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9th Feb 2015, 02:21
It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
I can understand his argument about the "extension of mistakes".
The bluster from Mama Bear in Germany has had no effect on where the chap wants to head.

BBC News - Greece's Tsipras defiant over economic plans (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31261475)

9th Feb 2015, 04:19
Trade Greece/Cyprus for The Ukraine and Georgia.:E

9th Feb 2015, 08:46
Tsipras is an opportunist, who has been voted in by an electorate who by and large expect to earn money without really working for it, who believe that paying tax is somehow optional, and that retirement halfway through middle age is quite acceptable.

It is noticeable that whereas the Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Latvians, Spanish, Portuguese and others are prepared to up sticks and move to another EU country to work, the Greeks seem to be happy to sit on their hands and wait for someone (namely Germany) to bale them out. How many Greek registered cars to you see in UK, how many Greek plumbers are there here, how many Greeks to you see working in car washes, how many Greeks work in Lincolnshire picking vegetables? - very few!

I used to work in International trade, and going back years, Greece was the last country in western Europe where payment through letters of credit or negotiable bills of lading were the norm. Businesses wouldn't give the Greeks credit - simply because financially they weren't trustworthy. Their antics in cooking the books to get into the Euro was just a continuation of the same theme.

When the Greeks eventually realise they have been hoodwinked by Tsipras, they'll kick him out, and frighteningly, they'll elect the next bunch of opportunists offering empty promises - probably Golden Dawn.

9th Feb 2015, 09:43
The thing to note about the Tsipras party Siriza is all the shonks, cheats and evaders saw the writing on the wall many years ago and switched allegiance to his party in the hope they can carry on as before. Time will show whether he deals with the root cause of the crisis, but I really doubt he has the necessary power to put the old family political dynasties and their blind supporters out to pasture for good.

His finance minister is a bit of a rogue entry, a former Australian university lecturer with a deep insight into the Prisoner's Dilemma Theory Prisoner's dilemma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma)

Not everyone there is a shonk, cheat or evader, but they seem to be the ones paying the price.

9th Feb 2015, 10:46
Just over half of the money from the loans negotiated with the Troika are being spent on interest payments to banks (Greek, German, Swiss whatever). They are paying interest rates on Government bonds in excess of 10%.

This is at a time when one can get a 10 year mortgage from the same bl**ding banks of less than 2%.

So Greece is increasing it's debt just to pay old debt. A never-ending spiral that cannot be stopped.

Wouldn't it be easier if the banks were to reduce their rates to 3-4%, and to get paid - rather than to force them into default?

No doubt the past centre-right governments of Greece are to blame for getting themselves into debt, but the banks too should assume part of the blame for lending to a non-credit worthy customer.

9th Feb 2015, 11:14
Really? See here. The debts of the UK post WWII far exceeded those presently owed by Greece - and were paid off.....

Is Greek Debt Really Unsustainable? (http://www.socialeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/OP6.pdf)

Greece will go to the polls on January 25th and everybody from German conservatives to Greek leftists seems to agree: Greek public debt is unsustainable. A haircut on investors and some form of partial default – more politely known as debt restructuring – is the only answer.

On the face of it, this is understandable. As Fig. 1 shows1 Greek public debt exploded during the crisis from around 100% of annual GDP to more than 170% in 2011. If fell back temporarily in 2012 thanks to the haircut imposed on investors, and cuts in the interest rate. But in 2013 and again in the year that has just ended it rose once again, reaching more than 175% of GDP. And this is despite the debt restructuring and swingeing cuts in public spending and tax hikes. It would seem that a further round of debt restructuring is unavoidable. However, a closer look reveals this is far from inevitable. To see why one needs to look both at the situation in Greece itself, but also consider the policy context within the monetary union as a whole. All that Greece needs is a little nominal economic growth.

The Debt-service Burden

First consider the burden of interest payments. Figure 2 shows the numbers for Greece and a selection of other Euro Area countries.2 In 2014 Greece had to devote 4.3% of GDP to pay interest on public debt. This figure is a massive reduction compared with the crushing burden of more than 7% in 2011: debt restructuring has helped. Note also that the current figure is considerably lower than in Portugal and Italy, and about the same as in Ireland. Looking more broadly at euro area countries and further back in time, we see that Belgium and Italy have faced very much higher relative interest rate burdens (5-6% of GDP) in the recent past, while even fiscal paragons such as Austria and Germany have shouldered more than 3% of annual output. None of these figures, by themselves, suggests that Greece is “obviously” unable to service its public debt, even if that debt is high and has risen sharply. Nor, conversely, is it evident that Greece alone faces problems of ensuring fiscal sustainability: a number of Euro Area countries face historically rather high – but not extreme – debt service burdens.

The fact that – contrary to what most media and political commentary might lead one to believe – the Greek interest rate burden is not spectacularly high (nor are debt ratios galloping out of control) is due not least to the very substantial lowering of effective interest rates.3 As Figure 3 shows, there has been a general decline in the interest rates paid on their outstanding debt by Member States, but the decline in Greece is particularly dramatic. From slightly above the average of the countries considered here, at 4.7%, the effective rate declined to just 2.4%, one of the lowest in the monetary union and – I dare say a surprise to many – actually a fraction lower than that paid by Germany. This is a reflection of the improved conditions (belatedly) offered to Greece in 2012*.......

*You mention the banks, you mean the people - the debt is now to the other EU countries - the banks and private investors took their haircut in 2012 when they had to write off $174 billion of their loans to Greece - equal to a real loss of 74% of their investment. And explaining why Greece is now having to borrow from the ECB, as the private banks won't touch them with a barge pole - or only a long pole.

Wouldn't it be easier if the banks were to reduce their rates to 3-4%, and to get paid - rather than to force them into default? Already well below that level....

Greece’s debt pile: is it really unsustainable? (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6e5532c0-a310-11e4-ac1c-00144feab7de.html#axzz3RFGN4WTk)

......Alexis Tsipras, leader of the leftwing, anti-austerity Syriza, wants to go much further and cut Greece’s debt pile by a third, arguing that the burden is “unsustainable”.

But is it?

Other eurozone governments, who hold directly or via the European Financial Stability Facility, approximately two-thirds of Athens’ €317bn liabilities, are more sceptical. They argue that Greece has already benefited from two rounds of relief that have significantly cut the burden of the debt.

The terms on Greece’s debt pile have become progressively more manageable. The maturity on the bilateral loans provided by eurozone member states in May 2010 has been extended to 2041 and the interest rate cut from between 300 and 400 basis points over the three-month Euribor rate, to just 50.

The EFSF loans, whose yield is just one basis point over the average borrowing cost of the EFSF itself, now have an average maturity of more than 30 years. In 2012, the eurozone finance ministers agreed on a grace period of 10 years over which Athens will have to make no principal repayment.

As a result of these changes, the average maturity of Greece’s debt is now 16.5 years, double that of Germany and Italy, according to data compiled by Joakim Tiberg, a strategist at UBS. Portugal and Ireland, which also benefit from favourable terms for their own bailout loans, have average maturities of 11 and 12.5 years, respectively.

Furthermore, the amount Greece pays each year to service its debts has steadily come down. Zsolt Darvas, a research fellow at Bruegel, a think-tank, has calculated that Greece’s nominal interest spending in 2014 was 4.3 per cent of gross domestic product, less than Italy or Portugal.

In fact, this is probably an overestimate of the real interest burden. Greece did not have to pay any interest on its EFSF loans and received back the yield it pays to the European Central Bank and other national central banks, which hold just under one-tenth of its debt. Taking this into account, Mr Darvas calculates that total interest expenditure in 2014 was 2.6 per cent, only marginally above France’s 2.2 per cent........

9th Feb 2015, 16:24
Greenspan figures Greece will default at the end of this month and will be out of the EU. The EU already thinks what Greece has gotten so far is far too much. No one is going to lend Greece money and that will lead where it will.
Some pols in the UK are saying this is just terrible for the UK....but they don't seem to be able to say just exactly why.
I think the Greeks are going to find out very quickly that there is no free lunch and if they can't work for themselves...no one else is going to do it for them.

I am always stoked when my credit rating is better than some countries.

9th Feb 2015, 18:23
Will Greece's couple Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis fare better than Grease's couple John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John? The former want to stay in the EU, keep the € and renogiate their debts. The latter wanted summer lovin'. Why does Europe, even the whole world seem to gang up on them? Will there still be a Greece this summer? Does anyone know what they really want? What do you want?


I say, put some grease in the cogs to smooth the way for Greece to remain in the EU and the €. The country is only 2% of EU GDP for goodness' sake. Or at least for the sake of and in fond memory of Demis Roussos... :ok:

9th Feb 2015, 18:28
Has there been any sort of serious and un-biased study done to see how Greece would stand by (lets say) the year 2020 if they re-introduced the drachma now ?

Obviously it would fall (and fall drastically) against the euro at first, but with Greece becoming amazingly cheap, surely holiday-makers, retired expats, and the like would be queuing at the borders to pour money in ?

9th Feb 2015, 18:59
I think the Greeks are going to find out very quickly that there is no free lunch and if they can't work for themselves...no one else is going to do it for them.

Greece survived for thousands of years before the EU came along. It can survive again without the EU... and probably can't survive as part of it.

The only thing they may lose is fake prosperity thanks to easy credit. But we're all going to lose that before long, anyway.

9th Feb 2015, 19:29

That's a bit dismal. Have you no faith in the capitalist global economy?

I can see Greece as Happy Fun Greeceland. A holiday enclave and entertainment for Europe and the world with semi-decent beaches and ruins, a fine exporter of olives, feta cheese and Ouzo.

9th Feb 2015, 19:38
That's a bit dismal. Have you no faith in the capitalist global economy?

I would if we had one.

9th Feb 2015, 19:40
a fine exporter of olives, feta cheese and Ouzo.Isn't this the trouble?

Olives grow in many places, feta cheese has a limited market and Ouzo is only a poor copy of Pastis.

If Greece''s exports stopped tomorrow, the rest of the world wouldn't notice.

9th Feb 2015, 20:26
What if they found the equivalent of 5th Cent B.C silver mines of Laurion.? A gigantic heap of moolah no less , wealth beyond the dreams of avarice , all our problems are solved Hurrah!!
Would they still want to piss the proceeds up the wall as Herodotus tells us ?
More than likely - can't see this new guy as a latter day Themistocles.
It will all end in tears. No one country can be allowed to dictate terms to the EU says Frau M.( Unless that country happens to be the Fatherland of course.):E

9th Feb 2015, 20:31
Ahem (ian16th). As opposed to (De Beer's) diamonds...?

Johnny Clegg & Savuka


Vs. Demis Roussos anyone... ;)


"In the great scheme of things", even nations are inconsequential. In our individual minds and consciences, the tiniest thing can mean nothing. Or everything. :(

9th Feb 2015, 22:14
The story a bit simplified:

Greece: "We need to borrow some money to keep going. Ah, and by the way, the money You borrowed us before, forget it - we are not going to pay it back. So c´mon, open up, form a line, no shoving..."

EU: "Are You kidding or what...?"

Is there an equivalent of "Pacta sunt servanda" in Greek?

9th Feb 2015, 22:16
Payday loans?

10th Feb 2015, 00:45
No one is going to lend Greece money
...mmmm, how about China? They bought a plot of arable land in Ukraine recently, about the size of Belgium. I'm sure they could find something of value in Greece, if only a toehold into Europe...

11th Feb 2015, 18:18
It was very interesting to see the Greek defence minister ruffling feathers this week. Notice, that I say defence... not economics minister:

"We want a deal. But if there is no deal, and if we see that Germany remains rigid and wants to blow Europe apart, then we will have to go to Plan B,” said Panos Kammenos, and he went on:
“We have other ways of finding money. It could be the United States at best, it could be Russia, it could be China or other countries.”

Mr Kammenos said Greece would prefer to leave the euro if membership means submitting to what he calls a “Europe under German domination”.

Take that! Greece is even considering teaming up with Russia, just at a point when Russia itself is also in negotiations with EU and US leaders over the whole Ukrainian affair!

Just imagine, a Russian outpost right on Europe’s border. Again, this isn’t as crazy as it may seem...

Nikos Chountis, Greece's deputy foreign minister, let the cat out of the bag yesterday:

"There have been proposals, offers I would say, from Russia, recently after the election, for economic support as well as from China, regarding help, investment possibilities."

This could be a political game changer.

A new Greece with the rouble, the yuan, or even a new drachma

Greece, or any nation for that matter, can operate using any currency they choose.

Just take Zimbabwe as a (shocking) example. Zimbabweans moved to the US dollar as a natural progression... it wasn’t even an official move. People just started using the US dollar because the Zimbabwean one was essentially unusable.

In the case of Greece, one might expect an official conversion to the next thing. Existing intra-economy debts can be converted to the new currency – the rouble, US dollar, or Chinese yuan, or even new drachma. As for foreign debt, they can just stick two fingers up on that stuff.

Of course, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be so cruel. Like I say, this is geopolitics. Greece will offer some worthless promise to pay back cash over thirty, or fifty years. Probably only starting repayments some five, or ten years hence.

Oh, I hear you say... taking on another foreign currency would be akin to out jumping of the frying pan and into the fire.

Sure – but then again, going into a weak rouble could be great for Greece. Tourists would once again flock to the country.

I mean, why do you think Turkey has stolen so much of Greece’s tourist buck? Because Turkey is outside the expensive euro currency regime.

With a more suitable currency, Greece would quickly get back on its feet. Youth unemployment magically disappears.

Of course Greece should go for it! Take this chance to leave the stifling eurozone.

This was always going to happen

Financial markets are a wonderful self-regulating mechanism. It’s somewhat akin to homeostasis of the body. The whole Greek affair is part and parcel of market-stasis... in this case, breaking down the artificial construct that is the euro.

A thing that (in my humble opinion) doesn’t and cannot work. At least not without political union.

Could the euro overlords even consider military action to impose their yearned-for political union?

11th Feb 2015, 19:16
A thing that (in my humble opinion) doesn’t and cannot work. At least not without political union.

How would a political union have made Greece work as part of the Euro? You think Greeks would have put up with Germans in Brussels telling them to work harder and pay more taxes?

The Euro couldn't work without a cultural union. It relied on turning Greeks into Germans, which the Greeks have no intention of becoming. It's a product of airy-fairy lefty 'we're all the same under the skin' cloud cuckoo land.

11th Feb 2015, 20:05
The main problem is that a fresh currency for Greece, whatever it may be called, will not do a bit about their debts. Those are and will remain in Euro.

If Greece should return to the Drachma, pandemonium will ensue. First of all, the banks will be flushed off their remaining Euros, as the Greek will flock there to rescue their accounts from forced exchange. Many, if not most of the banks will consequently be bancrupt within shortest time.

Next, the new currency will enter the market. At what rates? Likely, it will tumble down a bottomless pit. After all, not many investors will flock to buy new obligations or other debt from a country that is just trying to weasel out of its old ones instead of serving them under a rigorous, yet agreed upon plan.

So there will Greece be with still the same level of debt, collapsed banks, and a currency that will make the Zimbabwean Dollar look like the epitome of stability and financial reason. Sure, Greek exports will be cheaper to buying nations, but except for olive oil, olives, the odd fish and so on, what is there to pay the bills? Let us also think about essential imports like oil and other fuels whose prices will skyrocket. It will take not weeks, but days before Greece collapses under this triple millstone.

It is obvious what this will do to the Greek economy and finally the average Greek man-in-the-street´s standard of living. And Tsipras and his government do know this very well. They are just playing a game of poker with an extremely weak hand.

11th Feb 2015, 21:05
Mr Kammenos said Greece would prefer to leave the euro if membership means submitting to what he calls a “Europe under German domination”.

Divide and conquer. Mixed with extremism and making pariah's of convenient people is as old as the hills.

Casting the Germans as these evil overlords is just another tool of the weak. It one of the reasons they should be utterly condemned by every civilized country. We are all guilty of it to some extent.

The fact is, if the krauts are bankrolling things, they have a right to call the shots to a particular extent. They should also be smart enough to understand the psychology of the situation, something the cold German logic fails at sometimes.

As for Russia and China, the Greek extremist has a lot of support, not sure about selling your souls to the Russians of Chines will do to that, both in the general populace and military.

12th Feb 2015, 08:11
Germany faces impossible choice as Greek austerity revolt spreads (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11407256/Germany-faces-impossible-choice-as-Greek-austerity-revolt-spreads.html)

12th Feb 2015, 08:24
Germany faces impossible choice as Greek austerity revolt spreads

I clicked on the link and, surprise, surprise it's from the Telegraph that hates the Euro only slightly more than it hates the whole idea of the EU and in particular the UK's membership of it!

Perhaps researching what the german press is saying might be more insightful?

For Germany, as Martin Schulz said on the BBC last week, the situation is basically that the Greeks have democratically elected a party that want to roll back austerity. That was their perfect right, but they (the Greeks) cannot expect the rest of Europe to pay for their democratic decision.

It seems extremely unlikely that financially cautious Germany will agree to bail out Tsipras, and as such, I agree with Greenspan that Greece will probably default, and fall out of the Euro, and that the ECB and other national banks, such as the BoE have a contingency worked out for that eventuality.

12th Feb 2015, 10:26
One little snippet that is of interest. It seems that at least some of the Greek loans/bonds are framed using English law ( presumably because the City was heavily involved). This means that any Greek government cannot wriggle out of the loans by changing the terms that they were made under.

12th Feb 2015, 10:39
I clicked on the link and, surprise, surprise it's from the Telegraph that hates the Euro only slightly more than it hates the whole idea of the EU and in particular the UK's membership of it!

Actually I don't give a sh!t about Greece, but the article has a few good points. The question is, where are we going? and how are we going to get there? not just now, but in ten years, fifty years. 100 years etc.

As much as I dislike a few of the institutions that have been infested by the left such as the EU, in principle its the right path, is just dt (rate of change) is to steep. The problem now is instead of having a nice Gussian as society, we are now trying to force it into a bathtub distribution. This is an extremely dangerous path.

It is a serious failure of leadership that is allowing this to happen, all of these events are reasonably predictable.

tony draper
12th Feb 2015, 10:43
Do countries print their own Euros?:E

12th Feb 2015, 11:12
No, the European Central Bank of Frankfurt does.

tony draper
12th Feb 2015, 11:46
Is there some way of identifying Greek Euros? ie do all EU countries have differences on their notes?,I have never seen a Euro and hope to go to me grave never having seen a Euro.

12th Feb 2015, 12:38
Up to now, there is no such thing as a Greek, German, Latvian or whatever Euro. An Euro is an Euro and worth one, wherever You are handed, set Your eyes on, or have them flouted by (depending on preference) one.

If You like to know where a particular Euro coin or note was minted or printed, You can check the printing work ID codes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_bills#Printing_works) on notes or the mint marks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identifying_marks_on_euro_coins#Mint_marks) on coins.

12th Feb 2015, 13:08
Up to now, there is no such thing as a Greek, German, Latvian or whatever Euro.

Try telling the Deutsche Fraus this in our local supermarket in Spain. Last year they were insisting on "German" euro notes ¨because the others might devalue".

12th Feb 2015, 13:13
Yes, if You look very closely, the Greek and Italian ones have rolling numbers on them. You might find a formerly 10 Euro bill to read "9 Euro" after having kept it in Your wallet for too long. Good for the lady if she keeps an eye on this.

tony draper
12th Feb 2015, 15:15
Time to worry is when the Chinese stop faking your currency. :rolleyes:

12th Feb 2015, 15:32
I see the value of sterling has shot up against the euro this afternoon. Has anything untoward happened ?

12th Feb 2015, 15:33
So what is to stop the Greeks printing Euro notes and reneging on their loans? Since it would be difficult to change all the currency.....

12th Feb 2015, 15:34
For the notes that is right; they all basically look the same.

However the coins display their nation on one face.

12th Feb 2015, 15:39
I thought all those notes were printed in Shanghai -- with an embedded hacking code.

12th Feb 2015, 15:54
The up side, cheaper holidays in Greece if one is using the £ Greece, that brings back happy memories. No sooner had the Dan-Air 727 landed (1970s) our gang was on the razzle, pint of lager 20p those were the days.

It may come back.

tony draper
12th Feb 2015, 15:59
Shall we see dozens of large wooden horses parked across the Channel?

12th Feb 2015, 16:20
OFSO wrote: I see the value of sterling has shot up against the euro this afternoon. Has anything untoward happened ?

Take your pick:

1) A Ford dealer on the continent just ordered another dozen or so UK Dagenham assembled Transit vans.
2) Planning permission was denied for 2 new houses in Midhurst, East Sussex yesterday.
3) Someone running a hedge fund was only just informed that Scotland would remain part of the UK.
4) An Arab sheikh or Russian oligarch just bought another property in Mayfair.
5) Someone (perhaps in Newcastle) cancelled their EDF Energy contract and transferred to SSE.


12th Feb 2015, 17:04
1) A Ford dealer on the continent just ordered another dozen or so UK Dagenham assembled Transit vans.Dagenham ceased assembling Transit vans in 2013 (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ford-axes-1500-jobs-as-southampton-1398805).
Transit van production will be centred at a plant in Kocaeli, Turkey.
Only engines and car parts will be made by Ford in Britain.
FORD’S woes in Britain are directly linked to Europe and the tide of debt which is swamping countries like Greece and Spain and causing grief for world players.

12th Feb 2015, 17:18
G-CPTN, well done for spotting the deliberate mistake! Also, Midhurst is in West Sussex...?! ;)

12th Feb 2015, 17:53
This means that any Greek government cannot wriggle out of the loans by changing the terms that they were made under.

Uh, they're a government. When they say 'I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further,' what do you plan to do about it? Say 'but some Greek politician who the voters have thrown out signed this contract saying you couldn't do that'?

Edit: same goes for claims that 'their debts are in Euros and will remain in Euros'. They just say 'well, you can swap your Euro bonds for Drachma bonds, or we default. Your choice.'

12th Feb 2015, 19:21
MG23 wrote: Edit: same goes for claims that 'their debts are in Euros and will remain in Euros'. They just say 'well, you can swap your Euro bonds for Drachma bonds, or we default. Your choice.'

Not quite. If the Greek government attempts to unilaterally impose on bond-holders that their Euro-denominated bonds will be honoured in Drachmas without prior agreement - THEY WILL BE IN DEFAULT! It's anyone's guess what a new drachma would be worth relative to the €.

Unless of course, during the course of events, the € itself ceases to exist (or have any remaining value), in which case current bond-holders of Greek Euro-denominated bonds might have wished they'd exchanged their € bonds for new drachma ones at 1:1 voluntarily when the offer was still there...?! :E :confused:

12th Feb 2015, 20:58

12th Feb 2015, 21:19
Uh, they're a government. When they say 'I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further,' what do you plan to do about it? Ask Argentina (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/16/us-argentina-economy-imports-idUSKBN0KP2A920150116)....

tony draper
12th Feb 2015, 21:52
Weird that page comes up stays put for two seconds then disappears Mr ORAC.:uhoh:

13th Feb 2015, 10:18
Not with me, Mr D.

13th Feb 2015, 10:22
It's anyone's guess what a new drachma would be worth relative to the €.

It might seem to be the same thing, however once freed of the Greek participation the value of the euro will shoot up against all other currencies. You mark my words ! Freed of the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese participation it would rise even further. And if only Germany were left in the eurozone it would be superb. Why, they could even rename it something catchy, like...the Deutschmark. And invade Austria.

13th Feb 2015, 10:29
" And invade Austria."

Followed by......, .............., ..............., ............., ........, .........., ..........., ............, and Greece.

19th Feb 2015, 16:23
Here are the votes of the Slovakian and German juries......

Slovakia rules out further financial aid for Greece (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/692bfc12-b831-11e4-86bb-00144feab7de.html#axzz3SCyKOZfP)

Germany Rejects Loan Request Saying Greece Must Meet Conditions (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-19/eu-says-greek-letter-may-pave-way-for-reasonable-compromise-i6c3go5j)

And the Greeks decide to play double or quits and roll the dice.......

Greece Loan Plan: EU Told Take It Or Leave It (http://news.sky.com/story/1430438/greece-loan-plan-eu-told-take-it-or-leave-it)

19th Feb 2015, 18:24
Not quite. If the Greek government attempts to unilaterally impose on bond-holders that their Euro-denominated bonds will be honoured in Drachmas without prior agreement - THEY WILL BE IN DEFAULT! It's anyone's guess what a new drachma would be worth relative to the €.

Technically, perhaps. But, in one case you get something, and, in the other, you get nothing. Obviously the Drachma would rapidly lose value like it always used to, but you might still get 50% of your money back.

flying lid
19th Feb 2015, 18:47

19th Feb 2015, 19:41
And the Greeks decide to play double or quits and roll the dice.......

Its a good time to be a Greek socialist, they just have to cozy up to Putin a bit more and Merkel and co will cave.

19th Feb 2015, 20:02
Can't say that I'm surprised actually... but it's still depressing how money is behind everything. Well, almost totally everything.

19th Feb 2015, 20:03
And the Greeks decide to play double or quits and roll the dice.......
Its a good time to be a Greek socialist, they just have to cozy up to Putin a bit more and Merkel and co will cave. The other option is the generals step in again......

19th Feb 2015, 20:07
Some 50 years ago, I came into contact with a group of young Greek men.

They used a word that sounded (from memory) like Mala-ka which they seemed to use as "Go **** yourself" - explained as "Self-service f**k" - which I can no longer remember (or trace).

Any ideas?

I thought it could be a good repost to the EU or the IMF.

19th Feb 2015, 20:22
Fíye apo tho, málaka !

20th Feb 2015, 01:53
"...depressing how money is behind everything"

Some will say oil drives the economy, or mining, or logging or farming etc.

They do not. They all get processed into other things.

And all those things get processed into MONEY.

20th Feb 2015, 02:39
The Greek solution is simple. When one has a monstrous debt that one can never repay, one goes bankrupt, and ones creditors take a massive haircut and write off the debt.

One is reduced to poverty and one goes back to subsistence living.

Greece is already bankrupt, they have no hope of even paying the interest on their debt to the EU.
So they really have nothing to lose by telling the EU to go jump and exiting the EU and going back to the Drachma.
Times can't get much harder for the Greeks, they will survive, just as many nations have survived bankruptcy.

Germany and France, the two largest creditors will take a serious haircut and write off many hundreds of billions of Euros in Greek debt - but I'll wager that debt has already been "written off" on the "books", and both of these wealthy countries have already made arrangements to cope with the losses.

Meantimes, the tourists to Greece will still keep coming, the Greek farmers will still grow a lot of produce, there will be some "financial re-adjustments" within the Greek community and banking sector, and there will be some financial losses amongst the wealthier Greeks.
The middle class are usually the ones most affected - the poor have nothing to lose, the rich won't notice the losses.

Perhaps the greatest benefit to come from the "re-adjustment" will be a serious reduction in imports of expensive German and French cars - which people will now realise, are not a necessity, anyway.

There will also be a serious reduction in imports of a million other items from the EU and China, mostly - and the Greeks will find they can actually make things for themselves again.

The part that Germany fears is that a basically successful exit from the EU and the Euro by Greece, could cascade into more shaky EU nations exiting, and Germany will lose that economic strangehold it has engineered over them.
The next stage that Germany then fears is the total breakup of the EU and the return to numerous independent European nations.
This really is the return to the natural order of things, as against the artificial and unstable order of the German-led EU.

20th Feb 2015, 02:54
When one has a monstrous debt that one can never repay, one goes bankrupt, and ones creditors take a massive haircut and write off the debt.

Well there is another way to look at this, like my old boss used to say.

'If you owe the bank a million dollars the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a hundred million dollars, you own the bank.'

Change the dollar/Euro amounts to suit the situation.

20th Feb 2015, 11:21
'If you owe the bank a million dollars the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a hundred million dollars, you own the bank.'

Nice gem that, perhaps that's their strategy seeing Greece aren't entitled to quantitative easing (printing your own cash to service debt like the good 'ol USA). Infact what's to stop individual Greeks from buying into foreign cash? Where the Euro/Drachma/whatever goes wouldn't matter to them.

Yes, this finance thing is a bit phoney, it wasn't too long ago people were investing in Wall Street and Wall Street was putting that money straight into their pockets.

20th Feb 2015, 11:30
Yes, this finance thing is a bit phoney, it wasn't too long ago people were investing in Wall Street and Wall Street was putting that money straight into their pockets.

yes it is phony, but I'm guessing in not the way your thinking. The fact is, most of its in the ether for want of a better word. It can be a delicate system open for abuse if not monitored properly.

The problem is, it can be to efficient, but it gives us all our fancy toys. The trouble is, people see all the profits etc and go why can't we do this and that, save the poor etc. Well its simple, their false profits, 1 and 0's. Essentially you can only cash in and F$%%6 with the system or it will all fall apart.

28th Feb 2015, 07:39
Greece stirs doubt on debt owed to IMF (http://www.wsj.com/articles/greece-stirs-doubt-on-debt-owed-imf-1425083634)

Greece runs out of funding options, despite Eurozone reprieve (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/27/us-eurozone-greece-funding-idUSKBN0LV1OK20150227)

28th Feb 2015, 07:59
Hello Drachma.

We are keeping our bank account there to the absolute minimum. It will be interesting to hear the word on the street when we get back there in two months.

3rd Mar 2015, 09:05
Greece eyes last central bank funds to avert IMF default (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11445627/Greece-eyes-last-central-bank-funds-to-avert-IMF-default.html)

Greece is preparing to tap its final pension reserves at the country’s central bank if needed to avert a devastating default to the International Monetary Fund and keep the government going over the next two weeks.

The Greeks must pay the IMF €1.5bn in a series of deadlines this month, starting with €300m as soon as Friday. No developed country has ever defaulted to the IMF in the history of the Bretton Woods financial system. Such a move would shatter confidence and reduce Greece to a financial pariah in motley company with Zimbabwe.

George Stathakis, the economy minister, said the government still has hidden reserves to keep operations going for a few more weeks, brushing aside warnings that the state could run out of cash within 10 days. “These stories are exaggerated. We have various buffers, including €3bn or €4bn at the Bank of Greece," he told The Telegraph. It is understood that the central bank deposits are mostly part of Greece’s social security and pension system. Analysts say it is far from clear whether the government can legitimately tap this money without breaching other fiduciary obligations. “We think the funds are already down to €1.8bn. If they draw on this, how are they going to meet their pension bills next month?” said one banker.

A senior Greek official opened the door last week to a possible “delay” in repayments to the IMF, perhaps for a month or two, setting off alarm bells among investors and bank depositors. It was taken as an admission that the country is now desperate as capital flight runs at €800m a day. Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister, sought to silence such talk over the weekend, telling Associated Press that a default to the IMF was out of the question, even if a halt in payments to the EU institutions remains a serious threat. “We are not going to be the first country not to meet our obligations to the IMF. We shall squeeze blood out of stone if we need to do this on our own, and we shall do it," he said.

The IMF deadlines are not rock hard. The Fund usually allows some grace period. There is a procedure for arrears if a country genuinely wishes to pay. "The clock starts ticking. It is another matter if they start saying they won't pay for six months," said one expert. Syriza officials are aware that the IMF will be their last safeguard if Greece is ultimately blown out of the euro, although it is far from clear what would happen in such circumstances. Greece has already exhausted its IMF borrowing quota in earlier EU-IMF Troika bailouts, and patience is wearing thin among the Asian and Latin American representatives on the IMF board...........

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Eurogroup’s chief, said Greece could secure some new funding as early as this month if it delivers promptly on reforms imposed by the now defunct Troika, but the comments were dismissed in Athens as a mere repetition of demands by creditor powers that have yet to face up to the anti-austerity revolt sweeping southern Europe. Syriza has already said it will cancel privatisation of the Port of Piraeus and the major utilities, and “drastically review” the sale of Greek airports.

Mr Varoufakis said Greece did not want any further money if it meant having to buckle to Troika terms. “We won’t take the next tranche if the price is having to continue with the 'Memorandum'. That is not what the people voted for,” he said. It is a thinly-veiled warning that Greece will default on €300bn of combined liabilities to EMU entities and states if pushed too hard, regardless of what this implies for monetary union.

Whatever piece of paper they signed in Brussels 10 days ago, the two sides are still talking past each other.

3rd Mar 2015, 10:39
What if The Bank of Greece were to electronically create euros QE style, against the wishes of the ECB? How could the EU prevent it?

3rd Mar 2015, 10:46
An interesting question is whether as a sovereign state and member (still) of the eurozone, Greece has the right to print euros currency notes ?

5th Mar 2015, 00:46
Greek Economics

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.
The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.
The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna.
The tavern owner slips the money along to the local hooker drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit.
The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.
The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.
At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything.

However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how a bailout package works.

6th Mar 2015, 22:32
Reforming Greece easier said than done: The never-ending case of the land registry (http://www.capx.co/external/greece-has-spent-20-years-failing-to-create-a-land-registry/)

Sweeping to office after their landslide victory in January’s Greek elections, Syriza has promised to shakeup how the system operates in a major way. Former Dutch MEP Derk Jan Eppink warns, however, that change is hard to come by, examining Greek attempts to create a land registry – ongoing since 1994, and for which it has received millions in EU funding.

€100 in EU funds for a Greek land registry

Writing in De Volkskrant, former Dutch MEP Derk Jan Eppink reminds readers to take Syriza’s promises of major changes in how Greece operates with a pinch of salt. In particular, he singles out Greece’s attempt to create a land registry (a Cadastre), which it has promised it would do since 1994, having secured €100m in EU funding for such a purpose. Eppink notes: “A modern economy can’t function if property titles aren’t known and enforceable. But a lack of a land registry of course offers golden chances for manipulation and corruption.”

“Pay back everything”

When Eppink worked as a Commission official under then-EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, he tried to claim back the money, given that hardly any progress had been made by 2001. This resulted in heated discussions in the Commission: a Greek Commission official accused Eppink of “anti-Greek opinions,” while the Commissioners from Germany, the UK, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Denmark supported Bolkestein’s insistence that Greece “pay back everything.”

French Commissioner Michel Barnier, then responsible for regional policy, ultimately managed to strike a compromise where Greece had to pay back €60m. The remainder of the money was paid back in full later – but in the meantime – Greece had secured another €41.6m to make another attempt at creating a Cadastre.

As an MEP, in 2011, Eppink asked the Commission for more information about Greek plans to register 3.6 million property titles. He found that only 17% of property titles and 6% of land had been registered.

And under Syriza?

Under the new Syriza-government, Greece has reiterated its pledge to finalise the Land Registry “around 2020″. Nevertheless, on 20 January this year, Greek daily Kathimerini reported that the whole project “may go on hold,” due to lack of funds, “Pledges that some €100m would be provided through European Union structural funds have not materialized,” wrote the paper.

As Eppink concludes: “Promises aren’t worth a lot. As soon as Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem hears the word “Cadastre,” alarm bells should ring. Greece’s biggest ally is the Greek calendar.” In Dutch, to “send something to the Greek calendar” means “to postpone indefinitely.” Indeed, that seems to be what’s going on with attempts to create a land registry, something which is generally perceived as necessary to boost legal certainty of property owners and to combat corruption, one of Syriza’s stated goals.

7th Mar 2015, 12:43
Land registry is a joke. I registered 100% of what I had back in the 90's and last year found out the tax department says I only own 12% of it. Who owns the other 88% they have no idea.

Even though I earn no income in Greece I keep paying these dicks taxes yet they still can't get their facts right.

During the land declaration period back in the '90s (known as E9) my cousin declared a whole mountain as his own - because the system allowed it. He got burnt when the IMF forced Greece to pay land tax based on those declarations. He got out jail by getting a tax department insider to void his tax file number.

A long time colleague of mine and university professor was seconded to the tax department to reform the tax system electronically. Being of international renown he really got stuck into it and did the right thing, but was soon moved sideways into the role of just stamping official documents. Eventually the PASOK family political party launched legal action directly at him and really knocked him about.

The current financial system is just totally corrupt and belongs to era that is half a century ago.

7th Mar 2015, 21:47
BBC News - Greece 'eyes tourists as amateur tax inspectors' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31780354)

8th Mar 2015, 10:23
Greece's Varoufakis Stars as Baby-Eating Nemesis in German Music Video (http://www.newsweek.com/greeces-varoufakis-stars-baby-eating-nemesis-german-music-video-309584) :D:D;);)


9th Mar 2015, 06:25
Greece threatens new elections if eurozone rejects planned reforms (http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/mar/08/greece-threatens-new-elections-if-eurozone-rejects-planned-reforms)

9th Mar 2015, 12:41
Eurozone prepares to reject Greek reform deal as Athens warned measures are 'not enough' (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11458393/Eurozone-prepares-to-judge-Greek-reform-deal.html)

Greece's creditors have warned its reform plans are not enough to release the vital source of funds the country needs to stay solvent until the summer.

Ahead of a meeting of Europe's finance ministers today, president of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem said a six-point plan submitted by Athens on Friday was "far from complete". Mr Dijsselbloem said the proposals "absolutely won't be accepted as the 30pc that they wanted to replace," referring to the new government's wish to replace austerity measures agreed by the previous regime. "The Greeks know that too, by the way, they don't have any pretence that this is it," added Mr Dijsselbloem who was speaking in Amsterdam on Sunday.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis sent an 11-page list of draft proposals to the Eurogroup on Friday, including plans to fight tax evasion using students, tourists and housekeepers as undercover inspectors.

Greece's rebuff comes as it faces another crucial deadline for its debt repayments this week. The country is due to pay back €350m to the IMF on Friday amid a climate of worsening tax revenues and capital flight from its banks.

The list is due to be scrutinised by the bloc's finance ministers in Brussels today......

9th Mar 2015, 13:44
Torygraph reports today that Austria may well be going the same way as Greece......:ooh:

9th Mar 2015, 14:00
Torygraph reports today that Austria may well be going the same way as Greece...... I believe it actually reports that Austria is throwing it's banks under the bus exactly so it won't go the way of Ireland. While the courts sort it out - the banks creditors take the hit. The result could be a domino effect of bank failures across Europe if other governments follow the same route. Nobody will want to the last one standing when the music stops.

A Black Swan Lands In Southern Austria (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-08/black-swan-lands-southern-austria-ripple-effects-mini-greece-going-heartland-europe)

9th Mar 2015, 14:34
.. it was a waterfall chain of events which started in Germany's own "back yard", courtesy of auditors who decided it was unnecessary to mark losses to market until it was far too late, and the immediate outcome is that one ninth of until recently Aaa/AAA-rated Austria is now also insolvent ..Goodness me! Bankers and auditors telling lies about the real position of their finance institutions?? Who'd ever imagine that could happen?? :rolleyes: :suspect:

9th Mar 2015, 22:49
Greece's defence minister threatens to send migrants including jihadists to Western Europe (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11459675/Greeces-defence-minister-threatens-to-send-migrants-including-jihadists-to-Western-Europe.html)

Panos Kammenos, Greece's defence minister, threatens to open country's borders to refugees – including potential members of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) - unless Athens receives debt crisis support

Greece will unleash a “wave of millions of economic migrants” and jihadists on Europe unless the eurozone backs down on austerity demands, the country's defence and foreign ministers have threatened.

The threat comes as Greece struggles to convince the eurozone and International Monetery Fund to continue payments on a £172billion bailout of Greek finances. Without the funding, Greece will go bust later this month forcing the recession-ravaged and highly indebted country out of the EU’s single currency.

Greece’s border with Turkey is the EU’s frontline against illegal immigration and European measures to stop extremists travelling to and from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) bases in Syria and Iraq.

Panos Kammenos, the Greek defence minister, warned that if the eurozone allowed Greece to go bust it would give EU travel papers to illegal immigrants crossing its borders or to the 10,000 currently held in detention centres. "If they deal a blow to Greece, then they should know the the migrants will get papers to go to Berlin,” he said. "If Europe leaves us in the crisis, we will flood it with migrants, and it will be even worse for Berlin if in that wave of millions of economic migrants there will be some jihadists of the Islamic State too.”

Mr Kammenos, who is the leader of the Right-wing Independent Greeks party which is in coalition with Greece’s ruling far-Left Syriza government, said that the EU’s passport free “Schengen” travel zone left the eurozone vulnerable. "If they strike us, we will strike them. We will give to migrants from everywhere the documents they need to travel in the Schengen area, so that the human wave could go straight to Berlin,” he said.

Last week, Nikos Kotzias, the Greek foreign minister, also told a meeting of his EU colleagues that if Greece was forced out of the euro "there will be tens of millions of immigrants and thousands of jihadists”.

EU officials have been so concerned by the Greek threats that the European Commission last week sought “assurances… that no measures to open up detention centres are being taken”.......

9th Mar 2015, 23:05
What's the difference between this and Blackmail?

In fact, reference jihadis, what's the difference between this and a declaration of war?

9th Mar 2015, 23:12
I think the Eurozone could call Greece's bluff on that threat quite easily by simply closing the borders exiting Greece to the north and west for two or three days. How long before the Greeks turned on their "government" after their country had been overrun by "refugees" unable to move on to Welfare Heaven?

The downside, of course, would be that the Caliphate would have to all intents and purposes moved its border a couple of hundred miles west, because I don't know if the Greeks would have the money (or the bottle) to get rid of their new residents after those new residents had established themselves there.

Imagine the fun the new arrivals would have in a year or two with all those unislamic statues and carvings on ancient buildings just begging their attention with a sledge hammer.


9th Mar 2015, 23:19
Could this be the end of 'civilisation'? (as happened before with Greece, I believe)

9th Mar 2015, 23:28
Here is an idea:
The Greeks are one step closer to joining the Rubelzone.

Welcome to the 21st century, where everything you thought you knew was true in the world changes a bit.

Greek Nationalism ... if there's an upswing of that sentiment then selecting certain foreigners as "the problem" (at, or nearly at, the same level as "The Turk" as Greek's unique national problem) gets fashionable. Then, Vlad and his friends in Russia might welcome Greece into their little club. Russian sphere of influence grows a bit in a new direction.

Does Greece's identity politics then support a renewal of Greek Orthodox Christianity as an element of what makes one "Greek or not Greek?" No idea, but it's not a far reach. What does that do in terms of social dynamics? Maybe not quite "ISIS" like in degree, but it is likely that some folks will be made to feel very unwelcome.

10th Mar 2015, 09:13
Defiant Greece at daggers drawn with EU creditors (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11460214/Defiant-Greece-at-daggers-drawn-with-EU-creditors.html)

tony draper
10th Mar 2015, 09:46
As per not a thing on BBC news about these EU Greece troubles,apparently summat is happening on strictly Come dancing and eight people have been killed in a double helicopter crash, three celeb type important people and five others who get no mention except in passing.
Thank the lord for Al Jazeera.

10th Mar 2015, 14:59
Why is the Greek government so popular with left-wingers? (http://www.capx.co/external/why-does-the-left-still-like-syriza/) :ok:

10th Mar 2015, 16:36
tony, I believe that the correct usage when citing Al Jazeera is

"I found it on Al Jazeera, Allah be praised." :8:}:E

One of the links provided by the author in ORAC's link makes a pretty good point, and he made it about 8 years ago. (http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2007/06/the-inescapable.html)

It's like speed, cost, and quality triangle: you can get two, but not usually three. Finally, we can downgrade our ambitions with respect to how much international economic integration we can (or should) achieve. So we go for a limited version of globalization, which is what the post-war Bretton Woods regime was about (with its capital controls and limited trade liberalization). It has unfortunately become a victim of its own success. We have forgotten the compromise embedded in that system, and which was the source of its success.
So I maintain that any reform of the international economic system must face up to this trilemma. If we want more globalization, we must either give up some democracy or some national sovereignty. Pretending that we can have all three simultaneously leaves us in an unstable no-man's land.
I'd say do with less depth on global economic integration, in the interest of preserving democratic systems and nation states.

There is a limit to span and control. A global federal system concentrates too much power in too few hands, globally. It's bad enough at the nation state level where too much power gets into too few hands.

Democracy is by its very structure a bit messy and a bit inefficient. That is a worthy price to pay for greater personal freedom. I don't know if that is where the Greeks are coming from, but they seem to be in part arguing against assimilation into the larger Borg: the EU Borg is difficult enough to deal with.

10th Mar 2015, 16:57
Bretton Woods was itself always bound to fail (http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6876.pdf) and not a model that can be resurrected.

10th Mar 2015, 19:02
ORAC: yes, but we are still stuck with the IMF that came with it. :p

10th Mar 2015, 20:20
"Why is the Greek government so popular with left-wingers?"

Easy answer; because taking other peoples money with no intention of giving anything in return is the exact modus operandi of the far laft :8

11th Mar 2015, 11:37
Greece will unleash a “wave of millions of economic migrants” and jihadists on Europe

I feel another crusade coming on....

11th Mar 2015, 13:32
Where are the Venetians when you really need them? :p

(Reference is of course the 4th Crusade ...)

11th Mar 2015, 18:02
Knowing they have to deal with the ECB and the Germans, you'd think the Greeks would at least talk in a conciliatory manner; but its like the story of the scorpion - its their nature, they can't help themselves...

Greece threatens to seize German property as compensation (http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31831694)

The Greek government has threatened to seize German property as compensation for a Nazi atrocity in World War Two.

Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said he was ready to approve a Supreme Court ruling from 2000 backing payment to relatives of the 218 victims.The debt-ridden government is already calling for Germany to pay billions of euros in wartime reparations.

But Germany insists the issue of compensation was settled in 1990, before the country was reunified. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday it was Germany's firm belief that the question had been resolved legally and politically. "We should concentrate on current issues and, hopefully what will be a good future," he said, referring to Greece's financial crisis and the Athens government's proposals for a renegotiation of its bailout package from the EU and International Monetary Fund.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament late on Tuesday that he had a duty to pursue reparations dating back to the Nazi occupation of 1940-44, arguing that Germany had adopted "silence, legal tricks and delays" since reunification in 1990.bHowever, the justice minister went further, saying he was prepared to enforce the Supreme Court's ruling in 2000 relating to the massacre of 218 civilians in the central Greek village of Distomo on 10 June 1944.

The court ruled that Germany should pay €28m (£19.7m) to the relatives of those killed, although the decision was not enforced, and the dispute effectively reached stalemate in international courts in the following years. The ruling allowed for German-owned property to be seized as compensation but it was never acted on by then-Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos.

Among possible assets are property belonging to Germany's archaeological school and the Goethe Institute, a cultural association........

ECB to reject all Greek requests (http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite2_1_11/03/2015_548084)

11th Mar 2015, 18:08
Seize away, Greeks.
See what good it does you.

11th Mar 2015, 19:36
It is not like blackmail did not work for the Greek in the past...

In 2000, under a PASOK government, the Greek government threatened with expropriation of the Goethe Institutes and other German property in Greece. These plans were mysteriously cancelled when Germany gave up its opposition against allowing Greece to join the Euro.

One kind of wonders if Germany would not have gotten out of the Greek mess cheaper in the long run by sacrificing some buildings back then...

But Lonewolf50 is right - there will only be so much biting of the hand that tries to feed you before the stick comes out instead.

cockney steve
12th Mar 2015, 13:38
If the Greeks think they can seek damages for war atrocities, the Germans will have to brace themselves for a claim from Orador sur Glane
(the French village where all captured inhabitants were locked into the church which was torched..escapees were shot. in spite of this, there were survivors to record this German atrocity against civilians.....the village remains untouched , quietly fading, as a reminder.

12th Mar 2015, 21:54
These plans were mysteriously cancelled when Germany gave up its opposition against allowing Greece to join the Euro.

So the present situation is all the krauts fault after all.:p.

Seriously, the war is F#$%ing over, its been done to death. Another sad attempt by pathetic mob of extremists who have to much power.

Too much power given to them by our lack of understanding and pr compensation by our political F$%kwits (I would say leaders, but they don't deserve it).

12th Mar 2015, 22:29
I thought we weren't supposed to mention the war. :}

18th Mar 2015, 09:03
Greece Scrambles to Find Cash Ahead of $2 Billion Payment Deadline (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-16/greece-grabs-cash-as-more-than-2-billion-in-payouts-loom)

(Bloomberg) -- Greece will begin debating measures to boost liquidity as the cash-starved country braces for more than 2 billion euros ($2.12 billion) in debt payments Friday. Unable to access bailout funding and locked out of capital markets, the government will outline emergency plans to parliament later Tuesday that includes incentives for tax delinquents to pay up before March 27, when Greece needs money for monthly salaries and pensions.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government is burning through cash while trying to get creditors -- euro area member states, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- to release more money from a 240 billion-euro bailout program. Euro-area finance ministry officials will hold a call Tuesday to discuss Greece’s deteriorating finances, according to two European officials who asked not to be identified because the talk hasn’t been publicized.

“As days go by, room for maneuver becomes ever smaller,” said Theodore Pelagidis, an Athens-based senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “The impression given is that there’s no plan A or plan B. There’s nothing.”..........

The government plans to auction 1 billion euros of treasury bills Wednesday. As much as 60 percent of the auctioned amount can be tapped on top of that in non-competitive and second-day bids. The money will be used to roll over 1.6 billion euros of short-term notes due Friday. The same day, Europe’s most indebted state is scheduled to repay about 350 million euros to the IMF, while interest due on four bonds held by the ECB total about 110 million euros.

Payments on a swap originally arranged by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2001 are also due March 20, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified publicly. The derivative, now held by the National Bank of Greece, masked the country’s growing debt, helping it meet European Union rules for entering the euro area. Spokesmen for the National Bank of Greece and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the amount due for the swap, and the government didn’t respond to calls and text messages seeking comment........

“Greece’s situation is deteriorating rapidly” Daniele Antonucci, a Morgan Stanley economist, wrote in a joint note with colleagues Tuesday. “The economy is now shrinking, tax revenues are falling short of targets, bank deposits are leaving the system and political volatility seems on the rise.”

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said there are limits to the help that euro member countries can give Greece. “Our people are also subject to austerity measures,” Cerar said in an interview in his office in Ljubljana, the capital of the former Yugoslav Republic. “For this reason we can’t go too far on the issue of solidarity, because it would be a bad signal to our citizens, to our taxpayers.”

Fiscal Gap in Greece May Lead to New €30 Billion Loan (http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/03/16/fiscal-gap-in-greece-may-lead-to-new-e30-billion-loan/)

The projected primary surplus for 2014 is less than expected creating a fiscal gap in the 2015 state budget, something that may lead the Greek government to ask for a new loan.

The Brussels Group, the team of technocrats representing the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, found that primary surplus for 2014 is about 0.5-0.6 percent of GDP, or about 2 billion euros less than projected. A source from the EC said that, “This doesn’t necessarily mean that the 2 billion euros should be added to the budgetary objectives for 2015.” He explained that the carry over will be taken into account in the negotiations for the 2015 primary surplus target.

In 2014, Greece’s funding needs for 2015 were projected at 31.1 billion euros, with primary surplus expected to be at 2.6 billion euros. Now the 2-billion-euro shortfall carries over to 2015 and is added to the fiscal gap, which was expected to be 13 billion euros. Greece cannot borrow from the international markets and the government does not want to implement measures that would burden the Greek people.

Therefore, the only solution is additional funding from Greece’s European partners. Further funding from lenders is crucial because this year’s primary surplus will be 1.5 percent instead of 3 percent and the halting of privatizations will reduce projected revenues further. Also, it is not certain that Greece will receive any funds from Eurosystem profits in 2015.

Sources from Greece’s creditors say that a new financial aid program is unavoidable and they estimate that it will amount to around 30 billion euros.

18th Mar 2015, 12:58
My friends in Frankfurt am Main tell me its quite exciting there today.

19th Mar 2015, 09:10
Technical Talks on Greece’s Bailout Not Going Well, Officials Say (http://www.wsj.com/articles/technical-talks-on-greeces-bailout-not-going-well-officials-say-1426672526)

European Commission, ECB and IMF complain of getting very little information

Greek bailout crisis: Greece and IMF trade insults over lack of progress ahead of €350m repayment deadline (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/greek-bailout-crisis-greece-and-imf-trade-insults-over-lack-of-progress-ahead-of-350m-repayment-deadline-10117867.html)

19th Mar 2015, 13:20
My friends in Frankfurt am Main tell me its quite exciting there today. I read a few bits of coverage on the protests against austerity.
Good for them: they don't understand where money comes from, nor what things cost.

19th Mar 2015, 14:23
Whilst I don't agree with smashing things up as part of a demonstration, I can see their point.

All those smug b--- sitting in their nice new tower block in FFaM, part of the system that imposes "austerity" on Spain (with the agreement of the Prime Minister, of course) while the parents of my godchildren, who would love to have these settle down and make a career here, have to accept that with 50% youth unemployment there ain't no future and - like half the young people of Barcelona - they'd be better off moving to London.

23rd Mar 2015, 14:34
Greece sparks German fury with Holocaust comparison (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4390665.ece)

Greece risked inflaming tensions with Berlin by raising the Holocaust to back demands to be treated as leniently as post-war Germany ahead of a crunch meeting between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras today.

Nikos Kotzias, the foreign minister, proposed a joint German and Greek commission to work out a solution to the claim by Athens for compensation for the suffering caused by the Nazis during the Second World War. The Greek government insists that Germany must repay a loan forced on Athens in 1942 as well as pay for Nazi atrocities but Berlin has refused, viewing the demands as an attempt to distract from the need for far-reaching economic reforms.

Speaking to a German newspaper ahead of this afternoon’s meeting in Berlin between the country’s two leaders, Mr Kotzias said that post-war Germany was not forced to make arduous repayments after the war. “There was an interest to build Germany up again…don’t we have the same rights?” he told Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “Are the crimes that our people committed greater than Dachau or Auschwitz?” he added, referring to two of the most notorious concentration camps were more than a million people were murdered. “[The Allies] were very generous with Germany, they did not smother Germany.”

His words were the latest salvo in a clash between Europe’s strongest and weakest economies which has seen Greek ministers threaten to seize German assets and send hordes of asylum seekers heading towards Germany. For his part, Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister, has accused his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis, of lying to his people.

Mr Tsipras, who will be met with military honours, is expected to seek financial concessions today after a leaked letter from him to Mrs Merkel showed that he thought it “impossible” to meet debt repayments and continue paying public servants. Mrs Merkel, under pressure from MPs and the media, is likely to press him to implement tough economic reforms.

Ahead of the meeting, Mrs Merkel’s spokesman poured cold water on hopes of a swift solution to Greece’s woes, saying that the bilateral meeting was neither the time nor the format for finding solutions to the country’s problems.

“Greece has an agreement with the eurogroup and not with Germany,” Steffen Seibert said. “No bilateral meeting can and should replace what happens on problem-fixing within the eurogroup, this is not a competing event today.”

23rd Mar 2015, 15:31
“Are the crimes that our people committed greater than Dachau or Auschwitz?” he added, referring to two of the most notorious concentration camps were more than a million people were murdered. “[The Allies] were very generous with Germany, they did not smother Germany.”
1. Germans were not allergic to hard work in rebuilding their country.
2. Greece has not been bombed lately, nor invaded.
3. This line of "argument" is transparent and dishonest. (And yet, this goon thinks he can make it sell ... where? I'd say the home crowd is who that line if for).

24th Mar 2015, 01:46
While Greece no doubt still harbours ill-feelings (with good reason) for the atrocities carried out by the Nazis against the Greeks during WW2 - the claim for WW2 reparations really is a last ditch attempt to try and find a legal avenue to avoid repayment of the Greek debt to the EU and others.

Germany has nailed it correctly, the claim for WW2 reparations has nothing to do with the fact that the Greek Govts past and present, have entered into loan contracts that they can no longer service - so the Greeks are trying to find any spurious reason that they can, to break those contracts.

The bottom line is that, shortly, the Greek Govt will simply run out of money to make even modest payments of the interest on the debt - let alone the capital.
At that point, the Germans will have to decide what they are going to do, to try and salvage what they can from the debt owing.

Basically, they have few options. They could attempt to seize Greek Govt assets in lieu of debt repayments. They could even use the military to try and do so.
Regardless, any attempt to seize Greek Govt assets would be seen as an outrageous act and result in a severe Greek backlash against all things German (and perhaps even French).

The outlook is not good, and I think we will shortly see some serious revolt and destruction in the streets of Greece, all aimed at anything that represents German assets, and German economic strangulation of Greece.

24th Mar 2015, 02:54
Can't Bill Gates just buy Greece to pay off the debts?? Bill and a few more billionaires? :}

24th Mar 2015, 03:25
crippen wrote: Can't Bill Gates just buy Greece to pay off the debts?? Bill and a few more billionaires? :}

No, I don't think so. Despite the ex. Microsoft CEO's best efforts apparently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (http://www.gatesfoundation.org/) et al etc., according to Forbes and others, his fortune continues to grow unimpeded. That's probably what puts him and his fellow declared philantrophists such as Warren Buffett in a predicament.

So imagine if Bill Gates or more importantly, Warren Buffett were to "buy into" Greece in a pseudo philantrophic effort as you suggest. They'd probably make a huge profit out of the endeavour and embarassingly end up even wealthier, compounding their problems and endeavours to rid themselves of the bulk of their fortunes during their lifetimes... :}

24th Mar 2015, 08:14
Yeah, just look what happened after he lent money to Apple (http://news.cnet.com/Microsoft-to-invest-150-million-in-Apple/2100-1001_3-202143.html) back in 1997......

31st Mar 2015, 08:25
Alexis Tsipras vows to stop Greek 'bleeding' as creditors continue to frustrate Athens (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11505346/Alexis-Tsipras-vows-to-stop-Greek-bleeding-as-creditors-continue-to-frustrate-Athens.html)

Prime Minister vows not to capitulate to Europe's demands for further austerity after day of frustration in Brussels

Greece's prime minister has vowed not capitulate to the country's eurozone creditors, reviving controversial calls for debt relief as his government battles to unlock bail-out cash. Addressing his parliament on Monday evening, Alexis Tsipras said he would seek an “honest compromise” with Greece’s international paymasters, but warned he would not submit “unconditionally” to demands for further austerity on his stricken economy.

Mr Tsipras, who spoke after a frustrating day of progress between his government and officials from the Brussels Group, insisted he would stop “the Greek people’s bleeding” as he ruled out measures such as hiking VAT. The Leftist premier also repeated his claims for Second World War reparations from Germany, and insisted on debt relief from Greece's lenders.

Greek pleas for a bond-swap or outright haircut on its debt mountain have subsided following a February 20 agreement to extend its bail-out by four months. But Mr Tsipras said he would now pursue a claim for debt forgiveness in order to maintain the sustainability of the country’s finances..........

Greece's bailout talks are still going nowhere as the country runs out of money (http://uk.businessinsider.com/greeces-bailout-talks-are-still-going-nowhere-as-the-country-runs-out-of-money-2015-3)

The Greek government's ongoing crisis isn't looking much better at the start of the week. The government and representatives from the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund were locked in negotiations over the weekend, with little progress reported.

After a positive meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last week, it was hoped that Greece would produce a detailed reform plan to release the latest €7.2 billion ($7.82 billion) wave of assistance. But the talks are not going well.

According to the Financial Times, Greece is likely to make concessions on the country's unpopular property tax. The new government had promised to scrap it, but the tax is likely to stay. The FT suggests, however, that big gaps remain in the proposals: The list failed to include reforms to labour laws and Greece's pension system — two areas that monitors have insisted are essential to finalising the bailout programme. They remained "red lines", said Greek officials.

"There's no prospect of taking any recessionary measures, whether it's cutting wages and pensions or liberalising regulation on mass dismissals," said Mr Tsipras in an interview published in RealNews, a Sunday newspaper ...

"It's financed by 'making the system work better'," said one official from a creditor country who has seen the list. "This relies on huge optimism [and fiscal gains that might occur] some time in the future, but long after the costs start kicking in." And the situation is looking no better, according to sources from inside the meetings who spoke with The Wall Street Journal: "The proposals were piecemeal, vague and the Greek colleagues could not explain technically what some of them actually implied," a eurozone official involved in the talks said. "So, let's hope that they present something more competent next week.".......

31st Mar 2015, 15:25
Angela Merkel faces euro rebellion as senior official resigns over Greek bail-out support (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11506127/Angela-Merkel-faces-euro-rebellion-as-senior-official-resigns-over-Greek-bail-out-support.html)

Deputy leader of Angela Merkel's sister party steps down over financial aid for Greece

Political tensions in Europe's largest creditor nation were laid bare after a senior ally of Angela Merkel's ruling party stepped down in protest of his government's support for a Greek bail-out. Peter Gauweiler, deputy chairman of the Christian Social Union - the Bavarian sister party of the ruling CDU - said Greece was a "bankrupt state" and he could not serve as a member of parliament as long as his "dissenting vote against an extension of the current and completely ineffective program" was ignored.

Mr Gauweiler, a fierce critic of financial support for the eurozone's indebted countries, was appointed vice-chairman of the CSU in November 2013 in a move to appease the growing eurosceptic elements within his party. "I have been publicly pressured to vote in the Bundestag for the exact opposite, on the grounds that I am a vice-president," said Mr Gauweiler in a statement on his website. "This is incompatible with my interpretation of the duty of a legislator."

Leader of the CSU Horst Seehofer also came in for heavy criticism from Mr Gauweiler, who has lodged legal complaints with the German Constitutional Court against the European Central Bank's attempts to establish financial backstops and its purchases of government bonds.

Mr Gauweiler was also one of the 28 members of Ms Merkel's coalition to vote in opposition to Greece's bail-out extension in February.

The rapid rise of the Alternative for Germany party (AfD) who seek to force Greece out of the monetary union, has put pressure on Ms Merkel's ruling coalition. Her conservative Christian Democrat party suffered its worst election result since the Second World War last month, at the hands of the eurosceptics. The AfD have already made overtures towards Mr Gauweiler, extending an invitation for him to join their ranks on Tuesday.

The new Greek government is currently appealing for debt relief and the unlocking of a fresh round of bail-out money as it seeks to avert bankruptcy.

Speaking in Helskini on Monday, Ms Merkel warned Athens plans for reforming the economy must "add up".

1st Apr 2015, 17:26
Greece threatens international default without fresh bail-out cash (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11509302/Greece-threatens-international-default-without-fresh-bail-out-cash.html)

Interior minister says Athens will not respect key April 9 deadline for loan repayment

The Greek government has threatened to default on its loans to the International Monetary Fund, if creditors do not release the squeeze on the government.

Greece's interior minister told Germany's Spiegel magazine, his country would not respect a looming €450m loan repayment to the fund on April 9, without a fresh injection of cash. "If no money is flowing on April 9, we will first determine the salaries and pensions paid here in Greece and then ask our partners abroad to achieve consensus that we will not pay €450 million to the IMF on time," said Nikos Voutzis.

The cash-strapped government has struggled to keep up with its state wage and pensions obligations alongside creditor repayments in March. Athens insists it has enough money to last it until the middle of April, but a final agreement on a bail-out deal unlikely to be secured before the end of the month........

In a further blow to Athens, ratings agency Fitch downgraded the country's four biggest banks, who are being kept alive through emergency finds from the European Central Bank. Fitch cited the "funding, liquidity and solvency pressures in the context of the exceptionally challenging domestic operating environment" for the move, which cut the bank's ratings to 'CCC' from 'B-'........

Eurozone officials have already rejected one attempt to release the cash from the European Financial Stability Fund. The Greeks have also made a bid to release a further €1.2bn from the ECB, from profits made on its holdings of Greek debt. These are unlikely to be granted to the Leftist government until it completes it bail-out programme after June.

A failure to repay the IMF on time may not immediately result in an outright default to the Fund, but would likely result in no further disbursement of loans until a repayment is agreed. According to the IMF's protocol, it will take at least a month before the executive board is notified that an payment is overdue. Before then, debtor countries are urged to meet their obligations as fast as possible.

No country has ever officially defaulted to the IMF in its 70-year history, and only the likes of Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia have deferred repayment and been in arrears.

Greece also faces a further €1.4bn in debt rollovers it needs to complete in April, a task which will become difficult as the ECB has moved to ban the country's banks from increasing their holdings of Greek government debt.

2nd Apr 2015, 07:31
Greek defiance mounts as Alexis Tsipras turns to Russia and China (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/11510384/Greek-defiance-mounts-as-Alexis-Tsipras-turns-to-Russia-and-China.html)

Alexis Tspiras is playing an escalating game of brinkmanship, trying to force Europe to give ground or risk a chain-reaction that could cripple the EU

Greece-Russia Overtures Seen as Sideshow by Merkel, Hollande (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-01/greece-s-russia-overtures-seen-as-sideshow-by-merkel-hollande)

2nd Apr 2015, 11:31
Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia

Looking forward to Sudan, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Greece.:p

2nd Apr 2015, 11:36
A gentle reminder that Greece has been bankrupt 5 times before, and has been in bankruptcy for half its history as an independent nation. They only handed over a wooden horse once ;)

2nd Apr 2015, 13:59
Greek defiance mounts as Alexis Tsipras turns to Russia and China (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/11510384/Greek-defiance-mounts-as-Alexis-Tsipras-turns-to-Russia-and-China.html)

Alexis Tspiras is playing an escalating game of brinkmanship, trying to force Europe to give ground or risk a chain-reaction that could cripple the EU

Greece-Russia Overtures Seen as Sideshow by Merkel, Hollande (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-01/greece-s-russia-overtures-seen-as-sideshow-by-merkel-hollande)
I am not sure how Greek changes in who their "real friends" are would "cripple the EU."
Can anyone within the EU explain the damage done should Greece pick up their toys and walk out the door? :confused:

Fox3, the difference now is that they can't print their own money to try and get out of it all. :p That wasn't true before. Another one of those nasty side effects of the Euro decision in the 90's.

3rd Apr 2015, 13:28
Greece draws up drachma plans, prepares to miss IMF payment (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11513341/Greece-draws-up-drachma-plans-prepares-to-miss-IMF-payment.html)

Greece is drawing up drastic plans to nationalise the country's banking system and introduce a parallel currency to pay bills unless the eurozone takes steps to defuse the simmering crisis and soften its demands.

Sources close to the ruling Syriza party said the government is determined to keep public services running and pay pensions as funds run critically low. It may be forced to take the unprecedented step of missing a payment to the International Monetary Fund next week. Greece no longer has enough money to pay the IMF €458m on April 9 and also to cover payments for salaries and social security on April 14, unless the eurozone agrees to disburse the next tranche of its interim bail-out deal in time.

“We are a Left-wing government. If we have to choose between a default to the IMF or a default to our own people, it is a no-brainer,” said a senior official. “We may have to go into a silent arrears process with the IMF. This will cause a furore in the markets and means that the clock will start to tick much faster,” the source told The Telegraph.

Syriza’s radical-Left government would prefer to confine its dispute to EU creditors but the first payments to come due are owed to the IMF. While the party does not wish to trigger a formal IMF default, it increasingly views a slide into pre-default arrears as a necessary escalation in its showdown with Brussels and Frankfurt........

“They want to put us through the ritual of humiliation and force us into sequestration. They are trying to put us in a position where we either have to default to our own people or sign up to a deal that is politically toxic for us. If that is their objective, they will have to do it without us,” the source said........

Syriza sources say are they fully aware that a tough line with creditors risks setting off an unstoppable chain-reaction. They insist that they are willing to contemplate the worst rather than abandon their electoral pledges to the Greek people. An emergency fall-back plan is already in the works. “We will shut down the banks and nationalise them, and then issue IOUs if we have to, and we all know what this means. What we will not do is become a protectorate of the EU,” said one source. It is well understood in Athens such action is tantamount to a return to the drachma, even though Syriza would rather reach an amicable accord within EMU..........

Bank of America warned that a “critical sequence of events could unfold” once Greece misses a payment to the IMF. It would trigger a parallel default to the eurozone bail-out fund (EFSF) under the legal master agreement, and might force the EFSF to cancel its loan packages and demand immediate repayment. This in turn would trigger a default on Greek government bonds issued under the bail-out accord.

The situation is now critical. Even if Greece manages to cobble together enough money to cover the April deadline, it owes the IMF a further €200m on May 1 and €763m on May 12. A Greek official told EMU counterparts at a teleconference on Wednesday that the country has run out of money. "There is no way we can go beyond April 9," the official reportedly said........

9th Apr 2015, 07:33
The Great Greek Impasse (http://www.capx.co/the-great-greek-impasse/)

Europe's manhandling of Greece is a strategic gift to Russia's Vladimir Putin (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/11523335/Europes-manhandling-of-Greece-is-a-strategic-gift-to-Russias-Vladimir-Putin.html)

.......Prof Sapir said Syriza had made the same sort of mistake as the Bolsheviks in 1917, who dreamed that their example would set off a parallel revolution in Germany. When it failed to do so, their strategy collapsed, forcing them to fall back on autarky. A chastened Syriza seems increasingly reconciled to ejection from EMU, though keenly aware that this can only be justified to the Greek people if forced upon them. "The Greek government has understood that it cannot find any common ground with the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank, unless it accepts unconditional capitulation," he said.

One Greek official told me Athens is not even asking Russia and China for serious money at this stage, telling them it would be pointless. Syriza is already looking beyond, exploring who can help them rebuild after the inevitable default - whether inside EMU as they once hoped, or outside EMU as they now fear........

Syriza has enough money to pay the International Monetary Fund €458m on Thursday, but this leaves it short of money to meet €1.7bn of pensions and salaries five days later. They have already scratched the cupboard bare, though small sums can perhaps be conjured from hospital funds or by raiding accounts at the central bank......... Syriza has wisely decided that it would be dangerous to default on the IMF, or even to fall into arrears. No developed country has ever taken this step. Peru's Alan Garcia - the Tsipras of his age - did default in the 1980s and later said it was the worst mistake he ever made.

If they have to default, they would rather pick their fight with EU creditors and above all the ECB, enemy number one after it took the pre-emptive political decision of cutting off a key lifeline for Greek banks within days of the Greek election.

As it happens, Greece must pay the ECB €194m in interest on April 17. Even if Greece manages to cobble together enough money to meet rolling demands through the Spring, it cannot possibly cover €6.7bn in bond redemptions to the ECB in July and August unless there is a fresh bail-out programme. Nor does Syriza wish to pay, given that the ECB bought these bonds in 2010 to bail out German and French banks and to prevent an EMU-wide banking crisis, not to help Greece. The Greek parliament was never consulted. Nor too does Syriza see much advantage in delaying the agony. "If it is going to happen, what is the point of waiting?" said one minister.

A former ECB official said the fear is that Greece will kick off with a selective default to Frankfurt, judging this the easiest political target. It would cover both bonds and €80bn of "Target2" liabilities to the rest of the ECB network that have built up automatically due to capital flight. "The crucial point is that Target2 liabilities are not backed by collateral. The Greeks can simply abolish the Bank of Greece on a Friday evening, and create a new central bank to be ready on the next Monday morning. There is no court in Europe that can enforce a payment against a Bank of Greece that no longer exists. This is their best chance of protecting the Greek people but it will not be pretty for the ECB," he said.

If Syriza pulls the pin on the Target2 system it will cause trauma for the ECB - and possibly a forced recapitalisation at the cost of member states - and set off a political storm in Germany. Hans-Werner Sinn, from the IFO Insitute, has long been warning that Germany and other creditor states are on the hook for huge amounts through Target2 that have never been acknowledged, or approved by the Bundestag. His jeremiads have prompted dismissive replies from the Bundesbank and the political authorities.

Yet if these losses are crystallized in Greece, it is far from clear whether the German parliament would continue to allow Target2 to incubate much greater potential losses in the rest of southern Europe. Without Target2, the eurozone is finished as a functioning monetary union.

Mr Putin must surely be smiling that he has won such an easy trick with such a weak hand. He watched in horror as the Soviet Union went into self-destruction a quarter century ago. This time he has the satisfaction of watching his much richer enemies tear themselves apart over mere money.

9th Apr 2015, 09:45
How can the EU physically prevent Greece from just printing Euros? Other than by invasion? Wouldn't this undermine the Euro but still allow Greece to pay off all its Euro debts, albeit with then worthless Euros?

9th Apr 2015, 10:22
As best as Wikipedia can research, Greece only produces the Five and Ten Euro notes. Anything of One Hundred Euros or over is only printed in Germany or Austria.

Looks like somebody did some thinking ahead! ;)

tony draper
9th Apr 2015, 10:29
Yer Germany printed millions of English Fivers for us at one time,mind you we hadn't asked em.:E

20th Apr 2015, 09:52
Bank of Greece expulsion from the Eurosystem could be especially damaging to the currency union (http://soberlook.com/2015/04/bank-of-greece-expulsion-from.html)

.......In a Grexit scenario, as the Bank of Greece is expelled from the Eurosystem, it will default on its TARGET2 obligations. That in turn will force Bundesbank (and other core euro area central banks) to take a write-down. Of course a nation such as Germany should easily absorb such a loss and recapitalize its central bank. But at that point the Germans will surely want to know just how much more of such exposure their central bank holds.

The answer at this point is that nearly 70% of Bundesbank's assets are in TARGET2 claims - a half a trillion euro exposure to periphery nations' central banks. How much support for the EMU will the Germans have once they realize that a large portion of their central bank's assets could be at risk? After Grexit, the TARGET2 exposure will no longer be some abstract concept - the risk levels will become quite real and German politicians and the media will surely drive that point home.

Moreover, as Greece imposes currency controls, depositors in other periphery nations are likely to also begin shifting capital out of their domestic banking system - as they see the writing on the wall. Portugal, Spain, and Italy are particularly vulnerable. Such actions will of course end up increasing TARGET2 imbalances further (as was the case in 2012), putting more of Bundesbank's balance sheet at risk. Contagion could become a major problem again. We already see some early signs, as periphery bond yields rose last week in spite of all the QE buying efforts.

Certainly Grexit related damage can be managed by the national central banks and the European Stability Mechanism. These institutions will be promptly recapitalized. Such actions however will anger citizens of some member states, whose taxpayers' funds will be used to fix the damage caused by Greece. Given the chaos and the political backlash such an outcome will generate, it's unclear when - if at all - confidence in the currency union will be restored. As discussed before (see post), history is not on the Eurozone's side.

20th Apr 2015, 12:17
I'm not an accountant but cannot understand why Germany is chasing Greece to pay its debts when they already know they couldn't service their loan anyway. So they delay the inevitable once more. Are these accountants thick or what?

I've always said Greece's debt can be found in the Western world's tax havens, perhaps these accountants should look there, that is of course unless their bosses are in cahoots with their Greek counterparts for a percentage - now that would be very Greek to me.

25th Apr 2015, 09:34
Time, patience and sympathy running out.....

Greece's Varoufakis Takes Hammering From Riled EU Ministers (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-24/varoufakis-said-to-take-hammering-from-frustrated-euro-ministers?bpop=75053692)

Greece: Meltdown at the Eurogroup meeting in Riga (http://www.capx.co/greece-meltdown-at-the-eurogroup-meeting-in-riga/)

“Time-waster”, “gambler” and “amateur” — and those were only the insults the press has felt able to publish before the 9 o’clock watershed. The criticism of Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis at today’s Eurogroup in Riga was so extreme that the lexicon of diplomatic understatement had to be expanded to include “hammered”. One wonders whether a senior minister of another country has been talked to in this way since…what? The 1870s?

In those days the next step might have been a gunboat. These days the threat was that if the Greeks didn’t sort themselves out, the next Eurogroup meeting might have to be held in Athens. The Greeks totally reject that idea, regarding it as akin to inviting their overlords to come over for an inspection.

It turns out that being a “rock star” may not be enough in a finance minister. Other finance ministers might hope that, in addition to your day job of having your photo in the paper and writing blogs, you might occasionally… you know… be a finance minister. And, oddly enough, telling everyone else that they are economic ignoramuses and the policy approach they have adopted is a failure and half of them are broke themselves anyway — whilst your allies tell them they want to melt down the bodies of the Greek people to make soap from their body fat, that Greece will send ISIS terrorists through to them, and that many of them owe you hundreds of billions in compensation for war crimes — doesn’t go down too well...........

Ireland’s lesson for Greece: stuff happens. Deal with it (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/11559341/Irelands-lesson-for-Greece-stuff-happens.-Deal-with-it.html)

The Greeks – especially their whingeing hard-Left leaders – must stop behaving like victims

Greece: Down and probably out (http://files.ctctcdn.com/49d59cb2401/ebef3f51-c6f7-4989-ada3-84f3be02eff4.pdf?utm_source=Greece%3A+Down+and+Probably+Out&utm_campaign=Greece%3A+Down+and+Probably+Out&utm_medium=email)

25th Apr 2015, 10:42
Greece will make a great Soviet protectorate, oops Russian:p

25th Apr 2015, 11:37
You were right the first time.

25th Apr 2015, 12:54
Time, patience and sympathy running out.....


The Greeks – especially their whingeing hard-Left leaders – must stop behaving like victims

Greece: Down and probably out (http://files.ctctcdn.com/49d59cb2401/ebef3f51-c6f7-4989-ada3-84f3be02eff4.pdf?utm_source=Greece%3A+Down+and+Probably+Out&utm_campaign=Greece%3A+Down+and+Probably+Out&utm_medium=email)
It is deeply ingrained in the culture (if we can call it that way) of the lefties: they are the victims, ALWAYS. It is the riches' fault, ALWAYS.

28th Apr 2015, 11:29
Beeb reporting that visitors to Greece are advised to carry Euros rather than relying on plastic for purchases (or cash withdrawals).

It is anticipated that financial institutions (and ATMs) will be the first to collapse if Greece finances go TU.

Holidaymakers warned to take cash to Greece amid financial collapse fears - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/11566983/Holidaymakers-warned-to-take-cash-to-Greece-amid-financial-collapse-fears.html)

Greece?s Day of Reckoning Inches Closer as Payments Loom - Bloomberg Business (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-26/greece-s-day-of-reckoning-inches-closer-as-debt-payments-loom)


28th Apr 2015, 13:01
It is anticipated that financial institutions (and ATMs) will be the first to collapse if Greece finances go TU.

The risk here is the domino effect. Banks all over the world only have a small percentage of their capital in the safe compared to how much they have loaned out. Lets face it the issue isn't really Greece but more the school of modern accounting practices.

The real money just aint there...and that's a global phenomenon.:rolleyes:

28th Apr 2015, 14:38
It is deeply ingrained in the culture (if we can call it that way) of the lefties: they are the victims, ALWAYS. It is the riches' fault, ALWAYS.

The past Greek government lied their way into the Euro. It was never going to work, and they should have defaulted years ago.

The only real problem is that the new government they elected didn't have the balls to do the right thing. The longer they drag this on, the worse things will get.

29th Apr 2015, 10:23
Love a good joke, but not much credibility.

(Reuters): Greece - April 29

Greece is expected to present draft reform legislation to lenders on Wednesday, government officials said, in a bid to show it is serious about acting on pledges to secure aid. Athens needs to repay loans of about 1 billion euros (1 billion pounds) to the IMF in May and the bill is its latest move to speed up negotiations in the hopes of reaching a deal with European and IMF creditors before it runs out of cash.

The bill is not expected to offer major new concessions beyond those already discussed with lenders, officials said. But it includes details on measures to tackle corruption and evasion, and the publication of a concrete bill is meant to underline the government's intent. It will include tax and public administration reforms, a tax on television broadcasting rights and TV advertisements, official said...........

AP: ATHENS , Greece — April 29.

Lawmakers from Greece's new left-wing government have voted to reinstate the country's public broadcaster, ERT, which was abruptly shut down two years ago as part of austerity measures. Parliament voted early Wednesday to re-hire more than 1,500 ERT workers and incorporate a protest TV station operated online by fired employees.

In June 2013, ERT television and radio broadcasts were abruptly taken off the air by the previous conservative government. A new broadcaster was later opened, using fewer staff.

Greece had been under pressure from international lenders to swiftly reduce the size of its civil service in return for continued bailout loans......

1st May 2015, 13:25
Run on the banks starting. Once panic starts then it tends to turn into a rush....

The Times: Pensioners start run on Greek banks as euro exit panic sets in (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4427472.ece)

Panicking pensioners queued at banks, raided their accounts and broke into a board meeting of the state pension fund yesterday as Greece struggled to pay its two million pension recipients.

Officials claimed that a “technical hitch” had delayed some payments as Greece braced itself to run out of money in days without a breakthrough from secret talks in Brussels. The left-wing government in Athens indicated that it would still resist the economic reforms demanded by its creditors in return for more loans. “My answer is simple: no, no, no,” said Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister, before the talks. A majority of investors, analysts and traders responding to a Bloomberg survey said that they expected Greece to leave the single currency.......

Elderly Athenians yesterday queued at branches of the National Bank of Greece, which pays out most state pensions — staggered over several days — after the country’s main social security fund delayed payments because of cash shortfalls.....

The country’s state pension funds almost defaulted after a shortfall of “several hundred million euros” delayed payments to pensioners this week. Many people panicked when they discovered that their pension payments were not in their accounts. “Normally I only withdraw half the money at the end of the month but today I’m taking it all,” said Sotiria Zlatini, 75, a former civil servant. “There are so many rumours going round.”

In a sign of public discontent, pensioners broke into a board meeting of the state pension fund demanding that it stop transferring cash reserves to the government under an emergency decree to keep the country solvent. Greece has been forced to rely on its own funds since last August because of a row with the eurozone countries. In a desperate attempt to stave off a cash crunch, a government decree ordered 1,500 state entities, including the pension fund, local authorities, hospitals and universities, to hand over their cash reserves to the central bank. Some of the public bodies have been reluctant to lose control of their funds and have deliberately delayed cash transfers.......

A new team of Greek negotiators began talks yesterday with officials from the IMF and the eurozone. The negotiations are expected to continue throughout the bank holiday weekend. Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, is overseeing the talks after the eurozone forced him to remove Mr Varoufakis from the negotiating team. A deal looked impossible yesterday as Syriza party left-wingers forced Mr Tsipras to block earlier plans to appease eurozone countries. “The government is sticking to its red lines,” a spokesman for Mr Tsipras said.

Greece’s credit rating has been cut further into “junk” status as the risk of default and exit from the euro is “rising”, according to Moody’s. The ratings agency warned that should negotiations fail, “the outcome is likely to be a disorganised default”.

The head of the eurozone group of finance ministers said yesterday that Europe was ready for any outcome to the stand-off between Greece and its creditors. Asked if there was a plan B in case Greece defaulted or was forced out of the eurozone, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said: “Is the eurozone prepared for eventualities, the answer to that is, ‘yes’.”

1st May 2015, 15:11
Run on the banks starting. Once panic starts then it tends to turn into a rush....
Greece’s credit rating has been cut further into “junk” status as the risk of default and exit from the euro is “rising”, according to Moody’s. The ratings agency warned that should negotiations fail, “the outcome is likely to be a disorganised default”.

The head of the eurozone group of finance ministers said yesterday that Europe was ready for any outcome to the stand-off between Greece and its creditors. Asked if there was a plan B in case Greece defaulted or was forced out of the eurozone, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said: “Is the eurozone prepared for eventualities, the answer to that is, ‘yes’.”
Stories like this feed the narrative that the banks have governments in their pockets. Maybe it is true in some cases.
What if Greece isn't too big to fail?
What's the next act? :confused:

1st May 2015, 15:19
I recall reading the other day that people holidaying to Greece take Euro currency as there could be a strong possibility that ATMs could be turned off.

Credit card payments (shops, restaurants etc) for purchases could also be affected.

1st May 2015, 15:37
Surely Greece must be a very rich country for its government to be able to pay to fly empty aircraft around the Aegean:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/17299533011/

1st May 2015, 15:43
So what (or who) is to STOP the Greek government printing Euro notes if they so desire?

1st May 2015, 15:46
As was mentioned a while back, I think they only have the plates for the 5 and 10 Euro notes - the Germans/Austrians thought ahead on this one - they do all the high value notes. ;)

1st May 2015, 15:49
So just keep printing 5 and 10 Euro notes!

If they have any decent engravers, they could copy the 20, 50 and 100 notes....

1st May 2015, 16:36
If Greece got the Elgin Marbles back some real dosh to pay off the debt.

The country has been raped from past archaeology finds.

1st May 2015, 16:59
If Greece got the Elgin Marbles back some real dosh to pay off the debt. Daz, after reading a few articles on that bit of history, it appears that more damage was done to Parthenon by battle, acid rain, and carelessness than by preservation attempts by foreigners. (See also the slow degradation of Pompeii in the past century).
Even the Greeks have dismantled much what remains to preserve it, and have been for a couple of decades.
It's not as simple as you suggest. I note with interest the arguments for and against their return.

Per your cited point: how do the Greeks convert the Elgin Marble artwork into billions? They need billions.

1st May 2015, 17:06
There was a Greek-registered rental car parked in our village (Northumberland) today.

I wonder if it will ever find its way back?

1st May 2015, 17:12
Greece has no claim at at all to the Elgin Marbles, a generic term for a load of stonework bought (for the then enormous sum of £39k) by Lord Elgin during his time as British ambassador to the Ottoman court at Istanbul. At that time there was no Greece, just an Ottoman empire that stretched further to the west of the Bosphorus than Turkish territory does today. Elgin sold the marbles to the British Parliament in 1816. Greece didn't even exist then, primarily because Lord Byron hadn't yet come galumphing around the hills and dales to free the place from the rule of its much more civilised neighbour to the east.

22nd May 2015, 15:13
Greece still playing brinkmanship and thinking everyone else will blink.

The EU Commission, and Juncker, are happy to oblige, but they aren't the ones with the money.

The IMF are using Third World money, lent by nations far poorer than Greece, and they won't budge. The EU Council has plenty of nations in a similar position - Latvia, Estonia etc, and others such as Finnland who insisted on collateral before the last loan - so another in the present circumstances is a non-starter, And now we have the Germans in revolt.......

Eurozone tells Greece no deal without IMF (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dbe443aa-0079-11e5-a908-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3asN94dbE)

'We can't just throw Greece out of the euro' - Juncker warns ahead of crunch summit (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11622754/Merkel-doubts-Greek-deal-as-leaders-decide-over-euro-fate.html)

22nd May 2015, 15:38
Eurozone tells Greece no deal without IMF
what is the point is providing a link to a site that is behind a paywall???

22nd May 2015, 20:11
Seems like everyone is trying to avoid taking the blame for Greece eventually leaving the Euro.

22nd May 2015, 22:43
Especially the Greeks...

23rd May 2015, 00:41
Jean-Claude Juncker: "You can not just throw a country out from the monetary union"

Umm, yea you can.

The ruling party in Greece neds to be taught a lesson. They came to power on the back of every dirty handed trick in the book. That can not be rewarded.

There has to be some wriggle room, but any give needs to be very firmely and publically in the greeks corner.

23rd May 2015, 02:00
Just saying.

Wellaware1 Hitler/ Disney / Roosevelt (http://wellaware1.com/hitler.shtml)

23rd May 2015, 08:38
Funniest thing I have read in a long time - whoever wrote that has a tremendous knowledge of recent historical personalities and a wicked sense of humour.

23rd May 2015, 08:41
Or - if we are supposed to take it seriously,certifiably insane.

24th May 2015, 19:14
Especially the Greeks...

Yes. They'd have been better off by now if they'd quit the Euro as soon as they were elected, but then they'd have been forever called the men who destroyed the EU.

Of course, a real leader would relish that title.

What we're seeing is a game of Pass The Poisoned Chalice, and no-one wants to be holding it when the music stops. Which it will, sooner or later.

24th May 2015, 20:05
Greece 'cannot afford IMF repayment' in June - minister - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32864068)

27th May 2015, 07:07
The Times: Rebels Hold Tsipras to Ransom over Bailout

A rebel faction within Greece’s main governing party is threatening to prevent any deal with international creditors from being ratified in parliament, in a revolt that could trigger new elections.

Hardliners led by Panagiotis Lafazanis, the country’s industry, energy and environment minister, are threatening to vote against the leadership of the Syriza party if it signs up to a new bailout deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund that they consider to be a breach of the party’s promise to end austerity. The so-called Leftist Platform faction is openly calling for the government to break off the bailout talks, to default on a repayment due to the IMF on June 5 and to return to the drachma. A motion to do just that, tabled during a heated debate of Syriza’s central committee at the weekend, was defeated by 95 votes to 75 but 30 party members — all supporters of the Leftist Platform — abstained......

“This [result] doesn’t bode well,” Alexis Mitropoulos, a senior Syriza MP, said. “It spells dramatic political developments, unravelling soon.” Dimitris Papadimoulis, another party member, said: “If Mr Tsipras does not manage to get his party behind him on this deal, and instead loses support, then he should hold early elections.”

It is unclear whether New Democracy, the main opposition party, would vote for a deal to keep the country in the eurozone or use the opportunity to try to bring down the coalition. Since winning power in January, Mr Tsipras and his party have been locked in tortuous talks with creditors to end austerity and free up €7.2 billion in undisbursed bailout funds.

Lenders, led by the IMF and Germany, want Athens to continue with strict fiscal discipline, cutting pensions even further and enforcing new labour rules that would make layoffs even easier in a country already suffering the highest unemployment in Europe. Caving into such demands, party members concede, would prompt rebellion from even mainstream Syriza politicians, including Zoe Konstantopoulou, the house Speaker, who recently criticised Mr Tsipras for agreeing to negotiate beyond pre-election red lines. Dimitris Stratoulis, a social welfare minister, said that Greece “shouldn’t be terrorised into signing any deal”.

Costas Lapavitsas, a professor of economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London who recently joined Syriza, insisted that a return to the drachma offered a way out. “Faced with a deal that amounts to humiliating national concession, a decision to rupture ties with creditors provides a just and moral alternative,” he told the party. “There is no doubt that a return to the drachma, however difficult a transition in the start, will ease Greece out of its financial squeeze.”.......

28th May 2015, 15:02
What's that old term used to describe all this?? ... Oh, that's right ... a Greek Tragedy ... :ooh:

18th Jun 2015, 13:27
Is Greece going to the Rouble or Yen rather than the Drachma?

Well unlike the USA they can't print money under the guise of quantitate easing, but they still have a choice in choosing their creditors by trading their debt with the other superpowers and remain in the EU.

Would be typical Greek if suddenly a Russian military base opened up right next to a USA one.

18th Jun 2015, 19:03
Is Greece going to the Rouble or Yen rather than the Drachma?

Greece's problem is that they're tied to Germany's currency, so they can't devalue their way out of their debts. I'm not sure that tying themselves to someone else's currency will really help.

18th Jun 2015, 21:52
Tying the Drachma to the Rouble would be a very good way to devalue it.

It would also have the advantage of having a real value support in terms of oil&gas resources underwriting the currency at the bottom end.

Currently, Greece has got bugger all. It's all been looted by Goldman Sachs and the rest of the thieves.

Rail Engineer
18th Jun 2015, 22:07
Currently, Greece has got bugger all. It's all been looted by Goldman Sachs and the rest of the thieves.Nonsense, the Greeks squandered what wealth they had through corruption, lies, deceit, and non-payment of taxes.

Then once they have gotten themselves into a debt spiral that they cannot control, they blame everyone else for their ills, just like some down and out sitting in a pool of their own body fluids at the end of the night, hoping that some passer-by will be stupid enough to throw them a few pounds to survive another day.

The only people who want the Greeks to remain in the EU are naturally enough the Greek Political elite because no-one else will lend them money, and the larger EU Political elite, simply because it will sustain the broken EU dream for a little longer.

Merkel is desperate to keep the Greeks in despite the fact that 60% of Germans want them thrown out, because she knows that were the Greeks to go the Portugal and Spain would go, and there would be riots in Ireland who took the hard road to recovery yet still had to borrow money which they will never have repaid in order to lend it to Greece so they could pay THEIR debts to the very people who lent it to Ireland so they could lend it to Greece!

You really could not write this stuff in a novel or you would be committed for the rest of your natural life as a lunatic

18th Jun 2015, 22:41
To think that the British were the Greeks greatest ally in gaining their independence from the Ottomans in the 19th century. It's certainly time to send the Turks back in again.
The play out now will be public demonstrations against Syriza and Tsipras. He'll resign, lauding himself with the plaudits of a sacrificial martyr. There'll be a change of government in Athens. The negotiation ploy play with the EU and IMF will continue with bailouts sanctioned and debts written off now that the Greek people 'will have a government they deserve and of which they can be proud.' Sometime after all this has come to pass, Jean Claude Juncker with Hollande and various others will award themselves the Nobel Peace Prize.
Perhaps though there'll be another military coup and the army will shoot a great many Communists. One ray of optimism in the continuing expense account chitty for the tax payers of almost anywhere in Europe except Greece because in Greece taxes are only for other Europeans.

18th Jun 2015, 23:16
Are vacations in Greece less expensive with all this going on?

The Greek islands always look very beautiful.

19th Jun 2015, 06:55
A Greek newspaper in English so you can read such cheerful news as how tax revenues will be down this month.
ekathimerini.com | News (http://www.ekathimerini.com/ekathi/news)

If you go to the Greek Islands perhaps, as just after the war, it would make sense to speak English loudly.

19th Jun 2015, 12:00
The only people who want the Greeks to remain in the EU are naturally enough the Greek Political elite

From what I have seen the common man in Greece has not seen any of that loan money.

My cousin (ex Oz) is less forgiving and been seen telling these corrupt "elite" not to call themselves Greek, even calling them "headjobs", gypsies, and "circus Mongolia".

And you know, he's absolutely right.

19th Jun 2015, 12:16
German anger over Greek demand for war reparations | World news | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/12/german-anger-over-greek-demand-for-war-reparations)

The Germans should back off or pay up. Well that is all I have to say from Greece.

19th Jun 2015, 13:04
It's not possible for a society to be responsible for the sins of the forefathers but were that argument to prevail in the minds of some then the Germans should pay reparations not to Greece but rather to Turkey. That's because, by extension of the argument and until very recently, Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire and any blood money arising belongs to the Kurds.

19th Jun 2015, 13:39
Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire In 1941???

19th Jun 2015, 14:12
I consider all this a load of faf It's a conspiracy to get the Elgin Marbles back to Greece. Having said that, what other country in the western (modern) world has problems with toilet paper flushed down the loo?

19th Jun 2015, 16:06
It's the wetwipes and many countries are having problems with them.

Friends teenage daughter has just left Oz for a three week school trip to Greece. I am a bit concerned that this is not the best timing.

19th Jun 2015, 21:54
The Greek islands always look very beautiful.

Not any more. Hundreds of thousands of illegals are coming across the Med into Italy and into Greece from Turkey across the Agean and fanning out as they are basically being let go with only perfunctory screening.

Italy is in dire shape with a couple of million having arrived by boat from Libya and just sent on their ways so they can get to their original destination in the EU, which often is France, Germany and the UK where they have huge communities already and often family members.

The EU has no southern borders any longer--they are open to mass invasion. Furthermore, not only are the borders open, the EU is trolling the waters for boats, picking up the travelers and giving them a free tax ride into Italy and Greece. The people traffickers know they don't need safe boats, because the people will be picked up. Yet drownings are still happening.

So what do the EU expect? With a system like this? For the influx invasion to stop? It continues apace, because the third world knows now that the EU has no southern border enforcement any longer.

Friends of ours who spend the summers in Italy have cancelled. The small town where they have a home has been overrun with the invading hordes sleeping in abandoned buildings, sleeping in the one train station hoping for a handout to buy a train ticket north, and just otherwise camping out. The health implications to the existing residents is not good.

The Milan and Rome train stations are now huge refugee encampments.

A park behind a friend's flat in the 18th in Paris was raided by police the other day to try to displace a few hundred of these folks who had set up a growing camp in a park they used to walk their dogs in. They are back though. And growing as the bottleneck at Calais has grown worse now that a couple of million new arrivals have put even more stress on it. So it's backed up to Paris now. Under bridge areas are a sea of sleeping bodies.

Anybody who goes to a major European city this summer, or to a Greek island or anywhere in Italy is asking for it. It won't be pleasant. And the thefts and pick pocketing is on the up. Big time.

Greek island of Lesbos begins to overflow with illegal immigrants | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3107225/Increasingly-desperate-migrants-cross-Mediterranean-INFLATABLE-CHAIRS-air-cushions-tucked-clothes-afloat.htm)

19th Jun 2015, 23:29
Greece is f$%ked, it just hasn't sunk in yet. Its got an extremist socialist leader who has no interest in progressing it along the "western way".

Let the Russians have them, that will solve the illigel immagrant issue.

20th Jun 2015, 02:16
Does this resemble a Ponzi Scheme or a snake eating it's tail to anyone?


20th Jun 2015, 03:22
Greece is f$%ked, it just hasn't sunk in yet. Its got an extremist socialist leader who has no interest in progressing it along the "western way".

Let the Russians have them, that will solve the illigel immagrant issue.

The EU is f$%ked unless they get a handle on this immigration issue.

So start taking them back, I did that for ten years taking illegals back to Central and South America. It is a lot cheaper to fly them back to where they came from than letting them stay.

But then it became PC to let the illegals stay and we stopped taking them back.

23rd Jun 2015, 16:59
If the situation wasn't so serious, and it wasn't so close to the truth, it would be hilarious.....

IS ANYONE HONESTLY SURPRISED THAT GREEKS DON’T PAY THEIR DEBTS? (http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/06/23/is-anyone-honestly-surprised-that-greeks-dont-pay-their-debts/) by Milo Yiannopolopus

As you can tell from the byline on this story, I’m part Greek, which is why I’m currently lifting your wallet while we have this conversation. No offence to my Hellenic brothers and sisters, but we don’t exactly have a reputation for financial honesty. Greece is in a mess, and it’s tough to overstate the scale of the problem. It looks increasingly likely that we will have to leave the European Union and go back to the drachma, which will be followed by a calamitous drop in the currency’s value. Great news for tourists, not so good for Greeks.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Greece is a barren, inhospitable land of strange liquors, blazing rows and underdressed but overweight hairy middle-aged heffalumps. (And that’s just the women.) It’s as close to Lord of the Rings as you can get without actually larping. We’ve gone from scaling the intellectual heights of literature, poetry and philosophy – not to mention basically inventing democracy – to dreaming of moving to Chicago to open a small kebabbery. In the process, we’ve become lazy, corrupt, entitled and petulant. The EU wants austerity, and frankly my southern European family deserves a taste of the lash.

Sorry, no offence, but it’s true. Acting like an indolent and self-destructive child is so much part of the national character that I’m wondering if it might be genetic – some sort of of awful evolutionary mistake that has left the once-proud nation of Greece awash with petty crooks who throw their toys out of the pram if anyone dares hold them to their word or – horror of horrors – present them with a tax bill.

You probably know the story of Pheidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens with news of a great military victory against the Persians. He dropped dead after delivering the news. What you probably don’t know is that he didn’t die from all that running but from shock when one of the receiving archons asked him to settle a gambling debt. Pheidippides is the only Greek man known to have put in a full day’s work, and he was killed by it. Ever since, his descendants have pondered his fate and been loath to take the chance. We sell fish, cotton, pistachios and marble, and we work barely three-quarters that of the European average, which is already itself pathetic by global standards.

It’s a symbol of how hopeless the country’s priorities are that when the ECB said on Friday that it would raise the ceiling on emergency liquidity assistance, Greece’s banks put in an order for ouzo. The government cares so little about our national pastime, tax evasion, that it lets the Greek middle classes self-report that they spend more on debt repayments than they earn. €30 billion a year in tax goes uncollected in Greece as people stomp their feet rather than getting out their cheque books.

We Greeks invented rioting and, as with indolence, corruption and sodomy, we do it bigger and better than anyone else with more looting, more destruction and more existential despair afterwards.

Yes, I speak from personal experience. I don’t think I have a single friend I don’t owe money to, even if it just a fiver because I “didn’t have any change” or “my card didn’t work.” I’m not a miser or a bad person, I’m just absolutely terrible with money, like anyone who has a surname with that many vowels. And I, too, hate settling my debts. I break out into a sweat. Anxiety grips my chest. Finally, eventually, after a fake suicide attempt and a four-page self-pitying email, I hand the tenner back. You don’t have to take my word for it: ask anyone with Greek friends and they will tell you, we’re all the same.

We’re into paragraph nine, and if I’d been writing this in the offices of a Greek newspaper not only would I have been offered two alcoholic drinks by now but I’d have had an hour-long nap and paid off two tax inspectors in crisp euro notes kindly provided to me by the blood, sweat and tears of Volkswagen factory workers. It’s like Plato’s cave allegory. We can see the shadow cast by the ginormous debt our profligate spending and corrupt national life have caused, but we refuse to step out into the light and see reality for what it is. Or we can’t, because we can’t see over our own monstrously fat bellies.

Quite what Greece is capable of contributing back to Europe at this point, beyond cheap package trips to Thessalonika for low-ranking Brussels bureaucrats, is not clear. (Don’t bother, by the way. You can’t even go to Mount Olympus without booking ages in advance, which no one knows until they get there.)

Greece has a progressive left-wing government, because of course it does. Its government is resisting calls from the European Union to institute a programme of austerity to meet its international debt obligations. Austerity is the least that Greece deserves. I mean, quite honestly, the society that perfected buggery should be a bit more open to a good financial rogering. Yet I read in one report that “Greek ministers maintained a defiant tone on Saturday, vowing to resist ‘blackmail’ from creditors.” Creditors asking for their money back is to blackmail what mean tweets are to violence.

The problem with “let daddy fix it” as a national budget strategy is that sooner or later, no matter how pretty and accomplished the daughter, daddy is going to get tired of handing out pocket money. One day, Tiffany is going to have to get a job. Sadly the situation may be irrecoverable because not only did Tiffany skip school and fail to show up for her apprenticeship but she’s been putting it all around town without using protection and now wants her long-suffering father to buy her a Boxster to replace the TT she crashed into a wall while high on mushrooms.

Honestly, Greece as a 17-year-old girl having a temper tantrum isn’t that far off. Greece is basically shredding its own bedsheets until it gets a new iPhone – with all-too-predictable results. Let me tell you – again, from experience – Germans love playing the stern father. At some point, you have to cut the little cow off.

Greece might have, in Thessaloniki, the world’s fifth-best party town, according to Lonely Planet. But it also has the EU’s highest proportion of digitally illiterate citizens. In 2013, 39 per cent of Greek citizens had never used the internet. The country has been resting on its laurels. Possibly literally, since we used to make crowns out of them when we had our shit together in, what, 650 BC? Greece is like Jack in Titanic if Jack had grabbed Rose by the hair, screaming, “COME WITH ME! POSEIDON DEMANDS US BOTH AS TRIBUTE!” As for every Greek man at some point between the ages of 20 and 25, a taste of the salty trident is sadly inevitable.

There’s an old Greek proverb that goes something like: “A lucky person is someone who plants pebbles and harvests potatoes.” Greece’s national government has planted scorpion eggs and left their toddlers to play in the sand with no shoes on.

The EU’s strategy to date has been like giving money to a junkie. You do it because you’re a good person and you can’t bear to see their miserable little face, and you do it knowing that they’re going to break all the promises they make to you. Sooner or later you realise you’re just enabling them, and sooner or later they are going to have a heart attack. Well, Greece just did.

Anyway, look, let’s leave it there, because if I write for any longer Greece may not even be a country any more, and then I’ll have to change the headline and all sorts. My point is: Greeks are Greeks, and there was never anything that anyone could do about that, which is why fiscal union was such a stupid idea in the first place. What a mess.

24th Jun 2015, 07:56
Greece’s creditors split as bailout deal hit by doubts (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4478143.ece)

Deep divisions opened up last night between the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund, jeopardising negotiations over new Greek proposals to prevent the highly indebted country from crashing out of the euro. The splits emerged as Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, came under pressure to put the package of *concessions on pension cuts and VAT increases to a vote in the parliament, where he faces a backlash from members of his Syriza party.

Senior German politicians also suggested a possible revolt in the national parliaments of the eurozone creditor countries over tens of billions in emergency aid to Greek banks.

Officials told The Times that talks had reached a deadlock because of the IMF’s concerns that the Greek plans, drafted with the help of the European Commission, were unworkable. “The IMF is unhappy. There is no progress,” a senior official said.

Just hours after returning to Athens from Monday’s emergency summit, Mr Tsipras was last night summoned back to Brussels for urgent talks with international creditors. The prime minister’s office said Mr Tsipras was called back for a new round of negotiations with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, Christine Lagarde, the IMF chief, and Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. Analysts said the sudden scramble did not bode well. “There must be a hitch in talks,” said Pavlos Tsimas, a leading Greek political commentator...........

Germany and the IMF are concerned that Mr Juncker has gone too far in his attempts to avert a Greek default and exit from the eurozone, and damaged the EU executive’s reputation as an impartial broker. Ingeborg Grässle, a senior German MEP who is close to Angela Merkel, the chancellor, accused Mr Juncker of violating the commission’s reputation for neutrality by siding with the new Greek proposals. “The European Commission has abandoned its neutral role. It is in the Greek camp. I have confidence in the IMF,” she told Belgium’s RTL radio yesterday. “It has experience and is hard enough to ensure promises are met.”.......

Without support from the IMF, there can be no deal to clear the €7.2 billion in loans that Greece urgently needs to avoid default next week when the Greek bailout expires on June 30. Funding worth €10.9 billion to *recapitalise the country’s banks will *also be lost.

Germany and Ireland are growing increasingly concerned over the European Central Bank’s level of support for Greek banks. Ralph Brinkhaus, Mrs Merkel’s deputy whip, called on the ECB to stop emergency liquidity assistance and for Greece to implement capital controls. “Through the continuous increase of the limit for emergency credit by the ECB, Greek banks and, ultimately, the Greek state are artificially managing to keep their heads above water.” Michael Noonan, Ireland’s finance minister, warned that without a deal by tomorrow the ECB aid would have to be cut off, leading to capital controls to avert financial collapse in Greece.

If there is a deal, the eurozone will *insist the conditions are passed by the Greek parliament before any loans are unblocked, with a vote as early as Monday, as divisions emerged within the ruling Syriza party over the cuts and tax rises that Mr Tsipras has promised to implement. “I believe that this is difficult to pass,” said Alex Mitropoulos, Syriza’s deputy parliamentary speaker. “I believe [the new Greek proposals] are not in line with the principles of the left. This social carnage — they cannot accept it.”

With a revolt of more than 12 MPs, Mr Tsipras faces a defeat unless he *enlists the support of the right-wing *opposition, a move that could lead to the collapse of his coalition.

Rail Engineer
24th Jun 2015, 08:50
Like some horrible monster, the death throes of the EU will be long drawn out and painful. Oh for someone to put it out of its misery

24th Jun 2015, 13:50
The problem in Greece are the two families that run Pasok and Nea Democratia have raped the country's till in reward for votes by giving those old head jobs that actually vote for them a lollipop to lick on.

The younger generation are critically aware of these @rse lickers destroying the country, regardless if it meant daddy had paid his political party to give them a cushy government job.

This even has a name in Greece, it's called the "meson" and remains the fundamental obstacle to reform. Kill it and you are well on the road to Meritocratic recovery - as it should be.

24th Jun 2015, 16:01
Like some horrible monster, the death throes of the EU will be long drawn out and painful. Oh for someone to put it out of its misery I hear there are some Imams who'd like to assist with that. :}

24th Jun 2015, 16:02
This even has a name in Greece, it's called the "meson" and remains the fundamental obstacle to reform. Kill it and you are well on the road to Meritocratic recovery - as it should be. If you cut out enough cancerous tissue, do you kill the patient? :confused:

25th Jun 2015, 01:06
I hear there are some Imams who'd like to assist with that.

Let me correct that for you.

I hear there are some Imams who are assisting with that.:p

25th Jun 2015, 09:05
I heard a talking head on radio the other day explaining that Greek pensions are far better than those in Germany who, of course, are funding them!

He said this is causing a major rift between the German finance minister and Aunty Angela as the former can see the madness of this continuing.

However politicians never give a s*** about the feelings of the electorate! apart from during elections.:ugh:

25th Jun 2015, 09:14


Greek pensions - Why they are a flashpoint (http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/06/greek-pensions)

25th Jun 2015, 09:48
Sections 4 to 6 are interesting...

Lets try again, link 6 on this list (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/06/wednesday-assorted-links-13.html)...

The Grumpy Economist Last Greek thoughts[/URL]

25th Jun 2015, 09:50
Bravo, ORAC! Marvelous pithy commentary.

27th Jun 2015, 08:20
Well that looks like Greece is out of the Euro (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11702829/Greece-to-hold-referendum-on-bailout-deal-with-Europe.html)....

The request for an extension while they hold a referendum is a non-starter. That would require a vote in multiple EU parliaments on Sunday to make it possible (The offer required a vote in favour in the greek parliament today and the other states tomorrow). With no agreement in Greece it can't happen. As the article states, "European officials said there was now no deal on the table for Greek people to vote on, and discussions over a "Plan B" involving capital controls was being considered.".

With a run on the ATMs/banks started and no ECB support as of Monday, the banks can't open next week. Standby for capital controllers.

This looks like a political move to blame the rest of the EU for not giving them another week....

27th Jun 2015, 09:39
Sums it up well....

Greece Bailout: Eurozone Ministers to Explore ‘Plan B’ (http://www.wsj.com/articles/greece-bailout-eurozone-ministers-to-explore-plan-b-1435393252)

BRUSSELS—Eurozone finance ministers will discuss alternatives to more bailout aid for Greece at a meeting Saturday, European officials said, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced he would hold a referendum on the terms of new aid. The first step in what has commonly been referred to as “Plan B” among Greece’s creditors would likely be the introduction of capital controls to avoid a run on the country’s banks, these officials said.

“You’ve seen Cyprus,” said one official, referring to another eurozone country that limited the withdrawal of cash and transfer on funds abroad in 2013 amid a big banking crisis. But in contrast to Cyprus, which implemented capital controls as part of a €10 billion bailout package from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund, the financial situation of the Greek government is much more precarious.

The eurozone portion of Greece’s €245 billion rescue package runs out on Tuesday, the same day the government has to pay €1.55 billion to the IMF. Failure to pay the IMF, along with heightened uncertainty over the country’s financial future, could lead to wider chaos that could end up forcing Greece out of the eurozone. Mr. Tsipras said that he would ask for a short extension of the existing rescue program to carry his country through the July 5 vote. But European officials said such an extension, which requires a unanimous decision by all 19 eurozone finance ministers as well as parliamentary votes in some countries, may be hard to get. “I really can’t see 18 [member states] agreeing to that,” said one official.

Mr. Tsipras said the Greek people should get a say on whether they want to swallow more budget cuts and policy overhauls—including pension reductions and increases to sales taxes—in return for sustained aid. But some officials raised questions of whether the existing aid proposal would still be an option for Greece, even if the referendum turns out in favor of more bailout aid. Comments from several ministers that they would campaign against a deal has further undermined confidence among Greece’s creditors that the government would actually implement the measures attached to the bailout. “Greeks will vote on an offer that is no longer on the table…Time for Plan B,” said one of the officials.

European institutions, including the European Central Bank and the European Commission, and many national governments have had blueprints for a messy Greek default and potential exit from the eurozone since at least 2012. But these plans have never been discussed by all 19 ministers together. Senior ministers from national finance ministries briefly spoke about the need for a Plan B at a meeting earlier this month, but didn’t enter into detail.

Much of what happens next depends on how the ECB reacts. Greek banks have been cushioning large deposit outflows in recent months with emergency loans from the Greek central bank. But those loans can be stopped by the ECB’s governing council, which includes central bankers from other eurozone countries, if there is concern that Greek lenders are no longer solvent.*

Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis will travel to Frankfurt Saturday to meet the ECB’s president, Mario Draghi, likely to plead for continued support for the Greek banking system. But several national central bank heads had come out against more emergency liquidity for Greek lenders before the referendum was announced. ECB officials have in the past pointed out that Greece at the moment has no legal basis for capital controls and stopping citizens from accessing their money would require new legislation to be passed through Parliament in Athens.

*And so Greece leaves the euro (http://www.timworstall.com/2015/06/27/and-so-greece-leaves-the-euro/)

27th Jun 2015, 10:39
The Not Very Serious People call for Greferendum (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/06/the-not-very-serious-people-call-for-greferendum.html)

Hugo Dixon has a good analysis (http://hugo-dixon.com/):

My instant reaction to Alexis Tsipras’ decision to call a referendum on whether to accept creditors’ terms on Jul 5

1 Tsipras is effectively calling for Greece to quit the euro. Even if that’s not the question, that’s what it will amount to.

2 All sides have mishandled negotiation but Tsipras has mishandled it particularly badly.

3 Tsipras didn’t even complete the talks and wring out the last concessions. There was one more day to go.

4 Greece obviously won’t be able to pay the IMF on Tuesday.

5 Greece won’t be able to get extension of bailout which runs out on Tuesday, as referendum is following Sunday. Ie bailout expires.

6 ECB highly likely to stop emergency liquidity to banks. if capital controls not imposed on Monday, there will probably be bank run.

I would put it this way: when you call for a referendum in this kind of setting, you suffer all the costs of having to take a stance, and yet give up all of the potential benefits of control.

There are already reports of long lines at Greek ATMs (https://twitter.com/SpiegelPeter/status/614573198546468864). What’s the chance the Greferendum even ends up happening? As I’ve said before, the only thing worse than the Very Serious People are the Not Very Serious People.

27th Jun 2015, 10:51
Mr T gambles that a referendum will throw up a general election. In the weeks that this will occupy the creditors will keep the country financed. Sometime just before the election the creditors will decide that, should Mr T be returned to office, they will forgive Greece all her debts rather than run the risk of the Greek people having to submit to a communist, pro Putin, regime. Mr T has been out playing the European dictatorial triumvirate at every turn. The Greeks who cooked the books to enter the EU are going to win this one and will relish their hyena laughter.
Never in the history of human conflict have the British been presented with a better reason to vote NO!

27th Jun 2015, 15:46
Torygraph live updates (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11702478/Greece-crisis-live-shock-referendum-throws-bail-out-future-into-chaos-ahead-of-crunch-Brussels-meeting.html)

13.15 Finland: No extension for Greece

Categorical from Alexander Stubb of Finland: "an extension of the programme is out of the question."

"We cannot extend the programme as it stands. Plan B becomes Plan A. There is nothing else on the table." He descibres it as an "unpleasant surprise" and calls it a "sad day for Greek people" He adds, the decision for capital controls is a decision the Greeks will have to make, but he's "quite sad about it"...

13.24 Schaeuble: negotiations are over

German fm Schäuble: @atsipras has declared the negotiations to be over. Programme ends June 30, the Greek banks situation is what it is. Germany's finance minister sounds exasperated at last night's referendum move.

13.27 Slovakia: the programme is over

It's Peter Kazimir's birthday and he really wants to go home. A grumpy Mr Kazimir says given the Greeks have rejected the deal "the programme is over."

"The bill is due. I will be listening to what the details are around the table". In a cheeky barb he adds he expects "more lecturing" from Yanis Varoufakis today.

27th Jun 2015, 16:19
One is a bit of in the thick of it. On a very small remote island. We are going lose many of our high season workers next weekend when they go home to vote. And for what? The government was voted in by people who were against austerity measures. The same people will vote the same way.

Tourism is 17.5% of our export income in Greece. For small islands like ours it it 95%. The proposed EU rulings of removing our lower taxes and increasing tax on hotels and restaurants will severely affect tourism. We are already struggling to compete with Turkey.

It may in the end be better if we pull out of the Euro or the other alternative is to get everyone to agree to pay tax and stop putting their takings straight into their pockets.

Anyway, we paid our land tax yesterday so Greece is 47€ closer to paying off their debt :ok:

27th Jun 2015, 16:21
16.15 Eurozone reject Greek bail-out extension

Yanis was asking for a month. It seems he won't get a milisecond after June 30.

Peter Spiegel ‏@SpiegelPeter 15 minutes ago.

Tow eurozone sources confirm: #Greece request for extension rejected by #Eurogroup

27th Jun 2015, 18:28
I would put it this way: when you call for a referendum in this kind of setting, you suffer all the costs of having to take a stance, and yet give up all of the potential benefits of control.

What benefit is there to a 'bailout' which just makes Greeks take on yet more unpayable debts to pay off rich bankers? The 'not serious' people are the ones who keep trying to kick the can down the road, rather than find a solution.

The fundamental problem is that Greeks want:

1. To stay in the Euro and EU.
2. To end austerity measures.

Those two goals are fundamentally incompatible unless those rich bankers are willing to write off most Greek debt. The only other way out is to force the Greek people to finally pick one or the other. If they pick the EU, they'll need a new government, and they'd better be prepared to pay higher taxes to the bankers. I don't see that happening, myself.

AN2 Driver
27th Jun 2015, 19:48
While I agree with the suggestion that the current Greek government have handled a lot of things very badly, they have been the ones to make one true point:

Yes, Greece is responsible for the condition it is in.

BUT: The current debt crisis was willingly and with questionable intent helped and made much worse than it could ever have gotten by the fraudulent way that Greece was "invited" into the Eurozone when several key players knew exactly that it was NOT fulfilling the terms.

So why did Germany in particular but also other EU decisionmakers allow this to happen?

Why did they pump billions of money into a country they KNEW could never pay them back?

How would you call something like that, if a bank was to pump endless credit into a bancrupt company in full knowledge that this company was bancrupt, then try to take over the said company by imposing THEIR policy onto that company and possibly snap it up for a song? I think it would be illegal, even though it happens from time to time.

So while a lot of what has been said about the Greek economy, their previous government's failure to ever get them on track and all that, it should NOT be forgotten that those who brought Greece into the Eurozone KNEW and therefore are at least partially responsible for this mess.

Basically, what they want to achieve now is to topple the current government and to install one by the Grace of Berlin and Brussels. Is that what a democracy looks like? Not quite. And by TWICE denying the Greek population a referendum over austerity measures, the EU has brutally shown their total disregard for the people who have to shoulder their dictations and clearly said, the people have NO right to vote their own destiny. And that, guys, is something that EVERY European Member state will have to ponder very carefully about.

I don't like Tsipras and his socialists, but I honestly think Greece will be better off outside both the EU and the Eurozone. Equally, a Grexit will brutally show the EU that this kind of take over attempts by credit will not work. Whether they will learn is more than questionable, but they will have to come up with some sort of regulation preventing a re occurrence. If not, Greece will not be the only exit and there is a quite possible scenario where the exitees might form their own coalition to face the hegemonial powers which do drive the EU at the moment. Which, of course, will give the UK a problem: Will they side with that hegemonial powers or step away and lead the opposition.

27th Jun 2015, 19:57
"unless those rich bankers are willing to write off most Greek debt"

And there the entire sorry cycle would begin again unless there are fundamental changes in the way the Greeks handle their internal finances.

Rail Engineer
27th Jun 2015, 20:38
AN2 Driver
Remember the Lisbon Treaty vote and Ireland ??

They voted No so the EU insisted on re-running the vote until eventually people got fed up and voted Yes.

The EU is a totally and manifestly corrupt organisation morally and financially and will do anything to retain its power. They have a vision and like people who claim to be led by such things they will be absolutely ruthless to anyone who steps in their way. This has already happened in the case of Greece once before :

The EU has been accused of carrying out a coup d’etat in Greece, after the head of the European Commission threatened the country with ‘paralysis’ unless MPs removed their prime minister.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the EC president, had warned that Greece would not get its next payment from the EU and International Monetary Fund unless Mr Papandreou was toppled.

EU leaders were horrified that Mr Papandreou said a referendum should be held to approve a 100billion euro bailout deal, which will result in a decade of tax rises and spending cuts.

27th Jun 2015, 20:53
The EU is a totally and manifestly corrupt organisation morally and financially and will do anything to retain its power.

This is why I don't understand why they won't just give Greece the money. It's not as though money has any real value any more, they can just add a few digits to a bank account and it would all be sorted.

Rail Engineer
27th Jun 2015, 21:17
But the argument has moved on into an internal battle for control between the politicos and the economists.

Given the number of other Countries in the Euro with debt problems, the Greeks are just the first who would arrive at the door claiming to be unable to pay. Those who will ultimately fund the bill, that is the "richer" Northern states are already unhappy that the Greek Pensions are higher than most of the rest of the EU, even Germany, yet the Greeks have contributed bugger all of nothing whereas the Germans who consider themselves to be prudent are simply fed up of having to fund everyone else's lack of financial management and planning.

27th Jun 2015, 21:21
But it's just money. You don't have to dig up gold or do anything useful to create money any more, it's just bits in a computer.

Rail Engineer
27th Jun 2015, 21:30
Ultimately there is a limit, and the EU has to trade with the rest of the world. The RotW does not necessarily NEED the EU to trade with, so the EU has to ensure that above all it does not lose the confidence of the RotW. It does this by convincing the RotW that if push came to shove, they money owed could be repaid.

International trade is not money passing hands but simply a joint account setting out the differential between any two Countries. Consider it like two friends who lend one another money back and forth. Neither will ask for repayment UNTIL he suspects that the other may not be able to pay.

AN2 Driver
27th Jun 2015, 22:31
Rail Engineer,

They voted No so the EU insisted on re-running the vote until eventually people got fed up and voted Yes

True. And they actually stopped the Greeks under Papandreu to do it. In retrospect a major mistake.

Germany post WW1 and reparation payments anyone? What did that lead to? That is right. WW2.

The EU has been accused of carrying out a coup d’etat in Greece, after the head of the European Commission threatened the country with ‘paralysis’ unless MPs removed their prime minister.

Yea, same situation. The question is, will they succeed again?

Frankly, I do not believe one minute that the EU intended to get rid of Greece, just the opposite, they wanted to have total control over it. Now these guys in charge now don't play that way.

So now the EU needs to figure out if they want to write off the money they though bought them total control or exercise that control, if necessary by force? After all, they did not spend all that money to loose that territory, did they?

Question is, what can the Greeks do now? In more than one way they have the EU by the short and hairies, yet some of the EU don't have much of those and would not even feel the pain? Can they risk dropping Greece from the EU with Putin waiting at the doorstep to move in? What if the black sea fleet moves to Athens? Then the Russians could even hand back the Krimea....

Fact is, the countries who pushed through the acession of Greece into the Euro in FULL knowledge that it was not on merit but out of pure intent of power and control are as responsible for this mess as the Greeks themselfs. Under that light, some of the logic the Greeks have been putting forward was not that far off the mark, just badly worded. But then what to expect from socialists like that. They can hold a full deck of excellent cards and make a mess out of it.

27th Jun 2015, 22:57
So, how come that Merkel is leading the discussions?
What about Juncker?

Is he Angela's puppet?

On a different tack, what happens when the Greek population withdraws all their Euros from the ATMs?

I presume that, at some stage there will be insufficient funds to satisfy those who want their cash? - ie the ATMs will run dry.

Mac the Knife
27th Jun 2015, 23:01
"Why did they pump billions of money into a country they KNEW could never pay them back?"

And why did realtors in the USA give mortgages/bonds to people who they must have known would never be able to keep them up?

To be able to repossess the mostly jerry-built housing that they were touting?

To get a big tax write-off?

Never understood this business :confused:

ORAC, please explain.

Mac (too financially naive to have dept (yet!))


27th Jun 2015, 23:19
And why did realtors in the USA give mortgages/bonds to people who they must have known would never be able to keep them up?

Because the banks knew they'd have sold the loans to your pension fund before the repos happened. Besides, the government would bail them out if it all went tits up.

27th Jun 2015, 23:41
Its just money ones and zeros etc

No its not, its a system, you can only fiddle the system so far and it will all come crashing down, every where. There are no rich countries in the traditional term, its all in the system.

Its a bit like Jo bloh rich f#$k saying I'm going to cash in his 50 billion fortune, he can't.

As for why Greece was let in, politics and naivity. How simple can we be, we know polititions are idiots, thats why Greece was let in. At the end of the day the EU and all its goodness was going to make the Greeks change their ways ROFL. They don't call it greek style for nothing:E

As for the "Rich bankers". Well, their doing their job and protecting other peoples wealth. As for Germany and Merkel, frankely if the hard work sweat and tears of your people are bank rolling a significant proportion of the system, you would expect significant input.

Nobody is forcing the Greeks to do anything, they can go join the soviets. oops I mean be Putins b!tch.

Mac the Knife
27th Jun 2015, 23:45
Thanks for the reply MG :bored:

The whole economic atmosphere now seems so unethical, conscienceless and corrupt that I struggle to comprehend it.

But then I've always been naïve about moral/decent behavior.



28th Jun 2015, 00:07
No its not, its a system, you can only fiddle the system so far and it will all come crashing down, every where. There are no rich countries in the traditional term, its all in the system.

If Greece leaves, the EU will probably collapse before the decade is out, and all those fat EU jobs will go with it. A couple of hundred billion Euros of other people's money seems a cheap price to pay to keep it.

28th Jun 2015, 06:27
Greece timeline: Key dates ahead

27 June: Eurogroup refuses Greek request to extend existing bailout
30 June: Troika bailout programme ends as Greek €1.6bn payment to IMF due
1 July: No bailout programme could mean no emergency liquidity from the ECB
5 July: Proposed Greek referendum
10 July: Treasury bills worth €2bn to be repaid
20 July: Bonds worth €3.5bn to be repaid to eurozone partners
20 August: Bonds worth €3.2bn to be repaid


28th Jun 2015, 07:06
1 July: No bailout programme could mean no emergency liquidity from the ECB ELA support could be withdrawn tomorrow, in which case all Greek banks become insolvent and the ATMs shut down. The only option is to introduce some sort of IOU/scrip currency. That doesn't mean that Greece will be out of the Euro, but it would give them a short breathing space. See the link below.

The bigger problem, both for Greece and those in the EU who want to keep them in the Euro, is that all the other nations need to agree unanimously to any new bailout - and the chances of the Baltic States, Finnland and Austria agreeing is zero - hell will freeze over first. Applying game theory to see if Juncker and Merkel will blink doesn't matter when the others have already left the room.

Grexit is now inevitable, all that can be done is to try and make it as painless as possible for all concerned.

Scrip tease | The Economist (http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21649476-greece-could-alleviate-its-shortage-cash-issuing-ious-only)

28th Jun 2015, 07:18
Actually ELA could be ended today already. The group deciding on that is meeting this morning.

Mac the Knife
28th Jun 2015, 07:26
"If the EU cannot accommodate Islam, the complex balancing act among all its different ethnic, religious, and cultural groups will be thrown into question." ("http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/european-union-may-be-verge-regime-collapse)

The problem is NOT that the EU cannot accommodate Islam, it is that an increasingly aggressive and fundamentalist Islam is simply incompatible with the original broad concept of the EU.

Allied to this is the arrival in the old Europe of millions of refugees from failed states in Africa and the Middle-East who do not share the ideals of post WW2/Cold War Europe and have certainly no intention of becoming European. They just want money, housing, healthcare and, sometimes, jobs.

Bizarrely, they also seem to wish to remodel Europe into the often theocratic failed states that they have recently fled. Furthermore, they insist on attempting to out and re-educate, by fear and peer-pressure, their often deeply assimilated antecessors.

It is as though the flood of immigrants to the USA in the 20's and 30's had arrived with no intention of becoming Americans, but merely reconstituting the homelands that they had fled.

The EU was ab initio, a group of relatively prosperous like-minded central European states who believed that a degree of integration would benefit all. An obvious concept with it's roots in the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815). Bismarck was keen on a United States of Europe (under German domination) and that is what, in the end, we got - but he certainly didn't plan on including a whole stack of semi-European peripheral nations and pegging their currencies to the Deutschmark!

Charles de Gaulle was right when he first said "Non!" to Britain joining the EU in 1967 - Britain at the time did not have the requisite mindset to join Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy and Germany in the nascent EU.

The evolving EU's enthusiasm for enticing in a host of semi-viable peri/quasi-European states (and "states" in many cases) has been a disaster, not just for the core EU states but also, ultimately for their clients.



28th Jun 2015, 09:22
Sunday Times: ......

Police prepare for bedlam

Greek security forces have drawn up contingency plans to deal with social upheaval and lawlessness amid fears the country’s political and economic crisis could spiral out of control, writes Matthew Campbell.

An interior ministry document, dated June 17, seen by The Sunday Times spells out steps for putting foreign embassies, television stations and tourist hotels under permanent guard to protect them from rioters. The potential targets singled out for protection in the document included the German embassy and the offices of the International Monetary Fund in Athens.

Police have also identified 600 supermarkets and 450 bank branches that could be vulnerable to looting and robbery.

Greek television reported last night that 10,000 police officers have had their leave cancelled and are being deployed to prevent people from being robbed as they withdraw money from cash machines.

28th Jun 2015, 09:38
Grexit: does a referendum make it inevitable? (http://www.capx.co/greece-a-referendum-it-is-is-grexit-now-inevitable-either-way/)

The Greek government has called a referendum, due to be held on July 5th. The announced intention is that the question should be whether or not the Greeks should accept the final offer from Greece’s government creditors on the conditions for receiving more loans and continued support for the Greek banks.

This gives rise to a range of questions.

1) Is this is in practice a referendum on whether or not Greece should leave the euro? If Greeks said no but did not want to leave the euro, how would that work?

2) The offer from the creditors was supposed to apply from July 1st and needed to be voted on in advance by Eurozone parliaments. It has been withdrawn this morning (Saturday). Indeed, even if the Greeks had not called a referendum it is far from certain that all Eurozone governments would have supported it – the Germans and Finns are believed to have regarded it as too soft. If Greeks say yes, will the creditors agree to reactivate the offer? If they don’t does that mean Grexit either way?

3) Can the Greek government get as far as the referendum, politically and constitutionally? The Greek referendum rules explicitly forbid referendum on fiscal issues – is this referendum constitutional? The Greek president has threatened to resign if the government attempted to exit the euro. Might the attempt to hold this referendum be interpreted in that way? If the president does resign mid-referendum campaign, what happens then?

4) How will the Greek opposition recommend Greeks vote and how united will it be? Only the pro-euro centrist To Potami party had indicated the Greek government should accept any previous deal. The centre-right New Democracy leader has today said Greeks should vote in favour of the creditors’ deal, but there is unlikely to be unity amongst other New Democracy MPs on that point.

5) Can the Greek economy and society last until the referendum? The ECB seems unlikely to continue to support the Greek banks after the current bailout programme expires on July 1st. It might pull the plug as early as tomorrow. There were claims of queues to withdraw euros from ATMs. There will be capital controls for much of the week and probably at least a couple of bank holidays. Will Greeks accept this in good spirit or could there be desperation and riots? Could that force Grexit even before the referendum?

I have found the press narrative on this, debating details of pension rules and VAT, rather bizarre. On the core issues there has been no movement at any point and how could there be?

The core issues concern democracy, debt and the feasibility of the debt being repaid. Syriza was elected promising to restore Greek sovereign control over its economic affairs. To do that they needed to have no more “memoranda” specifying how their economy would be run. To get there they needed to have some of their debts forgiven, as otherwise they would continue to need to borrow more for the indefinite future and each new loan would need another memorandum. The Greek government thought that other governments were bound to accept that these debts could not be repaid.

The Eurozone, on the other hand, has never accepted that Greece’s debts must be forgiven. That’s partly for legal reasons and partly because of their own voters’ demands (only around 12% of German CDU voters support debt forgiveness). But it is also because they don’t want to let the Greeks manage their own economy whilst they remain in the euro – they don’t trust them not to destabilise things again. They don’t want other countries that were lent money or placed under economic reform programmes to take the precedent of Greek debt forgiveness and ask for it themselves. And they don’t agree that the Greeks simply can’t pay. At something like 4.5% of GDP each year the demands upon Greece are a lot, but much less than Italy and Belgium managed successfully to battle through in the 1990s.

The joker in the pack here is the IMF, which appears to have long since regretted being involved at all. I think the IMF has for some time believed Grexit is the answer and has been trying to “help” the other parties to come to that conclusion.

How will Greeks vote, if we do indeed get as far as the referendum? Polls suggest they love the euro even more than they hate austerity. But they also love Alexis Tsipras, who is proving a very effective demagogue. I wouldn’t bet against him securing what he wants, which is clearly Grexit.

We aren’t there yet. Grexit is still not inevitable. But the end of the long-running Greek drama – at least in its current form – is nigh.

28th Jun 2015, 09:44
Two things come to mind.
Pride comes before the fall. Lemmings jumping over a cliff.

28th Jun 2015, 09:44
ATM line inside the Greek Parliament --> Περισσότεροι βουλευτές στο ΑΤΜ παρά στη συνεδρίαση … (http://www.protothema.gr/politics/article/488285/oures-sta-atm-tis-voulis-molis-ta-xanagemisan/#.VY6zMZZYYUA.twitter)


Rail Engineer
28th Jun 2015, 10:14
I wonder if the following will happen

1 The Greeks will be allowed to step out of the Euro (not the EU) for a defined period

2 They will introduce a temporary currency, which will find its level on the open market

3 IMF/EU will suspend existing debt repayments and take some form of long term "equity" in its place

4 Existing debt will be placed on hold with no interest payments, possibly secured against some form of asset.

5 Greece will be required to agree an method of restoring its economy

6 There will be a period whilst the Greeks are given the opportunity to recover the economy, say 5 years

7 At some defined point Greece will be expected to step back into the Euro

8 EU Countries will be encouraged to "invest" in Greece to help restart the economy.

28th Jun 2015, 10:18
News just breaking.

ECB 'to end Greek bank lifeline' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33303105)

Rail Engineer
28th Jun 2015, 10:35
Sorry not new news simply a regurgitation of previous speculation reposted.

28th Jun 2015, 10:55
Selling rumors as news. Works.

ECB meeting (actually a telephone conference) is still "in progress".

28th Jun 2015, 12:39

yanisvaroufakis (https://twitter.com/yanisvaroufakis) tells BBCMarkMardell (https://twitter.com/BBCMarkMardell): Greek Govt will be looking overnight at imposing capital controls & closing banks on Monday.

(BBC Radio 4)

Interesting that such news are blasted on UK radio (instead of some Greece based one)?

28th Jun 2015, 13:28
And there is the first financial nail in the coffin.

ECB doesnt increase the ELA!
This will mean that the upcoming capital controls must be very harsh or the greek banks are illiquid faster than to say boo.


28th Jun 2015, 13:38
If the result is No, the stalemate continues.
If the result is Yes, they are agreeing to a package which AIUI is not sufficient to meet ECB/IMF demands.

28th Jun 2015, 13:41
If the result is No, the stalemate continues.
If the result is Yes, they are agreeing to a package which AIUI is not sufficient to meet ECB/IMF demands.There is no 'package', it was never agreed prior to the Greeks pulling out of the negotiations. Irrespective of which as at midnight on the 30th the previous agreement lapses. So what are they having a referendum about?

28th Jun 2015, 14:17
That was my point.
The Greek PM put forward HIS version of a resolution, which was not adequate to solve the crisis. Even if the referendum approves his proposals, it will have no effect.
The referendum solves nothing, other than perhaps to absolve the PM of any guilt for failure to get out Greece of the sh!t.

What does/will the referendum question actually say?

28th Jun 2015, 14:29
That was my point.

The referendum solves nothing, other than perhaps to absolve the PM of any guilt for failure to get out Greece of the sh!t.

What does/will the referendum question actually say?My bad, you are correct. Yes I think it is guilt shifting. Tsirpis answered the question by saying that Greece is a democracy and they will decide what the question will be. Huh?

I note that ECB is maintaining Fridays level of support (I suspect because the agreement is still technically valid until Tuesday night). However Yanis is refusing any bank holidays or controls, he opposes them. So the ECB might as well stop the money now because the banks will go bust on Wednesday when the ECB will withdraw support.

28th Jun 2015, 15:33
Tsirpis answered the question by saying that Greece is a democracy and they will decide what the question will be. Huh?
There was an advertising campaign some years ago in the UK:-
"The answer is 'Yes' - now what was the question?"
though I don't remember what the product or service was.

Juche (http://www.northkoreanchristians.com/juche-idea.html) anybody?

28th Jun 2015, 15:36
Complete reversal from this morning. :rolleyes:

Greek debt: ECB 'to maintain funding limit' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33304674)

28th Jun 2015, 15:46
Professor Karl Whelan of University College Dublin just launched a blogpost which explains why he thinks some Greek banks won’t open tomorrow.

ECB Decision Likely Means Greek Banks Stay Closed

The headline “ELA to Greek banks maintained at its current level” may seem like good news for Greece in that the ECB has not completely cut off the emergency credit line for the Greek banks. In practice, however, the implications for the next few days are pretty much the same as if the ECB had ordered the ELA programme to be cancelled altogether.

We don’t know how much of buffer in cash and reserves the Greek banks had on Friday. However, the ELA ceiling has continually been raised at ECB Governing Council meetings over the past few months, suggesting the banks have continually been close to running out of cash. That means its unlikely they have much left in cash or reserves at the central bank. In that case, the only way the Greek banks could finance the (presumably very large) demands for withdrawals on Monday would have been to get access to additional funds from the Bank of Greece in the form of additional ELA. That will not be possible now, so most likely the banks will not open on Monday.

The statement that “ECB will work closely with Bank of Greece to maintain financial stability” is probably code for “ECB will help Greece to design a programme of capital controls”. So it has come to this. No matter how well things go from here (and positive scenarios are hard to imagine) restrictions on Greek banks could be in place for a very long time.

It is easy at this point to panic and say it’s the end of the world and a new currency must be days away. It’s worth remembering, however, that Cyprus coped surprisingly well with the capital controls imposed in 2013. These controls were lifted this year and the banking system survived. There is probably still a small window of opportunity left to keep Greece in the euro, even if the banks don’t open tomorrow.

28th Jun 2015, 15:56
The European Commission has published the proposals it presented to Greek officials when they walked out of talks on Friday.European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Information from the European Commission on the latest draft proposals in the context of negotiations with Greece (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-5270_en.htm)

28th Jun 2015, 16:25
In a statement, the ECB says that it has decided to maintain the ELA ceiling at Friday’s limit (that’s €89bn).

So it hasn’t pulled the plug, but it also hasn’t provided extra funding to cover the funds that have flowed out of Greek banks this weekend.

For weeks, the ECB has been agreeing to requests from Greece for extra emergency liquidity, often providing a billions euros or more each week.

28th Jun 2015, 18:07
Mask is off.. Banks and Stock-Exchange wont open tomorrow.

28th Jun 2015, 18:41
Greek banks will be closed on Monday, the head of the Piraeus Bank has said after an emergency meeting of the country's Financial Stability Council. Not really the most accurate name for that body :ugh:

28th Jun 2015, 19:14
They wont open the whole upcoming week.

29th Jun 2015, 10:11

29th Jun 2015, 14:48
The problem is NOT that the EU cannot accommodate Islam, it is that an increasingly aggressive and fundamentalist Islam is simply incompatible with the original broad concept of the EU. Got it in one.

So why did Germany in particular but also other EU decisionmakers allow this
to happen? Why did they pump billions of money into a country they KNEW could never pay them back?
The answer to that starts with 'follow the money' and who pockets yet again got lined.

29th Jun 2015, 16:03
so, it's like with a person who you've lent money to and who assures you he'll pay back as soon as possible, then avoids the topic and then you'll feel kinda-uncomfortable to ask about it (again)?

29th Jun 2015, 16:52
Probes........"so, it's like with a person who you've lent money to and who assures you he'll pay back as soon as possible, then avoids the topic and then you'll feel kinda-uncomfortable to ask about it (again)?"

Had you enquired as to the probability of your pal paying you back $$ Greece entered the Euro monetary system with false flags/cooked books. Do a Gaggle to see what EU countries supported Greece as to it's membership.

Biggest fackup/turning a blind eye, as did the EU

29th Jun 2015, 17:25
Would you think that if he could, Jean Claude Juncker would send the EUFORic tanks into Greece in order to prevent the nasty little upstart Greeks voting to secede from the empire, for their own good of course?

29th Jun 2015, 19:41
Had you enquired as to the probability of your pal paying you back $$ Greece entered the Euro monetary system with false flags/cooked books

- but, if it's your pal, you'd tend to believe he's not pulling your leg or purse strings?

tony draper
29th Jun 2015, 20:49
The EU couldn't take Monrovia,dunno why all our polies are so scarred of Brussels, tell em to go **** themselves.
That's my name on the EU Stasi list,buggrem.:)

AN2 Driver
30th Jun 2015, 07:08
Why did they pump billions of money into a country they KNEW could never pay them back?

Because they want influence? Basically buy the place but as that is illegal, they now own it due to their credits? If Greece (or other similar nations) were prosperous and had a working economy, they could not tell them what to do that easily?

Add to that that some of the major players here know that their countries were instrumental in getting the Greeks into the Euro even though they KNEW that Greece did not fulfil the requirements set. And this got done not only with the Greeks but also with quite a few other countries too?

Now with what intent could that have happened?

Same thing: gain influence and de facto rule over them by the simple fact that in financial terms, they do own them.

The common currency is one heck of a tool to enforce hegemonial power by the economically stronger states over the weaker states. And that is exactly what happens.

The current Greek government however has failed to exploit the fact that they could have turned the tables on the Troika but on Germany in particular by making it clear to them that they share responsibility for the debt situation by a) being so instrumental in bringing the Greeks into the Euro despite better knowledge and b) willingly escalating the situation by pumping money into the country with the clear knowledge they could not expect to get it back. So the reason for doing that had do be another and it was.

Had the current government acted on their promises and played their cards at this table in a more intelligent way than asking for "war reparations" from Germany, they could have won the pot. This way however, they have gambled away their own position and have to a large extent taken the Greek population hostage.

My personal prediction at this time is that the Tsipras government will fall within the next week and be replaced by a pro-EU government which will unconditinally let the EU handle their finances. A GREXIT would have to be a) agreed upon by the whole EU which is unlikely and b) require a change of EU law to even permit it, which then could encourage others...

If they do exit, they will introduce their own currency which will fall through the floor the moment it is issued, thereby negating all debt but also all monetary wealth, probably with hyperinflation and a currency reform within a year. And it is very possible that other big players like Russia and/or China will try their damnest to take over from the EU and gain influence.

30th Jun 2015, 08:11
Interesting and informative article on Syriza and the current Greek political scene.

Sorry for the way the link is displayed, but if I try and use the link button above it still crashes Safari on my iPad.

Greece in chaos: will Syriza?s last desperate gamble pay off? | World news | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/29/greece-chaos-syriza-gamble-banks-closed-referendum)

30th Jun 2015, 08:18
In the words of billionaire hedge funder Julian Robertson:

"Today’s just like any other day -- some things have come to a head, this Greek thing has come to a head, but it’s really not all that big a deal on the world stage,” he said. “This is a country of, you know, not very many people.”
People shouldn’t get “too steamed up over one or two days,” he said. “At any rate, I’m very lucky because I like this business.”

30th Jun 2015, 08:57
Greece financial default: safe business booming amid uncertainty (http://www.news.com.au/finance/small-business/those-selling-safes-are-cashing-in-on-greeces-financial-uncertainty/story-fn9evb64-1227422325045)

Whos says Socialists arn't small business friendly:E

1st Jul 2015, 14:48
Best explanation I've heard so far:

Greece has a God for everything except a God for paying back debt.

2nd Jul 2015, 08:52
Greece has a God for everything except a God for paying back debt.
The greek saying goes like:
There is a law for everything, just no law that rules that laws have to be obeyed.:cool:

2nd Jul 2015, 13:42
The Financial Times has put this OUTSIDE of their pay-wall.

Worth a read.

The past five days have been worse than all that has gone before - FT.com (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1be16708-1f29-11e5-ab0f-6bb9974f25d0.html#axzz3eiUYWMMf)

2nd Jul 2015, 23:25
"Greece will need an extra 50bn euros ($55bn) over the next three years to stabilise its finances under the existing, disputed bailout plans, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.
The IMF also cut its forecast for Greek economic growth from 2.5% to zero." bbc

Greek Exports

Greece main exports are mineral fuels (37 percent of the total exports); manufactured goods (13 percent) and food and live animals (12 percent). Others include: chemicals (9 percent); machinery and equipment (7 percent); miscellaneous products (6 percent) and crude materials except fuel (4 percent).

These inconsequential exports aside, their main businesses on the world markets are shipping(sea) and tourism. They import roughly twice as much as they export.

This all indicates to me a failed business model which, given existing internal behavior (no-pay-taxes, low production, early retirement) cannot survive as is unless aid continues year after year after year. If it were a regular business it would have become an ex-business long ago.

This seems to be what they want (the status quo) so, secure all the debt in the entire Greek real estate portfolio and turn it into Europe's version of Hawaii, a nice place for everyone to go for recreation and bathe in the sun. It will never be good for anything else. Ingrained attitudes for tax-dodging and surviving on credit will not change. As it exists it is a big landfill for to dump money in.

3rd Jul 2015, 08:47
ian, at least people holidaying on the islands tell nothing like that gloomy.

3rd Jul 2015, 09:17
I accept that Greece needs another 60 billion Euros - and that is very optimistic. If it fails to reform its economy you are looking at regular similar amounts very 2-3 years.

The problem is, who is willing to provide it?

if the EU was a fiscal union, and run as the press and Greeks insist it is by the EU Commission and ECB, then such transfers would be made to ensure the continuation of the Euro and EU consolidation - but it's not, it's made up of other democratic nation states who have to get agreements through their national assemblies for any further bailout, and it has to be unanimous.

The chances of a further bailout being approved, even if negotiated by the EU/ECB, with whatever Greek government, is zero. The Finns insisted on collateral for the last bailout - will this be honoured? I doubt it. The chance their present government will agree another is not worth discussing.

Similarly the heads of the Lithuanian and other eastern European states have made pointed comments about the level of Greek pensions against their own and the sacrifices they have had to make to watch their present loans evaporate.

I fear that, regardless of how the Greeks vote, no more money will be forthcoming from their EU compatriots - and the IMF is legally unable to lend them more as they have effectively defaulted n their current loan.

Welcome to hell........

3rd Jul 2015, 09:40
Not sure there is a great deal of sympathy for the Greeks. Read somewhere on the Beeb that many there can retire at 50/55 with a pension significantly higher than any other EU country. Where did they think the money was coming from?

In Oz the govt is talking about raising the pension age to seventy no less, and what they do pay doesn't allow one to live in the lap of luxury.

3rd Jul 2015, 09:50
Try telling that to a 60 year old labourer..

3rd Jul 2015, 09:59
To quote Mr Hockey, they should get a better job. :eek: