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Greece in Chaos Thread

#1
Getting a bit of events, perhaps, but it's going to need a thread of its own soon enough, so I'd like this to be it.

I got back from there this week, and it's a ****ing mess. Lethal political violence, warring militias, a government kept in power purely by the police's use of force, the civil service occupying their ministries and calling for the downfall of the government: a mess.

Today, Greece's most sacred day:

"Thousands of anti-austerity protesters jammed the centre of the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Friday, forcing the cancellation of an annual military parade and the hasty departure of the president and defence minister from the dignitaries’ stand.

Carolos Papoulias, the 82-year-old head of state, was heard saying “Shame, shame,” as he was escorted from the platform by security officers, according to Greek television commentators.

It was the first time in memory that the event had been called off because of fears of violent popular unrest, the commentators said."

Greek protests scupper military parade - FT.com

"Police clashed with members of the neo-fascist Chrysi Avgi group outside the Grand Bretagne hotel at Syntagma Square. There were reports that some extremists attacked migrants in central Athens."

ekathimerini.com | Protesters force Thessaloniki parade to be cancelled

Not an exciting post for now, but the first, I fear, of a soon-to-be-thriving thread. The countdown to a gendarmerie-led 'national unity government' starts now, I think.
 
P

pp0470

Guest
#2
But Mrs. Merkel said not to worry & shares went up.... ?

Shurely not at the price of a police state. What about democracy?? It all began in Greece after all.

(hint of sarcasm & a touch of irony)
 
#3
There is no longer any democratic control over public policy. In my opinion the most likely outcome is a coup or some nut being elected who makes all sorts of ludicrous pledges.
 
#4
Getting a bit of events, perhaps, but it's going to need a thread of its own soon enough, so I'd like this to be it.

I got back from there this week, and it's a ****ing mess. Lethal political violence, warring militias, a government kept in power purely by the police's use of force, the civil service occupying their ministries and calling for the downfall of the government: a mess.

Today, Greece's most sacred day:

"Thousands of anti-austerity protesters jammed the centre of the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Friday, forcing the cancellation of an annual military parade and the hasty departure of the president and defence minister from the dignitaries’ stand.

Carolos Papoulias, the 82-year-old head of state, was heard saying “Shame, shame,” as he was escorted from the platform by security officers, according to Greek television commentators.

It was the first time in memory that the event had been called off because of fears of violent popular unrest, the commentators said."

Greek protests scupper military parade - FT.com

"Police clashed with members of the neo-fascist Chrysi Avgi group outside the Grand Bretagne hotel at Syntagma Square. There were reports that some extremists attacked migrants in central Athens."

ekathimerini.com | Protesters force Thessaloniki parade to be cancelled

Not an exciting post for now, but the first, I fear, of a soon-to-be-thriving thread. The countdown to a gendarmerie-led 'national unity government' starts now, I think.
Time to pull the plug on Greece and let them rot.

I've just come back from a party with a bunch of Greeks in attendance. Selfish, greedy and inconsiderate are the three respectable words I can think of. Apparantly, their 'solution' to the problem is for everybody to write off their debts and bung them loads more interest-free dosh to rebuild their economy so they can maintain the lifestyle that they have become accustomed to.

One had the temerity to complain and whinge about the Slovaks for stalling the agreement to bail them out. The point that Slovaks have a worse economy and significantly lower standard of living was brushed aside as an irrelevance. "It's Slovakia's duty to contribute to the fund to save the Euro."

They are holding Europe to ransom and getting away with it. ENOUGH!
 
#5
I hope the shit ***** burn in the hell they have made for themselves. My reasoning being personal rather political or economic.

SK
 
#7
Ah, but the Greek argument is that the debt repayments are generally rerouted to:

French/German banks
French/German arms manufacturers
Greek politicians' Swiss bank accounts

Hence the desire of the vast majority of Greeks I spoke to in Greece to leave the EU, leave the Euro, and burn down the parliament.

Greece's crisis has gone beyond an economic one, I think. There are threads for the Euro bailout, this is, I think, one about the Eurozone's only Balkan country reverting suddenly to unstable type.
 
#9
Greece's crisis has gone beyond an economic one, I think. There are threads for the Euro bailout, this is, I think, one about the Eurozone's only Balkan country reverting suddenly to unstable type.
Greece's rather vicious civil war in 1945 was never really finalised, just put on ice, and the ice is now melting I suspect.
 
#10
Civil breakdown followed by military coup and eviction from EU.
By no means an unlikely scenario. And where Greece leads, others may follow. A military government would guarantee expulsion from the EU; however, in their present frame of mind, the Greeks may consider the former a price worth paying for the latter. Incidentially, an Egyptian lady made a similar comment to me recently re. her country - better a military government than the Islamic Brotherhood.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
By no means an unlikely scenario. And where Greece leads, others may follow. A military government would guarantee expulsion from the EU; however, in their present frame of mind, the Greeks may consider the former a price worth paying for the latter.
I don't know. Their last experience of a Junta wasn't the happiest of episodes in that nation's history. It's still well within many people's memories and something of a sore point in the attitudes of many Greeks towards NATO who they blame for supporting the Coup of the Colonels.
 
#13
Apparently, popular opinion in Crete and Mani (traditionally Royalist areas) is already for temporary military rule.

However, tanks on the streets in Athens would lead, simply, to a Syria outcome.

However the police- in fact a gendarmerie, in Greece, and an arm of the military whose special forces perform the function of the SAS- might be able to impose some form of 'order'.

I was reviewing my Athens footage today, and it was terrifying. Crowds of thousands cheering when a copper went up in flames; people accusing each other of being scret police before trying to bash them to death, people blaming us (the UK, why?) for this being the same as the Dekemvriana ( Greek Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ). When EVERYONE says, 'this is war now", "we must kill them to survive" and asking for UN observers before it gets too mental, then it's all gone wrong.

Edit: a police 'coup' would be easier to sell abroad, as it's easier to mask. Given the absolute loss of control PASOK now has over everything outside parliament, and the simple, observable fact that the police are the only thing keeping PASOK in power, it would currently be hard to tell when a coup begins, other than a sudden outcrop of deluxe swimming pools in police generals' villas.

Within the army, supposedly the defence minister has already moved to condemn anti-EU mutterings from 'patriotic officers' associations' and briefed - jitteringly, to Greeks- that the army stands behind the elected government.

Barroso warned last year that Greece, Spain and Portugal could see a return to military rule unless Frankfurt sorted its shit out. I don't think anyone can doubt that Greece is the weakest link in Europe's political stability chain.
 
#14
Time to pull the plug on Greece and let them rot.

I've just come back from a party with a bunch of Greeks in attendance. Selfish, greedy and inconsiderate are the three respectable words I can think of. Apparantly, their 'solution' to the problem is for everybody to write off their debts and bung them loads more interest-free dosh to rebuild their economy so they can maintain the lifestyle that they have become accustomed to.

One had the temerity to complain and whinge about the Slovaks for stalling the agreement to bail them out. The point that Slovaks have a worse economy and significantly lower standard of living was brushed aside as an irrelevance. "It's Slovakia's duty to contribute to the fund to save the Euro."

They are holding Europe to ransom and getting away with it. ENOUGH!
Blbost!

I would point out that the Slovak economy is doing ok - much better than most given all those micro cars that Western Europeans bought. Home - The Slovak Spectator

VW Golf - Bratislava, Slovakia, since 1991 - 2
PSA: Trencin
KIA: Zilina

US Steel Kosice... high end steel production

Slovnaft: Gas

Samsung everything? Galanta
Phillips? Miglas

Lenovo: Blava

And on and on...

Indeed, although the Slovak may earn less than a Greek - possibly true, the standard of living is ok.

Where an English teacher could earn GBP40 an hour, and where the average monthly income in Blava back in 2004 was GBP2000 a month, things have only got better in Slovakia.

Although in truth, Meciar the self-proclaimed father of the Slovaks did teach them how to rip off the EU, with Slota, Fico et al taking notes...

Being peasants, when they gain money, they like to keep it.
 
#15
Ah, but the Greek argument is that the debt repayments are generally rerouted to:

French/German banks
French/German arms manufacturers
Which seems pretty logical to all but the Greeks themselves.

Greek politicians' Swiss bank accounts
And every other Greek who's been avoiding tax for the past X years!!!

Hence the desire of the vast majority of Greeks I spoke to in Greece to leave the EU, leave the Euro, and burn down the parliament.
I heard that too. And when I asked what sort of livestyle they expected to live without all of these generous bungs from the rest of Europe etc etc, stoney silence.

Greece's crisis has gone beyond an economic one, I think. There are threads for the Euro bailout, this is, I think, one about the Eurozone's only Balkan country reverting suddenly to unstable type.
The Greek crisis never was an economic one. The Greeks have a societal failure that was kept hidden by economic delusions of grandure. If there is to be another bloodletting in the Balkans, I vote for it to be in Greece. Unlike Yugoslavia, their problems are more rooted in the attitude of the people as a whole rather than the political elite, and thus only have themselves blame - despite all they manifest protestations to the contrary.
 
#16
Blbost!

I would point out that the Slovak economy is doing ok - much better than most given all those micro cars that Western Europeans bought. Home - The Slovak Spectator

VW Golf - Bratislava, Slovakia, since 1991 - 2
PSA: Trencin
KIA: Zilina

US Steel Kosice... high end steel production

Slovnaft: Gas

Samsung everything? Galanta
Phillips? Miglas

Lenovo: Blava

And on and on...

Indeed, although the Slovak may earn less than a Greek - possibly true, the standard of living is ok.

Where an English teacher could earn GBP40 an hour, and where the average monthly income in Blava back in 2004 was GBP2000 a month, things have only got better in Slovakia.

Although in truth, Meciar the self-proclaimed father of the Slovaks did teach them how to rip off the EU, with Slota, Fico et al taking notes...

Being peasants, when they gain money, they like to keep it.
Slovak economy is doing far better than it did under Soviet guidance. But then look at the data relative to other countries, rather than its own dismal past. Not a big fan of wiki, but it's simple to find and post: Economy of the European Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Greeks are, on average, one of the richer European countries. Their expectation/demand that poorer, but perhaps more honest and prudent, countries provide them with ever increasing handouts to maintain their own selfish overly-lavish lifestyle is pathetic. This evening, I was told that it "was grossly unfair to demand a poor Greek worker to take a pay cut from 1,500 Euro." When I pointed out that the average salary in the city he is currently enjoying was 450 and out in the country close to 200 a month - and they only get 12 a year here, he changed the subject.

I have very little time for the Greeks because they seem to have, collectively, lost complete sense of reality. They are a entire country made up of Svens.
 
#17
Which seems pretty logical to all but the Greeks themselves.
Within Greek politics, the logic seems clear. The current SIEMENS case has exposed the degree of bungs Greek politicos of all stamps have been getting from W European companies. Look at Germany's recent kiboshing of the Abrams deal, and the French frigate deal. Ordinary Greeks are saying, we didn't get any of this money; we didn't ask for it, and we weren't told about it. So why should we pay for it?



whitecity said:
And every other Greek who's been avoiding tax for the past X years!!!
Only businessmen have that luxury. Ordinary Greeks (in a country with an effectively socialist statist superstructure inefficiently plugged in to EU norms) now have a tax burden that would make Brits, let alone Spams, take up arms.



whitecity said:
I heard that too. And when I asked what sort of livestyle they expected to live without all of these generous bungs from the rest of Europe etc etc, stoney silence.
What shocked me was the number of people (including ex-military officers, civil servants and even businessmen) who rejected both the idea of a capitalist economy and western parliamentary democracy. "It's time for something new."


whitecity said:
The Greek crisis never was an economic one. The Greeks have a societal failure that was kept hidden by economic delusions of grandure. If there is to be another bloodletting in the Balkans, I vote for it to be in Greece. Unlike Yugoslavia, their problems are more rooted in the attitude of the people as a whole rather than the political elite, and thus only have themselves blame - despite all they manifest protestations to the contrary.
Is that your perception of the ex-Yugoslav wars? I bow, unsarcastically, to your greater knowledge. The Greek people have spent the past century tearing themselves apart. As others have said, part of their problem is papering over the cracks of the civil war, in itself a product of the civil wars/revolutions/coups of 1916-17 and the 1930s. In themselves a product of the civil disorders of the 1850s-60s, in itself a product of the 1820s revolution which turned into an 1820s-1830 civil war.

This sounds alarmist, but whether Greece goes far-left (ex-Communist, statist) or far-right (Orthodox brethren), I see Russia getting warm-water ports near the Middle East within the next decade.
 
#18
Within Greek politics, the logic seems clear. The current SIEMENS case has exposed the degree of bungs Greek politicos of all stamps have been getting from W European companies. Look at Germany's recent kiboshing of the Abrams deal, and the French frigate deal. Ordinary Greeks are saying, we didn't get any of this money; we didn't ask for it, and we weren't told about it. So why should we pay for it?

...

Only businessmen have that luxury. Ordinary Greeks (in a country with an effectively socialist statist superstructure inefficiently plugged in to EU norms) now have a tax burden that would make Brits, let alone Spams, take up arms.

...

What shocked me was the number of people (including ex-military officers, civil servants and even businessmen) who rejected both the idea of a capitalist economy and western parliamentary democracy. "It's time for something new."
I live in a country which is mirroring the Greeks at the societal level. On paper, tax rates are high, but nobody pays them. The politicians are taking bungs left right and centre. The population hates, but does nothing to change it. Why? Because at their level, they're all on the take and a shit scared that anybody coming to power with a genuine interest to rid the place of corruption will make their lives intollerable.

The difference between Serbia and Greece is simple. Serbia has not had the luxuary of being in the Euro, being able to take out MASSIVE loans at next to no interest rate, and has not been the receipient of massive foreign investment. The Greek situation is a direct result of their abuse of those benefits.

Is that your perception of the ex-Yugoslav wars? I bow, unsarcastically, to your greater knowledge.
In very simplistic terms, Yugoslavia was broken by a very small handful of the political elite the lead their individual 'peoples' to war and bloodshed. The Greeks have, collectively, driven their society to the brink of collapse with their selfish delusions of grandure. Did Greek politicans skim their fair share off the top, 'course they did. But as a society, they've all had their hand in the cookie jar without having the responsibility to contribute their fair share to the grocers bill.


The Greek people have spent the past century tearing themselves apart. As others have said, part of their problem is papering over the cracks of the civil war, in itself a product of the civil wars/revolutions/coups of 1916-17 and the 1930s. In themselves a product of the civil disorders of the 1850s-60s, in itself a product of the 1820s revolution which turned into an 1820s-1830 civil war.

This sounds alarmist, but whether Greece goes far-left (ex-Communist, statist) or far-right (Orthodox brethren), I see Russia getting warm-water ports near the Middle East within the next decade.
The people I was drinking with earlier were all well-educated and relatively affluent individuals. All 6 had been in full-time education (their choice) into their early 30s (because it was better than working) then, through connections, stepped into lucrative professional employment. I asked the question: during your life, how much have you received in financial terms from the state - including all of your free education etc etc - and how much have you paid in tax since you finally started work. Silence! Then I asked, do you pay every single cent of tax according to the law? Silence! Then the old chestnut got trolled out again: it's all the corrupt polticians fault blah blah blah.

There are many, MANY good, honest, hardworking Greeks who are suffering and don't deserve to. But the Greek problem is societal not political.
 
#19
But the Greek problem is societal not political.
Maybe, but when people start looping nooses from lamp posts and trying to burn down their legislature, then the immediate problem is surely political.

And also ref Yugoslavia, yeah, I've heard the Milosevic/Tudjman argument before, but the fact is there were plenty of good old boys in the Vukovina and elsewhere with knives to sharpen and grudges to settle who were looking forward to a scrap. As there are in Greece, for political, rather than ethnic/'ethnic' ends.
 
#20
Greeks are, on average, one of the richer European countries. Their expectation/demand that poorer, but perhaps more honest and prudent, countries provide them with ever increasing handouts to maintain their own selfish overly-lavish lifestyle is pathetic. This evening, I was told that it "was grossly unfair to demand a poor Greek worker to take a pay cut from 1,500 Euro." When I pointed out that the average salary in the city he is currently enjoying was 450 and out in the country close to 200 a month - and they only get 12 a year here, he changed the subject.

I have very little time for the Greeks because they seem to have, collectively, lost complete sense of reality. They are a entire country made up of Svens.
It could be almost oxymoronic... rich but totally broke. It is!

Certain denizens of Greece need to take a bath. That is one of the problems. The very ordinary people are taking the bath, those with established interests well...

Agree with you.
 

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