Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html en-gb 30 Thu 10 Jul 2014 21:50:31 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html Joeblo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=99#comment302 This is hilarious.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10501902.stmThe real "stress test" is to see if the vaults have enough room to hold all those Euros the ECB printed without exploding. Sun 04 Jul 2010 20:15:32 GMT+1 Bob Wydell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=99#comment301 Nick Clegg tells us that Britain is too small to tackle huge issues like climate change and mass immigration by itself and we need to be in the European Union to survive. Perhaps Mr Clegg is too young to remember two other 'huge issues', the First and Second World Wars, when Britain and her allies prevailed without resorting to political and monetary union!We have been in this union now for 37 years, it is devious and calculating, ambivalent and conflicting, deceitful and evasive. It is authoritarian and anti democratic. It has ruined British commerce and industry and we are still waiting for someone to identify and name the 'self evident' benefits.The Unions main tenet, monetary union, has now proved to be an unworkable nonsense has it was always bound to be - pack it all in now and let us get back to living our lives as friends and neighbours instead of being press-ganged into the European Empire!hamlet934 Wed 30 Jun 2010 08:14:14 GMT+1 Teychin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=99#comment300 Great Article! Fri 25 Jun 2010 10:20:29 GMT+1 damienhandslip http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=98#comment299 Has anybody noticed how the GBP is creeping up against the Euro?It's good for Eurozone importers but not so good for exporters to the Eurozone.As an "Anglo-Saxon" I think of Europe as a great place to live, as long as it's France. The other countries might be nice to visit as long as you can get out afterwards.Rumour has it that if you drive your car into Hungary, for example, you cannot get out afterwards without a thorough inspection of your car for damage. If you have any damage you are detained until it is established that you have paid any 3rd party for the accident/s.So much for an egalitarian europe. Mon 07 Jun 2010 05:09:08 GMT+1 Manu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=98#comment298 Thanks for this article and for the link from Paul Krugman that I din’t knew. In fact, I win lot of money with the decrease of the [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] value.Thanks also to WebAliceinwonderland for these nice videos. Fri 21 May 2010 13:03:39 GMT+1 theoryvspractice http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=98#comment297 @84Hmmmm.. 21st Century? Debt Century you mean? Fri 05 Mar 2010 04:41:16 GMT+1 theoryvspractice http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=97#comment296 Now let's be honest, sincere or cynical. Pick your own word. Is there anyone that thinks speculators are NOT to blame? Who created the crisis? Who brought down giant corporations in a blink of an eye? Don't tell me it is just 'bad management'. It's somewhat like gambling. We bet on football games, boxing, tennis etc. Governments legalized gambling as a means to set rules, somewhat monitor the associated black economy and have a piece of the pie. But aren't we all frustrated (but not surprised) when some football game is fixed? Sometimes it's the president, sometimes its the referee, sometimes one player, a group of players, etc. Speculators? Of course they are to blame. Not solely of course. Consider the other 'players'. Politicians, bankers, hedge funds, even the press. A whole new mob. Global operations. Rule free. Thank you free economy. You provide for us. Thu 04 Mar 2010 17:13:42 GMT+1 iliasspanakis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=97#comment295 since you mentioned it Gavin, could we know a bit more about these "aggressive anglo-saxon media" as well as those "aggressive anglo-saxon speculators"...? Thu 25 Feb 2010 12:13:08 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=97#comment294 Mike DixonRe #237Hadn't grasped the depth of your experience: You are either a WW2 veteran or a warchild with a very long memory! Congratulations.I only know of WW2 from my WW2 veteran dad at Dunkirk, D-day etc. & the 'liberation' of Brussels where he met my veteran Belge mum who had lived through the Nazi occupation. Borne & bred in south England, I've read a few books, served in HM Forces & been around the World in 60 years, now retired to Scandinavia, so feel I do have a contribution to make to these debates.As for your, "..Economically the account (Spain) with the EU is now in balance.." is presumably an accurate generalisation: That Spain was a basket case pre-WW2 & under the fascist regime stagnated is true.However, whether Spain requires the 'one-size-fits-all' strait-jacket of the EU to have prospered quite as well as it has done post-Franco is another debate altogether.So far as the recors show these things, Spain was attracting tourism, restructuring & investment throughout the '70s and reasonable prosperity was becoming widespread. Yes, of course, like the UK, it has benefitted from the commonality of trade tariffs, easing of communications etc. the EEC had in place - - those genuinely constructive and useful tools that largely enabled the political stability - - and Spain has loyally stuck by the new version called the EU.That is where I differ from you in perspective: I do not concede any of us need/ed agree to the EEC acquiring the Maastricht or Amsterdam treaties that began an extension of Brussels' overall power-base into the functions of a Madrid Government (or London, Lisbon, Vienna etc.) and thence to the gradual erosion of National sovereign authority across most of Europe.Simply do not agree with you at all on the condition of the UK/England: "..overcentralised, bureaucratic.. under-invested..": Frankly, the first two describe the EU so accurately that it is a wonder you thought to compare it with the UK!How you are able to equate Westminster & 3 'devolved' assemblies to Brussels ruling 500,000,000 Citizens as not being an example of crass, excessive 'over-centralisation' is something I leave for you to explain.'Under-investment', well I suppose, that would depend on which aspect you are looking at: Certainly Health & Welfare Services always need more than they get from the pot and inadequate/incompetent 'bureacracy' of 'management' in those sectors is clear for all to see.What is it that makes you most "..sad.." about your homeland's situation: That UK/England is one of the few Nations still unwilling to totally bend the knee to Brussels (unlike Madrid), that it still has its own Currency (unlike Madrid plus 15 others), that it still holds fully to its Military commitments and alliances in NATO (unlike Madrid & almost any other nation in the EU), that its Citizens still display a robust 'island mentality' & propensity for individualism-entrepreneurial radicalism (unlike any other EU nation)?Or, are you so irked by the UK public's and more especially those 'Londoners' in general (whom as you implied, died in thousands to defend the 'islands') not accepting they need handover their historic political-cultural inheritance to the questionable safe-keeping of Paris-Berlin-Brussels? Thu 25 Feb 2010 09:14:42 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=96#comment293 Jukks, just don't get out of the train. Russia is an awful expensive place un-clear why, so - Helsinki - Hermitage - 2 pictures down town as a decent tourist on the embankment - cafe snack - Moscow Tretyakov - a picture on the Red Square as a decent tourist - an ice-cream - turn around on your heels - back home! Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:12:17 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=96#comment292 And tonight Russian men lost! to Russian women :o)))We compete internally as well, I'm afraid :o))))Female folk won the ski relay yesterday, on the "Day of Defender of Motherland" ;o)))) - naturally - defended, that "Motherland". As usual!And the men lost tonight, shamefully, 2 minutes late or whatever, shame on them and ugh! Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:06:15 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=96#comment291 By the way they say that that speedy train that began to trot btw Moscow and St. Pete will be extended to Helsinki . eventually. Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:03:05 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=95#comment290 Jukks, are you teasing me? The glass/beton something is a "modern art" wing. Never heard of a single live persom willing to see that branch :o))), inside or otside :o)))))The normal Tretyakov gallery is where it is and where it always were and all. (They have not bad cakes in the cafe in the cellar, and an alright good poster souvenir shop).Can't say I am an admirer of this type Ivan Grozny Muscovite architecture :o))) low ceilings bow-type ceilings arches type galleries...but for being modestly old 1850 something it qualifies.Skip the modern wing if you go - what's in there? Nobody knows.While the old one is portraits portraits boring portraits :o))) and good pictures pictures fairy-tale and story and his-tory and other scenes very practical easy to understand pictures. Quite viewable.Moscow only has 2 museums :o)))) - Tretyakov and Pushkin.To Tretyakov you go after old Russian art, and to Pushkin museum - after French impressionists. And in case you worry ab Pushkin museum being beton and glass - no worry. The museum is only called Pushkin but was built and filled in by dad of Marina Tsvetaeva (poet) and Tsvetaev-s all are alright with taste :o)))) Wed 24 Feb 2010 23:01:38 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=95#comment289 To WebAliceinwonderland (289):Alice, as this whole thread is becoming more and more off topic, I thought I could address you on one small thing...I found one good reason to visit Russia, Moscow to be exact. The reason, Tretyakov Gallery. In Helsinki they have a small exhibition portraying selected items from the gallery in art museum Tennis Palace. The exhibit closes soon and the tickets are 9 euros and a thought came to mind that maybe I would want to spend a little more to see more than few items. I found article about Tretyakov Gallery in Wikipedia, and after a glance I was like "trip canceled!".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tretyakov_GalleryLook at it! It is housed in a Soviet block, beautiful pieces of art housed into a that kind of building just takes a breath away, in a wrong way! Aaargh!!! Wed 24 Feb 2010 18:02:26 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=95#comment288 Looked up the table again. Seems to be quite a specialisation!Austria, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, France - all medals for skiing!Some - throughout, some - with 1 exception type skeleton/luge.On the other hand - Korea - 10 medals for speed skating! That's clearly a focused effort. Wed 24 Feb 2010 17:48:00 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=94#comment287 To ChrisArta (285):You should look again to the bank site you gave to me. I clicked "Housing Loans", then clicked "Current deposits and loan rates" which opened a PDF -file, from the file, in page 5 you can find "Mortgage credit non subsidized loans", now turn to page 6 to find "Floating rate" loans. ESTIA PRIVILEGED (1-40 years term)floating rate for the remaining loan term 3M Euribor -(plus fixed margin from 1.80%)That is the closest loan type to my quoted housing loan, difference being mine being 6 months Euribor and the Greek bank's being 3 month Euribor. The Greek 1,8% marginal is a bit high, but not extra ordinarily high, more like an healthy margin.So.. 6 months Euribor is 0.963% and 3 months Euribor is 0,659%...meaning in Finland I would get 6 months Euribor+marginal loan on 1,864%meaning in Greece I would get 3 months Euribor+marginal loan on 2,459%In case of the student debts, like I said they are backup by the Finnish state thus their marginal are lower because of the lowered risk. In case of the entrepreneurial and VISA debt, the differences can come up from different legal aspects, like I said in Finland you can't default or escape your debts, also there can be differences on how much loans go to bad loans, thus in the Greece more businesses go bankrupt, banks have to protect from that by having larger marginals. Wed 24 Feb 2010 17:37:20 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=94#comment286 3-4-6=13! (sorry, Holland. we didn't plan to. speedy skating.) Tue 23 Feb 2010 21:53:40 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=94#comment285 ...also please note that the above rates on that .pdf document were published last week so they are not years old! Tue 23 Feb 2010 21:48:25 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=93#comment284 #281,way way above those numbers!http://www.nbg.gr/wps/portal/!ut/p/c0/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3jXIFNnSzcPIwN3UxdXAyOfQEM_cyM_g-AAA_2CbEdFAJ94Paw!/?WCM_PORTLET=PC_7_ER5C9FH208GO702LMA6OAA18U3_WCM&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/wps/wcm/connect/NBG-en/nbg+site/retail/family%2C+employees/deposits/euro/farmers++plusI hope they leave the above link in place if as I hope they do as it is all in English, then please click the link "current deposit & loan rates" on the right hand side column.However as n indication they have things like:FAST-ACCESS OPEN PERSONAL LOAN (floating rate) 13.95%GREEN LOAN - ECB intervention rate 1% (+ 6.00% margin)PERSONAL LOAN “STUDENT LIFE”- floating rate 9.95%- fixed rate 10.65%OVERDRAFT FACILITIESCURRENT ACCOUNT (floating) 13.00%GO MASTERCARD / GO VISA Puchases 16.03%, Cash Withdrawals 17.53%DepositsESTIA 5 PRIVILEGED (5-40 years term)- fixed rate for 5 years - 4.90%- floating rate for the remaining loan term - 3M Euribor(plus fixed margin from 1.80%)PROFESSIONALS AND SMEs WITH TURNOVER UP TO €2,500,000OPEN BUSINESS PLAN- floating rate as applicable to financing for working capital - 6.85%FINANCING FOR FIXED INSTALLATIONS AND EQUIPMENT- floating rate, as applicable to financing for fixed installations - 6.85%FINANCING FOR WORKING CAPITAL- floating rate - 7.50%Surprise or not Surprise using Swiss Francs is cheaper!!!!!!!ESTIA CHF PROTECTION - FLOATING RATE (10-30 years)- floating rate for the first 4 years - CHF 1M-Libor(plus fixed margin 1.80%) plus additional cost – today 0.20%)So, theory is always better than in practice. If those business and people have to use that sort of money to finance their business they will be at a disadvantage to a Finn or German comapny at a huge cost. Tue 23 Feb 2010 21:47:11 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=93#comment283 Now now :o))) the team's table looks less awful :o)))Look here, Mavrelius, with your perverted view of the world :o))), there in North America, you don't even know how the normal Olympic table looks like.Germany 7 9 6 22USA 7 8 10 25Norway 6 3 5 14Canada 5 4 1 10Switzerland 5 2 7Korea 4 4 1 9Russia 3 3 6 12 Tue 23 Feb 2010 21:06:17 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=93#comment282 Yes! We've just taken gold, in girls skiing and shooting on the go. :o)Relay something, in stages. Mavrelius, "why Russia has to win". khm. what a strange question.Well, in particular today - it's 23rd February, the girls had to win to make a present to men. Today in Russia is a holiday, day off, Men's Day.When all men are congratulated and given presents :o)So these girls, in particular, promised a present.Using the opportunity - heartily congratulate all men in the blog! By Russian habit. You simply don't know it's your day :o), that's why don't ask for any thing :o))) Tue 23 Feb 2010 20:57:50 GMT+1 Michael-B http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=92#comment281 Well, Freeborn John, you've certainly been busy judging by your posts above.For me though the comment below sort of sums up my feeling about the EU and Europe these days..."There is a permanent 21-6 majority of nations in favour of the CAP because there are 6 net payers, and all the others regard the CAP as ‘free’ money. Similarly there is permanent 26-1 majority in favour of eliminating the so-called British rebate irrespective of any logical arguments for why it should exist. And there is a 26-1 majority against bailing out Greece out for the same reason. Qualified majority voting on international redistribution is nothing more than adding up the census figures of nations who are net payers in one column and those who are net recipients in another, and this cannot tell you anything about the issue itself. If one nation’s taxpayers can be debauched to the benefit of many other nations, there will be a permanent international majority in favour of doing just that."...'our people', 'your people', one of us, one of them. Tue 23 Feb 2010 20:23:07 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=92#comment280 To ChrisArta (265):Well now the discussion turned more interesting. Let me put some figures in the table. 6 months Euribor is 0,964%.1,864% - 6 months Euribor+marginal, housing loan2,493% - 6 months Euribor+marginal, entrepreneurial debt2,550% - Prime, Student debt7,7% - Visa credit card debtHousing loan is quote that I got from a friend of mine working in a bank. The rest come from my own latest loan statements. It should be noted that... Housing loan...This a quotation that would be given to your average Joe who has a work, is credit worthy and has collateral to back up the loan. The marginal 0,9% is actually very low and that is because of intense competition between banks to get customers. If you wondering why banks are competing this hard is because there are lot less credit worthy customers due to stricter requirement levels which are caused by risk aversion due to downturn. Now the banks still pay interest to their account holders so they are in a pressure to get those few possible client to be their customers.Entrepreneurial debt comes from... "Finnvera plc is a specialised financing company owned by the State of Finland. It provides its clients with loans, guarantees, venture capital investments and export credit guarantees."lainhuutoStudent debt...is backed by the Finnish state thus banks will always get their moneys no matter what. Actually as the state has much stricter conditions to those who don't pay their debts in time, banks usually advice students to take contact to them to make a better suited payment plan to avoid people loosing their credit worthiness or having to deal with the state.Visa debt...you can't get a Visa card if you don't have a job and the amount of credit you get is based on how much you make.I should also add that there are few real differences that should be taken into account when comparing bank marginals...A) Defaulting loan is impossible. In the old days if you loaned money and couldn't afford to pay it back, the loan would remain in effective as long as you would live, and what little there would be left for inheritance, all money would to paying debts. Now in the modern days this is the same case, however you can for one time in life apply for restructuring of debts where the state, creditors and you find a ground where you can be debt free in someday and pay maximal amount back.B) Real estate is highly protected. All transactions of real estate have to be accepted by a Notary and they must be registered into an official registry where at the moment of registration they will check that other person transferring you the property is allowed to do so. Additional protection comes from mandatory usage of state allocated national id cards. Also it should be mentioned that there are no squatting laws and if a property is squatted then police will remove all illegal occupants with a force if necessary.I make a note of this points because they protect the right of creditor and the owner thus making it more safe to loan money, as the risk is lower the bank margin can also be lower.So what kind of interest rates did you find? The link you gave was removed. Tue 23 Feb 2010 16:44:20 GMT+1 jablko http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=92#comment279 To EUprisoner re comment at 228Thank you for taking an interest. With regard to BAE, the news is that the Austrian authorities are investigating the middleman in this corruption affair. He is an Austrian citizen with a "pad" in Scotland as it transpires. The Czech authorities' ability to investigate anything is extremely limited, one has to be grateful for small mercies from abroad and indeed the EU.For better apreciation I have picked out one case to demonstrate our frustations. A local music society with international connection had been the owners of a well known building in Prague. The finally were co-erced to hand it over to the state in 1986 or 87! In 1991 they started a legal battle that would take 18 years to have it returned to them. After going through several courts it ended up with the socalled Constitutional Court who decided on 14.7.2004 in favour of the society, this decision did not allow any appeal, as was clearly spelled out. However such decision has still to be implemented by a regional high court, a formality normally. It took almost 5 years for this court to do this. This shows that the "networks" of the former criminal regime are still active. A known agent from the former regime by the name of Musikar (this can be checked by anybody) got his hands on it in 90 or 91 and had been given lots of handouts over the years from the public purse via a local authority which happens to be run by someone who is known to be extremely corrupt and influential. Cases brought against him tend to disappear. He keeps for instance a very experienced assistant from the "old days" with all the contacts intact. She must be 75 by now. One of his people is in the EU Parliament and naturally her party collegues know all about the connection. After all better people were moved down the electoral list to make space for her. The Tories should join anybody democratically elected, I have no problem with that. Bur it is a well known fact that the term "democratically elected" does not always apply these parts. Let's use the British system for a moment for ease of explanation. A constituency choses their candidate. Candidats woo their fellow party members to get the majority required. The Czech polititian when realizing that he can't get a majority he will organize a recruitment campain by his very personal helpers, equipped with sufficient cash to get new members that will nominate only him. This takes just a couple of weeks or so. These new members are referred to as ghosts, since some helpers got so desperate that they recruited from the grave yard. A journalist had spotted the odd name for which there was no living person, but a grave stone at local cementary yielded the name. Since the Tories know all this, they should perhaps explain their newly found standards to their own electorate.As an All-European citizen from before the days of the EU, in the spirit of Winston Churchill, I see that the need for the EU is greater than ever. Also critizising it should be encouraged everywhere. It will either get better because of it or it will flaunder. My bet is on the former.Regards Tue 23 Feb 2010 11:09:18 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=91#comment278 Re264: Bluesberry, some nice questioning there. For the record, the case of Greece is not the case of Portugal or Ireland no matter if they are all in the category of small countries that did not follow a normal path of development. Ireland tried to do it in a very accelerated manner, it backlashed, Portugal cannot attract a lot of investments being on the edge of Europe with a large Spain next to it. And Greece? Well Greece when it enterred the EU it was all alone away and with no land frontiers with any other EU country, an island of stability and democracy having to the north 3 communist countries one of them Albania having one of the most totalitarian regimes in the world (that kept the country largely to the 19th century), to the east a fascist Turkey threatening war and with no links with its natural trading partners, i.e. the Middle East (war and chaos) and Russia (communists). It was bound not to go very far. When communism fell, fortunes of Greece could change but then Balkan wars and the continuing animosity of US to the idea of Russian descending to the Mediterranean stopped it - and continue to try to contain it I do not know for how long.You only need to take into account the way Greece enterred the EU.1) In Europe they said "The entrance of Greece is not at all on the basis of its economy which is far from the EU standards. It is purely political and historic (political+historic = geopolitical of course, nobody would take in Greece just for its marbles).2) In Greece they said "Our entrance in the EU may guarantee us high levels of security against Turkey, after all that NATO betrayal in Cyprus and Aegean".Imagine that Greeks in late 70s, very early 80s were really wary of EU. They were not at all sure that this would be good for their economy. They were not at all sure that it was the right thing to give part of their financial sovereignty. But they accepted it mainly on the security basis. And when the packets of "sardines" started falling, then they thought "hey, it is not bad afterall to be in the EU, they give free money". Of course, by mid-80s/late-80s the 1st EU development packet had been eaten at 40 to 60% by sharks without any real development taking place - quite he opposite, Greece was already in a phase of complete dis-industrialisation, making it even more easy for the sharks to eat-up all the money and convert it to Mercedes, Porches and big Swiss bank accounts. And while the 30% of the population was partying, the 70% saw its fortuned little by little shrink. Note that this 30-70% division - in contrast to other countries where it is strictly social-class-driven - in Greece is not so much social-driven i.e. in the 30% you will find many middle and even lower class people, i.e. people that live and revolve around political parties while in the 70% you will find rich (or... previously rich) industrialists and producers whose interests were hit by all that lack of interest for real development that followed Greece's entry in the EU.The whole EU-Greece issue had never been financial. Finance is just a parameter in the whole picture. But simply put, EU was in full knowledge of everything that was and is going on in Greece. Even now, if they make all that fuss about Greece and its deficit it is not of course about worrying about one of the smallest EU economies (which they can sort out in no time if they want, easier than sorting out their big banks, like they did last year...). No. It is because they know that if Greece is under attack now (and not 5 or 10 years earlier - while having equally bad economy and with no visibility in the horizon), they know that it is the EU under attack. For Greeks, the biggest question is the "why now"? Why not earlier. They are most amazed that this sick situation could go on till now.My questioning is that "now" is not accidental and comes only after 1,5 year after the previous government (one that I rate as overall failed) did 2 interesting things : 1 is the signature with Russians for the gaz pipeline that cancels the US pipeline through Turkey, the other is the strategic deal with Chinese to make Greece a main point of entry of Chinese products in EU. 2 huge deals that alone can do a lot for the Greek economy and which are currently being cancelled by the US-passport-holder Papandreou-led current government - the one that could measure in 2 days after it rose to power the real deficit (the deficit that EU could not measure in 10-15 years!).Amusing! Tue 23 Feb 2010 09:11:06 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=91#comment277 WA, why must you win all the time? I still say you are far too preoccupied with skating. OK, no H-bombs, no polonium, no ricin, no fun, do it the hard way. The KGB will have to think of something else. Psychological warfare like they used in the chess matches before Fischer and what Fischer used against Spassky. Do something to keep the skaters from other teams awake all night. Parapsychological warfare using ESP (extra sensory perception.) Prostitutes to lure the male skaters and drug them the night before the competition. Since being better is a matter of capricious opinion among the judges and on any given day one skater might be better than another, the strategy of just being best leaves too much to chance. Whatever the best strategy is, it should be at least very diabolical. That's where the KGB shines best. They have plenty of time to come up with ingenious new ideas. Tue 23 Feb 2010 06:04:27 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=91#comment276 And thanks, Mavrelius, for the funny new table of results :o))))))Only due to your American method Russia looks like OK, I'll skip what we look like. :o)))) Like, as if, with "medals".In USSR times, even I remember, bronze and silver were not medals. But like "What?!"Some sportsmen were nostalgically remembering now that no one even congratulated them once, :o))) just for the hell of it :o))) for bronze and silver. Was considered in-decent , to remind :o))) an extra time :o))) about their misfortune :o))))Tempora them mutamur and oh all. Tue 23 Feb 2010 05:07:34 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=90#comment275 Well, OK. At least, as a reliable tank, you stay the morning (after :o))) throughout. Thanks. Finally, one fair judging. I don't believe it - in Vancouver?:o)))))Tatiana said this time the first time - neither an American nor a Russian and nor ? neither? nor. the Canadian judge, in their judges' team. "We have sorted it out, for the first time :o))) without own judges" :o))))May be that's why. Tue 23 Feb 2010 05:02:43 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=90#comment274 Mavrelius, ugh.How heavy you are.No flair, whatsoever :o)))))) Tue 23 Feb 2010 04:58:27 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=90#comment273 Congratulations, Canada.Tarasova commenting for us, said - "Divine". Tue 23 Feb 2010 04:39:25 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=89#comment272 WA;"What should be done that Russia wins winter Olympics?"Simple. Russia has 12,000 H-bombs. Go underground, use those H-bombs to kill everyone else in the world, and then when they don't show up for the games and Russia does, they will win by default. There's also the more targeted approach, ricin or polonium, take your pick. Tue 23 Feb 2010 04:34:37 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=89#comment271 :o)What should be done that Russia wins winter Olympics? For that, into the competitions' programme should be added new disciplines, namely:- "Litre-bal" in the frost.- Pulling of the rope on ice. - Walrusing Morning After - who will sit longer in the hole in the river ice after 2 litres and won't kick the bucket :o)))))- Tossing of mobile phones into snow with the aim of hitting the most distant snow pile and at that drown the telephone to the waste basket condition :o))))- Dog's sleigh chase (with pitt-bull-terriers)- Fugure- :o)))) un-printable :o))) in the frost :o))))Masha, I asked you! As your coach! Not to eh .. well To behave yourself! Mind the regime! All on time! This is Olympics!- And what have I done I done nothing.- Nothing! And who were those two men who I saw going out of your hotel room, at 6 am in the morning?!- Two men? - Yes!- Well, they were... They were Doping Officers!- Two?! - One was taking test A, and the other - test B!:o))))))))After clashing with the half-defenser of out team the attacking ? man demonstrated such pains of torture that children younger than 18 were asked to be taken out of the arena! :o))))Having thoughtfully started at the cancelled Winter-Summer time, orienting by the Moscow time zone, having checked themselves by the calendar, our sportsmen not only came to the Finish first, without meeting any competitors, but were the only ones who ran at all in that time and in that place. :o)))Grandad, and is it true that you lived at that time when our Olympic team was still getting some medals?- True, my little one, but the last time this had happened was many many years ago, at the lucky for us Vancouver Games :o)))))Olympic Games in Peking. Chinese team took all the medals.Olympic Games in Vancouver. American and Canadian teams are leading with a huge gap.But then in Sochi they will all cry! :o)))) Tue 23 Feb 2010 03:34:12 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=89#comment270 This post has been Removed Tue 23 Feb 2010 03:04:03 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=88#comment269 And we thought we are un-lucky when ? forgot the name. A Rust? a German guy flew over into our Red Square. Tue 23 Feb 2010 02:28:42 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=88#comment268 It's infectious WA. Tourists like taking chances here too;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ddpV1GvF7E110 stories up in the air, no net. Nobody else ever did it, nobody else ever will. Tue 23 Feb 2010 02:14:07 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=88#comment267 5:00 am. Organisers of the figure skating schedule!The country, which is located in the other 11 times zones would like to note, that... :o))))) Tue 23 Feb 2010 02:00:36 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=87#comment266 WA;Jumping off roofs, over knives, that is childs play here. Now Evel Knievel was one of America's most famous daredevils but hardly the only one. I recall his attempt to fly over the snake river canyon in a home made rocket quite clearly.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llzIVDbvSAcHow about that sport?Want to try the Grand Canyon Skywalk for yourself? I recommend staying sober if you do.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvzlZuWrJNwAnd Evel jumped over 14 Grayhound busses;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXVlEAovgswWhy some people go to the beach in Hawaii;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB5c39PZFQ4http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk9nQE7siskjumping for joy;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vscnMjrgcoAnd finally something safe back near home;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GjQOz4hY7w Tue 23 Feb 2010 02:00:02 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=87#comment265 Mavrelus @259 "try shoveling the walkway out to the street". (I am sorry, I know it's not about money :o)))) or Greece. as if this was stopping me ever :o))) but I've got to reply. because with those damn Olympics I might lose more important eh well qualifications. accomplishments :o))))))Anyway MA I don't want to say anythingI've got for you links to Russian winter sports. one typical like winter roof jumping I've posted beforehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EksaafuZhl0Another good one is walrus-inghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V13ARK9g578Then it's of course snow-fortress taking by stormhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bKpmxjAxwEAnd general rolling around and jumping over knives. Well, that's cossacks' sub-division of Russians. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0WlNrqs-dYSimple, un-pretentious entertainment. I'd go for a snow fortress, I think. Of all of the above :o))))) Tue 23 Feb 2010 00:29:12 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=87#comment264 #262OK, jukka just so that I can support my theory after some quick google research here is what interest rates a Greek. I haven't managed to checked any German ones yet, but maybe you can dig up something from Finland and tell me if they are similar more or less[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]My guess from looking at those numbers is that they are higher! Mon 22 Feb 2010 22:56:29 GMT+1 BluesBerry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=86#comment263 Now with the euro facing its severest test, I don’t see conspiracy.I see credit default swaps and derivatives.In a direct way, "Anglo-Saxon" speculators, Anglo-Saxon banks and hedge funds are behind the euro crisis, but not in the severe, most direct, most greedy way that CDS and derivatives are the fault of United States of America and its irresponsible, unregulated derivative trading.God forbid, the IMF gets involved in Greece. Its dire rules ands regulations will destroy the Greek economy in two swift blows: 1. Privatization 2. Reduction of social spending.The markets are giving the euro a severe stress test because there are derivative investments (asset bubbles) throughout European Countries, not just Greece, but Spain, the UK and Portugal and...The euro slid close to a nine-month low against the dollar yesterday because investors became increasingly nervous over reports that Greece USED DERIVATIVES TO DISGUISE THE SIZE OF ITS DEBT WHEN IT JOINED THE EUROPEAN UNION. Really? Did it knowingly do that? Has the UK done that? As eurozone ministers met in Brussels last night for talks over the Greek debt crisis, the EU asked Greek authorities to explain suggestions that they had used derivative trades with AMERCIAN INVESTMENT BANKS to allow them to meet the stringent criteria for joining the euro in 2001. The New York Times reported that one contract in 2001 involved Greece selling forward future lottery receipts and airport landing fees, in exchange for cash so that Greek debts could be written down. If there is guilt here. It is with Greece, but mostly with American UNregulation, DISregulation of default swaps and derivatives.Credit default swaps, or CDS, are insurance against the risk of default on a debt. The writer/seller of these swaps receives regular payments from the buyer, and in turn assumes the risk that the underlying debt will not be repaid. In the event of default, the seller of the contract has to reimburse the buyer for the unpaid interest and the principal of the debt. Credit default swaps are non-standardized private contracts between the buyer and the seller. They are not traded on any exchange, and they are absolutely, totally UNREGULATED BY ANY GOVERNMENT. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISAD) publishes guidelines and general rules that can be used to write CDS contracts. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association estimates the total notional amount of outstanding credit default swaps is about (Are you ready?) - $62.2 trillion, making these contracts the most widely traded credit derivative product. Due to the lack of regulation in the market for CDS, these instruments were/are underwritten by almost any financial institution. Large insurers such as American International Group (AIG) and Ambac Financial Group (ABK) have been major players in the market. However, such contacts are also written by hedge funds, mutual funds and banks such as Merrill Lynch (MER), Citigroup (C) and Morgan Stanley (MS). Sovereign debt is one of the most commonly used assets. This includesGreece, but also Italy, Spain and General Electric Company - with the later three being the TOP THREE entities in term of net notional amount. So, tell me: Is Greece the real problem, or does the real problem lie elsewhere, and what does the EU intend to do about it? Mon 22 Feb 2010 22:52:38 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=86#comment262 Ha ha ha :))Maybe Nik and his geopolitical games is not to far off the mark if this article and what the generals are accused of is correct http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8528512.stm Mon 22 Feb 2010 22:34:35 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=86#comment261 To ChrisArta (260):You make the mistake on thinking that it is less risk free to loan to a state than to a individual or an enterprise in that said country. If an individual or a corporate loans money from the bank, they usually give an collateral that either covers part of, most of or fully the loan that the person is getting. Governments on the other hand don't give any collateral, they give their word that they will pay. However there is nothing stopping government from defaulting or restructuring their debt, in essence paying only some of it. If you are a bank, it is much better option to find a good individual and a business customers and loan to them, even with lower interest rate. I should also add that there is only so much money that a bank can invest into a one place, before putting itself into a serious risk on going bankrupt, diversity is the key for survival.You also again forget that wealthy individuals, SME's and large corporations can organize their financing internationally. There is nothing to stop for example a Greek corporation using German or France banks to do their business. Actually after the introduction and large scale move to the SEPA system this spring, Eurozone will be one domestic banking area, all transactions between banks are domestic. If there is need for money and a good plan to use, there is always financing for it.In regards of economic theories, different models try to describe the economic reality as best as they can. Neoclassical, Keynesian, Chigaco, Austrian, etc.. tell a tale about the economy from different view points, valuations and ideas about society and human nature, not one of them tell the absolute truth, but they tell apart truth. By using all these tools together and selecting best ideas of them, one can start to have some light on what is happening and what is going to happen. In regards of the ECB. ECB is lot better than the Fed or the Bank of England because it is free from political pressure, there are no artificially too low interest rates to buy political will, there is no Quantitative Easing or other versions of printing money, there is just one thing, preserving the value of Euro as an currency of exchange, in essence fighting inflation, so that I nor anybody else have to worry their night on how many times prices have doubled this morning.P.S. There is nobody to guarantee that California has enough dollars for example to pay their bills or salaries of their employees.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOU"Also referred to as "IOUs" by the U.S. state of California, the term "Registered Warrants", which specify a future payment date, is meant to differentiate these IOUs from regular, or “normal” payroll warrants which permit the holder to exchange their warrant for cash immediately. For both types of warrants, redeeming them may be delayed until funds are available. Because of this uncertainty, warrants like IOUs are not negotiable instruments. Registered Warrants were issued in July 2009 due to the inability of the state of California to meet its financial obligations. They are issued as payment to private businesses, local governments, taxpayers receiving income tax refunds, and owners of unclaimed money." Mon 22 Feb 2010 22:06:57 GMT+1 Pass Torian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=85#comment260 First you facilitate extravagant spending then you demand from user (customer) austerity measures. I call it engineered speculation. It does not matter when a small fry individually speculates on the stock market.When the gurus who rendered, for big fees, advice to the government of Greece then I become suspicious of overall motives for action against Greece. Why most of those "advisors' with exception of a few, still thrive in the business of "advising" others, Greece will be facing deflated values of anything they own; effects of crafty engineering by outsiders. Few of trips I took to Greece recently made me wonder if I should not invest in some property there. Wonderful vistas, serene places, rich past history, popular tourist vacation spots to mention some of Greece attractiveness. Thanks to engineered speculative motions of yesterday I may be able to acquire some property at speculatively low price! Maybe?Some blame heads-up-I-win tails-up-you-lose game on Anglo-Saxons. If you call yourself an idiot you can blame your failures on Anglo-Saxons but only then. Normally you ought to know what you can and what you must not accept from others(e.i.Anglo-Saxons advisors and money lending operators). Greeks are solely to blame. Recent Anglo-Saxon experience within banking system though has shown us something interesting. Frivolous banks instead of failing as a result of its' inept, careless operations received substantial amount of money to continue. What strange is that their managers instead of receiving pink slips were retained and actually were given substantial award/bonus money. ???? If we are to follow the Anglo-Saxon experience then I suppose we ought not to ask Greece for austerity measures but give its leaders fat bonuses for great leadership. Mon 22 Feb 2010 22:03:43 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=85#comment259 #245,No I'm saying they are a "union" because of that. i.e. Their fed ensures that California can borrow from someone :)) Also, I would be in shock to find out that someone from Texas would complain if their fed ensured California could borrow without having to go IMF, bacuase Californians surf more than Texans!So, no in my view the US has a true union the Eurozone has a dogs breakfast that it calls a union!@258,Jukka, I can no see how I can be wrong in saying that business & households in Greece will have to pay as high interest rate (if not higher) us their country has to pay. You, yourself gave the answer, think about it. Lets say CreditSwiss lends, Bank xyz of Greece 100 Euro, now Bank xyz of Greece can lend that money to person "a" at 3% a year or to the Greek government at 6% a year, it will be the government so person "a" to borrow money from bank xyz will have to pay the same as their government 6%. That puts that person at a disadvantage for been in the Euro, their have to pay high interest rates and they can't devalue their currency to make their products compatetive. The same goes to savers of cause I guess. I have not checked for interest rates but I'm sure interest rates in Greece will be higher than in Germany (or here in the UK, but we are not in the Euro anyhow). So, what you described above is just the theory and as we know with things economic they only work in theory never in practice. And althought the ECB maybe similar to the US, it is not the same and that is a weak point not an advantage. Mon 22 Feb 2010 21:38:59 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=85#comment258 "Well, if to imagine for a sec, that Russia doesn't plan to attack them, and, moreover, didn't :o))))) - what exactly the difference?"Russia doesn't have to. By creating the EU and the Euro, the Europeans have attacked each other and far more effectively than Russia could have possibly done with mere military weapons. And in this kind of attack, the US doesn't have to get involved by coming to their defense :-)"Your 6 and a half soldiers left over in Europe? When you take them out no one will notice the difference."There may be only six and a half of them but they are costing us billions of dollars...just like those Russian functionaries that eat caviar and spend billions on themselves you mentioned.":o)))))"A little less vodka and that swollen red nose would go down and turn white again. Less starch and fat and a little more exercise and those double chins would disappear. :-) Instead of flying over the snow on an iron mortar to that hut on fowl's legs with the clock in its stomach, try shoveling the walkway out to the street :-) Mon 22 Feb 2010 20:06:23 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=84#comment257 To ChrisArta (231):I don't know where you come up with the thing that business and house hold interest rates of some Eurozone country are somehow tied to to that countries states interest rates.The Eurozone is almost the same the USA regarding working of the currency union. In the USA the Fed loans money to banks, their base borrowing and deposit rates are the same regardless on in which state the bank operates and what is the interest rate that markets loan to their state. That is exactly the same thing in the Eurozone. The ECB loans money to Eurozone banks directly, their base borrowing rate dictates what is the cheapest available money in the Eurozone. Now banks loan their money to other banks, businesses and individuals based on the rate of the Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate). Loans that I have they consist from the Euribor and from the banks markup, there is no added Finnish state markup, it is just that.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_Interbank_Offered_RateIn case of the interest rates and differences between Eurozone states, that is normal course the market and perfect way for the markets to measure risk and value in a country specific level. If all states could be able to borrow at the same interest rates, then what would be the market mechanism that tells that A) you borrowing too much too fast, B) you need to stop borrowing now. The current system works, it rewards states that maintain the credit worthiness and punishes those who are lax or careless about running their finances. Mon 22 Feb 2010 19:13:32 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=84#comment256 252.Yes. right. I mean, I thought, that's British speciality :o))))) just some personal eh well nevermind :o))))but. of course. Of course!. Continue training, by all means. I also thought that these Olympics is a one-off mistake, on the US part. Once in 39 years and all. Yankee go home :o)))) and all. It's cold outside, and slippery :o))) Mon 22 Feb 2010 18:20:21 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=84#comment255 Sweet Mavrelius, "let's see how Europe will manage it on its own".Well, if to imagine for a sec, that Russia doesn't plan to attack them, and, moreover, didn't :o))))) - what exactly the difference?Your 6 and a half soldiers left over in Europe? When you take them out no one will notice the difference. Mon 22 Feb 2010 18:02:03 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=83#comment254 Chris Arta and Seraphim, that was to the union matter you are discussing.Don't know which union is correct theoretically, let's do it practically :o))) and then we can form it up by papers :o))))) Very scientifically, carefully and all :o)))) Very German, nothing against.My idea (in the figure-skating case and ALL) is such: old fairy-tale how to plug out an over-grown turnip. (size a tank :o)Comes dedushka - pulls-pulls - cannot pull it out of the ground.Comes babushka, grasps at dedushka - they are pulling-pulling - can't pull the turnip out. :o))))Comes granddaughterm snatches at babushka who holds at dedushka, the team is pulling-pulling - can't pull the turnip out.Comes a doggie fluffy, snatches at the granddaughter - etc. You got the idea.Finally comes a tiny mouse, snatches at the fluffy (one can insert a kittie into the chain as well :o) - and they plug the (golden :o) Turnip out.That's the system. IMO. Old proven method. For complex issues. Mon 22 Feb 2010 17:50:23 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=83#comment253 I think I was mentioning, just recently, that "never say never again". Russia and Europe might need to unite. Sooner than either side planned to :o))))Thank you Mavrelius for veni-vedi-vici, initiating.Plushenko is going to protest the "Canada-America" judgement and "the system". Himself. He doesn't have a pack of lawers behind him, in the national figure-skating association. All know Russian functionaries eat caviar and spend billions on themselves, insted of supporting their athelets. The athelets they sell down the river. Our skaters go on ice armed with the skates only. ___________________________________I've posted a slogan in the Russian sports' blog.St. Pete - for Pluschenko. Russia - for St. Pete.In 2 minutes got an entry from Sweden - "Sweden - for Russia".:o)))) Mon 22 Feb 2010 17:42:43 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=83#comment252 Sara Phlegm;I have explained time and again on this blog site, on Stephanomics, and on Mark Mardell's among others why it would be very dangerous for the EU to devalue the Euro before the US makes the first move by devaluing the US dollar. After that happens, it would be very dangerous for almost anyone else except China and Japan not to. I'm not going through it again. Look up my previous postings, I'm not going to do the research of BBC files for you either. Mon 22 Feb 2010 17:02:08 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=82#comment251 WA;"Mavrelius, darling, what's your favourite sport?"WA, I prefer "indoor sports." I find being a participant far more rewarding than being a mere observer. Fortunately I am still young enough to be able to play :-) Mon 22 Feb 2010 16:47:25 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=82#comment250 Wonttellyathen;"I don't understand any of their (Greeks) protests in the first place any way'"It's very simple, they don't want the party to end. They don't want you to stop picking up the tab for it since they can't afford it themselves. They're broke. You guys are no fun at all. It's you I don't understand. Your government was one of the chief architects of the monstrosity that will suck every last Euro you've got to invent what you and it and the rest of Europe thought would be a superstate with an economy and population larger and moe powerful than the US. And you went along with it without critical thought or protest just the way your grandparents and greatgrandparents went along with Hitler and their parents before them went along with the Kaiser. Now when the whole thing has blown up the way the previous schemes did and it comes time to pay for your folly, you act like it's a complete surprise.Has it ever occurred to you or your fellow Germans that had they won either of the two world wars they started that in the end, the superstate it wanted to build would have ended up the same way for the same reason as the EU only much faster becuase there would have been nobody from the outside to help pay to rebuild war ravaged Europe? For all your philosophers, mathematicians, logicians, historians, and other men of letters, with all your wise guys you Europeans aren't very smart. This time you're on your own. Let's see how you handle it now that you finally got what you'd always wished for in the past. I've been noticing a lot of finger pointing from your side of the pond. What comes after that? Mon 22 Feb 2010 16:09:59 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=82#comment249 Aaah. I am silly. Under-sleep. Ice-hockey! with Canada.Now now now. :o)))))Germany? Germany! Anybody here? Seraphim, no? No. Mathiasen - but then it's fifty-fifty Mathiasen is Danish. Germany anybody! Do Russians a favour - may be you can hold yourself, not win over Canada this time, please ? :o)))))Leave them to us!What's a Germany-Russia semi-final in hockey, after all, I mean Germany-Russia, Russia-Germany, Germany-Russia what's new :o))))We don't want that medal. Well, we want, but, how to say :o)))) slightly above "luge"... :o))) or what's there? ah "skeleton" and snow-boarding.OK, more than snow-boarding. :o)))))But less than figure-skating.But Russia-Canada semi-final will be dear to see. We've read so many intersting things about ourselves. So happy with Vancouver judging.I think it'll be something like Jagr-Ovechkin encounter last night :o)))) in the Czech-Russia game. In that pretty style. :o)))) So much accummulated to say to each other. Mon 22 Feb 2010 15:57:14 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=81#comment248 Mavrelius, darling, what's your favourite sport? Mon 22 Feb 2010 15:47:41 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=81#comment247 Thank you Chris Arta, I see the argument going here, only indeed somewhat stressed :o)))) by, you know, whatRead the front page of Olympics' official website, where Canadian dance pair says "we and Americans now represent the new world system in figure-skating and this is the way it should be."The next sentence the author reminds all that this is going to be the first Russia's Olympic games in figure skating without gold "in 40 years with the exception of 2 Games". To explain, what the Canadians-Americans mean, by the "new system". How un-modest, of the Canadians. :o)))) I'd say - 39 years more - and then Canada-America can herald "the new system" :o)))))Anyway it's same painful as ? as if Dutch monopoly of ? ordinary speedy frozen canal skating was interrupted. Nation's patented. If Russians are beyond themselves now - imagine what would the Dutch say, in such a case.What is Canada's favourite sport, anybody knows?What would hurt with Canada Mon 22 Feb 2010 15:46:01 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=81#comment246 WA;...vili;, ...vili, ...viliveni! vidi! vici!Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,Tapping at the window and crying through the lock,Are all the children in their beds, it's past eight o'clock?Tomorrow at bedtime, I'll tell you the one about Gorby, Gorby, Gorby :-) Mon 22 Feb 2010 15:39:23 GMT+1 Seraphim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=80#comment245 Marcus you are still a strange one aren't you?"A lower dollar makes the US more competitive against goods sold in other currencies and foreign imports more expensive in US domestic market. In a recession that would be welcome news."When I said the exact same thing for Europe that a weaker euro is better than a strong one you called me stupid and now in a comparable situation for the US you are almost using my very own words except for replacing "Europe" by "US" and "Euro" by "Dollar". So either you are stupid yourself or we are both right, but if we are both talking about the same car in the alley and both of us say "it is a black car" then it is simply not possible that only one of us is right...(On a sidenote what you suggest printing huge sums of Dollars won't work because then all the rich people who control the US goverment (like they do in many countries) would loose too much of their wealth which is parked in Dollars. In general this however would be a very good way in strengthening competivness and while moving value from the (too) rich to the (too) poor every once in a while to give every citizen in the US or EU 1000(0) Dollar or Euro freshly printed. We might get some recession from it but so what? doesn't seem too unfair for anyone for me as everyone gets the same share. Just that we in the EU have little problem with the ECB not being allowed to print new money ^^) Mon 22 Feb 2010 15:34:56 GMT+1 Seraphim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=80#comment244 Sorry Alice of course there were no Russian but Soviet tanks in those days ;-)Well I wasn't there to see wheather it said "made in Russia" or "made in Ukraine" on the license plate at very least (probably neither even).@ Chrisarta: Your question seems weird to me. On the one hand you ask whether we would pay for Hungarians and Latvians and in the next sentence you admit that we already do so. However I was googling a bit for a definition of the word "union" which seems to be your problem. As there are various different kinds of Unions it is even hard to find a general definition for the word. I at least couldn't find a single one saying that in a Union national states are supposed to bail others out to fulfill the requirement of being a "Union".On the other hand I have never heard of single states within the US (let's say Nevada) paying the bills if others who can't (let's say California) when Mr Schwarzenegger announced the cutting of costs in the public sector there. Are you now saying that the UNITED states of America are no UNION because of that? Mon 22 Feb 2010 15:21:53 GMT+1 Wonthillian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=80#comment243 #239'Plus as long as in Greece the retirement age is at about 58 while we have 67 in Germany, I don't understand any of their protests in the first place any way'Plus the fact that the life expectancy in Greece is one of the highest in the world ( 19th out of 195 – better than Germany, UK or USA) so the Greeks would enjoy longer retirements than most, even if they retired at the same age as everybody else! Mon 22 Feb 2010 15:01:19 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=79#comment242 #241,Don't stress WA, I believe what he was trying to say was "It is one to transfer funds to former East Germany, because they are Germans". Our own Freeborn John says the same thing for us here in the UK, "It's ok to transfer fund from London to Yorkshire, because they were occupied by the Vickings :))" The only difference is that Freeborn John, doesn't pretend to like the EU or thing the EU is a good thing. He has clarity of thought, he may be wrong, but you can't accuse him for not knowing what he wants:))I think this Euro crisis is a good thing for the Euro in a few years time everyone will say "thanks god we had that crisis, we put in place mechanisms to deal with it in the future and everyone knows what a union means now" Mon 22 Feb 2010 14:47:03 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=79#comment241 Sara PhlegmIt would be interesting to see the Chinese sell off their US dollars and their US Treasury debt. I don't know how far they could push it down though given the total number of dollars in circulation and how much they hold. As the Euro rises, keep in mind that oil rose to $150 a barrel before the bottom fell out of it. A lower dollar makes the US more competitive against goods sold in other currencies and foreign imports more expensive in US domestic market. In a recession that would be welcome news. I have already said the US should devalue its currency unilaterally by printing and distributing oceans of them to their own citizens, five to ten trillion dollars while at the same time ditching the WTO and raising high import tarriffs. This would allow Americans and the government to pay off their debts with these new cheap dollars and stimulate domestic investment. Would other countries lend as readily to the US government? Maybe not which would force the US government to cut itself down to a reasonable size which is something many of us want badly anyway. It has grown far too big and expensive. The inflation, devaluation, payback of debt, and protectonism in the US would rapid realign the US economy to grow and regain the even greater pre-eminence it used to enjoy at the expense of foreign countries, especially Europe. Pullout of all US forces in Europe would be one good cost cutting measure. But first it should wait until European bankruptcy takes its full toll. Germany will not be spared, it will not escape the disaster that is about to befall the Euro. Mon 22 Feb 2010 14:44:03 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=79#comment240 by Russian tanks." By USSR tanks, alright? :o))))We were governed, and I'd say kind of hijacked, back then by Saakashvili, that is, I am sorry, by Jugashvili :o))))Or may be by the over-educated Ukrainian patriot, Khruschev. Nevermind :o)))But the tanks were Russian-made, no denial. Mon 22 Feb 2010 14:08:29 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=78#comment239 #239 Seraphim85,Lets leave the Greeks out as they don't qualify for German solidarity because they were not occupied by the Soviet Union.Would west Germany fund/support the Latvians, Hungarians etc. to the same tune that it support former east Germany? After all they suffered just as much as former east Germany under Soviet rule?Or is Freeborn John correct in saying the EU is only a union just in name, there is no demos for it and each state will not support anyone else outside its national boarders. Please don't give the argument about largest net contributor etc. I know all that here in the UK we do that also.The point I'm trying to make is that we also give money to Africa but we don't call that "union" so giving money to develop a country in nothing new and EU explicit, happens at all levels it don't have to be the EU. Do you think therefore the Eurozone is a union or should we give it another name? Because at the moment it is not a union. And as the blog asks, what is the problem with the Euro? The answer is at the moment there is no unity in the Eurozone. Mon 22 Feb 2010 13:46:21 GMT+1 Seraphim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=78#comment238 @ Marcus idioticus:As we are exporting more goods than we import your comment about nobody outside europe accepting the euro just doesn't make any sense at all as there always will be demand for euros to pay for the goods produced here.I heard today that the Chinese are considering releasing the dollar reserves (which are a couple of trillions) back on the free market to thank Obama for inviting the Dalai Lama. If they pull that through (which I am not really convinced off - but hey they are Chinese, it could be something about losing their face which we don't understand in the Western world that makes them against all logic really do it) I guess we will get 2 or 3 dollars per Euro very soon.As long as the Euro stays above par with the Dollar, I am not worried at all that it could bust, as it is right now simply overrated.For the discussion here about the difference for Germans paying for East Germany rather than for Greece. Hardly anyone there did choose to live in a completely broke system and when they first protested they were faced by russian army tanks. So they really had few options. The Greek however can each couple of years vote their government and they keep voting for ones that live on corruption and even lie to the EU. Plus as long as in Greece the retirement age is at about 58 while we have 67 in Germany, I don't understand any of their protests in the first place any way. There is still a lot of room for the government in Athen to save money and to still provide far more public wealth than most other Euro nations do. Mon 22 Feb 2010 13:01:39 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=78#comment237 MaudDib, "an asteroid or a comet?".Good question. To be or not to be. Hamlet - prince of Denmark. Dane Gold! Mon 22 Feb 2010 12:40:54 GMT+1 Mike Dixon Londoner in Spain http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=77#comment236 To Cool_brush_work - 221"--. hankering for the 'illusory' perfect EU...""EU IS GOOD; ANYTHING ELSE IS BAD" YES and NO Yes as far as Spain is concerned. Spain joined as soon as it could, in 1985. It has taken full advantage of the opportunities and financial assistance offered. In return it has given full support and commitment. Economically the account with the EU is now in balance. As much is paid in as is received.No one is claiming the EU is, or ever could be, 'perfect' but for myself and I would say, for the vast majority of the Spanish, it is by far the best that is on offer. Do you suggest we go back to the past?When I was born in 1934, Spain had a republican government that was little short of anarchy. In 1936 the Civil War broke out. In three years 650,000 died and 500,000 were driven into permanent exile. In 1939 General Franco became dictator. A dictorship that lasted for 36 years until his death in 1975 and during which Spain was poor, backward and hungry!Should we go back to individual nation states for the rest of the world, not least the Americans, to pick off? I would give 10 years before war broke out between at least two of them.No, I am not anti-British. I am very proud of being a Londoner and living in the London suburbs when 30,000 Londoneres were killed amidst distraction and injury.The present state of my native land makes me sad. In my view, over centralized, beaurocratic and grossly under invested. Try flying from Heathrow to Barcelona for a weekend. I think you will see what I mean. Mon 22 Feb 2010 11:08:29 GMT+1 MaudDib http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=77#comment235 Yo AliceThe Tunguska event. Was it an asteroid as most Americans say or was it a comet as most Russians say? Mon 22 Feb 2010 02:56:08 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=77#comment234 This post has been Removed Mon 22 Feb 2010 01:32:07 GMT+1 betuli http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=76#comment233 Within the Eurozone there is the same degree of difference than in USA, Brazil, China, India or any other macro-state. So putting the finger on the economical disparities within the Eurozone in order to justify the inner weakness of the Euro, is a baseless stance, with no real reference. The Euro will emerge stronger afte the Greek crisis. BTW, the "Anglo-saxon conspirative theory" against the common currency is certainly very convincing, gentlemen, no offence meant. Sun 21 Feb 2010 23:50:47 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=76#comment232 #230,@Jukka,Very good article did you read all three pages? The message I got out of it was that they are trying to fix things, and what I've been saying all along that they need politcal support from the Eurozone now. Even yesterday on interview their primemister gave to the BBC, he said that they don't want financial support they just want political backing be able to borrow at normal rates to reform their systems. Sun 21 Feb 2010 22:44:13 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=76#comment231 For a sec. Whole USSR abroad calls themselves "Russian". 15 countries. To not go into details :o) to confuse foreigners with their "Western Ukraine", Transdniestria-Moldova, Belorussia-Northern Kazakhstan etc.Anyway you don't know where is what, say, 70% of the time :o))))But here at home - I mean in respective countries, all are awful nationalistic and very well remember who they are. "Russian" - it's just a general name for foreign consumption. Sun 21 Feb 2010 22:32:00 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=75#comment230 #229,Small correction, companies and house holds will not be able to borrow at interest rates less than their government, on that point you will find out that you are wrong. That is why I say if Greece doesn't get political support to allow it to borrow at levels similar to Germany's they will be stupid to stay in the Euro. As stupid as Latvia's policy to try and get into the Euro. In my view if those countries plus other's don't enjoy the same benefits from the Euro as Germany's companies do, they are better off outside it. The way the Euro works now is enabling German companies to compate without the fear that other countirs cab devalue their currency to make their product more competetive.If what you suggest was to be followed through, ie. cut, cut & companies leave the countries, then you'd end up with a whole lot of Greeks, Spaniards, Italians, Irish, etc. shifting north to follow the work, that most likely will take place no matter what.I don't disagree one bit that Greece and every other country has to reduce their deficits but it has to be done in a controled way and the Eurozone has to act with one voice and to give a single message, not the multitude of messages that come out of it today. Again here we see two different things, you for example can spot union & solidarity, I can spot a whole lot a people runing around with no coordination and everyone says what ever he or she feels. Regarding solidarity I don't spot any, I can only see finger pointing. Sun 21 Feb 2010 22:29:57 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=75#comment229 When reading an article like this, I can only say cut, cut and cut again.http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/02/19/greek_disease Sun 21 Feb 2010 22:03:09 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=75#comment228 To ChrisArta (226):No problem. I have chosen to answer you because this is an interesting discussion...First of all the interest rate that businesses and corporations pay for their loans is set by banks that loan money to them, banks themselves loan money from the ECB that loans money with the same interest rate regardless from which member state the bank comes from. The interest rate that markets price for the state, and the interest rate that markets price for a particular company are not inter-linked, it doesn't affect them.In case of the Greek state, the interest rate that they are required to pay to get new loans, is actually correct. They are more riskier investment than Germany and that requires higher interest rates. Secondly higher interest rates actually serve a purpose of signaling to the Greek state that they are in the wrong track and if they don't redeem themselves then financing will be cut. And that is the only right thing to do in a situation like that.In case of the Greek businesses, as I noted before they pay the same from the money as everybody else. However if they are uncompetitive then they should either lower wages, cut headcount or move some parts of their activities to a better location that makes them competitive again. That is what all corporations do and what they should be doing, if you can cut down headcount then you have glut that needs to be removed. While especially layoffs and moving of activities can for a moment hit the economy, in longer term it will make the economy work more efficiently.In case of the financial system, it isn't perfect, but it is far best than anything that has been tried and presented to this day. Our economic and financial system is actually a distributed self-correcting and self-learning global information system that resolves where and how resources should be allocated and where and how not. Criticizing how this system works is part of its self-correcting and self-learning nature, but demanding to scrap it all together is irresponsible act to do. If you are thinking that this system needs to be replaced, then you really start to need to think on how on earth you can move huge amounts of information from every single living person, how to value, how to process it and how to make it self-correcting and self-learning.Again, in case of the union, the has solidarity, Greece is still both Eurozone and EU member, they have workable position, they just have to cut, cut and cut until they cut all cutable and then cut some more. The situation that the Greeks have is much better than we and the Swed's had in the beginning of 90s, we cut a lot, but still managed to retain our welfare states. If there is will, there is always a way. Sun 21 Feb 2010 21:37:50 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=74#comment227 175. At 10:59pm on 19 Feb 2010, jablko wrote:" ... I know from personal experience here in Prague. Very dark eastern figures, often called the Russian Mafia, have a great influence. It is a great battle to establish law and order, the corruption is enormous...."EUpris: There are any references throughout Europe to the Russian Mafia and to Russian Criminals. Russia is not in the"EU". If the Czech Republics arrests Russian (citizen) criminals, they should be thrown out. I have met people here who tell me they are Russian but are Estonian citizens. They seemed like nice people and I don't want to throw them out. If we were outside the "EU" I might not have let them in. I want to be outside the"EU" for many reasons, but one is so that we can throw out foreign criminals. Other countries should throw out British criminals and parasites.The Czechs are still recovering from the USSR so they have an excuse/reason. The Italians have no such excuse. I want the UK to help other countries but not through the wasteful, worse-than-useless, megalomaniac "EU"." ... British Aerospace ..." EUpris: I don't think I have ever heard anything good about British Aerospace. If they are involved in corruption the the British authorities should be dealing with it, "EU" or no "EU"." But the EU Parliament is getting more power to deal with those fellows. ..."EUpris: I see no evidence to suggest that the"EU" or its "parliament" are capable of dealing with anything in a worthwhile way. If British Aerospace are engaged in corrupt practices in the Czech Republic, then surely the Czechs ought to be able to deal with it through their own courts ?" ... Then there is one other co-operation that is rather a very unhealthy one: the Tories have joined up with a bunch of crooks in the EU Parliament...."I do not know the truth of this matter and I don't vote Tory. Daniel Hannan has disputed some of these claims. The "EU-parliaments" seems to have rules which encourage these groupings. If you are not a groupie then you miss out on funds. I think they should change those rules." ... Ted Heath would turn in his grave if he knew..."EUpris: Ted Heath was an arrogant liar and a traitor. He cannot spin enough."How can we fight those crooks if the Conservatives give them cover."EUpris: I cannot see that the Conservatives can give them cover.The "EU" has been no good for the UK or Greece. I doubt if it is any good for the Czech Republic.Dobre vecer! Sun 21 Feb 2010 21:36:29 GMT+1 smroet http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=74#comment226 @ cbw # 221I don't think I would have voted for the new EU constitution in 2005, had I given myself a chance to vote. The refusal of referenda concerning the Lisbon treaty was not democratic. So I don't think I can be considered as 100% pro-EU who applauds every bit of policy decided in Brussels.However, in the current crisis with the Euro the focus should not be uniquely on Greece, and the fiscal situation there. The 20th century history of all PIIGS countries is rather turbulent, and helps understand why their economies are not as solid as those of the core of the EU and the Eurozone (Germany, Benelux and France). Since I know the Greek situation relatively well, having visited Greece for enough time to appreciate the pros and cons, there is no need for me to repeat the comments that, despite the turbulent Greek history and the perceived threats from their neighbours, they should put their house in order. Obviously there is sufficient knowledge about the real Greek situation in Brussels, if only because of Barroso's ties with Latsis (they were students at the LSE together, apparently).This leaves the criticism of the behaviour of Goldman Sachs and similar 'market forces'. I am very surprised about the little differentiation people make about the 'markets'. For me, there are investments firms, some having a lot of influence such as Goldman Sachs, pension funds ("institutional investors") who go for the long term presumably, and a whole host of others, each with their own strategy. Having read this week a lot about Goldman Sachs, I must admit that I do not admire their actions, since they try to get the best of both worlds, and with practices which smack too much of using advantage of others being not as well informed as they are. True, such actions brought them the compliment of USA president Obama ("savvy bankers"), but I can measure the cost of the current fincancial crisis not only for my American friends, but also for e.g. the University of California which has to cut back on expenditure while politicians continue to bragg about a 'knowledge based society'.As for the UK government, they want to have a lot of influence in Brussels, but are not in the Eurozone, nor in Schengen. Seems farfetched to me. Anyway, if Greece defaults, Spain and Portugal will follow, and then it is the turn of Italy and the UK, just like in 1992. Now why should I be happy about that ? I don't think the ordinary tax-payer, be it in Greece or in the USA, should pay for the folly of sophisticated bankers who play with other peoples money on highly dubious financial schemes, and, when the going is good, pocket the money, and when it goes bad, have to be bailed out. If this opinion counts as anti UK/USA, so be it, though I do not agree with such an assessment. Sun 21 Feb 2010 21:31:32 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=74#comment225 @Jukka,Sorry if I keep stressing you and make things sounds as if everything is your fault, my fight is really directed more against the financial system than you. However you think the way the finance system works today is perfect and you can't see anything wrong with thus so many of my comment are directed at you.I don't have any problem with countries putting their house in order, but they should be shown solidarity. If we take Greece as an example for now (it could be any country) their new government is trying to put things in order, they need political support to get things turned around. Every one now has come to realise they will pay their debts and there will not default on their payments, however if they are forced to borrow at 3% more than Germany that makes their task of turning things around a lot harder. It is a problem not just for the government but also for business. Business will have to borrow at 3% more than a business in Germany for example and as they can't devalue the Euro to make their products cheaper makes it harder for them to compete. This is just one example where when you (or anyone says) the markets punish the government for borrowing to much, it is not true they punish the entire country.with the above I can't see how the union can work, there must be solidarity. I know that we here in the UK are looked down somehow because we don't have the Euro and I really do wished we had it. But if there is no solidarity within the Eurozone I really will have a hard time to convince even myself that joining the Euro is worth it, let alone convince others that the Euro is a good thing! Sun 21 Feb 2010 20:48:38 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=73#comment224 To ChrisArta (219):True and this is what the markets will into some extend be doing, maybe. However what you have to note is that everybody is in a tight spot. If you invest into USA or UK bonds denominated in their local currency, while they with high probability will be paid of, there is no guarantee on what the actual value will be, because of all the printing of money. Now if all states keep things going on as they are right now, then we will have at least some exodus of money into stocks and equity. Governments all around the world that refuse to print money will feel eventually the pain on finding funding if they don't start decreasing their deficits.I would also like to remind you that it is actually our money on the line there. If my pension funds make bad decisions, for example loan money to Greece until it defaults, there will lot less money available when I retire. So the money question isn't about some bankers or financial speculators doing some mystic attack on Greece, it is our money, and there is a big question hanging on, on can Greece and some other countries pay their debts back or not.Regarding on your question on what idea of an union I have, my idea of an union is a union of equals, where only best is expected from them, where all do work, where all take responsibility, I some gets lost in tracks, it doesn't lead into abandonment, but one is given a chance to redeem. In case of Greece and this whole crisis I have said again and again that Greece or no other troubled country wont be thrown out of the Eurozone or the EU, there is no fear for that, but that troubled states have to work and fix their problems by themselves especially when they are self caused. Sun 21 Feb 2010 20:03:19 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=73#comment223 #222,Pass laws that turn the banks back to been banks and if the finance sector gambling addicts need to gamble they can go to their local ladbrokes and place as many bets are they like but with their own money and with the risk of loosing it, not betting knowing the government will bail them out. Sun 21 Feb 2010 19:51:43 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=73#comment222 #221,Yes, some of the comments are a bit "out of this world" at least with Freeborn John I know where he stands, with Jukka's idea of "union" I'm confused. Sun 21 Feb 2010 18:48:45 GMT+1 Kit Green http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=72#comment221 19. At 1:30pm on 21 Feb 2010, ChrisArta wrote: When the markets finish dealing with Spain & Portugal there is also Belgium, France, etc....--------------------------------So financial markets start a domino effect of blackmail and then financial terrorism. One should not deal with blackmailers so how is this cycle stopped? Sun 21 Feb 2010 17:13:13 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=72#comment220 ChrisArta & all Brits considering the European Union is the better optionRe: Jukka_Rohilla and his '%' cuts, cuts, cuts, cuts, cuts...Hope a little of what this ardently pro_EU wrote on this topic along with some of the open and other not far-off anti-Brit/US comment of Mathiasen, frenchderek, nik, mike dixon, smroet etc. opens your eyes just a little to the nonsense peddled by those hankering for the illusory 'perfect' EU that can never be seen or found to have got anything wrong at any level on any issue for any reason.Their basic line is always: 'EU IS GOOD; ANYTHING ELSE IS BAD!' Sun 21 Feb 2010 15:43:56 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=72#comment219 Jukaboxa:"To democracythreat (211):Why are you using dollars in your examples? "Because it is convertable into dollars....for the moment.""However with either stagnating or plummeting workforces, it is harder and harder for governments to make that investment so that it actually introduces more GDP growth than what was spent on it."It's part of a syndrome that results in more and more people out of work who demand more and more unemployment benefits with fewer and fewer tax revenues to pay for them, and an ever decreasing private sector activity generating wealth and taxes. I call it a death spiral. Sun 21 Feb 2010 14:52:33 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=71#comment218 The chaos we see currently within the Eurozore is due to the fact that there is no political unity within the group, the value of the Euro will suffer more if the Eurozone leaders don't find the courage to sort out the mess the eurozone is in at the moment. If when a Eurozone country that account for about 3% of the Eurozone causes the Euro to drop like it did in the last two weeks what is going to happen if any larger country finds itself in trouble?Of cause most economist will say "it should not happen, if everyone keeps to the rules" the problem with such a statement is the "if" it contains.So, lets make the changes now so we can sleep safe knowing that "if" it happens we have a plan to deal with it. Unlike the current state of affairs where no one has a clue as to what to do.@Jukka,When the markets finish dealing with Spain & Portugal there is also Belgium, France, etc. So the list in theory can run through every single member of the Eurozone until there is only one left. running around to please the markets is the way forward the way forward is to make a stand and push back to let the markets deal with areas that they know what they are doing like keeping banks healthy, ooops they failed on that already! Sun 21 Feb 2010 13:30:40 GMT+1 Ricardo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=71#comment217 What an absurd statement "Even if the EU breathes life into a rescue package the euro is wounded." If that is true than what does that say about the pound sterling which has fallen like a rock against the Euro making it impossible for many British citizens to continue to live in EU countries. Some 10 years ago a US$ was worth something like €1.15 whereas today it is worth only €0.73. What does that say about the US dollar? I would say that one of the problems for the Euro is that it is too high making exports more difficult, and so if it should drop in value against other currencies than that should be welcomed, as it will aid not only exports but tourism which is at effecting Spain as the world's second largest tourist destination.Although Britain is technically part of Europe I do not consider them Europeans. Mainland Europeans have much more in common with each other and will resolve this problem in their own way .... Europe without a common currency is unthinkable! Sun 21 Feb 2010 10:28:04 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=71#comment216 To democracythreat (211):Why are you using dollars in your examples? Most if not all debts that the Eurozone states have are denominated in Euro, at least that is the case around here.However you made a note that a huge amount of money is being paid to people who loan money to governments. What you didn't make a note of is that those people are largely us average Joe's mostly via our pension funds. For example for every 1e of gross pay I make, another 22c goes to pension fund. Pension funds invest that money largely to various government bonds and some go to other forms of investment like stock.Now why are governments loaning money? Well, because sometimes governments can invest that money efficiently so that the economy works better and produces more in the long run. A traditional example of this could be building a large infrastructure project like a hydrodam, nuclear plant, rail road or a motorway. More modern example could be investment to additional education, like educating large amount of telecommunication and electric engineers to get those few booming corporations up and running. All is well as long as the GDP grows quicker than the debt.In case of Europe and in some part also the USA, is that we can't anymore build our GDP growth just to rely on expansion of workforce. In good old days states could run infrastructure expansion programs more or less without worry as the expansion of workforce would anyway make that investment to pay itself off. However with either stagnating or plummeting workforces, it is harder and harder for governments to make that investment so that it actually introduces more GDP growth than what was spent on it.The thing in Europe is that governments have to slash their expenses, to remove the glut in the system which there is lot even in our system, rationalize, make more efficiency, automate, etc... Debts that European states have are not workable, however to make them workable politicians and the people will have to start thinking with a much bigger scope, we should be asking on where we are in 2030 or in 2050 if we follow the current track, and if that isn't very likable picture drawn out, what can we do to fix that. Sun 21 Feb 2010 08:15:04 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=70#comment215 dt;"This is the great lie about government debt: that it does anything more than simply transfer wealth from the taxpayer to the bank shareholder."Yes what debt really does is transfer wealth from the future to the present. Your children will pay tomorrow for the money you borrowed and spent today."You see, it is no problem to levy a tax on taxpayers to wipe out bankers debts so they can start fresh."Except for one thing, taxing people who are nearly broke themselves will only make them insolvent too. It will also seriously damage the economy by soaking up discretionary money for retail purchases and any money available for business investment. "So why is it a problem to levy a tax on bankers to wipe out the taxpayers debt so they can start fresh?"Why not just hold a gun to their heads and steal it, it's the same thing? If you do that, not only could the banks become insolvent, nobody will ever willingly lend you money again starting tomorrow. People lend money they've saved because they didn't spent it to make a profit called interest. If they can't be sure of earning interest, what reason would they have to lend it out anymore, at least to the governments who stole their profit from them the last time?Sorry dt, you get an F minus in economics. Go to the head of the class, you qualify as a professional economist. I'm sure there is a government job with your name on it. Now all they have to do is find a bank that still has money in it they can rob to pay your salary. Sun 21 Feb 2010 05:38:52 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=70#comment214 MarcusAureliusII wrote:dt;"What do you mean "just write off the debt?" How do you just write it off, what exactly does that mean? If it isn't paid back, you don't expect anyone to ever lend the EU another cent do you? The entire economy of the EU and most other nations is based on financing through debt. Lose your credit and basically you are financially dead. Isn't that what this is all about? It is one thing for governments to forgive debts to poor nations on behalf of their hapless taxpayers but don't expect sympathy from banks who have to actually answer to shareholders. From pension funds that have pensioners to pay. Not to the tune of half a trillion dollars a year. There is only one out, cut government spending, live within your means. Spend less than you take in especially until that debt is paid off."you make a fascinating case, marcus. you first say the debt cannot wiped out because that would mean nobody would ever lend to governments again. you then make the case that the only solution is for governments to never borrow and to live within their means.This is the great lie about government debt: that it does anything more than simply transfer wealth from the taxpayer to the bank shareholder.Anyway, the banks know all about wiping out debt by increasing taxes. I don't know if you have been following the news lately, but there was this thing a few months back.....You see, it is no problem to levy a tax on taxpayers to wipe out bankers debts so they can start fresh.So why is it a problem to levy a tax on bankers to wipe out the taxpayers debt so they can start fresh? Sun 21 Feb 2010 05:16:07 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=70#comment213 dt;What do you mean "just write off the debt?" How do you just write it off, what exactly does that mean? If it isn't paid back, you don't expect anyone to ever lend the EU another cent do you? The entire economy of the EU and most other nations is based on financing through debt. Lose your credit and basically you are financially dead. Isn't that what this is all about? It is one thing for governments to forgive debts to poor nations on behalf of their hapless taxpayers but don't expect sympathy from banks who have to actually answer to shareholders. From pension funds that have pensioners to pay. Not to the tune of half a trillion dollars a year. There is only one out, cut government spending, live within your means. Spend less than you take in especially until that debt is paid off. Europe lives too fat, too rich, it is not sustainable. The US has the same problem only it may have more room and more time to maneuver. Europe's day of reckoning has arrived. Sun 21 Feb 2010 04:11:41 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=69#comment212 The economist.com is saying the uk and usa are also in some danger of this "greek" debt wipeout..puts it all into perspective..huh? (either the economist site or the angloshere, something smells off puttingly snarky) Sun 21 Feb 2010 03:53:14 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=69#comment211 All references to "eurozone" in my previous post should be to the EU instead. The figures are based on the EU, not just the Eurozone. Sun 21 Feb 2010 03:05:17 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=69#comment210 If everyone can put down the flags and stop anthropomorphizing the nation state for a moment, I'd like to run some figures past our resident high brow economists, and see if they agree with the general conclusion.Right now public debt in the EU is upwards of 62% of GDP. It was 61.5% in 2008, and it has gone up since then. Let's be generous and say it is 62% of GDP.GDP in the Eurozone in 2008 was about 18.5 thousand billion US dollars. So by my reckoning, the combined governments of Eurozone countries are in the hole to the bankers for about 11.5 thousand billion US dollars.So that means the governments of the Eurozone countries have borrowed 11.5 thousand billion dollars which they have yet to repay. That is where we are, in the Eurozone. That is how the governments of the member states have been playing their hand, up until 2008.Now assuming the interest rates on that debt is around an average of about 4% (I take this figure from the ECB website), that means that eurozone governments are paying 460 billion US dollars each year in interest to private investors.460 billion US dollars each year is being raised in taxation and paid to the people who lend money to governments.The population of the EU is 500 million, more or less.So that means that every man, woman and child in the EU is paying 920 US dollars each year in tax, just to see that money go to the pockets of the private investors who lent money to government road agents.Given that around 65% of the population are working age, that means each worker is actually paying 1420 US dollars in tax as interest repayments to private investors in government debt.Given further that EU unemployment stands at over 8%, we can increase the tax due for working folks to 1530 US dollars, give or take a few beers.Each. So that is how much this thing called government debt costs the workers, and more importantly how much it transfers wealth from the workers to the bankers.Remember, this money is not paying for anything. It is just interest on debt. It is a direct transfer of wealth from working people to investors who act as governments creditors.Now my point is simply that this is the EU now. Or, in 2008. Now it is much worse.This is where we are at, after years and years of the same folks running the show. 460 billion US dollars are sucked out of the people and handed to the bankers each year, instead of that money being spent on infrastructure and jobs for people doing real things for real people.Curiously, 460 billion dollars would create salaries of 17'650 US dollars each for 26 million europeans.Now that is exactly how many working age folks are unemployed right now. 26 million.So instead of sitting around doing nothing, these people could be working providing useful services to their community and growing the value of the economy. If only the public debt were not taking the revenue required for this effort and giving it directly to the bankers.Who sit around and calculate their profits, and speculate on currencies.In other words, if European governments sat down with the investors and wrote off the debt, everyone could be working in useful jobs. Sun 21 Feb 2010 02:55:48 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=68#comment209 Here's an idea for Greece to raise some money. Sell the Elgin Marbles to Britain for a few billion. Greece isn't going to give them back anyway so it might as well get something for them. Sun 21 Feb 2010 01:40:50 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=68#comment208 Nik, Russia is not "ice cold" to the concerns of Greece.:o)No, we didn't give money, true.But your PM didn't ask for them either.(It was just vaguely mentioned :o) that Greece needs to find out somewhere forgot, 23? 25? 30? bn to service payments on state obligations in March, and vaguely mentioned by our Fin. Minister that unfortunately Russian budget for 2010 is stitched together with a deficit and we decided to borrow ourselves, for the first time, in years.) The real reason of course is the Fin. minister sees it as a bad debt in future, because no one so far figured out in what type of a joint venture or a common enterprise or how otherwise to get the loan at some point in time back.But Medvedev ran the Greece question through several profile committees (various industries) demanding that someone figures out the way how to help Greece. Agricultural minister said she doesn't see a way, as regards her part, as "Euro Union does not encourage the agriculture providers positioned on the out-skirts of the EU to make excess products so Greece doesn't have a surplus to sell to us. And their vine-graperies are cut on the demand of the EU."I didn't understand her how suddenly you are not "in the centre" of the EU what she meant, but I guess after she spoke with the Greek partners she somehow understood something which is you don't have a surplus in agricultural production which Russia can buy right now. The Immigration committee was also thumbs down saying we can not "import" the Greek as any "arbeiters", because they are more expensive than our regular builders Tajik Moldovian etc former USSR so a large scale proggramme he can't see a way, another standard of living in Greece, on the money Russia pays the Greek people won't be able to support themselves on return home.On the oil pipe delay you weren't blamed because the matter got stalled pending Bulgarian steps. The ball is in Bulgaria currently. Though a problem for the future is envisaged that Greece won't be able to pay for her part in constructing the oil pipe because it is a joint 3-countries' project, aiming at common financing of the project and at common profits from it. (But where there are profits in view I think the tube finance will be settled somehow :o)On the gas pipe delay Greece was not blamed either, don't even worry about it, as min in media no one said nil. Because there is no "delay" yet, all goes according to the plan, and currently all are focused on the North stream, South stream after. I am afraid the only practical things figured out for Greece so far were an invitation to build whatever you can for Sochi Olympics and we shall pay you, and as I understood Putin he won't be comparing Greek quotes with other inernational bidders :o))) He said "Greece has experience they recently ran Olympics". So that's it. Another offer was to run some cruise lining in the Black Sea on your ships, for ordinary tourists, with stop-overs here and there, to bathe or see the sites or whatever. Because "Greece has experience", again. That's 2 Putin's ideas so far, and it is not much to put it softly, but still can be something. As I said, you are welcome back to the Black Sea. Putin also shook some oligarchs demanding that someone desires to build in Greece any piece of industry, because "Greece needs heavy industry, something that will work for a long time" but must say the faces of the men in the room were far from happy :o)))), they mumbled something about high costs of operating in Greece as compared to home :o)))) but Putin anyway made up his mind that "someone from the metal making industry, steel makers or something" ought to go and investigate the grounds. That's all, honestly. Alas. Practically, nothing. But some moves were made, as you friendly enquired type if there is anything possible. Sun 21 Feb 2010 00:34:41 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=68#comment207 EUprisoner;Very funny but hardly original. The criminal blames the police for not having caught him sooner. Who will put up the extra 15 to 20 billion? I thought the gap is 50 billion. Where will the other 25 to 30 billion come from? If there is a gap and it isn't filled, is throwing the 20 to 25 billion at it just throwing good money after bad? What happens when the next little PIIG comes out of the oven and is done to a turn? Where will all this Euro-IMF money come from? If the Germans are reluctant to put up even five. Hey I know. It could be paid off in those Zimbabwian dollars they used a couple of years ago. You know, the ones where it took ten billion dollars to buy a loaf of bread and they papered the walls with for all they were worth. Germany's economy could be headed back to the 1920s despite itself....but not politically. Sat 20 Feb 2010 23:19:52 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=67#comment206 Sueddeutsche Zeitung (South German Newspaper) reports speculation that Greece will receive 20 to 25 billion Euros from the Eurogroup based on reports in Der Spiegel. Up to five billions of that to come from Germany.Reportedly there is an intention to found a European version of the IMF to deal with future cases.Some of these comments are disputed by the German ministry of finance,The Greek Prime Minister reportedly claims the EU is partly to blame for the fact that Greece was able to fiddle the numbers and the data for so many years.The EU should have checked up on Greece more. "The EU must recognise (accept?) that a failing of its institutions is also to blame for the fact that such things were allowed to happen." Sat 20 Feb 2010 22:03:38 GMT+1 Islandhopper1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=67#comment205 Marcus,In America, I am impressed by employers hiring proceedures. Here one can get a job by having the appropriate qualifications and good references. I do think that is very fair, very practical. One is valued according to how hard one works and the image one projects of the company to the customer. That really needs to be emulated by the EU.When I was last in the Netherlands, I met Europeans who told me that anyone applying for work there had to show proof that they had a residence (which could not be a hostel, hotel etc!) before they could get a job.This kind of ridiculous red tape from the paranoid Dutch needs to be gotten rid of. I am very much in favour of the EU, but it does have a lot of catching up to do. Sat 20 Feb 2010 17:01:13 GMT+1 Freeborn John http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=67#comment204 Jukka (202): My understanding is that the Europe/Canada Free Trade Agreement seeks to go beyond the elimination of tariffs to get rid of some non-tariff barriers used by protectionsts. Free trade is a not a zero-sum game. It is one of those "win-win" scenarios so please put away your big-gun theory because there should be no need to coerce the Canadians to get them to do what is in their enlightended self-interest anyway. It is because the EU is  now trying to get into zero-sum (I.e "win-lose") issues in Europe that it feels the need to coerce the losing national 'demoi' (and there must be losers in a zero-sum game) i.e. by QMV or fines, etc. and is becoming increasingly unpopular. Sat 20 Feb 2010 16:21:22 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/02/conspiracy_and_the_euro.html?page=66#comment203 To ChrisArta (203):Spain and Portugal ran account deficits before the financial and economic crisis had even began. For example Spain ran high account deficits in good years, in 2008 which still was a very good year, the account deficit was already 10% of the GDP. Now add to this backdrop that the economic crisis has deepened still, unemployment has exploded in Spain and account deficits haven't started to decrease. http://spaineconomy.blogspot.com/2009/10/spains-current-account-deficit-folds-in.htmlThe reason why markets have been nervous about Spain and Portugal is their economies are going into an even worser state without any hint on that their governments are going to take action to decrease their deficits quickly. Another reason why markets are nervous is that if Greece default or restructures its debt, banks that loaned money to Greece will either go bust or shutdown their loaning, thus putting Spain and Portugal into a position where very quickly they won't get any new loans as their creditors went bust, thus putting their ability to pay back old loans with new loans under severe question.In any case, I don't support borrowing. We all should try to manage with own means, if we earn less, then we should spend less. Yes, in downturn states should spend some to balance it out, but if their debt ratio to GDP go too up, they should start cutting and saving. At the end of the day, somebody is always going to pay up the bill and as sooner we tighten our belt, the less we have to tighten it. Sat 20 Feb 2010 15:45:42 GMT+1