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  #41  
Old 04.05.2010, 01:04
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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That's why they're so special.

What as in "Special Needs" for slow learners and people not all there?
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Old 04.05.2010, 01:08
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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What as in "Special Needs" for slow learners and people not all there?
No.

"Special" as in putting up with invasion, ethnic cleansing, occupation, military dictatorship, poverty, civil war and natural disasters, and still coming up smiling.

I'd like to see the Swiss go through 10% of what the Greeks have gone through in the last 100 years and still keep their lust for life.
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  #43  
Old 04.05.2010, 01:10
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

Yes yes but the Swiss are weak willed and pathetic, we don't need to harp on about it. Look at the Poles: martyrs of Europe time and time again, and still pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.
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No.

"Special" as in putting up with invasion, occupation, military dictatorship, poverty, civil war and natural disasters, and still coming up smiling.

I'd like to see the Swiss go through 10% of what the Greeks have gone through in the last 100 years and still keep their lust for life.
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  #44  
Old 04.05.2010, 01:11
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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Yes yes but the Swiss are weak willed and pathetic, we don't need to harp on about it. Look at the Poles: martyrs of Europe time and time again, and still pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.
Yeah, but the Greeks have better music.

And kleftiko!
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  #45  
Old 04.05.2010, 10:14
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

I love Greece and the Greeks. I must have spent at least 25 holidays there over the years. A holiday destination that IMO cannot be beaten for charm, weather and probably most of all a welcoming, honest, over-helpful population.

I also have many stories of hopelessly optimistic arrangements and promises that were sort of kept to in wonderfully Greek way.

However, we are not discussing charm and holiday destinations here. We are discussing an EU member country and euro zone member that is economically out of control. By supporting Greece, the EU has sent a signal to other weak members of the euro zone that they don't need to worry about as there is a safely net.

Sadly, I fear German will rue the day it bailed out Greece. There is absolutely no sign that the people of Greece will ever accept the hardship required to right the situation and a year or two down the line Greece will have to leave the euro. A move that would have been cleaner and less damaging now...
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  #46  
Old 04.05.2010, 10:23
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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I love Greece and the Greeks. I must have spent at least 25 holidays there over the years. A holiday destination that IMO cannot be beaten for charm, weather and probably most of all a welcoming, honest, over-helpful population.

I also have many stories of hopelessly optimistic arrangements and promises that were sort of kept to in wonderfully Greek way.

However, we are not discussing charm and holiday destinations here. We are discussing an EU member country and euro zone member that is economically out of control. By supporting Greece, the EU has sent a signal to other weak members of the euro zone that they don't need to worry about as there is a safely net.

Sadly, I fear German will rue the day it bailed out Greece. There is absolutely no sign that the people of Greece will ever accept the hardship required to right the situation and a year or two down the line Greece will have to leave the euro. A move that would have been cleaner and less damaging now...
I totally agree. I hope the German people wake up a bit quick and kick Merkel out of office and put an end to this bailout. The economic recovery in Europe has been fragile but Germany is pulling out of it and its hard-working people, so heavily taxed for so long, were expecting tax cuts. To now put such a burden on the German people to bail out Greece is unfair on their population and risks reversing the recovery and also risks the Euro with it. Greece should leave the Euro and sort out its problems which seem to be unique to itself.
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  #47  
Old 04.05.2010, 13:32
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

I agree that Greece has wasted a big opportunity when they joined EU and EUR and now they must pay for their past neglicience. With low interest rates and the advantage of EU membership, they could have built upon their infrastructure and based their economy on a stronger foundation.

However, when the government now imposes stricter fiscal rule, it will again be the poorer segments of the population who will suffer most; people already on dire budgets.. and those people are also protesting on streets
As with Lehman crisis, lucky minority will be enjoying their golden umbrellas and/or past juicy pays.
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  #48  
Old 04.05.2010, 14:25
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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Here's another view of the situation -

Greece Debt Crisis Puts Focus on Retirement Age
This article talks abput the OFFICIAL retirement age.
So, I wondered about the REAL retirement age in EU countries.
In this table from Wiki, GR is soring better than D on old(er) people in employment as % of eligible population ... maybe a reflection of the fact that GR is less well off than D?
The retirement age varies from country to country but it is generally between 55 and 70. In some countries this age is different for males and females, although this has recently been challenged in some countries (e.g., Austria).[3] The table below shows the variation in eligibility ages for public old-age benefits in the United States and many European countries.
Country Early retirement age Normal retirement age Employed, 55–59 Employed, 60–64 Employed, 65–69 Employed, 70+
Austria 60 (57) 65 (60) 39% 7% 1% 0%
Belgium 60 65 45% 12% 1% 0%
Denmark none 65 77% 35% 9% 1%
France 57 60 51% 12% 1% 0%
Germany 63 65 64% 23% 3% 0%

Greece 57 65 51% 31% 8% 1%

Italy 57 65 34% 12% 1% 0%
Netherlands 60 65 53% 22% 3% 0%
Spain 60 65 46% 22% 0% 0%
Sweden 61 65 78% 58% 5% 1%
Switzerland 63 65 77% 46% 7% 2%
United Kingdom none 65 (60) 69% 40% 10% 2%
United States 62 66 66% 43% 20% 5%
UUGGHH how can I copy/paste a table?

Anyone can help with more stats on the topic? I have the impression that many people take retirement (voluntary or involuntary) well before the official retirement age.
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  #49  
Old 04.05.2010, 14:41
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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I hope the German people wake up a bit quick and kick Merkel out of office and put an end to this bailout.
Kick out Merkel
IMHO she is one of the few EU politicians that deserve respect, have thought about the poor woman having to sit in meetings with Sarkozy, Brown & Co
If you have a viable idea about how not to bail aout GR why don't you send her an email, she might act on it
This is not about bailing our GR (who cares?), this is just another handout to the baks(ters) (UBS and CS amongst them I'm sure and it will keep the CHF strong)
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  #50  
Old 04.05.2010, 18:14
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

Check this out

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...f=weekinreview

Did Spain actually ask for EUR 280 bio or is that just speculation that they will?
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  #51  
Old 04.05.2010, 18:17
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

Have they no shame?

Greek strikers hit Athens streets

Greek public sector workers have stormed the Acropolis and scuffled with riot police after launching a 48-hour strike against austerity measures.

Their action comes ahead of a nationwide general strike on Wednesday.
The austerity measures were outlined in a draft bill submitted to the Greek parliament and will be voted on by the end of the week.
They have been introduced in return for a 110bn euro (£95bn) international rescue package agreed for the country. The measures include wage freezes, pension cuts and tax rises.

They aim to achieve fresh budget cuts of 30bn euros over three years, with the goal of cutting Greece's public deficit to less than 3% of GDP by 2014. It currently stands at 13.6%.
Union leaders say the cuts target low-income Greeks.
"There are other things the [government] can do, before taking money from a pensioner who earns 500 euros (£430) a month," Spyros Papaspyros, leader of the public servants' union ADEDY, told Greek private television.
Dozens of Communist protesters broke into the ancient Acropolis at dawn, draping giant banners on the Parthenon temple reading: "Peoples of Europe Rise Up."
"We want to send a message to the farthest reaches of Greece and Europe," Communist MP Nikos Papaconstantinou said. "Similar measures that eliminate social security are taken across Europe. But popular anger will rattle imperialist organisations."

Full story
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  #52  
Old 04.05.2010, 19:54
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

you have to realise that a lot of the people protesting are the ones who were already finding it difficult to make ends meet. and now with the extra measures for some people it would be almost impossible... people protest because they find it unfair that they have to have their salaries reduced so much etc, when the powerful and rich ones continue to be powerful and rich and when nobody gets punished for the situation the country is at the moment...

just go give you an idea, minimum salary is 580 euros a month. it's very sad for many people and what most of them want is to see someone take responsibility and pay for the mistakes that led greece to this situation
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  #53  
Old 04.05.2010, 20:02
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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No.

"Special" as in putting up with invasion, ethnic cleansing, occupation, military dictatorship, poverty, civil war and natural disasters, and still coming up smiling.

I'd like to see the Swiss go through 10% of what the Greeks have gone through in the last 100 years and still keep their lust for life.
The word is 'stoic'.

Of course, they also have nice epicurian and hedonistic sides too.
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  #54  
Old 04.05.2010, 20:13
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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the situation for the greeks has been bad for years. the average salary is 700 euros per month.
According to the Greek government (Hellenic Statistical Authority, here for a excel table) in 2006 it was € 1,930 per month. Rather more than € 700. Worst paid are shop assistants with € 1,112 per month.
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  #55  
Old 04.05.2010, 20:18
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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According to the Greek government (Hellenic Statistical Authority) in 2006 it was € 1,930 per month. Rather more than € 700. Worst paid are shop assistants with € 1,112 per month.
haha, i'm sorry but these figures are plain wrong. my sister is a university graduate. she worked as a fitness instructor till recently and got paid 700 per month for 12 hour days and saturdays. now she works in a travel agency full time and gets a bit less than 700. my other sister works in a bank (also a university graduate, with about 7 years of experience in the finance sector and gets around 1000 (don't remember exactly).

shope assistants with 1112?!?! i challenge you to find me ONE that gets that!

i do not know where these figures come from but in all honestly they do not reflect the reality in greece as me, my family and friends experience it...
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  #56  
Old 04.05.2010, 21:46
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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....... people protest because they find it unfair that they have to have their salaries reduced so much etc, when the powerful and rich ones continue to be powerful and rich and when nobody gets punished for the situation the country is at the moment...........
All quite understandable.
The problem is that the powerful & rich are rich on paper but that is not the same as cash. If for example you owned the Tower of London then it would be worth many millions on paper but how would you release the value & give it to the poor?

If you could take all the cash (& easily liquified assets) from the relatively few very rich & distribute it across the very many poor then each of the poor people would not get very much.
That is the basic problem with Communism & the various attempts by some African states to take assets from the rich & give them to the poor; the maths simply does not work.
Also when you throw the usual human corruption into the mix in such cases so that only a fraction of the assets taken from the rich ever reach the poor then one can see why there are disappointing results & massive unhappiness.
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Old 04.05.2010, 21:50
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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All quite understandable.
The problem is that the powerful & rich are rich on paper but that is not the same as cash. If for example you owned the Tower of London then it would be worth many millions on paper but how would you release the value & give it to the poor?

If you could take all the cash (& easily liquified assets) from the relatively few very rich & distribute it across the very many poor then each of the poor people would not get very much.
That is the basic problem with Communism & the various attempts by some African states to take assets from the rich & give them to the poor; the maths simply does not work.
Also when you throw the usual human corruption into the mix in such cases so that only a fraction of the assets taken from the rich ever reach the poor then one can see why there are disappointing results & massive unhappiness.
of course, and my point was not that the rich should distribute their wealth to the poor. what i meant is that most of the measures announced by the greek goverment have an effect on the middle-lower class people who get upset seeing the rich/powerful (for instance the members of the greek parliament) not being treated with the same kinds of salary cuts (or rather finding ways around them) and not being punished for their mistakes...
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Old 05.05.2010, 00:42
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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haha, i'm sorry but these figures are plain wrong. my sister is a university graduate. ......

i do not know where these figures come from but in all honestly they do not reflect the reality in greece as me, my family and friends experience it...
You would get a better hearing if you would provide sources for your claims. Mine was the Greek government official statistics and I've seen other stuff that backs it up. According to this the minimum wage is € 740 - again above what you said and sorry but an average of € 700 is simply not credible.
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  #59  
Old 05.05.2010, 00:50
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

Sold all my shares last week; too much uncertainty with exchange rates & consequent profitability of multinational companies.

From USA Today "The adage, "Sell in May and go away," is one of Wall Street's most well-known seasonal trading quirks.
Statistically speaking, selling in May and staying out of the market through the end of October has proved a profitable trade, data compiled by the Stock Trader's Almanac show. Going back 60 years, an investor that invested $10,000 in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index in the May-October period each year would have lost $474 on the investment. In contrast, plunking down the same amount of cash and holding on for the six months beginning in November and ending in April would have resulted in a $10,000 investment swelling to more than $537, 000, says Almanac editor-in-chief Jeffrey Hirsch."
More here
http://www.usatoday.com/money/market...l-in-may_N.htm
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Old 05.05.2010, 00:59
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Re: Financially Skint Greece

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of course, and my point was not that the rich should distribute their wealth to the poor. what i meant is that most of the measures announced by the greek goverment have an effect on the middle-lower class people who get upset seeing the rich/powerful (for instance the members of the greek parliament) not being treated with the same kinds of salary cuts (or rather finding ways around them) and not being punished for their mistakes...
Yeah, it's definitely the politicians' fault. Not the strike-happy, commie "workers" who've brought the country to its knees. If they'd take some responsiblity and humbly accept the austerity measures - perhaps do a bit of work over the age of 55 - they'd be half way there.
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