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Can Greece learn to balance its books?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2010 at 21:32
I don't know why you're so hung up on EU countries' national interests. This isn't the thirties or even Thatchertime. Cross-country class and political considerations are much more influential. Even the nationalist right parties in the different countries share views and activities.
 
This is maybe not quite so true of the UK or possibly Poland, but the UK is atypical, and Poland only recently on board. 
 
That 'Germany is most likely to exact a price for her generosity' is antiquated and antiquarian thinking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2010 at 22:21
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Kudos to the Eurozone elitists who have recognized that they are not in the immunezone they seem to have thought they were.

However, the thought that "people" will go after other currencies is similar to the thought that you can draw attention away by yelling "throw some meat at them; maybe they'll go after that!"

The "heroic rescue" of Club Med is just shifting the debt burden from profligate economies to more responsible ones, and probably creating MORE debt.  This approach does nothing but move the train wreck further down the track.

 
Come now Pike, let's be sensible and recognize the facts of international monetary speculation as an on-going means of making mo'money a la George Soros. But then, that is neither here nor there when contrasted to the characterization of the "profligate" Med against the "responsible ones". Shades of stereotyping...no to mention that German pensions and perks make thoser lazy Southerners appear pikers!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 03:04
As far as I know, Germany's the only one where you can (or at least could) get a free stay at a health farm on the healthcare system.
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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 May 2010 at 04:25

Hello to you all

When it comes to the eurozone, the fact of the matter is that scrapping the euro will be much more disasterous for them than keeping it. Remember right now eurozone countries are well integrated economically (after the euro was introduced) and the euro is the only instrument that is holding them together. Because of that eurozone countries are simply out of options when it comes to bailing out club med as Pike calls PIIGs.
 
This fund from what I understand will redistribute the debt across the euro zone (remember the infamous "securitization") which will ensure that credit ratings and interest rates are kept artificially low and at the same time crossing their fingers and saying hail marys that PIIGs don't screw things up again.
 
We will waite and see.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 05:07
...otherwise PIIGs will fly!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 05:20
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Come now Pike, let's be sensible and recognize the facts of international monetary speculation as an on-going means of making mo'money a la George Soros.


drgonzaga, I'm afraid many people think such things like the George Soros case are conspiracy theories. I'm not referring to Pikeshot, but accidentally, I had a discussion about this today with some people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 05:53
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I don't know why you're so hung up on EU countries' national interests. This isn't the thirties or even Thatchertime. Cross-country class and political considerations are much more influential. Even the nationalist right parties in the different countries share views and activities.
 
This is maybe not quite so true of the UK or possibly Poland, but the UK is atypical, and Poland only recently on board. 
 
That 'Germany is most likely to exact a price for her generosity' is antiquated and antiquarian thinking.


Well you keep thinking that.  Closing the book on history is ill advised, and, of course, history may not repeat, but it almost always rhymes.  (I had to paraphrase - I don't remember who said something similar.  Smile )

Europe likes to think it is beyond self interest these days, and that national interest is out of date.  It isn't.



 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 06:16
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I don't know why you're so hung up on EU countries' national interests. This isn't the thirties or even Thatchertime. Cross-country class and political considerations are much more influential. Even the nationalist right parties in the different countries share views and activities.
 
This is maybe not quite so true of the UK or possibly Poland, but the UK is atypical, and Poland only recently on board. 
 
That 'Germany is most likely to exact a price for her generosity' is antiquated and antiquarian thinking.


Well you keep thinking that.  Closing the book on history is ill advised, and, of course, history may not repeat, but it almost always rhymes.  (I had to paraphrase - I don't remember who said something similar.  Smile )

Europe likes to think it is beyond self interest these days, and that national interest is out of date.  It isn't.
No-one, least of all me, is saying Europe (or Europeans) are beyond self-interest. In fact it's rather the other way around: self-interest comes out way ahead of national interest. National interest tends to be seen as the unreal figment it is.
 
For instance the depressed regions of Europe have more in common in the way of interest with  depressed regions in other countries than they do with other flourishing regions in their own.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 06:23
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Come now Pike, let's be sensible and recognize the facts of international monetary speculation as an on-going means of making mo'money a la George Soros.


drgonzaga, I'm afraid many people think such things like the George Soros case are conspiracy theories. I'm not referring to Pikeshot, but accidentally, I had a discussion about this today with some people.
 
The suggestion isn't that there is some vastconspiracy of gnomes of Zurich working together to do this or that, which would indeed be a conspiracy theory to rank with the most amusing.
 
The suggestion is simply that currency speculators speculate, which seems reasonable, and they, with no conspiracy involved, tend to use the same criteria in evaluating where and how to place their next bets. In some situations that may lead to looking as though they are conspiring.
 
However everybody jumping on the obvious bandwaggon is not a conspiracy, any more than all the film studios switching to sound after 'The Jazz Singer' was the result of conspiracy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 07:07
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
The suggestion is simply that currency speculators speculate, which seems reasonable, and they, with no conspiracy involved, tend to use the same criteria in evaluating where and how to place their next bets. In some situations that may lead to looking as though they are conspiring.
 
However everybody jumping on the obvious bandwaggon is not a conspiracy, any more than all the film studios switching to sound after 'The Jazz Singer' was the result of conspiracy.


Exactly!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2010 at 19:57
I wish, ALL Europeans could speak out like Daniel Cohn... Check his speech and and comment please:



I have mentioned some of his points on this thread already...Look what he says about the speculators and about the disarming of Greece.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2010 at 02:34
 I don't agree at all with that guy. There already is an initiative after the Greek bailout for a $1 trillion rescue fund for Eurozone countires. 2nd, Greece has to have austerity measures. Obviously the current standard of living and earning has had its pitfalls. 3rd, disarmament of militaries in the region sounds like passe hogwash. Yeah right, as if the Turks will just give up N. Cyprus just to rescue Greece. No way. Anyway Greece is the least of Turkey's military worries. Turkey is not in the Eu so why should it care? The French are being typical French and should mind their own zone and not assume they are leaders of SE Europe or the Middle East.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2010 at 04:40
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


2nd, Greece has to have austerity measures. Obviously the current standard of living and earning has had its pitfalls.


The huge sums missing are not a result of the standard of living and earning of a majority, not even a large minority. Most people have salaries that gives them a lower standard of living than most europeans. However, you have many people living with money few Europeans have. If the current (new) tracking of black money continues at this rate, then it would be enough to solve the payback issues of Greece.  Ofcourse, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be reforms, but not such that would shrink the Greek market and the buying power of the people.

Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


3rd, disarmament of militaries in the region sounds like passe hogwash. Yeah right, as if the Turks will just give up N. Cyprus just to rescue Greece. No way. Anyway Greece is the least of Turkey's military worries. Turkey is not in the Eu so why should it care? The French are being typical French and should mind their own zone and not assume they are leaders of SE Europe or the Middle East.


This is not about Turkey - Greece conflict but in general. If we all as europeans want to save money what would be the first thing to do? Is it really sensible to have so many well armed member states? It is unnecessary unless some of us are still afraid of a Russian bear or a second Selahedin. 

Also, Turkish and Greek prime ministers met exactly for that 2 weeks ago. Don't you think a Turk living in central Anatolia (not to mention the east) would prefer to have better roads, hospitals and schools instead of a bunch of missiles? Just do the simple math...How many squares of a pavement in Turkey must break until the local government decides to renew it?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2010 at 12:28
You know we have the same issue in the US regarding buying power. When it diminishes, which it has in certain sectors of the workforce, we can't afford items we would like to. Creating and keeping jobs in the US is effected by the recession as you already know.

The Greek government can't pay it's debt without a bailout. Your point is that it is not the fault of the people, hence, it wouldn't help to further squeeze the Greek consumer. Yet, on the other side of the coin, where else is the money going to come from? It will come from better tax collection, higher VAT, later retirement and wage cuts. Another thing, how long can the Greek economy survive when over 70% of the GDP is in Services?

Regarding armed member states, I guess that issue will be debated a lot in Greece. How she solves it is up to her. It's not up other countries to solve it for her. If we were to have an ideal Aegean, then yes I would agree that economics is more important than island hoping. So demilitarize those islands of little strategic significance. Bases in Poros? Who is going to attack that, the tourists? Yet for some reason Turkey constantly get's pulled into the Greek world and not by her own fruition.

Turkey is no better than Greece in regards to black market antics though. Turks can also scam and hide tax earnings with the best of 'em. So yes, each can tighten grips in that department. Turkish politics is just as undesirable as that of her Greek counterparts as well. Similarities abound that astound me. Yet, to each their own. Maybe, one day, leaders of both countries would put their toys away and eat more souvlaki with yogurt together. Now that would be a sight to see.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Antioxos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2010 at 22:15
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

how long can the Greek economy survive when over 70% of the GDP is in Services?




not exactly ,  73% of GDP is in consuming and the rest is production and services (tourism etc. )
before 10 years it was the opposite (drachma period) .
This  is the difficult task  but there is still too much space for the private sector of the economy due the opening of the closed market

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2010 at 23:34
Good example of the pointlessness of arguing from GDP.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 05:10
Despite what effect our friend Graham has on this conversation, this is what the CIA factbook says on GDP by sector:

Agriculture 3.4%
Industry 20.8%
Services 75.8%



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 05:11
Military, banking and tourism are part of the Service sector

Wiki:  Greece's main industries are tourism, shipping, industrial products, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining and petroleum.





Edited by Seko - 14 May 2010 at 05:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 05:48
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

Military, banking and tourism are part of the Service sector

Wiki:  Greece's main industries are tourism, shipping, industrial products, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining and petroleum.





The only argument there would be that the military is government employment.  Military services are a major component of public policy.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 05:55
Then that even adds more fuel to the fire. For Greece to earn its way back how is the Military going to create revenue? From the cash strapped government?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 06:00
How do you distinguish between manufacture and processing? By 'textiles' do you mean making/growing the fibre, spinning it, weaving it, dying it, designing it, buying and selling it?
 
Every human activity is providing a service.
 
The important question for survival is whether other people want to buy what you have to sell (assuming a money economy) , no matter how you classify it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 06:02
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

Then that even adds more fuel to the fire. For Greece to earn its way back how is the Military going to create revenue? From the cash strapped government?


Of course, governments (and their military forces) do not create revenue, they extract it from other enterprises.  It would seem military spending, near term, will have to be reduced.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 06:09
graham, here is what I got from  businessDictionary.com

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/services.html

Whether the fact books use the same definition is beyond me.

services

Definition

Intangible products that are not goods (tangible products), such as accounting, banking, cleaning, consultancy, education, insurance, know how, medical treatment, transportation. Sometimes services are difficult to identify because they are closely associated with a good; such as the combination of a diagnosis with the administration of a medicine. No transfer of possession or ownership takes place when services are sold, and they (1) cannot be stored or transported, (2) are instantly perishable, and (3) come into existence at the time they are bought and consumed.


Edited by Seko - 14 May 2010 at 06:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 06:36
My point, phrased somewhat rhetorically, was that the definition - in fact the distinction - is immaterial. What counts for survival is whether people want to buy what you are selling, whether it be tangible, intangible, instantly perishable or whatever.
 
You can go bust just as easily producing goods noone wants as offering services nobody wants. And Greece probably rakes in more foreign revenue from tourism that the US does from exporting cars. In fact the US probably makes more money from copyrights than from exporting cars. 
 
(On its small scale, Luxembourg has been doing quite well recently out of providing film-making services and locations - cf Michael Caine's Flawless for example.)
 
For some reason Greek marketing seems to have slipped in the last 40 or so years since Zorba's dance et al. Maybe that's more of the problem than people recognise.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 11:36
You asked and you received. Now that you find the given definition inappropriate for your purpose it seems that your intention all along was to bait me.

Since we are talking about survival, would you put your eggs in the Service basket or the Industry basket for the long haul?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 15:58
A nation's wealth depends on its ability to generate a surplus of economic products, which it can trade with other nations. Generally speaking, industrial products tend to exist in such a way that they are more readily available to export to other nations.

It is easy enough to package a car or appliance and export it overseas. For people to purchase your medical care or schooling or buy from your fast food outlets, the consumer must leave their home nation and come to you. Decreasing costs for communication and travel have helped reduce this disadvantage to the exportability of service products, but only to an extent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2010 at 21:53
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

You asked and you received. Now that you find the given definition inappropriate for your purpose it seems that your intention all along was to bait me.
No it wasn't. I just admitted I was being rhetorical. Rhetorical questions aren't supposed to be answered.
Quote
Since we are talking about survival, would you put your eggs in the Service basket or the Industry basket for the long haul?
You have to tell me which services and which industries. Beauty salons (let alone massage parlours) have been a muich better bet in the past than making horseshoes or piston engines for aircraft.
 
Even diamonds aren't much use unless you have diamond cutters cutting them. Where is the money made in the diamond 'industry'?
 
There was a time, wasn't there, when people used to preach that land and agriculture were what was all important?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2010 at 09:24
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


The Greek government can't pay it's debt without a bailout. Your point is that it is not the fault of the people, hence, it wouldn't help to further squeeze the Greek consumer. Yet, on the other side of the coin, where else is the money going to come from? It will come from better tax collection, higher VAT, later retirement and wage cuts. Another thing, how long can the Greek economy survive when over 70% of the GDP is in Services?


My point was definetely not that it is not the fault of the people. The common Greek did not steal that money ofcourse, but they were tolerant to some fat a**h*les who did it. However, I know that the problem is the VAT collection. Not the fact that it was 19% before, but that they were gathering only a small percentage of it because the lack of control mechanisms. To collect the missing VAT would solve the payment issues and stabilize the economy. However, why go bounty hunting when your victims are those that can make you win the elections?


Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


Regarding armed member states, I guess that issue will be debated a lot in Greece. How she solves it is up to her. It's not up other countries to solve it for her. If we were to have an ideal Aegean, then yes I would agree that economics is more important than island hoping. So demilitarize those islands of little strategic significance. Bases in Poros? Who is going to attack that, the tourists? Yet for some reason Turkey constantly get's pulled into the Greek world and not by her own fruition.

Turkey is no better than Greece in regards to black market antics though. Turks can also scam and hide tax earnings with the best of 'em. So yes, each can tighten grips in that department. Turkish politics is just as undesirable as that of her Greek counterparts as well. Similarities abound that astound me. Yet, to each their own. Maybe, one day, leaders of both countries would put their toys away and eat more souvlaki with yogurt together. Now that would be a sight to see.


Well, where Turkey was, Greece is now you can say. However, while discussing this, there was a meeting between the country leaders. One of the main issues was the extreme arming. The meeting is regarded as one of the most successful meetings of the two country leaders ever, so I guess there's some progress that could lead towards souvlaki + yogurt. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2010 at 21:47
But will it solve the issue of Turkish vs Greek coffee?
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Yeah, its really Arabic!Smile
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