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Greece does not function ??

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:57 am
by fuzer
Interview on Radio 4 Today Programme with the Editor of A leading German Newspaper. He was dignified and balanced. However he, rightly said, that Greece does not function as a country, throwing money into Greece is not the main issue. (I para-phrase)

The obvious conclusion is increased unemployment in pursuit of breaking down the public sector - therefore more riots and protests. The Camels back is already broken what, in your view is a way forward ?

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:07 pm
by Tim
The only way forward for any country that's broke is to grow its economy. Period.

I can't see any way that Greece can do this while it is constantly having to go to the Germans et al with a begging bowl, and keep implementing savage cuts to its ability to function as a working Western economy.

The consequences of leaving the single currency will be dire and horrible - but having its own currency, the ability to set its own exchange rates and once again being in some sort of control of its economic destiny, will at least give Greece a chance to trade its way out of trouble, achieve some growth, get people back into employment and start collecting tax revenues.

If it doesn't do these things, then I agree with Fuzer - the spectre of a breakdown of the social fabric, and all the problems that go with it, is likely to loom large.

It would be heartbreaking to see such a wonderful country tear itself apart just to further the ambitions of a failed Franco/German political dream of a single state Europe. Mr Samaras should tell Mrs Merkel to stuff her bailout and get back to the Drachma (and take the pain) as soon as practicably possible.

Just my point of view ...

Tim

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:36 pm
by mouche
Tim wrote:- but having its own currency, the ability to set its own exchange rates....


I really do think the market will do that job, not a greek government!

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:47 pm
by moved 2 crete
A question to all who lived on Crete for more than 10 years:- was the economy in a mess before the Euro when they had the Drachma ? we used to holiday on Crete many years before the Euro, things were cheap to buy and the people we stayed with year on year seemed happy and content with their lot, or was it a front put on for us the holiday maker to see.

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:09 pm
by scooby
moved 2 crete wrote:A question to all who lived on Crete for more than 10 years:- was the economy in a mess before the Euro when they had the Drachma ? we used to holiday on Crete many years before the Euro, things were cheap to buy and the people we stayed with year on year seemed happy and content with their lot, or was it a front put on for us the holiday maker to see.
There was nothing wrong anywhere, not just Greece before the EU.

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:57 am
by fuzer
By my observations the area where I live seemed inundated with tourists, especially the "Greek fortnight" we were taken over by visitors from Athens. I mean literally taken over. On the economic front - I dont understand why Merkel leads the show on what happens to Greece.
But I do know there everything seemed to be OK until the top bankers were found out on their gambling our lives away.

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:55 pm
by Carolina
moved 2 crete wrote:A question to all who lived on Crete for more than 10 years:- was the economy in a mess before the Euro when they had the Drachma ? we used to holiday on Crete many years before the Euro, things were cheap to buy and the people we stayed with year on year seemed happy and content with their lot, or was it a front put on for us the holiday maker to see.


In my opinion, I think people were generally 'happy with their lot'. Those in tourism were doing well and EU farming subsidies were plentiful. It was difficult to borrow money from banks and interest rates were sky high so people tended to live within their means, and only a very few had credit cards.

With the euro came cheap credit and the banks started (irresponsibly IMHO) throwing loans and credit cards at people which meant they started taking out huge loans to buy and build properties (often for their children), buy expensive cars or take expensive holidays. Greeks got the trappings of modern European living within a very short period of time.

I know quite a few Greek people who took out large loans with monthly repayments at around 75%- 80% of their monthly household income - it was ridiculous that the banks should make such loans. In order to keep up the payments and their lifestyle people took second and third jobs. Then it all came crashing down as the state debt became apparent and the economy dived; there are no longer second and third jobs to be had, and people have seen big wage cuts in their first job - if they still have one. Add to that the additional 'emergency' taxes and property taxes that the government have slapped on everyone, and it's clear to see why many people are finding it very hard to survive.

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:34 pm
by Carolina
Interesting article from Nick Malkoutzis, ekathimerini, about how much Greece has actually done regarding reducing spending since 2009. You wouldn't think so from the press, but they've actually achieved quite a lot:

http://ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articl ... 012_457821

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:41 pm
by moved 2 crete
Many many thanks to Carol for that honest and believable answer, it`s just as I thought, when on holiday in Pisko Piano with our friends the taverna owners they said for their daughter they have bought a house with a very good loan from the bank, 2004/5 7/8 years ago, when we moved here in 2006 our new neighbour bought a very expensive 4x4 and told me to get one ,very cheap only 285 euros down and then 25 years to pay, lttle money he said, I respectfuly thanked him but declined the offer,Same as in England I thought live on debt and credit, Thanks again to Carol the insight into the inevitable and the hardship to follow.

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:48 pm
by fuzer
Very interesting article makes you wonder whether the Troika is in the real world.

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:20 am
by filippos
fuzer wrote:..... makes you wonder whether the Troika is in the real world.
No wonder at all: they're in their real world.