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View Full Version : Economics things getting serious in Greece...pay new property taxes or we cut off the lights


banyon
09-27-2011, 11:36 AM
Greek money running out amid opposition to tax hike

A taxing situation in Greece
Mon, Sep 12 2011
http://uk.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20110912&t=2&i=499494644&w=460&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=2011-09-12T121825Z_01_BTRE78B0X3A00_RTROPTP_0_GREECE
A protester raises Greek flag in front of the parliament during a rally against a new austerity package at Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square June 11, 2011. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol


By Harry Papachristou

ATHENS | Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:26pm BST

(Reuters) - Greek workers threatened on Monday to sabotage a new property tax decided by the government as a last-ditch effort to please international lenders, ignoring warnings that Athens will run out of cash next month.

The move casts doubt on the government's goal to plug a 2 billion euro hole in its 2011 budget and meet the deficit goals its EU/IMF lenders have set to continue bankrolling the cash-strapped country.

Euro zone policymakers threatened last week to withhold the sixth bailout tranche, of about 8 billion euros (6.9 billion pounds), because of the country's repeated fiscal slippages.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy welcomed the fiscal measures Athens announced over the weekend and said representatives of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, the so-called troika, would return to resume talks on Monday.

Greece needs to get its next 8.0 billion euro loan tranche under the first bailout package to avert default down the line as it will be running on empty after some time in October.

The government on Sunday announced the new property tax to make sure it will comply with the terms and qualify for the tranche. The EU's Commissioner for Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, said the measure went "a long way" towards meeting the country's targets.

But workers at power utility PPC (DEHr.AT) reacted angrily, vowing to block the tax, which the government plans to collect through electricity bills to make sure citizens will pay quickly.

"PPC is no cowboy and no sheriff to put the gun at the Greek people's head," the company's labour union GENOP/DEH said in a statement.

GENOP officials said they would obstruct the issuing of bills and order PPC employees not to cut the power of customers who refuse to pay the tax.

Energy Minister George Papaconstantinou criticised the workers.

"(The tax) can't be the object of cheap trade union grand-standing," he said in a statement, adding that the union had no say in how the company was run.

GENOP-DEH is seen as one of Greece's toughest unions. In the past, it has held repeated strikes to prevent the government from selling stakes or seeking strategic partners for the company.

Greece already uses PPC bills as a vehicle to collect municipal taxes and the fees of state broadcaster ERT. The state-controlled company has more than 90 percent of the country's retail electricity market.

Tens of thousands of austerity-hit families and companies are already late in paying their power bills. GENOP/DEH estimates consumers' arrears in the hundreds of millions of euros, including 135 million by the government itself. A PPC spokesman declined to comment on the figures.

DEAFENING RESPONSE

Prime Minister George Papandreou urged his ruling socialist party lawmakers to back the tax hike, which will apply in 2011 and 2012 and will cost property owners about 4 euros per square metre per year.

"I am calling on you to deliver a response to silence all those ... who are slandering us, calling us lazy and incompetent," he said in a speech in parliament.

The debt-laden country has cash to operate until next month, the country's deputy Finance Minister said on Monday, confirming previous unofficial comments by Greek officials.

"We have definitely manoeuvring space within October," Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis said in an interview on television channel Mega, responding to questions how much longer the government will be able to pay wages and pensions.

"We are trying to make sure the state can continue to operate without problems," he added.

Finance ministry data on Monday showed the budget deficit of the central government widened by an annual 22 percent in the year to August, to 18.10 billion euros.

And on the banking front, fresh data released by the central bank showed that bank deposits continued to decline in July although outflows decelerated, down 0.5 percent month-on-month.

Greek bank borrowing from the European Central Bank (ECB) fell 6.5 percent in July to 96.29 billion euros, the Bank of Greece said.

The government attributed the shortfall to a deeper-than-expected recession, seen at more than 5 percent -- the country's third consecutive year of economic contraction.

(Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Writing by George Georgiopoulos; editing by Ron Askew)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/09/12/uk-greece-cash-idUKTRE78B0X220110912?feedType=nl&feedName=ukdailyinvestor

Amnorix
09-27-2011, 11:42 AM
Sooner or later, Greece will default.

BucEyedPea
09-27-2011, 11:48 AM
Yup...and the EMU is going down.

Ace Gunner
09-27-2011, 11:50 AM
all the other money grabs worked.

banyon
09-27-2011, 11:55 AM
Property tax on electricity bills surprises Greek people


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Thursday, September 15, 2011
ATHENS - Agence France-Presse

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/images/2011_09_15/property-tax-on-electricity-bills-surprises-greek-people-2011-09-15_l.jpg
A pedestrian walks past a woman begging in the street in Thessaloniki. Greeks have been slapped with an emergency property tax, to be included in their electricity bills. AP photo

A pedestrian walks past a woman begging in the street in Thessaloniki. Greeks have been slapped with an emergency property tax, to be included in their electricity bills. AP photo

Greeks were fuming on Thursday at a surprise property tax that could leave out Church holdings while the country is being urged to make ‘costly’ sacrifices to secure rescue loans.

The finance ministry, under pressure from its international creditors to plug a budget hole of more than 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion), further increased the tax which had already caused outrage when announced at the weekend.

‘Rubbing my eyes’

Instead of a maximum of 10 euros per square metre, the limit was placed at 16 euros and electricity will be cut off for owners who refuse to pay.

“I was rubbing my eyes in disbelief,” tax accountant Vangelis Abeliotis told Flash Radio, noting that households will have to pay 1,000 euros on average on top of existing wage cuts and price rises under a tough austerity program last year.

“There is no way a family with a child that is studying or is unemployed can cover this cost, many will not hesitate to just cut power in secondary homes,” Abeliotis said.

The uproar was reflected in Thursday’s newspapers, with leftist Eleftherotypia speaking of a “great grab” on property.

Pro-government Ethnos spoke of a “very costly lifeline” from France and Germany, noting that the latest measures are a condition for the smooth disbursement of bankruptcy-saving loans to Athens.

‘No way in the parliament’

Senior officials were bombarded with calls from ruling party lawmakers irate at the news that Church holdings were being exempted, Ta Nea daily said.

“It is a disgrace to leave out thousands of church buildings,” deputy Soula Merentiti told the daily. “There’s no way this is passing parliament.”

The finance ministry said the tax would not apply to state offices, embassies, religious buildings, monasteries, non-profit organizations, charities and amateur sports clubs.

The finance ministry says that Greeks have 400 billion euros invested in property, roughly the size of the nation’s sovereign debt which is more than 350 billion euros.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=property-tax-on-electricity-bills-surprises-greek-people-2011-09-15

patteeu
09-27-2011, 12:01 PM
What's a "secondary home"?

Amnorix
09-27-2011, 12:05 PM
Yup...and the EMU is going down.

Not as clear that one automatically leads to the other.

banyon
09-27-2011, 12:07 PM
What's a "secondary home"?

I assume that's what we call in the State a "2nd home". :shrug:

patteeu
09-27-2011, 12:09 PM
I assume that's what we call in the State a "2nd home". :shrug:

It's hard to feel too sorry for people who have to cut electricity to their 2nd home to deal with this property tax.

Cave Johnson
09-27-2011, 12:15 PM
Apparently Greece was paying state workers 13 or 14 months of wages per year.

Really great article from Michael Lewis on Germany's role in the financial crisis, well worth the read. One of the proposals is to split off the deadbeat countries (Ireland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc. ) and issue a 2nd, lower tier euro.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/09/europe-201109

banyon
09-27-2011, 12:26 PM
It's hard to feel too sorry for people who have to cut electricity to their 2nd home to deal with this property tax.

What about the family that is "with a child, studying or unemployed"?

I think the point about second homes wasn't to elicit sympathy, but to point out potential demand destruction in revenues.

Ace Gunner
09-27-2011, 12:27 PM
What's a "secondary home"?

it is a term for lesser people - broke folks. the are saying the power people will cut electricity to them immediately.

Cave Johnson
09-27-2011, 01:03 PM
Good take from Andrew Sullivan.

That's happening in Europe right now may not be as much fun as watching Ron Paul on Jon Stewart, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion that much of our fate now lies in their hands. The euro was always predicated on voluntary sovereign governments' compliance with strict rules on debt. Those rules were either openly broken, or secretly flaunted or allowed to drift. All of this could be kept afloat for a while with the lubricant of economic growth - but take that away, and watch the bad debts chase the bankrupt governments chase the banks in even the strongest economies, like Germany.

We are at that moment when either the EU unravels because there is no collective will to bail out Greece (and Portugal and Italy) affirmatively or the Germans decide that it is time to take serious charge of the continent again. Zachary Karabell makes the case for optimism here. But I'm afraid I can't see a path between - although I am relieved that Tory euro-skepticism kept Britain from strapping itself to the euro mast.

Ryan Avent sketches the choice ahead:

On the one hand, it's as clear as ever that the euro zone needs a massive, ambitious policy to avoid a catastrophic financial scenario. And on the other, it seems ever less likely that the euro zone's leaders can agree on such a policy and muster the domestic political support to ratify and implement it. If Europe simply can't do what it needs to do, that leaves the euro zone, and the world, facing a very dark economic reality.

That reality is a darkening, intensifying depression, caused ultimately by governments, banks and individuals putting short-term ease over long-term stability over the last decade or so. My bet, I'm afraid to say, is on the euro's collapse. Sometimes, the pressure on such a new and risky experiment becomes too much. And this recession may prove Thatcher right again. You can't have a single currency for long without a single government. Pretty soon, I suspect we'll have neither.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/09/i-have-never-seen-europes-policymakers-as-scared.html

ROYC75
09-27-2011, 01:06 PM
More taxes is always the answer, just ask any Liberal.

BucEyedPea
09-27-2011, 01:16 PM
You can't have a single currency for long without a single government. Pretty soon, I suspect we'll have neither.
That's not such a bad thing either.

Don't forget this whole arrangement was swaddled in the rhetoric of free-trade first to avoid scaring the people that it would be a single political union eventually. The EU constitution was not wanted by the people and voted down. So the govt elites passed it anyway via a parliamentary move. Now that it is falling apart isn't such a bad a thing. Decentralization is better for them. It's the debt and overspending and flagrant disregard for economic law that caused their economic situation though.

Germans, who are a productive people and as a result wealthier, are just not going to support the countries that aren't productive.

Ace Gunner
09-27-2011, 01:40 PM
good points but I disagree with part of that last line - the world is at the threshold of an imperial takover. the only alternative is war. not this assimilative occupational militarism, but war. big bombs. that's not an alternative worldwide powers that be will gravitate to. basically, 'mob bosses' will come together.

Brock
09-27-2011, 01:51 PM
More taxes is always the answer, just ask any Liberal.

Really on top of things, as usual.

Amnorix
09-27-2011, 02:03 PM
Apparently Greece was paying state workers 13 or 14 months of wages per year.




I read some articles detailing the causes of the Greek crisis. That country is so far past broke (in terms of dysfunctionality of its economic system) it's absurd. Tax avoidance is a national industry. Unions have FAR too much power. The whole system is utterly dysfunctional.

Saul Good
09-27-2011, 02:15 PM
By law, Greek employees get a minimum of 20 paid vacation days a year. This increases based on service time.

No sympathy from me

BucEyedPea
09-27-2011, 02:36 PM
Wow, sad though. I loved Greece and her people when I was there on my honeymoon. Very hospitable people. Great place with great food and great bargains. I mean, I even got a full length Russian fox fur coat for hardly anything.

Cave Johnson
09-27-2011, 03:32 PM
More taxes is always the answer, just ask any Liberal.

The kind of educated, nuanced take we've all come to expect from good old fair and balanced Roy.

vailpass
09-27-2011, 04:12 PM
This is what happens when people think they are owed anything other than what they earn themselves or what they get from their family.

banyon
09-27-2011, 04:14 PM
This is what happens when people think they are owed anything other than what they earn themselves or what they get from their family.

Or, indeed, when people think they can get something for nothing, and pretend taxes can be as nonexistent as possible while living it up.

Brock
09-27-2011, 04:16 PM
Or, indeed, when people think they can get something for nothing, and pretend taxes can be as nonexistent as possible while living it up.

Right, just like in California!

vailpass
09-27-2011, 04:19 PM
Or, indeed, when people think they can get something for nothing, and pretend taxes can be as nonexistent as possible while living it up.

Taxes as a band-aid are too little-too late. Starting out with federal government spending limited strictly to those functions without which the country could not survive/that the states can't better take care of themselves, then setting federal taxes to a level which would support those limited expenses and no higher, is much to be preferred.

All else is a function of the states and/or the individual. IMHO.

patteeu
09-27-2011, 04:20 PM
Or, indeed, when people think they can get something for nothing, and pretend taxes can be as nonexistent as possible while living it up.

Such as the people at the low-income end of a progressive income tax.

Detoxing
09-27-2011, 04:26 PM
I hate Greece. And I hate Greek Landlords that are kicking me out because they wanna move their stupid fucking greek family from Greece and into my rental home.

"...Things are bad in Greece"

Fuck you, you old rich bitch.

Taco John
09-27-2011, 04:26 PM
Or, indeed, when people think they can get something for nothing, and pretend taxes can be as nonexistent as possible while living it up.

This says it best. Lot of free lunchers out there who think that things like doctors grow on trees.

Ace Gunner
09-27-2011, 04:32 PM
This is what happens when people think they are owed anything other than what they earn themselves or what they get from their family.

Did the dumb lazy people outsmart all the nice good hard working powerful government people again? :D

vailpass
09-27-2011, 04:46 PM
Did the dumb lazy people outsmart all the nice good hard working powerful government people again? :D

You tell me. Much better to hear a first hand account than a 3rd party speculation. FWIW I"m on the mimimal government involvment side of things.

banyon
09-27-2011, 04:50 PM
Right, just like in California!

Agreed. Californians increased their exemptions and rates didn't really move and they didn't cut spending:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/state_individualincome_rates-2000-2011-20110503.pdf
(compare 2010 rates at beginning of doc with 2000 rates at end of doc)

AustinChief
09-27-2011, 05:23 PM
ok, #1 "Secondary Homes" is just that.. a 2nd home... far more common in European countries (my guess is due to the negative population growth rates .. someone has to inherit the properties)

#2 FUCK Greece.. a lazy worthless "entitled" mentality is pervasive there.. just like it is in most of Western Europe

That said, I have no problem with them dragging down the rest of the EU, so long as we aren't writing the checks...

banyon
09-27-2011, 08:25 PM
ok, #1 "Secondary Homes" is just that.. a 2nd home... far more common in European countries (my guess is due to the negative population growth rates .. someone has to inherit the properties)

#2 **** Greece.. a lazy worthless "entitled" mentality is pervasive there.. just like it is in most of Western Europe

That said, I have no problem with them dragging down the rest of the EU, so long as we aren't writing the checks...

WRT #1, and this is only my anecdotal experience in my travels in Europe, but if you were under 40 it was more common that you had ZERO homes. If you weren't married, forget it, you lived with mom and dad. I had to run out of a house in the morning several times after a night at the bar before the parents (all over 18 y/o ok?) woke up. Even if you had a young family thoguh with a kid or 2, you might still live with your parents. I think housing is even scarcer there than here due to the population density.

banyon
09-27-2011, 08:32 PM
this is yesterday I think:

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Strangely, I wrote my masters thesis on this topic. Bondholders and taxpayers are not demographically the same people. If public debt reaches a high enough level, which it appears to have in Greece, the taxpayers begin to question whether the social contract still makes sense when essentially you are asking them to agree to be indebted to the upper class for debts of the past generation. This is really coming to a head. Start cutting people's electricity off, and they may want to fight you.

AustinChief
09-28-2011, 04:19 AM
WRT #1, and this is only my anecdotal experience in my travels in Europe, but if you were under 40 it was more common that you had ZERO homes. If you weren't married, forget it, you lived with mom and dad. I had to run out of a house in the morning several times after a night at the bar before the parents (all over 18 y/o ok?) woke up. Even if you had a young family thoguh with a kid or 2, you might still live with your parents. I think housing is even scarcer there than here due to the population density.

well then you think wrong... yes, unmarried under 25 you live with mom and dad... but mom and dad have 2-4 home they have inherited.. and you end up with one or more of those. I LIVED in Europe not too long ago and it was a weird state of affairs... If you think housing in Europe is scarce (for everyone who isn't an immigrant) than you are more than wrong.. you are ridiculously wrong. Go back and LIVE there as an ADULT and you'll see what I am talking about. It's crazy...
and btw.. the Europeans(then and now) are so lazy and "entitled" as to make the MOST leftist liberal look like a hard working conservative...

BigMeatballDave
09-28-2011, 04:22 AM
Suck it up and have a gyro...

teedubya
09-28-2011, 04:25 AM
Sooner or later, Greece will default.

Sooner or later, America will also default.

AustinChief
09-28-2011, 04:33 AM
Suck it up and have a gyro...

GYRO... blech... Doner Kebab! YUM! Fuck the Greeks.. the Cypriots and Turks did it better. We already have to tolerate Aggies and Scotsman for sheepfucking... no room left for the Greeks.

ROYC75
09-28-2011, 05:29 AM
The kind of educated, nuanced take we've all come to expect from good old fair and balanced Roy.


Really on top of things, as usual.

Oh stop it, you are whining, not winning!

I just stated the obvious for you to see, again. Even though it has been said over and over again.

Mr. Flopnuts
09-28-2011, 05:45 AM
Oh stop it, you are whining, not winning!

I just stated the obvious for you to see, again. Even though it has been said over and over again.

Speaking of density population.

ROYC75
09-28-2011, 05:57 AM
Speaking of density population.

Then why are you speaking?

Keep quiet!;)

banyon
10-03-2011, 08:38 PM
Things are getting pretty f*cked up.

Police may be called in to break up sit-ins

http://sup.kathimerini.gr/kath/engs/img/NEWS/2011/10/student_protest_390.jpg
Students protesting cutbacks in the education sector clashed with riot police during a protest rally in Syntagma Square on Monday.

Deputy Education Minister Evi Christofilopoulou suggested that police might be mobilized to break up hundreds of sit-ins at schools on Monday a few hours after hundreds of pupils protesting cutbacks clashed with riot officers in central Athens.

“Universities and schools are public places and as such police can enter them of their own accord,” Christofilopoulou told Kathimerini.

The number of sit-ins at secondary schools rose above 650 yesterday while the number of university faculties currently occupied has dwindled to just over 100.

Christofilopoulou added that a controversial scheme, finalized by the government on Monday, to put 30,000 civil servants on labor standby status, which would see them receiving a heavily docked wage for 12 months before early retirement or dismissal, would also apply to schoolteachers.

Unionists accused the ministry of “artificially inflating teacher numbers.”



Despair and resignation in Greece as more pain looms


http://www.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20111003&t=2&i=510391278&w=460&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=2011-10-03T174608Z_01_BTRE7921DD000_RTROPTP_0_GREECE
A high-school student is detained by riot police during a protest march against economic austerity and planned education reforms in Athens October 3, 2011.

By Peter Graff and Renee Maltezou

ATHENS | Mon Oct 3, 2011 1:46pm EDT

(Reuters) - The slogans on the street are about storming the barricades, but when you talk to Greeks about the financial crisis that has brought their country to its knees, their anger quickly gives way to resignation and despair.

With news on Monday that the recession will last at least a fourth year -- and the government promising ever tougher reforms that will bring even more hardship -- labor unions have vowed to call Greeks out into the streets.

They will turn out in their thousands, but despite escalating rhetoric and the prospect of unrest, Greeks express little hope that their public expressions of outrage can change their fate.

"What can you do? Throw stones? Throw oranges? Even if you spat on the politicians all day long it would accomplish nothing," said Amalia Dougia, a 45-year-old single mother, resting wearily on a bench in downtown Athens, where she was waiting to see a lawyer to find a way out of debt.

She has been unemployed for two years since the economic crisis forced her to close down her shop selling household goods, leaving her with nothing but unpaid bills and a benefit cheque of 175 euros ($250) a month.

Two daughters are at university studying cosmetics and project management, but these days they have little hope of a job in those fields when they graduate. The best they can find now is temporary work in the summer, waiting tables or handing fliers to tourists.

"The oldest wants to leave the country, but where would I get the money to help her out? I've given up planning for the future. I just accept life as it comes," she said. "I've thought about suicide, but I have to look after my children."

MORE PAIN

Three years into a recession that has seen wages tumble, unemployment surge and living standards eroded, the Greek government has little to promise the public but more pain.

To satisfy EU and IMF inspectors that it can sort out its debt, the government has imposed wave after wave of public sector wage cuts and tax rises but has yet to get its finances in order.

On Monday it announced that the deficit this year will be worse than expected, and the economy, once predicted to finally grow next year, will instead shrink by a further 2.5 percent. The newest package of austerity measures -- tax hikes, layoffs and pay cuts -- failed to make a dent in this year's deficit.

You can hear the pain articulated almost at random as you walk through the streets of Athens. At a busy intersection, nobody even glances up when an elderly man crossing the road shouts out, to no one in particular: "The 300 members of parliament have stolen everything!"

Yet there is virtually no support for abandoning reforms and turning back on membership of the euro single currency. Polls show four out of five Greeks want to keep the euro, although more than half expect Greece to default on debt within months.

Public sector layoffs, a headline part of the latest reforms, break a 100-year-old taboo in a country where the constitution guarantees state workers jobs for life. :eek: Labor unions have vowed to fight it, and the next few weeks will see at least two mass strikes.

The general secretary of public sector union ADEDY, which represents half a million Greek workers, told Reuters it expected a massive turnout in the next big strike on Wednesday.

"There is nothing people in despair cannot do. We've lost our jobs, our children are unemployed, we are outraged. This government is hurting the country and it must go," said Ilias Iliopoulos.

HEROES IN SLIPPERS

The power of street protests to bring about political change is a revered part of Greece's national mythology, perhaps more so than in any other country in Europe. Younger generations of Greeks lionize their parents, who took to the barricades in the 1970s and helped bring down a military junta.

Violence by militant leftist groups and urban guerrillas -- deplored by most Greeks -- has also been a perennial feature of the political landscape for decades.

Every day, protesters of one kind or another trundle through Syntagma Square in the center of Athens. Sometimes it's blackshirted self-proclaimed anarchists shaking fists in unison, sometimes uniformed military reservists.

On Monday it was the turn of about 300 high school students, who took a break from occupying their school building and boycotting classes to come to the square. They shouted "Cops, pigs, murderers!" and scuffled with a cordon of riot police.

Alex Stathopoulos, 16, said he did not know enough about economics to say whether Greece should stay in the euro and keep trying to pay down its debt, or declare itself bankrupt and set up its own currency. But he knew that crooked politicians had squandered his future.

"We need education so that we can have jobs and build the future of the country. And what have we got? If they cut our parents' pay, how can they pay for university? Even if I go to university, I can't find a job. I have nothing.

"I will study, for example, psychology. And I will be a pizza guy."

More than 100 people were hurt in clashes between protesters and police on Syntagma square in June. But that violence paled in comparison with massive riots that took place before the crisis in 2008.

It is almost as if the crisis -- rather than inspiring political ferment -- has reduced it. The rhetoric has got hotter, but the scope for real political alternatives has shriveled. Opinion polls show opposition parties have benefited little from anger at the ruling Socialists.

Katerina Grillaki, 40, a public sector worker shopping in central Athens, expressed a common sentiment: "This government must change, they must go home. The only problem is that there is no alternative."

Greeks will probably accept reforms in the end, seeing no other way out, said Antonis Makrydimitris, a politics professor at Athens university.

"Greeks, in a general sense, are flexible people. They have suffered a lot in the past. They have encountered very tragic events in their history and they have survived," he said.

"Greeks would be able to tolerate the dire measures of the day. But they have to be persuaded that the measures are just."

Sitting on her bench, single mother Dougia said she didn't care which party was in power. When she thought about politicians, she saw only greed. If she could have a cabinet minister's salary for a single month, she could support her family for three years, she said.

"If we can survive just this year, I will build a statue of myself. I will put it in the middle of the living room and bow to it every day, because I will be a hero," she said.

"We are the heroes. Heroes in house slippers: the ordinary people."

(Reporting by Peter Graff and Renee Maltezou; writing by Peter Graff; editing by Andrew Roche)

Iowanian
10-04-2011, 01:10 PM
"I will study, for example, psychology. And I will be a pizza guy."



No shit asswipe, get a degree in an employable field.

mikey23545
10-04-2011, 02:31 PM
"I will study, for example, ancient Greek. And I will be a little-boy-****er."

Garcia Bronco
10-04-2011, 02:33 PM
LOL...effing Cretens.

BucEyedPea
10-04-2011, 02:34 PM
Sooner or later, America will also default.

We're in the midst of that now. Now some of our people are out on the streets protesting.

banyon
10-19-2011, 07:38 AM
Violence erupts amid massive Greece strike

http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2011/10/19/greece_protest_violence_strike_AP100804080859_fullwidth_620x350.jpg


(CBS/AP)

ATHENS, Greece - Greek anger over new austerity measures has erupted into violence, as demonstrators threw stones and gasoline bombs at police outside parliament during a two-day general strike.

Wednesday's protest — which has grounded flights, disrupted public transport and shut down shops and schools — comes ahead of a parliamentary vote on new tax increases and spending cuts. The reforms are needed so Greece can get its latest international bailout to avoid bankruptcy.

Chaos unfolded outside parliament as crowds clashed with police who tried to disperse them with tear gas. Some people set fire to a presidential sentry post.

Nearby, protesters tore chunks of marble off buildings with hammers and crowbars and smashed windows and bank signs. Many of the rioters wore black clothes with hoods, masks or motorcycle helmets.

In the city of Thessaloniki, protesters smashed the facades of about 10 shops that defied the strike and remained open, as well as five banks and cash machines. Police fired tear gas and threw stun grenades.

All sectors, from dentists, state hospital doctors and lawyers to shop owners, tax office workers, pharmacists, teachers and dock workers walked off the job ahead of a Parliamentary vote Thursday on new austerity measures which include new taxes and the suspension of tens of thousands of civil servants.

Flights were grounded in the morning but some resumed at noon after air traffic controllers scaled back their initial strike plan from 48 hours to 12. Dozens of domestic and international flights were still canceled throughout the day. Ferries remained tied up in port, while public transport workers staged work stoppages but were to keep buses, trolleys and the Athens metro running for most of the day.

In Parliament, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers that Greeks had no choice but to accept the hardship.

"We have to explain to all these indignant people who see their lives changing that what the country is experiencing is not the worst stage of the crisis," he said. "It is an anguished and necessary effort to avoid the ultimate, deepest and harshest level of the crisis. The difference between a difficult situation and a catastrophe is immense."

About 3,000 police deployed in central Athens, shutting down two metro stations near Parliament as protest marches began. Police estimated the crowd at least 70,000.

Protesters converged on the square in front of Parliament, banging drums, chanting slogans against the government and Greece's international creditors who have pressured the country to push through rounds of tax hikes and spending cuts.

At least 15,000 demonstrators also gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city.

"We just can't take it any more. There is desperation, anger and bitterness," said Nikos Anastasopoulos, head of a workers' union for an Athens municipality. Other municipal workers said they had no option but to take to the streets.

"We can't make ends meet for our families," said protester Eleni Voulieri. "We've lost our salaries, we've lost everything and we're in danger of losing our jobs."

Demonstrations during a similar 48-hour strike in June left the center of Athens convulsed by violence as rioters clashed with police on both days while deputies voted on another austerity package inside Parliament.

"We expect that the strike could be the largest" in decades, said Ilias Vrettakos, deputy president of the civil servants' union ADEDY.

"The fact that other sections of society that are suffering from government policies are also participating gives a new dimension to the social resistance by workers and the people in general, and we hope that this mobilization will have an impact on political developments."

Piles of garbage festered on street corners despite a civil mobilization order issued Tuesday to order garbage crews back to work after a 17-day strike. Earlier in the week, private crews were contracted to remove trash from along the planned demonstration routes, but mounds remained on side streets, along some of the march routes and in city neighborhoods.

Protesting civil servants have also staged rounds of sit-ins at government buildings, with some, including the Finance Ministry, being under occupation for days.

Prime Minister George Papandreou appealed on Tuesday for the protests to end.

"I would like to ask all those who occupy ministry buildings, choke the streets with garbage, close off ports, close off the Acropolis, if this helps us stand on our feet again — of course it does not," Papandreou told parliament.

Most stores in the city center, including bakeries and many of the ubiquitous kiosks which sell everything from newspapers, cigarettes and chewing gum to tourist trinkets and snacks, were shut Wednesday. Several shop owners said they had received threats that their stores would be smashed if they attempted to open during the first day of the strike.

The measures to be voted on in Parliament Thursday come after more than a year and a half of repeated spending cuts and tax increases, and include tax hikes, further pension and salary cuts, the suspension on reduced pay of 30,000 public servants out of a total of more than 750,000, and the suspension of collective labor contracts.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/19/501364/main20122489.shtml

banyon
10-19-2011, 07:40 AM
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BBC Video pretty good, but can't embed:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15370881

banyon
10-19-2011, 07:41 AM
Live:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/greek-pay-riot-view-back-live-strikecam-syntagma-square

mlyonsd
10-19-2011, 07:56 AM
That'll be us some day.

bricks
10-19-2011, 07:57 AM
More taxes is always the answer, just ask any Liberal.

This is a repeating trend that has always been going on. It makes me sick. I wonder what REALLY happens to tax money. Where does it all go? If they demand that increases are there to pay off the country's debt, then why are they still continuosly in debt?

Boggles my mind.

Amnorix
10-19-2011, 08:11 AM
Seems like, first, this should be a wake up call to all other nations (including us, of course) regarding their own deficits.

Second, not sure there's much choice but to let Greece go bankrupt and let the chips fall where they may. That's going to be painful around the world, however, including here, regardless of whether we're "writing checks." Amazing that such a bit player of a country could have such a disproportionate effect, but that's where we are.

Maybe Germany's game is just to keep Greece afloat long enough for things to stabilize (relatively) and then try to effect a gentle landing. Eventually, though, default seems inevitable.

Chief Henry
10-19-2011, 08:51 AM
I wonder what America will look like in 20 years ?