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Melech

Greece faces early election after PM loses vote on president

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Dingdongs

If what you say about the Mediterranean is true, why haven't they begun oil and gas exploration? From someone who knows nothing about Greece. It could go towards fixing the debt right.

 

I've been desperately trying to catch up on reading to figure out this EU stuff. Can someone tell me in PM if necessary is it true Merkel runs the EU and tells the other European countries what to do?

Doesn't need to be in a PM, that is well within the scope of the topic IMO... that's not really the case and it's a bit more complicated but it is true that she is the most powerful individual leader within the Eurozone, i.e. countries that use the Euro. The EU and Eurozone are different things, the former being the Union and not the currency. Basically to make a long story short she has supported austerity measures which are great for the German economy but, well, not so good for the countries that are having to put into place said measures. Spain has an entire lost generation of people now, with youth employment over 20% for the past few years. The answer to me is not to continue cutting spending but to start increasing it robustly and trying to get people back to work. Cutting spending is not how you do that and we've seen this over the past 5 years. People look to the British example but actually if you delve a bit deeper you'd see that the economy picked up once they slowed down on the austerity... Edited by Irviding

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Doc Rikowski

 

I hope it comes to a big clash in Europe and that Greece gets thrown out of the Euro as fast as possible. Evey day more is a farce.

 

I hope so.

 

I have nothing against Greece (quite the opposite) but I hope Syriza destroys Greece. Why? Because that would set an example to the potential voters of the populist Five Star Movement in Italy and the populist Chavista communist party 'Podemos' in Spain. Greece is only 1.4% of the EU GDP, but Italy and Spain are too important.

 

Countries like Greece should have never got the euro.

 

 

You are a bit confused about the 5 Stars movement. There's nothing populist in it. That's the propaganda someone fed you or simply a complete lack of understanding of the Italian political situation.

 

As for you hoping that a country is destroyed because it won a party you don't like, well, that really shows your love for democracy. Not that we had any doubts about it... :dozing:

 

Setting an example... You talk like a Fascist...

 

@ Stephan: and Germany should start to pay the war compensations it never paid to Greece... How about that? Wasn't that an irrational gift too? ;)

Edited by Doc Rikowski

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Stephan90
@ Stephan: and Germany should start to pay the war compensations it never paid to Greece... How about that? Wasn't that an irrational gift too? ;)

 

 

 

Stop hating on my country. In the 60s Germany signed a global treaty with Greece and payed them 115 million D-Mark (458,5 million Euro with todays purchasing power). Everything from WW2 is settled with this treaty. Now that Greece has spent more than it earns for decades, politicians want more money from us instead of paying their debts. Greece owes Germany around 70 billion €. Greece and its citizens have enough assets to pay their debts. I am fed up. If we never had the Euro, we would not have to worry about these problems.

Edited by Stephan90

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Melech

Just curious, while this guy may or may not be too extreme, can either of you offer up what you think is going to work here? I mean Spain in particular has tried austerity and there is 20%+ unemployed youth... what's wrong with some intervention?

 

Spain had 26% unemployed in 2013 and the last data available is 23%. Unemployment is plummeting in Spain (-3% on just a year). I'm not saying that this is due to auesterity policies, but it's clear that communism or "Chavism" will never work. Just look at Venezuela or communist countries.

 

I think Spain should expel unemployed immigrants. They are a burden and that may be a way to solve unemployment. It may not be politically correct, it may not be nice, but Spain is not a NGO and it may solve something. Spain would have much less employment without the mass immigration of the previous years.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The current situation in Greece is Greeks' responsibility. Germany, the EU, the banks... They are not to blame. Take responsibility for the problems you created and top blaming others.

 

Germany lent Greece 72.720 million euros, France lent 55.208, Italy lent 48.380, Spain lent 33.014, Holland lent 15.507... And now the Syriza commies say they will not pay the debt and will not follow the agreements with the EU. Ok, go broke then!

 

GREECE, PAY YOUR DEBTS.

Edited by Palikari

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Stephan90

@ Doc Rikowski but the amount of money that was paid is true and it was a global treaty, which means it covers all debts. Sorry but I have other things to worry about. If Tsipras would have at least the honesty to go for a Grexit I wouldn't hate him. He is impertinent. We could use our money better to pay our own debts off.

Edited by Stephan90

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Docfaustino

 

If what you say about the Mediterranean is true, why haven't they begun oil and gas exploration? From someone who knows nothing about Greece. It could go towards fixing the debt right.

 

I've been desperately trying to catch up on reading to figure out this EU stuff. Can someone tell me in PM if necessary is it true Merkel runs the EU and tells the other European countries what to do?

Doesn't need to be in a PM, that is well within the scope of the topic IMO... that's not really the case and it's a bit more complicated but it is true that she is the most powerful individual leader within the Eurozone, i.e. countries that use the Euro. The EU and Eurozone are different things, the former being the Union and not the currency. Basically to make a long story short she has supported austerity measures which are great for the German economy but, well, not so good for the countries that are having to put into place said measures. Spain has an entire lost generation of people now, with youth employment over 20% for the past few years. The answer to me is not to continue cutting spending but to start increasing it robustly and trying to get people back to work. Cutting spending is not how you do that and we've seen this over the past 5 years. People look to the British example but actually if you delve a bit deeper you'd see that the economy picked up once they slowed down on the austerity...

 

 

Thanks, totally agree.

 

 

Just curious, while this guy may or may not be too extreme, can either of you offer up what you think is going to work here? I mean Spain in particular has tried austerity and there is 20%+ unemployed youth... what's wrong with some intervention?

 

Spain had 26% unemployed in 2013 and the last data available is 23%. Unemployment is plummeting in Spain (-3% on just a year). I'm not saying that this is due to auesterity policies, but it's clear that communism or "Chavism" will never work. Just look at Venezuela or communist countries.

 

 

Spending your way out of a recession isn't communism though. I know communist countries may have attempted that but its a sound economical idea with proven precedent in capitalist societies as well. Say, America, and the New Deal. Assuming Syriza follows similar precedent the initial spending puts the unemployed back to work and after lining their pockets, they redistribute their gains in to local business. Not to mention if the initial spending is put in to broken infrastructure future businesses will have an easier and cheaper time exporting goods. America's stimulus was also a good example too. If austerity is working there should still be an open debate about something better, something quicker, something with less stress on the working European and we should encourage democratic choice and experimentation rather than deride who the people have elected. Again though I'm euro ignorant :p

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Doc Rikowski

@ Doc Rikowski but the amount of money that was paid is true and it was a global treaty, which means it covers all debts. Sorry but I have other things to worry about. If Tsipras would have at least the honesty to go for a Grexit I wouldn't hate him. He is impertinent. We could use our money better to pay our own debts off.

 

Once again, read the link I posted to have a better idea. Not all debts were covered with the treaty. I know you worry very little about factual history but still...

 

"He is impertinent"... Greeks think otherwise. Start to respect democracy then come back again...

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Melech

You are a bit confused about the 5 Stars movement. There's nothing populist in it. That's the propaganda someone fed you or simply a complete lack of understanding of the Italian political situation.

 

Ok. What are they then? They actually ARE populist. Even Grillo himself referred to his movement as "populist" during a meeting held in Rome on 30 October 2013 with elected M5S senators:

 

http://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2013/10/30/grillo-confessione-a-porte-chiuse-napolitano-sotto-accusa-e-finzione-politica/760888/

 

Enlighten me ...

 

As for you hoping that a country is destroyed because it won a party you don't like, well, that really shows your love for democracy. Not that we had any doubts about it... :dozing:

 

No, I just hope they get destroyed in order to set an example to other European countries so that plague called communism will not expand. No one wants world powers (Italy, Spain, etc.) turned into communist hellholes. That would be a disaster to the world economy, and certainly bad for Israel as the EU is Israel's main trade partner.

 

I don't hate Greece or Greeks, in fact I love Greece and the Greek people. But I think that sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way. Actually, I only want the ones who voted for Syriza and Golden Dawn to be f*cked, not all the Greeks. I just want the policies they voted for applied to them. They asked for it. I mean, I am not being hateful or excessive, I am just being fair and proportional.

 

Setting an example... You talk like a Fascist...`

 

This kind of comparisons are just offensive, nonsensical insulting bullsh*t.

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Svip

 

@ Doc Rikowski but the amount of money that was paid is true and it was a global treaty, which means it covers all debts. Sorry but I have other things to worry about. If Tsipras would have at least the honesty to go for a Grexit I wouldn't hate him. He is impertinent. We could use our money better to pay our own debts off.

 

Once again, read the link I posted to have a better idea. Not all debts were covered with the treaty. I know you worry very little about factual history but still...

 

 

Shouldn't Italy also pay a bit of war reparations to Greece then? Or were Italian soldiers too incompetent to actually do any damage to Greece?

 

</snark>

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Doc Rikowski

Svip, as far as I know we did pay all we had to pay and not only to Greece but also to a list of other countries. ;)

 

 

---

 

 

Pali, I forgive you cause you probably don't speak Italian. That's a journalistic report of a conversation that happened behind closed doors. Not an official meeting. So it's the newspaper reporting off the record words. Beside that, even according to this report, he used the "populist" term in a positive manner. As a way of saying they needed to talk to people about real problems and not about abstract politics (which is what everything else does).

 

Your claim that Italy, Greece or Spain might turn into communist countries it is frankly quite ridiculous. Where you teleported in here from the cold war? C'mon. Let's be serious.

 

What's insulting and offensive it's your language towards Greek voters.

You say that over one third of Greeks should be f*cked (your words) just because they used their right to vote in what is still a democracy. Yes, you're not being hateful...

You do not respect people that have different political views. That's a fact. A sad one.

 

You're just a very immature person. Not worth to discuss anything with you in a serious manner.

 

Greeks set an example for people like you today. And there's nothing you can do about it beside hating.

 

Have fun hating.

 

Democracy won today.

Edited by Doc Rikowski

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Svip

Svip, as far as I know we did pay all we had to pay and not only to Greece but also to a list of other countries. ;)

 

I see you paid US$105m to Greece in 1947, so I guess you didn't manage to do that much damage then. But even so, I did think bringing up war reparations during the crisis was tasteless and moreover, is Greece suggesting that Greece would be in much better shape today had Germany paid the amount they are now claiming back in the 1960s? (Of course, if Germany had paid the amount now, they would be in better shape, but that's not the point I am trying to make.)

 

However, I am not sure Syriza is going to solve Greece's problems. They will soon discover how reliant Greece is on the very foreign organisations that they despise. Democracy may have won today, but I am not so sure that is a good thing on this occasion. Democracy is not always the answer.

 

But I agree, if we can avoid totalitarian leaders, then it's OK to let democracy grant us some dark times as well.

 

Speaking completely political, Syriza will - despite an absolute majority - not be able to deliver on its campaign promises. And they will become unpopular with Greek voters. Trust me, being in charge ruins everyone's image.

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Alastair Smyth

If demanding equality between the sexes, LGBT rights, upgrades for the health and educational systems, separation of state and church and cancellation of mandatory military duties make Alexis Tsipras an "extremist", then I am an extremely extreme extremist as well. Besides the fact that most people have no understanding of what communism actually means and instead use it as an insult - SYRIZA are not communists per se, they are a coalition of many ideologies from the left wing, from green to anarcho to communist. They are the most democratic thing in modern Greek history. Apart from Greece's very strong young Antifa movement, it is exactly because of this massive potpourri that many people from other parties have actually given their vote to SYRIZA. They not only challenge the very serious Nazi problem we have in Greece, but also the corrupt centrists and EU measures. The only dangerous factor about this is the messianic personality cult currently surrounding Tsipras. Really reminds me of Obama 08.

 

Fascism lost tonight. Finally.

Edited by Alastair Smyth

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Raavi

Whilst it might be a victory on paper in reality it really isn't, certainly not for the party or their legitimacy. Because well, there are two options;

 

1. Greece agrees to serious austerity measures and considerably significant overhauls and in return is allowed debt relief-light if you will. However realistically even achieving that and having the European governments agree would mean they'd have to rewrite, not to say forsake their fiscal plans, their anti-market promises and a whole heap of other measures which flies directly in the face of their campaign promises and ideology.

 

2. An agreement can't be reached and greece doesn't agree to austerity measures and economic overhauls in which case they better start printing Drachmas. Hell, a tug of war and the uncertainty it creates may even have dire consequences.

 

Make no mistake though, there are no winners in the scenario of GREXIT.

 

There is no winning for Syriza here, if they don't agree to option 1 or at least a significant part of it (and it remains to be seen if the creditors even will, ECB has already basically given any kind of debt relief the middle finger) Greece's economy, well what's left of it will even go further down the sh*tter, resulting in Syriza going down with it, triggering new elections and even more sh*t for the next government to clean up.

 

To make matters even worse, the clock is ticking.

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Doc Rikowski

It means you can no longer destroy a society with austerity measures and expect that the people accept it in silence.

 

It means traditional parties and politicians should start to think more about their voters than their own corrupted pockets.

 

It means Italy and Spain voters could easily follow the Greek ones since both societies are going through similar problems.

 

It means Portuguese voters could finally wake up from their submissive status that brought them to the disastrous situation they experience today.

 

It means that the Euro has been a not well thought operation that in the long run became disaster for Southern Europe citizens.

 

It means that economical and monetary union is not the same than political one.

 

It means that nothing is set on stone and everything can be changed by the will of the people.

 

So it means a lot of stuff indeed.

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Svip

It means that nothing is set on stone and everything can be changed by the will of the people.

 

The latter part is probably the most bold of your statements. I hope my pessimism is ill-founded and that I am wrong. But I am not sure things will turn out for 'the will of the people'. It will still be other politicians and - in this case - other countries calling the shots.

 

Trust me, neither Germany nor Syriza want Greece to leave the Eurozone.

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Doc Rikowski

By everything I mean a political status that had been the same in Greece for decades.

It is similar to what happened in Italy in the 90s when a bunch of traditional parties simply disappeared due to their corruption.

It didn't go too well with the replacements but that was due to the endemic corruption of the Italian political system.

The Greek case seems different.

 

About the Eurozone, in or out, I think it is clear that it has been a complete failure so far.

I don't know if the solution is to break it and leave or to improve it somehow, but what I know is that if a political and economical project factually worsen the social conditions of its inhabitants then it's gonna collapse sooner or later cause it defeated the very purpose of its creation. Kinda like the Soviet Union...

Edited by Doc Rikowski

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Svip

About the Eurozone, in or out, I think it is clear that it has been a complete failure so far.

I don't know if the solution is to break it and leave or to improve it somehow, but what I know is that if a political and economical project factually worsen the social conditions of its inhabitants then it's gonna collapse sooner or later cause it defeated the very purpose of its creation.

 

There are no evidence for these claims. The current conditions in Spain were also occurring in the 1990s, but back then we considered that 'normal'. The good news is that we are no longer considering this situation normal. But I suppose an all time low unemployment rate in Spain with the Euro is a 'failure'. The same is also the case in Italy. Portugal may have a case, and Greece's data doesn't go far enough back.

 

But what made all these people unemployed was not the Euro or the Eurozone, but rather the global financial crisis, which like we haven't seen since the Great Depression. These are the consequences of Thatcher's and Reagan's economics of the 1980s.

 

Considering that the Eurozone has saved Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal from total bankruptcy, because it includes an aid system, I would even go as far to consider you a bit ungrateful. The Euro has certainly not hit Spain hard, nor Greece. Just look how stable Greece's inflation rate became once it joined the Euro.

Edited by Svip

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Stephan90

The election results are indeed funny. :)

 

merkel_nazi.jpg

 

greece-golden-dawn-arrests.jpg

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Doc Rikowski

What evidence you need more than Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy?

Where do you think it comes from this popular will of getting rid of the old political parties?

 

Svip, I appreciate your attempt but the problem with numbers is that they are just numbers.

And unemployment numbers are not the most definitive statistic to describe a country's social situation.

Especially cause usually the real unemployment rate is much more than the declared one.

 

The reality of real people is different: poverty, loss of quality of life, no perspectives, no job safety.

 

I've lived in Southern Europe all my life and my generation is more educated and more qualified but poorer than my parents' one.

It certainly started before the Euro but it was after the Euro was introduced that it went in a downward spiral.

The crisis started way before 2008 in Southern Europe. It started in 2002.

 

I earn exactly 50% of what I used to earn in 2001 and my expenses are exactly the double of what I had in 2001.

But I'm 200% more qualified and more experienced than I was in 2001.

And that's just me and everyone else I know that is my age range (35-45).

Now imagine I'm among the lucky ones who still have more or less of a job!

 

Young people have absolutely no perspective in any field.

Having a college degree is a ticket to unemployment.

In fact you might as well learn to be a plumber rather than become an unemployed college educated person. Or emigrate.

The only reason why societies didn't completely collapsed is because Southern Europe is still pretty much built on families ties.

That means that the older generations in many cases were able to keep the young ones away from total bankruptcy.

But a lot of families just couldn't make it overall.

 

So what if in the 90s there was the same unemployment? Are we supposed to go back rather than progress?

Not sure how that can even be a valid point...

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Raavi

Just to adress a few points.

 

It means you can no longer destroy a society with austerity measures and expect that the people accept it in silence.

 

Ideology is all well and good but there is a debt, and that debt has to be repaid regardless of wether the ruling party sways right or left. Austerity among other measures are inevitable.

 

It means traditional parties and politicians should start to think more about their voters than their own corrupted pockets.

 

Thinking about the people and realistic governance are two separate things entirely. That is if the ruling party isn't politico-suicidal and has no problem taking the country down with it.

 

It means that nothing is set on stone and everything can be changed by the will of the people.

 

That's democracy, though there is a big asterisk attached to that. Because again Campaign promises ≠ realistic governance.

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Doc Rikowski

But austerity has been proven wrong countless times by reality and it's not the only available option.

We can't keep believing in economic dogmas on which not even all economists agree on.

We live in a capitalistic and consumerist society.

If people have no money to buy goods it all goes down to sh*t.

Poorer people just leads to poorer country.

The economy stagnates until society decides there's a need for change.

If the change doesn't happen the country just becomes a prey.

The predatory elite possibly will make more money but the rest will live in a below average status.

That's pretty much what happens in Angola. That's pretty much the direction Portugal is taking.

Just to make two examples...

 

Anyway, I also do not believe in miracles and I stopped believing in any politician about 20 years ago,

but still, what happened yesterday in Greece is the most interesting political thing that happened in Europe in the past 25 years.

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Raavi

But austerity has been proven wrong countless times by reality and it's not the only available option.

 

What real austerity? Yes Greece has cut government spending, but the demands laid out by the international creditors include more than just cutting government spending, simply put spending cuts alone going aren't going to inspire any growth (read: help Greece) unless coupled with structural reforms. Namely widespread deregulatory measures to end the ridiculous lengths of bureaucracy, which they agreed to.

 

Interesting report by the OECD. http://www.oecd.org/daf/competition/Greece-Competition-Assessment-2013.pdf. Despite the fact that proposed measures such as allowing stores to open on Sunday which the OECD calculated could create 30.000 new jobs and a revenue increase of up to 2.5 billion, they were met with heavy debate and now almost two years later are still not even half-done. One example of many.

Out of genuine interest, what if not for austerity and pro-market deregulatory measures do you propose Greece do to get the economy back on the rails and repay the creditors?

We can't keep believing in economic dogmas on which not even all economists agree on.

 

You'll be pretty hard pressed to find an economist subscribing to the Keynesian school of thought and one subscribing to Laissez-faire to agree with each other on anything, let alone austerity measures and their effectiveness.

 

Poorer people just leads to a poorer country.

 

Well, not necessarily. Quite a number of countries beg to differ. A bit more extreme example, just take a look at Saudi-Arabia for example, an estimated 1/5 (likely much higher in reality) of the population live in abject poverty, the gap between poor and wealthy is ridiculous, yet it remains one of the richest countries on the face of the planet.

 

The economy stagnates until society decides there's a need for change.

 

And then they elect a party that promises to do exactly the opposite of what the country promised to do in order for them to pull their economy out of the sewer. Not that it matters all that much, Syriza be it on the opposite end of the spectrum has as little choice as any other party that would've been elected.

 

 

but still, what happened yesterday in Greece is the most interesting political thing that happened in Europe in the past 25 years.

 

I'd argue the Treaty of Maastricht and all that it lead to is a bit much more interesting, but hey opinions differ.

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Svip

Doesn't the past 25 years also include the Reunification of Germany? I'd argue that is much more significant than this.

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Dingdongs

Out of genuine interest, what if not for austerity and pro-market deregulatory measures do you propose Greece do to get the economy back on the rails and repay the creditors?

The latter is fine but the idea that you need to put a nation through austerity when its growth is below 1 percent and or contracting on a yearly basis is just insane. They should invest and spend enough money to get the country and its citizens back on its feet then worry about paying down their debt later. If not, then there won't be any way to pay down that debt because 30% of the country is out of work.

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Doc Rikowski

Svip, for me the reunification of Germany started in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall which I watched live on TV. ;)

 

Raavi, I'm not much into what the troika has been doing in Greece but in Portugal it has been all about cuts and nothing about structural reforms.

Of course the privileged and corrupted Portuguese political class is the main responsible of the mess in which the country is now but the troika didn't help much.

Same goes for the Greek one, no doubt about that. In fact the problem for me is the overall incompetence of both: troika and local governments.

Solutions? I'm not an economist but maybe, as you said, austerity should be coupled with structural reforms.

But those can't be done by the current corrupted and incompetent political class cause the reforms, as a good start, should touch their obscene privileges first.

That's why a new political class is needed.

Is Tsipras new? Only time will tell.

 

By poorer country I mean a country in which most of the people is poor, not only economically but culturally and socially.

The Saudi elite might be rich but it's a poor country by all other standards if you ask me. Not really an example for any country in the world.

Anyway I think I had already explained it clearly in my post when I talked about "predatory elite".

 

We'll see what Syriza will do. It's going to be interesting to watch.

Certainly better than watching one more corrupted and incompetent Greek government failing miserably at basically all.

You can't do worse than what has been done so far. ;)

Edited by Doc Rikowski

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Stephan90

I watched a nice talkshow tonight.

 

Years ago Christine Lagarde gave the Greek government a list with 2000 names of rich Greeks who have a bank accounts at HSBC in Switzerland. Until now only 291 names on the list were checked whether they have evaded taxes or not.

 

In the last two and a half years the German government had 91 meetings. The Greek government had 9 meetings within the same time period.

 

Tsipras should get rid of the corruption and collect taxes of the rich Greeks. AFTER THAT, when everyone has made an effort, he can ask for a debt relief. It was never the task of the Troika to fight corruption in Greece or collect taxes. This has always been the task of the Greek government. If they had collected taxes years ago, the debts would have never become that high.

 

The Greeks should protest against their own corrupt elites rather then against us, who have lend them billions of Euros for very low interest rate. Before the help credits the interest rates for Greece were much higher and they couldn't have paid any social welfare. No private investors would have lend Greece even one single Euro if they knew that the Euro zone countries would give credits and take the risk.

Edited by Stephan90

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Raavi

The latter is fine but the idea that you need to put a nation through austerity when its growth is below 1 percent and or contracting on a yearly basis is just insane. They should invest and spend enough money to get the country and its citizens back on its feet then worry about paying down their debt later. If not, then there won't be any way to pay down that debt because 30% of the country is out of work.

 

And then just keep spending and spending? Meanwhile their debt is just piling up and piling up with all the consequences that will entail. Interesting hypothetical, but that won't be the case because the bottom line is the country will run out of money by Summer, and will reach an impasse sooner unless they agree to the demands of the creditors which includes austerity measures and pro-market reform.

 

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It's not like Greece wasn't given any respite on the conditions of it loans, quite the opposite; Maturity on bilateral loans has been extended to 2041 and Greece's interest expenditure as % of GDP is already considerably lower than that of Portugal and Italy, calculated at 4.3% of GDP, realistically even lower than that because Greece doesn't have to pay any interest on its EFSF loans and gets the yield it pays to the ECB and other national banks refunded. Yet despite all those billions, despite all those relaxations of conditions they still argue the burden of debt is unsustainable. But is it? I'd argue the opposite. It's only as unsustainable as its government incapable or unwilling to push through genuine pro-growth reforms that do lead to real outside investment, that do end the ridiculous lengths of bureaucracy, that do create jobs, that do get the country back on track. Which was the point of the bail-outs in the first place, to give room to push through structural reform to get their business back in order.

 

Raavi, I'm not much into what the troika has been doing in Greece but in Portugal it has been all about cuts and nothing about structural reforms.

Of course the privileged and corrupted Portuguese political class is the main responsible of the mess in which the country is now but the troika didn't help much.

Same goes for the Greek one, no doubt about that. In fact the problem for me is the overall incompetence of both: troika and local governments.

 

I'm not read in into the specifics situation in Portugal, but there is no doubt Greece's governance has been a joke for a long long time. I mean at one point the country's railway system had more employees than passengers and tax evasion was so widespread and normalised it was basically an olympic sport. Not to mention the fact that they for all intents and purposes cooked the books to join the Euro in the first place. Incompetence doesn't even begin to describe it.

 

Is Tsipras new? Only time will tell.

 

He doesn't have a lot of choice to be new, just as any other party wouldn't have had either. He does have a chance to make a difference, even if that means he has to do the opposite of that what got him elected.

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Dingdongs

And then just keep spending and spending? Meanwhile their debt is just piling up and piling up with all the consequences that will entail. Interesting hypothetical, but that won't be the case because the bottom line is the country will run out of money by Summer, and will reach an impasse sooner unless they agree to the demands of the creditors which includes austerity measures and pro-market reform.

What consequences? There really are no consequences to running a moderate deficit when necessary, unfortunately the problem for the Greeks is they were running one even during prosperity. How do you expect a country to improve economically if it is gutting its own ability to invest in itself? Can you explain how austerity is going to get the Greek economy back on track? Because I can't think of a single way cutting spending helps increase economic prosperity; in fact that goes directly against basic economic doctrine. Edited by Irviding

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