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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #800 on: May 26, 2012, 08:55:17 pm »
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Someone help me find a way to respond to Swedish Cheese with a post that isn't just a string of expletives on how he's completely missing the point.
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« Reply #801 on: May 26, 2012, 10:59:30 pm »
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Legarde seems to be a kind hearted woman, indeed. I can´t see the Greek issue as a simple question of payback. You can say that Greece is a failed state, complain about  people who don´t pay their taxes and think that they need reforms. This could be true under a certain point of view and in that country many things really don´t work, but I don´t think that tighten the rope on a hanged person´s neck would help. One can wonder about the efficiency of the measures adopted and about the fact that Greece is paying interests over interests (isn´t it usury?). The money is lost but who is more guilty, the debtor or the moneylender? In the other hand I wonder about what is doing IMF actually to alleviate the situation in countries like Mali. Maybe fairer trade laws or some other measures would help?

The last polls show ND slightly ahead over Syriza. I don´t know if there are seat-projections aviable but I guess that a ND-PASOK majority is possible with the first over the 20% of share, given the 50-seats bonus. In the other hand I don´t trust Greek polls very much.  
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« Reply #802 on: May 27, 2012, 01:56:14 am »
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Someone help me find a way to respond to Swedish Cheese with a post that isn't just a string of expletives on how he's completely missing the point.

How is he missing the point? He seems to have gotten the main concerns down pretty well.
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Landslide Lyndon
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« Reply #803 on: May 27, 2012, 04:00:43 am »
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As much as Lagarde's statements were impolitic and clumsy, it pains me to say that they were absolutely true. Our governments failed miserably when it comes to cracking down on tax evasion and reforming our judicial system (a necessary act because thousands of tax cases are stagnating for years, if not decades, in our courts).

And the people here are not innocent. Not only because many of them are evading taxes but also because those that they don't do not seem to care enough so that they apply pressure on our politicians to end this game or help the state to catch corrupt IRS officers when they ask bribes.

P.S. I'd love to see Bacon King's analysis of the new polls.
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« Reply #804 on: May 27, 2012, 04:07:24 am »
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If the troika courts find that these measures won't be enough, let us give the hellenic peoples whips to lash themselves so that they can repent further.

Well we would need to discuss some details, like where the whips would be made? Shall we have Greece make them for themselves, or should Northern Europe be allowed to sell them to get back a little money? Perhaps a neutral place like Switzerland would be best.

And perhaps more importantly, do you have any...let's say...."workout plan" in mind that could be sent with the whips? Need to make sure everyone knows how to best use them.
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« Reply #805 on: May 27, 2012, 04:39:56 am »
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transparency international's corruption index

Greece 2008 4.7 / 57th in the world
Greece 2009 3.8 / 71st in the world
Greece 2010 3.5 / 78th in the world*

Some of this is presumably due to reassessment rather than an actual increase, but the general point stands: The troika's recipes (and the crisis itself) are making things worse, not better. It's self-evident, really: fixing endemic corruption issues requires spending money. What little in that regard was included in the troika diktats was largely window-dressing, declarations of intent for the future, and quite possibly the Greek government's own contribution to the packages. What happened straight away were across-the-board cuts for those unable to evade them - those not at fault, in short (except in the indirect "not exert enough pressure" sense of px' post).
The IMF's track record in Third World countries is of course exactly the same.
Of course, Greece doesn't have much of an industrial heritage of anything; its economy is based on tourism, money sent home by emigrants, and formerly on agricultural exports - a typical setup for a postcolonial economy that's doing fine (not based on oil etc) really, and a breeding ground for this kind of tax etc issues. Let us not forget that Britain basically considered Greece a de-facto colony / part of its "influence sphere" until WWII (which is why the failed intervention of Crete 1941, the plans for an invasion in 1944, and the intervention of 1945). Also, the overinflated army, involved in economic sectors where it doesn't belong and importing German armaments of course. Lagarde seems to be fine with that continuing.

*2001 to 2008 is not really much different (the rating rose somewhat, but the world rank remains about the same). 2000 was noticeably better, it's also the last time Greece wasn't bottom of the EU-15 - though a gap vs Italy didn't open until 2009. 2011 is 3.4 / 80th. Greece is still not at the bottom of the new enlarged EU in these tables, but it's 26th barely ahead of Bulgaria and slightly below Romania.
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« Reply #806 on: May 27, 2012, 05:47:24 am »
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If the troika courts find that these measures won't be enough, let us give the hellenic peoples whips to lash themselves so that they can repent further.

Well we would need to discuss some details, like where the whips would be made? Shall we have Greece make them for themselves, or should Northern Europe be allowed to sell them to get back a little money? Perhaps a neutral place like Switzerland would be best.

And perhaps more importantly, do you have any...let's say...."workout plan" in mind that could be sent with the whips? Need to make sure everyone knows how to best use them.

What about this work-out plan?
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« Reply #807 on: May 27, 2012, 03:51:36 pm »
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I'm hoping that either SYRIZA gets a majority, or SYRIZA gets just under a majority and the KKE and/or DIMAR come to their senses and agree to form a coalition.
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« Reply #808 on: May 27, 2012, 05:15:18 pm »
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There is now a fifth poll from Pulse showing ND ahead.

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« Reply #809 on: May 27, 2012, 05:53:43 pm »
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Lyndon, is there a chance of a left-wing coalition between SYRIZA and PASOK if SYRIZA tops the polls, or is the only realistic alternatives with DIMAR and/or ANEL? And how well would SYRIZA and ANEL actually get along?

And while I'm asking questions anyway, why does KKE use Latin letters for their short from?
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« Reply #810 on: May 27, 2012, 06:02:49 pm »
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Lyndon, is there a chance of a left-wing coalition between SYRIZA and PASOK if SYRIZA tops the polls, or is the only realistic alternatives with DIMAR and/or ANEL? And how well would SYRIZA and ANEL actually get along?

And while I'm asking questions anyway, why does KKE use Latin letters for their short from?

If SYRIZA comes first then that's probably what's going to happen (SYRIZA-PASOK-DIMAR) because as sure as hell nobody is anywhere close to getting a majority.
Forget about ANEL, they are a bunch of right-wing cranks. Tsipras might occasionally talk favorably about them but he knows very well that if he accepts them in a coalition he will become a joke.

And those are greek letters dude. They stand for "Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας" (Communist Party of Greece).
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« Reply #811 on: May 27, 2012, 07:01:22 pm »
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Lyndon, is there a chance of a left-wing coalition between SYRIZA and PASOK if SYRIZA tops the polls, or is the only realistic alternatives with DIMAR and/or ANEL? And how well would SYRIZA and ANEL actually get along?

And while I'm asking questions anyway, why does KKE use Latin letters for their short from?

If SYRIZA comes first then that's probably what's going to happen (SYRIZA-PASOK-DIMAR) because as sure as hell nobody is anywhere close to getting a majority.
Forget about ANEL, they are a bunch of right-wing cranks. Tsipras might occasionally talk favorably about them but he knows very well that if he accepts them in a coalition he will become a joke.

And those are greek letters dude. They stand for "Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας" (Communist Party of Greece).

Would SYRIZA really accept PASOK into the government? There seemed to be no chance of that last time around, and it doesn't seem like circumstances have changed much.
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« Reply #812 on: May 27, 2012, 09:57:07 pm »
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That's kind of disappointing. Things right now could turn out two ways for SYRIZA, I think.

Either they'll refuse to work with PASOK, and partake in left-wing policy like that of Evo Morales in Bolivia or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (probably not), or they'll fall into coalitionism with PASOK and prove themselves to just be another social democratic party no better than PASOK.

It's still interesting to watch it unfold though, anyway. I think we'd all hope that Golden Dawn doesn't make any more gains.
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« Reply #813 on: May 27, 2012, 09:58:48 pm »
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That's kind of disappointing. Things right now could turn out two ways for SYRIZA, I think.

Either they'll refuse to work with PASOK, and partake in left-wing policy like that of Evo Morales in Bolivia or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (probably not), or they'll fall into coalitionism with PASOK and prove themselves to just be another social democratic party no better than PASOK.

They might be somewhat hamstrung by the EU in the former eventuality. Then again, the EU might kick them out, in practice if not in name, anyway.

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It's still interesting to watch it unfold though, anyway. I think we'd all hope that Golden Dawn doesn't make any more gains.

I don't think there's much danger of that.
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« Reply #814 on: May 28, 2012, 12:05:22 am »
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I don't think there's much danger of that.

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« Reply #815 on: May 28, 2012, 12:18:14 am »
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If the troika courts find that these measures won't be enough, let us give the hellenic peoples whips to lash themselves so that they can repent further.

Well we would need to discuss some details, like where the whips would be made? Shall we have Greece make them for themselves, or should Northern Europe be allowed to sell them to get back a little money? Perhaps a neutral place like Switzerland would be best.

Let's take it a little further. Northern Europe would not only be allowed to sell some meagre whips to get back a little money. Northern Europe has been treated so unjustly by Greece this entire catastrophe, that I think Northern Europe should be allowed to sell Greece 50 nuclear power plants, 5 million automobiles, 100 million free vacations, 1 million villas, 1 million swimming pools, 5 million smartphones, 5 million laptop computers, 50 skyscrapers, 20,000 schools, 20 subway systems, 5 million Louis Vuitton handbags, 100 fighter jets, an aircraft carrier, 20 Airbus A330s, 50 million coupons for manicures in Germany, 20 million pairs of shoes, and the isle of Rugen in the Baltic. Northern Europe will be permitted to earn 1 trillion euros in exchange.

The sum can simply be added to the Greek national debt.

Also, pass a law forbidding Greeks from engaging in productive labor, on penalty of death. When Greeks need water to drink, they must buy it from the Germans. When they need bread to eat, they must buy it from the Germans. They will add the costs of these to their national debt also, naturally.

That would solve your problems immediately, Franzl. All the money owed to Germany would make your country fantastically wealthy, and the happiness of your people will multiply like the loaves of bread Jesus handed out in the New Testament.
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« Reply #816 on: May 28, 2012, 12:28:43 am »
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Did she hurt the poor Greeks emotions, what a terrible person. I find it refreshing that she say that everybody, who have had to deal with this mess thinks. We have wasted five year which could have been used a lot better on eternal negotiation, to say nothing about the enormous capital transfer. I doubt many people have much patience with the Greeks right now, she justsaid it openly, while everyone else bite it in them.

Yes, let us make blanket generalizations about all the Greeks as lazy, disgusting tax evaders who deserve to be dealt blows through the economic justice system. The austerity measures are how they will pay for their numerous sins. If the troika courts find that these measures won't be enough, let us give the hellenic peoples whips to lash themselves so that they can repent further.

6 out of 10 Greeks do not pay income tax
http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-31/world/greece.taxes_1_income-taxes-greek-press-tax-evasion?_s=PM:WORLD

27,5% of the economy are in the so-called shadolw economy
http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2011/07/11/110711ta_talk_surowiecki


In tax fines Greece has an embezzle rate of 40% (with further 40% simply being written off)
http://digitaljournal.com/article/316094

This was not a few bad apples, this is a general problem, and unless they take responsibility for the action of a major part of their population, the problem won't go away, no matter how much other pay for their irresponsibility. Greece aren't the first country which has problems with using more money than they got in, my own country had the same problem in the 80ties, and the result was that our tax rate was raised from 40% to 50%, we put high taxes on foreign products we didn't produce ourself (which is why a car in Denmark cost 300% of a car in most other countries) plus on gasolin to improve the BOP. The results was ugly, but as result Denmark are one of Europe richest countries today, a netto-exporter with a strong valuta. If we choosed to do nothing, the Danish valuta would have been a complete joke today and our living standards lower.

My biggest problem with Greece is that I don't hear a alternative to austerity, what the Greeks suggest are to keep things as they are. That's unacceptable and people can whine just as much about  all us evil foreigners seeing the Greeks as lazy, corrupt and dishonest, it doesn't change the fact that Greece need to change, and if they doesn't other countries will find continued financial support to Greece completely unacceptable.

Well, I know It's a feeble comparision, but people who doesn't pay taxes here would be extremely glad if They'd be able to do It. And I was only able to do It after I stopped doing things as a professional and started being juridically an enterprise. I would also like to remember that the stimulus for overdebt/overcomsumption on southern UE was the core of northern UE countries policies. Pretty hypocritical to blame them now.
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« Reply #817 on: May 28, 2012, 12:49:46 am »
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I meant in terms of no polling indicating it.

Of course, they still need to be campaigned strongly against. And if they were to end up winning more seats it would be a cause for serious concern no matter whether or not they still 'seemed relatively minor'.
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« Reply #818 on: May 28, 2012, 02:22:45 am »
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There is now a fifth poll from Pulse showing ND ahead.

All these polls seem to be within the margin of error given that the sample sizes seem to be 1000-1200 (correct me if I'm wrong), which makes roughly for a +/- 3% margin of error, so in essence you have a near statistical tie based on existing polling.  It seems to me the markets today are OVERreacting positively anticipating an optimistic scenario of a pro-bailout coalition being favored by the Greek public based on these polls.

More importantly, I understand these polls exclude undecideds as well as those who refuse to answer.  How do those undecideds tend to vote in Greece?  In the U.S., undecideds tend to vote for the challenger the majority of the time.

Do we know anything about polling methodologies?  Are these all landline based polls, if so, that would seem to generally favor older voters who are likely to break conservative (as it does in the U.S.)?

The issue I see is that the polls were off the mark prior to the May 6th election, and the question is why.  Could Syriza be underpolling again?  If there is a proposed debate just prior to the election my guess is that may be a decisive factor and all these early polls are interesting but not reflective of how things will turn out.

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« Reply #819 on: May 28, 2012, 03:44:24 am »
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If the troika courts find that these measures won't be enough, let us give the hellenic peoples whips to lash themselves so that they can repent further.

Well we would need to discuss some details, like where the whips would be made? Shall we have Greece make them for themselves, or should Northern Europe be allowed to sell them to get back a little money? Perhaps a neutral place like Switzerland would be best.

Let's take it a little further. Northern Europe would not only be allowed to sell some meagre whips to get back a little money. Northern Europe has been treated so unjustly by Greece this entire catastrophe, that I think Northern Europe should be allowed to sell Greece 50 nuclear power plants, 5 million automobiles, 100 million free vacations, 1 million villas, 1 million swimming pools, 5 million smartphones, 5 million laptop computers, 50 skyscrapers, 20,000 schools, 20 subway systems, 5 million Louis Vuitton handbags, 100 fighter jets, an aircraft carrier, 20 Airbus A330s, 50 million coupons for manicures in Germany, 20 million pairs of shoes, and the isle of Rugen in the Baltic.
Woah. Hold it right there. We don't want to lose Rügen, it's a moneymaker. Rather, we want the Greeks to write over the Akropolis* and the prettier islands.

*not a joke, alas. These are exactly the kind of things the yellow press clamoured for. Well, they did talk about "sell", but...
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« Reply #820 on: May 29, 2012, 10:54:27 am »
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So what would be the process by which Greece was kicked out of the Eurozone? Which European bodies would make the decision? Would it even be legal to do so? At this point I kinda want to see SYRIZA win just to see the frantic activity that would result.
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« Reply #821 on: May 29, 2012, 11:32:53 am »
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It is technically impossible to force a country to leave the eurozone.
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« Reply #822 on: May 29, 2012, 11:50:53 am »
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Well, I know It's a feeble comparision, but people who doesn't pay taxes here would be extremely glad if They'd be able to do It. And I was only able to do It after I stopped doing things as a professional and started being juridically an enterprise. I would also like to remember that the stimulus for overdebt/overcomsumption on southern UE was the core of northern UE countries policies. Pretty hypocritical to blame them now.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. The money transfered from the richer parts of Europe, wasn't loans, but mostly free support to development of infrastructure and agricultural support. The debt the Greek has build up here, is a result of them being member of the Euro, which meant that they could sell low interest bonds. It wouldn't have been such a big problem, if they hadn't hidden the size of their debt, by lying about the degree of tax evasion and money lost to corruption, until the point there they couldn't hide it anymore (when the crisis began and the American bank which had helped them conning the rest of EU, suddely couldn't/wouldn't help them with the con anymore). This is the primary reason, that few net contributor to EU are willing to let the Greeks off the hook.
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« Reply #823 on: May 29, 2012, 12:33:44 pm »
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So what would be the process by which Greece was kicked out of the Eurozone? Which European bodies would make the decision? Would it even be legal to do so? At this point I kinda want to see SYRIZA win just to see the frantic activity that would result.

Greece defaults. There is a run on the Greek banks. ECB announces that it is up to the Greeks to resolve it. Target 2 is blocked: interbank settlements are to be conducted on the bank-to-bank basis, within the limits of funds in appropriate correspondence accounts. Greek CB is reminded about the limits on the ammount of cash euros it is allowed to issue and warned that exceeding those limits (as it has been doing recently) will result in those euros extra (identified by serial numbers) no longer being accepted as legal tender in other member states (as they are, obviously, fakes).

Greek government announces a banking holiday. International bank transfers are blocked. When, after a week or so, banks reopen, they "temporarily" issue their customers not with euro cash, but with Greek government or Central Bank bonds (possibly still denominated in euors). The same bonds are used to pay public sector sallaries, etc. These new Greek euros trade at a discount: say, three Greek euros per actual cash euro.

That's the transition - and the beauty is, nobody needs to make any political decisions whatsoever.
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« Reply #824 on: May 29, 2012, 12:36:56 pm »
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It is technically impossible to force a country to leave the eurozone.

What is your definition of technical? It is not that difficult to make a country drop out "voluntarily" - for lack of realistic alternatives. The only thing that's "technically" impossible is to stop that country from calling euro its currency - but, in practice, the currency then would be a "national euro", with its own exchange rate into actual euros (black market rate, if legal transactions other than at 1-to-1 are banned).
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