Greece defaults

Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, July 1st, 2015 - 179 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Europe - Tags: , ,

The financial world is uncharted territory now as Greece has defaulted on and IMF loan repayment.

The Guardian’s live blog is the best place to go for news.

As the last Global Financial Crisis taught us, we’re in for another round of protecting the banks and letting the people suffer.

179 comments on “Greece defaults ”

  1. The Fairy Godmother 1

    The old testament of the bible talks about a year of jubilee where all debts are forgiven every sixty years. We need one internationally now.

    • G C 1.1

      Biblically speaking I thought debts were forgiven every 7th year? I could be wrong though. Also they (Israel) were suppose to let the land rest the whole jubilee year? Many of out modern day laws have their roots in the ‘old testament’. Example: Once a debt goes to a NZ Collection Company, they may retain/seek that debt for 7 years only.

      A ‘Global Debt Jubilee’ – in Greece I suppose you’d nationally call that bankruptcy.

      • Anno1701 1.1.1

        If a debt goes “unacknowledged” for 7 years it looses its validity and is wiped

        This means NO contact at all from the person that owes the money

        a debt CANNOT be sent to collection if it is being disputed, this is a good trick to keep the bill at bay until you can afford to pay it !

        some debt firms will write the debt of sooner , sometime after only two years

  2. Sable 2

    Now watch as the IMF and its crony capitalist pals use this outcome to punish Greece…..No doubt hoping for a colour revolution or the like as hardship sets in. Keep an eye out for over dressed old bats with free pastries on the streets of Athens…..

    Maybe time to dump the defunct EU and join BRICS…..?

  3. Colonial Rawshark 3

    Note that the IMF is continuing to support Ukraine even after 4 failed IMF programmes there, and Ukraine declaring its intention to again default to the IMF shortly.

    Double standards, politically motivated double standards.

    • To be fair, much of the reason for Ukraine’s problems was the looting of the treasury by the previous government and it’s mafioso cronies. And they are fighting to preserve their borders against a far bigger neo-fascist neighbour who has provided a safe haven for the looters. Not a lot like the Greek situation at all, really.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        Absolutely. Ukraine is in far worse a shape than the Greek situation. There is open warfare happening in Ukraine and it is absolutely against IMF rules to support a country within which a civil war is occurring and its government has lost control of its borders.

        That’s why I said it is a politically motivated double standard for the IMF to keep supporting Ukraine, but not Greece.

        • Gosman

          To be fair the IMF shouldn’t have even been helping Greece out either according to an article I read in the Guardian.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Since when have the IMF “helped Greece out” – what a fucking joke.

          • Jones

            The IMF haven’t helped out Greece…

            • Gosman

              Then the Greek government shouldn’t have asked them to bail them out.

              • emergency mike

                The Greek government /= Greece.

                Just what’s good for the National party is not necessarily what’s good for New Zealand.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Then the Greek government shouldn’t have asked them to bail them out.

                After reading through your comments, I don’t think you understand the situation facing Greece in the slightest.

              • linda

                the bailouts are not bailouts of Greece there bailouts of the German banks you cannot bailout a bankrupt country with More loans when the issue is a insolvency problem well good on Greece at last a government willing to stand up to the banksters. . And all the best of success to them its about time let the wreaking ball begin

                • Gosman

                  The German Banks have largely reduced their exposure to Greece to only a few Billion Euro’s. The vast majority of the Sovereign debt of Greece is owed to the Eurozone and IMF. It is going to be the average taxpayer in the Eurozone nation (and to an extent nations providing support to the IMF e.g. NZ) that will suffer not the ‘evil’ bankers.

                  • Tracey

                    Interesting. According tot he CEO of the NZ Initiative Germany is exposed to the tune of 80 bn as guarantor for Greece”s loans.

                    Imagine my surprise this morning when I listened tot he CEO agreeing with my opinion held for some weeks that the best option for Greece is to default and pull out of be thrown out of the EU.

                    • Gosman

                      Yes, the German taxpayer is essentially the guarrantor for much of the Greek debt. Hence why they don’t particularly like the idea of just allowing them to do what they want.

                      It may well be the best long term option for Greece (only because it allows them to reduce costs and lving standards via a currency depreciation) however it will have massive short term negative impacts.

                    • tracey

                      Yes Gosman I know that (about Germany being guarantors, I just wrote it and you replied ) and I have been stating that for a few weeks. There is no “right” answer to this, despite what you seem to be writing on this topic for the last week days (weeks?). It;s a choice between bad and bad.

        • te reo putake

          “… and it is absolutely against IMF rules to support a country within which a civil war is occurring and its government has lost control of its borders.”


          • Colonial Rawshark


            As Susan Schadler, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and a former deputy director of the IMF’s European Department, has pointed out, the key condition that the IMF only intervened when its lending would put the country’s debt on a sustainable path had been “effectively eliminated”. She says this raises key questions about the role of the IMF.

            Steil says the IMF’s intervention in Greece but also in Ukraine will “come home to roost”. In May, it agreed to provide an $18bn standby arrangement to Russia’s neighbour, supplying $3.2bn immediately, of which over a third was to pay outstanding bills to Russian gas exporter Gazprom. However, the IMF says the country could require as much as $19bn of additional international financing.

            “There are significant risks if the IMF is not going to get paid,” he says. “The Fund is clearly lending into a war zone so the sort of structural reforms they have been insisting on for many years have been made into a nonsense by the negotiations with Kiev because the government is simply in no position to implement reforms.”

            My bold

            • te reo putake

              “… and it is absolutely against IMF rules to support a country within which a civil war is occurring and its government has lost control of its borders.”

              Cite? you know, the actual rules it is “absolutely against”.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                TRP the IMF is a politically motivated organisation which has no mandate in its Articles of Association to lend into a civil war. Accept it, the major stakeholders of the organisation are using the IMF for political motives.

                • So, unable to provide proof positive and relying on stuff that doesn’t exist. See my comment @

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Well thank fuck you aren’t my examiner or my supervisor, despite how you continue to act.

                    [If this was a uni exam or essay, you’d fail for lack of citations. Like it or not, this is a moderated site where commenter’s behaviour is examined and supervised. So, let me make this clear, if you are asked to provide citations for things you claim as fact, do it. TRP]

                    • Phil

                      There’s absolutely no mention in the article you posted which supports your claim that the IMF cannot lend, or is restricted from lending, to nations currently engaged in war (civil or otherwise).

                      In fact, if you look at the map of who the IMF lend to it includes various countries that have a history of consistent instability. Liberia and Sierra Leone are the first two that come to mind.


          • Bill

            Article 1 “Purposes” (v) of their charter.

            Lending in an instance of civil war would be well outside the bounds of that clause. Also, and maybe not so oddly, it seems the Ukraine is the first time they have lent under such domestic conditions.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Thanks Bill I was struggling with how to phrase that one myself

            • te reo putake

              (v) To give confidence to members by making the general resources of the Fund temporarily available to them under adequate safeguards, thus providing them with opportunity to correct maladjustments in their balance of payments without resorting to measures destructive of national or international prosperity.

              Er, no, not that one.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Civil war is a “measure destructive of national and international prosperity”. The IMF is not supposed to be funding civil wars. The east of Ukraine is their mining and industrial area. Destruction of such areas is a “measure destructive of national and international prosperity.”

                • Desperate clutching at straws, CV. Ten minutes ago you didn’t even know that clause existed, now you’re misreading it in order to try and justify making a ridiculous claim.

                  A reminder; this is what you said:

                  “… and it is absolutely against IMF rules to support a country within which a civil war is occurring and its government has lost control of its borders.”

                  Do you have an actual citation that backs that claim up?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Let’s be clear, the IMF is lending to Ukraine to help fund its civil war and to help the right wing junta in Kiev kill its own citizens. That is utterly against the objects of the IMF as stated in its Articles of Association.

                    • So, unable to provide proof positive and relying on stuff that doesn’t exist. See my comment @

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      – Countries are prone to abuse their power; institutions which are supposed to be multilateral may not obey their own rules due to political reasons.

                      – Major countries of the past which are used to ruling are failing to adapt to a quickly changing world.

                      – Greece is “one of the least successful episodes in EMF history.”

                      -Ukraine “from the point of the view of the IMF can be seen as a second Greece.” Ukraine has had four large programmes with the IMF; the IMF has put a lot of money into Ukraine. It is very problematic.

                      – There is a difference in approach by the IMF to Ukraine and Greece. Part of the difference in the treatment of the countries is economic, part of the difference in treatment is political.

                      – A sense of disappointment exists within the IMF where the west now has to make a decision as to whether it wants to run existing multi-lateral institutions into the ground or to allow adaptation to a changing world.

                      – The US was once leading reform of the IMF to give more powers to emerging countries, but it is now blocking that reform.

                      – The BRICS countries have to clearly explain how they will handle issues differently to the style of traditional western powers.

                      from an Interview on RT with Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr, IMF executive director


                    • DoublePlusGood

                      It’s not a ‘civil war’ if it is being run by foreign combatants. For instance, the ‘civil war’ in Syria is international by any measure, and the same is true of the conflict in the Donbass.

              • Bill

                Are you suggesting that funding a civil war doesn’t run counter to without resorting to measures destructive of national or international prosperity!?

                • Nope, I’m suggesting that the clause is referring to financial measures. Obviously.

                • lurgee

                  “… without resorting to measures destructive of national or international prosperity” refers to the purpose of the funds, not the circumstances of lending. You found this clause in the purposes section, and that’s what ‘purposes’ means.

                  Reading the clause, it is clear that it is saying the fund’s purpose is to make money available to members to allow them to sort out their cock- ups without without having to do stuff that will destroy the nation, or the world’s wealth.

                  So nothing there about not being allowed to lend to countries at war.,

                  I appreciate CV is a chiropractor and thus unfamiliar with, or wilfully ignorant of, the concept of evidence, and the inconvenient way you can’t just make any old shit up; but I expected better of you, Bill.

                  • Bill

                    Well, in your world if the purpose is to facilitate recipients ‘not having to do stuff that will destroy the nation’, but doesn’t, by logical extension, involve not directly aiding and abetting said stuff, then our understandings of the world are very different.

                    • lurgee

                      Well, you gloss it. It seems pretty obvious to me, but maybe you can provide some crafty interpretation of the words that will show me the error of my ways.

                    • Bill

                      Looking at it this way. (simplified)

                      The purpose of me giving you money comes with safeguards so that you have no need to cause damage.

                      But then, and in spite of that lofty purpose, I give you money knowing that your going to use it to buy a gun to shoot people.

                      In that instance, can I be said to be acting in accordance with my professed purposes or not?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            March IMF cash injection to Ukraine coincides with quadrupling of Kiev war spending

            My take: IMF happy to lend into a serious military conflict, but unwilling to lend to pay for Greek pensions.


            • te reo putake

              Got a cite for your statement above, CV? Not someone’s opinion, but an actual citation that proves you weren’t just plucking meaningless words out of your arse?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                What’s your problem mate? If you have an alternative point of view, you come up with the citations for it.

                • Nope. It doesn’t work like that, CV. It’s your claim. You’ve been asked to substantiate it and you have failed to do so. This is not the first time. In fact, you seem to be doing it quite a lot lately and it’s pisspoor behaviour that leads to pointless, repetitive arguments. So much so, that it’s specifically covered in the site rules. So, even though I’m not writing this in the bold black ink, take it as a warning. If you are asked by a commenter to substantiate something you claim as a fact, do it. If you can’t, withdraw the claim and make it clear it’s your opinion only. Ok?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    So, even though I’m not writing this in the bold black ink, take it as a warning. If you are asked by a commenter to substantiate something you claim as a fact, do it. If you can’t, withdraw the claim and make it clear it’s your opinion only. Ok?

                    Meh. Where are you holding anyone else except for me to this authoritarian standard of forcing commentators to clearly delineate between their facts vs their opinions?

                    Not that its relevant here because as usual, you miss the mark wide. Let me repeat my comment above you are being critical of:

                    My take: IMF happy to lend into a serious military conflict, but unwilling to lend to pay for Greek pensions.

                    Can you read, mate? I said “My take” therefore I already clearly state that it was my opinion.

                    [I’ve pointed out the where you can find the policy on claims and citations, CV. It’s reasonable for a commenter to ask for a claim to be substantiated. It’s good manners to do so, when asked or, in the alternative, to clarify that it’s merely opinion.

                    Further, you’ve just tried to justify yourself by putting out a false narrative about my original question. As you well know, the sentence I asked about, several times, was this:

                    “There is open warfare happening in Ukraine and it is absolutely against IMF rules to support a country within which a civil war is occurring and its government has lost control of its borders.”

                    That’s a completely different sentence to the one you are now claiming I was asking about. In fact, it’s from an entirely different comment altogether. So, you’ve responded with a weak and transparent strawman with a little bit of abuse thrown in for good measure. Take a week off for wasting my time. TRP]

                    • the pigman

                      Here’s an idea, get off your moderator-power-abusing high horse for a second and remember how to use the “Reply” button, TRP. The way you cut in on posts to rebut them in the poster’s message in bold is, in my opinion, both “cutting in line” and delegitimising to the post in question. You could use the reply button, but no doubt you get a thrill from scribbling all over other people’s posts.

                      Also, might wanna revisit the Harmful Digital Communications Act and your obligations thereunder, wouldn’t wanna be accused of “cyber-bullying” would you?

                      [I do use the reply button, pigman. Pretty often, as it happens, as you can see any this post and in many, many others. If I reply inside the message, it’s moderation. If you’re having difficulty with the concept, feel free to take some time off while you learn its intricacies. TRP]

                    • Bill

                      Within the framework of nested replies, I believe I’m on safe ground to assume that Pigman was referring to the fact that you asked CV to substantiate an opinion that he had clearly submitted as an opinion – as essentially all comments are assumed to be unless otherwise stated by the submitter.

                      On the IMF lending criteria – from an altogether different nested portion of replies – relevant clauses from the IMFs own ‘constitution’ have been cited and interpretations debated.

                      Articles from recognised academics that have been provided, basically concur with CVs original assertion – that the IMF were acting in contradiction to their own founding documents in making loans to the Ukraine.

                      The general tone of disquiet expressed in Pigmans comment has been consistent enough through time and from so many regular commenters that it shouldn’t really need further elucidation.

                      (shrugs and walks off…)

                    • CV wasn’t asked about an opinion. He was asked about a very specific claim he made and he pissed around all afternoon avoiding doing anything close to answering a pretty straightforward and reasonable question. Something he has been doing regularly in recent times, actually. Then he lied about what he’d been asked. So … tough.

                    • the pigman

                      Yup, it was a signal of distress that CV had premised something “my take” and you had treated him in his post (and above) as requiring a citation. Just because a commenter employs hyperbole (to no dishonest purpose, merely to illustrate their view) doesn’t necessitate the third degree. What next? All uses of sarcasm to be flagged as such?

                      I realise that moderator-questioning gets looked at dimly here, but I recalled an accusation being levelled that only SR (because she was a female) was subject to such questioning. Perhaps in future this post can be cited for evidence of that fallacy :p

                      Basically, it seems to me that if you use your moderation power to cut in on posts and silence a valid opinion on the purposes of the IMF, and to make veiled ban threats, well…

                    • Seriously, pigman, I had no problem with CV’s opinion. However, he never said “my take” in the comment in question. He stated as fact something we now know is not fact. Instead of actually doing the right thing and either trying to corroborate his statement (if that was possible) or just saying ‘it was my opinion’ he evaded the question and wasted a lot of my time. He’s been doing this repeatedly on other threads and, as I pointed out, this leads to frustrating flamewars. Which is why the policy is really clear. If you make a statement of fact, be prepared to back it up.

                      Regarding the IMF, I agree with CV’s opinion in a general sense and Bill provided a link that actually backs the idea that the IMF is being inconsistent. But CV stated categorically that it was against the IMF’s rules (which would be astonishing, if true) and when asked to clarify, he chose to play the slippery eel. When he bullshitted about the question I raised, that clearly was a step too far.

                      Questioning my moderation is fine, as long as it’s respectful. But don’t assume that moderators are required to answer. I choose to this time, I may not next time. The mod questioning is hardly ever respectful with SR because this blog, like most others is not a safe, welcoming place for women. I don’t know what the answer to that is, but there it is.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      I am sadly disappointed for Colonial Rawshark.

                    • Lanthanide

                      My 2c: if I’d made a statement like that and been challenged to provide a citation, I would have done so or retracted / clarified. Not beaten around the bush.

                      Can’t say I disagree with TRP’s approach.

                    • maui

                      This is bull…., so if anyone can’t back up their comment with fact they can potentially be banned for not explaining themselves. Is this going to become a George Orwell inspired blog? I know CR is a prolific commenter, but it seems to me he cops a fair amount of harrassment for having views that don’t align with others. This looks like another attempt to close him down.

                    • pride cometh before the fall

                      could have been easily sorted if cv had put his pride away but that was a bridge too far obviously

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Maui views that don’t align

                      Bollocks. He said it was against IMF rules. That isn’t an opinion it’s a statement of fact.

                    • RedLogix


                      First of all that was a gross misuse of moderation. I’ve never seen anything that runs so completely counter to the spirit of The Standard ever. That it has gone unremarked by any other moderator is especially concerning.

                      Secondly on reading this document from someone who is the Head of the IMF:

                      And as the founding fathers gathered at Bretton Woods in 1944, peace was foremost on their minds. The pessimism expressed by Keynes a quarter century earlier now turned to optimism. As the conference ended, Keynes declared that by working together “this nightmare, in which most of us present have spent too much of our lives, will be over”. And in a sign of the times, he expressed his confidence that “the brotherhood of man will have become more than a phrase”. United States Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau shared this conviction, linking peace to shared prosperity and denouncing the economic policies of the interwar years. He declared that “Economic aggression can have no other offspring than war. It is as dangerous as it is futile. We know that economic conflict must develop when nations endeavor separately to deal with economic ills which are international in scope.” This is our legacy. From this stems our mandate.


                      I especially draw attention to the second to last sentence I have highlighted.

                      If the IMF is indeed funding civil war in the Ukraine – then I’d argue this runs counter to the strong sentiments uttered here. There may not be a rule written down in exactly the form trp has demanded – but it is not hard to discern that funding war runs absolutely counter to the purpose and mandate of the IMF:

                      Let me return to my main point. When the nations of the world come together to address common challenges in a spirit of solidarity, we can attain a virtuous cycle of peace and prosperity, and avoid a vicious cycle of conflict and stagnation. On first glance, this might seem incidental to the role of the IMF. But it is not. It underpins our mandate.

                    • Clemgeopin


                      Good points there RedLogix. Hope TRP will reevaluate his decision and reinstate CR now.

              • Michael

                Perhaps RT?

      • Bill 3.1.2

        And there was me thinking that when Yanukovych backed off from jumping in with the EU, that external actors did what they could to stir up shit and create an ever deeper crisis (capture of the government and installation of some very pro-Eu and lamentable characters)…that Russia then responded and….so on.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        To be fair, much of the reason for Ukraine’s problems was the looting of the treasury by the previous government and it’s mafioso cronies.

        I’m wondering how that’s different from Greece were the rich didn’t pay taxes, got massive government subsidies and Goldman Sachs acted to hide just how bad a financial state Greece was in because of that?

        • te reo putake

          Good point! But in one country it was criminal behaviour, in the other it was business as usual. Or the other way round.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So, what you’re saying is that Business as Usual is criminal behaviour?

            • adam

              The 21 century so far does appear to be “Business as Usual, is criminal behaviour”.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Is it too late to track down the Wall Street gangsters who lent them the money in the first place, knowing they could never pay it back, so as to grab the massive commissions? I guess they are all respectable boardroom boys and art collectors now, lounging on the super yacht.

    • Gosman 4.1

      Yes because the previous Greek governments were run by children who have no concept or understanding of what it meant when they borrowed the money and therefore can in no way be held accountable for their actions nor the Greek people who continued to vote for them and receive the benefit of all that borrowed money being spent on them. Basically Greece is incapable of being held account for their actions because the entire nation is mentally not up for the job /sarc.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        Gosman you’re a sick little fucker; as Bill has repeatedly stated the vast majority of Greek bail out funds went straight to international bankers and other creditors.

        • Ovid

          That’s because they were the ones holding Greek debt in the first place. It was Greece’s decision to fudge their economic data and join the euro. It was Greece’s decision to issue government bonds and borrow money as if their economy was as sound as the rest of the Eurozone. They set those bonds, they knew exactly when payment was due. It was Greece’s decision not to adequately enforce their existing tax law. This is the subprime mortgage crisis writ large as lenders were relying on inaccurate information about the state of Greece’s economy.

          It’s a shitty situation. Greeks have a right to be angry. But the lion’s share of that anger should be directed at the past 20 years of Greek government.

          I fear this whole debacle will severely damage the European project. It will make it much more likely that British voters will vote to withdraw from the EU in the upcoming referendum too.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            It’s a shitty situation. Greeks have a right to be angry. But the lion’s share of that anger should be directed at the past 20 years of Greek government.

            Please explain why you feel Greek pensioners and children should bear the brunt of pain for the misdeeds of the Greek 0.1% class.

            That’s because they were the ones holding Greek debt in the first place. It was Greece’s decision to fudge their economic data and join the euro.

            After many years and years of increasing Greek debts and deficits through the 1980s and 1990s, do you truly believe that Eurozone authorities and the ECB did not understand that the substance of Greece’s financial application to the Eurozone was utterly fudged and fabricated.

            Further, many commentators have said that the Eurozone was a flawed design to begin with as it was a currency union with no common treasury which could correct structural imbalances in trade between its constituent members. How is that a fault of the Greek people, or even previous Greek governments?

          • emergency mike

            “It was Greece’s decision to…”

            Should read “It was a handful of butt-covering short-term thinking Greek politicians, Goldman Sachs, and the IMF who ignored warnings, who together decided to…”

            Nobody asked Greece.

            • Gosman

              Every single election the Greek people were asked and every single election till recently they kept voting for the same people who borrowed and spent the money.

              I have little sympathy to Greeks (or their supporters) who claim it wasn’t them when it was in fact them who had the power to decide who ran their government.

              • emergency mike

                Goldman Sachs helped those same people to hide the true size of those debts. Aside from the astute readers of financial journals, the voters were not informed about that.

                And what about those Greeks who did vote against those people? Are they also ‘to blame’ for being deceived by a group of bankers and politicians who won’t be sacrificing their Ferraris?

                Or is it just market rules again – winners played a better game, and losers are losers?

                • Gosman

                  Really??? You think Goldman Sachs was helping multiple Greek governments hide the size of the debt over the past 30 odd years do you? The only evidence in relation to Greece and Goldman Sachs was one (or maybe two) transactions in either the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. Greek Debt was well known to be an issue before this hence why Goldman Sachs helped develop (quite openly) the arrangement they did.

                  • emergency mike

                    So the troika were compulsively lending billions to a nation they knew couldn’t pay? Doesn’t that make them loan sharks who share a rather large part of the responsibility for this mess?

                    And Goldman Sachs ‘quite openly’ arranged to hide the true size of the problem? Really???

                    • Gosman

                      Not really as the only reason they lent to them is because the Greeks were basically bankrupt. The loans were meant to be to provide a breathing space to enable the Greeks to reform their economy. However the Greeks haven’t done Jack so we are where we are.

                    • emergency mike

                      And they were bankrupt because of debt to the Troika. So the Troika lent them more and more so they could ‘sort it out somehow’ and pay back the now massively larger debt, to the Troika. Because that’s what you need in a bankruptcy debt crisis: more debt. Meanwhile Goldman is cooking the books to keep the sham going a little longer for the grateful govt.

                      But none of these financial experts and guardians of the European economy are responsible. They never had any choice, they just did what they had to do at every step. Their hands were tied. It’s the silly Greek voters who, in spite of all having high level knowledge of the workings of international finance, insisted that it all go ahead.

                      Btw how’s your campaign to stop our Govt’s ballooning record debt levels coming along? Vote well.

              • AmaKiwi

                @ Gosman: “Every single election the Greek people were asked and every single election till recently they kept voting for the same people who borrowed and spent the money.”

                New Zealanders do, too, because that’ how elected dictatorships survive. Parties put up smiley faces promising us the sun and the moon. Once elected they do whatever they think will bribe us to re-elect them.

                The most reliable bribes are “enjoy your cakes now and let the next generation pay for them.” That’s the farce we call “NZ democracy.”

                Without citizen initiated referendums we get irresponsible governments, just like the Greeks.

                • Gosman

                  You can have all the CIR’s you want in NZ. They won’t really make a blind bit of difference. Well the ones we have had so far haven’t. Regardless in NZ peopleare free to vote for any political party that takes their fancy and therefore if they pursue dodgy policies once in power the voters are to blame.

                  • AmaKiwi

                    @ Grosman

                    You say the VOTERS are to blame if the people they elect pursue dodgy policies and break their campaign pledges!

                    Grosman obviously doesn’t care if his posts are illogical.

                    Our past citizen initiated referendums don’t make a bit of difference because they are NOT binding. Binding referendums, like the MMP referendum, can make huge differences.

                  • Tracey

                    so when you knew that by voting for ACT you would be proppin gup the National Party in Government, anything they have done that is questionable we can point at you and go “na-na-na-na-na you are big dumb baby child?”

        • Switts

          I don’t see how anyone could argue that the bailouts and Austerity demands have been good for Greece, but Gosman is (at least partly) correct. The blame for Greece’s pre-financial crisis debt falls squarely on previous Greek governments.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Pre-financial crisis, Greek public debt was only 110% of GDP. After the involvement of these multilateral international institutions, that has substantially worsened to 180% of GDP as both nominal debt has grown while Greek GDP has collapsed.

            Tell you what, if the Troika proposed writing off Greek debt back down to a starting point of 110% of GDP, I’m pretty sure Tsipras and Varoufakis would agree.

        • Gosman

          I’m talking about the original debt the Greeks ran up. Did these just go to pay off the previous lenders? If so then the Greek governments were truly incapable as no other nation has this sort of problem. To think it took the Greek people so long to work out how incompetent their governments were as well. Guess they deserved the government they had.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            The Troika took those original Greek debts which were at 110% of Greek GDP, and helped turn them into debts equalling 180% of Greek GDP.

            And still you have nothing but good things to say about these multilateral institutions.

            • Gosman

              I have nothing good nor bad to state about the organisations. I will state that the Greeks were entirely free to not go to themwhen they got in to trouble. Noone forced them to do so just as noone forced them to borrow so much in the first place. Btw I suspect the figures you are basing the 110% of Greek GDP were slightly fudged by the Greek government at the time.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You’re such a bankster 0.1% arselicker.

              • Tracey

                and according to the rules of the game no one can force them to pay it all back.

                Even the CEO of the NZ Initiative agrees with me on that, and that the Greeks need to default (they have been bankrupt for years anyway) and get on with trying to get up again.

        • AmaKiwi

          . . . and 62% of Greece’s debt is owed to various European central banks and another 10% to the IMF.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Yep…and that’s after most of the Greek debt was taken off the hands of the private banks by some very generous EU initiatives…

      • JonL 4.1.2

        Well Gossie, perhaps this may enlighten you

  5. Jones 5

    I find Germany’s refusal to grant concessions to Greece all the more extraordinary when Germany’s current economic strength may never have been realised had they not been the beneficiaries themselves of a debt cancellation programme in 1953.

    I hope the Greeks go all out in testing this in the European Courts.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.1

      The Greeks are taking the legal position that there is no mechanism in existence which can remove them from being a full member of the Eurozone. A nice little maneuver if I do say so myself, which will take years to work through the courts, buying much time for Greece.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Except their banks will collapse and they will have no money to invest in their economy or even pay their pensioners. Yes a brilliant move. /sarc

        • Jones

          How is Iceland still going then…?

          • Gosman

            There is a big difference between Iceland and Greece. Do you know what it is? I’ll give you a clue. It starts with EU and rhymes with Blue-row.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Iceland canned its EU membership application. Smart people.

            • Jones

              I see the process as essentially the same with a few extra steps upfront… maybe that’s too simplistic but Iceland is still part of the EEA and able to trade freely with the rest of Europe.

              • Gosman

                Yes, yes it is too simplistic. they need to control their currency first. That will cause them a world of pain. Much worse than what Iceland went through. Iceland simply devalued (which makes everyone poorer in the country like Austerity but many lefties don’t seem to care about that).

                • dukeofurl

                  Oh no , I see what you are trying to do, rewrite history. Iceland was previously a poster boy for the big new deregulated world that was all the go for people like you and Key.
                  ( remember keys desire for NZ to become a ‘financial hub’ when he was in opposition and borrow heaps more as well ! Wasn’t he foresighted or a financial fool)

                  iceland did much more than just institute credit controls, the overseas owners of debt took a haircut. The Brits were just as brutal using anti terrorist laws to seize non state assets.

                • Tracey

                  more or less pain than the last few years?

        • AmaKiwi

          See above

          The banks won’t collapse because Greece’s debts are NOT owed to the banks. 72% are to European central banks (62%) and the IMF (10%).

          Everyone seems to be forgetting that while the debtor has an obligation to repay, the lender has an obligation to do diligence and make sure the borrower has the capacity to repay the debt.

          Lenders that don’t do “do diligence” deserve to lose the money they lent. 5 years of imposed austerity resulting in a collapsing Greek economy has demonstrated beyond any doubt that these lenders had no interest in helping Greece rebuild its capacity to repay.

  6. Gosman 6

    Here’s why Greece both needs reform and hasn’t really started yet.

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.1

      Don;t be fucking absurd Gosman; the Troika want Greece to cut pensions further and raise VAT even more. The last thing the Troika want is for Syriza to go after the Greek 0.1% bankster class.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        Notice the 30% VAT is a bit like the flat tax 30% GST the worst of the Rogergnomes are prescribing for NZ. We’ll get this here pretty soon if we don’t get the guillotine out.

        • Clean_power

          We need a 20%, not 30%, flat tax. An excellent idea.

          • McFlock

            Only an “excellent idea” if you’re an idiot or a sociopath with delusions of exceptionalism.

            Like most ACT supporters.

      • Old Mickey 6.1.2

        its a shame the germans didnt insist on Greek workers paying their taxes, and shop keepers declaring their income and paying their share of tax

        • Gosman

          Nothing is stopping the current Greek government from implementing tax reforms of their own. They don’t seem to be in any rush to do so for some reason.

          • Clean_power

            Syriza & Mr Tsipras appear to be out of their depth. The E.U. officials have said Mr Varoufakis, the Greek Minister of Finace, is “an amateur”. Not much hope for the country.

            • Gosman

              I do have a suspicion that this may well be a deliberate policy of Syriza to exit the Euro zone. The reason they are doing this is because the Greek people are firmly in favour of the Euro. Possibly they even like it more than they dislike the Austerity policies they have to follow. Knowing this the Syriza leadership has engineered a situation where it looks like the EU has kicked them out of the Euro rather than have them leave. Not entirely honest but they are a political party after all and therefore are suspect on the truth front.

        • JonL

          Well – Michael Hudson on this…”I’m in Germany now (on my way to Brussels), and have heard from Germans that the Greeks are lazy and don’t pay taxes. There is little recognition that what they call “the Greeks” are really the oligarchs. They have gained control of the old coalition Pasok/New Democracy parties, avoided paying taxes, avoided being prosecuted (New Democracy refused to act on the “Lagarde List” of tax evaders with nearly 50 billion euros in Swiss bank accounts), orchestrated insider dealings to privatize infrastructure at corrupt prices, and used their banks as vehicles for capital flight and insider lending.
          This has turned the banks into vehicles for the oligarchy. They are not public institutions serving the economy, but have starved Greek business for credit.”

          Amazing how people can glibly slag off a population based on nothing but hearsay and prejudice…..

          • Gosman

            No, no the Greeks who don’t pay all their taxes are far, far more than just a dozen or so “Oligarchs”. Many Greeks live in unfinished houses. The reason is you only pay a particular tax related to housing once the house has been completed. This is just one example of the many different ways average Greeks avoid paying their taxes. Also what has Syriza done to follow up on that list of Greek Tax avoiders do you know?

            • dukeofurl

              Maybe 5 years ago it was like that, but not anymore.

            • lurgee

              I might be inclined to take Michael Hudson’s word over yours Gosman. After all, other than a deft line in berating those who believe in paranormal sctivities, you don’t have much going for you in the knowing shit stakes.

            • Pat

    ……that lie can be perpetuated if your willing to make the same claim about the USA, Australia, Japan and South Korea to name a few tax havens.

            • Tracey

              by unfinished you mean a second story without a roof… yup, have seen it for myself. But then before the major selling of CC and mortgages through advertising making it seem like money for nothing most Greeks owned their home s outright and had for hundreds of years. But I am sure you believe that the banks had the right to use subliminal and borderline advertising messages to say one thing but hide another… you know, if the consumer wasn’t bright enough to see through it? Of course the Greek people have to take some responsibility and it seems they are very much in the process of doing so now by wresting back the control of their destiny, within the banking rules (which allow for defaults) and trying to rebuild from their. Pain both ways. But so do the banks, the EU countries/orgs who kept lending, the previous governments who chose to spend as they did (corrupt and legal)

              • Gosman

                You keep mentioning Greeks being offered mortgages and Creditcards as if the problem was caused by private debt. It wasn’t. The problem is with sovereign debt i.e. Government debt. This is because the Greek State spent more than it earned for year after year. Where did all this money go Tracey?

                • Clean_power

                  Greece spends around 40% of GDP on pensions, while in Germany is only between 10-15%. An unsustainable model that Tsipras and his radical government do not know how to change. A lost cause and lost country.

    • Well, according to Joseph Stiglitz further reforms along the lines of those the Troika has already imposed as conditions on its previous lending would be a disaster – and bad economics:

      In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.

      Of course, the economics behind the programme that the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25% decline in the country’s GDP. I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences: Greece’s rate of youth unemployment, for example, now exceeds 60%.

      It is startling that the troika has refused to accept responsibility for any of this or admit how bad its forecasts and models have been. But what is even more surprising is that Europe’s leaders have not even learned. The troika is still demanding that Greece achieve a primary budget surplus (excluding interest payments) of 3.5% of GDP by 2018.

      Economists around the world have condemned that target as punitive, because aiming for it will inevitably result in a deeper downturn.

  7. adam 7


    Go Greece you good thing!!!

    The stupidity of far right economics is now on display.

    I do wonder how many times an economic theory has to be discredited, before people realise that this particular economic theory will kill us off as a species, if we don’t stop it from ruining the globe?

    • McGrath 7.1

      It’s nothing to do with economic theory. Greece simply spent far more than what they could earn and is now paying the price for piss-poor economic management, corruption and widespread tax evasion.

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        Wishful thinking on your part, ignoring the role the private sector was in lending more money to Greece than they could repay- they even said look EU wont allow you to borrow more so we have the fancy scheme so they wont know about it.

        Another one for your economic theory;
        currently in the US only 3 companies have AAA ratings , yet the bond rating agencies have given AAA ratings to securitised car loans they entirely consist of those who bought cars with a bad credit rating.

        More stupid far right economics on display. The reason why JP Morgan and other were lending to Greece in spite of their poor credit rating was the expectation they would be bailed out.

        Which is what has happened over the past 5 years, private lenders have been paid and the EU and IMF have bought the debt.
        Private debt holders have had THEIR losses socialised , but no such luck for Greece

        • McGrath

          Be it Capitalism, Communism, Socialism or Feudalism, you cannot simply keep spending more than you’re earning without consequences.

          Greece borrowed the funds willingly and with eyes wide open. The fault lies squarely with Greece with the situation they’ve found themselves in.

          • BM

            Socialism- it’s always someone else’s fault.

          • lurgee

            Are there any developed nations that do not have debt? The USA’s national debt is about 18 TRILLION just now.

            It isn’t the debt, it is whether you can serve it that is the issue. And strangling Greece’s economy with austerity was not going to improve its ability to do that.

            • BM

              Greece needs to get it’s house in order but refuses to do so, that’s the issue.

              Greece needs to learn that there are consequences for it’s stupidity and arrogance

              Once change’s have been made no doubt money will become available, until then it’s going to be pain and suffering.

              • Tracey

                Greece is living the consequences of their past decisions. Anyone claiming otherwise is not truly watching this crisis unfold. It is pain and suffering now BM and has been for some time. They are now choosing what they think it the best path out of that pain. For over 5 years they have tried the austerity conditional loans and seen unemployment sky rocket, pensions plummet and so on.

                According to the rules of the game (set up by those who lent the money) defaulting on payment is a legitimate route. Afte rall many people and companies do it, and get to move on (with or without pain). Trump has done it 4 times and is now running for president.

            • Tracey

              That is why the USA has those intermittent crises when the vote doesn’t go through and they can’t pay their public servants… but there isn’t the same name calling and condemnation from those doing the same to Greece. I know it is not entirely apples and oranges but on one level it is a close enough analogy

        • Gosman

          Where did the Greek government spend the money that they borrowed dukeofurl?

      • adam 7.1.2

        Do you realise your responses are couched in the theory I’m calling discredited -McGrath?

        No wait I see your not alone. BM liberalism blaming game much…

        Really come on people keep up. Sheepish, what happened to critical thinking.

        Here some Maximum The Hormone

        Maybe that will expand your brain…

      • Tracey 7.1.3

        and according to the rules of this particular economic game, having been bankrupt for a few years may now call it quits and legally default on their loan cos that is how the system works.

    • gnomic 7.2

      Perhaps restrain your jubilation unless you are a masochist as events in Greece may well cost us all dearly.

      As to informing the world that neoliberalism is a death cult don’t hold your breath. Your fellow citizens couldn’t handle the truth after decades of indoctrination that capitalism is God’s gift to humanity. Reality may break through when the banks shut down the ATMs here but not before then.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Greece’s fundamental issues are as much a fault of ‘neo-liberalis’ (whatever that might mean) as North Korea’s constant droughts are.

  8. Rawsharkosaurus 8

    Capitalism got Greece into the shit. The previous Greek government thought capitalism would get them out again. It failed. The IMF want the new Greek government to try capitalism again. There’s a word for the sort of people who believe that repeating a previous action will achieve different results…

  9. G C 9

    IN Greece 2 Years Ago: People were donating to community drug stores their unused antibiotics, painkillers, cancer medications, etc. From babies to the elderly – people simply couldn’t gain access to basic medications to perpetuate life.

    They are now being asked if they are willing to have more austerity placed on them and agree to more indebtedness.

    I hope the Greeks VOTE NO (defaulting on their debt) – giving the Euro-Zone the proverbial finger and rebuild their economy. Perhaps establishing a government issued currency to transact with inside Greece – and their former currency for both internal & International trading.

    • AmaKiwi 9.1

      Wait until you hear the howls of “traitor” from the EU/IMF when Greece rebuilds using financial aid from China, who are developing half the port of Pireaus into the largest container terminal in the Mediterranean. The Chinese could lease the other half for “ship repair and maintenace” (i.e. their navy).

      The Russians are in Syria to protect their naval base in the Mediterranean. They might swap oil and gas for a “scientific observation base” (i.e., naval base) on one of Greece’s many islands.

      A Muslim country might pay handsomely to have a similar Greek island as a “scientific observation base” which would threaten Israel’s exposed Mediterranean flank.

      The geo-political possibilities might make the Europeans wish they had re-built Greece instead of stripping its assets for their own profit.

    • Tracey 9.2

      This notion that they are not somehow suffering now that some here are peddling or omitting from their condemnation, is a joke.

      This country has been broke/bankrupt for a few years and all that has happened is that those who can still have work have been paying to repay the loans. They may have themselves to blame as some so charitiably put it, but they have had enough and it is clear to anyone with eyes wide open that the pain is such that they now don’t care if it gets worse (as it has been for the last few years under the loan conditions) as long as they feel they have some control over their own destiny.

      Unemployment has risen under austerity measures, by ALOT. Unemployment amongst those over 60 has risen from 6% to about 20% since austerity. That is so-called bludging pensioners trying to work for a living.

  10. Ad 10

    I just weep for Greece.
    There are no good options.
    It is so beyond my experience to even think about options.

    I can only dimly remember the worst of economic times during Muldoon’s third term.
    All the gloom, the stumbling crisis of Think Big, the lack of future for NZ, the perpetual terrible headlines, the culture of massive protests.

    Even trying to imagine this kind of impact in New Zealand is just impossible.

    I also fear for Syriza and all parties like them, for the reputational risk to the left broadly. It kind of feels like reading about the fall of the Spanish Republicans.

    • adam 10.1

      Why what are they going to do to Greece – really, what?

      The EU needs Greece, NATO needs Greece and well Greece is going to keep on being Greece.

      Not much to worry about Ad – Because at the end of the day. All that has happened is we are seeing the lie that is capitalism. Will it shut down the shops, stop people from working, create a situation worse than it currently is inside Greece – Probably not. And this is the irony of it all.

      All these people moaning about Greece and the Greeks miss one thing. Greeks are Greeks, and they will do what ever it is to survive being Greek. So the country falling apart – Nah. People starving – Nah. I think people here don’t realise it has been quite crap in Greece for a while, and the Greeks know it. Maybe now they can just do things their way – what ever that is.

      Oh and Greece, its a survivor – I expect it will survive this – what ever this is, apart from a whole bunch of right wing turds getting all uppity and playing the blame game.

      • miravox 10.1.1

        I dunno Adam. I went there a month or so ago. I saw landscapes littered with half-built then abandoned houses and tourist ventures, and talked with people who had to leave their families behind in Athens so they could work 5 days a week for 500 Euros/month instead of 7 days/week for 500 Euros per month. Others who found themselves working for bugger all in the tourist areas to take the pressure off their grandparents’ pensions which were used to feed whole families from 50-year-old children down. These are the pensions the creditors want to cut.

        This is a big deal and it is worse for young people than it has been before. And that’s for the ones who have stayed in the country.

        I agree entirely with Ad. As well as the pressure on the people, the political pressure on the Syriza government from the EU is enormous. I’m not sure the left in Mediterranean Europe will survive this.

    • maui 10.2

      Imagine how crap it’s going to be if we have a big economic crash with the muppets we’ve got in charge now holding the reins. Probably doesn’t bear thinking about it.

      • Ad 10.2.1

        No I can’t see a great second GFC out of this.

        There will be an ugly fight about blame, attribution, and causality to the whole mess in the weeks that follow. No one’s reputation will be undamaged, and most will be diminished.

        What matters a whole bunch more is a society undergoing astonishing upheaval, savings devastated, those who can emigrate emigrating, long term unemployment and millions of lives wasted and stunted through lack of opportunity from the time they were young, pensioners scraping by on the scrapings the state pension will be by the end of this, roads and utilities crumbling through lack of care and money, the lawlessness of the black market, hospitals that close or vastly shrink with specialists who never come back, the great falling-apart of society in accelerated decline.

        It’s the people that matter more in the whole of this.

        • Tracey

          maybe all countries should default on all their debts and start again… it might even out in the end 😉

  11. sabine 11

    its funny how many like to slack of the Greeks for voting in the worng party, spending more then they earn, run up debts and the likes and how they are all lazy, and the shopkeepers don’t pay tax and yada yada yada.

    Replace Greeks with Kiwi. Thats us in a few years. All assetts sold, no new jobs created, Tax revenue down cause the shop keepers don’t even open the shops anymore and anyone and everyone trading as they can to stay afloat.

    How much is our national Debt currently, How high is our domestic debt – Mortgages and Boats 🙂 Feel confident? Feel good about the Government that got voted in. What yer did not vote for it? Thats not what you expected them to do? Well I guess we are shit out of luck.

    • RedBaronCV 11.1

      Yep this is where NZ is heading. in the meantime is there any point in the rest of the world crowd sourcing a few US dollars cash or the like each and handing it out to individual greek people ? Give them time to print their own currency nationalise a few things and get back up an running.

      • sabine 11.1.1

        actually they could issue something like the depression era scripts that have been used in the States and Europe for internal use until the physical lack of money has been taken care of. Monetary reforms we have had them before. I mean really, What is the world going to do, Invade Greece? Auction it off to the higherst bidder?

        • RedBaronCV

          Yeah their own internal currency would enable the local trade and I seriously wonder whether inbound tourists would be happy to bring in some of the external things Greeks need – like medications – they could be the only country to collect drugs at the border and hand them over to the hospitals – publish a list – keep the Greeks going so they can sit out the Troika

          • RedBaronCV

            There is an article in the guardian about a crowd sourcing to bail out the ordinary greeks – going very well. I’m well behind

          • Gosman

            You are so naive. Greek business activity has plummeted. The reason for this is largely two fold. First they are finding it very difficult to source capital to fund purchases. Second noone is buying Greek products and services because they think the businesses will go bust and they won’t get what they paid for.

            • Tracey

              third most money being earned by companies and individuals is flowing out of the economy to repay interest.

    • Gosman 11.2

      Ummm… you do know there is a difference between not paying tax that you should and not having to pay tax due to not earning enough don’t you?

    • AmaKiwi 11.3

      @ sabine

      There are three OECD countries that have NEVER in the past thirty years had a positive balance of payments: Greece, NEW ZEALAND, and Australia.

  12. vto 12

    This makes a complete joke of the western world’s financial system…

    Old people must go hungry so bankers get their interest.

    And how can it be that the money has stopped? It is just frikkin printed bits of paper ffs. If the germans or the americans or the rothschilds wont print it then I am sure there are countless others willing to print it.

    The lending is a joke

    The debt is a joke

    The financial system is a joke

    which is why so many societies have and do today outlaw usury……….

  13. The Greek government has just conceded most of the matters tabled by the troika over the weekend in order to get a deal done:

    • Ad 13.1

      It won’t be enough now.
      The troika will impose harsher conditions than before.
      Madness on both sides.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2

      “Conceded”, with a bunch of extra clauses that change the things being conceded, doesn’t strike me as much of a concession.

      I hope the Greeks follow the USA’s example and vote no.

  14. Gosman 14

    The reason why things are unlikely to end well for Syriza

  15. Karen 15

    Interesting report from a NZ journalist from the streets of Athens:

    I travelled around Greece is 1998 and stayed with Greek friends in Athens for a month in 1999 when the drachma was the currency. That was before they staged the Olympics at huge cost and decided to go with the euro. The difference between Greece in 1999 and now is mindblowing.

    Accepting more austerity as the price of retaining the Euro is madness. Their economy continued to shrink through the last 5 years of austerity while the debts grew. With over 60% youth unemployment now there is a huge social cost continuing to shrink the economy.

    I hope the Greeks say ‘no.’

    • Gosman 15.1

      The Greeks are free to leave the Eurozone so they can attempt to take control of their monetary policy and avoid austerity. Of course they are generally reluctant to do this hence why Syriza is basically lying to them that they can do away with Austerity and stay in the Euro. Essentially they are another in a long line of Greek governments who are not telling the Greek people the truth.

    • greywarshark 15.2

      This comment from Karen’s link :
      The German government of Angela Merkel has been the most adamant in opposing debt relief, or at least putting it off until further austerity measures are well implemented.

      I keep thinking of Germany under stress to pay for war reparations after WW1 and the advance of Hitler accompanied by brutality and coercion by his strongarm gangs. Then Germany after WW2 given Marshall Plan rebuilding money while Britain stayed in austerity on ration coupons for years, and paid the USA for war assistance to win the war.

      I think it is time for Germany to come down from its high horse and extend some reasoned assistance to Greece which has slipped down this very slippery slope which apparently Germany helped grease.

  16. JonL 16

    The Greeks are in deep shite whichever way they go. Surely it’s better to go in the direction that has a way of getting out of the shite, than staying mired in debt-bondage slavery for the next 30 yrs, which is where “austerity” will take them.

  17. johnm 17

    “Troika Plan For Greece –
    Endless Pillage & Regime Change”

    ” Banker-controlled Troika officials intend using Greece as a model for what’s intended across Europe – devastating neoliberal harshness creating a continental dystopian wasteland for ordinary people.

    Greece is being systematically raped and pillaged. It’s economy contracted over 25% since crisis conditions erupted in 2008. More than a million jobs were lost.

    Overall unemployment exceeds 25% – for youths it’s 60%. College educated and other young people have no futures in Greece. Its best and brightest are leaving en masse.

    Workers lucky to have jobs receive lower or frozen pay along with few or no benefits. Vitally needed social services are disappearing altogether.

    Pensions for many retirees are slashed by up to half since 2008. Troika bandits want stiffer cuts. They want Greeks starved to death so super-rich bankers can be wealthier than ever. “

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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    5 days ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    5 days ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    6 days ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    6 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    6 days ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister attends global education conferences
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford will head to the United Kingdom this week to participate in the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) and the 2024 Education World Forum (EWF). “I am looking forward to sharing this Government’s education priorities, such as introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum, implementing an evidence-based ...
    7 days ago
  • Education Minister thanks outgoing NZQA Chair
    Minister of Education Erica Stanford has today thanked outgoing New Zealand Qualifications Authority Chair, Hon Tracey Martin. “Tracey Martin tendered her resignation late last month in order to take up a new role,” Ms Stanford says. Ms Martin will relinquish the role of Chair on 10 May and current Deputy ...
    7 days ago
  • Joint statement of Christopher Luxon and Emmanuel Macron: Launch of the Christchurch Call Foundation
    New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and President Emmanuel Macron of France today announced a new non-governmental organisation, the Christchurch Call Foundation, to coordinate the Christchurch Call’s work to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.   This change gives effect to the outcomes of the November 2023 Call Leaders’ Summit, ...
    1 week ago
  • Panel announced for review into disability services
    Distinguished public servant and former diplomat Sir Maarten Wevers will lead the independent review into the disability support services administered by the Ministry of Disabled People – Whaikaha. The review was announced by Disability Issues Minister Louise Upston a fortnight ago to examine what could be done to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Police gang unit
    Today’s announcement by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of a National Gang Unit and district Gang Disruption Units will help deliver on the coalition Government’s pledge to restore law and order and crack down on criminal gangs, Police Minister Mark Mitchell says. “The National Gang Unit and Gang Disruption Units will ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand expresses regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s aggressive rhetoric towards New Zealand and its international partners.  “New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr ...
    1 week ago
  • New Chief of Defence Force appointed
    Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies MNZM is the new Chief of Defence Force, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. The Chief of Defence Force commands the Navy, Army and Air Force and is the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister and other Ministers with relevant portfolio responsibilities in the defence ...
    1 week ago
  • Government puts children first by repealing 7AA
    Legislation to repeal section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has been introduced to Parliament. The Bill’s introduction reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the safety of children in care, says Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “While section 7AA was introduced with good intentions, it creates a conflict for Oranga ...
    1 week ago
  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
    Defence Minister Judith Collins will this week travel to the UK and Italy to meet with her defence counterparts, and to attend Battles of Cassino commemorations. “I am humbled to be able to represent the New Zealand Government in Italy at the commemorations for the 80th anniversary of what was ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter schools to lift educational outcomes
    The upcoming Budget will include funding for up to 50 charter schools to help lift declining educational performance, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today. $153 million in new funding will be provided over four years to establish and operate up to 15 new charter schools and convert 35 state ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference consultation results received
    “The results of the public consultation on the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into COVID-19 Lessons has now been received, with results indicating over 13,000 submissions were made from members of the public,” Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden says. “We heard feedback about the extended lockdowns in ...
    1 week ago
  • The Pacific family of nations – the changing security outlook
    Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, other Members of Parliament Acting Chief of Defence Force, Secretary of Defence Distinguished Guests  Defence and Diplomatic Colleagues  Ladies and Gentlemen,  Good afternoon, tēna koutou, apinun tru    It’s a pleasure to be back in Port Moresby today, and to speak here at the Kumul Leadership ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Papua New Guinea to work more closely together
    Health, infrastructure, renewable energy, and stability are among the themes of the current visit to Papua New Guinea by a New Zealand political delegation, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Papua New Guinea carries serious weight in the Pacific, and New Zealand deeply values our relationship with it,” Mr Peters ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving ahead with Roads of Regional Significance
    The coalition Government is launching Roads of Regional Significance to sit alongside Roads of National Significance as part of its plan to deliver priority roading projects across the country, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “The Roads of National Significance (RoNS) built by the previous National Government are some of New Zealand’s ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand congratulates new Solomon Islands government
    A high-level New Zealand political delegation in Honiara today congratulated the new Government of Solomon Islands, led by Jeremiah Manele, on taking office.    “We are privileged to meet the new Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet during his government’s first ten days in office,” Deputy Prime Minister and ...
    1 week ago

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