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Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?  
User currently offlinewardialer From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1183 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2184 times:

Hi -

Recently in the news, we hear about Spain, Portugal, Italy being in very bad shape in their financial debt crisis.
But how come Eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech Rep. are NOT affected by any way?

What can we learn from Eastern Europe? How they can manage their finances?

Even in the US, what can the US learn from Eastern Europe in order to avoid this kind of economic chaos?
Something that these Eastern European countries are doing right that other Euro Zone countries are not doing.

64 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3108 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2167 times:

For starters, Eastern Europe (I'm assuming we are talking about EU countries only) does not use the euro. If they have a debt crisis like Greece does, they have the ability to devalue their currency and try to jump-start their economy. Eurozone countries, however, do not, since their currency is shared by other members. To devalue the currency for one Eurozone country, while helpful, might harm other member countries. Hence, the idea that a second, lesser valued euro might benefit the southern Eurozone countries while the regular euro circulates among the northern Eurozone countries is not a bad one.

Also, keep in mind that Eastern Europe countries have the responsibility to join the euro eventually, so they need to meet certain criteria to do so. Among them is lowering their debt, inflation, and keeping it in check.

The US's case is different. It's not so much about the economy as it is overspending. Eastern Europe countries don't allocate a large part of their budget to defense and don't launch wars (they join the coalition, but do not ignite one by themselves).



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2153 times:

The eastern european countries had formerly been behind the iron curtain and thus have not taken part in most of the historical development in the western countries which gave rise to the high debt levels or excessive financial risk-taking in the first place.

The eastern european countries had received massive transfer payments (such as infrastructure development subsidies) to bring them up to EU level, basically shifting potential or real debt towards the western countries, and none of them had been able to create a free-for-all banking haven that would have attracted large amounts of risk.

Being in the Euro or not had nothing to do with it, as you can see in the case of Britain. High debt levels are a problem regardless of what currency you've got and most of the root causes of today's debt predate the creation of the Euro anyway.

Membership in the Eurozone is rather a factor in how they can get out of that hole and what the exact impact will be on everybody. None of the ways out will be painless either way.


User currently offlinewardialer From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1183 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2134 times:

Also TAXES have alot to do with it. Take Hungary for example. 25 percent sales tax. One of highest in Europe.
Thats good revenue for the country. Thats why Hungary never had the need for a bail-out in any way.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14027 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2104 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):
If they have a debt crisis like Greece does, they have the ability to devalue their currency and try to jump-start their economy.

They could only jumpstart their economy if they had attractive products they could sell abroad. An abundance of overpaid civil servants and public service paperpushers like in Greece doesn´t produce attractive products, also there exists the fact that practically all Greek products (mainly agrarian products and tourism) have to compete with other countries which similarly would want to lower bthe value of their currency. Then, a depreciation of the currency would make imports much more expensive, and very few countries are big enough to be selfsufficient. It has worked in Argentina, because they are a big country, which could provide for many necessities (e.g. foods) themselves, but not for a small country like Greece, and even then it meant a lot of hardship for the population.

Jan


User currently offlineluckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2075 times:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):
Eastern Europe (I'm assuming we are talking about EU countries only) does not use the euro.

The Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and Estonia all use the Euro. Montenegro is not part of the EU yet, but it also uses the euro. Bulgaria is purported to change over within the next two years. Romania is supposed to be not far behind. Hungary isn't quite so keen to join the Eurozone. They are currently saying the earliest they could adopt the euro is 2012.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):

The eastern european countries had formerly been behind the iron curtain and thus have not taken part in most of the historical development in the western countries which gave rise to the high debt levels or excessive financial risk-taking in the first place.

You beat me to it, sir! They are still developing, having built their current economies from scratch and currently can only grow. When that slows down, their market economy matures a little, some of their bills will come due and we shall revisit this situation in a few years. The last ten years especially have been very good to many Eastern European economies.


User currently offlineluckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2050 times:

Quoting luckyone (Reply 5):
They are currently saying the earliest they could adopt the euro is 2012.

That should read 2020, sorry guys.


User currently offlinezhiao From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2003 times:
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Quoting wardialer (Reply 3):
Also TAXES have alot to do with it. Take Hungary for example. 25 percent sales tax. One of highest in Europe.
Thats good revenue for the country. Thats why Hungary never had the need for a bail-out in any way.

Actually, Hungary was one of the first places to be bailed out!


User currently offlineHELyes From Finland, joined Oct 2010, 941 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1989 times:

Quoting zhiao (Reply 7):
Actually, Hungary was one of the first places to be bailed out!

In the 2008 crisis Hungary and the Baltic states were badly hit. Hungary got an IMF-arranged financial assistance package worth over $25 billion.

[Edited 2011-10-09 13:30:22]

User currently offlinepelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1965 times:

Quoting wardialer (Reply 3):
lso TAXES have alot to do with it. Take Hungary for example. 25 percent sales tax. One of highest in Europe.
Thats good revenue for the country. Thats why Hungary never had the need for a bail-out in any way.
Quoting zhiao (Reply 7):
Actually, Hungary was one of the first places to be bailed out!

Indeed, therefore the question why Eastern Europe are not affected is flawed. There are countries who are doing quite well like Poland or Slovakia but there are aswell countries from the former Eastern Bloc who have economical and financial problems.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/f...5.1bn-rescue-deal-for-Hungary.html

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
The eastern european countries had received massive transfer payments (such as infrastructure development subsidies) to bring them up to EU level, basically shifting potential or real debt towards the western countries,


Are you sure about that argument? Portugal and Greece have been belonging for a much longer period to the top group of net recipients of the EU (Ireland and Spain did so for a long time, too and they are still net recipents) and they managed to amass huge debts.

pelican


User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

Quoting pelican (Reply 9):
Are you sure about that argument? Portugal and Greece have been belonging for a much longer period to the top group of net recipients of the EU (Ireland and Spain did so for a long time, too and they are still net recipents) and they managed to amass huge debts.

Getting money from the coherence funds doesn't automatically create a healthy economy (and the jury's still out on the longer-term health of the eastern economies), but it can help.

Greece's main problem was a completely borked economical system riddled with corruption and inefficiency, even though they had income opportunities.

Portugal suffers mainly from a lack of such opportunities with some lesser additional problems.

Ireland effectively gambled big and lost big in the speculative financial markets while building their economy on subsidizing down their own taxes with coherence money to outcompete their own donors.

Spain had pumped up its building construction industry during the financial bubble years at the expense of pretty much everything else, so now that they've ended up with huge amounts of buildings which are either unfinished, unsold or severely devalued and little further demand in sight, the construction industry is in deep trouble and unemployment soars.

I could go on and on. Basically the self-deceptions from previous years have become unsustainable and huge cleanup efforts are under way (parts of the US political class are still in active denial about this being necessary there as well).

The developing countries have their own share of complications, both already present or imminent.

Interesting times...


User currently offlineAsturias From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 2156 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1887 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
Spain had pumped up its building construction industry during the financial bubble years at the expense of pretty much everything else, so now that they've ended up with huge amounts of buildings which are either unfinished, unsold or severely devalued and little further demand in sight, the construction industry is in deep trouble and unemployment soars.

That's such a superficial and banal explaination, especially when followed by:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
Basically the self-deceptions from previous years have become unsustainable and huge cleanup efforts are under way

Yes, I'm sure you could go on and on - since generalizing isn't very difficult.

The fact is "Spain" didn't pump up any building construction, that was done by banks - mostly German, Irish and UK banks.

Spain does not do constructions. Spain is a state, a country.

The construction boom did not come at the "expense of pretty much everything else". Again, Spain invested nothing. Spain was just minding its business and collecting taxes, then distributing them as services and payind debts.

The huge amount of unfinished buildings should - of course - not matter one iota to the country.

But it does seem to have an effect. No banks have been taken over by the state, unlike the UK or other "AAA" countries, but still the anglocentric market - which basically thinks banking in a giant beach is stoopid - pretty much immediately thought that something bad was going on in Spain.

All of what you describe about Spain is you perception, not reality. It's like people didn't even bother to check what banks were losing hand over fist because of bad investment in construction in Spain. It wasn't BBVA. It wasn't Santander. It wasn't any of the major Spanish banks.

German, Irish and UK banks, on the other hand lost immense amounts. So let's downgrade Spain. After all, there's free money in that!

ast.



Tonight we fly
User currently onlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1874 times:

Quoting Asturias (Reply 11):
The fact is "Spain" didn't pump up any building construction, that was done by banks - mostly German, Irish and UK banks.

Spain does not do constructions. Spain is a state, a country.

Spain as a country had choices about developing more than just their building industry and being more cautious about further promoting the already totally overheated real estate market for short-term gains.

The spanish banks have indeed been comparatively solid, but Spain's speculation was not with fictitious financial items but with real land and real buildings which still came crashing down all the same since there was apparently no substantial effort made to diversify and to dampen excessive speculation.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1846 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 4):
An abundance of overpaid civil servants and public service paperpushers like in Greece doesn´t produce attractive products

Ah now there is the problem, those products might be extremely attractive, but the trouble is I cannot tell because they are all Greek to me. I just do not think they have made enough of an effort to sell Cretan Linear A.

But enough of such levity Jan.

It is an interesting question and overall there does seem to be a contrast. However there appears to have been (to not coin a phrase) an iron curtain that has descended on the civil exchange of opinions, so unless matters change I think I am outta here.


User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1840 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1830 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 12):
The spanish banks have indeed been comparatively solid, but Spain's speculation was not with fictitious financial items but with real land and real buildings which still came crashing down all the same since there was apparently no substantial effort made to diversify and to dampen excessive speculation.

That's the point. Successive governments just sat by and reaped the benefits of a high-growth economy while doing very little to soften the inevitable impact (something that was known as early as 2000).

A well-known politician made a statement recently that regulating the property/building market in the middle of the boom would be akin to someone taking the drinks in the middle of the party. Well, it turns out we'd better have. Corrupt politicians, lax legislation and easy money to be made were a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, banking regulations were strict and were mostly followed, which prevented big banks from falling.

Still, the Spanish economy is in better shape than most analysts want to believe. It's running a trade surplus with the EU with exports rebounding and falling imports and leaving aside the construction sector (which was too big of a % of the economy these last years), the fundamentals are sound.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14027 posts, RR: 62
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1813 times:

Quoting JJJ (Reply 14):
That's the point. Successive governments just sat by and reaped the benefits of a high-growth economy while doing very little to soften the inevitable impact (something that was known as early as 2000).

Just like in Ireland and the UK, you just can´t go wrong with real estate, you know, the prices will ALWAYS go up, until the next crash at least. Just ask the Japanese.

Jan


User currently offlineshamrock604 From Ireland, joined Sep 2007, 4176 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1802 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
Ireland effectively gambled big and lost big in the speculative financial markets while building their economy on subsidizing down their own taxes with coherence money to outcompete their own donors.

What a simplistic load of rubbish.

Stop reading "Bild". Get the facts. Provide an honest account of the progress of the Irish economy from 1995-2007 and then I will take your views seriously.

Until you can do that, please refrain from this "rent a quote" "soundbite" narritive of the German view of the Irish economy.

[Edited 2011-10-10 04:33:49]


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User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1790 times:
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Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 1):
Hence, the idea that a second, lesser valued euro might benefit the southern Eurozone countries while the regular euro circulates among the northern Eurozone countries is not a bad one.

While this may be true on a large macroeconomic scale, any such measure would almost certainly be extremely unpopular in many Eastern European countries, as well as EU candidates in the Balkans - indeed, it could do more damage in the short run than it would do good in the long term. Many people in these parts have converted or taken up their life savings, properties and credits into euros, and a dramatic reduction in the value of the Euro would cause havoc. If the "southern Euro" is reduced to half the value of the "northern Euro" - as was speculated in local papers here - it could very well wipe out the financials of a large part of the population...

EDIT: typos...

[Edited 2011-10-10 04:58:05]


No plane, no gain.
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1739 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 4):
An abundance of overpaid civil servants and public service paperpushers like in Greece doesn´t produce attractive products,

  

Greece may not produce cars and hi-tech but to present it as a country that produces nothing and only has "paper-pushers" is far from the truth. Some attractive products produced and exported by the country:

-Magnesium: 46% of total production of Western Europe .

-Aluminum: 1st country in Europe in production of aluminum

-Bauxite: Greece is the bigger producer in the European Union.

-Nickel: Greece is the only European country with important layers of nickel. Greece has the biggest production facilities of nickel in European Union.

-Olive Oil: Greece is the 3rd country in the world of olive oil production

-Saffron Crocus: Greece is the 3rd country in the world of production of saffron crocus

- Asparagus: Greece is 5th in the world in exports of asparagus.

-Cotton: Greece is 7th worldwide in exports of cotton and the 11th in its production

-Tourism: Greece is the 14th country in the world in tourist arrivals

-Shipping: Greece is number one in the world in commercial shipping.

And soon to come, oil and natural gas.

Not everyone works in the public sector, the actual % of the workforce doing that is comparable to the rest of the EU. Badly managed and inefficient yes, "abundant" in numbers and "overpaid", not that much.


User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1732 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 4):
It has worked in Argentina, because they are a big country, which could provide for many necessities (e.g. foods) themselves, but not for a small country like Greece, and even then it meant a lot of hardship for the population.


As much of a shock as this is for me to write, another salient difference was that in Argentina there was not the institutional turpitude over such a long period of time as has been revealed in Greece. Argentina simply had an issue of a currency that was terribly overvalued at a time of a booming US economy, strong dollar and low commodity prices, and a cumbersome debt load of about 100% of GDP (not that outrageous compared to many nations today). So when it devalued, besides being a world breadbasket of grains, producing cars and machinery, having oil and gas, minerals, and a strong service industry (film, advertisement, wine, tourism, nuclear know-how), all of which allowed some capacity to internalize the devaluation and then export it's way to growth, equally important was the fact that the penuniary hole was "climbable" and mostly accurate.

Truant greek governments paid-off venal financial institutions (most of them foreign, not Greek), and in return these thimblerigged and cooked the books for them. Thus the debt challenge was a pandora's box that completely blew up and now even with a devaluation it is so large it may still prove unmanageable. I still don't understand why those firms who colluded in the criminality have not been held liable.



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1724 times:

Quoting Derico (Reply 19):
I still don't understand why those firms who colluded in the criminality have not been held liable.

Unfortunately nobody has been held liable. Foreign firms selling those financial instruments (if these are indeed illegal and against rules, shouldn't someone go after them?), foreign firms bribing to get overpriced state contracts, Greek politicians who have been in Government for years - if not decades - and are all of a sudden surprised about the state of the country's financials, tax evaders that keep doing what they have always been doing... Until justice is cleaned from corruption and starts doing what it should be doing, nothing will change in the country.


User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1711 times:

Well, yes, but the failings of Greek government have been widely bruited. However, it does take two to Tango.

My conjecture is that investors and authorities are burking the issue, because of the current fragility of those same institutions. I could to some extent understand that, you would not shoot in the head what you are trying to resuscitate. The problem is that I know once the dust settles and everything is in order again their corruption, their crimes, will be quietly forgotten.



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14027 posts, RR: 62
Reply 22, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1692 times:

IMO, the biggest reason is the deregulation of the financial markets in the 1980s and the removal of the difference between investment banks and consumer banks.
Before consumer banks were the places where Joe Sixpack would have his account, where his boss would send the monthly paycheck, where he would have his savings account with a moderate interest and low risk and where he would go for a loan, based on his income, for a new car or a house. Boring low risk, low yield banking.
Investment banks were relatively small outfits where really rich people or institutions like life insurances would bring their excess money. Investments were higher risk and also higher yield, but since the investment banks were run by experienced specialists and the customers also knew what they were in for, the risk was still acceptable.
In the worst case, the investors would lose their money, but it wouldn´t hurt them too much.

When the boundary between investment banks and consumer banks got dropped, this means consumer banks could suddenly gamble on the high risk markets, it didn´t only allow the banks to use the moneys deposited there by the smalltime customers (Joe Sixpack´s lifetime savings) to gamble with, but it suddenly created a large number of smalltime investors, people who didn´t really know what they were doing, but, after a talk to a smart salesperson, got dollar (or Euro) signs in their eyes and would buy any financial instrument offered, as long as the promised yield was high enough. This also includes employees of the former consumer banks, who suddenly had a lot of money to play with on the high risk markets. Not for nothing the German civil servant type bankers of e.g. the West LB fell hook, line and sinker for the sales pitches of smart Wallstreet salesmen. The joke at Wallstreet was that if you couldn´t sell a high risk financial product, some German banker would buy it. I understand the mentality of these bankers: Being German and having been raised in traditional German banks, they would stick firmly to the rules and would expect the same honesty from their opposite number. These were not highly paid Wallstreet wizzards, but salaried bank employees making maybe maximum 100,000 Euros a year. Speak about a goldfish being thrown into a pool full of piranhas.

Now when the brown stuff hit the fan the banks were realy too big to fail (this includes the Irish ones as well). If such a consumer-bank-turned-investment-bank would go bust, hundred thousands, if not millions, of ordinary customers would lose all their lifesavings. Businesses would go bankrupt because the loans they took would suddenly be called in etc..
Before the deregulation an investment bank would go bust and it wouldn´t cause too much damage.


Jan


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27007 posts, RR: 57
Reply 23, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1660 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 4):
An abundance of overpaid civil servants

Sorry but where do you get your facts from ?? Please tell me the salary of a Head Teacher of 20 years experience in the state schooling system ?

These gross generalisations are un true and an insult to be honest.

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
Greece may not produce cars and hi-tech but to present it as a country that produces nothing and only has "paper-pushers" is far from the truth. Some attractive products produced and exported by the country:

All useless of course  

Honestly it amazes me how amateur and without fact this forum has become. Gross sterotypes and generalisations.


User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1650 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 23):
Sorry but where do you get your facts from ?? Please tell me the salary of a Head Teacher of 20 years experience in the state schooling system ?

These gross generalisations are un true and an insult to be honest.

It only takes an anecdotal story in Bild about a few public servants getting way overpaid to characterize everyone as "overpaid". Sad but true.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 23):
Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
Greece may not produce cars and hi-tech but to present it as a country that produces nothing and only has "paper-pushers" is far from the truth. Some attractive products produced and exported by the country:

All useless of course

This goes even below Bild-level, what I would like to call "Focus-level". In Focus's world, Greece is a country whose only product is tourism (and maybe olives and tomatoes) and where everyone is a public servant tanning on a beach all day (or striking and rioting), sipping ouzo and living the "party" life.


25 MD11Engineer : There you´ll get dwarfed by mighty China with 650.000 tonnes per year (2010 figures acc. to Wikipedia). The only European country on this list (exce
26 OA260 : So are Royal Caribbeans cruise ships but they still add to the US Economy, doesnt take away from what Lewis said. These workers come off the ships in
27 shamrock604 : All of this "Bild" induced bullshit is rapidly going to be seen for what it is anyway - the chickens are coming home to Roost for core Europe, and the
28 MD11Engineer : My neighbour was forcibly retired (against his will) back in the 1990s in his fifties (he was an engineer, signaling systems design, with the East Ger
29 Baroque : In defence of the Greece bauxite, geologically it IS a heck of a lot more interesting than our vast sheets of bauxite. They just lie on the surface f
30 lewis : So, even with competition, Greece IS producing and exporting stuff, that was my point, no need for you to pick through every line. Lets take Germany
31 Post contains links OA260 : Hmm when I went to click into this story I thought it was the Greeks again , hmmm Air traffic strike chaos warning Flights across Europe could be seve
32 Post contains images lewis : Wow, there are strikes in countries other than Greece? Germany? Shocker! These people need to get in touch with reality. Maybe they should all be rep
33 MD11Engineer : AFAIK, the first strike since German ATC was transfered from civil service into a (government owned) company more than ten years ago. And the topic i
34 OA260 : LOL... You watch quite a few EU countries this Winter you will see plenty of strikes in various areas. Still a strike ! Still going to ground flights
35 shamrock604 : Werent Lufty about to go on strike recently too? And then of course, we have French ATC.....who are actually striking today, along with the compadres
36 lewis : Yep, and if I remember correctly there have been Lufthansa strikes before. The Greek ATC strike was officially for exceeding the legal limits set by
37 MD11Engineer : Which is ok, if these were the real reasons. Jan
38 prebennorholm : Overpaid or underpaid, what it that? If a country cannot collect money to pay the teachers and paper-pushers, then they are overpaid. In the long run
39 OA260 : Teachers and other lower level civil servants have never been over paid. If you are suggesting that some top level civil servants were and still are
40 Post contains links Baroque : Never mind, the Slovaks have taken the biscuit today for attracting attention. http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...d/2011/10/12/gIQAEnMaeL_video.ht
41 OA260 : It is still expected to go through on the next vote. The Slovaks are going to be pressurised so much that Im sure it will pass.
42 Baroque : Meanwhile, anyone playing that market, could have made a mozza could they not? There is a lot of money riding on not finding a solution. A bit like P
43 Post contains images OA260 : You wait until the Lisbon treaty needs amended and the Irish have to go for a referendum
44 WildcatYXU : Baroque, I usually agree with everything you say, but you are dead wrong here. It's not about keeping up the tension. It's about doing what's right.
45 Baroque : I think even the Greeks have been mentioning the lack of appropriate clothes for, what about a year now. Just they cannot figure out how to get dress
46 shamrock604 : "The Irish failed to elect a government who....". I'm sorry to say, but this is just fishing for reasons to blame the Irish people. If the rules are
47 Post contains images OA260 : Oh really ! Sir I respectfully ask you to check your figures again . Purely for the reason that a very good friend of mine is now working in a school
48 WildcatYXU : May I ask what kind of school is you friend teaching at? Slovakia is not only Bratislava, you know, and the wast majority of schools aren't private s
49 shamrock604 : Just a clarification to the above - the "bailout" must be paid back. It is not like receiving aid or structural funds which do not have to be paid ba
50 Post contains images OA260 : I can find out the exact details for you if you wish . She is 22 and left a job here in Ireland paying EUR1600 a month she has basic qualifications n
51 WildcatYXU : Sure. I know the difference. So do the Slovak politicians and voters. However, the Slovak politicians and voters doubt that it will be paid back. Or
52 Derico : You really believe that if all the large economies of Europe either collapse, falter, or slip into recession (Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain), tha
53 shamrock604 : The Danes and Swedes did contribute to the Irish fund, and unlike some other countries, did not demand blood in return. We Irish thank them profoundl
54 Post contains images OA260 : You could say that about the Irish yet wages are very good here. Its weird that Irish would give up a standard of life for a lower standard of life a
55 shamrock604 : Also, there's a huge number of Slovaks who came here to Ireland, another state making use of the EFSF. If the Slovaks are willing to take the benefits
56 WildcatYXU : I just can't imagine where they are teaching. You can believe me when I say that teachers are among the worst paid workers with university degrees in
57 lewis : From all the political analysis I was reading on the subject, the members of the coalition that did not go for a yes vote were more focused on oustin
58 shamrock604 : Ireland's budgets were balanced, in fact produced surpluses, and had THE LOWEST DEBT OF ANY EU STATE until the financial crisis hit. Germany and Fran
59 Post contains images lewis : I doubt that the EURO was forced on Slovakia, haven't heard that being done to any country that has wished to opt out, but I may be wrong, not from t
60 MD11Engineer : So what would have happened if he irish state would have let the Irish banks go bust? Ok, it would have hurt the German banks, the bigger ones would
61 lewis : Jan, unfortunately it is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, same as with the current situation with Greece. Many would like to say,
62 MD11Engineer : The one thing, which permitted the banks to blackmail all of us is that there is no seperation between investment banks and consumer banks. If there
63 prebennorholm : Agree. Otherwise Czech Republic would have been forced as well. Uhmmm... Czech Republic again. Do they have problems attracting foreign investments b
64 shamrock604 : Indeed. You can be quite certain that the architects of the Euro were fully aware of that point too - that one day, a situation would evolve to which
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