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Road to a Grecian turn?

Road to a Grecian turn?

Old Feb 5th 2015, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
I just said that we're all corrupt in different ways. The point is that people go to supermarkets and buy from producers who rip off farm workers etc. We're basically supporting corruption.
That's rather presumptuous;

For that statement to carry any tangible weight it must presume (or at least suggest);
  • That low priced sellers routinely engage in some mysterious "rip off" of farmers - I presume by agreeing to price and buying their produce at that price.
  • That consumers have more than enough disposable income to pay higher prices, but choose to pay lower prices out of some sort of ... self-servitude?
  • That competition is a bad thing.

Just out of curiosity, you wouldn't happen to be French would you?

...and what makes you believe that? Is that what YOU would do?

Last edited by amideislas; Feb 5th 2015 at 10:42 am.
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 10:45 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by Garbatellamike View Post
Good article on Reuters this morning on this topic - worth a read methinks.

Greek banks hammered after ECB snub, Athens rejects 'blackmail' | Reuters
and you thought it was gonna be easy...
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 10:48 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
I just said that we're all corrupt in different ways. The point is that people go to supermarkets and buy from producers who rip off farm workers etc. We're basically supporting corruption.
Oh I see.
When we bought coal from British Coal we were buying from workers who were ripping off consumers and taxpayers.
Were we corrupt then too?
Corruption normally means perverting a business process by dishonest means typically giving or taking bribes.
It can of course also mean a less then pure state.
What on earth do you mean?
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 11:07 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

ECB will now not accept Greek Govenment debt as collateral. Which basically leaves Greece scre*ed.
If only Greece had defaulted 5 years ago. Their debts were principally to German and French banks. Had they defaulted, Greek banks (who held Greek sovereign debt) would have collapsed - with knock-on effects fror the French and German banks, whio might alo have collapsed. As it is, the troika loans have been used to pay back the French and German banks, who are almsot off the hook. Little of that money has actually gone to Greece.
But in 2010 or so Greece could have applied for IMF funding. Conceivably, the German and French Governments, with their banks at risk, would have fallen in behind.
Now where can they turn? If they default on Troika debt, the IMF and the ECB will not help. The French and German banks are off the hook, so they wont help. Greece's only choices are to buckle under or cut Government spending even more. Which once again makes an utter mockery of Europe's pretence of being a democratic entity.
Greece has been a sacrificial lamb on the altar of ever closer union. We had just all better hope that something does not break.
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 11:16 am
  #35  
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas View Post
Sorry I can't see the logic in this at all. Corruption is not one of the ingredients listed on the packet so the consumer has no way of knowing how the product came to be on the supermarket shelf at the price displayed. The capitalist society is based on competition and price is the principle measure. Do you think a Communist system is less corrupt ?
You can buy fair trade products, or at least make an effort to do a bit of research. There's not always a guarantee, but we have options. Didn't think I'd offend so many bargain hunters. So, back to Greece then

Last edited by Moses2013; Feb 5th 2015 at 11:28 am.
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
and you thought it was gonna be easy...
I didn't but I suspect Eric did .........
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
You can buy fair trade products, or at least make an effort to do a bit of research. There's not always a guarantee, but we have options. Didn't think I'd offend so many bargain hunters. So, back to Greece then
Well, you've always been a reasonable voice - which caused a bit of surprise when I read your statement.
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by bigglesworth View Post
ECB will now not accept Greek Govenment debt as collateral. Which basically leaves Greece scre*ed.
If only Greece had defaulted 5 years ago. Their debts were principally to German and French banks. Had they defaulted, Greek banks (who held Greek sovereign debt) would have collapsed - with knock-on effects fror the French and German banks, whio might alo have collapsed. As it is, the troika loans have been used to pay back the French and German banks, who are almsot off the hook. Little of that money has actually gone to Greece.
But in 2010 or so Greece could have applied for IMF funding. Conceivably, the German and French Governments, with their banks at risk, would have fallen in behind.
Now where can they turn? If they default on Troika debt, the IMF and the ECB will not help. The French and German banks are off the hook, so they wont help. Greece's only choices are to buckle under or cut Government spending even more. Which once again makes an utter mockery of Europe's pretence of being a democratic entity.
Greece has been a sacrificial lamb on the altar of ever closer union. We had just all better hope that something does not break.
Yep biggles agree all that.

Moreover, in 2010 the other major concern was the cost of renewing government bonds for the other dodgy larger economies which looked like causing a major meltdown of the Eurozone (Italy and Spain particularly in 2010 but today you should also include France in that equation).

Therefore, from an EU/Eurozone perspective throwing Greece under a metaphorical bus was needed to save the Euro. And the Greeks left alone were going to make things even worse so why not? Realpolitik at work.

If you have currency union I think you are going to need full political and financial union to make it work properly - the current fudge is neither one thing nor the other and, therefore, is fundamentally flawed.
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 1:15 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by Garbatellamike View Post
I didn't but I suspect Eric did .........
Cough, splutter, splutter!!!

I hope I didn't give the impression that they'd go to a couple of meetings, have a quick chat and come out with a deal. I was just being cautiously optimistic about the possibility of change now that there's dialogue rather than laying down of the law.

I was fully expecting some dirty tricks along the way. I'm sure there'll be more.
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by Red Eric View Post
Cough, splutter, splutter!!!

I hope I didn't give the impression that they'd go to a couple of meetings, have a quick chat and come out with a deal. I was just being cautiously optimistic about the possibility of change now that there's dialogue rather than laying down of the law.

I was fully expecting some dirty tricks along the way. I'm sure there'll be more.
Ah sorry for the misuderstanding but you did give that impression - you came across as euphoric not cautiously optimistic!

I agree that cautious optimism is the best place to be on this but I am a cynic by nature.

On the cautiously opimistic side I believe the EU must act to keep Greece on-side in some form or another.

Why do i say this? If the EU does not make some concessions and effectively backs Greece into a corner then they risk making a present of an easy opportunity for Russsia to explot in order to counter the EU neo-imperialism in Ukraine. Putin is unlikely to pass up such an opportunity!!!

In sum,the EU will have to give a little and Syrzia will have to give a lot (their election promises are, after all, barking mad from a wider EU perspective - beware of Greeks bearing gifts ) and then a classical political fudge should be achieveable; however, it will be a fudge and the ami-elephant will remain in the room and be alive and well.

Last edited by Garbatellamike; Feb 5th 2015 at 1:35 pm. Reason: i before e except after c
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 1:57 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

"timeo danaos et dona ferentes" indeed.
The most frightening development to my mind is Syriza joining forces with a nationalist party.
Socialism combined with nationalism does not have the greatest of histories.
We in the Anglosphere often forget what a short history true democracy has in much of Europe.

Last edited by bigglesworth; Feb 5th 2015 at 1:58 pm. Reason: spelling
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by bigglesworth View Post
Socialism combined with nationalism does not have the greatest of histories.
Sorry are we still on Greece here or are we talking about the Labour/SNP Government that will take power in May?
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

I was just referring to Greece although.....
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by Garbatellamike View Post
Why do i say this? If the EU does not make some concessions and effectively backs Greece into a corner then they risk making a present of an easy opportunity for Russsia to explot in order to counter the EU neo-imperialism in Ukraine. Putin is unlikely to pass up such an opportunity!!!
Mike - you bring up an interesting point.

It's kind of a fashionable populist view that what's going on in Ukraine is the result of some sort of EU imperialism, but if anything, the EU is far too politically meek/weak to presume it has either the will, the arrogance, or the courage to engage in "imperialism". And really, there isn't a lot of history to support that.

Although the Russian propaganda machine certainly does attempt to justify it's behaviour by framing former soviet-controlled states recently becoming EU members as "imperialism", but in truth, they chose to join the EU for the promise of economic gains, not for political reasons. Nobody was holding guns to their heads.

I'd argue the circumstances suggest the crisis in Ukraine has been all but solely instigated by a far more "imperialist" entity that has consistently demonstrated the history, will, arrogance and courage to engage in such things.

Remember, it all began when a largely Russian-politically-dominated Ukraine began shifting its loyalties and interests to a politically weak, but economically superior Europe, which also happens to be closely aligned with Russia's arch-rival. Add to that the pipelines that feed Europe with Russian gas, one of Putin's political weapons, which he has used on occasion to extort favour from Europe.

You may remember some years ago in the midst of winter, Putin cut off gas supplies to Europe - and Ukraine - through it's Ukrainian pipelines, over a "debt dispute" with Ukraine - and for a short time, it was a very serious crisis. It was quickly resolved when Ukraine's alleged "back payments" for gas were satisfied - by the EU, if I remember. But really, it was much more than that - it was a clear message from Putin.

Following the Fukoshima nuclear disaster, it is has been suggested that long-time nuclear-energy-proponent and German Chancellor Angela Merkel saw a rare opportunity to satisfy a number of threatening political interests within her constituency with one stone.

First, the Russian gas event was still fresh on their mind.

Second, there was the not-politically-insignificant German Green Party, in overload over the Fukoshima nuclear disaster, along with Germany's aging nuke plants soon in need of expensive refits. After what happened in Japan, Greens wanted nukes closed down. And they were serious about it. (even though none of the Fukoshima risks applied to German nuke plants - another story).

Then, Putin's offer to provide virtually unrestricted gas to Germany and the rest of Europe at a fixed low price - through Ukrainian pipelines, presumably... in the expectation that it would diminish Merkel's support for any Ukrainian interest in aligning with Europe.

For Merkel, it was a perfect opportunity to satisfy the whims of a number of Merkel's political risks. Ultimately, Merkel closed down the nukes and took the deal, the Greens were (ironically) happy to return to dependence on fossil fuels, and not long afterwards, the Ukrainian crisis began with Russia's full support.

(Western) Ukraine has never truly trusted Moscow, and after the pipeline crisis, they began to fear Moscow even more. The shift toward the EU was actually the choice of the Ukrainians - they even ousted the leader that chose to get in bed with Putin - probably out of fear - as you may remember - and clearly the EU was open to closer ties, and rushed in with support. Common interests.

But "imperialism"? I threw it at the wall, it just didn't stick.

Now, whilst you may have a valid point re: possible Russian interest in Greece, especially now, the Greeks are not likely to have much favour for Putinism, and I believe unless things go completely pear-shaped, top-side down, that's not really a serious consideration.

Last edited by amideislas; Feb 5th 2015 at 3:12 pm.
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Old Feb 5th 2015, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Road to a Grecian turn?

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
Mike - you bring up an interesting point.

It's kind of a fashionable populist view that what's going on in Ukraine is the result of some sort of EU imperialism, but if anything, the EU is far too politically meek/weak to presume it has either the will, the arrogance, or the courage to engage in "imperialism". And really, there isn't a lot of history to support that.

Although the Russian propaganda machine certainly does attempt to justify it's behaviour by framing former soviet-controlled states recently becoming EU members as "imperialism", but in truth, they chose to join the EU for the promise of economic gains, not for political reasons. Nobody was holding guns to their heads.

I'd argue the circumstances suggest the crisis in Ukraine has been all but solely instigated by a far more "imperialist" entity that has consistently demonstrated the history, will, arrogance and courage to engage in such things.

Remember, it all began when a largely Russian-politically-dominated Ukraine began shifting its loyalties and interests to a politically weak, but economically superior Europe, which also happens to be closely aligned with Russia's arch-rival. Add to that the pipelines that feed Europe with Russian gas, one of Putin's political weapons, which he has used on occasion to extort favour from Europe.

You may remember some years ago in the midst of winter, Putin cut off gas supplies to Europe - through it's Ukrainian pipelines, over a "debt dispute" with Ukraine - and for a short time, it was a very serious crisis. It was quickly resolved when Ukraine's alleged "back payments" for gas were satisfied - by the EU, if I remember. But really, it was much more than that - it was a clear message from Putin.

Following the Fukoshima nuclear disaster, it is has been suggested that long-time nuclear-energy-proponent and German Chancellor Angela Merkel saw a rare opportunity to satisfy a number of threatening political interests within her constituency with one stone.

First, the Russian gas event was still fresh on their mind.

Second, there was the not-politically-insignificant German Green Party, in overload over the Fukoshima nuclear disaster, along with Germany's aging nuke plants soon in need of expensive refits. After what happened in Japan, Greens wanted nukes closed down. And they were serious about it. (even though none of the Fukoshima risks applied to German nuke plants - another story).

Then, Putin's offer to provide virtually unrestricted gas to Germany and the rest of Europe at a fixed low price - through Ukrainian pipelines, presumably... in the expectation that it would diminish Merkel's support for any Ukrainian interest in aligning with Europe.

For Merkel, it was a perfect opportunity to satisfy the whims of a number of Merkel's political risks. Ultimately, Merkel closed down the nukes and took the deal, the Greens were (ironically) happy to return to dependence on fossil fuels, and not long afterwards afterwards, the Ukrainian crisis began with Russia's full support.

(Western) Ukraine has never truly trusted Moscow, and after the pipeline crisis, they began to fear Moscow even more. The shift toward the EU was actually Kiev's choice - probably out of fear - as you may remember - and clearly the EU was open to closer ties. Common interests.

But "imperialism"? I threw it at the wall, it just didn't stick.

Now, whilst you may have a valid point re: possible Russian interest in Greece, especially now, the Greeks are not likely to have much favour for Putinism, and I believe unless things go completely pear-shaped, top-side down, that's not really a serious consideration.
You got me bang to rights ami - I was being deliberately controversial over the EU Imperialism.

The EU is good at press conferences/sanctions/outrage but lacks the political will and cohesion to do anything militarily over Ukraine (although the US might send weapons!).

The Ukraine situation is incredibly complex and I am not sure that there is anyone who fully understands every aspect of it. The difference is that the EU leadership see this as a media battle for perception whilst Putin is not afraid to take military action and will do so again in the future.

The Greco-Russian dimension is interesting as quite a lot of Syrzia leaders have close ties to Russia and, therefore, there is a potential in for Putin if he wants to get back at the West for Ukraine and sanctions. This is why I am optimistic that the EU will meet Syrzia along the road albeit nowhere near what was promised in the election.
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