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Democracy vs Mythology: The Battle in Syntagma Square

June 18, 2011

I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly.

What is going on in Athens at the moment is resistance against an invasion; an invasion as brutal as that against Poland in 1939. The invading army wears suits instead of uniforms and holds laptops instead of guns, but make no mistake – the attack on our sovereignty is as violent and thorough. Private wealth interests are dictating policy to a sovereign nation, which is expressly and directly against its national interest. Ignore it at your peril. Say to yourselves, if you wish, that perhaps it will stop there. That perhaps the bailiffs will not go after the Portugal and Ireland next. And then Spain and the UK. But it is already beginning to happen. This is why you cannot afford to ignore these events.

The powers that be have suggested that there is plenty to sell. Josef Schlarmann, a senior member of Angela Merkel’s party, recently made the helpful suggestion that we should sell some of our islands to private buyers in order to pay the interest on these loans, which have been forced on us to stabilise financial institutions and a failed currency experiment. (Of course, it is not a coincidence that recent studies have shown immense reserves of natural gas under the Aegean sea).

China has waded in, because it holds vast currency reserves and more than a third are in Euros. Sites of historical interest like the Acropolis could be made private. If we do not as we are told, the explicit threat is that foreign and more responsible politicians will do it by force. Let’s make the Parthenon and the ancient Agora a Disney park, where badly paid locals dress like Plato or Socrates and play out the fantasies of the rich.

It is vital to understand that I do not wish to excuse my compatriots of all blame. We did plenty wrong. I left Greece in 1991 and did not return until 2006. For the first few months I looked around and saw an entirely different country to the one I had left behind. Every billboard, every bus shelter, every magazine page advertised low interest loans. It was a free money give-away. Do you have a loan that you cannot manage? Come and get an even bigger loan from us and we will give you a free lap-dance as a bonus. And the names underwriting those advertisements were not unfamiliar: HSBC, Citibank, Credit Agricole, Eurobank, etc.

Regretfully, it must be admitted that we took this bait “hook, line and sinker”. The Greek psyche has always had an Achilles’ heel; an impending identity crisis. We straddle three Continents and our culture has always been a melting pot reflective of that fact. Instead of embracing that richness, we decided we were going to be definitively European; Capitalist; Modern; Western. And, damn it, we were going to be bloody good at it. We were going to be the most European, the most Capitalist, the most Modern, the most Western. We were teenagers with their parents’ platinum card.

I did not see a pair of sunglasses not emblazoned with Diesel or Prada. I did not see a pair of flip-flops not bearing the logo of Versace or D&G. The cars around me were predominantly Mercedes and BMWs. If anyone took a holiday anywhere closer than Thailand, they kept it a secret. There was an incredible lack of common sense and no warning that this spring of wealth may not be inexhaustible. We became a nation sleepwalking toward the deep end of our newly-built, Italian-tiled swimming pool without a care that at some point our toes may not be able to touch the bottom.

That irresponsibility, however, was only a very small part of the problem. The much bigger part was the emergence of a new class of foreign business interests ruled by plutocracy, a church dominated by greed and a political dynasticism which made a candidate’s surname the only relevant consideration when voting. And while we were borrowing and spending (which is affectionately known as “growth”), they were squeezing every ounce of blood from the other end through a system of corruption so gross that it was worthy of any banana republic; so prevalent and brazen that everyone just shrugged their shoulders and accepted it or became part of it.

I know it is impossible to share in a single post the history, geography and mentality which has brought this most beautiful corner of our Continent to its knees and has turned one of the oldest civilisations in the world from a source of inspiration to the punchline of cheap jokes. I know it is impossible to impart the sense of increasing despair and helplessness that underlies every conversation I have had with friends and family over the last few months. But it is vital that I try, because the dehumanisation and demonisation of my people appears to be in full swing.

I read, agog, an article in a well-known publication which essentially advocated that the Mafia knew how to deal properly with people who didn’t repay their debts; that “a baseball bat may be what’s needed to fix the never ending Greek debt mess”. The article proceeded to justify this by rolling out a series of generalisations and prejudices so inaccurate and so venomous that, had one substituted the word “Greeks” with “Blacks” or “Jews”, the author would have been hauled in by the police and charged with hate crimes. (I always include links, but not in this case – I am damned if I will create more traffic for that harpy).

So let me deal with some of that media Mythology.

  • Greeks are lazy. This underlies much of what is said and written about the crisis, the implication presumably being that our lax Mediterranean work-ethic is at the heart of our self-inflicted downfall. And yet, OECD data among its members show that in 2008, Greeks worked on average 2120 hours a year. That is 690 hours more than the average German, 467 more than the average Brit and 356 more than the OECD average. Only Koreans work longer hours. Further, the paid leave entitlement in Greece is on average 23 days, lower than most EU countries including the UK’s minimum 28 and Germany’s whopping 30.

  • Greeks retire early. The figure of 53 years old as an average retirement age is being bandied about. So much, in fact, that it is being seen as fact. The figure actually originates from a lazy comment on the NY Times website. It was then repeated by Fox News and printed on other publications. Greek civil servants have the option to retire after 17.5 years of service, but this is on half benefits. The figure of 53 is a misinformed conflation of the number of people who choose to do this (in most cases to go on to different careers) and those who stay in public service until their full entitlement becomes available. Looking at Eurostat’s data from 2005 the average age of exit from the labour force in Greece (indicated in the graph below as EL for Ellas) was 61.7; higher than Germany, France or Italy and higher than the EU27 average. Since then Greece have had to raise the minimum age of retirement twice under bail-out conditions and so this figure is likely to rise further.

  • Greece is a weak economy that should never have been a part of the EU. One of the assertions frequently levelled at Greece is that its membership to the European Union was granted on emotional “cradle of democracy” grounds. This could not be further from the truth. Greece became the first associate member of the EEC outside the bloc of six founding members (Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries) in 1962, much before the UK. It has been a member of the EU for 30 years. It is classified by the World Bank as a “high income economy” and in 2005 boasted the 22nd highest human development and quality of life index in the world – higher than the UK, Germany or France. As late as 2009 it had the 24th highest per capita GDP according to the World Bank. Moreover, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Centre for International Comparisons, Greece’s productivity in terms of real GDP per person per hour worked, is higher than that of France, Germany or the US and more than 20% higher than the UK’s.
  • The first bail-out was designed to help Greek people, but unfortunately failed. It was not. The first bail-out was designed to stabilise and buy time for the Eurozone. It was designed to avoid another Lehman-Bros-type market shock, at a time when financial institutions were too weak to withstand it. In the words of BBC economist Stephanie Flanders: “Put it another way: Greece looks less able to repay than it did a year ago – while the system as a whole looks in better shape to withstand a default… From their perspective, buying time has worked for the eurozone. It just hasn’t been working out so well for Greece.” If the bail-out were designed to help Greece get out of debt, then France and Germany would not have insisted on future multi-billion military contracts. As Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the MEP and leader of the Green group in the European Parliament, explained: “In the past three months we have forced Greece to confirm several billion dollars in arms contracts. French frigates that the Greeks will have to buy for 2.5 billion euros. Helicopters, planes, German submarines.”
  • The second bail-out is designed to help Greek people and will definitely succeed. I watched as Merkel and Sarkozy made their joint statement yesterday. It was dotted with phrases like “Markets are worried”, “Investors need reassurance” and packed with the technical language of monetarism. It sounded like a set of engineers making minor adjustments to an unmanned probe about to be launched into space. It was utterly devoid of any sense that at the centre of what was being discussed was the proposed extent of misery, poverty, pain and even death that a sovereign European partner, an entire nation was to endure. In fact most commentators agree, that this second package is designed to do exactly what the first one did: buy more time for the banks, at considerable expense to the Greek people. There is no chance of Greece ever being able to repay its debt – default is inevitable. It is simply servicing interest and will continue to do so in perpetuity.

And the biggest myth of them all: Greeks are protesting because they want the bail-out but not the austerity that goes with it. This is a fundamental untruth. Greeks are protesting because they do not want the bail-out at all. They have already accepted cuts which would be unfathomable in the UK – think of what Cameron is doing and multiply it by ten. Benefits have not been paid in over six months. Basic salaries have been cut to 550 Euros (£440) a month.

My mother, who is nearly 70, who worked all her life for the Archaeology Department of the Ministry of Culture, who paid tax, national insurance and pension contributions for over 45 years, deducted at the source (as they are for the vast majority of decent hard-working people – it is the rich that can evade), has had her pension cut to less than £400 a month. She faces the same rampantly inflationary energy and food prices as the rest of Europe.

A good friend’s grandad, Panagiotis K., fought a war 70 years ago – on the same side as the rest of Western democracy. He returned and worked 50 years in a shipyard, paid his taxes, built his pension. At the age of 87 he has had to move back to his village so he can work his “pervoli” – a small arable garden – planting vegetables and keeping four chickens. So that he and his 83 year old wife might have something to eat.

A doctor talking on Al Jazeera yesterday explained how even GPs and nurses have become so desperate that they ask people for money under the table in order to treat them, in what are meant to be free state hospitals. Those who cannot afford to do this, go away to live with their ailment, or die from it. The Hippocratic oath violated out of despair, at the place of its inception.

So, the case is not that Greeks are fighting cuts. There is nothing left to cut. The IMF filleting knife has gotten to pure, white, arthritis-afflicted bone. The Greeks understand that a second bail-out is simply “kicking the can down the road”.  Greece’s primary budget deficit is, in fact, under 5bn Euros. The other 48bn Euros are servicing the debt, including that of the first bail-out, with one third being purely interest. The EU, ECB and IMF now wish to add another pile of debt on top of that, which will be used to satisfy interest payments for another year. And the Greeks have called their bluff. They have said “Enough is enough. Keep your money.”

____________________________________________________________

My land has always attracted aggressive occupiers. Its vital strategic position combined with its extraordinary natural beauty and history, have always made it the trinket of choice for the forces of evil. But we are a tenacious lot. We emerged after 400 years of Ottoman occupation, 25 generations during which our national identity was outlawed with penalty of death, with our language, tradition, religion and music intact.

Finally, we have woken up and taken to the streets. My sister tells me that what is happening in Syntagma Square is beautiful; filled with hope; gloriously democratic. A totally bi-partisan crowd of hundreds of thousands of people have occupied the area in front of our Parliament. They share what little food and drink there is. A microphone stands in the middle, on which anyone can speak for two minutes at a time – even propose things which are voted by a show of thumbs. Citizenship.

And what they say is this: We will not suffer any more so that we can make the rich, even richer. We do not authorise any of the politicians, who failed so spectacularly, to borrow any more money in our name. We do not trust you or the people that are lending it. We want a completely new set of accountable people at the helm, untainted by the fiascos of the past. You have run out of ideas. 

Wherever in the world you are, their statement applies.

Money is a commodity, invented to help people by facilitating transactions. It is not wealth in itself. Wealth is natural resources, water, food, land, education, skill, spirit, ingenuity, art. In those terms, the people of Greece are no poorer than they were two years ago. Neither are the people of Spain or Ireland or the UK. And yet, we are all being put through various levels of suffering, in order for numbers (representing money which never existed) to be transferred from one column of a spreadsheet to another.

This is why the matter concerns you directly. Because this is a battle between our right to self-determine, to demand a new political process, to be sovereign, and private corporate interests which appear determined to treat us like a herd, which only exists for their benefit. It is the battle against a system which ensures that those who fuck up, are never those that are punished – it is always the poorest, the most decent, the most hard-working that bear the brunt.  The Greeks have said “Enough is enough”. What do you say?

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Help us by spreading this message to others – don’t let the media airbrush it out of existence, like they have done with the people of Madison, Wisconsin and the Indignados in Spain. Use the comments below (no registration is needed) to express your solidarity with the people of Greece. If you have any questions, again use the comments and I will do my best to answer. Raise the matter with people in power. Ask questions. Talk about it in the pub. Most of all, wake up before you find yourself in our situation.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the Lebanese-American philosopher who formulated the theory of “Black Swan Events” – unpredictable, unforeseen events which have a huge impact and can only be explained afterwards. Last week, on Newsnight, he was asked by Jeremy Paxman whether the people taking to the streets in Athens was a Black Swan Event. He replied: “No. The real Black Swan Event is that people are not rioting against the banks in London and New York.”

730 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:41 am

    A brilliant explanation and a heartfelt call to arms. This brought tears to my eyes. It’s time we too took to the streets.

    • Steve permalink
      June 21, 2011 8:51 pm

      Some of us are paying attention in the United States. I wish the Greek people the best and offer my solidarity

      • Rising Up Angry permalink
        June 24, 2011 9:26 pm

        much love from this guy in Amerikka’s MidWest too!

      • JOHN KONIDARIS permalink
        July 1, 2011 5:46 am

        Solidarity is the best help for us.Don’t stop to think.
        Thank you Steve.

    • John permalink
      June 23, 2011 11:41 am

      The time to take to the streets is long overdue

    • nancy permalink
      June 23, 2011 4:14 pm

      NANCY
      IN MY COUNTRY IN YEAR 1989 WE WERE A REBEL AGAINST WORLD BANK AND HIS TWIN BROTHER INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FOND WE ARE FREE NOW AND THE MEDIA SAID ABOUT MY COUNTRIE IS A DICTADORSHIP IS NOT TRUE, VENEZUELA IS FREE. ALL MY REPECT FOR THE PEOPLE OF GREEK.

      • alex75 permalink
        June 30, 2011 7:08 pm

        I totally disagree with that statement!!!!
        From any possible angle you would look at Venezuela’s situation, it is a doomed country, with one of the worst leaders that the region has ever seen.
        Venezuela has huge natural ressources and could be one of the leading countries of South America. It is now a dangerous, badly managed and extremely poor country.
        Culture, education, man power ressources, infrastructure, security, absolutely anything that can help the country stand again with strength and influence on the international scene is just worsening and lowering, until we get to another chavez reelection.
        At some point there will just be one thing to say: Venezolanos do have the leader they deserve, or at least one they have chosen.
        Poor country, poor people, poor nancy.
        I wouldn’t bet 0.50€cts on this country recovery if they don’t dispose this clown where he belongs: in jail.

      • July 1, 2011 12:15 am

        Bolivarian Venezuela is cool… or used to be before it began extraditing people to fascist Colombia. It is deeply democratic and at least somewhat socialist.

        Venezuela is together with Cuba, Iceland and maybe Switzerland (for the deeply rooted decentralized, semi-direct democracy) the references to consider when looking ahead, not just in Greece but in all Europe.

    • June 25, 2011 4:39 pm

      Some of us here in Greece, fight to resurrect this country. My personal ‘weapon’ of choice is optimism!
      I share my optimism via an TEDxTalk. It’s about things that make me, and many other Greeks, happy. Even at this time of crisis. And it’s relevant to anyone in crisis… 

      It’s my passport to eudaimonia: http://bit.ly/iBaBCa

    • Livelus permalink
      June 30, 2011 12:42 pm

      This demonstration reveals the source of the problem in Greece. The fact that “democracy” means that anyone can do anything they like whenever they feel like it. If I don’t like something I just close down a street, a government building, a school and so on. Democracy in my country is all about rights. It is never about obligations.

      Saying that attempting to block a parliamentary meeting that is set to vote on such a significant topic is democratic, is ironic to say the least.

      Greek citizens should be held accountable:
      1. for voting ND and PASOK governments for the past 30 years. The Greek people placed those 300 thiefs in the Greek parliament in the first place.
      2. for not paying the appropriate taxes to the government. Out of 5,600,000 income statements, 2,800,000 are under the 12,000 non-taxable limit.
      3. for living on borrowed money
      4. for building their so called “wealth” on black money as it is called in Greece. When you go the doctor and pay 100 euro and don’t ask for a receipt you are committing a crime. The doctor places 100 euro in his pocket and you place 50 euros in yours. Because you would have paid 150 euros for the service, had you asked for a receipt. But you decided to build your so-called wealth by stealing money from the state, from your fellow countrymen and from your children.

      For Greeks the reason for failure is always someone else. I’m afraid we are too afraid to look into the mirror and face the reality.

      • Iakovos permalink
        July 4, 2011 4:32 pm

        Livelus is spot on. (though the other parties in parliament were as irresponsible as ND and PASOK)

        For someone who has been in this country since 1996 I can pitifully say that this disaster was written on the wall. Two eyes, a working brain and a minimum of education was all that was needed to see it coming.
        Everyone in a position to cheat has done it here, and until now they were even proud to show how smart they were to be able to arrange/negotiate/handle/bypass and other niceties to the detriment of their own country.

        Fraud, corruption and clientelism are engraved in the local (Byzantine) mentality since centuries. Twice before in its modern history has Greece found itself in such a situation that foreign powers had to take control of their finances, and this was a long time before IMF. You wont find this in history books, it’s all about how glorious they are.

        This country lives (or lived) on a motto: je m’en fous (ze man fou for Greeks – I dont care for others). Well understood citizenship stops with the flag, the church and 24 centuries old history.

        Saying that Greeks work a lot is plain wrong, they do spend a lot of time at or around work, how much of it is actually devoted to work is a completely different thing.

        When basic services are on par with some thirld word countries, when regulations are flouted even by those supposed to enforce them, when corruption is systemic and so much part of the system that one simply cannot avoid it even to receive his legally due, when justice is ridiculously non existent, when Greece is No 2 in the world for the number of students going abroad and many wont come back, when theocracy is still in place and doing very well, when teachers cannot give a note below 7 (on 10) without the risk of being lynched, when getting your rightfully earned diploma is unavoidably linked to passing the heavy envelope, when getting proper attention from the doc in hospital depends on the same, when criticizing and analyzing is forbidden, when there is no consumer association to protect or warn the citizen, and I’ll stop here…
        it is logic to ask oneself if, once again, Greece was pulled into Europe by Western romantism and the episode of the Colonels.

    • July 1, 2011 3:00 am

      Brilliant, my arse. Blame Germany, blame the west, blame anarchists.

      This post is such full of shit it stinks to high heavens. Try this: Paying your fricken taxes instead of under the counter, cash. How about thinking about hwo you are voting for? How about voting?

      Greece is just so screwed up in so many ways. You ought tpo be thanking Germany for it’s graciousness and help. Instead, it’s always someone else’s fault.

      Pathetic!

      • L.R. Weizel permalink
        July 2, 2011 12:46 am

        See, this is total bullshit. It is true that the greek people lived irresponsibly – but that doesn’t excuse the IMF for what they do to an economy. Gracious for their help? Are you fucking kidding me? They’re not GIVING them anything, they’re lending them money at a rate, profiting off their misery.

        The author admits the greek people were at fault, just that it’s not the primary issue. And he’s right. The IMF is going to end up owning half the world, it’s crazy.

      • georgep permalink
        July 4, 2011 3:55 am

        Jono….thank Germany? seriously?….what pills are you on man? did your mum didnt hug you enough? the money we got for germany was given to us with the directive to buy the german shity guns…so get some more pils and go to bed for some sleep….you are triping

      • Basil permalink
        July 4, 2011 12:31 pm

        First, what are people angry about?
        Imagine this: You want a job as a security guard. You fight hard for it and finally get it. You are paid very well and you swear to guard whatever you’re supposed to be guarding. Then either because you sleep on the job, or because you looked the other way, or because you followed the head of security down the pub for a few beers or because you were an accomplice, whatever you were supposed to be guarding is lifted on your shift. Do you really expect to have no repercussions?
        Same thing here: MPs fightto get elected, they swear an oath to the country, then they vote for over 30 years for deficit after deficit. Now they discover that debt is bad and that THE REST OF THE POPULATION MUST PAY. Some even insult them for not doing the politician’s job, such as getting and piling up receipts that the
        government never bothered with checking.
        Btw, the SAME politicans that created this mess now want to save the country with the people’s sacrifices. So yes, why not confiscate the property of all MPS that voted for deficits all these years. And, one might be amazed at how much this could generate.

        Second, all these sacrifices are not made to pay back the debt. They are made so the government can KEEP BORROWING. Already 20% of the budget goes to interest payment. When the debt is doubled, and everybody has been made poorer and all profitable state assets have been sold, how on earth is the debt going to be paid back? This is just like a drug addict selling off everything for his dose. And it is pure suicide. If one has to balance the budget anyway, let’s do it now instead of borrowing more.

        Third, this is not a legitimate government. It was elected based on promises such as “there is money(to give out)”, “no new measures”(just before the municipal elections), “we’ll regain control of state companies”(which they now sell)
        and so on. In most places when someone promises one thing and does the exact opposite, we call this fraud.

        Fourth, it is my view that a government that cannot efficiently run monopoly state companies, like water, electricity, telco and transportation, is certainly not fit to run an entire country. Instead of selling off land, they could go solar on EVERY government building and land, and thereby generate a steady revenue. Since they lack the money, they could get it from the employees: Give them the exploitation of say government rooftops in hospitals, ministries, parks and so on and reduce their salaries, so that they would actually make more this way. I should add that state companies have CEOs with HUGE pay(for example the Telco CEO was getting paid 580000 euro a year plus 1,4mil euros to leave and his great achievements were to lose 1 million customers and show a deficit(via bookkeeping tricks) for two years. Meanwhile people who on their own initiative and on their free time were developping stuff that not only would solve the company’s needs, but were also much times better than what existed on the marked, were getting blacklisted.

        Let’s be clear this is NOT the German taxpayer’s fault. But it is very hard to pinpoint exactly what each citizen could have done differently:
        -Start a new party. Yes, but you’d need about 1 million just to run, nevr mind the campaign expenses
        -Join one of the existing parties and rise up to the top to run the country better. This means having to clap along every time the great party leader makes a decision, which would make one as complicit to the deficit as anyone else.
        -Vote for the other party. Well, this is exactly the point, both parties are about equally bad. Those who vote for one do so to prevent the other party from seizing power
        -Vote for a third party. These are even worse
        -Vote so that noone gets elected. Also tried that. Then a 3party government was formed with the parties sabotaging it every time. The result was complete chaos. Since then the parties reformed the election law, so that effectively the first party gets elected with as much as 40% of the vote
        -Get a gun and shoot the politicians. Oops, that would make one a terrorist.

        And btw, lots of what you hear is pure crap. For example, the vast majority has no chance to cheat on taxes, even if they wanted to. Their tax is deducted from their paycheck. Others, doing freelance for abroad would elect to pay the taxes abroad because in Greece they would be taxed not according to their contract, but according to what the Tax Office would think they ought to be earning(called ‘objective value’).
        Same thing with the ‘bonus for arriving on time’. This misnomer refers to bus drivers for the first shift around 5 in the morning. Since they have to be at work at a time when there is no public transportation ,they would need to get a cab or drive there and this ‘bonus’ is simply that expense.

      • gov51ststate permalink
        July 4, 2011 8:36 pm

        Good points Basil.
        Jono, I don’t think we are blaming one countries people. It is ALL our faults for allowing the central Bankers have their way with us. Interest, in the form of taxes will never pay off what has been borrowed. The central bankers, not the smaller banks, create the money pool composed of say 10 tokens—to make it simple—with the contract to pay with interest ‘one’ of these tokens rent for the year. After that year you have 9 tokens in the supply pool. Next year there are 8, the shortage in everything becomes obvious. So you borrow more from the central bank. Over the years the debt grows and you must borrow more… it is called a pyramid scheme. Only fools play this game. If a population awakes to the understanding that it is a scam, must the people in the street be forced to keep playing/paying?
        Do the math. Debt-creation leads to evil ways. Many of the Muslim nations still recognize that usury is against God’s Laws. ..And for this they get invaded by the usury supporting armies for the Western Banksters.
        One problem with democracy/metholoy vs. cold reality: Under the Voters Contract the losing parties must go along with the winners. When a nation has more voters getting government deals/hand-down-benefit they always win and the 49% realize they will have to pay and pay, so they eventually slow down with their productions. A collapse is inevitable. Only those “in the take” Too-Big-To-Fail get bailed out!
        I have found those-on-the-take always are in NEED to live a higher standard than those who are on the PAYING END (who are pointed at: that They don’t need what they have and should pay more [taxes]). This is human nature at its worst, but that IS reality!
        China does not have usury created tokens. Gaddafi was creating an interest free token, until NATO invaded and “the Rebels'” first act was to establish a central Bank patterned after Goldman Sachs. How about that!
        After the Revolutionary War the uSA printed its money without an interest payment. But the City of London banksters had “a better idea!” The 1913 private Federal Reserve Act was the nail in the coffin, where The People rent tokens from them the banksters! The wealth of a nation is in the people and materials, not from the books in a banks, especially when those Banks do not even have gold nor silver, but need “bailing out.” Come on people who argue these points… wake-up!
        Jono, sometimes there is a fault in-play. Fix it and things will improve naturally. The shortages will slowly disappear. It is really quite simple. It is God’s way. In this respect, present China is playing by God’s Law, and winning!

    • July 6, 2011 12:27 pm

      We love Greece! Like Serbia…..Greece has always stood tall and isolated against evil and tyranny……let us hope and pray for a more positive outcome in these great countries! Afterall….they have withstood worse before and survived…..and their histories are beacons of light for discerninbg and informed people worldwide

    • Mike permalink
      July 6, 2011 4:09 pm

      The problem with you socialists is that you demand more and more money from the state, the state bends over backwards for you and gets itself into debt and then you complain when your country goes bankrupt. I sympathise with the Greek people but this is what happens when you spend money you don’t have.

      The blog also implies that there is clear injustice in the rich “getting richer” and escaping the consequences. Has it occurred to the writer that people who are rich have generally worked extremely hard all of their lives to get where they are? And why is it that the “rich” are responsible for looking after the people who have not?

      • July 7, 2011 12:09 am

        Two things:

        1. The state gives money mainly to banks and capitalists, either actively (bailouts, assumption of private debts, subsidies) or passively (not taxing enough, not taxing pollution, allowing tax evasion…). It also pays for fundamental services to keep Capitalism going: police, military and judiciary, which are there fundamentally to defend the state and the oligarchs.

        2. Money is virtual: it’s a creation by society to help organize the economy, a chaotic and extremely unfair rationing card. Nothing else. It is the state which prints and gives credibility to any money. Andy argument on “money this, money that” will unavoidably miss the point. What is needed is that people can work for enough to live decently: jobs, housing, services, that is what matters and not “money”.

        “Has it occurred to the writer that people who are rich have generally worked extremely hard”…

        Not sure about the author but I know for a fact that nobody ever became rich by mere “working hard” and that usually rich people do not “work hard” at all. Even in the most hardworking cases, never work more than the usual basic worker, be it Greek or German.

        This what you say is nothing but empty propaganda. The rich are rich because either they inherited and/or robbed massively. And if they inherited, their ancestors were the robbers and bloodsuckers before them.

        Have you ever though reading something on Marxist theory, maybe on the original accumulation of wealth?

        “And why is it that the “rich” are responsible for looking after the people who have not?”

        By means of being rich you become a local or even world boss: you get an objective responsibility and you have to deliver.

        Ok, you won’t. I do not expect you do, after all, you believe in pure selfishness and total greed, right?

        But if you do not deliver society collapses and you lose your wealth and your power (and maybe your life). As the Capitalist oligarchy in that late stage of this mode of production cannot or won’t in any case deliver, Society has to reconsider the rules and the very mode of production. Eventually it will have to suppress Capitalism altogether or pay terrible prices, including the extinction of the species probably.

        In other periods it may have been that Capitalism and some societies went together in a mutually fruitful alliance but not anymore. Now Capitalism is not able to deliver and therefore will be removed. A revolution will happen, it is already beginning to happen right now.

  2. Sarah permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:43 am

    Enough is *indeed* enough.

  3. Claire permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:54 am

    You always write so well, but this is so moving because you speak from the heart and write the truth…..solidarity with the proud people of Greece

    • June 18, 2011 11:35 am

      Errr…. have you read the post?
      It’s about Greece but not only about Greece.

      We should be having solidarity with Greece but also with Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Uk, Spain, USA, Japan, and so goes the list. This is a global attack on people, in some countries more cruel than others, but there is crisis in almost every OCDE member. The geopolitical approach of First World making benefits of a Third world will not work anymore. It’s becoming instead “Them” against “Us”. They want control on our lives at the highest rates (not of interest), cut to 0 (zero) the freedom of choice, the welfare state. In 20 years time there will be 2.000 M people in excess in the World and seems quite optimistic and selfish from our side, to think that they will all be concentrated in China, India and the most populated countries in the world. The NWO must be counteracted by a new society autonomous organization.

  4. June 18, 2011 10:57 am

    Heres my expression of complete solidarity with our Greek Brothers and Sisters. I hope the Irish and The Portuguese will also join with Greece and Spain and Iceland in fighting this injustice.
    I am very moved by this article and hope the British People will also take to the streets a National Strike and boycott of all political institutions perpetuating this Global Kleptocracy is essential is there a Labour Movement worth the Name or a democratic movement to who’s Call we can rally?
    Is tweeting and sharing with Facebook all that is left I honestly want to Man the barricades Fascism is back and its bigger and badder than ever.

    • Edmund Lewis permalink
      June 19, 2011 12:23 pm

      Surely the lesson we have to take away from this is that borrowing must be avoided at all costs lest we in Britain end up in the same situation? Fortunately at the moment our problem is the budget deficit rather than an unsustainable pile of debt: we should do all we can, making appropriate sacrifices, so we can stop the borrowing we all agree we detest, and ensure we never end up with a debt mountain. This from one Lewis to another.

      • AndyM permalink
        June 20, 2011 10:14 am

        I don’t think the deficit is the UK’s only problem. We have banks with balance sheets bigger than our GDP, who are exposed to countless unstable economies, if one defaults, the rest will follow then we’ll be next.

        All this should have happened in 2008, but the vested interests wanted to kick it into the long grass so they could extract all their money first.

        The more I learn about what is going on behind closed doors, the worse it seems.

        Lulzsec and Anon have joined forces to attack banks and central authorities today, there is a silent groundswell happening, the con is being exposed and people are not going to take it lying down.

        This affects everyone in the world who isn’t in the top 1% of wealth.

        That’s a lot of people.

      • Anne permalink
        June 23, 2011 10:17 am

        I recently read, in Roy Jenkins “Churchill”, the UK budget deficit in 2001 was 375million pounds. Today I think the publicly accepted figure is 250billion pounds. Do you think the UK is in deep trouble or are these just imaginary figures put out there to scare you into subission???
        Anne

      • L.R. Weizel permalink
        July 2, 2011 12:47 am

        If borrowing leads to more cuts, you end up in the same place anyway, so it’s not really the point. The point is that some serious restructuring needs to be done in the EU economy as a whole. It is poorly regulated and the IMF should not have intervened in the first place. Borrowing money and being in debt normally is fine and part of how an economy works.

  5. June 18, 2011 10:58 am

    Excellent post that goes right to the heart of what is happening. Well done and good luck. BTW your RSS code doesn’t work in my Chrome browser

    • halla permalink
      June 22, 2011 8:46 am

      OT, but I’ve found most RSS code doesn’t work in Chrome, I need to copy the feed address into my reader to subscribe.

  6. rodger nash permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:09 am

    The new climate of fear.

  7. June 18, 2011 11:12 am

    It’s a question of who runs the Western world, the people or the banks. The country the banks first tried to take over using debt as the weapon was Holland (or The Low Countries, whatever your preference) but many there were familiar with the concept of debt and wouldn’t allow it. Seeing virgin territory in England where debt was ill-understood the banks paid for the invasion here by their client king, William of Orange (the way paved by George Downing, formerly ‘our man’ in The Hague who went native there then came back here to set up the national debt). Here ‘English banking’ developed and under cover of the British Empire spread till its embrace was near global. Covertly, they’ve run things ever since. Now, the banks are coming out into the open, little caring who knows or understands what’s happening. The gloves are off. Push has come to shove. It’s getting more obvious every day. It’s us or the banks.

    BB

  8. June 18, 2011 11:22 am

    I’m afraid I cannot share the opinion of taking the streets. Not because I think it’s uncivilized or that we should fear to do so. It’s just about effectiveness.
    To me, what we need to defend the most is this: FREEDOM IN INTERNET. This will be the link, the bond that will make us all act together. I’m publishing every post of blogs I’m suscribed to in my Facebook page. I know FB is not quite suitable for social and political purposes, but I don’t care. My friends ought to be the first ones to star becoming aware of how our reality is changing.
    But our defensive weapons are changing too. It was almost impossible to conceive only 20 year ago, that people all over the world could be in contact like we are being right now.
    Let’s make the most of this opportunity.
    My full sympathy with Greece and its people.

    • x- abrupto permalink
      June 18, 2011 6:23 pm

      Dear friend.
      I read yor comment on the article just as I was getting ready to go down to syndagma square once more. I can assure you ,that you know ( due to pre paid journalists) less than a third of the Greek Revolution, So to help out, I suggest to you to take part to the protestsin the outskirts of Eden peacefully instead of staying at home.. we need your presence on the streets. there you have the only chance to form a reliable opinion, take part in discussions (and not chats) that can provide you and the other participants with a realistic point of view, so to help decide what to do next. TV and papers sold us out years ago . I recon only experts on internet and logical or educated people can relay on internet which laterly is the playground of missinformation and propaganda. I can win my fight via internet as much I can enjoy real LOVE and SEX through ejaculating on my keyboard durring cyber sex.
      It is also known that lately goverments stated the dangers of free inernet and control of the bloggers, Free internet to them is a paid and commercialy controlled service.
      Also please notice that on ”Hard Times”” no cell phones or inernet was available due to (ha ha ) overload or technical problems, in the same manner as whenever ther is a major strike the Journalist s decide tio take part, so that our voice is never heard on time.
      Your excellent idea is may be aplicable after the dawn of a Democracy we all dream of.
      To aquire it, takes only your peacefull presence on the streets.

      • Marina permalink
        June 22, 2011 12:36 pm

        You obviously beleive you are right… but we can’t we do both? Written protests are as usufull as physical movements. We need both.

      • June 23, 2011 8:08 pm

        @x-abrupto:
        I don’t live in Greece, and obviously, nor in Eden.
        When I had the chance I was at the Puerta del Sol demonstration the previous night to 22-M elections. I don’t know up to which extent Spain and Greece situations are similar. But let me tell you that it’s not I’m against taking the streets. It’s just I think it’s not enough.
        We are now communicating and we are knowing by this post, blog and comments, what other people think about this, we are even discussing the events at Syntagma Square without ANY OTHER MEDIA OR MIDDLE AGENT, THAN INTERNET AND OURSELVES. AND IN REAL TIME.
        This simply couldn’t have happened 20 years ago. I could even be reading and writing these comments from my mobile phone. Can you see the impact this has on the way people become aware of reality?
        I’m not trying to convince anyone not to go to the streets, I’m just saying: let’s use this powerful tool in our benefit. Please, upload everything you can from the events. All the world is expecting to see with their (your) own eyes!!!!!!!!!!

      • June 23, 2011 9:24 pm

        By the way, I don’t believe in coincidences.
        Where the hell is “syndagma” square?
        Where did you get your “x-abrupto” nick????
        Don’t we know each other?

        You might try to be more subtle next time.

    • June 21, 2011 9:31 am

      Yes there is a point in circulating words over the internet. But at the same time aren’t we going to materialize our thought and our words? We take our mortal bodies out in the real world and raise our voices in the open spaces of the city. It’s time to remember that urban space belongs to us, that we are REAL human beings and we to demand what is obvious. Our right to EXIST.

    • Marks2Much permalink
      June 22, 2011 8:16 pm

      Not all of the internet is good, and Facebook is a perfect example. They’re now censoring links that they deem unacceptable for political reasons. Ask the people at The Intel Hub. What’s more, Facebook was originally funded with money from the CIA. It’s an immense data mining operation designed to suck unsuspecting people in. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sites like this one, that don’t require registering are the ones to turn to and share.

      Nevertheless, I’m in solidarity with the people of Greece and the other countries being preyed upon by the rapacious vultures of the IMF. Drive the leaders out, take over the countries, take over the media, and tell the IMF to go to hell. There’s more of us than there is of them.

      • June 23, 2011 8:40 pm

        I still keep frying potatos in a pan, although I burned myself once….
        Everything in this world comes as a mixture of good and bad aspects. We have to make a balance.
        I cannot put aside INTERNET just because it is not 100% pure gold.

    • June 23, 2011 6:26 pm

      Well said! :)

  9. Marina permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:24 am

    I am greatful for spreading out the word in the UK. What is happening right now in Greece might be the start of a new age most of prophets have seen coming. People in Athens do not know where this is going to end. They have no solutions ready at hand. They only know that there is no light at the end of the tunnel EEC has put us in. They are creating day by day, conversation after conversation something new. The old paradigm has failed in so many countries in so many ways. Finally we remember who we are. We are only human trying to survive and going after our happines. Pray for us to be strong because we might be creating a new world you will all enjoy.

  10. June 18, 2011 11:27 am

    Fair play, all my support for the people of Greece. Can we throw of the shackles of the banks, multinationals and politicians as the Arabs are throw of dictatorships. Maybe Greece can herald a rebirth for democracy?

  11. Victoria permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:34 am

    Thanks for writing this. It’s too important to ignore, forgive my innocence, I never imagined the quality of rapaciousness of our system could go so far as to want to see taking ownership of another state’s natural and cultural assets. Keep writing!

    • Apollo permalink
      July 22, 2011 3:27 pm

      Thank Germany for what it did for Greece in the forties, with no compensation? (Britain and France received ample reparations when they suffered very little loss in comparison. Britain wasnt even occupied!) Stealing and not returning all of Greece’s gold reserves? “lending’ to Greece at extortionistic mafia rates, purposely in order to bring the country to her knees so as to simply walk in and help yourselves to all the country’s resources and enslave the people in their own country? Where was Germany and the European Union when turkey helped itself to half of Cyprus and now wants half of the Aegean? Where was the loyalty to a EU member state? Who is Germany ‘bailing out’, other than its own interests? The article was very balanced, acknowledging the guilt and naivety of the Greeks to a certain extent. But the grattitude you say Greece owes the country of the 3rd and 4th reich is the same ‘grattitude’ that anybody or any business owes to any other mafia ‘protection syndicates’.

  12. June 18, 2011 11:39 am

    Democracy is being crushed by debt, and people enslaved by the markets. Thank you for everything you put into this blog. It made tears spring to my eyes to think we live like this – in fear. We are all Greek.

  13. Achim permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:05 pm

    Back in the 18th Century Mayer Rothschild said ‘Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.’ As you said, money is not necessarily wealth in itself. At the same time it is more than a commodity: It’s a drug and most of us across all borders are hooked, individuals as well as those that are supposed to represent them. Time to kick the habit indeed. Thanks for making an important point.

  14. Philip Martin permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:51 pm

    This article is fantastic stuff…as someone learning Ancient Greek to access all the ancient and modern treasures of your literature it really pains me to have to watch what is happening to your beautiful country. But it’s everyone now, every people is under attack from the rich and the connected. There has to be a better way to organise existence than this begging bowl attitude to life and work. I don’t care how poor I would become if I had enough to eat, two sets of clothes, and a shack to sleep in, it would be enough if I could do worthwhile work with people I respect. I’m not even suggesting we move to the simplest existence but we do need to reconfigure our lives, focus on love, friendship, and co-operation. We need a revolution.

  15. June 18, 2011 12:59 pm

    Thank you for making this clear. I think many of us know instinctively, deep down, that the new enemy does not have a nationality or creed other than greed. What you have described started here a long time ago, in banks here and America under our noses.
    It is much more comfortable for me to imagine that I am just being paranoid .
    All support to Greece.

  16. Ellie permalink
    June 18, 2011 1:24 pm

    Democracy must remain supreme, must never allow corporations or bankers to take control, otherwise we are never free. Democracy is our power, our freedom, our hope and dignity, not the bankers’ to play with as a cat may toy with a mouse.

    Greece hold your freedom each night in that square and never, ever let it go.

    Best wishes

  17. Nick Gallicchio permalink
    June 18, 2011 1:38 pm

    I am not happy that the USA plutocracy is trying to take away my democracy

  18. Clear Voice permalink
    June 18, 2011 1:44 pm

    Capital “ransacks the whole world..all corners of the earth, siezing them, if necessary by force, from all levels of civilisation and from all forms of society.” Rosa Luxemburg.

    Thank you Alex, for making the situation in Greece so clear. We all need to wake up to what is happening before it is too late for the peoples and culture and democracy and values we hold dear.

    This is rape, and pillage and carpet-bagging and none of us should lend it legitimacy.

  19. June 18, 2011 2:41 pm

    I really don’t know what to say.
    I close my eyes – it’s not gone away.
    They are organised. We are not.
    We’re lobsters, boiling slowly in the pot.

    • June 18, 2011 4:10 pm

      Agree. We NEED to get organised. It will be slow, painful and disappointing, but there’s no other way.
      “inch by inch, step by step, mile by mile, man by man”.

    • June 25, 2011 4:15 pm

      A bit of Pete and DUd springs to Mind,F….in Lobsters.

      We are indeed being poached.

  20. June 18, 2011 3:15 pm

    Many thanks for this. It certainly explains things in the best possible way. Unfortunately, mdia worldwide do not mention these things or produce a slightly distorted account of developments on Greece. It is up to the people to inform and be informed, predominantly online.

  21. Simon permalink
    June 18, 2011 3:16 pm

    Colonel Papandreou insists”My people love me” Just like Gaddafi and his cronies he has nowhere to go.So obviously he will continue the charade and do the bidding of the Banksters, selling the assets of those who gave blood sacrifice to defend throughout ancient and modern history their land and honor.He will use the money to pay the police and army to supress the people and then when the reality sets in that the debt is unpayable, just like Gaddafi there will be nowhere to hide.

  22. kate mayer permalink
    June 18, 2011 3:49 pm

    Solidarity with the people of Greece – and solidarity in the UK on June 30th when the fightback starts in earnest here!

  23. June 18, 2011 3:53 pm

    I’ve linked your post in a post on Sweden’s largest independent economy blog.

  24. June 18, 2011 4:12 pm

    I will be posting a link and quote from this blog post at Politicalworld.org where it will be read by people in Ireland facing the same enemy. People in Ireland who understand what is happening look to the Greek people with admiration for the fight you are putting up, but it is high time that we joined you. Some people will be protesting tomorrow at O’Connell Street at the Spire from 4 o’clock.

  25. Mohammad permalink
    June 18, 2011 4:19 pm

    Excellent. I would like to suggest that we find a way to unite our voice on the Internet. I write from Pakistan and we are crumblng under the pressure of supporting the rich becoming richer, of unrestrained borrowing from the IMF, World Bank. Corruption exists in these institutions and they pass on their ‘experience’ and force practice. People are setting themselves on fire because they cannot feed their family or pay for the medicine of a parent. The US / NATO is carrying out a senseless slaughter of humankind, labelling Pakistan as a threat gives them the vote-food they need for own interests not to mention the defense manufacturers, who also fund politicians. Frustrations run so high that even the slightest argument may precipitate into senseless killing, because people have no work. They are ready for any kind of direction, lack of education & religious knowledge makes them easy pickings for anyone. When a drone kills eleven of the same family including children between the ages of 1 month to 9 years, the lone survivor has only one desire and only one way to fulfil it…blow himself up and take as many of “the enemy” or those who aid them and/or condone the slaughter with him to ugly death. I urge all who spread the Greek message to include Pakistan in your call…and we stand with you against oppression and killing of any man, woman and child, without discrimination of religion, language or colour.
    Enough is Enough…but I think we should get into the ‘No More’ mode now.

    • Guy_Fawkes permalink
      June 18, 2011 6:15 pm

      I am one American who sends her regrets that our U.S. government is so damn corrupt. We, Americans, do not see Muslims as the enemy. We know that we are all one.

      I read posts like this and it makes me so ashamed of my government. We expected more from our current government, but alas, I believe those that are in power are not the people we elect. The real government are those in the shadows….those that have created all the wealth for themselves to leave poverty, hunger and fear throughout the world.

      We all know who the enemy is, let’s act on it.

      • MsSilverSaver permalink
        June 21, 2011 7:15 am

        We all know who the enemy is, let’s act on it.

        Eliminate the enemy; eliminate the problem.
        Where are they?

  26. June 18, 2011 4:21 pm

    Thankyou for this.. a step towards real democracy

  27. June 18, 2011 4:33 pm

    Wholeheartedly standing with you.

  28. Bankrupt Banks permalink
    June 18, 2011 4:45 pm

    The shoe on the other foot: When Greece cancelled Germany’s debt… http://tinyurl.com/43z2h86

    • Laura permalink
      June 23, 2011 1:26 am

      Greece cancelled Germany’s debt; good find;
      Wholeheartedly, all of our cultures are on the line,
      one is not good without the other

      “If the German government does not feel compelled to be as generous towards its former creditor as Greece was towards Germany, it should at least take into consideration the need for a speedy and efficient solution for its own interest. For as long as Berlin is not ready to do at least that, a German born in the 1950s and who enjoyed the benefits of a fresh start for a nation that certainly did not deserve it, cannot help but feel ashamed.”

  29. curreir permalink
    June 18, 2011 5:01 pm

    Thank you, thank you so much. I am greek and i am proud of any other greek that still owns the ancient charisma of defending his cause with eloquence, dignity and justice. You spoke for me too..

  30. Chris Whittington permalink
    June 18, 2011 5:30 pm

    The Greeks were at the centre and the beginning of world civilisation and democracy, it is my hope that the revolution that has started there now will bring us all into a new age of Real Democracy

  31. Guy_Fawkes permalink
    June 18, 2011 5:30 pm

    It sounds like the Greek story is the story of all nations. We’ve been HAD…..hook, line and sinker.

    Just found out in my closing documents [where a Home Equity Line of Credit] was supposedly set up for any of MY future $ needs……was opened, and the money was wired back to the originating bank. So, there is $51,000 of MY OWN DOLLARS now sitting in some CEO’s balance sheet. And, if you think this only happened with me? You might want to guess again. My mom always told me if someone was treating one person “that way” they treat MULTIPLE people “that way.” Always listen to your MOM, she’s always right.

    I am having a fraud investigator take a look to see if this is an “ACTIONABLE CRIMINAL OFFENSE.”

    I say, let these mother fuckers burn…..crimes….Crimes…..and MORE CRIMES…..have been committed and everyone is looking the other way.

  32. Dustin Lund permalink
    June 18, 2011 5:33 pm

    The message thats being portrayed in the media from what I can gleam is precisely as you depicted in your post, that the Greeks are protesting because they’re not prepared to take the cuts. When you consider that the Germans (citizens not government) are upset because they don’t want contribute anymore of their hard earned taxes to the Greek deficit while Greeks are protesting about cuts. It paints a picture that the Greeks are spoilt and ungrateful! It seems to me that everyone is getting fucked here.. The German’s, french etc tax payers and the Greek’s…

    I can see from your post that it’s a completely different story from what’s being publicised, the only winners are the people making the money!

    It’s a really sobering realisation that money is so powerful that people are prepared to fuck-over an entire nation let alone a single person.

    I now see the Greek disposition in a new light and support the prostests, you are not only protesting for your selves you are protesting for 99% of the population (1% of the worlds population has 40% of the worlds wealth).

    Perhaps the cradle of democracy who wrote the first chapters of western principles will once again write a new chapter, one that re-embraces the heart of what is means to be a democracy…

    And send a message to the hegemony…We say fuck you!! Take the money but you can’t take our liberty!!

  33. Piter permalink
    June 18, 2011 5:36 pm

    interesting theory. So basically you can borrow money, live above your possibilities, not pay your taxes, lie to those that lend you money, then just say “sorry no money you plutocrats” and walk away.
    Sorry that’s not the way it works in life. Anyone has to pay his debts, ultimately losing all his assets.
    It’s called accountability. Accepting responsibility for what you have done instead of blaming others for your shortcomings.
    Nobody would lend money otherwise.
    It’s a such a basic principle of western capitalism, that it’s surprising to see how the authors of this blog, and many people in Greece and elsewhere can forget it.
    You are directing you anger to the wrong target: you should blame your leaders and yourself for having voted them.

    • Helen permalink
      June 18, 2011 11:02 pm

      Whatever problems arise in Europe always stems from the EU in one way or another.

      No European country or its people will be free until this malicious organisation made up of failed politcans and their sycophants is demolished and every country goes back to ruling themselves.

      Not only wlll Greece have to sell its historical national assets, the people will have to sell their soles and end up serfs of the elites an banksters.

      The elites are making sure the little people are kept in their place, politcans & EU like to call it progress, in years gone by there was robber barons & serfdom.

    • June 19, 2011 9:58 pm

      Ironic it should be Greece, the cradle of Democracy that is after millennia being denied it. I wish the Greek People unlimited success in throwing off the yoke of foreign repression & puppet politicians. I have every hope that the Greek people will overcome, 300, I bet you could do a lot with that number.

      Will spread this as far and wide as I can.
      A couple of articles concerning Greece.
      http://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/

      Piter :- The cause of this problem is the banks are not paying their debts, free enterprise, free markets me arse, austerity is going to make thousands of businesses go bust, they won’t get bailed out, & unless you are of the elite & not a bottom feeder, this will eventually screw you too, whether you are left or right or preparing to give out yellow triangles, Capitalism is the only game in town, but the house now can’t lose.

    • June 20, 2011 9:13 am

      Unfortunately you are mistaken in your belief that financial accountability is fair.
      If it was. Fred Goodwin would be bankrupt and in jail for the RBS fiasco. The USA and UK bailouts would not be aimed at supporting the financiers who mainly caused massive debt crisis in the first place, but to help the people of the state rebuild and re-generate wealth from the bottom up.
      Instead it is the poorest that the money is taken from to support the financial system they no longer support while Fred Goodwin remains a millionaire in his Scottish castle.
      I fail to see “accountability” as you describe occurring.
      I see:
      Wealth without Work
      Commerce without Morality
      Politics without Principle. – Ghandi

    • curreir permalink
      June 20, 2011 11:29 am

      I live above my means you say? Perhaps, if you are from one of the ‘strong’ countries of the EU, you can come and survive here, doing the same job on half a salary and paying double for the same items, items that are a necessity, not luxuries mind you, like oil to heat your home, benzin to move your car or food to put on the table and see how you make it…

      And perhaps you also will have an idea how it is to live with this unbearable bitterness that comes from doing all your life your duty to society and your country and, in the end, to be treated as a beggar…

      As for choosing the goverments, yes, you are right on that point. But show me one nation that has real power or insight to “choose” the “right” ones.

      Let the one who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone….

    • MsSilverSaver permalink
      June 21, 2011 7:29 am

      Piter,

      Thank you for your input. Your reply indicates you do not understand the scam the banksters are running. Please read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”. A country’s leader is coerced into accepting these loans, which in turn bankrupt the country. The creditors then take possession of the country’s assets, which was the purpose of the scam.

    • Sam Brow permalink
      June 22, 2011 12:25 am

      The people of Greece have not borrowed anything, they haven’t signed any papers. If a banker is crasy enough to lend money to irresponsible politicians, then the banker should take the loss. Find those who signed the papers and make them pay, it’ll bring a sense of responsibility to the current crop of corrupt politicians. It’s very simple.

      THE BANKERS TAKE THE FINAL RISK AND BLAME – BECAUSE THEY MADE THE MISTAKE TO LEND, ESPECIALLY UNDER THE SILLY CIRCUMSTANCES OF GOVERNMENT DEBT. The bankers must pay for their mistakes, a default is a well understood legal situation, happens commonly, and IT IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO TEACH THE BANKERS TO LEND PRUDENTLY AFTER RESEARCHING THE ABILITY OF THE BORROWER TO PAY BACK.

      If the bankers weren’t prudent, they have to take the loss.

    • jon smith permalink
      June 22, 2011 6:46 am

      our leaders were paid to do this, they were bought.
      and rest assured that we will deal with them, but what about the organizers( bankers)?
      when a bank loans money they ask 2 things:
      what yr going to do with it?
      how your going to pay it back?
      then according to your ability they put the interest .
      high probability of not getting their money back means more risk and higher rates.
      the key word is risk
      they will get none of our national assets
      my kids will not be on eternal dept cause some bankers bought our corrupt politicians……….

    • Marina permalink
      June 22, 2011 12:57 pm

      More than half of the money France and Germany ( Europe) gave to Greece went to ships and plains we had to buy from them in order to save us! If they would only say that Greece is Europe so we don’t need to buy more defence machines cause anyone that messes with Greece messes with Europe then we would pay our debt in two years! They didn’t cause they servive throu that.
      The other half is interest. So allthough we have accepted all the cuts in salaries we now owe more than a year before and in 2015 it will be doubled.
      When it comes to a debt of a country please don’t be so simplistick. Things are much more comlicated.
      (sorry about my english. obviously I am greek.)

    • L.R. Weizel permalink
      July 2, 2011 12:57 am

      Piter, are you a right wing Libertarian for any chance? If you are, you’re part of the problem.

      If you actually read the post, it does mention where the greek people are at fault, but explains how it is not the primary issue.

  34. Jason Noghani permalink
    June 18, 2011 5:55 pm

    Kudos to Greece. They are a true inspiration at a time where we need to eliminate apathy in favor of solidarity!

  35. June 18, 2011 6:08 pm

    When one borrows they become servant to the lender. Greece over borrowed and now wants to blame everything and everybody for their crisis. Capitalism is to blame? Are you kidding? Banks?

    Don’t borrow if you don’t want to be the servant to the lender. Or, try this, pay the money back.

    That is what is at issue here. Banks (made up of individuals who loaned their own money) want a return on their investment.

    One could say, “this is the fault of the politicians!”

    Another could say, “who elected those politicians?”

    Greece cannot afford to borrow money they can’t pay back. It matters not if the Greeks attempt to build a utopia. If the Greeks cannot pay for their utopia out of their own pockets, they will be a Servant Utopia, or a Utopia of Servants. Slaves.

    Rioting is destroying your land, your reputation, and your freedom. Man up!

    Break your own bonds. Owe no man anything. Free yourself.

    • makis permalink
      June 19, 2011 7:05 am

      Tell us why all europe wants to give us more money. We are forced even now to get more money why?

      • Pete permalink
        June 20, 2011 7:53 pm

        Because the capitalist money markets have mugged you and taken all your money. So now they will lend you some more and then they can mug you again! The only way to deal with a mugger is to say “NO” and fight him off!

      • July 3, 2011 4:05 pm

        I don’t think anyone is forcing money on to anyone else. However the Greek Government needs money to pay back loans, and the cost of running the country (teachers, doctors, welfare etc).

        They do not have enough money to pay this, so have gone to others for additional loans. They are free to choose any loan provider, but have decided a combination of the IMF and EU provide the most attractive deals. This deals come with favourable rates, but some conditions attached, mainly bringing Greece in line with other European Countries.

    • Eleni permalink
      June 19, 2011 7:18 pm

      Hello,

      i would like to tell u and our friend Piter above,that the situation is much more complicated.Greece ,the state that we all know,has this form since 1945..it is a 66 years old state.100 years ago,Thessaloniki and the rest of Macedonia and Thrace as well,were under Ottomans.200 years ago,my ancestors living by that time were slaves,trying to form an army to throw away ottomans…what your ancestors were doing by that time?…i think their concerns were different !
      After the liberation,Greece had 2 balkan wars,2 world wars*that played a key role,the only small nation that had a key role) and then of course the civil war,that foreigners began (the western allies vs soviets).Even the first napalm bombs were tried here for the first time in 1949 in the mountains of Grammos against communists from americans…

      When Greece started the revolution against ottoman turks back in 1821 were a banch of warriors with no money…the first loan came then from England…(why did they gave us money?in order to help us???maybe…but even if they have done this by pure altruism,it was a good way also to make bonds to us…do u know when Greece manage to pay back that debt?in 1990…!!!)

      From the other hand,we that live here,understand that something is wrong…not now..years now…Greece liberated from turks and just changed hands..
      I could give u million of examples,but i will tell u just one..Greece does not produce cars or spaceships,,,but rhere must be someone carrying them..Greece is the 1st navy power in the world…even if u produce a car,u can do liitle things if u can not carry it.Our last decades government has changed the laws for navy in a way,that ship owners leave Greece and go to other countries…
      Or our agriculture…we have to buy fruits form China,when at the same time our farmers throw their oranges away…

      I am sorry for my terrible english,I wish you all understand what i wrote!
      Thank u anyway
      Eleni

      • Leonidas permalink
        June 20, 2011 11:22 am

        Eleni, you forgot 2 dictatorships we had the last century…

      • nick james permalink
        June 20, 2011 5:00 pm

        Eleni, I understood exactly what you were saying so your English is plenty good enough. I don’t even speak a single word of your language for goodness sake!

    • nikos permalink
      June 19, 2011 9:05 pm

      They are not rioting you moron. They are protesting peacefully.

    • Selenia permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:14 pm

      Go check on wikipedia the world debt, my friends, Peter and 10 cent. You will be amazed…Are you guys Americans? You owe 97% of your GPD, 14,392,451,000,000 that is.
      Are you Brits? Even worst! Your debt is up to 398% of your GPD! 8,981,000,000,000 that is.
      Are you German? 143% of your GPD, 4,713,000,000,000 that is.
      Are you French? 188% of your GPD, 4,698,000,000,000 that is.
      Greece’s debt is 532,900,000,000 , that’s 3 zero’s less and it was half last year…
      We don’t want the money, we don’t sell our land, our history, our lives. Imagine If you had to pay for the copyrights for everything Greece has given for free ( or was stolen from our country )…

    • Sam Brow permalink
      June 22, 2011 12:39 am

      I’ve already explained this to a previous poster, but let me do it again. The borrower is NOT a slave to the lender – it’s a well understood law, and default is an important and common part of it. You must be coming from another Milena or another planet. The banker offers his money on his own will, understanding that there is a risk of default. That’s why prudent bankers do research on the ability of the borrower to pay. The bankers that don’t do it, get to deal with well deserved defaults and loses.

      Now, for government debt, no banker should ever offer loans to irresponsible politicians, on top of that, the banker can only go after the specific people who signed the papers – that is the politicians. Every banker that lends to a government deserves to go bankrupt, lending to people (politicians) without clear responsibility is a bad idea to begin with.

      • July 3, 2011 4:10 pm

        Sam, this is very true! However Governments tend to be able to borrow at very attractive rates as they rarely default (in the same way a well off person receives better interest rates than a high risk person).

        If Greece defaults it may attract higher interest rates in the future.

        One option is to avoid borrowing money at all (such as Estonia), however making spending meet no more than tax income is a difficult thing, and not without pain.

    • kochevnik2001 permalink
      June 22, 2011 9:07 am

      Debts only exist when consideration is given. In the case of the banks, the debt notes were printed out of thin air. It’s just a fictional number printed on a piece of paper. Some bankster decided upon a number, and entered it into his laptop. The banksters had no consideration for the debt notes they issued. They simply blackmailed your government at one point in time and have been creating debt out of nothing ever since, with wars and government debt. Meanwhile they have been siphoning gold and silver from nations to stash in their own private bankster vaults deep underground. Their end goal is neofeudalism.

      The goal of the pro-inequality psychopaths is to offer a return to the “good old days” of feudalism and race and religion based casteism in exchange for removing all restrictions on economic inequality. Hitler, after all, made a similar offer after doing all he could to make democracy into a nightmare.

      The Dark Ages did suck. Basically everything was privatized. Central government had collapsed, so barbarian tribes and Roman landlords alike divided up the land between them and offered the peasants
      protection from total anarchy. In exchange, that is, for the partial anarchy that your landlord was now also your judge, jury and executioner, and really, really wanted to rape your daughter.

      This, in fact, is the degrading way most humans have lived since the invention of private landowning. The landlords are given a monopoly on the provision of essential military services, the church becomes the biggest landlord, and the landlords and church get to enforce their own law. So instead of having less law, the poor Dark Ages peasant lived under competing noble, royal and clerical law systems, all tied together at the top by blood relations, whereas the peasants were divvied up between their lords as their only rightful representatives.

    • L.R. Weizel permalink
      July 2, 2011 12:58 am

      Go home Ayn Rand

  36. Selenia permalink
    June 18, 2011 6:09 pm

    Υπέροχο! Δεν ξέρω αν γνωρίζεις την ΕΛΕ ( επιτροπή ελέγχου του χρέους). Μπορείς να βρεις πληροφορίες στο elegr.gr
    Kαλή δύναμη σε όλους μας…

  37. Rather Nottingham permalink
    June 18, 2011 6:13 pm

    Let out of the tears of the burning embers of democracy arise FREEDOM FIGHTERS REBORN !!!

  38. Itsmotherswork permalink
    June 18, 2011 6:22 pm

    Of course. Solidarity.
    x

  39. Dimitris permalink
    June 18, 2011 7:49 pm

    I am Greek by birth and love my ancestral homeland as much -if not more- than any other Greek living in Greece. Anybody who knows me personally could testify to this fact. In fact, many Greeks of the Diaspora hold similar sentiments as we follow developments in Greece from afar and, somewhat, distanced from any local biases that may exist. Naturally, on the other hand, we do not get to experience the same trials and tribulations of everyday living unless we visit Greece proper (which many of us do).

    The underlying message I wish to convey is that of seeing developments in Greece from a balanced as possible approach without political undercurrents dressed up in emotive language. I applaud the author for eloquently expressing their views and being able to arouse emotive responses. On the other hand, let us acknowledge some fundamental truths in that there is a plethora of opinons on the subject including -but not limited to- that espoused herein (i.e. the main blog above).

    From my part, I would like to acknowledge some ‘alternative’ fundamental truths about the underlying economic situation:

    Firstly, we live in a world of scarcity where, among its many uses, money acts to coordinate our economic activities and allows our collective society to prosper (under specific conditions of course);

    Secondly, in consideration that resources are finite and that humans are selfish beings by nature, how else can society appropriate the wealth of the Earth to its citizens in a way that does not involve perpetual armed conflict?

    Evidently, the use of money is not at the heart of the issue. The issues, therefore, stem from the manner in which mankind apply an imperfect system (perfection in unattainable) and how economic interest groups (be it individuals, organisations, sovereign states, etc.) seek to outmanoeuvre and take advantage of the other. After all, everything is relative in life…. you cannot have the rich without the poor, the strong without the weak, etcetera… There is always destined to be a perpetual war amongst the relatively stronger vis a vis the weaker. It is what drives competition and progress and what determines the hierarchy of any order of things.

    Now, in reference to Greece. Conspiracies put aside, Greece is a parliamentary republic with elected representatives. Greece is a sovereign state and Greek politicians are mandated with the responsibility of governing the state and steering it in the ‘right’ direction (no political puns intended).

    Just like any other sovereign state, Greek politicians can be rewarded with re-election or booted out in favour of an alternative set of politicians who seemingly offer a preferred alternative.

    Just like in some other states, the so-called preferred alternative government may further damage credibility and find themselves in opposition.

    Just like in a smaller number of states, this cycle can continue over and over again until as in MOST states (in this situation), something will have to give and a calamitous event will arise…. be it a revolution, a bankruptcy, etcetera…. each state and each people take the future in their hands….

    However, it does not necessarily have to be like this. Some national governments may in fact act in the best interests of their people and see their nation states rise higher up in the ladders of progress (admittedly, most often from lower bases).

    All this is a simple representation of the ups and downs of life and of the struggle for survival; nothing more nothing less.

    The question I would like to raise is this: What alternative is suggested for the debt-ridden countries and affected peoples other than the need to collectively fix up their economies and keep their politicians accountable?

    What incentive is there for a nation state to be efficient and make sacrifices when the price for non-compliance is simply short-term default before to business as usual?

    What enduring values will that place on society to seek to allocate its resources effectively and to live within their means if there is no cost to pay?

    Is not a default in these circumstances a ‘get out of jail’ card?

    Of course the people of Greece and other states should not be made to suffer in perpetuity. On the other hand, a default seems far too easy of a solution and it is hardly fair for the tax payers of creditor nations.

    At the end of the day, everybody has to account. We are all pieces of the same jigsaw puzzle and let us not pretend that we are not.

    All Greeks will agree that something has to be done yet very few are willing to make the sacrifices to see it happen.

    Not all the Greeks in Syntagma square are pensioners and unemployed youth though many are. There are also interest groups represented by the strong union movement who do not want their members to part with their comfortable public servant salaries.; regardless of whether their ‘services’ to the nation state are needed at this time.

    How can the notorious and fat Greek public ‘service’ be streamlines without some having to forgo what they have enjoyed for years?

    Let the truth be told…. Many ordinary citizens in Greece are suffering and unduly so. At the same time, the whole Greek populace bears the responsibility for their collective actions in years gone by that has seen their country fall on its knees…. This has not happened overnight. Greek popular attitudes cannot be divorced from the plight the country is in.

    We can blame the Americans, the European Union, the Jews, the capitalist of this world etcetera until the cows come home. Will this change anything? Hardly. What about looking a little closer to heart and looking at ourselves and our contradictions?

    Greeks, wake up! The world does not owe you a living. ….the accomplishments of our Ancient forebears cannot continue indefinitely to inspire confidence. We must wake up from the perpetual slumber and get with the programme once and for all. Look at the Singaporeans, the South Koreans, and others who have transformed their economies within a generation to regional and global powerhouses.

    Enough said!

    • Selenia permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:37 am

      Φίλε και συμπατριώτη Δημήτρη.

      Λες πως αγαπάς την Ελλάδα με πάθος, φαίνεται όμως πως σιχαίνεσαι τους συμπατριώτες σου, ίσως η διασπορά σε έκανε έναν πραγματικό “δυτικό”, υπεύθυνο και ορθολογιστή εσένα’ τι να πω…

      Η εγκαθίδρυση του δικομματισμού, που αποτελεί σχεδόν παγκόσμιο φαινόμενο, ισχύει και στην Ελλάδα με μία ειδοποιό διαφορά’ το κοινοβούλιο στην πλειοψηφία του πέρασε το νόμο περί ευθύνης υπουργών ή συγχωροχάρτι άφεσης αμαρτιών αλλέως.( Μπάι δε γουέι, ελπίζω να ομιλείς την ελληνική.)
      Η συνάρτηση διαπλοκής, Επιχειρηματίες-ΜΜΕ-Πολιτικοι, παραγωγίζει το υπερτροφικό κράτος, για το οποίο έκανες λόγο και το συντηρεί για ίδιον συμφέρον. Αυτό έχει σαν αποτέλεσμα τη διαιώνιση του προβλήματος(βλ. ποσοστά επί του ΑΕΠ για την παιδεία, που είναι κατ’εμέ το μεγαλύτερο δυνατό, αξιακό έλλειμα αλλά και ατιμωρησία των πολιτικών κακουργημάτων, δημαγωγία, δημοκοπία, αδιαχώριστες εξουσίες, συγκάλυψη κτλ).

      Το κακό δημόσιο κράτος, ωστόσο, είναι λιγότερο από το 1/10 του πληθυσμού και στην πλειονότητα τους οι μισθοί δεν ξεπερνούν τα 1.200 ευρώ για το μεγαλύτερο όγκο των εργαζομένων (πχ, δάσκαλοι, καθηγητές κτλ), ενώ παράλληλα, για αρκετά χρόνια τώρα, στελεχώνεται με υπαλλήλους ομήρους ( προγράμματα stage, συμβασιούχους), που τους αμοίβει με τα μισά ή και λιγότερα, και τους διατηρεί υπό καθεστώς ομηρίας προκειμένου να διατηρεί η εκάστοτε διεφθαρμένη κυβέρνηση την εξουσία της.

      Πριν μας μετατρέψεις εσύ, φιλέλληνα Δημήτρη σε κορεάτες και σινγκαπουρινούς, εσύ, που δεν έμεινες στην Ελλάδα να μας “ξυπνήσεις”, ώστε να γίνουμε μια ώρα αρχύτερα σωστοί σαν και του λόγου σου, μάθε κάτι τελευταίο’
      Δεν αρνούμαστε να πληρώσουμε τα χρέη μας,

      Δεν αρνούμαστε να μειώσουμε το κράτος,

      Δεν αρνούμαστε να μειώσουμε τις απολαβές μας, για να σώσουμε την χώρα μας,
      Δεν αρνούμαστε να κάνουμε τα σκατό μας παξιμάδι, εν τέλει Δημητράκη.

      Αρνούμαστε το απεχθές χρέος που δημιούργησαν οι πολιτικοί μας, σε αγαστή συνεργασία με τους τραπεζίτες Ευρώπης και Αμερικής. Το δικαίωμα αυτό, Δημητράκη, μας το δίνει το Διεθνές Δίκαιο ( βλ. έννοια απεχθές χρέος) αλλά και η συνθήκη του Μάαστριχτ.

      Αρνούναστε να πληρώσουμε το χρέος αν δε συσταθεί ανεξάρτητη επιτροπή ελέγχου του χρέους, αντίστοιχη με αυτή που ερεύνησε και τελικά ξεκούμπισε τους διεθνείς τοκογλύφους από την πλάτη του Ισημερινού. (βλ,Debtocracy)
      Αρνούμαστε αυτήν την κυβέρνηση που ήρθε στην εξουσία με ψέμματα, εξαπάτησε το λαό της και τον παρέδωσε στους τοκογλύφους.
      Αρνούμαστε οποιαδήποτε άλλη εντεταλμένη, για το ξεπούλημα της χώρας μας, Δημητράκη, κυβέρνηση.

      Θέλουμε Συντακτική Βουλή, αλλαγή του Συντάγματος, κουστουμιού της διαφθοράς,
      αλλαγή του εκλογικού συστήματος που τώρα δίνει παντοδυναμία στα λαμόγια,
      διαχωρισμό των εξουσιών και συμμετοχή των πολιτών σε σώματα ενόρκων.

      Και τότε, θα εκπλαγείς Δημητράκη να ανακαλύψεις, ότι δε χρειάζεται ίσως να γίνουμε ούτε κορεάτες, ούτε σινγκαπουρινοί, ούτε ουαγκαντουγκουντέζοι, ούτε τίποτε άλλο από αυτό που είμαστε περήφανοι να είμαστε’
      Έλληνες, Jim

      • Eleni permalink
        June 20, 2011 4:25 pm

        Selenia,your answer to dimitris post is really good..you should have written it in english though,because i am not sure if he understands greek,but also for the rest of people reading here.
        ¨οπως και να έχει,χαίρομαι γιατί ταυτίζομαι απόλυτα με ό,τι έχεις γράψει!

    • css permalink
      June 22, 2011 7:25 am

      You are obviously uninformed and unaware of the nature of finance and government to give such a simplistic response when truth and justice are with the author of this article. The central banks of the world create credit under their fractional reserve system that is not based on production but fiat, that is out of nothing and is counterfeit, on the backs of those who earned their dollars (or euros, or etc.) based on production. Credit is debt that is created in excess of production. There is not enough production to ever pay as much money as has been created, let alone to pay it back with interest. Such ‘credit” is fraud and can be perpetrated almost without end. Slavery to the banks has been built in to the fiat money system. The banks and governments love fraudulent paper money as they can counterfeit it at will, realize the same purchasing power, as hard earned dollars based on production, accelerate debt creation by the purchasing of military assets and soldiers and the rebuilding of infrastructures and societies that those military assets and soldiers have destroyed, without any approval by the masses, and then see their fraud generate inflation and slavery of the masses who are always left holding the bill. Did you get that? Tremendous amounts of debt are forced on the masses by their governments and politicians who are getting credit from the banks knowing full well that it is the masses who have to repay and who are thus being enslaved. The system is very rigged in favor of the banks. They have used their special privilege as the counterfeiters of the world, raised prices through inflation, enticed people to borrow (best borrow today before prices take another hike via inflation and you can’t afford a home, a car, etc.). Then the banks sell these fraudulent investments, that can not ever be fully paid back, around the world to pension plans, governments, individuals, stock markets, etc. as though they are sound and prudent. So then, the fraud is not only on the borrower, but also on the investor who doesn’t understand that the system is phony and the underlying investments mush eventually be destroyed by the borrower’s eventual default. While there is definitely truth to your statement that borrowing debt is enslaving and to stay away from debt, yet this is naive given an inflationary world that encourages and rewards borrowing since the borrower, in an inflationary world, will pay back his debt with cheaper dollars. In an inflationary economy, not borrowing can thus also be deadly (shelter and clothing keep becoming more expensive (since wages do not usually keep up with prices of goods, especially for the poor and those on fixed incomes), and so we borrow and become indebted to their system. If you want simplicity, here it is: the banks are the masters, we are the slaves.. The banks control governments who have a cartel over threat and use of force and violence against the slaves in order to make sure the slaves pay their masters. The governments will even take all the assets of the country and its people and give it to the banks who will then sell these to investors to make the charade last as long as possible. Eventually, centralized banking will be destroyed when the people decide “Enough!” and refuse to participate in this system., use the real money of gold, silver, barter, and severely limit borrowing to the extent there are colateralized hard assets and/or cash flows. Additional capital can come from investors taking an ownership stake in a company.

  40. Petros permalink
    June 18, 2011 8:02 pm

    Congratulations on such a well-written article. A comment about one of your points. Back in 1980, I think a good reason why we got into the EEC, was the fact that after a chain of corrupt right-wing governments, some of them elected, others dictatorial, people were so disillusioned that the possibility was there that we would switch sides and go the other way of the iron curtain, there in the height of the Cold War, in free and fair elections. Imagine how embarassing that would be for the western world. Karamanlis the elder used that as a bargaining chip; and we were put into that “elite” group; and people’s belief in capitalism was again bought off; and it was a good thing too at that time, considering what happened to our neighbours on the other side of the curtain. My key-point: Karamanlis the elder was willing and able to negotiate and play the diplomatic game.

    Now it’s obvious that the “elite” group that is the euro-zone isn’t serving the interests of our people anymore, while there are other rising powers that are said by analysts to be offering better deals. Moreover, frankly the earlier we officially declare the inevitable default the better for us – but perhaps the worse for others, since the repercussions of an ensuing credit event will be unpredictable.

    I am not necessarily saying, let’s leave the euro and the EU, let’s officially default and let’s align to Russia tomorrow. But let’s put those on the table, let’s explain to everybody that we are considering other options and let’s play the diplomatic game. Let’s look for what’s best for our people, after all that’s what the so-called FREE MARKET is supposed to be about! But unlike Karamanlis the elder, the current government is obviously unable or unwilling to negotiate.

  41. June 18, 2011 8:07 pm

    Greece lied about their debt when they got the Euro-currency and that is the mean reason why we (other European countries) are angry and do not want to pay anymore! The big problem lies at the enrichment of the Greek government, here some examples; a high paid elite (enrichment), free holidays for officials, benefits for death people, (unnecessary) bonuses, not inning tax, early retirement (after working 32years), a not efficient government and expensive inefficient state company’s. To outlier the retirement example; officials can retire after working 32 years, and 1/4! of the Greece working population is working for the government. So, when you began working at your 22th, you can stop at your 54th birthday! That is ridiculous.

    Some Greeks are making long hours, but there also a lot of (young) Greeks unemployed. An other explanation is that in a lot of North-West European countries many people are working parttime, and they are far more productive than Greece.

    In other words, Greeks do not know what the word debt means. And now they want us to give more money, and now they are blaming Finland and the Netherlands. That demonstration is the ominous message: we want a payment from you or otherwise! In my opinion we must immediately set of Greece off the eurozone, otherwise the entire euro will be ‘infected’, better for the Greeks and better for the EU!
    If you joined the euro zone, you had to fulfill that contract.
    And now Greece want from me (a dutch citizen), that I have to pay the bill, and this bill will be paid by an increase in tax, working till my 69th! and investments from my pension-founds! No way, jose!

    • Selenia permalink
      June 20, 2011 1:00 am

      WE DON’T WANT THE BLOODY MONEY! WE WANT OUT! THE BLOODY BANKS WON’T LET US OUT!
      Your debt , my dutch friend is 344% of your GPD, ours is 165%.
      Your debt is 2,344,296,360,000 $
      Our debt is 532,900,000,000 $
      We owe 49.000 $ per person
      You owe 226,500 $ per person.
      Check the world debt on wiki.
      We are their first experiment
      You are the next!

    • Weareallone permalink
      June 20, 2011 2:51 am

      I am sorry but you are very far from opening your eyes. Not to mention that from what you write it seems you didn’t even read this post, except maybe 1-2 phrases. Read, educated yourself, not from your television…

      I am also sorry to say that your government has lied to you too, hmm lets see does that make Dutch people liars?

      Greek citizens don’t wish the loan, Greek government does.
      North countries citizens don’t wish to loan, Governments want.
      All these to save the banks who are playing everyday with world lives.
      The elite and those who gain on others back nobody likes them!
      So Instead of been the enemy be the ally.

  42. J. Cybertroll permalink
    June 18, 2011 8:39 pm

    I would like to congratulate you for your effort. It is indeed a very well written article, worthy to be distributed around the world , to help the non-greeks realize what is really happening in Greece.

    However, while the article describes quite well the situation and the reasons for it, it has one or two inaccuracies and/or wrong assumptions. I would like to clarify a few things, if it’s not much of a problem.

    a) “Greece is a weak economy that should never have been a part of the EU”

    This is not exactly a myth. It is well known by now that Greece entered the euro zone by “cooking” the books, with the kind help of Goldman Sachs (source: http://goo.gl/aGWuO). Although Greece had everything needed to become a more stable and strong economy, the heavy loans and the bad management of those loans led us to a huge debt that now is simply crushing.

    b) “A doctor talking on Al Jazeera yesterday explained how even GPs and nurses have become so desperate that they ask people for money under the table in order to treat them….”

    As much as we would like to believe that bribing is something new, a result of the economic crisis and the recent wage cuts, it’s not really the case. Bribing in Greece is a very old problem and the reasons in most of the cases have nothing to do with the actual need of extra money to survive. It is true that Doctors and nurses in Greece are underpaid, compared to the rest of Europe, yet they were never in such a situation were an extra “bonus” under the table would save them from poverty.

    The reasons for bribing have to do more with the fact that people felt the need to chase the trend of over consuming. The same reason why people took loans for vacations, for second and third cars, or for buying a TV. Furthermore it is easy money. No one gets caught and people were never taught why not to do it.

    Again, bravo for a quite well written article.

  43. Dimitris permalink
    June 18, 2011 8:54 pm

    It is quite unusual that almost all comments herein are in praise of the blog.

    Why were my comments not published?

    Did they upset your leftist sensibilities Mister?

  44. Dimitris permalink
    June 18, 2011 8:58 pm

    I withdraw the above. My comments are showing. Apologies!

  45. Weareallone permalink
    June 18, 2011 9:04 pm

    As someone mentioned above Excellent post that goes right to the heart of what is happening, beautifully said!
    Only at one point i don’t find myself. Not all the people get loans to have their expensive sunglasses, car or whatever. Personally the first time i used my credit card was because after one year of unemployment and without any further help i had to use it to live, until i get a job and start payback. And i did. Repaid all. Then another hard time was coming, had to use credit and loan for every day needs, help people around me and start my own little business. I know that i have no other choice, i am fully responsible of what i am doing. But that is not what we are talking about here, today, banks and the wealthy not only exploit the world but in some cases their actions are criminal acts!

    It really brought tears to my eyes, your article and the comments of these beautiful world. Thank you all!

    • Eleni permalink
      June 22, 2011 12:14 am

      You are totally right.I have never used a credit card too.I was also lucky not to need it in the way you did.

      I was shopping whenever my money were enough to do so.Balance is the secret.

      But ,there were a lot of people around us,buying expensive cars or clothes… that could not afford…that is true…but it is nothing more than the result of capitalism

  46. Will Richardson permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:24 pm

    Spread on my Facebook.

    Here’s an interesting article that alerted me to the defence export ‘games’ played by the Germans, the French to a lesser extent.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=12325

    It’s well worth reading more on Modern Monetary Theory, Understanding (Sovereign) Modern Money and the Job Guarantee (at Decent Living Minimum Wages).

    There are two kinds of people those who can live off their capital wealth and extract massive rents and above productivity pay rises, and the rest of us who don’t.

    The people suffer at the hands of the Global Political Elite aka The Rich and this is a far more important identity than ethicity, Greek, Turk, German, French, English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Australian, Canadian, American and that’s before we get to African where people starve and die premature deaths unnecessarily under the Global Political Elite Yoke.

  47. June 18, 2011 10:38 pm

    It’s not about Greece.

    It’s about EVERYONE!
    We need DEMOCRACY no DEPTocracy!!

    • June 19, 2011 10:57 pm

      Kleptocracy.
      The politicians that are voted (I don’t vote any of them, they cannot lie to me anymore), do whatever they like, far from the platforms they were voted to carry out.
      Bastards! And we still have to read opinions that people is free….
      We are being kidnapped in our own countries. Forced (and surely politicians bribed) to take loans nobody among the citizens want to.
      You cannot blame people for wanting to buy their own home. Can you?
      It’s all a set up. But we won’t make any difference demonstrating: see what happened today in Spain: 50.000 people in the centre of Madrid. Any football match gathers more people than that. I’m sorry, I know this is not what everyone wants to hear, but we need to leave poetry aside and focus in effective measures. Elections is the time when they need our vote. Think about abstainting next time.

  48. Helen permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:48 pm

    Very well said.

    My only regret is that the author has only mentioned the EU in regard to the bail outs. The EU is a pernicious, greedy, self-serving, elite organisation. Every big bank, corporation, energy co., etc., is wedded to the EU. While supporting all these people, with no mandate from ordinary people, the EU elites are growing richer and richer, and we’re paying for it, not only in terms of money but our freedom, privacy and liberty. Yet at no times during the Greek demonstrations have I seen placards against the EU, as I say except where bail outs are concerned., they might have contributed to Greece, bu tare now taking their pound of flesh, that was plan all along. Do the Greeks not comprehend that had they kept the drachma they could’ve set their own interest rates and pulled themselves out debt a lot quicker, and much cheaper than belonging to the ruinous euro and keeping the EU elites in the luxuy they’ve become accustomed to.

    Britain, receives very litle from the EU but they take and take and take, the EIU i slowly supping the lie our of the little people, and like Greek politicans the UK ones willing give.

    The whole concept of the bail outs is to SAVE the EURO, no more, no less, the EU, IMF, UN or the Greek government don’t care a fig for the people of Greece, or other member state, as long as the euro is saved.

    As to the UK, I’m afraid any hope of seeing the people of this once great country doing what the courageous Greeks are doing is a no, no, they’ve become a passive, brainwashed people too afraid of defying authority. They’ll only demonstration if they have government approval. As a Brit I’m ashamed of my fellow countrymen/women for their weak, shrug their shoulder attitude, ashamed of the legacy of the EU and debt that will be left to their children. This from a country that produced millions of brave men and women who ought to the death for our freedm, sadly their offs spring aren’t as brave.Harsh I know, but so very true.

    Good luck to the Greeks, I just hope and pray they pave the way for the rest of the EU countries to bring all curret politicans to their knees and elect ones that are for the people and not themselves and the EU.

    Good luck, I pray you win/

    • Boertjie permalink
      June 19, 2011 9:53 am

      This post might be beside the point to the main thread of discussion but some comments in Helen’s post provoked me into writing it.

      Whilst I might be sympathetic to the plight of the people of Britain. Your assertion of the ‘greatness’ of Britain is exactly why you find yourself where you are at the moment. The millions that in your point of view died for freedom, actually died for empire. These millions are not looked at with the same reverence in the countries which used to belong to the empire which they fought to maintain (and expand). The empire which had to fuel your so called ‘greatness’.

      This same empire is now enslaving the people who supported it. In the Boer War most Brits supported the slaughter of a small nation taking place in Southern Africa. Not so brave then were they now. What can I say. Karma is a bitch.

      For reference. I fully support the people of Greece and hope they have better luck against this insatiable beast that my ancestors had 110 years ago.

      • Helen permalink
        June 19, 2011 2:53 pm

        Thanks, but no thanks, I don’t want your false sympathy, and to be truthful the bringing up of the empire, as do most that dislike Britain and its people has become very tedious. Strangely enough foreign people that slag the Brits off, especially the English, have no trouble bleeding the ordinary taxpayers dry. But then again it’s not only foreigners that dislike the English, the Scots, Irish & Welsh are just as hateful towards them.

        By your contention we Brits deserve all we get, nice. In fact why not just come and wipe us all out it’ll save keep coming out with the same old garbage.

        You’re just one more in long queue.

        Sp please let’s have less of ‘Karma is a bitch’ it might just come back and bite you on the rear.

        Oh the Brits didn’t fight for the empire that was well on the way out before WW11 and millions did die, not only Brits, to stop fascists ruling, personally I don’t know why they bothered to lose their lives so people like you and the EU could spit on their graves.

        Along with Americans we’ve becme the punchbag of the world. Go on have a free punch, I care not.

        From your lecture I surmise you migt be S. African, if so you should know that the ordinary people of Britain did not support apartheid, it was politicans and the elite, but if it makes you feel better to wish us ill who am I to diabuse you of your view. BTW: S. Africa still isn’t the height of democracy or good for the poor is it, but I suppose that’s still our fault too.

  49. Angeliki permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:55 pm

    Thank you. Great article.

  50. June 18, 2011 10:58 pm

    Excellent statement , which applies to all of us … in all countries.
    The Greek people are showing us the need to wake up and clean out the corrupt politicians and criminal money masters that are steering our lives into the misery of debt slavery … by design.
    Other wide awake people such as Alex Jones, Mike Hudson, Webster Tarpley, Max Keiser, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and many others have also helped us find out what really goes on behind the scenes & behind our backs.
    Greece , may the Force be with you

  51. daithefish permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:49 pm

    Communism is dead
    Capitalism is dying
    Love all people worldwide as yourself
    Be Vigilant who wants to govern

    • kochevnik2001 permalink
      June 23, 2011 5:47 pm

      But feudalism is prospering.

  52. June 19, 2011 12:47 am

    Beautifully written. I have not yet read anything written from this perspective in the mainstream media so thank you for providing much needed balance to this horrendous situation. My thoughts are with those in Syntagma Square

    Sincerely

    C

  53. June 19, 2011 12:48 am

    For those on here who harp on “it’s your own fault, you borrowed too much money”, bear in mind the words of Bank of England governor Mervyn King, speaking to the Commons treasury select committee on March 1 this year:
    “The price of this financial crisis is being borne by people who absolutely did not cause it,” he said. “Now is the period when the cost is being paid, I’m surprised that the degree of public anger has not been greater than it has.”

    The volcano is rumbling…

  54. VPolido permalink
    June 19, 2011 1:28 am

    Really touching article. Thank you for this.
    Well said: the invaders use suits and laptops. This image hints the core of it. The current attack against the working class is obviously ideological. In Portugal, someone has named this “neoliberal-fascism”. The Greeks know that it is not only about economics, it is about sovereignty, democracy and freedom. The Greek people, very insightfully, is fighting back with a massive response: all united, with direct democracy, with strength, in the streets, with the unions. Greece will smash the financial fascists and surely will give Europe a (second! )lesson on democracy. Our hopes are in Athens, Madrid, Catalunia, Wisconsin and a million places to be.

  55. Gwyn permalink
    June 19, 2011 1:31 am

    The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. It’s a must read (if you haven’t already done so). It matters what is going on in Greece, Spain, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan…but the need to resist the corporatist agenda to use crises as a way to hoover up public assets into private multi-national coffers is a lesson that has been there for all of us to learn since Milton Friedman’s first deadly and misery-inducing experiments in Latin America almost 40 years ago.

  56. James permalink
    June 19, 2011 1:40 am

    I lived and worked in Athens from 2000 until last month. I love Greece, which is why I chose to spend 11 years of my life there. Due to my work and personal situation I know a lot about Greece. I have been able to view Greece impartially over the last 11 years and read your blog with interest.

    The people of Greece have voted time and again for the politicians they suspected (or knew) to be corrupt. This because the politicians gave the public sector workforce easy jobs, total job security, excellent pensions, early retirement and year on year pay increases. The politicians gave the private sector the ability to easily evade paying tax and ‘protected’ many sectors from foreign competition. The debt taken on by the government paid for the electoral promises and made most people materially wealthier – everyone got a new car, property values doubled, designer gear, latest gadgets etc etc and the people loved it.

    The government lied to the EU about the government debt levels and when the truth was uncovered, lending to Greece was rightly seen as more risky and the risk premium increased. Without the bailout the Greek government would not have been able to pay the public sector in euros. Greece would have been forced to leave the euro and print drachmas again. This would have led to immediate hyperinflation – property prices and salaries would have halved over-night and the banks would have collapsed as deposits fled the country. This could have been devastating for everyone except for the very rich (and still could be).

    Remove the public sector largesse, collect the taxes, open the economy and privatize the inefficient public companies. These are measures that most developed countries implemented years ago. It will take a while, but the country will be a far better place as a result.

    Greek society’s main problem (from the man on the street to the political and business elite) is the lack of responsibility. Nothing is ever your fault. Well this time it is. It is not the fault of the EU, IMF, USA, Wall Street, or the Turks. It is the fault of the people of Greece. Suck it up. It is time to pay the piper.

    • Amanda permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:44 am

      Well said James!
      Until the Greeks take responsibility they will not move forward.

    • Helen permalink
      June 20, 2011 12:04 pm

      The government lied to the EU about the government debt levels and when the truth was uncovered.

      I suggest you look into it a bit more James, Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government lie about their financial ability and the EU KNEW THEY LIED, they broke all their own rules and continue to do so, under their rules bail outs are prohibited.

      I’m not Greek, or have lived in Greece, but if you’re going to blame the Greek people for what their government did then at least be honest about what the government and EU did.

      While you’re busy blaming the Greeks themselves then you must do so for the peoples of every country that is broke, UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, America. What is it that’s said ‘let he without sin cast the first stone’.

      There’s two reasons why there’s another bail out on offer, to save a couple of banks in France and Germany, the main reason to though is to SAVE THE EURO, if Greece comes out the dominoes start to fall, and the EU projc starts to crumble, and the unelected, elite burearcrats really don’t want their cushy, corrupt, luxurious lives to come to and end.

      It can only be those who are shielded from the effects of what’s happening that can actually go some way, if not outright defend the banksters and EU, work in the banking sector or rely on the EU for income. The ordinary Joe in the street is fast becoming aware that the EU is a malicious, self-serving organisation that is bringing nation states to their knees with the continuous rules & regulations that hamper growth, put obstacles in the way of employing people and regulating every aspect of their lives.

      Just a thought here, on the last bail out one of the conditions was to introduce another smoking ban and ensure it was adhered too, a condition imposed by the IMF/EU via the WHO/UN, on this as I read the Greek government were going to employ 800 smoke police, this while many others were struggling to live. Like every other country that is going down the pan billions is still being pumped into the anti-smoking/alcohol/obsity lobby to spread their propaganda, lies & deceit. The only winners from this are big pharma and keeping he antis in lucrative employment while we’re all struggling to cope. Why don’t they just make tobacco/alcohol/junk food illegal immediately?

    • L.R. Weizel permalink
      July 2, 2011 1:07 am

      James, but there are plenty of governments that engage in crazy acts of corruption that the people repeatedly vote for. Often it’s because there are only so many options to vote for, and people are poorly informed. It’s a serious issue, but you can’t just blame the people for it, but the people who make sure the system keeps going that way.

  57. ITC permalink
    June 19, 2011 2:28 am

    I want to print this to spread.
    Tho the first three and a half rows doesn`t make it to the printer!

    It starts with “1939. The invading army wears….”

    : H

  58. June 19, 2011 3:05 am

    Thanks for the objective approach you took to write this expose. I said this not because I am Hellene and suits me, but because it states undisputable facts.
    Proudly I will circulate it to my international mail list.

  59. jmh permalink
    June 19, 2011 3:07 am

    “I am not an Athenian or a Greek but a citizen of the world” (Socrates)

    Just want to add to the voices from around the world expressing respect and solidarity for the people in Greece and thanks to all those working the frontline in this truly global battle

    …every person’s/nation’s suffering diminishes me because I am involved in humanity, ask not for whom the bell tolls…
    (Donne, heavily paraphrased)

  60. Panos permalink
    June 19, 2011 3:10 am

    This is really an excellent article. I wish I could write that well too!

    I live in Greece and I’d like to add some more “points of interest” of what is/was going on here.

    1. Many people say that when you borrow, you HAVE to pay your debts back. I totally agree. BUT noone told us (until 1,5 year ago) what was really going on with our economy. How much we borrowed and why. Even now the whole situation is quite unclear. Our governments always used so much financial jargon that no average citizen could understand it. Are you sure you really know your country’s financial status?
    2. Noone ever explained to the majority of people the pros and cons of entering the eurozone. Greek people were made to believe that we were financially up to it and that it was a great success for our economy, with only good things to come. No mention of the (now obvious) risks or Goldman Sachs. First time GS was referred to publicly, was in 2008 or 2009.
    3. Others say that we are responsible for the politicians we elect. Between the whole lot of the political parties involved in the elections’ procedures, there are only two that have enough power to become government. How many real choices are there when you’re voting? 2? 3?
    4. People got increasingly fed up with all this. So, in the latest general election (2009), voters that didn’t vote, where approximately 200.000 MORE than the ones who voted for the (now ruling) G. Papandreou’s party. Do you still think this is democracy? (numbers are taken from ypes.gr but it took a little calculating to come up with the actual numbers of voters).

    I’m not trying to make excuses… ok, maybe a little. But this is what happened here.
    So, please, take some time to think if some of these things reminds you of your country..
    If so, what can you do to prevent problems like ours’?

    Panos

    • anon permalink
      June 19, 2011 10:11 am

      “Noone ever explained to the majority of people the pros and cons of entering the eurozone.”

      That’s not really true… Of course if you are talking about the 2 biggest political parties you’re right but I clearly remember (since I am Greek as well) 1 particular parliament party that have been warning the Greek people for eurozone & EU and at the best case they were thinking that they were overreacting… (KKE if I should name that party)

  61. Nostramazos permalink
    June 19, 2011 3:32 am

    Great analysis, thanks. But I have to say: Waking up means that we have to be very aware of what happens after…After a revolution, after reforms, after social mobilization, after any kind of struggle and fight. This is where Western history has failed time and time again. We change one set of leaders and once the momentum of ideals is gone, we discover that we serve the same power structures, we just changed the people. Time to get ahead of our societies and nations, time to get control, time to think outside the box. How can we govern ourselves better?

  62. June 19, 2011 5:32 am

    Right. If Greece becomes Disneyland, exploited for resources, or is no longer belonging to the Greek people, we (in Europe) all fall next. Mass non-compliance of this fraudulently encumbered usury is the only hope. Take it back!

  63. Paul Johnston, PhD Economics permalink
    June 19, 2011 6:49 am

    The REAL TRUTH is there are NO COUNTRIES anymore, ONLY CORPORATIONS who buy and OWN OUR POLITICAL PARTIES & LEADERS worldwide. The only answers is– REVOLT!! & STOP VOTING FOR THESE SAME CORRUPT POLITICAL CRIMINALS! – Obama, Sarkozy Merkel, Cameron are included in this secret financial cabal!
    STAND UP NOW PEOPLE – BECAUSE THEIR PLANS ARE TO MAKE SLAVES OF YOU!!!

  64. Val permalink
    June 19, 2011 7:09 am

    Moving beyond belief,
    I too am reading Naomi Klein at the present. So many of the tactics employed by “the Chicago Boys” are instantly recognisable in what Greece is suffering at the present. I did not for one moment believe the rhetoric in our corrupt media about inherent “laziness”, “greed”, and “rapaciousness” leveled at the Greek people, lies are printed every day about our own situation in the UK. As the multi-nationals queue up to harvest the power, mineral, and manufacturing wealth of the Greek nation….we must all resist, Shock Tactics….coming to your country soon.

  65. Lemi permalink
    June 19, 2011 7:11 am

    Dear Hellas
    the basement goat loving crew will not take your spiritual inheritance. Stay close to the orthodox church and pray Christ gives you genuine leaders. the anti-hellenic ‘crew’ want the rights to the gas line from southern Cyprus to southern Crete and upwards. Discern everything that is put to you by the good for nothing Christ hating families that corruptly governed you. Orthodoxy is the last impediment to the ‘crew’ thats why they’re going for you hard.
    Love from the Diaspora

  66. moira permalink
    June 19, 2011 7:50 am

    well said and so much truth, but having lived in Greece and actually PAYING now my high duties and taxes in Germany, I wonder why you leave out the payments made by Ger for many many years from the Ministry of development ( all diappeared), besides the “Brussel” payments for (as one american put it) 3rd world country.
    I have been part of the Olympic team 2004, I was happy to visit Thessaloniki, when it was European city of 199..,I have experienced when money had just gone and buildings were not built!
    That is part of the truth!
    I have trust in Greek people that in absence of known, working solutions they use their brain and will create a new world!
    With all my heart – all the best!

  67. June 19, 2011 7:53 am

    One of the best articles I’ve read on the Greek Crisis. Excellent summarization, succinct, with simple but effective language. I’m spreading this.

  68. Peter permalink
    June 19, 2011 8:34 am

    Force your government to default! Then this will bring the corrupt edifice to its knees. The banks have to be forced to face up to their loses instead of making us ordinary people pay. They had their snouts in the trough for too long – they got fat and greedy. We wont care if a few of them get poor as a result.

  69. korsoumama permalink
    June 19, 2011 9:06 am

    I do agree that most people in Greece are not lazy.

    I also agree that the rich do not get caught because they have the means and connections to get off.

    But::
    How do you know the figures that were supplied to the institutions who published them were true?
    People had to pay doctors in state hospitals well before this crisis.
    Lots of people in Greece have 2nd homes in their villages and quite a few have more than 2 homes.
    While Greece is a democracy, why does nobody start a good party with proper ideas as to how to run the country?
    Strikes harm the economy or what is left of it

    • June 19, 2011 5:40 pm

      They have made laws to make sure that new political parties find it hard to survive. As far as I know:

      1) When political parties apply to get recognized by the law as thus, their applications have to be accepted. As you can imagine not many managed to get past that little detail. If you are Greek/know Greek/can use a translator you can read an article here: http://www.sigmalive.com/ekloges2011/news/378497 which is about Cyprus but I’m pretty sure it applies in Greece too, the way they avoided recognizing a political party.

      2) If you think of the media and the war they are bound to make against them, the new party can be easily compared like a fluffy bunny in front of a lion. Not just the media, people with certain political ideas have been placed on strategical places throughout our system. Who do you think plans all those strikes? The protests that are planned by people with no specific political views (like the one happening in Syntagma square) are always on Sunday so that most people do not work and can attend without having to leave their jobs or preventing other people from going to theirs. The usual political-driven strikes always happen midweek though…

      Actually I think this .pdf of the laws that apply to political parties will answer some of your questions. http://www.drassi.gr/sre_files/2002_3023.pdf Again in Greek of course.

  70. Fredrik permalink
    June 19, 2011 9:27 am

    Greetings from Sweden! Thank you for a well-written and heartfelt article. I wish you the best of luck in your struggle against the evil of the 21st century; bankers and disaster capitalists. I urge you to set the example for other states in similar predicaments that defaulting IS an option and that the domino that finally releases the world from the burden of our utterly corrupt and harmful financial system can be initiated.

    /Fredrik

    • korsoumama permalink
      June 19, 2011 1:27 pm

      Of course defaulting is the best option! Why would Greece care about the rest of the world? It has got all it wants!

      • anon permalink
        June 19, 2011 2:29 pm

        (since you’re “finding it interesting that there are no replies to your post”) What exactly would “the rest of the world” gain if Greeks do not default? (I am talking about normal citizens… NOT bankers etc.)

      • African Sunset permalink
        June 20, 2011 12:31 pm

        Historically, the Greeks have given the world many, many things and are rightly proud of their heritage. Perhaps these proud people don’t want to default on their debt and just want a well reasoned and well planned way of bettering the situation; rather than the IMF and EU looking after themselves?

    • Weareallone permalink
      June 20, 2011 3:49 am

      Hi Fredrik, i hope i understood correct your request. Check this video, it has some examples of countries previous defaulting and much more information on debt.

  71. Humayun Mirza permalink
    June 19, 2011 10:30 am

    Stupid to advocate rioting at the end of such an insightful, myth-busting article. You just play into the hands of the state and the media can paint you as worse than lazy.

  72. Sharon permalink
    June 19, 2011 11:41 am

    An excellent piece of writing! I lived and worked in Greece in the 1990s and have visited the country frequently since-it is indeed a jewel that needs to be protected from the greed of corporations. Power to its people!

  73. maria.greece permalink
    June 19, 2011 12:13 pm

    I have great hope in the Greek people and the way they are handling this situation. I am married to a Greek live in greece and am raising two children. The way the people have risen to this threat gives me great hope. Many grass roots organisations are spring up outside of Athens too. I am British woman living here for 20 years.

  74. Pedro permalink
    June 19, 2011 1:16 pm

    I´m from Argentina, the same the IMF (FMI) is doing to you they did to us before but no one listened bescause as you say we are considered a banana republic (even tough we were amongst the first 10 nations to build a jet aircraft put life into space and proud owners of advance technology as pacific nuclear energy) but now that this is happening again to Greece perhaps the world will listen an see how inhuman has become. Good luck with your struggle, I have great faith in you

  75. korsoumama permalink
    June 19, 2011 1:25 pm

    Finding it interesting that there are no replies to my post.

  76. Lars permalink
    June 19, 2011 2:38 pm

    We dont care if you retire at 50 or 70, but you have to be able to pay the pension and not except the oyher countries of europe to pay it. Greece had one of europes biggest black market and “bad” politicians. You have to sell a lot of your public sector companies since they are very ineffective and it creates a lot of corruption. I read that your polticians made a new law when the crisis came that it would be moore difficult to sell public companies. I feel sorry for the greek people, but dont you blame “the capitalism” or eu

    • June 19, 2011 7:20 pm

      i see this as a global problem..of banker occupation..there is a soloution..its a global soloution
      its too- fight the banks..using financial methods,wether thats mass withdrawring..fight ing share prices,and ..using real money-re- silver…
      the people have the power!

  77. Joe Yowsa permalink
    June 19, 2011 3:29 pm

    Defaulting is what they should have done. But that ain’t a walk in the park either. “If” €5bn of the deficit is non-interest and €48bn is interest, you can see the problem. But there won’t be that €5bn either after defaulting, eh? For us, BO-Pelosi-Reid put in a yearly deficit of $1.5tn. We’re borrowing in about a day that €5bn. So please don’t default on your American bondholders including Citibank.

  78. June 19, 2011 4:17 pm

    Thanks for a great article. The banksters are desperate to protect their banks, which are basically insolvent and being kept afloat by what only can be called accounting fraud and by forcing loans on debtor nations.

    Those nations should do what Iceland did. Let the banks fail, default on the loans, and arrest the bank CEOs.

  79. Claude permalink
    June 19, 2011 4:27 pm

    Greece is the biggest net receiving country of EU money for many years. That is free money, coming from other nations that have to cut their budgets now as well. So I am not talking about money that was borrowed. Many billions of EUR, free to spend on all kind of wicked EU-nonsens. See also: http://www.creditwritedowns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Net-Payers-and-Receivers-of-EU-Money.jpg . On top of this, you borrowed an awful lot of money from other third parties and are now not willing to pay it back.

    The Netherlands is the biggest net paying country per capita for ages. My country now faces budget cuts in important areas like our hospital systems, schools, etc. We will never see our money again (our money as in Dutch taxpayer money). I agree that another bailout will not help, as Greece is not paying it back anyway. Better is to default and that Greece is kicked out of the Euro. Or even better: Netherlands leave the Euro system together with other N-European countries and call the whole EU-system a day.

    Good luck with your dead non-producing economy. We paid enough already. And if you do a little less boo-hoo and strike, perhaps your economy will florish again. If not, good luck with your 21st century socialism. But don’t expect our help anymore.

    PS. You can always repay your debt with your gold, it doesn’t necessarily have to be your islands, let’s be flexible.

    • Marina permalink
      June 22, 2011 2:33 pm

      Good luck to your country too with sea level coming up every day!
      Instead of being simly mean I wonder why you don’t rise up against your goverment that makes you pay “lazy” greeks. We rise up because we do not want your money any more cause it never ends in our hands anyway. So we are really on the same side and at the same situation. We have no control on our money situation!
      I feel deeply for all you holand tax payers.

  80. nickglais permalink
    June 19, 2011 4:38 pm

    I have created a video using some of you data

    Solidarity

    Nickglais
    March 26th Movement

    • June 19, 2011 10:21 pm

      Thank you. I like the video. Since you are using my words, I think you should provide a link to the original article.

  81. June 19, 2011 4:39 pm

    Μπραβο ,εντυπωσισατηκα.Καλη δουλεια.

  82. Ottoman permalink
    June 19, 2011 4:47 pm

    Greece will default, it is not about choice, it is an unavoidable reality. ECB will buy time to strengthen Spain and Italy, because they care about them, not Greeks. In the meantime, you will make great turmoil shows, so no tourist will dare to come there. Then it doesn’t matter who you blame, because world does not buy it anymore.

  83. doreen ogden permalink
    June 19, 2011 5:12 pm

    Heartbreakingly true. I pray for Greece and the rest of us. Thankyou Alex .

  84. June 19, 2011 6:00 pm

    Wonderful to read this inspiring blog and the wonderful comments as well. The time is now to bring about positive change. We, each of us, choosing love, choosing compassion, choosing hope. In each city let us join our brothers and sisters in Greece and also in the Middle East in calling for an end to the old paradigm of corruption, of the few feeding off the many. This is a wonderful planet and we are wonderful beings and we, each of us knows this deep in our hearts. Let us, together, demand that the ruling mechanisms in our society (rampant capitalism, governments serving this beast) be brought in line with our true nature. We don’t need to do away with banks, we simply need to bring them back in line with what they are menat to be – business facilitators – for all of us – not profit machines for the few. Let us demand that we regulate commodities trading, so that the poorest of the world do not become even poorer and yet more desperate, whilst the rich few become ever richer adding endless zero’s to sums non of us can ever comprehend. And with these profits let us build schools, hospitals, community centers, housing, theatres, concert halls, sports grounds, fountains, public transport systems, what ever our imaginations can create. This is our planet. This is our money.

  85. Bob permalink
    June 19, 2011 6:08 pm

    Thank you for your article and summary of the feelings of people in Greece (not the power-players but real people). My hope is that Greece, who brought Democracy to the world thousands of years ago, can re-invent Democracy again to address the real problem: how do regular people stand up against democracy that has been corrupted by major power-blocs, corporations, banks etc? How can we know the truth behind issues and fund and elect honest representatives of our interests?

    But I have another issue: I have read that some 30% of employed people in Greece work for the Government. And I have of course heard lots of other stories of debt-fueled wasteful spending, and a friend of mine is actually in charge of finding profitable uses for some of the major Olympics stadiums and fields built for 2000 with debt. (He has little success).

    If we are a family we know we cannot spend so much, borrow so much — we have to make our family finances balance to be safe and strong. A country has to have more or less the same thinking, I feel. Many of our countries (I am from the US) are borrowing masses of money for ‘stimulus’ and ‘jobs’ and all they are really doing is adding new layers of government workers, future debt, future weakness. This is not sustainable, and it is not in our interests, but we have to rise up as informed people and force our politicians to do the right thing for us. Some countries understand this — think China — and they lay the foundation for their own future strength. Is it possible for real Democracies to do the same?

  86. Chris permalink
    June 19, 2011 6:44 pm

    Jew Papandreou does not want to default. He wants to continue doing “God’s Work” for his Talmudic Jew banking masters Rothschild & Co.

  87. Peter Madaksson permalink
    June 19, 2011 6:58 pm

    Sorry, but Greece decided to join the Euro. To remain in, they lied about their borrowing. Straight up. And didn’t bother collecting taxes, driving their country into unbearable debt BEFORE the invasion. If they hadn’t done these dishonest things, there would be no crisis.

    • Weareallone permalink
      June 20, 2011 4:03 am

      “there would be no crisis.”

      How naive thought… Did you care to read the post and everybody commenting? Educate yourself before it is late

    • Helen permalink
      June 20, 2011 4:03 pm

      As stated in a post above, Goldman Sachs helped Greece to LIE about their finances to join the rotten euro, and the EU KNEW THEY LIED.

      Every crisis the EU turns into a beneficial crisis to suit to the EU. Many believe the crisis was brought about deliberately, whether true or not I don’t know, but nothing would surprise me anymore, nothing at all. The’ve been talking about harmonisation of taxes across the EU for a while now, all in the name of financial stability of course. They want a Federal State of Europe with Brussels as the capital of Europe, with unelected, greedy, self-serving bureaucrats in charge, and politicans are their willing puppets selling us ou a bit more every day. We will not gain any benefit, bankers, orporations, politicans, bureaucrats & the rich will be the only winners. They care not a jot about us.

      The so-called aim of the EU to stop further wars, is in my opinion the way things are going, will be more likely to cause one. To force peoples of differen cultures, heritages, religion to conform is a recipe for disaster, as history tells us time & time again.

  88. June 19, 2011 7:01 pm

    I’m from Germany. Thank you for this well written article. I always suspected something like that (same for the protests in Spain), but here in Germany we are spoonfed only with the governments version of the “truth” by the massmedia (even the left-leaning). It’s really too bad that there doesn’t seem to be any investigative journalism left anymore.

    You have my solidarity.

  89. Eli permalink
    June 19, 2011 7:12 pm

    It grieves me to hear people say that the Greeks got what they deserved,so they should be left to die a long, painful death. It grieves me even more when these people are fellow Europeans. And all of that hatred for what?Because they owe more money than they can easily repay. For God’s sake. The Greeks don’t have so much hatred for the Germans who almost destroyed their country, bombarding, executing, stealing, making hundreds of thousands of people starve to death.

    The decent Greek people didn’t know anything about what was going on in terms of financial matters. But they were called upon to pay making sacrifices beyond imagination. Sacrifices they made without protest or complaint one year ago.Only to be told one year later that all their sacrifices and suffering had been in vain and they have to make more sacrifices. And to what end?The measures didn’t work. They only deepened the crisis more. But this year the greek government takes exactly the same failed measures that led to recession. It’s crazy.

    I want to ask all the people who pretend to know everything on the Greeks and the Greek debt to tell me what they know about one or two “hot” greek issues that are linked with the crisis:C4I, the german submarines, Siemens, unpaid debts to Greece, the Metaxas settlement, Dublin II. These are just some of the things you must know to be able to judge and judge so harshly. If you don’t, then judging relentlessly hard your fellow human beings who suffer,in this case the Greeks, is inhuman and shows lack of civilization. European civilization, the one we’re so proud of and whose birthplace, by the way, is Greece. If you know the facts, then you’re welcome to judge and BE harsh. But ONLY then.

    Thank you very much for this wonderful description of the situation in Greece.

  90. June 19, 2011 7:28 pm

    you rock , excellent article

  91. June 19, 2011 7:45 pm

    thank you!!!!!!

  92. June 19, 2011 8:54 pm

    Thank you for a fascinating read. As a banker who has battled for over 3 years to expose the truth about the less-than-legal practices that I saw at first hand, I am only too aware of how little people actually know about the real reasons for this global financial crisis.

    I have co-operated a great deal with David Malone who writes the GolemXIV blog. Two of his pieces that will no doubt be of interest to you are:

    http://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/2011/06/greece-its-all-about-bailing-out-french.html

    http://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/2010/11/who-bankrupted-ireland.html

    This is a piece Golem recently wrote about the very shady side of European banking. My case is mentioned in it:

    http://whistleblowerirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/peek-into-one-of-deepest-little.html

    Only last week I began creating a Greek-language version of my blog. The German version has attracted quite a variety of readers. As I do not read/speak any Greek, this was done with the very kind help of a person in Thessaloniki who is working relentlessly to get the truth known in Greece and abroad. Any further help would be most appreciated.

    Here is my English blog – http://whistleblowerirl.blogspot.com/

    Here is the new Greek one – http://whistleblower-gr.blogspot.com/

    May the truth prevail.

    WhislteblowerIRL

  93. June 19, 2011 8:57 pm

    PS
    My email address is: whistleblower.irl@gmail.com

  94. marianna permalink
    June 19, 2011 9:04 pm

    thank you

  95. cynicalHighlander permalink
    June 19, 2011 9:23 pm

    The Collapse of Nations All By The Hand Of Corrupt Bankers

    World debt is unpayable, especially that of the US, UK and the euro zone. The only solution is collapse. There can be no saving the system. It is only a matter of time and what the catalyst is. It could be Greece.

  96. June 19, 2011 9:50 pm

    peaceful no more…….the cartel is calling your bluff. you are on the street corner ,youve be called a weak fag or your wife has been insulted in front of you…what are you going to do? go american revolution on their asses. 100,000s of peeps take over everything ,tell your military to stand down while you make the transition to new and fully representational leadership. this is a revolution the world is watching….a cradle of civilisation thrust into history ………….maybe one to put it ALL on the line. the banks will not relent….they will break you unless you break them first……….godspeed.

  97. June 19, 2011 10:48 pm

    How depressing it all is. Brilliantly written. I will share.

  98. Felix permalink
    June 19, 2011 10:55 pm

    Ancient Greece was the birth place of Democracy. Real honest Democracy that has become perverted through financial interest over thousands of years.

    I hope Greece does default on it’s debt, despite the crippling consequences and can begin to rise from the ashes to once again show the world the TRUE meaning of Democracy.

    I support the protests and the people of Greece with all the will in my soul, and hang the consequences to a global banking industry ruled by self interest.

    Good luck to you all. And thank you for an excellent blog post.

  99. Ακόμη μια Ελληνίδα permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:15 am

    Ο θεός να σ’εχει καλά παλικάρι μου.

    I’m in Athens and have been in Syntagma since day 1. It’s exactly as you’re telling it. THANK YOU for helping to get the word out.

  100. d_hay_13 permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:25 am

    posting from madison, wisconsin here. thanks for the great post about what’s happening in Greece, and know that we stand with you

  101. Nick permalink
    June 20, 2011 1:48 am

    Excellent! Well done sir you are a scholar and a gentleman!

    Would you consider putting this up as a guest post as zerohedge.com? It would help spread the truth!

    • June 20, 2011 2:07 am

      Contact me on Twitter and we can discuss.

    • June 20, 2011 8:43 am

      Yes, probably already posted at ZeroHedge in the comments sections ….. should be Headlines IMO.

      Max Keiser posted it already .. of course ,
      and maybe Alex Jones could bring attention to it ?
      He has millions of views/day.

      Certainly need to get this out to combat to MSM disinformation.

  102. June 20, 2011 1:56 am

    “There was an incredible lack of common sense and no warning that this spring of wealth may not be inexhaustible.”

    Alas, no one is immune to falling into that trap. On the other hand, I do not see how marching in the streets is going to provide the necessary infusion of common sense, the basic hard-learned knowledge that “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

  103. June 20, 2011 2:47 am

    This is IDEAL for a new beginning. There are a number of options that NEED to be considered that have not him the radar of ANYONE in either academia or the media. TFE (Transfinancial Economics) is a temporary solution on the way to RBE Resource Based Economics. Let me know who of your people to talk to. I have ideas that merit consideration in my humble opinion. Vic Jasin

    • people are people governments are governments permalink
      June 20, 2011 8:25 pm

      perhaps to contact Yanni Varoufaki, economics professor? A suggestion

    • Selenia permalink
      June 21, 2011 2:47 pm

      Try elegr.gr too, professor Lapavitsas. :)

  104. Piter permalink
    June 20, 2011 3:29 am

    Poor Greece. The first step to a recovery and a possible rebirth is understanding your situation and what has gone wrong.
    By projecting to foreign powers or to evil banks the source of your problems, you are just cheating yourself and delaying the inevitable: coming to term with reality.
    To the author: money is not just a number on a spreadsheet, it’s the result of hard work. And if Greece doesn’t pay, someone else will: pensions funds, banks, government money, ultimately there are people behind all these, sometimes rich, sometime not that rich, They will have to put the money that was spent (or rather misspent) by Greece.
    Is it your fault, you Greek citizens ? Of course not, for the very large part you are honest hard working people, and you were not properly informed

    But it is your responsibility.
    Democracy is not a free ride. It implies responsibility. People are sovereign and vote their representatives. That means people is held accountable to the decision their leaders take. If they vote for crooks or liars, well that’s their mistake and they have to live with it.

    I hope Greece will survive to this tragedy, but reading many posts here, I am pessimistic.
    Many are asking for a default. Be careful to what you wish for…

  105. Petros permalink
    June 20, 2011 4:15 am

    To all the Dutch etc who want to kick us out of the euro: please do. What will probably happen is: Greece will have to stop paying interest to userers, quality of life in Greece will immediately deteriorate very badly (but that will happen anyway), the banks that lend YOUR governments will have difficulties lending more, then YOUR quality of life will go down the drain as a result… because YOUR countries’ budget also depends on credit from the same banks.

    The article is making it crystal clear that the reason we are protesting is that WE DO NOT WANT ANOTHER BAIL-OUT. WE DO NOT WANT YOUR MONEY… we do not see it anyway, it all goes to the userers… that’s the reason itself why we are protesting… but still people come here saying how frustrated they are with feeding us… ok, carry on…

    The other discussion about whether the root cause of the debt is greek irresponsibility, huge public sector, benefits etc OR bribed politicians who used loan money to buy useless stuff from bribing corporations – that’s neverending. I’m sure both happened, but what we would need to bring some substance to the discussion is some breakdown of those 350 billion euros that we owe, what part of that is due to what – here’s the next thing we are asking for when protesting – an audit of the debt.

    Let’s also not forget that corrupt politicians and public servants get corrupted because somebody approached them with a corrupt offer… that somebody is typically representing a corporation, and, no, the corporation has typically been not greek, and, no, these guys aren’t brought to justice either… you guys from the “perfect” north-west want us to sort out our home and get rid of bribe-accepting servants? Fair request, but please do your bit, check your corporations and get rid of bribe-offerers in the first place. Corruption takes two. Why doesn’t anybody ever mention that at all?

  106. d.c. kostas permalink
    June 20, 2011 5:01 am

    to paraphrase prince “baby you are a star”
    job well done

  107. June 20, 2011 7:08 am

    Sounds to me like the Greeks have a choice: submit, however painful, to the program by the EU and the IMF, or submit to the mafia. Or leave the Euro – and subsequently, again, choose EU or Mafia.

    I know it’s very painful, but I would go with the first. Postponing that choice by protests will only make things worse, I’m afraid. Because the debt keeps growing as long as it’s not paid off.

    • anon permalink
      June 20, 2011 10:13 am

      So….. submit to the “mafia” or submit to the mafia? Oh, I love these dilemmas! They always disappear the “secret third choice”…. Something like ‘refuse the whole “debt” and create a new human-friendly system’! It’s about time for capitalism to die (like feudalism died before)…. If we decide to keep it alive like a zombie it will be more like slavery than it was in first place (it’s on its way since we already work for pretty much nothing)…

  108. niknom permalink
    June 20, 2011 8:45 am

    An excellent, deeply moving post and very ‘sturdy’ indeed !

    I live in Athens and am going frequently to Syntagma square. I was there on Wed the 15th and was sick for 2 days after inhailing all those chemicals.

    All the comments are worth reading, but I particularly liked the juxtaposition between Dimitris and Selenia. Although Dimitris has his points, I definitely vote for Selenia.

    Thank you for your heartfelt support !

  109. June 20, 2011 8:50 am

    Eye-opening for me in the other end of Europe!

  110. June 20, 2011 8:59 am

    I wish all the best to Greece and Greeks. But I’m underwhelmed by this article.

    “And what [people] say is this: We will not suffer any more so that we can make the rich, even richer. We do not authorise any of the politicians, who failed so spectacularly, to borrow any more money in our name. We do not trust you or the people that are lending it. We want a completely new set of accountable people at the helm, untainted by the fiascos of the past. You have run out of ideas. ”

    “Wherever in the world you are, their statement applies.”

    Fact is that we were/are all pulled by our noses, because of our instinctive greed and vanity.

    You say “we will won’t suffer any more.” Your 22nd highest human development and quality of life index in the world shows you have suffered less than almost anyone else ever. Isn’t it that you’re striking a pose – to avoid a FULL admission of your guilt?

    Our situation is basically like in a Pinocchio’s story. Our personal faults and our ignorance have put us on the verge of being enslaved as beasts. So the right thing is to look into ourselves and REPENT.

    You say: “That irresponsibility, however, was only a very small part of the problem. The much bigger part…”

    Look at any mechanism and try to explain it. Don’t say – this gear is much much bigger than the gear over here,… therefore the first gear is more important for the end result. Each part plays a role and each part is essential. Your greed and my greed are as essential for the corporate crime as is the greed of the global mafia.

  111. June 20, 2011 9:02 am

    “Greeks are lazy…… And yet, OECD data among its members show that in 2008, Greeks worked on average 2120 hours a year. That is 690 hours more than the average German, 467 more than the average Brit and 356 more than the OECD average. Only Koreans work longer hours.”

    This is an insufficient explanation. The fact of longer working hours doesn’t mean that they are all filled with as intensive work as in countries with shorter working hours. These statistics don’t actually show that Greeks aren’t lazy.

    Finally, we know the ruling class has run out of ideas. Can you point to some who haven’t?

    • June 20, 2011 11:04 am

      Then perhaps you should take a look at the data further down the article on GDP productivity per hours worked. But, I suspect, even then there would be some other reason why the statistical information is wrong and your personal impression or opinion right.

      The only lazy thing around the Greek situation is the stereotyping.

  112. Simon permalink
    June 20, 2011 10:08 am

    Breaking News..Colonel Papandreous regime will introduce new carbon tax on politicians.Using climate change experts data.”There is hard evidence that all the hot air that is produced in parliament can be taxed to pay down debt.We believe that spinning more bulshit to the Greek citizens and the world will save us.”

  113. sam webster permalink
    June 20, 2011 10:36 am

    Dear Hellas:
    Governance is by consent of the governed, only. Homage to your lack of consent.
    Praise to the power of your peace. May Nike crown you.
    Words from your lips hands and keyboards are your weapons. May Hermes bless you.
    Know your power, wield it. You may be the first, but if you fail, you will not be the last.
    )O+ )O+ )O+

  114. valia permalink
    June 20, 2011 10:42 am

    Thank you for this article. I last visited Greece in January and it really felt like the country is in depression. Whenever I speak to family and friends it all sounds hopeless. My mother has a franchise shop in Athens and sales have dropped by 40% from last year. She is trying not to fire anyone, has asked for rent reduction, stock reduction and does anything she can to save her business. If it wasn’t a franchise shop it would be long gone.
    I am really proud for all the Greeks protesting yet nowadays I truly wonder what can come of it. I believe in change and progress and I always abhorred the corruption that was prevalent in Greece. I wanted change for my country..but not in this way.

    I live and work in the UK and I am very aware of how much better the conditions are here. The notion that greeks are lazy is far from the truth. I spent 2 years living there in 2008 and I saw people working very long hours, not having proper breaks and not being paid overtime. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why. But they all said ‘That’s how it is’.

    Even if nothing comes of these demonstrations, one must always fight for freedom. I dream of the day when my land will be back on its feet again.

  115. June 20, 2011 10:56 am

    Excellent comment on the situation in Greece and the world. I am happy to see the Greeks revolting, and it breaks my heart to see that people in neighboring countries, such as my own Bulgaria, are at the moment chomping down the same bait, and sinking into that age-old Balkanism to denude the Greek protests of any credibility and attribute them to the proverbial Greek living-high-on-the-hog. If you ask me, Bulgaria is living high on the hog too, but perhaps they are more lucky that at the moment they joined the EU, the situation was not so stable for the banks and they didn’t give as many credits – but they gave enough credits to make Bulgarians dependent on banks rather than the traditional familial support system. We should have organized a Balkan union of countries, instead of so desperately trying to be European, and in that sense Tito was correct. We are not Euro and not Asian, we are Balkan. We should have known ourselves better and put the age-old hatred down. At any rate, money’s got to go altogether, and it will. It’s a fucked up experiment. A finite system such as the earth cannot support infinite growth. Keep fighting!!!

  116. sorange permalink
    June 20, 2011 10:57 am

    Errr….well written article, but lets get to the facts here, privatisation of all greek assets would be excellent for the country – finally things could maybe run efficiently and without corruption if you put it in the hands of foreigners. I’ve lived here 6 years and travel all over the world and i’ve NEVER seen such a corrupt country, even Nigeria fares better in my experience in terms of corruption. The Greek people need a wake up call, anyone who’s ever had to use a public sector service here (the post office being my personal favourite) should be ecstatic that the LAZY good for nothings that work there are now getting their easy ride taken away. And yes, Greeks are LAZY – they work more hours than Koreans perhaps but in the end it’s the productivity of those hours that count and – as anyone who lives here knows – doing the most simple of things can take weeks on end in this country. Greece lied about their financial numbers, their crooked politicians pocketed huge sums! It’s sick, but in the end a country has the government it deserves and Greece certainly has that. Everyone is part of the problem here, less so private sector workers – i don’t see many of them protesting by the way. As i said, good article but totally unrealistic, face up to your mistakes greece. Of course foreigners have to come in and set your finances in order and direct you – if they don’t do it who will? – the greeks?! ha! we’ve seen how well that worked. There is no one here capable of it, the mess speaks for itself.

    • June 20, 2011 11:17 am

      Interesting. When it comes to your own country, especially when you disagree with the government’s policies, the distinction between people and politicians becomes very acute. When it comes to other countries, we all become one entity…

      By the same token, the Brits and Americans would all be guilty of the lies they were told by their government about Iraq to entice them to go to war. And yet, living in the UK, I know this isn’t the case. I know the people here were lied to, same as everyone else, and protested in their millions against the war.

      The Greeks didn’t lie about the figures – the Greek government lied about the figures to everyone including the Greek people. How is this concept too complicated for you?

      • June 21, 2011 11:41 am

        …”The Greeks didn’t lie about the figures – the Greek government lied about the figures to everyone including the Greek people. “…

        Well said .. an IMPORTANT distinction : “The People” versus “Their Government”

        Most people in the EU were NEVER asked whether they wanted the EU let alone the Euro. Those that were asked, said NO … which the EU does NOT accept as an answer.

        This video of an EU Parliament sitting demonstrates it clearly .. in Ireland’s case :

        “MEPs voted AGAINST respecting the outcome of the Irish Vote.”
        http://wn.com/A_PLEA_TO_IRISH_VOTERS_Say_NO_to_Lisbon_Treaty

        .. starting at ca. 2 minutes.

        # 526 to 85 voted AGAINST holding a Referendum in EVERY member state.

        # … and then voted “NO” on Amendment 32, which asks that the Euro Parliament “Undertakes to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland”

        I could go on , but that recording of the EU Parliament “at work” says everything.

    • June 20, 2011 12:32 pm

      I couldn’t agree more on the privatization part. We had too many people that got paid too much money for.. well, nothing.
      However I do not agree on the lazy part. On public sector yes, there is no point in refusing it as it’s plain truth. Still though, you can never “put everyone in the same pot” as we say. On private sector though, no way. Almost all of my friends, including me, work in private sector. We not only work too many hours (I only know of one person who works just 8 hours per day, although he still works 6 days per week) but we hardly ever have breaks in between as we are too stressed to finish our projects. Since you live here as you state, you must be aware of the almost non-existent labor rights in private sector.
      How come you still live here by the way? Why choose this place, when you state it is as corrupt as a country can get and the people so lazy?

      • ΗΡΩΝ permalink
        June 21, 2011 12:38 pm

        Ioanna, I think you are too eager to agree on the privatization of public property. If you live in Greece you know that a few years ago the Simitis government gave up to Latsis concortium the management/control of ΕΛΠΕ refinery and the EKO gas pump franchise (sold it for less than a year´s profit). Up to that time EKO was used to control the retail gas prices. No one dared to overcharge due to the competition by the “state company”. Now EKO is more expensive than SHELL and even BP. Next they are preparing to sell out the energy (ΔΕΗ, ΔΕΠΑ), water (EYΔAΠ), betting (ΟΠΑΠ) the ports and the rest of profit bearing public companies at prices that go down even to 10% of their actual value.

    • Loukanikos permalink
      June 22, 2011 10:45 pm

      Yeah, yeah “productivity” is even higher with robots but none of these factory-owners pays any tax for machines.
      This whole concept of “product” “export/import” sucks, also money. The point won’t be to get the banks owned by the people but to destroy them all by convincing the people that they don’t need them and that noone needs money. The “black-market” shows the right direction, take the “exarchia-lira” or just trade without money. World trade is a death-machine and must stop.

  117. λαχανο permalink
    June 20, 2011 11:05 am

    firs of all : Great article !!!! and secondly i am really happy to see that there are still people in this world who care about their neighbours and who feel the need to understand what the people of Greece are going through without judging. Thats what i call humanity and reading the article and all the comments give me hope for a better future.
    I am actually from Holland but live my half life in Greece and I have bought a plainticket (with great difficulty cause i live on very little money) to go from Rhodes to the syndagma square . PETROS..I totally agree with you and i am ashamed for all these Dutch people that are so quick in judging without knowing the whole truth. I was born in Holland but Greece for me is a much better place to be even in these difficult times and i am surprised how most of the Greek people are still patient and kind even to the more snobbish Dutch and German tourists..and lets not forget all the Europeans who have bought houses in Greece and are renting them out without paying any kind of tax…..

  118. Ben permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:02 pm

    So you would prefere do default the debt and hence take money from senior citycents all around Europe. A huge part of the greek debt is owned by pension schemes all around Europe. If Greece would have cut their expenditure 10 years ago, Greece would not need any packages. You can only consume what you have!

  119. June 20, 2011 12:31 pm

    With the help of a proud resident of Thessaloniki, the first blog posting in Greek has just gone up:

    Ιρλανδία, Ελλάδα και Πορτογαλία θα έπρεπε να κάνουν στάση πληρωμών –

    Το πρόβλημα με την παραπάνω δήλωση είναι ότι με το που την κάνει κανείς, εμφανίζεται σωρεία υστερικών ‘κοτόπουλων’ αλαλάζουσα ‘’Μην ακούτε τον τρελό! Εάν το κάνετε αυτό θα πέσει ο ουρανός να σας πλακώσει. Όλες οι τράπεζες θα καούν, τα ΑΤΜ θα σταματήσουν να λειτουργούν, θα μας πάρουν τα σπίτια, και οι συντάξεις μας, ΩΙΜΕ! –όλες οι συντάξεις μας θα κατασχεθούν και θα λεηλατηθούν από μια στρατιά εξαγριωμένων και εκδικητικών ομολογιούχων και εμείς ποτέ στον αιώνα τον άπαντα δε θα μπορέσουμε να ξαναδανειστούμε χρήματα από την αγορά ομολόγων μέχρι το τέλος του Σύμπαντος κι ακόμα παραπέρα.’’

    Έτσι, πριν καταφθάσουν, θέλω να πω ότι ο ουρανός δε θα πέσει από τον θόλο του. Για την ακρίβεια, υπάρχει ολόκληρη προϊστορία κρατικών στάσεων πληρωμών και αναδιάρθρωσης χρεών και υπάρχουν αναγνωρισμένες και δοκιμασμένες μέθοδοι για να γίνει αυτό. Οι χώρες που έχουν περάσει από τέτοιες διαδικασίες, το Μεξικό, η Αργεντινή, η Ρωσία, η Ινδία, το Εκουαδόρ, για να αναφέρουμε μόνο μερικές, συνεχίζουν να υφίστανται, έχουν δυνατότητα δανεισμού στις αγορές ομολόγων, και γενικότερα ο ουρανός δεν έπεσε στα κεφάλια τους, ούτε στα δικά μας.

    To continue reading, please go to:
    http://whistleblower-gr.blogspot.com/

    Any further help with translations is more than welcome :-)

    WhistleblowerIRL

  120. Dawniebee permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:33 pm

    I totally sympathise with Greece and I also understand the accusations. I lived in Greece for a combined 19 months on 2 islands and in Athens. I’ve seen these people work their butts off running restaurants, operating shops, farming, working in medicine. I’ve also seen a wall be built over 3 months starting from the middle, seen hotel room lights flash on and off when a new sign was installed at the intersection. I see Greece and her islands as I see any country – a mixture of educated or not, but I’d NEVER class any Greek person that I know as lazy.

    Has anyone read the book “One No, Many Yeses” by Paul Kingsnorth? It’s about “the ongoing process by which the needs and wants of culture and nature are subjugated to the needs and wants of business”.

    I left the UK in 1990 to escape the dogmatic rule of that country and have since lived in Australia where I have watched Australian owned businesses and commodities get sold to overseas investors. Electricity prices here are through the roof and rising. Gas prices are not far behind – I’m hearing Australia has some problems with pressure and monitoring compared to electricity. This very day, we have been notified that water prices will increase $100 to $120 per annum. The city I Iive closest to has a high content of Greek people and still I cannot class them as lazy compared to other countries I have visited.

    Our government is slowly inducting us fools into accepting a carbon tax! Most of our manufacturing is done overseas! A famous ex TV and current radio presenter (Derryn Hinch – Melbourne 3AW) likened the result from Australian efforts into combating climate change akin to him personally taking a widdle into Port Phillip Bay then testing the water for changes in uric acid.

    There are conspiracy theories that combined forces are attempting to balance world income and living standards amongst us lower working classes / castes. I love the idea that my expected lifestyle should be downgraded so that starvation in other countries is eliminated. However, I despise the idea that corporations and their shareholders live a better lifestyle for this to occur.

    Never fear, we are being sold to day-by-day. We will (if we haven’t already) submit to the corporation and live by the most basic means we can. Because we’ll have no choice but to.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  121. SRB permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:35 pm

    I’ve not read such contrived rubbish in a long time. To compare German workers to Greek workers displays a fundamental lack of understanding bordering on other delusions like the holocaust never happened or green men live on Mars.

    Given the arguments in this piece how is it that the German economy is racing ahead whilst the Greek one flounders? A German worker can achieve in one day what it takes a Greek worker in a week. And having worked in Athens over the past 10 years I can assure you that the black economy rivals that of Italy. The Greek Government led by example. They fiddled the books and the recession brought it all to light. If the Greek people put as much effort into their economy as they do with their rioting then their problems would soon be gone.

    • June 20, 2011 2:53 pm

      Wow – I don’t think I have seen so many stereotypes, totally unsupported by fact, in such a short paragraph before.

      You just don’t get it. The German worker is not the enemy of the Greek worker any more than the Italian or Irish. Our enemies are the institutions which skim zillions of dollars off the top of every world economy without producing anything or contributing anything – and call it growth.

  122. nick james permalink
    June 20, 2011 1:00 pm

    Brilliant, brilliant blog that I’ll pass on as best I can.

    Although Greece is its focal point, this is what awaits every country in which rampant, rapacious, unregulated capitalism has stolen the state with the complicity of government and the ignorance, aided and abetted by disclosure of only the benefits of capitalism, of its electorate.

    Until and unless ordinary people retake control over their lives, as those in Athens are trying so bravely to do, our descent into total chaos is inevitable. This is not about flip-flopping between existing political parties, this is about replacing them with governments that recognise the essential feature of democracy, ie representation of the majority, not of a self-styled elite who would steal everything for themselves……and never again allowing ourselves to be so seduced and manipulated by that elite.

    PS Eleni, I understood exactly what you were saying so your English is plenty good enough. I don’t even speak a single word of your language for goodness sake!

  123. June 20, 2011 1:08 pm

    Great Article.

    to answer the comment about “lazy people”. unfortunately in Greece Civil servants are lazy (of course not all of them). However private sector workers are the exact opposite

    on the article you point out the the 1st bail out did not work as it was used to service debt. i think that it worked in a way as it dropped the interest Greece was paying for the amount of debt. the second bailout will do exactly the same. if you calculate the money saved on interest (which we would have to pay either way) it can make a significant difference on Greece’s deficit

    the biggest problems in Greece is tax evasion & the amount of public sector workers. if the government manage to sort out these two issues the Greece’s economy can be balanced and when the economy starts recovering they may start having a surplus (to pay back debts instead of servicing it)

    Also i would love for the government to reduce drastically the military expenditure until they get the economy right as it drains significant amounts of money

    • Selenia permalink
      June 21, 2011 3:28 pm

      Greece’s economy will never recover as they sell out ( Fast track) everything. Also, it is impossible to reduce the military expenditure as it is one of the terms in order to keep lending us money, to keep buying ( and actually more expensive than other countries, sometimes for double the prices) military equipment…

  124. June 20, 2011 1:12 pm

    A darn good article. It does clear alot up. What I take away from this article is several things. First and foremost in my mind, there are other countries including the USA where the people need to wake up! Research needs to be done on your politicians and you need to vote wisely. Not going ot happen as long as people are greedy and want wealth from the government. Not going to happen when you have more on the take then those actually producing something.

    Never believe the media that supports the corrupt politicians and the rich elite. They own the TV and radio stations that pour out their mantra day in and day out to basically brainwash you into submission.

    I hope it is not too late for Greece. I hope the people realize you cannot eat pride and staying in the EU is not solving your problem. Only the people of Greece can solve this problem. Until they do, they will just rob your great country until the Greeks have nothing left. Sad when you think about it as democracy was first introduced by the Greeks some 2500 years ago.

  125. June 20, 2011 1:28 pm

    An excellent article and one that finds resonance in several others ones types all over Ireland: http://evertb.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/musical-chairs-eu-style-greece-ireland-portugal-spain-and-again/

  126. Petros permalink
    June 20, 2011 1:45 pm

    Yagama I’m with you all the way. Watch out in Bulgaria for this credit trap, you might be the next victim. Yes, of course we are NOT western european and thank God for that. Λάχανε don’t be ashamed that some people carrying the same kind of passport as you do pass uninformed judgement. We are all only responsible for ourselves – and for our neighbour in need, to the extend that we can do something to help. We are not responsible for anybody else.

  127. Charles permalink
    June 20, 2011 3:10 pm

    Amazing post.

  128. Kaylia permalink
    June 20, 2011 3:11 pm

    “privatisation of all greek assets would be excellent for the country – finally things could maybe run efficiently and without corruption if you put it in the hands of foreigners.”

    Seriously? This American would like to tell you that privatization of community resources is already rampant here in the USA . It is not a solution. It would simply be more of the exact thing described by the author and being experienced on a global scale — massive wealth and influence being concentrated into the hands of the super-rich elite. This happens to the detriment of the common good, as corporate and institutional interests are elevated above physical health, financial security, and ecological sustainability for hardworking citizens everywhere.

    Indeed, we are all Greek. I hope your efforts prevail and we all learn from your experience.

  129. gorgona permalink
    June 20, 2011 4:44 pm

    The funniest part of the article is that doctors ask for a bribe because they are so poor!!! Sure. Funny. Hilarious in fact. That it’s a sterotype that Greeks are lazy -my kids’ teachers work 3 hours a day max, have 3 full months off in the summer and generally take the piss out of us parents who have to pay them with private lessons in the evening to get our kids educated …not all Greeks are lazy just the civil servants that bleed us dry…the rest of us have to work extra hard to get that average! I know an old couple -retired dr. and teacher who take almost 5000 euros a month between them for pension, my neighbour sits on her ass all day as she collects her late father’s pension (!!!)-yeah it’s halved but the thing is you can retire and take half the money when half is 1500 euros per month (yes he retired in his 50s on 3000 euros a month…need I say he was a civil servant). My sis-in-law’s uncle retired at 42 and hasn’t need to work since. Virtually everyone cheats on their taxes if they can…and everyone helps others cheat on their taxes, ‘black money’ is part of the system and it’s hard to condemn them when you know your taxes from your hard earned money are going to support civil servants to sit and scratch their balls. People voted for these politicians because they were promised jobs for their support. The government is a representation of the people as a whole -greedy, lazy, currupt and out for what they can get. As we say here ‘Greece eats her children’.

    • NOTA permalink
      June 21, 2011 2:12 am

      Sweet gorgona you are confused in your own words, top and bottom is a little contradicting.

      We all agree that there is a part of people mostly in public sectors and high positions that don’t deserve their salaries or bonus or whatever that is or was in the past. I myself was very mad at times with people not doing their job in public offices. I do not wish lazy people to get paid more and for nothing, we agree.
      Those you are describing though are a small part of the society.

      I am not accepting that the gov is representation of people as a whole!!! Particular due the results of last elections.

      I have never been one of the persons you are describing and i am sorry to see that you are among a corrupted family and don’t do/did anything about it. Don’t accuse all of us because you happen to know these people. First of all you should criticize yourself and think what you have done and what you will do from now on.

      I could have my big position maybe in some public office too but i always hated the idea of Dhmosio, i never wanted or accepted any help to succeed, not even from my own father! It is not for me as a character nor my ideas and beliefs. So a corrupted gov doesn’t necessary make corrupted citizens.

      το δε “Η Ελλάδα τρώει τα παιδιά της” αναφέρετε κυρίως αλλού (μια άλλη τεράστια συζήτηση που δεν είναι της ώρας…)

  130. Mike permalink
    June 20, 2011 5:28 pm

    People of Greece, many, many in Ireland are with you! Keep fighting! (peacefully)

    PLEASE LOOK AT THE INFORMATION I LINK BELOW, AND SPREAD AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE – THIS IS INFORMATION ALL GREEKS SHOULD UNDERSTAND IN YOUR STAND AGAINST THE FINANCIAL WAR BEING WAGED AGAINST YOU.

    I’ve just been watching videos from the recent Dublin conference organised by smarttaxes.org

    They are about half way down the web page entitled ‘Videos of Lessons from The Crisis’

    Most important are the presentations by Stepanie Kelton, Bill Black & Randall Wray (all of the University of Missouri Kansas City – same as Michael Hudson) are an absolute MUST SEE. A superb critique of the Euro common currency as set up. An explanation of ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ (MMT) & how it’s ideas contrast with the current neo-liberal mess – everyone should understand this. And more. It’s completely obvious that if MMT’s principles were adopted, we could have a way out of the banksters’ scam, the debt & austerity nightmare.

    This is what the current ‘authorities’ – be they mainstream economists, politicians or media – do not want people to know.

    Don’t forget, go to smarttaxes.org

    (I’m sorry, it’s all in English – translate into Greek & get it on Youtube!)

  131. June 20, 2011 5:40 pm

    Heart felt and truth – thank you. When will we see the UK and US demonstrating against the banks and cuts ….. I hope sooner rather than later.

  132. Beatriki permalink
    June 20, 2011 5:43 pm

    Well, I appreciate the effort you make to clarify things, but you should be careful with what you say at some point in your text, because it makes the rest of your arguments lose credibility: corrupted doctors in Greece existed a long time before the crisis arouse, and trying to justify their absolutely dirty behaviour as an act of dispair due to the crisis is lying and playing along with them.
    And I bet those doctors don’t want the system to change.

  133. Francisco Anton permalink
    June 20, 2011 6:02 pm

    When a couple is about to have sex they usually help each other take their clothes off. After sex, they usually put it back on by themselves. The moral of this story is that when someone helps you is because they want to fuck you and when you are already fucked, no one helps you. And let me tell you that the IMF is an expert when it comes to this topic. They are just looking for countries that need their pants taken off. If you do not do it willingly, they take it with force (look at Strauss-Kahn for a reference)
    Look at my banana republic and the International Monetary Fund as an example. When the rest of the planet was suffering because of the energy crisis in the late 70’s Venezuela was doing great business. Venezuela got a lot of international money, lots of it. At the moment all that money was necessary to modernize the nation and sustain the production of oil. Well, as you all know the crisis ended and prices dropped drastically. The country experienced a 30% drop of oil revenues in less than 2 years and about 8 billion dollars of private capital left the country. International reserve funds spontaneously combusted and the same thing pretty much happened with the ability to pay the money back. February 18, 1983 was the beginning of the end for the established economic system. We call it The Black Friday. The Black Friday was the beginning of devaluation, currency exchange control, inability of the government to pay for social programs, all that good stuff that we know happens when governments are broke. And then, the IMF saw the opportunity to take our pants off, they took them so fast we did not have time to take our shoes off.
    The country was for sale for a while, for a long while. No one wanted to buy assents in the middle of the Latin America Default Season; so the prices of the assets dropped further down and the same thing happened with the ability to pay the money back. Austerity measures became unsustainable for the people. On February 27 of 1989 the people went to the streets and they were not waving flags and asking for change. They were pissed off, what started with a student strike on transportation ended up on thousand of death by the hands of the state security forces.
    By the end of 1998 they sold most of the industries the international money “helped” develop. It was a one day sale event “everything must go”. It was sad; it was an international gang rape against my little people. Believe it or not, people have an ability to give the finger to the international community. By the end of that decade Venezuela did not have anything to lose, so they elected Chavez as the president.
    It would be depressing to see another nation go through all this drama. Look what Argentina experienced in 2002 with the restructuring of their debt; they had around 8 presidents in a week because of all the social unrest. Look at Venezuela now that after 12 years of “Socialist Revolution” the government got to buy-take back all the industries, but it is more founded on resentment that on the idea of growth and development. I agree with the author of this article when he says the country is experiencing a war and it is natural for people to fight back. I have no offer for solution because I think that you have to be part of the nation to really get what would solve the situation, but one thing I have to say and it comes from the bottom of my heart; please kick those International Mother Funders out of your country as soon as you can.

  134. Humanist permalink
    June 20, 2011 6:14 pm

    “We [the people] will not suffer any more so that we can make the rich, even richer.”
    Social contract theory should emphasize that statement as one of the basic principles of every decent, humane social contract between the State and the citizens, between the rulers and the ruled. But such an enlightened social contract would undermine not only capitalism and the neo-liberal economic model of the new world order, but also the idea of property, private property, private property ownership, and private property rights.
    Furthermore, all governments created by human beings are corrupt to a greater or lesser extent. Such corruption is a symptom of the underlying problem — scarcity. Scarcity of resources impacts the standard of living and in turn the quality of life for everyone on the planet.
    Sustainable austerity means a drastically reduced ecological footprint (not just the carbon component of the total footprint), especially for the nations who have the greatest resource deficits and who import resources from other nations under rapacious conditions. Such gluttony is rationalized by the Western textbook hypotheses of neo-liberal economics, all the premises of which are controversial but not allowed to be expressed widely. Man is not rational. Man is not merely Homo economicus. The world is not merely material. The Western world is a lopsided juggernaut that always values money more than human beings. The trajectory of such an experiment in social living can only end in destruction of the environment and fatal disaster.
    The message to “Wake up!” is for each individual to be aware, to be conscious. It means to be introspective, to go within, to allow a radical transformation, an inner Gestalt shift. This is the only basis for an enduring, sustainable collective harmony of individuals that transcends social groups from the family to the nation-state.
    Peace.

  135. June 20, 2011 6:43 pm

    You have my total support! Keep up the resistance. In Latin America we have know this kind of blackmail economics for quite a long time. “Hasta la Victoria, Siempre!”

  136. Weird Old Dude permalink
    June 20, 2011 7:24 pm

    Thanx very much for this very thorough explanation. This info, these thoughts, are really being ignored by the MSM or on purpose being withheld. This sheds an completly other light on the whole situation. In this light it looks like TPTB are exactly following the scenario as they planned it.

    Respect to all of you for standing up against TPTB. I hope the rest of Europe, or better, the rest of the world will support you guys in this and will not be chickining out when the time is there for them to stand up and act against these eletist SOB’s.

    The signs are getting more clearly everyday. They are about to drive us all into damnation, just for their own selfish enrichment. It’s all fake, democracy is fake, European Union is fake, us voting our representatives is also fake. The communist eletists that rule our countries are not there for you or for me, but just for themselves.

    It’s the banking sector, ruled by tyrants like Rockefeller, Rothschilds, IMF and other scum that want everything to crash and burn, so they are able to carry out their ultimate dream of a New World Order and 1 monetairy system world wide, without any significant opposition.

    I hope the rest of Europe and the world will open their eyes for what is really going on, and that you Greeks are in the frontline doing the job that needs to be done.

    σεβασμός, θάρρος και σοφία
    όχι παράδοση

    • anon permalink
      June 20, 2011 10:18 pm

      “…The communist eletists that rule our countries…”
      Eeerm….. What!? You’re kidding, right? That or you just don’t know what communism is…

  137. June 20, 2011 7:54 pm

    I feel quite disappointed to keep on reading “we are all Greek”, “your country”, “total support” and so goes the list. It’s not that I think it’s not right, it’s only I think it’s the wrong approach.
    We cannot frame this problem from the “nationality” point of view. THat way we are only focusing on the effects. We need to address the causes URGENTLY.
    We are living a globalization not only in terms of communications, but most dreadfully, investment capitals and finacial markets move funds in an amount that is 14 times the world commerce. Just by clicking a keyboard. This means a deadly attack to any “real” economy.
    We must start to think on a solution also in global terms. It’s no use greeks trying to solve Greece problems, or spaniards demonstrating for Spain problems, or islanders for Island defaults.
    We cannot think we must return to a real democracy. False. There have never been any democracy, as far as I can account. For real democracy would mean “direct” democracy. NO REPRESENTATIVES.
    I know this is hard to achieve, but instead, there should be prosecution to those who fail to carry out their mandates, people’s instructions, a nation’s insterests. Our governments are corrupt but there is a counterpart which is that corporations are corrupt as well.
    I always remember with anger, a famous case in Argentina, where an affair between IBM and Banco Nación (a state bank) blew up in the air, but instead of criminalizing both parts, only the state Bank got all the aims.
    There will be 2 billion people in excess in the world in the next two decades (we could say even today, we have the issue in front of our faces), but we are responding exactly as they expect: country by country, as watertight compartments.
    This post seems to have triggered people around the world to sympathise with Greece. But it’s not only about Greece.
    We are all Greece but we must become aware that “WE ARE ALL US”.

  138. old dog permalink
    June 20, 2011 7:55 pm

    wonderful article, posted it on facebook but inadvertedly also got a very large negative comment, attributed to stephen finney, but he’s with you.
    is someone messing about ?

  139. June 20, 2011 8:29 pm

    Greece can lead the World back to sanity. Greece can be the Leader of the free World.

    Soildarity xx (from UK)

  140. Jason A. permalink
    June 20, 2011 8:51 pm

    A Greek Tragedy? I don’t think so…

    Transparency International (TI) has reported that corruption is at the heart of the Greek economy. Having also worked there but for only 7 years I have seen blatant tax avoidance at the highest of levels.

    Greeks have to pay to have their application for a driving licence speeded up, for planning permission, to receive treatment in a public hospital or to have the results of a tax assessment manipulated. The Black economy exists at every level of society.

    I agree, ” the Greek Government set the tone by fiddling the books and the population followed therein.” And I think you brought the German workers into it, had you avoided any stereotypes in your rose tinted view of a corrupt society supported by foreign tax payers then I would not have brought it up.

    I’m all for a socialist uprising against the gargantuan organisations that manipulate our lives, but please don’t choose nor compare the own goal of the Greek failure to that of the Middle Eastern struggle for democracy.

  141. alien permalink
    June 20, 2011 9:30 pm

    It brought tears to see the people of Egypt, in the middle of their own struggle, holding up signs supporting the people of Wisconsin in their fight. We may need our separate sovereign countries for the moment, as a counterweight against the power of the corporations, but in the end our solidarity makes all countries obsolete.

    In the meanwhile, let me hold up my own small sign of solidarity with Syntagma.

  142. Gonçalo permalink
    June 20, 2011 10:49 pm

    As a Portuguese I would like to say we share your pain.
    Hopefully we will all manage to beat this.

  143. Steve Finney permalink
    June 20, 2011 11:46 pm

    It wasn’t Steve Finney.

    At a banquet of unquenchable greed,
    the userers with bloated stomachs feed,
    It is a war, but not as we ever knew it,
    fought in a fog of apathy, with the media complicit.
    And the 300 who are now there to defend this land,
    Are corrupted puppets mounted on a bankers hand.

    The creatures of black and white, and stereotype,
    like harpies, peck and claw at the mainly guiltless,
    fuelled by ignorance, closed minds and media hype,
    throwing stones, unaware that they too, live in a glasshouse.

    Greece is but one battle in this undeclared war.
    their foes invade with weapons of disinformation.
    They are creatures of endless appetite, who will forever need more,
    Until their last meal will be, your very, delicious, subjugation.

    For those who speak Greek, a link courtesy of Golem, it contains some of his excellent articles & lots more:-
    http://elegr.gr/

  144. June 21, 2011 12:13 am

    I’m very sensitive when I hear or read the word “sovereignty”. That’s because there is a tension there, between the notion of the word and the realities of global powers. EC has been in existence since 1957. The UK entered the ORGANIZATION later, in 1973 – I think that was before Greece btw. I stress the word ORGANIZATION because that’s how countries establish control or autonomy over their own affairs: By working from within these ORGANIZATIONS (NATO, EU, SEATO, CENTO…). Was it not commonly understood and AGREED in 1957 that the national parliaments of the EC (later EU) members would have to accept the supremacy of the European law? Britain had lost an Empire and by 1973, it was no longer sovereign. EU was a way for the former global power to gain autonomy and world influence. Greece, Portugal and Spain joined EU at the end of the 80s. Enter the single market in 1992. A unified European market. Which actually reduced UK sovereignty. Thatcher was ambivalent about the membership. She knew of course that the control of the economy lies at the heart of sovereignty. And then came the monetary union and the European central bank. It didn’t happen overnight. Now kindly watch this video about consumerism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM&feature=channel_video_title – I believe you used a lot of luxury brands in your article. That’s what the world was doing for the past 60 years and that’s why most of us failed to realize we are subordinate economically and politically to foreign interests. Now, after years of summit meetings, agreements and treaties that we don’t know that much about, we talk about sovereignty. Since 1974, Greek people have been voting for the same “political families” with disastrous results. And now, the same people at Syntagma Square are baptised warriors to “a battle against a system”. (?) I’m sorry. That’s not my view. They are potential warriors, yes. But they don’t know what they are fighting against and why. They are the herd that you mention, and they only exist for -someone’s- benefit. Don’t we all? Read this about the people in Syntagma Square (in Greek): http://oakke.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_07.html). You talk about dehumanisation. That is the real reason people gather in the square. To feel human again. To feel worthy. Industrialization deskilled and dehumanized people – a century ago. Mcdonaldization dehumanizes people. What we know and do every day – our actions dehumanize us. Because life as it is, for the western world and for the many, who do not suffer from starvation or poor working conditions is CONVENIENT. We will fight for it. We will make the wrong decisions consciously in order to protect our interests. Am I to believe that class conflict does not exist anymore? Syntagma square is an illusion. An illusion of unity, of deliberative democracy but most of all it is the belated demand of the people for autonomy and sovereignty. For power that this country does not have and will not gain overnight. How can we talk about democracy when we don’t respect the law? How can we talk about unity when we don’t respect each other? And how can we fight against the system when in fact we love it? The same system nurtures and protects us from ourselves and we will fight to protect it. With an economic crises or without it, the truth is that SOCIETY has failed us. WE have failed us. The future of Man is Man. So Syntagma square, it is not a battleground. But your heart and mind, is. MY heart and mind is a battleground. If I understand that my fight is with myself – my conceptions and abstracted responces, my “decisions and indecisions” (like T.S. Elliot wrote once) I will feel worthy again. And in this contradictory world, I will learn to consume less and appreciate more. I will understand, learn and act in everyone’s favour and for our mutual benefit – everytime and everywhere. When that happens, that will be a Black Swan Event. But until then, people will always look for reasons and politicians will always give them convenient ones that favour their interests.

  145. June 21, 2011 1:01 am

    extremely well written article. I share your view through facebook. As a portuguese I identify myself in our cause (if I may say it this way). I’ve read some comments about Portugal’s participation in this. Well, we have our participation but it’s in a very small number. Geração à rasca which translated means Junkie Generation (more or less). It is a movement mainly from young people to say NO to the imposed “cuts” of these impostors. I which well to Greece, to Spain, to Ireland and to every other country in Europe or the World, but the measures this is taking are too high. A cultural/social revolution is taking place and I’d be glad if I could participate in generating a better world for ALL OF US.

    Thank you for your beautiful post that made me take a deep and enjoying breath from the lies and selected news that the media feed. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Your portuguese friend,
    Nuno.

  146. June 21, 2011 5:42 am

    The Greeks should call the French and German’s bluff.

    Require them to use the ECB to purchase and cancel all excessive Greek debt.

    And if they don’t then default and bring the whole sorry gravy train crashing down around their ears.

    It’s time to start again with the economy serving the people, not the other way around

  147. mmckinl permalink
    June 21, 2011 6:40 am

    Thank You Alex Andreou … And thanks to the Greek patriots that engage in the fight against the banksters and the oligopoly that would turn us into chattel.

    mmckinl … USA

  148. June 21, 2011 7:31 am

    You have my axe!

  149. June 21, 2011 8:50 am

    I do not agree with the majority of this article. The doctors are definitely not asking pays under the table because they have no other course of action. Doctors are well-paid in Greece, as are most civil servants. It’s the private sector workers who are most exposed. There is corruption in Greece at all levels. The author might not have gone to Greece for 15 years, but I visit regularly. My opinion on the whole matter as to why Greece is where it is today: http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/06/20/regarding-the-greek-situation/

  150. June 21, 2011 9:21 am

    Beautifully written piece! Poignant. Factual. Touching. I took part in the Barcelona protests 19 June and the hope I take away from it — and from the protests in Greece and elsewhere — is that government’s everywhere, including in the US and UK and especially the so-called EU, are losing their legitimacy. They are neither representative nor democratic. In my eyes, they have already lost all legitimacy, but more and more people around the world are starting to see this, as evidenced in Spain and Greece most recently. The sooner they lose their legitimacy in the eyes of the masses, the better. Yes, they will still have violence, sadly, but they will no longer have any moral authority. They will stand naked before the people as what they truly are — a mere cover for our real masters, the Feudal landlords, the banks and financiers.

  151. aele permalink
    June 21, 2011 9:30 am

    Let’s bail out the people instead! Never forget the average German and the average Greek have a lot in common – and the same enemies. Here’s hoping divide-and-conquer tactics fail.

  152. Alexander Watt permalink
    June 21, 2011 9:59 am

    Thankyou Greece for showing us all how to stand and fight against the money men controllers who believe they own us all, and treat us as cattle.
    I and many others are watching and drawing inspiration from your resistance. I hope the people of the UK finally wake up, because the poor and sick in this country are being quickly cut off by our wealthy, uncaring and war-mongering government.

  153. Gundog13 permalink
    June 21, 2011 10:05 am

    coming to a country near you!

    I am sick and tired of hearing the Greeks are this or that from commentators. Its always cloaked in a derogatory, wink wink, nudge nudge sort of way… The Greeks are lazy, the Greeks just want to sit in the sun and drink etc etc. And we’re any better? Here in the UK we have followed a similar self-serving ‘extend and pretend’ ethos. Across all sections of society. Yes we are all to blame, but it goes beyond the individual. For me its the sheer blatantness of the financial sector; you mess up and the losses are socialised, you do well the profits are privatised, alongside not playing any taxes. Seriously wtf.

    Go Greece!! and for the Brits out there come out on June 30!!!

  154. K Ackermann permalink
    June 21, 2011 10:06 am

    Outstanding post.

    I hope Greece follows Iceland’s lead. Iceland is doing just fine right now, even after all those threats.

    Best wishes from the USA. We are watching closely.

  155. June 21, 2011 10:18 am

    This is a game of pure bluff by the financial shamans and the people of Greece have had the guts to call it.

    These austerity measures are simply a euphemism for repression by a system based on a myth and the financial psychopaths who profit by it.

    Good luck to the people of Greece, perhaps by your efforts not only will you be able to claim to be the birth place of democracy but also the country that regenerated it.

    Stand fast and you may encourage other democracy’s to re-discover their backbone.

  156. June 21, 2011 10:54 am

    We all stand united with the Greeks. Never give in and never give up.

  157. Stratos A. permalink
    June 21, 2011 11:41 am

    All life is interrelated we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.As long as there is poverty in this world no man can be totally reach even if he has a billion dollars.”Dr. Martin Luther King” . Dont let the politicians lie to you. Inform yourselves .For centuries, Western society drew sustenance from Newtonian physics, classical economics, and other orderly systems of thought. But today’s intellectual climate offers no such comforts, focusing instead on concepts like tipping points and global volatility . “High Anxieties: The Mathematics of Chaos ” a very interesting documentary . Face reality as it is for that reality is staring us in the face

  158. Ric Jerrom permalink
    June 21, 2011 12:25 pm

    This makes good sense to me, well put and succinct; I’m forwarding it to many others. Thanks.

  159. June 21, 2011 2:04 pm

    Great entry. It’s incredible how the myths are built on thin air, how the Goebbels dogma of “a lie repeated a thousand times becomes truth” still applies. I made a synthesis of your quite revealing data at my blog, adding a map of my creation (based on the first graph). Naturally I titled it “Those lazy Germans!”.

    Keep it up!

  160. Cal permalink
    June 21, 2011 2:20 pm

    Thanks for this. I will be spreading it around.

  161. Hellenic Citizen permalink
    June 21, 2011 2:21 pm

    Have attempted a Greek translation of this article. Would you like to read it? Where can I send it?

  162. Hellenic Citizen permalink
    June 21, 2011 2:24 pm

    http://www.stopspeculators.gr

    Submit your Complaint, attaching any Document or other Proof of Fraud.

    Bank Docs, Receipts, Greek Bonds Buy/Sell Orders & Order Forms, Short Selling Proof Docs, Transactions & Settlements Information & Docs, CDS Contracts, Agreements, Banks, Companies, Investment & Hedge Funds details, Speculators, Accomplices & Partners details, Greek Partners, Intermediaries & Govt Officers details, Corruption Proofs, Articles, Blogs, etc.

  163. Mölli permalink
    June 21, 2011 2:55 pm

    Good text. Finland will have trouble with debt in next 4 years. And many more European contries than Portugal Italy Irealand Greek and Spain

  164. Bob permalink
    June 21, 2011 3:09 pm

    Very good and important article, i wish more people from Ireland would stand up with the people of Greece, and stand up for themselves

  165. Brionna permalink
    June 21, 2011 3:42 pm

    Although well written, and obviously with passion, your post lost credibility with me with the statement related to GPs and nurses asking for money. Sadly, it’s standard practice (and has been for some time) to be asked for the fakelo (essentially cash under the table) before services are rendered in a hospital – state or otherwise.

    I agree that default is inevitable and part of me prefers that it happen now so we can bottom out and start recovering. Life is getting harder and harder, and higher taxes and smaller salaries are still to come. However, I also worry that without the loans gov’t salaries won’t be paid at all. Since 2/3 of my household income originates there, I am not excited about that happening either.

    I don’t have the answers, but Greeks are not blameless for the situation we are currently in. To me, the two biggest problems are that we can’t seem to change our ways here and that only the little man will end up footing the bill.

  166. BBFlint permalink
    June 21, 2011 4:11 pm

    This is one of the most impressive and affecting pieces I’ve read this week.

    Thank you!

  167. June 21, 2011 5:05 pm

    Excellent post.
    A small correction: Taleb tok his ‘black swan’ ideas from the LSE’s Sir Karl Popper. He is clever enough to give fleeting acknowledgement to Popper in his book, ,without of course fully acknowledging his intellectual debt (forgive the pun).

  168. June 21, 2011 5:14 pm

    Solidarity from California. These banking and corporate bastards have been laying their nets for a long time, and now they are starting to pull them in. I will be sharing this on FB. This is a comment I made yesterday about these bastards, and I was referring to my country, the United Corporations of America, but could really be talking about any country in the “global market”:

    We’re surrounded in important positions by traitors. I think they actually want the country to go into the toilet. These muther f ckers have been and believe that they can and will make money off of ANYTHING.
    ————————————-
    They have proven for a fact that they are heartless, cold blooded killers who care about nothing but themselves. How bad do things have to get before we throw these bastards out? Is that not worth standing and dying for?

  169. spark permalink
    June 21, 2011 5:50 pm

    Solidarity from the USA!

    –UNION IRONWORKER

  170. Maria permalink
    June 21, 2011 5:59 pm

    Thank you for your words as they resonate deeply.
    My country, Portugal, is in what it feels now, death row as it is waiting in line for the final stroke of misery.
    Proposals of reducing the already absurdly low minimum wage from 400€ to 350€ when the cost of living is on average higher than is Spain!!!! is just one small thing amongst the tsunami approaching

    IMF is asphyxiating us in order to provide the “markets” with cheap Portuguese companies that are highly profitable because they deal with huge markets such as Brasil

    My biggest pain is that we are seeing this happening motionless. No riots. No serious contestation. No nothing.

    To all the Greek brothers out there, our hearts go to you as we have nothing else left to give

  171. Indignado permalink
    June 21, 2011 6:44 pm

    Hello from Spain, first of all, excuse my poor english.
    I think this post is very inspiring, and of course your demands, and the ones of the rest of the world’s people fighting the excesses of economic plutocracy, will prevail in the end. Because the only thing we ask for is justice, and all I want is to let us live with dignity.

  172. June 21, 2011 7:05 pm

    Re-published at http://peromaneste.blogspot.com

    Under the pretense of our joining the EU, Romania sold out EVERYTHING, including its natural resources for which we pay some French/German conglomerate the highest prices on the market… BTW, the national Romanian telecom was bought by Greece’s OTE in 1997 for a song. Which leads me to think peoples deal with the will of an international(ized) elite, which leaves little hope for help from the outside.

    Why aren’t the Romanians on the streets? maybe also because ~5 million people, out of 23 million in 1990, have left the country.

  173. Haany Halim permalink
    June 21, 2011 7:06 pm

    I was trying to find material about what is happening now in Greece and why. Why is the media coverage so low? I came across this brilliant paper which not only explained the story but also explained a current trend happening in many countries today. The trend of governments working for corporate interest. Have you seen this video titled ‘How the poor get poorer – The Bitter Truth’? Video on YouTube.

    How can we help Greece?

    • Hellenic Citizen permalink
      June 22, 2011 2:06 pm

      http://www.real-democracy.gr

      The official page of the people protesting against their corrupt governments in Syntagma (Constitution) Square Athens Greece

  174. Tomppa permalink
    June 21, 2011 7:10 pm

    Well spending money that is not yours is bad, thank you for the lesson :) I already knew this but this doesn’t mean that it is fault of the bancs, bancs are big they do not know what is happening anywhere they just sell their product ( money ) just like mcdonalds sells hamburgers, it is not fault of mcdonalds that people gets fat. People should be grownups and less selfish and just learn from mistakes and move on. Learn to save and buy products made close to home and everybody will do better :)

    • Stratos Ap permalink
      June 22, 2011 8:42 am

      can you please answer me one question ,why does the money have to be a commodity in its own ? Have u asked yourself if that logic makes the rich richer and the poor poorer .How can we leave the banks (which are private Corporations) without any control ? The banks are accountable for their own mistakes not the people , The banks steal your money as well as ours .Did you ever stop to think that you can’t leave for your job in the morning without being dependent on most of the world? You get up in the morning and go to the bathroom and reach over for the sponge, and that’s handed to you by a Pacific islander. You reach for a bar of soap, and that’s given to you at the hands of a Frenchman. And then you go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American. And maybe you want tea: that’s poured into your cup by a Chinese. Or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality. And all this wealth that is produced by us THE PEOPLE is stollen before our eyes by the Private Multinational Banks and Corporations .

    • Stratos Ap permalink
      June 22, 2011 10:34 am

      @ tomppa The banks that lent vast sums to Greece were in essence offering “too good to be true” loans at rates of interest that did not reflect prudent risk management. Anyone who glanced at Greece’s history of defaults might have wondered if Greek rates should have been almost as low as those in Germany.

      Was the “collateral” any sounder than that offered in the many previous instances of default?

      We’re left with only two possible conclusions:

      1. The big banks which lent stupendous sums of money to Greece at low rates of interest were hapless incompetents when it came to risk assessment and management, or

      2. The loans were predatory from the start.

      #1 is patently absurd, and so we are left with #2: the banks designed and offered these loans with predatory intent. Now the banks are offering their political lackeys a menu of predation to choose from:

      1. Deliver the wealth of the Greek nation directly to the banks via transfer of national assets

      2. Deliver the wealth of the nation over time via “austerity” programs that in essence divert the surplus national income to the predatory banks

      3. Increase taxes on the “core” Euroland nations’ taxpayers to fund a “bailout” of Greece that is in essence a direct transfer of those taxpayers’ wealth to the big predatory banks; the “bailout” is just a pass-through to the banks.

      • Tomppa permalink
        June 23, 2011 5:20 am

        Hello! I am sorry but none has put a gun in anyones head to go to banc and take a offer for easy money ? People are very very selfish, I know this. I mean if i create an banc and put a sign, give me your lifes earning to me and I give you TODAY 300.000€, what do you do ? And seriously, how do people get more rich ? You don’t understand how do you ? If you buy something like computers with millions of other people, people making computers gets rich, right ? So if we wouldn’t buy comptuers, people making computers wouldn’t be rich ? You don’t want to understand that WE decide with our money WHO gets rich and why ? How hard it is to understand simple things like this and blame it all on bancs ? It sadness me how stupid and selfish we are when we have COMPLETE control to whom we give our money and whom we make more rich! I buy with my money local products, not from multinacionals but from small producers close to home ? You buy yours from kellogs and dannone etc. and make them rich so rich gets richer, what is this ? Are we humans so stupid and selfish that we do not want to see and understand and take absolutlely no responsibility of such things ? There are people who doesn’t pay taxes right ? Why don’t we put those people in prison ? And you know what, it is not money of the rich that saves us in that area but millions of selfish individuals … I am so tired of people complaining for OUR own stupidity of giving all the money in the wrong hands.

    • NOTA permalink
      June 23, 2011 8:53 pm

      When you apply for a loan (as a person for example) does it mean you will get it?

      Is it nor responsibility of the bank to examine your income and upon that accept or decline your application?
      Both governments and banks are responsible.

  175. June 21, 2011 7:15 pm

    Greeks aren’t lazy nor do they retire early, but they’re dumb and that’s why they got pizzoowwwnnnned by the smarter nations. You’re in debt and that’s a legal contract entitling the creditor to forcefully take what’s theirs. This holds for Greece as much as it holds for the ghetto inhabitant who borrowed from a loan shark. If you don’t pay, the smart nations’ armies will pizowwwwnnnn your puny country and take what they’re owed. Take your place as a second world nation, behind and subservient to the first world.

    • June 21, 2011 7:30 pm

      I rarely mock those with IQs in the mid-40 range, but I feel I need to share something. Reading your comment, I vividly visualised pizowwwwwnnnning you.

    • June 21, 2011 7:52 pm

      You must be using “ironic” language, aren’t you????????????
      I didn’t know nations were “dumb” or “smart”…

    • Lsdnotlbj permalink
      June 21, 2011 8:21 pm

      A little harsh perhaps, but that’s what it will boil down to.

  176. June 21, 2011 7:24 pm

    Tassos doesn’t just support the protesters of Syntagma; he thinks they
    will go further. “Don’t be surprised if Athens goes up in flames,” the 50-
    year old says. “And don’t be sad, either.”

    Quite

  177. William permalink
    June 21, 2011 7:29 pm

    I do have a question: is the government able to collect taxes? Is there an estimate of how much tax remains unpaid?

    • June 21, 2011 8:57 pm

      Yes they do collect the taxes. As far as I could find in the internet the unpaid taxes are around 60 billion euros, although most of them may be from well-known people who are not afraid of going to jail or losing their homes.
      To make it clearer: yes, they do collect taxes from the hard working people that hardly have enough money to live by. No, they do not collect taxes from the ones that already have so much money they could easily pay off our debt if they combined their fortunes. :P

  178. June 21, 2011 7:31 pm

    Efharisto.

    I wish the Greeks well, and consider that it may be that they turn very quickly from scapegoats in the eyes of some to the vanguard of change of something new in the West.

  179. John permalink
    June 21, 2011 7:37 pm

    Coruption in Greece is widespread, not just with Doctors. The annual ‘coruption index’ shows that Greece is the most corupt in Europe. There is a difference between working and time serving. Those people employed by the state are in the main time servers, anyone who has queued at a counter waiting to be served and watched the back office staff just siting and staring at the ceiling will vouch for that.. These people have jobs for life, they cannot be sacked or made redundant. The self employed and employees of private industry work hard , but they have the dead weight of the state on their back

  180. Atli Jarl permalink
    June 21, 2011 8:10 pm

    Solidarity from Iceland!

    Fantastic article and could just as well be describing our situation in 2008 when our private banking sector sent us down the drain. Hope that Greeks don’t “put up” nor “shut up”! To all my friends in Ἑλλάς, stay strong, but stay safe!

  181. kms permalink
    June 21, 2011 8:19 pm

    God bless the Greek people.

    “Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!”

  182. fauvi permalink
    June 21, 2011 8:20 pm

    You have no idea how badly information is spread in Germany!
    It’s so awful to hear such defamation!
    I wish I could help the Greeks and all of that but unfortunately people are deaf and stupid. I am so ashamed of my countrimen and our dirty politicians … And ‘France is even worse!
    Stupid massses, they will kill all of us who are fighting against the oligarchy!

  183. David permalink
    June 21, 2011 8:29 pm

    Excellent post and god speed to Greece from Texas. We need a worldwide protest against the many horsemen-pimp-pushers of the apocalypse: GS, JPM, Citi, HSBC, EUC, ECB, IMF, US Federal Reserve, World Bank, and others. Citizens of every country need to take back their nation from the stateless corporations – and none more than the US.

  184. Tom permalink
    June 21, 2011 8:30 pm

    This is a nice article, but 2 things bother me:
    1. No one “forced” Greece to borrow all this money (or to cook the books for that matter…). Sure, evil German/French banks made money out of these loans, but no one imposed them on you. Isn’t it fair to pay back what you borrow? Also keep in mind that average French/German citizens have part of their savings in Greece bonds, even if they don’t know it. Is it fair that they lose money because of the Greek uncontrolled spending spree?
    2. What happens without a bailout? Greece defaults, exits the Euro and reverts to the Drachma–which is clearly going to be worthless. People would run to the banks to get euros, so the government would need to impose restrictions. That leaves you with a debt-free country, but full of people unable to buy anything out of Greece’s borders (how many drachma will it take to buy a bmw?).

    I am not trying to put blame on anyone here, but honestly think there is no good option, and the author’s blame on “international finance” or the EU is a little too easy and perhaps dishonest.

    • Stratos Ap permalink
      June 22, 2011 8:53 am

      Im not trying to put the blame on your or the French or German people but what bothers you also bothers me , Has anyone “forced” the German or French people to lend money to greece and when it comes to fairness who is accountable for those decisions the people or the Private “Multinational” Banks!!!

      • Hellenic Citizen permalink
        June 22, 2011 1:51 pm

  185. June 21, 2011 9:23 pm

    Alright, so the Greek economy scored well across the board in whatever ranking Pravda OECD produced. So did Iceland not long ago. And the USSR, until it was realised that machine guns cannot be translated into Food or Quality of Life items. Enron were doing well too recently.
    On paper.
    And Lehman.
    Any Internet Inc. Company had assets worth loads in the form of papers with their logo on it in March 2000. In April the company was suddenly out of money. Big surprise.

    Keep fiddling with the numbers and you’ll be top of any ranking . THAT is the point the people upset with Greece is trying to make.

  186. June 21, 2011 9:39 pm

    Nice description – a good passage that helps raise awareness!
    We will include a part of the article on our blog and the link for our visitors to read the full text if they wish. We made a blog to help Greek outraged in Manchester communicate with each other and occassionaly take to streets and share information with the community here. Feel free to post anything on our YOUR VOICE page and enrich our content

  187. John permalink
    June 21, 2011 11:08 pm

    The global economic system works on the infinite dilution principle, which is a form of robbery.
    Banks create money from thin air, and lend it to people who must repay it with interest. This assures that the bankers will eventually own everything. Only periodic violent resets of the system have prevented this so far. The American Revolution was precisely that. Those tables have turned, but all tables turn again.
    The financial capital model has grown since the Baron Rothschild bought the debt of the English crown at fire-sale prices, in the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo.
    The world is now precisely filled with unpayable debt. There are no lands to conquer. There is no cheap resource left to exploit.
    Game Over for exponentially growing money supply owned by bankers.
    The central banks of the world have been stocking up on gold and silver for the past year. They have given up trying to discredit gold. They will next return to robbing through deflation, as they did all through the 19th century.
    Right now, the final battle of inflationary banking is being joined. Unless you are a banker, the Greeks are fighting for you.
    Do be decent, won’t you?

  188. June 21, 2011 11:57 pm

    What an irresponsible load of sensationalist codswallop. If you were as sympathetic to the plight of the Greek people as you claim, you could do better than to promote a course of action that will bring about a disorderly default. If you think this is rock bottom and the Greeks can’t take any more cuts, stick around and see what you think when the paltry salaries and pensions of which you complain disappear altogether.

    A friendly suggestion to the indignados and assorted proletarians expressing solidarity and calling for revolution: try to think one move ahead. And while you contemplate the options, for the sake of the sainted Greek people of which you are in so much awe, do not be swayed by wishful thinking.

  189. John permalink
    June 22, 2011 12:04 am

    I just searched this a variety of ways, and I can’t find a way to send a charitable contribution to the people Syntagma Square. I’d even like to buy Riot Dog some chew-bones. Anything to help.
    Does anybody have a serious suggestion for an American who wants to support real Democracy?

    • halla permalink
      June 22, 2011 8:58 am

      At the moment? Tell people, raise awareness, add your voice to the discussion and try not to let people you know swallow any lies about why we should be grateful to be bailed out.

      • John permalink
        June 22, 2011 2:18 pm

        Thanks Halla,

        I think this movement must be real “grass roots”, because all the usual “grass roots” organizations that spring up for political causes, like “the Tea Party” have well constructed financial contribution channels from day #1. By day #3 they are noticed to be serving some special financial interest, like the Koch Brothers.
        Greeks are, therefore in my prayers/meditation, and I put this story in my daily news email to friends.
        I liked bike touring your country (Ireland) with my family around Summer Solstice 2005.

    • Hellenic Citizen permalink
      June 22, 2011 1:44 pm

      http://www.real-democracy.gr

      also

      http://www.stopspeculators.gr

      Submit your Complaint, attaching any Document or other Proof of Fraud.

      Bank Docs, Receipts, Greek Bonds Buy/Sell Orders & Order Forms, Short Selling Proof Docs, Transactions & Settlements Information & Docs, CDS Contracts, Agreements, Banks, Companies, Investment & Hedge Funds details, Speculators, Accomplices & Partners details, Greek Partners, Intermediaries & Govt Officers details, Corruption Proofs, Articles, Blogs, etc.

    • Hellenic Citizen permalink
      June 22, 2011 1:46 pm

      This is the official website of the people demonstrating in Athens:
      http://www.real-democracy.gr

      also

      http://www.stopspeculators.gr

      Submit your Complaint, attaching any Document or other Proof of Fraud.

      Bank Docs, Receipts, Greek Bonds Buy/Sell Orders & Order Forms, Short Selling Proof Docs, Transactions & Settlements Information & Docs, CDS Contracts, Agreements, Banks, Companies, Investment & Hedge Funds details, Speculators, Accomplices & Partners details, Greek Partners, Intermediaries & Govt Officers details, Corruption Proofs, Articles, Blogs, etc.

    • Loukanikos permalink
      June 22, 2011 7:25 pm

      May be 1st it would be nice to spread that an “iranian rider” (delta bike-cop) tried to kill the riot dog with the baton turned upside down (greek police speciality used against demonstrators on may 11 in athens and june 17 in salonika also):
      http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/2011/06/17/623-delta-motorcycle-police-try-to-kill-riot-police-dog-loukanikos/
      May be it helps also to get rid of cops on bikes in demonstrations. I’ve read that in the early eighties police on bikes in France went out of fashion after too many demonstrators died…

  190. Liah permalink
    June 22, 2011 12:14 am

    Thank you for saying this so well.

  191. tjayolosn@hotmail.com permalink
    June 22, 2011 1:15 am

    I’m anonymous. Across an ocean in a new world. But I wanted to write to you and those in service of the words and ideas for which you write. You and your lot are heroic. We stand with you. We are no poorer. We have lost nothing — but to move numbers from one column to another. It is time to abolish this system of columns in favor of a system dedicated to the needs of humanity — not a system opposed to those needs.

  192. June 22, 2011 1:47 am

    this is a war of the rich against the rest of us – the global banking elite are laughing as they loot us … the “crisis” was a result of a phony wealth bubble being created by the major financial players (especially American banks) and all the big money men played along … then it popped and the taxpayers’ have been looted for a bailout of the fraudsters who committed a coordinated long con … then they manipulated all their little pawns into position to spout the “austerity” regime they were intent on imposing – so they could break apart social programs and their funding in the various democracies around the world … it is a slow-motion ongoing crime … thank goodness for the people of Greece (and Ireland) for standing up the most vigorously in opposition to this crime wave led by our politicians at the behest of the global banksters …. hopefully America and other nations affected will wake up from their dumbed-down slumber and get angry and get active also and in time we’ll see hundreds of bankers and politicians on their way to jail

  193. June 22, 2011 1:58 am

    Good article.

    Yep, count me as awake to the con that’s going on…

    btw here’s an excellent in -depth article by Dr Michael Hudson on the subject of the financial oligarchy’s aims in Greece: http://michael-hudson.com/2011/06/how-financial-oligarchy-replaces-democracy/

    And from Charles Hugh Smith a blog entitled “Greece please do the right thing and default now.”:

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/greece-please-default6-11.html

  194. Carlos permalink
    June 22, 2011 3:58 am

    From Venezuelan Francisco Anton above.”..please kick those International Mother Funders out of your country as soon as you can.”

    I totally back that very polite suggestion. Here in Ecuador that gang of sociopath banker lackeys sent a potato faced porker to perform the job of repo man, until finally WE had the guts to stop paying the odious debt picked up by treacherous leaders and the phony technocrats they employed to run the national bank.

    And why do I say “WE” and not the bully Correa? Because when Ecuadoreans voted for him, they were voting to kick the IMF out of our country together with the “vampire squids” of international banking, and try out something new. For such is the right of every human soul with an ounce of self-steem, and certainly of a sovereign nation – a sovereign people.

    I couldn´t help finishing with an unforgettable poem from the Anthology:

    “A great light was born in Athens when
    Aristogeiton and Harmodios
    Killed the tyrant Hipparchos.”
    -Simonides

    You don’t have to kill them: it is enough to kick them out or drag them to jail. Even if they are paid off with a Harvard professorship, like one of our own, past despicable tyrants, what matters is that in the minds of their countrymen and fine, sane people, they are filthy, stinking reptiles. A Quisling is a Quisling even if he helicopters away laughing all the way to the bank.

  195. June 22, 2011 5:17 am

    Thank you. I am really hoping to come to Greece so that I can see this for myself and write about it, to help the protesters get their message out.

  196. halla permalink
    June 22, 2011 8:53 am

    Solidarity with Greece. I live in Ireland, the new graduates and the young folk are leaving, there is little work. I lived in the UK and remember the bleats about how there was no money even before the market crash, I don’t know how they are to cut services and still be able to call them ‘services’. I saw the protestors in Madrid, gathering and organising and not being reported on here. Why are we living our lives in service to the banks? What would happen if *all* the countries in debt defaulted? Why do the money men get protection and the rest of us are expected to pay?

  197. Miss Angela Holiday permalink
    June 22, 2011 10:29 am

    The Greek people are an inspiration…. All nations are watching and we want to see you win in the hope that one day we can rise with you…. UK

  198. Hugh (sadly not St. Hugh of Lincoln who did stand up for his flock). permalink
    June 22, 2011 12:32 pm

    Why does the western media keep reporting the uprising in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Libya as the Arab Spring? Because they are terrified that the contagion will spread to the west. People of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, it is time to take the Egyptian option, its not an Arab Spring, Its the Human Spring.

    The UK? well we are too supine and cowed to say boo to a goose. We bow to courts that are private for profit companies and accept cameras spying on us on every street. We accept any teenager who gropes his girlfriend should be labelled as a pervert for the rest of his life. We accept the sexualisation of children and the infantalisation of teenagers by the media and the law. We accept our children being trapped within a school system until they are 18 years old just because of the funding attached to their presence.

    No, you Greeks, you throw off the yoke imposed via the Euro and the EU and when you are free have pity on the pathetic English who have forgotten what freedom tastes like and only eat dirt and silently obey their masters.

    • Erich Mühsam permalink
      June 22, 2011 6:56 pm

      It’s also stupid ‘cuz in Lybia there are not only “Arabs” living, i’m sure in Tunesia and Syria too!

  199. Mischa permalink
    June 22, 2011 12:34 pm

    Thank you for the clear and true words. One day “Greek courage” will become an expression.
    I hope Greece is the drop that’s causing the ripple to spread over Europe.

  200. June 22, 2011 1:14 pm

    Solidarity with Greece we are fighting the same evil empire I’m posting your article to current.com and you can visit my site where i also have it posted with Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism @ figrd.blogspot.com , great work keep it up and know we are with you here in Ohio,Wisconsin,and all over the world workers unite power to the people We stand together…your not alone

  201. June 22, 2011 2:11 pm

    Good stuff! I like this line best: “It is the battle against a system which ensures that those who fuck up, are never those that are punished – it is always the poorest, the most decent, the most hard-working that bear the brunt. The Greeks have said “Enough is enough”. What do you say?”

  202. June 22, 2011 2:48 pm

    Brilliantly written. I lived in Athens for four years myself, and it will always feel like home to me. It breaks my heart to watch corrupt bankers and politicians trying to destroy the country. I am proud of everyone standing strong in Syntagma square, our thoughts are with you! (I have also re-posted!!)

  203. Jumbo permalink
    June 22, 2011 3:28 pm

    Here are similiar statistics in german, easily to print out as miniature-brochure and hand it to some ueber-tourists. The aim of this publication is to denounce the anti-greek propaganda-lies:
    http://www.rosalux.de/publication/37617/verkauft-doch-eure-inseln-ihr-pleite-griechen.html
    In fact there is something going on like hate-crime propaganda esp. in germany that has a huge nazi-scene (140 rascist murders since 1991 and since the reunification not even one single day without hate-crimes!), it’s a miracle why not greek restaurants or companies get attacked – hopefully a sign for that the Goebbels of germany’s free media didn’t have that impact so far.
    It works similiar to antisemitism and the propaganda of turkish and german right wing press is simply the same but i doubt that the germans get it that the turks will occupy islands if anything “strange” happens in Athens. Or if they get it then it’s like 1915-22!

  204. Helen permalink
    June 22, 2011 3:30 pm

    This has been kept quiet, Ireland in default. The MSM are certainly on the side of governments, bank and big coporations.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8590428/Allied-Irish-Bank-has-defaulted-says-derivatives-body.html

    http://www.bankingtimes.co.uk/2011/06/22/allied-irish-banks-effectively-in-default/

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/david-mcwilliams/david-mcwilliams-ecb-is-happy-to-let-irish-banks-go-bust-by-stealth-2802299.html

    The IMF, EU, UN and all their inter-related off-shoots are taking over sovereign nations one by one. Dictating how we live, even to what we eat and drink., in the name of our health of course. All done on a drip, drip basis, a bit at a time so it doesn’t look too obvious what’s going on. But now they’re blatant in what they’re doing, Barroso & Van Rompey of the EU now don’t see any reason to hide the game plan. Van Rompay stated, publicly that nation states should be abolished.

    I am coming to believe the financial meltdowns of nation states has been deliberate so that the aim of the UN/IMF/EU can be achieved, all countries ruled by the elite under one umbrella.

    Frightening. But still the masses, well apart from Greece, do nothing, so conditioned have people become they believe that government & elites know best. I weep for my children and what the current generation has allowed to happen. The people of most countries are not going to help themselvs so God help us all.

    Those who state that no one forced people to borrow can only be those that aren’t suffering the conseqences of what the politicans, elites, banksters & corporations have done.

    I’d also add that people were not asked if they wanted to b good EU citizens, we were forced by poliitcans into the malicious entity known as the EU with lies & propaganda. Apart from Ireland, Denmark & France people were NOT allowed a vote on it, even when Ireland & France voted NO they were forced to vote again where the EU gangsters spread the money and more lies & propaganda about so the 2nd vote was yes. Such democracy in action from the EU and still there are people supporting it, mainly those that have a vested interest in doing so. In my opinon they are on a par with those the Greeks are demonstrating against.

    • astrid permalink
      June 23, 2011 2:36 pm

      Hello from the Netherlands,Great article,”douze points”
      We’re beginning to understand more and more,the elite are in charge and there’s not much we can do about it,we are no longer living in democracies,but more in a ‘policestate’.They don’t care at all about us,”the people”,hardworking taxpayers,all they care about is money,power,get complete control over us,NWO.It’s the same everywhere,worldwide!!I recommend David Icke’s website,and Henry Makow’s website as well,very informative,it helped me a lot ,I now get an idea of the big picture.
      We wish all the Greek people the best ,same for everybody else in the world.I’m happy that more and more people are waking up..keep up the good work!

  205. Midwestern Love permalink
    June 22, 2011 3:37 pm

    At least our Greek brothers and sisters have the wherewithal to stand up. Across the pond, Erdogan is wholesaling the country and throwing everyone in jail while The Economist retails it in the West as “human rights”. Helal olsun.

  206. June 22, 2011 3:54 pm

    This is good:

    ‘Greece may seem like Europe’s prime debt-dodger, but an economic historian has pointed out that Germany was, in fact, “the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century”.
    Albrecht Ritschl, a professor at the London School of Economics, has slammed Germans for their hostile attitude to the struggling Mediterranean country, warning that if Germany isn’t careful it could face claims from angry Greeks for unpaid World War II reparations.
    According to polls, the German public is 90 per cent against underwriting a second bailout of Greece, a nation they see as profligate with a particular bugbear being supposedly overgenerous state pensions.
    But in an interview with Der Spiegel, Ritschl points out that Germany itself failed to pay back its debts three times in the last century.
    First the post-World War I Weimar Republic borrowed money from the United States to help pay back its crippling reparations to the victorious allied nations. This money disappeared during the Wall Street Crash – at great cost to the US.
    Then after the Second World War, Germany, now divided into East and West, was let off paying reparations to countries – including Greece – it had invaded.
    Under a 1953 treaty, the issue of reparations should have been revisited following reunification in 1990. But Ritschl says: “With the exception of compensation paid out to forced labourers, Germany did not pay any reparations after 1990 – and neither did it pay off the loans and occupation costs it pressed out of the countries it had occupied during World War II. Not to the Greeks, either.”
    Ritschl makes it plain he believes that Germany’s economic success – it is vying with China to be the world’s premier exporter of manufactured goods – has only been possible “through waiving extensive debt payments and stopping reparations to its World War II victims”.
    In Greece, he says, “no one has forgotten that Germany owes its economic prosperity to the grace of other nations”.
    Ritschl warns that if Germany keeps up its antagonistic attitude, Greece – and other European nations – may well feel like raising the issue of reparations again.’

    Read more: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/80704,people,news,prof-albrecht-ritschl-reminds-germany-of-its-wwii-debts-to-greece#ixzz1Q1H7u03J

  207. Kevin permalink
    June 22, 2011 4:16 pm

    Your article is pathetic. You make me sick. Your socialist state has failed. End of story. You have officially run out of other people’s money. Quit making excuses and face responsibilty. Pay your debts!

    • Heinrich Himmler permalink
      June 22, 2011 4:36 pm

      My man Kevin.
      I’ve always paid my debts.
      And yet, because Portugal is collapsing, now I’m also paying for other people’s debts.
      If you are american or english, I suggest you to take a look at your national debt. You might change your opinion. Right now, we are all in the same boat. We are all greek.

      • Kevin permalink
        June 22, 2011 5:03 pm

        Wie geht’s? Trust me, we’re beating that drum as loud as we can here in the U S of A. The day of reckoning is here. We can no longer ignore the truth staring us in the face. There is no such thing as a “free” state hospital as this article suggest. Somebody has to pay. I take it your German, not really sure I want to be on the side of Herr Himmler, but okay….

    • Erich Mühsam permalink
      June 22, 2011 6:44 pm

      USA is illegal and has stolen everything from the 500 Nations, also the original wealth of Europe only accumulated out of stolen american gold and silver. PLUS: potatoes, tomatoes, corn, coffee, cacao, aso
      – all cultured plants stolen from Indians
      and now the american president of Greece steals from the people living in Greece

  208. tatiana permalink
    June 22, 2011 4:55 pm

    I’m Indonesian. I fully support the Greek people against their corrupt government and the EU who essentially only represent the big bourgeoisie and the big monopoly capitalists. I also think like Paul Johnson that the corporations are the one who own all the bourgeois political Parties and leaders in the world. the article is very good and very important to avoid people of different countries of EU slandering and fighting against each other . I have read some of the comments posted and agree with the majority of them. However, I would like to see if anyone is aware of the importance of thinking what to do next….Because no matter how big and how long the protests are, the government will not surrender and do willingly what the people demand and put an end to social injustices. One should ask him/herself what the alternative is. It is very clear and obvious that capitalism is a system based on exploitation and repression and injustices. It only makes the gap between the poor and the rich bigger and bigger. It has destroyed and continue to destroy our planet by reducing our rain-forests to almost nothing, plundering the natural resources in the the third world countries, including my country, Indonesia, etc. The deepening economic and financial crisis which began in US in 2007 with “house bubble “make more and more people aware that capitalism is not the system for the future of humanity. I can only think of one solution or alternative and that is socialism. You should get rid of the idea which has been and continue to be propagated by the imperialist media that the USSR was identical to socialism or even communism. that is not true! Many people think that socialism is as bad as capitalism, because of the example of the USSR. That is not true. Many people in third world countries are fighting for socialism, because we know we have no other choice. the people in all developed capitalist countries should fight together with the people of the third world countries because we have the same enemies (imperialism and neo-colonialism) and we should fight for the same future!

  209. June 22, 2011 5:09 pm

    This message should be translated in as many languages as possible as it features what awaits us all if we don’t stand and resist. Thank you for sharing with us : keep hoping ! “They look big only because we’re on our knees”

  210. John permalink
    June 22, 2011 5:38 pm

    Very well written – But I don’t understand what you are proposing to solve the problem. Greece is overwhelmed with debt that they can’t repay. You balk at additional austerity measures…you balk at privatization…you balk at a bail-out…you balk at corporate involvment. What are you recommending? I may have missed it. Please enlighten us.

    • June 22, 2011 6:19 pm

      Let me enlighten you, in case it was unclear. I advocate default. Bankruptcy. This will mean more pain and suffering for my people – not less. But at least with an end in sight. A clean slate. Poor but sovereign.

  211. anon permalink
    June 22, 2011 5:58 pm

    I enjoy watching ignorant fools writing “Greeks are lazy”, “Greeks are lairs”, “Greeks are cheaters”, “Greeks this”, “Greeks that” quite a bit! Well done ladies and gentlemen, you entertained me! Now I shall entertain YOU with a couple of lines a Greek poet (Constantine P. Cavafy) once wrote:

    “What in the world will we do without barbarians?
    Those people would have been a solution, of sorts.”
    (From his poem “Waiting for the Barbarians”)

    I’d like to see who are you going to blame for your misery when you run out of “barbarians”! Good luck whenever that time comes! ;)

  212. June 22, 2011 7:02 pm

    On my page we have been focusing on Greece and Japan for some time. The Greek people should never be blamed for administrative traps set up upon them by the banks. If you are in Vancouver, you should come to Greek Day in Kitsilano on Sunday, June 26!

  213. June 22, 2011 7:57 pm

    The Greek protesters need to leave the square and occupy the Parliament. The problems cannot be resolved by voting, so it is therefore necessary to evict the criminal politicians from their ‘place of work’ and demand a new beginning. I personally believe that the Greek protestors need to demand , not only to get rid of the EURO, but also to leave the EU (a NAZI organisation) completely. I am English and am very aware of the appalling effect that this anti-democratic, fasciistic organisation has had upon our way of life. The Greeks can only beat the banksters by demanding a completely fresh start and to elect representatives from none of the political parties, which should be dissolved.

  214. Panajot Anagnostopoulos permalink
    June 22, 2011 8:38 pm

    Good thing there is someone who is giving an idea to the World what it is like to live in Greece these days. without untrue and misleading Western prejudice. Keep up the good work! it is exactly as you say. Greeks are somehow responsible for falling in the debt trap and supporting crooked ‘socialist’ or ‘liberal’ goverments. But it isn’t the Greek people who profit from these austerity measures. We are suffering. Middle class is almost virtually extinct, Greece is becoming Europe’s Mexico. We will not allow this travesty to go on. Because everybody here in Greece knows that the debt issue is fictional and that this is a financial raid against Greece. Every other developed country has similar debt issues, but the bankers decided to play first with Greece, as it is less organized and more fragile.

    • Panajot Anagnostopoulos permalink
      June 22, 2011 8:39 pm

      NO MORE SOCIALISM IN GREECE!

  215. June 22, 2011 8:58 pm

    Like in too many human issues, seems we keep on going in circles about this one. Endlessly. But I cannot give up arguing the topic, when I feel there is something that doesn’t quite fit in the general explanation.

    We have all heard until we got fed up, that people (any people, Spanish, Greek, Irish, Portuguese, Argentinian), are to blame for behaving irresponsibly by taking debts and loans far beyond each one’s income possibilities. That we should have all thought well, before signing off with the bank. I will therefore accept, for the moment, this explanation.

    Responsibility means being aware of the consequences of any of your acts, and so, facing them when they come. To me – and please correct me if I’m wrong – we, ordinary people, are already paying in a quite expensive fashion, our daring, our lack of wisdom. Being it losing homes, jobs, delaying marriage, postponing having kids, losing perspective and illusion on the future.

    I’d say that would be enough punishment for having let ourselves go, under the only desire (ambition some might say) of owning our homes. We could then say that citizens are “in peace” with their own mistakes.

    True it is, that too many spent money they didn’t have in a much more frivolous way, but if you ask me, I still see naive people spending money which I don’t know if they have – and if they have, don’t know where they are getting it from, to let it go so easily. So, this last group, apparently, is having no remorse, neither undergoing any penance.

    But what about the rest of society?

    What about the high risk, financial banks are supposed to run? What is the impact of the “too big to fall” bail-out, in the outcome of the crisis? According to what we have been witnessing in the last three years, seems that people also get punished – again, DOUBLE SHOT – for the inability of major financial banks to face the failure of their businesses.

    Which is the answer given by those who put cheap loans at hand of people, just to tempt them, and increase the balance sheet number, as well as the clients accounts? What about organizations like SEC? Haven’t they any kind of accountability on financial markets?

    What about governments? Any of the OECD countries’ president had even dared to bring into the light the true mechanism of this fantastic “designed” crisis.

    If people have committed sin of irresponsibility, the establishment has committed sin of collusion between all of its agents.

    Finally, as it is being claimed not only from the leaders but from some people themselves, I’d agree we’d have to accept our full responsibility, if our societies were completely horizontal, plain and there were no organizations to survey its different aspects.

    But since we are still immersed like it or not, in a hierarchical structure, there also ought to be hierarchy in the level of responsibilities.

    On the question of who is facing their mistakes and who is not, I think the answer is not necessary to be written.

  216. June 22, 2011 9:23 pm

    Capitalism is in its final cannibalistic stage. The richest are taking what they can while they can, hoping they will be able to hide behind material things when the system collapses. It seems the Greeks have noticed. After this eloquent piece, if the rest of us are taken by surprise when the bailiffs descend on our own hallowed ‘democracies’, we have only ourselves to blame.

    Thanks for writing and sharing this great article.

  217. dublinmick permalink
    June 22, 2011 9:35 pm

    Very well written article. Greece is also fortunate in that nuclear power plants have not been allowed there as yet.

  218. Jamie permalink
    June 22, 2011 11:29 pm

    Putting aside the morality of the henious acts being perpetrated on the citiizens of Greece and to a lesser extent the UK this is looking very risky – short term bail outs are an unrealistic option as they are an open ended commitment.

    Due to the way that austerity (through sectorial balances) causes economies to contract having EU countries fund continued Greek government running costs is not an economically or politically viable option. The degree of moral hazard involved in the bail outs is also unpalatable.

    The austerity measures in Greece have predictably turned the economy into an utter basket case (as they always do) with the Greek deficit ballooning due to the lost tax revenues and cost of automatic stabilisers.

    Whilst Greece is in the Eurozone it is still a sovereign democratic nation and its people are clearly and rightly showing they will not stand for the costs of bailing out a worldwide financial crisis that they didn’t cause. The upshot of this is that no elected government is going to be given a mandate for the scale of austerity needed to balance the books.

    Going forward the crisis isn’t local in nature and a Greek default leaves the counterparties to the national debt exposed to sufficient losses that confidence in these institutions will be undermined. Unfortunately the institutions concerned are French, German, Swiss and UK banks. As we saw in 2008, due to the huge leverage levels of these banks, even small losses are able to bring about liquidity and then solvency crisis and eventually bank runs and equity collapses.

    This leaves aside the much larger problem that everybody and his dog has been gambling on Greek CDSs and as they are OTC nobody has any clue as to where the winners and losers are. If any institutions have taken particularly unbalanced bets and there are concentrations of losers in particular banks these banks may well go under.

    Worse still, as in 2008, interbank lending will dry up as nobody will know who is holding the losing tickets from the CDSs and there will be a re-run of the 2008 crisis.

    This time is different though as Governments haven’t got the money or mandate to step in and ride to the rescue.

    Get ready for a bumpy ride everyone. There is only one way out of this now and it will require a co-ordinated series of moves from fractional reserve banking to functional finance (as was the case before the 1970s across the World)

    :- http://pragcap.com/resources/understanding-modern-monetary-system

    • June 23, 2011 11:40 am

      Thanks, Jamie,
      At least I could read one comment, that leaves behind easy topics, and points at technical issues that sustain the vision of how this crisis has been designed globally and how it affects all parties involved.
      (Assumed) Sovereignity of nations, and therefore their democracies, will be the next concept to be put to examination. Thanks once more.

  219. Helen permalink
    June 22, 2011 11:33 pm

    The bail outs for the banks that are too big to fail.

    Saving the euro, too big to fail.

    Saving the EU project, politicans, bureaucrats, too many with a vested interest for them to let it fail.

    Us little people, not worth bothring about.

    As to socialism, all western countries with socialist/liberal governments are in the same boat, bankrupt.

    Does anyone know a socialist politican/bureaucrat who is poor. Socialism is taking from the poor to give to the rich. Socialism is spending other people’s money whilst making sure they & their families are shielded from any consequence of their actions, hence taxpayer bail outs, it’s not their money, it’s ours. The term champagne socialist is very apt.

    Capitalism, free markets, worked until the greed of big banks, corporations pushed out the small business, France runs our energy, royal mail, is being sold off, by order of the EU, although the government will not be honest about this. The UK, once an industrial nation, hardly produces anything itself, industrial production in Germany is thriving.

    The UK PLC, is almost out of assets to sell off, and socialist politicans did the selling., the PM evn sold our gold for peanuts. A supposedly conservative PM with a liberal coalition government is carrying on where the socialists left off.

    Just for good measure our PM has kindly donated billions more, on top of he billions alread given, of our money for foreign that goes to keep third world dictators in the luxury they’ve becme accustomed to. Not to forget the PM has to borrow the money, we don’t have, to donate this aid. Mind you he’s a very rich man (as are many in the government) who makes sure he’s rich father in law get millions in subsidies for his windmill farm, which we’re paying for. Nice work if you can get it.

    I detest politicans, elites & bueaucrats with a passion for what they’ve done to my country, and hate the EU with the same passion.

    Sorry for the rant, but I’m so angry. If only the people here had the courage of the Greeks.

    • African Sunset permalink
      June 23, 2011 9:37 am

      I’m sorry, a Socialist government may’ve made a bad decision in selling gold at the wrong price, but they didn’t do anything as destuctive as the did Tories in the 80’s who did the biggest con-trick of all by taking things we all owned (BT, British Gas, the water boards, BA, etc. to name a few) and sold it back to us. We are now paying over the odds for Water, Power and everything else.

      Now that the financiers cannot make their usual 30 pieces of silver out of traditional methods, they have turned on the food markets and people will die because of these vultures.

      At least being labelled a Socialist means you look to help others!

  220. Jamie permalink
    June 22, 2011 11:38 pm

    Dont let this happen – it is wrong in its own right and it is a microcosm of what is happenign across the world. Let this be a warning of things to come that is heeded and addressed correctly.

    Worldwide, there are $70 trillion worth of derivatives in play at the moment – be they on mortgages, sovereign debt, currencies etc. At this scale of gambling it will not take a lot to bring the whole system down again.

    Many hundreds of bilions of pounds of derivatives have been made on the default possibilities for European national debts including Greece.

    If any systemically important organisation (bank, country, insurer, etc) triggers a “default event” it is very easy to start a chain reaction. This is what caused the credit crunch in 2008 when interbank lending dried up due to fear of the chain reaction.

    For every person that takes one side of a derivative such as a CDO or CDS somebody else takes the other. Once a payment is triggered by organisation “A” defaulting, organisations with losing side CDO/CDSs taken out against “A” then have to pay their counterparties -the winning sides. If some organisations (“B” and “C” for example) have gambled too wildly and the cost of honouring the derivatives triggered by “A” is too high then B and C may go bankrupt too- triggering the next layer of events a D and E and so on.

    In practice it is much scarier than this as derivatives are not traded on open exchanges. They are over the counter and there is no public declaration anywhere of who has taken what derivative bets or who their counterparties are.

    This is appalling because it means whenever there is a realistic risk of a “default trigger” on any large systemic organisation (e.g. one that a large number of derivative bets have been taken out on) in the world the interbank lending market will dry up. All the banks and insurance companies with their $70 trillion gambles will refuse to lend to each other. Quiet frankly they all become terrified that the domino default effect will occur. The fear is that any money lent to anybody else might never get repaid. Size is no protection- the bigger you are, the more derivatives you might have bought and the more chance you might collapse.

    As banks operate by fractional reserve banking they only hold deposits that cover a tiny fraction (perhaps one fortieth if the shadow banking is included) of their total liabilities. Real world depositors know this – they know that if banks are scared enough of domino defaults that they won’t lend to each other that there is a real risk that only the first customers that withdraw their money from a bank are going to get anything out. After the first 2.5% of the total savings in the bank are withdrawn the bank is effectively insolvent.

    As the interbank market has dried up, the banks are unable to use their usual defence again this and cannot borrow from each other to cover any “temporary” shortfalls – liquidity needs.

    We are now entering the second stage of the world financial crisis and there are real risks that Greece is going to trigger the interbank market to dry up. No way, if that happens, will there be any taxpayer bail outs of the banks this time. Game over for the existing world financial system.

    Governments throughout the World will, as we speak, be looking up Modern Monetary theory and Full Reserve Banking. You and I, just in case, had better get some tinned food and bottled water in.

    If the feared second stage doesn’t come to pass it is ridiculous that we didn’t learn the lessons in 2008 and we miss the chance to learn them in 2011. We need proper and real reform of the banking system. The risk of another collapse are real and we have been negligent allowing our politicians, who are funded by the bankers, to prevaricate and avoid enacting the reforms that will make us safe.

    We need a transaction tax on financial activity.

    We must have derivatives banned from being traded outside regulated exchanges.

    Retail banks and Investment Casinos must be separated not just with Chinese firewalls but by separate ownership.

    Bank contingent capital must be very significantly increased (to over 20%).

    Bonuses must be taxed very heavily.

    Full reserve banking and Functional Finance reforms need to be considered to allow proper democratically accountable control of the money supply.

    • June 23, 2011 11:57 am

      Jamie, do you have any blog, or Facebook page or anything?
      Together with “STURDYBLOG”, I would follow yours inconditionally!

      • jamie permalink
        June 23, 2011 12:30 pm

        Sorry Livingout of Eden- i am just an angry person ranting in the blogs!, marching with ukuncut and demonstrating a bit

        I comment as Sweetness_and_light or payguy on the telegraph and guardian and the BBC (before they ruined the discussion boards there).

        My next haunt is going to b the Daily Mail and Guido Fawkes pages as they need to hear the alterntive view the most.

    • June 23, 2011 3:14 pm

      I’ll try to catch your posts, anyway. Thanks for answering.

    • gov51ststate permalink
      June 23, 2011 5:07 pm

      Jamie, Your comments are well directed for a downstream scope. Would you comment on my thoughts of 23rd June 2:48 PM?
      I am not totally against usury by mid-level banking based on material objects, as they are mid-stream.
      I see the head-waters as The issue, as this creates the Big Picture. That is: the central Bank, which creates The monetary Pool [US$, EU, etc.], thus renting this digit/token to the People without ever creating the usury rental-%-portion. This usury stage on said stream creates the Picture of “greatest of all evils [leads to greed/false-egos/cheating/lying/scams in order to chase-after/prevent a shortfall/debt-to-another/slavery].”
      I understand the Chinese Yuan is created interest-free as was the early USConstitutional Greenback originally set-forth until the British central Banks and 1913 FED came up with “a better Plan [for the Elite].”
      Is the Chinese interest-free token basing one reason China is winning today?
      But China is caught between 2 worlds; they dare not seek/ask-for change too much for fear of losing their real-estate “claim” on much of The World if a forgiveness-of-debts [ultimate default/bankruptcy of nations] is called forth via a Jubilee Year whereupon a new monetary System is brought forth based on assets/wealth/production/energy-calories/freedom-self-responsibility [rather than current debt-based system/too-big-to-fail/SLAVERY].

  221. Dimitris vasilopoulos permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:14 am

    Bravo.The truth of what is happening to Greece ,nicely explained.
    People of the world need to understand what is happening here now.
    And this is not what the media ,the politicians and the other money
    players and manipulaters are saying.

  222. gart permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:27 am

    A wake-up article for people EVERYWHERE !

    A total work force strike would bring the most effective change possible……and bring the banks and governments to their knees. Not just unions – every worker. People of Greece be PROUD .

  223. June 23, 2011 1:04 am

    Fight on, Έλληνες.

  224. Werner permalink
    June 23, 2011 1:33 am

    We understand that the money from Germany is going straight into jewish big banks. The scheme is understood by many. We are looking at Greeks to spearhead the freedom fights. If you lose you will become debtslaves to jewish banks, your country will be foreclosed on you. Fight against that scam and free yourself, a lot of people are behind you, don’t believe newspapers (most are jewish owned anyway)

    We hope that your fight for freedom and independence, for prosperity and human treatment with dignity.

    Greeks you go!

    W.

    • 21st schizoid permalink
      June 23, 2011 12:57 pm

      “jewish”? – pay ya reparations, nazi-scum!
      Since the turks showed the krauts how to wave their flags on soccer-events they simply don stop it, call end of history, Merkel murders 140 civilians, aso
      now we got the answer why the krauts don’t burn greek restaurants down: their anti-semitism is stronger than their (fresh taught or warmed up) anti-hellenism!

  225. Ibn-e-Ashafque permalink
    June 23, 2011 1:42 am

    Mu heart goes out for the Greeks. May you succeed for as once before you are the torch bearers leading the way to freedom from economic slavery and lifelong bondage of the rich.

  226. Sharon permalink
    June 23, 2011 3:20 am

    I am deeply moved. Thank you for so stunningly explaining something I was struggling to explain to friends and family having spent the last 2 years by incredible grace living in the amazing land of Greece. Now I will forward it to them! We are all in this together regardless of where we live – it is time for caring for and connecting in our humanity, collective creativity and action for the greater good of all. The time of fiscal greed is over, the time of living and acting from our hearts and true authentic selves is here…

  227. stella kordes permalink
    June 23, 2011 3:44 am

    Well put…

  228. June 23, 2011 3:45 am

    Well Put

  229. Bill permalink
    June 23, 2011 5:03 am

    please take some time to read the ORIGINAL so called “bail out” loan
    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2010/en/act/pub/0007/sched1.html
    it hasnt passed the parliament 180 votes it was sneaked in another law (3847/2010)
    and it states in section 14 paragraph 5 (of schedule 2 of full act)
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    (5) The Borrower hereby irrevocably and unconditionally waives all immunity to which it is or may become entitled, in respect of itself or its assets, from legal proceedings in relation to this Agreement, including, without limitation, immunity from suit, judgement or other order, from attachment, arrest or injunction prior to judgement, and from execution and enforcement against its assets to the extent not prohibited by mandatory law.
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    this means that besides all the loans politicians were taking saying the economy was strong
    this last one sells off the country. Now they (bankers etc) need all the private institutions along
    with the second bail out and to exchange their toxic bonds with other of longer period ones.
    then let Greece default (when only debt and work needs to be done) – Arbeit macht frei style

  230. B2B permalink
    June 23, 2011 5:49 am

    If I could hold a couple of billion leather gloves and bitch-slap the people who bury their heads in the ground, facing such dangerous circumstances! simple, well-funded and unquestionably true. Actually you don’t need to research all that much in order to demonstrate the obvious. there is way more money in circulation than there are resources that can be bought, and only through illusion can the trillionaires maintain their position. It’s all a mindfuck, and most of us are stupid little sad fucks who are too scared to realize that we are being regarded by the oligarchs and MEAT. And we’re on sale!

  231. tatiana permalink
    June 23, 2011 7:14 am

    Those who think that the so called socialist party who is governing in Greece or Spain means that he social and economic system they are living now is socialism are completely wrong and show that they don’t really know what socialism is. Like Panajot who says no more socialism in Greece! You have never had socialism nor you are living in socialism! all those parties which go every certain period to general elections are essentially the same: they are not serving the people, they are serving the bourgeoisie and the monopoly capitalists. Welfare states in Western Europe are collapsing, they are not sustainable. the people should have their own party guided by the most revolutionary theory which is Marxism-Leninism! the ever deepening economic and financial crisis being suffered by all developed capitalist countries show the validity of Marxism and Leninism. The left in all these countries should get rid of reformism and revisionism. Because capitalism can not be reformed and nobody can make it human. Capitalism is a system based on exploitation de l’homme par l’homme and it’s objective is to earn always bigger and bigger profit . They don’t care about the condition of our planet which has been deteriorated and they continue to destroy it in pursuing profit! The high standard of living still being enjoyed by the western countries (compared to the standard of living of the people in the third world countries) come the most part from the exploitation and slavery of the people of third world countries and the plunder of our natural resources ( during colonialism and now neo-colonialism) and also the exploitation of their own working people and migrant workers. I think the immediate task of the Greek people now is to default and then to organize themselves and carry out mass education on Marxism-Leninism and Maoism so people will learn and find the tools necessary to carry out revolution. Some people in third world countries, like Philippines and India are carrying out people’s war against Indian reactionary government who is serving the local bureaucrat bourgeoisie and multinational corporations who want to exploit the natural resources belong to the Philippine and Indian people. the revolt of the Greek, Spanish, and other European and Arab countries are confirming the validity of Marxism-Leninism and Maoism and has further strengthened the conviction of the people who are already carrying out people’s war in their respective countries. Imperialism can not be defeated by reform!

  232. Lepton permalink
    June 23, 2011 8:55 am

    There were many things I did not like about the post, but I was very happy to see some numbers. What struck me as completely odd was University of Pennsylvania’s productivity index, so I decided to take a look myself. After some clicking around, I found out that there is a May 2011 update to the August 2009 version you used. The updated data I got for variable rgdpl2th on 2005 were:
    France 49.84
    Germany 46.79
    Greece 28.92
    UK 45.80
    USA 51.39

    I don’t have a clue on why there is such disparity between the two versions, but this one is much closer to what we know about our country and this is what we’ve got to fix. Austerity has little effect, while it increases debt. What we need is organization, a public sector that encourages and helps private enterprise, not the complete opposite it now is.

    • June 23, 2011 9:12 am

      I am not surprised at the disparity. Greece is falling apart since the last “rescue” package. Growth is down, unemployment at record high, GDP at an all-time low.

      • Lepton permalink
        June 23, 2011 9:21 am

        Maybe I wasn’t clear: These are the updated figures for 2005, the year you used for your original post.

      • June 23, 2011 12:01 pm

        That’s interesting. The figures have been updated since I composed the article. I guess 50,000 clicks gets one some attention.

        Can I hope for a point to this assertion? Or is it just: “Greeks are lazy after all. Everyone go back to your office cubicles, please.”

      • Lepton permalink
        June 23, 2011 1:30 pm

        I’ve already stated my point, but I’ll elabroate: Greeks are, indeed, unproductive. Our standard of living is higher than it should be and this is a gap that will be closed, sooner or later. You advocate for sooner. I say, with what face we still have by being in Europe, we have time and the means to get as much of our economy in order as possible. Sort out the mess in the public sector (including health and social security), simplify our legal environment, stabilize our tax policy, encourage private enterprise. It will be much harder to achieve that once we’ve defaulted.

        I do recognize the damage the rampant international financial sector has done, and I do believe that the strong governments of the world should finally put some leashes on it. It was their irresponsible (or even predatory) lending that the gap grew so wide. We’d be poorer but not so deep in debt. But their blame does not wash away ours. We were partners in crime.

      • June 23, 2011 2:38 pm

        I disagree. But then again, I guess, that’s the point of this debate.

        My sense is that we are merely buying time for Northern and Central European financial institutions to spread the shock of a default, while things will get significantly and irreversibly worse for us, then Portugal, then Ireland, then Spain and last possibly Italy.

        This has been the worst two years, fiscally, according to the rhetoric of most European governments. Meanwhile, according to both The Economist and The Times, the number of both millionaires and billionaires, as well as their net worth (inflation adjusted) has increased by 17% and 25% respectively. You may think this is a coincidence, but I do not. I think it will get worse and worse unless we do something about it.

        Having people scared about the future, accepting of austerity, afraid for their job is an absolutely ideal situation for those at the top.

      • Lepton permalink
        June 24, 2011 5:34 am

        There are only two points I disagree with in your reply: that thing will get “significantly” and “irreversibly” worse for us.

        The former depends on whether we make the changes I mentioned soon enough. The latter depends on whether we make them at all.

        I’m for the financial help form the Troika, and I realize that it necessarily goes with austerity (or does it? More and more economists argue against it, and I’m happy about that). I’m for reform, I’m for consultancy form Europe and political unification.

  233. June 23, 2011 10:36 am

    In a loan, the “interest” charged is compensation for the risk the lender accepts – that the borrower may be unable to repay the loan, and the capital of the lender will be lost. Notwithstanding that most of the world’s pupported national debts are not national at all (rather regime debts to a handful of greedy despots), that politicians do NOT represent the people (but the immoral international bankers) and that the debts themselves are created out of thin air and do not consist of anything of substance – Greece has every right to declare bankruptcy and not pay these money changers a cent more.

    If the bankers insist on the payment of their “loans”, I would counsel the Greeks to advise them that a guaranteed payment disqualifies from the right to any compensation of interest.

  234. John permalink
    June 23, 2011 10:48 am

    Like Carlos from Ecuador said: checkout Odious Debt, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odious_debt
    Greece has been plundered by two political parties and three very very very wealthy families.
    Who does the country own money to, why and how.
    And ask for advise in Ecuador and Iceland, to mention two.

  235. in hammock permalink
    June 23, 2011 10:54 am

    Greek people are industrious, hardworking and most importantly – they know how to live life. Many of my best memories are from Santorini, Korfu, Paros etc. You can not find a more decent, family oriented people than greeks. So my opinion is biased – I don´t care :-)

    I truly hope that all that is happening now will lead to Greece to default first and then other countries follow that. Why ? Because the loans were based on a fraud and lies. The bankers have had their pound of flesh allready. Now they are positioning for the kill, one country at a time. We must fight, because our childrens future depends on it.

    This is not one country vs. another. This is about our right to survive in the long run.

    Keep going!

    Finn in a hammock

  236. manblogg permalink
    June 23, 2011 11:07 am

    My comment haven’t shown up since I submitted it yesterday. I assume you’re still thinking about it.

    • June 23, 2011 11:56 am

      Nope. Not thinking about it.

      Congratulations. Out of almost 400 comments yours was the only one that I found noxious enough to remove. And if you need to know why, it is because it dresses up your prejudice and fear as “reasonable”.

      • June 23, 2011 12:04 pm

        Sturdyblog, I’m your fan

      • manblogg permalink
        June 23, 2011 7:34 pm

        Thanks for clarifying it. Otherwise I would have been left with the idea that you did it because you felt that most of your blatantly misleading arguments might have been exposed. I suppose censorship is justified in that case.

      • June 23, 2011 7:40 pm

        Look at the comments above. Does it look like I’m afraid of counter-argument?

        At the same time, however, this is my space.

        You wouldn’t go up to a group of strangers in a pub discussing an issue and start talking to them in a disparaging and snide way. What makes you think you can do so here? If you wish to express your opinion in a disrespectful manner, do it elsewhere.

  237. June 23, 2011 11:11 am

    The entire PERSONAL DEBT system of the Western world is based on getting you by the balls at age 18 (through student loans) and continue holding you by the balls throughout your working life (through house mortgages, consumer loans, credit cards, etc). They want you a little cog in the machine that never complains and never raises their head through fear of losing whatever scraps they’re throwing at you ( a house you don’t actually own, a car you don’t usually own, a little holiday in the sun once a year, etc..)

    When you’re 65, ready to retire and enjoy a few deserved years of a care-free life they want you dead because you are becoming a burden on “their” economy.
    Is it a coincidence that the UK has the highest cancer detection rate and the highest cancer mortality rate due to the fact that you can never get a timely appointment to see a doctor? Oops, sorry your mother died mate, we wish we could schedule her for an (possibly life-saving) earlier appointment before her cancer took a good hold.

    Little Greece is a threat to this system. We have one of the highest percentages (if not the highest) in the EU of people OWNING their own homes outright, mainly through a well-preserved tradition of inheritance, where parents consider themselves failures if they don’t pass on as much as they can to their children.
    Yes, we are retiring earlier. Yes, we like a glass of wine sitting by the beach and talk bullshit for hours (difficult not to do that when you have that gorgeous SUN). No, we don’t work 24X7 so that our lying CEO that has told us to invest in shares of the company we work for can have a ten bedroom house in the Bahamas (the bastard fully knew that the company was doing badly and of course he managed to sell his shares early and take his golden parachute).
    Yes, there are lots of crooked Greek politicians that line their own pockets, embezzling EU and public funds (aren’t there everwhere?). Yes, we cheat on our taxes because we don’t trust that if we paid them the money would not go to the afforementioned crooked politicians pockets (do you know where your taxes are going?). Yes, we have elected these politicians and also need to take the blame. And yes, when we’re pissed off we will gather, complain, scream and even riot (and that scares them the most).

    Make no mistake, Greece is the first target in this unprecedented international assault because OF ITS WAY OF LIFE. It’s a bad example to the rest of the regular working people of Europe. “They” will not have that.

  238. english man permalink
    June 23, 2011 11:39 am

    Agreed. I support you.

  239. baron permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:13 pm

    Yo!! Booyakasha!!

    I is having water in my eyes after reading this.

    Big it up, Respek to the people of Greece!

  240. June 23, 2011 12:19 pm

    You hit the nail on the head in a very eloquent way.

  241. Alexandre Figueira permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:27 pm

    Very nice reading

    But let me point the finger at the first graphic. Portuguese citizens also work more hours than the German’s but, being Portuguese, I can assure you, we are not as near as productive as the common German citizen. Or the English, for the matter, as I live in England and, we, the Portuguese people, are not, even by far, as organized as the Germans or the Brits. Exceptions? Yes, there are a few, lost in a sea of mediocrity.

    We brought this crisis upon ourselves. Yes, the suits have taken advantage of our ignorance, but we only have ourselves to blame. Going back to the Portuguese, most of us vote on the coolest guy or the nicest face, most of us don’t even bother to listen at what they are saying. Yes, they are telling lies, but we are not even listening… no one forced us to take the credit. We should complain, bitch and rebel against their actions, but it needs to be done before the harm is done, not after. Like the Greeks are doing, they don’t want (or need) more credit. It’s ironic, Greece is the foundation of democracy, but it is nowhere to be found.

    My thoughts are with the Greeks, my fellow countrymen the Portuguese people, and with everyone else.
    But we either stand up, educating ourselves in the process, or there’s nothing to be done. The alternative is to roll over and play dead!

  242. Love_from_Finland permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:28 pm

    “I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly.”

    We ordinary people understand this all well. Love your writing although it makes me sad and frustrated.

    The junta of experts tells us: ‘Vote how you like, but policies cannot change’
    http://euobserver.com/7/32501

  243. the 300 permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:47 pm

    bravo zhto ELLAS !!!!!!!!!!!!! GREEKS always remember to epos to 1940, we may need to do it again. keep your heads and spirits high. greece will NEVER die

  244. spirosmichalak permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:48 pm

    Fantastic.

    Loved the Black Swan too,

    Thank you, Spiros.

  245. Brian permalink
    June 23, 2011 12:51 pm

    When you read a newspaper these days, have you noticed just how many times the IMF is mentioned. Who are these people and when did they get control?

    • June 23, 2011 3:09 pm

      Oddly enough they got control in 1944, when the post WWII Imperial system was being designed. The IMF is just one of the creations of the Bretton Woods agreements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system), which created the IMF and the predecessor of the World Bank.

      But until recently their activity was focused against former colonies, underdeveloped countries. Now, as these gain some power, the plunder is being redirected against the EU’s periphery. Of course it can only give so much oxygen to the hyper-decadent Capitalist Empire but meanwhile we will suffer a lot.

      So the sooner we stop them the better: this is a life and death matter.

  246. fixed gear hooligan permalink
    June 23, 2011 1:21 pm

    The People’s Assembly of Syntagma Square and the Unions call out for action on 28th and 29th:

    Greek trade unions call for historical first ever 48-hour General Strike in face of parliamentary vote on new IMF/EU/ECB agreement
    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    As it has just been announced, the two mainstream tradeunions in Greece (GSEE and ADEDY) have just called for an unprecedented 48-hour General Strike for the 28th and 29th of June, to coincide with the parliamentary vote on the new bailout agreement between the Greek government and the IMF/EU/ECB troika.

    The unions are calling for a Strike demonstration on 11 a.m. on Tuesday the 28th at the Mars Field (Pedion Toy Areos) and for a Strike protest gathering at 7 p.m. on Wednesday the 29th, at Klauthmonos square.

    This comes in addition to the call for action by the Open Assembly of Syntagma for the same days:
    “48 hours on the Streets” – Syntagma Open assembly calls for days of action in face of parliament vote of the new IMF/EU/ECB agreement
    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Greek original

    The entire country in the Syntagma square in order not to pass the Mid-Term Memorandum!

    For a month, now we have flooded the squares all around the country reclaiming our lives back. In late June, our struggle reaches a turning point. The government with zero social legitimation is attempting to pass the Mid-Term Memorandum. Their plans should not be passed. We cannot allow the looting of social wealth we will not tolerate the misery of the many to secure the profits of the few. The media manoeuvres, the fake reconfigurations and the blackmail of the government/IMF/EU, do not trick us. Now we know that the dilemma is not between bankruptcy and Memoranda, because Memoranda lead mathematically to the social bankruptcy.
    Unions have called for a 48-hour General Strike during the two-day debate and vote of the Mid-Term in the House of Parliament. During these two days nobody should work, consume or support in the slightest way the break of the strike. On the morning of the first day of the strike we gather in Syntagma Square together with the assemblies from all over the country and all the neighbourhoods of Athens.

    On the day of the enactment of the Mid-Term, we encircle the Parliament and we send the message that the people reject it!

    For a month now we manifested that there are no one-ways, that we have the power to chart a new course for society. Now is the time to take the next big step. Now is our own time, now we talk!

    Or us, or them – Direct Democracy Now!

    The People’s Assembly of Syntagma Square 22 June 2011

    updates on strikes and manifestations, live-ticker:
    http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/
    in other languages:
    http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/

  247. Chris permalink
    June 23, 2011 1:33 pm

    As a Polish citizen I would like to express my greatest sympathy and support for the Greek protests against financial bailout and austerity policies. People in my country have not awakended yet to the economic and political condition they live in but watching events in Greece and Spain should encourage social movement in Poland too. Our government incurs more new debt to cover the old one and invests funds on unproductive purposes while trying to convince the public that 2012 Euro Cup in Poland is neccessary to build roads. The Polish government hopes that by adhering to the EU, German and Russian conditions they will buy foreign acceptance even at the cost of growing political nihilism of our society. The example of Greece shows that there is a way to disapprove failed policy and reject failed political class. It proves that the ruling parties across Europe protected by their public relations engines are essentially weak and vulnerable to pressure. These governments are as virtual and detached from reality as the money they use to force the people into submission. It is crucial then for the Greek protest to continue and spread as an European example despite hard struggle ahead. Keep going, Greek friends! Best Wishes for You!

  248. June 23, 2011 1:57 pm

    Usury is against The Law, thus every loan contract containing interest is de facto un-Lawful and therefore null and void.

    Deuteronomy 23:19 Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:

    Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not ADD unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the Commandments of the “I AM” your God which I COMMAND you.
    12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

    Therefore all human legislation is prohibited by The Law and fraudulent and unenforceable.

    Return to The Law and set yoursellves free.

    http://JforJustice.co.uk/challenge

  249. June 23, 2011 2:05 pm

    P.S. Democracy is a lie and a contrick – http://jahtruth.net/democra.htm

  250. Phantom147 permalink
    June 23, 2011 2:21 pm

    As this article so rightly discusses, this perpetual cycle of financial debt only serves to increase the power of the rich over the poor. I think solidarity between people needs to be increased across the world to stop this insane global tyranny.
    The fact that the quality of people’s lives is being governed by intangible, conjured money is shocking. We are all better than this. So good for the Greek people that they are standing up to this global monster en masse.

  251. gov51ststate permalink
    June 23, 2011 2:48 pm

    Your artical has summed up the World’s predicament so well.
    I have traveled some of the World. People are people, and I enjoy them all. It is the central Bankers and military Industrialists that set us up against each other.
    Now we have the Internet, we should be able to use digits or some form of token for trade or barter, and stop renting $$s from the Federal Reserve, IMF, or a “Temple Money Changer” Goldman Sachs central Bank via their interest payments. Their interest $s are never created, therefore we the people must pay their interest from the existing money pool, thereby making us $-short, where upon we must borrow additional $$s at yet more interest in order to pay the central Bank back.
    Over the years, the interest payments begin to be our greater % of $s we need to spend from our “pie.”
    We have only ourselves to blame for putting up with this debt-creating central Banking rent-scam. Please, do the mathematics!
    It is time we introduce a token that does not cost interest, and base its value on gold, oil, or something productive/of-value/asset-based—better yet, our individual work ethic—energy calories, rather than debt-creating $s from a central Bankster.
    A debt to another = ownership by Them of you! We should have learned that by now—thank you Mafia!

  252. June 23, 2011 3:38 pm

    Brilliant post. We here in Ireland should take note – we will be next – but people are still asleep. Don’t give up in Greece – the tide is turning !!!

  253. Simon permalink
    June 23, 2011 3:41 pm

    Breaking News..Colonel Papandreou orders the arrest of Loukanikos(Riot dog) as he is destabilizing his regimes ability to sell out the people of Greece. Colonel Papandreou will not hold early elections as recent polls suggest that Loukanikos would win a landslide victory.When Loukanikos was pressed in what he would do to save the Greek people.”Since they put the bite on you it’s my duty to put the bite on them.””It’s based on trusted economic principle of ..Dog eat Dog”

  254. theo permalink
    June 23, 2011 3:55 pm

    ‘Goldman played leading role in hiding Greek debt in order to massively profit off of their heavy borrowing in prep for the Olympics’ – and then US/media scare tactics made sure nobody went to the Olympics b/c of bs security hype. all too tragic. great post, much thanks. passing it along.

  255. aliki permalink
    June 23, 2011 4:09 pm

    time for the Greeks to wake up and affect the world once more!!

  256. June 23, 2011 4:20 pm

    Guys, please, there is another way, another answer:

    http://www.zeitgeistaddendum.com/

    Watch this.

  257. TKJS permalink
    June 23, 2011 4:39 pm

    I ended up here because a finnish blog that is “finance system skeptical” linked this (samassaveneessä.info = “in the same boat” roughly) and I must admit that Ive been intrested in financial things barely this year but have become intensively intrested in these things. I dont think current financial situation can last for many years anymore as there is more air than actual money or GPD globally and it is to me depressing how these desperate times see plutocracy steal every bit it still can through IMF and NATO before the downfall really begins. Im with you greeks in spirit and unfortunately hold no high expectations that when shit hits the fan in northern parts there are even remotely that strong rebellious feeling. I guess how things go down here depends pretty much on how Ireland takes IMF-shit in the end…after all they have not being a “peaceful nation” that long so I dont know if it would be any indicator anyway…

  258. Leikster permalink
    June 23, 2011 4:44 pm

    Thank you – superb. Just one comment, work in web design and white on black is a no-no, very hard on the eyes and to make it through the post. Dark text on light background please!

  259. June 23, 2011 5:34 pm

    The system must be collapsed and there is a very easy way to do it.

    Fractional reserve banking relies on the premise that people leave their money in the bank…..

  260. June 23, 2011 6:22 pm

    The whole world is being held to ransom by the Banking Cartels and people are starting to wake up to the fact that we are slaves to this unjust system that favours the few and destroys the many. My heart goes out to the Greek people and their fight against this unjust system.

  261. June 23, 2011 6:41 pm

    All my support to my Greek brothers
    I need you all to give me links for a more practical support! I am ready to fly to Greece but I need contacts. Sound naif? I don’t care! I want to help! Send me suggestions and all the possible links you may think of!
    Thanks!

  262. Kevin permalink
    June 23, 2011 7:13 pm

    Well Mr. SturdyBlog, I see one of your fellow citizens actually has a shred of intellectual honesty left inside themselves. “Lepton” exposes “what we all know”, Greeks are “unproductive”. Anyone who has ever been to a Greek restaraunt, on any corner of the globe, knows how slow you folks operate. I live in a small town in the U.S.A. We had some Greeks open a place on Main Street. It was out of business in one year. I went one time. I was the only customer. It took over an hour to get my food! I don’t know what it is about your culture that hates hard work, but the real production statistic posted by Lepton, as opposed to the lie you post in your blog, is what we all know to be true.

    • June 23, 2011 7:44 pm

      Faced with such a titanic counter-argument based on your experience of your local Greek Restaurant, I concede the point entirely. You are right. It is all our fault. Your country will be safe from any such sanctions because you are productive. The poor will all be elevated to the middle-class because they are diligent. We are punished for being lazy, as we should be.

      Enjoy your moussaka.

      • Kevin permalink
        June 24, 2011 2:57 pm

        LOL, my anecdote was simply a supplement to support the statistic Lepton sited in his response. I’ve also read a lot about how Greek people are always late. Unacceptable behavior for someone with responsibilities. I see you have failed to correct the error in your blog, thus your still spreading false information in support of your thesis. Furthermore, in the face of correct facts, you continue to place blame on anyone but your society. In short, you’re in complete denial. You show all the symptoms. Your blog is full of excuses, boogymen, straw men, and scapegoats. As I said before, you are pathetic….As Tony Sopranno once said, “A man honors his debts”. As much as I’d like to help Lepton’s cause, I’m afraid I can only be honest. Dancing around the truth gets us no where. Sorry Lepton, but your not the only one who knows Greeks are not productive. It’s in your statistics; it’s in our experiences. I’m sorry you feel “everyone is out to get” you, but it’s true. How dare “everyone” expect Greece to follow through with its obligations? How dare “everyone” expect international agreements and contracts be fulfilled? How dare we expect people to do what they say? Greece is an amazing country that I would love to visit someday. However, I’m confident that a default will turn the world’s attitude towards Greeks sour. This will hurt your number one industry (tourism) the most. Do you realize that by refusing to pay your debts, you will hurt the ones you want to help (poor and middle class) the most. I think not…..The rich among you will still be sailing around the Mediterranean while the middle class will be without jobs, without healthcare, and without dignity. It’s your choice….

      • June 24, 2011 6:57 pm

        An already compelling argument on the rights and wrongs of default (based on your experience of a Greek restaurant), has been made even more irresistible by your quoting a fictional Mafia Boss. Congrats!

      • Kevin permalink
        June 24, 2011 3:40 pm

        And as far as America is concerned, we’re learning from your mistakes and taking steps, albeit slower than I prefer, to correct it. Your right, nothing makes us special in the world of international finance, aside from having the reserve currency. If we continue down our current path without making reforms, we’ll find ourselves in the same boat. That’s why you see our state governments like those in Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Jersey taking rights away from state workers and returning them to the people. No society can afford to be held hostage by its public employees. On a national level, proposals are being made to cut back on Social Security and Medicare. You are not alone. Pain is being felt accross the Western World. We’ve made promises we cannot keep. It’s time to be honest with ourselves and face facts. The facts are that governments don’t make money, they take money. When they run out of other people’s money, they can’t pay. That’s where your at and where America and others will be if we don’t rein in welfare spending programs and create an envirornment that is friendly for businesses to create wealth, jobs, and taxable revenue.

    • Lepton permalink
      June 24, 2011 5:17 am

      Kevin, statistics are (supposed to be) a study on the whole economy. Also, it was wrong of me to use plural, because “what I know” refers to my experiences from living here all my life. A single case in a country on the other side of the planet provides little support to my position, while strengthening the impression that “everyone is out to get us”. I am not venting my frustration. I am trying to point my fellow countrymen to what I think is the right thing to do, because I love this country and I still prefer to live here than anywhere else. Posts like that are not really helpful.

      • Kevin permalink
        June 24, 2011 3:41 pm

        In case you didn’t notice, I replied to you and sturdyblog above.

    • fixed gear hooligan permalink
      June 24, 2011 2:28 pm

      Would be nice if these “productivity”-Henry Fords pay any “machine-tax” for gasing the whole planet and destroying millions of jobs with robots and computers!

      • Kevin permalink
        June 24, 2011 3:26 pm

        This is an argument only the economically challenged would make. The story goes that Milton Friedman was once taken to see a massive government project somewhere in Asia. Thousands of workers using shovels were building a canal. Friedman was puzzled. Why weren’t there any excavators or any mechanized earth-moving equipment? A government official explained that using shovels created more jobs. Friedman’s response: “Then why not use spoons instead of shovels?” One man and circular saw can do 100 times the work of one man and a handsaw. Your telling me that instead of taking advantage of this technological advancement in productivity we should hire 99 more carpenters……Instead of buying a $100 saw and hiring one man at $100/day ($200 investment), I should buy 100 $1 saws and hire 100 men at $100/day ($10,100 investment). How much do you think the price of a new house will increase???? My guess is ($10,100-$200)/$200 = 4,950% !!!!! Making a $100,000 house cost $5,050,000….Use your brain please….

  263. nikoleta permalink
    June 23, 2011 7:26 pm

    hello,
    I am a greek aged 25. You will have to excuse any mistakes made in the use of the english language. The situation in Greece is much worce than anyone on the outside might know because it is not on the best interest of the media to describe it accurately. Apart from the people who are hungry, afraid for their childrens future and terrified to get sick ever with the flu there are those people who have enough money, can sleep at night sure that their kids are fine and can go to the hospital anytime they wish. So what? Life is not ok when I have to watch younger kids than myself eat the garbage I just took out. Or the dirt, or nothing at all wich is the hardest i think. Life is not ok when I am afraid to go aout in the dark in case someone in my path is in desperate need of the 20 euros I have in my bag. LIfe is not good when everything costs more than it used to and yet we get less money. It is our fault, yes. We should have seen it coming when the dominant countries in this “europian democrasy” where so helpfull and reasuring. We should have spend less and still enjoy the same things. Shouting in the streets is our way of saying ” YES WE MADE MISTACES BUT WE HAVE PAID” . Not all of them, not equally and certainly not all of us have. We need new people to speak for us but all who offer to do so are of the same making as the ones we have representing us now. Some help!
    I do not excuse Greeks or ask for a miracle. I have no idea what is to be done. None of us has. Some may have dreams of an ideal Greece tommorow. the idealists are not the ones in the squares. I have never been to a square because I do not know what to propose. If only raising your hand in disagreement is enough then we are saved. If not what is enough? Shall 20% of us die for you my dears of the strong countries so that our “dept” is paid? So be it. There are no other ways right now. If anyone can think of anything through for more than 15 minutes and still find it possible say it out loud in the internet. That’s were it will be heard, since our tv, radios and newspapers show us a life that was there 6 years ago. Sorry for the length of this and thank you if you read it through. Have an ok life and be happy for it.

    • Konstantina Kouneva permalink
      June 24, 2011 4:32 pm

      Observing the greek revolt since december 2008 i can tell you that one of the most inspiring moments seem to be the open assemblies. It always reminded me of that ukrainian movement called “Machnowina” with their assemblies called “Ryon” (congress) or so…
      People communicate and something like real dialectics are happening in these assemblies. Like visions things come to their minds people never thought of before.
      The revolting people of Greece in 2008/2009 knew about the importance to speak collectively and this was the reason for the occupations of town-halls, schools and universities: Make a break between the manifestations and streetfights and discuss the shit out!
      Also important is that in Greece not that many people have internet-access.
      So if you don’t like to go to the squares may be you like to go to some neighborhood assembly?

    • Joseph Nikolaou permalink
      July 1, 2011 3:52 am

      Nikoleta..that’s my nieces name. My heart bleeds for you and all the children of Greece. Remember over 250,000 people died of starvation during the German occupation of Greece during WW11. If what you are saying is happening this amounts to Genocide! The fact that it is being implemented under the tacit approval, of not only Germany but the rest of the allies who Greece supported and whose resistance Winston Churchill acknowledged was instrumental in the allies defeat of Hitler, it is even more shocking and vile, and criminal. Either way, as an American of Greek descent, I am completely overwhelmed with anger at the Hypocrisy of a nation and a European community which is totally morally bankrupt and the moral equivalent of the nazi regime, that it supposedly it to secure Democracy and freedom for whom? When you realize that an estimated 500,000 men women and children were murdered in IRAQ by American occupied forces, and that the UN confirmed these totals and this Genocide, was justified by Madame Albright our former Secretary General, you now can understand what is going on. The only question is who is next? Genocide is now the legal precedent. I feel like I am living in nazi Germany, and have no recourse, I am under no illusions though, I know who I am, I know my grandfather was a general in the Greek army and was assassinated, during the German occupation of Greece, and the concurrent civil war, by partisan Greek fascists..and that they held my grandmother back and made her watch them put a bullet in my grandfathers head, while my grandmother screamed dolophonos, asasassin..she was not afraid and she spit in their face! As I would! Spit in their faces, resist, resist, resist, you know who you are so fight for what is yours, like your forefathers….in the end armed resistance is the only option to oppression..even the great Jean Paul Sartre admitted in 1968 in Paris during the student uprising…that in the end the only response of overthrowing modern society is by violence because this modern western society defends itself through oppression and violence! This is what Sartre said of colonial oppression and it bears true today, now that they are turning their colonial oppression on the Developed world! Greece is not Uganda! It’s not Sudan..it is the birthplace of western civilization..and it is criminal what is being done to Greece, by these anglo-saxon Barbarians…. God Bless Nikoleta.

  264. Nida permalink
    June 23, 2011 7:55 pm

    A wonderful and insightful piece. I’ve rarely heard this argument put so succinctly.

  265. Martin permalink
    June 23, 2011 8:01 pm

    Solidarity from the UK. People are waking up here, but it’s going to take time. There is a fightback going on here that involves Spanish, Greek and Briton. Don’t give in, don’t leave Syntagma.

    …and a wonderful article!

  266. June 23, 2011 8:19 pm

    THANK YOU to Sturdyblog for giving my/our Greek blog this much exposure. There have been many visits by Greek readers from all over the world via your blog.

    This is the beginning of the article that was posted this evening:

    Πώς καταστρέφεται ο ιστός του χρέους

    Να μια καλή ερώτηση. Γιατί δεν έχουμε ακούσει τίποτα στα ΜΜΕ ή στη Βουλή σχετικά με το Ιωβηλαίο Χρέους Ενός Λαού ή Κράτους; Είναι γιατί αυτό αποτελεί μια καλή αλλά ανεφάρμοστη φαντασίωση που επινόησε κάποιος λοξός blogger σαν και του λόγου μου;
    Αυτό αναρωτιέμαι. Και μετά, προς απάντηση του άρθρου μου για το Ιωβηλαίο ένας τακτικός σχολιαστής σ’ αυτό το blog, ονόματι Hawkeye, μου πρότεινε να ρίξω μια ματιά στο «Η Μεγάλη Ευρωπαϊκή Διαγραφή Χρέους» (The Great EU Debt Write Off).

    Η ιστοσελίδα περιλαμβάνει λεπτομέρειες για μια μελέτη «απόδειξης της έννοιας» πάνω στην ιδέα του Ιωβηλαίου που έκανε ο Καθηγητής Anthony Evans και οι συνάδελφοί του στο ESCP Europe Business School. Στη μελέτη χρησιμοποιήθηκαν ενημερωμένα στοιχεία από το ΔΝΤ και την Τράπεζα Διεθνών Διακανονισμών (ΤΔΔ) για να δούμε τι θα γινόταν αν η Πορτογαλία, η Ιταλία, η Ιρλανδία, η Ελλάδα, η Βρετανία, η Ισπανία, η Γαλλία και η Γερμανία απλώς αλληλο-ακύρωναν το μεταξύ τους χρέη –ένα Ιωβηλαίο Διακρατικών Χρεών δηλαδή.

    Ο ιστός των αμοιβαίων καταστροφών των χρεών που μελέτησαν μοιάζει περίπου με αυτό. Η εικόνα είναι παρμένη από άρθρο στη New York Times με τίτλο Ο Ευρωπαϊκός Ιστός Χρέους. (Το αρχικό άρθρο περιέχει μια μεγαλύτερη έκδοση)….

    http://whistleblower-gr.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_23.html

  267. June 23, 2011 8:54 pm

    Que grande!
    Great article! We’be been taking the squares in spain for over a month now for exactly the reasons you so graciously state. This is a world war, it just isn’t a violent one. The same enemy, greed and selfishness, that men have fought for millenia but on a new court, the media court. The technological advancements of our era have brougth the fight to a new level, its not weapons, oil or atomic bombs, its communication…and empaty runs though the system like blood on a vein.
    We march on steps walked before, but it is a new path, now our weapons are our empty hands, we dont have to enlist to learn how to fight, because fighting doesnt mean anymore firing a weapon, killing another human being. Now fighting is just saying NO. No I wil NOT comply! NO I will not stand aside while the world is ripped to pieces by the greedy and the powerful. NO I will not be just a passive consumer while the earth dries up. I want a different world, this is NOT the way.
    TAKE TO THE STREETS! JOIN THE FIGHT!! SAY NOOO!
    takethesquare.net

  268. Merle Borja permalink
    June 23, 2011 9:22 pm

    May the Greek people win this war waged against them by the forces of rogue capitalism.
    Courage!

  269. Antonio permalink
    June 23, 2011 9:44 pm

    Hang in there guys.

    You are the front line in this economic war against Europe. If they get away with you, these financial vultures will repeat it all over with the other EU countries, 1 by 1, until there is nothing more to pick on. Sadly, our politicians Europe wide are governed by banks and not by voters or tax payers.

    Today Moody’s said they “might” downgrade 16 Italian banks. We all know what that means. These guys are already thinking ahead and looking at which pockets are easiest to pick next.

    I live in Span myself, came here from Northern Europe a few years ago, to find sky high housing prices, only payable thanks to the also ridiculously high mortgages granted by banks to all, included those who could not afford it. “House prices will never go down” they said. Lucky I didn’t buy, but I am one of those over 20% (officially) unemployed persons here.

    I’m sure that there are other solutions, don’t give in. I.e. convert all individual EU country bonds to an European bond issued by the European Central Bank and guaranteed by all EU-countries. Sure, some countries (Germany, France) will have to pay a higher rate, but I´m sure us poorer countries can compensate them as we’d pay a lower rate than now. This way they wouldn’t be able to pick at individual countries anymore. It’s just a thought.

    If Greece accepts the “help” from the EU, this will not avoid similar situations in other countries (which is what we’re told), on the contrary it will encourage the vultures to pick on other countries in the same way, and that´s exactly what they will do.

    Hang in there, don’t sell your country to pay these guys.

  270. June 23, 2011 11:08 pm

    People are waking up around the world, even here in the UK and this is why things will get frantic for a whilst, the ptb know what is coming.

    I am inspired by the Greeks passion and resilience, I worked for 3 years on the island of Rhodes and can say with hand on my heart that it was the most beautiful place I have lived and worked and was popuated by equally beautiful people, the island was rich in history, wisdom and natural beauty.

    Truth, through justice and liberty will prevail, it always has and it always will.

    My thoughts and love go out to all of you x x x

  271. Secondhomeless permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:04 am

    A very well put together explanation of “the crisis”. A crisis created by the transnational elites and bankers fully supported by the EUrocracy.It’s time the EUtopian project died a death and is swept away leaving sovereign nations to run their own affairs with their own Parliaments answerable to THEIR OWN PEOPLE. The only reason this Greek Tradgedy ( and Irish and Portuguese AND etc etc ) is because the EU political class NEED it to justify the political,economic and finacial integration of EUROPE). A EUROPEAN superstate nobody wants

    other than as a tradibg area. or has voted on. We are with you Greece. default and devalue and bring the ECB and the IMF stormtroopers to their knees. Only then will you be free to have arepresentative democracy for the Greek people. Good luck

  272. GreekAustralian permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:39 am

    I unequivocally offer my solidarity to My Country. My Patrida. A country that despite all odds, has still preserved it’s culture and patriotism. I am moved by this article and have disseminated it amongst my vast network in the hope that it will capture a greater powers attention.

  273. nicholas nifakos permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:48 am

    For those who have read this far, i would firstly say to you with much respect, well done.
    I agree, with the main body of this blog, that external forces such and the IMF and Euro parties and only extending a fuse to a bomb (so to speak). I have a global financial background and on a regular basis (although I am an Australian Greek) keep abreast of Greeks news for 2 decades now. The proposal of Greeks selling assets or the idea of Greece having assets to sell to reduce their debt is very blurred option to me. In national interest, main freeways, ports & airports are already owned by ‘outsiders’. This was never good. How can a country stand up on its 2 feet when its key strategic assets are run by foreigners. Selling islands? what an absurd idea. Would you sell your living room and keep the rest of your house? Of course not. Its not like your renting a room out – they are requesting you sell part of your assets to private hands. And how do you know what will become of those islands. They can be sold & resold. The shrinking of a geographical border (especially around the islands) will be the straw that breaks the camels back. Avoid it as much as possible. It invites more harm and sinister motives that one can appreciate. May all Hellenic diaspora unite and fight this head on.

  274. June 24, 2011 12:54 am

    Over at my blog, I often condemn the Cameron government in the UK for what they’re doing, the situation is Greece is awful. You are absolutely spot on when you call it another war waged by people in suits. I stand with the Greek people in support of their cause. The spirit of the Greek resistance really needs to spread before we’re all living permanently under the control of a very narrow financial elite.

    Great blog by the way.

  275. Fool permalink
    June 24, 2011 2:08 am

    Do you understand that Madison Wisconsin is not a good example of promoting freedom?

    THIS IS IMPORTANT. The various states in the U.S. are going in to DEBT, yes, slavery, to pay public employees twice the wage they’d make on their own. It is unsustainable.

    And they are not negotiating with their bosses, i.e., the tax payer who pays their salaries. They negotiate with the elected official whose votes they paid for with taxpayer dollars.

    Now here’s the IMPORTANT part. Taxing the middle class cannot sustain this idyllic vision of a happy life, this phantasy.

    HENCE, we go into debt. Who does that help? Maybe the CENTRAL BANKING SCUM that’s trying to enslave us all? That would be correct!

    If you desire freedom, do not look to centralization.

  276. Nel permalink
    June 24, 2011 2:15 am

    To get a clear picture of the origins of this disgusting ( and what was totally avoidable) mess to which all poor & middle class people throughout the world will pay and that NOT ONE BANKER / BOND TRADER / BOND RATING AGENCY has been brought up on charges let alone convicted and jailed is the movie INSIDE JOB, a must see.

  277. common sense permalink
    June 24, 2011 6:40 am

    Here’s an idea. Don’t borrow and spend beyond your means like a pimp. Hope USA gets this lesson soon.

  278. zike permalink
    June 24, 2011 7:04 am

    I am from Croatia and I really can relate to the problem. I can see this coming to my country, but I suppose we will not be that firm to confront it. We will be more like sheep waiting to be slaughtered. I admire Greeks and hope they will endure their struggle and show the world that enslavement is not the answer.

    • Selenia permalink
      June 25, 2011 8:35 am

      You should demand a referendum, otherwise you’re doomed… Do not enjoy EU!

  279. Tom Yohannan permalink
    June 24, 2011 7:23 am

    Magnificently argued! Bravo!

  280. Jason permalink
    June 24, 2011 7:31 am

    Fabulous piece, and, hopefully the beginnings of a much needed call to arms.

    In solidarity and hope!

  281. in hammock permalink
    June 24, 2011 11:13 am

    Someone said: “No man is an island”. Let your politicians know, day and night, that you disapprove their actions. Shun them, where ever they go, so that they will have in their face a constant reminder, like a bad dream, that just keeps getting worse. 24/7. Give them no peace.

    Let them taste their own medicine.

  282. Helen permalink
    June 24, 2011 11:18 am

    The arrogance of the ruling elits in the EU never ceases to amze. m;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    While countries across Europe are bankrupt Merkel has just announced that Croatia is being allowed to be a member of the EU. More money that Greece, UK, etc., will have to fork out. Why Croatia would want to handcuff itself to this vile organiation is beyond me.

  283. rowan permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:07 pm

    Human Solidarity is achievable! do not let anyone or anything divide you into groups or sects which are easier to exploit. When everyone realises we have more in common with the people of other countries than our leaders the road to solidarity will be formed. Lets all follow the example of Greece and stand up to politricks and false desires and hopes.

  284. Brigand permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:53 pm

    I was with you until:

    “A doctor talking on Al Jazeera yesterday explained how even GPs and nurses have become so desperate that they ask people for money under the table in order to treat them, in what are meant to be free state hospitals. Those who cannot afford to do this, go away to live with their ailment, or die from it. The Hippocratic oath violated out of despair, at the place of its inception.”

    Then you lost me. This is a glib justification of corruption. This is a populist screed. This is a transparent attempt by people who have been engaged in these corrupt practices for decades (not just since the crisis) to use the crisis to justify themselves. I could understand these “doctors” and “nurses” saying “you know times are tough, and if you’d care to help out, it would be appreciated. The money would go to buy medical supplies. And by the way, here’s a receipt.” If the doctors and nurses have a problem with the the state, they should take it up with the state, and not use powerless patients as weapons. Or they should declare a work stoppage to raise awareness of the lack of funds. But to deny somebody health care “krifa, krifa” because they refuse to pay the under the table bribe is not only corrupt, it’s deeply immoral. I doubt these doctors and nurses would then go on to declare this income. Especially when you consider, as you most likely have, that hospitals in Greece have been amongst the biggest sinkholes of state money.

    In this one paragraph, you captured the essence of the Greek problem. A shrug of the shoulders, a gaze at the heavens, an obsequious “ti na kano? Then ftaio ego. Alloi ftene.”

    You should have left that paragraph out because it really weakened your argument and evaporated any sympathy that those of us, who are also Greek living outside of Greece may have felt for the “cause”.

    Now, I just say “pay up!”

  285. John Hendricks permalink
    June 24, 2011 1:30 pm

    Wow! I am impressed. A brilliant summary of what has happened to not only Greece, but all countries of the world.

    How rich would I be if I could write an infinite amount of checks on an account with nothing in it and no one could bring me to justice? I would buy up all the real assets and fund the political system to legitimize and legalize my activities. I would make it so complicated that few could understand what had been done and bring ridicule on any who had the good sense to see through it. That’s pretty much where we all stand today, whether we know it or not.

    Hooray for the Greek people! May God be with you.

  286. June 24, 2011 2:44 pm

    As the world shifts and the effects of globalization take hold, what we are seeing and will continue to see is a disintegration of not only national borders, but also of national identities. What one was 200-odd nations spanning the globe is turning into two groups and two groups only:

    The haves and the have-nots.

    The corporate elite — the haves — are already feeling it. I read an article from a mainstream media outlet (sorry, the name of both the article and the outlet escape me) in which the main point was that the top 1% feel more closely bonded with each other than with their fellow countrymen. For example, a US hedge-fund manager has more in common with, and feels more closely related to, a Saudi oil sheik than the average US citizen.

    This seems like a mildly interesting piece on the psychology of the rich, until considered in the light of events such as what is happening in Greece. As far-fetched as it seems, it looks like the day is rapidly approaching where the the buying and selling of governments — of nations — is no longer a metaphor for bribery, but rather a frighteningly literal reality.

    What is happening in Greece is not at risk of happening here (in America); it IS happening here. We already live in a country where corporations are legally citizens, where money is protected free speech, and where companies are allowed to do everything from run jails to amass armies. If the adage holds true that money equals power, what does it say about who runs this nation that the richest 400 people control more wealth than the bottom 50% of the entire country?

    We must stand up for Greece for one simple reason:

    We ARE Greece.

  287. delucks permalink
    June 24, 2011 4:24 pm

    Nice article, try to get a new government and then stop paying your accrued interest, it’s just not worth it. Do it like Ireland, nationalise your banks and get credits for 1,5% at EZB.
    That’s they way which is needed, not more debts and interest…

    greetings from germany

  288. Ogy permalink
    June 24, 2011 6:00 pm

    Thank you for this awesome article – I made sure it is shared as widely as possible ;)

    Stay strong Greeks and take the bastards down!

    Rest of the world will follow… It always did!

  289. Jim permalink
    June 24, 2011 6:43 pm

    I’m writing from the UK. I don’t know anything about the Greek economy. What I do know is that the UK national economy has been very badly managed – not just by the Blair/Brown government, but over a period of at least 30 years. One very large problem we have is an over-large and inefficient public sector. For example, we have frankly outrageous pensions being paid to senior officers in all public sector organisations. I have no problem with people who’ve worked hard for modest pay receiving a good pension, but when people like me are facing working into our 70s whilst public sector employees retire at 50, at our expense, then naturally I’m miffed.

    So my instinct is to be a little sceptical of those who would unilaterally blame the bankers. I agree that the bankers have taken us all for a ride, and I would have no sympathy with them if we were to cancel out their individual wealth. This doesn’t, however, take away the reponsibility of national governments to act rationally, and in democracies, that means that WE, the voters, must also shoulder the blame.

    • BigJohn permalink
      June 26, 2011 4:13 pm

      Public Sector employees don’t retire at fifty you cretin and your general reasoning is specious bollocks.

  290. June 24, 2011 9:57 pm

    Great article and thanks for posting it!

  291. Helen permalink
    June 24, 2011 10:14 pm

    While people are at rock bottom, countries broke the elite in Brussels are busy spending £280 million of our mone on another new palace for themselves.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/06/epitome-of-ignorance.html

  292. Don Willetts permalink
    June 24, 2011 10:30 pm

    Unfortunately Greeks, like the rest of Europe, became infected with the American disease (which is looking more & more like cancer): “the market” cures everything, debt equals “growth”, “GDP” is an accurate measure of an economy, etc etc etc. Even Americans back in the 1930s realized that this was a myth, if not an outright lie, and tried to fix it. But then Saint Ronnie Reagan & his pals, back in the 1980s, convinced people that reality was fantasy, fantasy was reality, and so here we are today.

    Greece should do what Iceland did: let the banks fail, jail the thieves, and take the jackboots of finance off its neck. Otherwise, Greeks will simply continue to transfer their wealth into the pockets of the huge corporations.

  293. Don Willetts permalink
    June 24, 2011 10:53 pm

    Does anyone see the contradiction in the “we spent our way into this problem” argument??

    Most western European economies, and the U.S., are based on “consumption” , meaning people buying stuff. (For the U.S., 70% of GDP is the number often cited.) But if people stop buying useless stuff, and limit themselves only to what they need or can prudently buy, then the economy slows down – that’s called a recession.

    So OF COURSE people have to buy useless, pointless stuff; OF COURSE they’re encouraged to go deep in debt. It’s what keeps the economy going.

    And when this wholesale stupidity ends, then the “leaders” blame it on the masses who believed this lie, while their pals clean up.

  294. June 25, 2011 12:44 am

    Any of our Greek brothers and sisters reading this? Good.

    Now, read this http://michael-hudson.com/2011/06/whither-greece/ to find out the possibilities open to you to counter this financial attack on your country.

    Btw, Dr. Michael Hudson advised the Latvian govenment and (I believe) consulted with the Icelandic opposition parties regarding the same type of financial attacks on their nations. It worked out well for Iceland.

    Spread this link about your friends and families in Greece.

    Best wishes
    Bill Halsey

  295. June 25, 2011 2:52 am

    Masterful piece of reporting! The only exception I take is that money was not created to facilitate trade. Money was created to establish usury as a business.

  296. June 25, 2011 7:40 am

    Here is our blog posting for this morning:

    «Ελεγχόμενη χρεοκοπία» – Λεξικό Ψεμάτων

    Τι σημαίνει αυτή η φράση «ελεγχόμενη χρεοκοπία», η οποία είναι σε όλα τα δελτία ειδήσεων ​​σήμερα; Ακούγεται τόσο λογικό. Νομίζω ότι είναι άλλη μια καταχώρηση στο λεξικό ψεμάτων.

    Όταν οι τράπεζες και οι ειδήμονες λένε ελεγχόμενη, εννοούν ελεγχόμενη από τις τράπεζες. Όχι για την Ελλάδα ή τους Έλληνες ή τους Πορτογάλους ή τους Ιρλανδούς.

    Η Ελλάδα πρόκειται να χρεοκοπήσει. Όλοι το παραδέχονται τελικά αυτό αφού το αρνούνταν κατηγορηματικά τόσο καιρό. Η γυμνή αλήθεια είναι ότι η ελληνική οικονομία δεν αναπτύσσεται αρκετά γρήγορα ώστε να υπάρχει η παραμικρή ελπίδα ακόμα και να συμβαδίσει με τα χρέη της και τους τόκους τους. Τα χρέη τους συσσωρεύονται γρηγορότερα από ό, τι η οικονομία τους αναπτύσσεται. Στην πραγματικότητα, η ελληνική οικονομία σχεδόν έχει σταματήσει να αναπτύσσεται – λιγότερο από 1% στην καλύτερη περίπτωση.

    Έτσι, το «ελεγχόμενο» σχέδιο είναι να δοθούν στην Ελλάδα δάνεια για να παραταθεί ο χρόνος πριν τα μαθηματικά των σύνθετων επιτοκίων και η συστελλόμενη οικονομία καλύψουν τη διαφορά. Σε αυτό το διάστημα το σχέδιο είναι να πληρωθούν κομμάτια του κεφαλαίου με την πώληση οργάνων. Οργάνων του κράτους: Ένα λιμάνι εδώ, ένα τηλεφωνικό σύστημα εκεί. Ο ψαράς πουλάει τη βάρκα και τα δίχτυα του για να καθαρίσει τα χρέη του. Και μετά τι; Ε, μετά, γίνεται τροφή για τον τοκογλύφο και την αγορά χαμηλόμισθης εργασίας.

    Όμως, «απωθώντας» το αναπόφευκτο εγείρει το ερώτημα – γιατί το αναβάλουμε; Ποιος ωφελείται από την αναβολή; Εάν η Ελλάδα πρόκειται να χρεοκοπήσει γιατί να μην το κάνει νωρίτερα, αφού εν τω μεταξύ οι Έλληνες υποφέρουν από μαζική βία μέσα στον κοινωνικό τους ιστό και για ποιο λόγο; Σίγουρα όχι για να αποφευχθεί η χρεοκοπία. Γνωρίζουμε ήδη ότι πρόκειται να συμβεί. Είναι απλώς θέμα του πότε θα συμβεί. Επομένως, γιατί αργότερα; Ποιος ωφελείται;

    Η απάντηση είναι, οι τράπεζες. Ιδιαίτερα οι τράπεζες της Γαλλίας και της Γερμανίας…..

    http://whistleblower-gr.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post_25.html

  297. June 25, 2011 10:28 am

    I read ur post and look at the situation here in Bulgaria and the same thing is happening here, only at an earlier stage. We’ve been borrowing like there is no tomorrow for the last 10 yrs and that has been labelled as progress.

    The few months after the financial crisis showed the real situation in the country – almost no real economy and no savings. So far the general level of indebtedness is low compared to the rest of Europe so we were able to continue accumulating debt. However, no one realizes that the only eventual result of such behaviour is having the IMF knock on our door at some point in the future.

    In capitalism growth is financed by SAVINGS that are converted to investment. But in the reserveless bankig system we have now, growth is financed by ever increasing debt…

  298. June 25, 2011 4:36 pm

    Some of us here in Greece, fight to resurrect this country. My personal ‘weapon’ of choice is optimism!
    I share my optimism via an TEDxTalk. It’s about things that make me, and many other Greeks, happy. Even at this time of crisis. And it’s relevant to anyone in crisis… 

    It’s my passport to eudaimonia: http://bit.ly/iBaBCa

  299. Olivia permalink
    June 25, 2011 5:12 pm

    Thank-you to the many in Greece who have reminded us what true democracy is !

  300. Mike permalink
    June 25, 2011 7:12 pm

    Many thanks to the Greek people resisting the New World Order!
    You have our support and sympathy and please, don’t give up!
    I am a romanian living in Canada and I have other friends, romanians and canadians, that realize that the whole world is in trouble and it’s only a matter of time till the corporatist/bank/”elites” cancer will spread all over the world with devastating effects for us, ordinary citizens(they call us consumers)…
    Good luck Greece and hopefully the awakening trend will continue all over the world!

  301. Michael B permalink
    June 25, 2011 8:28 pm

    Excellent article, thank you.

    In Ireland, our politicians are telling us, “Ireland is not Greece” – in effect, trying to portray the situation in a nationalist way rather than what it fundamentally is: reckless creditors who expect the ordinary citizens of all nationalities to pay them endless tribute. That is the real divide. I wish our politicians would instead start saying “I’m not Papandreou”, but sadly they won’t.

    As for us ordinary citizens, we should all be following the example of the followers of Spartacus in Stanley Kubrick’s film: “I’m Spartacus!”, “I’m Spartacus!”: Like them, we need to rebel against a new form of slavery and declare, “We’re Greece!”, “We’re Greece!”

  302. margaret permalink
    June 25, 2011 9:59 pm

    I urge you to submit this post to the New York Times

  303. nikos permalink
    June 25, 2011 10:55 pm

    This has been going on for decades and it is nothing short of Global Economic Terrorism (G.E.T.). Quite simply, the banksters ‘pimp’ their money to gullible people’s of various nations with the help of complicit, a.k.a. treasonous, politicians for the sole purpose of indebting the nation to the point of bankruptcy thereby paving the way for sovereign asset theft. It is an age old strategy, nothing more than a ruthless immoral business plan. All of these filthy traitors studied and worked at the same institutions throughout their careers. Arrest them and charge them with treason as Miki Theodorakis has suggested because i) the President of the Republic did not sign off on the ‘deal’, and ii) the ‘deal’ is unconstitutional because the necessary three (3) fifths of the parliament did not vote it.
    Arrest and charge those responsible on behalf of the financial institutions involved, those who proposed the ‘deal’, they will be found guilty of Global Economic Terrorism which will enable the lawsuits to commence. Sue them for the 300 billion plus damages.

  304. June 26, 2011 12:05 am

    This is my first time I have visited this site. I found a lot of interesting stuff in your blog. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one! keep up the impressive work.

  305. Joseph Nikolaou permalink
    June 26, 2011 4:27 am

    What’s more, Facebook was originally funded with money from the CIA. It’s an immense data mining operation designed to suck unsuspecting people in. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Sites like this one, that don’t require registering are the ones to turn to and share. ..I agree. I have had several unexplained things happen on my FaceBook account. I have in the past posted comments denouncing the thieves who have been looting our national treasury..I am of Greek descent, my mother was born in Thessaloniki, my grandfather was a general in the Greek army,and was assassinated during the Greek civil war..he fought in the Greek resistance movement,and, my family is of old Greek aristocracy, the gestapo requisitioned my families estate, and used it for their headquarters in northern Greece/Macedonia..I know a lot about the history and I know things that are never discussed in the US press about how Greece was stabbed in the back by the allies, after they fought for and died for the allies during WW11..I think this has lot to do with it..they dont want people in the West to know this..because it is embarrassing, and disgraceful, to their image as freedom loving nation etc..bad for their image that they fabricated about the war…. I have had friends appeared that I never asked or received a friend invitation from! Im not kidding. I’v had two friends suddenly appear on my friends list, that I had no idea who they were! At first I thought, oh maybe some kind of strange occurrence, or maybe there is a bug, or whatever. But now that you mentioned that FaceBook was originally funded by the CIA, I have reason to be alarmed. Everyone should be. I always felt at the back of my mind that FaceBook, was fascistic, and its appeal to the youth, falls in line with the whole Hitler Youth propaganda that Hitler and the national socialist party used to indoctrinate the youth, as the vanguard of the national socialist revolution. The Youth are very susceptible because they are naive and trusting, and can be easily manipulated.

  306. June 26, 2011 7:55 am

    This may be all true and I feel for my fellow Greeks but what about the culture of tax evasion and bribery that has pervaded the country for decades? Realistically, the impact of these practices in bringing down the country may have been downplayed in your justification.

  307. June 26, 2011 11:52 am

    it seems we are on the same side dearest! > http://democracyreloaded.gr/
    We love Taleb as well! :-)

  308. Dimitris permalink
    June 26, 2011 12:17 pm

    Hi ppl i am a 30 year old greek guy and i want to show u my point of view…
    first of all gratz on the article and the writer and to all the ppl tha replied…
    MY POINT OF view is that greece has a big problem with all the above thats written…
    Of course corruption prevail in greek goverment and citizens…
    the first are the corruptors the rest are the corrupted…
    of course we took the money as a nation(i personally didnt see, feel, touch or anything else of those money cause i work in the private sector :) )…
    i dont wont to say much but those that write those bad things for greece and its citizens is pretty much the deal in greece…
    Thats why i really, with all my heart say kick us out EU…
    Really u ll be better with out us and really we WILL be better…
    You ll find better and wealthier suckers then us, to buy YOUR cars, YOUR television, YOUR weapons, YOUR mobiles, YOUR food products
    and many more products…
    And lets see what will happen in German,French, UK and the rest industry in EU…
    Think PPL…wake up…this is a party that we r not invited…THIS is their game…the rich will be richer the rest will be poorer…
    Why is the German etc EU nations make this story about greece…they want to cover up their lies…their faults…their mistakes…think…
    financial crisis is in all europe…in all the world…cause the modern economy system Capitalism is from its base a lie…
    All the money in the world is air…it hasnt got any value…its pure air…if a country wants to print money they print…
    it hasnt anythin to do with gold, land, stocks,or anything…
    ITS PURE AIR…
    This is a big bubble from the bank industry worldwide…its their need to take all the money…and when they do that they want more…
    so they force the goverments to print more…so they can take more and more and more…
    its a way to control the ppl…THINK…
    I am a greek thinkin citizen, i am 30 years old and, i work approximetely 55 hours per week…and its not enough…i dont make enough money to live properly…
    and dont call me lazy…u dont know anythin about me…before u judge me think…

    We do have a very corrupted political system, and public sector but thats only a 15% of the greek citizens…the rest r hard working ppl that just want to live their
    small lifes decent…
    We want them to pay their dept, their loans, their houses to be taken, their lives to be stolen…i paid and continue to pay my dept…and the real reason
    that we peacefully protesting isn’t cause we dont wont to pay our depts…
    its because they want us to pay their dept, their lies, their corruption thats still is growing…the bribes and corruption still occurre, nothin is changed…
    Only the other 85% of the greeks is experiencing the crisis, with lower wages, more taxes, less hospital care, worst educational system…
    thats MY TRUETH, my reality, my life…
    Thank u for your time and forgive me for the many dictionary mistakes… :)

  309. June 26, 2011 1:17 pm

    Well done Alex for standing up to sensationalism and racism with facts.

    Still, and with all due respect, I should point out that the point on retirement age is not particularly relevant. See here: http://lolgreece.blogspot.com/2011/06/dont-take-bait-alex-they-are-master.html

    I would also caution against using the OECD data on working hours to make the comparison you make above. Because the OECD don’t actually bother to make that data comparable, the comparison is actually quite misleading: http://lolgreece.blogspot.com/2011/06/work-hard-play-dead.html

  310. tim pugh-bickbushe permalink
    June 26, 2011 2:02 pm

    that is all very interesting but will cocktails still be half price at happy hour on mykonos this summer? it would really be a terrible state of affairs if mojito monday madness is a casualty of all this.

  311. June 26, 2011 9:12 pm

    Hello,
    firstly i’d like to congratulate you for your wonderful article! Secondly i would like to ask you for permission to copy and give it to other people, to inform them about the situation in Greece. I am member of a group of Greeks that live in Berlin and try to organise solidarity actions for the people of Greece. Your article could be of great use to us, especially to inform Germans about what is going on. Please let me know if you agree with us using your article. our blog is
    https://realdemocracynowberlingr.wordpress.com/

  312. June 27, 2011 1:45 am

    News flash: If you borrow money from someone, he owns you. You demanded more from your government than you were willing to pay for, so they borrowed it with your approval. Now the bill is come due, and you’re all butthurt about it. Well bend over and lube up, because this is what happens when you put your entire economy in hock just to get a few unaffordable benefits.

    • June 30, 2011 11:12 am

      Hi Jamie

      I couldn’t respond to your guido Fawkes comment due to lack of a button earlier I think you might enjoy guidostemple of the Absurd David Malone of Golem Xv1 suggested the same to me the other Guido link here I believe has one of the best grasps of the corrupt link of Govenments to the Global financial interests FIAT money and the Global Cleptocracy.

      http://guidoromero.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/the-battle-for-lybia/

      I have been reading these comments and looking at the many links for 4 and half hours this morning I would Just like to add again my thanks to Sturdy Blog ( Alex) for the superb Article and for the excellent discussion in all the comments and of course the debt we all owe to the Brave Greek people demonstrating against the corruption and subjection of their National interests.

  313. petp permalink
    June 27, 2011 3:38 am

    thank you for this.

    it is NOT an understatement that this article is a masterpiece!!!

    i really hope the NY Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times…etc get to read this and publish this because this article NEEDS TO BE spread throughout the world.

    euxaristo!

  314. rouillé geneviève permalink
    June 27, 2011 8:09 am

    Dear Alex,
    Thank you for opening my eyes. I’m French and I do agree that it’s also french concern… although we’re so arrogant that we deny it… But till when ?
    I’m Greek at heart since 1968… Long love story with that marvellous country and with Greek people. Please show us again the way, invent again a new international democracy.
    With all my solidarity to Greece and Greek people. As Winston Churchill said “we shall never surrender”…
    Genevieve

  315. Aidan permalink
    June 27, 2011 10:27 am

    Here’s hoping the Greek people can do what the rest of the world seems incapable of doing: finally stick up two fingers to the limitless greed of the City of London and Wall Street.

  316. Archarya Kalki permalink
    June 27, 2011 11:35 am

    Until we as the world unite against the banks and their ruthless ways, we shall be slaves to their whims for ever .

    and when Amazon forest is gone, how do we feed the interest machine.

    A new currency, a measurement of exchange, no interest earn’t, no interest paid.

    Something, anything because the old model just doesn’t work anymore.

    And everyone around the world is suffering.

    We look to you Greece to find a better way

  317. June 27, 2011 11:54 am

    It would seem, given the latest developments -at least those that I’m aware of -it’s time for the people of Greece to get from the Square and into the parliament.

    Like most politicians it seems the representative of Greece are more interested in protecting their investment and pensions portfolio’s that they are in the well being of the people or the country.

    If these so called representatives had the requisite norm of braincells they would see they were trying to make sense of a parasitical myth that has no inherent metabolism.

    Print the bloody Drachma’s and distribute to keep the internal domestic system functioning and tell the EU, ECB and IMF they either start talking sense on the democratic front or lump it.

    Bullies like to play games based on threats -it’s when the threats are called that you see their straw nature.

  318. Pkpetro permalink
    June 27, 2011 2:06 pm

    About the Mercedes etcyou must be hanging out at Kolonaki, Kifissia and Ekali too much. I liked the rest of your article. See mine http://seekingalpha.com/article/267987-debunking-speculation-about-an-imminent-restructuring-of-greek-debt?source=email_macro_view and and http://seekingalpha.com/article/205617-truths-and-myths-about-the-greek-crisis

  319. Cilia permalink
    June 27, 2011 2:19 pm

    Thanks a lot for your text. Sadely, there is nothing new here, just an old story repeating itself with new protagonists, but it brought tears into my eyes!.. No country is protected from their greed, the rest of the EU and the US are around the corner. We are all Greek, and it is more then time to wake up!! We all, citizens of the world (or “consumers” as somebody so nicely put it earlier in these comments), have to stand up and say STOP! to this huge mascarade. Nothing will happen if not more countries take it to the streets. My country (France) is well known for taking everything to the streets, but this time, and in a way I cannot explain myself, nothing is happening.. Just as if the population would have been lobotomized.. But our situation is no better then the one in other EU countries, and our “leaders”, who have no idea of what an “ordinatry life” in their country is like, dispise ordinary citizens, and mock our dignity through their behaviors and by cautionning the vultures who are crashing our freedom.
    I hope your battle will succeed. Let’s hope that Greece will give birth to democratie for the second time in its history!

    We are all Greeks!

  320. Stratos Ap permalink
    June 27, 2011 2:36 pm

    Help us push the system beyond its tipping point We are the “moment” of critical mass , We are the mysterious sociological “moment” that changes and marks everyday life . Idead and messages and behaviours spread like viruses do . The system changes and we cant go back . And when our fight is over ill fight by your side my brothers .

  321. June 27, 2011 6:40 pm

    There a link from the video on http://youtu.be/jpXdQ-OgFxs to your page.

    There is also a link on the video itself in the credit at the end.

  322. June 27, 2011 9:02 pm

    This article really puts together what is really happening in Greece,
    the worldwide ‘austerity measures’ and how the US’s economic hitmen
    work through the IMF, world bank, etc.

    I think it’s up to Americans to solve this worldwide problem.

  323. June 27, 2011 9:53 pm

    BTW, can you post this to alternet.org or huffingtonpost.com or some site like that?

  324. June 28, 2011 7:43 am

    This is a pivotal moment. People of Greece must prevail.

    It is not only absolutely important for the sovereignity of your state and well being of its people, it shall set an example for the whole world. If you succeed at fighting back this attack of invaders in the suits with laptops in their hands and money being the only thing on their deranged minds, this may well interrupt the train of thought of everyone, the aggressors’ and other peoples’ of the world.

    Greece is not the first, and sadly not the last country that might suffer this fate of deliberate, economic destruction.

    Most of the world is oppressed by the grip of these invaders and we need a hero to stand up to the challenge and fight back the foe.

    It’s your country’s destiny today to go through this hell, and yet it’s also a grand opportunity to do the first blow to the collective, utterly mad, economic hitman that’s after decent people of the world.

    People of Greece must prevail. It’s a fight of centuries that may not be lost.


    Just a random citizen of Ukraine. We cross fingers for you while watching how our own government goes down the same road of taking IMF-fed bail-outs that lead to the dead end you’ve been pushed towards too.

  325. nicos permalink
    June 28, 2011 8:06 am

    Greece has the last soviet-style economy on earth. Even Cuba is changing at a faster pace. Unless we recognize this and take responsibility for our mistakes, we will always blame others. Unfortunately that is one of the biggest reasons why we are in this mess. All our misfortunes are blamed on others but ourselves. With that frame of mind, even this great opportunity for change will pass us. This passage, and the frame of mind it represents, is indicative of what is terribly wrong with Greeks.

    • nick james permalink
      June 28, 2011 9:39 am

      Of course Greece isn’t blameless for this situation but the vast majority of its people almost certainly are.

      I watched “The Quiet American” on TV on Sunday night. A phrase from the Graham Greene book on which the movie is based seemed particularly apposite: “In the end, we have to choose sides, we have to be human” – unless we’re members of the corporatocracy that is.

  326. Keef permalink
    June 28, 2011 10:17 am

    I do understand the enormity of grave draconian situation you and your country is facing. I also understand that if Greece fails to beat of these thieves, that it will mean the money lenders will be free to move onto Ireland next.

    I feel so utterly helpless though!

    Wish there was more I could do then a mere post to show you support brother.

    You must not let them win.

  327. June 28, 2011 1:23 pm

    I am honestly grateful for all your work… We will make sure to circulate this message as much as possible… Thank you once again…

  328. Nikos permalink
    June 28, 2011 4:46 pm

    My fellow compatriot is absolutely right in his analysis, not only about all these inaccuracies-lies told to justify Greece’s robbery, but also about the global character of the problem.
    I share the feeling that the whole planet is living right now really critical times, from every possible aspect -economic, social, ecological, humanitarian. It seems like a true turning point, either people everywhere in the world realize that a huge change has to be done and start working on it -right now, not tomorrow- either humanity will march to its doom. The enemies are too strong for one person, square, city, country to face them alone. Either democracy becomes global or it will die everywhere.

    This last month I have participated actively in the Greek movement of protest. It was a very revelatory month that allowed me to see lots of things clearly. Best of all, I was able -after long months of despair and depression in my country- to see a speck of hope at the bottom of this Pandora’s box. I feel lately that people around me are starting to change: they start to think differently, function differently, communicate with each other differently, they start to become more active and responsible, they start to overcome their fears, their apathy, their egos.
    For me that’s the key for a better world: change yourself first. Or as Gandhi put it: Be the change you want to see in the world. It’s a difficult and long process. But it’s also a contagious one. Last week, i walked 250 kms with 30 people from Sparta coming on foot to Athens to protest. 30 people only. But the impact this symbolic gesture had on all the people who saw it, was immense.
    The day all the Greeks act like those Spartans -with self-denial, responsibility, activism and purity- the country will start resolving its problems. The day every citizen of the world thinks and acts like this to claim his/her rights and control the fate of his/her life and society, the world will be automatically reformed.

    This fight is not just a past-time or a supplement to our lives and activities, it is our life itself.
    Tonight -and every night- the streets are ours…

  329. Johnno permalink
    June 28, 2011 7:04 pm

    I have loved Greece & its wonderful people since I was a little lad & studied ancient Greek at school. Fell more in love after visiting the country. I am now in my 60’s.

    Thank you for this article & I have already passed it on to all my friends. The poor will always suffer in this world. They will always be poor because the rich do not like anyone to get hold of their money. They always want more and do not care how they get it.

  330. June 28, 2011 7:10 pm

    this is something that you will definitely find interesting. thanks for all your great thoughts!

  331. nikos permalink
    June 28, 2011 8:18 pm

    κλέπτης (thief) and κράτος (rule)

    KLEPTOCRATIA!!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleptocracy

  332. Graeme permalink
    June 28, 2011 9:36 pm

    ¡No Pasarán!

  333. GeorgeKarmokolias permalink
    June 29, 2011 1:22 am

    Your article is informative, inspiring, and important. I’m glad I read it, and I hope
    that many more people read it and feel the way you hope they are supposed to feel from reading it.
    However, aside from a few people that you know personally, there is no mention of the fact that many Greeks…many of those same people who raise our contries flag so proudly and vehemently, have been cheating our country out of 20 billion dollars worth of taxes every year. What about the doctors in Kolonaki who send their kids to private school, have a swimming pool, summer homes, and a yacht…but claim to make less than 30k a year? There is no question about the corruption in the government and the greed of foreign governments who are currently trying to carve Greece of her proudest assets, but Greek people are also to blame.
    Ok, sure…cheating the government is just how it is in Greece. But the point of humanity is to move forward and better ourselves. 70 years ago in America, it was normal for white people to hang black people from trees. “It’s how it was.” No big deal. But in that regard, the American people have come a very long way since the days of segregation and lynching. In that sense, I think Greeks have something to learn.
    And then there’s also the αναρχια idiots who show up to peaceful protests and destroy their fellow countrymen’s neighborhoods. Δεν ινε μαλακια αφτω?

    • June 29, 2011 10:31 pm

      I’m afraid I have to answer your comment.
      I don’t know why you put americans on a pedestal. They made progresses for sure but in some deep aspects they still lack of true democracy. They are not exemplary at all.
      Would you put your hands on a fire that americans don’t elude/evade taxes?
      Would you give for granted that americans really feel their values and country as only one thing? What about killing so many presidents and leaders and yet leave all investigations in a mist? What about 9-11 victims and relatives? Do you think they got justice and peace?

      The other aspect I would like to stress as many times as necessary is that people and governments are not in an equal status. Democracy is not symetric. So, although I’m not justifying it, you cannot blame a country’s people in the same way than its authorities.
      For if authorities are corrupt, you cannot really expect people to keep themselves on the straight line, nor bring the whole establishment to court.
      Responsibilities are completely different for common people and for society leaders.
      I reckon this is one subject that is yet to be solved in Democracies all over the world: proceedures for people to bring civil serveants down from their public charges.

  334. Anna Cascio permalink
    June 29, 2011 6:46 am

    I agree – after surviving 400 years of occupation to have Greece sold off like a cheap souvenir really makes my blood boil – maybe it’s time for Greeks (natural born, 1st, 2nd, etc. generations) to band together and financially support her, we do it for starving children, places destroyed by natural disasters – isn’t this a disaster also?

    Anna Cascio, Melbourne, Australia

  335. June 29, 2011 7:09 am

    Thanks for the post.

  336. Stratos Ap. permalink
    June 29, 2011 7:41 am

  337. Jurģis permalink
    June 29, 2011 7:58 am

    You should create portal where people can make authorization using iBank cards (so that they are not anonymous) and than use this portal to create and vote for new laws. So if you will collect large amount supporters for law that stands for Greec bankrupcy without additional debt than it should be taken in account.
    We now have such portal in Latvia in order to involve people in politics in a legal way.
    It’s adress is manabalss.lv

  338. June 29, 2011 4:46 pm

    Czech translate: http://www.outsidermedia.cz/Demokracie-vs-Mytologie-Bitva-na-namesti-Syntagma-1.aspx

    We support the Greek people who fight against invaders. We understand very well what is the matter. After Arab spring, we need the European summer and American fall!

    Alex, contact me, please.

  339. Bankrupt permalink
    June 29, 2011 4:52 pm

    Greece, do it like Iceland. Make referendum, and say, we will pay nothing!
    This advice is from Czech republic. Good luck!

  340. Maria Papadopoulou permalink
    June 29, 2011 5:03 pm

    mpravo…write more it’s inspiring and based on concrete data.

  341. steve superboss permalink
    June 29, 2011 7:41 pm

    all come together……….and fight “the war on error” everywhere in the worlds media the same story comes out that a “few trouble makers started to attack polce and the police just HAD to defend themselves” this is a hideous and filthy LIE…………………….. the police should join the people that they are sworn to protect and help bring down the global banking system that is based on a simple magic trick……”making something from nothing”……..lending money that NEVER EXISTED AT INTEREST……the west has enslaved the african nations with this for years…now they want us all to be slaves…….
    .

  342. Tom permalink
    June 29, 2011 8:23 pm

    In the light of what is happening in Greece and right here in the uk, you have to ask yourself this question: ‘Who is most likely to harm me in my lifetime? Is it the terrorists, the criminals, the hoodies and muggers, the druggies, the lazy profligate workers?’ The answer is: ‘None of these things’. We are, in fact, most at risk from the authorities who support the banksters. In spite of the average person’s powerlessness, as far as I can see, we have one window of opportunity to make it clear to government that monetary reform is necessary. This window of opportunity occurs every five years at election time. Never vote in an election. Always turn out and vote ‘No confidence’ on your ballot paper. If enough people wake up to the banksters fractional reserve con they should see that ‘no confidence’ is the only realistic vote. Without total monetary reform, the desperate debt based world wide economic system that we have must lead to winners and losers and some countries, probably including the uk, are going down the pan into debt slavery. We will spend our lives on the impossible task of servicing debts that were counterfeited into existance by the banks in the first instance. Somehow the ordinary people have to drive the government kicking and screaming towards the idea of monetary reform. It is paradoxical that an apparently negative action like a ‘no confidence’ vote could have the positive effect of saving the world. A mass vote of ‘no confidence’ should attract the attention of the powers that be. It would be like hitting them over the head, metaphorically speaking of course, with a 2 by 2. They would have a mandate to do nothing at all and would have no recourse but to pay attention to the will of the people. Their precious ‘democracy’ that they are trying to spread throughout the world will have turned and bitten them on the ass.

    Tom

  343. June 29, 2011 8:37 pm

    Thank you also for this artickle which in the many things opened my eyes.
    I’m also aware that the EU and the IMF brought not help for any country, but
    it is the stone tied on the neck of all countries which take decision asking
    for help. I believe that what nowadays are going through in the Greece
    is the matter which interfere all of us….

  344. June 29, 2011 10:20 pm

    Thanks for a great explanation of a very complex issue. I stand in support of your fight!

  345. Taas permalink
    June 30, 2011 11:54 am

    Nice blog… nice thoughts. On the other hand it is a capitalist world we are living in. I have talked to several people in Germany and France where such systems are well established to the point that the country can offer to their citizens social benefits and low unemployment rates. When you come from such countries, you don’t really care to protest or revolt. Against what? Things go well for most of the people and it is all based on a nice balance between hardcore capitalism, where everyone takes care of it’s own interest and rigid state structures. To say that people in the world should show solidarity to poor fighting Greece, is as if asking from your opponents in Poker to return you the money that you lost. Impossible. From the moment that Greece was included in the EU, the rules changed. There is a huge competition between European countries and the richer ones like Germany and France try to get benefit. Greece is alone in this because of the stupidity all these years that you can be as you always were and at the same time benefit from the EU. Greece could not cope with the development rates in the Union and got in debt trying to reach a – per person – welfare level without having the means and the actual organization to do so. The average central European individual cares only for his country and his own happy life – and it is good to do so. Greeks would do the same. The only thing left now is understand how the game is played and follow the rules in order to come out of the shit. The rest is childrens’ thoughts.

    • gov51ststate permalink
      June 30, 2011 5:51 pm

      Taas, what planet are you from?
      I suppose we each see things from our current level in life.
      I am in the uSA @ the present. Those who work for the government or the largest corporations which, in effect, control the gov./courts think things here will improve shortly.
      Those who have been raised on gov. handouts think they are entitled to more.
      Most don’t want to face the fact that the Bubble has burst! The regulators have regulated the productive out of production.
      Yes, it is about Capitalism, but look @ whose capital it is? If you cannot understand this, you will never be able to grasp what is @ hand, and have no right in saying what needs to be done to “fix our problem.”
      Many on this blog and who are concerned what is at stake in Greece understand it is the central bank’s monetary usury policy which dictates everything downstream… THAT is what is now the CAPITAL and has been for longer than most of us know.
      Greece, I heard this morning, is offically “accepting the austerity plans” to be put in place by TPTB; this dispite what the public is saying in the streets.
      In the USA the public wanted CHANGE, Obama gave them more of what they were getting… more regulations, taxes, and austerity!
      Sometime, something must CHANGE… it might as well be the Greeks that get it. Iceland and Argentina did!

      • July 1, 2011 12:25 am

        In the USA (and the rest of the world after it) when the bubble burst, the priority was not to secure jobs or to keep demand high by sustaining salaries, it was to use public money to pay to the bankers because they are the real rulers behind the reality show of “Democracy (TM)”, on your screens every two years or so for many months: all the promises and not a single delivery, sex scandals, debates and the opportunity to believe that you can choose between those that carry the seal of approval of the corporations. Please!

        “whose capital it is?”

        The Greek People’s capital once expropriated. After all it is workers who create everything: there is no electricity without electricians, no water at home without plumbers, no clean streets without cleaners, no homes without masons, no internet without programmers (and a very long etcetera, sorry for the omissions). So what they and us need is to revert the process of capitalist expropriation by means of “Monopoly gaming” (plus hordes of police to enforce the rules, specially against the poor) and reinstate worker ownership of work and the product of work: capital.

  346. Farhad Besharat permalink
    June 30, 2011 12:02 pm

    Thank you for this very telling information and statistics about Greece. Whilst I am simply astoned by the bravery of all those Greek demonstraters, I wonder why the main slogans do not attack the main enemy of the people and the only cause of this misery: Capitalism I mean. Getting rid of wage slavery is the only humane way out of this crisis of capitalism. Make the work voluntary, give to each according to her needs, and for all this to hapen political power must be taken away from the capitalists. The parlimentary system is not democracy; it is capitalcracy! To make it really democratic one has to get rid of capital and capitalism. The problem in Greece, as well as in Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, USA etc is not a financial crisis, banking misconduct, low mortgage rates of the past decade or a bunch of corrupt and non democratic politicians. The problem is capitalism and wage slavery.
    Greec working class and people are in a very determining historical moment, not just for themselv, but for whole European and world working class. If these heroic demonstrations do not end in overthrowing capitalism, then it shall end in misery for not just Greeks, but the whole working class of Europe. Worst of all; there are the fascists in every European “democratic” parliment who are prepared to put their inhumane radical program in practice. This must not happen. Your problem and struggle is our problem and struggle. The mainstream Swidish mass media are ignoring the happenings in Greece or heavily censoring the news of it. They have not interviewed one single young demonstrater in Athens who is fighting the state power daily! It is our task to stop this capitalist censorship and give the true news of what is happening in Greece to other European wageslaves!

    Keep the good job going,

    Farhad Besharat,
    Sweden

    • gov51ststate permalink
      June 30, 2011 6:15 pm

      Here is another one blaming it on Capitalism! Why not ask, “Whose capital is it?” Answer: It is the central Bank’s “debt out of know-where” via usury.
      I would be happy to pay taxes upon more taxes if those who benefit from my taxes would only live like I do… but NO, they want to live at a higher standard of living than I. I have no more blood to give… it has been regulated out of me!
      The mainline news is saying that The People are asking for jobs… why not simply default the government—declare bankruptcy—and stop the regulators, and the productive can go on/back to work… that is how job get created in a REAL World! Assets, talents, goods, and productivity is what builds a nation… not debt-creation via usury, which only begets more slaves.
      Yes, a collapse is not pleasant, but why put it off so it will be worse “tomorrow.” The World will re-balance… natural laws work that way when there are NO REGULATORS.

      • July 1, 2011 12:18 am

        Usury=Capitalism. The Bourgeois class is nothing but the trading class of the middle ages, lead by the bankers (usurers). The whole idea is to suck the blood of others by controlling the flow of money: industrial capitalists do that, trader capitalists do that and the hyper-specialized upper caste of banker capitalists do that too.

        Yes, capitalism is the problem. And for what I read the People in the streets of Greece know it well.

      • gov51ststate permalink
        July 3, 2011 12:54 am

        Maju,
        I think we are in total agreement. When I ask, “Whose capital is it?” I do so for the readers to think this out. I merely mean, “The banker’s capital is debt-based.”

        It is not that capitalism is evil, it is when that capital is created via usury that evil progresses from this type of token System.

        The people in the streets REALLY know who the capital is being extracted from. That is why they are in the streets.

        In the US the people are still too content or scared to take to the streets. If the Greek people fail, other nations will have to face their time soon.

        In September 2008 the US people did not make enough of a stink, so the Wall Street [gamblers of a "fixed racket"] got their bail-out. Four months later I got taxed so heavily that all my capital was gone and I could no longer operate my business. The regulators told me they would fine me $107. an hour if I parked my big truck on private property where it would be protected. They said it was commercial and had to go there were the local “connected” thieves with the protection of the Sheriff stole it and “immigrants” are now doing the work and sending their profits out of this country.

        But all this stems from the existence of usury where greed grows due to shortages. My example is only one of the many where workers no longer have blood left to deal in this state-of-affairs. We are burned out and this is why things will come to a stand-still.

        A new World Order is needed now, based on assets-production-capital. “The New World Order” we hear about, in reality has existed for more than 8 centuries, and is based on debt-creation via usury-capital. It is mathematically impossible to get more than 100% out of a system. The 200%-400-800% owed with interest% including the derivatives market can never exist/be-sustainable. Even many of the Elite no longer support this evil debt-system. That is why Fukushima, 9-11, London’s 7-11, and other false flags are happening. Even those at the top are fighting to end this debt-system and call a Jubilee Year.

        A One World currency has existed since 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed on Christmas Eve when almost all politicans were home with their families. The US$—Federal Reserve Note has been the World token and it is based on “hot” air backed by the US military, the main-line media, and drugs, as Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and Afghanistan proved.

        As Ayn Rand said, “We can ignore reality, but we can never ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

      • July 3, 2011 1:19 pm

        We are not in agreement, the sole fact that quote crackpot Rand says it all.

        I’m not going to enter in Capitalism is evil/good kind of churchyard discussion: Capitalism is a social construct of major historical relevance for its capacity of organizing workers’ transforming (‘productive’) power and decodifying the old values to nothing by means of carrot (corruption) and stick (blackmail).

        But Capitalism has reached already its limits: (1) ecological limits: Earth can barely be exploited anymore, and (2) economic limits: you don’t get any kind of half-hearted demand by cutting salaries, public spending and social benefits, and without demand companies collapse serially and the whole social fabric that depends on them shatters and eventually takes out to the streets, topples governments and political systems and sure, soon, topples also this now highly inefficient and destructive economical system.

        How? Beats me but the Greeks will teach us surely.

  347. effiegr permalink
    June 30, 2011 12:12 pm

    Προς το δημιουργο του αρθρου. Καταπληκτικό φίλε μου το κειμενό σου, αλλά θα ήταν καλό να εξηγήσεις κ τι ήταν αυτό το έκτρωμα που ψήφισε η Βουλή χθες. Επίσης παρέλειψες να γράψεις για το παραμυθι με τους 14 μισθούς που μας διεσυρε σε όλη την υφήλιο.

    Εδώ είναι ο εφαρμοστικός νόμος με σχόλια κ θα μπορούσες να κάνεις ένα αφιερωμα στα πιο άθλια άρθρα του.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/58914143/%CE%95%CF%86%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%BC%CE%BF%CF%83%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BA%CF%8C%CF%82-%CE%BD%CF%8C%CE%BC%CE%BF%CF%82

    Ευχαριστώ.

  348. June 30, 2011 1:51 pm

    Hi there!

    I think there are no country in Europe which would not can function alone like an national state. Every nation has something or more what its can give to another and goes on. Export-import. but not without the taxes, any kind { road, custom }. those are disappear in the great eu because of market. So the market are stronger than any nation – they said. what is the market? speculation! what the market product? debt slavery. who is behind it ? the banksters, credit researchers, politicians. they are all wants is to make a NWO. And this way is right way to do it. first destabilized, stabil and strong country, make the people angry, and when they out of the street beat them to the ground, or kill them all. EuroGendFor!!! says it something to somebody. when its done there is enough fear in the society that they never will go out again to protest. so the second is a fear. and after that they can do anything. so dear Greek protesters, know your fears. fills with power against it dont let them rule your world.

    FUCK ZIONISM AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER !!!!!!

  349. Selenia permalink
    June 30, 2011 3:20 pm

    Error 404. Democracy not found. Pics from 29/6…

    http://cryptome.org/info/greece-protest4/greece-protest4.htm

  350. bogdan permalink
    June 30, 2011 3:49 pm

    hello and congrats for the text. they’re so much trying to spread preconceived ideas about greece and greeks. I’m from Romania and televisions here are chewing the same shits like everywhere. I’ve heard one commentator here saying that greeks have eaten and drank too much and now they have to pay their bill. It was stupidity and manipulation combined . Yet, there are some reactions in the media that illustrate the true nature of greece’s financial situation. I appreciate very much your article and more-I consider it imperative. So I’ve translated it into Romanian (meticulously, links and pictures included) and I’ll distribute it futher to people that I know. I’ll try to find also a relatively a popular web-site and try to make it more “public” (I hope I’ll have your agreement for this). Cheers!

  351. given-cynthia permalink
    June 30, 2011 4:49 pm

    Since Greece just like United States corporations posing as governments policies permit the buying and selling of currency, could not be construed the same as buying and selling of said nation or country? Think about it – and you will Boil with Anger… as it is akin to Treason – pure and simple.

  352. June 30, 2011 8:06 pm

    My father is Greek, my son was born in the hospital in Athens where my father was born. Our family live in the UK. I love Greece, and my heart goes out to you all there now. I think your post is fantastic. BUT!

    “A doctor talking on Al Jazeera yesterday explained how even GPs and nurses have become so desperate that they ask people for money under the table in order to treat them, in what are meant to be free state hospitals. Those who cannot afford to do this, go away to live with their ailment, or die from it. The Hippocratic oath violated out of despair, at the place of its inception.”

    This has always happened in Greece and forms part of the story of the corruption of old and not of the current situation. Everyone who goes to hospital in Greece knows about the ‘fakelaki’ (small envelope of money) you need to get decent care.

    Other than that what you wrote is fantastic.

    Sam

    • Basil permalink
      July 4, 2011 12:40 pm

      Samantha, my mother was recently operated for a triple fracture -and she is 85 years old, so it was a difficult operation. Nobody asked for any money. In fact there were posters all over the hospitals by the doctor’s union saying if anyone asks you for a fakellaki, give an empty one!

  353. June 30, 2011 9:23 pm

    The writing is on the wall for our financial system, Greece is just the tip of the iceberg.
    The monetary system is holding humanity back from reaching its full potential and indeed it’s killing us – destroying our only planet. What is the alternative I hear some saying? One alternative is a resource-based economy. Check it out.
    http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com
    Thank you for posting this most heartfelt article.

  354. PAUL.E permalink
    June 30, 2011 9:32 pm

    I SUPPORT U IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY !!! PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOUR TYRANNY IS NOT THE ONLY ONE AND THAT THIS IS HAPPENING ALL OVER THE WORLD !! WE AS A HUMAN RACE NEED TO STAND TOGETHER IN SOLIDARITY AND REMOVE ALL THE TYRANTS THAT OPPRESS US, PUT AN END TO THIS MADNESS BEFORE IT MAYBE TO LATE !!!

  355. Dianna Tsimiklis permalink
    June 30, 2011 9:46 pm

    Very inspiring & eye-opening.
    Let it be said that Greeks are fighters & survivors…we have been brought to our knees but we will rise, we are united & we shall survive.
    We do undoubtedly need the support of all of you.
    I take my hat off to the writer….well-said!

    Dianna

  356. Vagelis4TVP permalink
    July 1, 2011 2:37 am

    …great article…and im glad that things are going this way…yes, glad… because it is a big opportunity for people to finally wake up..from their age-old brainwashing, and stop at last being the “self-appointing guardians of this collapsing corrupt status quo”…… the world is changing whether we like it or not…i live in Athens-Greece, and have watched all this happening at Syndagma square from day 1…

    …personally i am in fully support of the Resource-Based Economic model, as proposed by The Venus Project… and was also shown at the Zeitgeist films…

    ..i will not start the blaming game now, and finger-pointing, for this whole mess that our primitive society is in, cause its too boring to do so…. and needs pages of writing…

    …i will only look forward, and focus on a better world that we can make… a world that puts at the center of attention the Human, and the Earth….and not the economics …. its time for the dinosaurs to die… rEvolution Now….

  357. dordrecht permalink
    July 1, 2011 6:02 am

    The productivity of Greece better than the productivity of Germany !!! What a stupidity !! If you read that a mouse weights 50 tons, do you believe it ? Greece has lost its freedom due to an Himalaya of debt, I want my money back ! You were singing and dancing with the euro, now you have to wake up.

    • Dimitris permalink
      September 30, 2011 9:49 pm

      dordrecht
      Dear friend only the 25% of the greek citizens work…the rest r public workers or over 60 or unemployed…so the 25% of those greeks work that much…look at the forest and not the tree…
      and for the LAST time…Greek citizens in their majority dont take 10.000 euros for wage…they take about 800 euros in a country that u need for rent atleast 350 euros and leave in a shithole…THE CITIZENS didnt take the loans nor the decisions to take this LOANS…so its not my dept…its their dept…and your not an asshole for sayin wat u say, u r just an irrogant guy(who doesn’t think), with no clue of wats is happening…because u and others like u see thats life is black and white…but really in life there r much more colours…grow up and think…search first and then make a statement…or a comment…so u need to wake up…my reality waked me up long ago…

  358. Fred List permalink
    July 1, 2011 8:27 am

    Wonderful analysis — very moving!

    Greece needs its sovereignty: the right to impose tariffs on imports that have flooded in from China, and destroyed the real economy.

  359. Stratos Ap permalink
    July 1, 2011 9:45 am

    Democracy’s Cradle, Rocking the World
    By MARK MAZOWER
    Published: June 29, 2011

    YESTERDAY, the whole world was watching Greece as its Parliament voted to pass a divisive package of austerity measures that could have critical ramifications for the global financial system. It may come as a surprise that this tiny tip of the Balkan Peninsula could command such attention. We usually think of Greece as the home of Plato and Pericles, its real importance lying deep in antiquity. But this is hardly the first time that to understand Europe’s future, you need to turn away from the big powers at the center of the continent and look closely at what is happening in Athens. For the past 200 years, Greece has been at the forefront of Europe’s evolution.
    Related

    Greece Approves Tough Measures on Economy (June 30, 2011)
    Times Topic: Greece

    In the 1820s, as it waged a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire, Greece became an early symbol of escape from the prison house of empire. For philhellenes, its resurrection represented the noblest of causes. “In the great morning of the world,” Shelley wrote in “Hellas,” his poem about the country’s struggle for independence, “Freedom’s splendor burst and shone!” Victory would mean liberty’s triumph not only over the Turks but also over all those dynasts who had kept so many Europeans enslaved. Germans, Italians, Poles and Americans flocked to fight under the Greek blue and white for the sake of democracy. And within a decade, the country won its freedom.

    Over the next century, the radically new combination of constitutional democracy and ethnic nationalism that Greece embodied spread across the continent, culminating in “the peace to end all peace” at the end of the First World War, when the Ottoman, Hapsburg and Russian empires disintegrated and were replaced by nation-states.

    In the aftermath of the First World War, Greece again paved the way for Europe’s future. Only now it was democracy’s dark side that came to the fore. In a world of nation-states, ethnic minorities like Greece’s Muslim population and the Orthodox Christians of Asia Minor were a recipe for international instability. In the early 1920s, Greek and Turkish leaders decided to swap their minority populations, expelling some two million Christians and Muslims in the interest of national homogeneity. The Greco-Turkish population exchange was the largest such organized refugee movement in history to that point and a model that the Nazis and others would point to later for displacing peoples in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and India.

    It is ironic, then, that Greece was in the vanguard of resistance to the Nazis, too. In the winter of 1940-41, it was the first country to fight back effectively against the Axis powers, humiliating Mussolini in the Greco-Italian war while the rest of Europe cheered. And many cheered again a few months later when a young left-wing resistance fighter named Manolis Glezos climbed the Acropolis one night with a friend and pulled down a swastika flag that the Germans had recently unfurled. (Almost 70 years later, Mr. Glezos would be tear-gassed by the Greek police while protesting the austerity program.) Ultimately, however, Greece succumbed to German occupation. Nazi rule brought with it political disintegration, mass starvation and, after liberation, the descent of the country into outright civil war between Communist and anti-Communist forces.

    Only a few years after Hitler’s defeat, Greece found itself in the center of history again, as a front line in the cold war. In 1947, President Harry S. Truman used the intensifying civil war there to galvanize Congress behind the Truman Doctrine and his sweeping peacetime commitment of American resources to fight Communism and rebuild Europe. Suddenly elevated into a trans-Atlantic cause, Greece now stood for a very different Europe — one that had crippled itself by tearing itself apart, whose only path out of the destitution of the mid-1940s was as a junior partner with Washington. As the dollars poured in, American advisers sat in Athens telling Greek policy makers what to do and American napalm scorched the Greek mountains as the Communists were put to flight.

    European political and economic integration was supposed to end the weakness and dependency of the divided continent, and here, too, Greece was an emblem of a new phase in its history. The fall of its military dictatorship in 1974 not only brought the country full membership in what would become the European Union; it also (along with the transitions in Spain and Portugal at the same time) prefigured the global democratization wave of the 1980s and ’90s, first in South America and Southeast Asia and then in Eastern Europe. And it gave the European Union the taste for enlargement and the ambition to turn itself from a small club of wealthy Western European states into a voice for the newly democratic continent as a whole, extending far to the south and east.

    And now today, after the euphoria of the ’90s has faded and a new modesty sets in among the Europeans, it falls again to Greece to challenge the mandarins of the European Union and to ask what lies ahead for the continent. The European Union was supposed to shore up a fragmented Europe, to consolidate its democratic potential and to transform the continent into a force capable of competing on the global stage. It is perhaps fitting that one of Europe’s oldest and most democratic nation-states should be on the new front line, throwing all these achievements into question. For we are all small powers now, and once again Greece is in the forefront of the fight for the future.

    Mark Mazower is a professor of history at Columbia University.

  360. Vaggelis permalink
    July 1, 2011 10:04 am

    Touching and moving your article. However, demonstrating in the streets is just not enough. We need to take action and hurt them in the only way they can understand : economically ! Boycott banks, foreign products, change our mentality, say no to corruption each one from his post, etc… I believe this is the way to change the future of our country, to redefine ourselves and our lost values.

  361. Andoni Nicolau permalink
    July 1, 2011 10:53 am

    The best article I’ve read concerning the Greek debt crisis. You’ve educated me as to the mechanics of the situation and helped me to formulate my own opinion. So thank you. Your definition of wealth is particularly fascinating and I believe if more people accepted that then the world would not be facing so many financial crises.

    Finally, when did it become unthinkable to default on a loan? It seems that creditors nowadays are entitled to charge interest but accept none of the risk and thus the debtor bears the entire loss plus interest. Creditors need to take responsibly and accept losses for loans which they have granted without properly understanding the risk they are undertaking.

  362. July 1, 2011 11:37 am

    It is great that you had the courage to write this. I live in Portugal and witness everyday how the same things that were foced upon Greece are being forced upon Portugal as well. We, the countries who are under direct attack from these foreign forces should unite to say a tremendous “No, we will not allow you to take away our dignity and our sovereignity!”.
    I will translate this article into Portuguese so that more people in Portugal can read this. The message as to be spread!

  363. Tim permalink
    July 1, 2011 12:00 pm

    Always a pleasure to read this blog. A wonderful piece with a good balance of analysis and personal slant. I am, of course, in solidarity with my Greek brothers and sisters.

  364. July 1, 2011 2:27 pm

    We have been sleep-walking towards this for some time now.Each one of us individuals thinking we cant change much…
    Well, thank God there are still people like YOU to shake us up from our nightmare-and make us believe WE CAN change things.
    After all, let’s Not forget-we pick and pay the politicians making the decisions on our behalf.So, time for “value for money” attitude towards all of them-irrespective of what country they are from!

  365. anonymous permalink
    July 1, 2011 2:49 pm

    it’s getting bad… we need to support the greece people if we want a change against them, but doing that alone will not help, so please, join us. The media tries to cencor us, but we are here, and we are going to beat the f*ck out of them.
    http://www.whatis-theplan.org/
    we need your help

  366. Moss permalink
    July 1, 2011 3:12 pm

    Good post. If you take out the pictures of Athens and change some names it will also work for Ireland. Stick with it. When the dust settles, remember to look for the hand of Wall St.
    By the way, we are wondering here how easy it is to come by a gas mask in Greece? If it is easy, why so?

  367. July 1, 2011 6:52 pm

    I SUPPORT YOU AS WELL!!! YOU ARE THE FIRST FORTRESS THAT IS TRYING TO BE CONQUERED / TAKEN BY EU-MACHINERY / BANKS+CORPORATIONS /. THATS WHY YOU, GREECE PEOPLE, ARE SO IMPORTANT, PLEASE DONT GIVE UP, PLEASE DO NOT!!! IM SPREADING THE NEWS TO ALL I KNOW IN SLOVAKIA. VIA FB, MAILS, TALKS…

    WE ARE WITH YOU.
    PEOPLE WITH HEART, GET TOGETHER, DONT LET ANY POWER TEAR US INTO PIECES !!!

    • Joseph Nikolaou permalink
      July 2, 2011 3:39 am

      DSK is arrested as he is about to attend an extremely important meeting where he would have advocated the giving of the next tranche of loans to Greece.
      His American replacement withholds the tranche, causing a near eurozone collapse.
      He is held in a hellhole of a prison, until he resigns from the IMF.
      The day after his replacement in the IMFis elected, and Greece passes laws that sells out its national assets and sends it into a recessive spiral, the charges are revealed to be bogus! This was a set up. Strauss-Kahn would not have allowed the IMF to do this to Greece. I urge people to protest their governments. The USA is directly an accomplice of this crime. The New York City police assessed whoever was behind this set up of Strauss-Kahn to ensure this looting of Greece. The US has blood on its hands, so does the European Union. In my opinion they are now criminal governments, and must be called out. Justice demands it. Repeat people in the US especially need to call their Senators, and Representatives, and call this out, that this whole debacle and looting of Greece is a crime. People have to let their government know that they know what is going on her, and pressure them. The more people complain and talk about this, the greater chance justice will be done for Greece, just like the victims of the Holocaust were given justice at the Nuremburg trials, 15 years after WW11.

  368. bukepalus permalink
    July 1, 2011 8:36 pm

    Being broke is different than jugging the stats. you can lie to your own people and get broke or make certain groups rich . this is something else more less an internal problem. Every country faces more less such a thing

    lying other countries for your countries” advantage is something else
    imho

  369. Interested permalink
    July 2, 2011 9:41 am

    What an excellent piece..so good I am going to have to read it over again and again and show it to anyone with some intelligence…..Hey, Greece you are not alone..I support all those whom defend their countries wealth and heritage. Do not allow them to sell ur wealth off to “the family”, they know who they are. Ps same happened in my country Chile which ended in a coup and, years of dictatorship and a lost generation..lost in consummerism……..Be strong Greece and keep up the fight. PSS Your country and people are beautiful…..keep fighting….

  370. July 3, 2011 2:55 am

    When I was in my 20’s some close relatives offered to help me purchase my first house by paying whatever I needed as downpayment. i respectfully rejected thier offer. I knew the minute I accepted thier money, I would HAVE to accept them meddling into my business. I opted to live in an appartment, but not having to answer to anyone.
    My point is, while this is a sad story about Greece, a read a lot of blame on a lot of different entities, the IMF, the EU….this, that. you can only blame the Greek people. you simply can’t live beyond your means, get others to pay for life style and then complain when they interfere in your business. once they loan you the money to live your life, they own you. this is common sense.
    I live in the US and I see us heading down the same road, and it is sad. becuase you see how this whole process starts and people are simply too dumb to recognise it.
    I feel for the greek people, but sorry, I have no sympathy. Deal with it. I don’t see the Chineese or the japanees suffering from the same issue, becuase they deal with it, and they work hard.

    I have been to Greece, I love the country and the people.

    through hard work, you can come out of this.

    Good luck.

    • July 3, 2011 1:11 pm

      No, because the people is not responsible for what their governments, who work for other interests usually, do.

      You cannot in any case sacrifice a whole nation for a handful of private creditors. As the Catalan poet said: “never must a whole nation die for a single man”.

      You cannot put private interests before the public interest and you can treat a nation as private agent. The only way you reach through that slippery slope is to corporate control of the state, to capitalist totalitarianism, in which a few wealthy private agents dictate the terms for all.

      All that is simply unacceptable. Greece is a zillion better off declaring bankruptcy and nationalizing private business that cannot survive otherwise.

      And bot the right to bankruptcy and the right of society to intervene private property for the public good are fundamental rights.

      What matters here is the public good nothing else.

    • July 3, 2011 1:18 pm

      Awfully inaccurate comparison.

      When you are an individual you can decide if you are sovereign or not.

      When you speak about society I would like to ask if you feel you voted every single policy of your Government, i.e.: Vietnam, Irak, Nasa budget, Military budget, Finacial markets regulations, financial markets (un)control, bailouts, bubbles, education and health systems, etc.

      We think we live in free societies, but all these events only show that modern democracies are more like a “mirage” we are all believing in, while reality is being decided at some other higher levels, to be later sold to us with beautiful packaging.

      Yes, people can be dumb, and you and me may be the smart ones, but I think it’s somebody else that’s outsmarting all of us. Stay with us, not with the system, it will show you too at some point, you are not “that” sovereign either.

  371. spooky4malin permalink
    July 3, 2011 12:33 pm

    … you took loans and now you dont want to pay it back. All over the world cheap loans was available, but you guys looks took the bite more than any other. Problablly your politians went wrong on expanses, probably you was too sure your quality of life will go up and that made you expect loan payback will be easy… and you took the loans.
    You did mistakes, and your not gonna change that by fighting. Admin your mistakes and live with that. Teach your children to not do the sames mistakes as you did.

    Guy from Latvia.

  372. sean matthews permalink
    July 3, 2011 3:56 pm

    You are not even in primary balance.

  373. July 3, 2011 5:31 pm

    Hey Sturdy,
    I concern with the topic “society” for a while now.
    I want to summarize overviews of the different subjects that determine how our societal systems work in an easily comprehendible fashion, for I saw that there are many people that see problems, but there is little coordination of solutions.
    So a friend of mine and I started writing a blog, collecting Links:
    http://globalsocietyblog.wordpress.com/
    I think it is important to take it to the streets, but firstly we need very good plans and a well informed (about basic understandings and interrelations of the topic “society”), inspired crowd of people.
    Maybe my blog can help achieve such a crowd.
    Thank you for your public work.
    Regards,
    Milom

  374. Anna Berentina permalink
    July 3, 2011 7:23 pm

    Fantastic article, Alex! it helped me sort out and understand more of whats going on in Greece right now. My second country which I love, miss and have deep sympathy for in this crisis.. Thank you.

  375. Marli permalink
    July 3, 2011 9:28 pm

    Solidarity from Sweden. Keep on fighting, the rest of us will have to follow you eventually, we´re all breathing through a respirator, Its time for our generation to step up and make our mark on history.

  376. Stratos Ap permalink
    July 4, 2011 8:56 am

    http://blog.stigalaria.org/2011/07/02/puzzle_29_6_2011/

    Take a look inside and see the links that are being offered …A lesson at “True Democracy”

  377. July 4, 2011 9:26 am

    See also http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/06/20/regarding-the-greek-situation/ + http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010 for “The Greek state was not just corrupt but also corrupting. Once you saw how it worked you could understand a phenomenon which otherwise made no sense at all: the difficulty Greek people have saying a kind word about one another. Individual Greeks are delightful: funny, warm, smart, and good company. I left two dozen interviews saying to myself, “What great people!” They do not share the sentiment about one another: the hardest thing to do in Greece is to get one Greek to compliment another behind his back. No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate. And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing. Lacking faith in one another, they fall back on themselves and their families. The structure of the Greek economy is collectivist, but the country, in spirit, is the opposite of a collective. Its real structure is every man for himself. Into this system investors had poured hundreds of billions of dollars. And the credit boom had pushed the country over the edge, into total moral collapse.” (Michael Lewis 2010-10)

  378. July 4, 2011 9:31 am

    “In early 2010, it was revealed that successive Greek governments had been found to have consistently and deliberately misreported the country’s official economic statistics to keep within the monetary union guidelines. This had enabled Greek governments to spend beyond their means, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU overseers.” (lemma “Greece” in Wikipedia) … Did this happen? Yes. Were those governments democratically elected? Yes. Are we talking organised corruption by Greek society here? Guess so… Can such things remain without consequences? Probably not. Are others too blame too? Probably, but taking them to justice is another story.

  379. July 4, 2011 12:33 pm

    I like your analysis of things, and I agree that the Greek should say NO to the bailout.

    It is time for greedy banks, and bankers to start taking the hits for the problem they have caused the economies in the world.

    Only with a defaulting Greece, will the bankers and money grabbers start being affected by the crisis (unless ignorant governments in the rest of Europe keep saving the banks).

    Iceland was a prime example of how the banks created problems should be dealt with. Denmark is one of the few countries in Europe which learned from Iceland, and just recently let 2 banks collapse, while saving the individual savers.

    Keep it going :)

    /Cheers
    Fredrik (Swede in the UK).

  380. July 4, 2011 4:03 pm

    I lived and worked in Greece for 3.5 years and will always feel torn between there and here in Wales. My experience (up to 1993) was of a place not easy to live in, unforgiving to those who were not willing to work but also overly accomodating to certain professions – a bit like the UK when I grew up in the ’70s. But lazy? Never – Greeks live life to the full, can be infuriating and wonderful, generous and opinionated, but always alive. The problem Greece faced was the same as the rest of us – we just came to believe we wanted more and more STUFF to be happy. Thank God we are now coming to our senses and saying hang on, is this really the best way to feel fulfilled? Bankers, financiers are driven by a belief that you are measured by what you own – rubbish. Their short-sightedness has brought us to the brink of disaster.
    Recovery will be slow and painful but we will recover, and more quickly, the sooner we turn our backs on the corrupt whisperers who created the situation in the first place. Greece has and always will be coveted, because people want what it is they can’t quite grasp; evolution, innovation, creativity – these things are always messy, because they are constantly changing, you can’t box them up and turn them into a commodity. I love Greece because every day when you wake there is different and never predictable – you can’t buy, sell, bottle or put that in a safe because it is free of monetary value and the more one tries to own it the further it will flutter from your grasp.
    Fight to keep it whole, fight to keep it free. Across the world we are with you.

  381. Helen permalink
    July 4, 2011 4:04 pm

    Greece faces severe restrictions on its sovereignty and must privatise state assets on a scale similar to the sell-off of East German firms in the 1990s after communism fell, says Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker.

    In an interview published after euro zone finance ministers in the Eurogroup approved a further 12 billion euro ($17.43 billion) installment of Greece’s bailout, Juncker said he was optimistic that measures agreed with Athens would help to resolve the country’s problems.

    “The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited,” he told Germany’s Focus magazine in the interview released on Sunday, adding that teams of experts from around the euro zone would heading to Greece.

    “For the forthcoming wave of privatizations they will need, for example, a solution based on a model of Germany’s ‘Treuhand agency’,” Juncker added, referring to the privatization agency that sold off 14,000 East German firms between 1990 and 1994.

    The Greek parliament voted on Thursday to set up a privatization agency under austerity plans agreed with the European Union and IMF which have provoked violent protests on the streets of Athens.

    Greeks are acutely sensitive to any infringement of their sovereignty or suggestions of foreign “commissars” getting involved in running the country.

    “One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the euro zone,” Juncker said.

    Athens must sell off five billion euros in state assets this year alone or risk missing targets set under its EU/IMF program, which could cut off its funding needed to keep the government running and avoid a debt default.

    A repeat of Germany’s Treuhand experience may prove bitter for Greeks, who are already suffering soaring unemployment as a recession drags into its third year.

    Once the world’s biggest holding company, Treuhand was supposed to sell off state property at a profit but closed its books with a huge deficit and a legacy of bitterness among the legions of workers whose jobs it destroyed.

    Four million Germans were employed by Treuhand-owned companies in 1990 but only about 1.5 million jobs were left in 1994 when the agency closed.

    Instead of reaping profits to be distributed to all east Germans, as it was designed to do, it ran up debts of 270 billion marks ($172 billion) in the fire sale of assets.

    “NOT FULLY FUNCTIONAL”

    Juncker, also Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, first floated the idea of a Treuhand-style agency for Greece in May. He said then he believed Greece could raise considerably more than the 50 billion euros in asset sales.

    “The current package of measures, which Athens has agreed to, will bring a solution to the Greek question,” he said in the Focus interview. However, he added that the Greek tax collection system was “not fully functional.”

    On Saturday, euro zone finance ministers agreed that the fifth tranche of the 110-billion-euro bailout agreed with Greece in May 2010 would be paid by July 15, as long as the IMF’s board signs off on the disbursement. The IMF is expected to meet on July 8 to approve it.

    The payment will allow Greece to avoid the immediate threat of default, but the country still needs a second rescue package, which is also expected also to total around 110 billion euros and which will now probably be finalized only in September.

    Juncker said the Greek crisis had been largely caused by itself. “Between 1999 and 2010 wages rose 106.6 percent even though the economy did not grow at the same pace. The wage policies were completely out of control and not based on (gains in) productivity,” he said.

    ———————————————–

    As soon as the Greek parliament agree Junker’s terms they cease to be AN INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGN NATION. Game, set and match to the EU.

    • Helen permalink
      July 5, 2011 10:30 am

      Your comment is awaiting moderation?

      This is from yesterday, 4th July.

  382. Piter permalink
    July 4, 2011 4:42 pm

    To those that HOPE for default, check WHO owns Greece debt: it’s mostly GREEK INSTITUTIONS !!
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/barclays-releases-updated-report-top-40-greek-debt-holders

    If you go belly up, all your banks will disappear at the same time, all the money you have in the bank will go with it, all the pensions will also disappear.
    You will wake up in a fourth world country.
    And the rest of the world pissed of with you.

    are you sure this is the best option ?

    • July 5, 2011 1:00 pm

      Indeed, mostly Greek private corporate banks (of uncertain ownership: “Irish” toxic banks were owned by German “investors” mostly but are being paid for by Irish taxpayers now). Though not only: French and Belgian banks (BNP, Dexia, Soc Gen, etc.) are particularly exposed – there’s also significant German and other European exposure. Dexia’s implications are particularly heavy, because it’s one of those key “national” corporations, whose economic relevance is that of maybe 30% of Belgian GNP, and Belgium is one of those covert “living dead” EU states, like Denmark, the UK or Italy, on which the press tends to remain silent but are very very weak in fact.

      Whatever the case, Greece should declare bankruptcy and intervene all those banks… after declaring them bankrupt as well (not assuming their debts in any case: that’s stupid). Even if that meant being expelled from the Eurozone, there’s no way that EU can force Greece to stop printing euros for the transitional period. It can declare Greek-printed euros illegal but that would be an issue that would be solved in due time, not in the shock moment.

      Alternatively, Greece can declare socialism, nationalize or collectivize any large company, including those that are to be sold by the sell-off agreement, and create a new currency not fully free-flowing (something like the yuan or the old soviet ruble).

      The main problem for Greece to follow this path is that it is a very small country, widely exposed to naval attacks, which would surely ensue on any pretext (maybe using Turkey as battering ram) if Greece would decide to go so far.

      The main asset would be that, if Greece ever goes so far, it will do with almost total national consensus (which is already being formed) and almost nothing can defeat a determined Free People.

  383. July 5, 2011 1:23 am

    “the author would have been hauled in by the police and charged with hate crimes”
    Maybe in some uncivilized fascist states, but in the U.S we have freedom of speech.

  384. attilamaradi permalink
    July 5, 2011 9:46 am

    The enemy have done exactly the same thing in HUNGARY. The sad truth is that ‘they’ have been able to succeed because of our traitor politicians (who most of them are part Israeli citizens) and our ignorant and phlegmatic and coward general public. It is also interesting that if you read some of the banned publications you will notice that the sophisticated takeover is being executed in a similar manner which was used before burst of WW2.

    • July 5, 2011 1:05 pm

      Indeed. The Hungarian case is ill-known largely because there is no left-wing resistance whatsoever. Sadly in most of the former soviet bloc states, the Left is very weak and sclerotic and instead far right movements are feeding on these issues.

      Much of what I read about Hungary these days are not mass demos in Budapest or wherever against IMF demolition plans but far-right anti-Roma attacks and more or less tolerated parades. My impression is that sadly Hungary is falling down the path of fascism.

      • attilamaradi permalink
        July 5, 2011 10:48 pm

        What you see is the great deception of the dominant so called liberal press of your. There is no difference between the so called left and right wing parties. they are all descendants of the old Zionist-Communist leaders who sent more people to Siberian death camps than the Nazi bootlickers. I can assure you that our situation is identical to what you see now at the case of Greece or worse. We are at the point of complete insolvency because of the unnecessary IMF and EU loans which served only one purpose. To drive us into a situation where there is no other way than handing over our national assets (including our royal castle, bridges, … etc) and resources for monopoly money. It is absolute ridicule to even assume that there is fascism in Hungary in such times when 70% percent of our parliament is ruled by Israeli-Hungarian politicians and when majority of our public figures have Jewish inheritance. When our business domain is filtrated with parasites like George Soros or Andy Vajna. Furthermore all domestic industrial and agricultural producers in Hungary had been privatized and destroyed by foreign so called liberal occupiers/oppressors. Most multi nationals receive five years tax cuts while domestic producers are driven to bankruptcy. Most gypsies live on well-fare, sometimes way better than others. All they do is to sit around doing nothing. There were times when our government gave subsidies to families building homes. What they did in many occasions that they put up a couple walls or a half complete structure without mortar then they took the money and built a new structure at a new place and repeated the whole thing again. There were also cases when they gave there kids to orphan schools then they told some of their relatives to adopt their own children to get money from the government. In that case both them and their relatives received financial compensation. In rural areas the situation is so bad that you cannot live anything out in your garden or at your house because they get stolen. There was a case a few years ago in the north part of the country where a teacher was driving through a town with his children when he accidentally crashed into a small gypsy kid riding her/his bike in the middle of the road. The guy was driving very slowly so nothing happened with the small gypsy kid. However when the rest of the brigade saw the accident they took out the guy from the car and beat him to death in front of his children. Then they told the kids to get out and run otherwise they will rape them and kill them. Recently 3 gypsy mafia guys stabbed 2 professional handball players to death at a night club. There were numerous cases where in rural areas old women (age of 70-80) were raped and rubbed in a manner that there limbs were cut off and were killed brutally. There have been efforts to integrate them or to provide education and labor to them but most of our efforts failed miserably. Fortunately there are very few exceptions but they are very rare. Plenty of gypsy families migrated to Canada under the accusation of negative discrimination. Many of them have returned although they left Hungary because it is a fascist country.

        The whole situation is a sad joke. And people don not see anything because they don’t look behind the surface.

      • July 6, 2011 3:25 am

        @Attila…: Fascism and Zionism are not confronted. The elite commando that attacked the Mavi Marmara a year ago killing so many was founded by an Italian fascist, who said clearly and proudly: “Ben Gurion is a fascist”. The only contradiction of Zionism is not with Fascism in general but with Antisemitism.

        I get the impression that you are not Antizionist nor Antifascist but actually an Antisemitic Fascist, and I have no interest in debating or talking at all with any kind of fascist (Zionist or Antisemitic or whatever thing in between).

        What is clear is that Hungary is falling down in the trap of fascism and racism, with those death squads attacking and patrolling Roma neighborhoods, with that new Catholic fundamentalist authoritarian constitution that basically throws tolerance and freedom overboard.

        And that is a very sad evolution.

  385. Stratos permalink
    July 5, 2011 1:02 pm

  386. July 5, 2011 8:16 pm

    Superbly stated! I had to quote you on my post.
    http://greeksynthesis.blogspot.com/2011/07/democracy-wars-episode-v-empire-strikes.html

  387. July 5, 2011 9:55 pm

    Fantastic post, Thank you.
    I’m an independent (Greek Australian) journalist, based in Athens. The protests here have been gathering momentum since May – a non-politically aligned people’s movement against the troika, in favour of real democracy, and above all -Greek sovereignty. Greece is on the frontline of a broad based European people’s movement, sparked by the uprisings in the middle east and the fact that the austerity program hit here first..

    I quoted you in my article recently published in Foreign Policy In Focus (independent online media coming out of Washington DC) The quote is credited with a link to this post.
    http://www.fpif.org/articles/greece_on_the_verge

    Greeks are focusing their anger, or rather outrage – into courageous and determined peaceful resistance. I’m talking about the courage of people, young and old, standing up for their democratic right to gather and protest, in the face of unprovoked and sustained riot police violence, including massive use of chemical gases, stun grenades and baton attacks, topped off with a rampage through central Athens on the second day of the 48 hour general strike.

    It was the first time I have reported as a journalist and photographer, with a gas mask and goggles, and at certain points, running for my life. It is the first time I have ever felt like a war reporter, bearing witness to civilians standing up for their basic rights. Apart from the high voltage experience of general strike days, there is SO much going on at Syntagma Square, facilitated by real democracy – including a people’s assembly and concerts. It has become a huge magnet and meeting place for people, and is vibrant and buzzing every day, especially in the evenings.

    If you are able, come to Athens and be part of it, vent your emotions, find an outlet for your feelings, meet and share and contribute with others. Now is the time to stand up and be counted – on the street….because this movement is not going away, and in fact it is starting to feel like a broad based European people’s movement for real Democracy.

    Last night at the people’s assembly of Syntagma Square, a man from Yemen addressed the packed crowd, and spoke of his people’s occupation of Yemen’s squares for the last 5 months. They are living there, and some have not left in all those months. Another man gave greetings and strong words of solidarity from Barcelona, and confirmed that there, too, people are protesting and filling the squares, demanding change. There was also a speaker from Libya – he was in Athens and indeed, in Europe, for the first time, and touched by the massive gathering of Greeks at Syntagma.

    There are many thousands who share your outrage – they are gathering together to share, listen, discuss, collaborate – all of which is a very positive outlet for outrage and makes people feel they are not alone, but part of something much, much bigger…

    After every general strike, when the MAT have trashed the square with chemicals, the people work together to clean it thoroughly, so that everyone can return safely and be there – concert after the chemicals is becoming a regular event.
    Warm greetings to you from Athens,
    Kia

    • gov51ststate permalink
      July 7, 2011 6:25 pm

      ‘Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws.’
      – Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

      If those who argue that central Banksters are NOT the leading cause to all our downstream problems, they need to read further so they may awaken as those in the streets of Greece are.
      Here is a good start: http://www.degaray.com/misc/139_TheMonetarySystem.html

      For the solutions please educate yourselves to thus [Breaking All The Rules]: http://www.batr.org/wrack/061911.html
      (example: “What actually exists is a global prison of internationalist’s herders that farm the sheeple.”) I say, The people can win, if they stop fighting amongst themselves and also stop following the soul-less corporate Elite’s rules. It just might be THAT simple.

      The US corporation has the largest military in the world today to back-up the usurist thin-aired money-lenders rules, so please do not think the US [Wall Street gamblers] has no say in Greece and all nations hereafter these current street protestings. If you are in doubt, see what NATO (spell that USA) is really doing in Libya these months.

    • July 12, 2011 10:04 am

      Kia – can you keep us up to date with developments – The MSM in the UK are adopting their usual selective approach towards misinformation and/or denial.

      • July 12, 2011 1:08 pm

        John,

        Yes, I will. I am writing a new article on the events and repercussions of June 29 in Athens (second day of the historic 48 hour general strike) in the wake of the medium term troika bill being passed.

        I also highly recommend the documentary film DEBTOCRACY:

        Released April 2011, now with full English sub-titles. It gives an explanation of the Greek economic crisis, by putting it in context with the IMF ‘bailout’ scams worldwide -specifically by detailing what happened in Argentina (80’s) and Ecuador, (mid 2000’s) and how those countries kicked out the banksters and the IMF and reclaimed their sovereignty.

        In Greece right now, the race is on to nullify the memorandum, especially the forced privatization conditions attached to the unsustainable loans. (These include Greece’s land, water, ports, sewer, public companies and property.) There is a recourse through auditing the debt and also a challenge to the memoranda’s validity with reference to the Greek constitution and international law, protecting the rights of a nation’s people and its assets.

        The website of the ‘Greek Indignado’ movement: Real Democracy, whose protest camp HQ is Syntagma Square, is also worth following.
        http://real-democracy.gr/en

        Thank you for your interest, please share these links if you find them valuable.

  388. July 6, 2011 2:44 am

    Awesome info and tons of passion. I really appreciate this perspective, and I love the Taleb quote.

    My thoughts on this are basically that it’s time for Syntagma to present a broader platform for the world, make a real plan for progress on all sorts of fronts, not just economic. Call it the audacity of hope, if you will. It worked for Obam and it can work for Syntagma. My full treatment is here: http://the-peripatetic.com/2011/07/05/the-post-papandreou-greece-a-top-5-list/

  389. Panos permalink
    July 6, 2011 10:28 pm

    A great look at the Greek dept problem.
    P.S. Greek people made many mistakes but they don’t deserve this. So don’t be so critical because its really easy to be the next.

  390. July 7, 2011 9:11 am

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  391. July 7, 2011 9:48 am

    Excellent Blog. Keep up the Good work

    Wish I Had found your blog earlier – would have helped my humble efforts to argue that the design fault lies within the Euro, itself, not in people.

  392. gov51ststate permalink
    July 7, 2011 7:11 pm

    If the military and the police would realize they are the tools of the central Banks, an asset backed form of exchange/trade could be brought on-line and to our pocket-books. We each have value = to our individual work ethic.

    This so-called “Support our troops” is nothing but BS brain-washing propaganda to continue an evil System just a little longer. If said “supporters” would tell the troops and police to lay down their weapons, these enforcers might not lose their retirement plan as the rest of us are doing under a continued greater debt-load.

    The bullet must be eventually bitten, you cannot continue to kick-the-can-down-the-street.
    A positive monetary System must begin, starting with a Jubilee Year.
    The central banks are books of thin-air, only the military, police, bureaucrats, and blood-suckers support them.

  393. Zuba permalink
    July 7, 2011 8:30 pm

    Stop talking and start solving it…. Its time to change government as a first step….

  394. July 7, 2011 9:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this brilliant summary. Real democracy now!

  395. gov51ststate permalink
    July 8, 2011 5:05 pm

    This may seem off topic—understanding however is what makes-up The Bigger Picture.
    Interest in such writings as J.R.R. Tolkien’s, hobbit trilogy: ‘Lord of The Rings’ is due to it being the tales of the closing of the 3rd Age and opening of the 4th Age of Earth, similar in that today, we are at the end of the cycle of 4 divided Ages and the restart at the beginning (4th to 1st again). http://www.jayweidner.com/JayTolkien1.htm

    In a different part of the world, in the same way, the Mayan Calender depicts this.
    Ancient great civilizations had Temples, so they could ‘keep’ watch ‘with’ the heavens, in order to ‘know’ what was taking place, in a rather astrological fashion. In doing this their people, under leadership of their priests, could “tune” themselves to effect/tune the sun and planets’ movements and daily changes, in a resonating harmonious fashion. In some cases this devolved into human sacrifices.

    Little has changes at this end of another Age. Today, sacrifices and control-of/to the gods (spell that: government>bankers and largest corporations) comes in the form of taxes. The-Powers-That-Be are becoming The-Powers-That-Were. These “priests” seem to think that fascism will lead to more power and an extended hand at control.
    There has always been different types of people whether we want to accept this or not. There are basically two: the productive and those in need or always wanting more. When the latter out-conduce the former, the productive tend to slow and eventually give up. ..like Yeah!

    Greece has been a focal point over the Ages, much as Ireland, Italy, and Spain have. Strange this is where economic turmoil is seen arising/centered? ..No.
    A few see the Heavenly objects and accompanying Comet ELEnin this Fall as creating/harbinger-of another change period for Greece, etc.
    How man reacts today is how he fairs in the days ahead. It is all connected and relevant. ..Cause-effect. Man has merely forgotten how The-Sword-In-The-Stone “operates!” The days can be good or they can be bad. Sometimes the power is [or should be] determined by the people in the streets, rather than those Elite at “the top,” who fail at the close of Ages.

  396. nikos permalink
    July 8, 2011 9:45 pm

    The banksters are winning, slowly but surely they are dragging the world toward war.

    Greece ‘red tapes’ the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza?

    Now, Greece sending troops to Lybia?

    Only the Greek People can stop this from escalating.

    i) Request a six (6) month moratorium on all debt
    ii) Nationalise all assets immediately
    iii) Vote the traitors out

    Greece has deposits of minerals, gas and oil. In time, the debt will be repaid in full by mining of said deposits.

    Sovereign land is not for sale.

    Do not pander to the whims of the criminal elite which includes blocking Freedom Flotilla’s and sending troops to fight false wars.

    It is the only way to fight the criminal elite.

    If these criminals are not stopped now, we all lose, period.

  397. July 11, 2011 2:12 pm

    Because you so intelligently see your own part in it, your own greed for brands and your own over-consumption, I feel it is time to offer you a solution and an invitation. You are invited.

    • nik permalink
      July 13, 2011 7:47 pm

      You have no authority to offer invitations and you are delusional to think that any ‘brand’ other than yours is acceptable.
      The guillotine awaits you and your ilk, not-so intelligentunion.

  398. Iakovos permalink
    July 12, 2011 5:56 pm

    A solution for the Greek crisis ? I am afraid that past some short term financial tweaking to make it look not too bad for the next 4-5 years, there is none…that is politically acceptable.

    Major societal changes are needed, even before political changes can be thought of.
    Individual and collective responsibilities, well understood citizenship, a touch of discipline, respect, quest for efficiency, etc…

    @ Nikos and others: oil and mining, while they do exist are so negligible that they are not a significant factor.
    Oil production is less than 0.5% of market consumption and total oil and mining exports in 2009 were 16.9 millions $ (not billions…), less than 0.1% of exports, constantly decreasing since years.
    It might be a valid story for debate in the kafeneion but reality is different.

    • nikos permalink
      July 18, 2011 3:13 am

      Thanks for the numbers Iakovos. Perhaps the ‘untapped’ resources would be a better guide of any potential future income. I hear “gas in the Ionion Sea” etc….

      What is the debate in the ‘kafeneion’ re Greece becoming a political whore by blocking the ‘freedom flotilla’ to Gaza. I guess that is the result of an unpayble debt, you become a tool to your loan shark, followed immediately by sending jet fighters to Lybia. I would never have thought that possible in the Greek psyche.

  399. Cade Foster permalink
    July 15, 2011 2:47 pm

    Greece was the birthplace of democracy but, foolishly, the Greek people have been supporting political dynasties for far too long in recent decades.

    Could it be that Greece needs a modern-day Solon (as in Solon’s Republic in Ancient Greece) to “reload”, reform and create a better Greece.

    If there is an overwhelming majority of dopye Greeks that do not want the bailout and the Government refuses to accept the wishes of this majority then in true Hellenic character the Greek people should rise and overthrow the Government. Remember, this and former Governments had been very negligent in their duties while governing Greece and possible had “setup” Greece for a “fall”. With a new government a modified form of democracy (say “version 2″) may need to be invented to try and avoid the problems of the recent past. You may need a modern-day Solon.

    Good luck.

  400. nikos permalink
    July 18, 2011 3:14 am

    What can I say,,,,,, read this;

    http://www.activistpost.com/2011/07/stealing-worldcountry-by-country.html

  401. irishbankslave permalink
    July 20, 2011 2:03 am

    I am Irish and you are Greek. We are allies. Both our countries have a proud history. Is it a coincidence that they came for us first? Maybe. Anyone who is involved in this financial degradation should be ashamed of themselves. Pathetic, selfish, ignoble, monsters. I am so proud of the Greek people for fighting back because make no mistake this is WAR. I weep and rage for our countries and for what the world has become.

    And as for the E.U. I do not have the words for the disgust that I feel towards that thing. My country fought for 800 years for our freedom against an invading empire, we will NEVER give up our independence to a wannabe European empire. NEVER. And neither will the GREEKS. They invented DEMOCRACY for f*** sake. The E.U. brought the IMF into our countries and we will never forget that.

    It’s time to take the world back by any means possible. It’s our world, not theirs, and never forget there’s more of us then them .

    Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Ecuador, Egypt, Morocco, Africa, Iceland, USA, UK, everyone. Fight the rich. Who’s with me?

    I love Europe but without countries the world would become nothing. Our diversity makes us who we are.

    I am a very reasonable person who has been pushed too far.

    Today it’s us but tomorrow they WILL come for you.

    Long Live Greece.

  402. July 21, 2011 4:00 am

    What do you think of Dimitris Kazakis’ Founding Declaration of the Unfied Popular Front?
    http://dimitriskazakis.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post_3460.html

  403. July 28, 2011 1:16 am

    A great post, beautifully written and researched. I hope you won’t mind my blogging it (source mentioned, etc)

  404. August 3, 2011 3:47 pm

    We are in NYC fighting the same forces. Most people don’t believe that the transnational corporations are trying to steal our countries. WE are trying to follow what is happening in Greece but the International press ignores it. Here we had Bloombergville (up to 50 people camped out across the street from City Hall for almost three weeks) but most people just walked by.
    on August 24th my family will be ariving in Athens for vacation. I am hoping to meet with protestors at Syntgma Square to show support, just as protesors from Greece, Spain, and Japan, have been coming to show support for us.
    Don’t give up. The forces arrayed against us seem powerful, but truth, history, and the people are on our side.

  405. August 7, 2011 9:37 pm

    And then came August and every body rashed to the shores… escaping from the dark vision of the collapsing future. And then again on September, they will be back to fight what the say is injustice for the people that for 37 years voted repeatedly those now accused for the defaulting Greece.
    Constatninos Houranis comes in mind: “Leave the steering wheel in the hands of the Storm, since the the worst wreckage would be If we will be safe”…

  406. August 9, 2011 4:33 pm

    First of all, I am totally with the greeks, against savage capitalisms spreadsheets. I admire your spirit and bravery during these months.

    I have one question: I explained with your article and your arguments the situation in Greece to one of my friends, who was 7is very affected by the media opinion, the typical “is is all greeks fault, and even more, the greeks have fault that Europe is going worse, too”. I tried to argument, but he said to me – ok, you are just talking about the consecuences but not about he causes of the greek situation, he told me : yes it is greeks fault, because of massive tax evasion, and posted me this : http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2011/07/11/110711ta_talk_surowiecki

    According to this article, greece is doing bad because of massive tax evasion and general lack of tax-moral in the society. But i feel this must not be the only problem for greece. Do you have any explications or arguments to explain this , and to fight against the argument of my friend?

    Thank you!

  407. August 12, 2011 11:11 pm

    If u dont want us to give u money, then leave € and leave EU. That’s the only other option u have and we cant kick u. if we want or not doesnt matter. the rules are made the way, that a member cant be kicked.
    the money “our” banks have lend greece is less then we gave u now. and plz dont tell me german or france goverment came and told u…U HAVE TO BUY SUBS FROM US….

  408. August 13, 2011 1:59 am

    greetings form Egypt. You are starting a global revolution, please go on.

  409. Zee Man permalink
    August 17, 2011 3:45 am

    beautiful post!

    I support you my Greek brothers and sisters. My nation of Yugoslavia was also demonized, broken apart, and all of the repupublics are now just subjugated countries — thanks to those same International Monetary Fascists (IMF/MMF/Fed Reserve criminals) and their ideas of destroying national sovereignties, murdering the economies, destroying the values and traditions and bringing in the perversions and insanity. This is turn annihilates the countries internally and subjugates them externally to the same group of international criminals.

    It is great to hear about your internal solidarity. Rest assured, this idea will be spreading to rest of the Europe and the world. Afterall, you are the cradle of civilization, so whatever you do — the world is watching.

    Only if more people would understand that a few criminals (IMF) cannot control many (all of us) unless we allow to be controlled.

    so, no matter what they try to do to us we, the people should support each other and always remember who our enemy is, and the enemy of all humans are those hidden controllers and their system of oppression.
    We should say no to their wars, no to their usury system, no to their crimes against our brothers and sisters, no mater what is their race, color or belief.

    We should say no to their destruction of our nations, destruction of our people, our cultures, our traditions, our identities, our families and all things that make us what we are.

    I am with all of you my Greek brothers and sisters.
    Do not cave in to the pressure of those soulless bastards!
    And, remember, a government that does not serve the people can be taken down and brought to a trial. And, rest assured that neither crooks in your government that are involved in money scams nor the crooks that rule the planet that “gave” them the money would like that this cat gets out of bag. If that happens — this insane cryptocracy can lose their power in a hurry, as the small fish would expose what big fish was doing.

    Besides, the ‘power” is relative, all it takes is that a few determined people that draw the line in the sand and decide “no more” subjugation to IMF, no subjugation to the laws that are in conflict with the creator’s laws.

    there are may possibilities and silent revolution is already happening all around the world.
    this revolution is not not being fought with arms, it is fought within the hearts and minds of increasingly larger number of the people that are tired of being subjugated to this hidden elite.

    and, we have seen nothing yet.

    I am sure you are catching my drift…

  410. August 17, 2011 8:18 pm

    Zee man: I am in agreement with your assessment of the Fascist IMF/MMF/Fed Reserve criminals..but it is what the EURO Commission & the EU is doing to Europe in suits what Hitler couldn’t through jackboots & uniforms! This is the Dictatorship of Europe that Hitler envisioned as the 4th Reich. This was his dream, and now it is being carried out by Sarkozy & Merkel, under the mantle of the EU which is really about establishing a Dictatorship of Europe controlled by Germany in alliance with France. Remember, WW11, France rolled out the red carpet for Hitler. Paris welcomed him with open arms. The so called French resistance is revisionist history to make people in the west believe that they were really anti-fascist when in fact they aren’t/weren’t. This just proves it. Greece, and Denmark, & Serbia were the only countries in Europe who resisted Hitler. Hitler acknowledged this himself, and made a pointed effort to point out how the Greeks were amongst the most people he admired for their courage:

    “I forbid the Press to underestimate the Greeks, to defame them…. The Führer admires the bravery of Greeks” – Josef Goebbels, The Goebbels Diaries.

    “The Greek soldier in particular fought with boldness and highest disrespect for death. Capitulated only when further resistance was impossible and useless” – Adolf Hitler’s speech to Reichstag, 1941..after the seige of StalinGrad, where he was defeated and his defeat was credited to Greece’s resistance…

    “If the Russian Peoples succeeded in raising their tired bodies in front of the gates of Moscow to contain and set back the German torrent they owe it to the Greek People that delayed the German Divisions all the time needed. The gigantomachy of Crete was the climax of the Greek contribution” – Soviet Field Marshal Zhukov.

    • August 22, 2011 8:53 pm

      plz tell me, where is the force which stop greece to leave? as far i know we have no troopse there to froce them to stay.

    • August 23, 2011 7:05 am

      I just wanted to say that I found these comments very insightful and informative hopefully it is not to late to learn some lessons from history and the modern Tyrants of capitalism will not prove successful in implementing the ancient advice of Thrasybulus

    • Chris permalink
      August 29, 2011 2:07 pm

      @Joseph Nikolaou

      I generally agree. But it seems unjustified to say that “Greece, and Denmark, & Serbia were the only countries in Europe who resisted Hitler”. Forgot about Poland which was the first to resist Hitler (and Stalin) when “Russian Peoples” were allied with Nazi Germany while Britain stood neutral in practice toward escalating war until it reached its own gates.

  411. Angie permalink
    August 20, 2011 9:15 pm

    Well written and of course I share it with everyone I know and everyone I see… the troubles in Greece are our troubles too. Wherever we are!

  412. Will permalink
    August 22, 2011 4:34 am

    Solidarity from San Francisco. I’m studying this stuff and talking to my friends about what’s happening on a global level. good luck!

    • August 22, 2011 9:46 pm

      Hi Will,

      I’m Greek-Australian and live in Athens. I was living in SF for a year before moving here…
      I’m an independent journalist and photographer and have been covering the Athens demonstrations this year..You can check out 2 stories in Foreign Policy In Focus – U.S indy online media, coming out of Washington DC. I linked this Sturdyblog post in one of my stories.

      I have written lots of info on the big picture and what’s happening on the ground, and there’s more coming. It’s important to note that the anti-austerity / pro democracy protest movement has become so broad it’s a people’s movement. It’s non-politically aligned and all about peaceful insurrection.

      The images of rioters are true, but a very very small minority of the people at demos are violent, so the media images are very misleading as they don’t show the majority of protesters, who are peaceful. Nor do they make clear the fact of police brutality and excessive force being used to dissolve legitimate peaceful protests at every single general strike – for years now! And the riot police violence is getting worse. They used 2860 canisters of tear gas on June 29, when the second austerity bill was passed, and the standard at demos is 150 canisters. I was there, it was like a war zone, a war against the people. What’s happening here has nothing in common with the riots in London, as far as I can tell.

      It’s great to feel the solidarity of people around the world. I feel we all have so much in common – we want govt by the people, for the people – whether we live in the U.S, Europe or the Middle East. Even accountability would be a big change from the current state of affairs!

      Glad you found this blog – it is awesome, Alex has hit the nail on the head and is a great writer.

      Solidarity right back at ya!

      Kia Mistilis

      http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_battle_for_greece

      http://www.fpif.org/articles/greece_on_the_verge

  413. August 24, 2011 5:37 pm

    Kia: I am a Greek American who lives in San Francisco. My mother was born in Thessaloniki, and my family on my moms side still lives there. Yes, the media is not reporting that the majority of the Demonstrators are non-violent, and they arent reporting the unprovoked police brutality. But, you have to remember who sponsored and who orchestrated the 1967 military coup of Greece, the USA via the CIA. They installed the Dictatorship, which was oppressive and suppressed free speech, and political dissent. Where do I begin..maybe I should write and autobiography, of my family…my aunt was a protester who was arrested during the violent protests that broke out in Athens, during the 67 coup. (in addition she is a filmmaker and was blacklisted in the 70s, in Greece by the junta regime)Her and her friend were imprisoned, her friend was tortured in prison, my aunt, was released and unharmed only because who she was. The daughter of a decorated general in the Greek army,(my grandfather) who was assassinated during the Greek Civil War. My grandfather was assassinated, by these same Greek fascists who supported the nazis, during and after the occupation of Greece during WW2. My family is and was at the time even more Greek aristocracy, but my grandfather was a Communist, as well as my yiayia. They were real wealthy aristocratic Greek Communists(and proud of it!) who believed in Democracy and social justice for everyone not just the wealthy. They are what you call wealthy Communists. This sounds like it is an oxymoron but it isnt. Also, the Gestapo took my families residence, in Thessaloniki, and used it as their Headquarters for the occupied North Greece/Macedonia. My family was never remunerated by the Greek government for this theft, and they bowed to my uncles demand to release my aunt, because they had information that they could blackmail them by..thats the only reason..they are fasicsts otherwise to this day in Greece, and they are the same criminals who are being enriched by this ursury of the high interest rate loans that they are forcing on Greece, with the asisstance of the EU?IMF etc..

  414. Tiger permalink
    September 21, 2011 2:01 pm

    This article misses a basic point : Is Greek economy generating sufficient cash flow to repay its debt obligations (including the first bail out) when they are due for repayment? The answer is no. Even with the extensive spending cuts your country still does not generate enough cash flow to repay interest and principal elements of debt. Appreciate that people have accepted the cuts but your country still doesn’t have enough cash flow.

    This article drums up this “Enough is enough” hysteria but fails to answer this simple financial question.

    • September 21, 2011 2:57 pm

      I disagree. The article answers this basic questions, just not in the way you want.

      The answer when one cannot afford to replay one’s debt (horri