Treaty of Versailles – Greek edition

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, July 14th, 2015 - 101 comments
Categories: Europe, International - Tags: , ,

The Treaty of Versailles imposed harsh economic reparations on Germany post World War 1, in order to collectively punish Germany, its people and its leadership for their role in that horrific slaughter.

Now Germany has done worse to Greece, according to some analysts:

Echoing a widespread view on social media, one financial analyst claimed the deal was worse than the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that crushed Weimar Germany with debt and paved the way for the second world war.

Marc Ostwald, of ADM Investor Services, argued that the eurozone creditor countries wanted “to completely destroy Greece”

Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman had this to say about the deal in the New York Times in a piece entitled “Killing the European project”:

This goes beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief. It is, presumably, meant to be an offer Greece can’t accept; but even so, it’s a grotesque betrayal of everything the European project was supposed to stand for.

Make no mistake, this has never been about economics and the practical mathematics of getting Greece to repay its debt. This has been about power politics and those with the power in Europe making an example out of Greece and its audacity to listen to the people and push back against austerity.

Of course, Zero Hedge summarised the modern reality of the European Union utterly succinctly:

20150713_principles

101 comments on “Treaty of Versailles – Greek edition”

  1. Mike the Savage One 1

    Yep, wait for a new election and ‘Golden Dawn’ to gain more votes, many more votes. On the other hand also the Communists may gain, leading to Weimar Republic style political conditions in Greece. Extremism will flourish. There is a wide sense of betrayal amongst Greeks, being betrayed by the Eurozone leaders, particularly the German government.

    • Gosman 1.1

      How exactly are they being betrayed when it is the Greeks asking for more funding and the Europeans agreeing to give them it (on certain conditions)? It would only be a betrayal if the Eurozone members had previously agreed to give funds to Greece unconditionally and then changed their mind.

      • johnm 1.1.1

        Hi Gosman
        It’s equivalent to giving a man a spade so he can dig the hole he’s in even deeper than before! For awhile he feels better as he digs himself into a pit he’ll never get out of. Greece must repudiate all of the debt and get a helping hand out of the pit with the aid of non EU friends like Russia and the new Brics bank just started up. Russia would give them bridging finance until they were back on their feet out of the EU.

        • Gosman 1.1.1.1

          The Greeks don’t have to accept the deal. They are free to refuse to do so. They will crash out of the Eurozone as a result but that is their choice.

          • vto 1.1.1.1.1

            There you go again with your simple simplicity.

            The Eurozone don’t have to offer the deal. They are free to refuse to do so. They will force Greece out as a result but that is their choice.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.1

              You are quite correct but they have offered the deal. It is now up to Greece to accept it by starting to implement the proposals. If they fail to do so then they will be forced out of the Eurozone in a very painful manner.

              • vto

                “You are quite correct but they have offered the deal. It is now up to Greece to accept it by starting to implement the proposals”

                Wrong. Too simple fulla, too simple…

                • RRM

                  What would YOU do?

                  If YOU were Europe and YOUR spendthrift, broke-ass neighbour was Greece?

                  Offer him YET ANOTHER big stack of no-strings cash? It’s all cool bro, just pay it back whenever you can / if you can?

                  I bet you wouldn’t.

                  • vto

                    That is no analogy – your question is a waste of time

                    • Gosman

                      I see a lot of dissing of other people’s views but little in the way of a practical alternative that might be taken. It goes to the heart of the debate about which approach should be taken yet you (and other leftists) seem unwilling to provide much in the way of detail of how this would supposedly work that would satisfy not just the Greeks but also European taxpayers or whoever would have to pay for it.

                    • vto

                      RRM’s analogy does nothing of the sort.

                      It is pathetic to compare such situations and exposes simply a simpleton

                  • greywarshark

                    @ RRM
                    You ask a question supposedly seriously and then you use emotional slang language. Always a bad sign when looking for a cool head and disciplined thoughtful discussion.

        • johnm 1.1.1.2

          ” A new deal for Athens is the worst of all worlds and solves nothing

          Like the Neapolitan Bourbons – benign by comparison – the leaders of the eurozone have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.

          The cruel capitulation forced upon Greece after 31 hours on the diplomatic rack offers no conceivable way out the country’s perpetual crisis. The terms are harsher by a full order of magnitude than those rejected by Greek voters in a landslide referendum a week ago, and therefore can never command democratic assent.

          They must be carried through by a Greek parliament still dominated by MPs from Left and Right who loathe every line of the summit statement, the infamous SN 4070/15, and have only agreed – if they have agreed – with a knife to their throats.

          EMU inspectors can veto legislation. The emasculation of the Greek parliament has been slipped into the text. All that is missing is a unit of EMU gendarmes.

          Such terms are unenforceable. The creditors have sought to nail down the new memorandum by transferring €50bn of Greek assets to “an independent fund that will monetise the assets through privatisations and other means”. It will be used in part to pay off debts.

          This fund will be under EU “supervision”. The cosmetic niceties of sovereignty will be preserved by letting the Greek authorities manage its day to day affairs. Nobody is fooled. ”

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11736779/Greece-is-being-treated-like-a-hostile-occupied-state.html?utm_content=buffer9ef69&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

          • johnm 1.1.1.2.1

            “Greek bailout deal highlights monumental scale of Syriza’s betrayal”

            ” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has signed up to an agreement that transforms Greece into a de facto colony of the European Union and places the country under the dictates of Germany.

            What remains of the Greek economy, above all its most valuable assets, is to be pillaged so that Athens can continue to pay back loans from the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

            Greece is to be placed under the direct control of EU officials. The function of Greece’s parliament will be to rubber-stamp the transfer of real authority to Brussels and Berlin. It has until Wednesday to pass a series of laws implementing the demands of German imperialism and the EU.

            Syriza, elected just six months ago on the basis of a pledge to end austerity, is set to endorse by a large majority of its parliamentary deputies measures that go far beyond those agreed by the New Democracy and PASOK government it replaced. ”

            http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/07/14/gree-j14.html

            ” Germany and the major EU powers are treating Greece as a conquered and occupied country. They are seizing the country’s wealth and imposing dictatorial control over its economic and social policies. They are demanding iron-clad guarantees that cuts in jobs, pensions and social services that have already slashed working class living standards in half and shattered the country’s health care system be intensified, with no end in sight.

            It is difficult to quantify the level of suffering these policies will impose. They will mean mass destitution, disease and death. Greece is being turned into a laboratory for imposing in peacetime the type of conditions previously associated with war.

            The aim is to make Greece an object lesson and precedent for imposing similar conditions on the working class across Europe. The attack is being led by an imperialist power, Germany, that invaded Greece three quarters of a century ago and killed hundreds of thousands of its citizens. ”
            http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/07/13/pers-j13.html

      • Mike the Savage One 1.1.2

        Al Jazeera reported on someone comparing the treatment of Alexis Tsipras during the talks as “mental water-boarding”.

        If you have 18 or 19 other heads of states gang up on you, at least most of them, bully you, and present you a take it or leave it “deal”, then this is not really “agreeing” on equal terms, is it?

        It is a betrayal of the principles the EU countries initially agreed on, but which have now been compromised beyond recognition.

        I suppose you are now desperately going to look for and present another angle to ridicule some contents and comments in this post and thread.

        Do you have a “life” besides of trying to seize hold of discussions, and undermine every commented whose political and other arguments you dislike?

        But let us view it as a bit of “sport”, shall we?

        • Gosman 1.1.2.1

          Turning up to a Eurozone meeting and begging for over 80 Billion dollars or additional funding is also indicative that someone is not an equal. Treating someone as a pauper who is acting like a pauper and is in fact is a pauper is not really doing anything beyond acknowledging reality.

          • RJL 1.1.2.1.1

            So how do you think a pauper should be treated? With dignity, compassion, and charity?

            • Gosman 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Or perhaps helped back on his or her feet with support but also supervision to ensure they don’t fall back in to bad habits that led them to their becoming a pauper in the first place.

              • RJL

                Right. So, what bad habits do the people of Greece have?

                • Gosman

                  Not following through on reforms fast enough it seems.

                  • RJL

                    And if the people of Greece don’t want these reforms?

                    • Gosman

                      Then they don’t get the money they need and their banks collapse and they will be forced out of the Eurozone and their economy will get much worse than it is now.

                    • RJL

                      a) That seems to have bad consequences for the rest of Europe too. Perhaps indicative of a “bad habit” that Europe needs to be saved from.

                      b) So, if a pauper isn’t interested in / convinced by your moral lesson, you will refuse to help them. Gee, you sound like a really swell guy.

                      c) You may be confused about the extent to which the general population of Greece is responsible for the current state of the Greece economy.

                    • Gosman

                      You seem to be arguing the opposite of the old adage the beggers can’t be choosers. In your world Beggers can ask, nay demand, to be given money and they will spend it any dame well way they like and we would be remiss not to give them what they want. I think that nicely sums up the left’s political philosophy.

                    • RJL

                      No my argument depends on:

                      a) What you do is your own decision. No-one forces you to do anything. If you don’t want to help a beggar you can’t blame that decision on what the beggar is or is not doing. Especially, if your argument for why that person is a beggar is that they make bad decisions. You are in the position to make a good decision.

                      b) The people who are / will suffer in Greece are not the people responsible for the financial situation in Greece.

                      c) The proposed solution(s) by the European banks won’t solve the problem.

        • RRM 1.1.2.2

          OF COURSE IT IS NOT “agreeing on equal terms”

          Greece wants to borrow money, and has little to offer in return but promises to run a tighter domestic budget in future.

          How in the world do you imagine this negotiation [is “equal” / should be “equal” / ever could be “equal”?]

          Something about beggars can’t be choosers comes to mind.

  2. Gosman 2

    I’m not sure I remember the Treaty of Versailles leading to Billions of Euros (or equivalent) of funds flowing INTO Germany to enable it to recapitalise their banks and restructure their debts.

    • dv 2.1

      You are not old enough.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Do you remember the Treaty of Versailles creating massive unemployment and economic stagnation in Germany?

      Come now Gosman why do you insist on ignoring your own comprehensive knowledge in order to point out irrelevancies?

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        What actually happened is that the German government decided to print huge numbers of German Marks to pay for the reparations. That led to hyper-inflation and economic problems. However I’m not sure it led to massive unemployment though. That occured more in the 1930’s in the Great Depression which had little to do with the direct impact of reparations (which had been restructured successfully in the mid 1920’s).

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          The Allies demanded reparations in GOLD MARKS and also in physical commodities like steel and coal.

          Again, you know this Gosman.

          • dukeofurl 2.2.1.1.1

            The actual amount of gold marks was only 20 billion which was equal to 1 billion pounds -the reserve currency at the time.

            This was very affordable for Germany given their GDP was 50 bill GM at the time . Bill English would love these numbers as a portion of GDP.

            Why shouldnt France ( and Belgium) require steel and coal as their industrial region was wrecked by the war while the Rhur was untouched.

          • Gosman 2.2.1.1.2

            “Because reparations were required to be repaid in hard currency and not the rapidly depreciating Papiermark, one strategy Germany employed was the mass printing of bank notes to buy foreign currency which was in turn used to pay reparations. This greatly exacerbated the inflation rates of the paper mark”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic

            • dukeofurl 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Yes , something like that, but the Germans lost the plot and got hyper inflation.
              The interesting difference with Greece who are made to privatise state business, is that the Allies forced the nationalisation of the german railways to create the Reichsbahn.

              And the reason for that, was the RB could take on a great whack of debt- to pay the war damage costs!

    • Mike the Savage One 2.3

      Give with one hand, and take more with the other (uncut debt and interest) is what we are talking about, which is of course not the same as the reparations payments demanded from post WW1 Germany by the victor nations. But the way unreasonable, unsustainable debt repayment and reform demands are made, enforced through harsh, draconian conditions and commitments forced upon the Greek government and people, that resembles the approach used through the Treaty of Versailles. I am sure that is what CV means with his post.

    • johnm 2.4

      Hi Gosman
      Greece owed the money to banks and bondholders. The troika has loaned the money to pay the aforementioned but the debt remains and worsening now owed to the troika instead which is imposing selloffs and privatisations of the Greek economy in the austerity deal plus impoverishment of ordinary Greeks. All the time the interest on the debt mounts up in this exercise of pillage and looting. ” Debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid”. We’re watching a nation being destroyed, how anti what the EU was originally for is that? The Financial Neoliberal sick-
      ness infects that institution.

  3. Why not call it what it is: the fourth Reich! And while Germany is the enforcer it really is the city of London with its US armed forces and NATO using Frau Merkel as the more pleasant face of the Troika! All Europeans countries are now under the rule of the little known European Stabilization fund. Unelected nonexistent for the law but in total control. But conspiring? Neh never! Our governments love us!

    Here is a nice doco about the US Version of the European Stabilization fund:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/presenting-exchange-stabilization-fund-5-parts-real-plunge-protection-team

    And here is a video about the European version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S161Kiv-CHA

    But conspiring? Neh, Except of course John Key get’s his marching orders from the people behind these monstrosities every time he goes to the bank of England and Brussels and Frankfurt and Wall street. But conspiring?

    • Gosman 3.1

      Why would the City of London care what happened to Greece beyond maybe an interest in the indirect effects of the Greek economy imploding? There is very little non-Greek private sector debt at risk now in Greece.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Because market volatility is profitable to traders, Gosman.

        But of course, you know this already, but are again just acting dumber than you are.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Volatility just offers greater opportunities to make money. There is no guarrantee that it will lead to that. Indeed it also offers the possibility for traders to lose more. In short some people benefit and some people don’t.

          • dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1

            Isnt that the truth.
            The biggest bailout has happened already, to European private banks and others.

            It should have been a Cyprus style haircut on the banks to start with, those that took the initial risk and the fees that went with it. Wall St all over again.

  4. RedLogix 4

    I would go a step further CV.

    What we are seeing here is a symptom of a theme I’ve returned to a number of times; the fact that we live in a globalised world – lack effective democratically accountable governance.

    The Eurozone was meant to look like a regional attempt at such a thing, but is flawed because of this lack of democracy.

    A succession of essentially corrupt right-wing Greek govts were pulled into a vortex of irresponsible corrupt lending, allowed the wealthy and powerful to make off with most of the benefits – and have stuck ordinary Greek people with the bill. The banks in turn conned the German taxpayer into the deal – and everyone is unhappy.

    The core problem here being that the banks have proven themselves more powerful than sovereign governments. There is a crucial opportunity to learn a hard lesson here.

    • Gosman 4.1

      Except they seem to have done it via following a very left wing economic platform. A large interventionist State and an inefficient narrow focused tax collection system in a political system riddled with corruption and cronyism. That seems to be the opposite of what most ‘Neo-liberals’ call for.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        an inefficient narrow focused tax collection system in a political system riddled with corruption and cronyism

        Failure to collect taxes looks pretty much just like an informal version of tax cuts to me. And that’s a very standard right wing platform.

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          No it’s not. Despite your views not many Right wingers argue for no taxation. The issue is mainly about having an efficient taxation system that is not too onerous. The size of Government is what matters more. If you can get away with a 50% tax rate on some wealthy people AND reduce the size of the State in the Economy I would support your position. Unfortunately that doesn’t look to be a viable policy.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.2

        So the Germans want the Greeks to work longer hours, while they have a system which keeps unemployment low by paying workers to stay at home for part of the week, a bit like the US payments to farmers not to plant crops.

        • Gosman 4.1.2.1

          No, the Germans (and other Eurozone members) want the Greeks to work better not harder. The Greeks already work very hard. They just don’t do it very effectively.

          • dukeofurl 4.1.2.1.1

            Tourism isnt something that can have the production lines speed up or raise your prices… unless you devalue your currency…..

            The northern right wing europeans are dead scared of the eurosceptic parties.

            The Finns lecturing on how to improve your economy? Who today remembers Nokia anymore.

            • Gosman 4.1.2.1.1.1

              And that is why Tourism is never a great industry to promote in any major way (despite what the Greens or even Key would like us to believe).

              • dukeofurl

                It does spread the money around, what would be the jobs in Queenstown otherwise. A prettier Mangakino ?
                The islands and Crete would be empty without tourists. Athens could survive but thats it.

                • Gosman

                  The trouble is that, except at the top end, it is a low margin low skilled industry. Productivity is therefore low and is one of the reasons the Greek economy is not very dynamic. The Greens (and others) seem to think it is a good thing to have two or three Tourists jobs versus say one mining job despite it likely that the Mining job will be paying more than all the Tourist jobs put together and the skills involved are much greater. It is a fundamental flaw in Green economics.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Mining doesnt have many jobs these days either. They only paid better in NZ because they could up and leave for Australia if they didnt.

                    One shift at Pike River had 30 people, and that was a $200 mill capital investment.

                    • Gosman

                      Your analysis is why many on the left don’t understand economics. Mining is usually much more productive than a Tourism based job. If you paid your average Hospo worker the same as the average Mining job the price of a Latte would be about $200 and a stay in a mid range Motel would cost the same per night as the latest Smart phone.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Mining more productive ?

                      That may be true when you have to drive a $5 million caterpillar super sized dump truck
                      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caterpillar_797.

                      But there will 1000 x more jobs for city bus drivers than mine dump trucks.
                      And the overseas owned company – are there ANY NZ owned mining companies left in NZ) will sell the product through a Singapore ‘marketing hub’ which leaves hardly any income for the NZ government.

                      Then there is where to mine. They are closing mines for coal around Westport, or gold around Reefton.

                      Economies need stable long term jobs, not dig it up in 10 years and be gone along with profits to Singapore.
                      At least tourism in Queenstown has a long term future, plus MORE jobs.

    • Olwyn 4.2

      The neo-liberal prescription seems to be about maintaining the dominance of the banks at the cost of almost everything else – if you’ve got a functioning democracy, manufacturing and a self-sustaining local economy you pose a problem for them, because you are maintaining conditions in which political alternatives are possible.

      When I think back to either Cheney or Rumsfeld, (I forget which) distinguishing between the “old” and “new” Europe, and Merkel telling Tony Blair, “We still make things Mr Blair,” it looks to me as if getting all of Europe under the neo-liberal yoke has long been a target. However, their prescriptions are divisive and the rough half of the population that find themselves economically excommunicated hate them. Moreover, they seem to be trying to achieve two things that don’t sit well together – they want to have a united Europe from which to stare down Russia via NATO, while simultaneously imposing conditions that have every chance of tearing Europe apart.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        It is debateable that the Greeks ever had any of those three things.

        • Olwyn 4.2.1.1

          Maybe, but large parts of Europe did, and as I said, I think that Europe as a whole has been the target, with its weaker members presenting a way in.

          • Gosman 4.2.1.1.1

            They should be attacking Germany not Greece if that was the case. Or perhaps they are and this is all a subtle plan where the ‘powers that be’ are successfully getting the bGerman’s to estroy their own economy by giving the Greeks Billions more in loans.

            • Olwyn 4.2.1.1.1.1

              The Euro is a shared currency and it is easier to get at it through the economically weak countries within its domain.

  5. dukeofurl 5

    “The Treaty of Versailles imposed harsh economic reparations on Germany post World War 1, in order to collectively punish Germany, its people and its leadership for their role in that horrific slaughter.”

    This is utterly wrong. This is neo nazi propaganda. Exactly as claimed by the far right and fascist parties in Germany after the war. So the nazis get their version of history to live on in Andersons bay.

    Absurd comments like ‘its leadership’- ridiculous when the kaiser and the whole monarchist-military clique were REMOVED TOTALLY from power – and this was done by the German people.

    Some people act as though they have never heard of the Weimar Republic, the first Chancellor of the republic was from the SPD.

    Then there is reparations
    “the actual amount of reparations that Germany was obliged to pay out was not the 132 billion marks decided in the London Schedule of 1921 but rather the 50 billion marks stipulated in the A and B Bonds. Historian Sally Marks says the 112 billion marks in “C bonds” were entirely chimerical—a device to fool the public into thinking Germany would pay much more.”
    Sally Marks- The Myths of Reparations
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/4545835?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
    and Wikipedia
    Sure it was difficult for Germany, because of their Federal system the government couldnt harness the full financial resources of the state. And in the end, the larger amount of damage and reconstruction was paid for by France and Belgium, with Germany using the full powers on inflation to reduce the value of what they did pay

    The so called ‘War Guilt’ clause of the Treaty of Versailles is nothing of the sort. Guilt is not mentioned !

    “The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.”

    All it does is put full responsibility on Germany – which they detested of course.
    Its impossible to see any other way around it. Was Belgium culpable ? Of course not

    With Britain in the naval race leading up to war, even the Brits saw this a financial problem and approached the Kaisers government to see if some sort of agreement to halt the battleship building. The response was that Britain would have to agree to be neutral in any European war, which later became more of a demand for an alliance.
    This was unacceptable for obvious reasons and indicated that Germany wanted war and wanted to win

    The most recent situation for reparations after war, is Gulf War 1 when Kuwait was to receive $41 billion for damage , but they only got about half of that as Saddam was removed in GW2 before it was all paid.

    [You’ve just used your one chance to accuse me or my Labour Party branch of spreading “neo-Nazi propaganda” before you get banned off my posts. Don’t do it again. CV]

  6. vto 6

    The problem is clearly not people, nor Greece, nor nation states, nor anything like that …..

    The problem is clearly debt. Debt and the west’s unsustainable money system.

    While that is ignored nothing will change

    • Gosman 6.1

      So Syriza was elected to change the West’s entire monetary system was it? Gosh those Greeks do have a powerful democracy.

      • vto 6.1.1

        what on earth are you talking about now?

        The IMF has said the debt is unsustainable.

        There is more debt in the world than there is money to repay it gosman. How does that work?

  7. Me: “I can’t pay you back that money you lent me. Also, I need you to lend me some money.”

    Creditor: “Well, shit. No more dosh for you unless you meet this list of conditions.”

    Me: “You can’t be serious! This is just like the Treaty of Versailles!”

    • Gosman 7.1

      LOL!

      Yes if it wasn’t the actual position of many people here it would be a great joke.

      • vto 7.1.1

        You have no appreciation for the history of debt and its masters actions …..

        you do realise that it is one of the most heavily regulated areas of society don’t you? Do you know why?

        • Gosman 7.1.1.1

          I’m well aware of how debt has been used for political purposes throughout history. Indeed the UK effectively took over Egypt mainly as a result of debts run up by it’s government during the construction of the Suez canal. The issue at that time was the debtor nation could have repudiated debts but the creditor nations just sent in the gunboats to enforce the terms and conditions or impse more onerous ones. In a sense it is similar to what is happening now but now it is slightly more civilised.

          • vto 7.1.1.1.1

            Then why do you ignore the political implications wrt Greece and keep claiming that it is a simple choice ?

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              It is a simple choice in the political and economic reality that Greece finds itself in today. You wish to make it more complex by postulating hypotheticals. That is well and good but hypotheticals don’t pay Pernsions or recapitalise banking sectors.

  8. RRM 8

    Greece already owes Europe a whole lot of money, and has just missed a repayment.

    Greece is now asking Europe for another loan on top of what they already owe, to cover day-to-day running costs,

    Europe is willing to make another loan, but that is conditional on Greece producing a tighter household budget.

    What’s the problem here exactly?

    • Gosman 8.1

      Something along the lines of Greece is made to concede a whole raft of policies in return for additional support I think. It seems like many leftists want Greece to get unconditional funding and debt relief. Leftists tend to be very good at deciding where other people’s money should be spent.

    • vto 8.2

      If you don’t know what the problem is then you should go get some learnings

    • dukeofurl 8.3

      None of what you are saying is correct.

      The money from Europe /IMF is mostly to roll over outstanding loans to Europe /IMF

      Their budget that they had before this agreement was a surplus for day to day running costs. They just couldn’t afford all the INTEREST on top of the running costs.

      The austerity demanded by Europe for the last 5 years has wrecked the economy and made the debt burden greater.
      They only want what Germany has had previously twice before , a writeoff of loans that they can longer reasonably pay the interest. Happens all the time- ask IRD !

      • RRM 8.3.1

        Borrow enough and lenders will eventually say “nah to hell with it, keep the money, we feel sorry for you.” Happens all the time? Really??!?

        • Galeandra 8.3.1.1

          Stupid is as stupid says……
          Do some reading if you really want to contribute.

      • Gosman 8.3.2

        I think the operative phrase here is that the Greek budget was in primary surplus BEFORE Syriza decided to mess things up by spooking the markets and causing a financial crisis in Greece. It may have paid for Syriza to have walked away from the Eurozone when they got elected. Instead they have wasted 6 months and poked the Greek economy so much that even if the defaulted on everything now they would still need support or make massive cuts to fund the difference.

        • Pat 8.3.2.1

          that is the closest you have come to an accurate statement so far…..except the main cause of Greeces recently exacerbated financial problems was the freezing of ECB support and the subsequent capital controls…. the primary surplus was slipping away BEFORE Syriza was elected, as a result of the austerity program that all except northern euro states accept, and THEY wouldnt have a vested interest in ignoring that fact would they…seen whats happened to the price of a beamer these past 15 years?

  9. sirpat 9

    look for all sorts of reasons Greece has f###ked up big time……however it would be better to write the debt slate clean perhaps with “austerity” measures and let them at least have a chance of functioning as a country…..the way it is laid out now there is no hope for the people and will surely lead to massive unrest et etc…..my view is that its a bit rich {pun intended} that all these other euro countries with neo lib doctrines want to punish the people for generations to come.

    • Gosman 9.1

      How about the Greeks reform their economy first and then request debt relief? A novel approach but if they had done that earlier we wouldn’t be discussing the need to reform the Greek economy at all and it would purely be about the level of debt.

      • sirpat 9.1.1

        the thing here mate is ….think about the ordinary people…………the majority of them WILL suffer whilst the “perpetrators” get away scot free

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          Who exactly are the ‘perpetrators’? I think you will find that they include much of the Greek nation.

          • DoublePlusGood 9.1.1.1.1

            Wealthy tax avoiders, shipping magnates, banksters – basically the top echelon of Greek society plus unscrupulous financiers.

            • RRM 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Lefty politicians who kept promising (and kept operating) a generous welfare state that cost more than their tax revenue could pay for.

              Lefty voters who kept demanding the above and voting for it.

              • DoublePlusGood

                Greece would have been fine if they actually just had their wealthy elites pay a fair share of tax. Their governments main fault was not being ruthless in clamping down on tax evasion and sheltering income offshore.

      • Aspasia 9.1.2

        It seems that the debt relief came first for Germany in the 1950s!! Then the economic miracle followed. Perhaps Germany could return the favour now to the countries which included Greece who wrote off German debt.

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/feb/27/greece-spain-helped-germany-recover

        • Foreign waka 9.1.2.1

          There was no real relief at all, 809 billion Euros later and still paying.
          The amount of selected history on this site is so biased that I come to the conclusion that there is a brand of racism going on.

  10. les 10

    ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’….Greece as an African state!

  11. greywarshark 11

    Some German satire on the Greek situation!
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afl9WFGJE0M_

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