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Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Old 09-05-10, 01:02 AM
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Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Technocrats Take Over Greece


Greek Government Hauls in Billions in Back Taxes ... In a bid to increase revenues, the Greek authorities are employing all kinds of clever tricks to crack down on tax cheats, including using Google Earth to find undeclared swimming pools. But efforts by the government to liberalize markets could unleash a wave of civil unrest. There are very few people who can speak passionately about statistics and use words like "logical beauty," "great purity" and "pure poetry" when talking about ordinary numbers. But when Nikolaos Logothetis, 57, expounds on numbers, it sounds like a love poem. "The science of statistics has its own language," says Logothetis, a tall, thin Greek with a carefully trimmed beard and professorial glasses. "We only have to listen attentively to what it has to say, if we want to understand the ills afflicting our country." This is a remarkable statement to make in Greece, which currently has the reputation of being the home of fudged and forged statistics. – Spiegel Online

Dominant Social Theme: Now Greece will be run efficiently.

Free-Market Analysis: Those who bother to read the Daily Bell semi-regularly will know that there has been feedback discussion about the Bell's perspective that austerity for Southern Europe is not a good thing. Much pushback to this perspective has come in the form of comments that it "serves the Greeks right." Of course we believe all this to be some kind of dominant social theme purveyed by the power elite. If verbalized, it would go something like this: "The Greeks and other sunny countries are really corrupt and it is a good thing that reality has slapped them in the face. Now uncollected tax dollars can be put to good use."

It is interesting that such analysis emerges in Der Spiegel, which is among the most mainstream of publications in Germany. The idea, of course, is that Germans pay their taxes and the German state manages the taxes well and effectively. This ignores the huge amounts of money that pour into Switzerland from Germany because in fact Germans like most normal and sane people do not like paying taxes, especially exorbitant taxes – which even the most efficient state wastes. We are not by the way advocating that people avoid lawful taxes. What we do maintain emphatically that taxes are to a large degree a waste of money.

Taxes go to help the poor and indigent, to furnish services for the middle class and to pay for military defense and to furnish the paraphernalia of the state. These are the basics. But in fact, the free market through charity can probably provide better services to the poor and indigent. The middle class generally does not need services such as government-provided health care and old-age retirement programs, for middle class people can do better on their own in terms of providing for their own security and health. Probably the less military spending a state does the better and it is unclear (to us anyway) that a thriving Leviathan (bureaucracy) is a blessing.

So there you have it. Most of what the modern regulatory bureaucracy does is feed on citizens like a slug, fattening on various forms of taxation and then finding ways to justify even more of it. People know this instinctively, which is one reason why people fight so hard to lower their taxes and why some are driven not to tax avoidance but to tax evasion.

We have started with taxes, but let us extrapolate a little. We don't think government generally is efficient – or that if it is efficient, it provides any great benefits as a result. In fact, we think modern regulatory democracies are terrible places to live in and constantly getting worse. The US in many ways is an evolving authoritarian society; in observing the European Union we regularly get the feeling that Brussels would like to ape the US as much as possible as soon as possible.

We are not for an efficient, modern, Democratic government of any kind, therefore. An inefficient regulatory democracy is livable because it means very simply that the regulations that spew out of the legislature are regularly and roundly ignored. An efficient regulatory democracy is a most uncomfortable place with authorities actually enforcing a full panoply of niggling rules and regulations that over time can have fairly Draconian ramifications. (One in-the-news example that comes to mind is Lindsay Lohan who as the result of two minor traffic accidents three years ago has now been basically incarcerated for three-to-six months and is likely to lose a major movie role.)

Until recently, Greece was run in a fairly relaxed way (in between military juntas anyhow). The country was a tourist destination and every so often it would devalue its currency and banks and institutional investors, who could afford it, would take a bath. Many in Greece worked for the government because the private sector was not generating the necessary jobs. Nonetheless, Life was Good, or at least a little better than it is now.

Now, we are told by Spiegel, the Greek government is getting into the German swing. What's really going on? The Greek elites, harassed and bullied by the EU, are about to make it miserable for everyone else. It wasn't enough that the Greek elites walked off with EU funds while dragging Greece into the EU under a false pretext. Now these same elites are content, even eager, to make their fellow citizens pay.

For the foreseeable future life is going to be a whole lot grimmer for Greece. People who have avoided paying taxes illegally (maybe in order to sustain a livable lifestyle for their families) are now living in fear. People who turned to government jobs for a living are now seeing their futures disappear. The government will collect more money it is true, but it is money that may flow to the big commercial banks that helped Greece sustain its position in the EU. The money that Greece gained from these banks and from the EU itself has been wasted. Most of it likely hasn't gone to the average Greek, but to a handful of wealthy Greeks. The average Greek will be paying for years to come.

This is why we have long predicted that the fairly volatile tribes of Europe won't stand for such faux austerity – or not for years and years. The scam is too widely known. The unfairness is too evident in this era of the Internet. European media is filled with stories about how the citizens of various countries are struggling to cope with new, restricted circumstances because out of such privations a better Europe will emerge. We also note that the level of violence is rising.

We see no reason to celebrate either Greece's commitment to austerity or the socialist government's ability to squeeze more taxes from suffering Greek people. The euro itself made goods and services more expensive in Greece and other Southern European non-manufacturing countries. Credit card companies have done well in Greece.

Conclusion: Now, as the financial crisis rolls on and austerity bites harder, there is no money to pay back those credit card loans. Taxes and back-taxes are being collected aggressively. As always happens in a regulatory democracy sooner or later, government is making it increasingly difficult for the average person to survive at any level above poverty. This is the brave, new world provided by the European Union. This is the state of affairs ushered in by a new and efficient Greece.
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Old 09-05-10, 01:38 AM
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I wasn't aware Long Island was part of Greece.
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Old 09-05-10, 09:13 AM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Mod note: Posting news articles, or in this case, opinion pieces, without comment, is strongly discouraged. If it's important enough to post, it's important enough to comment on it. This is especially true in the case of the first posts of new threads.

In addition, posting news articles, or in this case, opinion pieces, without a link or attribution is also discouraged.


http://www.thedailybell.com/1267/Tec...er-Greece.html
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Old 06-29-15, 12:53 PM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

There has to be a good Greek and ATM joke here somewhere


... but the technocrats have to be looking pretty good after looking at the morons running the country now. On the other hand, the morons might have run into something good as a "Grexit" is probably the best in the long term for all concerned


ATHENS — Greek leaders planned to shutter their banks for six business days starting Monday and impose strict limits on ATM withdrawals amid rising global concerns about the nation’s economic future.

Sunday’s decision to declare a bank holiday was a signal that Greece’s five-year battle to stay in the shared euro currency may swiftly be coming to an end, as leaders elsewhere urged steps to find a way to avoid that. Panicked citizens tried to pull their money from their accounts while they still could. ATMs in Athens were running out of money, and tensions were running high as Greeks stood in line for hours to scrape together cash for basic supplies. Lines mounted at gas stations as worried residents topped off their tanks for what could be a protracted period of time in a cashless nation.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...0d0_story.html
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Old 06-29-15, 02:31 PM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

So Greece ran out of money to make payments on its debts. I would hope that they get a bailout, in exchange for closely-monitored fiscal reform. If they do agree to reform, will Europe still decline to bail them out? I think Europe is just dangling failure in front of them to try to get them moving. But I think an agreement will be met and a bailout will be made.

Then there are the privatisations. At the start of the crisis, the Greek government committed itself to bringing in €50bn from the sale of state assets. According to Mr Theocharis, that target was soon reduced to €30bn and then €20bn.
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33232074

So they had five years to sell €50B in assets, which would privatize a lot of their state-run programs. Now they say their more realistic asset total is €20B. And then they're overspending a little on pensions, and have many loopholes to avoid VAT.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:04 PM
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Fuck any bailout. You serious? Research how many times they're been helped?

Kick'em out. They're a bad financial cancer to everyone. Let the people take them over and reform a new government, kicking out the corruption.

Then help should happen.

Greek politicians are just taking advantage of the world wanting to help so they continue their corruption.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:19 PM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

For a second I hoped that Guarddog was back. But there was no Youtube video in the initial post, so I have my doubts it was really him anyway.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:20 PM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

At this point, it is a bailout of their previous bailouts. It was a mistake to ever have them in the Euro to start with. More money would just be good money after bad.

Everyone will take a hit for a while, eventually the drachma will have such a crappy exchange rate that it will draw in investors again and they can maybe recover.

I do not really feel sorry for the older Greeks that voted for and pursued policies to get as much "free" stuff as possible now in exchange for fucking over their kids later. I guess they planned on being dead before the bill came due
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Old 06-29-15, 03:26 PM
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Maybe Greece can ask Mexico for a few Pesos.

Tsipras is such an asshole. The people need to physically remove him from office.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 06-29-15 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 06-29-15, 04:23 PM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
So Greece ran out of money to make payments on its debts. I would hope that they get a bailout, in exchange for closely-monitored fiscal reform.
You're a little late to that party, I'm afraid.
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Old 06-29-15, 10:12 PM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Originally Posted by BearFan View Post
At this point, it is a bailout of their previous bailouts. It was a mistake to ever have them in the Euro to start with. More money would just be good money after bad.

Everyone will take a hit for a while, eventually the drachma will have such a crappy exchange rate that it will draw in investors again and they can maybe recover.

I do not really feel sorry for the older Greeks that voted for and pursued policies to get as much "free" stuff as possible now in exchange for fucking over their kids later. I guess they planned on being dead before the bill came due
According to The Economist, the Greeks can't even rely on the devaluation of the Drachma, because they have too little industry. They won't be able to manufacture goods and sell them for less because of a favorable exchange rate -- they don't make anything. The Greek people are screwed either way.
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Old 06-29-15, 10:31 PM
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Basically.

Greece is a good example of Bailout Economics.
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Old 06-30-15, 08:36 AM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
According to The Economist, the Greeks can't even rely on the devaluation of the Drachma, because they have too little industry. They won't be able to manufacture goods and sell them for less because of a favorable exchange rate -- they don't make anything. The Greek people are screwed either way.
Seems time they start finding something to make

In the meantime, they have tourism ...
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Old 06-30-15, 11:01 AM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
So Greece ran out of money to make payments on its debts. I would hope that they get a bailout, in exchange for closely-monitored fiscal reform. If they do agree to reform, will Europe still decline to bail them out? I think Europe is just dangling failure in front of them to try to get them moving. But I think an agreement will be met and a bailout will be made.
They are actually in the middle of a bailout and tried to renegotiate it for more money, etc. and the EU said no. Essentially, they could have had exactly what you suggest, but they rejected the idea of closely monitored fiscal reform.
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Old 06-30-15, 11:21 AM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

Originally Posted by BearFan View Post
I do not really feel sorry for the older Greeks that voted for and pursued policies to get as much "free" stuff as possible now in exchange for fucking over their kids later. I guess they planned on being dead before the bill came due
...and with their demographic rate, there's not going to be many kids to pay off those massive debts, either.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/op...hics.html?_r=0
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Old 06-30-15, 11:37 AM
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Greece is screwed. They will almost certainly drop out of the Eurozone. The question is if anybody else is next (Spain and the UK - for differing reasons)?
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Old 06-30-15, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
Greece is screwed. They will almost certainly drop out of the Eurozone. The question is if anybody else is next (Spain and the UK - for differing reasons)?
UK is not in the Eurozone ... which should probably halt expansion at this point. Countries like Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland are probably better off on their own currencies
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Old 06-30-15, 12:19 PM
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The financial world will be just fine without Greece. Although some world companies LOCATED IN GREECE would tell you different.
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Old 06-30-15, 06:38 PM
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Greece has asked for a 3rd bailout in the past 5 years after missing a deadline tonight.
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Old 06-30-15, 07:10 PM
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It's over. Grexit is coming.
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Old 06-30-15, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
It's over. Grexit is coming.
For the best in the long term. These morons they elected probably stumbled onto the right solution. It will be interesting to see what happens in the vote this weekend. A yes vote (pro austerity) is probably the last shot to stay in the Euro, but I suspect just further delays the inevitable.
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Old 06-30-15, 08:20 PM
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Oxi!
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Old 07-02-15, 05:17 PM
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Yeah, I'm fascinate by this weekend's vote too. I wish there was more coverage here in the media, but most people are thinking that Greece is too small of a problem to concern the US. For the cohesion of the Eurozone, Greece needs to stay. But we all know that it is inevitable for a Grexit. They can kick the can out for a further few months at a time, but each time is going to be worst than the last. What will be interesting is what happens AFTER Greece leaves the Eurozone and they start to rebuild.... if things there improve slowly, it could lead to Portugal, Spain and Italy doing the same eventually too. If that happens, can the Eurozone still be sustainable?
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Old 07-02-15, 07:43 PM
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Well, it may not if several other countries manage to do better than their Eurozone peers.

I think a separation from the Eurozone will be the best thing for Greece. It will teach sustainability and inspire its currently non-working young people (about 50% are unemployed/not working I think).

Of course, now that I said that, the IMF might give them a loan by Monday.
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Old 07-05-15, 03:45 AM
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re: Greek bailouts and the future of the EU

People are starting to get the bad news

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