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Can Greece learn to balance its books?

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    Posted: 09 Jan 2010 at 16:25
Privately i have been bitching about the Greek economy for a while. its been in structural deficit for many years.

But now their economy has had its pants pulled down during the GFC, so everyone can see it was barely solvent in the best of times.


Quote

"Whoever believes that, at the end, the European Union state member will put their hands in their pockets to save Greece, will end up deluded," Stark told Italian financial daily newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, in an interview published Wednesday.

Stark told the newspaper that Greece's budget woes were created "in house" by the nation's profligate government and weren't the result of the global economic crisis.

In a television interview, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said Stark's warning was unnecessary because Greece won't require a bail-out.

"Frankly we don't need that clarification," Papaconstantinou told Bloomberg Television. "We don't expect to be bailed out by anybody as, I think, it is perfectly clear we're doing what needs to be done to bring the deficit down and control public debt."

www.marketwatch.com/story/ecbs-stark-warns-no-bailout-for-greece-2010-01-06


This Papaconstantinou  is smoking weed or something

Greece has few choices left as far as i can see;
  1. make politically tough choices and cut expenditure - balance its books on its own like a grown up
  2. fail in the above and let the EU micromanage it as if it was a child and  relinquish some sovereignty along the way
  3. not let the two above happen and risk getting the boot out of the union.

The ECB ala Germany and France will not save it, there is allot of tough love coming from the big boys and little charity judging from the comments i've quoted above. rightly so.

can Greek politics make 1 happen?  and what would the consequences of 3 be like for the rest of the union? consider the other 'PIGS' economy are almost as bad (spain is worse on aggregate debt) vs. Greece.

so far Greece has not impressed anyone with a real and concrete action plan juggling the books wont help the underlying issue

Quote

Greece tried to convince European Commission officials in Athens yesterday that it has the right formula for putting its finances in order and averting the risk of bankruptcy but the visitors from Brussels were looking for more than just the right fiscal figures.

Government sources said that the EU officials, accompanied by representatives from the European Central Bank, focused on how Greece plans to improve on its poor competitiveness, which has made the country one of the worst places in the world to do business, according to international surveys.

The visitors, scheduled to end their three-day trip today, grilled Greek officials as to how and when the government will deregulate labor markets and slash red tape, calling for the details to be clearly outlined in the Growth and Stability Program to be submitted to Brussels at the end of the month.

«The problem of the large deficit is not being addressed by the EU as a single factor,» a Greek government source told Kathimerini English Edition. «It is being assessed along with the high current account deficit and our competitiveness.»

link
more of this to come, get use to it..

5 things that need to be done in my mind - these are not tough choices!
  1. slash the public bureaucracy by two thirds - Australia could do that and get by with little loss of service - Im sure Greece has much more fat to trim there
  2. a robust and transparent tax system, no funny business- pay your taxes!
  3. do not rely on tourism for income  - diversify into making something other than doctors, lawyers and bureaucrats. Someone needs to create exports to pay for those other jobs...
  4. For crying out loud retire at 65 not 40 or 50 and cut that pension system its whats tipping the country over
  5. have kids (not just one) the demographics is the final nail. this me me me thing is OK in moderation but cant be repeated without family family family. our parents had kids and worked very hard (not partied but worked) for their kids future - it was always about the kids kids kids

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=a4OK1qJLrwEQ
http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2009/11/17/83741/its-all-greek-to-the-european-bond-market/
http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/12/16/114361/another-downgrade-for-greece-sp-cuts-bbb/
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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2010 at 14:53
What has Greece been spending its money on?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2010 at 17:14
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

What has Greece been spending its money on?
bureaucrats and their tax income is too small due to low productivity, non compliance and aging population.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2010 at 18:11
Hello to you all
 
I was going to write about this and the unrest for quite sometime.
 
I don't know about the problems in Greece but I know one thing for sure, all solutions are temporary with the current negative population growth. Greece simply needs more babies and if this means immigration then so be it and even this is not going to work on the medium term since they will need between 20-40 years untill the baby boomers starting from today to enter the workforce and by then these will be so taxed they will probably migrate.
 
A temporary solution is immigration. Unfortunately for the greeks there is only one possible regional source of immigration and many Greeks would rather see their country go to the dogs than allowing Albanians to come and work especially with all the land claims and cultural/religious tensions.
 
While I support what Leo said above I still think that these are not enough reforms.
 
Greece still has a relatively large army which it doesn't need since it is an EU/Nato member (and believe me even if Greece strated a hypothetical war on Turkey there is no doubt where both will stand) and is (and don't be angry) useless in case of war with Turkey (and this has a very very very small chance of happening) and too big for the surrounding countries. Scrap the national service too for the same reason.
 
The pension system should be totally scrapped too and replaced by a 401k-type system+social security. It will save alot of money and reduce the national debt.
 
And if all that doesnt work Greece still has a magical solution in its hand: Enosis..... with TurkeyBig smile. Econmically, everybody will win.
 
Al-Jassas
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2010 at 18:49
Al Jassas!
You're absolutely right about Greece having a large army for no reason. Indeed Greece spends so much money on it, that if 1/3 of it could be cut it would be enought to steadily correct the economical problems without taking that hard measurements as they do now.

From what i see, there's no doubt Greece will follow the instructions of the EU to achieve economical stability. There's no other way out of this and none of those economical experts want anything bad to happen to Greece's economy. What makes me sick, is what the rest of the political parties do, especially the small ones. I'm not an economist, but i can tell that many political leaders in this country are incompetent when dealing with economical issues. The goverment for example specifies that special taxes will be applied to people that have quite big salaries. The next day, some political leader goes out on tv and says the goverment will put taxes to low salaries! There's so much missinformation that it makes people crazy. Dirty and raw political games, in a time when the country need a strong political cooperation for the common good of anyone!Angry

Anyway...When it comes to Turkey i don't think anything will ever happen. However, Greece many years ago asked from the EU to define it's borders so that any attack (hypothetically) towards Greece or any EU country would mean attack against the EU. Apart from that, Greece and Turkey are 2 of the favorite clients of the weapon industry. You can guess a lot of dirty games are played in order to make both countries buy weapons continiously.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2010 at 20:56
Greece has its options limited by being in the Euro zone.  I am so glad the UK did not join, but that hasn't stopped the Brussels minions propagating that had Britain been in the Euro then the impact of the recession would have been mitigated.  What BS.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 22:06
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Greece has its options limited by being in the Euro zone.  I am so glad the UK did not join, but that hasn't stopped the Brussels minions propagating that had Britain been in the Euro then the impact of the recession would have been mitigated.  What BS.
Britain would of killed the euro if it had joined the EU. The EU wouldn't have had enough money to save the UK.

Now the UK can print money and kill the pound instead, much more flexible and everyone is happy.

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Greece still has a relatively large army which it doesn't need since it is an EU/Nato member (and believe me even if Greece strated a hypothetical war on Turkey there is no doubt where both will stand) and is (and don't be angry) useless in case of war with Turkey (and this has a very very very small chance of happening) and too big for the surrounding countries. Scrap the national service too for the same reason.
 
The pension system should be totally scrapped too and replaced by a 401k-type system+social security. It will save alot of money and reduce the national debt.
 
And if all that doesnt work Greece still has a magical solution in its hand: Enosis..... with TurkeyBig smile. Econmically, everybody will win.
 
Al-Jassas
 
Albanians work hard and the Greeks have stop being scared of them. WTF harden up.

the pension system has to go, certainly mentioned the babies as a big issue. Problem with Greece is their culture, they dont understand that they cant just have money, poeple don't want to invest there and give jobs because they dont want to build up a crappy pension liability later on. No kids? whos going to pay of the pension? individually they think they make sense, as whole its a crumbling mess.

No one wants to pay tax but this gaming the system mentality; maximising gains with as little input into the system as possible, robs the country and all the individuals in the long run. We all do it, but the system has to be robust enough to minimize the wear. They have little systems, hec they dont have a national land register! too easy to corrupt

 The US 401k is not strong enough AJ, the US needs to take a look at how we do it; the Aussie super system is mandatory 9% (should be at least 12% tops 15%) of their gross pay, which is what they need, no choice. .....and wrap that all up with a robust (TFN) tax file number system so the government knows what everyone is earning and uses  'pay as you go' (PAYG) tax payments to collect all year round.

oh yeah super and a TFN with PAYG - they would be in the streets wanting protection of their 'rights'....Dead

On the army, i purposefully left that out. I still think they need big AF and navy and armored force in thraki. The issue is that everything is corrupt; you don't pay tolls, you pay the operator a cut and keep some for yourself and leave the diff to the toll road. When the government helps developers build hotels by funding half they get 5 contractors to bump up the price and get it for free. They have been screwing the EU like that also..

...problem is, this also exists in how they buy weapons, Greece pays top dollar for each weapon to pay the middle men. They could slash every other department, and rid the middle men within defence and only need to make modest real cuts to operational readiness.

side note: Greek army is built around defense so the scenario of Greece attacking or Turkey attacking are different. The greek army has a shelf life, since a bruising long term war would favour the demographics of Turkey. Either way, Greece knows that , they just want to hold out long enough for the EU or Russia to get their arses over there. I'd reckon they would have less than a year to get help on the defense.




Edited by Leonidas - 11 Jan 2010 at 22:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 22:10
Yes and Greece doesn't have that Luxury because the power to print money lies in Brussels and IMHO it is the will of those in charge there to take ever greater charge of national sovereigntyof member states.  Something which I am adamently against, it was supposed to be an economic union, not an Anschloss.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 22:24
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Yes and Greece doesn't have that Luxury because the power to print money lies in Brussels and IMHO it is the will of those in charge there to take ever greater charge of national sovereigntyof member states.  Something which I am adamently against, it was supposed to be an economic union, not an Anschloss.
its double edged sword, without the EU it would of been Iceland 2 in flash. Once the horse bolts and confidence wavers it is stuffed. Greece is at the whim of foreign capital - its way to small. The UK still has some real stature in the investment world and can call the shots in the way Greece couldnt.

 Right now i know they could do with a cheap drachma, but then again the good old 'debase the currency trade your way out' probably wont work as well if everyone is still screwed and doing exactly the same thing. Risky stuff if their debt simply balloons in their own terms (drachme vs Euro.USD). Think non euro hungary and their florin. Confidence left and they all woke up with mortgages in Euros they could not afford anymore. The EU gives Greece depth and hopefully a good lesson in planning a economy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2010 at 00:28
Hello Leo
 
I admitt I know little about the situation of Albanians in greece so you know best.
 
As for the army, a large air force yes but a large army/navy won't have an effect. Turkey isn't what it was 20 years ago. Actually if the events of 74 happened again today I doubt if Turkey intervened militarily so the Greece doesn't need a large army.
 
As for the 401k-type plan, I think it will work or at least a Chilean type pension system. A single payer system won't work if you have zero population growth.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2010 at 22:41
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello Leo
 
I admitt I know little about the situation of Albanians in greece so you know best.
 
As for the army, a large air force yes but a large army/navy won't have an effect. Turkey isn't what it was 20 years ago. Actually if the events of 74 happened again today I doubt if Turkey intervened militarily so the Greece doesn't need a large army.
 
As for the 401k-type plan, I think it will work or at least a Chilean type pension system. A single payer system won't work if you have zero population growth.
 
Al-Jassas
Actually someone living  in Greece should comment, ive been their once and can only talk about my impressions as weell as from talking to Greeks. I thought they fill the social niche we Greeks (wogs) did in the Australia. Hard working and saving, mainly menial/physical jobs and allot tougher on the streets than the locals (except probably Crete). I could relate to that more.

Agree on the army, Spec opp, marines and a good Armour force doesn't require big numbers and should be all professional. But a big Navy (and assoc  marine force) for the Aegean is a must. The Geography and demographics would push Greece into relying more on technological advantage over an area it can control without massive numbers- subs and planes to protect the majority of its space which is mainly around the sea. The plan is to  to take back lost islands knowing they cant man and defend each one. The opposite side has the 'Aegean army' about 100,000 men and associated marine equipment just for that battle space, that's the chief threat - not the whole army just that.  If that goes, Greece could slash its spending by half Smile



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2010 at 23:55
Greek economy is suffering not only by bad management, but also by structural weaknesses.
Originally posted by Leonidas Leonidas wrote:

5 things that need to be done in my mind - these are not tough choices!
  1. slash the public bureaucracy by two thirds - Australia could do that and get by with little loss of service - Im sure Greece has much more fat to trim there
  2. a robust and transparent tax system, no funny business- pay your taxes!
  3. do not rely on tourism for income  - diversify into making something other than doctors, lawyers and bureaucrats. Someone needs to create exports to pay for those other jobs...
  4. For crying out loud retire at 65 not 40 or 50 and cut that pension system its whats tipping the country over
  5. have kids (not just one) the demographics is the final nail. this me me me thing is OK in moderation but cant be repeated without family family family. our parents had kids and worked very hard (not partied but worked) for their kids future - it was always about the kids kids kids

1. Greece has already  begun reducing the number of public servants. The process is inevitably slow and painful, but the governments seem to be responsible enough to continue with it.
2.That's true. Tax evasion is propably the biggest wound in Greek puiblic finances.
3.That's true, however it is easier said than done. Greece has no particularly strong sectors other than tourism and food industry. Traditionally strong sectors such as agriculture, fabric/shoe industry etc are declining and have no future. How to create exports? What do you propose? I think defense industry could fit in there (I'm making a connection with the mentioned subject of high defense expenditure)
4.The pension system was based around the situation as it was a few decades ago. Increasing the age limits may seems the logical way to go, but then again, that contradicts the efforts for reducing unemployment, or reducing the numbers of public servants.
5.That's true, and is very much connected with the aforementioned pension problem. However i must note that things are not so simple, and that the cost of rising kids today is considerably higher than it used to be. For a parent who actually cares to provide their children a good future having many kids is not an option. They just can't afford them. It's not a life-style issue (well, not completely). Many young couples hesitate to make children as they have low paid jobs,job  insecurity etc. Until they get their careers stabilized they usually are in their mid 30s, and  still theydon't earn enough to provide  for more than 1 or 2 children.

EDIT:
Regarding the Albanians in Greece, I say there is no particular difference between Greece and the other european countries. The large numbers of immigrants (propably around 1 million) speak of this. In my actual experience, racism in Greece is considerably lower than in western europe, it shows however a tendency to increase, but mostly toward the new wave of immigrants (Asians and Africans). Albanians, perhaps due to the cultural and racial similarity, have intergrated pretty well into the Greek society.
The problem with Greece is that it has strict laws for citizenship. Greece grants citizenship to very few immigrants. As a result immigrants live with a certain insecurity about their stay and are forced to obtain green cards. In a more ambiguous issue, they also have no voting rights. However one must note the native Greek protests and hesitations.

Regarding the defense expenditure, I say you have way exaggerated its height as well as its significance within the public finances.
Greek defense expenditure is not particulalry high: it stands at about 2,5% of the GDP. For comparisson the USA spend 4,7% of their GDP on defense, France 2,7% etc. Moreover the height of defense expenditure is governed by the defense needs of Greece. As Leonidas also posted, it takes no brains to see that Greece faces a very considerable threat. Greece can by no means rely on NATO (=USA) and EU for support against Turkey. For one, because USA will propably support Turkey and second becuase the EU has no power to affect Turkey whatsoever.




Edited by xristar - 13 Jan 2010 at 00:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2010 at 03:17

France manufactures weapons plus it still has colonial obligations (in Africa, remember Chad) and spending on the military helps the economy. The US runs the world right now plus the military economy is massive (almost the only manufaturing sector that hasn't been outsourced yet). Greece on the other hand buys weapons it doesn't need and keeps an army that would not win a war against the enemy it was designed to fight. this is why it need to half its military expenditure and it can do that for several years while their financial affaires are set in order.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2010 at 19:40
Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:


1. Greece has already  begun reducing the number of public servants. The process is inevitably slow and painful, but the governments seem to be responsible enough to continue with it.

the cuts have to be deep, very deep. I dont trust they will be permanent or geniune.

Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

3.That's true, however it is easier said than done. Greece has no particularly strong sectors other than tourism and food industry. Traditionally strong sectors such as agriculture, fabric/shoe industry etc are declining and have no future. How to create exports? What do you propose? I think defense industry could fit in there (I'm making a connection with the mentioned subject of high defense expenditure)
value add and value add agian.

 The agricultural sector need to rationalized. Family farms and small blocks have to be replaced by the big professional schemes. Value add by processing it all into food and then export.

defence technology, any technology is where the education carrots and seed funding need to be placed. Like Australia, Greece cant compete in mass scale industry it needs to find highly technical niches and the engineers and science to make it happen. i do like what Israel has done in defence and its agriculture, in fact Israel should be the benchmark.

aqua-farming
green energy
education

Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

4.The pension system was based around the situation as it was a few decades ago. Increasing the age limits may seems the logical way to go, but then again, that contradicts the efforts for reducing unemployment, or reducing the numbers of public servants.

scrap it and go through the pain now, grand father the rest as early as possible.
retiring people early with less workers to replace them is a false economy even if job numbers look good


Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

5.That's true, and is very much connected with the aforementioned pension problem. However i must note that things are not so simple, and that the cost of rising kids today is considerably higher than it used to be. For a parent who actually cares to provide their children a good future having many kids is not an option. They just can't afford them. It's not a life-style issue (well, not completely). Many young couples hesitate to make children as they have low paid jobs,job  insecurity etc. Until they get their careers stabilized they usually are in their mid 30s, and  still theydon't earn enough to provide  for more than 1 or 2 children.

I hear that here. Maybe my expectations are different and my safety net stronger. My mum was one of 8 kids in two beds and very happy even if very poor in Greece and im pretty sure if family life is good the materiel part would suffice either way. I dont know why it should be expensive unless eduction there isn't cheap or they demand double beds and PlayStations before they are 12 like they do here.

Any way the 3rd kid doesn't break the bank, normally its the 4th (new car). Greece needs the 3rd kid.




Edited by Leonidas - 13 Jan 2010 at 19:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2010 at 08:29

According to the ollowing graph

 
Greece exports some 10 bn dollars and imports around 15 bn. According to wiki 15 mln touristss visit Greece annually. Say every tourist leaves 1000 dollars this makes another 15 bn dollars a year. Tah should be enough to make trade balance positive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2010 at 02:19
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

According to the ollowing graph

 
Greece exports some 10 bn dollars and imports around 15 bn. According to wiki 15 mln touristss visit Greece annually. Say every tourist leaves 1000 dollars this makes another 15 bn dollars a year. Tah should be enough to make trade balance positive.
those a greek figures.........................

Quote

EU casts doubt on Greece economic figures


An EU report has condemned what it calls "severe irregularities" in Greek accounting procedures, as the country struggles with a huge budget deficit.

The EU's statistical office, Eurostat, deplored the fact that Greece revised its budget deficit last year from 3.7% of total output (GDP) to 12.5%.

It said political interference meant Greece's data could not be relied on.

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8456216.stm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2010 at 11:11
Looks like the market is voting with its feet with a 'run' on Greek debt and a bit of rumorage for good measure.

Quote On Monday, Greece paid a hefty 6.22 percent rate to borrow money in the bond market, underscoring investors’ concern.
NYT

over 6% for Western European sovereign debt? ouch..

We all know Greek debt is too large and they would be lucky to pay their way out under current conditions - Investors are now pricing in risk and asking for higher interest rates if they want to by Greek bonds - Greece will now find it harder to repay debt with every bond rollover upping the risk and so continues the negative feedback loop.

They are losing control of the situation by the week, Davos didn't help. Its like the more their ministers speak, the more investors pressed the sell trigger.  See below

    
The difference between German and Greek 10 year bonds or the  'spread' is close too 4% which is huge difference between EU sovereign debt - this is what a major sell off on the bonds look like (just turn the above graph upside down to the face value move).

Niall Ferguson:
Quote "I think we have a situation where Greece is leading the pack but other countries will follow," Ferguson told “Squawk Box Europe."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/35118195

Noriel Roubini:"Greece is bankrupt" http://www.cnbc.com/id/35094038

The EU will do something before the market starts picking off the other weak nations.

other good articles:

"the EU is angry with Greece NOT because its economy has slumped into a huge 12.7 percent budget deficit, but because it did so with stats that no one realized until recently were completely unreliable." www.cnbc.com/id/35139594/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2010/01/greeks_denying_gifts.html



Quote In France, Greek-exposure is concentrated on Credit Agricole, as owner of Emporiki, and Societe Generale, which has stakes in Geniki Bank and Hellas Finance. German exposure by contrast, though ultimately high, is spread thinly between many banks, according to BNP Paribas.

ftalphaville.ft.com....whos-selling-greek-cds/

Quote
The Greek economic model of borrowing from overseas to consume foreign made goods is now dead after 40 years.
http://www.neoskosmos.com/news/en/node/5237


Edited by Leonidas - 30 Jan 2010 at 11:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Antioxos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 07:08
Well i predict the Greek economic crisis a year ago

"The crisis will come to Greece from 3 diferent paths tourism-shipping-the credit ability of Greek state."
"No i dont think that there is a hope because the main problem in Greece is the public sector that dont offer nothing and costs a lot .
Even if a new party appears cannot do nothing because the public sector controlled from party - unionism bureaucracy of the traditional parties .
This bureaucracy dont let to change something  in profit of the people."
 


http://www.allempires.net/greek-rioters-clash-with-police_topic26096_page2.html

the greek economic crisis is more deep it is not only a financial matter and need a lot of afford to be solved , the spreads do not help to solve this problem , the European central bank must help reducing  the spreads only off course  if the greek goverment continue to follow strictly all the transformation of the Greek economy from a state capitalism country to a private capitalism country and the cut of the governmental  expenses   .


Edited by Antioxos - 07 Feb 2010 at 08:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 07:59
Originally posted by Leonidas Leonidas wrote:

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

What has Greece been spending its money on?
bureaucrats and their tax income is too small due to low productivity, non compliance and aging population.
 
In Europe they are hardly the only ones.  I have heard someone (a European army officer) say that Belgium has three industries - beer, chocolate and bureaucracy.  The Euro-elites, through Brussels, want to decide everyone's best interests whether those people want that or not.  Not surprisingly those "best interests" are usually in the interests of the Euro-elites.
 
It is a minor example, to be sure, but last year a Belgian exchange student lived with my brother-in-law's family...a very nice, very intelligent girl.  I asked her her plans on going home.  She planned to do law at Louvain and get a job in the government.  I asked her what her father did.  He works for the government.  And her mother?  She has three other kids, but she used to work for the government.  Big smile     Maybe now she is working on those demographics.
 
Beer, chocolate and bureaucracy do not create much wealth.  The bEUROcracy just moves existing wealth around for political purposes (just like in the US).  Bureaucracy's major skill set is mostly perpetuating itself.  However, one would think those Greek bureaucrats would be more interested in tax revenue. 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 06 Feb 2010 at 08:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Antioxos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 08:30
the most funny is that E.U. commissioners ask  cut state expenses  from the country members but the E.U. staff-bureaucracy do not wants cuts to their wages , they give directions to the others but when something concerns them they go on strike

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/employee-pay-strike.1zg/



Edited by Antioxos - 07 Feb 2010 at 08:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 21:07
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Originally posted by Leonidas Leonidas wrote:

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

What has Greece been spending its money on?
bureaucrats and their tax income is too small due to low productivity, non compliance and aging population.
 
In Europe they are hardly the only ones.  I have heard someone (a European army officer) say that Belgium has three industries - beer, chocolate and bureaucracy.  The Euro-elites, through Brussels, want to decide everyone's best interests whether those people want that or not.  Not surprisingly those "best interests" are usually in the interests of the Euro-elites.
 
there is a big divide between the exporting (producing) and hard saving nations that can show budget discipline and the 'Club Med' members that cannot plan their way out of paper bag. Belgium may not be a best example of Northern fiscal superiority.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 11:22
Personally, if I had the money, I would love to own my own island. For those who do have the money, this will become a possibility if the advice of two senior German politicians is followed. Oh and by the way, still interested to hear people's views on this latest round of austerity measures:

Quote

Greece should sell islands to cut debt - Merkel allies

By Oana Lungescu
BBC News, Berlin

The Greek island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea. File photo
Only 227 of Greece's 6,000 islands are inhabited

Greece should consider selling some of its uninhabited islands to cut its debt, according to political allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Josef Schlarmann and Frank Schaeffler told Germany's Bild daily that the Greek state should sell stakes in all its assets to raise more cash.

Greek PM George Papandreou is due to meet Mrs Merkel in Berlin later this week for talks about the crisis.

Mr Papandreou has already announced a strict austerity programme.

'Affordable' islands

"Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks - and the Acropolis too!" says the headline in the Bild newspaper.

map

It sounds like the sort of daydream induced by too much ouzo, but the idea comes from two senior politicians in Europe's biggest economy.

Mr Schlarmann is a senior member of Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats and Mr Schaeffler is an MP for the Free Democrats - the junior partner in the centre-right coalition.

Both confirmed to the BBC that they wanted to start a debate about what Greece could do to help itself and bolster the battered euro.

Those who face insolvency, Mr Schlarmann said, must sell everything they have to pay their creditors.

He advised Mrs Merkel not to promise any financial aid when she met Mr Papandreou in Berlin.

According to a poll published on Thursday, 84% of Germans think that the EU should not help Greece out of its debt crisis.

It is true that dotted in the blue waters of the Aegean are some of the country's most valuable assets - about 6,000 islands, of which only 227 are inhabited. Many of them are privately owned by the world's super-rich.

According to a specialised real-estate website, Greek islands evoke images of sunglass-sporting shipping magnates sipping champagne on enormous yachts, but cost as little as $2m (£1.3m).

Relatively affordable, the website says - unless, of course, you're a Greek.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8549793.stm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 11:23
P.S. Might not be a good investment due to rising sea levels LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 11:45
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

P.S. Might not be a good investment due to rising sea levels LOL

And because Greece is on top of a subducting plate that is slowly but surely sinking into the mantle. Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 11:53
The average German is perfectly entitled to complain about the Greek welfare system. Why should a German worker be forced to work to 65 (Probably going up to 68 at some stage soon) while the Greeks can retire in their late 50s? Whats fair about that?

Ireland had some tough choices to make during the depression and it cut public spending in a remarkable, controversial and painful way. If we hadn't of done that, we'd see the IMF coming in. And then all the half baked opinions you hear in taxi's and pubs would be sinking out in the Irish sea, where they belong. Greek workers' who are currently striking - wake up and get real. Life is not easy.
http://xkcd.com/15/



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Antioxos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 14:21
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Personally, if I had the money, I would love to own my own island. For those who do have the money, this will become a possibility if the advice of two senior German politicians is followed. Oh and by the way, still interested to hear people's views on this latest round of austerity measures:

Quote

Greece should sell islands to cut debt - Merkel allies

By Oana Lungescu
BBC News, Berlin

The Greek island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea. File photo
Only 227 of Greece's 6,000 islands are inhabited

Greece should consider selling some of its uninhabited islands to cut its debt, according to political allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Josef Schlarmann and Frank Schaeffler told Germany's Bild daily that the Greek state should sell stakes in all its assets to raise more cash.

Greek PM George Papandreou is due to meet Mrs Merkel in Berlin later this week for talks about the crisis.

Mr Papandreou has already announced a strict austerity programme.

'Affordable' islands

"Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks - and the Acropolis too!" says the headline in the Bild newspaper.

map

It sounds like the sort of daydream induced by too much ouzo, but the idea comes from two senior politicians in Europe's biggest economy.

Mr Schlarmann is a senior member of Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats and Mr Schaeffler is an MP for the Free Democrats - the junior partner in the centre-right coalition.

Both confirmed to the BBC that they wanted to start a debate about what Greece could do to help itself and bolster the battered euro.

Those who face insolvency, Mr Schlarmann said, must sell everything they have to pay their creditors.

He advised Mrs Merkel not to promise any financial aid when she met Mr Papandreou in Berlin.

According to a poll published on Thursday, 84% of Germans think that the EU should not help Greece out of its debt crisis.

It is true that dotted in the blue waters of the Aegean are some of the country's most valuable assets - about 6,000 islands, of which only 227 are inhabited. Many of them are privately owned by the world's super-rich.

According to a specialised real-estate website, Greek islands evoke images of sunglass-sporting shipping magnates sipping champagne on enormous yachts, but cost as little as $2m (£1.3m).

Relatively affordable, the website says - unless, of course, you're a Greek.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8549793.stm



i proposed instead of selling islands  to claim of World War II compensations (even one installment(263 million USD prices 1972) from a world war I was never pay back) from Germany ,the Italians and Bulgarians sign the final settlement and close the issue .

related sites

http://andronianoi.ucoz.com/news/2009-12-17-4693

http://www.greekembassy.org/Embassy/Content/en/Article.aspx?office=2&folder=289&article=4885

http://eulaw.typepad.com/eulawblog/2007/02/compensation_fo.html

The Greek government must go to the international court (because Germany refuse to do the final settlement ).

of course this is not related with the program of
cut expenditure that Greece has to follow strictly and create healthy fiscal and honour her sign in the eurozone .
and some news about the greek bond

"The yield on the 10-year Greek sovereign bond fell to 6.012 percent from 6.149 percent on Tuesday night. Bond yields and price move in opposite directions.

The all-important spread - or differential - with the benchmark German Bond narrowed to 2.88 points from 3.03 on Tuesday.

Moody's said the new measures «lend credibility» to the Greek fiscal adjustment plan and are consistent with Moody's current A2 rating, with a negative outlook, for Greece's government bonds."


http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/news/economy_1KathiLev&xml/&aspKath/economy.asp&fdate=04/03/2010




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ziegenbartami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 14:54
Give me a break--World War Two ended 65 years ago and NOW they demand reparations? Ermm
What the Nazis did was wrong, but it doesn't make much sense to wait 50+ years to demand compensation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Antioxos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 15:08
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

The average German is perfectly entitled to complain about the Greek welfare system. Why should a German worker be forced to work to 65 (Probably going up to 68 at some stage soon) while the Greeks can retire in their late 50s? Whats fair about that?

Ireland had some tough choices to make during the depression and it cut public spending in a remarkable, controversial and painful way. If we hadn't of done that, we'd see the IMF coming in. And then all the half baked opinions you hear in taxi's and pubs would be sinking out in the Irish sea, where they belong. Greek workers' who are currently striking - wake up and get real. Life is not easy.

are not Greek workers on strike the public employees are on strike

the are two different worlds in Greece the bureaucracy-public section well protected and well paid world and the private section that is hard working (at least 10 hours per day without paying extra) flexible and accommodate to the circumstances and less paid world.
 the public section has his own welfare system that take good medicaid from private medicare section and retire earlier than the private section (about 50-55) and they usually are on strike
The private section take bad medicaid from public medicare  section and retires above 62 and they never be on strike
Because all this mess give wrong impressions Greece come second in the OECD's rankings  of The World's Hardest-Working Countries (probably they do not include public section)

South Korea's hard-working citizenry is not alone.Greece comes second in the OECD's rankings with 2,052 hours worked on average each year, and just behind is a trio of Eastern European nations: Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland."


http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/21/labor-market-workforce-lead-citizen-cx_po_0521countries.html

here is the plan b or c or d who knows of
austerity measures

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100003_04/03/2010_115365




Edited by Antioxos - 05 Mar 2010 at 15:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Antioxos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 15:16
Originally posted by Ziegenbartami Ziegenbartami wrote:

Give me a break--World War Two ended 65 years ago and NOW they demand reparations? Ermm
What the Nazis did was wrong, but it doesn't make much sense to wait 50+ years to demand compensation.


international court is for this reason but the Greek politicians are the good bitch of the Germans or the  US  and always want to keep good relation and forget that the good relations are reciprocal

Edited by Antioxos - 05 Mar 2010 at 15:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2010 at 15:19
Originally posted by Antioxos Antioxos wrote:

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

The average German is perfectly entitled to complain about the Greek welfare system. Why should a German worker be forced to work to 65 (Probably going up to 68 at some stage soon) while the Greeks can retire in their late 50s? Whats fair about that?

Ireland had some tough choices to make during the depression and it cut public spending in a remarkable, controversial and painful way. If we hadn't of done that, we'd see the IMF coming in. And then all the half baked opinions you hear in taxi's and pubs would be sinking out in the Irish sea, where they belong. Greek workers' who are currently striking - wake up and get real. Life is not easy.

are not Greek workers on strike are public employees on strike

the are two different worlds in Greece the bureaucracy-public section well protected and well paid world and the private section that is hard working (at least 10 hours per day without paying extra) flexible and accommodate to the circumstances and less paid world.
 the public section has his own welfare system that take good medicaid from private medicare section and retire earlier than the private section (about 50-55) and they usually are on strike
The private section take bad medicaid from public medicare  section and retires above 62 and they never be on strike
Because all this mess give wrong impressions Greece come second in the OECD's rankings  of The World's Hardest-Working Countries (probably they do not include public section)

South Korea's hard-working citizenry is not alone.Greece comes second in the OECD's rankings with 2,052 hours worked on average each year, and just behind is a trio of Eastern European nations: Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland."


http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/21/labor-market-workforce-lead-citizen-cx_po_0521countries.html

here is the plan b or c or d who knows of
austerity measures

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100003_04/03/2010_115365




Interesting, the very next year Forbes (the same company) released another survey and I can't see Greece even in the top 8.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/28/hardest-working-countries-lifestyle-realestate-hardest-working_slide_2.html?partner=ninemsn

Also, I notice that in the 2008 survey you produced that unemployment is not considered. However, for the 2009 survey I produced they do consider unemployment.


Edited by Constantine XI - 05 Mar 2010 at 15:24
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