greasespot
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Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:42 pm

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Greeks+...ity+anger+grows/2957875/story.html

Greek transport workers walked off the job on Tuesday to protest against austerity measures and labour unions called a national strike for next week, piling more pressure on the government as it struggles with a debt crisis.

Hundreds of striking public transport workers marched in Athens chanting "Hands off our salaries", while buses, trams and metro trains stopped operating for six hours.

Later, about 2,000 public and private sector workers, students and anarchists marched to parliament holding red flags and banners reading "To the streets!" and "Out with the IMF!"

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Greeks+...s/2957875/story.html#ixzz0mL5ZKqX5



Now I am far from a financial guru..But In this case I do not see what choice Greece has other than jack taxes to a point that would kill the country. they have been downgraded to Junk status



GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
flanker
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:55 pm

I don't understand how rioting and calling strikes at THIS TIME will help anything. Only makes things worse IMO.

Sometimes i cant stand the mentality of the balkans/sse Europe.
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DAL767400ER
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:58 pm

Quoting greasespot (Thread starter):
Now I am far from a financial guru..But In this case I do not see what choice Greece has other than jack taxes to a point that would kill the country. they have been downgraded to Junk status

They don't have to worry, the EU will supply them with financial aid, the largest percentage of which will be paid by Germany, and the Greek can continue their life as usual   .
 
greasespot
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:06 pm

But will Germany? From over here it sounds like it is not a given.


I Greece about to become a new "third" world Country?
GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
Sabena332
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:14 pm

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 2):
and the Greek can continue their life as usual

Indeed, the "Mit Tzatziki kostet funfzig cent extra!" sentence will always come from them.  

Parick
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DAL767400ER
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:22 pm

Quoting greasespot (Reply 3):
But will Germany? From over here it sounds like it is not a given.

Well, Merkel's been playing hardball with the EU, but all signs point to the EU still finding a way to make Germany pay, claiming the usual BS, ie "EU is a collective", "One country not going along with the others is a threat to economic stability", and so on. Germany won't have much of choice.
 
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OA260
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:26 pm

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 2):
will be paid by Germany, and the Greek can continue their life as usual   .

Sorry please quote your source ? Tell me how much everyday workers will get cut in their pay packets? You obviously know more than the people who are seeing huge pay cuts in all sectors. The one thing that has shined through in this is how arrogant Germany are. One reason why I hope the UK never joins the Euro or ceases more powers to Berlin or Brussels.

Quoting flanker (Reply 1):
Sometimes i cant stand the mentality of the balkans/sse Europe.

Its Europe in general , I dont support strikes but just look at the strikes over Europe in the last months and especially the Aviation industry , another BA one on the way apparantly so its wide spread.

Quoting greasespot (Reply 3):
I Greece about to become a new "third" world Country?

Nope they will recover they will just have to knuckle down for 5 years and will probably be better for it. The government need to be strong and focus and dont let strikes deter them. By Greek standards the protests have been low key apart from a few riots and arrests. Most Greeks accept the bitter pill that must be taken.

Dont forget over the years the infrastructure has been modernised and Greece is well placed to survive. Roads, public transport,airports,ports,communications networks all upgraded so they could have not had all this and still been in this debt crisis.
 
Newark777
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:29 pm

Quoting greasespot (Thread starter):

Now I am far from a financial guru..But In this case I do not see what choice Greece has other than jack taxes to a point that would kill the country. they have been downgraded to Junk status

The problem is that a non EU country would be able to let its currency devalue to an equilibrium level in relation to trade partners. The economic downturn would still hurt, but this would allow the country to get back on track quicker and with less pain. For obvious reasons, this can't happen under the current EU currency system.

Quoting flanker (Reply 1):
I don't understand how rioting and calling strikes at THIS TIME will help anything. Only makes things worse IMO.

Well, they think it can help them, not the country. An entitled culture at its worst.

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 2):

They don't have to worry, the EU will supply them with financial aid, the largest percentage of which will be paid by Germany, and the Greek can continue their life as usual

This case just screams moral hazard.

The ironic part of all this is that Portugal and Ireland will have to help pay Greece under any EU bailout plan, while they are suffering under many of the same issues, just because Greece can't get their house in order. Of course it is proportional to their economic size, but they still must contribute.
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OA260
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:42 pm

Quoting newark777 (Reply 7):
Ireland will have to help pay Greece under any EU bailout plan, while they are suffering under many of the same issues

Ireland will give 450m. And yes your right there are huge problems here also . Strikes also and still some surprises to come. Germany may have to bailout a few more EU countries and thats what they are worried about. Portugal's credit ranking downgraded , Spanish stocks plunged 4% and Italy had trouble selling bonds. Theres alot more to come .
 
fr8mech
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:42 am

To paraphrase Thatcher: Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money. Greece has run out of other people's money. A low retirement age, a nanny state, a population that is not replacing itself, a demographic shifting to the aged. These all spell disaster.

My dad (been living back in Greece since 1994) has had a sudden urge to visit the States (he's 83 and hates traveling) and has started to send his grand-children and children monetary gifts...large (for him) inheritance sized sums. He won't admit it, but he's concerned.

At least the family and I get to see him much earlier than expected.
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OA412
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:33 am

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 2):
and the Greek can continue their life as usual

So you have intimate knowledge of the situation in Greece and the fact that no changes will be made? There are major changes happening as we speak, so I don't understand where you're getting this idea that life is going to continue "as usual" for the Greeks. As OA260 said, the thing that has become most apparent in all of this has been German arrogance.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 9):
Greece has run out of other people's money. A low retirement age, a nanny state, a population that is not replacing itself, a demographic shifting to the aged. These all spell disaster.

One of the most important (if not the most important) underlying problems in this situation (and one that keeps being ignored by most commentators) is the issue of tax evasion. The upper classes in Greece have avoided paying taxes for decades, and the resulting loss of income to the state is very much responsible for the current situation. Stories are surfacing daily about people living in exclusive suburbs and driving very expensive vehicles who were declaring an annual income of $5000. In addition, stores of corruption with the Greek version of the IRS are surfacing as well. Frankly, the whole taxation system needs overhauling and everyone of the employees needs to be shown the door, and hopefully that will be one of Papandreou's reforms.

Quoting flanker (Reply 1):
Sometimes i cant stand the mentality of the balkans/sse Europe.

Strikes have been happening all over Europe, this is hardly limited to Greece at this point.

Quoting newark777 (Reply 7):
The ironic part of all this is that Portugal and Ireland will have to help pay Greece under any EU bailout plan, while they are suffering under many of the same issues, just because Greece can't get their house in order. Of course it is proportional to their economic size, but they still must contribute.

Whenever the relief packages for those two are approved (and IMHO its inevitable), Greece will have to help with the bailout of those countries.

Quoting newark777 (Reply 7):
Well, they think it can help them, not the country. An entitled culture at its worst.

IMHO, it's very easy for us call people "entitled' until its our paycheck that faces decimation, then the sky begins to fall. I don't disagree that several changes have to be made in Greece, and as painful as they may be, wage cuts will have to be part of that equation. However, keep in mind that wages in Greece are already quite low in comparison to much of Europe, and any further drop in pay hurts quite a bit.
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Newark777
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:50 am

Quoting OA412 (Reply 10):

IMHO, it's very easy for us call people "entitled' until its our paycheck that faces decimation, then the sky begins to fall. I don't disagree that several changes have to be made in Greece, and as painful as they may be, wage cuts will have to be part of that equation. However, keep in mind that wages in Greece are already quite low in comparison to much of Europe, and any further drop in pay hurts quite a bit.

I really can't comment on the wage conditions of government workers in Greece, except to compare it to what's happening back here in NJ. Thousands have lost jobs, taken pay cuts, and lost benefits, but when it's time for government workers (in this case teachers) to face a similar fate, they act they are being persecuted, and have the audacity to still ask for RAISES. It's enough to make you sick.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 10):

Whenever the relief packages for those two are approved (and IMHO its inevitable), Greece will have to help with the bailout of those countries.

In terms of debt, the other countries are in better shape, but it's certainly headed in that direction if condition don't turn around. And now people are talking about Spain being the next in trouble, which is quite larger than the others already mentioned.
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:13 pm

Quoting OA412 (Reply 10):
As OA260 said, the thing that has become most apparent in all of this has been German arrogance.

It's not arrogant to be pissed off at a sibling who needs to be bailed out, it's pretty natural.

By everyone's admission here, Greece needs major reforms to get in line with the commitments Greece itself made to be a part of the EU.

I've bailed out a few relatives, and I can't say I was all that pissed off, but I can say I really wondered why they didn't get their sh*t together till it was too late.

Greece need to live within their means. One thing that comes to mind immediately is the Olympics. All the work to airports, subways, atheletic facilities were grand, but while it was happening I kept saying to myself "how can they afford all this?". I guess we know the answer now, they really couldn't.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 10):
One of the most important (if not the most important) underlying problems in this situation (and one that keeps being ignored by most commentators) is the issue of tax evasion. The upper classes in Greece have avoided paying taxes for decades, and the resulting loss of income to the state is very much responsible for the current situation. Stories are surfacing daily about people living in exclusive suburbs and driving very expensive vehicles who were declaring an annual income of $5000. In addition, stores of corruption with the Greek version of the IRS are surfacing as well. Frankly, the whole taxation system needs overhauling and everyone of the employees needs to be shown the door, and hopefully that will be one of Papandreou's reforms.

The thing to do is to start to put the tax evaders into jail. Just a few key examples will do. Then grant some sort of 'tax amnesty' where fines for missed tax payments will be reduced or eliminated. The money will flood in. If the EU were smart, they'd make serious tax reform a part of the bailout they are offering.
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NAV20
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:44 pm

Quoting newark777 (Reply 7):
The problem is that a non EU country would be able to let its currency devalue to an equilibrium level in relation to trade partners.

I think you've hit the nail on the head, newark777.

The EEC seems less and less like a 'community.' I'm afraid that it begins to look more and more like the 'German Empire'..............

Germany has always believed in a 'strong currency.' It could afford to do that, since their manufactured goods were (and more or less remain) of such wonderful quality that people elsewhere were prepared to pay more than the 'going rate' for them. For example, Mercedes cars......

But that strategy will not (will NEVER) work for the 'PIIGS' - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Still less will it work for the dozen or so disunited and bankrupt Balkan nations that the EU has recently 'absorbed.'

Many years back I moved my whole family from Britain to Australia - specifically because I disliked and distrusted the EEC and doubted from the start that it made any economic sense at all. I don't expect that they will shortly rush up and thank me (I didn't bring them up that way  ) - but I still think that I did the right thing by them.......
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:21 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 13):
'German Empire'

Well, at least you didn't go as far as calling it the Fourth Reich....

I thought the Germans complained that it was the French running the place.
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janmnastami
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:31 pm

I don't understand Germany. Obviously Greece will have to cut its budget, but in this moment Europe can't say "no, we won't help you" to Greece. Germany has really a strange concept of the EU.

Italy will give 5 billion euro.
 
Newark777
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:38 pm

Quoting janmnastami (Reply 15):
I don't understand Germany. Obviously Greece will have to cut its budget, but in this moment Europe can't say "no, we won't help you" to Greece. Germany has really a strange concept of the EU.

Well, they could, and Greece would default on May 19th.

But it looks like now, despite the opposition among the German citizens, that Germany will pass the bailout resolution this week/early next week.

Now it appears S&P has downgraded Spain down to AA as well. Just more bad news for the region.

BTW, Has anyone here watched Arrested Development? The EU has really seemed like the Bluth family through all this, with Germany being Michael.  Smile

[Edited 2010-04-28 08:44:44]
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janmnastami
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:49 pm

Quoting newark777 (Reply 16):
Well, they could, and Greece would default on May 19th.

I think that in the remote case Germany decides not to help Greece, other European countries would take Germany's place in the loan (about 8 billion).

I agree with you, in the end Germany will grant the loan to Greece. Germany has the right to request more efforts to Greece in the restructuring plan (and we should also consider the opposition Merkel faces to give money to Greece), but currently it seems it's acting like a prima donna.
 
AM744
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:09 pm

Quoting newark777 (Reply 7):
The problem is that a non EU country would be able to let its currency devalue to an equilibrium level in relation to trade partners.
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 13):
Germany has always believed in a 'strong currency.' It could afford to do that, since their manufactured goods were (and more or less remain) of such wonderful quality that people elsewhere were prepared to pay more than the 'going rate' for them. For example, Mercedes cars......

Exactly. The problem with the Euro is that some of the countries that take part in it don't provide the high tech/quality goods and services for which you HAVE to pay in Euros whether you like it or not. France and Germany have unique products they can afford to charge for in Euros. Mostly everything else can be bought elsewhere in rupees, yuan or pesos.
 
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:15 pm

Quoting janmnastami (Reply 15):
I don't understand Germany. Obviously Greece will have to cut its budget, but in this moment Europe can't say "no, we won't help you" to Greece.

I think they are just saying that there needs to be strict conditions attached to the money. The same thing I'd say to a relative that needed a bailout. Or at least try to say, since one really doesn't have that much control in such situations, as the EU is finding out.

Some interesting stuff from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100428...s_afp/stocksforexbondseurope/print

Quote:

"The downgrading of Portuguese and Greek debt has spooked investors, as there is a very real fear that other European countries could be downgraded too," said analyst Owen Ireland at ODL Securities.

In the foreign exchange market on Wednesday, the European single currency hit a new one-year dollar low.

The euro plunged to 1.3143 dollars -- a low last seen in April 2009 -- as traders fretted over a debt crisis that could spread to other fiscally-challenged nations like Spain, Italy and Ireland.

Seems we now need to refer to the PIIGS.

Quote:

"Along with the spike in peripheral euro-area bond yields, the euro also continues to weaken, falling below the 1.32-dollar level to its lowest level in a year."

That should help Airbus, no?

Quote:

Reeling from a debt and public deficit crisis, Greece has appealed for emergency loans totalling 45 billion euros (60 billion dollars) from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The funds would be made availaible on condition that Greece implemented tough austerity measures, currently the subject of talks with the EU and the IMF.

As I was saying..

Quote:

The IMF is considering raising its Greek financial aid by 10 billion euros (13 billion dollars), having already offered 15 billion as part of the emergency loans, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

In response the latest news, the European Union has called an emergency summit on Greece, with eurozone leaders set to meet next month.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy said leaders from the 16 nations using the single currency would meet in Brussels "by around May 10" to try to agree how to set up a massive rescue operation.

Speaking in Tokyo, Van Rompuy said there was "no question" of Greece defaulting.

GFT analyst David Morrison said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would not want to hold the EU summit prior to this date.

"Of course it is the day after the German regional elections and Angela Merkel dare not OK a Greek bailout before then because she will get hammered," Morrison told AFP.

"But the likelihood is that the bond markets will force quicker action," he added.

Clearly Ms. Merkel has a tightrope to walk.

Quote:

Across in Athens on Wednesday, strikes and protests erupted as its crisis-hit economy reeled from another scathing downgrade of its debt and the stock exchange took emergency measures to deter speculators.

Amidst a growing recession, a general strike has been called for May 5 against austerity cuts that the government is enforcing to slash the rampant public deficit and debt worth nearly 300 billion euros (399 billion dollars).

Morrison added: "One thing is for sure -- Greece needs considerably more than the 45 billion euros on offer.

"Having heard that restructuring was not even being considered yesterday, the market has jumped forward and is now looking at outright default."

Oil prices also sank on Wednesday, shaken by the Greek crisis and the strong US currency, which makes dollar-priced crude more expensive for foreign buyers.

Quite a turn of events...
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MadameConcorde
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:16 pm

Greece credit lowered
Portugal credit rating lowered

now
Spain credit rating lowered

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100428/...n_bi_ge/eu_europe_financial_crisis

so which EU country is going to be next on the list?
Italy? France? another EU country?

place your bets!  

me thinks the whole of the EU is bugged as they are all so deep in debt...  
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Newark777
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:34 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 20):
place your bets!

Or buy some CDS's. Probably a bigger payday if you get it right.  
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
lewis
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:29 pm

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 2):

They don't have to worry, the EU will supply them with financial aid, the largest percentage of which will be paid by Germany, and the Greek can continue their life as usual .

Just the usual inaccurate perceptions from Germany. Say anything you want about how we lied with our finances (although the past couple of years we were under "EU supervision" so go figure) or how corruption is high, but stop with this nonsense I keep hearing from over there about people working less than the EU, people getting higher pensions than the rest of the EU, people getting more holidays than the rest of the EU and that every single Greek is a tax evader partying all day on the beach. Its getting old dude and I can prove you wrong for every single one of them.

And no, we will not go on as usual. With what is pre-announced, I will lose 20% of my income (income which is around half of what my German colleagues get in Munich at the same company), I will lose a lot from my future pension, I will be paying 6% more on VAT and I am already spending 50% more for fuel. And that's just based on the first measures that will be taken. Plus, if you have ever been here you would know how expensive it is and to try and live with an 800 euro salary which will soon be reduced makes it even worse. Its not only sunshine and the beach here... at least for non German tourists.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
It's not arrogant to be pissed off at a sibling who needs to be bailed out, it's pretty natural.

As they should be. Maybe Frau Merkel should be more aggressive towards past and present politicians about their lying to the EU instead of shaking hands with them at photo-opps around Europe. I am all for Germany being tough with Greece, maybe its the only way some reforms will be pushed. What pisses me off is the perception of the average German for the average Greek that we have a good thing here, based on inaccuracies in the German & international press these past few months.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
The thing to do is to start to put the tax evaders into jail.

That's exactly it. In the latest polls, the majority here has accepted that we need the reforms to go on, which means that most Greeks understand the situation, despite what our fellow Germans think. I for one am ready to bite the bullet for things that I am not at fault, as long as the people (corrupt politicians, tax evaders, bribers & bribed) get thrown in jail and have their assets and those of their families seized immediately. I think it is time to make an example of them so that this comes to a stop now and never starts over again/
 
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:16 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 22):
I am all for Germany being tough with Greece, maybe its the only way some reforms will be pushed. What pisses me off is the perception of the average German for the average Greek that we have a good thing here, based on inaccuracies in the German & international press these past few months.

Thanks for sharing your point of view. I can imagine these changes are going to be very hard to deal with.

Quoting lewis (Reply 22):

That's exactly it. In the latest polls, the majority here has accepted that we need the reforms to go on, which means that most Greeks understand the situation, despite what our fellow Germans think. I for one am ready to bite the bullet for things that I am not at fault, as long as the people (corrupt politicians, tax evaders, bribers & bribed) get thrown in jail and have their assets and those of their families seized immediately. I think it is time to make an example of them so that this comes to a stop now and never starts over again/

The problem is the corrupted and the corrupters are the ones in charge. Somehow they need to be bypassed. I'm sure it can be done, but it'd need to be done by total outsiders with nothing to lose or gain by changing the system. Obviously whatever "EU supervision" is, it was not good enough.
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Lumberton
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:30 pm

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's take here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/c...-Germany-drags-feet-on-rescue.html

Quote:
But Mrs Merkel is treading on eggshells. She faces a crucial election in North Rhine-Westphalia on May 9 that will decide control of the Bundesrat, and risks a court challenge if any rescue breaches the EU’s no 'bail-out clause’. David Marsh, author of 'The Euro: The Politics of the New Global Currency' said the moment of truth has come when Germany must decide whether to accept the burden of propping up Europe’s southern ring or let Greece fail and endanger its strategic investment in Europe’s post-War order.

“There are some senior figures who would like so see the gangrenous leg of Greece chopped off, to set an example. But they want to avoid leaving any German fingerprints on the blood-stained knife,” he said.

An associated press report. Zorba the Greek? That movie again?

Greek debt crisis shows Europe's clash of cultures

Quote:
In trying to explain how Greeks think, some point to Zorba the Greek, the fictional, free-spirited figure of dance. He's not the type to get his finances in order.

"I wouldn't say that all Greeks are Zorba, but part of every Greek is this love of life and this love of enjoyment," said Nikos Dimou, a 75-year-old Greek author who studied in Germany and has been most industrious -- producing 60 titles in all. "The Greeks have a rather negative view about the Germans because they work too much."

Dimou attributes the differences between southern and northern Europe to the lack of a "Protestant work ethic" in the south -- as well as the sun-splashed Mediterranean climate, which slows the pace and encourages corner-cutting. By contrast, Nordic countries have robust public finances, though Iceland's economic spiral in 2008 puts the weather theory to the test.

Greece is a special case, Dimou and others say, because it belongs as much to east as west. Under Byzantine and then Ottoman rule, it skipped the Renaissance and Reformation, the ideas of the French Revolution and the rise of a bourgeois class. Then it played catch-up to the rest of Europe in the nineteenth century.

Now Greece wants $59.8 billion (euro45 billion) from the 16 euro nations as well as the International Monetary Fund. Germany, Europe's largest economy and a model of efficiency, would contribute about a fifth of the cash.

In Germany, a lawmaker fired up debate by calling for Greece to sell its islands to bolster the budget. On Friday, the Bild newspaper showed a picture of Greek prime minister George Papandreou, saying: "Here comes the Greek panhandling for our billions."

Der Spiegel puts the cost of the Greek rescue to a mere 135 billion euros. What price union?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,691898,00.html

Quote:
The Greek crisis will cost Europe more than expected. On Wednesday, German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle said the rescue package could cost 135 billion euros over three years, and that the risks for Germany could be far greater than initially anticipated. The opposition says Chancellor Merkel is partly to blame.

The aid package for Greece from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will amount to €135 billion ($179 billion) over the next three years, according to an announcement made Wednesday by German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle. Under the current arrangement, Germany is supposed to annually contribute €8.4 billion to the package. But, according to Brüderle, the figure could go much higher. "I can't exclude the possibility that the amount will be higher," he told reporters while on a trip in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Germany's opposition had already stated that Greece would need up to €120 billion over three years. This was the figure that Thomas Oppermann, the head of the parliamentary faction for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), and Jürgen Trittin, the head of the parliamentary faction for the Green Party, had named after meeting earlier Wednesday in Berlin with European Central Bank (ECB) President Jean-Claude Trichet and International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
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TheCol
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:40 pm

Quoting greasespot (Thread starter):
students and anarchists marched to parliament holding red flags and banners

Sounds like the unions are trying to take advantage of the situation.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):
I thought the Germans complained that it was the French running the place.

They both are.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:47 pm

Quoting TheCol (Reply 25):
They both are.

The French banks are the most exposed to the risk of a Greek default; IIRC its on the order of 25%.

So what is France doing to support any bailout?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:00 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 24):

"There are some senior figures who would like so see the gangrenous leg of Greece chopped off, to set an example. But they want to avoid leaving any German fingerprints on the blood-stained knife," he said.

Oh my! Such intrigue!

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 24):
"I wouldn't say that all Greeks are Zorba, but part of every Greek is this love of life and this love of enjoyment," said Nikos Dimou, a 75-year-old Greek author who studied in Germany and has been most industrious -- producing 60 titles in all. "The Greeks have a rather negative view about the Germans because they work too much."

Dimou attributes the differences between southern and northern Europe to the lack of a "Protestant work ethic" in the south -- as well as the sun-splashed Mediterranean climate, which slows the pace and encourages corner-cutting.

Hmm, first we have the Greeks saying the Germans are arrogant for saying the Greeks are lazy, now we have a Greek admitting that they are lazy?

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 24):
In Germany, a lawmaker fired up debate by calling for Greece to sell its islands to bolster the budget.

Now there's an interesting twist on things.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
gkirk
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:12 pm

All I'm going to say about the EU is...


haha.

(sorry to the Greeks but this was bound to happen with the frogs and gerrys in control of europe)

 
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lewis
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:26 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
Quoting Lumberton (Reply 24):
In Germany, a lawmaker fired up debate by calling for Greece to sell its islands to bolster the budget.

Now there's an interesting twist on things.

They can come and try and get them if they want. I have heard this from so many Germans, even colleagues that I thought were intelligent. If such a comment was enough to start a debate, I am starting to think that only tactics have changed throughout the years.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):

Hmm, first we have the Greeks saying the Germans are arrogant for saying the Greeks are lazy, now we have a Greek admitting that they are lazy?

I dunno really where this guy gets this. Sure it is hard to work long hours in a summer's day but it is done. To tell you the truth, I spend half a year working in Germany, from what I observed there was no more work done than at our offices in Athens. By Protestant work ethic he must mean a more organized and professional environment (which I appreciated during my stay there) instead of the amount of work.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 26):
The French banks are the most exposed to the risk of a Greek default; IIRC its on the order of 25%.

So what is France doing to support any bailout?

Well that is the only reason they were so eager to assist from day one. They do understand that they have more to lose if we default. From what I have read in the papers, they have already included part of their share in their latest budget.


I have to go now, bouzoukia starts soon and I can't wait to go dancing while breaking some plates on the floor  
 
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:02 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
The thing to do is to start to put the tax evaders into jail. Just a few key examples will do. Then grant some sort of 'tax amnesty' where fines for missed tax payments will be reduced or eliminated. The money will flood in. If the EU were smart, they'd make serious tax reform a part of the bailout they are offering

Id totally agree with that. Its been going on for way too many years and as Ive said before alot of good will come of this in the end as reforms will be forced through.

Quoting gkirk (Reply 28):
(sorry to the Greeks but this was bound to happen with the frogs and gerrys in control of europe)

Its been great for the UK elections lol...

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
Now there's an interesting twist on things.

Yes and more crap posted in trashy German newspapers about selling the Acropolis and other things.  
Quoting lewis (Reply 29):
I have to go now, bouzoukia starts soon and I can't wait to go dancing while breaking some plates on the floor

OPA  

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[Edited 2010-04-28 15:42:42]
 
blrsea
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:13 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 20):
so which EU country is going to be next on the list?
Italy? France? another EU country?

I wonder why UK's rating hasn't been downgraded. It isn't like they are in the best shape out there.
 
Newark777
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:16 pm

Quoting blrsea (Reply 31):
I wonder why UK's rating hasn't been downgraded. It isn't like they are in the best shape out there.

Because they aren't in nearly as much trouble as the countries already downgraded.
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
iakobos
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:46 am

PRICED FOR SALE ! the opportunity of a lifetime...

Paradisiac island in the middle of the Ionian sea, complete, as is.
Antistressos, the pearl of the Mediterranean, a jewel of greenery and romantic coves.
Guaranteed blessed by the Gods.
Fifty fully equipped moorings for yachts, two helipads, ferry and seaplane services to the mainland.
Local folklore provided by the few remaining local inhabitants. Sheep life.
Cash transaction or bank transfer to a soft account in St Kitts & Nevis.
Ask now for a free brochure !

In the civil sector, Greeks do, on average, spend more time at work than the average NW European.
Spending time though is not necessarily translated into real, productive, efficient work.
A lot goes into gossips, Nescafé frappé, essential in-office discussions about sports or celebrities or politics or whatever, and the occasional break at the local taverna or fastfood outlet.
To make a long story short, combined with sea, sun and....less money, they live a better, more enjoyable life.
What's wrong with this ?

The (huge) public sector on the other hand is the product of long-established clientelism and party membership, the presently leading socialists being second to none in the speciality.
True that some decently-paid pensioners are not even 45 years old and if really courageous can start a parallel career.
That's a burden that has to change drastically.

Greece has changed significantly since 1974, it has modernized, improved some of its infrastructure, organized the Olympic Games (which behind the scenes was close to a disaster) and generally speaking gives the appearance of wearing a new suit. The bearer however has not changed, politics are still dominated by the same figures and the same corrupt systems.
It is public knowledge that the hundreds of billions of EU aid received in the 80's and 90's only partially ended up where it was supposed to. That is what triggered the EU to install a specific field supervision of the funds at the end of the 90's.
Notwithstanding, the local finance and economy institutions have continuously produced very creative accounting and reporting procedures. The depth of the hole is probably so abyssmal that nobody knows where ground zero is.

Greece has come to the end of an era, to paraphrase Mr Bush: make no mistake.
Cutting public sector expenditures and enforcing some tax regulations is not going to turn the table.

The disease is in the bones. Surgery is needed but who will have the guts to proceed with it ?

What Mrs Merkel wants, and every responsible person can understand that, is a drastic plan (and a strict supervision) whereby the end of the tunnel could be expected to be reached in a reasonable period of time.
In the absence of it (and I am afraid it will remain unsatisfactory) it would be down to asking charity without hope of being repaid in her lifetime. Good luck Giorgos !
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:45 am

Concerning Mrs. Merkel:
There is an important state election coming up next week. The topics during this campaign are mostly about cost cutting at community and state level and unemployment plus cuts in social services.Therefore bailout payments to another country, especially if previous governments of said country have been caught to have actively cooked the books with the help of a bank which now has been accused of fraud. Hysterical reactions by German politicians and press have to be seen in this context. Mrs. Merkel and the German political parties have to appear tough to gain votes.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
janmnastami
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:49 am

Budget cuts have been made in all Europe, not only in Germany, but France, Italy and other countries don't seem reluctant to help Greece.
 
soon7x7
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:22 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):

The problem is the corrupted and the corrupters are the ones in charge. Somehow they need to be bypassed. I'm sure it can be done, but it'd need to be done by total outsiders with nothing to lose or gain by changing the system. Obviously whatever "EU supervision" is, it was not good enough.

Good idea...lets send our Wall Streeters over along with Obama...They'll fix things...their experts at changing systems. By the way, hows the "Stimulous Plan" working out for you?...Or was that "Shock and AW"...I get confused having been unemployed for 18 months...   

Seriously though...one world order?, one denomination?...can this all be a grandiose global plan. Just two years ago the US was the laughing stock of the economic community globally speaking, now everyone is in trouble?...Something stinks here and its not "low tide"...g
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:28 am

Quoting janmnastami (Reply 35):
Budget cuts have been made in all Europe, not only in Germany, but France, Italy and other countries don't seem reluctant to help Greece.

Well, all of these countries made their cuts BEFORE the Greek crisis and didn´t have a handy scapegoat. Now the help for Greece became a hot topic for nationalists to "use German money for Germans first". Also, there exist vested interests by some groups to have the Euro collapse. E.g. the banks lost a lot of revenue when the Euro was introduced because they were not allowed anymore to charge exorbitant rates for inner-European money transfers and currency changes (I´m also quite sure that e.g. some businesses in the US and maybe China would love the Euro and the EU to collapse, since it is strong competition to them).
While nobody in Germany is really happy about the need to help Greece (and maybe Spain and Portugal as well), more rational minds (and newspapers like the "Handelsblatt" and the "Frankfurter Rundschau") see the necessity of saving the Euro by helping Greece and the other affected countries (without creating a precedent for future bailouts).

In Germany it seems that mostly the tabloids are following the nationalistic route by posting exagerated stories about Greece.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:17 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 36):
Good idea...lets send our Wall Streeters

Note I said "with nothing to lose or gain by changing the system"...

That pretty much rules out Wall Streeters, they just wouldn't be interested in such a situation.

They're all about pushing the rules as hard as they can, then complaining later that the rules were too weak...
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
NAV20
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:50 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):
Well, at least you didn't go as far as calling it the Fourth Reich....

Good for you, Revelation! I actually WAS tempted - given the fact that my father had the misfortune to be born in 1900. That meant that he was 18 in early 1918, got conscripted into a rifle regiment (1st. Battalion, 18th. London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) - and was on his first spell in the front line when the Germans attacked in March of that year...   He got called up again in 1939 - but was lucky, in that he was a medic by that time, he never had to serve overseas again.

My mother - a quiet lady - really copped it in WW2, because she happened to be an admiral's secretary. She had to travel into Central London every day during the War, right through the Blitz and the buzzbombs and the V2s - but somehow almost always managed to get home in time to cook us supper.....

For myself, literally my first memory is of sitting in the air-raid shelter at dead of night and hearing bombs dropping on our peaceful Hertfordshire viilage,,,,,,

On the other hand, I started 'visiting' (you could say 'defending'  ) Germany as a National Serviceman, carried on visiting on holiday when I was a student, and later did a lot of business with them. From the start, I liked the place and the people a lot. And I readily accepted that WW2 was the result of Hitler's gang gaining power, not some basic 'flaw' in the German makeup.

But I always saw the relationship as 'friendly rivalry.' Britain and Germany have for centuries been the two strongest nations (in all senses) in Europe.

So 'free trade' in Europe always made a deal of sense to me. But any sort of economic/political 'union' NEVER did.......

[Edited 2010-04-29 07:58:19]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
blrsea
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:46 pm

Looks like it may be the beginning of the end of the euro experiment. If all of the PIIGS countries start defaulting, it will slowly unravel the Euro. They went overboard in expanding the Euro zone, which probably made sense in good times. However, once you hit a rough patch, all the bad book keeping comes out, and it drags everyone down. It is difficult to impose same standards across all countries, when there is no over-arching authority to enforce it. Countries will just fudge the books to get around the limits.

Move the PIIGS out of euro zone, let them revert to their old currencies, depreciate them to reflect their actual value vis-a-vis other countries and everyone will be happier.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:54 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 13):
But that strategy will not (will NEVER) work for the 'PIIGS' - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Still less will it work for the dozen or so disunited and bankrupt Balkan nations that the EU has recently 'absorbed.'

Post-war Germany and Anglo countries have traditionally kept their currencies strong, at least in relation to other countries, especially the ones you mentioned. And it served them well. You can also see the importance of a mostly stable currency in Brazil over the last 15 years or so. Back in Europe you also have the Swiss as a great example.

The PIIGS have a history of devaluation and worthless money, and are also among the weakest economies in Europe. They need to get away from that, and the Euro is probably a good thing for them, even if it tastes bitter in the short term.

With that said, bailing them out will completely destroy this learning opportunity. The worst thing that could happen is this "print money when we need it" mentality to get ingrained at the EU level.

And that coming from someone who is not a big fan of the EU either. . .
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Newark777
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:59 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 41):
The PIIGS have a history of devaluation and worthless money, and are also among the weakest economies in Europe. They need to get away from that, and the Euro is probably a good thing for them, even if it tastes bitter in the short term.

Of course it is good for them, they get the benefits of the EU and get bailed out when things go bad. The history of weak economies and worthless money are not unrelated.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 41):

With that said, bailing them out will completely destroy this learning opportunity. The worst thing that could happen is this "print money when we need it" mentality to get ingrained at the EU level.

And with the EU common currency, the pain is shared by all!
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:29 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
Good for you, Revelation! I actually WAS tempted - given the fact that my father had the misfortune to be born in 1900. That meant that he was 18 in early 1918, got conscripted into a rifle regiment (1st. Battalion, 18th. London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) - and was on his first spell in the front line when the Germans attacked in March of that year... He got called up again in 1939 - but was lucky, in that he was a medic by that time, he never had to serve overseas again.

Very interesting.

I knew very little about WWI till I watched the 8 part WWI documentary that has been running here on the Military Channel.

I presume it was produced by someone in the UK becuse it's well done (as opposed to the US based stuff) and the narrator has a British accent.

I was amazed by the one sailor who had three different ships torpedoed out from under hin in one day!

The ships were the Cressy, Hogue and Aboukir.

He hopped off one when it was torpedoed, was rescued by the second, it was torpedoed, he was recued by the third, it was torpedoed, and he survived to tell the tale!

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
My mother - a quiet lady - really copped it in WW2, because she happened to be an admiral's secretary. She had to travel into Central London every day during the War, right through the Blitz and the buzzbombs and the V2s - but somehow almost always managed to get home in time to cook us supper.....

For myself, literally my first memory is of sitting in the air-raid shelter at dead of night and hearing bombs dropping on our peaceful Hertfordshire viilage,,,,,,

That's nasty. Both my mom's family and my dad's family lived in Lithuania before the war, and when the Russians came in both families decided to flee to Germany. It seems the Germans were feared less than the Russians in Lithuania. Both families ended up spending the war as internal refugees in Germany. I suppose the best part of that was they were living in barracks so the Allies never bothered bombing them.

My mom was born in '40 and Dad in '38 so they were oretty young during the actual war, but had to grow up in its aftermath. Both left Germany in the late 50s for the US, and they met here in the US, luckily for me.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):

On the other hand, I started 'visiting' (you could say 'defending' ) Germany as a National Serviceman, carried on visiting on holiday when I was a student, and later did a lot of business with them. From the start, I liked the place and the people a lot. And I readily accepted that WW2 was the result of Hitler's gang gaining power, not some basic 'flaw' in the German makeup.

Yes, my parents said the ordinary Germans were good to them, and my mom still has good freinds in Germany from that period.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
But I always saw the relationship as 'friendly rivalry.' Britain and Germany have for centuries been the two strongest nations (in all senses) in Europe.

Hmm I imagine some Frenchmen might not agree, but still...

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
So 'free trade' in Europe always made a deal of sense to me. But any sort of economic/political 'union' NEVER did.......

I don't know all that much about the EU. I read the Wiki page on the EU and it says it all started because six countries wanted to swap coal for steel and not pay each other tarrifs. Seems like the slippery slope then took over.

Quoting blrsea (Reply 40):
Looks like it may be the beginning of the end of the euro experiment.

I think you are a few steps ahead of events.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
janmnastami
Posts: 379
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:47 pm

Quoting blrsea (Reply 40):
Move the PIIGS out of euro zone, let them revert to their old currencies, depreciate them to reflect their actual value vis-a-vis other countries and everyone will be happier.

Europe without Italy, Spain and Portugal in the eurozone is unimaginable.
 
iakobos
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:11 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 43):
and the narrator has a British accent

There is nothing such as a British accent.....the choice spreads over Scottish, Welsh, Irish (immigrants), Lancashire, Nooorwich and London's Eastenders. Pick one.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 43):
I was amazed by the one sailor who had three different ships torpedoed out from under hin in one day!

Fortunately for the outcome of the war, the Royal Navy transferred him to the Royal Horse Artillery the next day.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
But I always saw the relationship as 'friendly rivalry.' Britain and Germany have for centuries been the two strongest nations (in all senses) in Europe.
Quoting Revelation (Reply 43):
Hmm I imagine some Frenchmen might not agree, but still...

I am sure this is another proof of English sheer modesty and fair play. France is in the upper league. No contest.
 
Newark777
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:36 am

Quoting iakobos (Reply 45):

There is nothing such as a British accent.....the choice spreads over Scottish, Welsh, Irish (immigrants), Lancashire, Nooorwich and London's Eastenders. Pick one.

For us in the US, we can tell the Irish and Scottish, but when it comes to all the different British accents, we don't hear them enough and most of them just blend together to us into a "British Accent." Since you're such an accent expert, I'm sure you can distinguish between a Texan, Oklahoman, Tennessean, etc.  
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
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Revelation
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:44 am

Quoting iakobos (Reply 45):
There is nothing such as a British accent...

Just like there's no such thing as an American accent?
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
LJ
Posts: 4103
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:59 pm

Quoting blrsea (Reply 40):
Move the PIIGS out of euro zone, let them revert to their old currencies, depreciate them to reflect their actual value vis-a-vis other countries and everyone will be happier.

This won't help the PIIGS countries as their debt is denominated in EUR. If they go out the Euro and depreciate their currency, their problems are even worse..

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 13):
Germany has always believed in a 'strong currency.' It could afford to do that, since their manufactured goods were (and more or less remain) of such wonderful quality that people elsewhere were prepared to pay more than the 'going rate' for them. For example, Mercedes cars......

First, it's not only Germany who always proclaimed a strong currency. Within the euro areas there are a lot of countries favouring a strong currency for many years. However what all these companies have in common is that they are export driven.

Second, a strong currency is, from an economic point of view, much more interesting than having a weak currency. Not only does this mean that you have to run a tight fiscal policy, but, most important, assure to your people that the value of their monies today will not differ much of that of tomorrow (thus restricting inflation). Needless to say this is a difficult thing to accomplish when things are going not so good, bad in the long run the policy of having a strong currency is more beneficial than that of a weak currency.

Quoting blrsea (Reply 40):
It is difficult to impose same standards across all countries, when there is no over-arching authority to enforce it. Countries will just fudge the books to get around the limits.

You're 100% correct on this.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 37):
Also, there exist vested interests by some groups to have the Euro collapse.

And maybe some hedge funds speculating against the euro. Part of the decline is pure speculation, as is the fact that Greece will default. Though I won't contest that there is a basis for attacking Greece, it now seems that it has become a self-fullfilling prophecy. We've seen this before during the pound crisis, now it's the euro under fire. Finally, when trading at 1.32 we forget that the euro has gained much over the past 10 years. I recall having a EUR/USD rate of 0.86 when I went on holiday to Venezuela back in 2000.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 43):
I don't know all that much about the EU. I read the Wiki page on the EU and it says it all started because six countries wanted to swap coal for steel and not pay each other tarrifs. Seems like the slippery slope then took over.

Not entirely correct. The coal swap agreement is indeed the first agreement between those 6 countries. However there was much underlying this agreement. The basic idea of these countries was that war should be prevented as nobody gains anything from war (as the second world war proved). The only way they could accomplish this was by working together instead of working against eachother as this would insure stability in Europe.
 
NAV20
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RE: Greek Collapse?

Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:05 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 45):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 43):
Hmm I imagine some Frenchmen might not agree, but still...

I am sure this is another proof of English sheer modesty and fair play. France is in the upper league. No contest.

As one who was considerably 'inconvenienced' by WW2 and its aftermath, iakobos, I hope that I'm permitted a rather 'sarky' reply.

It was a late-1950s British Army joke, whenever there were 'tensions' with the Russians, for someone to say, "It's not going to come to a proper war. The French haven't even surrendered yet....."

In all innocence I told this to my father - a WW1 Western Front veteran. To my utter astonishment he said, "God, are they still telling THAT one...?"

Turned out that, by 1918, the French Army was in a state of 'virtual mutiny.' You maybe can't blame them, they'd had terrible losses. But the fact remained that they were 'working to rule' - they would defend their trenches, but resolutely refused to indulge in any sort of attack. Which left the Germans free, in their 1918 offensive, to ignore the French and concentrate on trying to defeat the British in Flanders.

On top of that, they packed it in next time, in 1940, after only a couple of weeks of serious fighting.

IMO they're maybe 'First Division.' But certainly not in the Premier League....... Ever since Waterloo.......  

[Edited 2010-04-30 07:09:34]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci

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