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Greece/Euro/EU – “Quote of the Day”

Via: Huffington Post

“There’s a disagreement on the fiscal side, and unless that is resolved in the next three days, then I’m afraid the summit could turn out to be a fiasco.

And that could be actually fatal because you are facing the possiblity of Greece leaving the euro and perhaps the European Union, and you need to strengthen the remaining euro structure to withstand that shock.”

– George Soros told Bloomberg TV.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/george-soros-germany_n_1623810.html?utm_hp_ref=business

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June 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And Then What? – Paul Krugman

Via: NY Times

So it appears that the governing coalition in Greece has pulled out a narrow victory — winning only a minority of votes, but getting a narrow majority in the parliament thanks to the 50-seat bonus New Democracy gets for coming in first.

So they will now have the ability to continue pursuing an unworkable policy.

Yay!

Joe Wiesenthal tells us that there’s a meme in Greece to the effect that Syriza didn’t really want to win, because it would rather see the current government flail some more.

Conversely, establishment types should actually be dismayed by this outcome: if current policies fail completely, which seems almost a GIVEN, and Greece exits the euro anyway, which seems highly likely, the entire Greek center will end up discredited; better, in a way, to be able to blame the radicals.

And I gather I’m not the only one thinking along these lines; Business Insider also reports hints that Pasok, which has suffered terribly from its identification with failing policies, might not continue in the coalition unless Syriza is also brought on board — which then raises the question, why would Syriza do that?

The debacle rolls on.

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You can read all of the Nobel laureate’s blog, and column, here:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

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personal thought:

Q: Could it be worse?

A: possibly

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Q: Will it get worse?

A: probably

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June 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Euro ‘Is A Bloody Doomsday Machine,’ Mark Blythe, Brown University, Economics Professor Says

Via: Huffington Post

The unthinkable suddenly looks possible.

Bankers, governments and investors are preparing for Greece to stop using the euro as its currency, a move that could spread turmoil throughout the global financial system.

The worst case envisions governments defaulting on their debts, a run on European banks and a worldwide credit crunch reminiscent of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

A Greek election on Sunday will determine whether it happens. Syriza, a party opposed to the restrictions placed on Greece in exchange for a bailout from European neighbors, could do well.

If Syriza gains power and rejects the terms of the bailout, Greece could lose its lifeline, default on its debt and decide that it must print its own currency, the drachma, to stay afloat.

No one is sure how that would work because there is no mechanism in the European Union charter for a country’s leaving the euro. In the meantime, banks and investors have sketched out the ripple effects.

They think the path of a full-blown crisis would start in Greece, quickly move to the rest of Europe and then hit the U.S. Stocks and oil would plunge, the euro would sink against the U.S. dollar, and big banks would suffer losses on complex trades.

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You can, and I suggest you do; read Act 1, 2, and 3, HERE:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/euro-bloody-doomsday-machine_n_1599931.html?utm_hp_ref=business

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personal thought:

If it turns not to be Greece; then it will be Spain, or Italy, or Portugal, or . . .

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June 16, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neo-Nazi Greek Politician Beats On Lady Politician On Live TV (VIDEO)

Via: The Wonkette

Well, this is great.

During a live television debate on Thursday between a bunch of Greek politicians (its broke citizens go to the broken polls on June 17), Ilias Kasidiaris, a spokesperson for and member of the terrifyingly named neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, tossed a glass of water at a lady rival, Rena Dourou of the left-leaning Syriza party, THEN slapped another lady politician, Liana Kanelli of KKE, the communist party, twice.

This after an exchange of insults including “you old commie!” (he to she) and “fascist!” (she to he).

The bestest part of this is that it is ONLINE!

The second best part is that the reason Kasidiaris attacked the women is because they were asking him about a 2007 mugging that he has been implicated in. The trial about that mugging is ongoing, but it’s safe to say, um, innocent until proven to be a violent freak on national television.

After the incident, Kasidiaris apparently fled the TV studio, and is currently being sought by police. Golden Dawn is being given the time of day after winning some parliamentary seats in a May 6 vote. They only got about 6.9 percent of the vote, however, and rivaling parties are now using this debacle, understandably, to get the Greeks to change their minds by the June 17 election.

Read the rest of the story, and see the video, HERE:

http://wonkette.com/474692/neo-nazi-greek-politician-beats-on-lady-politician-on-live-tv-video#more-474692

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SO WHAT’S NEXT?

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“commie!” (Merkel to Hollande)?

you old fascist!” (Hollande to Merkel)?

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June 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greece Still Going Broke, Now Faster And With More Broke-Ness

Via: Huffington Post

If you could rely on anything in the past couple of years, it is that Greece is always going broke. Now it turns out that Greece is going broke faster than almost anybody expected.

The Greek government is struggling to collect enough tax revenue to cover its immediate bills, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, leaving it about 1.7 billion euros shy of its budget goals. It may soon need to freeze government salaries and pensions, temporarily halt imports of food, fuel and medicine, or dip into cash intended to help Greece’s gutted banks, the Times writes.

This comes less than three months after Greece received the first installment of a new, 130 billion-euro bailout package in March. The hard-fought bailout agreement with Greece’s European rescuers involved excruciating belt-tightening that has helped make the country’s deep recession even worse. That tends to have a dampening effect on tax revenue, as the U.S. government can attest.

Austerity, in other words, is self-defeating, which is one reason the rest of the world is dragging Europe’s biggest austerity fan, Germany, toward policies that favor economic growth instead.

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The world has recently grown weary of caring about Greece’s money problems and has instead turned its attention to the money problems of Spain, which yesterday warned it was at risk of being SHUT OUT of  the BOND MARKET and that its banks needed a multi-billion-euro bailout.

The European Central Bank this morning stood pat on taking any more action to help Europe right now, in what might be an effort to force European politicians to make some hard choices and hammer out a long-term solution. Greece, which will likely need more bailout money or risk falling out of the euro zone, may be back on the agenda sooner than policy makers think.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/06/greece-going-broke_n_1573865.html

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personal thought:

“. . . what might be an effort to force European politicians to make some hard choices and hammer out a long-term solution”; well that’s great, and good for them.

But what IF, they/we have reached the ‘tipping point’, and there are NO long-term solutions, simply more half-ass, stop-gap fixes?

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June 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Euro Exit Would Prompt Greeks To More Than Half Their Income

Via: Huffington Post

An exit from the euro would see Greeks lose more than half their annual income and prompt a dramatic rise in unemployment and inflation, a report from the country’s largest bank has warned.

The National Bank of Greece study was published Tuesday as Greece heads to new general elections on June 17, amid Europe-wide concern of broader financial turmoil if Greece’s place in the single currency is threatened by a victory for an anti-austerity party.

“An exit from the euro would cause a significant drop in the living standards of Greek citizens – with a reduction of at least 55 PERCENT in per capita income,” the authors of the 17-page report wrote.

“This would affect those on a lower income the most, with a significant devaluation of the new currency, by 65 percent, and financial contraction of 22 percent on top of the (GDP) reduction of 14 percent that occurred between 2009 and 2011.”

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Read more, HERE:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/greece-euro-exit_n_1553177.html

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May 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greece Crisis Is Personal As Well As Political, As Greeks’ Lives Worsen

Via: Huffington Post

Like many Greeks left unemployed by their country’s economic tailspin, Dimitris Spachos finds it easier to talk about his nation’s problems than his own.

Enormous debt accumulated over decades sent the country into a recession so deep it kills 200 businesses and 900 jobs EVERY DAY. Elections this month failed to produce a government, and Greeks will vote again in June. Meanwhile, life for most Greeks continues to get worse.

“Every day I see more people sleeping rough on the street,” said Spachos, 72. “They can’t even wash their clothes or themselves. … It worries me.”

Spachos, who has been staying with different friends in recent months, may soon join them. A former doctor, he could not afford to retire and found work as a hospital orderly. But as Greece’s woes mounted so did his own, and he lost his job, then two more: one as a gardener and one as a groundskeeper.

Now, he is unemployed and homeless, and spoke this week at a municipal soup kitchen, where he ate a plastic bowl of bean soup, a thick slice of bread and a banana.

“I am ashamed to be here,” Spachos said, his eyes filling with tears. “My heart is broken.”

“Greeks have fight in them, so maybe things will improve in a couple of years,” he said, opening his shirt to reveal a scar from surgery to implant a pacemaker. “But I won’t be around to see it.”

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Read more, HERE:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/20/greece-crisis-personal_n_1530871.html

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personal thought:

” . . . so maybe things will improve in a couple of years”; I hate to say, but I think it might be very much worse in a couple of years.

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May 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(2 of 2) What Greece decides to do will affect us all; sooner or later

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May 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

(1 of 2) Euro – Here’s how it might play out – Paul Krugman

Via: New York Times

Some of us have been talking it over, and here’s what we think the end game looks like:

1. Greek euro exit, very possibly next month.

2. Huge withdrawals from Spanish and Italian banks, as depositors try to move their money to Germany.

3a. Maybe, just possibly, de facto controls, with banks forbidden to transfer deposits out of country and limits on cash withdrawals.

3b. Alternatively, or maybe in tandem, huge draws on ECB credit to keep the banks from collapsing.

4a. Germany has a choice. Accept huge indirect public claims on Italy and Spain, plus a drastic revision of strategy — basically, to give Spain in particular any hope you need both guarantees on its debt to hold borrowing costs down and a higher eurozone inflation target to make relative price adjustment possible; or:

4b. End of the euro.

And we’re talking about months, not years, for this to play out.

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Read Krugman’s BLOG, here:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

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Paul Robin Krugman born February 28, 1953) is an American economist, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

In 2008, Krugman won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences (informally the Nobel Prize in Economics) for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography. According to the Nobel Prize Committee, the prize was given for Krugman’s work explaining the patterns of international trade and the geographic concentration of wealth, by examining the impact of economies of scale and of consumer preferences for diverse goods and services.

Read more, HERE:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Krugman

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personal thought:

Chicken Little was right, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

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May 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Demos

Via: Facie Populi

Athens, Greece, Tinos, 1986

http://www.faciepopuli.com/

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Drama is what you make of it. Some photographers introduce pyrotechnics into the most mundane of scenes, while others specialise in deliberately lowering emotional temperature to the point where the depiction of a mass grave becomes as neutral as that of a field of potatoes.

John Demos avoids both extremes, opting instead for an almost paradoxical middle ground: in Shadows of Silence, he approaches inherently dramatic subject matter with distanced elegance.

Read more, HERE:

http://www.stathatos.net/pages/john_demos.html

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February 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment