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  1. #1
    Neo
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    Greek PM concedes election defeat



    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has conceded defeat to the anti-austerity Syriza party in general elections, and said he hoped the new government would not endanger the country's EU and euro membership.

    "I hand over a country that is part of the EU and the euro. For the good of this country, I hope the next government will maintain what has been achieved," Samaras said in a brief address to reporters on Sunday after exit polls pointed to a victory for the left-wing Syriza party.

    Official results with 60 percent of polling stations counted showed Syriza with 36 percent, far ahead of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' conservatives, who had 28 percent.

    It is unclear whether Syriza, led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, will have enough seats to form a government alone, or if he will need the support of a smaller party. Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips said it seemed unlikely, but that Syriza would have its pick of smaller parties to form a coalition with.

    "This is what five years of austerity have done to Greek politics," he said.

    "Undoubtedly it will send shock waves throughout Europe. Many will be celebrating - left wing parties have sent representatives from all over Europe to this happy throng."

    Right wing parties also have a reason to celebrate the blow against the EU consensus, he added.

    The far-right Golden Dawn and pro-European To Potami are in a neck-and-neck race for third place with percentages between 6.4 and eight percent respectively, according to polls.

    Victory for Syriza, which has led opinion polls for months, would produce the first government in the eurozone openly committed to cancelling the austerity terms of its EU and IMF-backed bailout programme.

    Tsipras on Sunday said Greece is "leaving behind disastrous austerity" and the so-called troika of creditors "is finished".

    "The verdict of our people means the troika is finished," he said referring to the country's international lenders the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

    The Syriza win could represent another turning point for Europe after last week's announcement by the European Central Bank of a massive injection of cash into the bloc's flagging economy after years of trying to clamp down on budgets and pushing countries to pass structural reforms.

    Nearly 9.8 million Greeks were registered to vote in the election.

    Syriza appeal


    Al Jazeera's Phillips said the elections went smoothly without any problems.

    "Greeks are experienced with elections as this is the fifth general election in recent years, displaying the crisis-hit country's political instability," Phillips said.

    Syriza's policies have appealed to many groups hit by the economic crisis facing Greece.

    "The majority of Greeks believe that austerity measures are imposed on them by well-off northern European countries, particularly Germany," Phillips added.

    After its most severe crisis since the fall of its military government in 1974, Greece's economy has shrunk by some 25 percent, thousands of businesses have closed, wages and pensions have been slashed and unemployment among young people is over 50 percent.

    At the same time, its massive public debt has climbed from 146 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to 175.5 percent last year, the second highest in the world.

    Greek PM concedes election defeat - Al Jazeera English
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    At last people are waking up to the Euro shite.

  3. #3
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    At last people are waking up to the Euro shite.
    It will only get worse for the Greeks from here as it looks like they want to deliberately default on their debt. That's not a good idea, IMHO.

    "The verdict of our people means the troika is finished," he said referring to the country's international lenders the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat zygote1's Avatar
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    If Greece defaults on its debt, then it is bye bye EU for them. Greece needs the EU as it allowed Greece to benefit from free access to the EU. If that is lost;
    - the Greeks will see their maritime industry hurt as they will be treated as foreign entities
    - no more working in the EU for all those Greek expats. They'll have fun applying for work permits
    - no more easy access to social benefit payments from the EU.

    The Greeks borrowed all the money to pay for their easy lifestyle, all the while the Greeks didn't pay their taxes. Let them suffer now. If they think its hard now, they aint seen nothing yet. Back to 3rd world status for the Greeks.
    Kindness is spaying and neutering one's companion animals.

  5. #5
    I am no longer a Hostage

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    The Greek bailout money went to banks.

    The banks lent out money to Greece, greek buissines and individuals

    Their fault, their risk, their interest rates

    Now the debt is in the name of the greek people, and they can not´and will not pay that bill.

    Greece might leave the Euro.

    EU ? No

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zygote1
    Back to 3rd world status for the Greeks.
    I think so. Sadly.

  7. #7
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    I lifted this line from Sky News, interesting. No wonder Spiros got the hump.

    "Many in Greece feel slashed public spending has hit the most vulnerable hardest, while leaving the tax evasion and corruption of the apparent elites untouched."

  8. #8
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    Give Greece What It Deserves: Communism

    Comment Now Follow Comments



    UPDATE – “10 Ways the Greek People Can Save Themselves”

    Once in a great while an

    Give Greece what it deserves, Communism.

    It is time to deliver justice to a people, giving them what they truly deserve. Greece’s time has come.

    It must be dawning on all but the most obtuse member of the banking elite that they can’t possibly steal enough money from German taxpayers to save the Greek government from default. Put it off, maybe, but collapse is inevitable.

    Once this happens, what is the purpose of casting Greece into some selective temporary financial purgatory where the irrelevant Greek economy can continue embarrassing anyone foolish enough to lend their dysfunctional government a dime? Why not go all the way and give the country what many of its people have been violently demanding for almost a century?

    Let them have Communism.

    Hard as it is for young people to believe, Communism was once a major historical force holding billions of people in thrall. Outside the halls of elite universities, who still takes it seriously? Sure we have Cuba, where the Castro deathwatch is the last thing standing between that benighted penal colony and an inevitable makeover by Club Med. Then there is Venezuela, though hope is fading that Hugo Chavez will carry the Bolivarian banner much longer now that he’s busy sucking down FOLFOX cocktails while checking for signs that his hair is falling out. And frankly, a psychopathic family dynasty ruling a nation of stunted zombies hardly makes North Korea a proper Communist exemplar.

    What the world needs, lest we forget, is a contemporary example of Communism in action. What better candidate than Greece? They’ve been pining for it for years, exhibiting a level of anti-capitalist vitriol unmatched in any developed country. They are temperamentally attuned to it, having driven all hard working Greeks abroad in search of opportunity. They pose no military threat to their neighbors, unless you quake at the sight of soldiers marching around in white skirts. And they have all the trappings of a modern Western nation, making them an uncompromised test bed for Marxist theories. Just toss them out of the European Union, cut off the flow of free Euros, and hand them back the printing plates for their old drachmas. Then stand back for a generation and watch.

    The land that invented democracy used it to perfect the art of living at the expense of others, an example all Western democracies appear intent on emulating. Being the first to run out of other people’s money makes Greece truly ripe to take the next logical step beyond socialism.

    As wrenching as it will be we can take comfort in the fact that Greece doesn’t have much of an economy to disrupt. The only Greek industry that’s worth a damn is tourism, rapidly collapsing as travelers get tired of being stranded by strikes while dodging Molotov cocktails. The rest of us can find plenty of other sources of lamb chops, yogurt, and olive oil. They crushed the concept of private property long ago under the burden of environmental, cultural, and social regulations that govern land use. Wouldn’t it be instructive to let them have a go at building a workers’ paradise to remind us what state enforced equality looks like?

    Unlike neighboring Balkan nations that got to experience the joys of Communism after the Second World War, Greece was brought back from the brink by massive western intervention as well as a Churchillian side deal that obliged Stalin to butt out. The nasty civil war between the Greek Communist Party (the KKE) and government forces backed by Britain and the U.S. set the stage for decades of struggle between communist sympathizers who never gave up the dream, and right wing juntas determined to rule by force. The uneasy peace that has existed since the colonels were booted merely masks underlying tensions as every Greek worries, is someone else working fewer hours than I am?

    How Greece conned its way into the European Union while hard working Turkey was left begging is a testament to the astute diplomats in Brussels, no doubt consulting their playbook on what dodge they can conjure up next to stick someone else with the bill. Why the E.U. extended credit to a nation whose governments have been in a chronic state of default since the country gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832 is a fitting subject for a News of the World expose. Perhaps they were being advised by Fannie Mae.

    So despite the frantic meetings, the tragicomedy nears its final act. It’s time for the global financial industry to pull up stakes and go home before more innocent bank employees get immolated. If you don’t want the real contagion to spread, that is the disease of believing you can perpetually consume more than you produce, leave Greece to the Greeks and let the bankers take their lumps.

    As difficult as it is for a Greek-American like myself to admit, resting on 2,000 year old laurels is a stale act. While few cultures can proudly look back on as many achievements in the arts, drama, athletics, philosophy, rhetoric, and architecture that were the glory of Greece, it’s time for modern Greeks to take a good hard look at themselves. What have they done for the world lately? More importantly, what are they prepared to do to help themselves? If they can’t face that question then it’s time to sing the Internationale.

    Give Greece What It Deserves: Communism - Forbes

  9. #9
    I am no longer a Hostage

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    A bit old ?

  10. #10
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    from 2011.

    but topical nonetheless.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    from 2011.

    but topical nonetheless.
    Ofcourse it is topical, and Hugo is dead

    Old

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic
    At last people are waking up to their global raping.
    Extended it a little.


    It had to happen. Many, "secure", political parties will be looking over their own shoulders.

    Sharpen up your guillotines.


  13. #13
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    Spain is next

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo
    unemployment among young people is over 50 percent
    That's terrible. Surely a federal style 'government' would target this problem specifically and look to create jobs for them???

    Quote Originally Posted by zygote1
    The Greeks borrowed all the money to pay for their easy lifestyle, all the while the Greeks didn't pay their taxes.
    This is a framed discourse which is just untrue for the vast majority of Greeks. The idea that all Greeks were roaming around having a great lifestyle nonchalantly avoiding taxes is ridiculous.

    Greece is an example of failed crony capitalism, corruption by the 'elites' and abuses by the EU who work for bankers and crony capitalists against the populous.

    It'll be interesting to see where it goes from here, but the EU is: 1) totally corrupt; 2) a total failure, and it will fall to pieces, just a matter of when and how, imho...
    How do I post these pictures???

  15. #15
    Member Warrior's Avatar
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    25% unemployment, 50% youth unemployment
    the economy shrunk 25% in the past years
    average income is 600 euro a month
    ...

    No wonder they voted extreme.

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    Surely a federal style 'government' would target this problem specifically and look to create jobs for them???
    Job creation takes money. Money the gov doesn't have and can't borrow.

    The average Greek is fed up. No wonder they booted a gov that has done nothing to make things better. They'll boot the new gov if they fail to deliver as well.

    Good for them but decades of corrupt gov mismanagement has created a too broke to fix situation.

    Greek recovery will take years. No quick fix in sight.

  17. #17
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    Iceland defaulted and is doing rather well now, Greece should have defaulted on their debt payments years ago and left the Euro and their people would only have been subjected to a year or 2 of shit as opposed to 6+ and ongoing.

  18. #18
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    EU reaping what it has sown.
    They should never have let all these 2nd world fiscal basket cases join in the first place.

    When was the last time you picked up something that wasn't an olive and it said "Made in Greece"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy View Post
    Iceland defaulted and is doing rather well now, Greece should have defaulted on their debt payments years ago and left the Euro and their people would only have been subjected to a year or 2 of shit as opposed to 6+ and ongoing.
    Iceland had a functioning economy and ran into problems on a technicality. They do well. If Greece defaults and leaves the Euro they will be on a similar model as Haiti. Depending on food aid for decades to avoid hunger revolts.

  20. #20
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    On the plus side it means really cheap holidays to Greece! Sure i've still got a few Drachmas lying around..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    At last people are waking up to the Euro shite.
    Might be a disguised blessing....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy View Post
    Iceland defaulted and is doing rather well now, Greece should have defaulted on their debt payments years ago and left the Euro and their people would only have been subjected to a year or 2 of shit as opposed to 6+ and ongoing.
    Iceland had a functioning economy and ran into problems on a technicality. They do well. If Greece defaults and leaves the Euro they will be on a similar model as Haiti. Depending on food aid for decades to avoid hunger revolts.
    That's what the scaremongers would like the Greek people to believe so they can convince them that the best option is to live their lives like slaves in poverty but thankfully a large number of the population has seen through the bullshit and voted for a different way. Everyone said at the time no one would lend to Iceland again, look at their credit rating now.

  23. #23
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    I don't know Greece well, but find it hard to believe they have no economy.

    I went to Athens once, it was a functioning city along with world acclaimed tourist sites. I went to Corfu another time, and it was great - lots of tourists helping the local community to make a living.

    So, the tourism sector is large, 20% of GDP, employs a large % of the population (20% or so) and is valued at around 40billion euro per year.
    SETE | The Importance of Tourism for Greece

    Some general numbers and charts on this site, not the last few years, but I don't see why the numbers would be drastically different (could be wrong on that...).


    macro.tragedy: How is Greek tourism holding up ?


    Actually, looks healthy:

    Greek tourism revenues should rise 13 percent to a record 13 billion euros in 2014, the head of the main industry body said on Tuesday, boosting chances the country will finally emerge from its deep recession next year.

    Tourism is the biggest cash earner for Greece's economy, accounting for about 17 percent of its 185 billion-euro economic output. It employs one in five Greeks.
    Record tourist receipts next year may help end Greece's long recession | Reuters


    So, that's 20% of Greece's finances sorted, ok... What about the rest?

    Agriculture, at about 5%, has a very high quantity of organic farming, that's good - but not a massive sector. Employs nearly 15% of the population. Not bad.

    Industry at 15% is distinctly average, not very diversified and could be improved - certainly some innovation and direction needed here, to be supported by government policy...

    Shipping is massive, obviously very corrupt and open to manipulation of international laws, etc, but employs 5% of the population and brings in about 15 billion euros per year - healthy, and that business isn't gonna dry up because (outside of Germany, hmmm...) there are no European fleets that can handle anything like the business of Greece.

    Economy of Greece - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Seems to be some solid numbers and industries, obviously I've only scratched the surface. Looks to be massive corruption in shipping, and the entry to the EU was used to rape the nation (i.e. getting loans the people will pay, but that money being syphoned off by some obviously mega-rich shipping magnets and others.


    With good management, that country could leave the EU, survive for a couple of years then be quickly back on its feet again. We're not talking about a country that war-torn or lacking investment over decades like a former soviet block country (there's clearly been massive investment, too big, during the last 10+ years...).

  24. #24
    Neo
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    As has already been mentioned the bailout packages across Europe along with quantative easing have served only to make the rich richer while the burden of repayment has been on the general population, it's a giant ponzi scheme that's fraudulent in it's premise. Sure times are going to be tough for Greece, but with the repayments at 175% of GDP, zero investment and civil unrest it could not get much worse. It is austerity that has held the country back, as it continues to do across countries still under the unelected Troika regime.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    EU reaping what it has sown.
    They should never have let all these 2nd world fiscal basket cases join in the first place.
    You are right

    Let's dump the Irish


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