Greece

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GaryT
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Post by GaryT » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:39 pm

I thought I'd do a bit more digging as it was becoming apparent that I really didn't have a clue what was going on. After several hours of research all I've manage to do is give myself a headache because like most problems, what caused them and what are the best ways to solve them aren't easily definable.

What I've managed to find out is that:

Greece was in trouble long before it joined the Eurozone. In fact, it should never have been allowed to join and this is something that is being quietly ignored. Goldman Sachs cooked their books to allow them entry and someone should be jailed for that outrageous falsification. That leads us on to who checked the books? Again, someone should be accountable for not spotting the huge holes in their spending. As mentioned in the vanityfair link, the Greeks had no idea what they were spending as nobody was totting it up but they were happy to have their books cooked to get their hands on lots of lovely low interest rate money, so let's not let them off the hook too quickly.

Its civil service employs a staggeringly large number of people on extremely good wages and achieves very little. The lack of a proper land registry is also a major problem. The links here and here give a good account of the mess behind the scenes.

I've been banging on about the tax dodgers and I'll admit I've been guilty of sabre ratting as tax avoidance, especially by the rich, is one of those unfair things in life that gets you to the core. Whilst they have had a big hand in Greece's troubles, the Greeks are not alone in having a large shadow economy so I can't lay all the blame at their feet. The other big issue is the Troika and the austerity measures they insisted upon for their bailouts.....WTF? It's all well and good saying you have to tighten your belt and cut back on some luxuries but when you do and the situation gets worse! Who the hell thought this through?

This piece from the Gaurdian tells of the worsening social situation and especially to its health care.

I've just managed to scrape the tip of the iceberg and there's a lot more going on under the surface. I'm clearly no economist and nobody who is seems to have a clear idea how they get themselves out of this hole so we're no closer to seeing this turn around. In hindsight, my depiction of Greece becoming a third World country was a little naive. The money men won't allow that to happen but things will get a lot worse before it starts to get better. As I type, The Germans have just refused to give Greece a 6 month extension on its loans so the game of chicken is going to go down to the wire.

In summary...my head hurts.

Edit... I've just stumbled across another piece in the Guardian which sums up a lot of the current goings in in Brussels.

The problem for Germany is that they can't be seen to be going soft (softer?) on Greece as that could trigger Spain, Italy, Ireland and more to form an orderly queue (please sir, can I have some of my debt written off as well?). John Humphrys tells a interesting tale of Greek life up to the election. Hard to believe that any Greek (even your old flames father?) is genuinely excited about what comes next.
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Post by 1 Bobby Hazell » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:37 am

GaryT wrote:I thought I'd do a bit more digging as it was becoming apparent that I really didn't have a clue what was going on. After several hours of research all I've manage to do is give myself a headache because like most problems, what caused them and what are the best ways to solve them aren't easily definable.

What I've managed to find out is that:

Greece was in trouble long before it joined the Eurozone. In fact, it should never have been allowed to join and this is something that is being quietly ignored. Goldman Sachs cooked their books to allow them entry and someone should be jailed for that outrageous falsification. That leads us on to who checked the books? Again, someone should be accountable for not spotting the huge holes in their spending. As mentioned in the vanityfair link, the Greeks had no idea what they were spending as nobody was totting it up but they were happy to have their books cooked to get their hands on lots of lovely low interest rate money, so let's not let them off the hook too quickly.

Its civil service employs a staggeringly large number of people on extremely good wages and achieves very little. The lack of a proper land registry is also a major problem. The links here and here give a good account of the mess behind the scenes.

I've been banging on about the tax dodgers and I'll admit I've been guilty of sabre ratting as tax avoidance, especially by the rich, is one of those unfair things in life that gets you to the core. Whilst they have had a big hand in Greece's troubles, the Greeks are not alone in having a large shadow economy so I can't lay all the blame at their feet. The other big issue is the Troika and the austerity measures they insisted upon for their bailouts.....WTF? It's all well and good saying you have to tighten your belt and cut back on some luxuries but when you do and the situation gets worse! Who the hell thought this through?

This piece from the Gaurdian tells of the worsening social situation and especially to its health care.

I've just managed to scrape the tip of the iceberg and there's a lot more going on under the surface. I'm clearly no economist and nobody who is seems to have a clear idea how they get themselves out of this hole so we're no closer to seeing this turn around. In hindsight, my depiction of Greece becoming a third World country was a little naive. The money men won't allow that to happen but things will get a lot worse before it starts to get better. As I type, The Germans have just refused to give Greece a 6 month extension on its loans so the game of chicken is going to go down to the wire.

In summary...my head hurts.

Edit... I've just stumbled across another piece in the Guardian which sums up a lot of the current goings in in Brussels.

The problem for Germany is that they can't be seen to be going soft (softer?) on Greece as that could trigger Spain, Italy, Ireland and more to form an orderly queue (please sir, can I have some of my debt written off as well?). John Humphrys tells a interesting tale of Greek life up to the election. Hard to believe that any Greek (even your old flames father?) is genuinely excited about what comes next.
You're looking too closely to see the bigger picture Gary. Sovereign Debt to the financial institutions that exist within them is absolutely 100% inevitable in the current system no matter what people do. Never forget it is an illusionary nonsense reliant on the continued compliance of its participants.

Watch these two, excellent in depth explanations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqvKjsIxT_8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFDe5kUUyT0

Much love x
"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Post by GaryT » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:07 am

Hi 1 Bob. I've seen them before and I must admit I was going to mention something about the printing and borrowing of money but I was already waffling on so kept it to "The money men won't allow it to happen".

As it may say in one of those videos, he who prints the money has control of the country, or in this case, Europe. Add in fractional...whatever it is called... and you have those printing the money lending it at 10 to 20 times the amount deposited. So Greece has to pay back REAL money to Germany who have simply just printed it. Or something along those lines. Have to run....
I am (mostly) a kind, considerate, caring, understanding, generous and liberal sort of bloke. Except when it comes to football. And I have no wish or will to change that at all. ©DAVEf 06/03/2015

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Post by Rbee » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:56 pm

I have spent many weeks on various Greek Islands over the years on holidays, love the place.

Collecting taxes on those Islands must be very difficult but you would like to think that efforts are made from both sides.

There are things wrong in Greece that could be fixed. For instance Greece imports Olive Oil, drive around the islands and you will see olives laying on the ground rottng along with various other fruits.

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Post by GaryT » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:33 am

Yesterday in the NY Times

It's a start. Clearly the big fish are those who stash their cash in the Swiss bank accounts and once the ball starts rolling on tax collection, a lot more will do the same. I'm sure I heard a while ago that the US has a system where its citizens can no longer hide their wealth abroad and can be prosecuted if they don't declare it? Sounds like the route the Greeks will have to go down if they want to really turn things around. Problem is, how far will the elite let him go before he suffers a terrible accident? :shock:
I am (mostly) a kind, considerate, caring, understanding, generous and liberal sort of bloke. Except when it comes to football. And I have no wish or will to change that at all. ©DAVEf 06/03/2015

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Re: Greece

Post by rblockells » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:11 pm

Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not.Both ideas are overwhelming.

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Re: Greece

Post by DAVEf » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:22 am

Have a look at a World map and check where Greece is.

Now imagine them pulling out of (or being expelled from) the Euro zone and how they might have to seek out new trading partners (and allies?)--- and how that might impact on their NATO membership.

It's not just about the money.
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Re: Greece

Post by rblockells » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:46 am

what now?

anyone got any ideas?
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Re: Greece

Post by Esox Lucius » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:59 am

Co-op government based on trading of goods. Medieval barter system. No money required.
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Re:

Post by DAVEf » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:14 am

super_hooper wrote:I do see your point, Gary, but at the same time I refuse (naively?) to believe that a Grexit or anything similar will end up with Greece being a third world country. I was in santorini (okay, hardly the real Greece with it's spactacular prices etc, but Greece nonetheless) and I saw nothing that said it would collapse without EU backing/bailouts/agreement. Greece could feed Europe of it wanted. It has a number of valuable 'commodities' - labour (if they're so fooked then there will be economic emigrants who can send money home like Poland and so many other EU states), natural produce and I'm sure more...

Maybe a decade or so of difficulty but compared to the UK, Greece can stand o it's own

Then why did it allow itself to get up to the eyeballs in debt and why does it say it won't make any effort to repay what it owes?

Too much sun, IMO. That often brings about fecklessness, laziness and dishonesty in nations that get more than their fair share.
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Re: Greece

Post by rblockells » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:41 am

So it looks like they have a bailout.The Greek people have years of harsh austerity to look forward to.Isn't democracy wonderful...they voted against this...didn't they?

More proof,if it were needed that the banks rule the roost ,not the people.
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Re: Greece

Post by QPR_John » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:17 am

rblockells wrote:So it looks like they have a bailout.The Greek people have years of harsh austerity to look forward to.Isn't democracy wonderful...they voted against this...didn't they?

More proof,if it were needed that the banks rule the roost ,not the people.
You can put me right on this but Greece did owe money so surely they are obliged to pay it back regardless of what the people of Greece say. You borrow money and pay it back, it is the same whether a nation state or the man in the street, otherwise face the consequences.

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Re: Greece

Post by rblockells » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:55 am

Well Greece owes money that it borrowed...of course.If they want to stay within the system,then pay it back...of course.But the Greek people are against staying within the system,from what we can ascertain...they voted "no" by a massive majority.

What was the point of having that referendum?
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Re: Greece

Post by QPR_John » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:30 am

rblockells wrote:Well Greece owes money that it borrowed...of course.If they want to stay within the system,then pay it back...of course.But the Greek people are against staying within the system,from what we can ascertain...they voted "no" by a massive majority.

What was the point of having that referendum?
What has staying or not staying in the system got to do with paying back what you owe?

As for the referendum your guess is as good as mine

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Re: Greece

Post by rblockells » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:57 am

Well if they come out of the system they could default on what they owe.

The monies owed to the troika are so eye-wateringly large that there seems no way they could pay it back ever anyway.

Ordinary Greeks,or at least a majority,wanted to get out and start again.

However,they are not going to be allowed to do this.

They have years and years of grinding austerity ahead of them.
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