This is Europe.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:25 PM   #276
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Aygo, I've heard that a lot of Catalan nationalism has stemmed from Catalonia being relatively better off than the rest of Spain, which has created resentment in Catalonia about the amount of money flowing out of Catalonia to the rest of Spain. Do you think that that is a fair assessment of what is happening?
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #277
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Aygo, I've heard that a lot of Catalan nationalism has stemmed from Catalonia being relatively better off than the rest of Spain, which has created resentment in Catalonia about the amount of money flowing out of Catalonia to the rest of Spain. Do you think that that is a fair assessment of what is happening?
In part that's true. Of all the spanish autonomic regions, Catalunya is one of the richest, one of those who produces more, who contributes more to the whole country and, consequently, to the other regions. But that's part of the truth. Spain is an assimetric federation where different regions have different levels of autonomy from the central power, from each other. For example, in Catalunya, there are certain taxes that the local government charge and retain in Catalunya, which money from the taxes that doesn't go to Spain. That doesn't happen, for instance, in Andaluzia or in Castilla-la-Mancha.

Another data I forgot about Portugal: immigration.
Portugal has today an official unemployment rate of 17,6%. But these 17,6% do not include those who are not registred in the Public Job Centers, those who simply gave up searching for a job (many are long-term unemployed), but most of all, do not include the immigrants.
On the last two years (2011 and 2012), at least 200 000 people left Portugal to live and work in another country. If we remind that Portugal's population is about 10,5 million, then, 2% of the population immigrated. And we know that most of these immigrants are no longer poor unlettered families, but the biggest part are young people with high educational skills, where the State invested on the last decades and now says that this country doesn't have a place for them. Unemployment rate under 35 yrs old is 40% in Portugal (over 50% in Greece and Spain), and the general one is 17,6%, but if we add all these classes, specially those 200 000 immigrants, the number is much bigger.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:44 PM   #278
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Reading Aygo's reports, it's like the world is entering a dark age.

OK, I'm exaggerating, but everything seems so bleak now in terms of the economy and employment.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:11 AM   #279
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Rather troubling news out of Cyprus

BBC News - Cyprus economy 'on the brink', Bank of Cyprus warns

It's past time for an EU banking union, I think.

This is awfully reminiscent of what happened in Iceland, at least in my mind. Small island nation with a massive reliance on banking fueled by deposits from foreigners... if the banks tank, so goes the economy. Brussels and Berlin are still being rather pro-cyclical. The ECB wants a significant amount of money from Cyprus for a bailout of the banking system. The Cypriot government tried to do a one-time tax on savings of up to nearly 10% to fund that, but that would be disastrous, and public outcry pretty much shut that down. Banks are on bank holiday for the time being, so the only access to money is via ATMs, which generally managing to stay supplied with money, but with limits on withdrawals (I believe that Laiki, the bank that is under the biggest threat, has that limit set to €240). Cyprus wants a bailout from Moscow, as a third of deposits in its banks are Russian (it's a nice tax haven for Russian billionaires), but that seems unlikely. There are natural gas reserves off the coast that have been used as offers to try to get some people to give up money (including savers and Russia), but they're somewhat disputed with Turkey and no one seems to be taking. It's a bit of a mess.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:32 PM   #280
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The Cypriot government tried to do a one-time tax on savings of up to nearly 10% to fund that, but that would be disastrous, and public outcry pretty much shut that down.
Actually that is probably a relatively likely outcome and also the less "bad" of the two possible outcomes.

First possibility - the Cyprus proposal which includes a tax on deposits of over 100,000 Euro (probably in the range of 15-20%), nationalization of Cyprus state pensions and securitization of future gas earnings. This was rejected by the EU/IMF because of the latter two prongs of the proposal, leaving the one time tax as the only plausible mechanism, which would have to be implemented by imposing capital controls to prevent bank runs.

Second possibility - Cyprus leaves the Euro. Much less likely than #1 because Cyprus wants to remain a banking centre (also the main reason that the one-time tax was rejected by the general public). Obviously leaving the Euro kills that. Furthermore, leaving the Euro would result in major losses because all deposits would be redenominated in a new, devalued currency.

Both of these outcomes are bad, it's only a question of which is less bad (IMO #1).
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:43 PM   #281
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I don't think number 1 will happen.
so i guess there needs to be a number 3 option
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #282
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I still think that #1 is the best option and that it could happen. What is the better alternative? Nationalizing pensions (Germans rightly won't agree), or borrowing against the country's future gold & gas revenues? So that future generations have the pleasure of paying down enormous debts and Russian oligarchs make off like bandits?

What a shitty situation. Also a shitty way to run a country and an economy. And it sucks for them that it's happening some 6 months before the German election, so you Angela Merkel isn't going to be writing massive bailout cheques.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #283
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I don't think number 1 will happen.
so i guess there needs to be a number 3 option
Looks like I was bang on and #1 is happening at a rate of at least 20%, maybe as much as 40%.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:20 PM   #284
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Looks like I was bang on and #1 is happening at a rate of at least 20%, maybe as much as 40%.
looks like Laiki bank might even be a wipe-out...

i could well imagine there will be bank runs across the rest of Europe now as people try to protect their savings...

Quote:
The bank restructuring deal
Full details of the Cyprus deal are still emerging this morning, but the top line is that wealthy depositors are being hit much harder than in the original plan.

Here's what we understand:

• All deposits under €100k have been protected.

• Laiki Bank (or Popular Bank) will be wound down and split into a 'good' and 'bad' bank. Thousands of jobs are likely to be lost.

• The 'good' bit of Laiki (smaller savers) will being moulded into Bank of Cyprus.

• The bad bit, containing its uninsured deposits and toxic assets, will be wound down over time.

• Those with savings over €100,000 at Laiki, along with bond holders and shareholders, will all make a "full contribution" to the restructuring. That is being taken as a signal that wealthy depositors could be wiped out completely - but the full picture may take a while to emerge.

As Gary Jenkins of Swordfish Research put it:

Whilst there was no official confirmation I assume that deposit holders over €100k in Laiki Bank will be totally wiped out, but that is just an assumption from the language used.

• Uninsured deposits (€100k and above) in Bank of Cyprus will be frozen, and remain suspended until the bank has been recapitalised. It's not clear what haircut they will suffer -- there was talk of 40% plus in Brussels last night.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:48 PM   #285
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Rumblings that Slovenia might be next...
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