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What will end the Greek crisis?

20:41 UK time, Sunday, 2 May 2010

EU finance ministers have agreed on emergency measures worth 500bn euros (£430bn) to prevent the Greek debt crisis escalating. Do you think the Greek crisis will spread to other countries?

On Friday, eurozone leaders approved a 110bn-euro loan package to Greece. This followed protests in Greece that turned violent last week over austerity measures after Greece's parliament voted in favour of the measures to address the country's financial crisis.

Should large loans be used to support eurozone countries in debt? Are you in Greece - do you welcome the EU's intervention? What impact will the bail-out package have on people in Greece and the economies in other eurozone countries?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    This is not just greece's problem. If we have learnt anything over the last few years from the financial havoc that has decended on us it's that we are all living beyond our means and we are all living in debt. It is very worrying to think that we are treading a very fine line between staying afloat and global bankrupcy.

    Just to give you an idea of how serious and precarious this situation is, something like this is more likely to cause WW3 than any rogue nation with WMD's. That is why all the governments in the world are handing over cash in amounts that is incomprehensible to the voting public and even more importantly why you will never get to have a say in the matter.

    Greece will be bailed out regardless of cost because the alternative will throw Europe and then the rest of the world back to the dark ages financially. All currencies will suffer exponential inflation and become worthless over night, industry will collapse, unemployment will increase and many more countries will go bankrupt and then eventually we will have global bankrupcy.

    So yes, Greece will be bailed out and then Spain and Portugal and Italy and whoever is next for ever after. We are suffering the after effects of unsupervised irresponsible banking, they must be held to account for this.

    I truly believe these crimes committed by the financial institutions are having such damaging and far reaching effects that will reverberate for many years that we should impose capital punishment for those guilty of contributing to this mess.

  • Comment number 2.

    What I want to know in all this mess is why are all the main political leaders both in Greece and in Britain talking about having to make swingeing cuts. Why? Who are Greece and the other countries indebted to? Surely not the same financial institutions the tax payer in Britain had to bail out not so long ago and who the Greek ordinary person is going to be paying back to as well.The major banks must be rubbing their hands in the knowledge that future billion pound bonuses are safe as long as the main political parties follow the econonomic orthodoxy as spewed out by the leading gurus that are intent in keeping business as usual.

  • Comment number 3.

    the saying goes beware of greeks bearing gifts,what would it say for greeks borrowing vast amounts?

  • Comment number 4.

    Well if the way to get money out of the EU is for a country's unions to threaten strike action we can expect most of Europe to grind to a halt.

  • Comment number 5.

    The 'Great Sacrifices' could potentially result in topping of the Greek government and perhaps even destabilize the region. A more prudent coarse of action would be to have Greece leave the EURO and onto its own currency so it can inflate its way out of the crisis.

    Comments by some that the harsh measures will make other nations think twice before requesting financial assistance is very unlikely. Soon after Greece the other 'PIGS' nations will also line up for help.

    The European Union expanded too quickly. It allowed nations whose economies were not as advanced to join and now it is facing the consequences of it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Taxing illegal construction????? What?? Which part of illegal do I don't understand? How can tax something which is illegal? Well, seeing the state of the country, maybe they should have taxed rioting, there'll be plenty more of that to tax, which I assume is illegal too.

    Seriously, the same awaits the UK unless the Tories act quickly to start fixing the mess left by Labour.

  • Comment number 7.

    1. At 10:00pm on 02 May 2010, Grim Death wrote:
    "Just to give you an idea of how serious and precarious this situation is, something like this is more likely to cause WW3 than any rogue nation with WMD's. That is why all the governments in the world are handing over cash in amounts that is incomprehensible to the voting public and even more importantly why you will never get to have a say in the matter.

    Greece will be bailed out regardless of cost because the alternative will throw Europe and then the rest of the world back to the dark ages financially. All currencies will suffer exponential inflation and become worthless over night, industry will collapse, unemployment will increase and many more countries will go bankrupt and then eventually we will have global bankrupcy.

    So yes, Greece will be bailed out and then Spain and Portugal and Italy and whoever is next for ever after. We are suffering the after effects of unsupervised irresponsible banking, they must be held to account for this.

    I truly believe these crimes committed by the financial institutions are having such damaging and far reaching effects that will reverberate for many years that we should impose capital punishment for those guilty of contributing to this mess."

    Another one who blames everything on the banks! Greece has been freeloading on the Eurozone since it joined the Euro. Like the UK it's been borrowing more than it can afford, only in the knowledge that Europe will have to bail it out. You simply can't have a common currency without common economic policy. The reason for the bailout is that the rest of the eurozone knows that if Greece has to revert to the drachma, the whole of the great project of a single European state will be set back decades.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Had Greece been the only country, the bail-out might have worked. However Greece is far from the only country which has been living way beyond means. Greece just happened to be the first running dry of money, thanks to an extraordinarily excessive expensive public lifestyle.

    Just as we were about to survive the private credit crisis, we will now suffer a sovereign debt crisis which presumably will float back into the private sector, and finally punch a big hole in the commercial property market that has so far survived surprisingly well. However even that market has a breaking point....

    It's not without reason the price of gold is at an all time high....

  • Comment number 10.

    Even though the UK is not in the Euro, banks in the UK will be exposed to debts generated in the weeker economies in the Eurozone such as Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain. The imposition of tight economic management, enforced by the IMF and European Central Bank is vital to UK economic security.

    The imposition of prudent ratios between borrowing, revenue and output are vital. Alongside this, states have to be more rigourous in collecting individual and corporate taxation.

    Before we in the UK become complacent, our state and individual borrowing is also out of step with our generation of national revenue (taxation)and GNP (what we generate in economic activity).

    Effective public management is what is needed to address our economic problems, not statements on values and 'wish lists'.We need a government which generates a consensus on steps to be taken.

  • Comment number 11.

    So what happens if or when another country such as Portugal, Spain or Ireland defaults.
    Surely you can't bail out everone.
    We're still in the process of bailing the banks !
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    5. At 10:18pm on 02 May 2010, MoneyMongol wrote:
    "The European Union expanded too quickly. It allowed nations whose economies were not as advanced to join and now it is facing the consequences of it."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wouldn't be better for all the affected countries to pull out of the imposed EU back to respective currencies with their own independance as before and let their currency & interest rates take the stick.

    They could call in 'BrownBusters' ( a legend in his own mind), he can borrow & lend for them for ever & a day. Magical :)

  • Comment number 12.

    The terms do sound incredibly harsh - if it just results in massive general strikes because people cannot cope matters will get worse.

    Who is next?

    How strong is Santander now, I wonder - it has swallowed up Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester, Abbey.

    A good case for winding up the Euro. Why is it that a bit of common sense said that it couldn't possibly work across such a variety of nations with differing standards of living, yet an incredibly well-paid elite thought they knew better? But they'd rather see everyone starve than admit that they might have got it wrong.

  • Comment number 13.

    What I don't understand is how Greece was allowed to get into the financial mess it finds itself in now. Is there no scrutiny at all built into the global economy?

    Is it like the self-certification mortgages in the UK. Now who thought they were a good idea at the time? And now?

    Bail out everyone - the World can afford it, but lets rebuild our economies to be truly sustainable and not just driven by an impossible compulsion for ever increasing profits.

  • Comment number 14.

    Shouldn't we be helping people in our own country first who are in financial difficulty through no fault of their own ? Negative equity, redundancy, accidents, illness are difficult to avoid. The Greek government should have been able to prevent the situation from getting so bad. Give them some help, but not this much !!

  • Comment number 15.

    This does not sppear to be a huge amount of money to protect 1 euro zone and to stop the effects running over into other countries. What is wrong with Germany I thought they were in full support of the bail out.
    Watch what happens this may say a lt about the euro and exactly what the union means!!

  • Comment number 16.

    13. At 11:02pm on 02 May 2010, takesallsorts wrote:
    "What I don't understand is how Greece was allowed to get into the financial mess it finds itself in now. Is there no scrutiny at all built into the global economy?"

    Clearly not. The unfortunate thing about the EU is that the
    experiment was always far more important than the detail. For
    the EU to actually work, there had to be a complete cover up of
    member countries financial woes. During the good times, this is
    fine, but the soon as there is any trouble, the weak members rapidly
    get mired in the brown stuff.

    "Is it like the self-certification mortgages in the UK. Now who thought they were a good idea at the time? And now?"

    You said it. A good idea in good times. Until of course, the
    banks realized that there were too many such mortgages that had
    little likelihood of being paid off.

    "Bail out everyone - the World can afford it, but lets rebuild our economies to be truly sustainable and not just driven by an impossible compulsion for ever increasing profits."

    No the world can't. Our national debt is in the form of guaranteed
    bonds, i.e. they are IOUs. The biggest current buyers of British
    government bonds is China and the oil producing gulf states.
    The ONLY answer for us is to take some Greek-style austerity
    measures and ensure that no one is ever stupid enough to vote
    for a government that doesn't exercise or understand prudence.

    Be very sure. This payout will NOT work for Greece because
    the people won't accept the harsh measures. Like us, they
    blame the banks and the government. Even before Greece is in
    bits, Spain and Portugal will also hold out a begging hand.

    The EU is finished and the best thing we can do is get out and
    join what we should always have joined. EFTA. It is what the
    EU was supposed to be.

  • Comment number 17.

    Bail-out ? I would rather say an ultimatum. It's like putting a sleeping boa constrictor around your neck....

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    It is not a bail-out. It is a loan with full interest rate. I guess everyone understands the difference between the two.

  • Comment number 20.

    If Greece could learn now from the mistakes British Union Barons made in the seventies and eighties here,then they may be in with a slim chance.The other option was,of course,to leave the Euro,even temporarily,devalue the currency and allow inflation to rise and then fall,clawing their own way out of the mess,payment default not being an option,then adjustment and/or deferment of full repayment,a scaling down of installments,may ease some of the burden on the public purse.Whichever way you cut it though,they're going to have to suffer cuts,Maybe they'll drag the Euro down in value over the period of the bailout,markets get nervous,none more so than money markets.It looks grim for the Greeks,whatever happens.

  • Comment number 21.

    Has anybody heard a peep from Mr van Rompuy, President of the European Council, concerning this matter? It struck me earlier when listening to a Radio 4 report on the crisis that, although they mentioned that Jose Manuel Barosso, President of the European Commission, has welcomed the deal, there was no mention of our beloved Mr van Rompuy. I had to search for a press release on his personal EU website to find-out what he thinks about the whole business. What's the point of his office? Given that the EU and IMF are demanding such restraint on public spending etc from the Greeks, I found it rather ironic that we, the citizens of the EU, are paying this van Rompuy chap somewhere in the region of £300,000 per annum to be practically invisible from the public eye. Perhaps the EU ought to also restrain itself somewhat.

  • Comment number 22.

    It's not all that big an amount and Greece should be able to pay it back. The only real negative is the sacrifices the Greek people will have to make to pay it all back.

    In the long run the result will undoubtedly be far better than the alternative of leaving the Euro because of the long-term stability the single currency offers. Stability is the key to rebuilding investor confidence in Greece.

  • Comment number 23.

    It is fairly obvious that the last Greek government and/or administration must have lied (provided false figures) to the Euro Central Bank so surely they have committed fraud and/or deception and should be prosecuted. If company directors or accountants file false financial results or lies to it's bank to obtain an advantage they would be prosecuted I don't see the difference

    Or is it a case of lots of the EuroZone governments are at the same game and turkeys don't vote for Christmas

    There is nothing like the fear of criminal procecution to focus the minds of finance ministers and goverment finance officials on being honest in their submissions

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    Let Greece suffer.
    They retire TEN YEARS EARLIER than most EU nations, the get MORE VACATION than most EU nations, they get MORE PENSION than most EU nations.

    So let them dig into their PRIVATE BANK ACCOUNTS and BAIL THEMSELVES OUT. Otherwise, the line forms to the right, Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, UK, etc, etc, etc.

  • Comment number 26.

    This is not a bail-out! But an option to pull-out of present economy dwindling;Collecting it is one thing, servicing it at whose expense?

  • Comment number 27.

    "At 10:07pm on 02 May 2010, Big Rab wrote:
    What I want to know in all this mess is why are all the main political leaders both in Greece and in Britain talking about having to make swingeing cuts. Why? Who are Greece and the other countries indebted to?"

    Um... me, I'm afraid, and many, many other investors. I have money to invest, and I put some of it into rock-solid places where I'm guaranteed a certain return. The Greek Government offered a good rate for those who loaned money to them, and they backed it with a guarantee secured on their revenue. In other words, before they spend one euro, they have to pay the interest they owe me.

    I've loaned money to the British Govt, too - not quite as favourable as Greek rates, but a healthy guaranteed 7% p.a. return beats UK bank rate any day.

    Most governments borrow money, and they offer bonds to investors at various rates. The crucial aspect, though, is that interest payments are secured on Govt revenue, i.e. taxes. If they can't pay what they owe, they either have to raise taxes or reduce their domestic expenditure.

    That's why the Greek people are demonstrating, they don't want to pay more tax, and they don't want their Govt to cut services... but I (and hundreds of thousands others) have a preferential loan outstanding, and if we don't get this month's interest payment, we'll pull our investment out. This might leave any current and future Greek Govt with a considerable difficulty when it tries to pay teachers, nurses, police officers, the Army, or any employee of the Greek public services.

    Big Rab - Greece, Britain and "the other countries" are indebted to all those investors who chose to lend them money.

  • Comment number 28.

    It will be a "Greek Tragedy" for a week...then it will be a Euorpean one for a month & then it will be a "World" one for God knows how long. We all heard of of the "Black Hole in space; now be prepared for a financial black hole on Earth where every country will be sucked in. World...get ready for an uneasy journey...into the financial DARK unknown!


    wilyspeakesout, London & Dublin

  • Comment number 29.

    No. On the contrary, it might drag down the sagging EU economy further.

    Some big names in international banking would be hard hit, and the US may not be spared either.
    (btt1943)

  • Comment number 30.

    Greece apart from its lost Glory once behold by it to shine itself in the midst of the entire of us, is a most neutral Country with no self interest anywhere outside the Country and hence its loss of wealth is somewhat puzzle some to us in the recession hit Globe.

    With such high morality and value being carried together with them from time immemorial, it is a test case for the entire Globe to find the exact reason for happening so or as to why it became a victim of sudden ups and down of the Globe in the Economic front? Being the Country much freer to allow outside monitoring agencies to access the situation at a much closer range, we expect that it shall able to ascertain or dig out the hidden facts of our getting of reverse results than intended out of the actions most thoughtfully implemented everywhere to shine ourselves together. Such opportunities are absent elsewhere due to stiff opposition of presence of monitoring Agencies in the actual field to overlook disbursement of funds so granted to a particular Country to ensure a greater say to one on such matters. The Global wealth is always same and growing every passing day due to addition of value into it by the entire of us. Why than we are witnessing unequal distribution of it? Are we falling into the trap of so called intellectuals to make the gap between the rich and poor wider through using or deriving of reverse meaning of rules that govern such disbursement of funds; to help none but themselves only?

    The behavior of the Stock Market is also unrealistic everywhere. Since the action shall ensure finer distribution of fund than what it is happening now, from where the fear is coming in into the Stock Market? The wealth is same and so also us; it should see more confidence coming into the system than seeing of a weakness of it to notice happening of a down turn or turbulence in the said Market. Is the Stock is also in the hands o the Mafia Groups, to force oneself run away from the scene when we are ensuring our well health. Therefore we require answers to all these unanswered questions quickly enough to strike dead our ailment soonest before the entire world is under its total grip.

    Accordingly we expect that it shall produce much better result than what is expected of out of the action we are undertaking together.

    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA PhD)


  • Comment number 31.

    With the recent news that during the crisis the super rich have grown even richer ... which also further increases their ransom power which threatens the independence of millions who are innocent of wrongdoing....
    I should like to see a chart, a list, anything, which indicates who owes what, how much and to whom ... no obfuscation or hiding behind pseudonyms.
    I find it gross in the extreme, as for example in the case of Ireland, not one politician, financier or similar has been brought to brook while its ordinary citizens have picked up all the debt.... the same applies to Greece which points to either system corruption beyond our present knowledge... or leaders so breathtakingly incompetent as to be beyond belief and totally unfit for any further service. Such people should be toppled.They should be allowed only to cultivate, by hand, their own gardens.
    So again, we should know how much, who enabled it to happen and to whom it is going. The loan to Greece from the Eurozone and the IMF is the result of enormous faults created and sustained by others. If ordinary people have been guilty, it is the guilt of extreme naivity for you can hardy expect most ordinary citizens to fully understand a system which has been hidden behind lies for so long.
    I know if it was me in that position, having lost a job or a home, or receiving hardly enough to feed my family etc., I would want to ensure that these manipulators of my life style suffered proportionately to their effect on the whole.

  • Comment number 32.

    So this deal rewards Greece for wild overspending and sends a clear message to Spain, Portugal et al that they can continue to overspend as the Eurozone will bail them out. Hmmm, anyone else see the problem with this?

    This has just made things worse. When Greece hits the buffers, again, later this year, there'll be less will from the Germans to bail them out even with more pressure from Obama. In the meantime, what about the riots? Will Greece activate the part of the Lison Treaty that will allow EU troops to disperse the rioters.

    Interesting times.

  • Comment number 33.

    This time everyone will say ...the EU caused this..cuss cuss..not America's fault for once...still sad..sniff

  • Comment number 34.

    The idea of the Euro monetary fund is to protect it's members for situations like this. It is not printing money as people think as that would just devalue the Euro, it is bonds to enable Greece to borrow at a given rate, it has to be paid back. When a Euro country agrees to this borrowing it is at a point where no further action other than this will work, they also lose the control of their banking system to central Europe. The money from the other countries are debt guarantees. If the Greek banks and economy collapse we will see another worldwide economy crash. The problem Greece have to sort is their reliance on holiday trade and shipping, €Billions will be lost this year alone as people from other countries holiday elsewhere where it is cheaper.

    Put in a simpler scenario, it is similar to someone out of control with their own debt, they seek help and get a debt company to manage their debt. The debt payment and loan is a fixed agreement and no further debt is possible over the period of repayment, sometimes years.

  • Comment number 35.

    Why is Greece in the EU? How did Greece get into the EU? What economic tests did it pass to enter the EU?
    I say cut the cord and let that country float away. Let them get their own currency back. Let them devalue....do something internally to get themselves back up. It is like feeding the addict. After throwing a lot of money into Greece, we will fin that they still will not be able to meet their debt payments, and since we have thrown a huge wad of money into Greece we will do what most people would do, throw good money after bad.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ 30. At 04:11am on 03 May 2010, mridul_h wrote:
    ... is a most neutral Country with no self interest anywhere outside the Country and hence its loss of wealth is somewhat puzzle some to us in the recession hit Globe.

    Hmm, really? Cyprus issue has been resolved? Macedonia issue resolved? Albanian population issue resolved?

    The fact is they should never be allowed to enter EU (they entered before us non the less). And now that they are in they are very loud when it comes to blocking Macedonia on their way because of their name only (THE NAME not land or laws or anything else, but the name) yet when it comes to paying back the debts they seem to just forget about them...

    Greece bail out is a good scenario out of the possibel worse scenarios. Sorry, but they should suffer more than the rest of us. Because it's their fault. And to all the Greeks i have only to say next time don't elect the government who maybe prmises and gives a lot, but does not pay it with their own money nor does it have a plan how to repay the loan.

  • Comment number 37.

    Good for Europe?? Most definitely NOT!
    This is a disaster for the Eurozone and what it will mean is that all the participant countries will be "taking a hit" as a result of the Greek disaster.
    This is comeupance for the Euro - and it's a small relief for us in Britain - I have never believed in the Euro or the to be absolutely honest the concept of the European Union - it has brought us more problems than benefits - including higher costs and spiralling immigration which is contributing to our own debt problems!

  • Comment number 38.

    Greece should never have been admitted to the EU in the first place, that's my opinion. The criteria by which any country is admitted to the EU must be seriously flawed if the real financial status of the Greek economy was never uncovered until recently. The drive to admit as many countries as possible has overshadowed the underlying fragility of a number of countries that simply don't possess the right financial conditions to be in the EU.

  • Comment number 39.

    Well, at least now we know indicative pricing for taking over a country: Greece has GDP of around $ 350bn (09), and is taken over for about $ 145bn (today's exchange rate of €110bn). So you pay about 0.4 times revenue for a country.

    Those who think that "floating the currency" is an alternative, should consider the example of Argentina. Once richer than most EU countries, and considered a competitor to the US (we're talking pre WWI), it has indeed done pretty much everything wrong it could do wrong - including repetitive devaluation.

    Devaluation is just a sneaky way of robbing the population, and allows the government to avoid the painful adjustments necessary to really restructure the economy.

    The restructuring imposed by the new owners of Greece (the EU, with IMF minority interest), should, one hopes, avoid that fate.

    Already the news is out that, as a result of the restructuring, holidays in Greece will become cheaper. As a sign of support, a lot of EU citizens should consider the lovely Greek beaches and cultural offers this summer for their holiday.

  • Comment number 40.

    The European Union, the Great Project, great farce more like.

  • Comment number 41.

    Re:35. At 08:22am on 03 May 2010, costbased wrote:

    ""Why is Greece in the EU?""
    ------------------------------
    - EEC wanted Greece in by any sacrifice to extend its influence over the Eastern Europe-Middle East ring. Cos either you knew it or not geostrategically Greece is the connecting link of Middle East and Eastern Europe.
    - Greece wanted to join EEC almost against the will of people (which 2 years later voted for PASOK government that had promised "out of NATO, out of EEC" so as to get "geostrategic protection after having been attacked by NATO (iself a NATO ally since the 1950s!) in Cyprus in 1974. Finally it joined in 1978.

    ""How did Greece get into the EU?""
    --------------------------------------
    - Back in 1978 Greece, while not properly developed, it had not that bad economy and its endemic corruption was nowhere near the levels it got during Jeffrey Papandreou's father Andreas Papandreou PASOK government in the 1980s. For EEC it was easy to justify. As a society Greece in 1978 was at its best with a very healthy middle class and a homogenoues (98% Greek orthodox), healthy (one of the best rates in Europe with most illnesses found often nowadays all over Europe extinct after the civil war since the 1950s), relatively productive for the standards of the time, and very educated population (in % of university graduates the most educated population in Europe) in what was known as one of the most stable societies in Europe.
    - However, the market was not developed, it was basically an agricultural society (and agriculture is killed in EEC), corruption existed no matter if in lower levels, and there was clearly no future of serious international investments in a small isolated country with a lonely language & lonely cilture, with no EEC physical borders in the nose of Eastern Block and aggresively attacked by fellow NATO ally Turkey... so... so we have below the question:

    ""What economic tests did it pass to enter the EU?""
    ------------------------------------------------------
    - None. Like many other EU countries: none. Not only that but EEC commission guys back then had justified the entry as being emotional, psychological and historic: there is no Europe without Greece. At the end, Greece is a small country so no problem absorbing it. Absolutely ridiculous.
    - In reality it was only the geopolitical factor in this: Greece has received the treacherous attack from Britain and US via Turkey in Cyprus and had left out the military section of NATO (remaining in the political simply wanted to say that it did not pass to the other side, nothing more). But if Greece was left alone it would sooner or later ask the alliance of USSR even if not becoming fully communist. And that was a huge geopolitical danger. US wanted Greece in EU cos it was a way to manage the aftermath of its conscious decisions back in 1973-74.

    """....I say cut the cord and let that country float away. Let them get their own currency back. Let them devalue....do something internally to get themselves back up. It is like feeding the addict..."""
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    - Seriously after having read the above, would you ever think that anyone in the EU would dare let Greece out? Not out of EU not even out of eurozone. They won't permit it to have the slightest of flexibility t handle this crisis.

  • Comment number 42.

    The question itself seems stupid? Unless it is aimed to the Euro-Sceptic on purpose to create a debate! These 'Money' help are part of being in Europe. There are many Countries in it and the purpose is to help each other.

    So, why this question a-la-bigot ?

  • Comment number 43.

    The spending cuts which are being imposed on Greece, are going to happen in this country. No matter who wins the election on Thursday, the party in power will have to implement cuts equal to what is happening in Greece.
    The politicians in this country are keeping very quiet about spendng cuts. MPs can start by voting themselves a 25% cut in salaries and expenses of a £100 day to a ceiling of £500 per week for the next 5yrs.
    Some how, I don't think that will happen.
    All the cuts will fall on Joe Public, income tax rises, spending cuts in education, health, care for the elderly, cuts in research across all areas, cuts in defence, raise VAT to 20% including those items not previoulsy subjected to VAT. A rise in the retirement age to 68 yrs which will happen sooner than predicted (within the next year)
    However I am sure everyone will be happy in the knowledge that the so called experts who got us into this mess (Policticans, Bankers, Top Exceutives in the Civil Service) will not be affected as adversaly as the rest of us, who will see their standard of living fall to pay more for less.
    I am so happy living in this country, we the population are to keep a minority in the manner to which they have be accustomed to.

  • Comment number 44.

    A bit like banks, Greece is too big to fail.

    Our economy is too strong by far to go the same way, but there are plenty EU states far more vulnerable to contagion. Fortunately we have the Eurozone / EU available to carry this rescue out. This deal will benefit EU states and non-EU states who are closely linked economically.

    Those dullards who blame this problem on the EU are forgetting that the crisis began in poorly regulated banks in the US who took unacceptable risks whilst keeping a AAA rating. Brown's rescue package, adopted by the world, to spend our way out of recession by supporting the banks and public spending worked for most economies. Countries with an existing weak base have found it harder, but that was their decision, not the EU's.

    We have to be thankful the Tories weren't in charge, because we would still be in recession without Brown's plan. On the other hand perhaps they agreed with Brown in private, but weren't big enough to agree in public. Politically they had to appear to be different than Labour and just hoped their would be enough problems to blame on Brown. God!!! They are so dishonest. Please don't elect them.

  • Comment number 45.

    The deal is a poor one for Greece.

    The result will be that those who gambled by buying Greek bonds with their spare euros, because they offered a higher rate of interest than say German ones, will win at the expense, eventually, of Greek taxpayers, who will have to pay back the loans from the IMF and eurozone governments, plus a high rate of interest.

    It would be better if the Greek government defaulted. It would have to suspend payments to those it employs while it rushed through legislation to raise new taxes, and economy measures of its own choice, instead of the taxes and measures imposed by the IMF and other EU governments. It would have had to live hand to mouth until it re-established the bond market's confidence, but this would be easier to do without the overhang of old debts. The gamblers would have lost their bets, instead of Greek taxpayers having to borrow money to pay them.

    There would be a even bigger crisis in the eurozone. But this might persuade the governments to move towards the proper federal structure that is needed.

    As with the decisions to bail out banks at taxpayers expense, once again an unstable financial system is being propted up instead of reformed. Only speculators will benefit.

  • Comment number 46.

    I saw lots of you commenting that the European tax payer shouldn't give Greece a penny. Right...as if you won't get it back PLUS interest! The only thing you seem to care about is spending cheap holidays in Greece thanx to the crisis.
    I got news for you. Greece won't get any cheaper, because the taxes have raised. Greece will get poorer and that's bad for Europe, too.

    The solution isn't to bail out Greece. There should be austerity measures for politicians, too. They get almost 10.000 euros per month, and there are 300 of them! There must be taxes for the church, as well. The church should show its Christianity by giving money to the people and helping pay the country's debt. The financial elite should also be taxed and also help pay the debt.

    Greeks face a 500 euros decrease in their income and a tax raise that won't allow them to live a normal life from now on. And you Brits only care for your holidays. Tell me, do you enjoy visiting Thailand and seeing the locals begging you for money? Do you want that in your own continent?

  • Comment number 47.

    I had to chuckle at the little gem somewhere on these posts about the private swimming pools in a wealthy part of Athens..
    Number identified from satellites: over 19000.
    Number declared for tax: 320.
    Saya it all, really...!

  • Comment number 48.

    Comment 42 Mauro wrote:

    "So, why this question a-la-bigot ?"


    As I explained elsewhere. The anti-EU / xenophobe / anti-left and anti-liberal axis have been given their style of speaking, style of thought, style of debate and partial information by the tabloid press. The whole style is bigoted. It is used by by non-bigots, like Gillian of Rochale, and by real bigots. Brown, like you and I find it hard to tell the difference.

  • Comment number 49.

    Comment 47 David:

    "I had to chuckle at the little gem somewhere on these posts about the private swimming pools in a wealthy part of Athens..
    Number identified from satellites: over 19000.
    Number declared for tax: 320.
    Saya it all, really...!"

    Also a chuckle is the number of Greek houses without a finished roof. This is aimed at avoiding the roof tax. Well it made me laugh, myth or not.

  • Comment number 50.

    Apologies for the typo in my previous(no.47) - obviously meant to read: 'Says it all...'

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    The loan isn't a good idea. Bailing out Greece is not a good idea either.

    It's only fair to reduce members of the parliament to 150-200 with a salary cut as well. They should get 1.000 euros per month and pay for their own insurance. All the politicians from 1980 till today should give at least 50.000 to help pay out the debt. The church should give away its assets, coz that's a christian thing to do. The financial elite should give away money to the people or reduce prices.

    Greece doesn't need the IMF or the eurozone to help with its financial problems. Greece shouldn't allow outsiders to deal with its own risis. The government is incapable of negotiating. And has brought us to this mess. And will let us in it to rot. And trust me, greeks are so stupid that they'll vote for the same incompetent idiots again!

  • Comment number 53.

    @ David
    Greece is a small country and technology made it easier for us to know stuff about people. We know about the rich people who tax evade. The irs knows about them, too. We also know about politicians who tax evade. We also know their income. I don't understand why punishment doesn't work in Greece. I don't know why 1. they choose not to tax some people, 2. not to punish those who tax evade, 3. not to make rich people pay, 4. not to make politicians make for their own mistakes and miscalculations and instead make the people pay for everything with tax raises and salaries cuts.

    Believe me the ones to blame will only get richer. The rich aren't affected by the new measures. And won't declare their swimming pools, their boats, their housekeepers and their expensive cars and houses for tax.

  • Comment number 54.

    Apparently the Euro, as a currency, is at the heart of this, and has consistently failed the diverse membership of the European Union?

    It's not too late to take some eggs out of the single basket? We are always told to diversify our savings and investments as consumers - but who, at the top, decided that a single currency would be beneficial, therefore leaving so many countries so exposed to speculators?

    The feeling that banks, bankers and hedge-funds/bond funds are becoming the new governments, and not just across the EU, is increasingly disturbing?

  • Comment number 55.

    This situation is unique - a combination of fraudulent banking causing financial global collapse and the Euro?

    The fraudulent activity has been reported - and speculation moves just ahead of law. Therefore, banking fraud should be challenged by our elected representatives, who must stick a pin in the inflated paper bonds?

    If it's so easy for fraudulent unelected banks to hold a weapon to our heads and our governments - start our own banks, with our own money in our own way?

  • Comment number 56.


    The Greek situation illustrates the "excessive credit" problem which was caused by deliberate policy, not just in the UK but other countries too, Spain may be next.

    Again it's the good and the dilligent hard working people who pick up the tab, while the rest get off without penalty, especialy the leaderships and regulatory parts of the public sectors and the banks who caused the problem. These people should suffer the lions share.

  • Comment number 57.

    There is just a possibility that the EU is at the root of problems that arise in many countries. Greece did not appear to have so many problems before they joined. Maybe there expected contribution has caused this along with economic migrants.

  • Comment number 58.

    If this isn't a good reason for the UK to get out of Europe I don't know what is.

  • Comment number 59.

    I'm still puzzled - this is a loan, right..?
    To pay off other loans - right..?
    Isn't this a classic 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' situation - yes, I realise that the Greek people are being asked to accept some pretty draconian measures to stablise their country's debt, but SURELY its not going to be enough..?? Even if HALF the proposed measures work (and based on recent history, that's a big IF)- the Greek economy isn't going to be able to cope with open-ended austerity measures, taxes properly collected, loans repaid on time and in full..
    Maybe I'm just being cynical...

  • Comment number 60.

    Is the Greece bail-out a good deal for Europe?

    The whole thing IS a pre-planned stunt by the EU in order to win concessions from Greece, i.e. who has BLOCKED Turkey joining the EU on more than one occasion......

    Answer Greece.

    Who now will have to tow the EU Party Line or else?

    Answer Greece.

    Who will now BACK Turkey joining the EU?

    Answer Greece.

    Look at the wider picture folks, the EU LET this happen for their OWN interests, they now have Greece over a barrel....

    Turkey NOW WILL join the EU, and you heard it here first.....

  • Comment number 61.

    Have regard for post #46 @ 10.03am 3rd May. 'Anna Greece'.

    The payroll/running costs of the unelected European Commission. Unavailable?
    The payroll/running costs of the elected European Parliament. Unavailable?
    MEPs and expenses. Unavailable?

    Furthermore, the costs of administration of all of the above and SO MUCH MORE NOT MENTIONED, centrally, unavailable?

    If every Euro paid to the fattest government Eurocrats in Europe were published, that would be democracy?

    If only one Euro taken from every unelected Eurocrat salary were added up - it could clear the Greek debt in hours?

  • Comment number 62.

    David,

    yes, that's a loan to pay out another loan. It's like getting a loan from a bank to pay out the loan you got to buy your house. It's a dead end situation. This measures will be followed by other measures and this won't stop. You should know that this is not our second loan though. We've been getting money from all over the place since I can remember.

    The only way to stop this vicious circle is by dividing the debt equally between the population. The rich should pay more than me. The civil workers shouldn't be the only ones who pay the prize. The pensioners shouldn't pay at all (they have no other source of income). Members of the parliament should deny their fat paychecks and give away money. The church should give away its assets. The politicians should help out - they've stolen enough the past 30 years, it's time to pay back!!

  • Comment number 63.

    post 61:
    And yet nothing happens...And the people pay the price.

  • Comment number 64.

    YES. Greece is part of Europe and should be helped.

    The Financial Speculators and Financial Companies, like rating agency Standard & Poor's, that have sought to undermine Greece by declaring it should be declared "Financial Terrorists" and dealt with by the Greek and European People accordingly.

  • Comment number 65.

    The amount gives an indication of the level of IMF aid that the UK will have to apply for if something is not done quickly.

    The trouble is that the voters do ot know the truth of the UK debt including off-balance sheet debts, PPFIs etc., etc. And we will never know if Brown manages to stay in power. Even if he does not, will the next Govt of whatever hue be prepared to be honest.

    Somehow I doubt it

  • Comment number 66.

    Anyone who thinks a bailout is the answer is living in cloud cuckoo land. This is politically driven. Politicians are driven by a need to keep everyone happy and avoid taking difficult or unpopular decisions. It's just throwing good money after bad.

    Bailing out Greece is the equivalent of paying ransom money to secure a hostage release. It gives short term relief, but simply leaves us in a worse case through rewarding reckless behaviour.

    Greece must be allowed to go bankrupt and suffer the horrible consequences. The debt needs to be worked through and cleansed from the system. In simple terms that means people not being paid. In the case of Greece that means:

    1. The holders of Greek sovereign debt. They gambled and lost.

    2. The Greek people. As citizens of a democratic nation they are collectively responsible for the actions of their profligate governments.

    As important will be the wider message it gives. The Euro will be stronger as a result of such decisive action. The message to other nations teetering on the edge will also be to step up and sort yourselves out while you still can on your own terms before someone comes and does it for you on their terms.

    Quite what a sovereign bankruptcy entails is another matter, but make no mistake it would be messy on the ground. Presumably it would mean the IMF in the role of official receiver basically winding the country up. Priority 1 would be to monetize Greek sovereign assets to pay off creditors so far as that is possible. Behind this would be paying the Greeks an allowance sufficient for a basic subsistence existence - and this would be imposed, not negotiated. Conditions would be third world. Expect the international aid agencies and charities to be involved, and queues at feeding stations in Athens. Beyond that it would be a case of starting over - an economic, and probably political year zero for the geographical area that used to be called Greece.

    That's what truly taking responsibility for your actions would look like.

  • Comment number 67.

    An unfortunate step! Greece should have been left to fend for themselves. Why should Germany bail out Europe? European nations should learn to stand on their own feet and this bailout does not help achieve the purpose. On the contryry nations will have the perception that there is always a country to bail them out.

  • Comment number 68.

    This is not just greece's problem. If we have learnt anything over the last few years from the financial havoc that has decended on us it's that we are all living beyond our means and we are all living in debt. It is very worrying to think that we are treading a very fine line between staying afloat and global bankrupcy.
    -----

    Actually it is a primarily Greek problem caused by wide spread accepted tax evasion which results in barely 50% of tax revenue being collected.

    If the Greek tax authorities were as efficient as our dear beloved HMRC then Greece's problems would be markedly reduced.

  • Comment number 69.

    Any country that has a retirement age of 53 is not living in reality. Up until recently the retirement age in Greece was a joke.

    Following a landmark decision taken by the Greek administrative courts in 2007, male workers in 2007 would then be eligible to opt for early retirement at the same retirement age stipulated for women, provided that they meet the same conditions.

    Pension entitlements Greece 2007
    Based on legislation (Law 1848/1951), a working woman aged 50 years or older, who still has a child under 18 years of age and who has over 5,500 days of social insurance accrued, is entitled to request early retirement from the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). On the basis of existing regulations in Greece, the following categories of women are eligible to receive a pension:

    women aged 50 years who still have a child aged under 18 years;
    women aged 56–57 years who are working in occupations designated as dangerous and unhealthy;
    women aged 55 years of age are entitled to receive a reduced pension, unlike men, who as a rule may receive a reduced pension at the age of 60 years or a full pension at 65 years of age.

    This meant that effectively men were also entitled to retire as young as 50/53

    No wonder Greek finances are in such an attrocious state.

    Even the richest economies in the western world couldnt afford such low retirement ages, so how and why did Greece expect to afford such costs. Even now, Greek retirment age has just risen from 61 to 63, which is STILL below UK and many other nations, hence is STILL an economic FANTASY.

    This Greek package is NOT good for Europe. It means that already struggling nations who are themselves feeling economic and social pain are yet again having to bail out pure negligence and incompetance when they themselves can least afford it and when it means each contributing country are themselves getting further into debt which may result in similar damaging market consequences as is recently experienced with the Greek economy and its national debts.

    The reality is that everything in life is ONLY as strong as it's weakest point, whether it is the space shuttle that exploded on take off with loss of life, the Titanic, or the European Community or the ERM money system.

    Thing is, the European Community has more than just one weak point, it has multiple weak points. The markets know this and they will play on this fact to maximise their profit taking by using this opportunity to rake up interest rates which I very much doubt will stop at Greek borders.

    What also needs to be remembered is that it was the negligence of the financial markets that have basically pushed many nations to the precipice of bankrupsy who were forced to take on even more debt to bail out banks and prevent a total banking collapse.

    Just guess who is profiting the MOST from this situation, only ONE chance to answer. yep, the banks/financial sector and the MAIN parts of the profits are coming from investment GAMBLING, which was a central reason for this whole economic catastrophy.

    I think that the ONLY way to get out of this, is to place large levys on the banks/financial sector, to pay for the mess they have inflicted upon nations and the world.

    UK bank bonuses were around £40billion for financial year end 2010. If a levy of £15 billion was put upon UK banks for the next 5 years then this would STILL leave banks with a £25billion bonus pot each year, at 2010 rates when banks were supposidly doing VERY BADLY. BUT it would mean that the UK would NOT have to slash expenditure and jobs and destroy lives and communitys.

    I think Greece should do the same, and so should ALL European countrys. We need to take back the money used to bail out the financial sector, just as the financial sector is now demanding the same of Greece and other nations.

    If banks can afford to pay £40 billion in bonuses just in the UK, then they can afford to pay for the collateral and consequential economic and social damage caused by their malpractice and negligence.

    Why should businesses and public services in Greece and UK and elsewhere have to bargain and plead wage reductions while banks continue to pay EXTRA bonuses.

    Also, if BP can be made to pay for it's role in the USA oil slick, then USA credit rating agencies should still be FULLY liable for the false and fraudulent products they had a major part in selling to the worlds banks, including Greek and UK banks and which credit rating businesses are ACTIVELY and currently involved with downgrading Greek and other nations debts while forcing massive interest payment hikes which profit the same gambling financial businesses who were profitting from gambling on the sale of the initial fraudulent products.

    It is imoral that those who were involved in instigating this world economic and financial catastrophy are now among those who are benefitting and profitting the most.

    It seems to me like we have saved Jeckle (banks/financial gambling service sector) from collapse and annilation, only to experience this Jeckle turning permanently into Hyde and who was in actual fact Hyde all along and only used deception to fool most into thinking better things.

    Greece is currently the weakest link, and like most predators the banks and financial gamblers go for the easiest prey. The Eurozone has already thrown £100 billion into the pot, this £100 billion is basically to ensure Greece can pay its debts with extortionate interest rates, and is basically endorsing further continued attrocious behaviour by those banks and gambling institutions who will demand and seek to squeeze every last drop of money they can, not just from Greece, but from the Euro, the ERM, and the European Community as a whole and also, at some point, the UK and our own taxpayers.

    Greece is just a small part of the whole and now the international credit rating agencies and their friends and partners in banks and financial gambling institutions have got a taste of blood money, I doubt very much that they will fade away content, and will just seek to carry out the same undermining tactics as used upon Greece, with other weaker Euro nations, even if it is just to see how far the EU will go before saying NO.

    These financial businesses are about to wreck more financial havoc on Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and UK.

    To me the more apt and relevent and factual words that describe this current world financial catastrophy situation would be to desribe current events as "FINANCIAL TERRORISM" and it is also a war of financial attrition and domination.

    Greece is in this upto its neck due in part to its own negligence, but this does NOT and should not hide the fact that behaviour of banks etc has pushed Greece into the precipice, which could have been avoided, but is mORE profitable for banks etc.

    What is happening with Greece I think will be repeated with other countrys, where it ends, no-one can know, but it will ultimately make our world much more fragile and may ultimately cause serious fragmentation of many national relationships and expose and create economic, social and military dangers that we thought were left behind in 1945 and pre 1939.

  • Comment number 70.

    We may need help ourselves, especially if we re-elect Clown.

  • Comment number 71.

    There are pros and cons to the EU. Unfortunately this is the disadvantage, but if Greece goes down, the European Union will be affected. Therefore, it was necessary to offer the greeks this bail out.

    The EU is like insurance for all the countries inside it. We could find ourselves in need of a bail out as well in the future.

    The only major criticism of the EU is that too many countries have joined which are economically much weaker than the rest of the existing countries.

  • Comment number 72.

    So for the moment Greece is saved from exit from the EU or worse. That is of course dependant on whether the Greekpeople can be prevented from anarchy over what is now expected of them.
    So where are the financial wolves going to be going next. Obviously Spain or Portugal. The EU could not prop up Spain the 5th largest country in the community as it is going to have to start printing money to do.( not clever) This financial circus is a long way from over yet.

  • Comment number 73.

    Until we sort out these speculators who seem to cause most of the worlds problems, we are just plugging the gaps. These people have no morals or standards and probably collude to make money out of peoples heartaches.

  • Comment number 74.

    51. At 10:26am on 03 May 2010, Nik wrote:
    Re36:
    @ 30. At 04:11am on 03 May 2010, mridul_h wrote:
    """Greece apart from its lost Glory once behold by it to shine itself in the midst of the entire of us, is a most neutral Country with no self interest anywhere outside the Country and hence its loss of wealth is somewhat puzzle some to us in the recession hit Globe...."""

    I really cannot understand how you view as neutral one of the most sensitive regions in the planet since the 1990s and the area that started the Crimean war and the WWI as well as a main theater of the WWII (with the most victims in % of population in Serbia and Greece, along with Russia - accidentally all 3 of them orthodox countries ouaou!). The region is extremely sensible and right now it is the theater of one of the most strong games between US and Russia. And both's doings - but especially the US's ones are against Greece. US has been against Greece right since the beginning, 1950s since it promoted always and now even more Turkey as the main player of the region which is not bad in itseld but it is bad for Greece since it is in the expense of the territorial integrity of Greece. Greece is a country under attack. You have to realise this. It risks even being the next "big warzone".
    *******************

    True, and your further remarks to Greog, just spells it out our Balkan’s history is indeed one of the most complex in the world’s stage. We can go on forever with the debates [you studied one history …we studied another, and so forth] but as you rightly point the Balkans as buffer zone has been, and yet more than ever, the theatre between the west and Russia. The truth is we are all Orthodox, and the only thing that really make sense our destiny and future belongs first and foremost within our ethnical family and/or the Slavic group. Nothing wrong with the EU and even more so desirable to finally see united Europe as a whole with Russia in the leadership as rightfully deserves it; as militarily and growing economic power.
    We don’t need be used by the west trying to apply pressure on Russia and playing all kinds of indecent games with by using us, nor Russia will ever interfere directly into our internal affairs or blackmailing us for political, structural and economic changes by ridiculing and insulting us pointing “we are corrupt, etc.”

    We don’t need this kind of a “friendship or union” where a western ordinary person goes to Bulgaria pictures a film 1 hour in a gipsy unemployed family 70 km away from Sofia and than being propaganded on their national TV presenting Bulgaria. Is that the cultural, industrial, economic, historical, tourist industry with constant flow from the west even under the Soviets, etc face of our country to be shown in the west?

    We don’t need for a “friends” westerners [will avoid mention the exact country] whose politicians and media brainwash their people by spreading absurd lies and manipulations they are sending their old small submarine to Bulgaria as ´a gift´ …while the truth is; is being sent there thus the Brits moved their military factory there [the only one under the state control] and so to be renovated and as a payment to OSCE membership. While the rules of the EU are clear is the duty of every state to properly inform its citizens on the EU´s developments But carry on with the old ´cold war´ tactics spreading LIES and demonising. What absurdity OSCE [created by the Bulgarian Solomon Pasy] is the EU´s military shield and they don’t even inform their citizens of that.
    But YES they are very pleased to stuff in the Black Sea with all kinds of a warships and submarines to flex the muscle and scare to death the Russians childishly fooling themselves will “scare” the lion. Lol

    The same old games of foolish manipulations as the preparations of the WWII, and than leave them to fight against each other …we will be the final winners. See their moves; on one side trying to escalate conflicts between the muslim minorities and us the Orthodox, and on the other to involve us against each other - Ukraine, Georgia and yet building their nuclear shields all around Russia, the Baltic and Black Sea.
    And NO it isn’t Russia we have to worry about or be afraid …it IS clearly the west with its Chief in Command USA. Yet IF WE delay to make our Orthodox united front it is only logical and foreseeable the Balkans and the former eastern European Soviet countries shall pay the heaviest ever price.

  • Comment number 75.

    Μr Right,
    that will probably happen even with the IMF's help.



  • Comment number 76.

    From what I gather. No 'bail out' is good for Europe!
    We shouldnt tempt 'Providence' and be too self righteous.It might be our turn next(to want a bit of help)! When the 'Piper' has to be paid.....After the 'general election' of course!

    Cyclops

  • Comment number 77.

    53. At 10:35am on 03 May 2010, Anna Greece wrote:
    @ David
    Greece is a small country and technology made it easier for us to know stuff about people. We know about the rich people who tax evade. The irs knows about them, too. We also know about politicians who tax evade. We also know their income. I don't understand why punishment doesn't work in Greece. I don't know why 1. they choose not to tax some people, 2. not to punish those who tax evade, 3. not to make rich people pay, 4. not to make politicians make for their own mistakes and miscalculations and instead make the people pay for everything with tax raises and salaries cuts.

    Believe me the ones to blame will only get richer. The rich aren't affected by the new measures. And won't declare their swimming pools, their boats, their housekeepers and their expensive cars and houses for tax.
    *********************

    Neighbouring sister, under the Soviets, for good or bad, we enjoyed socialism. It looks like now you are on your way towards while we reversed the game. But don’t worry, the way the things are going we may as well join sooner than expected.
    Damn sis what is this with us the Orthodox; are we cursed to live ONLY under socialism, or shall we find in the end some form in between? LOL

    And to tell you my frank opining; the west wouldn’t give a damn whether, Greece; Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungarian, etc will bankrupt and collapse [as they love to talk and fool themselves of “the collapse” of the “communism” in the Soviets …but the real COLLAPSES WILL happen now under their capitalism] IF they were not afraid that that may spark the entire eastern Europe and the west too thus is clear they themselves brought their GREEDY capitalism to a brink of collapse.
    However, it will be interesting observing what will happen now with Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy …and perhaps sooner after the election Britain too.
    And don’t worry on ´the austerity´ measures …one thing is for sure; on this particular one YOU won’t be alone but perhaps ALL of us starting from YOU to US ;)
    Socialism/communism IS BAAAD. The great capitalism with their great “democracy” clearly divided us into the two very distinctive blocks RICH & POOR …;)) …aaand as they say “in the democracy majority rules” so fools we want you to repeat after US LONG LIVE THE DEMOCRACY!

  • Comment number 78.

    I do not see any bailout: If people have money in the banks (including myself) with 0% interest, taking from Greeks 5% is rip-off.
    Everybody is talking about Germany, I think we should remember that a lot of money-approximately 1 trillion dollars (in today’s money) was given to Germans through Marshal plan after WWII. My point is: Europe need new Marshal plan for Eastern Europe and Balkan now.

  • Comment number 79.

    No.65 Wrote: "The trouble is that the voters do ot know the truth of the UK debt including off-balance sheet debts, PPFIs etc., etc. And we will never know if Brown manages to stay in power. Even if he does not, will the next Govt of whatever hue be prepared to be honest."

    I have made the same point many times. This Gov't touts the new schools and new hospitals it has built, and people are astonished at how little they cost. What the Gov't don't tell them is that Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public/Private Partnerships (PPP) make use of private money to build the school or hospital, or whatever, and this building is then owned by the private investor. The Public get to rent it back for a guaranteed 10 year period, so it doesn't show as Capital spend on the balance sheets, but as Revenue spend. It's a ticking time-bomb, though, because the land and buildings are no longer owned by the Gov't and many of these initial rental agreements will be running out soon.

    You might wonder what the big issue is. Well, the company can demand a much inflated rental on renewal, or even refuse to continue renting to the Public. A purpose-built hospital would be welcomed by BUPA or such, and imagine how many community-run schools might appear in the next few years. And at that stage the Gov't of the day might well have to pay vast sums of money to buy land and build new schools and hospitals.

    With that in mind I fully agree that we need to watch the greece situation carefully, because we might be going down the same road sometime soon.

  • Comment number 80.

    Although i dont agree with other EU countries who themselves have been hit hard finacial meltdown bailing out a country who governments have acted just as devious as the bankers,needs must.

    The EU superstate is dead,it is time to go back to being a free trade agreement.
    Rip up the Lisbon treaty and the ECHR act immediately.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    Eurozone members may have agreed a 110bn-euro bail-out package to rescue Greece's economy, but this makes no difference until implemention i.e. activation of the first loan.
    If Greece does not default, there will be BIG financial players in the US, who having bet on sovereign default (through credit default swaps), will be seriously miffed. This will be true down the line as we watch all the STUPID little PIIGS falter into trouble.
    There is no solution to this ugly problem, except thorough investigation, establishment of facts, prosecution if warranted, and stopping this terrible double-dealing once and for all.
    No citizen(s) of one country has the right to put the citizens of another country in this predicament, a predicment that can't help but foment civil unrest.
    I think that Eurozone countries will be slowing implementation down. Why?
    Because they will want to G-20 to happen before implementation occurs.
    If you think that Greece has lived above her means, if you think it's appropriate that her citizens must make such great sacrifices, just wait till it's your turn.
    What do I think of the bail-out package?
    I hate it because Greece was taken for a ride, but then she should've known better, right? Everyone and every country that got taken should've known better, right?
    Should the loan be approved?
    Yes, to protect the Euro, but make this approval as slow as possible, and make Greek implementation as slow as possible.

  • Comment number 83.

    As bail-outs go it's not particularly generous given that it's a loan with a healthy interest rate. A necessary measure for all given that far too many of us at both individual and national levels are living beyond our means and are forced to borrow. A retrenchment is needed but in a controlled and measured fashion. If Greece were to fall who would be next?

  • Comment number 84.

    just a reminder:
    "bail out" does not at all mean "giving away money to Greece". The so called bail out is a loan with a huge interest, that Greece will become bankrupt trying to pay it back.

    Those of you who think that Greece should pay for its own mess, well, I couldn't agree more. But know why you say so. You probably think that you, as tax payers, give money to a poor country. Don't worry, you'll get it back! PLUS interest!

  • Comment number 85.

    Actually Greece didn't have a debt problem. The only problem banks had was that Greeks like to be paid in cash?

    When you look at how bankers make millions simply spot betting on miilions of expected computerised wages/salaries into a bank account - you get the picture?

    Bankers hate cash - unless it's theirs?

  • Comment number 86.

    81. At 12:57pm on 03 May 2010, Anna Greece wrote:
    Dear Rasputin,

    I sound communistic, I know. Believe me, I never had this label on me. Or any other label. And I never understood why capitalism is considered so correct and perfect either.

    The financial crisis that started in the USA a year ago has proved that it's not.

    I don't think that what I say over and over again in these forums expresses any ideals. I think what I say is FAIR. I don't want the rich, the politicians and the church to pay because they have the money. I want them to pay because it's their fault!

    Having to pay just because democracy says so, is the most unfair thing I've been asked to do. I didn't even vote for the bastards!

    You sound too optimistic though, and I don't see why. Greece will probably face whatever the eastern European block faced after during the cold war and after 1990. The fall of the capitalism will have the same impact as the fall of the USSR. Rich countries will get richer and poor countries will be poorer. And Greece is the first to go.
    **************

    Anche honey I of all would understand the very exact meaning you try to express:

    As to being “optimistic” …have gone through many things in life, regretfully in the west while in the socialist Bulgaria had it sooo good into the tourist business that a friend of mine from Britain [London] with two high educations working for large international firm told me when he learned I married western lady and am moving out “…you are making an enormous mistake …here you have build your kingdom, reputation, respect, flow of money you don’t even know what to do with, leading a life-style the aristocrats in the west cannot afford, gorgeous girls …even the slightest bit of it you cannot have it in the west” …and he was damn right - thousand times cursed the day I left. So gradually learned how to turn sadness into a joke and have a good laughter …relaxes the nerve system.


    No dear, I worry very much that, as you correctly make your point isn’t about envy but social fairness, these tax-evaders, etc unlawful acquiring of wealth will be again above the laws & rules under which all have to suffer a real hardship for ears to come. As is for sure this so-called “help, bail-out, rescue package” whatever will be paid back three times higher as yesterday a Greek lady (labour activist, I believe was) pointed out on the TV networks.

    Here I just try to polish your point; you see under the Soviet system we were all more or less equal in sense of earning salaries regardless education and occupations. The Perestroika, if you will, equally was affecting everyone in times of hardship, and some become rich pretty quick. In your case is the reversed scenario where the poor will go rapidly poorer …and everybody knows in crises always is the case some get even richer [as exactly happened on the Wall Street since 2007 the crises were about to appear evident], so the anger of the masses will grow against the small group of rich people for their previous deeds and now to come.

    One thing is for sure …hard times are coming ahead.

  • Comment number 87.

    who exactly do the greeks, us and all these other countries owe these humungeous national debts to?

    not the same bankers that got us into this mess in the first place surely!!!!!!

    serious question

  • Comment number 88.

    84. At 1:16pm on 03 May 2010, Anna Greece wrote:
    just a reminder:
    "bail out" does not at all mean "giving away money to Greece". The so called bail out is a loan with a huge interest, that Greece will become bankrupt trying to pay it back.

    Those of you who think that Greece should pay for its own mess, well, I couldn't agree more. But know why you say so. You probably think that you, as tax payers, give money to a poor country. Don't worry, you'll get it back! PLUS interest!
    ****************

    Only fools or Hypocrites can possibly make such foolish statements ...NOBODY GIVES MONEY AWAY TO NOBODY! ...especially the westerners, where even relatives wouldn’t help each other but point the bank or the creditors. But quite to the contrary when day say “help, helping me/you” I start to worry how many times higher the original price I have to pay ;)

  • Comment number 89.

    I wish I had the option to leave the country. Or else, I'd like to see justice for once.

  • Comment number 90.

    U 14446511 wrote
    "The European Union expanded too quickly. It allowed nations whose economies were not as advanced to join and now it is facing the consequences of it. "

    The expansion oof the EU had nothing to di with it, it was the creation of the euro and the failure to

    a)the failure to ensure most applicants met the joining conditions, which they didn't I believe even France cheated with it's figures.

    b) the failure to enforce the 3% debt ratio, which many countries were well above even before the financial crisis.

    The rules were possibly sensible and correct the checking at application stage and later were not.

  • Comment number 91.

    I believe Eurozone countries had no other option than to agree the bail-out of Greece or else the entire future of the 'Euro' and with it the European Super-State would have been put at risk of unravelling. I remain convinced therefore that we should retain the pound sterling, and with it our freedom as a nation, provided we tackle the massive national debt as a matter of the greatest urgency. Furthermore, the Greece crisis demonstrates to us all how important it is that we undertake a fundamental renegotiation of our relationship with the EU towards a looser kind of association under the banners of free trade and friendship instead of political integration.

  • Comment number 92.

    82. At 1:03pm on 03 May 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    “No citizen(s) of one country has the right to put the citizens of another country in this predicament, a predicment that can't help but foment civil unrest.”
    **********************

    Is the point; over there in Wall Street “the golden guys” financial speculators already began to play with countries overseas.

    The Chinese warned them long ago “…change your financial system and before teaching others of economy and finances fix yours” but who to listen.
    So now we will ALL pay the price for their ingenious capitalist “leadership.” And You make exactly your point “THE STUPID PIGS.” Actually, sailing on the same boat, we all became such ;) Lool

  • Comment number 93.

    Is it a good deal for anyone? Probably not. Is it necessary? Probably so, to prevent another region of conflict in the world, which already has too many regions in conflict.

  • Comment number 94.

    No. It is a stupid deal made by politicians and bankers who have failed. Time to have a re-think about economic problems. Why is it that no matter what the cause of the crisis the only answer is to cut wages, pensions and public services. Get wise. Listen to the protestors on the streets of Athens.

  • Comment number 95.

    Comment 48 wind-blown wrote:

    “As I explained elsewhere. The anti-EU / xenophobe / anti-left and anti-liberal axis have been given their style of speaking, style of thought, style of debate and partial information by the tabloid press.”

    A typical sweeping, socialist slur on those who don’t agree with you. From such a well informed, non-biased Guardian reader who claims that he didn’t realise that the paper backed Labour!

  • Comment number 96.

    @51. At 10:26am on 03 May 2010, Nik wrote

    You are wrong - i am not from Macedonia and what you are saying regarding the name is nonsense. Did you know that there are regions with same name in Slovenia as well as in Austria? No problem here in fact they are even allied (in science sphere, economy etc.). Did you know that Slovakia is actually Slovenska republika which in my language means Slovenian republic. And this doesn't mean they have any territorial claims to Slovenia. As well as Macedonia. They don't have a claim for Greek area named Macedonia and as i've been following the development they are even prepared to sign this. Hmm how would you call the people living there then? They've been calling themselves Macedonians the whole life. In fact it is Greece that long, long, long ago extended into that area.

    But this is not the point. The point is that Cyprus and Macedonian issue was to show that Greece does have unresolved issues with neighbours.

    I am sure it was nice while it lasted there. I mean spending other peoples money is easy and fun that is until they want it back. Similar with countries only on larger scale. I think if Greece could collect taxers more effitiently this would not have happened. Now it seems everyone will have to suffer.

    I have a thought here - what if Greece went bankrupt and then like company it would go under administration for certian period of time. Wait, maybe that's what is going on here. :-O

  • Comment number 97.

    Greece's Government betrayed its people. Shame on them.

  • Comment number 98.

    "46. At 10:03am on 03 May 2010, Anna Greece wrote:
    I saw lots of you commenting that the European tax payer shouldn't give Greece a penny. Right...as if you won't get it back PLUS interest! The only thing you seem to care about is spending cheap holidays in Greece thanx to the crisis.
    I got news for you. Greece won't get any cheaper, because the taxes have raised. Greece will get poorer and that's bad for Europe, too.

    The solution isn't to bail out Greece. There should be austerity measures for politicians, too. They get almost 10.000 euros per month, and there are 300 of them! There must be taxes for the church, as well. The church should show its Christianity by giving money to the people and helping pay the country's debt. The financial elite should also be taxed and also help pay the debt.

    Greeks face a 500 euros decrease in their income and a tax raise that won't allow them to live a normal life from now on. And you Brits only care for your holidays. Tell me, do you enjoy visiting Thailand and seeing the locals begging you for money? Do you want that in your own continent?"


    Anna, despite some negative points on here, I think most people feel great sympathy for the Greek people, and many have raised the point you have made, that the austerity measures imposed cannot work because they are so severe - which in turn is why people in other countries are worried because the money won't come back, with interest or not.

    I don't think that people have realised that the measures in place will be far harsher than those experienced in the UK in the 1970s (and 1980s in some parts of the country).

    I do think most people realise that some other EU countries(including the UK) are on the brink of this situation and they are concerned about lending money they either do not have or will need themselves imminently.

    A lot of the problems have not been created by bankers but by dishonesty amongst politicians within the EU, which again is why people are arguing about assistance - I don't think Greece and some other countries ever met the requirements to join the Euro. Why on earth was it dragged in by its hair?

    A lot of the angry comments I think are not aimed at the Greek people, but at politicians. Unfortunately, when things don't work out, they aren't the ones who have to pay up, and they bear no responsibility for their part in a situation gone wrong.

    I take no satisfaction in seeing beggars, who we already have (and have had for some time) in the UK. Unfortunately they are not all homeless and beggars but frequently have a substantial amount of money, and so those in need again often gain little smpathy.

  • Comment number 99.

    35. At 08:22am on 03 May 2010, costbased wrote:
    Why is Greece in the EU? How did Greece get into the EU? What economic tests did it pass to enter the EU?
    I say cut the cord and let that country float away. Let them get their own currency back. Let them devalue....do something internally to get themselves back up. It is like feeding the addict. After throwing a lot of money into Greece, we will fin that they still will not be able to meet their debt payments, and since we have thrown a huge wad of money into Greece we will do what most people would do, throw good money after bad.

    I THINK NEITHER EU NOR IMF WİLL BE ABLE TO RESCUE GREEKS!




  • Comment number 100.

    Europe (or rather Germany) had to bail-out Greece, but the longer term cost will not be known for years. The Euro was a poorly thought-out concept, designed by those in socialist Europe who want to see a single homogenous state at the level of the lowest common denominator (modern day communism). Monetory cohesion without political cohesion was always going to result in friction at some point.
    The real risk is that social incohesion may now follow, and ultimately a people's revolution against the harsh sanctions that Greece has had to accept, which will further damage the EU, putting it back decades.

 

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