Greek Crisis, Great Misunderstanding

In the recent days, the EU leaders said: “We welcome the measures undertaken by the Greek government to stabilize public finances and reform the economy [!] We agree to support a new program for Greece and, together with IMF, to fully cover the financing gap. We will monitor very closely the strict implementation of the program based on the regular assessment by the ECB and IMF [!] We have decided to lengthen the maturity of future EFSF loans to Greece to the maximum extent possible from the current 7.5 years to a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years with a grace period of 10 years.” The corrupt Greek PM George Papandreou gave a brief speech, calling the deal a success for Greece and Europe ! The politicians are really shameless. The Greek crisis is important, but there is some serious misunderstanding about it. The majority of the people know nothing about the Greek crisis’s roots. As we said before, the Greek history can show us the root of the Greek crisis. The corrupt politicians are the main responsible for the Greek Crisis . On 13 July 2011, John Lanchester wrote: “The economic crisis in Greece is the most important thing to have happened in Europe since the Balkan wars … The prospective default could come in any one of several different flavours. From everybody’s perspective, the best of them would be what is known as a “voluntary rollover”. In that scenario, the institutions that are owed money by the Greek government will swallow heavily and, when their loan is due to be repaid, will permit their borrowings to be rolled over into another long loan. This is, at the moment, the best-case scenario and the current plan A..” He added : “In 2008, Greece was exposed as having an economy based on phoney data and cheap credit . The cheap credit had now dried up, and Greece was faced with the simplest and worst economic predicament of any government: it couldn’t pay its debts . Greece joined the EEC in 1981, the same year that Papandreou’s father became PM, and subsequently the Greek government created a client state in which direct subsidies and transfers from the EEC were supplemented by easy loans from western European banks. Money poured into Greece, and was used to fund a huge boom in public-sector jobs, most of them linked to political patronage. Various forms of corruption permeated the system, where cash gifts in fakelaki or “little envelopes” were a fact of life, and where, crucially, the rich regarded paying tax as something that only the poor and stupid would ever choose to do . The younger Papandreou, on becoming PM in 2009, was the first prominent Greek politician to admit “Corruption, cronyism, clientelistic” politics; A lot of money was wasted basically through these types of practices . Papandreou’s admission was jaw-dropping: everyone knew it was true.

An article in “KeepTalkingGreece.com”, The Tragicomedy of Europe and the Greek crisis , says: “The leadership deficit, the indecision, the muddled thinking and the resulting cacophony of European leaders is now well established beyond any doubt, and I need not dwell upon this any further. … Please read the Treaty carefully. And dont forget (a) how Germany and the rest of Europe were bailed out with the Marshall Plan after WWII, and (b) the pending war reparations to Greece, which are equivalent to the entire Greek debt … according to the European (mainly German) pseudo-elite, this crisis was supposedly only a problem of the profligate, lazy and corrupt Greeks, who should be punished and be asked to offer the Acropolis and some of the Greek islands to pay for the debt Greece is now being given a deadly medicine, which is killing the patient. Despite the stupid and inhuman fiscal measures imposed on the population, against which they are already revolting with unforeseeable consequences , the deficit has increased by 28% in the first semester of 2011 compared to the corresponding period of last year … The privatization fire-sale program is a farce. Does anyone is his right mind believe that Greece can sell or privatize 23 assets in 5 months (or 1 per week), at a time when prices of Greek assets have hit bottom, and no one wants to invest in Greece? … Poul Thomsen (the IMF official responsible for Greece) in his recent press conference on July 15, 2011 insists that the program needs to be fair and protect the most vulnerable groups of society!!! Unfortunately, the program Mr Thomsen and the rest of the Troika imposed on the Greek people is exactly the opposite …. It decimates the income and purchasing power of the lowest-income retirees (people receiving pensions of 500-700 euros per month)”. John Lanchester said: “The EU lent Greece the money to see Papandreou through his program of cuts and crossed its fingers that this would buy enough time for the deficit to narrow – the deficit being the gap between what Greece was spending and what it was raising in tax. That was the old plan A, and it didn’t work. Papandreou made deep cuts across public-sector spending, but it didn’t work, too.

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In the recent days, Greece taxi drivers decided to strike indefinitely. The ordinary Greeks are really angry. John Lanchester wrote: ” The Greek cuts led to a worsening of the Greek predicament: the economy kept contracting, and unemployment hit a record high of 16.2%. … The richer Greeks who had never fancied paying their taxes showed no increased desire to do so, and, much worse, the state showed no new ability or desire to make them . Without the ability to raise more tax, the old plan A was invalid.” He added: “the protesters now include the Indignati, middle-class Greeks who have had enough austerity already, thanks, and who take a Dario Fo attitude to Greek debt: can’t pay, won’t pay. The Greek “bailouts” are loans, pure and simple. The money will have to be repaid, and repaid at ungenerous rates of interest: in this case, 5.2% . [the rates of interest for "loans" in Iran are 18% to 30% !!, so 5% is a very generous rate for Iranians!!] These short-sighted and grasping interest rates, motivated by the need to provide political cover for other governments, make an already critical problem significantly worse. The Greeks know they are being lent money just so they can work very hard for lower wages and higher taxes in order to pay it back at great cost.” He added: “The ECB/EU/IMF “troika” can write a cheque and buy the Greek economy, or the Irish economy or the Portuguese economy. But Spain is the world’s 12th largest economy, and the ECB can’t just write a cheque and buy it . A Spanish default would destroy the credibility of the euro, and quite possibly the currency itself, at least in its current form … if a country were to be forced to leave the Eurozone because it simply couldn’t pay its debts, how would that work? This isn’t something a country can announce in advance. If Greece said it was going to leave the euro, every single adult in the country would run, walk or crawl to the nearest bank and withdraw all their money – that’s because if they leave their euros put, the euros turn into drachmas, which are worth, say, half as much. The mass withdrawal would make every bank in Greece go broke. The government would have to declare a total freeze on all bank accounts as the first step towards starting a new currency. But what would happen to all those overseas debts, still in euros? They would immediately be twice as expensive now that they would have to be repaid in devalued drachmas. So maybe the government would have no choice but to declare all its debts void. Greece has 800,000 civil servants, of whom 150,000 are on course to lose their jobs. The very existence of those jobs may well be a symptom of the three Cs, “Corruption, Cronyism , clientelism”

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An article in “OccupiedLondon.org”, The Battle for Syntagma: an eyewitness report , says: “the Greek people are being made to pay for the financial crisis that was caused by international banks, states and corporations . It is said Greece is in debt. But two questions have to be asked: 1) Who is Greece? 2) To whom are they in debt? The answer to the first question is that when corporate media talk about Greece being in debt, they talk about the Greek people, but in reality it is the Greek state. A state that is everything but democratic, and does not work in the interest of its citizens … The answer to the second question is international financial corporations, the same ones that should be held responsible for the current crisis. They have willingly and knowingly pushed through loans to Greece and others, often through their good connections with the state managers … They are helping to increase unemployment, lower the wages, and privatize public services. It is self-evident that such acts will be highly profitable for the corporations that are involved, and will cause a lowering of the life standards of the average Greek people . And all Greeks can attest to this; everyone I talked to seemed to have either a personal story or of people they knew that lost their jobs, whose wages were cut in one way or the other …Since the 5th of May people have occupied Syntagma square and are holding daily assemblies, open to anyone, to decide upon their goals, demands, actions and more … perhaps the most impressive are the big assemblies. High quality boxes have been installed, and people can come forward to the central microphone to give their opinions, which are heard by everyone present. The previous speaker has left center stage, an impressive quiet ensues in anticipation of the next speaker. Ninety-nine percent of the people are extremely respectful towards the speakers; if they stumble over their words they are encouraged to continue by the crowd”

Some people comments in the mass media are interesting: “My parents taught me one thing very well: neither a borrower or a lender be. Those people who borrowed, made the decision to do so. When I bought my houses in the UK, I paid interest rates on my mortgages at more than 8% and as high as 11% at times [the ordinary Iranians should pay 18% to 30% !, and the Mullahs say" It's the Islamic banking !!"]. I bought second hand cars and paid cash, unwilling to borrow and pay interest that I might not have been able to afford. And still, today, if I want something I will save up until I have the money, rather than risk debt. It’s a pity modern consumers apparently lacked, in the majority, parents who could have taught them a proper financial compass. … Argentina defaulted in 2002, froze the banks, declared its foreign debts void, and cut itself off from IMF funding -and since then, it’s been the fastest-growing economy in fast-growing South America !! Now there’s a great moral lesson. Borrow money and don’t pay back in order to prosper !! … Are you aware of how many simple people lost their hard-earned money that they had invested in Argentinean bonds? Because NON-EARNED MONEY was being lent to a gang of crooks at the top of the Argentinean society? Take away money from the honest earners and give it away to those who didn’t honestly work for it. [It's like our situation in Iran. Here, the inflation rate is about 30% to 50%, but the interest rates that the banks paid to you for your money is about 5% to 9% !!! (so, you should be too stupid to keep your money in the banks). And the rate that they charge you for their loans is about 18% to 30%. Of course the Mullahs get loans with the rate 9 to 12% !!! It's so obvious that getting loans with this low rate, compared to the inflation rate, is an easy way for becoming rich by the people money ! While the ordinary Iranians can not get a loan of $10,000 with the rate 20%, the Mullahs and their thugs get loans of $10 million to $100 million with the rate 10%, and even don't repay them !! The Mullah media confess: "more than 1000 people have got loans, about $6 billion, but don't repay them !! and clearly and openly say: 'We don't repay them, what do you want to do?' We have 10 banks, that 9 of them are totally bankrupted " It's one of the Mullah's miracles that is really bigger than the Greek miracles !!] … According to the OECD, the Germans in 2010 worked an average of 1389.7 hours per year, while the Greeks worked an average of 2119.3 hours per year, 52% more than the Greeks. Perhaps if the Germans understood the reality of the situation, they wouldn’t be so quick to prejudge the “lazy” southern Europeans.
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/employment/average-annual-working-time_20752342-table8

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