The Greek economy is spiralling out of control. It is in a caught up in negativity and there will be no easy way back to economic stability.
Financial bail outs for Greece are vital yet they are self destructive. The way money is being handled in Europe lately is undermining its worth. We are now running a serious risk of devaluing our assets.Today Greece has received more bad economic news. Firstly there are the unemployment figures. Greece has had record high levels of unemployment for some time now. If you thought these figures coulkd not get worse then you were mistaken.
In July 2012 thelevel of unemployment in Greece rose to 25.1% from 24.8% More than a quarter of the working age population of Greece have no job and few prospects for the foreseeable future. As we all know the devil makes work for idle hands and such high levels of unemployment will lead to trouble.Here are some of the shocking statistics:
- During the past year more than one thosand jobs were lost each day.
- Sadly young people are the worst hit group with the 15-24 age group accounting for 54.2% of all unemployed.
- Yet in Greece and other countries of Europe the retirement age is increasing, meaning less jobs are available for the young generation of workers.
- 1.26 million Greek people were unemployed in July 2012.
- In July 2008 only about 364,000 Greeks were registered unemployed. A nassive increase then in just 4 years.
- Greece faces another year of recession in 2013.
- Greece is caught in a web of bailojts with strict austerity strings attached.
Reporting on these latest shocking figures some in the media have stated that more people in Germany want Greece to stay in the EU than want the country to leave. Perhaps more to the point should be what the Greek people want. They are being treat as the whipping nation of the EU and sooner or later they woll have had enough. What have they got to lose from an exit?Germany and other EU countries of course wiill have a lot to lose should Greeve exit the Eurozone. The best bet would surel;y be scrapping the EU and starting again from scratch. Somethings break and are not able to be repaired. Fact. Sometimes it is time for a more modern model.Rubbing salt into the debt wound of Greece Coca Cola Hellenic has announced today that it is moving ots operations from Greece to Switzerland. CCH was Greece's largest bottling company and its exit from Greece will herald more job cuts. Some have claimed however that this will have a limited impact on the Greek economy. CCH have said that plants will still operate as normal in Greece and ot is more about the companyand its tax burden.It will however be another pyschological blow to Greeks and their economy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Greece on EU business. A bold visit when you consider that many Greeks hold her in some ways responsible for their current economic woes. It is not so much a belief that she created Greece's financial chaos but that she has been pulling the strings of those negotiating bail outs to the troubled country. This means that those who are at the sharp end of EU austerity measures hold her to blame.
Of course it is true that she has to protect the interests of her own people. Each leader should be doing that. Some compassion is needed in such dire times though. Already we have heard many comparing the financial bail out Germany received after the Second World War to current bail outs. They of course did not have to pay money back. Yet the war it has to be said was created by Germany.
Times have moved on but of course the older generation will remember Germany during its darkest days. oIld wounds do not always heal.
Expecting protests on the streets of Athens today police were out in force. 7,000 police officers, secret agents, snipers and commandos have been deployed in the Capital. Surprising perhaps when you consider public sector worker job cuts. They are after all public servants also. Perhaps the Greek administration erred on the side of caution maintaining high numbers of police officers for when times get tough. They may be tough now but could get so much tougher.
Merkel landed this morning in Athens. Already a Swastika flag has been burned by protesters. Some you see believe that having been unable to dominate Europe by force in the past, modern Germany wants to dominate by the economic route.
Around 25,000 protesters gathered in Syntagma Square. Stcks and stones were thrown although initially the violence had only involved a minority of protesters. In the last few minutes police have fired teargas at protesters. Things are beginning to take a turn for the worse.
Teargas is the order of the day in Europe and beyond it seems. In Paris a jobs protest outside of an Auto show resulted in police firing tear gas canisters into the crowd.
There will be protests throughout today in Greece. The leader of the main opposition party Syriza has called upon Greeks to get on the streets to show Merkel the real Greece.
Late yesterday protest gathering was banned by the Greek authorities. The people have opted to ignore this ban. It is laughable when you consider the West's opinion of Russia if it tries to curb protests. As usual we play the Hypocritical card and hope people have short memories.
Apart from Merkel and the eyes of the World witnessing Nazi flag burning, plus some in the crowd wearing nazi uniforms, banners were carried stating, "Merkel out, Greece is not your colony" and "This is not a European Union, it's slavery".
And that dear readers is the truth of the matter. The elite cause the mess and carry on regardless. Those less able to pick themselves up and start again suffer. Those who worked hard to make a lfve for themselves lose everything and no-one cares. Those who run banking systems, stock exchanges and governmnet pull the strings but care nothing for the man, woman or child on the street.
Merkel is in Greece to offer support to the Greek administration given the task of formulating a workable austerity package for the country. She will not care about those who are bleeding. She wants to make sure that the cuts go deep enough. She also has a vested interest in ensuring that Greece stays in the EU. The German people have money committed to this venture.
Merkel is the first German leader to visit Greece in decades. The media may class her visit as symbolic but the Greek people may see it as a red rag to a bull. A person rubbing salt into raw wounds.
Late Monday protest gathering on Greece was banned. Most people have chosen to ignore that. It is laughable when you consider the West's stance when Russia for example tries to curb its protesters. Yet once more the West is playing the hypocritical card and hoping that we all have short memories.
Updates will follow......
Merkel at a previous football match
On Wednesday our sister site of UK news wrote about the UKs wavering stance
on boycotting EURO 2012. Now that England have progressed to the quarter final stage of the competition it appears less certain that ministers will not attend. In line with other EU countries the UK had said that no Ministers would attend as a protest against human rights in the Ukraine. This was with particular reference to
"The plight of glamorous Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Jailed last year after what has been called a "show" trial she has allegedly been beaten more than once. She was sentenced to seven years, in 2011, on charges of alleged corruption." Even Prince William and Prince Harry had said they would boycott EURO 2012.We at TEKJournalismUK and WhereButTheUK have been making our own stand by boycotting reporting of any of the matches due to the Ukraine's mass killing of street animals ready for EURO 2012. That killing continues. We have stuck to our guns but it seems politicians, ministers and leaders have been unable to do the same.The UK have now decided that ministers will attend the next UK match as it is being held in Poland the joint host country. That is surely not in the spirit of such a boycott of conscience?
However the UK are not alone.Tonight Germany and Greece played in their quarter final and watching in the stands was Chancellor Angela Merkel. How did she manage to get a ticket we wonder?. This match was held in Poland but again that is not the point. As Germany scored their first goal a little before half time Merkel was seen triumphant and smiling. What a thorn in the sides of the Greek team. Poor Greece are plagued by Merkel these days.The quandary for all of these leaders will be if their national squad makes it to the final or semi final and it is played in the Ukraine. Will they stand by their boycott or not?Perhaps we all know the answer to that one.
The second Greek Election in just six weeks is over. In reality though it is far from over. The winner by a majority was the New Democracy Party with 29.7% of the vote. It secured 129/300 seats. Hardly a resounding vote of confidence from the people. Enough however to form a government if they can find a political party willing to do business with them.
The Greek Parliament and the people now face many challenges. First and foremost of course is forming a government and quick. Political vacuums are bad news. They can lead to military coups and revolutions.
Who the NDP choose or rather who is prepared to play ball could also impact on the Greek people. Second place in the election was won by the Syriza Party who took 26.9% of the vote and secured 71/300 seats. Such a close run race means that plenty of people will be happy with a New Democracy coalition, but many will not.
The New Democracy is a right wing party. If it works with the Pasok socialist party to form a coalition it may not work. However both of these parties are pro the EU bailout. In times like these political allies may come from opposing ideals. What is being seen as the most important factor is who is pro and who is anti the bailout.
Syriza is anti bailout. This party will be hard to ignore in any new parliament. With such a large number of seats and votes it will have a voice in government. This could mean that it will have power to wield.
Merkel in Germany and Obama in the US are happy that the New Democracy Party has won the majority. They of course do not have to live in Greece under the austerity measures previously agreed. It is fair to say that all Europeans leaders will be happy with the initial outcome of the Greek Elections. The money men and women who manipulate our lives have already expressed their pleasure. How so? By boosting the stock markets.
There is however still a long way to go.
All Antonis Samaras won in effect was the right to be first to hold coalition talks. If the Pasok Party teams up with Samaras it will be a similar situation to the UK. That is a coalition made up of the first and third place in the people's vote. Hardly the people's choice.
Both the Pasok and the New Democracy Party have governed Greece for many years. Both are therefore blamed by many for the economic crisis Greece is facing. Syriza being a fresh new party has said that it will not join forces with others to form a coalition.
No such moral stand point by the old guard.
Socialist PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos has already come up with a novel suggestion. He has proposed politicians forget the usual procedure and go for a four-party coalition between New Democracy, Syriza, PASOK and Democratic Left.
It is worth noting that anti bailout political parties saw their share of the second vote in Greece increase from six-weeks ago. The Neo Nazi Party Golden Dawn had its share of the vote reduced compared to the earlier election.
Europe may have breathed a sigh of relief but now it is holding its breath as it waits to see if forming a Greek government is possible. Germany has already warned Greece that the bailout is not open for re-negotiation.
In May 2012 the Greek people went to the polls. The national election was not due until 2013 but the resignation of former leader George Papandreou meant an early election was necessary. The post of leader was filled temporarily by a technocrat, Mr Lucas Papademos, and he led an interim government,The Greek people have endured a terrible few years and it looks like it will get worse, before if ever it gets better. In May the people failed to return a majority government. The main players were unable to form a coalition government and so a further election was scheduled for June 2012.
This weekend the people will vote once more. Has enough changed to return a majority government this time?It will be a hard one to call. The Greek people could choose to elect and support a pro-bailout government or an anti-austerity one.
It is not a straight forward choice however between the right and the left of politics. The Greek political front runners include communists, the extreme right, socialists, neo nazis and conservatives.If the vote is split again it will be hard for any party to win through. However
since the failed election in May the political front runners have been campaigning hard. Up until the death each party has been trying to win over voters and make that one last push.Currently many are predicting a win for the liberal conservatives, the New Democracy Party. However some see these politicians at the heart of Greek woes. As the party in office during the economic crisis the New Democracy Party failed to resolve the situation. When it comes to it though will the majority of Greeks see them as the only sensible way forward?Behind the scenes preparations are underway for an EU exit by Greece, if it is deemed necessary. To the cameras people maintain that Greece will not leave the
Eurozone and no EU countries want them to leave. Whether that is what is said behind closed doors is doubtfulShould Greec
e leave the EU it will be a protracted affair. It will not be easy for any country in Europe and possibly beyond. The economic fall-out will reach far and wide, but what of if they stay? How much longer can the Eurozone farce continue? One that demands the people suffer whilst the banking sector continues to crumble. One that increases unemployment to disastrous levels? Related reading regarding the USA and their involvement with the EU crisis since 2008 hereTags: Greek election 2012, EU crisis, Greek New Democracy party, second election in Greece, Eurozone exit, Greek politics, Greece
If you were in any doubt before last week's various Elections in Europe were held, you must now see that Europe is in danger of collapsing. It could be a long, slow, painful death, or a veritable massive heart attack but the Eurozone dream is over. It has been a nightmare for many people for too long now and finally the time to say NO MORE draws close.
Eurosecptics have always existed but for the last few years leaders such as France's Sarkozy and Germany's Merkel have attempted to prop up Europe and fight a losing battle Successive governments of Europe are falling at rapid speed, as the people of each country turn their backs on those loosely held responsible for the current financial crisis.
Whilst some will view such sentiments as merely anti-establishment views there is much more to it than that. The statistics show that of the seventeen EMU member states, twelve have seen their governments collapse or be voted out, in just the last two years. A daunting prospect for those politicians who attempt to take hold of the poisoned chalice of Europe. In the UK it was only local elections but we Brits sent a stark message to Westminster.
One of the winners in the UK was Nigel Farage and the UKIP Party. As a party which advocates the end of our membership in the EU that certainly told our current coalition something they did not want to hear. That is, the people of Great Britain do not want to be involved in the EU anymore. Many never did Perhaps this is why today's Queen's speech included an attempt to prevent the UK offering any more bail outs to the EU.
This of course is too little too late. It will damage our standing and leave us high and dry should our economy fail. The fact that we have paid through the nose for years will count for nought. King World News
has today carried an interview with Nigel Farage which makes for an interesting, if not worrying, read. Whilst this blogger does not usually agree with Mr Farage she often sees some of what he says as good sense. His stance on Europe is after all for many of us his saving grace. In the interview with King World News Farage paints what most of us believe to be an accurate picture of Europe in the days, weeks and months to come. This is one that shows the EU crumbling as politicians take measures to shore up the faults, knowing full well they are simply delaying the inevitable.
TEK reported at the weekend that Lord Mandleson was predicting a more Federal Europe. He in fact appeared to be all in favour of such a measure as a positive move. People in the UK will by and large disagree. Soon after we ran an op-ed on our fears regarding Ms Merkel and her arrogant behaviour
. Again it seems that we are in agreement with Mr Farage's view.
What could probably be the most dangerous issue for UK democracy is apathy. With so many people failing to vote, claiming politicians are all the same, politics does not concern me and more, we are ripe for a take over.
A dictatorship in the Eurozone may sound like a bad joke but it is not that far away, nor is it an impossibility. Greece and Italy already have a non elected technocrat as leader, that is a dictator in all but name. Germany has tried many times to dominate Europe and it is attempting to do so again. This time it may not be by the sword but rather by the economy. Time will tell though.
The People of Europe must stay informed and active if they are to have any chance of surviving or fighting what may be to come. Sounds to over the top? Not at all. Greece is just one small part of the problem. Following the Greek election a government has not been formed. Different parties are trying to work together. Depeding which form a coalition they could decide to tear up the bail out plan and maybe leave the EU. German leader Angela Merkel has already said the agreement is not open for debate, but who will stop them and how?
Tags: Angela Merkel, EU deal, Eurozone crisis, Greek debt, Nigel Farage UKIP, federal Europe, EU dictator. op-ed
Earlier this week credit rating agency Standard & Poor cut Greece's long-term credit rating to 'selective default'. Now credit rating agency Moody's has gone one step further. Today's downgrade has been widely reported.
According to AlJazeera
, "Ratings agency Moody's has downgraded Greece to the lowest rating on its bond scale, saying that risk of default remains high even if a bond-swap deal with banks and other private investors, due to be completed this month, is successful." " Moody's lowered Greece's local and foreign-currency bond ratings to C from Ca, the lowest possible.It would seem that Greece and its people are in a no win situation. Whatever means are taken to address their debt crisis will result in a negative impact in the short term and maybe even the long term. With high unemployment already it is very hard for the ordinary Greek people. The "fat cats" of Greece will no doubt still prosper. Many ordinary citizens though have lost their homes as well as their means of making a living. Unsurprisingly the barter system is continuing to grow in Greece. It is difficult to see what Greece can do. It is now governed by a non elected leader and nationwide elections are almost upon them. Having been mismanaged for years, by successive governments, who will want to take on the mantle, who will the Greek people choose of the Greek Parliament and who can make any real difference for the people.Whilst countries such as Germany and France who are heavily tied into Greece's debts want to protect their own interests , those of the Greek people are ignored. Shame on you all. Remember the human cost of this crisis. Is it time to let Greece go?
As the Greek parliament met today, Sunday February 12, 2012, to try and reach agreement on the latest EU debt deal, protesters took to the streets again. Once again Athens saw rampaging protesters.
As police tried to keep the rioters out of Parliament an historic building a cinema, began to burn, At time of writing the riots are continuing.
Tens of thousands of rioters and protesters took to the streets in protest about the austerity measures the EU are placing on Greece. The protesters have said that those in parliament about to vote on the austerity measures were the ones responsible for the financial mess Greece is in right now.
It has been reported that tear gas has been widely used today and has infiltrated the Greek parliament. The Greek people are in a lose lose situation. The austerity measures will leave many suffering for years. Failure to pass the debt deal will herald the unthinkable and perhaps a collapse in many other countries too and the EU.
Today's detruction has also damaged cafes and shops which will cause further problems.
will receive. Greek politicians have been toiling over the cuts required since last year. The deal will secure a 109bn (130bn euro) bailout but at a price. That is to be expected. When we borrow from the bank it is always at a price. However if we are wise we stay well clear of loan sharks who demand too much back. Greece has nowhere else to go and has no bargaining power. It has been forced to accept the package warts and all. Some negotiating may have eased the cost but how viable is the situation?
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi rubber stamped this latest bail out after speaking with Greek non-elected interim leader Mr Papademos. He told Mr Draghi that all parties in the Greek government had now agreed to the measures demanded
by the EU. What about the Greek people? Those who will live with the implications of these measures on a daily basis?Whilst the EU is not a charity it is supposed to be a community.News of the deal had an instant positive effect on the stock market. Yes many will make money on the ills of Greece and its people. There will now be some alternative cuts to those which had been rejected last year. These will include
a 22% reduction in the minimum wage and a total of 150,000 job cuts in the public sector, of which 15,000 will go this year.
On the face of it this looks as if there will be one section of Greek community being hard hit and that will be the poorest. Correct me if I am wrong. Those who run countries, banks, big business and the like will prosper. Those in effect who were responsible for the mess in the first place. Pensions are in line for a 15% cut which may now be increased. Yes hit the elderly too. Papademos and his measures are supported by the far right of Greece. It is noted thati n times of cirisis in Europe the far right tend to rise to the top before all hell breaks lose.More money will be wasted at further talks in Brussels on the evening of February 9, 2012 as leaders get together once more to see if they can squeeze Greece a little further.Economists generally believe that all of this will still not be enough. As the Greek economy contracts at an alarming rate the writing appears to be on the wall.Others believe that Greece has now taken a vital first step on a long road to financial recovery. Having got itself into debt it has learned a hard lesson and must pay the price. March 20 is an important date for Greece this year and could be make or break time. Greek debt is complicated and you cananalyze it until you are blue in the face but not if you live in that country. That must be a nightmare.
One that you would rather forget.Wherever you stand on the Greek crisis
you will be a lucky person if you are not an ordinary Greek citizen. It seems clear that Greece is in a no win situation, It faces an impossible task. Those who keep propping their debt up do so due to vested interests. Long ago a different solution should have been found. Now the EU is on a treadmill that is moving too fast for it to step off easily.Greek in this blogger's opinion is doomed either way. Is it time to say enough is enough?Note: Greece has to find
€325m of cuts before the coming weekend!
A deal has been reached over the next financial bail out
is being told that it will have to in effect jump through yet more hoops, in order to secure the next financial bail-out. With so much at stake it is easy to see why Germany is keen on Greece curing its financial ills. That said once again it is Germany and France demanding. Perhaps the two leaders, Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy, the Merkozys, that should make a community of their own. As it is the Greek people will be expected to make even more cuts.
Thousands of public sector job cuts have been announced. Sooner or later there will be nothing left to cut. What will happen then? Will the richer countries of the Eurozone offer aid? After all we are sending aid by the bucket load to countries such as India and Pakistan. Surely that would show true community spirit. Offer a fresh start.As usual it will be the poorest people of Greek society that will lose out. More job cuts are on the way. Already some Greeks have abandoned their children in the hope that will have a better life in care.
Whilst the money men and women of the EU consider budget and financial implications do they spare a thought for the citizens of Greece? The people who now have an imposed leader rather than an elected one.The German Franco alliance now hope to ensure that Greek bail out money is not paid directly to Greece. They do not want it going straight to Athens but rather to an interim bank. This way they can feed the money to Greece a little at a time.
If Greece does not dance to the tune of the Franco German alliance it will not receive the rest of the money.Of course all EU countries stand to lose a great deal if Greece defaults on its debts.
However expecting the Greek people to live as paupers, for what could be the rest of their lives, should not be an option. Better to set them free to fend for themselves. Yes it would be sink or swim but isn't it going to be that anyway?Debt deal talksGreek bail out funds could be split