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  #61  
Old 27.01.2015, 01:28
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Re: Greek elections

With everything said so far, I have to add that I really like the euro and I think that it's good that countries like Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, etc have joined their economies and their destinies through it.
But these countries have one thing in common: efficiency.

(I also think that Switzerland would be much better off today if it had joined the Euro in 2001, because (once again) it is an efficient economy and it would have benefited by not having to waste so much money to weaken the Swiss franc, but I understand this is completely off-topic in this thread)
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Old 27.01.2015, 01:40
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Re: Greek elections

Lewton I misread your post and apologise, you're stating this from a economic side and not a kick-them-out-to-benefit approach, with which I also agree. I just don't see how this could realistically happen right now, there is no process to leave and have our own currency and it would cause 10x the problems it would solve. A new currency for all southern countries as a bloc would make more sense, like a PIIGS-euro that would be devalued and help exports.

This new government is something we are all afraid of but everyone accepts that the old ones were an absolute disaster too. When people are pushed to extremes, they vote for extremes which is why you see communists govern today and neonazis being the 3rd party.

I just hope, whatever is done is agreed WITH the EU and with dignity for all involved. People need to realise that France, Italy, Spain and even Germany are not so far behind in terms of economies saddled with debt that cannot go on forever. This isn't a greek problem, it's a global one and the sooner people stop believing the news and look at the real problem the better for everyone.
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Old 27.01.2015, 01:44
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Re: Greek elections

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There is no such option! At this point in time a Greek exit has long since been factored in and no one would be surprised about it.

One way or other Greece is going to have to some major reconstruction on it's economy and mind set. The only question is how long and painful that process will be.

Clear to me is that Greece cannot finance a new currency
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Old 27.01.2015, 01:47
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Re: Greek elections

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With everything said so far, I have to add that I really like the euro and I think that it's good that countries like Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, etc have joined their economies and their destinies through it.
But these countries have one thing in common: efficiency.

(I also think that Switzerland would be much better off today if it had joined the Euro in 2001, because (once again) it is an efficient economy and it would have benefited by not having to waste so much money to weaken the Swiss franc, but I understand this is completely off-topic in this thread)

The CHF clearly is an Auslaufmodell which only got a lease of life from the EURO crisis.
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Old 27.01.2015, 09:52
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Re: Greek elections

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like a PIIGS-euro that would be devalued and help exports.
Surely you mean PIGS, given that Ireland is no longer in the bail out programme?
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  #66  
Old 27.01.2015, 09:55
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Re: Greek elections

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At this point in time a Greek exit has long since been factored in and no one would be surprised about it.
In that case, what is the argument for allowing Greece to remain in the eurozone?
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:02
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Re: Greek elections

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Surely you mean PIGS, given that Ireland is no longer in the bail out programme?
The Euro without the PIGS? Well that'd be just baffling.
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  #68  
Old 27.01.2015, 10:07
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Re: Greek elections

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The Euro without the PIGS? Well that'd be just baffling.
Yeah! Who'd operate the water cannons?!
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:18
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Re: Greek elections

The new PM of Greece has a nickname among the older and wise Greek, "kalamaraki" Tells you everything you need to know about this guy.

(like the food, it means somebody sleazy, soft, no backbone)
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:25
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Re: Greek elections

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The CHF clearly is an Auslaufmodell which only got a lease of life from the EURO crisis.
Are you taking wagers on that? The CHF may still be around when the EUR is history.
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:33
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Re: Greek elections

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And the 4000 years heritage of Greece means culture but NOT political continuity

lol
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:38
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Re: Greek elections

Love your profile rofl, where did you get that :P
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:50
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Re: Greek elections

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People need to realise that France, Italy, Spain and even Germany are not so far behind in terms of economies saddled with debt that cannot go on forever. This isn't a greek problem, it's a global one and the sooner people stop believing the news and look at the real problem the better for everyone.
The difference is that Greece has a track record of defaulting on their debt. This is not some one off case where the country was pushed into economic hardship and regrettably had to default on their debt, but they promise to have learned from their mistakes and stop being naughty in the future. People are annoyed because the Greeks systematically and knowingly mishandle their economy and finances on all levels of society and then have the audacity to act like victims. It's a vicious cycle where Greece promises to behave, people start lending it money again, only for it to default on its obligations yet again. Then when finally reforms are being made, it looks like they have indeed agreed to finally take the necessary hard steps, but wait! They suddenly vote in some clown again who plays the most astonishingly blatant and transparent populism card that a 4 year old could see through, and they take it in hook, line and sinker. What sympathy do you expect from people at this point?

As has been pointed out, the problems in Greece are both systematic and systemic. This cannot be fixed by throwing more money at it. Practically everyone expects that any more money lent to Greece will be just wasted again until they default on it. Clearly something has to change. The Greek electorate just demonstrated that their mentality hasn't changed yet and without that there is no help for Greece as a country. Unfortunately, to find the real culprit behind all the hardship, the Greeks just have to look into the mirror.
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  #74  
Old 27.01.2015, 11:09
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Re: Greek elections

Please allow me to clarify some things about tax evasion:

a) Tax evasion and self-employment have a clear correlation (evidence from Sweden, and Germany - 2nd link is a pdf)
Greece has according to Eurostat's data of 2012 31.9% of the population self-employed, which is double the EU average of about 15% and more than 30% more than Italy in second place with 23.4%.

Also Italy in second place has a bigger black market with relation to its GDP so the Italians are (proportionally and with very rough numbers but sound assumptions) evading a lot more than the Greeks.


b) Tax evasion is a thing, it exists, and it is undeniable. However, a Greek is not tax-conscious or tax-aware (forgive me, my English fail me). Meaning that they see absolutely no reason to pay taxes. In Norway you pay exorbitant taxes, but you do have substantial returns on what you pay. You have a functional health system, education, social security, etc.
In Greece you are called to pay for the taxes and then you have to pay for a private school or a after-school center for your kid to actually learn something, because public school rarely works. You go to the hospital and at some cases you will be called to bribe someone to get a bed in the hospital, or you will just be directed to go to the doctor's private practice, where you will be charged and will not receive a receipt, meaning the doctor will not report the visit.

The average Greek has zero incentive to pay for taxes because on top of that they have to pay for most of the stuff that their taxes are supposed to provide. Of course that creates a vicious circle, or more of a downward spiral, since the less taxes you pay, the crappier everything gets so then you have even less of an incentive to pay taxes.




Now, the fact that there are problems in a country, doesn't mean that the EU, or the Eurozone should be clear of them. If that's the case, then there is no point in the EU, and there is probably no point in the US either, or they should drop some poor states with huge problems. Hell, the US had a full on civil war and were actively trying to separate, but they didn't. I hope that it doesn't take the north to come down to the see with freaking tanks, but if the EU realises that together is better than apart things can change.


The EU is and can remain a superpower, much more than the sum of its parts. All it takes is not treating each other like burden or despots, but like partners. When this happens, and integration becomes more real, then the EU can help PIGS get better, and the then healing PIGS can help the EU grow even stronger.

Or let's just go back to the 80s politically. See how that works...





Edit: @ xynth

1) Greece hasn't defaulted, it's still paying its debts normally and a restructuring promised 2 years ago has yet to come. Tax payers have thrown money, but they're getting good interest back, please let's keep that in mind, until there is a haircut.

2) From my understanding, the mentality in GR right now is not to give the EU the shaft, but to demand a more realistic way of managing the debt and how it's going to be repaid. The next Minister of Econ. said to BBC 4 radio that they intend to pay as much as possible, and that the talk about default is "posturing before negotiations". Trust me, the more hours are passing the more I see these guys just bending over in the end... Let them form a government and by the 15th of Feb we'll know what is coming. Until then it's just sensationalist remarks on TV from people that are enjoying their soon to be new chairs
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  #75  
Old 27.01.2015, 11:11
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Re: Greek elections

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Unfortunately, to find the real culprit behind all the hardship, the Greeks just have to look into the mirror.

No, no! It's the Turks. And the Albanians. And the Troika. And the CIA. Probably the Jews, too.
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  #76  
Old 27.01.2015, 11:12
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Re: Greek elections

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The difference is that Greece has a track record of defaulting on their debt. This is not some one off case where the country was pushed into economic hardship and regrettably had to default on their debt, but they promise to have learned from their mistakes and stop being naughty in the future. People are annoyed because the Greeks systematically and knowingly mishandle their economy and finances on all levels of society and then have the audacity to act like victims. It's a vicious cycle where Greece promises to behave, people start lending it money again, only for it to default on its obligations yet again. Then when finally reforms are being made, it looks like they have indeed agreed to finally take the necessary hard steps, but wait! They suddenly vote in some clown again who plays the most astonishingly blatant and transparent populism card that a 4 year old could see through, and they take it in hook, line and sinker. What sympathy do you expect from people at this point?

As has been pointed out, the problems in Greece are both systematic and systemic. This cannot be fixed by throwing more money at it. Practically everyone expects that any more money lent to Greece will be just wasted again until they default on it. Clearly something has to change. The Greek electorate just demonstrated that their mentality hasn't changed yet and without that there is no help for Greece as a country. Unfortunately, to find the real culprit behind all the hardship, the Greeks just have to look into the mirror.
Both sides are at fault: including lenders who should not have lent so much. they should take their losses and be more careful in the future about who the lend to and how much.
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Old 27.01.2015, 11:34
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Re: Greek elections

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2) From my understanding, the mentality in GR right now is not to give the EU the shaft, but to demand a more realistic way of managing the debt and how it's going to be repaid. The next Minister of Econ. said to BBC 4 radio that they intend to pay as much as possible, and that the talk about default is "posturing before negotiations". Trust me, the more hours are passing the more I see these guys just bending over in the end... Let them form a government and by the 15th of Feb we'll know what is coming. Until then it's just sensationalist remarks on TV from people that are enjoying their soon to be new chairs
I agree with you here, I was just trying to highlight the perspective of the average citizen of another EU member country. In the end, they'll negotiate a bit and maybe win slightly better terms for their debts, which is probably for the better (for everyone involved).
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Old 27.01.2015, 11:58
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Re: Greek elections

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This new government is something we are all afraid of but everyone accepts that the old ones were an absolute disaster too. When people are pushed to extremes, they vote for extremes which is why you see communists govern today and neonazis being the 3rd party.
I didn't get any of the campaign rhetoric, but I assume this new government got elected on promises of spending more government money. What money, you might ask? I suspect if nobody lends it to them, they'll be taking it from someone.

I'm rooting for the Greeks. On any given day, your either going to work and store the fruits of your labor, or you are going to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. I prefer the legendary Greek ethos of living and enjoying life over the lifelessness of Germanic industriousness. I think it is a natural and proper way to live. Attempting to live it is heroic. I wouldn't blame this ethos for this crisis. I think what caused this crisis is corruption on a higher level and wider scale than people just simply living their lives. Unfortunately, I think people will be forced into service of a fake economy. The solution was to "Render unto Ceasar the things that are Caeser's", and carry on and enjoy the rest. Although I don't know how this new government aligns with this principle.

What is wrong with getting off the EUR, agreeing to pay the loans in Drachmas, then devaluing the Drachma? It is only money, and most are not sure what currency is worth any more anyway. Its not a good time to wax sentimental about the Euro and its perception of prestige.

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Old 27.01.2015, 17:18
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Re: Greek elections

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The newspapers pointed out that in the south, the USA suffered depression in the 20s and 30s. This was as a result of the US civil war. Only gradually did the south become wealthy after the civil war, as they were dominated by the northern states which had won the war.
I had the impression the South never really recovered economically, and you might also argue they never recovered politically. With the exception of places like Texas which got rich on oil, and of California which is also a special case, most of the big money in the US is still in the old North.
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Old 27.01.2015, 17:53
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Re: Greek elections

Here's a solution: Greece leaves the Eurozone and agrees with creditors to re-denominate all debts into the New Drachma and allow the currency to free float and the debt is forgiven to the extent of the currency loss.
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