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Thread: Greece, etc

  1. #11
    Senior Member Adam Bomm's Avatar
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    Re: Greece, etc

    money sucks! Long live the King: M. King Hubbert!

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    Re: Greece, etc

    Latest from Greece...more spin...

    As the Greece government rushes to deliver new reform plans, its fearful citizens are panic spending.

    WITH a deadline just hours away for Greece’s government to come up with a detailed economic reform plan, panicked Greeks afraid of losing their savings are out ‘binge spending’ in droves.

    Amid growing fear that a greater economic crisis may lie ahead and a 60 euro limit on the amount of cash they can withdraw from ATMs, Greek citizens are frantically using their debit cards to buy ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers and anything tangible that can hold its value in troubled times, the New York Times reports.

    “Panicked doesn’t begin to describe how people feel,” said Antonis Mouzakis, an Athens accountant.

    “I have a huge number of customers wanting to file their taxes right here, right now, to have the tax calculated and paid instantly before a possible haircut. Even if the tax is 40 to 50 thousand euros, they pay it off in one go.”

    Meanwhile, Greek jeweller George Papalexis said a customer had approached him on Wednesday wanting to buy AU$1.48 million worth of merchandise.

    Greece has requested a new three-year rescue from its European partners as signs grew its economy was sliding toward free-fall without an urgently needed bailout.

    As the Greek banking system teetered near the edge, the government extended bank closures into next week, while international creditors were in open disagreement over whether to award the country debt relief.

    If a deal is not secured, Greece faces an almost inevitable collapse of the banking system, which would be the first step for the country to exit the eurozone.

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has confirmed government authorities will race to submit “credible” reform plans to the eurozone on Thursday as demanded by leaders of the currency union at their latest emergency summit.

    This would give enough time to review the plan before all 28 leaders of the European Union meet on Sunday.

    “The Greek government... will tomorrow file new concrete proposals, credible reforms, for a fair and viable solution,” he told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort.

    Greece has requested a three-year loan from Europe’s bailout fund and has pledged to “immediately implement” tax and pension related measures as of Monday.

    In the letter sent to the European Stability Mechanism earlier, the government said it will “set out in detail its proposals for a comprehensive and specific reform agenda” on Thursday at the latest.

    Greece’s aim, the letter went on, was to regain “full and affordable market financing to meet its future funding requirements as well as sustainable economic and financial situation” by the time the loan ends at the latest.

    HITTING HARD: Broke Greeks desperate for a feed

    The letter also says the country is committed to honouring its financial obligations to its creditors on time.

    “We trust Member States appreciate the urgency of our loan request,” it said.

    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy welcomed what he said was a “positive” change in tone from Greece, which has pledged to make “credible” reforms to try to win a new bailout deal.

    “The tune has changed, it’s not what we were hearing until now and that’s positive,” Rajoy said at a press conference in Madrid.

    IMF head says the rules won’t be bended for Greece

    International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde stressed on Wednesday that a new plan to prop up Greece’s finances would require creditors to restructure debt.

    In addition to the reforms Athens needs to undertake, she said, “the other leg is debt restructuring, which we believe is needed in the case of Greece for it to have debt sustainability.” “Greece is in a situation of acute crisis which needs to be addressed.”

    This is a move that Germany, Greece’s largest European lender, has resisted.

    Lagarde said the numbers themselves “will have to be revisited,” but added that Greece, which no longer has access to IMF resources since its default on June 30, should not benefit from any special treatment.

    “It is certainly my view that the IMF has to follow its rules, should not bend its rules and should be always even-handed.”

    She justified the Fund’s continued participation in new aid talks for Greece even if Athens has been a severe critic of the institution.

    But, she said, the IMF is involved “because the IMF was asked by Greece to be involved.”

    Embarrassment for new finance minister

    Earlier Tsipras and newly appointed Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos turned up to a European leaders summit with nothing, except Tsakalotos who embarrassingly had a few bullet point notes he had jotted down on the bedside notepad from his hotel.

    The image of him clutching this one hotel monogrammed sheet of notes was beamed around the world, featuring notations like “state of play” and “no triumphalism”, apparently to remind himself not to boast about his Leftist government’s victory at the referendum that attracted 61 per cent of voters to say ‘No” to further aid packages in exchange for austerity.

    It was a referendum result European Commission president Jean-Claude Jucker dismissed at the summit as an “irrelevant circus”.

    Many Eurozone leaders could not hide their fury at being summoned to the emergency meeting and to hear the Greek delegation’s plan only to see their finance minister with nothing to table.

    The pair has now been given to Thursday to get serious and come up with a reform plan. They are today expected to ask for a bridging loan until the end of the month ahead of an anticipated agreed plan.

    On Sunday, the 28 leaders of the full European Union will meet to assess the final proposals for Greece that European Union President Donald Tusk described as “maybe the most critical moment in our history”.

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte accused the Greeks of again playing games as their country goes to the brink.

    “I’m very cheerless about this summit and I’m very cheerless about the fact whether Greece wants to come with proposals at all,” he said.

    “The only solution is for Greece to make far reaching reforms and implement difficult measures. The fate of Greece in the euro and the responsibility is in Athens, not here. The Greek government is taking a large risk with the interests of the Greek people.”

    The leaders from Lithuania, Belgium and Ireland also expressed disappointment and disgust by Greece’s attitude.

    “With the Greek government it is every time manana,” Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite said using the Spanish word for tomorrow.

    Belgian’s Prime Minister Charles Michel said: “We can’t do it with a gun to our head or a knife at our throats. A prime minister has to face up to his responsibilities.”

    Tsakalotos said “progress” had been made at the summit despite the lack of a detailed document and he was buoyed by the Euro leaders’ “political will to give Greece a chance”.

    He left the leader’s summit venue in the evening declaring: “My impression is that we are having a go to find an agreement soon.”

    Like other leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also remained unconvinced.

    “We still do not have the basis for negotiations,” she said at the summit.

    “It is not a question of weeks any more, but a question of a few days,” warned the leader of Europe’s biggest economy, who faces huge domestic pressure to be tough on Greece.”

    Obama becomes middle man in Greek crisis

    Obama rang and spoke with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras yesterday to enforce his desire for a resolution. He had earlier spoken with Merkel by phone urging her and her colleagues to find a solution.

    “We continue to encourage all sides to participate constructively in those conversations,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, renewing calls for a deal between Athens and its creditors.

    He added: “The leaders agreed it is in everyone’s interest to reach a durable agreement that will allow Greece to resume reforms, return to growth, and achieve debt sustainability within the eurozone. The leaders noted that their economics teams are monitoring the situation in Greece and remain in close contact.”

    Meanwhile in Greece, the banks and the local stock exchange remained closed, a cap on withdrawals were still in place and liquidity remained critical.

  4. #13
    Senior Member Wade Frazier's Avatar
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    Re: Greece, etc

    Hi:

    The situation in Greece is curious and a little ominous. It could easily devolve into civil war and NATO "peacekeeping." Hell, the USA bombed the Balkans not too long ago, in pursuit of its geopolitical agenda. We will see how this plays out, but it obviously has big implications for Europe.

    Best,

    Wade

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  6. #14
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    Re: Greece, etc

    DRY cleaners, travel agencies, dressmakers and butchers. One by one, small family-run Greek stores are going out of business.

    Since last September, freelance photographer Georgios Makkas, 37, has been documenting the effects of the ongoing financial crisis by capturing the numerous closed shopfronts now dotting the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki and Ioannina.

    Mr Makkas’ photo project, The Archaeology of Now, paints a grim picture of the slow-motion death of the Greek dream.

    “With Greece entering its sixth year of recession, tens of thousands of small businesses have already closed, and many more are about to close,” Mr Makkas writes.

    “The Greek economy has shrunk by 25 per cent in the last five years and this is very visible in the cities where every second shop has closed down.

    “Shops where generations of merchants had run successful businesses are disappearing and together with them the post-WWII Greek dream — the family run shop — is coming to an end. In some cases, bars and fast food restaurants are opening, but usually the spaces remain empty.”

    Mr Makkas said all of the pictures are taken with an iPhone while walking the streets “as a quick note to myself of how the cityscape used to be”.

    Speaking to news.com.au, Mr Makkas said he started taking the pictures to document the urban landscape of Greece before he moved to the UK in January.

    Now back in Athens covering the latest crisis, Mr Makkas said the situation was dire. “They’re desperate. All of them are desperate. It’s very hard to do business. Greeks don’t have money anymore so they don’t spend,” he said.

    “There’s a lot more bartering now than there used to be, but that’s not going to be the solution to the problem. It’s impossible to run an economy like that.”

    His parents have seen their private pension halved in the last few years, and Mr Makkas is worried about access to medication for his grandmother who has dementia. “Everybody’s seriously worried about what’s going to happen,” he said.

    “I feel betrayed and bullied by the EU. The demands of Berlin are humiliating. A lot of people felt betrayed [by Alexis Tsipras], but others realised that there are no alternatives.”

    As he walks the streets, Mr Makkas talks to locals about his project. “Most of them tell me, ‘Keep taking pictures. Show the rest of the world what’s happening in this country. Show them the devastating effects of austerity.’”

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/econo...-1227441226711

  7. #15
    In Memory Fredkc's Avatar
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    Re: Greece, etc

    I mentioned this before, and Sure enough, here it is in Christine "LA Greed's" statement:. In it she mentions "necessary reforms".

    Bingo! What she is talking about is the provisions in the agreement wherin the IMF members banks become the new owners of Greece's electical, and other utilities. It's yer basic IMF rape of the country's equity in their infrastructure. AND any income the country might use to repay loans. It's the standard play in their " road to serfdom" playbook.
    "Life IS mystical! Its just that we're used to it." - Wolf, the movie
    "Dad, if God is everywhere then, when he's in a piece of paper, is he squished?" - My daughter, age 7

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    Re: Greece, etc

    Latest on Greece:

    RIOTERS hurled petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas, as an anti-austerity demonstration outside parliament turned violent in Greece overnight.

    The clashes came as Greece’s politicians started to debate the contentious measures needed to seal a new bailout and avoid financial collapse. Those measures have since passed through the nation’s parliament, despite opposition from within Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s own party. Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis voted against them.

    Earlier, groups of hooded and masked youths among the 12,000 protesters smashed storefronts, threw rocks and set at least one vehicle on fire while chanting angrily. Police fired tear gas to push them back, and reportedly detained at least 50 people.

    ‘WE HEARD BANG, BANG, BANG’

    An Australian police officer who was caught in the chaos while honeymooning in Athens has told 3AW about her ordeal.

    “We set out for a nice romantic evening on our last night of our honeymoon,” Rebecca Amore told the station’s breakfast show.

    “We had a perfect spot on a balcony in a beautiful restaurant and then things started to take a turn from there.”

    Mrs Amore and her husband were staying in a hotel “literally a minute” from Syntagma Square, the epicentre of the protest.

    “All of a sudden we saw police and they started to put their helmets on ... we heard bang, bang, bang and it literally shuddered through you, we thought there were fireworks,” she said. That’s when the tear gas hit.

    “All of a sudden I got that tickle in my throat I’ve had a million times before. I looked at my husband, I got up off my table because my eyes started to well.

    “Soon enough the whole restaurant ran inside, it was so potent. Lucky they had bi-fold doors, otherwise we would have been in serious trouble and people were just running in seeking refuge from everywhere.”

    ‘GOVERNMENT OF TRAITORS’

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has thrown his weight behind the reforms and Greece’s parliament looks likely to adopt them, despite rebels in Tsipras’s own party, Syriza. He is counting on the support of pro-European opposition parties.

    The majority of Greeks voted against similar austerity terms in a referendum on July 5.

    “Our government is a government of traitors. We voted ‘No’ then Tsipras signs up to even worse conditions. It’s madness,” raged unemployed demonstrator Arsenios Pappas, 35, before the violence broke out.

    Standing next to a banner showing a ‘No’ wrecking ball knocking down a wall of austerity measures, primary school teacher Natasia Kokkoli, 53, said the bailout deal “is simply not fair”, and perhaps it would be better to leave the eurozone.

    “I think Greece is being used as an experiment by Europe. With the banks empty of course it’s hard, but without the euro maybe Greece could find its way again,” she said.

    Vendors selling beer, roasted sweetcorn and nuts had been doing a brisk trade before gangs of mainly male protesters in black t-shirts, many sporting sunglasses over their balaclavas, started to taunt police.

    “People are angry. Yes Tsipras had a choice, he chose to lie to us. This is the result,” said Maximos, 37, as protesters near him waved a sign reading “We said ‘No’, we meant ‘No’”.

    “We have been betrayed!” shouted another man, who was wearing a balaclava, as police used pepper spray and gas to stop a crowd from breaching a security line.

    VIOLENT ESCALATION

    It’s the first time protests have turned violent since the left-wing Syriza government came to power in January, promising to end austerity.

    The bill being debated now includes consumer tax increases and pension reforms that will condemn Greeks to years of more economic hardship. It has fuelled anger inside the governing party and led to a revolt against Mr Tsipras by many party members.

    The Prime Minister insists the deal, forged after a marathon weekend eurozone summit, was the best he could do to prevent Greece from crashing out of Europe’s joint currency.

    “I must tell you, that Monday morning at 9:30, it was the most difficult day of my life. It was a decision that will weigh on me for the rest of my life,” said Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

    “I don’t know if we did the right thing. But I know we did something with the sense that we had no choice. Nothing was certain and nothing is,” he said as the debate kicked off.

    INTERNAL TENSIONS

    Civil servants protested with a 24-hour strike that disrupted public transport and shut down state-run services across the country. Large numbers of Syriza lawmakers are almost certain to vote against the package, though the bill is expected to pass with support from pro-European opposition parties.

    Alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani resigned from her post, saying she could not vote in favour of the bill. In a letter she sent to Tsipras on Monday, which was released by the finance ministry, Valavani said she believed “dominant circles in Germany” were intent on “the full humiliation of the government and the country.”

    The economy ministry’s secretary-general, Manos Manousakis, also resigned over the agreement.

    BROKEN PROMISES

    Tsipras agreed to a deal after a marathon 17-hour eurozone summit that ended on Monday morning. It calls for Greece to pass new austerity measures in return for the start of negotiations on a third bailout worth about 85 billion euros in loans over three years.

    The government, a coalition between Syriza and the small right-wing Independent Greeks, holds 162 seats in Greece’s 300-member parliament. More than 30 of Syriza’s own lawmakers have publicly voiced objections.

    Tsipras has acknowledged the measures he agreed to go against his election pledges to end austerity, and described them as “irrational” in a TV interview. But he said he had no option if he was to prevent Greece’s financial collapse.

    ‘UNSUSTAINABLE’ DEBT

    The International Monetary Fund, which was involved Greece’s previous two bailouts and will also play a role in the third, has long argued the country’s debt is too high and that any deal must include debt relief — something the Greek side has also insisted on.

    In a report released late on Tuesday, the IMF said Greece’s debt was now “highly unsustainable” and would reach “close to 200 per cent of GDP in the next two years.”

    On Wednesday, the European Union’s executive commission echoed that analysis, saying there are “serious concerns” about the sustainability of Greece’s debt due to a worsening in the economy.

    Tsipras has faced strident dissent even from top ministers, with Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis saying in a post on his ministry’s website that the deal the prime minister reached was “unacceptable”, and calling for him to withdraw it.

    MORE DISRUPTIONS
    The civil servants’ strike disrupted public services. Pharmacies joined in with their own 24-hour strike to object to the austerity deal, which will allow some non-prescription drugs to be sold by supermarkets.

    “These laws will pass through parliament today, because they can’t do otherwise,” said Eleni Sari, 45, as she walked through central Athens.

    “Naturally, the people are furious, and they have not allowed them any choice. Unfortunately it’s not in our hands anymore. That is, it’s no longer in the people’s hands. By necessity ... they will pass them in parliament, and by necessity we will bear their burden.”

    Greeks continue to struggle with limits on cash withdrawals and transfers outside of the country. Banks were shut down June 29 and the finance ministry says they will remain closed through Thursday.

    With its banks dangerously low on liquidity and the state practically out of cash, Greece desperately needs funds. It faces a Monday deadline to repay 4.2 billion euros to the European Central Bank, and is also in arrears on two billion euros to the IMF.

    TIME RUNNING OUT

    Negotiations on the new bailout will take an estimated four weeks, leaving European finance ministers scrambling to find ways to get Athens some money sooner.

    The European Commission has proposed giving Greece seven billion euros in loans from a special fund overseen by all 28 EU nations so it can meet its upcoming debts. The loan would be made pending the start of a full bailout program, but faces resistance from Britain, a non-euro member of the EU.

    Germany has argued that one way for Greece to meet its financing obligations would be for it to issue IOUs.

  10. #17
    In Memory Fredkc's Avatar
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    Re: Greece, etc

    The Greek government is in deep ****, really. On one side they've got the IMF, who wants to steal everything.
    On the other side, the unrealistic Greek people, who want to give up nothing, and pay for nothing.
    Glad I'm not there.
    "Life IS mystical! Its just that we're used to it." - Wolf, the movie
    "Dad, if God is everywhere then, when he's in a piece of paper, is he squished?" - My daughter, age 7

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  12. #18
    Senior Member Wade Frazier's Avatar
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    Re: Greece, etc

    Hi:

    I am working the 12-hour days now, so not much time for forums, but I read an interview with John Perkins not long ago, on Greece. If anybody would know about those shenanigans, he would.

    Best,

    Wade

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  14. #19
    Administrator Harley's Avatar
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    Re: Greece, etc

    How Did Iceland Manage to Avoid Greece’s Financial Fate?

    Watching the Hawks RT
    Published on Jul 23, 2015

    Sean Stone speaks with Iceland MP, Birgitta Jonsdottir, about the differences between the Icelandic and Greek financial crises.

    Harley

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