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BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?

Will Fly 29 Jun 15 - 08:38 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 15 - 08:47 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 08:50 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 15 - 09:02 AM
Will Fly 29 Jun 15 - 09:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jun 15 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,HiLo 29 Jun 15 - 10:00 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,HiLo 29 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:27 AM
Donuel 29 Jun 15 - 10:35 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:42 AM
Will Fly 29 Jun 15 - 10:50 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:57 AM
frogprince 29 Jun 15 - 11:08 AM
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Jim Carroll 29 Jun 15 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,achmelvich 29 Jun 15 - 12:10 PM
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akenaton 08 Jul 15 - 05:06 PM
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The Sandman 09 Jul 15 - 03:41 AM
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Jim Carroll 12 Jul 15 - 06:30 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Jul 15 - 06:33 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Jul 15 - 06:37 AM
skarpi 12 Jul 15 - 11:28 PM
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DMcG 13 Jul 15 - 12:31 AM
DMcG 13 Jul 15 - 12:47 AM
GUEST,Musket bemused 13 Jul 15 - 03:02 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jul 15 - 03:27 AM
DMcG 13 Jul 15 - 09:17 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jul 15 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 13 Jul 15 - 10:29 AM
skarpi 13 Jul 15 - 12:03 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Jul 15 - 01:52 PM
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Jim Carroll 13 Jul 15 - 03:22 PM
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The Sandman 13 Jul 15 - 04:24 PM
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Jim Carroll 13 Jul 15 - 08:01 PM
DMcG 13 Jul 15 - 11:34 PM
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The Sandman 14 Jul 15 - 03:21 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jul 15 - 03:41 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Jul 15 - 03:52 AM
skarpi 14 Jul 15 - 04:12 AM
Jim Carroll 14 Jul 15 - 08:59 AM
DMcG 14 Jul 15 - 01:22 PM
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Richard Bridge 15 Jul 15 - 11:07 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Jul 15 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,Greek Finance Minister Musket 15 Jul 15 - 06:40 PM
DMcG 15 Jul 15 - 10:54 PM
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Jim Carroll 16 Jul 15 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,JHW 16 Jul 15 - 06:13 AM
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Steve Shaw 16 Jul 15 - 07:05 AM
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akenaton 16 Jul 15 - 08:47 AM
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GUEST,McMusket 16 Jul 15 - 09:47 AM
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Subject: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 08:38 AM

I read the news about Greece and its current situation vis-a-vis the European Union and the Euro community. Sounds like a hellish situation to be in. Not being particularly interested in world financial matters, or even European financial matters, I'm somewhat bemused as to how and why a country like Greece could get into such a terrible situation.

Any interesting or enlightened comments? No matter what the causes, I do feel sorry for those ordinary Greek people swept along by it all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 08:47 AM

They lived beyond their means for years by borrowing money.
Now they can not even afford the interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 08:50 AM

It's quite hard to collect taxes in Greece, so I believe, as many Greek people of modest means don't like the idea of handing over their hard-earned cash to the taxman, and Greece is full of small businesses that give the tax authorities a bit of a nightmare. This, of course, has been severely condemned by the powers that be in the richest EU countries. The same countries that seem strangely reluctant to crack down on the hundreds of billions of tax avoidance and evasion by the richest individuals and corporations in the world, sums that make Greece's travails look like a squabble over Mickey Mouse money. Strange world, innit? Somehow, I can't see Germany, the country that has benefited most from the euro, letting the single currency collapse. We live in interesting times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 09:02 AM

No-one like paying tax, and all countries have small businesses.
In most countries they come after you if you don't pay.
In Greece they did not bother, and just borrowed more to make it up.
That could only end one way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 09:17 AM

I'd heard that the rich Greeks had studiously avoided paying tax for many, many years, but I wasn't aware that it had also been a more general problem.

Pity we can't stop some of our major corporations from tax avoidance...


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 09:52 AM

The key is in collecting taxes. Meanwhile, it doesn't sound like a great place to visit as a tourist, providing even less cash to operate on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:00 AM

Neither countries nor individuals can spend years living beyond their means and not have it catch up to them. This is not about the rich or corporations not paying tax. This is about the sense of entitlement that ordinary Greeks have when it comes to government services, they want them but they don't want to pay for them. Tax avoidance is an epidemic in Greece.
I do feel for those who are caught up in this, but European tax payers should not be on the hook for this, should they ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:20 AM

Yes they should, HiLo. The big EU economies have done bloody well out of the euro and now it's payback time. A single currency for an extremely diverse bunch of nations was a terrible idea. The poorest nations can't do what they need to do, devalue their currencies, which is a large part of the problem. The richest ones are obliged to keep those countries afloat.   Moralising at nations who have been on their uppers for years largely because of circumstances out of their control (and isn't hindsight a wonderful thing) is highly hypocritical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM

I was not moralizing, I was simply stating facts. You seem to have missed my point. The point being that living beyond your means is a dangerous thing and needs to be dealt with, not by devaluing the currency, as you suggest, but by collecting taxes due and reducing spending.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM

So what to do?
The EU want to impose harsh austerity for years to come until an acceptable repayment is made.

Most Greeks are not prepared to endure that.
They could just default and start again, with their own currency if necessary.
Argentina defaulted on its debts a few years ago, and is now doing OK.

If Greece does it and does OK, Spain and Portugal might follow them.

That would increase the burden on France and Ireland.
The whole thing could unravel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:27 AM

Germany will not let the whole thing unravel. And I wasn't having a go at you, HiLo, just addressing your point about other countries' obligations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:35 AM

Greece will not pay in pounds
of flesh.

They will just have to delay and reorganize for decades like they already have.


This month they owe about 3 billion and the next payment goes up to 15 billion.

A haven for the rich to not pay taxes is an old republican trick.

As long as banks consider themselves the center of civilization show downs will happen.

We had a recent showdown caused by banks and lost. We lost cities schools space programs jobs state economies highways streets and neighborhoods.

Puerto Rico owes 17 billion

Ultimately these debts will be written down unless banks start to accept pounds of flesh.

After all the real damage done by banks it really does come down to real pounds flesh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:42 AM

A black economy cash culture, once well rooted, is extremely difficult to overturn. Once you get the feeling that everybody's at it, you have no compunction when it comes to joining in the fun. It happens here, there and everywhere. It doesn't help when governments tightening the reins make benefits payments subject to harsh mean testing, at the same time being seen to be letting the rich off the hook big time. Unintended consequences and all that. Welcome to the real world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:50 AM

It's like the parable of the grasshopper and the ant - writ large and for real.

Perhaps the "correct" moral stance is to say to Greece, "Well, we told you so - now you reap the rewards of your actions." And that may be right and proper, viewed in one light. One can see the actions of the past and the attitudes that formed them.

But when I read of the plight of those many Greek people who have paid their taxes and lived an orderly and quiet life, I can't help feeling a great deal of pity for them. I have friends with families in Greece - decent people who have been thrown into turmoil through no fault of their own.

In the end, does the rest of the European Community just sit back and see families starve?

I don't have an answer, just a feeling of sadness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:57 AM

In the end, does the rest of the European Community just sit back and see families starve?

That, to me, would go against the whole spirit of what the EU is meant to stand for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 11:08 AM

" Meanwhile, it doesn't sound like a great place to visit as a tourist"

I may be getting back to you on that. We went to the island of Naxos for a few days last Sept. We had a totally positive experience, and I've arranged to go back at about the same time this year. I would say the only effect for us from the degree of the problem last year was the remarkably low price of good food and lodging. Whether Naxos is able to ride out some of the worst conditions of the mainland, or going back this year proves to be a bad decision, we shall see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 11:10 AM

The EU is a money trough to keep the rich countries viable...now based on exploiting cheap immigrant labour in place of proper planning and training for our own population.

It will crash soon and better that we are out of it before the crash.
Greece could probably do better outside the EU, Scotland certainly could...but the UK is in a different situation.

Iceland left and now is the fastest growing economy.

With the EU we lose our money, we lose our jobs and we lose our sovereignty......why bother!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 11:23 AM

Greece is facing problems not unsimilar to those faced by Ireland recently - a crisis brought on by greedy bankers and corrupt and incompetent politicians
Ireland reached a settlement with the E.U. by adopting policies which made the poor pay for the greed, corruption and incompetence - it had no problem in getting an agreement from Europe
The recently elected Greek Government refuses to take that road - fair play to them.
I always suspected the idea of a 'Common Market' was to allow it to maintain political, social and economic status quo among it's member countries - what is happening now confirms that to be the case - it is a political set up rather than an economic one.
Its position was summed up nicely today by the European spokesman who described the decision to hold a referendum on whether to accept the terms of the compromise as, 'a dishonest betrayal' - let the politicians who got the country into a mess decide - ****
what the people think"
"Greece living beyond her means" - you have to be joking.
She is an economically sharply divided country , largely rural, with a large rural poor and a small wealthy elite, based in the cities - you only have to drive out of the towns to see the real situation.
Whatever is decided, the Greek government has my good wishes.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,achmelvich
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 12:10 PM

just have a look at any difficult situation anywhere in the world ever - a crisis for ordinary people is always caused by the rich and powerful. it's the nature of capitalism. all we have is solidarity and an awareness of history and the crimes of the oppressors. to say 'the greeks' didn't pay their taxes is grossly simplistic. it's like blaming people with spare bedrooms in workington council flats for our housing crisis.
it seems to me that now we have a greek government prepared to challenge the current orthodox economic insistence on austerity. they represent people who - through no fault of their own - have seen a rapid decline in their financial situation. we have to give whatever support we can to any of the 99% who try to take a stand.

i should have begun this message - as i suspect we all should - with the disclaimer that i know next to nothing about finance or greece. (except that leonard cohen lived their for a while and they won a major football trophy a few years back)
however, i have read naomi klein's 'the shock doctrine' and applying a bit of my simple marxist thinking usually gets me to the right - well, left - understanding of most issues.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 12:21 PM

I don't pretend to understand the financial problem, but I had always imagined....apparently wrongly....that Greece had a thriving tourist industry that would keep the country afloat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 12:26 PM

One of the basic Marxist tenets was that capitalism would continually be in crises that it would face with extreme measures, enforced austerity, social clampdown, war and eventually, revolution or fascism.
Greece has already had its period of fascist dictatorship, (supported by the "decent countries" - with horrific results.
It really doesn't need another one.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,.
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 12:32 PM

A sunny place to spend the winter...maybe open a B&B?

Taxes are much less than the UK...and its cheerier than Ireland or Iceland.


Euro120,000
Crete
6 Bedroom House, Rodopos

globalproperty guide


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 12:56 PM

The media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has an interesting article on it, suggesting that the dire consequences of default have been greatly exaggerated, especially in comparison to the dire consequences of the currently available alternative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 01:13 PM

When you owe the banks $10,000, they own you.
When you owe the banks $10,000,000,000, you own them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 02:20 PM

Not forgetting Argentina of course in 2002!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 03:22 PM

The F.A.I.R. article says Argentina didn't do nearly as badly as everyone predicted. It includes a
chart of Argentina's GDP 1996-2007, which is very surprising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 04:46 PM

Try telling that to the many thousands of shanty town dwellers in and around Buenos Aires who lost everything. Wise folks kept their US dollars in Uruguay - just 1 hour away by fast boat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 05:18 PM

If you are rich enough to ahve a fast boat. Tell me Bonzo, do you purport to think that fair or justifiable?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 05:34 PM

It isn't the small fry that are Greece's tax problem. The country's biggest industry is shipbuilding, which is tax-exempt, and its biggest landowner is the Church, ditto.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 06:46 PM

My barber is from Greece, left the country in thd 60s for a better life, as tge economy was tough. He told me when he visited for many years, his income was better than those in the lnd he left. But, he told me when the country joined the EC, he was envious of the sudden high incomes and low taxes.

Now, he recently told me the economy seemed to turn back to where it should be.0, what incomes and where taxes should be-based on the real economy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 07:30 PM

That was my experience too. I suddenly couldn't afford to travel to Greece, not because they had suddenly become an industrial powerhouse, but because they were in the same economy with wealthy northerners. And it seemed like they were borrowing heavily from outsiders and using the borrowed money to pay outsiders to rebuild the country in a more high-tech mold. Not that they should be poor just so I can vacation there, but they didn't suddenly create the economic basis for that radical increase in the cost of living. All the new airports and highways and Olympic stadiums had a price they couldn't really afford. Now they're paying for it, just as our children will pay for our reckless military spending coupled with continual tax cuts for the rich.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: gnu
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 07:44 PM

Banks and bailouts and bullshit? Watch this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 08:19 PM

The rich find ways not to pay taxes just about anywhere. The trouble with Greece is that if you're not rich you're far too poor to pay more tax, if any tax.

It's pretty daft - the way thing is heading Greece is bound to default, cancel all the debts, and in the process likely set off the collapse of the EU. Much more sensible for the debts to be cancelled. Either way they won't get paid, but that way it'd be a lot less traumatic for everyone.

It's ironic to remember that enormous German debts were written off after the war, very sensibly. Now they are hellbent on driving Greece into the ground. And of course they paid derisory amounts in reparations to Greece and the rest once they became walthy enough to pay up.

As for all that stuff about everyone paying their debts - when it comes to companies and thewealthy that doesn't appy, they just go bankrupt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 10:44 PM

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left:
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt
...And they call it democracy


It's not really fair to blame Germany (or any other countries) for all this. The IMF and the World Bank, who for decades have been imposing "austerity" on poor countries around the world, are part of the enforcement arm of multi-national capitalism. It all seems to be part of an overall plan to weaken the middle class and bring the world back to a feudal system.

One day you're going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

(Bruce Cockburn)


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 03:17 AM

The catch-cry about Greeks and taxes is, ironically, led by EU bosses with stratospheric salaries - on which these EU bosses are entitled to pay no tax.

It's true that Greece has borrowed enormously. But this has been done in the manner of the kid with his arm twisted up behind his back by the school bully, who's saying "OK, you're going to 'borrow' 50 dollars from me, and then pay it back with interest". The enforced loans are used to pay back the bankers. They don't go into the Greek economy.

Remember when the US was blockading Cuba and the Cubans couldn't get medicine and supplements for sick kids? A lot of doctors went on holiday to Cuba then, bringing cases full of medicine to donate to clinics. Well, that's happening now in Greece. People going on holidays with their carry-on full of inhalers and antibiotics, because Greek hospitals and clinics can't get medicine; it's fine for the rich, but if you're up against it, you can't go to hospital to get your broken leg fixed without getting into major debt.

My thoughts and hopes are with the Greek people in their trouble.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 05:56 AM

"My thoughts and hopes are with the Greek people in their trouble."
Just listened to an interview with one of the Greek right politicians
His alternative - pay the moneylenders and instigate an extreme austerity programme as Greece could not survive outside the Euro.
He avoided replying to what would happen if the referendum returned a "no" vote on Sunday.
The answer, he claimed lies totally in thriving private enterprise - Next step, a return to the Colonel's regime, I imagine!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Martin
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 09:47 AM

Wonder whatd've happened if Ireland had stood up to the bully boys. The UK seem to be pretty good at bullying & they seem to be getting left alone!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 10:08 AM

It is all about corruption; once rooted deeply enough it is hard to eradicate, but not impossible. The current Greek government, well-meaning or not, told their voters that it is all the foreigners' fault, and now feel they have to prove it - quite the opposite of a responsible approach.

Good governance, or rather: a much better one than now, is possible, but takes immense willpower. For example, those many civil servants can be sent away from their homes, regrouped every two months, to ensure correct tax payment, public spending, elections, etc.

International institutions like the IMF can help a lot, but their current mandate is too technical and based on an illusion of national sovereignty, so that it often effectively helps the wrong people. New institutions are required. Don't expect the impossible, but demand the possible!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 11:11 AM

"quite the opposite of a responsible approach."
Not really - the present predicament is down to the E.U. foreclosing on a debt which was taken by the last Government partly to pay their dues to the E.U. - not sure of the details, but something to do with funding France.
The responsibility of any Government is to the people it represents, not to debtors.
The more this develops, the more it becomes obvious that it has more to do with the political leanings of the democratically elected government than it has with the actual debt
This is part of a longer article on the Western reaction to the Greek Coup of 1967:
"In the beginning the reaction to the junta was that it did not have any support, that if everybody showed their disdain by boycotting the regime, then the regime would fall. Some hoped the junta was just a temporary parenthesis, a group of misled patriots who would eventually return the country to democracy. Others believed that once the Great Western Powers saw that the politicians and the intellectuals were against the junta, they would intervene to restore democracy. But nothing happened. The U.S. Government, despite a few gestures of disapproval by isolated Congressmen, not only continued but increased its military aid to Greece, even as the American people were being told that there was an embargo on arms shipments to Greece. The island of Crete is being turned into a NATO nuclear base. Presently the U.S. is trying to secure permanent home port facilities in Piraeus and other major Greek ports. And with troubles in Turkey, Greece is becoming the whorehouse of the Sixth Fleet."
THE GREEK COUP
It seems that democracy is a movable feast as far as the West is concerned.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 11:40 AM

The responsibility of any Government is to the people it represents, not to debtors.
Yes, and it is irresponsible towards one's people to tell them they need not do anything themselves. The first thing is to get the state back on its feet, and blaming others (however justified) does not help at all.

BTW, we should never speak on behalf of "the West" or any government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 12:26 PM

Step 1. Impose exchange control (argue about the legality or otherwise) overnight.
Step 2. Require total transparency of assets and income - worldwide - for all living in Greece over 21 days a year and all corporations with incorporated in or doing business in (as distinct from with - a well known point of tax law). Failure to comply - instant confiscation of ALL known assets of the people or the corporations or the management of the corporations (that includes nominees in lawyers' offices).
Step 3. Confiscate stuff from all with over a threshold level - it might be relevant national median (not mean). The degree of haircut can be on a sliding scale - in these days of computers there is no need for a stepped scale.
Step 4. Use that to pay off the IMF and EU.
Step 5. Divide any surplus fairly (lots of room to manoeuvre in that) amongst the poorest N percent of individuals domiciled or ordinarily resident in the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 12:30 PM

"The first thing is to get the state back on its feet, and blaming others (however justified) does not help at all."
It really isn't a mater of "blaming" anybody - the Greek Govenment has been placed in a position by the European Union it feels it cannot accept - the Union hierarchy has described the action the Govenment has taken - letting the people decide by referendum, as "a betrayal", so it is obviously placing it's own decision-making above both the interests of the Greek people and above democracy itself.
What it is demanding is that the mother starves her children in order to pay the debt collector.
An interesting development which has just been announced here in ireland echoes what is happening in Greece.
The Irish Government has just announced that it is passing legislation to allow debtors to collect their debts from the wages of them owing money or from benefit payments.
I don't think that many would argue (other than the usual suspects) that the economic crises faced by the peoples of Ireland and Greece are down to avarice and incompetence of a banking system which encouraged taking out loans unwisely, the result being a worldwide collapse in economies.
Governments rushed in to prop up the banks, which, return, paid the executives massive bonuses to repair the damage they themselves had done.
This has led to a whole trance of austerity measures, forcing the victims of greed, corruption and (at the very least) bad advice, to put right the damage done by those in charge.
Now, it appears, we have a Government who has cried, "enough is enough - no more austerity measures"
I really do wish there were more such Governments prepared to take a stand.
There'll be a pint waiting behind the bat of my local, should any of them be passing this way.
More power to their ****** elbow, I say!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 01:00 PM

Whatever complexion government was in power in Greece it practiced nepotism and turned a blind eye to bribery. Greeks milked the available EU funds for all they were worth. Tax evasion was a national sport but people saw the corruption at the top and said"Why should I pay taxes when they don't". A Greek friend who had a baby last year had to take a bribe in a brown envelope to give the doctor if she needed
painkillers which should have been free. When you buy a house you declare a lower figure for tax and pay the balance to the seller in
cash in front of the lawyer at the time of completion! Local and central govt was full of people in non-jobs drawing salaries and then pensions because they or their relatives had contacts in the ruling party. I love the Greek people dearly for their hospitality and general relaxed attitude to life (which is why we've been going there for 30 years) but I couldn't live or work there.
The present crisis was always on the cards but the people are suffering for the faults of the system the politicians created. There has to be some debt write-offf. The burden is unsustainable in an economy that relied heavily on tourism and has few natural resources. People in tourism and agriculture work incredibly hard for small rewards while bureaucrats have lived well off the state.
Athens is a world away from the life on the islands which is often still a hand-to-mouth existence.
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 01:44 PM

Roger has the gist of it.
Consider these statistical facts:
Greece currently has 26% unemployment.
23% of the employed work for the government, so they essentially produce nothing.
Pensions for the retired government workers amount to 18% of the GDP.
Greece is running a debt that is twice their Gross Domestic Product figure.
Greek banks, though still primarily solvent, have no ready funds that can be loaned for business expense and development, at any interest rate.has been allowed to reach this point due to bailouts intended to keep them on the Euro and in the Eurozone
Greece's GDP is 25% lower now than 5 years ago.

This is a recipe for collapse. and no finger-pointing at banks or the tax-dodging rich will change it. Greece has been allowed to reach this point due to bailouts intended to keep them on the Euro and in the Eurozone, certainly not due to any corrective measures adopted by Greece. They will hold a vote of the people on July 4 to see if required austerity measures attached to another bailout are acceptable. Based on previous Greek reactions to imposed austerity, and the fact the current prime minister was elected based on promises to reduce austerity, I think it will be voted down. So Greece will leave the Eurozone, and go back to it's traditional Drachma currency. And what value will that have? They will still be insolvent, and where will the bailout then come from? I am guessing China, whose motives for any bailout are pretty frightening to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 01:54 PM

Greece has very little history of Left Wing Governments; can't recall one at least since the colonels.
After the war, Greece fought a civil war over the complexion of governments there - the West backed the right.
My father's brother was a decorated war hero in WW2, yet he was court martialed for refusing to go to Greece to train the Fascist "security battalions" which came into being in support of the Nazis, but later played a key part in the Civil War.
The right and centre have always made the running there, before and after the colonels
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 03:17 PM

Its the same the whole world over.....everyone has "something" to lose

The revolution has been cancelled.


When someone has the brains and the guts to convince people that we all need to be poorer to be better off, the "brave new world" will have arrived......


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 03:45 PM

Please distinguish creditors and debtors.

Ake - the poor do not need to be poorer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 04:03 PM

Hmmm....I actually remember "the poor"....and there aren't many of them around these days.
There is a whole industry looking after them, a NHS which dispenses carrier bags full of snake oil to make GPs and drug companies rich
Food is dumped by the lorry load, just to keep the tills beeping.

I remember when everyone in our village was an expert gardener, not because they liked a hobby, but because if they did not work a bit of ground, they went hungry.

It was hard, but by God it concentrated the mind....and was good for the environment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 05:45 PM

Not many gardens in inner cities,where the poor lived, or should that be existed, one family to a room. You had it soft Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 05:46 PM

I actually remember "the poor"....and there aren't many of them around these days.

Even more idiotic than usual, difficult tho that may be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 06:14 PM

It's about as "idiotic" as self sufficiency and sustainability Greg.

If you are not to old you may see it making a comeback.

and inner cities are a major part of the problem....do we really need them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 06:28 PM

do we really need them?

Inner cities or the poor.

And yes, I'm plenty old enough.

If you'd like to meet some non inner-city poor folks, who are not on the dole, take a jaunt across the pond and I'll be glad to introduce you to several millions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 06:41 PM

"Now, it appears, we have a Government who has cried, "enough is enough - no more austerity measures"
I really do wish there were more such Governments prepared to take a stand."Jim Carroll.
I agree


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 08:47 PM

"and there aren't many of them around these days"
Whattttt????
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jun 15 - 10:49 PM

So who is the biggest loser?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 03:01 AM

If folks want a capitalist society....and they obviously do, when are they going to understand about the nature of the beast?

Of course nobody wants austerity, but austerity is part and parcel of the cycle. In a capitalist society we are encouraged to expect an ever increasing standard of living ....in financial terms.

In reality, the minute we stop making a profit, investment goes elsewhere and we start to use tactics like imported labour to prop up a failing system.

In ten years or sooner we will be just like Greece.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 03:50 AM

We? It has started to happen. California has the water and electricity questions looming. Detroit bankrupt. And Scotland thought it cute to pander to false common hopes and go it alone, but they wanted the crutch that is the "pound" just in case.

The problem is traceable to politicians and a fragmented electorate. Which the UK is heading towards, or was, maybe we (as a nation) saw some glimmer of consequences and went with "the incumbent". Gawd help us.

When there are many "parties" they feel they have to promise ever wilder popularist budgets in order to win and stay winning. Result: they spend more than they earn. Italy is not that far behind - 21 Prime Ministers in 23 years (at one point) then Belusconi!. Spain in deep doodoo. Tourism seems to figure highly in those economies too.

And why must our GDP grow when Moore's Law gives us twice as much in 18 months? (hint) the law was noticed by him, but has existed since before Gutenberg & Caxton (mentioned because they are understandable, but the law holds true since way before that).
Answer: Greed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 03:57 AM

".I actually remember "the poor"....and there aren't many of them around these days."
Some facts
"More than 80 percent of the world's population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.Source 2
The poorest 40 percent of the world's population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.Source 3
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they "die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death."Source 4"
Number of children in the world
2.2 billion
Number in poverty
1 billion (every second child)
GLOBAL ISSUES
Perhaps Specsavers might be of assistance?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 04:26 AM

put yer bifocals on PAL!
6 Billion peeps in a world getting hotter. predicted to peak at 9 billion (yea, right!).

All those poorer peeps are gonna want what we have. Which amounts to waste of resources, profligacy, greed.

If that happens slowly, like off-shore employment, then economies like Greece will only have tourism and debt for company.

And we, the enlightened haven't spotted it yet. Well some of have, but don't have effective solutions while the blind are still leading the blind.

Population explosion was a worry once. Now science WILL come to the rescue. Yea right! Science doesn't have a solution to Greed - well none this side of Hitler.

the slogan: "Eat the politicians" will make a healthy return. Mark my words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 05:50 AM

Pretty fair analysis of what appears to be happening in Greece; from this morning's Irish Times
Jim Carroll

CALLOUS MANAGEMENT BY EUROPE'S LEADERS REVEALS DECEIT WITHIN DEMOCRATIC PROJECT
Joseph Stiglitz
Analysis
EU Leaders seem to think they can bully the government of Greece out of office

The rising crescendo of bicker¬ing and acrimony within Eu¬rope might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out be¬tween Greece and its creditors.
In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.
Of course, the economics behind the programme that the troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25 per cent decline in the country's GDP. I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deli¬berate and had such catastrophic consequences: Greece's rate of youth unemployment, for example, now exceeds 60 per cent.
It is startling that the troika has refused to accept responsibility for any of this or admit how bad its forecasts and mod¬els have been. What is even more surprising, though, is that Europe's leaders have not even learned. The troika is still demanding that Greece achieve a primary budget surplus (excluding interest payments) of 3. 5 per cent of GDP by 2018.
Economists around the world have condemned that target as punitive, because aiming for it will inevitably result in a deeper downturn. Indeed, even if Greece's debt is restructured beyond anything imaginable, the country will remain in depression if voters there commit to the troika's target in the snap referendum to be held this weekend.
In terms of transforming a large primary deficit into a surplus, few countries have accomplished anything like what the Greeks have achieved in the last five years. Although the cost in terms of human suffering has been extremely high, the Greek government's recent proposals went a long way toward meeting its creditors' demands.
We should be clear: almost none of the huge amount of money lent to Greece has actually gone there. It has gone to pay out private-sector creditors - including. German and French banks.

PAID A HIGH PRICE
Greece has got but a pittance but it has paid a high price to preserve these countries' bank¬ing systems. The IMF and the other "official" creditors do not need the money that is being demanded. Under a business-as- usual scenario, the money received would most likely just be lent out again to Greece.
Again, though, it's not about the money. It's about using "deadlines" to force Greece to knuckle under and to accept the unacceptable - not only austerity measures but also other re¬gressive and punitive policies.
Why would Europe do this? Why are European Union leaders resisting the referendum and why did they refuse even to extend yesterday's deadline for Greece's next IMF payment by a few days? Isn't Europe all about democracy?
In January, Greece's citizens voted for a government commit¬ted to ending austerity. If the government were simply fulfilling its campaign promises, it would already have rejected the proposal, but it wanted to give Greeks a chance to weigh in on this issue, so critical for their country's future wellbeing.
That concern for popular legitimacy is incompatible with the politics of the euro zone, which was never a very democratic project. Most of its members' governments did not seek their people's approval to turn over their monetary sovereignty to the ECB.
When Sweden's did, Swedes said no. They understood that unemployment would rise if the country's monetary policy were
It is startling that the troika has refused to accept responsibility for any of this or admit how bad its forecasts and models have been set by a central bank that focused single-mindedly on inflation (and also that there would be insufficient attention to financial stability). The economy would suffer because the economic model underlying the euro zone was predicated on power relationships that disadvantaged workers.
Sure enough, what we are seeing now, 16 years after the euro zone institutionalised those relationships, is the antithesis of democracy: many European leaders want to see the end of prime minister Alexis Tsipras's leftist government.
After all, it is extremely inconvenient to have in Greece a government that is so opposed to the types of policies that have done so much to increase inequality in so many advanced countries and that is so committed to curbing the unbridled power of wealth. They seem to believe they can eventually bring down the Greek government by bullying it into accepting an agreement that contravenes its mandate.

TROIKA'S TERMS
It is hard to advise Greeks how to vote on Sunday. Neither alternative - approval or rejection of the troika's terms - will be easy and both carry huge risks. A Yes vote would mean depression almost without end.
Perhaps a depleted country - one that has sold off all of its as-
sets and whose bright young people have emigrated - might finally get debt forgiveness; perhaps, having shrivelled into a middle-income economy, Greece might finally be able to get assistance from the World Bank. All of this might happen in the next decade, or perhaps in the decade after that.
By contrast, a No vote would at least open the possibility that Greece, with its strong democratic tradition, might grasp its destiny in its own hands. Greeks might gain the opportunity to shape a future that, al¬though perhaps not as prosperous as the past, is far more hopeful than the unconscionable torture of the present.
I know how I would vote. –
(Guardian service)
Joseph E Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate in economics, is a professor at Columbia University. His most recent book, co-authored with Bruce Greenwald, is Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development and Social Progress.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 06:59 AM

Joseph Stiglitz seems to be the only person in the world who knows what question exactly will be asked on Sunday, let alone all the consequences.

Another important point: the current crisis is not about existing debtors (who, according to most authors, have written off their money long ago), but about potential future lenders and investors, or rather the lack thereof. If it were chiefly a left/right issue, leftists would be happy to lend money to the Greek government - they are not. In fact the government's rhetorics are not left-wing at all, but unashamedly nationalistic. The right-wing coalition partner fits perfectly.

To be sure, many people in many countries are to blame for the crisis. I am not defending the Troika's politics, but one of the problems is that their task is not to tell Greeks what exactly to do internally.

What would be needed world-wide is institutions analogous to the UN Blue Berets, as neutral as possible, who could organize national elections, democratic constitutions, and good governance, when so entrusted by the locals. (Such institutions already exist, but they are not yet "robust" enough.)

For example, we often read that the loser of an election accuses the winner of manipulation, leading to a new civil war. This need not be. As for national pride and dignity: proud football teams rarely protest against the existence of an external referee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 07:14 AM

""Well actually the problem with Greece is that you still have an establishment that enriches itself while below it are the average people who have to improvise in order to survive. Businesses are shaken down by corrupt tax officials in a system more suited to a feudal society or an occupation. EU money disappears before it reaches the projects it is meant for. In some million euro projects money is skimmed off by everyone who touches it and in the end maybe there is enough left to hire three Albanians and a donkey. You don't have to be a communist to say that in Greece the people with power and money do whatever they want or that the government collects a lot of money that goes right into their pockets. In the words of a Greek businessman "I would not mind paying taxes if I received something in return. But the government takes our money and then it disappears. The government that steals from its people forces the people to become like criminals to protect themselves ." The people are at war with the government, fighting over their money.""



Greece 


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 07:33 AM

So the Greeks don't like paying taxes? Jeez, that's bad. Almost puts them on a par with Amazon, Starbucks, Boots and all the other major multi-nationals who pay corporate accountants vast sums of money to hide their profits from HM Treasury.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 07:55 AM

another article in the irish times at the weekend stressed the importance of greece to the west in a geopolitical sense, as regards nato, and as regards it being the last european stat bordering on the islamic region, then there are150 thousand dul greek ukranians citizens living in the conflict area of eastern ukraine ,then there is energy, russia is planning a pipelineto transport its gas across the black sea through turkey,greece would like to be its next stop, greece controls transit between mediterranean and black sea and the us military base in crete has played a key role in nato interventions in the middle east.i am guessing the us will not allow greece to leave i reckon pressure will be put on europe to be more accomodating towards greece


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 08:06 AM

"Joseph Stiglitz seems to be the only person in the world who knows what question exactly will be asked on Sunday,"
Really - sorry, however it is worded, the referendum will be on whether the moneylenders should be paid - all sides have made their positions clear - those who support a Yes vote have clearly stated that the debt should be paid and further austerity measures should be put into place - the theme of last night's rally.
What is important about Stiglitz's article is that it points out that past loans have been spent in supporting France and Germany - the moneylender loaning money in orderd to have it paid to the moneylender - and so ad infininitum.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 08:22 AM

Here is an extract from an email I received yesterday from a Greek friend. He lives on one of the islands:

"The majority of the Greek people do not care anymore. We have been financially exchausted, after all the austerity measures that were focusing at the Bank's saviour.
Nobody cares about the people. Everyobe cares about the Banks.

We got to a point were people are not worried anymore. If it was a picture, the Greeks would be in an ocean sinking while the european leaders would point us a finger warning that if we leave Europe we will get wet. I guess that you can get the paradox of this.

So, we are doing the only thing we know, as Greeks. We get to do the best out of it. Live and let live".


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM

Jim, there is no such alternative as you describe - the whole referendum is simplistic propaganda with a "red herring". The government already has a democratic mandate to default on its debts, of which it makes use.

"Moneylenders" include rich and poor, Greek and foreigners. They now prefer to keep their remaining money as cash under their mattresses.

"Austerity" is not the correct word either; "reform" would be better, or indeed "revolution". If the gvt. has such a recipe, they keep it secret, and their propaganda suggests the opposite. To be fair, there have been some steps in the right direction recently, but much too few and too slow. Herculean efforts are required by all people involved, Greek and others, immediately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 10:09 AM

Don't agree - the election was not fought on whether or not the dept should be paid - that is the situation nowThis is an emergency and it is only right that the Greek people should
be consulted (the E.U. bod described it as a "betrayal", which is exactly what it isn't) - almost forces me to reconsider my contempt for (most) politicians
It certainly is not a "red herring" - the idea that once a Government is elected it has a mandate to do as it pleases - doesn't work like that, or where it does, you end up with parliamentary dictatorships, as in Britain
One of the joys of living in Ireland is the number of referenda it is forced to hold rather than leaving decisions in the hands of the establishment.
Can we assume you are not intending to address the points made in the article - the main one being that Greece is being instructed to repay a loan which was used to pay into the E.U. to support France and Germany?
The "moneylenders" in question here are certainly not "the poor" - the Greek elite certainly - but the present threat comes from the European right who are not prepared to accept the result of the last election - it's happened before outside the E.U. when the U.S.has sent in the marines to "stabilise the country".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 11:53 AM

proud football teams rarely protest against the existence of an external referee
No but the managers get pretty close, and the other 22 million referees do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 01:44 PM

Jim, what I am saying is that the debt as such is not the question at all, since creditors (and this includes many little savers, directly or indirectly via pension funds etc.) must write off most of it anyway.

Before asking who should pay now, not for the debt but for the current expenses, one must specify what to buy. Earlier governments offered "austerity" - not really convincing. The current one seems to offer only a short delay of the inevitable disaster (for the whole Euro zone and beyond). The next government, hopefully to come soon, should offer the revolution that can prevent the worst disaster for Greece and Europe. It will be expensive enough, and we all have to pay, but there will be hope, other than with Tsipras and his desperate voters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 04:39 PM

Don't agree - the election was not fought on whether or not the dept should be paid - that is the situation nowThis is an emergency and it is only right that the Greek people should be consulted
I thought an 'emergency' was an unforeseeable bad situation.
I'm sure the papers have been saying for a long time that this was all on the cards.

It's all very well for Greece to consider 'welching' on their debts. But those who do so usually find it much harder to raise any form of credit in the future, and face paying higher rates for any credit they can raise.

I remember a Scout camp in the Netherlands in the 70s. This camp was held every five years, and our Scout Troop attended every one. Only once did a Greek troop attend. Their leaders arrived, and went to the bank to change their Drachmae for Guilden. (Greek currency for Dutch)
They had a very good camp, spending freely to give their Scouts a good experience. At the end of the camp their leaders changed their remaining Guilden back to Drachmae, and like the feeding of the 5000 the leftovers were greater than the original input.
While the camp was happening, the Drachma had been devalued. There were rumours that one of their leaders was attached to the Greek Treasury, but we were never sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Jul 15 - 05:09 PM

I saw this coming years ago when the whole phoney system of the EU was in the discussion stages. It's always been a "house of cards." As it continues now to fall apart, and it will, hold on.

To quote a song:

"FOR THE BANKS ARE ALL BROKEN THEY SAY,
AND THE MERCHANTS ARE ALL UP A TREE,
WHEN THE BIGWIGS ARE BROUGHT, TO THE BANKRUPTCY COURT,
WHAT CHANCE FOR A SQUATTER LIKE ME" bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 03:36 AM

Er, correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the US of A suffer similar problems to the Euro when it tried to unify the currency of all of the states. And then again after the civil war (civil? - not from what I read).


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Musket sans Jaffa cake
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 04:28 AM

Greece isn't out on a limb in terms of collecting taxes, just at one end of a scale.

I experienced the differences in many EU countries first hand as when in business, we had companies in The UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Sweden and France. (As well as some non EU, Swtizerland, USA, Canada, Singapore and Australia.)

Some tax authorities were quicker to chase and penalise than others. The UK? Get your VAT return in quarterly. The first reminder included a small fine and their collection bailiffs don't need a separate warrant to take goods. Germany was as strict, and their corporation tax collection was just as strict, stricter than The UK.

If you forgot to do your VAT return in Ireland, just do it before the next one is due (although when The UK bailed them out a few years ago, tightening up was part of the deal.). Also, up till fairly recently, weekend working was traditionally cash in hand for many and the revenue allowed for large petty cash withdrawals without paperwork. That has ended of course but you can see the connection with their mini meltdown.

Other countries? Between the two. Oh, except Italy.

Bless them. To this day I don't understand Italian business law and how it is applied, especially in fiscal and revenue terms. I'm still a non executive director of my old firm there but I only get confused if I challenge our finance people.

I got out of business in 2003 but I still see the link between national debt and tightness of tax collection. Greece isn't somewhere we did much but even many years ago, I recall the difficulties in getting letters of credit for the small amounts our agent in Athens bought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 07:31 AM

"The current one seems to offer only a short delay of the inevitable disaster "
It's been asking for two years to put right policies of a Government that went along with the E.U. and borrowed in order to pay debts to the E.U. which were intended to support to of Europe's richest countries, France and Germany.
There seems to be a fairly agreed consensus in the world press that this is a move to bring Greece to heel politically - you have yet to comment on the fact that an E.U. official described the referendum as a "betrayal" - placing the interests of the alliance above democracy.
You also have yet to comment on the fact that Greece took out loans in order to pay them back into the E.U. to support France and Germany    - somewhat "unacceptable face of capitalism" to borrow a phrase.
What is really a "red herring" here is the "little man"
We all know that the smallest debtor stands at the end of the queue to get paid - if there is anything left.
C'mon Grish - show is where you stand on the real issues
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 10:44 AM

There seems to be a fairly agreed consensus in the world press that this is a move to bring Greece to heel politically
I agree, and I also agree that poor Greeks are not always in the focus of the institutions' interest. But, and that is my point, neither is what Syriza does.
placing the interests of the alliance above democracy
That is total nonsense. Democracy is about a country's own resources, not about foreign money. The Greek can mandate their government to refuse repayment of debts (which they did), but cannot decide that foreigners have to give them new money. If understood in the latter sense, it would be a betrayal of their voters - one more. Propaganda goes wild. Fortunately, many Greeks realize the truth and only vote for Syriza because the others seem even worse.
You also have yet to comment on the fact that Greece took out loans in order to pay them back into the E.U. to support France and Germany
What comment do you expect? Trying to pay back one's debts keeps up one's reputation of credit-worthiness, but ruining the debtor is in nobody's true interest. Many things went wrong, as everybody knows. And BTW: The actors of the drama are never whole countries, but governments, companies (such as banks), pressure groups (e.g. of Greek ship owners), and institutions, with their individual considerations and responsibilities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 11:16 AM

"Democracy is about a country's own resources, not about foreign money. "
That's a meaningless statement
Th Greeks are in a crisis, the alternatives are to reuse to pay the dbt to the E.C. (still no comment on the morality of taking from a poor nation to reward two rich ones) or to adopt even more stringent austerinty measures - making the poor pay to keep the wealthy wealthy.
Creditworthiness my arse - that's for bankers, not for co-operating nations.
I suggest you look at the shipowners and how they regard their "responsibility" to the Greek people as a whole.
One of the measures proposed is to make them pay a fair whack into the economy - talk about cat and pigeons!!
You are doing a grand job defending the better-off in Greece - me, I prefer the other side, every time
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Olddude
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 11:45 AM

I didn't care much for the musical


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 11:47 AM

Excellent post Mr Carroll.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 11:57 AM

As far as "creditworthiness" goes - as things stand at present, member states owe The United Nations $3.5bn, the U.S. alone owes $337m
Hands up all those who think the U.N. will send in the bailiffs!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 03:29 PM

Jim, I was stating facts, not my approval of them. I am not defending anybody. Cooperating takes two sides, both failed hitherto. Leftist activists are having an increasingly hard time trying to defend Syriza.

The referendum, as I read today, will be about one particular plan proposed by the Institutions, after the Greek government failed to produce a satisfactory one. Now you may think that is because the Institutions are particularly cruel and greedy, but in fact no plan was published that satisfies anybody at all.

Instead of the referendum, new elections are needed as soon as possible. The new government must have a robust mandate to impose hardships, not only financially (- these will come anyway -), but also mentally. With the Syriza people, this is not possible, not only because they stand for the opposite way of thinking, but mainly because they are not trusted by their own voters.

A functioning Greece will be worth its price, for leftists and conservatives alike.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 03:52 PM

"Leftist activists are having an increasingly hard time trying to defend Syriza."
Not my understanding of the situation
He has two alternative - Pay up and put the screws on the poor or refuse to pay and seek to renegotiate.
To his credit, he has chosen the latter and put it to a referendum (isn't describing this as a "betrayal" offensive? It is to me)   
"Instead of the referendum, new elections are needed as soon as possible."
So they allow the E.U. to decide who leads Greece?
As I said earlier, I always believed this was what the E.U. was about.
Having made our positions clear. let's leave it there - you support the E.U. and the bankers, I'll stick with a government which appears to be doing what it was elected to do.
I assume your refusal to comment on the morality of an impoverished nation being forced to pay debts to be paid to two richer ones, is on the grounds it may incriminate you
Bye
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 05:45 PM

Jim, please read a newspaper you trust. You refer to Syriza as "he" - haha.

I am arguing for new elections from the point of view of the Greek people, of course, those who are poor and those who are about to become poor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jul 15 - 08:25 PM

"I am arguing for new elections from the point of view of the Greek people"
No you are not - you are arguing it n behalf of your own political stance.
How on earth is introducing further austerity measures going to help the "poor and those who are about to become poor" - the E.U. is going to drop all claims to what is own.... yeah, sure it is!!!
The Greek people have the opportunity to give their verdict on the debt on Sunday - your friends have described that as "a betrayal" ad "dishonest" - so much for democracy!
What you are proposing is that because the bailiffs are hammering on the door, the Greek Government should resign, leaving the people to the consequences.
You are replacing hard won Greek democracy with rule by bankers (via Angela the Merkin's mob) - bloody outrageous.
May just as well call back the Colonels.
And still you refuse to comment on the morality of a nation in trouble having to pay into a fund to make France and Germany even wealthier than they already are - no need to ask which side you are on!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 02:23 AM

I am not proposing classical austerity (see my message of 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM). Neither am I in favour of a "Yes" vote in the sense of the referendum - even if that could work as claimed.

For a truly leftist proposal, see Richard Bridge's. The current government is nationalist/populist. As for the colonels, they already have plenty of those, unashamedly flattered by Tsipras and his right-wing echo!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 04:08 AM

"Classical"austerity - is there any other kind?
" As for the colonels, they already have plenty of those, unashamedly flattered by Tsipras and his right-wing echo!"
Where - or is this to be left as my question on the left's disillusionment with the present government - unanswered.
I looked at your message 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM - it really says nothing other than "pay your debts" - austerity will follow as night follows day.
The rightist policy in Greece is austerity and a new election (having lost the last one) putting 'democracy' in Greece in the hands of the European right-wing - fine, if you are in favour of that sort of thing.
Still no comment of financing France and Germany - ah well!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 04:08 AM

"Classical"austerity - is there any other kind?
" As for the colonels, they already have plenty of those, unashamedly flattered by Tsipras and his right-wing echo!"
Where - or is this to be left as my question on the left's disillusionment with the present government - unanswered.
I looked at your message 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM - it really says nothing other than "pay your debts" - austerity will follow as night follows day.
The rightist policy in Greece is austerity and a new election (having lost the last one) putting 'democracy' in Greece in the hands of the European right-wing - fine, if you are in favour of that sort of thing.
Still no comment of financing France and Germany - ah well!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 04:08 AM

"Classical"austerity - is there any other kind?
" As for the colonels, they already have plenty of those, unashamedly flattered by Tsipras and his right-wing echo!"
Where - or is this to be left as my question on the left's disillusionment with the present government - unanswered.
I looked at your message 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM - it really says nothing other than "pay your debts" - austerity will follow as night follows day.
The rightist policy in Greece is austerity and a new election (having lost the last one) putting 'democracy' in Greece in the hands of the European right-wing - fine, if you are in favour of that sort of thing.
Still no comment of financing France and Germany - ah well!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 04:08 AM

"Classical"austerity - is there any other kind?
" As for the colonels, they already have plenty of those, unashamedly flattered by Tsipras and his right-wing echo!"
Where - or is this to be left as my question on the left's disillusionment with the present government - unanswered.
I looked at your message 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM - it really says nothing other than "pay your debts" - austerity will follow as night follows day.
The rightist policy in Greece is austerity and a new election (having lost the last one) putting 'democracy' in Greece in the hands of the European right-wing - fine, if you are in favour of that sort of thing.
Still no comment of financing France and Germany - ah well!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 04:08 AM

"Classical"austerity - is there any other kind?
" As for the colonels, they already have plenty of those, unashamedly flattered by Tsipras and his right-wing echo!"
Where - or is this to be left as my question on the left's disillusionment with the present government - unanswered.
I looked at your message 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM - it really says nothing other than "pay your debts" - austerity will follow as night follows day.
The rightist policy in Greece is austerity and a new election (having lost the last one) putting 'democracy' in Greece in the hands of the European right-wing - fine, if you are in favour of that sort of thing.
Still no comment of financing France and Germany - ah well!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 04:21 AM

Jim, we hear you. In my message of 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM, I advocated a "revolution" to get the state running at last. Debts may be discussed after this has succeeded - which will not be any time soon. At the moment nobody expects back a substantial percentage, so that all new credits amount to donations. Donations are made more happily if there is some hope.

Just now I am listening to a discussion between young Greeks in English on the BBC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 05:01 AM

". In my message of 01 Jul 15 - 08:41 AM, I advocated a "revolution" to get the state running at last"
What do yo7 mean by a "revolution" - the establishment of a socialist system in Greece?
Presumably not
I stated at the beginning that the Crisis in Greece as the result of greed and political corruption and incompetence within the world economic system going viral, causing world-wide crises (Ireland was a typical example)
That remains my view.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 05:34 AM

I wonder if George Soros could afford to bail Greece out?

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 05:48 AM

What do yo7 mean by a "revolution" - the establishment of a socialist system in Greece?
Who am I to tell Greeks what "system" they should introduce? They must make up their minds. (It seems to me that most of them love their small businesses, which would be incompatible with classical Marxist doctrine.)

What I mean is that fighting tax evasion and all other forms of corruption is at the heart of the problem. Most Greeks would agree, but do not want the fight to start at their own cash register - for fear that it might end there as well. Therefore, it must be done simultaneously, and by institutions that are sufficiently trusted not to favour some particular clique secretly. Syriza claimed that position, but few voters really believed them - the others just thought it worth a try for want of a better alternative. Last week they all tried to cash their savings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 06:02 AM

"Who am I to tell Greeks what "system" they should introduce? "
Who are you to tell the Greeks they should pay their debt?
"What I mean is that fighting tax evasion and all other forms of corruption is at the heart of the problem"
That's been part of the present Government's policy - not going to happen if the right get their way
Blaming the Greek people as a whole - now that's what I call "classic"
Most people don't have "cash registers" - the corruption centres on the wealth, wo have been untouchable up to now.
" and by institutions that are sufficiently trusted not to favour some particular clique secretly. "
Such as - te right, in general, supports the status quo?
Interesting interview with a Greek spokesman on Irish radio this morning.
He proposes that European countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland, who have been badly effected by te economic crash, should get together and thrash out a common proposal on debt to be put to the E.U.
Grrece maybe in the limelight, but they are certainly not alone in their position.
If the E.U.gets its way, we might as well abandon national elections - it's only a hair-breath away from "elect who we want or we'll foreclose on the loan".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Musket sans ginger nuts
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 06:22 AM

Mind you, you must always consider whether you can afford a loan before taking it out.

Similarly, the lender must ensure the customer can afford the repayments.

Propping up the Euro has always been a political decision, but in the real world politicians are impotent when reality pops in for a cuppa.

It's a bit like saying qualifications and training are harmonised, but if you think for one minute a doctor from Bulgaria can walk into a consultant job here..... We break EU law in insisting on a training period with sign off before UK registration.

The EU model is a good one till you start harmonising too much. This fiscal idea being an excellent example. I note The IMF are saying Greece cannot afford the interest payments, never mind the capital so it is a bit silly getting them to agree to something they physically cannot honour.

That said, you can't ask in a referendum and then tell your creditors that they have to do what the democratic will of their people says. It's fuck all to do with Greece, it's the troika's money.

A dog's dinner. Oh, and both Grishka and Jim are making good points because there is no right and wrong here, just valid points either way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 09:13 AM

The philosopher [Gao] said, 'Man's nature is like water whirling round in a corner. Open a passage for it to the east, and it will flow to the east; open a passage for it to the west, and it will flow to the west. Man's nature is indifferent to good and evil, just as the water is indifferent to the east and west.'


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 03:50 AM

In a car crash, the one most at fault inevitably gets out and lays claim to innocence by accusing the other driver.

It seems that this "slow crash" is getting a lot of the guilty shouting "Foul" before the crunch.

If a beggar came to you drunk and smoking and addressed you in an aggressive manner - what would you do? Some might lecture him on profligacy and efficient use of meagre resources, most would walk away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 04:17 AM

If the E.U.gets its way, we might as well abandon national elections - it's only a hair-breath away from "elect who we want or we'll foreclose on the loan". well said


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 08:26 AM

Nobody is telling the Greek electorate how to vote, well none outside the country that is. The Greeks are telling the Greeks how to vote.

What the rest of the world is saying is - "you're bankrupt, deal with it. And take yer head outa the sand - PAL!".

Now when did any of us last go to the bank manager for an overdraft? The last itme I did it I was refused so I took my debt elsewhere. There are global options, Greece took out one Faustian pact and seem amazed it is being called in, there are other Demons hovering ready to Putin (as it were).


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 08:39 AM

on every news broadcast, you can see folks promoting what they see as self interest.
I despair of socialism ever being adopted and made to work...perhaps it's just too much to ask of "conditioned" humans?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 09:47 AM

"Nobody is telling the Greek electorate how to vote, well none outside the country that is"
In practical terms they are - instigate crippling austerity policies or we'll ruin your economy.
Comparison with what is happening in Greece, and other countries in crises which have been cause by worldwide banking greed and dishonesty (none of the rightists here have bothered to deny this) is facile.
Even as far as personal loans are concerned, people all over the world were pressurised into borrowing money and did so believing it was safe - "because the bank manager said it was"
THat is the root cause of mortgage arrears, homelessness and increasing poverty.
How about you taking your had out of the sand and dealing with that one PAL?
If I, as an electrician. had advised a lighting circuit that caused a fire and burned a house down, I would quite likely be facing a charge of criminal negligence.
What did the bankers do? - go to the government for a bailout, and when they got it, awarded themselves massive bonuses to put right their own mess.
Deal with that one too!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 10:09 AM

American news coverage:

Diane Rehm Show on NPR discussed it last week. One hour.

PBS News Hour segment on the election. Excellent story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for those Acme - didn't know about Puero Rica, though I am aware that the problem is not confined to Greece
The PBS report, as you say, is excellent.
Ireland has opted for letting the people pay for the bankers' mess-up - the result - water and property charges, sale of the stare airline into private hands and little sign of a let up.
One of the fascinating aspects of all this is the knock-on effect that this will have on other states - even the E.M.F. is in a panic.
Today's reports suggest a %57% majority for a no vote - fingers crossed
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 03:43 PM

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." 
― Hélder Câmara, Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 04:46 PM

Thanks for the pearls of wisdom GUEST.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 03:42 AM

Nice article in Der Spiegel ... regarding the different scenarios and their cost to Germany.


www.spiegel.de/international/germany/a-1041369.html


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

In the same issue is an opinion piece about anti European feeling.

Europe is not only tired -- it is also a disappointment. This has also meant the loss of a quite likeable species: the European. In the 1970s and 1980s, many people in Germany felt more European than they did German. You don't hear people say that very often anymore, and that's sad."


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 04:51 AM

Why so Gargoyle, As a Scot, I don't feel at all European, in fact I believe that my national ties are more with the United States as historically very many Scot made their lives in America, and helped shape its constitution.

I feel your mention of Germany in this context, is ever so slightly emotive?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 07:47 AM

So many opinions, so little knowledge. How many people here have even been on holiday in Greece, much less worked and lived there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 08:21 AM

"How many people here have even been on holiday in Greece,"
Been between a dozen to fifteen times - mainly to Crete and latterly, Northern Greece - magic, especially the music!!
Our tendency to stay in the non - popular venues and rent a car, enabling us to travel further afield has, I believe, given us a reasonable insight into the rural countryside.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 08:33 AM

But Jim, how much knowledge does a holiday give you about a country's economic realities? Imagine if Americans started pontificating about Ireland, based on their holiday experience? (An example: in the depths of the crash a couple of Dutch friends told me they thought Ireland was really doing ok, since when they left their hotel and walked around the Grafton Street area lots of people were sitting outside cafes eating and drinking wine and coffee. Of course one class was doing ok; but this was not true of most people.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,McMusket
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 09:22 AM

I suppose I see myself as European. My husband is Dutch, I am English, we live in Scotland, ski in France, holiday in Italy and I occasionally teach in Germany and Sweden.

Living in Scotland helps with the European feel. The Scottish government are exceedingly pro European and the recent referendum delivered an answer as much on fear of an uncertain EU status if the nationalist minority had their way as much as anything else.

Parking up in town this morning for bell ringing was a challenge as it can be every summer. All the cars from holiday makers from Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Italy.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 09:58 AM

"But Jim, how much knowledge does a holiday give you about a country's economic realities? "
You can, of course, only get a general impression - if you are interested enough, you fill in the gaps with reading, etc.
Why ask the question if the answer is immaterial?
Your American analogy is an artificial one - nobody is pontificating, we are giving opinions based on what we know (or believe we know).
The argument (often used on this forum), that you have no right to express an opinion on somewhere you don't live would make virtually all discussions on this forum null and void, as we all live somewhere and don't live somewhere else!
What they usually boil down to is "your opinion doesn't coincide with mine".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 01:25 PM

The vote is OXI....My faith has been slightly restored. Hopefully we see the start of the demise of the EU.

Well done the Greek people, but the road ahead will be rocky and torturous......remember Cuba!!

Even tho'....the signs for all newly independent nations are good...get the European heel off your neck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 02:52 PM

"It's a catastrophic success."
Stephen Bishop


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 04:30 PM

"It's sarcasm, Josh."

"Sarcasm?"

"It's from the Greek, sarkasmos. To bite the lips. It means that you aren't really saying what you mean, but people will get your point. I invented it, Bartholomew named it."

"Well, if the village idiot named it, I'm sure it's a good thing."

"There you go, you got it."

"Got what?"

"Sarcasm."

"No, I meant it."

"Sure you did."

"Is that sarcasm?"

"Irony, I think."

"What's the difference?"

"I haven't the slightest idea."

"So you're being ironic now, right?"

"No, I really don't know."

"Maybe you should ask the idiot."

"Now you've got it."

"What?"

"Sarcasm."

Christopher Moore


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Airymouse
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 04:49 PM

One reason they call economics the "dismal science" is that economists never consider what is fair or just or right, just what works. John Maynard Keynes figured out long ago that when a country finds itself with 30% unemployment and contracting GDP, austerity never works.   I remember reading a few years ago that politicians in Great Britain were going to defend the pound by cutting government spending and raising taxes. How did that play out? The EU should have been pushing for reform: routing out government corruption and insuring that (lower) taxes got paid. But the demands they have made have only exacerbated Greece's problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 05:52 PM

"Borrow a little and if you can't pay it back, it's your problem. Borrow a lot and if you can't pay it back, it's the lenders problem." 
― Willi Way


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 05:54 PM

I Fear that the greek leader might be assassinated, or the greek military will seize control


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 06:01 PM

Yes GSS.....the Greek army, backed by guess who?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 08:27 PM

Christine Lagarde attack on Greece backfires as she pays no tax

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund managing director who provoked an angry reaction from the Greek people after telling them to pay their taxes, does not pay tax on her own salary, it has emerged.

Ms Lagarde was forced to publish an embarrassing climbdown on her Facebook page over the weekend after being bombarded by hundreds of Greek people who felt insulted by her suggestion that the country's crisis was partly due to "all these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax".

However, on Tuesday she had to admit that her $467,940 (£300,000) annual salary and $83,760 of additional allowances are entirely tax-free as the IMF is an international organisation.

An IMF spokesman said: "Salaries, like those in most international organizations, are paid on a lower, net of tax basis to ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of nationality."

He added that Ms Lagarde, 56, does pay all other "taxes levied on her, including local and property taxes in the US and France".

Ms Lagarde earns more than President Barack Obama and David Cameron, both of whom pay taxes.

The Telegraph


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 05 Jul 15 - 11:43 PM

That's a story from three years ago, Guest. However, I doubt anything's changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 02:34 AM

Greece overwhelmingly voted no! Telling the EU where to stick its austerity!

Varoufakis has resigned and gone back to a quiet life as an economics professor!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Musket sans Jaffa Cake
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 03:51 AM

Ok, they can't afford the interest let alone the capital.

However, The EU is the sum of the member states and those members, especially in Eastern Europe, or those recently bailed out with stringent conditions such as Ireland and Portugal will not allow Greece to get away with not complying in order to make them more solvent.

They had to.

What will happen? Who knows? But Russia and China are lining up to have an economic interest in Europe, so something must give...


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 04:44 AM

The 'conditions' being demanded on Greece are far, far worse than anything Ireland suffered, bad as that is and disastrous as it has been for the Irish economy - and for those who bite into the "Ireland is recovering well" bait, remember that one Irish person has been emigrating every six minutes; I went to a professional last week for my annual service (not annual for the last five years, though), and he said his beloved son is emigrating to London because "all his mates are there". The result is a terribly unbalanced society; during the boom 50% of people in Ireland were under 25, now it's a country of sad and wandering grey-haired people using Skype to talk to their children and grandchildren.

Here's what the IMF says on what Europe wants to do to Greece.

How will Americans feel when China calls in its debts and demands that US ports be sold, supports to the poor be slashed and banks hold on to savers' money? And if Americans object, China can say "But you thought it was fine when it was done to the Greeks!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 06:01 AM

Ireland needed less measures because it had less debt. Plus a backstreet loan from Uncle George to let them rob Peter to pay Paul.

The UK taxpayer did rather well out of that one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 12:27 PM

When you lend money, you are taking a risk, and that is reflected in the existance of interest. If you lend money to someone who is skint, and they default, more fool you.

No matter how tight the pressure, Greece isn't in a position to pay debts, and will not be able until it is a functioning economy, and that means writing off the debt, permanently or for a kong time.

This hasn't happened because ordinary Greeks have been borrowing foolishly and spending the cash. It's the fault of bent financiers, the way the crash in 2008 was.

It's very impressive the way Greeks have stood up against the threats and pressure thrown at them in the past few days, and voted to hold firm. I hope other people across Europe will take courage from the Greek example.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 01:32 PM

Greece hasn't borrowed as such. They have been entrusted to be a host of The Euro. This has obligations. Propping up your branch of the currency is such an obligation. Greece asked to join and were told the price.

Yes, they possibly shouldn't be in it. But to say no at the outset is no better than to blame them now.

The Greeks McGraw refers to aren't the plate smashing, ouzo gulping, eggplant quaffing people but the Greek government, bankers and financiers. If the ordinary Greeks as he puts it, paid their taxes even half way as good as the next worst country, (Portugal) the interest would be feasibly payable.

If anyone takes courage from the Greek stance, they'd have to first understand what the Greeks are standing up to. Other countries in The EU with austerity measures in place would renage too under such claptrap and we all suffer.

Got a pension? Think this doesn't affect you because you are in The UK, Ireland, even The USA? Greece's problem won't cause a recession in your country, but the principle of wiping off debt would.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 04:26 PM

"Greece overwhelmingly voted no! Telling the EU where to stick its austerity!
Varoufakis has resigned and gone back to a quiet life as an economics professor!"

I thought he had threatened to resign if they voted Yes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 06:55 PM

Varoufakis was sacrificed in order to improve the prospects of reaching agreement with the creditor countries. A very European coup.

Here's his statement

Thus endeth the political career of the man who embarrassed other Finance Ministers by knowing more about the topic than the rest of them put together.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Cookie the cat
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 02:40 AM

And there's me thinking he resigned in shame for calling his euro colleagues terrorists in order to stir up resentment in the referendum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 03:49 AM

"And there's me thinking he resigned in shame for calling his euro colleagues terrorists "
Didn't his Euro-colleagues put their political cards on the table by referring to a democratic called referendum as "dishonest" and "a betrayal"?
Sounds like a bunch of political and economic thugs trying to impose their own interests over the will of the people.   
May not be terrorism to you......!!
Colleagues - my arseum - a bunch of moneylenders sending the lads in to foreclose on the loan - today Greece - tomorrow, Portugal, then the rest of Europe.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 11:36 AM

A little calming music about baling hay from the Sawdoctors.

Syriza was the first government to start seriously tackling the tax revenues. Europe doesn't like it because Syriza wants to tax the rich, rather than screwing the poor as has been done in Ireland and other compliant subject nations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 01:00 PM

Out of interest Mr Carroll, I think you will find it is Portugal, Ireland and the new smaller nations that are shouting loudest that Greece cannot get away with it, as they had to comply. Why should Greece be special?

You cannot say that because Greece voted not to pay it back, that it isn't owed. The other EU ministers are right, it isn't in the Athens government gift to dictate to its creditors. Any mandate includes elected Greek government's asking for handouts with promises all along.

Still, living in a Euro zone country with a UK pension.. You must be rolling in it right now! 1.42, the last time I looked.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 04:58 PM

GUEST, the right-wing politicians who were elected as a supposed alternative to our last disastrous government, and who transpired to be even more awful, who are shouting. On the streets, people are not shouting, except against the government.

Meanwhile, from Greece: It is quite depressing to realise there are so many people out there who think there is a mattress somewhere in Greece stuffed with a trillion euros, which we are refusing to hand over simply out of radical leftism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: brashley46
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 05:27 PM

Bankers' Europe is a con job. If the other "debtor" states are yelling at the Greeks, it is because they had the backbone to say NO to the ECB in the same way they said NO to the Wehrmacht, instead of capitulating.

Back in 1953 the Greek government, along with most of the Western European governments and the US, agreed in the London Accords to forgive half of Germany's debt for the War. When is Merkel's German government going to remember this? Never, of course.

Greek schoolkids, firefighters, teachers, and pensioners did not "evade taxes" enough to force the Greek economy into bankruptcy. Go after the banksters and the shipping barons for the money they owe, first. Under the Troika's austerity plan, the Greek people will be able to pay off their "debt" sometime after the Haitians are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 02:15 AM

When grease melts, you know it is going to run and run. And it is proving to be the case here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 03:09 AM

"Portugal, Ireland and the new smaller nations that are shouting loudest that Greece cannot get away with it"
It is the POLITICIANS of those countries who are shouting the loudest, the same people who helped plunge us into a crisis and then imposed stringent austerity measurements on the poorest to dig the countries out of the messes they created (while allowing the actual culprits to award themselves massive bonuses for all their hard work)
What the hell else are they going to say?
This, I assume , is what the Merkin Mob have in mind for Greece.
The Greek people seem to have elected a government which has said, "enough is enough" and are refusing to make the electorate pay for the past crimes of the politicians and the bankers - I wish we were in the position to do the same here; then maybe we wouldn't have to be paying property and water taxes and selling off our state airline into private hands.
If being a member of a club becomes a liability to an entire people, then the rules need to be changed or the partnership must be dissolved.
You do not remain in a marriage if one of the partners says, fine, as long as you are able to pull your weight, but you're on your own if you fall sick.
The E.U, stands to become an exclusive club in which the wealthier nations are supported by the poorest.
None of the supporters of Merkin's Mafia have had the bottle to respond to the actual situation as outlined in the article linked here 30 Jun 15 - 11:11 AM and the morality of taking out loans to repay loans rather than lift the country out of an economic mess got into by the borrowers - all in order to finance the well-being of two of Europe's wealthiest nations, Germany and France.
Nor have they responded to the implications of an organisation whose leaders have described a national referendum as "dishonest" and "a betrayal"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 04:57 AM

Still, you pay your debts and have a bit of austerity or don't pay your debts and have lots of austerity.

The Marshall plan kept The UK a poor country throughout the fifties, sixties and seventies. But we paid our debt.

There is no such thing as government in this. The governments decide how to use the money they have. See Osborn's budget today for details. If we had Greece's attitude, he could be popular and not look for savings.

But we'd be as bad as them within months.

Let them off? I hope you have money under your mattress too, because our systems will collapse soon after.

If you don't understand where your pension and benefits come from, try not looking an idiot eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 08:59 AM

"Still, you pay your debts and have a bit of austerity or don't pay your debts and have lots of austerity."
Er no - you pay your debts and have austerity - full stop.
Even the E.U. has admitted that paying the debt is in no way going to help Greece back of its feet following a crisis caused by greedy international banks and dishonest and incompetent politicians
Still no reference to the poor nations paying for the rich and the dismissal of democracy as "dishonest" and "a betrayal" - just "pay the moneylender".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 01:26 PM

The easiest and most oft made mistake is to make is any parallel between personal finances and international state finance.

Still the banks suck big time, especially when they act like an army.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 04:35 PM

"Out of interest Mr Carroll, I think you will find it is Portugal, Ireland and the new smaller nations that are shouting loudest that Greece cannot get away with it, as they had to comply."
provide facts and stats plase , that is not my experience of irish public opinion, i live in ireland


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 04:43 PM

The Irish government. Not the UK expats doing well out of the strength of their pound when living in a Euro economy. You and Jim should be getting the beers in for your mates with pigs under their arms.

Ireland has stated it cannot support a "hair cut" of the EU debt. Try walking out of your house and picking up a newspaper or even easier, Irish Times website. It's no harder than Mudcat except it crashes less.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 04:55 PM

It all may come down to "who drops the soap first" in the EU communal shower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 05:06 PM

The point is, why should people starve themselves and their families, to keep the corrupt alliance on the road?

The EU is built on the exploitation of Eastern European workers...yes the ones who according to Mr Blair, were "going to make us competitive in the global economy"
Ha fucking Ha!.....now they're being exploited to try to ensure our survival, our own young people too expensive to train and uneconomic to employ!!

Why should people support the EU and sacrifice their kids future through fear or blackmail.
We don't need another warmongering super power built on corruption and exploitation.

Get out and go it alone Greece and I hope by the time Scotland achieves independence the EU will be no more, or our politicians developed a enough backbone to trust our own people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 08:11 PM

" You and Jim should be getting the beers in for your mates with pigs under their arms.
"Ignoring the racist stereotyping of the Irish people for the time being" (the right really can't resists showing their true colours, can they), the Irish people, like the Greeks are still reeling from the corrupt bankers and dishonest and incompetents politicians (whatever the latter pair may have under their arms).
The Greeks seem to have a government that is prepared to stand up to European bullying - we are not so lucky and are still paying for a crash brought about by greedy bankers and corruptly compliant politicians.
Still no comment on the morality of repayment of loans going to enrich the already rich and the implications of referendums being "a dishonest betrayal".
Whether the loan is repaid ot not, the situation of the ordinary man and woman in Ireland will remain exactly the same - though the better-off may be able to slip a little more into their offshore accounts.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 08:32 PM

"Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others." 
― Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 03:41 AM

"The Irish government. Not the UK expats doing well out of the strength of their pound when living in a Euro economy. You and Jim should be getting the beers in for your mates with pigs under their arms"
firstly I do not receive a pension of any kind from the UK.
The Pounds strength against the euro means imports from the uk are expensive, the result being extra cost on my shopping bill.
Secondly, For the last 4 years i have been organising a folk festival in my local village, so in an allegorical sense i have been getting the beers in, whoever you are you are showing that you are uniformed unknowing ignorant and rude.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 04:01 AM

two of Europe's wealthiest nations, Germany and France

I suppose that means the two nations that have seen their wages in real terms decline gradually over the same long period.

You take yer medicine slowly and it works. You take it all at once and the dose is a toxin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 05:05 AM

"I suppose that means the two nations that have seen their wages in real terms decline gradually over the same long period"
Sure, the German and French workers are suffering because of the Bank generated crisis, but that doesn't mean they aren't the wealthiest nations in Europe - haven't you noticed that that in rich countries, the wealth stays at the top and seldom filters down to the poor? One of those 'odd' quirks of capitalism!
Remarkable statement in the European Parliament yesterd by an Irish politician praising the Greeks stance and the 'No' vote.
Not all Irish people are prepared to take their "medicine" without comment, even the politicians - would that there were a few more.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 08:47 AM

which politician was that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 09:11 AM

Missed her name - she was on the 6pm RTE news
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 09 Jul 15 - 03:01 PM

Various EU politicians are, by all accounts, shitting themselves at the prospect of Syriza style left-wing politics taking over in places like Spain and Portugal where general elections are approaching. The neocon ideology of austerity which they all consider to be 'unavoidable' may be beginning to crumble- and not before time either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 02:57 AM

After all the disgraceful leading their people down a blind alley with the referendum on something they can't deliver, the Greek government look like accepting the measures required to prevent meltdown.

Let's see how he sells that to those he asked if they wanted austerity or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 03:46 AM

"After all the disgraceful leading their people down a blind alley with the referendum on something they can't deliver,"
Let's see, shall we?
Even Europe have admitted that if they pay the debt they are shafted.
As Lynn says, the stance taken by the g'd ol' E.U. has more to do with European politics and the political tinge of the Greek Government than it has to do with money.

One more time, just in case one of you clowns...!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 10 Jul 15 - 08:15 PM

I have a brilliant solution! Greece has 227 inhabited islands. Just sell two or three of 'em to Germany!

The islands' inhabitants probably wouldn't mind. At this point, they're probably tired of being Greek anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 02:33 AM

The Greek government has voted overwhelmingly to the cuts required to prevent meltdown and the PM has admitted to mistakes in a referendum he can't deliver on.

All of which could have been avoided.

The bailout? Of course they won't pay it back. But by agreeing to do it, the "nasty EU" are being far more humanitarian than the ignorance displayed on this thread give them credit for.

Scrounger philosophy. We see a lot of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 04:43 AM

Interesting item in the Times this morning
David Cameron has been secretly negotiation with the E.U. to exempt Britain from from Europe's laws on workers rights
Avoiding further "scroungers philosophy" no doubt!!
Will you ***** Tories never wise up to yourselves?
Bollocks over Greece having admitted they were wrong and backing down
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 06:52 AM

Not sure what your comments about Cameron are anything to do with this.

The democratically elected government of Greece are accepting the measures required to keep the country from imploding.

Know more than the home of democracy do you Jim?

Cameron is renegotiating European treaty terms. He won an election promising to do so.

Whether you agree with that or not is irrelevant. In a democracy, you don't get the world to spin round you. Especially if you have so many opinions on a country but can't be bothered to live there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 08:20 AM

"Not sure what your comments about Cameron are anything to do with this. "
Of course they are - a member state is attempting to over-ride the rules of the organisation in order to suit its own partcular right-wing ideology.
If Britain is allowed to do it, why can't the Greeks re-negotiate a debt taken out by previous Governments in order to help it out of a crisis brought about by right wing greed, dishonesty and incompetence?
This crisis is one created by "the unacceptable face of capitalism" and needs to be recognised as such in order to prevent it from continuing to happen .
"The democratically elected government of Greece are accepting the measures required to keep the country from imploding. "
The Democratically elected Government of Greece are being forced to work their way around the democratically taken decision of the Greek people because the E.U. - who have described that democratically arrived at decision as a "dishonest betrayal", because they are being blackmailed by the E.U.
They have not apologised and they certainly are not "wrong"   
Repaying the loan (the moneylenders) will only benefit the better off countries (€9 billion of the last loan was used to repay previous loans and did nothing for the Greek people)
If Tsipras if forced to introduce further austerity measures it will mean that the E.U. is electing Greece's Government and not the people - a step away from the colonels.
The present situation was reached by a combination of the right and only some of the ruling ministers - political and economic chaos which can only benefit the Merkin Mob and the Greek right wing - certainly not the Greek people
It seems the Rabid Right might be making headway in Europe
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 09:10 AM

This is debt, not political philosophy.

The money must be returned so you can carry on drawing your pension from The UK government whilst in Ireland.

A privilege granted courtesy of those you deride.

If Greece doesn't pay its debts, why should my neighbour pay his mortgage? Why don't a family with fuck all money just rob a bank!

You obviously don't understand where the infrastructure of the western world comes from, do you? Think it through. Be fucked to raiding UK standards of living in order to subsidise a country that doesn't bother to collect taxes, pays pensions it can't afford then tries to look like a victim.

They are part of The Euro. They have the same responsibility for fiscal prudence as the other member states with that currency. That by the way includes The UK. Over 70% of UK income passes through Euro currency.

It isn't the "bankers" they are shafting. It's the old couple across the road who scrimped and saved all their lives. It's the kids in schools, the hospitals...

They can't afford to pay it back but the euro zone countries are willing to pour money in to prevent collapse. What part of that don't you like? Which bits don't you understand? Any package is humanitarian at this stage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 09:51 AM

"This is debt, not political philosophy. "
Matter of opinion
As far as I can see, whatever it started out to be, it is now a matter of forcing a government to adopt a political line - that was mooted as being the reason for its being set up from the beginning.
"The money must be returned so you can carry on drawing your pension from The UK government whilst in Ireland."
Nonsense - any threat to our pensions comes from domestic policy, not the Greek, Portuguese... or any external debt.
If the E.U. cannot support the members states in times of hardship (caused by bankers and politicians worldwide, it can only be a force for imposing political philosophies on those States.
The E.U. does not only involve itself in financial matters (it is not a bank) - it is an organisation which adopts stances and pronounces opinions on all matters (including how the workers in those states are treated - which Britain is now trying to manipulate)
The financial problems today are worldwide and have been generated by politicians nad financeers misnbehaving themselves - it is no way the fault of those suffering the worst for that misbehaviour.
What youy are apparently doing is setting the interests of the Irish, British, German... people. one against the other and letting those really to blame (a fact that you have not even bothered to deny) off the hook - do you believe that constitutes "European Union"?.
Greece is part of the Europesn Community - not the ****** currency - it is the people of theose member states that matter, not their monetary unit.
"It isn't the "bankers" they are shafting"
They are not "shafting" anybody, they are attempting to live up to election pledges to protect the Greek people from more austerity - if there were a few more governments like that, we would not be in the mess wew are in.
"What part of that don't you like? "
I don't like the idea that a referendum can be described as "a dishonest betrayal" - that, more than anything, tells me that this is wah this about - obviously doesn't bother you - why should it - Cameron is happily making your lot a happier one by ascertaining that Britain doesn't even have to abide by the poor-enough conditions set out for workers by the E.U.
You blew your cover when you described Britain's workers as having a "scrounger's philosophy" - one of Thatcher's children.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 12:44 PM

"A privilege granted courtesy of those you deride."]
Why should something we have payed into all our working lives be a privilege
What planet do you inhabit?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Musket
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 12:50 PM

Just to put my tuppence in here..

Whatever the rights, wrongs whatever.. It is a fact that there is no such thing as domestic policy. If Greece are allowed to get away with not paying their bills, The UK as well as the eurozone will be less than a year from currency meltdown. We can afford pensions by use of our credit rating, interest on the money we bailed Ireland out with and got back with a cracking interest rate and market confidence in our ability to eventually balance our own books.

The post above was factually quite accurate. A member of a currency must work with the other members equally and that has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Also, The EU is one of three creditors and even then, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and most of the newer eastern members would block any attempt to write off the debt.

By advocating the idea of not paying it back, Jim is doing for the short term Greek fix what he accuses our government of doing for the bankers.

Sorry Jim. Stick to pre 1954 folk music. Your credibility is higher there mate and you seem to understand the subject more. You are one of the good guys, but even then, I can't let bollocks go unchallenged.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 01:15 PM

"The UK as well as the eurozone will be less than a year from currency meltdown"
Every reason why the situation in Greece needs to be resolved satisfactorily for the Greek people.
If these twots are allowed to get away with crushing Greece, we may as well abandoion Parliamentary democracy.
Greece, Portugal, Ireland... have to be given time to sort out the mess caused by the world bankers otherwise there is no point in propping up the European Union - that's what it amounts to.
As far as I can see, this is just another example of world capitalism in crisis
This isn't confined to Europe - as someone above pointed out, Puerto Rica is in a similar situation, Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries have been living a breadline existence for decades and have relied on repressive governments to keep the people in line.
The clock seems to be slowing down and no amount of overwinding is going to reverse the process.
The poorer people have always been the scapegoats while the wealthy get wealthier and wealthier.
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH
ACCELERATION
FIGURES
THE FUTURE
Jim Carrroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jul 15 - 08:47 PM

Neither a borrower nor a lender be!!!
Interesting letter in the Irish Times today:

"Sir, - Will Greece survive until August 8th? If so, it will be 62 years since the 1953 London Agreement. Creditor nations cut German debt in half, extended the other half to 30 years, and limited repayments to 3 per cent of GDP. Germany's "economic miracle" followed. The last German repayment was in 2012.
Ten of the creditor nations, many plundered by Germany in the Second World War, are now in the EU.
One of these was Greece. Have Frau Merkel and Herr Schauble forgotten? The Greeks haven't. - Yours, etc,
MICK SHERIDAN
Bray,
Co Wicklow."

Don't really expect a response from those among us who believe in "a scroungers philosophy" and think our pensions are a favour bestowed to us by some kind benefactor on high!
It seems the Mad Baroness T. bit a lot of people before her mates finally drove a stake through her heart!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 04:57 AM

It also took Germany 90 years to pay of its WWI debts.......

With Greece we are dealing with a country which operates on the basis of corruption, nepotism and cronyism and which, by all accounts, lacks the administrative systems prevalent in 'northern' europe. Greece was, for centuries, part of the Ottoman Empire and is consequently in many respects more of a middle-eastern than a european state. We 'north' europeans tend to regard Greece through the eyes of the Romantic Movement (Goethe, Byron et al) and only know are we beginning to realise that this view is an illusion. Reform implies reformable systems. and if such are not available...........?

Reintroducing the drachma may not necessarily be a good idea. There would be a massive devaluation which, whilst making greek exports cheaper, will make imported goods, in many cases basics, prohibitively expensive. In any case, what has Greece got to export? Olives and olive oil? They are not going to rescue the country and in any case with Italy, Spain and Portugal there's plenty of competition in that sector.

Two economists, three opinions...............


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 05:15 AM

It took The UK over fifty years to repay the Marshall plan.

It would be easy to say The USA shouldn't have wanted paying for helping defeat fascism in Europe and that it was in their interest to do so. But you know what? The British government made an undertaking to pay it back.

Which is why we are solvent year to year despite suffering the same banking collapses as everyone else and a large long term deficit and Greece isn't.

The hold ups at the moment as I type are that the Euro ministers simply cannot trust Greece to either be in a position to pay it back or, as seen from the referendum, be willing to ever pay it back.

It isn't politics. It isn't Jim Carroll's stupid remarks about "us & them" right wing claptrap. (Especially as the French finance minister is about as left wing as you can get in the real world) and it certainly isn't about entertaining the naive shit Mr Carroll comes out with.

Yes, you did work hard for your pension. But like the Greeks are finding out, there isn't some huge mountain of money waiting for you to slowly take it out. State pension and many other pensions are down to government physically being able to pay them.

The privilege you have is drawing a UK state pension which you spend in another country. The EU means you can regardless of decisions national governments may wish to make. The EU works for you. Rather successfully looking at your claims.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 06:30 AM

"corruption, nepotism and cronyism"
Which certainly also applies to Ireland and (though less obviously most of the time) Britain.
It appears that Greece has a party committed to doing something about it
Since we moved to Ireland in 1998, we have been treated to a series of on-going enquires (costing the taxpayer many million) into financial corruption in high places, virtually all ending in no substantial action being taken - will be interesting to see how the present NAMA enquiry ends up.
This morning's paper reports that a number of TDs who were awarded a large pay rise have refused to pay it back.
Corruption is endemic and living in Britain and Ireland - and no doubt, elsewhere in Europe (didn't I read something about one of the Spanish royals with her hand in the till) - no difference here
"It isn't politics. It isn't Jim Carroll's stupid remarks about "us & them" right wing claptrap"
Aren't you the one who raised the question of the "scrounger's philosophy" and the pensions we paid into all our working lives being a gift from our betters - and German's halved and 60 years to pay war debt is yet another point to add to the list of those you are choosing to ignore.
All very convincing, I'm sure!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 06:33 AM

US AND THEM, ONE MORE TIME
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 06:37 AM

And by the way - my pension is not a "privilege" (more Thatcherism)
I paid into it all my half century of working life - no Hooray Henty gave it to me - I earned it, and it didn't come with a condition as where I had to spend it
Jeez - you people are stereotype
Jim Carrolls


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: skarpi
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 11:28 PM

Well.Greece can go the Icelandic way .been there done it .and we are still there for nes 150 yeats to come All the best Skarpi


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: skarpi
Date: 12 Jul 15 - 11:30 PM

For 150 years to come


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 12:31 AM

Countries get AAA credit ratings when the market thinks they are low risk, and lower ratings as the risk rises. Few people seem to be asking what these ratings and risks mean. It is quite literally the risk you may not get your money back, for the exact same reason that personal loans may be granted at a higher rate when they are refused at a lower rate.

So the big boys who lent the money did so in the clear knowledge that they did so at the risk of losing it all.

Now countries or personal, the lenders don't like losing it even when they saw the risk, so send the bailiffs into get what they can back, which is essentially what is happening in Greece. (you've got ports? We'll have them!)

So we should spare the sanctimony: Greece was foolish to get itself into the position it is, but let's recognise that the lenders are not on some high moral ground of reclaiming what is rightly theirs, but people who made a fair bet, lost, and are trying to grab what they can to compensate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 12:47 AM

One other thought to ponder. I hear from a lot of people that a key factor in this is that Greek people don't pay taxes. But I've never heard anyone from the EU suggest they could provide consultancy, training and/or systems to improve the tax collecting...


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Musket bemused
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 03:02 AM

It has to be said.. Whilst Greece has never been good at collecting taxes whilst rather good at spending them, the media estimates of percentage collected etc conflict with IMF estimates, so merely becoming more efficient isn't going to cure the problem.

They are in danger of reaching the stage that Jim seems incapable of understanding. The point where pensioners and public sector workers can scream about having earned their money all they like, but if the government has run out of cash, the money isn't going to arrive.

The EU are not innocent in this. However, those bleating about how they perceive the Greeks are being treated unfairly would be the first to kick off if The EU has said "you can't join us because you are irresponsible and corrupt."

Catch 22.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 03:27 AM

More borrowing certainly isn't going to solve Greece's problems - never argued that it would.
Unless the government takes steps to end corruption and force the wealthiest to pay their share, things will remain the same, that is the case in Greece, Britain, Ireland.... wherever.
The situation is little different throughout the rest of Europe, you only have to look at the rapidly growing gap between rich and poor in the U.K. (fortified by the latest budget) and the ongoing theatrical 'show-trials' for corruption in Ireland
Greece paying her debt will do nothing for the people of Greece; the money will go to the wealthiest nations in Europe and the present Europe/world-wide crisis will spread further than it already has
Nor will her refusing to pay the debt while allowing things to remain the same - Catch 22 writ large indeed
At least, with Greece, at last they have a government who might get around to ringing the changes - here, things go on as they always have - would that we had governments here that show the same integrity.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 09:17 AM

True, musket, but even if enough austerity was imposed to repay all the debts, it won't help Greece to become an effective economy unless there is more effective tax collection. There is a political choice on how to close the gap which is the exact mixture of improvements to collection and austerity. What is being requested seems entirely focused on the austerity. And there is little doubt in my mind that since the current Mantra of economic is lower taxes, flat rates, small government, there is little appetite amongst the lenders for the former.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 09:35 AM

"it won't help Greece to become an effective economy unless there is more effective tax collection"
Agreed
Interesting summing up of the situation here
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 10:29 AM

I WILL GLADYLY PAY YOU


ON. TUESDAY


FOR 88 BILLION HAMBURGERS

TODAY


Sincerely,
J. Wellington Wimpy


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: skarpi
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 12:03 PM

There will come the time that more Country´s will be in the same place as Greece today , UK should be careful , USA as well ...
having been trough all this here in Iceland is hell for many people ,
but remember who decide to take his money and invest it in some thing in an other country , do it on his/ her own risk and the people should not be paying for it .

and making fun of the crises in Greece is low , what ever the reasons are .


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 01:52 PM

Thank you for that Skarpi - - fascinating to get a view from Iceland
Have been listening to the mealy-mouthed meanderings of our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) - his and all the major parties with the exception of Sinn Fein, are quite happy to see austerity caused by the greed of the bankers, passed on to the poorest in the country.
I couldn't agree more with your last sentence.... there but for the grace of god.....
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 02:47 PM

So the ministers have agreed a deal of more austerity than the nation voted in a referendum Not to accept!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 02:47 PM

What are you going to do then Carroll?

Rob a bank?

Steal from others?

Santa Claus doesn't bring your pressies. Your mammy pays for the fuckers


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 02:49 PM

By the way Carroll. Nice to see your true colours. Your support for Sin Feinn IRA is noted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 03:22 PM

"Your support for Sin Feinn IRA is noted."
What a nasty little individual you are - who on earth said I supported Sinn Fein ot the IRA? - get somebody to read what I wrote for you (they might be able to advise you on your spelling of the organisation too).
"Your mammy pays for the fuckers"
My mammy had been dead for about fifty years, though such niceties as that, i'm sure, don't mean much to you.
"Santa Claus doesn't bring your pressies"
Neither do the benefactors you seem too imagine give me my pension - I earned every penny of the £137.47p I get each week through my paying into my national insurance stamp.
Go away and don't bite anybody and infect them.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 04:02 PM

Greece exports other fruit apart from olives, peaches and
In 2010, Greece was the European Union's largest producer of cotton (183,800 tons) and pistachios (8,000 tons)[163] and ranked second in the production of rice (229,500 tons)[163] and olives (147,500 tons),[164] third in the production of figs (11,000 tons) and [164] almonds (44,000 tons),[164] tomatoes (1,400,000 tons),[164] and watermelons (578,400 tons)[164] and fourth in the production of tobacco (22,000 tons).[163] Agriculture contributes 3.8% of the country's GDP and employs 12.4% of the country's labor force.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 04:24 PM

Greece has finally reached an agreement with its creditors. The specifics have not yet been published, but it is clear that the deal signed is more punitive and demanding than the one that its government has spent the past five months desperately trying to resist.

The accord follows 48 hours in which Germany demanded control of Greece's finances or its withdrawal from the euro. Many observers across Europe were stunned by the move. Yanis Varoufakis was not. When I spoke with Greece's former finance minister last week, I asked him whether any deal struck in the days ahead would be good for his country.

"If anything it will be worse," he said. "I trust and hope that our government will insist on debt restructuring, but I can't see how the German finance minister [Wolfgang Schäuble] is ever going to sign up to this. If he does, it will be a miracle."

It's a miracle the Greek people are likely to be waiting for a long time for. On Friday night, when Greece's parliament agreed to an austerity programme that voters had overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum five days earlier, a deal seemed imminent. A partial write-off of its debt owed to the so-called "Troika" – the IMF, the European Central bank and the European Commission – was unlikely but possible. Now, despite its government's capitulation, Greece has no debt relief and may yet be thrown out of the Eurozone.

Varoufakis, who resigned a week ago, has been criticised for not signing an agreement sooner, but he said the deal that Greece was offered was not made in good faith – or even one that the Troika wanted completed. In an hour-long telephone interview with the New Statesman, he called the creditors' proposals – those agreed to by the Athens government on Friday night, which now seem somehow generous – "absolutely impossible, totally non-viable and toxic …[they were] the kind of proposals you present to another side when you don't want an agreement."

Varoufakis added: "This country must stop extending and pretending, we must stop taking on new loans pretending that we've solved the problem, when we haven't; when we have made our debt even less sustainable on condition of further austerity that even further shrinks the economy; and shifts the burden further onto the have-nots, creating a humanitarian crisis."

In Varoufakis's account, the Troika never genuinely negotiated during his five months as finance minister. He argued that Alexis Tsipras's Syriza government was elected to renegotiate an austerity programme that had clearly failed; over the past five years it has put a quarter of Greeks out of work, and created the worst depression anywhere in the developed world since the 1930s. But he thinks that Greece's creditors simply led him on.

A short-term deal could, Varoufakis said, have been struck soon after Syriza came to power in late January. "Three or four reforms" could have been agreed, and restrictions on liquidity eased by the ECB in return.

Instead, "The other side insisted on a 'comprehensive agreement', which meant they wanted to talk about everything. My interpretation is that when you want to talk about everything, you don't want to talk about anything." But a comprehensive agreement was impossible. "There were absolutely no [new] positions put forward on anything by them."

Varoufakis said that Schäuble, Germany's finance minister and the architect of the deals Greece signed in 2010 and 2012, was "consistent throughout". "His view was 'I'm not discussing the programme – this was accepted by the previous [Greek] government and we can't possibly allow an election to change anything.

"So at that point I said 'Well perhaps we should simply not hold elections anymore for indebted countries', and there was no answer. The only interpretation I can give [of their view] is, 'Yes, that would be a good idea, but it would be difficult. So you either sign on the dotted line or you are out.'"

It is well known that Varoufakis was taken off Greece's negotiating team shortly after Syriza took office; he was still in charge of the country's finances but no longer in the room. It's long been unclear why. In April, he said vaguely that it was because "I try and talk economics in the Eurogroup" – the club of 19 finance ministers whose countries use the Euro – "which nobody does." I asked him what happened when he did.

"It's not that it didn't go down well – there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. You put forward an argument that you've really worked on, to make sure it's logically coherent, and you're just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven't spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you'd have got the same reply."

This weekend divisions surfaced within the Eurogroup, with countries split between those who seemed to want a "Grexit" and those demanding a deal. But Varoufakis said they were always been united in one respect: their refusal to renegotiate.

"There were people who were sympathetic at a personal level, behind closed doors, especially from the IMF." He confirmed that he was referring to Christine Lagarde, the IMF director. "But then inside the Eurogroup [there were] a few kind words and that was it: back behind the parapet of the official version. … Very powerful figures look at you in the eye and say 'You're right in what you're saying, but we're going to crunch you anyway'."

Varoufakis was reluctant to name individuals, but added that the governments that might have been expected to be the most sympathetic towards Greece were actually their "most energetic enemies". He said that the "greatest nightmare" of those with large debts – the governments of countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland – "was our success". "Were we to succeed in negotiating a better deal, that would obliterate them politically: they would have to answer to their own people why they didn't negotiate like we were doing."

He suggested that Greece's creditors had a strategy to keep his government busy and hopeful of a compromise, but in reality they were slowly suffering and eventually desperate.

"They would say we need all your data on the fiscal path on which Greek finds itself, all the data on state-owned enterprises. So we spent a lot of time trying to provide them with it and answering questionnaires and having countless meetings.

"So that would be the first phase. The second phase was they'd ask us what we intended to do on VAT. They would then reject our proposal but wouldn't come up with a proposal of their own. And then, before we would get a chance to agree on VAT, they would shift to another issue, like privatisation. They would ask what we want to do about privatisation: we put something forward, they would reject it. Then they'd move onto another topic, like pensions, from there to product markets, from there to labour relations. … It was like a cat chasing its own tail."

His conclusion was succinct. "We were set up."

And he was adamant about who is responsible. I asked whether German attitudes control the outlook of the Eurogroup. Varoufakis went further. "Oh completely and utterly. Not attitudes – the finance minister of Germany. It is all like a very well-tuned orchestra and he is the director.

"Only the French minister [Michel Sapin] made noises that were different from the German line, and those noises were very subtle. You could sense he had to use very judicious language, to be seen not to oppose. And in the final analysis, when Dr Schäuble responded and effectively determined the official line, the French minister would always fold."

If Schäuble was the unrelenting enforcer, the German chancellor Angela Merkel presented a different face. While Varoufakis never dealt with her, he said, "From my understanding, she was very different. She tried to placate the Prime Minister [Tsipras] – she said 'We'll find a solution, don't worry about it, I won't let anything awful happen, just do your homework and work with the institutions, work with the Troika; there can be no dead end here.'"

The divide seems to have been brief, and perhaps even deliberate. Varoufakis thinks that Merkel and Schäuble's control over the Eurogroup is absolute, and that the group itself is beyond the law.

Days before Varoufakis's resignation on 6 July, when Tsipras called the referendum on the Eurogroup's belated and effectively unchanged offer, the Eurogroup issued a communiqué without Greek consent. This was against Eurozone convention. The move was quietly criticised by some in the press before being overshadowed by the build-up to the referendum, but Varoufakis considered it pivotal.

WhenJeroen Dijsselbloem, the European Council President, tried to issue the communiqué without him, Varoufakis consulted Eurogroup clerks – could Dijsselbloem exclude a member state? The meeting was briefly halted. After a handful of calls, a lawyer turned to him and said, "Well, the Eurogroup does not exist in law, there is no treaty which has convened this group."

"So," Varoufakis said, "What we have is a non-existent group that has the greatest power to determine the lives of Europeans. It's not answerable to anyone, given it doesn't exist in law; no minutes are kept; and it's confidential. No citizen ever knows what is said within . . . These are decisions of almost life and death, and no member has to answer to anybody."

Events this weekend seem to support Varoufakis' account. On Saturday evening, a memo leaked that showed Germany was suggesting Greece should take a "timeout" from the Eurozone. By the end of the day, Schäuble's recommendation was the conclusion of the Eurogroup's statement. It's unclear how that happened; the body operates in secret. While Greeks hung on reports of their fate this weekend, no minutes were released from any meetings.

The referendum of 5 July has also been rapidly forgotten. It was preemptively dismissed by the Eurozone, and many people saw it as a farce – a sideshow that offered a false choice and created false hope, and was only going to ruin Tsipras when he later signed the deal he was campaigning against. As Schäuble supposedly said, elections cannot be allowed to change anything. But Varoufakis believes that it could have changed everything. On the night of the referendum he had a plan, Tsipras just never quite agreed to it.

The Eurozone can dictate terms to Greece because it is no longer fearful of a Grexit. It is convinced that its banks are now protected if Greek banks default. But Varoufakis thought that he still had some leverage: once the ECB forced Greece's banks to close, he could act unilaterally.

He said he spent the past month warning the Greek cabinet that the ECB would close Greece's banks to force a deal. When they did, he was prepared to do three things: issue euro-denominated IOUs; apply a "haircut" to the bonds Greek issued to the ECB in 2012, reducing Greece's debt; and seize control of the Bank of Greece from the ECB.

None of the moves would constitute a Grexit but they would have threatened it. Varoufakis was confident that Greece could not be expelled by the Eurogroup; there is no legal provision for such a move. But only by making Grexit possible could Greece win a better deal. And Varoufakis thought the referendum offered Syriza the mandate they needed to strike with such bold moves – or at least to announce them.

He hinted at this plan on the eve of the referendum, and reports later suggested this was what cost him his job. He offered a clearer explanation.

As the crowds were celebrating on Sunday night in Syntagma Square, Syriza's six-strong inner cabinet held a critical vote. By four votes to two, Varoufakis failed to win support for his plan, and couldn't convince Tsipras. He had wanted to enact his "triptych" of measures earlier in the week, when the ECB first forced Greek banks to shut. Sunday night was his final attempt. When he lost his departure was inevitable.

"That very night the government decided that the will of the people, this resounding 'No', should not be what energised the energetic approach [his plan]. Instead it should lead to major concessions to the other side: the meeting of the council of political leaders, with our Prime Minister accepting the premise that whatever happens, whatever the other side does, we will never respond in any way that challenges them. And essentially that means folding. … You cease to negotiate."

Varoufakis's resignation brought an end to a four-and-a-half year partnership with Tsipras, a man he met for the first time in late 2010. An aide to Tsipras had sought him out after his criticisms of George Papandreou's government, which accepted the first Troika bailout in 2010.

"He [Tsipras] wasn't clear back then what his views were, on the drachma versus the euro, on the causes of the crises, and I had very, well shall I say, 'set views' on what was going on. A dialogue begun … I believe that I helped shape his views of what should be done."

And yet Tsipras diverged from him at the last. He understands why. Varoufakis could not guarantee that a Grexit would work. After Syriza took power in January, a small team had, "in theory, on paper," been thinking through how it might. But he said that, "I'm not sure we would manage it, because managing the collapse of a monetary union takes a great deal of expertise, and I'm not sure we have it here in Greece without the help of outsiders." More years of austerity lie ahead, but he knows Tsipras has an obligation to "not let this country become a failed state".

Their relationship remains "extremely amicable", he said, although when we spoke on Thursday, they hadn't talked all week.

Despite failing to strike a new deal, Varoufakis does not seem disappointed. He told me he is "on top of the world."

"I no longer have to live through this hectic timetable," he said, "which was absolutely inhuman, just unbelievable. I was on two hours sleep every day for five months. … I'm also relieved I don't have to sustain any longer this incredible pressure to negotiate for a position I find difficult to defend."

His relief is unsurprising. Varoufakis was appointed to negotiate with a Europe that didn't want to talk, no longer feared a "Grexit" and effectively controlled the Greek treasury's bank accounts. Many commentators think he was foolish, and the local and foreign journalists I met last week in Athens spoke of him as if he was a criminal. Some people will never forgive him for strangling a nascent recovery by reopening negotiations. And others will blame him for whichever harsh fate awaits Greece this week.

But Varoufakis seemed unconcerned. Throughout our conversation he never raised his voice. He came across as imperturbably calm, and often chuckled. His conservation wasn't tinged with regret; he appears to be treating the loss of power as ambivalently as he treated its acquisition.

Now he will remain an MP and continue to play a role in Syriza. He will also return to a half-finished book on the crisis, mull the new offers publishers have already begun to send him, and may return to the University of Athens in some capacity after two years teaching in Texas.

By resigning and not signing a deal he abhorred, he has kept both his conscience free and his reputation intact. His country remains locked in a trap he spent years opposing and months fighting, but he has escaped.

Harry Lambert (@harrylambert1) ran the New Statesman's UK election site, May2015.com.

This article was corrected at 14.18 on 13/7/15 to say it was Jeroen Dijsselbloem, not Tusk, who issued the communique, and was also changed to reflect the fact that Varoufakis wishes to continue being in politics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 04:53 PM

Looks like Carroll knows what it is like now to be called a Thatcher poodle, as he calls anyone who doesn't accept his something for nothing approach to life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 08:01 PM

"as he calls anyone who doesn't accept his something for nothing approach to life."
More thatcher poodlism
Those who get something for nothing have ruined our country - those who have driven Greece in to the ground are the wealthiest peopel who pay no taxes, just as in Britain, the poorest are supporting those with offshore accounts
"Carroll"
Can't reciprocate with your name ans you skulk behind anonynity.
One of the most comforting aspects of arguing with people like you is the fact that, universally, you really aren't very bright.
After five minutes of argument, you could scribble all you responses in advance.
If you have anything to say on what I have put forward, please feel free to offer it - I won't hold my breath though!
Sorry Dick - really don't understand the points you are making with your somewhat impenetrable cut-'n-pastes - put it down to my "privileged" Secondary Modern education.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jul 15 - 11:34 PM

So the story moves on. At the time of posting a new deal has been proposed, under which Greqece will lose control of more of its assets but the deal has to be approved by the Greek parliament ...

It is hard to see how the deal will do anything other than prolong the agony. As expected, nothing is being proposed to assist Greece be stronger economically; it is all cutting expenditure and ignoring any consequences.

However, the approach taken adds one further twist of the knife. Will a party elected precisely to oppose the austerity and with this goal reinforced with a "no" vote a few days ago vote to accept the deal and demonstrate that the democratic voice is simply irrelevant, and if so whence democracy? Or will they reject it and risk finding themselves overpowered by the economic consequences and demonstrating democratic irrelevance though a different path?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Musket sans mandate
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 02:20 AM

In years to come, students will be studying the art of offering your people alternatives it isn't in your gift to offer. The only way Greek banks can reopen and liquidity restored is if he pushes through his parliament measures he told the people to reject, not only in an election but a referendum too.

Politicians of all countries and persuasions should take note of the next 48 hours in Athens.

My money is on a lynching. Although you can get 3/1 on a military coup on Paddy Power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 03:21 AM

Jim, lynne h said in effect that greece only exported olives, just correcting this mis conception.
I am whole heartedly in agreement with you, Jim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 03:41 AM

Thanks Dick
It seems that Greece is in a lose-lose situation as things stand
A Government comes in and attempts to put right some of the wrongs brought about by a series of indifferent right wing administrations.
The right wing of Europe in the form of The Merkin Mob decide to do what they are there for and whip them into line by foreclosing on the debt (with a past of debts of their own going back to the Versailles Treaty, half written off, with sixty years to pay the rest), the government holds a "dishonest betrayal" of a referendum and the people give them their blessing, The Merkin Mob says, "pay up or we'll shoot the kid", the Government are forced to ignore the democratic decision and raise the money, the German right gets to decide Greek internal policy and Hitler and Papandreou get to sleep easy in their bunkers.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 03:52 AM

The obvious answers run counter to the IMF's preferences.

1. Stop all capital flight.
2. Exchange control - only proper payments for goods and services to be allowed out.
3. Haircut a high proportion of all high net worths.
4. Tax all people and corporations with a Greek presence on a realistic but substantial part of worldwide income and assets (notably shipowners too). Tax on all assets in Greece. Trusts to be fully transparent or ALL assets confiscated.
5. Charges to foreign businesses to use Greek national assetts like ports and airports.
6. Progressive tax structure. Tax the church. Tax collection with the power of the inquisition and an anti-avoidance policy worthy of the Jesuits. 100% penalties on tax avoidance and evasion - amnesty for teh penalty part (but not the tax avoided or evaded) if voluntary disclosure and payment made NOW.
7. End early retirement.
8. Eye-watering import tax on anything for which there is a non-imported equivalent.
9. Sell off military weapons - the army is useless anyway and it would reduce the threat from fascist colonels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: skarpi
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 04:12 AM

Iceland have fast growing economy ? Ok hmm well living in Iceland, im not seeing it grow yet , it is just money made in a computer. ...more later


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 08:59 AM

Several excellent letters in The Irish Times today showing that not all Irish people accept the Government appeasement to Europe's right.

GREECE AND A EUROPEAN CRISIS
Sir, I used to believe in Europe. No longer. I used to campaign for closer union in Europe. Never again. And never again will I give my vote, in another referendum, for "more Europe".
Across large swathes of the continent, the dream is dying. The "project" is now a monster out of control- owned and oper¬ated by zealots and illiterates whose sole concern is the ritual humiliation of a nation, since there is no credible economic rationale for saddling a bank¬rupt state with more loans it cannot ever repay.
Syriza has made many mistakes: its slow pace in tackling a fossilised state, its naivete in negotiations, and its naivete about the real meaning of solidarity in the institutions of the European Union.
Yes, the EU has paid over enormous sums of money to keep the show on the road, but for whom and to what end? Whatever Greece's errors, its ritual humiliation by hawks led and coordinated by Germany is shameful. Among them I include the Government, whose antics at the EU Council and Euro Group in recent months offend the innate decency of many Irish people and, I suspect, that of very many Europeans, too.
This would not, could not, have happened when Europe was a genuine community of nations. It is, however, par for the course when the project and its institutional underpinnings morph into a utopia for big business, big banks and big politics - none of which can be seen to fail, when it is self-evident they all have.
The Greek parliament may or may not buckle when it considers this bailout. While the outcome of the approval procedure in other EU states is less clear, it is a foregone conclusion here, where the nodding dogs in the Dail will approve without bothering to think it through.
What is certain is that Euro¬pean governments are intent on continuing with the same failed policy, in the hope that draining the last blood from a dying patient, and transfusing the economic equivalent of formaldehyde, will somehow re¬vive the victim and make it well again.
Whether this deal can, or will, be implemented in full or at all, or for how long it might avert a Grexit, nobody knows. What we can be sure of is that while Europe this week may appear infinitely stronger in the eyes of its rulers, its legitimacy in the eyes of millions of citizens is infinitely weaker.
If the founders were alive today, would they even recognise it? -Yours, etc,
KEALAN FLYNN,
Galway.

Sir, - It really is a bit much that various EU leaders talk about Greece having to "rebuild" trust. What about the trust those leaders have to rebuild with the Greek people and the people of Europe? Still the EU elite refuses to face responsibility for its own mistake in 2010, and the mess that led to in the euro zone, when the Euro Group forced Greece - then Ireland, then Spain, Portugal and Cyprus - to link its banking debt to its national debt.
The consequences of that stupid decision, presumably made at the behest of the banks like Goldman Sachs, which have open-door access to European People's Party leaders and finance ministers, has led to the current mess in the euro zone. Their failure to lead properly, not how badly Greece is run, directly led to the breaking of the bond of trust the EU had with the citizens of its member states, who can no longer be under any illusions that there is any notion of European solidarity-
Greece could have walked away from the euro zone, on the quite legitimate reason that its debt burden was simply too much and enough was enough and no amount of reform was ever going to make the debt sus¬tainable.
The irony is that if it had, this would have meant all the debts of the German and French banks that the leaders of those countries had tried so hard to avoid being paid would immedi¬ately fall back on the taxpayers of Germany and France, mean¬ing all the damage done to the EU and euro zone would have been for nothing anyway.
But instead Greece faced the music of its own dysfunction and is continuing to shoulder not only the debt incurred in running Greece itself, which is the price it pays for that dysfunc¬tion, but also the debts of the euro zone banks operating in Greece.
If Greece had walked away, the whole euro edifice would have crumbled, as why would anyone in any other country put themselves through what the Greek people have endured, and for what? So their great-great-grandchildren will still be repaying the losses incurred by reckless investment bank lending in France and Germany that had nothing to do with the Greek economy, no matter how dysfunctional it was. -Yours, etc,
DESMOND FITZGERALD, Canary Wharf, London.

And my particular favourite

Sir, - An old Irish proverb might be well applied to the EU approach to the Greek conundrum - "An awful lot of noise for very little wool, said the devil as he was shearing the pig. " Yours, etc,
DENIS KENNY, Wellingtonbridge, Wexford.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Jul 15 - 01:22 PM

Interesting letters. There is a referendum due in the UK for continued membership of Europe. Until a very short while ago, I was a definite 'yes'. As the first letter suggests, I am far from certain today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 08:31 AM

From this morning's Financial Times.
Jim Carroll

The International Monetary Fund has warned that it might not be able to participate in Greece's bailout if the programme does not include substantial debt relief, setting itself on a collision course with the country's eurozone creditors.
The move particularly raises the pressure on Germany, which has opposed any debt relief, just as it prepares to seek the approval of its parliament to negotiate the details of a new bailout hashed out in a summit at the weekend.
The Bundestag is expected to be summoned for an emergency session on Friday if the Greek parliament on Wednesday passes austerity measures demanded by creditors in return for up to €86bn in fresh financial support.
Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, is struggling to contain a rebellion within his leftwing, anti-austerity Syriza party ahead of the votes on the legislation, which is being backed by the opposition.
In the three-page memo, sent to EU authorities at the weekend and obtained by the Financial Times, the IMF said recent turmoil in the Greek economy would lead debt to peak at close to 200 per cent of economic output over the next two years. At the start of the eurozone crisis, Athens' debt stood at 127 per cent.
The memo, prepared for EU leaders ahead of the summit on Greece, argues that only through large-scale debt relief — something eurozone officials have fiercely resisted — could Greece see its debt fall to levels where it would be able to return to the financial markets.
"Greece's debt can now only be made sustainable through debt relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far," the memo reads.
That view was reinforced by the IMF on Tuesday when it said it would not be able to disburse €16.4bn of its own funds that European officials are counting on unless an agreement on debt relief was concluded.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 11:07 AM

200


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 11:22 AM

Damn!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Greek Finance Minister Musket
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 06:40 PM

Greece can't afford 200. Any chance of you accepting 23?

Oh and do you have 23 you can loan us to give you?

We told our people you can so you must.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 10:54 PM

Are you sure that's what you told you people, though, Greek finance minister? Bringing and end to austerity is a bit of an ambiguous phrase: ithere is a difference between applying the brakes and stopping dead, and there was certainly scope for applying brakes using the sort of things Richard Bridges mentioned above, as apposed to pressing the accelator into chaos that even the IMF thought crazy.

I don't think iit accurate to describe this as the Greek government promising what could not be delivered, or at least no more than many governments have done many times. In fact, every time there is another government, country, or big business involved. Every UK budget, for example, necessarily makes assumptions about how people and organisations will behave and can be blown out of the water if those are wrong.

Greece was certainly naive in assuming the EU and its member countries which claim to be thoroughly democratic would take note of the Greek vote and at least pause to ask if there was any way to help apply the brakes rather than accelerator and achieve the sort for economic goals. But that is not the same as knowingly promising what could never be delivered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jul 15 - 10:57 PM

Sought for... Sigh


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 05:43 AM

More good sense from The Irish Times
Jim Carroll

GREECE WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF ESCAPING FROM THE EURO
Ray Kinseila Opinion
There is hardly a democrat in Europe not embarrassed by what has been perpetrated in their name on Greece
The crisis in the euro zone was fundamentally an ethical crisis triggered by corporate capitalism and detonated within a deeply corrupt business model in banking. Greece, for all its policy failings, is a victim of this same, essentially unreconstructed ideology.
The bailout "reforms" the eurogroup seeks to impose on Greece are now being discussed before the Greek parliament. They are based on the deeply destructive economics of austerity. This approach to correcting macroeconomic imbalances of the nature, and scale of, the post-2008 crisis is not supported by evidence - not in the euro zone generally and not in Greece. They are certainly not vindicated by the experience of countries that have been at the sharp end of its economic nihilism.
In Ireland, the casualties of the "re¬forms", in the form of broken lives and businesses, as well as sovereign and household indebtedness extending across three generations, have been swept under the bed. The room just seems tidy- unless you know where to look.

Mitigating austerity
The ECB's quantitative easing (QE) programme has been motivated by attempting to mitigate the entirely foreseeable consequences of austerity on vulnerable, over-indebted economies and on the wider euro zone, other than on Germany. The scale of the QE pro¬gramme, alongside unprecedentedly low interest rates, tells its own story of cata¬strophic policy failure.
The pernicious "bailout" imposed on Greece was ratified by busily nodding euro zone politicians, few of whom show any grasp of the realities of life outside of the perpetual circus of hugely expensive "crisis meetings". These are politicians who press the flesh and avert their eyes from the reality of what they are doing - then quickly escape into the comfort zone of their "briefing notes". History is full of them.
There is hardly a democrat worthy of the name in Europe who has not felt a flush of embarrassment at what has been perpetrated in their name on Greece. There is too much rigorous analysis - too much evidence of hardship - to prove that what is unfolding is not primarily the responsibility of feckless Greeks. The accountability lies elsewhere.
Germany's insistence on the imposition of vengeful "reforms" on Greece's broken- backed economy makes no economic sense. The argument that hardworking German people who pay the piper are entitled to call the tune is facile.
The greater the austerity imposed on Greece, the less its capacity to repay. It is already running a primary surplus, which highlights an unprecedented fiscal turnaround, reflecting the depth and scale of cuts in health and social solidarity. The economy has tanked.

Benefits to Germany
Conversely, Germany ran a trade surplus of €250 billion in 2014, equivalent to 7 per cent of its GDP. This reflects German competitiveness, but also the benefits to Germany and the German economy of the euro and of its depreciation. Indeed, the decline in the euro in recent months, as Greece slipped from crisis to chaos, has benefited German exports. Now, there is an irony.
All of this highlights the asymmetrical nature of adjustment in the euro zone, a feature to which economists have long pointed as a basic flaw in the design and workings of the system.
In any event, the idea that, as principal paymaster, Germany is entitled to set conditions does not extend to disenfranchising the Greek people or, effectively, evicting Greeks from their own parlia¬ment. The troika is shot through by serious policy divisions. For example, the stance embedded both in the measures themselves, and in the tone of the euro- group, does not reflect the position taken by the IMF.
This is important. It has been the case pretty well from the outset that the International Monetary Fund has allowed itself to be press-ganged into providing covering fire for the euro zone. This policy divide has been evident in Ireland, where the IMF's approach has sometimes been very different to that imposed by the ECB and former EU commissioner Olli Rehn.
There are deep divergences in terms of, for example, debt sustainability and the scale of debt relief required by Greece from the European institutions. Well, let's be clear: from Germany and the IMF.
Some questions arise: Whose analysis is correct, and to what extent has the
political animus of the troika infected the perspectives of fiscal adjustment and governance in a battered, dependent economy? This is relevant because, in the early stages of Greece's travails, there were reports (swiftly retracted) of sending in a "special commissioner" to take over the tattered remains of government decision-making in Athens. This talk has resurfaced with a vengeance.

Icy clarity
Moreover, in February Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's finance minister, set out with icy clarity what would follow if Greece's new government had the temerity to defy the conditions of the redundant 2012 programme. This animus has infected the whole wasted process of "negotiations" since February - a period that could and should have been used to build trust in a new programme and has, instead, imploded into visceral mistrust that is absorbed into the very bloodstream of Greek-German relations.
What, then, is one to make of Ireland's stance? Greece is, after all, a small(ish) country and one whose culture stretches back millennia. Like Ireland. It is a country that has known occupation, been knocked around and misused by domestic political forces and the dark powers of global financial markets, as Joe Stiglitz has so well chronicled in his book Freefall. Just like Ireland. And, like Ireland, Greece has been eviscerated by austerity, indebtedness and emigration. There is a shared strong strand of Christianity.
So, some empathy might have been expected. But we don't do empathy anymore - we are much better at cliches that have to do with "doors being open" and "tables" just waiting to be sat around.

De facto takeover
The anti-austerity economic analysis of the Greek left has been vindicated (in depressing contrast with the Irish Labour Party). The mainstream, resentful of the de facto takeover of "Europe" by German power and influence, has nowhere to turn at a time of existential crisis in European foreign policy, including migration.
Greece would have done better to have exited. The euro zone would have done better to have facilitated and supported such an exit. Now Greece is shackled by more oppressive debt without any of the benefits of using exchange-rate adjustment, alongside structural and supply- side policies, to facilitate adjustment. The Greeks were spooked - just as Ireland was spooked.
Globally, the banks are "returning to profitability". The Greek people are screwed. The vulture capitalists are already circling Athens.

Prof Ray Kinsella is an economist and author of the forthcoming Troikanomics


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 06:13 AM

I've never looked at 'The Mother of all BS threads' as there are far too many posts.
Guess this one might gazump it in years to come when we're still all wondering "what's going to happen about Greece?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 06:57 AM

The actions of Germany formed the beginning of the end of the European project. They have sown the seeds of the next war in Europe.

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras was described as being "like a beaten dog" after 17 hours of harassment leading to the laughably described "bailout". "They crucified Tsipras in there," said one senior Eurozone official coming out of the "negotiations".

Many people I know who were for many years deeply committed to the EU have reversed their commitment now. Some are the last people you might expect to think like that. The Guardian yesterday had a big spread on how the Left is turning Eurosceptic as Europe ceases to be a meeting of equals and becomes the servant of a capitalist-ruled German-centred power élite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 07:05 AM

I'm horrified. I feel exactly the same as DMcG. Germany, benefiting massively from the weak euro, trampling all over the little guy: when have we seen that before....


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 07:26 AM

Look at this disgusting tantrum by Belgium's Guy Verhofstadt in the European Parliament, screaming at Alexis Tsipras. He's saying Greece has to cut the public sector ("it's difficult for the leftists") - in fact, Greece has already cut 75,000 public sector jobs in one-and-a-half years, throwing all those people out of work, and cut the survivors' wages by a third. Europe screeches for pension cuts: Greece has cut pensions by 40% - and many families' only income is Grandma's pension now. And so on. He's talking about the Greek shipowners - Syriza last week offered tax income equal to what Europe was then requiring, but Syriza's taxes would have been on the rich, which was not acceptable to the EU.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 08:47 AM

Well there is supposed to be a referendum coming up about continued UK membership....let's all vote "out", forget party loyalties, forget scare stories about UKIP....they have been telling us for a decade what is really going on and we just haven't listened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 09:18 AM

"forget scare stories about UKIP..."
Why on earth should we do that?
They are racist toerags
Whoops - mask slipped
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,McMusket
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 09:47 AM

Scotland voted to stay in The UK. Mainly because the good people of Scotland are too clever and sophisticated to risk leaving The EU.

The rest of The UK has similar fears.

Whilst Cameron is mandated to begin the discussions for a review of what The EU does for its members and ask the country if that is acceptable, nobody is expecting us to leave.

Scotland showed the common sense the rest of The UK will undoubtably show come the referendum the PM doesn't actually want.

Of course you get ignorant fools everywhere. UKIP and BNP have their supporters, which is a damning indictment of poor education but Middle England isn't as daft as bigots think.

Note how much Greece a) hates The EU and b) wishes to remain a member.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 10:04 AM

However, Scottish support for being in the UK has plunged since that referendum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 10:42 AM

Quite correct Thompson and Scotland can do very well on its own, it has huge advantages over the Greek economy.....there is absolutely no need for the SNP, of which I am a member, continuing to suck up to this corrupt organisation. We should be looking towards world markets, not European ones. Europe only exports cheap labour, but that labour will be at the price of our own people.

The people of Greece are in a trap....afraid to lose what little they have. If they don't jump they will be slaves for the next few generations.

I have never understood how any nation can be fully free without control of their borders and without sovereignty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 10:48 AM

Why so Jim, Tell me they have not been warning us about the EU project. Tell me they were wrong about the effects of mass immigration.

Is making political points that you disagree with, racism?

UKIP and Mr Farage were right on the button....every political Party now grudgingly agrees .....time you caught up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 11:25 AM

"Tell me they have not been warning us about the EU project."
Their attitude to the E.U. has far more to do with their Xenophobic nature than any economic analysis, as can be seen i any interview with any of their representatives.
"Tell me they were wrong about the effects of mass immigration"
Their attitude to immigration and foreigners in general is indistinguishable from that of Eunuch Powell and Fuehrer Mosely - a perfect example of why they should not be approached without protective clothing - they are a bunch of fascists.
"UKIP and Mr Farage were right on the button"
Out of the closet at last
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 11:27 AM

".time you caught up."
You mean like the rest of the British people - what a wonderful victory at the last election - where are they going to seatr all the new MPs?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 11:34 AM

That's pathetic Jim, I am totally opposed to UKIP politically, but every other UK party now agrees with them over unregulated immigration from the EU and a growing number are now agreeing with their view that we should get out.....If something is undeniably true it doesn't matter a hoot who says it.

In saying that, Scotland is much better placed to succeed outside the EU than the UK is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 12:02 PM

" I am totally opposed to UKIP politically"
"UKIP and Mr Farage were right on the button."
Huh?
Don't ring us, we'll ring you
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: akenaton
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 12:19 PM

Do you sincerely believe that everyone you disagree with is automatically wrong?......grow up Jim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 12:30 PM

"Do you sincerely believe that everyone you disagree with is automatically wrong"
No - I very seldom enter into arguments with no opinion - I'm happy to take in fresh information from where I can get it, but however other people feel - for or against, doesn't sway be in the least unless it comes with fresh information.
Rather than me grow up, I suggest you take on a bit of humanity - might help if you ever decide whether to become a Christian.
Now, please go away - you've shown what you're made of
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Thompson
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 12:43 PM

When did the ultimate adolescent insult - a withering "Grow up" - become an internet thing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 02:56 PM

Rounds one, two, and three to Christmas!


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 02:57 PM

I think it's becoming clearer and clearer that the German position about Greece is more about regime change than anything else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 02:59 PM

A bit like the Bitch Thatcher's annihilation of the GLC and Thames TV - a deliberate destruction of any base for opposition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jul 15 - 03:19 PM

"I think it's becoming clearer and clearer that the German position about Greece is more about regime change than anything else."
Suspected that from the beginning, as are does else (except the politicians - they already knew) it seems.
Nice, very well spoken mid-to elderly lady in the paper-shop this morning - "all we got out of Europe is slightly better feckin' roads".
You can't gainsay that one.   
"Christmas!"
Don't you start!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 02:36 AM

Germans are demonstrating against the bullying of Greece: "We'd never call the German finance minister a Nazi," said Marlies Sommer, a spokeswoman for TOP Berlin, an anti-capitalist group. "But given the total domination the German government is trying to impose on Greece, the analogies are somewhat striking."


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 07:54 AM

The German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble seems to have fallen out with his boss, Angie the Merkin, and said that Greece should leave the Euro as the loan will break Greece's economy and is unsustainable - more or less what Greece has been saying all along.
The feeling here (not yet among politicians) is that Ireland's position is dodgy 'there, but for the grace of god', and our membership should be re-examined.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jul 15 - 01:03 PM

"Getting rid of Bridge would be tragic"
We'd all fall in the water!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 15 - 04:50 AM

'euros to be printed on Greece proof paper'


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jul 15 - 06:46 AM

Seems like the Irish are not to only ones having second thoughts on Europe
Angie appears to be having her own problems back home
Jim Carroll

Irish Times this morning
BUNDESTAG OPPOSITION TO BAILOUT GROWS
Sixty members of Merkel's CDU refuse to back her mandate request for bailout talks
Opposition parties say Berlin's threat to eject Greece from euro was 'a scandal'
DEREK SCALLY in Berlin
German opposition to further assistance to Greece is on the rise, after one in five members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) refused to back her mandate request for talks on a third bailout.
The rising opposition came despite Dr Merkel's warning that failure would bode ill for European cohesion and the continent's ability to address looming global challenges.
After a heated debate, some 439 deputies approved of the mandate, 119 voted against and 40 abstained. In the last vote on Greece, on extending the second EU-IMF programme, the number of rebels in her grand coalition was 45. Yesterday 60 CDU deputies opposed the motion while five abstained.
Opposition parties said it was a "scandal" that Berlin had threatened Greece with ejection from the euro should it re¬fuse a third programme, and that the terms it attached to €86 billion in loans were "destroying Europe".
Ahead of the vote, Dr Merkel warned would-be rebels it would be "grossly negligent" to reject further Greece aid, given consequences for EU cohesion on Russia and the fight against international terrorism - and Germany's own economic inter¬ests.
"We are doing this for people in Greece but just as much for people in Germany, " she told a heated Bundestag debate.
"This is a decision for a strong Europe and a strong euro zone. "
Dr Merkel said the bailout roadmap that had emerged from weekend talks was "tough, no question".
But after five years of failing to meet its promises, Greece would be watched closely this time to ensure reforms went be¬yond intent to implementation.
She defended a German proposal - eventually dropped - to offer Greece a "time-out" from the euro zone to restructure its debts, saying it could only be decided unanimously - with f>pek consent.
"Neither Greece nor the others were prepared for this, thus it was not considered, " she said.
Amid ongoing concerns on the sustainability of Greek debt, the German leader said debt writedowns - so-called haircuts - were "not to be done" because they would breach German constitutional court rulings that limit Berlin's bailout participation.
We are doing it this for people In Greece but just as much for people In Germany
Leading the attack, opposition leaders in Die Linke - an ally of Syriza - accused Dr Merkel and finance minister Wolf¬gang Schauble of "making the biggest mistake of your political careers".
"Mr Schauble, I'm sorry but you are destroying the European idea, " said Gregor Gysi, Linke floor leader.
Linke deputy floor leader
Sahra Wagenknecht said the root of the Greek tragedy lay in the 2010 decision to "load bank debt on the shoulders of taxpayers to prevent losses at German and French banks".
"And you call this solidarity, " she said.
After weeks of mixed messages on Greece, Social Democrat leader Sigmar Gabriel, deputy chancellor in Berlin, urged support for a third package and warned of divisions should talks fail. "Greece has to change dramatically to get out of this crisis, " he said.
Mr Schauble made no mention of his own doubts about a third bailout programme for Greece in his Bundestag address.
A day after suggesting on radio that a Grexit and debt write down was the "best way" for Greece, he described a third bailout as "the last attempt to achieve this extremely difficult task".
But he conceded that talks would have to find a way to bring Greece's debt to a "realistic" level.
"I ask you to vote in favour, " he said. "We believe that there is a chance to bring these talks to a successful conclusion. "
The polarised Bundestag debate reflects public opinion: a German public television poll shows 49 per cent of Germans oppose further talks with Greece, with 46 per cent in favour.
According to the poll, some 68 per cent of respondents blame Athens for an escalation of the standoff with Greece, 24 per cent blame all sides equally and 4 per cent blame other euro countries. An overwhelming 85 percent believe Greece will be a long-term dependant of EU financing.
The Bild tabloid, a long-time opponent of Greek bailouts, presented seven reasons to vote no to third bailout talks, including that Greece had "exhausted European trust" and that "our grandchildren will pay".


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Subject: RE: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: GUEST,Buddy
Date: 23 Jul 15 - 06:41 AM

They ran out of other people's money.


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