Is Greece just weeks away from another debt crisis?
The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins: Amazon.co.uk: James Angelos: 9780385346481: Books. Although I have an abiding interest in ancient Greek myth and literature (which I teach) and have travelled extensively in Greece, I have been ignorant about Greece's contemporary issues, and was eager to read this book.
For the most part, it did not disappoint, although the reality it portrays is sobering. THE FULL CATASTROPHE clearly explains the dilemmas of Greece's financial irresponsibility and indebtedness, economic and social welfare troubles, and ongoing multiculturalism vs. anti-foreigner conflict, particularly in reference to the activities of the xenophobic, far right Golden Dawn political party. This illuminating book reveals how these situations developed since World War II, and especially during the past decade.
I did however feel that author/journalist James Angelos spent too much time interviewing a handful of people regarding the immigration conflict, and focusing on the troubles in Agios Panteleimonas Square in Athens. Greece crisis: The Troika’s inflexibility on austerity amounts to nothing short of an attempted coup - Comment - Voices - The Independent. This human tragedy, inflicted so deliberately on the Greek people, is compounded by the resounding failure of austerity in economic terms.
The Troika’s plan – of enforced cuts to the Greek state- has seen Greece’s Government debt to GDP ratio go from 133 per cent in 2010 to 174 per cent today. Since 2010 the Troika has lent €252 billion to the Greek government. Of this, the vast majority of the money was used to bailout banks, pay off the private sector to accept restructuring, and repay old debts and interest from reckless lending. Greece crisis: How has Greece spent its money and who does it still owe €242.8bn to? - Business News - Business - The Independent. "Greece is right not to pay the IMF.
The IMF should never have lent the money in the first place, with over 90% of it being used to bail out European financial institutions," Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign Clifton said that in 2010 when the IMF loans were agreed, developing countries on the IMF Board argued that banks should share in the costs of the crisis they had helped to create. Read more: Greece threatens legal action to block its exit Greece will have to leave euro if it votes noAthens has just one day to find €1.6bn Greece travel advice Q&AWhat are capital controls and how do they work? They argued banks should cancel some of the debt, rather than bailing the banks out with IMF loans. Get off your high horses, lefties – Big Government, not 'austerity', has brought Greece to its knees - Comment - Voices. Still, I am amazed by how the British left has managed to convince themselves that Syriza somehow represented a break with "neoliberal politics" in Greece.
According to Zoe Williams, what Syriza and other far-left parties in Europe have in common "is that they reject the prevailing economic verities”. Meanwhile, Owen Jones has trumpeted that “Outside the Greek finance ministry are cleaners who used to work there […] There is a real sense that maybe – just maybe – the likes of these sacked middle-aged cleaners could be the new masters now.”
He adds: “No wonder so many [European] leftists [...] travelled to Athens for this moment. For many of them, neoliberalist triumphalism is all they have ever known.” READ MORE:Greece will have to leave Euro if it votes noThe Greek referendum isn't 'democracy' — it's tearing us apart A particularly popular form of favouritism has been to restrict entry into various professions.
Loading gallery Unfortunately, the time for good solutions has now expired. Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it's a case of 'Vote Yes or else'? - Voices. The problem – and let’s forget for a moment how many millions the profligate Greeks owe us – is that the No voters will vote for the same reason.
They are patriotic and they want hope. And they are also doomed by our version of their history. Enough of this charade: Greece must be told to leave the euro. The working assumption has to be that this is indeed the Tsipras game plan, for, despite his denials, there is no other way of explaining the hokey-pokey of his negotiating tactics.
Whatever else he might be, he is not a complete fool, and he must know that his two substantive demands – to end the austerity but to stay in the euro, suckling, like some kind of welfare dependent, from the teat of international hand-outs – are incompatible and will never be acceptable to eurozone partners. The “democratic mandate” Mr Tsipras cites in support of his stated goals is laughable. Democracy can mean many things, but what it is definitely not is simply voting for some kind of utopian land of milk and honey and expecting others to cough up the means of providing it. If this was democracy, we would all be at it. The past five days have been worse than all that has gone before.
No memory of life before the financial crisis; politics has dominated it ever since. But now I can hardly remember life before Friday night. Fear. I am terrified of tomorrow, all I now see is black. Uncertainty, leading us through our days, every remainder of hope for a brighter future being destroyed by the minute. There are hundreds of people queueing at the ATMs and petrol stations, there is silence in the streets, people’s faces are frozen. Families and friends divide in Yes and No camps. We all want the crisis to end, we all crave growth and happiness.
It feels like an end. Christine Lagarde attack on Greece backfires as she pays no tax. Ms Lagarde was forced to publish an embarrassing climbdown on her Facebook page over the weekend after being bombarded by hundreds of Greek people who felt insulted by her suggestion that the country’s crisis was partly due to “all these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax”.
However, on Tuesday she had to admit that her $467,940 (£300,000) annual salary and $83,760 of additional allowances are entirely tax-free as the IMF is an international organisation. An IMF spokesman said: “Salaries, like those in most international organizations, are paid on a lower, net of tax basis to ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of nationality.” He added that Ms Lagarde, 56, does pay all other “taxes levied on her, including local and property taxes in the US and France”. Ms Lagarde earns more than President Barack Obama and David Cameron, both of whom pay taxes. Did The IMF Just Open Pandora's Box?
By now it should be clear to all that the only reason why Germany has been so steadfast in its negotiating stance with Greece is because it knows very well that if it concedes to a public debt reduction (as opposed to haircut on debt held mostly by private entities such as hedge funds which already happened in 2012), then the rest of the PIIGS will come pouring in: first Italy, then Spain, then Portugal, then Ireland.
The problem is that while it took Europe some 5 years to transfer a little over €200 billion in Greek private debt exposure to the public balance sheet (by way of the ECB, EFSF, ESM and countless other ad hoc acronyms) at a cost of countless summits and endless negotiations, which may or may not result with the first casualty of the common currency which may prove to be reversible as soon as next week, nobody in Europe harbors any doubt that the same exercise can be repeated with Italy, or Spain, or even Portugal. IMF's late confession is a double-edged blessing for Alexis Tsipras. Greece needs €50bn-€60bn (£35bn-£42bn) of extra funds over the next three years and large-scale debt relief to create “a breathing space,” says the International Monetary Fund.
In Athens, the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras could be forgiven for shouting: “I told you so.” Debt relief has been a central plank of his demands from the day he was elected in January. IMF says Greece needs extra €60bn in funds and debt relief. The International Monetary Fund has electrified the referendum debate in Greece after it conceded that the crisis-ridden country needs up to €60bn (£42bn) of extra funds over the next three years and large-scale debt relief to create “a breathing space” and stabilise the economy. With days to go before Sunday’s knife-edge referendum that the country’s creditors have cast as a vote on whether it wants to keep the euro, the IMF revealed a deep split with Europe as it warned that Greece’s debts were “unsustainable”. Fund officials said they would not be prepared to put a proposal for a third Greek bailout to the Washington-based organisation’s board unless it included both a commitment to economic reform and debt relief.
According to the IMF, Greece should have a 20-year grace period before making any debt repayments and final payments should not take place until 2055. Greece to hold referendum on bailout deal with Europe. Greece crisis live: Greeks told they will be forced to default after Tsipras risks snap referendum. The Greeks deserved better than this. For some time it appeared that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, or at least some of the people advising him, felt Greece had something to gain from being in a take-it-or-leave-it situation with lenders as the pressure would be on the other side. Right now, with the uncertainty of a referendum looming, perhaps it doesn’t seem such a good position to be in. The theory that the lenders would back down at the last minute, giving Tsipras a deal that would be better than the one he could get by agreeing terms early on in his premiership, has not worked.
On Wednesday the institutions (led by the International Monetary Fund) rejected more than half of nearly 8 billion euros in measures that Tsipras had proposed on Monday and replaced them with ones he had turned down a few weeks earlier. Greek game of chicken is turning into pass-the-parcel. Greek debt crisis is the Iraq War of finance. Does anybody dispute that the ECB – via the Bank of Greece - is actively inciting a bank run in a country where it is also the banking regulator by issuing this report on Wednesday? It warned of an "uncontrollable crisis" if there is no creditor deal, followed by soaring inflation, "an exponential rise in unemployment", and a "collapse of all that the Greek economy has achieved over the years of its EU, and especially its euro area, membership". The guardian of financial stability is consciously and deliberately accelerating a financial crisis in an EMU member state - with possible risks of pan-EMU and broader global contagion – as a negotiating tactic to force Greece to the table.
It did so days after premier Alexis Tsipras accused the creditors of "laying traps" in the negotiations and acting with a political motive. He more or less accused them of trying to destroy an elected government and bring about regime change by financial coercion. The real sign that Greece's financial turmoil is getting worse. People living in a country gripped by financial turmoil often worry about the security of their money. If it's in a bank, it can be caught up in capital controls or lost through insolvency. Better, then, to spend it. And the purchase of choice is often a car. In December, when snap elections were called in Greece, monthly car registrations soared by nearly 70pc.
Since then, bank desposits have shrunk by nearly 15pc of their total value. A similar phenomenon was observed during Russia's financial meltdown late last year. How the European Central Bank became the real villain of Greece's debt drama. Greece's 'war cabinet' prepares to battle EU creditors as anger mounts. Germans push for Greek referendum as IMF default is avoided. For a full recap of the days events, catch our story below. Greece bailout sinks into jeopardy as growth forecast is slashed. Athens riot: Demonstration against Greek economy cuts descends into violence. Officers were set alight by exploding bombs as a protest descended into carnage near country's parliamentAbout 500,000 people joined the anti-government rally to demonstrate against new austerity measures in GreecePolice were seen fighting with protesters in what is thought to be the biggest anti-austerity protest in a yearDemonstrators set fire to trees and smash paving stones and marble panels with hammers to use as missilesUnrest comes 24 hours after violent demonstration in Spain, where protesters clashed with police in Madrid By Christine Pirovlakis Published: 14:03 GMT, 26 September 2012 | Updated: 06:55 GMT, 27 September 2012.
Anti-austerity strike brings Greece to a standstill. Half of Greek households struggle to pay bills and taxes. What is happening in Greece? “For young females, the unemployment rate is 65.0%” Last night I spotted a Financial Times headline which looked as thought it ought to have come from Greece. Greece crisis: EU finance chiefs discover Greece owes TWICE as much money as they thought. By Allan Hall In Berlin Published: 16:40 GMT, 24 September 2012 | Updated: 06:45 GMT, 25 September 2012.
Greece: The corrupt nation holding a gun to the EU's head. By Matthew LynnUPDATED: 08:58 GMT, 2 November 2011 At the end of last week, Europe’s leaders breathed a collective sigh of relief. After months of fraught negotiations, they had finally concluded a comprehensive deal which, they proclaimed, would save the single currency. The Latest Greek Debt Deal: Why This Time Is Different. I must admit to having tuned out the Greek debt crisis a bit. Greece's purge on illegal immigrants: Thousands are rounded up ready for deportation.
By Mail Foreign Service Published: 15:48 GMT, 6 August 2012 | Updated: 15:15 GMT, 7 August 2012. Strikers brought Greece to a standstill one day early to protest the government's austerity cuts. Is Greece becoming a third world country? HIV, Malaria and TB rates soar as health services are slashed by savage cuts. Greek austerity measures: Workers begin 48-hour strike ahead of vote on controversial bill. Greece seals vital deal to slash public debt by 107billion euros and save it from going bust. Greece should make its exit at Christmas. Greece calls shock referendum on cuts which threatens to SINK Euro bailout. Merkel threat to Greece: We'll kick you out of EU if you hold referendum. Greek leaders meet to decide new prime minister as Papandreou steps down under pressure from EU. Greek PM narrowly wins crucial confidence vote following a week of turmoil.
Bravo Papandreou! RIOTS IN ATHENS COULD BE JUST THE START FOR EUROPE. Germany's nasty little game to push the Greeks until they break. Economic vivisection: what the Germans are doing to the Greeks. Greece in meltdown: Government on edge of collapse amid fears of coup as Europe teeters on the brink of financial disaster. Europe finally agrees to bail out Greece AGAIN: £110bn deal struck after months of wrangling and 13 hours of late-night talks... but will we be back here in six months? Festering anger, Nazi war crimes and the £60bn the Greeks believe the Germans owe them. Q&A: Greek debt crisis. Greece Ancient & Modern: World of Shadows. Hamish McRae: Greece is being screwed down so Sarkozy can meet his deadline.
Nigel Farrage of UKIP on Greece. Greece: "A promise from the army has been obtained to not intervene against a civil uprising"