Official- Greek Debt worst in the World

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of katy katy 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #56261
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Seems as if Greece has played it’s final cards and could default very soon, it has been hiding more bad news and can’t pay off or service it’s debts. Who will ultimately pick up the tab and how much is involved? Also, what impact on the Euro and it’s own assets? 🙄

  • #105075
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    This is a debate on another thread angie.
    viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5704

  • #105074
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    You’re quite right Logan, a bit too much wine last night 😕

    I posted because today it has been officially announced that Greece has worst Sovereign Debt in the World but I should have added it to previous thread 😉

  • #105080
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    When Labour’s outgoing chief secretary of the Treasury Liam Byrne left his successor David Laws a note in his desk, it said “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left”.

    When George Papandreou and his Pasok party won the Greek election in 2009, they discovered Greece’s true debt (as against the phoney figures banded about by the previous government).
    It was 340 billion euros.

    The Greeks have had it, prolonging this any further with more loans (and all the dictatorial c**p/conditions that come with it) only digs them even deeper. 85% of the population don’t agree with/refuse to accept more cuts. They’re also angry that some of Greece’s best assets are to be sold (ports, electricity company etc)

    One of the (Troika) conditions for releasing more money is that Papandreou must have cross-party agreement to the new austerity demands, including the sale of assets. He didn’t get it, many MP’s voted no, some walked out etc., so trouble ahead. There is talk of Papandreou proposing a kind of power-sharing type arrangement to get them to agree so we’ll see.

    Am looking at Greek tv at the moment while writing this, Syntagma Square (the main square in Athens) is full for yet another day.
    Police have resorted to tear gas……and embarrasingly for them, someone has filmed them on their mobile showing plain-clothes guys getting out of police vans and hiding long sticks in the bushes. They’re going to do what they did during riots last year, join in pretending to be one of the crowd and start violence. The protesters up to now have been peaceful so looks like the police want to stir it up a bit. All the news channels are showing it, no doubt the police will come up with some excuse for hiding these ‘weapons’ in the bushes..

    The Bilderberg group couldn’t put it any clearer: Greece can never pay back what it owes the markets. Never.

  • #105082
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    Seems as if Greece has played it’s final cards and could default very soon, it has been hiding more bad news and can’t pay off or service it’s debts. Who will ultimately pick up the tab and how much is involved? Also, what impact on the Euro and it’s own assets? 🙄

    The situation is about to get extremely serious.

    Most house buyers/sellers here probably aren’t aware of the potential crisis that could unfold if EU pollies cant get their act together.

    In the general scheme of things, house buyers/sellers/pensioners in Spain will ultimately be affected by events happening now.

    BBC are now saying that Greek PM has offered to stand down and form a consensus govt — this is good but coud be catastrophic for the markets.

    Also, the unfortunate display by simple uneducated greek fuktards rioting will make things harder for them and hurt Greece by spooking the markets that will rescue them.

    The message is clear, stay out of Euro assets and rent where possible and if you own anything, stretch out your time horizon by at least 5 years if you can by not selling. If you have to sell, then you are in strife as the cycles of life are against you at the moment and plan for the worst.

  • #105083
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Unfortunately OZ some of us have assets in Euros we can’t dispose of without catastrophic loss. This is the time when It’s cheaper to hold on then sell.
    I actually think the markets will not be so badly hit by a Greek default. A hit yes but not the Armageddon some are predicting. Greece is not that important. It’s a small economy and France and Germany can comfortably restructure it’s banks losses.
    I’m hanging on to my Euro investments. It will be a bumpy few days but I advise other to do likewise.

  • #105084
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Unfortunately OZ some of us have assets in Euros we can’t dispose of without catastrophic loss. This is the time when It’s cheaper to hold on then sell.
    I actually think the markets will not be so badly hit by a Greek default. A hit yes but not the Armageddon some are predicting. Greece is not that important. It’s a small economy and France and Germany can comfortably restructure it’s banks losses.
    I’m hanging on to my Euro investments. It will be a bumpy few days but I advise other to do likewise.

    Yes in the big picture you are right — Greece is small potatoes.

    But can EU banks comfortably contain contagion ? I am not so sure.

    Although we are talking Greece here — we really mean Greece, Ireland, Portugal and maybe others.

    Problem is market confidence in anything Euro related.

    Just look at what that idiot Noonan has just done and the reception he got in the US trying to sell Irish debt next year. Appalling.

  • #105085
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    I agree that when you look at the bigger picture Greece’s debt can comfortably be absorbed by the Eurozone. However, the markets are not always rational so anything may happen.

    I suspect that Germany’s actions are a marker for other countries like Ireland and Spain that if you get yourself into trouble then there will be no white knight in shining armour riding in to bail them out in a pain free way. I also think that Merkel’s statements are made with one eye on the German electorate

    Richard

  • #105086
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @ozmunky wrote:

    @logan wrote:
    Unfortunately OZ some of us have assets in Euros we can’t dispose of without catastrophic loss. This is the time when It’s cheaper to hold on then sell.
    I actually think the markets will not be so badly hit by a Greek default. A hit yes but not the Armageddon some are predicting. Greece is not that important. It’s a small economy and France and Germany can comfortably restructure it’s banks losses.
    I’m hanging on to my Euro investments. It will be a bumpy few days but I advise other to do likewise.

    Yes in the big picture you are right — Greece is small potatoes.

    But can EU banks comfortably contain contagion ? I am not so sure.

    Although we are talking Greece here — we really mean Greece, Ireland, Portugal and maybe others.

    Problem is market confidence in anything Euro related.

    Just look at what that idiot Noonan has just done and the reception he got in the US trying to sell Irish debt next year. Appalling.

    Speak of the devil.

    Just hit the wires:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ac918946-975a-11e0-9c9d-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1PNTZ0BSO

    Bottom line — default and EU-wide banks are at significant risk making all countries in it vulnerable and by implication its home owners.

  • #105087
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Markets are 95% rational. At the moment panic is starting to take hold and that’s irrational. The fundamentals are the same. Greece is lost. The only realistic outcome is default. Markets will soon recognise that and move on. In fact the pricing in of default has already begun.
    The bottom line for the EU and the Euro is Spain.
    Regional governments are starting to reveal the true extent of it’s debt and imposing austerity. There were also riots in Barcelona yesterday outside the Catalan Parliament building. Their budgets are 100% in deficit and twice the legal limit. 😯
    Once the markets start to look more closely at Spain and bond yields rise then a much more serious situation will arrive.
    Spain is a €1.6 trillion economy. If that’s starts to fail so do we all.

  • #105092
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    ozmonkey: “Also, the unfortunate display by simple uneducated greek fuktards rioting will make things harder for them and hurt Greece by spooking the markets that will rescue them”.

    logan: “There were also riots in Barcelona yesterday outside the Catalan Parliament building”.

    ozmonkey….were the protesters in Barcelona “simple uneducated Spanish fuktards”? Just curious.
    I would appreciate your viewpoint as, despite sitting comfortably in your computer chair in London or possibly Marbella, you are obviously not totally detached from the reality on the ground. I’m impressed – how do you do that?

  • #105093
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The interesting point about the Barcelona riots yesterday was that it marked a change in mood.

    The previous demonstrations in Madrid and other cities of the ‘indignados’ were peaceful protests against unemployment and the monopoly of the two main Spanish political parties. They accepted the need for austerity but want structural change.

    However yesterday it was a Greek style violent yob fest against the Catalan budget cut backs. Maybe it’s just a Catalan thing but it is an escalation.
    If that spreads to Spain and I accept Catalunya is not Spain, it could derail the acceptance in the minds of most Spanish people that the austerity programme is necessary.

  • #105094
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Unfortunately the tv cameras only focus on the ‘exciting bits’ where the few resort to violence. Tens of thousands of the general public – the recently-made unemployed, struggling pensioners and small-business owners, unemployed university grads. etc – who have been demonstrating peacefully for days now in Athens were ignored by the cameras yesterday.

    You will always get the ‘yob’ element in any large demonstration, anywhere in the world. That doesn’t make the majority yobs, fucktards and uneducated. The majority of protesters in Athens have actually been turning away anyone looking as though they want to make trouble for days now. Yesterday, the ’50’ who were determined to ringfence the Parliament building and highjack the protest were hell bent on trouble. And anyone on the ground here knows that the plain-clothes police joined them to stir the trouble more to devalue the genuine protesters. Going by ozmonkey’s post, they succeeded.

    But of course, those only able to look at the telly to form their opinions re. what’s happening on the ground form their own lopsided opinions. I watched the BBC World news, Euronews and France 24 last night and was amused at the way they only showed the violent bits and disregarded the rest. Compared to the live all-day Greek news on the protest, you wouldn’t think you were seeing the same demo.

  • #105095
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I agree Charlie any mass demo brings out that element. The ‘indignados’ were different and managed to avoid it somehow.

  • #105098
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    ozmonkey: “Also, the unfortunate display by simple uneducated greek fuktards rioting will make things harder for them and hurt Greece by spooking the markets that will rescue them”.

    logan: “There were also riots in Barcelona yesterday outside the Catalan Parliament building”.

    ozmonkey….were the protesters in Barcelona “simple uneducated Spanish fuktards”? Just curious.
    I would appreciate your viewpoint as, despite sitting comfortably in your computer chair in London or possibly Marbella, you are obviously not totally detached from the reality on the ground. I’m impressed – how do you do that?

    Apologies to Charlie.

    The point I was making was this :

    In society, there are those “who get it” and those “who dont get it”.

    The ones throwing stones lighting fires and destroying public property, dont realise that doing so will hurt them (and most others) in the end.

    The Spanish protests were (thankfully for Spain, a country I like) clever enough not to spook the markets by their civilised conduct — imagine the scene for everyone here if the locals went mad on television like the Greeks.

    This matters.

    This matters also to home owners in the country that this behaviour occurs — it may not seem relevant at the time, but it will have an effect eventually.

  • #105117
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    What an amusing spectacle. Merkle backs down whilst Sarko claims victory and a successful agreement to the Greek crisis. Creditors are to take a voluntary haircut. We wont call it a default or credit incident and Greece will get it’s bailout.

    I wonder just how Sarkozy and Merkle are going to persuade their banks to take the hit without calling up their CDS hedge?

    Giving Greece yet more money is completely stupid. It will not alter the fact that they are bankrupt and the position is hopeless.
    Buying time is what they are doing but why? Because they will try again and again at any cost to preserve their crazy ideology of a European super state. The long tern generational damage they are causing will make Europe a basket case long after they have gone.

    In the eighties Latin American countries owed so much to the US they were told by the US treasury to default and restructure. They did and turned their countries round. It was hard pounding but that’s what happens when you borrow too much.

    Europe continually ‘kicks the can down the road’ and fails to deal with the inevitable. Mistakes compounding mistakes and making the problem worse.

    If you want to get an alcoholic to stop drinking you don’t keep handing him a crate of booze. You get the patient into rehab and dry him out. Cold Turkey is what Greece needs nothing else.

  • #105130
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    I was slightly amused by a comment in the Telegraph about Greece which claimed that you have to admire the Greeks “To get something for nothing simply by continuing to do nothing is awe inspiring”

    I know that it is not true because many Greeks are suffering from austerity measures but nevertheless many do seem to have a caustic view of the country.

    Quite where Greece is going to end up I do not know. From what I have read it seems to be a country with very little industry, an ageing population and virtually bankrupt. Even if it jumped out of the euro its prospects look dire.

    Richard

  • #105131
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    I’m probably not as informed as I should be on the subject, but can someone actually outline the cuts they are making.

    From what I understand, we are talking about:
    raising retirement to 65
    privatising some state companies
    lower bonuses to funtionaries that earn above a certain amount
    decreasing pensions a bit (say to 80% of what they were earning)
    increase IVA on luxury items, etc…

    Is this correct, what am I missing?

  • #105132
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    One of the principal problems in Greece is the population won’t pay their taxes, avoidance is a national sport with an ineffective state apparatus for collecting it.
    The civil service are over paid with gold plated pensions. Retirement at 55 on final salary pensions before the crisis was common.
    They have little in the form of industry, shipping and tourism seems to be their main earner.
    They have lived beyond their means for years, confident the richer EU countries would pay their bills.
    It seems they are right.

  • #105133
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Where the public see’s that their taxes are not being used for the benefit of its citizens
    (apart from the choosen few e.g in this instance the civil service ) and as such becomes aware that if & when they need any kind of assistance from the state it will not there or be insufficient for their needs of the time.

    In order to preserve their standard of living, education, health, (a big Greek fat wedding sorry had to bring this) etc. The citizens, take the view of looking after themselves, hence the tax evasion if the economy is small this becomes very apparant.

    I am afriad. I am with them in such scenario. A situation that we in England is getting towards. Yes, apart from Shipping & that has been under attack from the far eastern operators. Tourism is the very obvious earner. I wont mention the farming olive oil etc as it is insignificant. The countries having numerous a very number of them Island majority of them populated this creates its own logistic issues.

    People, politically have a left wing views & anybody who does not share their views gets ostrazised and leave the Country this has been happening for decades. They do well & thrive in other countries. Thus creating a brain drain. This I could say for the majority of the Med Countries. Considering the population of Greece, Portugal is very much lower than France or Spain one would expect them to de well as they not carrying the burden of a large population.

    It is very sad that a country that had contibuted so much towards education, medecine, philosophy etc finds itself in such a cross road.

    In order to sort them out I think we should send the straight talking Greek who has just celebrated his 90 birthday.

  • #105134
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    I think Logan and Shakeel have absolutlely nailed it on this latest development.

  • #105154
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    Just to follow up on my previous post I understand that annual GDP in Greece has fallen by about 5.5% and that annual unemployment has risen from 11.7% to 15.9%. In my book those changes are significant and as the multiplier takes effect alongside other austerity measures then there will be greater pain.

    However, I accept that the pain will not be equally distributed across the population – it never is

    Richard

  • #105158
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    ECO-Fin Minsters have agreed last night not to give Greece the €12 billion tranche they need to pay their bills next month. They will hold it off until the Greek Parliament votes for the second round of austerity. It’s called a vote of confidence but it’s really about austerity measures being agreed in the ruling party.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jun/19/greek-debt-crisis-eurozone-ministers
    That indicates to me that they suspect this vote is not a done deal. There are also legal and structural problems for the EU to hand Greece this bailout without private participation.
    It is actually technically illegal for EU states to bailout other members without private contribution or parliamentary consent. Germany is nervous if they simply hand Greece the cash without a sound legal framework they could be in trouble with their own parliament.
    If the vote in Greece on Tuesday night fails then the country is bankrupt. End of story.
    Most Greeks it seems to me have decided they prefer bankruptcy and default to generations of servitude to Germany and France.

    I have seen estimates to fix the Greece problem at ranging from a further €85bn to €270bn and will need both public and private partnerships to raise that amount of cash.
    I simply cannot see private capital voluntarily taking that kind of risk.

  • #105164
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    germany could just give the money to greece as compensation for the war,thus taking away any need for it to be paid back and any legal issues and no further burden of debt on the country and its tax dodgers

  • #105166
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator
  • #105167
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    😆 😆

  • #105172
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    George Osborne rules out any further UK help for Greece! Thank God for that.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8586519/Financial-markets-slide-over-Greek-bailout-delays.html
    If you look at the list of modest proposals I posted of the further austerity programme the Greek government are seeking to pass, you might wonder what all the fuss is about.
    Most of that programme forms part of main stream life in richer EU countries. VAT increase from 13% to 23% and only on some items. 😆
    I mean on what planet have the Greeks been inhabiting during the last decade?
    IMO nobody should give them another red cent until they get their house well and truly in order.
    I am reading today that UK banks are pulling billions of investment out of Greece probably on the basis of lose a little now rather than the lot tomorrow….. The crash is coming.

  • #105179
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    George Osborne rules out any further UK help for Greece! Thank God for that.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8586519/Financial-markets-slide-over-Greek-bailout-delays.html
    If you look at the list of modest proposals I posted of the further austerity programme the Greek government are seeking to pass, you might wonder what all the fuss is about.
    Most of that programme forms part of main stream life in richer EU countries. VAT increase from 13% to 23% and only on some items. 😆
    I mean on what planet have the Greeks been inhabiting during the last decade?
    IMO nobody should give them another red cent until they get their house well and truly in order.
    I am reading today that UK banks are pulling billions of investment out of Greece probably on the basis of lose a little now rather than the lot tomorrow….. The crash is coming.

    that’s what i’m trying to get my head around. Are we not simply expecting/asking greece to ‘pull its wait’. No more jobs for life, private bloated state run companies, etc…. all the things that the UK (for example) did twenty years ago?

  • #105182
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dartboy. Not many here will perhaps know the history. Even before the current situation the Greeks hated the Turks & the Germans for their adventures in the Balkans.

    I do not see German’s doing this as this will set a precendence not only for them but other nations. I cant see Britian paying to its ex colonies and in the process being bankrupted.

    It will not stop with the above two Countries, We can start with the French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese etc.

  • #105190
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Greeks hate everyone that doesn’t give them what they want. Can ofcourse be said about most countries in that region =). The greeks have always played a hard stance against turks but deep inside they know they could just invade their country within a day or two. Instead they try to play it out cool in cyprus. They even consider Germany to owe them ex billions of euros because of WW2.

  • #105300
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @Ardun wrote:

    Greeks hate everyone that doesn’t give them what they want. Can ofcourse be said about most countries in that region =). The greeks have always played a hard stance against turks but deep inside they know they could just invade their country within a day or two. Instead they try to play it out cool in cyprus. They even consider Germany to owe them ex billions of euros because of WW2.

    Yep.

    Watching a minority of fu**wit Greeks putting on a big demo in Athens smashing everything in sight.

    They even interviewed these morons who claim they didn’t cause the crisis and its so unfair blah, blah (in greek).

    But they did play their part and refuse to own up to it — they helped to vote in the fools that caused it and weren’t paying attention and acted early enough when it counted.

    Bit like the UK based miltant public sector workers saying they are blameless for the UK mess — they helped to cause it by voting in the criminals that did it!

    Back to Greece.

    The EU efforts are about buying critical time amongst market turmoil.

    The care for Greeks’ welfare has actually nothing to do with it (they couldn’t care less for a lazy public sector bloated economy) — the EU doesn’t want to waste hard earned money on a group of people who dont want to be saved.

    The EU pollies are saying the right noises to make nice.

    Its all about buying time for the big EU banks in other countries to re-capitalise to prevent EU disaster and prime national assets being bought by emerging economy countries eg China, India etc cherry picking the best stuff in the EU.

    Make no mistake about this.

  • #105305
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    While I’m not condoning the (supposed) Greek attitude that they are entitled to everything for nothing, there may be some merit in their demands for leniancy when it comes to defaulting on debt. After all it was apparently Germany who was the worst transgressor last century:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,769703,00.html

    Think Greece’s current economic malaise is the worst ever experienced in Europe? Think again. Germany, economic historian Albrecht Ritschl argues in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, has been the worst debtor nation of the past century. He warns the country should take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis or it could face renewed demands for World War II reparations.
    Info

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Ritschl, Germany is coming across like a know-it-all in the debate over aid for Greece. Berlin is intransigent and is demanding obedience from Athens. Is this attitude justified?

    Ritschl: No, there is no basis for it.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Most Germans would likely disagree.

    Ritschl: That may be, but during the 20th century, Germany was responsible for what were the biggest national bankruptcies in recent history. It is only thanks to the United States, which sacrificed vast amounts of money after both World War I and World War II, that Germany is financially stable today and holds the status of Europe’s headmaster. That fact, unfortunately, often seems to be forgotten.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What happened back then exactly?

    Ritschl: From 1924 to 1929, the Weimar Republic lived on credit and even borrowed the money it needed for its World War I reparations payments from America. This credit pyramid collapsed during the economic crisis of 1931. The money was gone, the damage to the United States enormous, the effect on the global economy devastating.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: The situation after World War II was similar.

    Ritschl: But right afterwards, America immediately took steps to ensure there wouldn’t be a repeat of high reparations demands made on Germany. With only a few exceptions, all such demands were put on the backburner until Germany’s future reunification. For Germany, that was a life-saving gesture, and it was the actual financial basis of the Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle (that began in the 1950s). But it also meant that the victims of the German occupation in Europe also had to forgo reparations, including the Greeks.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: In the current crisis, Greece was initially pledged €110 billion from the euro-zone and the International Monetary Fund. Now a further rescue package of similar dimensions has become necessary. How big were Germany’s previous defaults?

    Ritschl: Measured in each case against the economic performance of the USA, the German debt default in the 1930s alone was as significant as the costs of the 2008 financial crisis. Compared to that default, today’s Greek payment problems are actually insignificant.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: If there was a list of the worst global bankruptcies in history, where would Germany rank?

    Ritschl: Germany is king when it comes to debt. Calculated based on the amount of losses compared to economic performance, Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Greece can’t compare?

    Ritschl: No, the country has played a minor role. It is only the contagion danger for other euro-zone countries that is the problem.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Germany of today is considered the embodiment of stability. How many times has Germany become insolvent in the past?

    Ritschl: That depends on how you do the math. During the past century alone, though, at least three times. After the first default during the 1930s, the US gave Germany a “haircut” in 1953, reducing its debt problem to practically nothing. Germany has been in a very good position ever since, even as other Europeans were forced to endure the burdens of World War II and the consequences of the German occupation. Germany even had a period of non-payment in 1990.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Really? A default?

    Ritschl: Yes, then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl refused at the time to implement changes to the London Agreement on German External Debts of 1953. Under the terms of the agreement, in the event of a reunification, the issue of German reparations payments from World War II would be newly regulated. The only demand made was that a small remaining sum be paid, but we’re talking about minimal sums here. With the exception of compensation paid out to forced laborers, Germany did not pay any reparations after 1990 — and neither did it pay off the loans and occupation costs it pressed out of the countries it had occupied during World War II. Not to the Greeks, either.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Unlike in 1953, the current debate in Germany over the rescue of Greece is concerned not so much with a “haircut”, but rather an extension of the maturities of government bonds, i.e. a “soft debt restructuring.” Can one therefore even speak of an impending bankruptcy?

    Ritschl: Absolutely. Even if a country is not 100 percent out of money, it could still be broke. Just like in the case of Germany in the 1950s, it is illusory to think that Greeks would ever pay off their debts alone. Those who are unable to do that are considered to be flat broke. It is now necessary to determine how high the failure rate of government bonds is, and how much money the country’s creditors must sacrifice. It’s above all a matter of finding the paymaster.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: The biggest paymaster would surely be Germany.

    Ritschl: That’s what it looks like, but we were also extremely reckless — and our export industry has thrived on orders. The anti-Greek sentiment that is widespread in many German media outlets is highly dangerous. And we are sitting in a glass house: Germany’s resurgence has only been possible through waiving extensive debt payments and stopping reparations to its World War II victims.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: You’re saying that Germany should back down?

    Ritschl: In the 20th century, Germany started two world wars, the second of which was conducted as a war of annihilation and extermination, and subsequently its enemies waived its reparations payments completely or to a considerable extent. No one in Greece has forgotten that Germany owes its economic prosperity to the grace of other nations.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What do you mean by that?

    Ritschl: The Greeks are very well aware of the antagonistic articles in the German media. If the mood in the country turns, old claims for reparations could be raised, from other European nations as well. And if Germany ever had to honor them, we would all be taken the cleaners. Compared with that, we can be grateful that Greece is being indulgently reorganized at our expense. If we follow public opinion here with its cheap propaganda and not wanting to pay, then eventually the old bills will be presented again.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Looking at history, what would be the best solution for Greece — and for Germany?

    Ritschl: The German bankruptcies in the last century show that the sensible thing to do now would be to have a real reduction of the debt. Anyone who has lent money to Greece would then have to give up a considerable part of what they were owed. Some banks would not be able to cope with that, so there would have to be new aid programs. For Germany, this could be expensive, but we will have to pay either way. At least Greece would then have the chance to start over.

  • #105308
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    While I’m not condoning the (supposed) Greek attitude that they are entitled to everything for nothing, there may be some merit in their demands for leniancy when it comes to defaulting on debt. After all it was apparently Germany who was the worst transgressor last century:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,769703,00.html

    That was fascinating, jeeze am really getting sucked into some of this stuff now.

  • #105314
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    Apparently the austerity measures have been passed in Greece.

    (Now I’m switching over to the tennis 😉 )

  • #105315
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    @chopera wrote:
    While I’m not condoning the (supposed) Greek attitude that they are entitled to everything for nothing, there may be some merit in their demands for leniancy when it comes to defaulting on debt. After all it was apparently Germany who was the worst transgressor last century:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,769703,00.html

    That was fascinating, jeeze am really getting sucked into some of this stuff now.

    Absolutely.

    Geo-political finance is what got me hooked — especially the recent (alledged) fascinating episode in Gordon Browns office that involved the Icelandic foreign minister (which mixed fish with finance) and the subsequent later frenzy btw the US, NATO, the Scandinavia nations and the Russians.

    Time will tell what deals Greece was able to pull off in the end.

  • #105316
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    @chopera wrote:
    While I’m not condoning the (supposed) Greek attitude that they are entitled to everything for nothing, there may be some merit in their demands for leniancy when it comes to defaulting on debt. After all it was apparently Germany who was the worst transgressor last century:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,769703,00.html

    That was fascinating, jeeze am really getting sucked into some of this stuff now.

    It’s never really been this intreresting before. For the decade running up to 2007 we lived in a boring credit bubble, with everyone behaving as if there was no apparent risk attached to any investment, and everything was a one way bet. Why bother with economics when there’s money to be made? Since the crisis started everything has been turned on its head. Nobody knows what’s going to happen from one month to the next. It’s suddenly got interesting (and at times frightening).

  • #105317
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    katy
    Spectator

    Interesting…like watching paint dry 😛

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