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Old 02-13-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
Istorian
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Economic Crisis in Greece

Well, I am a Greek citizen. And I suppose most of you are aware of the severe situation in this small country. Yesterday, around 1:00 am (Greek time zone), the Greek government signed a second package of economic measures to deal with the crisis in the country, suggested by Germany and the IMF, while at the same time, over 10.000 Greeks were protesting in the streets of the capital's centre (Athens) and outside the parliament about the government's decision to cut salaries, again. Over 20 buildings were burned yesterday and we count about 80 wounded, both policemen and civilians. Here in Greece the situation is extremely subjective, as over 90% of the population doesn't agree with the actions taken by the government the past 2 years. It's highly likely that we will hold elections in the first days of April. How do you see the situation in Greece? What information are you given by the media in your country? And finally, what do you think about the choice of Germany, our government and the IMF to reduce pensions and salaries in order to gain economical depth? Please, proceed.

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Old 02-14-2012, 08:53 AM   #2
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Greek gov: "Choose, people! Either we go bankrupt and we have no money,
Or we take away all your money and dont go bankrupt!!!
ARENT WE AWESOME!!!"







I praise all citizens who peacefully protested against these measures...


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Old 02-16-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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How do you see the situation in Greece? What information are you given by the media in your country? And finally, what do you think about the choice of Germany, our government and the IMF to reduce pensions and salaries in order to gain economical depth?
The information I receive in my country is the same that you described. However, from what I understood, Greece lied to the European Parliament when they joined the EU about their financial situation. Maybe I you could help clarify this? If it's true or not?

As you may know too, Portugal is next to Greece as far as economic crisis goes. But although the situation here is not as problematic, we can at least blame part of the people and not just the government. Here, when the socialist party was in government, they wasted all the money on superfluous things knowing full well that they didn't had money to pay everything. And they won the elections more than one time. Unfortunately those who didn't vote for them have to help to pay the debt.



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Old 03-02-2012, 07:27 PM   #4
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Yes, I know the situation in Portugal, and it has many similarities with ours. People in Greece saw a great economic boom in late 90's and early 00's, so we believed our economy was not only functional, but providing a deep income for the nation. After Greece hosted the Olympics in 2004 though, which should be avoided since we didn't have the infrastucture, and we had to make it from scratch, our economy went into depression and we changed the government in 2004, and again in 2009.

About Greece lying to the EU about its financial situation, I do not know that, but I can't think of how that could be true, since before we joined the EU, our economy was checked by the appropriate EU delegation. Our problem is the huge amount of corrupt politicians who sign million-dollar deals with companies and put over 50% of that in their pockets, who have over 60 real estates each while we have a 500 Euro salary per month, and who state their property as "barren" in order to avoid extra taxes, but they are in fact villas, mansions etc. We really need an honest politician, as many countries do, too.

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Old 03-02-2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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My heart goes out to all Greek citizens, hope you all pull out of this mess alive. I have a huge love for your country.

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Old 03-03-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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@Istorian: Actually the Greek governments (plural) have been showing remarkable creativity when it comes to fooling the EU. As for the EU not discovering it, it's limited what they could do due to state sovereignty (not made easier due to the difficulty in discovering when a state intentionally misreport, just ask any poor guy trying to solve white collar crime). So yes, they lied, and just like a guy hiding his debts and overstating his income in order to get new loans, once people find out, the pain is much worse.

Greece doesn't just have a problem with corrupt politicians, it has a problem of people not having faith in the institutions. When "everyone" dodges taxes (yes, the wealthy tend to be better at this, the point still stands), and "everyone" tries to fool the system (like trying to claim benefits they aren't eligible for), running the country becomes that much harder, and crucially, more expensive (ex: more tax money spent on trying to catch tax dodgers= less tax money for other things). While obviously the rich and politicians should pay their taxes, it won't be enough if others keep dodging them.
Add governments who have been overspending, and you have a recipe for disaster.

When it comes to blaming Germany (and anyone else that's bailing out Greece), keep in mind that they have to keep their own voters in mind too. Just throwing money at Greece without conditions would be electoral suicide.

For what it's worth, I don't think the austerity measures imposed is doing Greece any good in the long term, however if that's the cost of getting a bailout, it's the best solution that's politically feasible.


Checking out seems not to do much.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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The reason these people dodge their taxes and don't have faith in their political system is because it has been completely sold out from beneath them. The EU is a parasite leeching the Greece economy empty and is moving on to the government too. It's has now abandoned any pretense at democracy and is simply appointing people in the Greek government to follow their orders...Greece should tell Germany and the IMF to shove it up their ass.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:29 PM   #8
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:30 AM   #9
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The reason these people dodge their taxes and don't have faith in their political system is because it has been completely sold out from beneath them. The EU is a parasite leeching the Greece economy empty and is moving on to the government too.
How so?

Quote:
It's has now abandoned any pretense at democracy and is simply appointing people in the Greek government to follow their orders...Greece should tell Germany and the IMF to shove it up their ass.
Perhaps the Greeks should just unass themselves from the EU and sink or swim on their own.


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Old 03-04-2012, 07:15 AM   #10
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How so?
The current PM is a former member of the EU central bank who was pushed by the IMF into the position. That guy isn't there to do what's best for Greece; he's there to make sure the IMF gets as much cash as they can.

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Perhaps the Greeks should just unass themselves from the EU and sink or swim on their own.
I don't see how Greece will be able to extricate itself without a revolution, and we all know their track record of overthrowing gov's. They usually end up with something worse than what they had before.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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The EU is a parasite leeching the Greece economy empty and is moving on to the government too.
No, it's actually the other way around.



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Old 03-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #12
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My heart goes out to all Greek citizens, hope you all pull out of this mess alive. I have a huge love for your country.
Thank you, that really means a lot.

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So yes, they lied, and just like a guy hiding his debts and overstating his income in order to get new loans, once people find out, the pain is much worse.
I won't disagree with you about whether they lied or not, mainly because I don't know whether they lied or not, and I don't have a clue. But, as you said, they lied. But they get to keep their villas, while we, the middle and lower classes, have to get double jobs to make ends meet.

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Greece doesn't just have a problem with corrupt politicians, it has a problem of people not having faith in the institutions. When "everyone" dodges taxes (yes, the wealthy tend to be better at this, the point still stands), and "everyone" tries to fool the system (like trying to claim benefits they aren't eligible for), running the country becomes that much harder, and crucially, more expensive (ex: more tax money spent on trying to catch tax dodgers= less tax money for other things).
No, Greece does have a problem with corrupt politicians and it began in 1981, but we didn't know it until a few years ago and it was too late. The real problem is that we cannot vote a decent one, because all of them are corrupt. About the people trying to avoid taxes, I agree it is a phenomenon. One, however, that we observe from extremely well-paid doctors, lawyers, engineers etc. Because, no, the simple Greek citizen who sells groceries, or has a bakery, doesn't try to avoid taxes, no matter if he can't pay them.

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When it comes to blaming Germany (and anyone else that's bailing out Greece), keep in mind that they have to keep their own voters in mind too. Just throwing money at Greece without conditions would be electoral suicide.
I never blamed Germany. It is a different country and it acts on its own accord, as you point out correctly. I just mentioned Germany because it is the country which pulls most strings in the EU. However, I feel no ill will against Germany or the Germans.

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For what it's worth, I don't think the austerity measures imposed is doing Greece any good in the long term, however if that's the cost of getting a bailout, it's the best solution that's politically feasible.
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Perhaps the Greeks should just unass themselves from the EU and sink or swim on their own.
This is the dilemma. What to do? In modern global economy, a state of 11 million citizens, cannot do much with an isolated economy. Of course, that's not good. On the other hand, why continue a policy if we agree it's going to do no good in the long term (and the short one, as it seems). My opinion is, why doesn't the Greek government say: "Hey, IMF, thank you, but no thank you. This problem was caused by borrowing, and we obviously cannot solve it by borrowing more. So we will stop borrowing, we will give early pensions to many in the public services and we will lower taxes instead of raising them, in order to make the ground more likeable for new investions from foreign companies to gain economic depth."

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The reason these people dodge their taxes and don't have faith in their political system is because it has been completely sold out from beneath them.
I agree with that. People follow their government. If their government is corrupt, people become corrupt. If not, they become decent, and so forth. I believe if we had a functional state at the moment, very few Greeks would do anything to damage it, and they do not deserve to be called Greeks.

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The current PM is a former member of the EU central bank who was pushed by the IMF into the position. That guy isn't there to do what's best for Greece; he's there to make sure the IMF gets as much cash as they can.
That is completely true. By saying that the governemt is corrupt, I don't mean the PM, but his cabinet. The PM is there to keep the policy he's instructed to keep, and the cabinet is by his side to reach into the federal money for their needs. Two months ago, just as we entered 2011, Dora Bakoyianni, a Greek politician "smuggled", like a modern Han Solo, 1.000.000 Euro, which belonged to the state, to an account she has in Switzerland, so they wouldn't be found. She was unlucky and this became known, but she wasn't prosecuted, and no charges were pressed against her. She continues to go to the Parliament every day.

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No, it's actually the other way around.
I know your post is serious, but the matter-of-fact way you said it made me laugh pretty hard! It is just like you said, but the EU is a Union, as the name suggests, and in a union everybody must help each other. Today Germany and the "big" countries help us. Tomorrow, who knows what happens?

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Old 03-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #13
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No, it's actually the other way around.
The IMF/EU etc. are deliberately dragging Greece through the mud. They don't have Greece's interest in mind at all. Keep in mind that Germany's bailouts are not going to the Greek citizens (who are supposedly the holders of the debt). In reality that money goes into the pockets of the IMF and any politicians that have sold out to them, while the people getting hurt by rising inflation and public debt (the citizens) get nothing.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:51 AM   #14
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My heart goes out to all Greek citizens, hope you all pull out of this mess alive. I have a huge love for your country.
Same here.

Cradle of western civilization and all that.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:08 AM   #15
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The IMF/EU etc. are deliberately dragging Greece through the mud. They don't have Greece's interest in mind at all. Keep in mind that Germany's bailouts are not going to the Greek citizens (who are supposedly the holders of the debt). In reality that money goes into the pockets of the IMF and any politicians that have sold out to them, while the people getting hurt by rising inflation and public debt (the citizens) get nothing.
Not really sure just exactly why you think the Greek govt/s prior to this fiasco is/are apparently so blameless. Fact is, the country has been borrowing more money than it can pay back and is now in a giant mess. America ought to be taking a clue, but I've little faith in that as long as Keynsians are in charge.


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Old 03-05-2012, 08:40 AM   #16
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Not really sure just exactly why you think the Greek govt/s prior to this fiasco is/are apparently so blameless.
Of course the gov. deserves blame; they were the ones that sold out the country, both before and after the economic crisis. But the people who are engineering the collapse are the IMF and that should be recognized.

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America ought to be taking a clue, but I've little faith in that as long as Keynsians are in charge.
No argument here.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:54 AM   #17
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That is completely true. By saying that the governemt is corrupt, I don't mean the PM, but his cabinet. The PM is there to keep the policy he's instructed to keep, and the cabinet is by his side to reach into the federal money for their needs. Two months ago, just as we entered 2011, Dora Bakoyianni, a Greek politician "smuggled", like a modern Han Solo, 1.000.000 Euro, which belonged to the state, to an account she has in Switzerland, so they wouldn't be found. She was unlucky and this became known, but she wasn't prosecuted, and no charges were pressed against her. She continues to go to the Parliament every day.
Thats why i love our politicians!
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:00 PM   #18
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Of course the gov. deserves blame; they were the ones that sold out the country, both before and after the economic crisis. But the people who are engineering the collapse are the IMF and that should be recognized.
It's not just the politicians, though. The people voted themselves all kinds of largesse over the years and the bill is now coming due. That is part of the object lesson for America and others. At some point the borrowing cathches up with you and the comeuppance ain't pretty.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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