Author Topic: Crisis in europe  (Read 3028 times)

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Offline MacDeath

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Crisis in europe
« on: 19:14, 15 June 11 »
I wanted to tell our Hellenikos (and Spanish) friends that I hope their politicians will manage to not choose the worse way.

But is this even possible ?


Seriously, France was well known for being "LE" rioting country of Europe, it seems we are in fact childish amateurs.


Greece is such a strange country... very militaristic actually.
An oversized army.
While this is quite understandable from an historical point of view, this just can't help as we know army stuff are expensive these days.

Just hope the inventor of Democracy will make it through the crisis with no violence (well not too much).

ok, it just can't be as bad as in Syria or Lybia.
Yet repression is still repression.


Good luck to all of you from France.




« Last Edit: 19:15, 15 June 11 by MacDeath »

Offline McKlain

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #1 on: 21:17, 15 June 11 »
Here in Spain we are still asleep. I hope that we (the people) wake up soon.

On the 19th of June there will be nationwide demonstrations like the ones on the 15th of May. I hope that this time less people stays at home watching tv or doing the revolution before the computer screen.

Offline EgoTrip

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #2 on: 22:45, 15 June 11 »
Here in Spain we are still asleep. I hope that we (the people) wake up soon.

On the 19th of June there will be nationwide demonstrations like the ones on the 15th of May. I hope that this time less people stays at home watching tv or doing the revolution before the computer screen.


Its even worse in the UK. Nobody cares how corrupt the leadership is, and how they let the rich destroy the poor and the environment, not just here but around the world. To be perfectly honest, due to the apathy and ignorance of the British population, this country fully deserves the ass raping its been getting, and it will only get worse.
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Offline McKlain

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #3 on: 23:38, 15 June 11 »
I envy Iceland, honestly.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #4 on: 10:00, 16 June 11 »
Regarding the military in Greece, this has always been a painful question; true, it doesn't only cost too much, but it also withdraws tens of thousands of men from the production processes[nb]of course, given the huge unemployment this point is kinda moot, but still valid in theory[/nb]. But what can you do, with a Turkey violating your airspace daily, threatening with war every now and then and disputing the status quo of whole regions? It's a shitty situation. Albania is propagating propaganda about annexing Northern Epirus. FYROM wants Salonica. Can you seat back and smile?


On the other hand, I don't think this is a Greek or Spanish or whatever crisis. Greece, Spain, Ireland and the other countries where the crisis has manifested itself are just the early victims. The crisis is a result of structural weaknesses of the markets, weaknesses that are specifically allowed by the politicians so that some very few people can make huge amounts of money. I have an economics background and am an avid reader of economic tracts, and you can't even begin to understand the absurdity of it all. It's just gambling, gambling, gambling.
A very simplistic, but very true, example:
-Institution X is a rating agency.
-Institution X is also a player in the market (this, in itself, it absurd; how can ratings be objective if the agencies stand to *gain* or lose money from their own ratings?).
-X doesn't hold any Greek, Spanish, Irish, Belgian, US, Italian or other bonds. But it's allowed to buy insurance against that country's eventuality to default. In essence, it's betting that Greece etc will default, without having a legit right to do so. It's just gambling. So, if Greece doesn't default X loses the money it has paid to the insurance company. If it does default, however, it will win the insurance money. So what motive does it have to give honest ratings? It will actively *try* to kill the country. Kind like taking a life insurance out for someone else, then setting out to kill him. Grand, eh?
And not only that, but if lots of institutions bet against a specific country this could lead to the fall of insurance institutions as well, and the mess is amplified (wait... this has happened before!).
So basically the markets are not regulated and are run by gang-ho mafias, in essence, who don't give a shit about economy.
In my view, Greece has no way to avoid defaulting. In the end most of the paper debt will not be paid - which, ironically, is the best option if handled correctly. And it's only a matter of time before the hitmen go after other countries - and this is one of the reasons why Europeans try to "help" Greece so eagerly.
Who knows, maybe we'll have a revolution of sorts. Yesterday's political manoeuvres only serve to add fuel to the fire some way down the road. And it usually takes only a spark...

Offline McKlain

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #5 on: 10:07, 16 June 11 »
Do you still have mandatory military service there? Your army situation sounds like a lot like the israeli one.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #6 on: 11:43, 16 June 11 »
Yeah it is. 9 or 12 months. Of course, the draftees are cannon fodder, though the professional units (especially the airforce) are very competent. I remember having a guy in basic with me, he had a post-doc in radar technology, research and all that: he was made a rifleman :D

Offline McKlain

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #7 on: 11:54, 16 June 11 »
Hehe, we had 12 months service here too but they suspended it on 2001. After all it was just a vestige of franco's dictatorship. At the time I opted for civil service instead of military, but after months and months of waiting I got a letter from the government saying that because of the delay in their response I was discharged administratively from service. It was in 1997. I was lucky  ;D

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #8 on: 11:58, 16 June 11 »
Hahaha! Amazing bureaucracy :D There are very, very few countries now where military service is obligatory. Which is all for the best, but not always possible... :(

Offline redbox

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #9 on: 12:04, 16 June 11 »
We deregulated our financial system too which of course has ended in huge trouble...


I feel some compassion for Greece because from conversations I've had with Greeks it appears that we (being the Brits) share a lot of views about Europe.  The EU often seems to forget that Greece really is on the frontier of Europe and appears to get sh*t from all sides on a regular basis.


Shame about the military problems etc. as a lot of this could have all been sorted when Cyprus joined the EU, a real wasted opportunity there - but I appreciate Cyprus wants to be an independent nation and is eager to show it's not ruled under Enosis, but it didn't help sorting things out.


Hope things calm down for you in that part of the world soon!


Looks like there's strikes coming in the UK though, so maybe a European revolution is on the cards!

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #10 on: 12:59, 16 June 11 »
Deregulation is not only done on a local level but on a global scale as well. Think EU and US, and a huge load of crap is upon us.[nb]A personal note: I'm sick and tired of hearing about Smith's "invisible hand" quoted by all those for deregulation and the 'freedom of markets'. I don't understand why something that someone wrote 235 years ago ("Wealth of the Nations") should be our guideline today. But even so. Nobody seems to have read it; I have, and Smith doesn't ever talk about deregulation - quite the contrary: he surmises that markets can reach an equilibrium by themselves, but justice and equality should prevail. He said that private companies or individuals have greed built into them and it is the state that *must* step in to stem this greed and the resulting injustice. So there.[/nb]

The UK was so right to stay outside the Euro, though you're trying hard to undo all the benefits you've accrued (your politicians, that is, not you as a people). The Euro and the European Union were doomed from the word go; not only it doesn't make any financial or macroeconomic sense, since it's not an optimal economic or currency area, each country having different issues and being in different cycle phases, but politically too it was not a natural evolution: it was shoehorned upon us. See the latest attempt, for instance, to establish a common European constitution: it's laughable and at the same time says a lot about the true nature of the EU, since constitutions were always *won* by the peoples, through blood and fighting, and never "granted" by those above no matter what.

Concerning Cyprus, obviously you've done your reading since not many people would know about "Enosis"; however it's not that simple - you've got to remember that the northern part of the island is actually under occupation; and that the majority of the northern population consists not of Turk-Cypriots but of Anatolia Turks brought in (in violation of international laws for occupied lands - it constitutes a change of demographic composition). So much so that the Turk-Cypriots are very local about the Turkish government leaving them well alone. For them, the EU was going to be a step towards that direction; but how could the Greek Cypriots accept such an equality?

Offline redbox

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #11 on: 13:42, 16 June 11 »
I worked in Nicosia (sorry, Lefkosia!) so got quite a good background from all sides when there.  Cyprus for me was quite a good metaphor for the intricacies of that part of the world and helped me understand it somewhat.  I really got on well with all the people I met (Greeks and Turks), but as a Brit you still get a less than warm welcome in some small villages - at first I thought it was because of the 'Brits abroad' view, but actually it was because of what happened in the 1950s - feelings obviously run deep and memories last longer than you think.  Have you read Bitter Lemons?  It gives a very interesting British view on it all from that time.

Just as a counter-balance to what you said about the Turkish population (and not to support either side in any way of course); one thing I did find was it was the Greeks living in Cyprus who seemed to have more of a problem with the situation, rather than the local Cypriot-Greeks, and one could say that these persons are also 'imported' like you say about the Anatolians, but it depends on your viewpoint of course.

Schmoyoyo did a nice mix about a UK politician giving the EU 'president' a hard time: Auto-Tune the News #11: Pure Poppycock. (ft. Joel Madden)
« Last Edit: 13:55, 16 June 11 by redbox »

Offline MaV

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #12 on: 14:13, 16 June 11 »
A personal note: ...

I pressed "like" just for that part alone. I could have klicked a couple of times more for the rest.


Deregulation caused a slew of problems. I can't recall one time it did work out well. And it takes years to finally see the consequences, there's no easy way you could revert that, and even then those that pushed it are still certain it was the right thing to do.

You can't help but wonder how much of an ideology this "Deregulation" has turned out to be. There's no reasoning behind it anymore.


I don't think that every constitution needs to be won by blood. They could have worked out one fit for the EU, but in a lot of countries nobody was ever asked if the people wanted it as it was conceived. And this version of the European constitution had a few parts that needed revision.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #13 on: 17:09, 16 June 11 »
@redbox: concerning the attitude of the people it's not really surprising, given the British occupation forces were hanging people (high school students, even) up till the late 50s. That's really fresh. And of course the Mount Troodos is, I believe, considered still British territory[nb]don't get me wrong, I'm one of those people who would rather visit the UK than go on island-hopping in the summer; hope I don't offend you[/nb].

Sometimes Greeks tend to get more vocal than Greek-Cypriots, but that's another story; as for them being imported, if you mean to equate some (few, really) people who went there on their own and with all legal justification, with masses moved *by the state* in an occupied land, well, I'm not following you... Sorry, it doesn't depend on viewpoint. One is state-funded/forced mass immigration with the expressed goal of altering the population composition of the island, the other is some people going to the free section of the island and staying there.

The vid is fantastic :D

@Mav: I didn't say that every constitution needs to be won by blood. What I meant was that historically it has been the results of the peoples fighting for it. When you see the ruling class, being the feud lords, politicians, dictators, bankers or Brussels bureaucrats telling you "here, come, we'll swap your constitution with one we made ourselves!" then something is really smelly. And of course, you need only take a cursory look at the proposed constitution - it talked so much about the finance and economic markets, and so little about human rights...

So what they've done is, they've deliberately confused "regulation" with "intervention". I can understand (though not totally agree) why someone would argue against state intervention to the markets, it does have some ideological and real meaning; but preventing regulation is absurd. Next stop: why not deregulate murder? Maybe this way we could rectify some of the injustice after all?

Offline MaV

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #14 on: 17:55, 16 June 11 »
And of course, you need only take a cursory look at the proposed constitution - it talked so much about the finance and economic markets, and so little about human rights...

There's the problem.


Apparently the rating agencies have rated Greece below Jamaica???!?!?! WTF! How does that reflect the reality at all?
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #15 on: 18:57, 16 June 11 »
Well, you have to bear in mind that those ratings do not represent how advanced or how productive an economy is, but rather how credit-worthy it is; which means, how close or far is the respective state from defaulting on its debt. At the moment, of course, although it's a mid-size, western economy, Greece is the surerest to go bankrupt, hence the rating. Afghanistan is a more sure place to lend your money :D

Offline McKlain

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #16 on: 18:58, 16 June 11 »
I'm moving all my savings from switzerland to afghanistan then  ;D

Offline redbox

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #17 on: 19:00, 16 June 11 »
don't get me wrong, I'm one of those people who would rather visit the UK than go on island-hopping in the summer; hope I don't offend you.

Oh not at all, and I don't mean to "stick my nose in", just wanted to provide my view as an outsider having lived there.  I love the Greek/Cypriot/Turkish part of the world and was pleased to find out more about it because it's a fascinating history.  We're taught a very diluted version of history at school and it's not until you go to places you find out what really happened!

One is state-funded/forced mass immigration with the expressed goal of altering the population composition of the island, the other is some people going to the free section of the island and staying there.

Yes, but don't some Greeks do live there because they still want to see Enosis?  But yes, I see what you're saying, but I would add the caveat that I think sometimes the (non-Cypriot) Greek people don't realise they're not always talking for everybody with the views they express.  And this is of course repeated by all nationalities around the world, and usually it's just because these people are proud of their heritage - it sometimes just doesn't always help with getting things resolved!

As for the UK, well... I'd rather have coffee/kebab/village salad with a Greek/Turk/Cypriot than a beer/fish'n'chips/some-other-bad-food with my fellow countrymen  ;)
« Last Edit: 19:03, 16 June 11 by redbox »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #18 on: 19:19, 16 June 11 »
@mcklain: Switzerland is not so healthy, either :D
@redbox: you're right about history and all, and not only because of Greece or Byzantium and the Ottomans; think Chinese, for instance... I remember it was a revelation for me when I put two and two together in my early teens and realised that, "middle ages? What middle ages? This doesn't apply to us!". I can recommend a great (though pretty dense) book, "Sailing from Byzantium", dealing with how knowledge and culture flowed from the Byzantium towards the Arabs, the west and the north before Byzantium itself imploded.

As for your other quote, I'm a bit puzzled: what "Greeks live there because they still want to see Enosis"? There are very few mainland Greeks living in Cyprus and I don't think anyone of them is motivated by patriotic or nationalistic feelings. There are many, many Cypriots having settled in Greece, but not vice versa. But I agree with your thought about who talks about what, it goes without saying (though there's a caveat - you may think people are talking differently but maybe they're just *expressing* in different ways, especially for such sensitive issues. Just saying, it doesn't mean it's always so).

Offline redbox

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #19 on: 19:58, 16 June 11 »
There are very few mainland Greeks living in Cyprus and I don't think anyone of them is motivated by patriotic or nationalistic feelings.

Well if I am wrong about this, then it does prove that these few people do unfortunately (from my experience) appear have the loudest voices!

Thanks for the book recommendation, will check it out.

Offline MaV

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #20 on: 10:53, 17 June 11 »
I beg for germany coming back to old strength.

Define "old": ~70 years ago, 110 years ago, 30 years ago. :P

My guess is the latter.
Well, the answer is: dump the dickhead-neocons in government and banks. Then you can try to undo their work.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #21 on: 13:01, 17 June 11 »
To be fair the €uros is a bit of the problem.

It was tailored from the Deutchmark, which is supposed to be a strong money for an industrial and highly productive country.

(which then also need to import primal matters at lower cost (strong money) and produce high profile products (exclusively high tech machines ?) that no one else can produces, hence the price is not a problem for the export too.

as a result, €uro is a strong money... which may not be that good for country based on tourism.

France managed a bit thx to luxury goods (the more expensive the better...) and also some industry (Cars, Nuclear stuffs, trains, planes...) but it is far from perfect compaired to Germany (we are exporting nothing at the moment...)

Well, in France we profit from our heritance (lots of money for the rich, also our colonisation past...), high quality tourism (Paris...Paris...), our central position in West Europa (all the traffic must pass there...) and so on.
Yet stil a worstening situation and social misery.

Concerning countries like Spain or Greece, which are quite a lot into tourism (I guess it's true) such a strong money is not that good.
and being into european union for longer than the new comers (East europa) your living standards (= prices) had already quite rised a lot.



Greece is also strange IMO in that I learnt you guys don't have official "ecology/environment ministry/department"

I remember it was talked in media here in france during the great fires you had a few years ago.




Anyway, I'm a convinced European.
I like the idea of a strong Europe in the world.
But I guess our technocrats and politicians did it the wrong way.

Each country still looking for its very personnal interest, also politicians looking for its only "kingdom" (Fief) and personal priviledges.
And also usual "market" and capitalistic screw ups.

just bear this in mind.

Europe can't be united because we, the citizen, never had to vote the exact same day for the exact same thing.

the so called European constitution per exemple, should actually pass trough a real european universal suffrage.
1 european = 1 vote.
 as this would be direct suffrage referendum/devolution there wuld be no such thing as state trying to screw this, just we, the peoples...

But guess what ? politicians have no interest in creating such a real  European vote, as this would mean the looss of theire exclusivity on their citizens/slaves (lol...)

My two cents. ;D


Also, I hope this topic won't fall for the Goodwin points or fully anticapitalistic stuff ('well, actually I wo'n't mind the anticapitalistic part...)


You are right about the invisible hand bullshit.
It simply can't work anymoire with the realtime market of today and any "invisible hand upon the market" is no more the benevolant thing it may have supposedly been, but more like shadow thieves in white collars.

They tell us that if you are against capitalism, you are against free enterprise/busyness...
Bullshit, to be against the high finance is not being against small enterprises and personnal bizness initiatives.

There is a difference between becoming rich and becoming far too rich.

To me, no man should be able to have more than 1.000.000.000$ for his entire lifetime.
Beyound ? , well, you would have to give it back to the peoples.


Who need a massive platinium swiming pool ?
 
« Last Edit: 13:26, 17 June 11 by MacDeath »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #22 on: 13:27, 17 June 11 »
I don't remember if there was an environment ministry back then, but there is now. Before it was a separate entity it still existed as... (hold on to your chair, you're gonna laugh to death) the Ministry of Environment, Zoning and Public Works. So, in essence, it was the same organization that overviewed the protection of environment AND the works that destroy it. Guess which side was favored...

As for the referendum for a potential european constitution, there would have to be a lot of discussion before getting to the vote. And how would you do that? It's impossible enough to discuss such things within *one* country, let alone a whole continent.

And, of course, regarding referenda, the EU history has taught us how it's done: push he issue from the side of the EU bureaucrats, throw amazing budgets for advertising a "Yes" answer (this money is mine and yours, btw), then if by a tragic mistake we get a No we keep repeating the referendum till we get a Yes - and no more. Think Maastricht treaty... It's a sham.

Btw, regarding the crisis here: last night I was watching an investigative journalism tv show where it was revealed that Hochtief, a German company that constructed the new Athens airport, overpriced the project by a nice €2bn. Then it refused to pay a tax of €650m and has avoided giving the VAT to the state coffers - another cool €550m in ten years. For comparison purposes, the latest cut in public employee wages, which really cut into the bone and is causing/will cause tremendous problems, only saved €1-1.2bn. And then of course you've got Siemens, or Vodafone (which, like in the UK, was given away a tax sum of €75m) and others, and you get an idea of how things are run.

Offline redbox

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #23 on: 14:00, 17 June 11 »
Saw this picture taken in Athens in the UK news today[nb]Hopefully co-incidence it's taken in front of the 'Grand Bretagne', as it's French banks who are owed the most by the Greek government in bank loans (30 billion euros).[/nb]:





As NWA would say, F*ck Tha Police!
« Last Edit: 14:03, 17 June 11 by redbox »

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Crisis in europe
« Reply #24 on: 14:07, 17 June 11 »
This guy, if I'm not mistaken, was beaten up very savagely. Ironically, the video that shows this shows him standing next to the cops for quite some time, very calm, and when he tries to intervene because they were beating someone else up they grabbed him instead. So yeah.

The GB is located at the top of Syntagma square and therefore you can see it in every other picture :D