But Fumble In Greece’s Till


People walk past a banner with an image of Tsipras at the party's pre-election kiosk in Athens

A sign for for anti-bailout party Syrzia in Athens, Greece yesterday

Ahead of elections in Greece this Sunday.

(which may see the country exiting the Euro).

Greg Palast writes:

The euro is simply the deutschmark with little stars on it. Greece cannot adopt Germany’s currency without adopting Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, as its own.

And Schäuble has determined that Greece must be punished. As my homey Paul Krugman points out, there is no credible economic theory that says that austerity—that is, cutting government spending, cutting wages, cutting consumer demand—can in any way help a nation in recession, in deflation. That’s why, in 2009, Obama ordered up stimulus, not a sleeping pill.

But austerity has nothing to do with economics. It is religion: the belief by the stern Lutheran Germans that Greeks have had too much fun, spent too much money, and spent too much lazy time in the sun—and now Greeks must pay a price for their sins.

Oddly, I hear this self-flagellating nonsense from Greeks themselves: we are lazy. We deserve our punishment. Nonsense. The average Greek works more hours in a year than any other worker in the 34 nations of the OECD; Germans the least.

Trojan Hearse: Greek Elections and the Euro Leper Colony (Greg Palast, Dissident Voice)

Greece Election 2015: the politics and economics in numbers (Guardian)


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28 thoughts on “But Fumble In Greece’s Till

    1. Jock

      Should have known this was a bodger special. Is this from reuters? The guardian? No, it’s dissidentvoice.org.

  1. Rob_G

    You can kind of see where the Germans are coming from – it’s their the money that the Greeks are spending.

    1. ahjayzis

      Yes, Germany has really had it hard from the Eurozone’s financial woes. There but for the grace of god etc.

    2. Anomanomanom

      It is in no way their money. It’s not even a “bailout”. That would mean, well exactly what it says a bailout and since countries who got money paid highly over the top rates it is most definitely not a bailout.

  2. Dan

    Who’d have thought one single poem on the 1985 Leaving Cert curriculum could provide inspiration for 42% of Broadsheet’s future headlines?

    1. John E. Bravo

      I came here to praise the ingenuity of the headline, but I find myself swayed by the sharpness of your cynicism. Good job Dan.

  3. Dan

    Genuine questions (I don’t know much about economics, currency markets, etc.), if Greece leaves the Euro, will the Euro devalue even further (I assume it will)? Could this directly effect our banks?

    1. ThatEuropean

      They do, there has been scaremongering on the effect Syriza will have on the EU but it is in everyones interest to keep Greece in the Eurozone and there is a lot of support (nowadays) for fiscal transfers and QE and mostly an anything but austerity mentality (mostly by the French and Italians)

  4. Dubloony

    No, they are not lazy, they just don’t believe in paying any taxes because it just goes to corrupt officials.
    Think FF circa ’77.
    Money they earn they want to keep so public finances are shot.
    State is broke ‘cos of very dodgy practices and no tax.

    They need to regain trust in their system (sound familiar?) and get tax out of people who are eating from charity donations.
    They are screwed.

    They are providing an interesting compare & contrast lessons with Ireland.

    1. 3stella

      There was a figure a couple of years ago (2011) only 5,000 people in a country of 12 million admit to earning more than £90,000 a year.

  5. timble

    You can’t borrow to spend money, if no one will lend to you. The reason Greece is in the position it now finds itself is bacuase it’s public debt was well over 100% of GDP, when times were good up to 2008 and it ran high deficits through all that time. It inflated public spending through borrowing but had a useless tax collection system, and weak economy.
    It;s banks are fecked so no domestic investment and it’s soverieng debt crisis means it cannot attract international investment.

    The US/Obama and Federal reserve could stimulate because it’s debt wasn’t already gigantic, and it can print it’s own money. Membership of the euro precluded Greece from doing that.

    Austerity and default (which Greece has kind of done by already haircutting private holders) is the only policy left when you can’t borrow any more.

    Conveniently forgotten as well in all the talk of a debt conference is that Greece has already essentially defaultedon it’s soverieng debt held by private investors with the ‘voluntary’ haircuts. A default now will be on taxpayers heads across Europe. A hold on interest payments and warehousing of a portion of their debt may help them, and the reputational and economic damage already sufferred has been huge, so will not impact much on greece. However for other Euro countries it would be damaging in the short and medium term.

    In Ireland we got stuck with a large bill for the banks, but our public spending was also inflated from 2002 to 2008 using transient revenues from the property & banking sector. If you look at our debt most of it came from supporting public spending after the crash when tax revenues collapsed.

    We probably could have sustained that borrowing but the extra costs of banking pushed us into a bailout.

    1. Anomanomanom

      Your nearly right, America does not print it’s own money. The Fed prints their money which is not owned by the American government/people.

  6. Kieran NYC

    A nice piece in the IT a few days ago about the Eurozone (incl. us and Greece) getting a currency devaluation and tax cut – for free, through the weaker Euro and falling oil prices.

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