wardialer
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Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:44 pm

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.
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:17 pm

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."
 
Klaus
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:36 pm

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.
 
wardialer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:04 pm

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.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:47 pm

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
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luckyone
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:03 pm

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.
 
luckyone
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:28 pm

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

That should read 2020, sorry guys.
 
zhiao
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:53 pm

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!
 
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HELyes
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:28 pm

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]
 
pelican
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:36 pm

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
 
Klaus
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:05 am

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...
 
Asturias
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:33 am

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.
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Klaus
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:27 am

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.
 
baroque
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:03 am

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.
 
JJJ
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:02 am

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.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:45 am

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
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shamrock604
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:26 am

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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TripleDelta
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:44 am

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]
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lewis
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:32 pm

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.
 
Derico
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:09 pm

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.
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lewis
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:25 pm

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.
 
Derico
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:41 pm

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.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:25 pm

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
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:24 pm

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.
 
lewis
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:36 pm

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.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:08 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Magnesium: 46% of total production of Western Europe .

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 (except for Russia, which comes next to China, but produced only 20.000 tonnes) of the biggest Magnesium producers is Serbia with 2000 tonnes per year.Strong competition I would say.

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Bauxite: Greece is the bigger producer in the European Union.

This claim seems to be true, but You´ll find yourself in strong competition with countries like Australia, Guinea and Brazil, which produce a LOT more.

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Aluminum: 1st country in Europe in production of aluminum

Not true. Since the manufacturing of aluminium from bauxite requires a large amount of electricity, it is best done in countries with cheap electricity. In Europe Norway and Iceland come first by a wide margin, since they have loads of cheap electricity from their hydroelectric and geothermal plants. World leaders are China (again), Russia and Canada. In Europe even Germany, the UK and France (nuclear power) are ahead of Greece (source Wikipedia based on 2009 and 2010 figures).

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Nickel: Greece is the only European country with important layers of nickel. Greece has the biggest production facilities of nickel in European U

While I couldn´t find any detailed figures as for magnesium and aluminium, Wikipedia states that the world leader is Canada, followed by Russia, Cuba and Indonesia. In Europe France has acc. to the Wikipedia article large deposits. Strong competition as well (though nickel has more and more hightech uses, but on the other hand, how many employees has a modern mine and smelting facility?)

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Olive Oil: Greece is the 3rd country in the world of olive oil production

Again strong competition with practically the whole of the mediterranean region.
Also, I wonder in how far olive oil production in Europe is subsidized under the the CAP.

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-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.

Can´t say much about these products, though I think that the market for saffron is rather small (though growing and harvesting the crocuses is very labour intensive). As for asparagus, we grow quite a lot over here as well. The farmers mostly use seasonal labour from Eastern Europe for the harvest. In any case, these agricultural products, while being very labour intensive during the harvesting time, only employ seasonal workers for a few weeks each year.

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Cotton: Greece is 7th worldwide in exports of cotton and the 11th in its production

Strong competition from Usbekistan, India and Egypt. I don´t think that Greece can seriously compete with those low wages countries.



Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Tourism: Greece is the 14th country in the world in tourist arrivals

Except for your unique historical monuments, strong competition with Spain, Turkey and other mediterranean countries.

Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Shipping: Greece is number one in the world in commercial shipping.

The owners might still be family based Greek businesses, but the ships have long ago been operated under flags of convenience, with crews from the Philippines and other low wages countries. The masters and some oficers might still be Greek though. Not a lot of jobs for Greeks there.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 23):
Please tell me the salary of a Head Teacher of 20 years experience in the state schooling system ?

This sounds like the German public services unions, who always put the teachers, nurses and firefighters forward when it comes to demanded payrises. While i agree that these positions are very much underpaid, They are not the primary receivers of the payrises. The largest part of the increases goes to paperpushers and bureaucrats in the administration.


Jan
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:43 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
but the ships have long ago been operated under flags of convenience,

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 Piraeus port and other ports where permitted and spend money and the ships need fuel/food and other services so these things all add to an economy and many countries benefit along the way. My Uncle recently retired was a ship broker and I know alot about the shipping industry myself.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
This sounds like the German public services unions, who always put the teachers, nurses and firefighters forward when it comes to demanded payrises. While i agree that these positions are very much underpaid, They are not the primary receivers of the payrises. The largest part of the increases goes to paperpushers and bureaucrats in the administration.

But in Greece its these people who are being cut . So saying with a brush stroke that civil servants are over paid is an untruth and a gross generalistaion. Some top level civil servants may get overpaid in certain fields but they are by far not the majority. Belive me I have many personal experiences of civil servant salaries in Greece. Three of my family are teachers and I have friends who work in various government jobs. They are really finding it hard on their under paid basic salaries. You would be shocked at the take home pay of the majority of Greek civil servants and also the private sector jobs.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:34 am

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 old prejudices which have been wheeled out to attempt to characterize the problems within the Eurozone are slowly being blown apart. Partying Paddies, lazy greeks, shady Spaniards.... we are all going to see very soon just how much abject nonsense all of that was.

The core is starting to come under pressure. Dexia has effectively gone under. The Squeeze on French banks is intensifying. The attempt to cover up the Eurozone's problems by blaming the Irish, Greeks and others is all going to come crashing down in spectacular style as Core banks begin to wobble under the weight of their bad debts and gambling.

So, Germans - wake up!

You are an intelligent race of people who I am shocked to discover has bought the lies being peddled by your media and political classes for too long.

We all need to face facts - it was PRIVATE BANKING SECTOR GREED that got all of us here and we, the Eurozone tax payer will end up footing the bill.

You might be pissed at funding the "bail outs". But remember - we still (as in Ireland and others) have to pay it back. So you pay, and we pay.

Debt is socialized. Profit is privatized to pay it back.

So, get angry by all means. But be angry at the right people and stop indulging in baseless xenophobia, which is exactly what most of this bullshit is.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:45 am

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 German railway company and when the West German railway company took over after the re-unification they made him redundant. Since he was already 50 at this time, they simply retired him. Due to him still missing 15 years of work to get a full pension he has to be sufficient with only a part of his full pension). He receives a pension of 470 Euros per month.
He manages because here in the village he set up a small business for ready cut firewood (he started by buying the right to cut trees marked by the forester in a piece of forest and bought himself from his savings a chainsaw, an old Suzuki jeep and a trailer. After two years of hard work, he sold the Suzuki and bought himself a farm tractor with a hydraulic splitter and a shaft-driven circular saw for work in the forests and he rented an old barn from a local farmer, where he keeps his gear and stacks the wood for drying. Since he now had customers all over the county, he used his profits as well to buy a light dump truck to make deliveries. The tractor with a trailer was too slow to deliver 50 km away).
He also has various sideline jobs to help him get along, many of them consideded menial. To be fair, he isn´t the type to sit on his @rse and, if forced to inactivity, he would probably start drinking more than is good for him.

Also, long time unemployment benefits (Hartz-4) over here is something around 400 Euros / month.

Another thing: Some ten years ago there were no jobs available in my profession in Germany. Instead of going ont the dole, I went abroad and worked in a not very wellpaid job in Ireland until the job market in Germany had recovered. There are now a load of well educated Spanish people prefering to work in Germany over being unemployed in Spain. Similarly I have an Irish colleague in my company, who came to Germany because there are no decently paid jobs available in aircraft maintenance in Ireland right now. He used to work for the same company I used to work for in Shannon.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
baroque
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:36 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
Quoting lewis (Reply 18):
-Bauxite: Greece is the bigger producer in the European Union.

This claim seems to be true, but You´ll find yourself in strong competition with countries like Australia, Guinea and Brazil, which produce a LOT more.

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 from young weathering events whereas the Greek stuff has a bit of age and character about it. As well as being a whole lot more difficult to mine!
 
lewis
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:32 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):

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 then and do the same thing you did:

Cars: Yes they are good but still behind China, United States and Japan. Korea is catching up really fast too. Just three countries above Germany make over 5x more cars than you (source Wikipedia).

Would the above mean then that you are not that competitive in making cars? Don't think so. Even if you tried really hard to discredit everything I said, for a country of 10M people who is apparently inhabited by paper-pushers, it is quite an impressive list.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 28):
ong time unemployment benefits (Hartz-4) over here is something around 400 Euros / month.

Something that doesn't even exist in Greece.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 28):
Another thing: Some ten years ago there were no jobs available in my profession in Germany. Instead of going ont the dole, I went abroad and worked in a not very wellpaid job in Ireland until the job market in Germany had recovered. There are now a load of well educated Spanish people prefering to work in Germany over being unemployed in Spain. Similarly I have an Irish colleague in my company, who came to Germany because there are no decently paid jobs available in aircraft maintenance in Ireland right now. He used to work for the same company I used to work for in Shannon.

And I am a quite well educated Greek that moved 7,000 miles away to get a better life and a decent job. And your point is? Oh, there is no "dole" in Greece as I mentioned. Unemployment benefits get cut after one year and you need to prove prior employment to get them. For a "welfare utopia" that Greece is, it is not as rosy as you think... but don't let reality in the way.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 28):
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 German railway company and when the West German railway company took over after the re-unification they made him redundant. Since he was already 50 at this time, they simply retired him. Due to him still missing 15 years of work to get a full pension he has to be sufficient with only a part of his full pension). He receives a pension of 470 Euros per month.
He manages because here in the village he set up a small business for ready cut firewood (he started by buying the right to cut trees marked by the forester in a piece of forest and bought himself from his savings a chainsaw, an old Suzuki jeep and a trailer. After two years of hard work, he sold the Suzuki and bought himself a farm tractor with a hydraulic splitter and a shaft-driven circular saw for work in the forests and he rented an old barn from a local farmer, where he keeps his gear and stacks the wood for drying. Since he now had customers all over the county, he used his profits as well to buy a light dump truck to make deliveries. The tractor with a trailer was too slow to deliver 50 km away).
He also has various sideline jobs to help him get along, many of them consideded menial. To be fair, he isn´t the type to sit on his @rse and, if forced to inactivity, he would probably start drinking more than is good for him.

I don't get what you are trying to say through this story? I mean, it is a good story and good for him (your friend). There are stories like that all over Greece. I need to remind you, once again, Greece is not a country run by lazy, scum, paper-pushers that sit under the sun having siestas or dancing on the streets retiring at 45. Get over it.
 
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:09 pm

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 severely disrupted this week after German air traffic controllers agreed to strike over pay.The GdF union said its board had rejected the management's latest offer

http://www.independent.ie/breaking-n...-strike-chaos-warning-2901416.html
 
lewis
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:15 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 31):

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 replaced by other ATC people from the EU that wouldn't mind doing their job for the money and perks they get.   
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:48 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 32):
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 replaced by other ATC people from the EU that wouldn't mind doing their job for the money and perks they get.

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 is not so much salary as the requirements to have people in supervising positions who are experienced ATC controllers and not external MBA types.

Jan
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:54 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 32):
These people need to get in touch with reality. Maybe they should all be replaced by other ATC people from the EU that wouldn't mind doing their job for the money and perks they get.   

LOL... You watch quite a few EU countries this Winter you will see plenty of strikes in various areas.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):
strike

Still a strike ! Still going to ground flights and cause disruption.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:03 pm

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 in many other industries.

Someone really needs to go in and sort these overpaid, underworked, pissed up party people out! And their social entitlements! How dare they!
 
lewis
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:28 pm

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 35):
Werent Lufty about to go on strike recently too?

Yep, and if I remember correctly there have been Lufthansa strikes before.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):
And the topic is not so much salary as the requirements to have people in supervising positions who are experienced ATC controllers and not external MBA types.

The Greek ATC strike was officially for exceeding the legal limits set by Eurocontrol and working long hours with less-than-needed staff. A strike is a strike in the end.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 35):
Someone really needs to go in and sort these overpaid, underworked, pissed up party people out! And their social entitlements! How dare they!

Shhhhhh! Those characterizations are only reserved for countries of the periphery, where we don't have work ethics.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 36):
The Greek ATC strike was officially for exceeding the legal limits set by Eurocontrol and working long hours with less-than-needed staff. A strike is a strike in the end.

Which is ok, if these were the real reasons.

Jan
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prebennorholm
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:40 am

Quoting OA260 (Reply 23):
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.

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 Greece - and only Greece - will pay the Greek public servants.

Greece has for ten years been unable to pay their civil servants, so they borrowed the money instead. But lenders have a bad habit of lending money only when they expect to get them back one day. Now there is no money on the market to keep financing Greek public service. Consequently things will be changing in Greece. The longer it takes, the more painful.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 27):
We all need to face facts - it was PRIVATE BANKING SECTOR GREED that got all of us here and we, the Eurozone tax payer will end up footing the bill.

Facts are that banks operate under national rules, and the national financial control body is monitoring the operation of the banks.

In Ireland the voters failed to elect a government which was able to operate a financial control body which was able to properly monitor the operation of the banks.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 27):
So, Germans - wake up!

The Germans are awake. And they bitterly regret that they gave up on the Deutschmark and accepted the Euro. They could have been spectators to the drama like Sweden and Denmark.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:21 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 38):
Overpaid or underpaid, what it that? If a country cannot collect money to pay the teachers and paper-pushers, then they are overpaid.

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 over paid then I might entertain your view but the majority are under paid. Maybe if they didnt pay the minority so much then they may have the money for the others !

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 38):
The Germans are awake. And they bitterly regret that they gave up on the Deutschmark and accepted the Euro. They could have been spectators to the drama like Sweden and Denmark.

Not what my German friends tell me so I guess its not as clear cut as you suggest .
 
baroque
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:35 am

Never mind, the Slovaks have taken the biscuit today for attracting attention.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...d/2011/10/12/gIQAEnMaeL_video.html

It seems as if various players are intent on ensuring there is a crisis. Wonder who is paying some of these players to keep up the tension. Trouble is that might not be a joke.
 
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:54 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 40):
It seems as if various players are intent on ensuring there is a crisis. Wonder who is paying some of these players to keep up the tension. Trouble is that might not be a joke.

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.
 
baroque
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:58 am

Quoting OA260 (Reply 41):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 40):
It seems as if various players are intent on ensuring there is a crisis. Wonder who is paying some of these players to keep up the tension. Trouble is that might not be a joke.

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.

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 Pakistani test match fixing???
 
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:09 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 42):
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 Pakistani test match fixing???

You wait until the Lisbon treaty needs amended and the Irish have to go for a referendum  
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:26 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 40):
Never mind, the Slovaks have taken the biscuit today for attracting attention.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...d/2011/10/12/gIQAEnMaeL_video.html

It seems as if various players are intent on ensuring there is a crisis. Wonder who is paying some of these players to keep up the tension. Trouble is that might not be a joke.

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. The Slovaks had a lot of sacrifice to do in last 20 years and now they are asked to work harder to support a country that lived above it's means on borrowed money. Im glad that at least someone had the guts to yell "The king is naked!"
Of course, the Slovaks will pay dearly for this. They lost their government and the situation will lead to elections. That will bring the populist SMER party back to power with all the fallout coming from this.

Of course, that means the bailout will be approved in Slovakia too. Just a bit later, after the elections.

OA260, how much is a "not overpait" Greek teacher making per month? Because a Slovak teacher makes something between 400 - 500 Euro's per month. And so do many industry workers, who are now asked to support "the not overpaid Greek teachers" with their taxes.
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baroque
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:35 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 44):
The Slovaks had a lot of sacrifice to do in last 20 years and now they are asked to work harder to support a country that lived above it's means on borrowed money. Im glad that at least someone had the guts to yell "The king is naked!"

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 dressed. Slovakia I think was up for a guarantee for about E9 bill - which if I understand it is not the same as actually paying E9 bill, but guaranteeing it. Which as best I can understand if you are in the Euro zone, is a smallish price to pay for a system that benefits you greatly. One problem is those that actually have a stake in the problem are good at counting costs, good at deriding the Greeks for being naughty (which they were, and maybe still are) but not very good at balancing this with the positives they get every single day out of a common currency.

As our nice Ross Gittins keeps pointing out, money is asymmetrical, what is taken away is of far more concern than an equal amount received.

So maybe the Slovaks had a lot of sacrifice in the last 20 years. Maybe they wanted rid of a government - no idea why but what the heck it happens. But why be so bloody minded to tie all this to taking an action that risks a system from which they benefit more than they seem to be willing to admit.

Sure hold a grudge against the Greeks if they must, but why try and bring the temple down on their own heads while doing it?

Back to where we differ. I don't suppose the Slovakian pollies were deliberately taking those actions for this reason, but I certainly can see a lot of those near financial markets do have a vested interest in keeping up the tension. Had a look at the volatility index recently? Guess what market players make money from, volatility. As I commented the other day, the average time a share bought on the Aus market is held is 20 minutes, and I am sure that Aus is not alone here.

So most of the trading is speculation and these currency crises are not a bad way of manipulating the way trading will take place. Get a settlement, up goes the market. Doubt the settlement will work, and down she goes.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:44 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 38):

"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 in place, if a regulator is in place, if, according to all available accounts, and international opinion, that regulator is doing his job, then the Irish people had no reason to suspect anything was going wrong. You also clearly fail to point the finger at the Uk, French and german regulators whose banks were poring money into the Irish property sector. Did the British, French and german people fail here too? Of course they didnt.

The general public are not economists. We have to trust those who are in positions of responsibility to do their jobs. If they are proven to not do their jobs - THEN we have an obligation to get rid of them. Just as we DID on feb 27th this year when the ruling party went from holding 82 seats in parliament to holding just 15 with not a single seat in the capital city.
 
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OA260
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:51 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 44):
OA260, how much is a "not overpait" Greek teacher making per month? Because a Slovak teacher makes something between 400 - 500 Euro's per month. And so do many industry workers, who are now asked to support "the not overpaid Greek teachers" with their taxes.

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 just outside Bratislava and the figures Im hearing are somewhat different than what you suggest and they are junior with little experience. Hmmmm

BTW the EU aid that went to Slovakia , where do you think it came from ? Did it come from within Slovakia and if so how much of the aid did ? Do you have the figures for this ? They have been beneficiaries since joining the club.

EUR11 Million went to Slovakia so that some of their citizens could buy TV Digital decoders   Go figure...

Slovaks supporting the over paid Greeks    I think not.
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:22 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 47):
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 just outside Bratislava

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 schools. My university schoolmate is teaching at an apprentice school (would be called collegiate institute here) in Vranov nad Toplou, making as a very senior teacher something around 600 Euro per month. Mrs. Wildcat's cousin is making much less than that while teaching at high school in Kralovsky Chlmec. And please, let's not even talk about what money are her parents (retired teachers) or my mother (retired postmaster) living on. BTW, I was born and raised there and lived there for 35 years. Still have a lot of friends and family there. Therefore I know my numbers pretty well, my dear Sir.
Of course, my info about the situation in Greece only comes from the media. So, please, enlighten us.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 47):
BTW the EU aid that went to Slovakia , where do you think it came from ? Did it come from within Slovakia and if so how much of the aid did ? Do you have the figures for this ? They have been beneficiaries since joining the club.

So Greece wasn't? The bailout is above any regular EU aid.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 47):
EUR11 Million went to Slovakia so that some of their citizens could buy TV Digital decoders Go figure...

OK, let's compare...11 million of aid for a program mandated by EU bureaucrats compared to guarantees on 9 billion Euro loan while you know that the receiver is unhappy with the mandated changes. Do you know how much is Slovakia's budget for 2011? Euro 16 billion...

Just for thoughts, few numbers from wiki:

The minimum wage in Slovakia is set at 307,- € per month[14], the average salary for year 2010 is 769 € per month[15]. The level of unemployment in 2009 rose to 12.1% after a period of decreasing unemployment
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
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shamrock604
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RE: Euro Zone Debt Crisis - Why Not Eastern Europe?

Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:25 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 48):

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 back. The "bailouts" are not free gifts.

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