Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine [Feb 6th 2015]

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine [Feb 6th 2015]

Postby vijaykarthik » 06 Jul 2015 06:56

Kudos to Greece for saying No overwhelmingly. Now the EU can sit back and think in hindsight what went wrong and where it all went wrong, who started etc etc. Merkel had a brilliant oppty to set things right and they have done a Charlie Foxtrot. All over again!

I wonder how the US will act now that the vote is out. One thing is for certain - the EU and US simply cannot afford the pol cost of Greece leaving the Eurozone. Bend, traitors. IMO, asking the people to decide, in the fountainhead of democracy, was the best move (and the only possible move, as Tsipiras, and even the earlier PM, threatened to do earlier). The people have decided that enough is enough.

This has a large lesson for all of us. A pol union without a fiscal one will not work out. Every nation states has its own interests and making them become subservient w/o helping them financially will lead to more Greece. Not less.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine [Feb 6th 2015]

Postby vijaykarthik » 06 Jul 2015 11:58

Oww. Yanis Varoufakis has stepped down. Does it mean he has become the scapegoat and Greece will get a deal after all?

Also wondering if there is a better place to put these snippets up? The original thread says Eastern Europe / Ukraine which this is not. But still relevant, nonetheless.

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EU crisis-Greece

Postby Philip » 06 Jul 2015 12:18

The ramifications of the Greek NO vote is going to reverberate for a long time,with other failing EU economies looking on anxiously.The era of "austerity",the bitter medicine shoved down by Dr.Merkel has now been vomited out by the fed-up Greeks,who can tighten their belts no more and want freedom from austerity in whatever manner it arrives. The political fall-out is bound to happen as more EU nations who are also suffering from the German mendicants look to the Greeks for similar inspiratipn.The day of the "PIGS" has arrived!

http://www.theguardian.com/business/liv ... a39a3ba927
Tsipras: We have proved democracy cannot be blackmailed
Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, is addressing the nation now.

Today, he says, Greece has proved that democracy cannot be blackmailed; Greeks have made a brave choice, and one which will change the debate in Europe.

I understand that voters have not given me a mandate against Europe, but a mandate for a sustainable solution.

And he warns that there are no easy solutions -- but a fair solution can be found, if both sides want it.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 67617.html

Athens calls the vote a victory of democracy over economic 'terrorism'
Ian Johnston , Nathalie Savaricas , Leo Cendrowicz
Monday 06 July 2015

The people of Greece have presented the European Union with the greatest political crisis in its history after voters decisively rejected years of further austerity and effectively challenged Brussels to throw a member state into the economic abyss.

The Syriza-led government in Athens celebrated what it called a victory of democracy over economic “terrorism”, with the Greek people voting overwhelmingly against the demands of the country’s hated creditors. The final tally of the referendum was 61.3 per cent No and 38.7 per cent Yes.

Such rhetoric has done little to endear Athens to the mainly German and French politicians it will now have to persuade to save the country’s economy. Germany’s Vice-Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, warned that Greece was heading for “bitter abandonment and hopelessness” following the vote.

European officials had lined up all last week to warn that a No vote would mean exit from the euro, but Greece’s voters decided to call what Syriza insisted was a bluff.

In a statement, the European Commission (EC) said it “takes note of and respects the result of the referendum in Greece”.

“[EC President Jean-Claude] Juncker is consulting … with the democratically elected leaders of the other 18 Eurozone members as well as with the heads of the EU institutions,” it added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel German Chancellor Angela Merkel

At a meeting in Paris on Monday, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French President, François Hollande, who spoke by phone on Sunday night, may take one of the most important decisions in EU history. A eurozone leaders’ summit is also due to be held on Tuesday.

They will be faced with a choice of either swallowing their pride, putting European solidarity first and making a deal that would see their own taxpayers lose money, or cutting Greece off, forcing it to start printing its own currency as the euros run out.

The country’s financial institutions had a lending reserve of no more than €500m (£356m) on Sunday and may not be able to dispense any more euros by mid-week unless they receive emergency funding from one of Greece’s main creditors, the European Central Bank.

Read more: • Robert Fisk: Europe wants revenge on the Greeks
• EU mulls next steps as vote threatens biggest crisis in its history
• Compromise may still emerge but this is a terrifying gamble

Addressing the nation on television, the Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, thanked voters for making a “very brave choice” and said the result showed that “democracy won’t be blackmailed”.

It would also mean that debt relief would be “on the negotiating table”, he insisted, something that eurozone leaders have previously resisted. Greece owes about €323bn , about 60 per cent of which is owed to eurozone countries.

“The Greek people today gave an answer to what [kind of] Europe we want. What we want is a Europe of solidarity,” Mr Tsipras added.

Greek television reported that he spoke to Mr Hollande and several other European leaders by phone as early results showed the No camp winning by about 60 to 40 per cent.

And there were some glimmers of hope for Greece, with Emmanuel Macron, the French Economy Minister, saying Europe could not “crush an entire people” and a compromise must be found.

Panagiotis Kouroublis, Greece’s Health Minister, told The Independent that he believed “democracy works in Europe” and the referendum result would “force everyone to reassess their position”.

“Europe will have the responsibility. Europe cannot simply shift its responsibilities to others,” he said. “Europe will have to give the banks the possibility [to open] and that means respect to democracy, and to immediately begin the negotiations and conclude them in no time.”

Read more: • What happens if the Greek people vote Yes – or No
• The photo that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
• Will Greek troubles spill over to the rest of Europe and UK?

Antonis Samaras, the former Greek Prime Minister, announced his resignation as leader of the main opposition New Democracy party as the result became clear. He urged Greeks to pressure the government to make a quick deal with its creditors. Poland’s Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz, said a No victory would mean 'the path of Greece can be only one: leaving the eurozone' Poland’s Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz, said a No victory would mean 'the path of Greece can be only one: leaving the eurozone'

But leading German politicians appeared in little mood to show mercy. Mr Gabriel told the Tagesspiegel newspaper: “With the rejection of the rules of the eurozone … negotiations about a [bailout] programme worth billions are barely conceivable.”

And Poland’s Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz, said a No victory would mean “the path of Greece can be only one: leaving the eurozone”.

On the streets of Athens, the mood was a mix of celebratory defiance and fatalism. Thousands of people flooded into Syntagma Square, waving flags, blowing whistles and chanting. “I feel joy and satisfaction,” said Maria Siamaki, an unemployed secretary waving a Greek flag. “I don’t care if I’m hungry tomorrow or if we go bankrupt, I don’t care. I have a kid who is sick and I might not be able to take care of [the child]. But I don’t care, we’re finding again our lost pride and dignity and that’s the most important thing.”

READ MORE: • What does a 'no' vote in the referendum mean?
• A history of just how Greece landed itself in such a mess

There have been fears of a breakdown in law and order. Last week Panos Kammeno, Greece’s Defence Minister and leader of the nationalist Independent Greeks party in the coalition, warned the army would step in to ensure “stability in the country in the worst moments for our homeland” if required.

But on Sunday night he put such bleak thoughts to one side as he joined in the celebrations. “The Greek people have proven that they won’t be blackmailed,” Mr Kammeno said. “They won’t be terrorised. They won’t be threatened. Democracy has won.”

Bernie Sanders, a US senator from Vermont who is running for the Democratic nomination for president and describes himself as a “democratic socialist”, said: “I applaud the people of Greece for saying ‘no' to more austerity for the poor, the children, the sick and the elderly.


“In a world of massive wealth and income inequality, Europe must support Greece’s efforts to build an economy which creates more jobs and income, not more unemployment and suffering.”


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/econ ... -live.html
Greek referendum live: Yanis Varoufakis quits as markets brace after a big 'no' vote
After 61pc of Greeks voted 'no', will Tsipras be able to make a deal with the creditors, and will the IMF keep Greek banks afloat?
Today, the IMF meets to see whether they should raise the ceiling on the emergency liquidity assistance, the money that has kept Greece's banks upright. Reports suggest that one of the big four banks has mostly run out of money, and the rest could feel the crunch tomorrow.

A Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers has been set for tomorrow, as has a eurozone summit, for tomorrow evening.

This morning, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker will hold a teleconference with European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, Donald Tusk and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The euro Working Group of top treasury officials will meet in Brussels.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet with French leader Francois Hollande in Paris today as well.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby vijaykarthik » 06 Jul 2015 13:58

Good on you, Philip. Thanks for creating this.

As Krugman rightly says, there is no case of right or wrong here. The larger question is whether Europe as a group can get away with frightening the public of dire measures and thinking they can make the elected govt disappear. If Europe had succeeded in that, it would have been worse. Sure, Greece might suffer in the short run but fittingly, they have given an ultimate response reg sovereignty and democracy.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Philip » 06 Jul 2015 14:30

In some respects,we in India also suffered in the past,even today from the BIMARU effect.Some states pull their weight,others don't .Northeners,including those from the NEast who have migrated to the southern states are very happy at the better law and order prevailing.Goa is full of Kashmiri peddlars Jew Town in Cochin sees them peddling their wares in houses upto the Jewish Synagogue!

Fortunately,we in India are generally more adjustable by nature and have at the time of Independence thrown our lot in together at one go for better or worse. We have again only ONE parliament,one state unlike Europe,which has many nations whose headsare usually all talking at each other rather than to each other.The concept of the EU with a single currency is also fundamentally flawed with Britain preferring their pound. Each nation works at its own pace,has resources both material and human differing,plus geographically ,linguistically and culturally are very divergent.

The German concept of "ein Volk,ein Reich,,ein Fuhrer " was seen off in 1945.The Germans this time round have tried to dominate Europe through their economic medicine.Just as it was found 70 years ago ,it won't work!

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby vijaykarthik » 06 Jul 2015 15:04

News trickling in. As thought...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33406001


Greece's combative finance minister has resigned, hours after voters backed his call to reject creditors' demands for more austerity in a referendum.

Yanis Varoufakis said it was felt his departure would be helpful in finding a solution to the country's debt crisis.

Eurozone finance ministers, with whom he repeatedly clashed, had wanted him removed, Mr Varoufakis explained.

Meanwhile, global financial markets have fallen over fears that Greece is heading for an exit from the euro.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is to meet to discuss whether to raise its emergency cash support for Greek banks, which are reportedly just days away from running out of funds and collapsing.

BBC Europe editor Katya Adler says the eurozone's most powerful members, France and Germany are at odds over what to do next, with France taking a softer and Germany a harder line.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris later on Monday, and there will be a summit of eurozone leaders on Tuesday.

The majority of Greeks say they want to stay in the single currency, but their angry "No" vote in Sunday's referendum has made that far harder, our correspondent adds.

'Creditors' loathing'

Mr Varoufakis announced his resignation on his blog only hours after it emerged that 61.3% of Greeks had voted to reject the demands for more austerity from the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He said Sunday's referendum would "stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage".

He went with a typical rhetorical flourish: "I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride," wrote Yanis Varoufakis, known as much for his leather jackets as his flamboyant language - "austerity is like trying to extract milk from a sick cow by whipping it", being just one of his gems. But Greece's outgoing finance minister was an obstacle to an urgent deal with Brussels. Adored by his supporters back home, he was hated by eurozone leaders, whom he accused of "terrorism" towards Greece.

His departure - or removal - is a clear gesture by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that he wants fresh debt talks and a deal as soon as possible. He certainly needs one: Greek banks are so critically low on funds that they could collapse in days without an injection of cash from the European Central Bank. But it will only lend if Greek banks are solvent - which they're not - or Greece is in a bailout scheme - which it isn't. So the door to a eurozone exit inches ever closer.

Greece achieved a political earthquake last night. But the aftershocks could be far greater.

Mr Varoufakis added that he had been "made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my... 'absence' from its meetings".

Prime Minister Tsipras had judged this to be "potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement", he noted.

His replacement is expected to be named after a meeting of Greek political leaders on Monday.

Alexis Tsipras said his priority was to restore the "financial stability of Greece"

As thousands of Greeks took to the streets celebrate the referendum result on Sunday evening, Mr Tsipras said they had "made a very brave choice".

"The mandate you gave me is not the mandate of a rupture with Europe, but a mandate to strengthen our negotiating position to seek a viable solution," he added.

He added that he was willing to go back to the negotiating table on Monday, noting that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment published this week confirmed that restructuring Greece's €240bn (£170bn) euro debt was necessary.

'Very regrettable'

However, Germany's Deputy Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, told local media that renewed negotiations with Greece were "difficult to imagine" and that Mr Tsipras had "torn down the bridges" with Europe.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Greece's referendum vote would lead to "painful days"
◾Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said: "Now it is right to start trying for an agreement again. But there is no escape from the Greek labyrinth with a Europe that's weak and isn't growing."
◾UK eurosceptic party leader Nigel Farage welcomed the result. He tweeted: "EU project is now dying. It's fantastic to see the courage of the Greek people in the face of political and economic bullying from Brussels."
◾EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tweeted that the vote meant "Painful days for all those that believe in a united Europe".
◾The leader of Spain's leftist anti-corruption party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, was more positive. "Today in Greece democracy won," he said.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup, said the referendum result was "very regrettable".

Greece had been locked in negotiations with its creditors for months when the Greek government unexpectedly called a referendum on the terms it was being offered.

Banks have been shut since last Monday after the European Central Bank declined to give Greece more emergency funding.

Withdrawals at cash machines have been limited to €60 per day. Greece's last bailout expired on Tuesday and Greece missed a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) payment to the IMF.

The European Commission - one of the "troika" of creditors along with the IMF and the ECB - wanted Athens to raise taxes and slash welfare spending to meet its debt obligations.

Greece's Syriza-led government, which was elected in January on an anti-austerity platform, said creditors had tried to use fear to put pressure on Greeks.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Arjun » 07 Jul 2015 10:26

Greece's actions are unfortunately emboldening leftists everywhere. Many Indian commies are leaping up in joy that the capitalist system taken for granted has been given the finger by their elected compatriots in Greece.

From the standpoint of India's future competitiveness, a clear message from the EU that debt contracts will be adhered to OR at the least an agreement on the importance of maintaining a cap on fiscal deficit will be a good outcome.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Philip » 07 Jul 2015 13:32

The problem is that the world's wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a miniscule few,who live in pvt. islands,fly in pvt. aircraft,sail in pvt. yachts,with chandliers encrusted with diamonds,etc,,etc.,who rarely rub shoulders with the aam addmi.The Middle class has been squeezed out into the realms of the lower middle class and better-off poor,and the poor ,very poor and desperately poor,sent into unemployment and the dole. these individuals are dominated by those who control the banks,which are rarely left to founder unlike general industries and companies,always supported by "quantitative easing",another term for "latrine economics",meaning printing more paper by national govts. to protect the crony capitalists.

What we are seeing today in Greece ,which will erupt elsewhere in the EU and across the globe is ordinary people coming out and voting with their hands and feet,saying,"enough of this,I'm angry,enraged,I can't take it anymore" as did Howard Beale (Peter Finch) in the classic film Network!

In the Greek tragedy,pun intended,the Germans and richer EU states have happily enjoyed a lower value Euro,which has spurred their exports,at the expense of poorer states. They have not been allowed to "drink from the well" like the rich and powerful.The collapse of the EU eco system was inevitable when the rules were fudged.

In parallel to the Greek tragedy,on the other side of the word in the Far East, are the woes of the Muddle,,,sorry,"Middle Kingdom". XI Gins seems to be in an alcoholic stupor ,unable to speak out or stem the rot of the collapsing Chinese stock market. The Dragon is running out of steam and the Chinese populace are hyperventilating as they expect the state and party to bail them out of a crisis.The Chinese are going through "interesting times"! Read on.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/nil ... -end-badly
Beijing's desperate attempts to control the stock market will end badly
Nils Pratley

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Philip » 07 Jul 2015 13:43

Greece does not mark the end of the euro debacle, merely the beginning

I remember being regarded as eccentric for doubting the euro project. Now it has proved a monumental error of judgement, analysis and leadership
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... nning.html

By William Hague
06 Jul 2015

I well remember the furrowed brow of President Chirac, sitting amidst the splendid gilt furnishings of the Elysee Palace, as I explained to him in May 1998 why I thought the Euro would not work as Europe’s leaders intended. The charm of his welcome had evaporated as I set out not only why joining the euro would be very bad for Britain, but also far from a good idea for some of the countries desperate to sign up to it.

After I gave my speech that night at my alma mater, the European Business School at Fontainebleau, Chirac and many others were appalled. I said that joining the euro would exacerbate recession in some countries, and that some would find themselves ‘trapped in a burning building with no exits’ – a phrase that brought me a fair amount of controversy and abuse.

I was regarded around the EU as a rather eccentric figure, almost pitiable in being unable to see where the great sweep of history and prosperity was heading. One former senior colleague in Britain said I had become ‘more extreme even than Mrs Thatcher’, as if this was an unimaginable horror. Idealistic heads in Brussels were shaken in sorrow that the dreaded eurosceptics were not only growing in the Conservative Party but had now taken it over, with me having become, astonishingly, its Leader.

There is no doubt that I was wrong about quite a few things when I was leading my party. But I hope the Eurozone leaders meeting today will remember that those of us who criticised the euro at its creation were correct in our forecasts. Otherwise they risk adding to the monumental errors of judgement, analysis and leadership made by their predecessors in 1998.

Those who poured scorn on some of us who predicted ‘wage cuts, tax hikes, and the creation of vicious unemployment blackspots’ – all now experienced in abundance by the people of Greece – should at least now make the effort to understand why these predictions were true.

Economics has few laws, which is why economic forecasts are so maddeningly unreliable. If it has one law, it is this: that if you fix together some things which naturally vary, such as interest rates and exchange rates, other things, such as unemployment and wages, will vary more instead. And in a single currency zone, which has exactly this effect, you can only get round these problems by paying big subsidies to poorly performing areas, and expecting workers to move in large numbers to better performing ones.

This is what happens in the United States, or indeed within the United Kingdom. In general it works. In the Eurozone it does not work, because either Greeks have to cure their poor economic performance or Germans have to pay them big subsidies forever, and neither are willing or able to do so. This, in a sentence, is the problem of the Eurozone, and continued denial of it will only make that problem worse.

There are three important truths for Eurozone leaders to recognise today as they are forced to choose between the credibility of their currency and the permanence of European unity.

The first is that this crisis is not the fault of the Greek people. It is easy to think the opposite when they have a government so utterly ham-fisted and unreliable in its dealings with its partners, and a demagogic and now departed finance minister who regards as ‘terrorism’ the simple act of lending money and expecting it back one day.

They have rejected reasonable terms from their creditors, defending retirement benefits paid earlier than most in northern Europe, and protecting lower VAT rates for tourist areas of which our own Welsh hills and Yorkshire dales, to name two close to my heart, can only dream. But Greeks have experienced the loss of one quarter of their entire national income, following an unsustainable inflation of spending and debt which Eurozone membership facilitated.

The responsibility for this crisis lies with their own former leaders and those around the EU who gave them euro membership when they were not remotely suited to it, a triumph of political desire over dispassionate economic analysis for which ordinary people are now paying the price.

It is no good now expecting Greeks to sit quietly in a burnt out room of the burning building I described seventeen years ago. This brings us to the second truth: that this is not a short term crisis, but a permanent one, in which any temporary accommodation will soon be overtaken by events.

Greeks are being expected to do business and compete with the rest of the world at the same exchange rate and with the same interest rates as Germany, which would require their manufacturing, their education and their enterprise culture to be at least similar to those of Germany. In their lifetimes they are not going to be able to do that. This is not because there is something wrong with them; it is because they live in a different economic environment from Germany, and one that is not suited to being in the same currency.

In such circumstances, it is better to be able to leave sooner, with some generous support, than leave later with even greater resentment and failure.

The third and final truth will be the hardest one of all for those responsible for the euro to accept: that this is not just about one country. It is in Greece that the fundamental tensions created by a single currency have first broken through, because Greece is a particularly indebted and less competitive country. But the same tensions will ultimately surface in other nations facing a less immediate crisis but a similar prognosis.

Across southern Europe, governments such as those in Italy and Spain are making brave efforts to enact long overdue reforms. They might not achieve enough, however, for their people to prosper when required to compete equally with their northern neighbours. There is a clear risk that the economic performance of the south will diverge from, not converge with, the north. Unless this is averted in the coming years, it will bring problems to Europe for which Greece has only been a minor rehearsal.

In future decades, in the very business school where I spoke in 1998, I believe students will sit down to study the folly of extending a single currency too far. Sad though it will be to see it, their textbook is likely to say that the Greek debacle of 2015 was not the end of the euro crisis, but its real beginning.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Yagnasri » 07 Jul 2015 17:25


JE Menon
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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby JE Menon » 07 Jul 2015 18:21

^^Excellent and absolutely accurate reading of the situation from Stratfor, IMO

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby panduranghari » 07 Jul 2015 18:54

Yes its excellent. But accurate? He is stating that Eurozone has backed itself into a corner. I doubt anyone would agree with this. Greece constitutes 0.2% of Eurozone GDP. Its like a gnat troubling a buffalo. I know a few Greeks who know they do not want to leave Eurozone, mainly because they do not trust their own politicians. Greek politicians have always debased their currency after being profligate. Greeks want to have the cake and eat it too.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby JE Menon » 07 Jul 2015 19:26

^^Politically in each EU state, and geo-politically for the EU as a whole (i.e. for its leader Germany). He himself says Grexit is no big shakes from an economic point of view.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Comer » 07 Jul 2015 19:33

Economy noob here :
Wouldn't austerity measures further contract the Greek economy and make it worse for everyone? And they could have done some Marshall plan type deal instead of tightening the belt, IMHO

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine [Feb 6th 2015]

Postby JE Menon » 07 Jul 2015 19:45

>>I wonder how the US will act now that the vote is out. One thing is for certain - the EU and US simply cannot afford

What is there to suggest the US is unhappy about the Greek vote? No reason to think it is. An uncertain and divided EU is not against the US interest.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby rsingh » 07 Jul 2015 19:50

^^
Greeks are very lazy, you can give them 5 Marshall plans and they will be the same. They behave as if Europe owe them everything because of history. All said ,I have never seen such risk taker PM as Greec's. This guy gave middle finger to old Euopeans. Out of box thinking about refrendum was a great pain in asses of many so called greats. This man is "Man Of the Year" for good reasons or bad.

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Re: Eastern Europe/Ukraine [Feb 6th 2015]

Postby rsingh » 07 Jul 2015 20:00

vijaykarthik wrote:Oww. Yanis Varoufakis has stepped down. Does it mean he has become the scapegoat and Greece will get a deal after all?

Also wondering if there is a better place to put these snippets up? The original thread says Eastern Europe / Ukraine which this is not. But still relevant, nonetheless.


This is often used in stalled negotiations. Opponent is tired/sick/scared/cornered by old negotiator. This is to disarm opponent who may have negative feeling about negotiators. It is very bold and mature move. Very good policy.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby vera_k » 08 Jul 2015 04:53

JE Menon wrote:^^Excellent and absolutely accurate reading of the situation from Stratfor, IMO


I suspect there's more. In that the EU is bankrupt...but yet to show it. If that is correct, Greece does not lose as much is being made out by leaving the Euro. Sure, the new currency will be lower compared to the Euro today, but the Euro itself would be heading lower over the next few years as more troubles become apparent.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby UlanBatori » 08 Jul 2015 06:20

Greece constitutes 0.2% of Eurozone GDP.

Yes, but Friedman's line is that Spain, Portugal, Italy will all follow suit and say :P to Berlin and Brussels. The most dangerous part of Friedman's thoughts is about the type of governments that are going to get voted in most of Oirope. Bodes ill for world peace and for minorities in Oirope. You can see the signs already. Civility is getting shoved aside. The Greeks are no angels, their leaders are deadbeats and scam artists.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby A_Gupta » 08 Jul 2015 06:34

The IMF and Greece:
http://www.politico.eu/article/imf-gree ... -eurozone/

The IMF’s role in Greece has been “one of the most credibility-sapping in its history,” noted Gabriel Sterne, a former Fund staffer who is now chief economist at Oxford Economics, in a scathing note published last year. IMF insiders and most economists tend to agree.
...
...
Then there were the forecasting mistakes. Sterne notes for example that the IMF revised down its estimate for Greece’s 2014 gross domestic product by some 22 percent in the space of 18 months. “In U.S. terms, that is the equivalent of revising away the combined output of the whole of California, New York and Florida,” he writes.


Which IMF officials have lost their jobs for making such a lousy forecast?
Last edited by A_Gupta on 08 Jul 2015 06:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby NRao » 08 Jul 2015 06:38



Terrible article.

So, the idea is/should be that a nation should spend more than they earn, 10 years later ask for help, get worse and then make a nuisance of itself?

Greeks should be ashamed of themselves (granted there are plenty of other nations that behave similarly).

There are two things wrong that I see here:

1) Greeks need to realize that they are asking people to take a cut (writing off a debt), because
2) Of their bad spending habits

I think they should be helped, but with longer term loans. But hell, the Greeks better pay them back - may be without interest. But no free money from here. (I think the Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese are in a similar boat).

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby UlanBatori » 08 Jul 2015 06:42

What if the EU demands, say, several of the Greek islands as payment (I mean real estate), and enforces that with military force? Greek can survive, but as Gre instead of as Greece? Bavaria South, on the Mediterranean?

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby A_Gupta » 08 Jul 2015 06:44

http://equitablegrowth.org/2015/07/07/p ... -friedman/

Irving Fisher:
And, vice versa, deflation caused by the debt that reacts on the debt. Each dollar of debt still unpaid becomes a bigger dollar, and if the over-indebtedness with which we started was great enough, the liquidation of debts cannot keep up with the fall of prices which it causes. In that case, the liquidation defeats itself. While it diminishes the number of dollars owed, it may not do so as fast as it increases the value of each dollar owed. Then, the very effort of individuals to lessen their burden of debts increases it, because of the mass effect of the stampede to liquidate in swelling each dollar owed. Then we have the great paradox which, I submit, is the chief secret of most, if not all, great depressions: The more the debtors pay, the more they owe. The more the economic boat tips, the more it tends to tip. It is not tending to right itself but is capsizing.


Large scale austerity is simply not a viable way out of debt.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Rony » 08 Jul 2015 06:52

Greek crisis in a nut shell for the laymen :

The endeavour below is to - explain a very complicated circular trading (round tripping algorithm) nonsense that became a crisis - in a simple way..

MARY is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin. She realises that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronise her bar – she will go broke.

To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Mary's 'drink now, pay later' marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Mary's bar.

Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Dublin — all is starting to look rosy.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands Mary gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Mary's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Mary's borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into Drinkbonds and Alkibonds. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets.

The new investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as 'AAA' secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. They have had a 'rating house' certify they are of good quality.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Mary's bar. He so informs Mary.

Mary then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Mary cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. So she now is broke.

The bar closes and the 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, Drinkbonds and Alkibonds drop in price by 90%.

The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank's liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Mary's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various Bond securities. They find they are now faced with having to write-off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations. Her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion euro, no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in government.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Mary's bar.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Prem » 08 Jul 2015 08:06

UlanBatori wrote:What if the EU demands, say, several of the Greek islands as payment (I mean real estate), and enforces that with military force? Greek can survive, but as Gre instead of as Greece? Bavaria South, on the Mediterranean?


Most of the islands are full of Pakimmigrants and they steal left and right which has effected the tourism.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Nandu » 08 Jul 2015 08:16

Reports are that Eurozone members are demanding harsher conditions than in the bailout deal rejected by the referendum. Tsipras may not have an option but to accept, because without other countries in the region extending credit, Greece's economy will grind to a halt.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby niran » 08 Jul 2015 08:42

NRao wrote:<snip>(I think the Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese are in a similar boat).

eyetaylee currently have 28% (and climbing) of the employable population on govt. doles for the unemployed. Greece had around 27% a year ago i.e. in a year and a half eyetaylee gonna go belly up next.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Sachin » 08 Jul 2015 09:41

So then who (which country) has the maximum employable population, actually employed? United Queendom, Germany? I also saw a cartoon in Facebook - that of a very fat man (fat after eating too much "socialism") "demanding" more food, to satiate his hunger. How true is this?

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Yagnasri » 08 Jul 2015 11:24

Europeans enjoyed all perks and lazy life during colonial era because of the loot of the whole world. It continued for decades mostly because of the capital and technological accumulation that had taken place during the same period. They also enjoyed Khan protection and were not spending much of GDP% on defense. Now Khan protection comes at a economic cost of quarreling with Bear for no logical reason and for no benefit to them. The NATO now serves no purpose of EU and it they are fighting Khan wars everywhere. They lost their edge in manufacturing, slowly technological edge is going away. Asia is catching with them. When pre-colonial conditions are returning with Asia being the main wealth creter of the world, EU will be a in a big s**t. What we are seeking the only a start.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Philip » 08 Jul 2015 12:03

The "final solution" from renowned economist of BRF,moi,aka Jean-Phillippe!

Mes amis,there are two kinds of Europeans,states in the EU.Those who work and those who watch those who work.Those who work make a lot of cash,because of the low value of the Euro,because the non-working states keep the Euro down. This helps the hard working states export their excellent goods like Mercs,Beemers,etc. all over the world. The mistake made was having a single currency for all EU states,hard working and not-so-hard working and a bloated bureaucracy in Brussels.
These "lazy b*ggers",usually belong to countries with a hoary past,rich in antiquity.The Roman empire for instance was perhaps the greatest of the ancient world.Alexander the Great Greek,was arguably the greatest mil. conqueror along with one G,Khan of the Mongols.but Greece,Italy,Spain,Portugal,great empires of the past had their day. They can happily exist today on a solid foundation of tourism,where people from all over the world come to marvel at their ancient wonders.They live long on a Meditt. diet of olive oil,vino,fish,seafood,country cheese,goat's milk,etc.,generally cheap to obtain. They love nothing better than to sit by a seaside café watching the sea and sunset,enjoying "lotus eating"!
The Iralians somehow,still maintain a flicker of Roman excellence industrially by producing the world's finest sports cars,fashion houses,etc.....and Sophia Loren!

Poor Greece,the foundation of European culture-that is if you've not read "Black Athena" by Martin Bernal,which shows the Afro-Asian origins of European classical civilization.But then Greece gave us men like Demosthenes,Plato,Aristotle,Archimedes,Pythagoras,Euclid,Aristophanes,Diogenes,Homer,Sophocles,Socrates,etc,etc,right down to our latest tragic victim of austerity,the Greek finance minister who just resigned,one "Very-Fake-is"!

So what we really need are two currencies for the EU,a dual currency system,where the first is worth more than the second,let's say always adjusted to approx. half its value.
The first stands proudly as the EURO while the second stands equally proudly as the ZERO!
Together they will perform brilliantly for all members of the EU club. Many clubs have diff. categories of membership.Golf clubs for instance.Golfing members and Social members.

The alternatives are too grim to risk.The entire Greek population invading Germany,demanding a German dole,far more value than a valueless new Drachma,or even travelling to Calais adding to the army of would-be invaders of the British isles,waiting to swarm down the Chunnel and take over England! Perish the thought.... just imagine no more cricket! In retrospect,a v.good idea.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby panduranghari » 08 Jul 2015 12:10

vera_k wrote:I suspect there's more. In that the EU is bankrupt...but yet to show it. If that is correct, Greece does not lose as much is being made out by leaving the Euro. Sure, the new currency will be lower compared to the Euro today, but the Euro itself would be heading lower over the next few years as more troubles become apparent.


What proof you have for making such misleading assertions?

viewtopic.php?p=1837700#p1837700
Spend some quality time with the Eurosystem's balance of payments http://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/external ... ex.en.html and marvel at how remarkably balanced Europe is with the rest of the world. Then compare that with the US balance of payments http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/index.html . As just a quick example, in February(one month) the Eurozone imported only €1.6 billion more goods than it exported. The US, on the other hand, imported $35.5 billion more goods than it exported, and February was the lowest month yet from Last Feb(2014) for the US. Of course that's just goods. For services, the US exported $0.1 billion more services than it imported. How much of that do you think was "Wall Street financial services"? Europe also exported more services than it imported, but only €2.8 billion.

So for goods and services combined, the Eurosystem ran a trade deficit of €0.5 billion in Feb, while the US ran only a $35.4 billion deficit. Looking back at 2014 (just to get a full year's picture) the US ran a $500 billion goods and services deficit for the year. The Eurosystem (even with those lazy PIIGS) actually ran a trade surplus for the year, exporting more goods and services than it took in! So how can that be? As a currency representing a community of more than 300 million (or is it 400) people, the euro is quite healthy compared to the dollar!

Of course there is a huge imbalance inside Europe between the states running a large surplus and those running a large deficit. But with a shared currency the adjustment pressure for such an imbalance is foisted elsewhere, not on the currency. It lands squarely on the politicians, who couldn't be a more deserving bunch of A-holes. For the dollar, the structural deficit and debt of the US places a massive devaluation pressure directly on the dollar. But for Europe the currency is balanced with no (or very little) adjustment pressure.

The economic flow of goods and services within Europe will of course have to contract as the imbalance retreats. If the euro weakens on the global currency stage Europe will start running an overall trade surplus again, like China, which will soften the blow of a contracting internal economy. If the euro strengthens, things like cheaper oil will help soften the contraction. Internally the politicians have their hands full. No doubt! Externally, the euro is just fine. To the euro, the politics of the PIIGS and Germany are little more than a sideshow.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby vijaykarthik » 08 Jul 2015 13:16

NRao wrote:


Terrible article.

So, the idea is/should be that a nation should spend more than they earn, 10 years later ask for help, get worse and then make a nuisance of itself?

Greeks should be ashamed of themselves (granted there are plenty of other nations that behave similarly).

There are two things wrong that I see here:

1) Greeks need to realize that they are asking people to take a cut (writing off a debt), because
2) Of their bad spending habits

I think they should be helped, but with longer term loans. But hell, the Greeks better pay them back - may be without interest. But no free money from here. (I think the Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese are in a similar boat).


A few points:

Assuming that IMF / ECB / EU were rational and were pure economic agents and also assuming that there is no information asymmetry and everyone knew what is possible - now the most relevant question: Did the idiots actually believe that Greece could repay all the loans they were given? More to the point: if only about 10% goes to the public / Greek expenditure and almost 90% of the loans goes into repayment of the loan that was fronted earlier [the assumption was that Greece will grow at as assumed rate and the assumed rate was way beyond fantasy. And they were wrong about the rates for about 5 years. Thats about 20 quarters od mistakes. In a different field, the freaks would have got fired for so many misses.]

--> So, a rhetoric qn: If you knew that one were a drug addict and a wastrel, will you pep up him, say he has promise and disburse a loan? If the loan were made out, why cry wolf that the guy is a drug addict and a wastrel after 5 years? [Put differently, what changed over 5 years? The fact was obvious as day light even 5 years ago.]

--> The EU was a political establishment and its too sad that they cant take care of their own when the individual fellas fall out of luck.

--> Ironically, I would argue that the EU actually made Greece more of a basket case. The FTA, the trade zone, lack of ways to put up controls to protect industry (what we call tariffs etc) exacerbated the problem.

--> the failure raises a lot of qns about FTA's in general and political unions in particular. India / US etc survive because we are a fiscal union with a federal structure. TN, KA, KL / rich states can protest but we have a daddy at the top who ensures that the laggards are given a dole if and as and when reqd. Doesn't seem to happen in EU for various obvious reasons --> which indirectly is also exacerbated because of the Euro zone. Not less. (If its unclear, lets say Greece has a competitive adv in something because of talent / other factors of production and Germany invests in some new & better technology that nullifies the adv and allows Germany to sells the same stuff for cheaper. Now Greeks / others have a choice to "go greek" and pay more or "go Germany" and pay less. So where is the competitive adv in a free trade zone when one is out to kill you wittingly or unwittingly? Several egs like this can be given]

--> Greece is to blame. Only morally though. But equal responsibility has to fall on the EU and the troika. [IMO, it should cop about 65-70% of the blame]. And Greece was never given a level playing field to reduce debt. [Debt to GDP btw increased over 5 years not because of Greek folly but because of the severe austerity. GDP growth fell by a far larger value than anticipated and debt servicing ballooned exponentially]

--> EU cant afford to pay the pol cost of letting Greece go. And they did a Charlie foxtrot. Greece played its card admirably.

Will any of us be sane enough to accept a reduction in our salaries after 5 years of difficulty financially?

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Yagnasri » 08 Jul 2015 13:26

Many EU nations and people enjoy life without earning it. Next in the line for being S***hole will be Spain, Italy or some other past major power. We need to wait and see.

There should be no excuse for Greece as other non gora nations almost never got any such help without serious pain to their people. Why Greek are an exception except being a gora European nation.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Philip » 08 Jul 2015 14:35

X-posting.
The really worrying financial crisis is happening in China, not Greece
China looks like it is heading for its version of the 1929 stock market crash

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/chin ... reece.html

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby JE Menon » 08 Jul 2015 16:05

>>So, the idea is/should be that a nation should spend more than they earn, 10 years later ask for help, get worse and then make a nuisance of itself?

Where does the article state this? Please point out. It looks more like a rhetorical flourish intended to press a point. But to answer the question, clearly the idea neither is, nor should be that. But that, to bring up my favourite analogy, is like saying "the sun should not rise in the west".

>>Greeks should be ashamed of themselves (granted there are plenty of other nations that behave similarly).

Many are, I know a very large number personally - of all classes - including family and many very close friends. And they are the fiercest critics of their own governments. But not of this one, which merely is the undertaker, not the killer. There is more than shame happening in Greece though, there is also fear and there is resignation to whatever may come to pass yet. Also there is fury because the people affected by the crisis are the ones who had the least say on what transpired over the last nearly three decades in lending, and spending. Did they benefit? Of course they did, but nowhere near on the scale that seems to be imagined. I have been visiting Greece regularly for almost three decades now, since I was a late teen, and the changes are mainly infrastructural and in the quality of life aspect (in a manner parallel to the way, for instance, that life in Poland has improved since it joined the EU). And remember, Greece is not saying it won't pay its debts at all - though it may yet come to that. The current Greek government and the Greek people of today are asking for softer payment terms for debts accumulated since the last generation. And let's be clear about something, ridiculous stereotypes notwithstanding, the Greeks are no more profligate than anyone else with similar power or similar economic capability in the EU.

>>There are two things wrong that I see here: 1) Greeks need to realize that they are asking people to take a cut (writing off a debt), because 2) Of their bad spending habits

There are several problems with what you see here. The Greeks are not asking for anything. They are now telling people that there is no way on the planet they can pay the debts as currently structured. This is simply a fact. The Eurozone Group managers assumed they could pressure the Greeks into ignoring that fact. Tsipras and Varoufakis, instead of betraying their voting public, decided to put it to the public directly and indirectly cock a snook at the Eurocrats. Something which the Eurozone Group apparently did not expect - weirdly enough, but maybe habit. Worse, the public, now equally informed about the situation on the ground rejected that ultimatum.

Tsipras and Varoufakis are not really communists, or even socialists anymore than someone who feels that the less enabled sections of the population should get a fair deal, they are more idealists with a populist cloak, and an anarchist streak. Sort of like most Greeks, to different degrees. They can be demagogic, but they are clearly articulating deeply held views among the Greeks.

>>I think they should be helped, but with longer term loans. But hell, the Greeks better pay them back - may be without interest. But no free money from here. (I think the Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese are in a similar boat).

Having said that, I don’t think the Greeks should be helped with longer term loans, and certainly not without interest. Instead, they should be cut loose from the Euro to fend for their own by whatever means they can. The pain will be harsh, and may not be short, but it is necessary for the Greeks to get their act together. And they are a tough people, and have done this many times in their ancient and recent history.

That won’t explain the problem of how they got here. It is not that their spending habits got them here. It is that Euro lending practices also played an equally nefarious role, and these loans were given by these same countries now demanding full payback while knowing well when they gave those loans that this was not possibly going to get repaid. But remember, in this time, when the loans reached €100 bn, for a 11 million population, no one raised an orange flag among the Greek bureaucratic, academic, journalistic, political or intellectual communities; no one raised a red flag when it reached €350 bn…. Raising the white flag only when it reached €450 bn. Think of it, nearly half a trillion dollars for just 11 million people.

Do you really think this was just the “Greeks” spending that caused this? Who is taking responsibility for the lending part? The Greeks are being held to account for theirs, which is right and should be so, regardless of which generation accepted the loans (yes accepted, because some were literally forced down their throats via pliable and vested political lobbies, by bankers hankering for bonuses). The problem is also this: the Euro is not just an economic project. It is a political project as well. It created a captive market for the major countries, and the conditions for intrusive political influence through the Brussels bureaucratic mechanism. That has been demonstrated particularly painfully (for the Greeks), and embarrassingly (for the Germans) over the last couple of years as this drama played out. But the hamfisted handling of the whole affair actually demonstrates something…

That our own politicians are much much savvier and cannier players in the game of power management than these “polished” fellows inhabiting the higher echelons of the European political structures.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby TSJones » 08 Jul 2015 16:14

nice try but no cigar. you can blame the EU but the Greeks wasted the money on unseemly governments pensions for a poor country with few resources.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby Philip » 08 Jul 2015 16:32

Huge applause when Tsipras at the EU parliament today when he said that the money given to Greece,did not end up in the main in the pockets of Greeks,but were snaffled by the banks! To be fair to Tsipras and co.,they've just entered office.They weren't responsible for the sins of the previous regime. There is a fear amongst the EU top brass that the political fallout of helping Greece will spur more regime change across the EU map. Therefore the overwhelming desire of the EU bosses to punish the Greeks for their audacity in rejecting the austerity snake-oil made in Germany.

What is an indisputable fact is that all the bitter medicine that the IMF,WB,etc. have prescribed to relieve the world's eco ills have fallen flat. Poor countries have gotten into worse debt then before and the inequality factor of wealth distribution has skyrocketed. Greece is a symptom of the disease not the disease itself. We are also seeing the same thing in India.Incredible wealth being acquired in the blink of an eye by those in the know and gravy trail,while the masses get the crumbs. The Cong/UPA's style of crony-capitalism was given the boot bringing in the Modi regime to refloat SS India. Greece has lessons for us all.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby JE Menon » 08 Jul 2015 19:39

>>nice try but no cigar. you can blame the EU but the Greeks wasted the money on unseemly governments pensions for a poor country with few resources.

Of course they did, and stupidly so. In my opinion they should no longer be permitted to remain in the Eurozone.

What comes after that, is not quite clear though. Even to the EU. I'm saying the Greeks were not alone to blame. It is like a supplier providing a junkie with heroin in the hope that he will pay for it in installments of heroin.

Sure, being a junkie is a serious problem and the person should be castigated and reformed. However, the supplier can't blame the junkie alone. Well he can, but then we'll be where we are. Greece is demanding morphine. Germany is prescribing cold turkey. But the heroin has run through the system and has been crapped out. The junkie has no recourse to heroin, other than through the same supplier or another.

Varoufakis had an excellent expression for it, saying what the EU was doing was "whipping a sick cow to milk it"... roughly. Not that I'm a fan of the chap. Poseur, mostly, but he played his part.

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Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby A_Gupta » 08 Jul 2015 20:04

TSJones wrote:nice try but no cigar. you can blame the EU but the Greeks wasted the money on unseemly governments pensions for a poor country with few resources.


To expand on that:
http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/greece- ... 8-Jul2015/

Greece currently spends 4-5 percentage points more than the European average servicing its pension system. The pension system gets more than 50% of its revenue – €14 billion in 2014 – from the state budget. This €14 billion amounts to over 7% of Greece’s GDP.


Before the crisis, the Greek system required only 35 years of contributions rather than the 40 years which is generally needed to get a full pension. This clause contributed to a huge number of citizens retiring early.

However, there have been major reforms committed during the bailout programme. Firstly, the minimum retirement age was raised to 62 for both men and women. Secondly, the statutory retirement age was pushed up from 60 for women and 65 for men to 67. Under the current negotiations, the Syriza government has proposed to raise the retirement age to 67 by 2025 whereas creditor countries want that moved to 2022.


Yet the Greek pension system continues to give huge advantages to certain sectors. The Public Power Corporation, which is the biggest electric power company in Greece was restructured in a way that left the State funding much of the company’s pension scheme. In 1999 the Greek government decided to partially privatise this company and for trade unions to agree to the partial privatisation, the company’s pension scheme was transferred to the state budget. The money that has been spent funding this pension scheme is more than double what the state received from the partial privatisation.

Additionally, the privatisation of Olympic Airways that took place during the Karamanlis government (2004-2009) was arranged in such a way that cost the taxpayers €1.5 billion, mostly due to beneficial early retirement schemes.

Of course, many Greek governments have come under serious pressure from different trade union groups and public sector groups to prevent certain changes to the pension system. In 2009, the Greek government gave big hand-outs to pensioners in December 2009 when the Greek state was already bankrupt.

The Greek judicial system has also firmly battled against any pension reductions – Greece’s High Court has ruled that many of the pension reductions are unconstitutional. It has been estimated that if the Greek government complies with the High Court’s rulings, then state subsidies for the pension system would be increased by €1.5 billion per year.



http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33382046

Monthly pensions have gone down to an average of €833 ($924; £594) from an average of €1,350 in 2009, according to INE-GSEE, the institute behind Greece's biggest union.


... more than a fifth of Greece's population are pensioners - a figure that's rising. Only two countries in Europe have a higher percentage.

Youth unemployment is 49.7% - so pension funds are not receiving enough new contributions from the working population


A series of reforms and tighter control on spending in recent years also led to improvements, with Greece spending 2% less of its GDP on pensions in 2014 than 2012 and, according to Allianz, it no longer has the world's poorest-performing pensions fund.


{Perhaps that honor belongs to New Jersey - poorest performing pensions fund?}

s the Greek retirement age generous?

Average age of retirement for men in 2012
United States: 65
United Kingdom: 63.7
Germany: 62.1
Greece: 61.9
France: 59.7
Belgium: 59.6


http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/world ... azy-greeks
This from 2012:

Greeks are lazy. This underlies much of what is said about the crisis, the implication presumably being that our lax Mediterranean work-ethic is at the heart of our self-inflicted downfall. And yet, OECD data show that in 2008, Greeks worked on average 2120 hours a year. That is 690 hours more than the average German and 467 more than the average Brit. Only Koreans work longer hours. The paid leave entitlement in Greece is on average 23 days, lower than the UK’s minimum 28 and Germany’s whopping 30.


Greeks retire early. The figure of 53 years old as an average retirement age is being bandied about. So much so, that it is has become folk-fact. It originates from a lazy comment on the New York Times website. It was then repeated by Fox News and printed in other publications. Greek civil servants have the option to retire after 17.5 years of service, but this is on half benefits. The figure of 53 is a misinformed conflation of the number of people who choose to do this (in most cases to go on to different careers) and those who stay in public service until their full entitlement becomes available.

Looking at Eurostat’s data from 2005 the average age of exit from the labour force in Greece (indicated in the graph below as EL for Ellas) was 61.7; higher than Germany, France or Italy and higher than the EU27 average. Since then Greece have had to raise the minimum age of retirement twice under bail-out conditions and so this figure is likely to rise further.


Greece’s total annual deficit is €53bn Euros. Of that, our primary budget deficit is, in fact, under €5bn. The other €48bn is servicing the debt, including that of the two bail-outs, with one third being purely interest. Europe is not bailing out Greece. It is bailing out the European banks which increasingly unwisely gave her loans. Greece is asked to accept full responsibility as a bad borrower, but nobody is examining the contribution of the reckless lenders.

Western politicians have developed a penchant for standing on balconies and washing their hands like Pontius Pilate; lecturing from a great height about houses on fire with no exits. This conveniently draws a veil over the truth – that our house may have been badly built, but it was the arsonists of Wall Street and the Square Mile that poured petrol through our letterbox and started this fire.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the Lebanese-American philosopher who formulated the theory of “Black Swan Events” – unpredictable, unforeseen occurrences which have a huge impact and can only be explained afterwards. Last year he was asked by Jeremy Paxman whether people taking to the streets in Athens was a Black Swan Event. He replied: “The real Black Swan Event is that people are not rioting against the banks in London and New York.”

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13073
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: EU crisis-Greece

Postby UlanBatori » 08 Jul 2015 20:16

What is the fallout in Cyprus from the Greek tamasha?


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