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Old 11-08-2011, 05:00 PM   #1
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True situation within Greece

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Thoughts from Athens
Submitted by Bruce Krasting on 11/08/2011 10:51 -0500

Greece International Monetary Fund


I talked to someone in the shipping business this morning. He happens to be Greek and has substantial interests in the country. We never did get around to talking about ships. Some of his words on the status quo in Greece:


The situation today is worse than ever. Business has stopped


The world does not appreciate the extent of social deterioration in the country.


Soup kitchens are forming to feed people.


Many old age homes are desperate. Many are indebted. The have been pleading for donations.


Wealthy ship owners have been discussing a private initiative to provide support for those on the edge.


There is no possibility for a unity government. There is less chance for this in Greece then there is in the USA. You think there is a problem between Democrats and Republicans? Here, they hate each other.

Papandreou was desperate to get out. He could not see how he could continue to play a confrontational role with the Greek people. He was losing his ability to maintain civil order. He did not want to govern a country that was going to become either a police state, or fall into a state of revolution.


An interim government may pass new laws and make promises to the EU and IMF. Most in the government want to stay in the EU and stick with the Euro. It’s in their best interests to do so. That’s what the EU is pushing them day and night to do.


It’s way to late for this type of orderly transition. It will end badly for Greece.
Thoughts from Athens | ZeroHedge
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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I agree. It is bad in Greece and getting that way all over
Europe.



Could this be part of the problem?

“Communist” China warns: Europe ruined by the welfare state | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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No, the problem is not the welfare state. Just to start.

It's too bad that China don't look to its own belly button first.
How much has their currency only valued in the last 15 years? 7% average... Which means that the Yuan has been severely underappreciated. Plus, China only keeps its economical role up, not only because they (still) have a "controlled" but crescent middle class, but because they shipped on true financial mercantilism. The problem is that the debts they bought may not have much vallue because of that, because their currency is highly underappreciated (and no economy can hold that forever, for too much time) and they start to struggle with not knowing where to invest that money. Does any investor want to invest in the european market, knowing that it can collapse (once again) with severe collateral damage for the global economy? Nope.

Welfare State IS sustainable.
But some variants have to change.
First, Europe countries have a quickly ageing demographic structure. Which means that the lesser part of active young people have to work more, or (not necessarily more, but) to create diverse forms of producing richness for the economy.

The problem, specially in highly corrupted countries like Greece, Portugal, Italy, etc., is that something would have to change so dramatically that I'm not sure that the society would resist. The portuguese 1974's revolution, I usually call it a half-revolution, because people only changed that they were interested in or what didn't hurt. Besides that, sometimes I feel that Portugal is the exact same country it was (for instance) in 1933 when it opened its arms to fascism.

Greece has the same problem that Portugal but 3 times worse: very burocratic, a justice system that doesn't work or that's very slow, very dependant economy from imported products, very dependant from external financiation, and, mostly, a big private debt (no one talk of it, because it's not convenient but private debt is superior to public debt).
In Portugal, the same 4/5 families/groups that ruled, that really governed 100 years ago, are the exact same ones today. Greece has the exact same problem.

Plus, the premises of the system of the UE was... communion and solidary... My ass!!

Remember the European funds?
Well, they were basically subsidies that big economies would send to small (or - then - weaker, like the UK was in the 1980's - that's why Thatcher did what she did) economies to kill their industries, the industries that represented the GDP, with the excuse: «You don't have to produce cars or milk anymore, cause we do it. Just focus in infra-structures like real estate, highways and things to fill your view. We'll take care about the rest». So, 2011, these countries have most of their economical structures destroyed, no capacity of rebuild it. In 1975, Portugal (the closest example I have, of course) had +/- 33% of agriculture, 33% of industries and 33% of services. In 2010, we had 77% of services (most of them non-exportable), 18% of industries and 5% of agriculture.

Plus, many of the european countries still have authentic drains of the public money, such as, perks for the political actors, just as an example. Until the economies are monopolized by private interests and by the dependancy of bigger economies, oh you bet the Welfare State is not sustainable.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
I agree. It is bad in Greece and getting that way all over
Europe.



Could this be part of the problem?

“Communist” China warns: Europe ruined by the welfare state | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog
An Andrew Bolt article, seriously?
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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Newt Gingrich spoke yesterday about his brief time in Greece this year. It was sad that he mentioned that some of the animosity in Greece aimed at the Germans was rooted in WW2 lost gold. It is time to forget the past and grow up Greece.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:39 AM   #6
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An Andrew Bolt article, seriously?
I suppose people not from Australia don't know about how he has precisely zero credibility.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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Newt Gingrich spoke yesterday about his brief time in Greece this year. It was sad that he mentioned that some of the animosity in Greece aimed at the Germans was rooted in WW2 lost gold. It is time to forget the past and grow up Greece.

I wouldn't say the Greeks are angry over their lost gold but more how undemocratic the EU is, especially since they are bossed and ordered about by German and French leaders, who threatened them when they wanted to enact their democratic right for a referendum on their membership of the EU. I think a certain amount of anger is understandable, as each individual has little say in how their country is run or governed compared to some others with certain connections, bankers et al.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:36 PM   #8
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It's also kinda funny to hear China, which many people believe in the states believe to be the great purveyor of that evil of socialism, blame socialism for how Europe currently is.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:13 PM   #9
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I wouldn't say the Greeks are angry over their lost gold but more how undemocratic the EU is, especially since they are bossed and ordered about by German and French leaders, who threatened them when they wanted to enact their democratic right for a referendum on their membership of the EU. I think a certain amount of anger is understandable, as each individual has little say in how their country is run or governed compared to some others with certain connections, bankers et al.
Well, I think this entire mess shows the true state of the EU more than anything else. Let's begin with how Greece is a member to the Euro in the first place. Back in 2002, when the Euro was finally introduced as a tender currency (ie. in the public face, as before it was just a currency used in non-visible transactions) it was an open secret that Greece manipulated its books to perform to the Maastricht criteria, and that all other countries just closed their eyes because after the UK, Denmark and Sweden sticked with their old currencies they needed every member they could possibly get. Over the years, not much changed, which is one factor, and now everyone acts surprised.
Then you have the fact that in the EU still every nation first and foremost acts for itself and in its own interest. And that's not jus Germany and France, but every country. Problem is, there's a great imbalance. And nothing to unify it. Fiscal and economic policy are still up to each individual country. And not a single country adjusted its own policies according to what the EU, and especially the Eurozone, needed. Germany and France pushed its exports, Germans got ripped off their money (for more than 15 years now real wages are decreasing), Ireland attracted banks and companies with tax havens, and countries such as Greece imported like hell, increased wages and cumulated so much debt they can't breathe anymore.
So now we are in a crisis and again there's no sign of working together. Merkel and Sarkozy are still all about preserving their own best interest and make impossible demands from the Greek and other debtors just to preserve a system which is on life-support, but with no real chance to survive, and if, it will be permanently and heavily disabled.
The most fucked up thing in the whole story is how some media are stirring the shit, and how in no time the public debate hit rock-bottom again. And this is where this Nazi-gold story and others come into play. Please, people, feel free to critizise Merkel and her policies as well as her pressure all you want, but please, save us this fucking Nazi bullshit already. Just for once, it would be nice to keep this debate at a level that is not a massive facepalm. The reason why Greece is in trouble while Germany is the largest economy in the EU has zero to do with this relatively small amount of stolen gold. So if anything, this entire mess should show everyone where the EU really stands at. And might give some inkling at why the Lisbon treaty was met by so much resistance.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:56 PM   #10
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There are definitely certain levels of xenophobia cropping up in relation to all this, I especially find the acronym for the troubled countries, PIIGS, a bit on the distasteful side, i've also read quite a few comments that it is the 'laziness of the greeks' that has led to their situation and they deserve what they get.

The little that I've actually heard being reported of the general mood of the German public is that they are against all this bailout money being thrown about? You can tell me if this is wrong but as I understand it most of the money for the bailouts and what not has been German? Which I could understand quite well why the German public would be against it, as it seems generally people have little idea where all the money eventually ends up.

With Italy now getting much worse financially and probably with a protracted period of political disorder, I can't see how any of this is actually going to get any better.

I would also like to state a lot of the financial dealings and shenanigans have me a bit lost, a lot of this has certainly been a crash course in economics, but I can't help but feel and get angry that it is the people of the EU as a whole who are getting shafted by the incompetence of the political establishment and the self interest of the banks.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:21 PM   #11
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Clearly Greece's problems are the result of the Corporatocracy/Illuminati/Area 51 trinity.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LJT View Post
There are definitely certain levels of xenophobia cropping up in relation to all this, I especially find the acronym for the troubled countries, PIIGS, a bit on the distasteful side, i've also read quite a few comments that it is the 'laziness of the greeks' that has led to their situation and they deserve what they get.

The little that I've actually heard being reported of the general mood of the German public is that they are against all this bailout money being thrown about? You can tell me if this is wrong but as I understand it most of the money for the bailouts and what not has been German? Which I could understand quite well why the German public would be against it, as it seems generally people have little idea where all the money eventually ends up.

With Italy now getting much worse financially and probably with a protracted period of political disorder, I can't see how any of this is actually going to get any better.

I would also like to state a lot of the financial dealings and shenanigans have me a bit lost, a lot of this has certainly been a crash course in economics, but I can't help but feel and get angry that it is the people of the EU as a whole who are getting shafted by the incompetence of the political establishment and the self interest of the banks.
There is those who have no idea whatsoever what is going on, why it is like it is and who source most of their information from Bild and other tabloids which are running campaigns against those countries now in trouble and the Euro. They are being told that, indeed, the Greek are lazy, unproductive and earned more and more while working less and less while at the same time avoid paying taxes. That's the populist gut reaction from the ignorant who still believes this shit, and our government, of course, likes to tell it this way as well as it suits their interests. Naturally, if you are asked to give a lot of money you are open to any voice telling you why you shouldn't.
Then there's those who are opposed to the bailouts and the other policies currently being enacted because they know that this will go nowhere, and that there's but little hope for Greece to find a way out without a massive haircut (of which no one is able to exactly tell what the consequences will be).
At the moment it's a blame game from all sides when in fact it was a fuck-up from all sides. Pointing fingers is not getting us anywhere, but none of the politicians is willing or daring to take on the underlying system.

You are right, for the citizens it's also very hard to see why they have to suffer and the banks and large corporations get away with it. As I said before, for the past 15 years real wages in Germany have declined in order to keep us as competitive as possible against low-wage countries. Workers have excepted these cuts, as well as massive cuts in the social systems, with the promise that this will eventually make us all better of. And now they are told that the future will even be more bleak, and that they have to give money to countries where wages have greatly increased while productivity has remained stagnant. And if no one tells you that both developments are linked, i.e. the Greek were to earn more in order to buy our stuff, and that their economy were to remain uncompetitive in order for us to remain the largest exporting nation, of course you will feel that this is all unwarranted.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:19 PM   #13
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Clearly Greece's problems are the result of the Corporatocracy/Illuminati/Area 51 trinity.
Exactly!
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:30 AM   #14
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It's also kinda funny to hear China, which many people believe in the states believe to be the great purveyor of that evil of socialism, blame socialism for how Europe currently is.
I found that to be absolutely hilarious.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #15
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Clearly Greece's problems are the result of the Corporatocracy/Illuminati/Area 51 trinity.
Or just too many vested interests of some people with too much power, plus the whole making money from money, intangible financial products that have no actual real value and what not, and an economic system that wildly swings depending on rumour and inaccurate predictions. How the city of London and Wall Street operate is the true insanity in the world. I don't think bankers and stock brokers are evil people or stupid, but they have been subsumed into a system based completely on intangibles, on a system where if you give monkeys the ability to trade shares, you would get similar results to today's major investment banks, as it is a system wholly predicated on chance.
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