Europe - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'Opinions & Current Events' started by Touring Mars, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Touring Mars

    Touring Mars Moderator

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    Last week, the EU agreed on yet another rescue package for Greece, which was a) meant to cut Greece's debt by 50 %, b) ensure that banks across Europe had enough money to absorb losses associated with bad Greek debt, and c) increase the Eurozone's central fund for bailing out debt-ridden nations - all of which were meant to reassure nervous global markets etc. etc.

    Today, however, the Greek prime minister threw an unexpected spanner in the works by announcing that he plans to hold a referendum, to ask the Greek people (who have already had enough of the EU dictating terms to them, and imposing ever harsher austerity measures on them from afar) whether or not they approve of the bailout package... this alone has been enough to trigger a wave of speculation about how stable the Greek government is and may spell the end of the current Greek government, before a single vote is even cast.

    The implications of a Greece default (well, a full scale default, as opposed to the carefully managed one that is already underway) are big for the whole of Europe, and probably would have major repercussions everywhere else too. With the fans back on to full speed and with fecal matter at the ready, is Greece about to go down, is there any way to avoid a catastrophe, and what (if anything) should be happening?
     
  2. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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    Well, maybe Scotland should reconsider its latest alcohol pricing law?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15537338

    Or perhaps a new start-up industry could be established, a franchised chain of Greek Haircut shops throughout Europe?

    Respectfully,
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  3. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

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    Throwing it open to the Greek public is not a great idea, in fact it smells of someone trying save their backside. Of course no-one is going to vote for a remote and foreign organization to dictate how they and their country live their lives, but unfortunately we are seeing what happens when said government makes fundamental and important decisions for themselves. The Greek government by their very actions leading up to this problem have shown they are not capable of saving the situation. They need outside help, albeit from governments who more by luck than judgement have not found themselves in the same predicament!

    I think this whole economic farce most of the world finds itself in has been a big eye-opener for the general public. Banks and governments cannot be trusted to play with our money without consequence anymore. Afterall, they still have their jobs and bonuses. The genius of it is that they can **** up as much as they like and still get rich - it's the punters whose money originally funded their antics that will pay the bill at the end of the day. The banks caused it and the governments make sure we pay for it in taxes and price hikes.

    Phew, I'm quite dizzy now. Going for a lie down I think... ;)
     
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  4. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    Maybe the Greek people need to pay taxes. Should solve a lot of problems over there.

    Get in a cab. Meter stays off. Go to the pharmacy, ask for the receipt, they look at you and ask you if it's really necessary. Yes it is. They get mad.

    It's not just the Greek Governement, the people do it just as well.
     
  5. TheCracker

    TheCracker Premium

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    But it's always been that way in Greece. Rightly or wrongly, that's how their economy works, cash in hand. Joining the Euro and expecting them to operate with a currency pegged to the Euro's strongest economy (Germany) was never going to work for any nation with a much weaker economy. That's why when the world's economy in general took a turn for the worse, countries like Greece were going to struggle more than most. If things amazingly work out for the Greek bailout, there's also Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland waiting in the wings to pull the Euro down.

    Bankruptcy is the best thing that Greece could do for it's people, the terms of the bailout will be incredibly tough on most families. But it will likely bring the rest of Europe down with it.

    The Greeks will have to crack down on tax collection, but it's going to be incredibly unpopular and hard to enforce in a country where the authorities generally turn a blindeye to these matters.
     
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  6. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    And now all hell breaks loose.

    Greece isn't a too big of a deal for Europe. Italy is.
    It seems like it's to show the rest of Europe's weak siblings that Brussel will come and punish you.

    This and nothing else. They need to start paying taxes.
     
  7. Sphinx

    Sphinx Staff Emeritus

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    The Eurozone is dead in the water, it's only a matter of time. Sure, the Eurozone big-wigs will continue to come up with make-do solutions, but it's only delaying the inevitable in my view.

    In regards to Greece, perhaps the referendum is a good thing, it really is time for the people of Greece to wake up and smell the roses. If they reject what's on offer then they only have themselves to blame. They need to understand that at this time a 'no' vote will be 100 times worse than the 'yes' vote.

    I fear a war in Europe is looming.
     
  8. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    True.

    The healthy countries cannot keep sending money south.
    It's just a matter of time, Italy will need help. Spain will need help, Portugal, Ireland. I think the Germans, French and Dutch don't have that much patience.

    When someone builds up a huge debt, you don't give them a new creditcard.
     
  9. Sphinx

    Sphinx Staff Emeritus

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    It's a huge deal, not just for Europe, but for the entire world

    Greece is the buffer, if it fails then all hell will be let loose

    If Greece can't be helped there's no way to help Italy, Spain, or the rest of them.
     
  10. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    The Greece economy can easily be saved, but if they want the money, they need to give something back for it.

    Italy's economy is too big to be saved, the others can be saved, but if they don't want to, like the Greeks, the Euro will be gone. No doubt.
     
  11. Sphinx

    Sphinx Staff Emeritus

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    But where's the money coming from, print it (another short term solution)?

    The Eurozone have already been to China with their beggin bowl just after last weeks so-called "deal". No chance there by the looks of it. Japan has reserves, but would you lend your savings to something that looks like it's about to go down the pan? Who else has money to give away?
     
  12. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    There is already 110 billion euro set aside for Greece, but if Greece fails to get back on their feet, yes then we have a problem. As I said before, the patience of the healthy countries will run out as the sick countries have now an example how not to do it.
     
  13. Dotini

    Dotini Premium

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    Europe has just recolonialized Libya fair and square. It's time to rebuild their oil industry and take both the oil and the profits.

    Switzerland has vast reserves of gold stored in underground tunnels. They're not a member of the UN. Some trumped up charges and a quick winter campaign might free up Swiss gold to pay off Greek, Spanish and Italian note holders, with some left over for Ireland and recapitalizing the Silverstone circuit.

    In the event of a Greek default, their islands could be seized and sold off to 1000 billionaire Russian oligarchs for a cool trillion.

    Where there's a will, there's a way!

    In a friendly humor,
    Steve
     
  14. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    :tup:
     
  15. NLxAROSA

    NLxAROSA Premium

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    Everybody knows (and has known for a long, long time) the Greek are not going to be able to pay their debt. Bankruptcy is the only way out, controlled or uncontrolled. Raising the EFSF funds (currently: 1000 billion) is not going to help, since countries are going to add additional demands for every euro added. Demands that the Greek simply can not meet. So write off the debts and start over with a clean slate (possibly outside of the Euro). It's going to hurt a lot(the Greek mostly!), but we've seen these kind of resets turn out quite successful in the past (South America).

    The rest is all political sharade: no Greek politician wants to be the one that declared the country bankrupt and no Euro politician wants to be the one that blew up the EU.

    Personally, I think the Euro will survive (in one form or another), the economies of the EU countries are so much intertwined anyway, stepping out of a currency will not change that (though a lot of populist parties are suggesting otherwise).
     
  16. Tired Tyres

    Tired Tyres

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    I think all the EU countries should learn to live within their means (only spending what you can raise in taxes).

    Each country has to make a plan for living within their means and then each has to agree that every other country's plan for living within their means will work, then every country can write off all the debt Europe has.

    At this point we can all start again, hopefully, without getting ourselves into this mess again - and it has the added side benefit of really smacking the banks.
     
  17. Ibonibo

    Ibonibo Premium

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    ^Good said arosa :tup:

    The Eu is much more than the Euro anyway.
    For me the worst sentences I heart over the last months is Sarko and Mekel saying :if the Euro fails, the EU fails.
    Alone for that they should pay a fine towards greece.
    That making panic in the economy.

    Also the only way for Greece to become again competitve is to lower the money value, which is not possible while in the Euro.
    And then their exports are getting cheaper, so more export.
    But their imports are getting expensiver, but no problem with the help of the EU.

    Also on the corrupt state of greece. It is not the little cab driver in greece that is responible for it entierly.
    Greece has around 100 big families which make millions, billions a year and pay no taxes.
    Worse is the ECB bought the Greek papers of this families to save greece.
    So we basicly made a billionaire even richer at the expense of the EU tax payers.
    Greece has a big state-ique problem. A bus driver gets a prime for letting run the bus warm before starting his tour.
    Employes are getting primes for beeing there at the requested time and washing their hands in between.
    Seriously?

    And what arosa said :greece could never repay their debts.

    One questions i been trying ro answer and ask my buddies and no one came up with a good answer :

    What exports does Greece have (and no Uso, gyros, tatsiki, that alone is not enough to be substainable)??


    And as for Italy, i don't fear it. Italy has a strong export and inland economy, we just need to get rid of this old potato sack humping through the world.


    @tired tyres: that's a good philosophy for a private beeing and one that will save you alot of trouble and earn you a lot of good stuff. But for a company or an state that is not possible. People would be so upset that schools have to close in october because their is no funding, roads closed, no teleccommunication infrastructur. And generally this would all come at the end of the year.
     
  18. Touring Mars

    Touring Mars Moderator

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    Do you want 50% off, or just a trim?

    This is true... at the very least, the referendum (somewhat ironically) will unequivocally put the blame for a potential rejection of the rescue package squarely at the feet of the Greek people... right now, without a referendum on the table, atleast the Greek people could rightly blame someone else if the rescue package comes unstuck.

    I personally think it is madness to put it to a public vote, however much the people ought to be consulted normally... but the fact is, the Greeks will do what they think is best for themselves, but the question is, if the Greeks take the less bad option for themselves - reject the rescue package, go bankrupt and leave the Euro - the rest of Europe will probably pay a much heavier price than if they accept the rescue deal and take the associated austerity measures.

    You may well be right about war too - a very scary thought indeed.
     
  19. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    A war? Who is gonna pay for that? :lol:
     
  20. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    It's cool, we'll bail you guys out.
     
  21. TheCracker

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    Who's gonna bail you out after that? ;)
     
  22. Touring Mars

    Touring Mars Moderator

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    :lol: Is that your avatar talking?
     
  23. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    Bernanke says that if inflation gets high enough it will become incalculable, and effectively ceases to exist. Viola, infinite money!

    [​IMG]
     
  24. lbsf1

    lbsf1

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    Infinate worthless money.
     
  25. orimarc

    orimarc

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    Europe is like good Spanish ham: there's the tasty ham meat, the good part, and the rest is a bunch of Greece.
     
  26. Dennisch

    Dennisch Premium

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    The rest of the bunch includes Spain.
     
  27. NLxAROSA

    NLxAROSA Premium

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    I would be interested to hear why you guys think there could be war, other than just gut feeling or fear of the unknown.

    I can imagine civil unrest/uprising in some (especially southern European) countries, which could possibly escalate into a civil war. But European-scale war? Who's going to declare war on who, and why? And as Dennisch pointed out: how is any EU country going to fund war at this time? There is no way in hell you would get that through any Northwestern EU country parliament. Not to mention there's a whole bunch of treaties that most of the EU countries are in, and the complete intertwinement of their economies. If any EU country starts war on another EU country, they effectively commit suicide.

    Make no mistake, I expect massive disruption in the financial system, but I just can't see it spark a major war at this point.
     
  28. Denur

    Denur Premium

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  29. Mike Rotch

    Mike Rotch Staff Emeritus

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    Greece defaulting, good or bad? In my mind, a bailout is prolonging the inevitable. For the past 19 months markets have been extremely volatile - news of a bailout package chasing news of a failed package chasing news of a new package....on and on.

    My feeling is that for the 'in limbo' state of the markets to end and for progression towards the end of the current state of financial downcast'ness to occur, Greece needs to default and for those exposed to their debt to take their medicine. The EU can save their Greek-allocated bailout funds for an economy that is worth saving, like Italy (due to its sheer size and co-dependence on France and Germany).

    If the Greeks want to vote against austerity, then they must bear the consequence. They must be removed from the Eurozone and the perks it brings. Those countries that remain will be a more robust group and the scarce funding available can be used for governments accepting of their austerity packages, not pandering to mindless masses.
     
  30. Ibonibo

    Ibonibo Premium

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    Haha at Bernake. That guy will just get US situation worse with all the money printing. Some want to do the same in the EU.
    But that is just plain stupid.

    And war. I don't think so.
    I fear that the greece or spaniards could vote extreme right or left, because they are pissed.
    There are a lot of similarities with the 1930 crash. Now I already took my popcorn and watch what will happen next.

    I was since the beginning for "kicking" Greece out of the Euro but not the EU.
    It would have been terrifying but with an end. Now with have a just a terrifying situation.
    And Merkel and Sarkosy are dumbasses, alone for saying that if the EUro fails the Eu fails.
    I hope that phrase goes into history books as 21st century propaganda.