Greece debt crisis

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Greece debt crisis

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:40 am

Any views here on what is going on with Greece (now officially defaulted on its most recent IMF repayment) and the Eurozone and all that?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33339363

I get the impression no-one really knows what will happen now.

NickFaulks
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:13 am

Looks very much like 1943 to me.

John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:26 am

And why not - it's a rerun with Berlin calling the shots and the Greek people taking the flack.
How ironic that the Germans lost the war but won the peace with the feather of the euro currency in their cap.
After all, the euro is "just a diluted Deutschmark" that has worked wonders for the German economy.

Still, let's not totally blame the Germans for this currency basket-case and the associated brinkmanship.
Don't forget that it was a rogue financial sub-prime torpedo - mainly manufactured in the USA but with a few gyroscopic components (RBS, etc.) from the UK - that holed the EU below the waterline.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

NickFaulks
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:04 am

John McKenna wrote: Don't forget that it was a rogue financial sub-prime torpedo - mainly manufactured in the USA but with a few gyroscopic components (RBS, etc.) from the UK - that holed the EU below the waterline.
But that was just the catalyst, if it hadn't happened then one day something else would have done. Northern and Southern Europe sharing a currency was always a confidence trick, with the only workable endgame requiring the whole continent to turn into a new German Empire. We've seen that movie and know how it ends.

John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:47 am

Yes, and acting in that winning WW II movie cost us dear. The USA & USSR gained empires but GB, France (and Japan) lost theirs. The UK - successor to the British Empire - also lost the peace by constantly dragging its feet in constructing a new common European home while, as you point out, a new kind of German empire rose, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the continent.

Let's also remember that with the collapse of the Soviet empire we have a resurgent Russian one. It's somewhat ironic to see Chessbase blithely covering this Russian event -

http://en.chessbase.com/post/2015-russi ... apere-aude

It is taking place on territory held by the Germans in East Prussia for almost 800 years before being ethnically cleansed of Teutons and repopulated with Slavs. There now seems to be a general German acceptance that, having won control of the EU, the East can go Russian to the extent that a poll showed a majority of Germans might not support NATO military action if Russia invaded the Baltic states!

Russia has recently invited overtures from the hard-pressed Greeks to cooperate on economic projects, and with the nearby Ukraine being destabilised by Putin the Russians are getting on the front foot and may increasingly try to gain the upper hand in Europe.

Napoleon and Hitler warned about the sleeping giants of China and Russia. Putin and Xi Jin Ping have pledged to cooperate in a longterm project that amounts to pushing the USA away from the Eurasian landmass - preferably into the mid-Atlantic, mid-Pacific and the middle of the Indian Ocean, too, probably.

The USA has shot itself in its European foothold with the 2007/8 credit crunch - the repercussions of which threaten to shake the EU to its foundations and split the NATO alliance asunder. Momentarily the USA thought it could turn away from Europe and pivot to Asia to face down the Chinese but they have been caught on the hop by Putin.

(As a further sign of US & EU impotence one could make much of the failures in the Middle East, North Africa and eventually in that graveyard of modern imperial armies, Afghanistan, but let's not go there again, here.)

No need to panic though - it will hopefully take a fair few years for the geopolitical tables to turn full circle. But, the lights are in danger of slowly going down in Europe and a new movie - a Sino-Russian one, The Great Game Goes On, is being planned and produced with, would you believe it, tacit German collaboration to fill the darkening void.

Enjoy the sunshine... while it lasts.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:36 am

Wars are never 'won'. It's just that one side doesn't lose as much as the other.
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John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:59 pm

A fine moral sentiment, above, from Michael.

If only it were universally accepted and acted upon wars might cease to happen.

However, in politics - as in chess - confrontation rather than cooperation is more often the order of the day.

In the Greek debt crisis the Europeans, led by the Germans, have called the Greek PM's bluff and rebuffed his attempt to restart negotiations, after the fact of their breaking down, and have staked everything on the result of Sunday's referendum.

The Greek people are caught between the rock of Tsipras' government in Athens and the hard place of the EU in Brussels - heads or tails they lose.

The Greeks could have been offered better terms, with a more generous measure of debt relief, but it's a cold hard financial world and as an American once said - we hired them the money they must repay...

Where did all that bailout money go, though?

See - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/j ... t-money-go

Edit: I forgot the punch line -

Greek government debt is still about €320bn, 78% of it owed to the troika. As the Jubilee Debt Campaign says: “The bailouts have been for the European financial sector, while passing the debt from being owed to the private sector to the public sector.” [From the link, above.}
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Mick Norris
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jul 02, 2015 2:29 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Any views here on what is going on with Greece (now officially defaulted on its most recent IMF repayment) and the Eurozone and all that?

I get the impression no-one really knows what will happen now.
Correct, no-one knows

While I personally have a lot of sympathy for the Greek people, who must be going through hell, professionally it is a pain causing me lots of work and worrying some of my clients

The big problem is that people here (and even more so in Ireland, Spain & Portugal) see the Greeks attempting to avoid the austerity that we have suffered - so, whatever the economics, the politics is the key

I'd stick to chess :roll:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Phil Neatherway
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Phil Neatherway » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:21 pm

If anyone wants to contribute personally to helping Greece with its debts, you can donate here:-

https://www.indiegogo.com/greek-bailout ... tml#/story

Apparently, it's not a joke!

John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:36 pm

Most of us here would probably agree, Mick.

Who'd play the politician?
(Paul McKeown is rumoured to have tried that and has hardly been seen here since.)

Does politics trump economics, or vice-versa?

Do the financiers have more real power (as well as money) than the politicians?

I'll say one thing for the Greeks - at least they are trying to resolve things democratically.

Who knows where will it all end?

At least with chess there is resolution, closure and a new clean start.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:42 pm

Phil Neatherway wrote:If anyone wants to contribute personally to helping Greece with its debts, you can donate here:-

https://www.indiegogo.com/greek-bailout ... tml#/story

Apparently, it's not a joke!
I saw that news item, in passing.

The aim, a very optimistic one, was to raise the 1.6bn euros to meet the debt repayment the due date for which was recently exceeded.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Brian Towers
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Brian Towers » Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:43 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Any views here on what is going on with Greece (now officially defaulted on its most recent IMF repayment) and the Eurozone and all that?

I get the impression no-one really knows what will happen now.
Correct, no-one knows
I disagree.

I think what is clear is that there will be no resolution after the vote and instead the can will be kicked further down the road.
1) Greece will remain in the Euro.
2) Greece will not undertake any meaningful austerity measures.
3) The Eurozone and IMF will not forgive meaningful amounts of debt.
4) Greek misery will continue.

What has emerged over the last few days is that the Greek people want to stay in the Euro. This was a surprise to me but then I thought the sensible route for them would have been to go down the Iceland route 4 years ago and default. I can't see or understand how they are better off today for not doing that.

What has also been clarified is that the EU officials are not going to compromise. They have said that whatever the referendum is about it is not about what is written on the ballot paper (accept or reject the latest offer from the EU) because that offer has expired and is no longer on offer. Instead they say that a "Yes" vote means stay in the Euro and a "No" means exit the Euro. Again I don't really understand. Most of the debt, as far as I know, has been transferred from European banks (mostly French and German) to Eurozone institutions like the ECB and the IMF.

How do I see it panning out after the rather meaningless vote?

Well, Greece is not going to leave the Euro. That much is clear. I also find it inconceivable that the Eurozone leaders would forcibly kick Greece out. That would run counter to whole European Federation mission. It would in some senses be illegal. There is currently no mechanism for ejecting a country from the Euro. Presumably any such attempt would be met by court action from the Greek government.

At the same time it is reasonably clear that this Greek government is not going to agree to any further meaningful austerity measures. After all, that was the cornerstone of their election manifesto.

That leaves the question of a haircut or debt forgiveness. Of course a partial haircut, something between a trim and a short back and sides but well short of a Kojak-cut, took place a few years ago. For reasons that are not clear to me the Eurozone leaders do not want a repeat. Moral hazard is a joke. Any moral hazard in respect of a new haircut would be as nothing to the moral hazard in turning a blind eye to Greece's original entry into the Euro. Economic side effects would be much less than previously now that the bulk of the debt has been transferred from independent financial institutions like banks to the citizens of Eurozone countries in the embodiment of the European Central Bank.

What may be becoming clearer to British voters is that the current bargepole separating the UK and Greek's Eurozone problems isn't long enough and more of them may now be inclined to vote for Brexit in 2016/7.

Perhaps Nigel could take a break from metaphorically twanging girls' bra-straps and pulling their pigtails and instead give us some insights from a leading GM who actually lives in the country? I bet whatever else he's done he's hung on to his UK sterling bank account ;-)
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Angus French
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Angus French » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:35 pm

IMF says Greece needs extra €50bn in funds and debt relief. This looks like it could be an important development. The IMF's position is now different to that of fellow troika partners, the European Commission and European Central Bank.

David Pardoe
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by David Pardoe » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:16 pm

Very tricky issues, and I am no insider as regards EU politics..
One problem is that the Euro club has lost its way, in my view.
It should be a club whereby essentially, trade issues are agreed and facilitated to the benefit of all the membership...with very little of this attempt to create a super state.
We certainly don't want this uncontrolled free movement of people across the EU to Calais and onward to the UK. Our 66m population is unsustainable..
Global destruction of the environment is happening, partly due to the Wests obsession with the `Growth godd`. Until we refocus to make `Sustainability` a central plank, we are heading for disaster... to a world catastrophe, which Attenborough was eluding to to Obama recently.
Even the Pope has raised this along with questions about world population.


A return to more simple economics, where the debt mountains are reduced, and we get back from this madness of mass production, and the `throw away` society, our planet is in grave danger of sinking into a dust pile...

The economic wars between `East` and `West` are another evil that needs neutralising.
Some Politicians seem to think success is about winning these wars....a global tug of war, wasting vast amounts of resources, turning ordinary working people into cheap work slaves in the battle to be top dog.....to keep them in power ..and make the fat cats even fatter..
Non of our great Religions preach this message of greed..

To make the Euro concept work, you need a two speed currency..ie, Euro Mk 1 & Mk2 in my view.

Will the Greeks vote yes , or vote No..?
It could be a 50 - 50 vote or something very close...assuming all the paperwork and voting arrangements can be made.
Impossible to judge the outcome, but my preference would be for some talks to be resumed, leading to either a controlled exit, or a sustainable long term solid solution.

I do have concerns about the tax dodgers in Greece...a super rich class who live outside the norms and seem to be untouchable...a bit like those western bankers (and others), who broke our economies in 2008, playing high stakes poker with the coffers, using sophisticated `instruments` in our global market casinos. These mavericks really do need there wings clipping in my view.
A society driven by greed, where the 5% of `haves` hold 90% of the wealth is simply all wrong...
I see an extremely wealthy Saudi King (or Prince..) is planning to give his fortune to charity...lets hope this money is used wisely.

As for the Greek outcome, one point I`m curious about is that it was said that an agreement was `close` at one point..
On that score, it would appear that a sound, sensible deal could well be worth fighting for, but I suspect this saga probably has some way to go yet.
BRING BACK THE BCF

NickFaulks
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:17 pm

David Pardoe wrote: I do have concerns about the tax dodgers in Greece...a super rich class who live outside the norms and seem to be untouchable...
I think it's fair to assume that the present Greek leadership doesn't have much time for them either.

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