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-   -   Road to a Grecian turn? (https://britishexpats.com/forum/europe-55/road-grecian-turn-852017/)

Red Eric Feb 3rd 2015 2:03 pm

Road to a Grecian turn?
 
As someone else has pointed out, no Greece forum, hence posting here where nobody'll read it, however....

Are we watching history in the making here? The new Greek government appears to have made significant headway in at least getting acknowledgement of the fact that they have ideas for change.

That comes as a breath of fresh air after years of the extremely unpleasant austerity experiment. Obviously, they're not being openly welcomed on all sides but they've made a good start.

Could this lead to general adoption of a different approach, a bit of relief for the other bailed out nations in the short term and perhaps a brighter future for Europe later on?

Garbatellamike Feb 3rd 2015 2:05 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by Red Eric (Post 11554130)
Could this lead to general adoption of a different approach, a bit of relief for the other bailed out nations in the short term and perhaps a brighter future for Europe later on?

Simply put - no

amideislas Feb 3rd 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 
Greece is on everyone's mind right now, but that's not the root of Europe's problems, it's only one result of them.

Even in the highly unlikely event that Greece' problems could ever be solved, Europe still needs to go into full rehab. Another bottle of whiskey might help take those blues away for a while, but the blues will still be there in the morning, along with the hangover... But no worries, a little hair of the dog, and voila, all happy again...

And so it goes...

Garbatellamike Feb 3rd 2015 2:43 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by amideislas (Post 11554166)
Greece is on everyone's mind right now, but that's not the root of Europe's problems, it's only one result of them.

spot on Ami

bigglesworth Feb 3rd 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by Garbatellamike (Post 11554172)
spot on Ami

+ 1

Red Eric Feb 3rd 2015 5:53 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 
Agreed that it's not the root of the problem but attempting properly to resolve its problems requires addressing some of the underlying issues, its own and the EU's, which I think the new incumbents are trying to do.

It strikes me as a far better approach than reapplying the same medicine that has demonstrably failed to yield the expected results (quite the reverse, in fact), in increased dosages.

And given that they've not had doors slammed in their faces and that, against the odds, they appear to be garnering some support (from some surprising quarters, in my opinion), I have it down as remarkable progress already.

Garbatellamike Feb 3rd 2015 9:34 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by Red Eric (Post 11554442)
Agreed that it's not the root of the problem but attempting properly to resolve its problems requires addressing some of the underlying issues, its own and the EU's, which I think the new incumbents are trying to do.

It strikes me as a far better approach than reapplying the same medicine that has demonstrably failed to yield the expected results (quite the reverse, in fact), in increased dosages.

And given that they've not had doors slammed in their faces and that, against the odds, they appear to be garnering some support (from some surprising quarters, in my opinion), I have it down as remarkable progress already.

well it would be really nice if you were right; however,.............

Sorry to say but there has been no real progress at all - merely posturing.

I so hope you are right but logically..........

amideislas Feb 4th 2015 6:24 am

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 
Well, almost anything could seem like an "improvement".

I do find it curious that immediately following the elections, Syriza's tone is markedly different. Rather than idyllic rhetoric promising much needed economic relief and to bestow the population with generous benefits, the tone seems to have shifted to something that suggests a more realistic compromise.

Perhaps reality is already beginning to present itself. Begs the question that if the population doesn't soon feel the instant gratification it voted for, how long might this last?

In the mean time, the elephant in the room isn't debt restructuring or even whether Greece can manage the impossible. The elephant in the room is the European political bomb Greece could very well set off in the process.

If there's one thing Europe doesn't need right now, it's more pie-in-the-sky idealism. More of the same isn't going to make it better.

I happen to agree with Obama's view. He did manage to slip in a carefully-worded suggestion that it's Europe itself that needs to reform, which is absolutely spot-on. But in typical European fashion, the focus will likely continue to be deflected to the trees rather than seeing the forest for what it is.

Garbatellamike Feb 4th 2015 8:08 am

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by amideislas (Post 11555001)
Well, almost anything could seem like an "improvement".

I do find it curious that immediately following the elections, Syriza's tone is markedly different. Rather than idyllic rhetoric promising much needed economic relief and to bestow the population with generous benefits, the tone seems to have shifted to something that suggests a more realistic compromise.

Perhaps reality is already beginning to present itself. Begs the question that if the population doesn't soon feel the instant gratification it voted for, how long might this last?

In the mean time, the elephant in the room isn't debt restructuring or even whether Greece can manage the impossible. The elephant in the room is the European political bomb Greece could very well set off in the process.

If there's one thing Europe doesn't need right now, it's more pie-in-the-sky idealism. More of the same isn't going to make it better.

I happen to agree with Obama's view. He did manage to slip in a carefully-worded suggestion that it's Europe itself that needs to reform, which is absolutely spot-on. But in typical European fashion, the focus will likely continue to be deflected to the trees rather than seeing the forest for what it is.

Totally agree ami and I think the Germans knew that austerity would not work in Greece but believed it would add stability to the Eurozone and that Greek austerity wouldd be better for Europe as a whole than Greek going down the pan and dragging Portugal, Ireland, Spain, France and Italy with it. I suspect the facts that Greece submitted fake debt figures to enter the Eurozone in the first plate may be one of the reasons why the Germans are unsympathetic.

Unitl they deal with Ami's elephant - I sense this is all unlikely to change, however much posturing and rhetoric there is. I feel that currency union with out full fiscal union (i.e. including Gov spending, tax rates, borrowing limits etc) was always destined to fail. Moreover, I think Delors and the other creators of the Euro knew this but they also knew that proposing such a tranfer of Sovereignity would kill the euro stone dead before birth.

At the moment Greece needs to stimulate growth to get out of the killer borrowing-GDP ratio issue. Austerity in Greece has made this ratio worse not better as GDP has dropped so much that the ratio is approaching disasterous(i.e. it si now more unsustainable than pre-bailout!). Growth does not equal borrowing shed loads of money to create the illusion of growth BTW it means growing tourist, industrial and service sectors to increase tax take.

I hope once the new Greek Government stop their ridiculous posturing and enter negotiations that there is some wriggle room that can be found but writing off 50% of their debt would in all liklihood lead to financial meltdown in the Eurozone (contagion to other countries and cost of bond purchases).

Eric, just a thought for you. If this is "progress" why has the Greek election result been so widely welcomed by the swivel-eyed loons in UKIP and the extremist FN in France? I think it is because they see the stated policys of the new Greek government killing the euro and hope this will lead to the end of the European project and a return to Nationalism - be careful what you wish for!

Red Eric Feb 4th 2015 8:23 am

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by Garbatellamike (Post 11554689)
Sorry to say but there has been no real progress at all - merely posturing.

At least it's a standing-up posture on Greece's part. You have to admit that they have, at least, taken some admirable initiatives, the first (and most important, in my opinion) of which was not to try to negotiate with the Troika but instead to meet European counterparts individually.

Time will tell whether it's posturing or progress but the new Finance Minister's assessment is that he's confident a workable deal will be agreed shortly. Angela Merkel, on the other hand, thinks negotiations will drag on for months - but then again, she is refusing to meet PM Tsipras.

It's the first time that any of the bailed out nations has publicly done anything other than go into a room full of Troika and be forced, under duress, to sign up to more of the same.

The government where I live is flatly refusing to take part in a proposed conference about debt restructuring (a Greek initiative), preferring instead to adhere strictly to the agreed programme, which is crippling the economy. A conference, for goodness' sake!

Garbatellamike Feb 4th 2015 8:50 am

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by Red Eric (Post 11555082)
At least it's a standing-up posture on Greece's part. You have to admit that they have, at least, taken some admirable either extremly naive or plain daft certainly not admirable initiatives, the first (and most important, in my opinion) of which was not to try to negotiate with the Troika but instead to meet European counterparts individually and what has this acheived actually? They came to Italy wher ethey got listened to and thanked for coming but no actual support for their position - Merkel not interested in meeting them until they finish posturing and she holds the whip hand - just wasting time and effort at the moment.

Time will tell whether it's posturing or progress exactly hence too early to call it progressbut the new Finance Minister's assessment is that he's confident a workable deal will be agreed shortlyyou can admire his confidence if nothing else. Angela Merkel, on the other hand, thinks negotiations will drag on for months - but then again, she is refusing to meet PM Tsipras.Yes because she sees no point in meeting with a dangerous lunatic who is trying to bring down the Eurozone (I stress her perspective not mine)

It's the first time that any of the bailed out nations has publicly done anything other than go into a room full of Troika and be forced, under duress, to sign up to more of the same.

The government where I live is flatly refusing to take part in a proposed conference about debt restructuring (a Greek initiative), preferring instead to adhere strictly to the agreed programme, which is crippling the economy. A conference, for goodness' sake! Yes but what would they talk about when the 2 sides are diameterically opposed a unilateral declaration that debt will be cancelled is not a realistic basis to start a discussion - the compromise will be in the timeline not the amount and I think th eGreek governemnt know this and are posturing for their voters and as anegotiating tool

comments in red!

Overall, I so hope you are proved to be right in time but I fear it will be the opposite of what you predict.

I hope the new Greek government stop their ridiculous posturing and negotiate realistically with the people who leant them money. The lenders also need to give something as austerity has not worked for the Train-wreck Greek economy and it was never going to.

However, the Ami-elephant is still in the room :nod:

Garbatellamike Feb 4th 2015 10:22 am

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 
This is the Italian view after the visit of the Greeks:

PM Renzi: ‘we will help you, but we are not saying you are right’.

Italian Minister of the Economy Padoan: no to an ‘axis’ with Greece. The real emergency would be Greece’s exit from the bailout plan, which expires at the end of the month

Red Eric Feb 4th 2015 1:03 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 
According to the state broadcaster here, El Pais is reporting growing support for putting an end to the Troika overseeing Greece (as pretty much demanded by the new Greek Finance Minister).

Amongst those said to be in favour of this idea are Jean-Claude Juncker and the Italian and French governments.

Germany, of course stands firmly against the idea.

That has to go down as progress, surely? The start of a dialogue which might put an end to the body which has proved so disastrous in actually resolving the problems of the bailed out countries. The start of a process to initiate proper discussions about alternative proposals which might work.

And (to address the point of the usefulness of conferences), if the governments of Portugal and the other debtor nations had any sense, they might want to start trying to find some common ground with Greece and each other, instead of repeating ad infinitum "Portugal isn't Greece" (substitute country names where appropriate). That way, instead of being bullied (as they undoubtedly have been), they might be able to come up with something constructive and beneficial which could be presented jointly and with the further benefit that the populations of those countries could consider that their politicians are adequately representing their interests and those of Europe, rather than those of banks and big business.

Garbatellamike Feb 4th 2015 1:22 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 

Originally Posted by Red Eric (Post 11555309)
According to the state broadcaster here, El Pais is reporting growing support for putting an end to the Troika overseeing Greece (as pretty much demanded by the new Greek Finance Minister).

Amongst those said to be in favour of this idea are Jean-Claude Juncker and the Italian and French governments.

Germany, of course stands firmly against the idea.

That has to go down as progress, surely? The start of a dialogue which might put an end to the body which has proved so disastrous in actually resolving the problems of the bailed out countries. The start of a process to initiate proper discussions about alternative proposals which might work.

And (to address the point of the usefulness of conferences), if the governments of Portugal and the other debtor nations had any sense, they might want to start trying to find some common ground with Greece and each other, instead of repeating ad infinitum "Portugal isn't Greece" (substitute country names where appropriate). That way, instead of being bullied (as they undoubtedly have been), they might be able to come up with something constructive and beneficial which could be presented jointly and with the further benefit that the populations of those countries could consider that their politicians are adequately representing their interests and those of Europe, rather than those of banks and big business.

Nope it is still lots of posturing on both sides. They might start to make some progress in 5 or 6 weeks.

I so hope you are right but if they hadn't been "bullied" they would have killed the Eurozone and badly wounded the EU (the German perspective which has some flaws and some merits).

The right thing to have done would have been to expel Greece from the Euro when it was clear they had fradulently entered and tell them to comeback and reapply when they actually met the conditions for joining. Realpolitik did not allow that logical outcome hence we blunder on and none of the politicos can see the ami-elephant.

Not looking good in my book but they may reach a face saving compromise in a few weeks. i am cetainly not going to be dancing in the streets based on what has been said so far.

Eric, I really admire your optimism but I do not share your analysis.

amideislas Feb 4th 2015 1:49 pm

Re: Road to a Grecian turn?
 
I'd argue it's the forest that needs Miracle-Gro, not the trees.


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