Showing posts with label Times Athens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Times Athens. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The International Monetary Fund, the third pillar of the creditors' Troika, has not yet accepted that and continues to ask for the application of a new debt reduction, so that it becomes bearable, as well as the continuation of the austerity programs. Even though the authorities in Athens have accepted the measures adopted in the Eurogroup meeting, once they got home they also "discovered" their true meaning. The measures for relieving the burden of the public debt will be applicable until 2060 and are subject to achieving the creation of a budget surplus of approximately 3.5% of the GDP over a ten year period, which will begin after the completion of the current bail-out program, in 2018.  Apparently no one knows why the new proposals of the European creditors are realistic. What will be extremely realistic and painful will be the new taxes provided in the draft budget for 2017. According to an article from French newspaper Le Monde, new taxes will be introduced for personal vehicles, landline phones, TVs, fuel, tobacco, coffee and beer.  Unfortunately, those taxes are missing one item, because there haven't been dance taxes introduced, as is happening in Brussels, where the local authorities have "rediscovered" a tax that was approved in the "50s and they send people undercover in bars and restaurants to make sure it is paid.  Of course, the "optimism" displayed by the European and the Greek authorities is completely out of place. "The agreement of the Eurogroup represents a chance for Greece to turn a corner", said Euclid Tsakalotos, finance minister in the government led by Alexis Tsipras, except his statement was made in spring this year, according to daily Kathimerini. Nobody expected miracles right away back then, but there are no signals that Greece is ready to turn a corner, just like nobody expects the new tax hikes and the newly introduced taxes to generate a virtuous circle of growth. As strange as it may seem, the notion of "virtuous circle of economic growth" actually exists in the discourse of the authorities in Athens. As always their optimism runs smack dab into the attitude of German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. On the day of the referendum in Italy, Schäuble said, in an interview he gave Bild am Sonntag, that "Athens needs to finally apply the necessary reforms, or else it has no room in the Eurozone".

Monday, April 13, 2015

"As long as the Greek crisis rumbles on, more people are buying into the
belief that the country is a special case, and the ECB will act to make
sure the rest of the members stay in the union."
Of course the ECB will act as above. The ECB is one of the seven institutions of the EU. The others being:
European Council
European Commission
European Parliament
Council of the European Union
Court of Justice of the European Union
European Court of Auditors
There won't be any Grexident. More bailing out by the back door coupled with renewed determination of ever closer union . There is no legal instrument, under the Maastricht Treaty, that allows Greece to be 'forced' out of the Euro against it's wishes. Similarly, there is no legal instrument, under the same Treaty, that allows Greece to leave the Euro unilaterally. If Greece does leave the Euro it can only take place with the full agreement of all the parties involved. And if that were to occur then Greece would still remain a member of the EU and as such would be entitled to full financial support of the EU, as it is receiving now. So whichever way Greece decides to go the EU/Eurozone will be picking up the bill for a long time to come...simple mathematical reality is catching up with the situation fast. Whatever inference Christine Lagarde wants to draw from Varoufakis's vague assurances about Greece meeting it's obligations, that IMF payment simply won't happen if they don't have the euros to make it.  Looking at the timetable of the coming 7 days, with a lot of payments due and the orthodox Easter weekend, it looks like the optimal moment for Greece to face the fact that the Euro game is up. We'll know one way or the other on Friday, if we hear that the payment was missed and reports come in that the Greek army is on the streets guarding bank branches.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I remember Greece with the drachma. There were small businesses everywhere. The average Greek had work and money to spend on the service economy. Luxury items were hard to come by. One TV, one stereo, one car per family, but so what. Nobody stayed in, there was nightlife. Everyone took their evening meals out. The common Greek's business did so well, they built houses for their families with the money. With a parallel currency, who knows, they may still be valued in Euros.  Since the financial crash of 2008, only one nation has made any sort of true recovery and that is tiny Iceland.  A nation that would not be bullied by either its banking sector, or, by the bought and paid for governments of other nations such as Britain, and Holland.
In fact so successful has their recovery been, that the ratings agency Fitch was forced to release this this statement.  "The Icelandic response to the crisis, although unorthodox, is the only one which has so far succeeded" -
'Unorthodox' my backside.  They merely had the nads required in order to go against the bully boy bankers and their many minions.  Just as the Greeks are now also about to do.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Report UE - The central question in the report is that of forced loans the Nazi occupiers extorted from the Greek central bank beginning in 1941. Should requests for repayment of those loans be classified as reparation demands -- demands that may have been forfeited with the Two-Plus-Four Treaty of 1990? Or is it a genuine loan that must be paid back? The expert commission analyzed contracts and agreements from the time of the occupation as well as receipts, remittance slips and bank statements.  They found that the forced loans do not fit into the category of classical war reparations. The commission calculated the outstanding German "debt" to the Greek central bank and came to a total sum of $12.8 billion as of December 2014, which would amount to about €11 billion.  As such, at issue between Germany and Greece is no longer just the question as to whether the 115 million deutsche marks paid to the Greek government from 1961 onwards for its peoples' suffering during the occupation sufficed as legal compensation for the massacres like those in the villages of Distomo and Kalavrita. Now the key issue is whether the successor to the German Reich, the Federal Republic of Germany, is responsible for paying back loans extorted by the Nazi occupiers. There's some evidence to indicate that this may be the case.  In terms of the amount of the loan debt, the Greek auditors have come to almost the same findings as those of the Nazis' bookkeepers shortly before the end of the war. Hitler's auditors estimated 26 days before the war's end that the "outstanding debt" the Reich owed to Greece at 476 million Reichsmarks.  Auditors in Athens calculated an "open credit line" for the same period of time of around $213 million. They assumed a dollar exchange rate to the Reichsmark of 2:1 and applied an interest escalation clause accepted by the German occupiers that would result in a value of more than €11 billion today.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A stony-faced Merkel reiterated what she had said in Brussels on Friday after a late-night session with Tsipras – that a 20 February agreement with the eurozone extending Greece’s bailout until the end of June remained the yardstick. That agreement obliges Tsipras to deliver a persuasive menu of detailed fiscal and structural reforms which need to be vetted by the eurozone before any further bailout funding can be released.  Asked if she had reached any agreements with Tsipras, Merkel avoided the question and stressed she was only one of 19 eurozone national leaders.
Tsipras was believed to have told the German leader that Greece faced insolvency within weeks without the release of more funds, which are being held up because he has failed to produce a coherent policy package.   “The medium-term liquidity problem is well known,” he said. “We inherited it.”   While neither side wants Greece to leave the euro, the lack of agreement in Berlin signalled a digging in of hardline positions on both sides that could result in a major negotiating failure.   Support for the Greek government remains strong at home, in inverse proportion to the lack of trust in Tsipras among his main creditors. A growing majority of Germans do not believe Greece will do what it must to stay in the euro and would prefer to see it leave. The Eurasia group risk consultancy on Monday raised its assessment of the chance of Greece having to quit the euro to 30%, up from a previous 20%.   “The prospects of a deal over Greece are diminishing, as Germany, the eurogroup and Greece continue to posture,” said Mujtaba Rahman, its eurozone analyst. “The chances of capital controls, and ultimately, Greece’s exit from the euro, are also increasing. While Berlin still wants to keep Greece in the eurozone, it can and will not be flexible regarding the conditions attached to more financial aid.”

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What did Greece do with the money? Put on an Olympics, pay higher pensions, hire more government workers and overpay them ? Even if we admit that Greece had a debt to gdp ratio far in excess of the 60% claimed when they joined it was not 120% or 150+% when they needed their first bailout. Even Ireland and Spain's own banking regulators could have applied the brakes to their housing bubbles by simply raising the down payments to get a mortgage or construction loan. They were also bribed to buy (faulty) German submarines and unreliable metro/trams and much else by German firms like Siemens (which profited mightily by use of slave labor, even going so far as to open a branch in the Ravensbruck concentration camp). The Greeks were also inundated by loans from French and German banks, and the so-called bail out was, in fact, a bail out be the poor, long-suffering European tax-payer, including Greek ones, of those banks by the corrupt Euro-political class.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The future of Europe looks bleak.

So the Germans probably don't want the deal with Greece to go ahead, but Merkel will still get it through parliament.  See, it's not the EU that is non-democratic, it's endemic in Europe.  Germany’s biggest-selling mass-market newspaper has said “Nein!” to the new bail-out deal agreed by the Eurozone for Greece.  Bild has launched a new campaign against the deal, printing a massive “NEIN!” across an entire inside page, and encouraging readers to take selfies holding the page up and send them in for publication.  “No more billions for greedy Greeks,” the newspaper adds, in only slightly smaller print. The page is printed in the blue and white of the Greek flag, instead of Bild’s more usual red and white.   With a daily circulation of some 2.5m Bild is hugely influential in German society. Though it is printed in broadsheet format – allowing for a particularly large “Nein!” – it is decidedly tabloid in tone.   Selfies of readers brandishing the “Nein!” had already begun flooding in on Thursday morning, with many holding it up in their offices or outside their homes.

Lars Riiser, a banker had stuck it to the window of his office on the upper floors of one of Frankrfurt’s skyscrapers, with a view of Germany’s financial capital behind.  Another man, Steffen Beier, brandished it out of the window of his car. Some readers took the selfie holding up iPads showing the headline instead of a newspaper.  The stunt comes ahead of a vote on the new deal in the German parliament on Friday, and is a sign of the deep resentment in many sections of German society against what is seen as being forced to bail out Greece for the profligacy of its own governments and banks yet again.   Many in Angela Merkel’s own Christian Democrat party are unhappy with the deal, and 22 MPs indicated on Thursday that they intend to defy the party whip and vote against it.  There is no chance of the deal being defeated, because Mrs Merkel’s coalition has a huge majority of several hundred, but so many defection from her own party would be a symbolic blow... Moments ago the Bank of Greece presented its latest, January, deposit data. And it's a doozy: following a record €12.2 billion monthly outflow, greater in absolute and relative terms than anything experienced during any of the previous Greek crises and bailouts, the total amount of Greek corporate and household deposits has now tumbled to just €148 billion. This number is in line with some of the more pessimistic expectations, and brings the total cash holdings at Greek banks to the lowest level since August 2005.Currently suffering the biggest bank run in history . 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The ECB's tough stance has ratcheted up the pressure on Greece's new government, raising the question as to whether Athens will give in and seek to reach an agreement with its creditors or whether it will risk a damaging confrontation that could end in a Grexit.
Thus far, there has been little sign of panic on the stock markets, indicating that financial markets are, for the moment, betting on a peaceful solution.
And even a banker like Ackermann is able to see Tsipras in a positive light. "The new government, unburdened by the past as it is, could represent an opportunity to cease whitewashing the situation and to finally do away with old, incrusted structures," he says. "Nevertheless, initial measures under consideration would seem to be more designed to drive investors and companies out of the country or to discourage them from becoming involved there in the first place."... The ECB is only prepared to assist Greek banks so long as the country remains a part of a bailout program. Yet Greek banks are in vital need of liquidity from the ECB, partly because Greeks continue to withdraw money from their accounts out of concern about a banking system collapse. Indeed, the new government will only be able to prevent the looming run on Greek banks by rapidly reestablishing trust or via the introduction of controls on capital flows.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

yesss--- perhaps Greece has a chance to get out of this misery called "EU"

Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann has called on Greece to stick to its agreements.  He said he hoped the new government would not make promises the country could not afford, Reuters reports, citing an interview with the broadcaster ARD. “I believe it’s also in the interest of the Greek government to do what is necessary to tackle the structural problems there,” Weidmann said.
He singled out administration, public finances and the economy as being particularly in need of reform.
“I hope the new government won’t call into question what is expected and what has already been achieved,” he said.   Syriza is on track to take 36 and 38 per cent of the national vote, well ahead of Samaras' centre-right New Democracy party which was seen taking 26 to 28 percent, according to an updated exit poll.  The updated poll showed Syriza securing between 148 to 154 seats in the 300-seat parliament. An absolute majority for Syriza will depend in large part on whether former Prime Minister George Papandreou's new centre-left party manages to cross the 3 per cent threshold to enter parliament.    Centrists To Potami and far-right Golden Dawn were tied for third spot with 6 to 7 per cent of the vote, according to the exit poll.
The head of Germany’s eurosceptic party Alternative für Deutschland, Bernd Lucke, has called for a haircut for Greece, although he said it must be accompanied with an exit from the euro, according to reports from the Berlin newspaper the Tagesspiegel.
“Syriza doesn’t question the euro, but demands further debt relief and more loans. That doesn’t fit together,” he said.
The chairman of the CDU/CSU group in the European parliament, Herbert Reul, called the idea of another haircut unthinkable. “Greece must continue with the course of reforms if it doesn’t want to risk a departure from the monetary union,” he said.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

THE BENEFITS ??? - EU should leave us alone !!!!

Greece has endured deep budget cuts tied to its massive bailout from the so-called troika - the EU, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB).
The possibility of a Syriza victory in Sunday's vote has sparked fears that Greece could default on its debt and exit from the euro.
  • Average wage is €600 (£450: $690) a month
  • Unemployment is at 25%, with youth unemployment almost 50%
  • Economy has shrunk by 25% since the start of the eurozone crisis
  • Country's debt is 175% of GDP
  • Borrowed €240bn (£188bn) from the EU, the ECB and the IMF
    After more than four years of harsh restrictions imposed by the so-called "troika" of the EU, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, elections here come just as Greece actually begins to see small signs of recovery. But it is macroeconomic growth that has yet to reach the pockets of ordinary Greeks, who have seen their companies shuttered and their pensions slashed... if Europe is forced to respond to new demands from Greece, it will test cohesion already strained by tensions over NATO and Britain's flirtation with an exit from the EU, says Ian Kearns, director of the policy group European Leadership Network in London. “In that reaction we will see the definition of the European project,” Mr. Kearns says. “It will be the movement of Europe into a new era, one that will lock in austerity or [take] a new path.”   It could also challenge a Greece that has in some ways felt on the mend.  Antonis Birbilis, a volunteer at the electoral stand for New Democracy in Syntagma Square, which was the site of near daily violent protests against austerity, says he fears the election could bring Greece back to darker days.

    Friday, January 16, 2015

    An honest analysis of recent Greek opinion polls suggests that the radical left wing Syriza is on course to win a clear mandate to implement anti-austerity policies that are inconsistent with continued euro membership.  Syriza support is sufficient to secure a workable majority. 36% of the final vote is the approximate threshold beyond which a strong anti-austerity government is plausible. Syriza’s performance has been consistent with this in each of the last 20 opinion polls, and over 40% of the vote on average in the last five.  The electoral system may work in Syriza’s favour. It is not just that a sixth of all seats are awarded as a bonus to the winner; but also that the votes of parties with less than 3% do not count in the final analysis.  It is not over yet. The ruling New Democracy party is entitled to portray the vote as a referendum on euro exit (around 75% of Greeks strongly wish to stay in). The experience of mid-2012 suggests voters’ sight of the exit abyss could help New Democracy close the gap slightly on Syriza.  But the binary (in or out) nature of the vote decision may also help Syriza to achieve a decisive victory by squeezing out smaller parties (eg. Independent Greeks), as voters herd to the big two.  A decisive Syriza victory in such a “referendum” would lower the probability of full capitulation to Troika program requirements. Even if Syriza were to sign off on a continuation of the programme, adequate implementation appears unlikely. It was hard enough for determined centre-right politicians, never mind Syriza.  Should Syriza fail to implement the program adequately, Greece could return to the precipice. Perhaps the government would fall at or before this point and there would be a return to an implementation-minded government; perhaps Greece would exit (this is not our baseline).  Greek assets have responded negatively; bond prices suggest default probabilities have risen sharply.

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    The EU will start to work when first, Greece is out and every average, say, Spanish voter can communicate with the average German voter without more than 40% lost in language issues. Cross border communication between the people, not politicians, is downright crucial. They can all spend years learning French, Slovenian, or whatever, or spend about a year learning the easiest language possible. Which? The one hears more than 50% of the time on German, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Austrian radio. The day the average German farmer walks up to a French farmer and can actually carry out important discussions about their future as Europeans, as farmers with common interests, then there is hope. Despite the damn taboos about discussing politics in Europe which is a bar hobby by comparison in America... 
    With regards to Greece ...  There is an often quoted figure of €240 billion "pumped into their economy". It wasn't. It went in and came straight out again, into the hands of desperate and grateful banksters across Europe, who, had Greece defaulted, would themselves have gone tits up.
    Now. The €240 billion is most definitely still there as "extra Greek debt". And it's that extra debt that Syriza, and many Greeks, are rightly not very happy about, regardless of the "generous interest rates" they've been offered. They got no injection of capital into their economy. They instead got a gun held to their heads to accept a loan to make sure foreign banksters didn't suffer any consequences of their reckless, even criminal (Goldmann Sachs) financing of the various groups of oligarchs running the country over the past 30 years. There are many things wrong with the structure of the Greek economy. It is a monumentally corrupt place. But still, there are an equal number of things wrong with the "solutions" offered by the rest of the EU and others. And the real wrongdoers - the Greek oligarchs and the banks - have yet to suffer any meaningful consequences of their actions. Syriza would definitely see to it that that at least changed.

    Sunday, January 4, 2015

    Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras (bottom right) and other opposition MPs applauded the result of the vote
    Shortly after the vote, Mr Samaras announced that elections would take place on 25 January.
    "The country has no time to waste," he said in a televised address.
    Mr Dimas, a former European commissioner, secured the votes of only 168 MPs, the same number he had won during the second vote last week.
    The government failed to attract the support of two smaller parties, Independent Greeks and Democratic Left, which it needed to win the vote.
    The defeat is regarded as a major setback for the prime minister, as well as for eurozone countries that worked hard to bring Greece back from the brink in 2010.
    Since then €240bn (£188bn; $290bn) has been spent helping Greece pay off its debts. In return for two major bailouts, the EU and IMF demanded stringent austerity measures.
    Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras praised the vote as a "historic day for Greek democracy" and Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos said the era in which Mr Samaras and his coalition partners had "surrendered" Greece's sovereignty was now over.
    A party colleague of Mr Samaras, Dora Bakoyiannis, bitterly accused Syriza of forcing the vote at the worst possible moment for the Greek economy.

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

    Germany has signalled it is preparing a third rescue package for Greece – provided the debt-stricken country implements "rigorous"austerity measures blamed for record levels of unemployment and a dramatic drop in GDP.
    The new loan, outlined in a five-page position paper by Berlin's finance ministry, would be worth between €10bn to €20bn (£8bn-16bn), according to the German weekly Der Spiegel, which was leaked the document.
    Such an amount would chime with comments made by the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, who, in a separate interview due to be published on Monday insisted that any additional aid required by Athens would be "far smaller" than the €240bn it had received so far.
    "What is sure is that any further aid would be much less expansive than whatever help [has been given] so far," he is quoted as telling the German finance magazine Wirtschaftswoche in what appears to be a calibrated move aimed at preparing public opinion.
    The renewed help follows revelations of clandestine talks between Schäuble and leading EU figures over how to deal with Greece, which despite receiving the biggest bailout in global financial history, continues to remain the weakest link in the eurozone.
    The talks, said to have taken place on the sidelines of a Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers last week, are believed to have focused on the need to cover an impending shortfall in the country's financing and the reluctance Athens is displaying to enforce long overdue structural reforms. The lack of progress is at the root of stalled talks between Greece and its "troika" of creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank and EU.
    Greece faces a financing gap of up to €15bn over the next two years, according to foreign creditors, which have kept its economy afloat since May 2010. As the EU's powerhouse, Berlin has bankrolled most of the emergency loans to date.

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

    In Greece, the govt is starting to make public the conditions under which homes could be foreclosed. Kathimerini:
    Foreclosures will not be allowed if: The taxable value of the property is under 200,000 euros; gross household income (not including social security contributions, income tax and solidarity tax) is no more than 35,000 euros; and the owner’s total assets are under 270,000 euros.
    The criteria will be relaxed a little for families with three or more children.
    The ministry also proposes that those with a household income of less than 15,000 euros per year should pay a monthly mortgage payment of 10 percent of their net monthly income.
    Those earning between 15,000 and 35,000 euros per year should pay monthly mortgage payments that amount to 10 percent of their first 15,000 euros of income and 20 percent of anything they earn above that.
    The unemployed will be allowed to forgo monthly payments until they have an income.
    Pasok is accepting those criteria. Some ND MPs are still reluctant. If those are indeed the criteria implemented, it seems protective. As often in Greece, salaried people will be more easily hit than professionals since their income is available.

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    WASHINGTON—Senate leaders on Wednesday struck an 11th-hour agreement to avoid a U.S. debt crisis and fully reopen the federal government, putting lawmakers on track toward ending a stalemate that worried investors world-wide and provided striking evidence of congressional dysfunction.Negotiators rejected a Democratic proposal to delay for one year a fee of $63 per insured person levied on groups that offer health policies, including employers, labor unions and insurance carriers—a fee opposed by many large employers and unions. The agreement does includes backpay for all federal workers who were furloughed during the government shutdown.
    The Senate deal doesn't include a provision granting federal agencies more flexibility to mitigate the effects of the across-the-board reductions known as the sequester. Congressional aides said the next round of cuts kick in when the stopgap spending measure ends in mid-January, motivating lawmakers to reach an agreement to ease the burden of the sequester's blunt cuts by then. The next round of reductions will bring annual spending levels down to $967 billion from $986 billion, largely through cuts to defense spending.
    The setback in the House on Tuesday was the result of pressure from conservatives, who objected both to the Senate bill and Mr. Boehner's alternative because they gave Republicans too little of what they had been demanding. Conservatives have been pressing for major changes in the 2010 health-care law and additional measures to reduce the deficit.
    GOP leaders had tried to build backing by including proposals sought by conservatives, including one that would have cut government health-insurance benefits for congressional and administration officials, including their staff, under the 2010 health-care law. But the bill met powerful headwinds when the conservative political group Heritage Action on Tuesday evening announced its opposition and said votes on the measure would be included in the group's influential ratings of lawmakers.
    The White House Wednesday provided a little more clarity about when the Treasury will run out of its ability to borrow money. Mr. Carney said that moment will come "at the end of the day" Thursday. The Treasury had previously said the "extraordinary measures" it deployed to keep below the debt ceiling would run out on Oct. 17, without clarifying whether that meant midnight Wednesday or the subsequent day. Beyond Thursday, "the Treasury would have only cash on hand. It would not be able to borrow new money to meet obligations," Mr. Carney said. The Treasury has said that on Oct. 17 it would be left with only about $30 billion to pay the nation's bills.
    There was palpable relief among Republicans who had been part of a bipartisan effort to break the deadlock. "We're ready to open the government and we are ready to make sure everyone around the world knows the U.S. pays its bills on time," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.).

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Greece may need a third aid package as soon as next year, Klaus Regling, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) permanent bailout fund is quoted as saying in the Friday edition of the German business daily Handelsblatt. He also said that it was conceivable that Greece might not be in a condition to raise money by selling sovereign debt on the open market in 2014.
    "Given these circumstances, Greece will probably need another aid package," Regling said, which would require the approval of the finance ministers of the 17 euro-zone countries.
    Regling is not the first to publicly voice expectations that there will be a third bailout package for Greece. In August, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble expressed a similar belief although he explicitly noted that it would have to come without fresh payments from other euro-zone countries.
    In the interview, Regling also criticized as "irresponsible and unfounded" the fact that "some in Northern Europe are stoking fears against the euro." The costs and risks associated with the euro bailout need to be assessed in a reasonable manner "in Germany too," he added.
    So far, Greece has received two large bailouts. The first aid package included €110 billion ($150 billion) and was first agreed upon by the euro-zone member states and the IMF in 2010 (see table). Back then, the permanent euro bailout fund had not yet been established, so €80 billion of the loans provided at the time came from the individual euro-zone countries. But only €53 billion of these loans were actually paid out to Greece.

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    GREECE - During the first seven months of 2013, the surplus reached €1.1bn (£921m), he said, adding this would enable the country to negotiate with its creditors, the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    Greece has received massive rescue funding, tied to tough conditions, from the EU and the IMF to help it overcome a debt crisis which threatened the eurozone.
    However, the a resulting structural reforms, including an overhaul of its public sector and its tax system, have proved unpopular.
    On Saturday Samaras promised no further austerity measures would be introduced, saying the economy "cannot take" them any more.
    "Debt levels will be manageable, Greece has respected its commitments... now, the creditors must also respect what was agreed," he added.
    Protests in Thessaloniki, the country's second largest city, were organised by the private and public sector trade unions, GSEE and Adedy, who called for "fighting austerity and poverty".
    Police said about 4,500 extra officers had been sent to the city to avert rioting during the four-hour demonstration.
    The EU and the IMF recently praised the Greek government's progress in turning the economy around, but bemoaned delays to a programme of privatisation and reform, and the fact that the country will likely need further aid in 2014 and 2015 amounting to around €10bn.

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    There is no alternative other than let the free market loose and wait for the consequences.

    The Governments prevented a crash by Q.E. and bail outs. Government action has saved the day. Left to the "free market", would have resulted in catastrophe. The USA is still pumping Billions every month into the system to prevent a keep the system going. There is no alternative other than let the free market loose and wait for the consequences. Obviously this cannot be allowed to happen, so we are living through a era o protectionism....the phrase "kicking the can", just means keeping the system going....stock markets and house prices are maintained because the alternative is too frightening. What is the alternative, to maintaining the "free market" and low wages in the face of global competiveness...
    Answer... a global depression with mass unemployment.
    Why is the free market having to be supported and "too big to fail" having to be bailed out.?...This is the new phenomenon...a game changer...Governments propping up a market that cannot be allowed to fail...How long can this be maintained or is the patient cured,?
    I would hazard a guess and say that the real cause of all this is due to....
    • 1)  DEBT of unimaginable proportions...AND GROWING.
    • 2) Unsustainable growth...we are at a tipping point in human history...where resources are unable to meet demand...Peak oil, peak food production etc.....the importance of the exponential, when there is a limit....The limit has been reached.
    • 3)  We now live in an overpopulated World.
    • 4)  The lack of productive jobs...With the advent of the computer and the internet (another game changer), millions of "workers", for want of a better word, are now sitting in front of a computer screen...the operative word here is "sitting".
    • 5)  The consumer society cannot continue consuming and growing with limited resources.
    • 6)  The rise of the city...Now nearly half the world's population are concentrated in cities...These cities are pure consumers../they don't produce anything and are not self sustaining. As these growing cities compete for resources, there could be trouble.
    • 7)  The rise of China...the tiger awakes...So what is the answer.?....Austerity...we must learn to live within our means....painful but necessary....otherwise it is keep printing the money and propping up we are seeing today.
    The Bank of International Settlements did nothing to prevent this crisis, which it failed to foresee. On the contrary, it and its members in the 'central bankers' club' supported and promoted the economic dogmas, such as the 'efficient market', that led to the crisis. Why should anyone have faith in what in now says about how to get out of a mess it helped to create? We must learn to live within our means...but we won't.
    Trouble ahead.

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    When is Brussels going to admit:
    "The Euro experiment is a big failure.  The southern countries can only survive with a much reduced exchange rate, as their main industry is inexpensive tourism.  We need to find a way to set them free from the Euro and we will take a 50% write-down on our loan exposures."
    The alternative is explosive doom....
    I agree, but already power has clearly migrated from Brussels to Frankfurt.  Even now Brussels is only in charge of important matters like banana curvature tolerances, getting rid of proper light bulbs and deciding who should collect their wonderful Nobel Peace Prize.

    Germany - THE 4TH. REICH : Cyprus's MOU is finalized - The conditions of Cyprus's bailout deal have been agreed, according to the German government.
    Reuters has the details: A final memorandum of understanding between Cyprus and international creditors on the island's bailout has now been finalized, a German finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday....Martin Kotthaus also told a regular news conference he expected the bailout package to remain at 10 billion euros.
    Curiously, Finnish finance minister Jutta Urpilainen had suggested this morning that the Cyprus bailout programme could be tweaked, when EU finance ministers meet in Dublin on Friday and Saturday.
    Urpilainen told reporters: "I think the final outcome is good and sustainable, and I think it is good to go forward with this but it is good to note that some details might still be changed on Friday.
    There are also reports that ministers will be advised to extend the maturity on certain loans given to Portugal and Ireland by seven years."
    According to Reuters, the Troika of international lenders believes it is right to lower both countries' debt repayment burdens by spreading payments over a longer time.

    Will Cameron sell the UK , capitulate?...I THIK YES, HE WILL BOW TO THE DEMANDAS of the 4th Reich  -- Talks between the Tories and the new Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), an anti-euro party, came to light as the Prime Minister and his family flew to Germany as the personal guests of the Chancellor at the castle of Meseberg, her country retreat.
    The invitation for Mr Cameron to bring his wife Samantha and his children, Nancy, nine, Elwen, seven, and Florence, two, to stay in the elegant 18th century castle north of Berlin was intended to underline that the visit was a special courtesy, "perhaps not just pure routine". "It is a meeting linked to numerous, highly intensive, good discussions that the Chancellor has had with Prime Minister Cameron," her spokesman said. Mr Cameron's aides admit that winning Mrs Merkel's support will be vital to his attempts to negotiate a looser British EU membership deal, a new settlement he has promised to put to a referendum by 2017.