Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
These latest "negotiations" illustrate what is wrong and why the EU is not a union. Common sense and logic have gone out the window while urges for victory and power are displayed.

Greece went into this final round of negotiations with a need for €55 billion bailout. The IMF and others stated that this level of debt was not sustainable. The latest I read says that in order to comply with the list of demands from the EU Greece requires €85 billion bailout. What perverted logic suggests that this could be sustainable?

Unless a later analysis shows different it appears to me that whatever blame may lay at Greece's door for their current situation they are currently being forced into an impossible situation. Damned if they accept and damned if they don't.

I am becoming very concerned at Germany's stance and attitude throughout the whole saga. I have done a fair bit of reading and research into the situation with Greece and how it is regarded. Some conclusions are not very pleasant:

Merkel/Media in Germany has "done a job" on Greece creating an image of lazy, dishonest people that don't pay tax on the little work they do. The statistics indicate otherwise. Greeks are near the top of the list for hours worked and tax revenue collection is just below average for the EU. I assume this is another Merkel tactic for retaining her political popularity at home and increasing her power in the EU.

Incompatible accounting conventions are used among EU countries creating damaging distortions.
In Greece they accumulate a figure for uncollectable taxes and never write off anything from this. As a result anyone not understanding this will see a vast uncollected amount which is assumed to be evaded and which has accumulated over years compared to the collected amount for an individual year. This has led to the generalisation that Greeks don't pay their taxes for those commentators that are ignorant or vicious. (A similar accounting stupidity occurs/occurred in Cyprus where the banks maintained toxic debts such as uncollectable loans from bankrupt, defunct companies, as assets on their books, never writing anything off. This led to gross overstatement of assets and therefore value of the banks. This was a major contributory factor in their collapse.)

None of this nullifies the dreadful situation Greece finds itself in at the hands of its politicians and bankers but much of what the commentators discuss is based on bad, incorrect information and impressions manipulated by others.

Germany through Merkel is starting to appear to me as flexing their muscle for total EU domination and control. France has distanced itself while the Netherlands with their non-financially qualified Financial Minister has his nose firmly attached to Merkel's anus.

The future does not appear to be bright for the EU and I don't think it deserves to be. The future for Greece appears awful with the terrible prospect of becoming Germany's EU concentration camp.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
Greek bailout seems like a lot of money but here are a few bailout sums secured by banks....

Deutsche Bank $354 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland $541 billion
Goldman Sachs $814 billion
Barclays plc $868 billion
Merrill Lynch $1.949 trillion
Morgan Stanley $2.041 trillion

....makes the Greek debt look a little more manageable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
These latest "negotiations" illustrate what is wrong and why the EU is not a union. Common sense and logic have gone out the window while urges for victory and power are displayed.

Greece went into this final round of negotiations with a need for €55 billion bailout. The IMF and others stated that this level of debt was not sustainable. The latest I read says that in order to comply with the list of demands from the EU Greece requires €85 billion bailout. What perverted logic suggests that this could be sustainable?

Unless a later analysis shows different it appears to me that whatever blame may lay at Greece's door for their current situation they are currently being forced into an impossible situation. Damned if they accept and damned if they don't.

I am becoming very concerned at Germany's stance and attitude throughout the whole saga. I have done a fair bit of reading and research into the situation with Greece and how it is regarded. Some conclusions are not very pleasant:

Merkel/Media in Germany has "done a job" on Greece creating an image of lazy, dishonest people that don't pay tax on the little work they do. The statistics indicate otherwise. Greeks are near the top of the list for hours worked and tax revenue collection is just below average for the EU. I assume this is another Merkel tactic for retaining her political popularity at home and increasing her power in the EU.

Incompatible accounting conventions are used among EU countries creating damaging distortions.
In Greece they accumulate a figure for uncollectable taxes and never write off anything from this. As a result anyone not understanding this will see a vast uncollected amount which is assumed to be evaded and which has accumulated over years compared to the collected amount for an individual year. This has led to the generalisation that Greeks don't pay their taxes for those commentators that are ignorant or vicious. (A similar accounting stupidity occurs/occurred in Cyprus where the banks maintained toxic debts such as uncollectable loans from bankrupt, defunct companies, as assets on their books, never writing anything off. This led to gross overstatement of assets and therefore value of the banks. This was a major contributory factor in their collapse.)

None of this nullifies the dreadful situation Greece finds itself in at the hands of its politicians and bankers but much of what the commentators discuss is based on bad, incorrect information and impressions manipulated by others.

Germany through Merkel is starting to appear to me as flexing their muscle for total EU domination and control. France has distanced itself while the Netherlands with their non-financially qualified Financial Minister has his nose firmly attached to Merkel's anus.

The future does not appear to be bright for the EU and I don't think it deserves to be. The future for Greece appears awful with the terrible prospect of becoming Germany's EU concentration camp.

Pete
Pete, I don't normally disagree with you but this article in the Cyprus Mail may be of interest re retirement age:

Pensioned off at 33? No wonder Greece is bankrupt - Cyprus Mail Cyprus Mail
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,576 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
These latest "negotiations" illustrate what is wrong and why the EU is not a union. Common sense and logic have gone out the window while urges for victory and power are displayed.

Greece went into this final round of negotiations with a need for €55 billion bailout. The IMF and others stated that this level of debt was not sustainable. The latest I read says that in order to comply with the list of demands from the EU Greece requires €85 billion bailout. What perverted logic suggests that this could be sustainable?

Unless a later analysis shows different it appears to me that whatever blame may lay at Greece's door for their current situation they are currently being forced into an impossible situation. Damned if they accept and damned if they don't.

I am becoming very concerned at Germany's stance and attitude throughout the whole saga. I have done a fair bit of reading and research into the situation with Greece and how it is regarded. Some conclusions are not very pleasant:

Merkel/Media in Germany has "done a job" on Greece creating an image of lazy, dishonest people that don't pay tax on the little work they do. The statistics indicate otherwise. Greeks are near the top of the list for hours worked and tax revenue collection is just below average for the EU. I assume this is another Merkel tactic for retaining her political popularity at home and increasing her power in the EU.

Incompatible accounting conventions are used among EU countries creating damaging distortions.
In Greece they accumulate a figure for uncollectable taxes and never write off anything from this. As a result anyone not understanding this will see a vast uncollected amount which is assumed to be evaded and which has accumulated over years compared to the collected amount for an individual year. This has led to the generalisation that Greeks don't pay their taxes for those commentators that are ignorant or vicious. (A similar accounting stupidity occurs/occurred in Cyprus where the banks maintained toxic debts such as uncollectable loans from bankrupt, defunct companies, as assets on their books, never writing anything off. This led to gross overstatement of assets and therefore value of the banks. This was a major contributory factor in their collapse.)

None of this nullifies the dreadful situation Greece finds itself in at the hands of its politicians and bankers but much of what the commentators discuss is based on bad, incorrect information and impressions manipulated by others.

Germany through Merkel is starting to appear to me as flexing their muscle for total EU domination and control. France has distanced itself while the Netherlands with their non-financially qualified Financial Minister has his nose firmly attached to Merkel's anus.

The future does not appear to be bright for the EU and I don't think it deserves to be. The future for Greece appears awful with the terrible prospect of becoming Germany's EU concentration camp.

Pete
It ended in 89 billion.

Deal is on, but long to go
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
Pete, I don't normally disagree with you but this article in the Cyprus Mail may be of interest re retirement age:

Pensioned off at 33? No wonder Greece is bankrupt - Cyprus Mail Cyprus Mail
I'm not sure if you are disagreeing with me or which points but thanks for directing me to that article. It exposes, provided all the figures are correct, another ridiculous situation adding to the self-inflicted woes of the Greeks.

It doesn't however change my view of the way the EU has handled the negotiations or my fears regarding Merkel.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
These latest "negotiations" illustrate what is wrong and why the EU is not a union. Common sense and logic have gone out the window while urges for victory and power are displayed.

Greece went into this final round of negotiations with a need for €55 billion bailout. The IMF and others stated that this level of debt was not sustainable. The latest I read says that in order to comply with the list of demands from the EU Greece requires €85 billion bailout. What perverted logic suggests that this could be sustainable?

Unless a later analysis shows different it appears to me that whatever blame may lay at Greece's door for their current situation they are currently being forced into an impossible situation. Damned if they accept and damned if they don't.

I am becoming very concerned at Germany's stance and attitude throughout the whole saga. I have done a fair bit of reading and research into the situation with Greece and how it is regarded. Some conclusions are not very pleasant:

Merkel/Media in Germany has "done a job" on Greece creating an image of lazy, dishonest people that don't pay tax on the little work they do. The statistics indicate otherwise. Greeks are near the top of the list for hours worked and tax revenue collection is just below average for the EU. I assume this is another Merkel tactic for retaining her political popularity at home and increasing her power in the EU.

Incompatible accounting conventions are used among EU countries creating damaging distortions.
In Greece they accumulate a figure for uncollectable taxes and never write off anything from this. As a result anyone not understanding this will see a vast uncollected amount which is assumed to be evaded and which has accumulated over years compared to the collected amount for an individual year. This has led to the generalisation that Greeks don't pay their taxes for those commentators that are ignorant or vicious. (A similar accounting stupidity occurs/occurred in Cyprus where the banks maintained toxic debts such as uncollectable loans from bankrupt, defunct companies, as assets on their books, never writing anything off. This led to gross overstatement of assets and therefore value of the banks. This was a major contributory factor in their collapse.)

None of this nullifies the dreadful situation Greece finds itself in at the hands of its politicians and bankers but much of what the commentators discuss is based on bad, incorrect information and impressions manipulated by others.

Germany through Merkel is starting to appear to me as flexing their muscle for total EU domination and control. France has distanced itself while the Netherlands with their non-financially qualified Financial Minister has his nose firmly attached to Merkel's anus.

The future does not appear to be bright for the EU and I don't think it deserves to be. The future for Greece appears awful with the terrible prospect of becoming Germany's EU concentration camp.

Pete
I'm not sure if you are disagreeing with me or which points but thanks for directing me to that article. It exposes, provided all the figures are correct, another ridiculous situation adding to the self-inflicted woes of the Greeks.

It doesn't however change my view of the way the EU has handled the negotiations or my fears regarding Merkel.

Pete
Pete,

It was meant to be more of a general disagreement on sentiment.
The EU may have been harsh but, in my view, with good reason. This is due in part to information I found re pensions (my last post) and this article from the BBC re tax receipts (see link below). I'm pleased to hear Osborne has ruled out the use of UK taxpayers money to provide emergency relief to Greece even though Im not a UK tax payer.
You can't get away from the issue that the Greek government has not done a thing to correct these problems for the last 5 years since the original bailout, if an individual had carried out their affairs with the same disregard over the period they would find themselves in the same predicament, i.e. cut off from credit & loans and scorned by others.Its a harsh life!
Don't expect tax payers in greater Europe (Germany is the biggest contributor as you are aware) to fund the lifestyle of a people who run with a very different set of rules - Cyprus included, although I'm pleased to see gradual progress in the Cypriot economy and reforms moving ahead even in the face of strong (misguided) opposition from both unions and political parties.
Merkel has a right to be pissed off at Greece and its student activist government.

Did Greeks fail to pay 89.5% of taxes? - BBC News
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
Pete,

It was meant to be more of a general disagreement on sentiment.
The EU may have been harsh but, in my view, with good reason. This is due in part to information I found re pensions (my last post) and this article from the BBC re tax receipts (see link below). I'm pleased to hear Osborne has ruled out the use of UK taxpayers money to provide emergency relief to Greece even though Im not a UK tax payer.
You can't get away from the issue that the Greek government has not done a thing to correct these problems for the last 5 years since the original bailout, if an individual had carried out their affairs with the same disregard over the period they would find themselves in the same predicament, i.e. cut off from credit & loans and scorned by others.Its a harsh life!
Don't expect tax payers in greater Europe (Germany is the biggest contributor as you are aware) to fund the lifestyle of a people who run with a very different set of rules - Cyprus included, although I'm pleased to see gradual progress in the Cypriot economy and reforms moving ahead even in the face of strong (misguided) opposition from both unions and political parties.
Merkel has a right to be pissed off at Greece and its student activist government.

Did Greeks fail to pay 89.5% of taxes? - BBC News
I agree with some of your views. I cannot in any way condone the behaviour of the Greek governments but I do believe there are other responsibilities and attitudes which have not helped. You compare Greece to an individual but I think that an individual would have had prompt refusals for additional loans and words of advice to help him learn to manage finances properly. This is an important feature that is missing from the EU style of management. The reaction only comes at times of crisis and instead of stepping in to educate and even manage prior to a crisis what actually happens is stick wielding with the Troika working in full punishment mode. Exactly what happened to Cyprus.

There is no doubt that there is a North EU and a South EU and the differences in traditions, lifestyle, honesty, corruption etc. are huge. The EU should have known of this before inviting South EU members and should have paved the way for their possible reforms and improvements. Again education was lacking and all that comes from the EU is directives until there is a crisis.

In any union of workers a supervisor would have the same rights as a floor sweeper so I am not at ease that Germany or any other country should assume superior rights or am I being naive in assuming Union means just that?

That other important issue that comes out of the events of the last few days is being aired by many commentators who like me are not happy at the attitude, behaviour and aggressive stance of Germany and other negotiating nations and what this means for the future of the Euro and the EU.

I do not like the way the EU is structured and run. It is a Goliath gobbling up huge sums of money just to exist, a gravy train for it's politicians obsessed with poking it's nose into other people's lives. This is why David Cameron seeks major reforms and I agree with him. I feel that many of the apparent aims of the EU push towards creating a European State. Not only do I believe this to be undesirable but also impossible to achieve. I see no value in trying to pretend that culture, language, infrastructure and even basic ability can be put on an equal foothold.

Pete
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,544 Posts
What amazes me watching the news is how the Greek people still blame everyone else for their woes.
Yes Europe has been very harsh but they needed to be or the Greeks will just carry on as normal and soon be back expecting more bailouts. They must learn that you have to work and can't expect everyone else in Europe to fund your early retirement.
Britain has said they will not pay the amount they have been told they have to pay but you can be sure they will be forced to do so.

We were in the bank of Cyprus yesterday opening a sterling account for our pensions to be paid into since Barclays are closing our account and the lady who was dealing with us was saying Cyprus problems were of their own making and the Greeks are far worse than the Cypriots.
She said in the past the Cypriots were too quick to take out loans for things they really could not afford and the banks were too quick to give them. She told us they have learnt their lessons and now try to live more within their means and the banks won't give loans as easily.
She said though that the attitude of the Greek people is going to be far harder to change as they have grown up thinking they are entitled to expect everything for nothing. She has relatives who live in Greece who tell her they are appalled by the attitude of the Greek people.
IMO there will be a lot of unrest coming out of Greece if the government implements the changes the EU has insisted on but if they want their country to pull itself out of the mess it is in they need to stop moaning and get busy working and paying their taxes etc to pay off the huge debts the country has accumulated over the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
What amazes me watching the news is how the Greek people still blame everyone else for their woes.
Yes Europe has been very harsh but they needed to be or the Greeks will just carry on as normal and soon be back expecting more bailouts. They must learn that you have to work and can't expect everyone else in Europe to fund your early retirement.
Britain has said they will not pay the amount they have been told they have to pay but you can be sure they will be forced to do so.

We were in the bank of Cyprus yesterday opening a sterling account for our pensions to be paid into since Barclays are closing our account and the lady who was dealing with us was saying Cyprus problems were of their own making and the Greeks are far worse than the Cypriots.
She said in the past the Cypriots were too quick to take out loans for things they really could not afford and the banks were too quick to give them. She told us they have learnt their lessons and now try to live more within their means and the banks won't give loans as easily.
She said though that the attitude of the Greek people is going to be far harder to change as they have grown up thinking they are entitled to expect everything for nothing. She has relatives who live in Greece who tell her they are appalled by the attitude of the Greek people.
IMO there will be a lot of unrest coming out of Greece if the government implements the changes the EU has insisted on but if they want their country to pull itself out of the mess it is in they need to stop moaning and get busy working and paying their taxes etc to pay off the huge debts the country has accumulated over the years.
Don't be amazed, it is the normal reaction anywhere. It was the same here in Cyprus and takes time for people to understand the underlying issues that need change and to remove the emotional feelings.

In every country you can think of there will be an attitude that is part of that country's culture and that attitude is usually a long term embodiment of what their government/dictators/rulers have caused.

This is why an education process would have served Greece far better than a sudden wielding of the stick. The Greek people will gradually change their ways but it will take time providing there is the leadership to show/force them how. It's all very well telling them to work harder but they need the jobs created to enable that. If you check the statistics you will see that Greece is near the very top of the list of countries for hours worked. This indicates to me that the working practices are inefficient as are their systems, mechanisation etc. It needs leadership and ability to change this and is not something a "lazy" worker can initiate on his own.

At the moment they also have to deal with understanding that they have a government led by a man who promised them the impossible, whipped up a pseudo-patriotic frenzy of defiance in the media, pretended to play hardball from a position of staggering weakness and then delivered to the Greek people total failure in all his election promises.

Pete
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,544 Posts
If you check the statistics you will see that Greece is near the very top of the list of countries for hours worked.
Pete
But does this only apply to those who actually do work at all? What about retiring in their 30s while the rest of Europe has to work into their 60s?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,544 Posts
The ridiculous retirement issue should have no bearing if the statistics correctly show working hours. That is a different issue. Of course I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the figures but as the following comes from OECD it should be reliable:

Average annual hours actually worked per worker

Pete
You're missing the point Pete. If there are so many who retire at stupid ages then regardless of how many hours those who are working put in it is totally unsustainable and no wonder that the country is in such a mess. Working hard is one thing but when their working life is so short it makes nonsense of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
I agree with some of your views. I cannot in any way condone the behaviour of the Greek governments but I do believe there are other responsibilities and attitudes which have not helped. You compare Greece to an individual but I think that an individual would have had prompt refusals for additional loans and words of advice to help him learn to manage finances properly. This is an important feature that is missing from the EU style of management. The reaction only comes at times of crisis and instead of stepping in to educate and even manage prior to a crisis what actually happens is stick wielding with the Troika working in full punishment mode. Exactly what happened to Cyprus.

There is no doubt that there is a North EU and a South EU and the differences in traditions, lifestyle, honesty, corruption etc. are huge. The EU should have known of this before inviting South EU members and should have paved the way for their possible reforms and improvements. Again education was lacking and all that comes from the EU is directives until there is a crisis.

In any union of workers a supervisor would have the same rights as a floor sweeper so I am not at ease that Germany or any other country should assume superior rights or am I being naive in assuming Union means just that?

That other important issue that comes out of the events of the last few days is being aired by many commentators who like me are not happy at the attitude, behaviour and aggressive stance of Germany and other negotiating nations and what this means for the future of the Euro and the EU.

I do not like the way the EU is structured and run. It is a Goliath gobbling up huge sums of money just to exist, a gravy train for it's politicians obsessed with poking it's nose into other people's lives. This is why David Cameron seeks major reforms and I agree with him. I feel that many of the apparent aims of the EU push towards creating a European State. Not only do I believe this to be undesirable but also impossible to achieve. I see no value in trying to pretend that culture, language, infrastructure and even basic ability can be put on an equal foothold.

Pete

I think the past Greek government(s) have had quite a bit of 'education' if you read the conditions of the 2010 bailout (which Germany initially did not want to take part in) I quote from those times....BBC News - Eurozone approves massive Greece bail-out

"Our national red line is to avoid bankruptcy," Mr Papandreou said, adding that "no-one could have imagined" the size of the debt that the previous government, which left office last year, had left behind.
The austerity plan aims to achieve fresh budget cuts of 30bn euros over three years - with the goal of cutting Greece's public deficit to less than 3% of GDP by 2014. It currently stands at 13.6%.
Measures include:
Scrapping bonus payments for public sector workers
Capping annual holiday bonuses and axing them for higher earners
Banning increases in public sector salaries and pensions for at least three years
Increasing VAT from 21% to 23%
Raising taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco by 10%
Taxing illegal construction
Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said Greece had been called on to make a "basic choice between collapse or salvation".

.......so what's changed, nothing! Nothing was delivered, the lesson was never learned. The second bailout in 2012 was similar in nature.....Eurozone finance ministers agree deal on Greece bailout - BBC News

Mr Michalos said the onus was now on his own government to push through structural reforms - such as reducing protections for existing workers - in order to boost competitiveness and confidence in the economy, and achieve positive growth.
"We need to progress with these structural reforms immediately," he said. "It is not a question of years or months. It is a matter of weeks."

The comments made at the time are just as relevant today. I personally can see no justification for the Greeks who back peddle on everything they commit to. You may ask why did the EU keep lending money? it was in the belief that reforms would be processed but promises were not kept.
For me it's defiantly a case of 'three strikes and you are out!"

This is not to confuse the current Greek situation with the issues of a power hungry Brussels, the indiscriminate lending by banks without assuring ability to repay and political pressures 'at home', or even equality of states. All very real issues but today we need the Greeks to own up to their past and now do the right thing, something they should have done back in 2010.

As George Orwell said, 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
I think the past Greek government(s) have had quite a bit of 'education' if you read the conditions of the 2010 bailout (which Germany initially did not want to take part in) I quote from those times....BBC News - Eurozone approves massive Greece bail-out

"Our national red line is to avoid bankruptcy," Mr Papandreou said, adding that "no-one could have imagined" the size of the debt that the previous government, which left office last year, had left behind.
The austerity plan aims to achieve fresh budget cuts of 30bn euros over three years - with the goal of cutting Greece's public deficit to less than 3% of GDP by 2014. It currently stands at 13.6%.
Measures include:
Scrapping bonus payments for public sector workers
Capping annual holiday bonuses and axing them for higher earners
Banning increases in public sector salaries and pensions for at least three years
Increasing VAT from 21% to 23%
Raising taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco by 10%
Taxing illegal construction
Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said Greece had been called on to make a "basic choice between collapse or salvation".

.......so what's changed, nothing! Nothing was delivered, the lesson was never learned. The second bailout in 2012 was similar in nature.....Eurozone finance ministers agree deal on Greece bailout - BBC News

Mr Michalos said the onus was now on his own government to push through structural reforms - such as reducing protections for existing workers - in order to boost competitiveness and confidence in the economy, and achieve positive growth.
"We need to progress with these structural reforms immediately," he said. "It is not a question of years or months. It is a matter of weeks."

The comments made at the time are just as relevant today. I personally can see no justification for the Greeks who back peddle on everything they commit to. You may ask why did the EU keep lending money? it was in the belief that reforms would be processed but promises were not kept.
For me it's defiantly a case of 'three strikes and you are out!"

This is not to confuse the current Greek situation with the issues of a power hungry Brussels, the indiscriminate lending by banks without assuring ability to repay and political pressures 'at home', or even equality of states. All very real issues but today we need the Greeks to own up to their past and now do the right thing, something they should have done back in 2010.

As George Orwell said, 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'
You've shown very good evidence and made a good case which I can't argue with but if you read my posts I am also fairly scathing about Greece.

The point is I am not supporting or defending Greece in their mess other than hoping they are sensible enough to be led out of it. Rather I am making commentary on the entire situation as I see it. There has been a lot of misinformation published.

Throughout the entire crisis I find it all but impossible to find any organisation, or individual that is not worthy of criticism. This is why I am pretty downbeat about the EU and it's methods and becoming more fearful of Merkel and the power she wields. Perhaps you could reassure me about that!

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
You've shown very good evidence and made a good case which I can't argue with but if you read my posts I am also fairly scathing about Greece.

The point is I am not supporting or defending Greece in their mess other than hoping they are sensible enough to be led out of it. Rather I am making commentary on the entire situation as I see it. There has been a lot of misinformation published.

Throughout the entire crisis I find it all but impossible to find any organisation, or individual that is not worthy of criticism. This is why I am pretty downbeat about the EU and it's methods and becoming more fearful of Merkel and the power she wields. Perhaps you could reassure me about that!

Pete
Thanks Pete for your acknowledgement of my argument.
If we separate the "Greek Issue" from the "EU Issue" then we are aligned.

If you compare the EU to the USA.
Economic conditions for the different EU sovereign states reflects the different requirements for individual states within the USA. There are both rich and poor states. So, if the USA can work as a federation of states, why can't the EU? I can think of at least four reasons,

1) No common language across EU
2) Deep historical heritage and division between member states
3) Royalty vs republic
4) Widely different electoral approach to the office of President

Unless you can fix the above, and nobody ever will, then there will always be a power struggle within the EU. The key is to maintain a balance of power but there will always be revolutionary people and states at play who want to cock a snook at the elected leadership for their own ends.
As I quoted before, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others!"
but also, "All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
Whilst trawling through the mail today I came across this quote from Yiannis Vroutsis, the Greek Minister of Labour.

Three out of four public sector and Social Security Fund (IKA) pensioners in Greece are opting for early retirement. This situation has caused the country’s pension system to become unsustainable.

On Wednesday, Greek Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis presented data to the parliament, explaining that almost 75% of Greek pensioners are trying to secure their early retirement through legal provisions that allow them to stop working before the age of 61.

“In the public sector, 7.91% of pensioners retire between the ages of 26 and 50, 23.64% between 51 and 55, and 43.53% between 56 and 61. In IKA, 4.44% of pensioners retire between the ages of 26 and 50, 12.83% retire between 51 and 55, and 58.61% retire between 56 and 61. Meanwhile, in the so-called healthy funds, 91.6% of people retire before the national retirement age limit,” Vroutsis said.

In regards to the minimum work years required for retirement, the Labor Minister said: “For people who have had 15 years of insurance or less, there will be no pensions, with specific exceptions, which will not be touched. Nothing has changed. For people with 15 to 20 years of insurance, our plan involves actuarial justice in order to support the system. We will ensure that people who retire after 15 to 20 years of work will receive a contributory pension and those who have worked 20 years or more will receive the normal pension according to the legislation. However, this plan will be implemented for people who will retire in 2040 or later.”

- See more at: 75% of Greek Pensioners Enjoy Early Retirement | GreekReporter.com
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,576 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bailout 3 is just another sticking plaster by the EU which has approached the whole Greece issue from a political dogma viewpoint rather than an economic one. The IMF (dominated by the USA) has been quite scathing in it's assessment of the situation:

Greece debt crisis: IMF attacks EU over bailout terms - BBC News

I don't hear the fat lady singing yet...
If the fat lady means Angela Merkel I can really understand that there has gone politics in this. IF they let Greece off the hook, others will follow. And as the main contributor of money for various bailouts that must be scary.

This is quite interesting

BBC News - Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom?
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top