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How can the financial crisis in Greece be solved?

09:58 UK time, Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Greece must be prevented from becoming "the Lehman Brothers of the sovereign debt crisis", the chief architect of Greece's entry to the euro has warned. How will Greece's problems affect Europe?

Dr Yannos Papantoniou, Greece's Economy minister between 1994 and 2001, urged Europe to act "at very high speed" to rescue the economy.

A rescue package for Greece is still being negotiated, with Germany demanding tough economic reforms. An agreement is expected within the next few days.

Elsewhere, the currency recovered slightly from a one-year low on Wednesday. But investor confidence took yet another knock when rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Spain's debt - reflecting a loss of confidence in another eurozone country.

What is the best way to tackle the financial crisis? Should the rest of the eurozone bail out Greece? What will be the long-term impact on the European Union? Are you in Greece?

Eurozone crisis: Greek, Portuguese and Spanish reaction

This debate is now closed. Thankyou for your comments.


Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Well, for a start, not with one single penny from the UK tax payer.

  • Comment number 2.

    The Irish have taken some very painful austerity measures to get their economy back from the problems they faced and are succeeding without the need for foreign intervention. They also joined the Euro honestly (without falsifying their economic performance data).

    The Greeks need to accept the pain that is the inevitable and foreseeable consequence of their dishonesty and not expect the rest of the EU (especially Germany) to protect them from those consequences. If that is unacceptable to them, they should leave the Euro and devalue.

  • Comment number 3.

    Countries such as Greece and Spain have had billions of € thrown at them from the EU - to do what? Where as it gone? Corrupt politicians - just the same as the UK only worse.

    How many times have you seen a 'Made in Greece' label on a product? Exactly. They survive mainly on tourism, which no country can afford to do.

    Now 'Mad in China', or 'Made in Japan'..... those countries economies are doing relatively well compared to most.

  • Comment number 4.

    Let's see the Greeks want to borrow our Money so they can default on the loans later on?? It's a no brainer. Income £1 and spend 99P = happiness, but income £1 and spend £1.01= Sadness. Perhaph they should reduce the cost of Greek holidays to attract more tourists and boost income?

  • Comment number 5.

    ''In Greece itself, demonstrators called for the country to default on its debts, so that foreign banks would pay the price for the crisis.''

    This is a serious blow for any organisation be it the EU or the IMF considering lending to a country which is basically bankrupt and dealing with a government that is not backed by its electorate to curb state overspending.
    With too many people employed by the state and too few wealth creators, there seems no way out and nobody should make any investments to Greece. Under UK laws, it is illegal for a bankrupt to obtain loans and I'm afraid that that should also be the situation for Greece.
    It is pointless for the EU or the IMF to bail out that country as it will never be able to repay the debt.
    This should also be a warning for the UK where public debt is outstripping GDP. We have too big a financial burden created by the government that can be funded by taxation.

  • Comment number 6.

    We need to take careful notice of this as the UK is heading in the same direction thanks to Brown.

  • Comment number 7.

    Greece should be given as much help as needed, and then some. Greece has given so much to Britian , the great food, great holidays,maths, democracy ,history , its about time that we gave something back

  • Comment number 8.

    The Trojans had it right: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts! Whoever let these people into the EC? Unfortunately we are likely stuck with them, but they need to be nailed to every last iota (!!!) in the eventual IMF letter of intent!

  • Comment number 9.

    How can the financial crisis in Greece be solved?

    Abandoning ship?

    Declaring bankruptcy, closing the country then reopening as New Mycenae with a completely blank slate.

    In reality Greece is stuffed, the more its people resist the cuts needed the less faith the world markets will have in Greece and the deeper the hole they'll be in.

  • Comment number 10.

    70% of the Greek population vote for the same parties over and over again for the past 30 years. The corrupt parties that have brought Greece to where it is today.

    Everyone in Greece knows that the money we have been borrowing from the EU or else were never invested in constructions. Because we see no constructions. The money the Government borrows is spent on villas, cars and expensive dinners.
    Everyone in Greece knows who doesn't pay taxes.
    We also know that the above mentioned 70% of the population vote for these parties for a reason; 1. either because they're rich and they financially support the government, so that the government covers up their tax evasion, or 2. because the party they vote for promised them a position as a civil worker (= stable salary, guaranteed employment).

    Therefore, there ARE money in Greece. There are extremely rich people who don't pay taxes and the state supposedly doesn't know their income. There are the politicians who live on European money and the people's taxes. There are some civil workers who don't work and have property worth thousands of euros.

    There. Those are the people who can help Greece with its debt. Not the IMF. Not the EU and Merkel's money. Not the European tax payer. And surely NOT the Greeks with their 700 euros salaries and their constant fear of unemployment.

  • Comment number 11.

    There is only one thing that will fix it. We have to pay off their debts.

  • Comment number 12.

    1) Greece agrees to share the Aegean seabed with Turkey, thereby removing any possibility of a war and making it possible to reduce the armed forces by 80%
    2) Totally remove the influence that the major Greek families have on the government, thereby making it possible for foreign companies to establish themselves here without the suffocating local involvement.
    3) Develop a Land Registry, making it possible to tax all property owners on a fair and equitable basis.
    4) Remove the power that local Mayors have to veto tourist development unless they receive sufficient financial inducement.
    5) Reduce the piles of paperwork that overload every business in Greece.
    6) Do not replace the public servants whose jobs would be lost by nos. 1 to 5....they don't go to work anyway.

    Oh yes, one more thing, demolish the beachfront houses illegally built by Germans and use the land for tourist development.

  • Comment number 13.

    Engage Your Brain @#1

    With IMF involvement, British financial committment to the bail out is ensured as the UK is a major contributor for the IMF funding.

    One suspects that is why the Eurozone cobbled to gether a Euro Nations +1 PLUS IMF bailout funding formula .... they spread the bet and the damage to outside of the Eurozone if Greece defaults and which, if the Greek citizens rebel, must be a reasonably foreseeable event.

    Thus your hopes are dashed and the British tax-payer, once again, is paying for false accounting and financial mismanagement outside of the British Isles.

    The British tax-payers are just mugs to be hit upon, robbed blind and skinned like helpless rabbits.

    As a by-the-by, the UK funding towards the bailout of Greece, puts Gordon Brown's promise that not one UK pound would be contributed towards helping Greece into the realm of fantasy as (a)the IMF will use British finance and (b)Greece already owes the UK somewhere in the region of £12billion in pre-existing international borrowing so the UK gets screwed if the UK does help Greece and gets screwed if Greece defaults.

  • Comment number 14.

    How can the financial crisis in Earth can be solved?

    Easy as 1, 2, 3.

    1) Accept the private companies, such as rating agencies, cannot decide the fates of countries. Free market is one thing, speculation is another.

    2) Regulate banks. Salary caps included.

    3) Solved.

    How would the market react to a hung UK parliament? High debt, high deficit, do the math.

  • Comment number 15.

    I never could understand why these countries went into EU well before us from the "Eastern block". To me when i visited them prior to their entry they seemed to be a 3rd world countries. If one could see the rise of Spain and Ireland, this could not be observed in Greece. Their membership reason seemed to be only to get money from other EU states and to annoy Turkey and Macedonia by doing everything possible to prevent them entering the EU. When they decided to held olympics experts have clearly warned them that the debt will be too big to handle (not that they worried too much in fact they decided the best idea is to be dishonest and hide the numbers). Yet the show had to go on, no matter the cost. So now the show should continue and they should clean up their mess. For start by some painfull reductions in public sector. They can get the loan/help whatever you call it but i want to see them tighten their belt for it. And i hope they don't plan to host another major event soon, or we will all go bankrupt.

  • Comment number 16.

    They need to get out of the Euro. The problem they have in not having their own currency is that the currency can not fall compared to Germany's.
    The only other alternative is for the rest of the Eurozone to give money , not loan money, to Greece so that it can bring it's economy up to the same level as the rest of Europe.
    It is a good thing that the UK never joined the Euro as if we had the problems we have had in the UK would have been a lot worse. We have been able to avoid some of the pain by letting Sterling fall against both the Euro and the dollar. It has meant that fuel costs and the cost of foreign holidays have gone up, but has also made our exports cheaper. I was speaking to one business in the manufacturing sector last week and they have seen a real boost in Exports due to the lower value of the pound.

  • Comment number 17.

    If this brings the demise of the EU and its continued unwanted interference in my life one step closer I will raise a glass.

    And better still - should be able to get a cheap holiday in Greece this year......

  • Comment number 18.

    "Regulate banks. Salary caps included."

    The wealth generated by the banks their staff pay accounts for nearly 30% our GDP in this country. 30%! And you want to reduce it?! Because if you cap their salaries then you'll be capping the amount they pay in tax.

    The uncomfortable truth is that bankers pay much more towards our hospitals, armed forces and social security than anyone else.

  • Comment number 19.

    Boot them out of the EU!

    there are fiscal rules and Greece has bust them - and not suddenly either but through an unaffordable programme of public expenditure.

    There are fiscal rules in the EU and this is where they need to be applied. Why there is consideration to lending/bailing them out is beyond me - they need to get themselves into shape which will involve austerity measures.

  • Comment number 20.

    Some call for European Union intervention to bail out Greece. This would be just the thin edge of the wedge. So many countries within the union are now teetering on the edge of crisis that to lend them all what they need would be ruinous.
    You have to ask yourselve too why so many previously 'eastern bloc' countries have been pulled under the European umbrella. Any fool and his dog could see it was a huge mistake and done for purely political purposes. Now we are paying the price not only in immigration but in potentially having to throw more of our money in their direction.
    Whoever ends up in number ten must look first to what is best for the UK and only when we are in a stable position should any thought be given to the mess other nations are in. Harsh yes - but true.
    They say love thy neighbour but in my experience the loving is all one way. Why import more trouble when we have enough of our own?

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Best to let Greece and the other 'pigs' countries go under. Of course the Euro currency will inevitably crash too, illustrating how absurd the concept of the Euro is. It is time to let nature take it's course as it always will no matter how humans try to fight it. The result of this fiscal carnage? People will survive and suddenly realize how wonderful the real world is and we can all get on with cooperating with each other again. I think what is happening is exciting!

  • Comment number 23.

    Why is the Euro at a year long low against the dollar but not the pound?
    Is the pound fragile as well due to Gordon's fiscal disasters?

  • Comment number 24.

    I think Greece will demonstrate the value of outlawing shorting markets and wild speculation in investments. Democracy as a concept was but for a short time demonstrated in early Greece and has tried to be emulated ever since with the outcome that wars are not fought between nations trying their best to hold to democratic principles. Now the world needs to move resources away from the need to protect and prepare for war to use all available means to confront the dangers upon us most prominent in the fact the atmosphere needs attention to pull it back from an almost irreversible slide into heating up to an extent not even imaginable.

  • Comment number 25.

    It's the inevitable consequence when corruption isn't nipped in the bud and allowed to run riot. In Greece, it's not only politicians but the entire society is based on corruption. Everybody knows the results of football matches before they are played, people won't pay taxes, you don't get dealt with in a government office unless you give bribes, etc. And almost everybody there thinks it's normal and natural, not at all damaging! The Greeks, and any corrupt society, deserve their comeuppance. Unfortunately, like in the UK with our banks, they'll get bailed out, which will not teach them the harsh lessons they need to learn.

  • Comment number 26.

    Wow, it gets better and better. First we bail out banks and companies, now we bail out whole countries. Would be great if they (governments and EU) started helping small companies like mine! Joking aside, I am fed up with paying tax through my nose and seeing no kind of return,

  • Comment number 27.

    It is now up to the people of Greece to take to the streets and tell their Government and the EU bankers abd bureaucrats where to go. It is a phony crisis, people should not be fooled by politicians who are ruled by speculators.

  • Comment number 28.

    Well its too late now. the markets have decided Greece is a basket case and don't want to lend.Strikes and protests there don't help either. ( BA and Rail strikes are a sign of things to come). Leaving the Euro is the nuclear option but it would discredit the currency and all those europhiles who said it was wonderful idea .... This should all be a warning to UK politicians who are still using smoke and mirrors to avoid us seeing the scale of the problem.
    The answer is of course for Greece and the UK to bring spending under control and reduce borrowing as quickly as possible.
    For us this means tax rises ( we've heard v little about tax rises) as well as cuts. Who will be best at managing this painful process ? - the Tories I suspect as they are:
    1] More careful with taxpayers money , generally more efficient in handling public money and getting a quart from a pint pot - they may preserve services better as a result;
    2]likely to cut spending MORE and do it more quickly AND raise taxesS LESS than the other two parties. Raising taxes less will be better for growth in the longer term as all evidence shows higher taxes reduce incentives and reduce economic growth .NI increases are a good example - it will preserve jobs for example

    David Cameron needs to make this clear tomorrow. If we don't tackle the deficit quickly ( and a hung parliament suggest we wont) then we can expect a the markets to take fright - stock markets fell yesterday and Portugal's credit status has been downgraded too - if they don't act quickly a visit from the IMF is likely. THIS IS A WARNING FOR US. I remember the 70's when "old" Labour fiddled while Rome burned. They said then you can spend ( and borrow) your way out of recession. History proved them wrong. NU Labour haven't done much better and seem to have learnt nothing from the 80's under Margaret Thatcher ( Dare I mention her name on the politically correct BBC?.)

    However I would not want to be prime minister with this poison chalice on offer ....makes you wonder why GB DC and NC are so keen to be elected.

    I agree no UK funds should be used to bail out the PIGS (Portugal, Greece Spain Italy etc) - they have been irresponsible and must now put their own house in order and maybe leave the Euro [which might need to contract to just Germany, Holland France and a few other N European states]. Labour was however was also irresponsible in managing the BANKS AND LENDING AND THEY DID NOTHING TO CONTROL BORROWING AND THE HOUSE PRICE BOOM which has left millions with no access to affordable housing- what they did do was encourage immigration to keep wages down and let the boom continue . Unfortunately we are ALL going to have to pay the price for their mistakes.

    Because Labour are largely to blame for this disaster [ by discouraging , saving and pension and actually encouraging a credit boom] I could not vote for them as it would reward failure.

  • Comment number 29.

    In my view, Greece has accumulated its massive national debt, over the last 30 years, as a result of trying to create a modern state. For example, it has a national health service free at the point of treatment; compulsory education up to 18; a free Higher Education system; conscription for all citizens; an army, navy, airforce, active in NATO,and UN; as well as monitoring daily incursions by Turkey; extensive subsidies for farmers; a subsidised transport system; generous terms of pay and pensions for civil servants, and teachers. In comparison to the UK, electricity, telephones, television, water are very cheap. But out of 11 million people, 11% are unemployed; 20% live on less than 2 euros a day;it is very difficult to earn more than 17000 euros a year or 46 euros a day. Greece is a low wage economy. Those in employment work from 7AM to 9PM, with a break in the afternoon; and work six days a week.So let us revise any notions of 'lazy greeks'.
    It is a poor country that cannot afford to run a Socialist state. It certainly could not afford to fund the Olympics. It cannot afford to build and run the Metro in Athens, nor in Thessalonika.It cannot afford to build modern motorways across a land suffering from regular earthquakes, nor across mountains that have breathtaking precipices and valleys.
    Although it cannot afford to do any of these things, governments have attempted to do so. They have been tempted by credit deals and loans by the USA and the EU. At the same time, the authorities have turned a blind eye to bribery and have many countries! It seems that Greece may not be supported by the Euroclub. But China is offering support via CostCo. Russia is busy creating a new economic alliance - Eurasia.
    The Trade Unions in Greece seem to spend all their time protecting their privileges and bonuses without a thought for the future of the country. Every demonstration and strike is a vote for bankruptcy and default - for making a poor country even more so.

  • Comment number 30.

    The greek government wants to cut down on our salaries to help with the debt. The salaries are already really low.

    The politicians, the church and the financial elite of the country wants the people to pay for the debt, they don't want to give money from their pockets.

  • Comment number 31.

    Totally irrelevant comment on your sidebar headline "Greece fears batter markets". Does this mean that the Greek fish and chip industry is worried about foreign competion?

  • Comment number 32.

    If it were not for political obstruction by the other eurozone members, particularly Germany, the solution would be simple.

    The European Central Bank would, without warning, buy up every offer of Greek bonds on the market. Remember the bonds are denominated in euros and the bank can create any amount of euro credit it wishes. The speculators would then be caught short in a rising market and the bank would make a profit at their expense when the parasites were obliged to buy bonds to unwind their positions.

    The would discourage further speculation against Greek bonds and any other eurozone sovereign debt.

    Speculation in the currency and bond markets serves no useful purpose and can do a lot of damage. It could be made a thing of the past by the concerted action of the central banks which issue the main world currencies.

  • Comment number 33.

    "3. At 10:56am on 28 Apr 2010, Clive Sinclair wrote:
    How many times have you seen a 'Made in Greece' label on a product? Exactly. They survive mainly on tourism, which no country can afford to do.

    Now 'Mad in China', or 'Made in Japan'..... those countries economies are doing relatively well compared to most."


    This is also key for the British economy. If everyone made a point of buying 'Made in Britain" items, the economy would be better off. Every pound spent on foreign-made goods is a reduction of about 72p that could otherwise go to British businesses and workers.

  • Comment number 34.

    In addition to Alan Butlers list in 12 above, cease or drastically cut back on financially supporting the Greek Orthodox church.

    Why not just sell Corfu to the Germans.

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    If the IMF or the EU decide to lend Greece money, they should be very careful who they give it and they must make sure that this money will be used to pay for the debt and not for the government's private jets.
    It's really a pity that a country as corrupt as Madagascar (and I think I'm underestimating Madagascar...) is in the EU and sucks up other countries, as well.
    Greece needs to be taken over by someone serious or be left alone...

  • Comment number 37.

    I notice that the re-rating of Greece means that they will be paying something like 4.5% interest on their debts, whereas us AAA British pay something like 1.75%. So why is the average we pay for Private Finance initiatives around 17½%?

    I agree with many of those who say that the only way Greece will be able to get out of its problems is to manufacture something or provide a service for the rest of the World. How about a permanent home for the Olympic Games so we don't have to bother wasting billions we don't have on the 2012 event?

  • Comment number 38.

    The country was always a financial basket case and should never have been granted admission to the EU. Now its utter failure to meet the rules means it should be ejected from the Euro.

    As in many parts of Britain its people do not want to work or pay taxes and so economic melt down is the result. In looking at Greece we can see our own country -if the next government fails to take the difficult decisions such as:

    + Ending Child benefit for all - means testing and making it payable for 1st child only
    + Ending Winter fuel payments for those below pensionable age
    + Ending Tax Credits completely on those earning above the minimum wage
    + Cancelling, Trident replacement, 2 xAircraft Carriers and not buying 20 Eurofighters
    + Increasing VAT to 20%
    + Increasing Tax Allowances to £12k/yr person and increasing Tax to 45% on all those earning over £30K

    However while the above would resolve the UK deficit no politician has the guts to tell the truth - same in Greece.

  • Comment number 39.

    The EU should request for the politicians, the church and the rich Greeks to pay Greece's debt. It shouldn't request the reduction of our salaries. They are already low. There are money in Greece. But the people of Greece doesn't have any. There is a large financial elite that can very well pay our debt.

  • Comment number 40.

    I’m not sure that “Greece” is the problem.
    I feel much more sure that the problem with all the STUPID PIIGS has been speculation, market manipulation - and manipulation includes selling short.
    I have said and I'll continue to say that some brilliant, but greedy companies have been playing games (aka gambling) against sovereign wealth, not just in Greece, but in Portugal, Spain, Italy and God knows how many more Eurozone countries. Why?
    In a bid to destabilise Europe and thereby make huge profits when the soverign debt fails.
    So the “Greek” debt is now junk. Does this mean that its debt per capita is higher than say…the United States of America? Does this mean it is truly a riskier place to invest than say…the United States of America?
    Greece should declare a five (5) year moratorium on its debts – no interest rate change on debts outstanding, no payments against debts outstanding, and no bail-out. This five years is a straightening out period, possibly a restructuring period.
    This period should include intense scrutiny of its public accounts to ascertain when and why its economy became "short".
    No “rescue” deal should be made until the problems have been identified, potential CHARGES made, and certainly not till after the G-20.
    Should the rest of the Eurozone bail out Greece?
    No, not now, premature.
    What will be the long-term impact on the European Union?
    It depends how the EU handles this crisis, which will set the precedent for how the Eurozone may handle other STUPID PIIGS.
    Are the stock markets down because of “Greece”, or because suddenly world eyes are wide open and staring into the speculation, manipulation and pure greed which has been going on, building up since the repeal of the Banking Act (Glass/Steagall Act).
    There should be contagion fears. Why?
    Because there all these STUPID PIIGS.
    Council President, Herman Van Rompuy announced a meeting of Eurozone heads of state and government to be held May 10th. He insisted that there was "no question about restructuring" Greek debt.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hang on, aren't these the same discredited ratings agencies that gave all those junk sub-prime investments a "triple A" rating??!!

    Anyway, why Greece was ever allowed to join the Eurozone in the first place is a mystery to me. They have never, well at least for as long as I have been aware, been able to run their financial affairs properly which is why they and their former currency was always one of the worlds basket cases.

    I think they, and any other book-cooking nation should be summarily kicked out of the Eurozone before they damage the greater good of the currency.

    On a more domestic point, it's all very well crowing because the UK will not be involved in the EU bailout of Greece (or any other Euro nation). If the UK falls flat on it's face, don't hold your breath waiting for Germany to bail us out. We didn't join the euro club, and as such will be fending for ourselves if the worst happens!

  • Comment number 42.

    The problem is that political union needed to come before monetary union. The natural consequence of their political direction should be devaluation: monetary union prevents this.

    Greece needs to either surrender sovereignty or surrender the Euro.

  • Comment number 43.

    you have your facts straight. Only one thing though. We don't have lunch break. We work 9 to 17 with no break.

    Except for the civil workers. They work 8.00 to 14.00, have no work to do and are overpaid.

  • Comment number 44.

    Simple solution - scrap the Euro. Then scrap the EU.

    One size fits all does not work - any mug knows that.

    And Britain will pay not a penny!

  • Comment number 45.

    18. At 11:59am on 28 Apr 2010, David wrote:
    "Regulate banks. Salary caps included."

    The wealth generated by the banks their staff pay accounts for nearly 30% our GDP in this country.

    How does it "generate wealth"? They do not create anything or add any value. The profits they make are a direct result of the losses incurred by the rest of the individuals in this country.

    Now I do agree that all new (and some existing businesses) require loans and start up funds (which will lead to growth, jobs, etc). But I don't think this exactly the City's speciality is it? More like speculating, hedging and gambling.

    The fact that they have been bailed out and are allowed to continue on in the same fashion makes me sick. They are a moral and social hazard

  • Comment number 46.

    I find it quite ridiculous that some people are saying 'not with my tax money' (for a change). Greece is another country true, but this is just a man-made division. Stop being so petty, it would be different if it was close to you, but why should proximity make a difference.

    I really despise the narrow-mindedness of some people on here.

  • Comment number 47.

    It's unbelievable that an entire nation is expecting to be bailed out. I would NEVER agree to something like that (unless it arose from some natural disaster).

    I reckon Greece should be expelled from the Eurozone. Plain and simple. It fiddled the books and even then got in by the skin of its teeth. It's the only answer really. Why should taxpayers from other European nations bail them out just to carry on with their lifestyle? Crazy.

    The Greek gov has shown little penitence for its spending and credit exansion and should deal with it itself.

    Thank goodness the UK isn't in the Euro.

  • Comment number 48.

    Perhaps Greece needs a better work ethic.

    Lovely friendly people, but the worst thing about visiting Greece is that it takes 3 hours for your meal to arrive in a teverna - and then it's cold.

  • Comment number 49.

    sell me an island - that would help!

    Seriously, selling some of the thousands of uninahbited islands to multi millionaires would raise a huge amount of cash.

  • Comment number 50.

    Can we all finally concede that the unelected and unaccountable banks, bankers and hedge funds are running your country and most of the planet?

    If your country has a democratically elected government - simply ask your representative to tell the bankers where to put their rating of YOUR economy.

    How do banks function? Income. Where does that income come from? NOT THE MONEY FAIRY - YOU AND ME WHO HAVE MONEY IN BANKS!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    Some of the comments on here are astounding...

    Those that ask why we need to cut are probably the very same people who have been in denial about their own personal finances over the last 10 years.

    What would you do if your £20,000 a year income was having to support a £30,000 per year lifestyle whilst you had £150,000 debt on credit cards? It's that big a problem. If your answer is to bury your head in the sand and keep on spending, then your a fool to yourself and you shouldn't be allowed a vote in this election.

    Harsh words but the delusion of people on this blog is startling.

  • Comment number 52.

    We must realize that Greece has long been pressured and pulled apart by exceptional left and right wing political forces, and it appears that the left wing is actually winning ground. The only remaining alternative that Greece is offering the EU and the world economic community is what amounts to a communist bailout from what otherwise threatens the larger economic fabric. Whether carefully engineered or an unlikely pure chance scenario, this paradigmatic post Cold War scenario harkens to potential resurgence of communist economics into the wider sphere. We can expect an even more severe hammering of the capitalist machine from other directions, in addition to the damage coming from Greece, that will inevitably put the world economy, once again, and quite soon, into extreme turbulence.

  • Comment number 53.

    I have deja vu on this current 'crisis'. You could have saved money filming this and just used video from the last time this happened a few years ago, or from the time before that a few more years previous, or the time before that. Why are all these other countries (over 200) around the world 'panicking' over one small country when Germany is creating a problem and making the interest for borrowing go up. It just shows how unstable and flighty they are. The other countries need to work on the real problems of this world and stop getting distracted when they created the problem in the first place.

  • Comment number 54.

    One way is for the BBC to stop hyping up the situation and exaggerating. Why does the media behave in this way. It is thoroughly irresponsible.

    "European markets have continued to fall heavily amid speculation over the future of the Greek economy."

    The markets have not behaved like this according to the FTSE as I am writing this. The markets have dropped only slightly today.

  • Comment number 55.

    We have SO FAR avoided a similar scenario to Greece by the skin of our teeth - Brown (remember 'Prudence'..?) having plunged us into a similar amount of debt, which is increasing literally by the minute. Whoever get in on May 7th had better cut hard and deep (as Ireland has done) otherwise the markets will be after us too..
    Its also no good Brown pretending that this debt was all caused by the banks - our finances were heading down the tubes BEFORE the banking crisis - that just left us in a perilous position to weather that particular economic storm - and he then has the bare-faced cheek to grandstand around the place pretending that he 'saved the world' financially..!
    Then to add insult to injury, he's saying basically: 'I got you into this mess; I'm the best person to get you out of it'...
    Yeah, right..

  • Comment number 56.

    Yes European governments should give the taxpayers money to go on holidays in Greece. We spend some money there which helps the treasury and curb unemployment. No need to give money directly to the government; this will directly affect the people there and makes them happy as well the holiday goers.

  • Comment number 57.

    We are not in the Euro - so should contribute nothing towards the problems in Greece. It is a very good reason why we should not join the Euro.
    They are a country who produces very little in the way of goods to sell overseas.
    But so is the UK....................politicians take note

  • Comment number 58.

    It's positively disgusting that anyone has even thought of bailing out a country, let alone one like Greece.

    What would your local bank say if you applied for a loan when evidence shows that you are up to your neck in debt, unable to make repayments and can offer no guarantee that you'll repay this new one?

    No, don't bail Greece out. Expel it from the Euro and let it learn its lessons. They're pretty harsh but as long it knows it can depend on a crutch provided by taxpayers it will not learn the lesson. The alternative is to take Greece over economically; get them working and take a dividend when eventually the profits come in.

    I can sense that the UK might just go the same way if there's the slightest mistake in raising money to deal with the deficit.

  • Comment number 59.

    Oh goody! Financial market regulators showing their utter ignorance of financial markets. Short-selling stabilises markets, not destabilises them. So the direct result of banning short selling will be the Greek market plummeting of a cliff. Well done.

    If the EU bails out Greece then it is sending a green light to Portugal, Italy, Spain and Ireland that it is alright to spend money like a drunken sailor in port as the Germans will bail them out.

    Long term I can see the Germans opting out of the Euro as they will, sooner or later, refuse to bail out profligate countries.

    It is interesting to note that the UK is actually in the same boat as Greece and the only reason we haven't been downgraded is that would imply that the US debt should be downgraded and no way will the rating agencies do that.

  • Comment number 60.

    Please do not forget the silent majority of the Greek population who are willing to bite the bullet and move forward. What you see in the TV/News (demonstrators, anarchists, strikes, etc) do not represent more than 15% of us. They mainly consist of disillusioned students, geriatric communists forgotten from another era, and segments of the population unable/unwilling to accept reality. yes, they do exist unfortunately.
    However, most of the people I know here in Greece support the efforts for change, in fact they have been secretly hoping that something will happen to bring the country back on track, as it is very frustrating feeling to desperately want your country to improve but at the same time to feel small and unable to make a difference as an individual.
    Actually in the Greek private sector (which employs 70% of Greek workforce) we work the longest hours in Europe, together with the British, and WE have kept this bureaucratic country alive with our taxes until now. Most people have not heard about the "700euro generation", qualified young people who work 12 hrs a day for peanuts.

    And when did it become acceptable to call a whole nation "lazy"?
    There are many questions about the legality of the (preemptive) Iraq war which has left 500K dead. Should I paint all British people with the same brush?

  • Comment number 61.

    The Greek government has deceived the EU for a long time, and the loans should be given with preconditions as Germany is rightfully expecting. As this is maybe happening in Portugal i think we must make it difficult for these kind of countries to deceive and lie about their debt or the normal EU taxpayer has to pay for incompetence every year.

  • Comment number 62.

    This is a global issue. Here's what prominent economist Nouriel Roubini, the man who predicted the credit crunch, wrote:

    "Bond-market vigilantes already have taken aim at Greece, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland, pushing government bond yields higher. Eventually they may take aim at other countries – even Japan and the United States - where fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path."

  • Comment number 63.

    We (Turkey) and Greece should stop this arm race. We should stop buying weapons now. We should sign an agreement and prevent each other from buying weapons. I'm not only blaming Greece, our government is also stupid.

  • Comment number 64.

    I dont know if many people know but the richest people in the world are made up of 3 families 1 of these families are Rothschild family. Now these families own and are invested in pretty much everything worldwide, which includes banks,businesses,even countries. Now in Greeces example there in a giant mess,what they should do is start from scratch,either with old currency or with a new currency, instead they are being forced by the EU-which is being forced by the rich families to take a loan which will bail them out, you would think this is a good idea,...well your wrong. The Rothschild family say would lend the money from the banks they own or are invested in but terms and conditions say greece has to spend the money given on what Rothschild family tell them to spend it on which would be business's straight away trying to get the economy going,but greeks want the money for aid as many people will be suffering. The greek people and officials have found this out which is was why they were rioting because they didnt want the loan.Many other countries are like this including the UK. Its pure fact,all the information can be looked up. Greece should have never taken the loan,its leaders are idiots, god help Greece

  • Comment number 65.

    At 12:38pm on 28 Apr 2010, Patrick wrote:
    ".........and frankly a genuinely lazy population has brought this country to its knees."

    Having read your comment and judging by the behaviour of some "hardworking" Brits in Greece, I could say that they are a "genuinely violent and drunk population who cannot tell the difference between a toilet and a public street". Unfortunately I hate stereotypes, and for the record half of my friends are from the UK.

  • Comment number 66.

    Tell the greedy (spent all the money on the Olympics,fidle on taxes)Greeks to have a sale of 50% discount on flights and holidays to Greece,failing that close down all religion in Greece sell their assets;that will be enough to pays all debts.
    Uk should take notice;after the Olympics in London we will be in the same Greece is now.

  • Comment number 67.

    And the last time we saw a 'Made in UK' label was....? Get real all you british lads! The UK's finances are in worst shape than Greece.

    But since we're at the point of kicking members out of the EU, let's please go ahead and get rid of the UK as well! And why not include, Bulgaria and Denmark. Wouldn't that be a perfect world no UK, Greece, Bulgaria and Denmark in the EU.... aaahh peace

  • Comment number 68.

    At 11:40am on 28 Apr 2010, Menedemus

    This is worse than I even dreamed. Has anyone actually challenged "the saviour of the world" Brown on this information. Has he actually lent OUR MONEY to Greece? What a totally incompetent financial "genius"

  • Comment number 69.

    'How can the financial crisis in Greece be solved'?

    Well, Greece is a member of the EU? - Yes.

    The EU COMMISSION is totally UNELECTED and has an ENORMOUS budget funded by all EU Countries? - Yes.


    That would clear the Greek debt within 48hrs - or is the EU COMMISSION just another 'COUNTRY CLUB'?

  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    How can the financial crisis in Greece be solved?

    It's very simple really, they could sell it to me for 1 Euro & if international banker balifs came knocking at my door for the money I'd just send them on a 20 year quest.

  • Comment number 72.

    I agree with Anna's comments we have serious problems with corruption throughout the Government and public sector. I also sympathise with members of the EU who are reluctant to bail Greece out. However, when they all knew that Greece was not complying with EU regulations, was accepting funds for work which was either never started or never completed, why did they still continue to fund us. As the Director of a small private business which has been operating here in Athens since 1977, I assure you that most of us in the business sector would welcome the intervention of the IMF. We don't just require funds, we need to stem the corruption and a program for growth. One of the major problems facing us is, that there has never been a Government here to support private businesses. Most of us are hanging on desperately to survive. Without a serious program, if wide spread redundancies are carried out throughout the public sector, we will end up with mass unemployment. A growth program is essential.

  • Comment number 73.

    The main problem Greece has is with the attitude of the people. Their response to measures designed to reduce their crippling levels of debt was to go on strike. The market countered swiftly by downgrading Greece as a debtor leading to higher interest rates on borrowing. Surprise, surprise - if you need to work harder for less to become solvent, you had better get on with it - Greece's particular gravy train is most definitely derailed. I'm not in the least surprised that most Germans aren't keen on helping Greece. Something like 40% of Greek taxation is lost to the black economy; no country can survive such theft by its citizens. Don't these people realise they are stealing from themselves? Moreover, the Greek government cooked the books to appear acceptable for entry into the Euro zone. Such cheating is anathema to Germans, even though their government knew about it and swept it under the carpet at the time.

    In retrospect, Gordon Brown deserves to win the coming election simply for ensuring that the UK stayed out of the Euro, when there was a lot of pressure on him for us to join. I'm a great believer in a single currency; but not as it is currently configured, and not centred in Frankfurt. Currencies must be based on honest finances, responsible governments, and, above all, must be regarded with some loyalty and pride by citizens. It follows, therefore, that only countries very strictly conforming to stringent financial requirements should be allowed to join. Greece's casual attitude to honest accounting will, eventually, lead to it being forced out of the Euro zone.

  • Comment number 74.

    I agree with Pythia at #14, and more or less with the Greek demonstrators calling for defaulting - though on paper debts, not on the responsibility of a country to earn its keep as best it may, given the resources at its disposal. Perhaps the Greeks should deduct the interest paid on their current National Debt and accept the rest, dispossessing any rich who are or have been evading taxes on what they don't need and aren't using for their national benefit.

    Pythia is right: this is important for us because if we allow them, hyena-like speculators will pull down any government they see as being in a weak position - as they have done with our present one. Not for our good but so they can pick over the spoils.

    But "solved" is a bit too cryptic. The problem will keep recurring if we don't have Copernican revolutions in the understandings of money and law, both of which are merely information about IOU's and normal good practice, despite our tradition of seeing them as the wealth and power self-serving financiers and lawyers claim them to be. For more on the implications of this see #1371 in the blog on why we need to change the electoral system. (That shut down while I was countering #1379's acceptance of compromise in multi-party government with "steering" logic being like that of an orchestra, in which different instruments lead the tune at appropriate times).

  • Comment number 75.

    Give them back their Drakma and let them get on with it?

  • Comment number 76.

    Accept default and let the risk-takers pay their own risky investments. The main problem of having politicians accepting a casino-economy is that sooner or later democracy will walk out the door.

    The people have to start over again but first we have to clean out and up, suffer the pain, make the responsible pay and reunite under a new and different economic system free standing from a political system based on fair and just values.

    Where do we find these kind of people. Only god knows and he wont tell. Why? Even religion have been made into business taunted with their own lack of decency and brighter thinking for the overall good.

    Accept default, both moral and financial! Then rebuild!

  • Comment number 77.

    Against Gregor at #15, the EU should prosecute the crooks, not allow the IMF to bankrupt the country.

  • Comment number 78.

    What is happening in Greece is a scaled up version of the benefits system. Their irresponsibility is being funded by others.

    If they get away with it then I am sure many other EU countries will be queuing up to sign on.

  • Comment number 79.

    Demonstrators in Greece are 1 pure 15% of the population who have the support of the Government and they demonstrate to maintain their statuses.

    51% of the greek civil workers are not permanent, get silly paychecks, can get fired without compensation and work long hours for nothing. And they don't have the right to demonstrate. Those are the civil workers that you hear will get fired. The rest 49% are the "lazy greeks", who are overpaid for not working. Those are the ones who demonstrate.

    Those are the Greeks who want things to change. And along with the ones who work in the private sector, are the ones who'll be unemployed or underpaid, if the situation won't be dealt as it should: make the politicians, the church and the financial elite pay the debt. Tax the un-taxables!

  • Comment number 80.

    You priviledged people who live here in the UK and know how to judge because you think you know Greece maybe because you've been there for holidays...
    Greece has very hard working people who are doomed to work 12 hours a day for 600-700 euros a month when the cost of living is much more expensive than the uk when taxes are much higher than in the uk. Who could live on that sort of money? Could you? It's the politicians and the government as a whole who are to blame as they are paid the big money and their bonuses and villas etc
    They are the ones ruining our nation and it is us who are always meant to pick up the stuff for them. So don't you go on telling me 'the Greeks should pay' the 3% of them that brought us into this state will not brake their backs to fix the problems as will the 97% of us left. So before you think you know what you are talking about do your research!

  • Comment number 81.

    No. Club Med countries will have to be ejected, or euro will collapse.

  • Comment number 82.

    29. kelvynjkr good posting.

    I've holidayed in Greece several times and it's my second favorite destination after France. I've read that Greece has no heavy industry, no manufacturing. Its economy is based on agriculture and tourism.

    Greek agricultural produce is excellent, the Romans 2000 years ago praised their 'queen' olives.

    So what went wrong?

    According to kelvynjkr it was due to politicians borrowing to develop the country into a modern state.

    Where have I heard this before? Thats right; 1980's third world debt.

    If they have been allowed to borrow so much then those that should have warned them, and didn't, should bale them out.

    Can we stop this policy of talking up capitalism when things are all looking rosy, and shouting down the critics (remember Iceland? the critics of this volcano and cod country's banks were ignored until too late).

    We have to learn to say no, no to countries that do not have the income to cover their debts, no to politicians who want to borrow to spend on policies that make them look good.

    But most of all no to the banks who want to lend this money in the first place.

  • Comment number 83.

    Hi to all readers and participants of this blog session. As you will understand by my Nickname I am Greek. I am living and working in this country (UK) paying taxes and contributing to my local community for a long time now. I am also offering my services to the local community as a volunteer to many great projects.

    I am really ashamed by the revelations that for the past 4 months have came out, for my country's economy. Ashamed for our politicians, institutions and generally the public sector. This is because this particular Greek system as other members of this blog pointed out, has been living off "Lazy Greeks", that they get 500-700 euros a month if not unemployed, ( that equals to 300 British pounds in UK price index), while Athens competes Paris as the most expensive city in Europe in prices ( After the introduction of Euro). The average Greek works 8AM-9PM, most of the times 2 jobs a day,and sees a minority elite getting all the benefits. In Greece also there is not such thing as a social benefit system. Free houses and free money given to people that cant find work is a utopia, it is simply work or starve. The social state runs on volunteers ( thousands of them ) that work free and thank god for that there are people of voluntary service.

    Yes Greece has been not clear or corrupt if you want on their statistics and National Economic Figures. Politicians also were not clear on their abuse of their MP status in parliament. The same phenomenon was observed in UK which caused anger and will cost the success in Labour Government the coming elections.

    Corruption is not a characteristic of a nation, it is a personal trait. Right now my if ,you ask me and any other Greek, our disappointment and anger with the civil system and democratic system in our country equals and surpasses the British Anger for the Bankers bonuses and Top up fees for MPs.

    After all they (corruptors)all ask us the very same thing. You (the citizen) pay taxes we will abuse them and then you will pay the bill in the end. So every time you see a protest in Athens and any other Greek city take a really good look at the people protesting. You will find that no-one in the protest is rich, well dressed ( coming out of a EU funding scheme scandal) they are as common as any other citizen of Europe and Britain.

    So yes the corruption that was uncovered recently makes me be ashamed and angry towards the Greek political parties, the government and the public system, but not towards my country and culture and certainly not towards my Greek hard-working majority countrymen. Equally I don't believe that a bunch of Bankers and corrupt politicians express the majority of hard-working British citizens.

    Greece's political and economic scandal is a scandal created during the last decade, my country though has a history of 400 decades (4,000 years) and more. Certainly I will be angry, but I am proud to be a Hard working Greek citizen. I can assure you that all those protesting people protest towards a fair trial that was never been discussed. The chance to take to court all these "elit" that brought the country to this.

    I applaud most of the comments in this blog , those that I disagree I respect as freedom of speech is paramount to any dialogue, but what I cannot accept is to be given the label "Lazy Greek". Labels cannot be stuck on Nations for the actions a few individuals. That touches the realms of racism!!!

    Many Thanks to all the participants of this blog and the BBC.

  • Comment number 84.

    On May the 7th we could send "Super Gordan" to sort it out!

  • Comment number 85.

    I have kept an eye on the news about the financial crisis in Greece and i have read through some of the most vicious and hurtful comments on here. Throughout time the greeks have given this world so much in culture and in inventions. If it wasn't for them we wouldn't have democracy and many other things. Greeks are the first people to give a helping hand to anyone..its in thier nature to...the world should be helping them out, not disrespecting them, not watching them suffer or making stupid commments on the price of holidays. why should these people suffer? families, the elderly...why? most of the comments on here are not even humane...and shame on you individuals that want them to suffer!

  • Comment number 86.

    @ Britishgoose

    The Greek government is not idiots, believe me. Yes, Greece will now have a huge loan to pay. But the Greek governments won't be the ones to pay it off. It'll be the Greek people. They'll get poor, not the Greek government. And they know it, that's why they took the loan. They don't care, bcoz they'll keep on being rich. They don't care about us. And yet, 70% of the population votes for them over and over again!

  • Comment number 87.

    As a Greek who ran away from the insanity of the Greek state and the Greek economy about 20 years ago, I cannot help but agree with the vast majority of the sober (but not vicious) comments made on this and many other websites. Greece is in deep trouble, as there is a fundamental mutual distrust between the state and its citizens, which lies at the root of tax avoidance/evasion (from the richest to the poorest), abuse of the public sector and so forth. The country has been a long-term sick patient since its liberation from Turkey and has relied, erroneously, on its ability to attract foreign bail-outs due to its strategic location and the buffer it offers from the rest of the Middle East.
    One has to maintain a sense of proportion, however. The country is heavily indebted. A lot of this debt is down to Greek incompetence, but even more is down to the various pressures put upon the various (often corrupt to various degrees) Greek governments. Take for example the Olympic Games: very very expensive in a way which was detrimental to the already large debt which was accumulated. Where do you think the money went, to Greeks? I seriously doubt it. It went mostly to foreign contractors, quite a lot of them German (who also built the new airport and the new Attiki Odos). Remember all the inflated discussion about the security of the Games? It was mostly generated by the Aussies, the Brits and the Americans, all of whom had very expensive security and surveillance technology to sell to the Greeks. Pressure from international media, governments and companies and a willingness by the host nation to be accommodating (with or without bribery) mean that Greece soon found itself even more deeply in debt than before.
    It may have escaped some readers that Siemens was accused for bribery in Greece in order to gain favours (taking over the national Greek Telecom Organisation). There was a minimum fine on Siemens by the German courts and press, who effectively buried the story. It seems that their principles of fairness and responsible business conduct somehow lapsed.
    I totally agree that Greece should at last face its responsibilities, if not with EU/IMF help, at least without interference. As to those who say that it should revert to the drachma, I also agree. Reverting to the drachma and heavily devaluing it would mean cheaper holidays for Brits, Germans and other Europeans and misery for locals. Combine this with free Greek passports to the 1 million+ immigrants (Iraqis /Kurds and many more), and they would sooner or later move on to the rest of the EU and find their fortunes there.

  • Comment number 88.

    Heard UKIP's Farage on the radio - to my astonishment he summed up the Greek problem succinctly:

    They can't re-elect themselves out of present financial strategy.
    They are undermined by their union and socialist activists from making the necessary reforms.
    They cannot afford to deter tourists with fears of unrest and potentially military intervention.
    They cannot live within the restraints of the Eurozone rules and expectations
    They cannot afford to borrow at junk-bond levels.

    He suggested the future was back to the drachma before civil unrest becomes civil war.

    First time I've been impressed by Farage (but still not voting for him!)

  • Comment number 89.

    Greece should never have joined the EU. They were doing fine until that major mistake. Holidaymakers from all over Europe loved Greece, particularly Crete. It was inexpensive, the Greek cost of living was low, the tourist trade was booming and most Greeks, especially those involved with tourism, were doing 'very nicely thank you'. Then they went and joined the EU. Overnight prices doubled (even trebled) and holidaymakers discovered that they could go further afield for less than it now cost them to go to Greece so the tourist numbers decreased.
    Now look whats happened and look also at what's happening in Spain and Portugal - both countries were much better off before they joined the EU.
    If I were the Greek PM I'd take the opportunity to take the country out of the EU now and forever. "Thank you for nothing EU. We're dropping out and going back to the Drachma. You'll have to wait for what we owe you - sorry about that - but getting our country back on it's feet takes priority right now".

  • Comment number 90.

    Excellent idea by the Greeks. Now maybe the rest of Europe could ban short selling as well, and the Euro and other currencies would no longer be hostage to fraudsters from foreign climes, and the city of london, trying to flog out of date mutton as lamb.

    I wish the greek people the best of luck for the future.

  • Comment number 91.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 92.

    The only way it can be resolved is for the Greeks to understand that no one owes them a living: we all have to be responsible & not allow unaffordable pensions, public sector job creation schemes (without reference to economic reality) & taxes go uncollected!

  • Comment number 93.

    I'm surprised any of you are surprised that the ratings agencies are going after Greece. Consider who owns them, who short sold against Greece recovering, and who stands to make a fortune if the Euro suffers.

    Have a browse on the interlink, and find out why ratings agencies make the decisions they do, and who for.....

  • Comment number 94.

    Greece may be the first nation hit but the affliction is across the Western World where Politicians have bought the votes of Union thugs with public money at a level which cannot be sustained.
    In an age of life expectencies to the upper 70's the idea that a man can work only 20 years then recieve a pension paid for life by other workers is simply unrealistic.

  • Comment number 95.

    Who exactly are 'Standards & Poor' (or whoever)? Oh, I see - part of the system that caused the whole pile-those-subprime-mortgages high and sell those toxic 'investment packages' cheap to idiots whose prime(sorry)aim was to rack up their bonuses? And they're doing what? Passing judgement on a state, no matter how, in the way of the whole human race, including Britain, it's gone after the short-term advantage? That's our economic, political and social system? Reminds me of an song my old mammy used to sing. Something along the lines of someone getting the pleasure and someone else getting the blame. Let's wake up and smell the Nescafè.

  • Comment number 96.

    Greece is typical of a lot of European countries including the UK, they want all the benefits of a modern society, but they have largely lost the wealth creation needed to pay for it, with manufacturing industry all having been transferred to China and people being given "non jobs" in the public sector to make up for it. This was all paid for by borrowing in the boom years, but now the chickens are coming home to roost. It is even worse for Eurozone countries, because their only option is spending cuts, they can't use interest rates & devaluation to help their industries. The European Union is being shown up to be a sham, with the richer countries having no interest whatsoever in helping out the poorer countries. Thank God the UK never went into the Euro, and people should think very carefully before voting for a party that thinks that the Euro and closer political union in the EU is a good idea.

  • Comment number 97.

    Dont know why people are saying we shouldnt help them, we bought ten times more toxic debt from our good friends the americans without even a whisper of discontent! and they are'nt even in europe!

  • Comment number 98.

    Sorry MarkGE, but I as a Greek Taxpayer shouldnt have to pay for something we didnt start. That is the American and British mentality.
    I will personally support anybody that takes to the streets. This crisis is a result of a disease called " Greed ". First it started with Americans losing their homes while these banks made billions off their suffering... ... 1&hpt=Sbin
    Enough is enough already, speculators making more a month than 3rd world countries and instead of having a public outrage at that, ppl are concerned at bailing out Greece. This is far more deeper than Greek dishonesty. We are not the first or last to cook numbers in Europe. As far as our politicians are concerened...they are traitors and we will give them hell to pay if they try to touch our rights. That is for sure...

  • Comment number 99.

    Greece needs help. The causes for their troubles, like many other things, are complex and the solution requires both national austerity measures as well as international solidarity, particularly from the rest of Europe.

    With our integrated economies, what goes around comes around and an economic crisis in Greece, or any other European country for that matter, will in the end hurt everybody. Strong national economies in Europe are a bonus for everyone so we should be all concerned by the financial health of our neighbours.

    Let us also not forget that international financial speculators are abusing the situation for quick gain and that this is something that further exacerbates Greece's problems (and Spain's and Portugal's, who's next?) and that is is something the Greek government has little control over.

    And to those who say that Greece has received millions of euros which have been badly invested, I would recommend caution and a more critical look at how their own national governments have used EU funds so far. The UK itself receives significant amounts of EU funds and these are not always used in accordance to the rules or to the fullest benefit of the population.

    I find some of the comments here based more on nationalist and xenophobic views, than on a true sense that in a globalised economy we must all pull together, ironically because that's the best way to protect our own national interest.

  • Comment number 100.

    "Lynn from Sussex wrote:

    We need to take careful notice of this as the UK is heading in the same direction thanks to Brown."

    Utter nonsense.


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