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BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?

Will Fly 29 Jun 15 - 08:38 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 15 - 08:47 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 08:50 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 15 - 09:02 AM
Will Fly 29 Jun 15 - 09:17 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Jun 15 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,HiLo 29 Jun 15 - 10:00 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,HiLo 29 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Jun 15 - 10:25 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:27 AM
Donuel 29 Jun 15 - 10:35 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:42 AM
Will Fly 29 Jun 15 - 10:50 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 15 - 10:57 AM
frogprince 29 Jun 15 - 11:08 AM
akenaton 29 Jun 15 - 11:10 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Jun 15 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,achmelvich 29 Jun 15 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 29 Jun 15 - 12:21 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Jun 15 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,. 29 Jun 15 - 12:32 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 15 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,# 29 Jun 15 - 01:13 PM
Bonzo3legs 29 Jun 15 - 02:20 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 15 - 03:22 PM
Bonzo3legs 29 Jun 15 - 04:46 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Jun 15 - 05:18 PM
Jack Campin 29 Jun 15 - 05:34 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 15 - 06:46 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 15 - 07:30 PM
gnu 29 Jun 15 - 07:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jun 15 - 08:19 PM
michaelr 29 Jun 15 - 10:44 PM
Thompson 30 Jun 15 - 03:17 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 15 - 05:56 AM
Jim Martin 30 Jun 15 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Grishka 30 Jun 15 - 10:08 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 15 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Grishka 30 Jun 15 - 11:40 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Jun 15 - 12:26 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 15 - 12:30 PM
Roger the Skiffler 30 Jun 15 - 01:00 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Jun 15 - 01:44 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 15 - 01:54 PM
akenaton 30 Jun 15 - 03:17 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Jun 15 - 03:45 PM
akenaton 30 Jun 15 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Derrick 30 Jun 15 - 05:45 PM
Greg F. 30 Jun 15 - 05:46 PM
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Subject: BS: Greece in meltdown? What do you think?
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jun 15 - 08:38 AM

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Greece will not pay in pounds
of flesh.

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


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

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

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

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

Puerto Rico owes 17 billion

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Iceland left and now is the fastest growing economy.

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


Euro120,000
Crete
6 Bedroom House, Rodopos

globalproperty guide


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

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


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

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


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

Not forgetting Argentina of course in 2002!!


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

Banks and bailouts and bullshit? Watch this.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

(Bruce Cockburn)


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

The revolution has been cancelled.


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


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

Please distinguish creditors and debtors.

Ake - the poor do not need to be poorer.


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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