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posted by martyb on Monday July 06 2015, @08:57AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the getting-what-you-asked-for-may-not-be-getting-what-you-want dept.

The Greeks voted no to the European Union's terms, despite warnings from the EU that rejecting new austerity terms would set their country on a path out of the Eurozone. 62% voted "No" while 38% voted "Yes".


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:06AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:06AM (#205525)

    No planet in history has ever voted to leave Civilization.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:22AM (#205529)

      What you call civilization, they call foreign domination. I am not surprised at all that they voted no - it has been known for years that Gold Man-Sacks did their standard vampire-squid job [businessinsider.com] on the country. Combine that with the greed of the country's elite (a social class without any sense of patriotic loyalty) and of course the plebiscite voted to give them all the big F-U once they had a chance to be heard. It won't make things any better for the citizenry, but voting yes probably wouldn't have helped either - just more of the same abuse - so at least they got fuck over some of the people that fucked them over.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:29AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:29AM (#205531)

        Down with the Galactic Patrol! Give us back our Freedom!

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:19PM (#205608)
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:14PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:14PM (#206118) Journal
          The problem with the "biggest lie" is that it isn't a falsehood. This whole shitfest is due to decades of bad decisions by Greece. I'll note that the Scandinavian countries don't have this problem, for example.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by RedGreen on Monday July 06 2015, @02:34PM

        by RedGreen (888) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:34PM (#205637)

        Yes I can see how they would be pissed off being forced at point of gun to take and spend all that money they did not have and could not afford, they were so hard done by. Just like countless others have had done to them taking credit they could not afford to take on, its such a tough life living beyond your means...

        --
        "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:38PM (#205639)

          Do you think the average citizen had any say in that at all?
          But they are the ones expected to fulfill the obligations imposed on them by the rich and powerful who sucked up the lionshare of that money in the first place.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:55PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:55PM (#205687)

            Yes, they kept voting for clientelist politicians on every level, and they refused to pay taxes. The referendum result is not atypical.

            • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @05:01PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @05:01PM (#205728)

              The US voted for someone who would close gitmo and opposed warrantless wiretaps and national security letters. [msnbc.com] The powerful always have their own agenda.

              • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @05:24PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @05:24PM (#205738)

                It is one thing when politicians say something and do something else when they're elected. It is quite another thing when the politicians buy votes with promises and then pay for them with the printing press (before the Euro) or loans (since the Euro). Note that the referendum is completely in line with the communist policy of the current Greek administration. That is not a people being betrayed by its politicians.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:01PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:01PM (#205883)

                  People keep saying this, yet there is no proof. If you can present proof of your claim, people of different political leanings will believe you. I will believe you if you have proof.

                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:33PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:33PM (#205891)

                  You really should read this [medium.com]. It seems that it's not quite as cut and dried as the evil lazy commie Greeks, the idea that you put forward.

                  Unless, of course, the idea that you put forward is meant to influence others and isn't one that you actually give a damn about.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @05:57AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @05:57AM (#205999)

                    Throughout history, Germany has repaid debt, Germany has had debt forgiven and Germany has forgiven debt. Germany should also be allowed to expect repayment. There are many other countries in the Eurozone which are also not willing to forgive Greece's debt at this point in time.

                    Greece has been granted several haircuts already. They seem to think that this can go on and on, but it can't. It would be devastating to the Eurozone to give them another haircut now, because it would send all the wrong signals. In time, if Greece has made the necessary reforms and has proven that it can and does live within its means (except for the debt burden), then and only then can we talk about another haircut. The debt that Greece has is already put off so long that it is not really an impediment to growth, just a showstopper for more uncontrolled spending. We would have to talk about the debt if it were actually part of Greece's problems right now, but it isn't. Greece's problems are a result of a corrupt, wasteful and ineffective state apparatus, and the fact that the Greek people are comfortable with that kind of situation. This can not be solved by forgiving their debt and thereby giving that consistently failing administration more time. Greece needs to change if it wants to stay in the Eurozone, now.

                    It is worth noting that the loudest calls for debt relief come from uninvolved parties and from parties who expect to be paid: The IMF does not forgive debt, but expects Europe to bail out Greece so that Greece can pay its debt to the IMF. The US has geopolitical interests, but does not pay a dime to Greece. There are some private funds which have invested billions in Greek bonds with very high risk premiums after the last haircut, fully knowing their risk, but certainly expecting Europe to unconditionally help Greece. These funds will not forgive any debt, but rest assured that they are behind some of the calls for debt relief.

                    Long story short, the debt is not going anywhere, for now.

              • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Monday July 06 2015, @05:27PM

                by RedGreen (888) on Monday July 06 2015, @05:27PM (#205739)

                Obviously never heard the old How do you a politician is lying? Answer their lips are moving. It is indeed a quite shocking that a politician would say one thing before then do another after an election, never happened before. You just have to figure out which one is the less scummy of the bunch, hold your nose and vote.

                --
                "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @06:49PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @06:49PM (#205784)

                  Cool story bro!

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:37PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:37PM (#205893)

                  "Hello," he lied.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:44PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:44PM (#205897)

                  You just have to figure out which one is the less scummy of the bunch, hold your nose and vote.

                  That's what leads to ever-increasing levels of evil, because The One Party candidates will always win. That mentality is poisonous.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:54PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:54PM (#206110)

              well no they trew out the politicans that caused the problem in the last electionthe troijka did't like that and started harrassing them

          • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Monday July 06 2015, @05:17PM

            by RedGreen (888) on Monday July 06 2015, @05:17PM (#205734)

            Whatever they had decades to get on it yet they sat back and enjoyed the benefits not bitching at all until the chickens came home to roost and they had to make some sacrifices. Sell that load of bull shit to someone who is buying.

            --
            "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
            • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @08:05PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @08:05PM (#205813)

              > Sell that load of bull shit to someone who is buying.

              Right back at you powerfucker.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:40PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:40PM (#205894)

              You forgot to say "commies" or "socialists," and didn't use the word "lazy." You also probably think that people get paid appropriately to their effort.

              • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Monday July 06 2015, @11:48PM

                by RedGreen (888) on Monday July 06 2015, @11:48PM (#205899)

                Probably because I am a Socialist however I am not some fool who thinks you can spend forever without paying the bills. And these people in Greece certainly knew they were spending way beyond their means now the time has come where they get the reality check, good luck to them unfortunately I see plenty of pain in their future.

                --
                "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday July 06 2015, @11:31PM

          by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @11:31PM (#205889)

          Wow, you act like Wall Street and the Bankers were just completely innocent in it all.

          Just please don't tell me you're an apologist to the extent you blame the economy on the sub-prime mortgage holders and investment property speculators, as you're already blaming the victims too harshly.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:15AM (#205527)

    The referendum was about the June 25 version of the terms, which was superseded by the June 26 version of the terms. And anyway, the deadline for the June 26 version of the terms was on Tuesday June 30. Since then, there are no EU terms, they have to be negotiated from the beginning.
    Go figure.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by theluggage on Monday July 06 2015, @09:51AM

      by theluggage (1797) on Monday July 06 2015, @09:51AM (#205538)

      The question is irrelevant. The practical upshot is that, even though shit has started to get real for the voters with the bank closures, they have handed the Greek government [something that can easily be spun as] a renewed mandate and tied the hands of the opposition parties. That makes it less likely that the government will get thrown out and replaced with a more compliant one (which the EU/ECB/IMF would love to bring about).

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:09PM (#205605)

        The question is irrelevant.

        The referendum was irrelevant. Look at Article 44.2 of the Greek Constitution [hri.org] which clearly states (emphasis mine):

        A referendum on Bills passed by Parliament regulating important social matters, with the exception of the fiscal ones shall be proclaimed by decree by the President of the Republic

        On its face the vote appears to be unconstitutional, though an article on Reuters notes:

        Greece's top administrative court, however, rejected an appeal against the referendum by two Greek citizens, who argued that the constitution bars plebiscites on fiscal issues and that the question is too complex.

        So PM Tsipras put himself in a position to get what he wanted no matter what. If the results had been "Yes" then he could have quietly nudged the court to overrule the the plebiscite. He's been playing both sides against the middle so he can keep posing as "Alexis Tsipras, Greek Political Rockstar".

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Monday July 06 2015, @08:40PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday July 06 2015, @08:40PM (#205828) Journal

          Here's the full text of 44.2:

          The President of the Republic shall by decree proclaim a referendum on crucial national matters following a resolution voted by an absolute majority of the total number of Members of Parliament, taken upon proposal of the Cabinet.
          A referendum on Bills passed by Parliament regulating important social matters, with the exception of the fiscal ones shall be proclaimed by decree by the President of the Republic, if this is decided by three-fifths of the total number of its members, following a proposal of two-fifths of the total number of its members, and as the Standing Orders and the law for the application of the present paragraph provide. No more than two proposals to hold a referendum on a Bill can be introduced in the same parliamen- tary term.
          Should a Bill be voted, the time-limit stated in article 42 paragraph 1 begins the day the referendum is held.

          So the first sentence allows the president to proclaim a referendum on crucial national matters. I think one can argue that this referendum was about crucial national matters.

          The second sentence (the one you partially quoted) gives specific regulations for a referendum on bills passed by parliament. This referendum clearly was not about a bill passed by parliament, and therefore that sentence does not apply.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:58PM (#206113)

          In a democracy the power comes from the voters, hence any rule that says "you can't ask the voters" is obviously overruled as soon as you do

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @10:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @10:21AM (#205541)

      They voted out the terrorists. That's right, the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission are terrorists, because they forced Greece to close their banks by not giving them more free money, at least according to Greece's financial minister Varoufakis, who resigned today.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @05:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @05:38PM (#205749)

        Sorry, why was that modded troll? It's one hundred percent accurate: Varoufakis did actually call the Troika terrorists.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @12:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @12:14PM (#205583)

      Well as that one dude said on tv, for the honor of the country. That's now quite how i define honor. Honorable would be to pay back what you loaned and STFU.

      Raise your hand, if you've ever seen anything produced or a service from Greece, that's been sold outside of Greece. And please mention if it has been an actual usable product or something that just "looks pretty".

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Nerdfest on Monday July 06 2015, @02:10PM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:10PM (#205627)

        Wine. Some decent ones too.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:29PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:29PM (#205634)

          The USA should offer to pay in full Greek debt on the condition that Greece becomes the 51st state of the United States.
          Imperial what?

          • (Score: 2) by SubiculumHammer on Monday July 06 2015, @02:48PM

            by SubiculumHammer (5191) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:48PM (#205645)

            I mean, no matter what Republicans talk, if a State defaults, the Federal government is going to bail her out.
            The EU should realize this. An offer as the AC suggests would make this point nicely. US of A takes care of their own.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:32PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:32PM (#205666)

            The USA should offer to pay in full Greek debt on the condition that Greece becomes the 51st state of the United States.

            You mean take on another group of do-nothing moochers who expect a government pension for the rest of their lives? We already have enough of them ... they're called Congress.

          • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Monday July 06 2015, @04:09PM

            by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday July 06 2015, @04:09PM (#205700)

            What do you think Russia is going to do when Greece goes to them for help?

            --
            "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
            • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @04:21PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @04:21PM (#205711)

              Let it crash. Russia doesn't rescue squirrels, it collects road kill.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Francis on Monday July 06 2015, @02:32PM

        by Francis (5544) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:32PM (#205636)

        And how are they going to do that? The austerity measures have killed the local economy and the Greek people themselves have less money with which to invest in growing the economy or paying back their bills. Europe in general has seen slower growth as they've tried to be responsible rather than admitting that money is going to have to just be forgiven in the short term to get through this patch more quickly. Here in the US where we didn't go the austerity route things are finally getting back to normal.

        Unfortunately, virtually all of the improvement is going to the rich because we don't have any measures in place to ensure that the people generating the wealth will be allowed to keep any of it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:46PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:46PM (#205644)

          What, am i supposed to come up with a plan for Greece to become a industrial country? Like they haven't have any time to do that on their own? I don't care how they pay the depts, i'm just saying they can't claim honor or any other such excuses for continuing to not pay.

          I don't care about Greece, since they don't care about themselves or others either.

          It's not like everything is fine where i live, and if i had to come up with a 100 trillion euro plan to save something, it'd be my country, not Greece. I'm so fucking tired of Greece and the fucking excuses and paying for their shit.

          • (Score: 1) by Francis on Monday July 06 2015, @02:54PM

            by Francis (5544) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:54PM (#205647)

            They have to have money in order to pay money. That's what you and the idiots from the IMF seem to forget. They wrote the loans knowing full well that the Greeks were borrowing more than they could afford to payback. If they still want their money, they're going to have to accept that killing the economy is not likely to result in the money being there to be paid.

            The IMF does things like this all the time, they're just a bunch of greedy, ignorant, self-entitled jerks and it's high time they were told to STFU so the adults can work on solving the problem.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:44PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:44PM (#205676)

              Different AC here.

              They have to have money in order to pay money. That's what you and the idiots from the IMF seem to forget.

              They've already received 240€ billion in loans, and are now asking for debt relief & more loans to pay back part of the the reduced amount that is due. If I told my loan shark that I needed him to forgive part of my debt and also lend me more cash so I could pay back a little of what I still owed him, well, once he was done laughing I would be crying.

              Plus, Greece wants the IMF to increase the liquidity to their central bank because people are taking cash out of the Greek banks (limited to 60€ per day) and the central bank is broke too. Greece says it wants a "fair deal" but none of that "fairness" involves them paying back what they've already borrowed (or committing to pay back the new loans they keep demanding).

              Blaming Greece's current financial disaster solely on the IMF, ECB and other lenders completely ignores the fact that Greece has been borrowing from one place to pay another for decades, and thinks living within a national budget is unfair. They don't enforce their tax laws on the wealthy, and hand out lifelong pensions like teenagers hand out promise rings. If they need "money in order to pay money" they should start with their upperclass tax evaders and get them to actually pay their taxes (which the upperclass feels is as unfair as having to pay back their loans).

              • (Score: 1) by Francis on Monday July 06 2015, @07:03PM

                by Francis (5544) on Monday July 06 2015, @07:03PM (#205791)

                I'm not blaming them solely. I'm pointing out that the austerity measures aren't going to make it more likely that Greece will repay the loans, it makes it more likely that there won't be any money to pay the loans with. What happens if the people have a revolution over this?

                Yes, they should pay the loans, but realistically, I'm not convinced that's going to happen without the loans being restructured so as to have more time. As it stands there's not much money left over for rebuilding the economy or other activities that would lead to there being money to pay the loans back with. The situation sucks for everybody involved, but further punishing people who may not have actually had any say is just plain childish. The people who borrowed the money are mostly not the same ones that are being asked to actually pay the money as it stands.

        • (Score: 2) by gnuman on Monday July 06 2015, @05:48PM

          by gnuman (5013) on Monday July 06 2015, @05:48PM (#205758)

          The austerity measures have killed the local economy

          Not really.

          What killed the economy is trade imbalances. If all a nation does is import and it has no means of printing currency, what do you think will happen? Couple that with Greek unwillingness to actually "sell" things to foreign investors, so they run out of money.

          Greek problem is really a Euro problem. Inter-euro-zone trade imbalances need to be addressed with financial backflows, or every nation that has an inherent trade deficit in Euro area will also run out of money. Just like Greece. It may take longer, but eventually it will happen.

          Here in the US where we didn't go the austerity route things are finally getting back to normal.

          US prints their own money. And heck, the world loves US dollars so much that USD never devalue no matter how shitty US economy really is. And shitty it is - look at trade deficits for US. So please, don't lecture Greece on how things work. If US was using euros, US would be more broke than Greece.

          http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/balance-of-trade [tradingeconomics.com]

          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday July 06 2015, @08:49PM

            by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday July 06 2015, @08:49PM (#205833) Journal

            And heck, the world loves US dollars so much that USD never devalue

            Really? You still get as much for a dollar today as you got 40 years ago?

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday July 06 2015, @08:41PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @08:41PM (#205829)

        My ring was made in Greece by a Greek. Tritium vial set on a sterling silver ring. Probably falls into the handmade craft/art category and not a major exportable product.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday July 06 2015, @08:45PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday July 06 2015, @08:45PM (#205831) Journal

        Greek Asparagus.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by penguinoid on Tuesday July 07 2015, @08:51AM

        by penguinoid (5331) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @08:51AM (#206040)

        Horses. Well, it was more a gift than a sale...

        --
        RIP Slashdot. Killed by greedy bastards.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:25AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:25AM (#205530)

    I think it's necessary that once in a while banks and organizations like the IMF fall flat on their face. A loan is a risky investment, and if Greece can't pay it's the IMF's problem. (Greece'll have other issues ofcourse) I think this is needed to keep the banks on their toes with their activities and that they all don't just jump on the high risk investments. Besides on that scale of money, the only thing that changes is some digits in some computing systems, i.e. move the 1.5 Billion from one column in a spreadsheet to another.

    Alternatively; if Greece were a corporation, there also wouldn't be any problem. Just transfer all valuable assets to a new corporation: 'new Greece'; and let the old one go bankrupt. From there continue as normal.
    Its strange that we accept that behaviour from corporations (who damage quite some civilian lives in such a process) without question, but when a government wants to do it to improve the lives if its people, it's all turmoil.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by moondrake on Monday July 06 2015, @11:04AM

      by moondrake (2658) on Monday July 06 2015, @11:04AM (#205556)

      IMF? Not really. Or not so important in any case. Most of the loans to Greece came from other EU countries (nearly 200 billion). I.e. these are not banks who have to deal with it, its taxpayers.

      Your metaphor completely misses the point. Taxpayers are going to make a big turmoil of things if the money is not coming back. Some newsoutlets are calculating this into €500-€1000 per taxpayer. This is a bit unrealistic (amongst other things, it does not account for the possible benefits that having Greece in the union may have brought. For example, it kept the value of the euro down allowing for bigger profits on exports). Nevertheless, at some point it is worth to keep funding a country that fails to restructure its finances.

      You may see people clamoring for booting Greece from the Eurozone. This is silly. There are no treaties concerning a country's exit from the Eurozone. Nobody in the EU can legally remove Greece other than by a revision of the treaties, which would require Greece to agree. Greece can only voluntarily exit the union (and even that is not trivial).

      This is partially why you see such insistence within the EU to keep looking for solutions. As there are not really many alternatives.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by theluggage on Monday July 06 2015, @12:23PM

        by theluggage (1797) on Monday July 06 2015, @12:23PM (#205588)

        Nobody in the EU can legally remove Greece other than by a revision of the treaties

        Complete failure of the Greek banking system could leave the government with no choice but to start printing IOUs "new Drachmas" to allow Greeks to eat food and sleep indoors. No treaty needed.

        • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Monday July 06 2015, @01:07PM

          by moondrake (2658) on Monday July 06 2015, @01:07PM (#205601)

          Correct. They could do this, but as I said, its their decision, not the EUs decision (I was arguing against the idea that they could somehow be booted out). But if they did, it would not be really leaving the monetary union, just be a stop-gap measure that allows a local economy. These notes will devaluate quickly and nobody outside Greece would accept them. After a year, the people may realize their 100000000 drachma pension is worth far less then the current proposed cuts. Although it might actually improve the economy somewhat in the longer term, I am not sure the headaches of a double economy is worth it.

          Interestingly, they could avoid this by printing euros instead, as they probably have the equipment. This would create quite a bit more turmoil as it would amount to basically counterfeiting on a national scale.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:15PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:15PM (#205607)

            They are in blatant and willful violation of fundamental contracts of the Eurozone, and the other Euro countries could dismiss these contracts for cause, which would remove any rights out of these contracts from Greece and thus effectively remove Greece from the Eurozone. Nobody could stop Greece from using the Euro as their national currency, but that's not why they want to stay in the Eurozone.

            • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Monday July 06 2015, @02:58PM

              by moondrake (2658) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:58PM (#205648)

              My point was they cannot dismiss anything. There is simply no legal basis for doing so. They can stop providing money, but they cannot actually remove Greece from the eurozone.
              But fair enough, I did not provide sources, so your assertion is as good as mine. Therefore, if you got time (its lengthy) read: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1517760 [ssrn.com]

              Failure to honor the contract, as you mention, may have consequences, such as the suspension of some rights under the treaty (like Council voting rights). But expulsion from the union is simply not part of that.

              The only legal way to indirectly remove Greece is to convince Greece to voluntarily leave the union.

              Its seems you are hinting at "effectively" removing Greece (and "why they want to stay"). I am not sure what that means though. Sure, we can stop providing money for their banks. But as long as they are in the eurozone, their economy (luckily small) will matter for the rest of the eurozone. What's more, Greece may actually try to legally challenge the fact that they are cut off from support. I am not sure how that would pan out, but it is not at done deal for the rest of Europe (they do have some rights, even although they are in "willful violation" as you put it).

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:50PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:50PM (#205682)

                The objections against the possibility of expulsion focus on the lack of applicable provisions in the treaties. That's not what "dismiss for cause" is about. There are no contracts that cannot be undone even if it is no longer reasonable that one party abide by the contract in the face of violations by the other side. If the contract specifies remedies in case of violations, then certainly these remedies must either have been applied or be deemed unreasonable in the face of intolerable violations. The mere fact that the EMU treaties don't specify conditions and procedures for a dissolution of the treaty however does not mean that all parties to the treaties are forever bound by it, no matter how flagrant other parties violate it.

                It is actually less likely that Greece can legally decide to exit the EMU on its own, because there are no provisions for that, and unlike the rest of the Eurozone, Greece can not claim that the other side flagrantly and intolerably violated the treaty it wants to leave. On the other hand, nobody is going to go to war over Greece leaving the EMU, so effectively they can leave if they want to. That's politics: If enough people agree, anything is possible.

                • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Tuesday July 07 2015, @11:01AM

                  by moondrake (2658) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @11:01AM (#206070)

                  I think you misunderstand the basis on the contracts that gave rise to the EU. It can be more or less described as a voluntary collaboration. Nobody rules, all are equal (well, formally at least). Provisions for violations are usually focused at helping the country to comply, not putting them into a position where they no longer have to comply. Its a fundamental different philosophy. Use of force is inconceivable within this framework. Its a little bit like raising young children. If they fail to honor their contract, you (are supposed to) try again.

                  If any nation, or group of nations, would impede on another countries right (they have rights under the treaty), it would spell the end of the EU as an institution.
                  You may also misjudge the willingness of countries to agree with such an action, as its sets a precedent (and they may be next).

                  But you do not have to take my word for it, just look at the news today of all countries stressing they want to keep Greece in (and even retracting pre-referendum statements). All of that talk is what I would call politics (politics is not about agreeing imho). I predict that there will be a deal, watered down in the eyes of many EU taxpayers, but sold as the best possible solution. An unilateral expulsion is simply not going to happen. They will probably work out some special status for Greece.

                  About leaving on its own: There are provisions for exiting the EU, and, it can be argued, by extension the EMU. But I think its unlikely for them to do that.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @11:42AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @11:42AM (#206076)

                    I didn't say it's desirable, just that it's possible. The Eurozone can not perpetually tolerate an unwilling member being in flagrant violation of the treaties. Expulsion by law or by coercion is a possibility, whether Greece or anyone else likes it or not. Consider the situation: Seeing the "success" of Syriza's referendum, Podemos will try the same in Spain (election later this year) and Hollande will want less pressure on France (election in 2017). Italy already has a left-leaning government and is looking for an opportunity to relax the pressure on its finances as well. So it's open season on all fiscally responsible countries, but mostly on Germany due to its size and current economic power. This is not going to work. Germany can not bail out Greece, Spain, France and Italy. The tensions will tear the EU apart.

                    What are the options? a) Greece stops its tantrum, abides by the rules, reforms its state apparatus and becomes a good European citizen. The other countries take note and don't try anything funny themselves. b) Greece does not come to its senses, the Eurogroup does not give in, and Greece exits. The other countries take note and don't try anything funny themselves. c) Greece gets away with it, the Eurogroup grants a haircut and agrees to more money for empty promises, open season on Germany, EU breaks apart, everybody loses.

                    Option c isn't acceptable, so a haircut is not an option and neither is more money without reforms (not just promises of reforms). So it's option a or b. How likely do you hold option a? That leaves b, Grexit. If it has to be possible, it is possible.

                  • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Saturday July 18 2015, @08:43AM

                    by cafebabe (894) on Saturday July 18 2015, @08:43AM (#210721) Journal

                    They will probably work out some special status for Greece.

                    Currency union without full political union never works. Regardless, from the present situation, a viable solution might be a currency union for the Southern European tourist economies of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. However, even that may only delay revolution or war.

                    --
                    1702845791×2
          • (Score: 2) by theluggage on Monday July 06 2015, @02:14PM

            by theluggage (1797) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:14PM (#205629)

            Correct. They could do this, but as I said, its their decision, not the EUs decision

            Its a decision that the EU could force upon Greece by pulling the plug on the Greek banks' life support. Greece could then "decide" between reverting to a barter economy, declaring the leaf as the unit of currency or printing IOUs new currency (easier to regulate and less seasonal than leaves).

            Also, so say a critical mass of EU politicians decide to chuck Greece out of the Euro. OK, so its against the treaty, but who ya gonna call? The Euro wouldn't have got started if the EU had actually followed their own rules on the entry conditions.

            But if they did, it would not be really leaving the monetary union

            That's probably how the Germans would spin it, yes...

            • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Monday July 06 2015, @03:06PM

              by moondrake (2658) on Monday July 06 2015, @03:06PM (#205651)

              >Also, so say a critical mass of EU politicians decide to chuck Greece out of the Euro. OK, so its against the treaty, but who ya gonna call?

              There are courts in Europe. And they will probably act. Apart from that, blatantly disregarding their own treaty is not going to do wonders for the already mediocre EU reputation. Disregarding court orders would be enough to simply forget about the EU everywhere. I think its not a reasonable way for the EU to go.

              Interestingly, printing (or picking) and using an alternative currency is, under the EMU treaty, illegal. But in this case, I do not think Greece politicians would care overly much.

              An interesting opinion I read a couple of days ago is that the EU could claim Greece was actually never legally part of it (as they cheated to pass the requirements many years ago). Even although this is true, courts generally do not fall for such beautiful arguments though.

            • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Tuesday July 07 2015, @10:33AM

              by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @10:33AM (#206056)

              Like any lender, the EU doesn't want Greece to default or switch to another currency or do anything that will result in its debts being written off. If Greek banks collapse then other EU countries will have to pay out to their citizens to compensate them (in the UK the scheme protects you up to £75k per bank). There are all sorts of very negative consequences, so they will try hard to find a deal that doesn't screw themselves.

              --
              const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:22PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:22PM (#205630)

            Greece has the equipment to print 10 EUR notes and mint the Greek variants of the coins. Other denominations are printed in other countries. Printing money without the ECB's permission would be dealt with swiftly.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @08:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @08:21PM (#205820)

            The obvious is that everybody else leaves together.

            Better yet, first rename the old currency to "Greeko" or similar, then leave and create a new Euro.

            The traditional way is simply war. It's been done numerous times throughout history. Drop the arrogant "this time is different" and realize that all parts of the world are destined for repeated wars. They might as well start one while they have a good reason.

            Europe can form a new nation w/o Greece. This was treason when the USA was formed, both ditching the king and again later when the constitution was signed, but that didn't stop anybody. It can work for Europe too.

            Europe can declare an emergency, convict Greek politicians of crimes, and send in German or French commandos to arrest/kill the politicians.

      • (Score: 1) by jalopezp on Monday July 06 2015, @04:21PM

        by jalopezp (2996) on Monday July 06 2015, @04:21PM (#205712)

        Yeah, the opinion that Greece needs to exit the Euro is because this is seen as a Balance of Payments crisis. Here the resolution would be to devalue the local currency, which would allow prices in the economy to readjust. Income would drop, and the GDP would shrink even on top of the ~20% that has been lost in the last few years, but eventually prices bottom out, Greek goods and services become attractive again and unemployment would start to fall.

        Anyway, I agree that this should not be considered the only option, the current account deficit is not the only problem in Greece and even if it were, currency depreciation is not the only way to resolve it. Greece might just be offered a new deal on softer terms.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by threedigits on Monday July 06 2015, @05:03PM

        by threedigits (607) on Monday July 06 2015, @05:03PM (#205729)

        Most of the loans to Greece came from other EU countries (nearly 200 billion)

        This is technically true, but it's hardly the whole truth. Before the bailouts it was private banks that held most of the debt, specially French, German and Greek ones. All those were "rescued" by the EU taxpayers (by forcing Greece to take more loans). A big share of these "emergency" funds went *directly* from the EU to the banks, never to Athens. I find it obscene that there's plenty of money to rescue bankers, but not a dime for Greek people.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Monday July 06 2015, @11:42PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @11:42PM (#205896) Journal

          I find it obscene that there's plenty of money to rescue bankers, but not a dime for Greek people.

          This.

          Many of these loans were debt traps, pure and simple, and when it became obvious that Greece could not pay, they looked for someone else to pay, because the banks were "too big to fail". (Hmmm, sounds familiar).

          If the EU is in fact a union, then the union has some obligation for the predatory behavior of the lenders. If its just a bunch of bullies on the play ground pushing around the kid in shabby trousers, then why call it a union. Because it sounds like a mob.

          Australia, Canada, the US, hell, even India have measures to take care of states/provinces that can not possibly pay their entire way.
          Some states get massive amounts of national funds, far in excess of their tax revenue. Other states pay in more taxes than they get back.

          The EU seems to be treating its member states like the old Soviet Union. Some states server only as buffer states to protect the homeland.
          Its looking more and more like Greece was just a wrapper around the Bosnia/Serbia/Albania problem.

          Its all good to talk of contracts and bailouts, and technical details of the mountains of paper constructing the EU. But at the end of the day, Greece has a balance of payments problem, and NOTHING other than selling off antiquities gets past that. Is that what the EU really wants?

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Joe Desertrat on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:10AM

            by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:10AM (#205959)

            Its all good to talk of contracts and bailouts, and technical details of the mountains of paper constructing the EU. But at the end of the day, Greece has a balance of payments problem, and NOTHING other than selling off antiquities gets past that. Is that what the EU really wants?

            It is not what the EU wants, it is what the banks and other moneyed interests want. Whenever you hear the term "austerity" in regards to government, behind it is an attempt to transfer public assets into private hands.

          • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Saturday July 18 2015, @09:15AM

            by cafebabe (894) on Saturday July 18 2015, @09:15AM (#210729) Journal

            Some states server only as buffer states to protect the homeland.

            This happens intentionally or not but it has been driver which makes peripheral countries favorable towards expansion because it makes another country into a buffer zone. Unfortunately for Spain, Italy and Greece, the Mediterranean Sea forms a fairly definitive buffer between Europe and Africa. Furthermore, as an island nation, Greece has many routes to smuggle people. The more able people diffuse further into Europe. However, one of the relatively overlooked problems in Greece is the disproportionate accumulation of undocumented, low-skill immigrants who don't integrate into the local culture.

            --
            1702845791×2
        • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Tuesday July 07 2015, @10:36AM

          by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @10:36AM (#206057)

          A big share of these "emergency" funds went *directly* from the EU to the banks, never to Athens. I find it obscene that there's plenty of money to rescue bankers, but not a dime for Greek people.

          You misunderstand what was happening. The Greek banks were bailing out the government, lending it money. The EU was then bailing out the Greek banks by the same amount. The legal framework that meant it had to be done that way is complex, but basically it was just a way to funnel money to the Greek government and not the banks themselves. The money was only given on the condition that it was lent to the government.

          --
          const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Monday July 06 2015, @05:46PM

        by jmorris (4844) on Monday July 06 2015, @05:46PM (#205756)

        There are no treaties concerning a country's exit from the Eurozone.

        Because the EU was designed as a roach motel. But it was designed by socialists and is thus failing instead of fulfilling the original design goal of Germany conquering Europe without a shot fired.

        In the end, pieces of paper aren't reality. Reality says Greece is now in a no win scenario and whatever happens next they lose. Remember that the EU is currently two different yet related things, the political union and the monetary one. Greece will be leaving the monetary union, of that there can no longer be much doubt. But it is just a different world of pain outside the Euro. This farce drug on so long and caused so much pain because both sides kept pretending there was a third way, one where Greece could remain a socialist basket case AND remain in the Euro. Finally the voters were allowed to break the deadlock and pick the form of Gozer the Destructor. Can't really criticize their choice too harshly, it was the ones leading up to it that is worthy of scorn.

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by urza9814 on Monday July 06 2015, @06:19PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Monday July 06 2015, @06:19PM (#205772) Journal

          Because the EU was designed as a roach motel. But it was designed by socialists and is thus failing instead of fulfilling the original design goal of Germany conquering Europe without a shot fired.

          If it was designed by socialists they would have given Greece *money*, not *loans*...

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday July 06 2015, @07:36PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday July 06 2015, @07:36PM (#205803)

        So basically you're saying that Greece can do anything they want and the rest of the EU's only choice is to throw up their hands and say, "We can't kick them out!"

        It there is no exit clause in these treaties, somebody fucked up big.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:57AM

          by moondrake (2658) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:57AM (#206025)

          Well, to be fair, there are many ways to make someones life annoying even without legal means.

          As for the fucking up, you can read the link I provided. They actually debated such a clause, but it was abandoned several times for various reasons (I think most important is that some countries get uneasy by other countries having the power to remove them from the union). Anyone know how this is for the US. Can a state be unilaterally expulsed?

          • (Score: 2) by penguinoid on Tuesday July 07 2015, @09:24AM

            by penguinoid (5331) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @09:24AM (#206045)

            Anyone know how this is for the US. Can a state be unilaterally expulsed?

            Dunno about expulsion, but any state or group of states can legally secede.

            --
            RIP Slashdot. Killed by greedy bastards.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:42PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:42PM (#206125)

              there was a war a while back because some states actually tried secceeding, they got their asses kicked

            • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:57PM

              by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:57PM (#206131)

              One would think so. But a lot of people in the U.S. apparently feel differently.

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by VLM on Monday July 06 2015, @11:31AM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @11:31AM (#205567)

      I think it's necessary that once in a while banks and organizations like the IMF fall flat on their face

      The merger of .com and .gov would like to disagree with that. Its a game of chicken, the German banks knew those loans were as dumb as making subprime loans at the bubble peak in Arizona BUT they get steep commissions and they own their governments, so sure their puppets will bail them out with tax revenue, just like the American bankers recently did.

      You'd need an euro governmental revolution outside Greece to fix this, then Greece can be fixed.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by jalopezp on Monday July 06 2015, @03:43PM

        by jalopezp (2996) on Monday July 06 2015, @03:43PM (#205672)

        Is this comment from 2010? American banks were bailed out in 2008, and Greece doesn't owe any money to any banks. Greece did owe money to banks five years ago, when it first risked default. It was since bailed out twice and was able to pay the banks back. So now, instead of owing money to the German (and French) banks, Greece owes money to the IMF, the ECB and the European Comission. That bailout came with very severe conditions that were meant to allow Greece to pay back their debt in a timely manner, but these conditions turned out to be so draconian that the Greek GDP has shrank by 20%, which ironically means that Greece definitely cannot pay those loans back.

        So now that you're caught up on the events and we can agree that corporations are not playing anymore, we can talk about a Greek default. Loaning money is a risky proposition, and sometimes it is so risky that no one is willing to do it. In a high risk environment increasing the interest rate can balance out the risk of default, but if the interest rate goes high enough that itself makes it less likely that the debt will be paid. This is the position Greece is in, and it still needs to borrow more money to pay pensioners and public workers. In this situation, governments have a 'Lender of Last Resort', the IMF, who is willing to lend you money despite the risk, and to do so, gets extraordinary powers to collect. What it means here is that you cannot default to the IMF, if you could, the IMF would never get its money back from anyone. America, who provides most of the IMF funds, and the rest of Europe will make sure that the IMF gets paid even in case of default, even if it takes 100 years.

        So no, banks won't be bailed out, those guys cut their losses years ago. But yes, the IMF will be paid, and definitely with tax money because there is no other way.

    • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Monday July 06 2015, @04:11PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday July 06 2015, @04:11PM (#205701)

      That's a fantastic way to throw away blame for debt. "I can't pay back my loans? Well that's the bank's problem, I will just walk away."

      No wonder nobody is responsible anymore.

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 4, Touché) by threedigits on Monday July 06 2015, @05:21PM

        by threedigits (607) on Monday July 06 2015, @05:21PM (#205736)

        "I can't pay back my loans? Well that's the bank's problem, I will just walk away."

        Nice attempt at analogy, but not quite accurate. Let's make a more accurate one:

        Greeks: I can't pay back my loans, the economic crash (created by the banks) is killing me!
        TheMan: Hurry, take this money and pay them back.
        Bankers: Thanks for the fish!
        Greeks: Now what?
        TheMan: now you owe me more than you owed the banks before. From now on you cannot buy gas or feed your children. All your money is for paying me.
        Greeks: but how will I make a living?
        TheMan: that's your problem.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:53PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:53PM (#205903)

          That's a very concise - and honest - summary of the situation, as I understand it.

          It's coming for other countries, too - New Zealand has a right wing government that stopped paying down its national debt, started privatising anything that wasn't nailed down, and increased the national debt by more than $80 billion. There's been no diversification of its economy while the government has been eroding worker rights and trumpeting about how marvelous it is being a low wage economy, right before blaming the low wage workers for not working hard enough. (Unpaid overtime is the order of the day for minimum wage workers.)

  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:45AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @09:45AM (#205536)

    Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
    You play the guitar on the M.T.V.
    That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
    Money for nothin' and your chicks for free.

    Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
    Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
    Maybe get a blister on your little finger
    Maybe get a blister on your thumb.

    We gotta install microwave ovens custom kitchen deliveries
    We gotta move these refrigerators we gotta move these color T.V.'s.

    We gotta install microwave ovens custom kitchen deliveries
    We gotta move these refrigerators we gotta move these color T.V.'s.

    I shoulda learned to play the guitar
    I shoulda learned to play them drums
    Look at that mama she got it stickin' in the camera
    Man we could have some fun

    And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
    You bangin' on the bongos like a chimpanzee
    Oh that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
    Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free.

    We gotta install microwave ovens custom kitchen deliveries
    We gotta move these refrigerators we gotta move these color T.V.'s.

    Listen here
    Now that ain't workin' that's the way to do it
    You play the guitar on the M.T.V.
    That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
    Money for nothin' and your chicks for free
    Money for nothin' and the chicks for free
    (Get your) Money for nothin' and chicks for free
    Money for nothin' and the chicks for free (I want my, I want my MTV)
    Money for nothin' and the chicks for free

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @10:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @10:05AM (#205539)

      Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
      You play the guitar on the MTV
      That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
      Money for nothin' and chicks for free
      Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
      Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
      Maybe get a blister on your little finger
      Maybe get a blister on your thumb

      We gotta install microwave ovens
      Custom kitchen deliveries
      We gotta move these refrigerators
      We gotta move these colour TV's

      See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
      Yeah buddy that's his own hair
      That little faggot got his own jet airplane
      That little faggot he's a millionaire

      We gotta install microwave ovens
      Custom kitchens deliveries
      We gotta move these refrigerators
      We gotta move these colour TV's

      I shoulda learned to play the guitar
      I shoulda learned to play them drums
      Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera
      Man we could have some fun
      And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
      Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
      That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
      Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free

      We gotta install microwave ovens
      Custom kitchen deliveries
      We gotta move these refrigerators
      We gotta move these colour TV's, Lord

      Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
      You play the guitar on the MTV
      That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
      Money for nothin' and your chicks for free
      Money for nothin' and chicks for free

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Monday July 06 2015, @09:45AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @09:45AM (#205537) Homepage Journal

    Ok, maybe I am just naive, but: hasn't it been obvious for years that Greece was going to default on its debts and leave the Euro? All of the "aid" in the past few years has basically given them loans that let them make payments on other loans. This is not helpful. Meanwhile, all of the uncertainty has driven ever more of the Greek economy underground (or killed it entirely), reducing tax revenues and making the financial situation even worse.

    The band aid should have been ripped off years ago. Now it's grown into the wound, and it is going to hurt. Even so, better now than in another year, when things will be even worse.

    But just watch: The Eurocrats won't be able to stand it: they will offer Greece another bailout. I just hope - for everyone's sake - that Greece has the courage to tell them where to stuff it.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by threedigits on Monday July 06 2015, @10:33AM

      by threedigits (607) on Monday July 06 2015, @10:33AM (#205545)

      All of the "aid" in the past few years has basically given them loans that let them make payments on other loans.

      Quite. In fact, said "aid" has only been a subtle way of rescuing private French and German banks (which had exposed themselves to Greek debt after "rocking the boat" to bargain for greater interests. See this, for a good understanding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_government-debt_crisis#Analysis_of_the_Greek_rescue [wikipedia.org].

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:20PM (#205609)

        If you're up to your ears in debt, and you come to me for help, do you think I can help you without paying off your creditors? Who is at fault here, me for giving you money to pay lenders you don't like, or you for entering into debt that you couldn't pay back?

        • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:29PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:29PM (#205613)

          It's pretty clear: if you step in to help me, you have made that voluntary choice. It's now you're problem that you're not getting paid back. Especially because you stepped in to help me only because of an anticipated interest you'd be getting by helping me. You're not helping me out of the goodness of your heart. You're helping me because you're about to make a buck.
          Don't come crying to me about a bet you made to make a buck which didn't pan out!

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:51PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:51PM (#205619)

            See, that's the problem. You make absurd comments about my motivation, insult me, and the very next day you're on my doorstep again to ask for more money. What do you think I am going to do?

            To make clear what I mean by "absurd comments about my motivation": The one thing you're right about is that bailing out Greece was not done out of the good of our hearts, at least not primarily. Absurd is that you think it was meant to make us a quick buck. The interest paid on those loans is minimal considering the risk, and still the interest from the loans was in fact planned to go back to Greece, until Greece failed to hold up its end of the deal. The main motivation was to prevent the collapse of the European financial system and of several countries in similar problems as Greece in the wake of the global banking crisis. Do you not agree that preventing a situation with bankrupt banks for 300 million people or more was a good enough reason to pay for Greece's debt with EU backed loans? It is bitter irony that Greece still threatens the very collapse that Europe sought to prevent by bailing out Greece at tremendous risk and, as it appears now, cost to its tax payers.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:38PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:38PM (#205669)

              The bailout money is not going to Greece, it is going to the banks that lend money to it. It is the member states of Europe bailing out their own banks and making Greece pay for it.
              I think my assumptions about 'your' motivation is accurate, you (the banks) wanted to make a nice buck from someone else misery.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @04:19PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @04:19PM (#205709)

                *sigh* You're walking in circles. Good luck with your bankruptcy.

                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:05AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:05AM (#205911)

                  Not the GP. Let me quote from Wikipedia:

                  With regard to Germany in particular, a Bloomberg editorial noted that, before its banks reduced its exposure to Greece, "they stood to lose a ton of money if Greece left the euro. Now any losses will be shared with the taxpayers of the entire euro area."

                  That appears to have been the whole damned point of the exercise: privatise the profits, socialise the losses, and have someone to blame.

                  You're happily accepting that line.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @06:17AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @06:17AM (#206001)

                    Again, that is not and was not the motivation of the taxpayers who are currently saddled with Greece's debt and from whom Greece asks another bailout. Why would the taxpayers want to privatize profits and socialize losses? I am fully aware that this was an effect of the bailout, but the motivation was something else: To prevent a situation like we're seeing in Greece now, with banks closed and bankrupt, but for all of Europe and possibly more. Without the bailout, Greece's bankruptcy would also, without a doubt and no delay, have crashed several other countries. As regrettable as the socialization of losses is, the taxpayer couldn't really let that happen just to spite the private investors.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:53PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:53PM (#206129)

                      the taxpayers currently holding the bag had nothing to do with the decision for the bailout, that was made by the top EU politicians and bankers, the public had no say

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @03:28PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @03:28PM (#206140)

                        OK, you got me. We're evil slave drivers and seek to subjugate the proud Greek people to pay for our lavish lifestyles. Good luck with your bankruptcy. Maybe seeing how life is without Germany "exploiting" you will sober you up. In all of history, that has never happened though. It always takes at least two generations before people understand what went wrong.

                        Reminder: A big majority in Greece wants to stay in the Eurozone. Ask those people why, maybe they can explain it to you better than I can.

    • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Monday July 06 2015, @10:40AM

      by shrewdsheep (5215) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @10:40AM (#205548)

      It was clear from the outset. Enough FUD was spread in the beginning to delay the inevitable (alleged infectiousness of the greek situation, domino effect to other southern countries). Still politicians fear to be blamed of not showing solidarity. The vote for Szyriza was a vote for stepping out of the Euro but still politicians were in denial in the last four month. This vote can now potentially help everyone if only politicians realize that Greece will stay in default and needs its own currency back (it does not evean have to step out of the Euro).

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by geb on Monday July 06 2015, @10:51AM

      by geb (529) on Monday July 06 2015, @10:51AM (#205550)

      It wasn't a foregone conclusion until this year. Under the previous governments, Greece was (with a lot of hardship and resentment) starting to return to growth. That was enough to signal to the other EU governments that they deserved a bit of slack, and the ESM funds, aka the bailout, were there to bridge a period when their debt repayments would be higher than the long term.

      They'd got a pretty sweet deal on their long term debt and over a period of decades, it was going to be very very cheap to maintain. With some assistance in the short term they absolutely could have paid it back, though admittedly, not at a rate high enough for anybody to make a profit on it.

      The problems came when Syriza indicated that they weren't interested in growth or reforms, but instead wanted to play politics.

      They've got the idea firmly lodged in their head that stimulus spending was the one and only way to fix Greece, but that only works when an otherwise functional and healthy economy needs to mitigate some temporary damage. It's like the equivalent of bed rest to recover from a cold. They weren't willing to see that Greece's economy didn't have a mild cold, it was in late stage rabies.

      Syriza's increased spending firmly put an end to any hopes for repayment, and it was at that point, just a few months ago, when it became actually inevitable that they'd default.

      Now Greece's creditors are unlikely to offer them anything except advice and deliveries of food and medicine.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by c0lo on Monday July 06 2015, @12:08PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @12:08PM (#205580) Journal
      On the same lack of surprises... the IndieGoGo Greek bailout fund reached... hold for it... over 0.1% of the amount looked for [indiegogo.com]
      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Monday July 06 2015, @01:34PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday July 06 2015, @01:34PM (#205615)

      All of the "aid" in the past few years has basically given them loans that let them make payments on other loans.

      The reason why the Greeks rejected it had to do with the conditions placed on the aid.

      In addition, the creditors all but admitted that the purpose of all of their deals with Greece was to force them to cut back on the size of their government, despite the fact that at least the IMF (one of their creditors) knew that policy was counterproductive if the goal was to get them to repay the loan: Every time the Greeks met those conditions, the Greek economy got worse, tax revenue fell, and the Greeks were less able to repay than they were before.

      Once Syriza came to power with the plan of refusing to continue down the road that wasn't working, the relatively conservative governments of Sarkozy and Merkel had an additional goal of ensuring that Syriza could not keep its political promises. That was because if Syriza's policies worked, then that was going to call into question the policies of their own governments (as well as their political ally David Cameron), which would threaten their own electoral chances going forward.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by curunir_wolf on Monday July 06 2015, @02:26PM

        by curunir_wolf (4772) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:26PM (#205632)

        In addition, the creditors all but admitted that the purpose of all of their deals with Greece was to force them to cut back on the size of their government

        ... which was just a polite way to say that the Greece needed to hand over all of their productive natural resources and means of production to the banks (to ensure all the Greek people were working for non-Greeks). Greek airports, shipping ports, power utilities (and other utilities) were all up for grabs. That also includes Greek cultural landmarks like the Acropolis and other tourist attractions - meaning Greek tour guides would be working in one of the major Greek industries - with all the profits going to foreign banks. Of course this also allows the new owners to tear up all the employment contracts, get rid of the unions, and hire folks to work for slave wages.

        --
        I am a crackpot
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by FatPhil on Monday July 06 2015, @10:27AM

    Pay your debts, or the EU sells Greece to Turkey.

    That should get them moving.
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:02AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:02AM (#205555)

      That's funny, we can't sell Greece. But what if... Let's say Greece demands a 50% haircut. Instead of giving Greece a haircut on the debt, we sell the full debt to Turkey at a 50% discount. Then Turkey can try and get their money back from Greece, possibly with a nice profit. Do you think Turkey would let them off the hook?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:27AM (#205564)

        What I think will happen is that this move will finally push Greece into the open arms of the Soviet bear, and any other state in danger of the same fate will begin to seriously consider their end of the EU deal. Incidentally, Germany and it's mercantile economy has the most to lose from fragmenting the EU.

        Nothing makes you public enemy #1 quite like being a vengeful debt slaver piece of trash.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:35AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:35AM (#205568)

          Please clarify: Is terrorist to vengeful debt slaver piece of trash a promotion or a demotion?

          • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @12:03PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @12:03PM (#205576)

            It's an entirely different character class. Terrorists get lots of explosive weapon proficiencies and fear-based skills, while debt slavers are debuffing damage-over-time skills like "compound interest" and "protection racket". The later are totally OP because they get the "immunity: morals" at LV1 which is otherwise only available on the "suicide bomber" elite class, and that one is seriously gimped by the crappy respawn mechanics.

        • (Score: 2) by romlok on Monday July 06 2015, @01:24PM

          by romlok (1241) on Monday July 06 2015, @01:24PM (#205610)

          Interestingly, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have recently set up their own collective financial institution, to rival the US-centric IMF.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:28PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:28PM (#205612)

            That's great. Greece can stiff someone else for a change.

          • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Monday July 06 2015, @06:02PM

            by jmorris (4844) on Monday July 06 2015, @06:02PM (#205763)

            Which is a good thing. Regardless.

            Really only two ways it can play out:

            1. Considering the inclinations of the countries, we get yet another socialist inspired IMF clone and China and Russia (the others don't count) drain their resources trying to prop up client states again. We already know how that story ends, socialist economies just can't produce enough resources for that. China's mixed model works slightly better than the old Soviet model but it isn't enough. They are already having enough internal problems they can no longer mask them. So enemies expend themselves trying something stupid and everybody wins.

            2. They build something real based on hard money. China and Russia have been quietly stacking gold bricks like Ron Paul was giving them financial advice for years now. If they realize their real opportunity and build a new international banking system based on hard money then where is the downside of that? Ok, so we all have to learn Mandarin and Russian and those languages both kinda suck for hackers but in the bigger picture those are sorta minor downsides. Stranger things have happened... not often though.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @12:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @12:59PM (#205599)

      Is that for Greece, or for Greece to tell the 6,000+ tax evaders?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @01:31PM (#205614)

        If you think that having 6000 tax evaders in a country of a couple of million people is a problem, then you must have forgotten to take your meds.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday July 06 2015, @08:53PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday July 06 2015, @08:53PM (#205835) Journal

          It doesn't matter how many tax evaders there are. What matters is how much money they hide.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:08AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @02:08AM (#205958)

          If you think that having 6000 tax evaders in a country of a couple of million people is a problem

          I matters a lot when they are the top 6,000 earners in the country. The rich in Greece treat their taxes the same way as the government treats its debts: pay 'em? you can't make us.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @03:02PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @03:02PM (#206133)

            you don't honestly think that's a uniquely greek problem do you?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @03:36PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @03:36PM (#206144)

              First of all, if you've ever done business with Greeks, you know that there are vast differences regarding the view on tax compliance. Secondly, if your economy is otherwise healthy and you can absorb losses due to tax evasion, then it isn't an immediate problem. But if you go to other countries, some poorer than yourself, and ask for handouts, then your failure to actually tax your own people will not be ignored.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday July 06 2015, @07:47PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday July 06 2015, @07:47PM (#205808)

      Er...hasn't there been talk of Turkey joining the EU?

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday July 06 2015, @09:15PM

        Yeah, and there's been talk of me emigrating to Canada or New Zealand. Coincidence? I think not! (Which is funny, as some might say that I live in one of the shithole countries that should never have been let into the EU itself, but they're ignoramuses as this plucky little country is already pulling its weight, and only contributing positively.)
        --
        I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday July 06 2015, @10:48PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Monday July 06 2015, @10:48PM (#205879)

          Your post is kind of impossible to tell whether you're being sarcastic because 1) we don't know what country you're talking about, 2) all the rest of your statements aren't possible to analyze because of it, and 3) humor doesn't work with one undefined side either.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:41AM

            by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:41AM (#206020) Homepage
            Well, there's some sarcasm, certainly. I've got a naive positive outlook that the EU will learn from its repeated mistakes, so much so I've just bought a larger flat here. That's because my comments about Estonia were honest - and I'm happy to do my bit in the otherwise-fantasy trickle-down economy, to get my spending and my not-insignificant taxes lubricating the cogs. It's the country that's shaken off its Soviet history the most effectively - corruption (perception, as per CPI) is lowish, and dropping, and shaming is high when it's discovered.

            But I'm sure I could become as attached and loyal to another country, were the EU to piss me off enough. Alas, being an EU citizen in a Euro country, I do benefit greatly from those two things.
            --
            I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:11AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:11AM (#205913)

          Don't come to New Zealand. We're doing the same thing, but without the banks being involved: the government is selling off all our public assets and then bitching that we don't have any way to pay off the new debt they've run up (almost $100 billion, a record, up from under $20 billion in 2009, which also shows a record spend on their part).

          Funny, it's the right wing parties who claim to be fiscally responsible yet these guys run up absolutely epic debts every single time they get in, and they claim the left wing parties are unable to responsibly manage finances, yet they were the ones who paid down the debt.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:16AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:16AM (#205919) Journal

        Europe rejected it because Turks are muslims.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @10:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @10:39AM (#205547)

    So Greece backed their communist government's policy. If history is any indication, in 50 years we'll have an island country with good music and people who know how to fix turn of the millennium technology.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday July 06 2015, @11:01AM

    Bankers.

    Whatever sympathy I might have had for the ECB vanished in a puff of smoke when they demanded austerity for the pensioners.

    Leave the old people out of it.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by moondrake on Monday July 06 2015, @11:19AM

      by moondrake (2658) on Monday July 06 2015, @11:19AM (#205561)

      Is the view in the US that this is about bankers? Most of the money came from EU taxpayers. Most of these would probably like to stop dumping money into a black hole unless Greece cuts its spending or increases its income.

      Pensions in Greece are actually higher than in several other EU economies [nytimes.com] (Bulgaria, Lithuania, etc). The thing is, Greece spending pattern is not in balance with its productivity. Requesting that they do something about this before getting further investments seems reasonable to me.

      PS: personally, although being a well-paid academic, I will have little to no state pension as a result of moving between too many countries, all with different (and ridiculous) rules about such things that usually do not benefit temporary residents. Therefore, I am rather insensitive to "oh dear, lets think of the the poor pensioner" arguments. IMHO state-provided pensions are detrimental to many 1st World economies, and we would do better to get rid of them entirely.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @11:48AM (#205570)

        Bulgarian pensions are anything but reasonable. Retirees often have to cut spending from basic necessities like heating in winter for Christ's sake.

        PS: personally, although being a well-paid academic, I will have little to no state pension as a result of moving between too many countries, all with different (and ridiculous) rules about such things that usually do not benefit temporary residents. Therefore, I am rather insensitive to "oh dear, lets think of the the poor pensioner" arguments.

        Well, would look at the well-fed healthy intellectual telling people who have been seriously overworked on manual labor through their entire lives without getting anything close to adequate healthcare how they are being lazy.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by moondrake on Monday July 06 2015, @02:12PM

          by moondrake (2658) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:12PM (#205628)

          Point well taken. But perhaps not so well made:

          I do not think I said pensions in Bulgaria are reasonable. They might be (as you say) unreasonable compared to what is needed. But they are more in line with the productivity and economy of the country. Greece simply has not enough production to pay for reasonable pensions. You need to get the money from somewhere.

          As for your second and somewhat hyperbolic point, this was in reply to my personal opinion. Your answer makes little sense though. You imply overworking on manual labor is worse than stress from not manual working (both is bad). Good or bad healthcare has little to do with the topic at hand (and I have both been uninsured at times (not enough $$$), as had a vastly overpriced health insurance because of working in 3rd world countries. Nevertheless, I still would have been fucked when something had happened in both cases).

          I merely said I felt pensions in many EU countries are badly implemented, not that people who cannot take care of themselves should be left out to die. Pensions are being reduced in many countries because they are far to large a tax burden on the working (including "underfed and nonintellectual manual laborers") populations. Private retirement homes swallow much of that money happily in many places. This problem is actually worse in rich countries (like Germany and France where a too big share of the population is near retirement age).

          The rules for being allowed a pension are even more silly. They sometimes do not even correlate with whether you actually worked or not. Most countries I have worked in require you lived in the country for a xx number of years before you can get a pension. Several demand I should live in the country in order to receive the pension. Getting back or transferring the tax I paid is difficult if not impossible, and even if you do, it does not stand in relation to the amount you would get when you actually get the pension. I would have rather not paid the tax, but that, obviously is not possible.

          In the past, people would save money, and children, gasp, would take care of their parents. A system that stimulates such things (tax and hassle free saving for your own pension, tax deduction or compensation for children taking care of parents) gets my vote. Pensions are holy in the eyes of many people (turmoil ensues every time the topic comes up in politics). Having none and being OK with that, I find it refreshing to be able to honestly claim we should just get rid of it. However, do not insult me by assuming I would not want to care for people who need support.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:20AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:20AM (#205920)

            In the past, people would save money, and children, gasp, would take care of their parents.

            As incomes fall while productivity soars, people are finding it harder and harder to save money.

            Right now, I work in TV, I'm one of their most experienced and highly skilled staff members, and my employer refuses to pay me more than unemployment (I earn less than $US120/week while unemployment is $US130/week). There are very few jobs in this place, so they just threaten to fire you and suck up the fine they'll have to pay if you threaten to kick up a stink. Multimillionaires can do that, and you have no choice because they've absolutely fucked the local economy.

            As far as my retirement goes, I'm saving $US7.59/week toward that end, but I only work 49 weeks of the year, so I'm really saving just $371.91 a year toward my retirement. That means, for every year I work now, I'm saving just one week of retirement. Right now, I've got 6 months at most saved up, and I have only 27 more years to save further.

            By the time I retire, I will be about 2 years away from dying.

            So, before you start bitching about people not living within their means, just remember that the wealthy fuck us at the drive through.

            I say, typing this on an 8 year old laptop I was given, on a borrowed internet connection, while I search for another job. I've only been looking for 5 years, after my employer robbed me of $64,000.

            • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:11AM

              by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:11AM (#205935) Homepage Journal

              It's not like I am unwilling to work, I have my own projects. I apply every single day both for contracts and for perm jobs.

              I am not alone in this, it is very common these days that those who are young enough to work either cannot get jobs, or are not paid enough to live independently. But in the US at least, those whose pensions were sensibly planned have enough money.

              --
              Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
            • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:50AM

              by moondrake (2658) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:50AM (#206021)

              Right. But, if we are discussing how things *should* be, is it not better than to fix the real problems?

              If anything, you actually made my point stronger. The powers that be put you in a situation where you cannot take care for yourself. This means you become very dependent on them. In such a world, a good pension becomes highly valued. Then it will be cut...

              The real problem is not the pension though, it is companies not valuing their employees.

              I do not have much advice for you. When I felt there was no future in my field in my country, I simply left. It was not perfect (I lost my pension), but I still think it was the best decision. It may not work for everybody though.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday July 06 2015, @08:24PM

        with the aid of wrigleys spearmint chewing gum.

        There is no question that I am profoundly mentally ill. That and the fact that I am so outspoken leads to me being unemployable, so many well meaning but misinformed people have been after me to get on the government dole for years.

        This lead to me calling 9-1-1 to request a no contact order against a case manager who refused to let me sleep. I work at night, see.

        Real mental health professionals are not like that: I said to my psychiatrist "i dont need her to hand deliver my medicine. I want a written prescription I can pay for with my own money at a pharmacy of my own choice."

        "Sounds like a plan," as he wrote my prescription.

        I call it "The Culture of Dependency". It's not just the poor; consider defense contractor and politicians. I am strongly opposed to Ron Paul however I regard him highly in that he is happy to accept campaign donations without changing his positions in any way.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by maxwell demon on Monday July 06 2015, @08:58PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday July 06 2015, @08:58PM (#205839) Journal

        Is the view in the US that this is about bankers? Most of the money came from EU taxpayers.

        Originally it was the bankers. It's now the tax payers because they loaned Greece the money needed to pay back the banker's loans. Because, you know, it is not acceptable if bankers lose their money, even if they knew that they were making a risky investment (and demanded high interest rates exactly for that reason).

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:54AM

          by moondrake (2658) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @07:54AM (#206023)

          good point. Though I do not think the EU gave the money to safe the banks, they provided the money to prevent Greece from defaulting and going bankrupt. Obviously that did not help much though...

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday July 06 2015, @02:01PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @02:01PM (#205622) Journal

      Whatever sympathy I might have had for the ECB vanished in a puff of smoke when they demanded austerity for the pensioners.

      Leave the old people out of it.

      Those old people are a large part of the problem. After all, who is paying for the pensions they generously voted for themselves?

      • (Score: 1) by purple_cobra on Monday July 06 2015, @07:54PM

        by purple_cobra (1435) on Monday July 06 2015, @07:54PM (#205810)

        Similar situation to the UK. A lot of the people who troubled themselves to vote were those who are at or are nearing pensionable age, hence voted for the Tories as they promised a "triple lock" (feel free to look this up; I can't bring myself to read it again) on pensions. That the ones most affected by the "austerity" (read "flagellation to beat the money out of you") _didn't_ trouble themselves to vote is, admittedly, their fault, but it's still the likes of me who get to work until I'm 70 to ensure all these old buggers get their triple-locked pension. I think the plan is to now keep working us until we're about to drop dead and then boot us onto the dole, a safety net which is having the holes gradually enlarged year-on-year, allowing more people to slip through. And all the while, the wages reduce while the cost of everything goes up.
        Unfortunately medical science is now able to keep more of these self-serving old bastards alive for longer, hence we'll be paying for them for longer.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @04:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @04:01PM (#205694)

      The pensioners were always in danger: much of the bond issue that was threatened back around the first bailout was held by pensions. But they weren't the ones about whom Greeks should be really upset.

      The real problem in Greece is the fifty percent youth unemployment. That's a whole generation missing out on job experience, pay, pay increases, the means to start a family… it's a lost generation that's going to impact Greece for many years to come. That's the kind of damage that's not reversible with a debt write-off. The demographics are already suffering: Greek fertility rates have been on the decline since 2009, which means less growth in generations to come (and probably more migration bringing yet more poverty from abroad). Liquidity is a short term problem, and debt a longer term problem that can be refinanced and deferred, but youth unemployment is a quiet, festering problem with little short-term attention and tremendous implications for the future.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Justin Case on Monday July 06 2015, @11:23AM

    by Justin Case (4239) on Monday July 06 2015, @11:23AM (#205562) Journal

    It will be very interesting to see how the Greeks spend themselves to prosperity. I view this as nothing less than the final acid test of Keynesianism. It should be educational to the rest of the world. Sucks to be Greek though. You can't keep spending free money forever. Sooner or later you run out of other people's money.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by geb on Monday July 06 2015, @11:52AM

      by geb (529) on Monday July 06 2015, @11:52AM (#205572)

      Keynesian stimulus spending is supposed to take place in the context of a mostly healthy economy that is suffering from some short term pain. The idea being that if you're reasonably sure the conditions leading to hardship are not going to last forever, why let all the systems and infrastructure break down? Paying to keep stuff running in the short term is cheaper than watching it burn then rebuilding from scratch. It's also supposed to take place after a government built up reserves during the good times.

      These conditions definitely did not apply in Greece. Their problems were deep rooted structural failings, not any short term loss. Greece was absolutely insane to try stimulus spending alone as a way to grow their economy, but that has nothing to do with Keynes.

      • (Score: 2) by schad on Monday July 06 2015, @12:50PM

        by schad (2398) on Monday July 06 2015, @12:50PM (#205595)

        but that has nothing to do with Keynes

        I'm not going to go so far as to call that a no-true-Scotsman, but it is in the same vein. We've had nearly 100 years to implement his ideas, and we haven't done it. That says, to me, that there is something fundamentally unworkable about those ideas. You just can't tell a government that sometimes it's OK to spend more than you take in. I mean, if 1% of GDP in deficit spending is good, then 2% must be better, right? And if 2% during a recession helps the economy, then 3% during growth must help it even more, right? And it does. Until one day nobody will lend you money any more, and then you've got trouble.

        So sure, maybe in Candide's world where politicians are selfless and have the courage to make hard decisions sometimes -- and where voters are intelligent and informed enough to allow it to happen -- maybe in that world Keynes' ideas would work. But that's not the world we live in.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Monday July 06 2015, @01:41PM

          I have to reiterate what the grandparent poster wrote. There is an explicit dependence on the country as a whole not being bankrupt. For that, it requires the politicians to have the wisdom to strive for better financial stability when the economy's doing well, which is of course when there's the least incentive so to do. (Even though it's no harder a concept than stockpiling grains during high yield years, rather than during drought years.)

          That requires non-corrupt politicians, with brains. Noganahapen.

          I view Keynsianism as mostly less wrong. Look at the utter crap that came before it, and compare. How can anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together think that Say's Law will hold in a modern industrialised economy? (Say didn't, and he can't be held to blame for people taking his theories completely out of their original context, however, that doesn't mean that his theory shouldn't now be filed in the cylindrical filing cabinet.) If anything the exact opposite will hold true. Have you noticed any advertisements during your daily life recently, walking/driving down the street, or whilst browsing the internet? If so, that's because there's so much shit that we don't want that they want us to want - i.e. there is a glut. Also, have you noticed that those who are wise with money have savings and investments, and actually aren't desperate to get rid of their money as soon as possible, as predicted by Say. Keynsianism is a million times less wrong than that.
          --
          I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
          • (Score: 2) by M. Baranczak on Monday July 06 2015, @04:00PM

            by M. Baranczak (1673) on Monday July 06 2015, @04:00PM (#205693)

            Have you noticed any advertisements during your daily life recently, walking/driving down the street, or whilst browsing the internet?

            I have AdBlock+ installed. Does that make me immune to the laws of macroeconomics?

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by TheLink on Monday July 06 2015, @02:10PM

          by TheLink (332) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:10PM (#205626) Journal

          You just can't tell a government that sometimes it's OK to spend more than you take in.

          Printing money actually works quite well when you are printing the petrodollar (US Dollar).

          It's quite simple really: when you create more of a currency, each unit of that currency becomes worth less (may take some time for people to realize it). Thus those with net positive amounts of it (including being owed debts in that currency) become poorer. Thus when the US Gov creates[1] US dollars it transfers wealth from those who have US dollars to itself. Its much like an involuntary tax.

          Similarly when the Zimbabwe Government printed Zimbabwe dollars, it transferred wealth from those holding Zimbabwe dollars to Mugabe and his friends.

          The big difference is hardly anyone outside of Zimbabwe held Zimbabwe dolllars, in contrast much of the world keeps around trillions of US dollars to buy and sell petroleum, CPUs, DRAMs, wheat, juice, planes, weapons, financial securities, etc it means the US Gov becomes richer and the rest of the world becomes poorer (exporting inflation).

          So when Mugabe printed Zimbabwe dollars, everyone else laughed. But when the USA printed US dollars, those with a clue didn't laugh[2].

          In the old days the US Gov may have spent some of the wealth on worthwhile projects (e.g. highways) thus benefiting the US citizens, but nowadays the US Gov ("Mugabe") doesn't seem to regard the US citizens as good friends anymore and seems to be giving the transferred wealth to a smaller group of friends.

          Other governments can still succeed when printing money and transferring wealth from its citizens, but the difference is since they are just transferring wealth within the country and not from the rest of the world, they need to spend that "taxed" wealth on quality projects with better return on investment (ROI) than leaving the wealth with the people. If you pick the right projects it helps the country, otherwise you can end up like Zimbabwe. However it is not that easy to get a good ROI so it's harder for other countries to make themselves wealthier that way compared to the US Gov printing money and taxing everyone else.

          But keep in mind, I'm not an economist. So feel free to show where I'm wrong and how.

          [1] Doesn't really matter that much whether the US dollars are created outright or via "Quantitative Easing" or other means.

          [2] The Gov of China wasn't laughing during the USA's various Quantitative Easing. Only the ignorant or stupid say the US is in deep shit because it owes China trillions of US dollars. If necessary the USA can go "OK China, here's the 2 trillion US dollars we owe you", fresh from the Fed Reserve.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday July 06 2015, @01:38PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @01:38PM (#205616) Journal

        Keynesian stimulus spending is supposed to take place in the context of a mostly healthy economy that is suffering from some short term pain.

        In other words, an economy where it would have recovered naturally and quickly anyway.

        • (Score: 2) by SecurityGuy on Monday July 06 2015, @02:00PM

          by SecurityGuy (1453) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:00PM (#205621)

          Misses the point. The economy as a whole might recover naturally and quickly (a few years), but a few years with no income can be really bad for the tiny cogs in that economy.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday July 06 2015, @02:09PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @02:09PM (#205625) Journal

            but a few years with no income can be really bad for the tiny cogs in that economy.

            A few decades without income can be even worse.

            • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:46PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @02:46PM (#205643)

              And so can asteroid hit. Which is about as insightful as your post.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:15AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:15AM (#205918) Journal
                Greece has a present day long term unemployment rate of almost 20% [tradingeconomics.com]. They've done plenty of Keynesian games without doing anything to actually improve their society and it shows.
        • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Monday July 06 2015, @09:47PM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Monday July 06 2015, @09:47PM (#205851) Journal

          Economics is social science, not Ango-Austrian fanboyism. Contraction is a self-reinforcing downward spiral, not just a minor problem. This was Keynes insight. Austerity will only produce more austerity, and ultimately all economies will be sucked down the drain with it. So what is this, "end of times" capitalism"?

          --
          "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:12AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:12AM (#205914) Journal

            Contraction is a self-reinforcing downward spiral, not just a minor problem.

            Except of course, that it's not. One could make similar arguments for economic bubbles and one would be wrong for similar reasons. To maintain the downward spiral indefinitely, one needs almost everyone on board. But at some point, you will buy stuff. And the further down the spiral went, the less activity is required to reverse it. And once everyone realizes that the contraction is over, their behavior changes and we have economic growth once again.

            Austerity will only produce more austerity, and ultimately all economies will be sucked down the drain with it.

            Unless, of course, it doesn't do that.

            So what is this, "end of times" capitalism"?

            If you break capitalism, then it's not going to work. Plenty of countries have capitalism-based systems that are working just fine. Why can't Greece be one of those countries?

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by curunir_wolf on Monday July 06 2015, @03:15PM

        by curunir_wolf (4772) on Monday July 06 2015, @03:15PM (#205655)

        Interesting story from one of Keynes' college courses. He was rather intolerant of students not paying attention, and would make a point of it. During one lecture, he noticed one of his students dozing during a lecture. So he quietly asked a question, then in a loud voice called out "Mr. Dodson, what do you think?"

        The student became quickly alert when hearing his name, but did not hesitate to answer:

        "I'm sorry, Dr. Keynes, I did not hear the question. But the answer is 'We need more stimulus!'"

        --
        I am a crackpot
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @08:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @08:34PM (#205827)

        Keynesian stimulus spending works the exact same way as it does for normal people.

        If you borrow/grant money to buy a capital good that saves or earns you money it is usually a good deal.

        If you borrow/grant money to pay back someone else you have a real problem that will only get worse with more loans. The reason it gets worse is because you did not fix the underlying issue.

        Keynesian was very up front about it. You use stimulus to build things. Where most people get wrong is to assume he meant 'free money'. The theory is you use government spending to build capital which creates jobs and wealth. If you are using it to pay back loans that does neither. In fact it usually does the opposite. The 'flaw' with his theory is that the gov can create capital. That is a major assumption. If the gov can not create capital it will end up making maters much worse as it would actually destroy wealth and at a scale which can make it much worse.

        Normally in these sorts of economic arguments I can pick one or two chapters out of this book http://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/ [steshaw.org] and be pretty close to what not to do. In this case they pretty much went thru the book and did them all. My speculation is next up will be the gov actually seizing assets from people and high monthly double digit inflation. Especially if they exit the euro.

        I for one would not want to live in Greece right now.

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday July 06 2015, @08:53PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 06 2015, @08:53PM (#205834)

        Debt based economies can build up reserve money? I'm an outsider looking in, so please don't bash me too hard if that was a stupid question.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Monday July 06 2015, @02:40PM

    by inertnet (4071) on Monday July 06 2015, @02:40PM (#205640)

    Can someone please explain where all those billions went? I just don't understand. We (as in Europe) have payed countless billions. The Greeks are still poor and apparently owe 'us' something like 28000 euro a head. They're angry at us for wanting our money back and we're angry at them for refusing to pay. Of course the average Greek would need several lifetimes to pay their share, so I do understand why everybody is pissed.

    What I don't understand is where all the money went (it's obvious that the ordinary Greeks don't have it) and why those responsible aren't held accountable. And also can someone please teach me that trick.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06 2015, @03:38PM (#205668)

      The banks, thus the same people who created the crisis in the first place. Talk about a sweet gig.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by theluggage on Monday July 06 2015, @04:08PM

      by theluggage (1797) on Monday July 06 2015, @04:08PM (#205698)

      Can someone please explain where all those billions went?

      Works like this:

      I (as part of big powerful economy) convince you that you really need a new airport to guarantee the growth of your little economy. I lend you 5bn dollarpounds at a really reasonable interest rate, then I (or at least the economy I represent) sell you an airport for, oh, 4.5bn dollarpounds (you, or at least your leaders, get to keep the 0.5bn to oil the wheels and maybe employ some locals to do some digging). I then say, "oh dear, look, there has been a global financial collapse - sorry mate but (a) your new airport is now redundant and worth less than nothing, (b) you still owe me 5bn dollarpounds and (c) since you're in the financial shit I'm going to hike up the interest rate on your loan" - because although finance includes risks and benefits I'm big enough and rich enough to make fucking sure that you own all the risks and I own all the benefits.

      If you turn around and say "hey - you stood to make a shitload of money on that deal if it had worked out, why shouldn't you have to eat your share of the loss if it falls through?" then expect to be stomped on.

      • (Score: 2) by zugedneb on Monday July 06 2015, @07:28PM

        by zugedneb (4556) on Monday July 06 2015, @07:28PM (#205800)

        Problem is the assertion, probably true, that the loan takers are idiots.

        What really happens is that there is no responsbility for those actually in power to take those loans in the name of the nation, as the system works today.
        Other problem is that the general populace is heap of fucking morons, and they are happy to vote for whatever psychopat shows up in the TV and papers.

        Grece is ultimately a failure of democracy. Malevolent people got to power, probably a lot of corruption happened before loans and contracts were signed, and now the actual people that voted for them are punished.

        Normally, I vould reyoice over others misery, however I am not a pedo, and not to happy about the misery and prostitution of the youg generation that is going to follow in the wake of this crisis...

        --
        old saying: "a troll is a window into the soul of humanity" + also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ajax
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:27AM (#205923)

      It seems to have been caused by a number of things, including some behind the scenes manipulation by the banks to get public assets into private hands.

      Austerity failed to help, as the rational behind it is "Spend less and pay more debt!" This leads to cuts in services and government employment levels, resulting in more people unemployed which in turn reduces the tax take and results in more people being unemployed, which in turn...

      Eventually, there isn't enough money to pay back the debts, and the nation is in trouble, largely because of external interference.

      You don't think that a tax evasion could really run up $300 billion worth of debt, do you?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mattTheOne on Monday July 06 2015, @10:32PM

    by mattTheOne (1788) on Monday July 06 2015, @10:32PM (#205872)

    Its odd that no one has pointed out that write-off of the loan amount is the only reasonable course of action.

    Whether it's called a default, or a bailout or a write-down of the loan amount the point is it can't be paid back. It needs to be forgiven and the world move on because you can't squeeze blood from a stone.

    Otherwise Greece will just make the decision for the EU and default, and than after having its banks strangled will begin printing its own currency.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:07AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:07AM (#205912) Journal

      Pretty much my assessment as well.

      Its not like Greece didn't forgive debts owed by the Germans in the past.

      There is nothing to be gained here by demanding payment with funds that the Greek don't have. I'm sure Putin might like a Naval port in the Med, no?

      But I suspect the EU lender countries are waiting for the IMF to step up [skynews.com.au] and assume all Greek debt, and spread the pain, (Mostly to the US no doubt, since the US has the largest single position in the IMF [wikipedia.org])

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:27AM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 07 2015, @12:27AM (#205922) Journal

    I am not in favor of people who sit around drawing full salaries for 90 minutes' work per day (as explained to me by a Greek friend). I have also observed the quality of work done by Greeks here in America, and it is not high. So, Greece loses on those accounts.

    Yet, we all have had a front row seat to the corruption that is international banking. If Greece can deliver several swift kicks to the nuts of international bankers, then Greece wins, and wins big.

    Kick the banks in the nuts, Ye Greeks. Kick them until they can't stand.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 1) by GDX on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:40AM

    by GDX (1950) on Tuesday July 07 2015, @01:40AM (#205949)

    Actually some European governments don't want to admit their part of the responsibility, they wanted Greece to be part of the Euro when it was know that was not ready. Then they destroyed the economy of the southern countries, by production quotas and international trade agreements, how is Spain is not permitted to produce enough milk to supply its internal market? with force them to buy milk.

    Basically Greece, Portugal and Spain before the Euro where economies with strong agriculture, stockbreeding and also a little industry, primarily shoes, clothing and other basic or primary transformations, even trough tourism was important factor not was the dominant. The European union destroyed those economies without a transformation plan for them, leaving the with little options apart from tourism plus most of the European regulations an treaties tend to benefit only the norther countries discriminating the southern ones.

    Even if Greece is the main responsible for its problems is not the only one and the other responsible countries don't want to admit their part in the Greece problem.