Greece debt crisis

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John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:25 am

NickFaulks wrote:
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.
In some countries tax evasion is a national pastime and everyone who can follows the lead of the rich business class by obfuscating their incomes. One central plank of the EU is the harmonisation of tax collection with every citizen of every member state paying their share. There was a major failure to do the due diligence regarding that when Greece joined the Eurozone. That's what the Germans are trying to rectify now. That points to the answer to some of points above -

Brian Towers>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.<

The ordinary Greek people want to stay in the euro because many of them have managed to salt away - literally under the bed - a stack of physical euros (identifiable as Greek) and if they leave the Eurozone those euros will lose most of their value when converted to a new Greek national currency. The Icelanders didn't have that choice because they were never in the euro and their national currency simply devalued automatically (but their government compensated them for that!)

Brian Towers>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.<

Yes, that's correct but to understand it all you have to do is recognise that for the Germans the Greek 'Yes/No' referendum outcome amounts to the following - if the majority of the Greeks vote 'Yes' then the Germans continue to bankroll them BUT their price is a transformation of the Greek economic and political system into a Teutonic-style one where everyone shoulders their responsibilities by adopting the Puritan work ethic and coughs up their taxes. If the majority of Greeks vote 'No', and continue to slack off, then the Germans will take most of the financial hit through the Greek ECB debts not being repaid BUT they can then wash their hands of Greek debt. This crisis is now about the strongest link in the Eurozone, Germany, either strengthening the weakest link, Greece, or removing it from the chain if the cost is too high.

[NB: The IMF is not a Eurozone institution it is an international one that the UK contributes to and that shortens the 'bargepole' between Greece and the UK.]

Angus French>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.<

Last I heard the amount the IMF thinks Greece needs has risen to 55bn euros and the difference in their position is that they think that money should be found within the EU's coffers - which means most of it will be German money - they don't seem to be offering any of it themselves - probably because the Greeks just failed to repay them a 1.6bn euro tranche of debt.

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

A Protestant Euro - the Peuro? - for Northern Europe and a Catholic Euro - the Ceuro? - for Southern Europe?

David Pardoe>As for the Greek outcome, one point I`m curious about is that it was said that an agreement was `close` at one point..<

In this case the word 'close' is relative - relative to German and Greek positions, so as it gets closer to one it gets further away from the other. What the protagonists need to do is get out of their trenches to meet in no man's land (that's somewhere between Athens and Berlin) - and not just for a game of soccer.
Last edited by John McKenna on Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:31 am

Far be it from me to interrupt your collection of national stereotypes, John, but I'd say that seeing as the Greeks already work the longest hours of anyone in the EU, questioning their overall work ethic strikes me as a little dubious.

John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:34 am

Thanks for that timely reminder, Jack.

I am shocked to hear that the Greeks are such Trojans - I thought it was the Brits who worked the longest hours.
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 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:43 am

Anyway, it's really all about productivity not just the number of hours worked.

I will have to continue the national stereotyping - probably for as long as nations exist - and say that I believe the Germans to be more productive than the Brits and the Greeks.
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 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:27 am

John McKenna wrote: NB: The IMF is not a Eurozone institution it is an international one that the UK contributes to and that shortens the 'bargepole' between Greece and the UK.
In theory perhaps, but nobody who has read the leaked minutes of their 2010 meeting, in which it was recognised that the true bailee was not Greece but the French/German banks, can doubt the reality.

http://jubileedebt.org.uk/blog/leaked-i ... nk-bailout

All of the developing nations, as well as Switzerland, condemned the "bailout" as an outrage, but the EU majority rammed it through anyway.
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Angus French
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Angus French » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:16 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
John McKenna wrote: NB: The IMF is not a Eurozone institution it is an international one that the UK contributes to and that shortens the 'bargepole' between Greece and the UK.
In theory perhaps, but nobody who has read the leaked minutes of their 2010 meeting, in which it was recognised that the true bailee was not Greece but the French/German banks, can doubt the reality.

http://jubileedebt.org.uk/blog/leaked-i ... nk-bailout

All of the developing nations, as well as Switzerland, condemned the "bailout" as an outrage, but the EU majority rammed it through anyway.
Yup. See also, for example, here and here.

John McKenna
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:38 pm

Angus French wrote:
NickFaulks wrote:
John McKenna wrote: NB: The IMF is not a Eurozone institution it is an international one that the UK contributes to and that shortens the 'bargepole' between Greece and the UK.
In theory perhaps, but nobody who has read the leaked minutes of their 2010 meeting, in which it was recognised that the true bailee was not Greece but the French/German banks, can doubt the reality.

http://jubileedebt.org.uk/blog/leaked-i ... nk-bailout

All of the developing nations, as well as Switzerland, condemned the "bailout" as an outrage, but the EU majority rammed it through anyway.
Yup. See also, for example, here and here.
The IMF - "... a Fund of the wealthy... by the wealthy, for the wealthy", which just about sums up the current state of our planet - that should be renamed Pluto since it is run by a plutocracy with attendant national political bureaucracies. Syriza are trying to break that mould and will probably end up being punished by exile to Nix (one of Pluto's moons) for their temerity.
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 » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:31 pm

I read something about a legal challenge but the referendum has gone ahead, and the turnout is big enough for it to be a legitimate result

Initial suggestions were close, but a likely win for No
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Angus French » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:49 pm

Mick Norris wrote:I read something about a legal challenge but the referendum has gone ahead, and the turnout is big enough for it to be a legitimate result

Initial suggestions were close, but a likely win for No
Paul Mason (Channel 4 News) says 60/40 in favour of No with 16% of the votes counted: https://twitter.com/paulmasonnews/statu ... 8109080576

Mick Norris
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:55 pm

Yes, initial polls (not exit polls, so unreliable) indicted a close result, but the results that have come in have had No ahead

BBC website has 60/40 after 20%, so that agrees with Paul Mason

I think the EU said that a No vote would mean Greece leaving the EU/Euro, but Angela Merkel seems to have staked a lot on them staying in - she meets President Hollande tomorrow evening in Paris
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Michael Farthing
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Michael Farthing » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:20 pm

It is distressing news - but a lot lot less distressing than a 'yes' vote would be.

The Greeks are in a mess and the 'yes' vote, if it could have been followed up in a rudderless state, would simply have implanted a short term fix leaving Greece in a continued mess with no prospect of the real problems ever being addressed.

A 'no' vote is a dangerous and brave decision, made more brave by the underlying support and enthusiasm that the vast majority of Greeks feel for the EU. That enthusiasm led them to slip into the Euro, aided and abetted by the very ones who are now so antagonistic to them. If the European Community is to survive as a Community it has now got to start behaving as if it is a Community and not an alliance of power blocks. The ball is in Brussels and, in or out, Greece will eventually be better off than if it had voted 'yes' and stayed subservient.

Whatever, we shall not stop visiting them.

Mike Truran
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:33 pm

I am shocked to hear that the Greeks are such Trojans
Indeed. I'm sure that nobody wants to see the plot of the 'Iliad' rewritten 3,000 or so years on.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:36 pm

Several messages deleted. Can we please try to make our points without gratuitous Nazi comparisons?

NickFaulks
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:41 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Several messages deleted. Can we please try to make our points without gratuitous Nazi comparisons?
They are NOT gratuitious. Nothing has changed since 1945. People like you who insist that it couldn't possibly ever happen again are the reason why it will. But well done, you feel good and that's what's important.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

NickFaulks
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Re: Greece debt crisis

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:08 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Several messages deleted. Can we please try to make our points without gratuitous Nazi comparisons?
The results look conclusive, the Greek people won, you lost, and conclusively. At some point censorship fails, choke on it.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

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