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Hope For Greece? Papandreou Talking Like American Republican

A Socialist, son of a Socialist, grandson of a freedom fighter, George Papandreou, the Prime Minister of Greece, is starting to sound like he's embracing American capitalist ideas along our Republican lines. Maybe there's hope for Greece yet.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if one day we wake up and the whole world has gone capitalist?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Greek-PM-calls-for-referendum-apf-973157066.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called on Sunday for a fall referendum on "changes to the political system," including to the country's constitution.Opening a three-day parliamentary debate that will culminate in a confidence vote late Tuesday, Papandreou blamed Greece's bloated and inefficient state sector for bringing the country to its knees and vowed to effect deep changes.

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Comments
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We're all Capitalists in the West

but some are more Capitalist than others.

Any idea where I got that from? Happy It's morphed of course, from the original.

Greece has certainly got to do something. There is even talk here of Greece defaulting on the multi-billion Euro loan they have received and if that happens, the Euro will be withdrawn from Greece and they go back to the Drachma.

Those protesters need to understand what sort of trouble their country is in.

Mark

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If what I've been reading

over the last few years, the conversion to the Euro (that was touted to be such a great thing) is what has collapsed so many of the economies (along with all the socialist entitlements that were encouraged). At one point, it was suggested that the Euro would be the dominate currency in the world and that the USA was dumb as dirt for not also embracing it.

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Not how we see it

The Euro is strong against the dollar and other world currencies.

I thought Toxic debts collapsed all the economies, along with the US's?

Mark

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Toni's partly right in regards to Greece

Before Greece went onto the Euro money supply, they used the drachma as a hidden tax source through the process of inflation. I have a few "lepta" which many current Greek nationals may not even know what it is, but it used to be their "penny" to the "drachma" until the drachma become worth so little that it became not much more than the lepta used to be in value. Even in the 80's when I was there, it was difficult to track down some lepta, but I wanted them for my coin collection, so found some with older vendors in Iraklion who had a few laying around, worthless for the most part, but interesting in numismatic sense to me.

When Greece went onto the Euro the Socialist no longer controlled the supply of money to their nation and lost the ability therefore to tax by inflation, which is partly why after the intervening years the corruption of their Socialist system has been finally exposed for all to see and now we see the disappointments in their current day's politics, the reality of their situation. Because the former tax by inflation was a hidden tax, the only way to adjust to maintain their current Socialist system would be an overt tax, or a change in the system. I won't be surprised if eventually Greece goes back to the drachma so they can achieve the same taxation as before, but in a way that's not so apparent to the people. It's not that Greeks didn't realize their drachma was being constantly devalued, many would use any means available (US soldiers or tourists trade) to convert their drachma at below bank rates of exchange to other forms of more stable currency. When I was there I could get a better exchange rate anywhere at any place of business by using dollars instead of drachma, they were happy to get the dollars since their banks would allow them to convert dollars to drachma but they couldn't go to the bank and convert drachma to dollars. In this way, many in business especially, were able to avert some of the hidden taxation of inflation, thereby paying less tax through currency exchange.

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(NT) Animal Farm, George Orwell.
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(NT) Got it in one.
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RE: Papandreou Talking Like American Republican

Papandreou told parliament Greece is also in talks for a new bailout
package "roughly equal" to the first package agreed to in May 2010.

Republican = Bailout?

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Well to be fair,

they need the bailout, but it is contingent upon the government reducing public spending and the national debt, so Republican? Yes.

Mark

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RE: contingent upon the government reducing public spending
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TARP

was the largest 'bailout' ever given by Republicans; however, there are some things that happened prior to that decision. Geithner either kept quiet about Wall Street for which he was supposed to be the watchdog or he lied thru his teeth....Frank either kept quiet about Fannie/Freddie or he lied thru his teeth....The Dems who were in control of both Houses either kept quiet about the financial house of cards falling apart or they lied thru their teeth. TARP was pushed thru because of bad information or no information and TARP never should have happened at all.

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Was listening to a financial advisor on the radio

He said that the banks are still making bad decisions and loans (like to Greece) because they figure that the government will bail them out if everything goes south so, to them, it's a win/win. If Greece is bailed out again, they make lots of interest and, if they aren't, the governement comes to the rescue and everybody gets their fat bonuses.

I don't disagree with the bailout. What I disagree with is not putting restrictions on bonuses and where they loan their money. This is what happens when there is no regulation.

Diana

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when you say "bonus"

are you meaning or implying "kickbacks" instead?

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Whatever you want to call it

Handing out millions and billions to the very people that got the companies and banks in the problem in the first place.

Diana

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very people that got the companies and banks in the problem

Remember, since Clinton, the banks and finance companies were encouraged by our Federal Government to create that problem, including first and foremost the ARM loans, which Greenspan touted as something absolutely great, but refused to take the same ARM loan when he refinanced his own personal property.

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Whoevere caused it

they're still doing it. They are still taking major chances because they get the greatest interest rates and the government will bail them out because "they are too big to fail".

They don't get the big interest by financing houses or small business or, even, large businesses. I don't know what the interest rate that Greece is paying but I'm sure it's much more than the local convenience store.

Diana

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Interest rate, Diana...

The last interest rate I saw for Greek 2-year government bonds was 18.3%.

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RE: Talking Like American Republican
Republicans aren't talking like Republicans?

Mr. McCain said if former President Ronald Reagan were still alive he
would have been disappointed in last week's Republican presidential
debate in which candidates voiced impatience with U.S. military efforts
in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya.

"He would be saying: That's not the Republican Party of the 20th
century, and now the 21st century. That is not the Republican Party that
has been willing to stand up for freedom for people for all over the
world," Mr. McCain said.
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Was speaking 2 my archaeologist friend who spent a full year

at the British School in Athens, plus a lot of summers there.

Greece, in order to enter the EU has been on a wage freeze for nearly 20 years. Greeks facing further restrictions and contemplating the effect of this long term freeze and further wage reductions on their pensions.

According to Meg, most Greeks work 2 jobs, a conventional job for the benefits it provide, and a second for living expenses. The proposed extreme reductions by the EU for its assistance have caused great upheaval.

It's not as if Greece has been spending its way into disaster, it's been trying to live a very straightened life for decades, but has suffered from bad investments and progressive forms of tax evasion because of the restrictions on the economy.

Rob

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Here's the entire crux of the matter
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/business/global/07greece.html

Greece's problems, and those looming over its neighbors, have laid
bare the dangers of divergent fiscal and political policies in the euro zone, calling into question the grand European experiment of squeezing 16 disparate countries into a monetary union.
"We have a centralized monetary policy, but we allow budgets and wages
to move in different directions," said Paul De Grauwe, an economist in
Brussels who advises the president of the European Commission, Jos
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another good article

backing up what I said earlier about how Greece used the drachma as a hidden tax, which made living or visiting there ever cheaper for anyone with income produced in another country. Isn't the owner of this Huffpo also Greek? Although she didn't write the article, she is editor there.

=======================================
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barry-d-wood/greece-and-the-euro-reces_b_574584.html

When after earlier failure Greece was finally allowed into the euro
zone in 2001, people cheered. Two thirds of the ten million Greeks
enthusiastically welcomed the end of the drachma and the arrival of euro
notes and coins. The finance minister at the time said the euro meant
stability and symbolized Greece's full acceptance into the European
club.

Now the Greeks don't know what hit them and they're already wishing
they still had their tattered drachmas. Why? Because if this debt
crisis had happened in the 1990s, they could have devalued the drachma
and even boosted their major industry--tourism--because with devaluation
a vacation in the Greek islands would be made cheaper. A deep recession
could have been avoided.

But by having the euro the devaluation option is unavailable. The
only remedy today is for Greeks to swallow the bitter medicine of
austerity.

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