Bankruptocracy in the Greek Sector of Bailoutistan: The aftermath of the Reuters Report on Piraeus Bank

You may have read the shocking story by Reuters on the ponzi scheme three (or more) Greek banks concocted in order to seem to raise more capital, without diluting the bankers’ stake in ‘their’ bankrupt banks. I have nothing to add to this excellent report by the folks at Reuters (except perhaps to suggest that insider trading rules may have been breached by Mr Sallas who traded in Piraeus Bank shares at a time when he was engineering a fresh issue of them). No, this post’s purpose is to inform those outside of Greece of the impact of this brilliant, and shocking, report on the Greek polity: on our government, our system of justice and, lastly, on our finest of journalists: Deafening silence!

In a country where, supposedly, a new conservative, pro-European, ‘sensible’ government was freshly elected on a mandate of bolstering the nation’s credibility (at least in the eyes of Europe), this blatant attempt to bend the rules of bank recapitalisation (by means of a ponzi scheme where one bankrupt bank provides loans to another so that the latter’s ‘owners’ can inject the loans as capital into ‘their’ bank) went spectacularly unnoticed. Workers’ pay is reduced to sub-Saharan levels, hospitals are starved of chemo-drugs, ‘respected’ journalists lambast unionists who are trying to defend the starvation wages of unskilled labour but, when such a scandal directed at misleading the EBA, the ECB, the troika itself, is revealed, SILENCE. And as if that were not enough, the troika itself, the ECB, the EBA, whose will and directions are being usurped, also remain SILENT.

All I can say, at this point, is that there is something terribly rotten in the southeastern flank of the Eurozone’s Bailoutistan. And, curiously, the troika seems to care not one bit.


    • Ultimately, the Troika consists of the human beings that compose it. The people that make up the Troika have feelings – and I guess in the case of Greece and the endless row of broken promises / incapability / stubbornness / lack of sense of common welfare etc leaves most people whose job is to monitor the desaster with feelings such as desperation, deep frustration, anger.
      Ultimately, such a situation produces cynics.

      From a Troika perspective, what’s the surprise when something like this Piraeus Bank scandal comes to light?

      It fits exactly the picture.

      Just another disaster…
      Why bother. Best to keep silent about it because if you think about it too much, you’d have to draw consequences. Such as:
      Imposing more clearly defined and harsh measures on Greece and monitoring them more closely.
      Which hasn’t exactly worked well so far.

      So really, what would have to be done is to declare the whole operation a failure, give Greece up and let the whole, rotten system collapse completely.
      In the hope that this would lead to the Greek society organizing itself in a more sensible way.

      But that’d be a major step to take, because it would admit that the time and resources spent so far have been wasted – and it would trigger even more suffering in Greece, at least short-to mid term.

      In my eyes that explains why Troika has remained silent.

    • @Martin
      Really? The people of the Troika are interested in the common people on the streets and frustrated just as we are by the incompetent, corrupt politicians? Well, why don’t they say so? We where under the impression that all they cared for was to get as much time and money out of the country for Franco-German banks, deprive the country of as much liquidity as possible, enforce a horrible depression through internal devaluation measures and create a situation that a stay in the eurozone would be impossible that Greece can only leave. It would be more honest to just force an exit right from the start I think. At least that is what you could expect from human beings and not mindless banking cronies.

    • Martin

      And the show continues.

      You do everything you can to separate your governments’ corruption from others.

      You have already lost and you don’t even know it.
      We win.

    • Dear Tasos
      You wrote: “Really? The people of the Troika are interested in the common people on the streets and frustrated just as we are by the incompetent, corrupt politicians? Well, why don’t they say so?”

      I think it is no secret that the Troika is highly frustrated with how things are going (or rather not) in Greece. So this thing is just the icing on the cake. 100 Million EUR lost is not amusing – but nothing compared to the billions poured into the Greek banking system etc – a big part of which will eventually be lost.
      This fraud case is probably even not really specific to Greece but could (and probably does) happen one way or the other in other countries’ banks, too. It’s just more visible in Greece because Greece requires external funding and those sources (Troika) sometimes try to figure out what’s been done with the money. But sure stuff like this may well happen elsewhere, too.
      …Even in wonderful Germany, I might want to add.

      You also wrote about the Troika’s actions towards Greece: “…deprive the country of as much liquidity as possible, enforce a horrible depression through internal devaluation…”

      The troika has not deprived Greece of liquidity. Whatever liquidity there still is comes from the Troika – or have you failed to notice that the markets don’t lend money to Greece anymore? So your liquidity in principle, as far as external sources are concerned, has been pretty much ZERO since 2010. But money still comes out of ATMs, the system kind of works all of which is the case…
      …because Troika has given you liquidity. Just not as much as you’d love, but still.

      In terms of internal devaluation: What’s your preferred alternative? Winning the lottery? Otherwise, you either devalue internally (lowering wages, pensions etc) or externally (leave the Eurozone). The latter you don’t want. So it’s the former, isn’t it?

      Kind of late to understand this – internal devaluation has been the idea since the Troika started the bailout in early 2010. Has that not been noticed in Greece?

    • @Martin

      Your ignorance of your own country is remarkable. The problem is not about individual people: it is about a system that is rotten to the core, and that system employs bureaucrats to keep it working. The Troika consists of such bureaucrats: as individuals, they do not have the authority to make decisions. The real responsibility lies with Europe;s politicians — and primarily with those of Germany.

      As I keep explaining to you, history will pass a very harsh judgement on Germans, and future generations of Germans will lament your conduct as much as you lament that of Adolf Hitler.

    • Dear Guest (xenos)
      I still think that Hitler is hard to beat – even if Germany insists on austerity etc this is not exactly on one level with WW II / the holocaust, etc.

    • Martin

      You keep distorting everything.

      The first loan to be given in Greece as a “bailout” was to be about 40 b.
      The Troika decided to give 110 b. so that Greece gets out of the markets and the politicians said yes (as always).

      So no more money for the businesses. Only money for the banks through the sovereign states ,which artificially increases the debt.
      Then through scary markets and distorted values ,the debt reached from 109% to 160%. Now 165%.

      This is liquidity deprivation and illegal manipulation. And the liquidity the Troika provides is for her interests only.

      Saying that you make your partner not being able to work ,so that you can control him by giving him money (so called bailouts) ,and increasing his debt ,is not exactly help.

      Martin , i really hope you are not a representative sample of modern Germans.

    • Martin

      As for leaving or staying in the euro ,Greeks also wanted to save their beloved Europe ,which your government destroys and uses that faith of the Greeks to steal more from them. Or you really thought that we wanted to stay in the EZ because things are better?
      No ,we wanted to have the choice to decide ,if your masters do not stop the manipulation. With Samaras we don’t.

      We the people are preparing…………

      The power of Europe’s management should be at the hands of men of wisdom. That excludes today’s status quo and especially Germany.

      Now i really hope we get out. Kick us out. NOW.

    • Martin

      Also devaluation for the periphery can occur by Germany increasing domestic demand and decreasing parasitic overproduction since she is the one that wanted to export all the crap to the periphery that went back to Germany eventually in the form of favours.

      This was the right action since EZ is like a country. But no ,this is only good when Germany earns.
      As it has been said before ,you escape the crisis by hurting people in the periphery ,earning more from the crisis by getting free real wealth.

      It seems though your leaders are losing control because of their arrogance ,as usual.
      More and more people now know about how these manipulations occur.
      So do not be so sure yet about not beating Hitler.

      I really hope not. We should kick you out of this planet before you make everything German.

    • @Martin
      It is clear that we believe in a different narrative concerning the troika’s purpose. I believe that their purpose was primarily a political one and not simply to offer technical assistance, guidance and supervision with all the good intentions of helping Greece get back on track. The primary goal has been the protection of Greek’s foreign creditors and the ring fencing of Greek economy in order to limit the potential blowout from an inorderly default, something that in hindsight must have been seemed unavoidable between Greece’s foreign creditors. They also had to achieve this as soon as possible.

      There are many evidence that I think prove my point: The fact that Greek banks and Greek social security funds were forced to bear the brunt of the PSI while foreign creditors used the lifeline they were given and offloaded their debt, the fact that said PSI was delayed as much as possible even when it was evident right from the start that Greece’s debt load was unsustainable due to the recession of the economy and the high interest rates offered in the market, the fact that all of the Troika’s macroeconomic predictions where ridiculously overoptimistic if not a figment of imagination altogether. I could go on and on. Even the internal devaluation aspect of the program was not presented to the public right from the start but a year well into the program and at a time when it was evident that the recession was worsening. At first the program was supposed to sort Greece’s public sector finances and a vast majority of the public supported that. You can imagine that people where disillusioned very fast when they learned that wages had to be slashed in the private sector as well! I could go on and on. Even the privitasiton aspect of the program was out of touch with reality. The predicted revenue number was 50 billion! At the time the value of all listed companies was around 5 or 6. Keep in mind that this number was included in the funding aspect of Greece’s program, meaning that unless this number was achieved Greece would need additional funding. It was all a show.

      You also make some wrong assumptions. The 100 billion that you mentioned where used to pay bonds in their largest part and help cover the government deficit and not provide liquidity in the ATMs. Being part of the eurosystem covered that. If Greece was to exit the euro and issue another currency then the independent bank of Greece would cover that as well. The adjustment program deprived liquidity from the market through a combination of the harsh austerity measures and the zombiefication of Greek banks.

      In any case we will find out pretty soon which narrative is closer to reality although the Troika and its political supporters have that covered too having played a relentless blame game in their local media right from the start. Whatever picture the facts paint, the media will spin it into something that serves their interest.

    • Dear Demetri
      I am not so sure I “keep distorting everything”. In terms of the bailouts / Greek government debt vs. GDP, have a look at the numbers first:

      Looks like 2009 (before Greece effectively asked for help / indirectly declared bancruptcy), the level of Debt / GDP had reached 129%.
      The tendency was sharply upwards, from 113% in 2008 and 107% in 2007 (i.e. before the crisis hit the world economy and Greece).

      So I think it is safe to assume it is not the fault of anybody else but Greece that the debt / GDP ratio increased from 129% in 2009 and that exponential tendency kept continuing. As you see, the measures of the Troika broke the exponential trend and if things go as predicted, debt may stabilize around 170% of GDP and then gently fall (if Greece keeps being saved from the market by receiving below-market-interest loans and on the other hand reforming it’s economy, boosting potential for growth).

      What you fail to see is:

      1. The level of debt / GDP that Greece chose was not sustainable already in 2000-2007. It would have taken drastic (but possible) measures to get Greece out of the danger zone. These measures were not taken, instead Greece enjoyed very nice times until (including) 2009, when the debt-growth model had already broken.
      2. From 2007, debt / GDP was rising exponentially. That is way before “the Troika messed everything up” in 2010. By 2009, there was nothing Troika could have done other than deciding to take over Greece’s debt (how would you justify that?) or to try what’s been implemented: Effectively take over some of the debt / implement a haircut while keeping lending going for intrest rates below market. In order to make Greece more able to support at least a part of the debt it has accumulated, push for internal reforms.

      This is the way I see it. To say that until Troika came, everything was fine, sustainable and there basically was no problem is plain wrong.
      The Greek model was broken by 2008 / 2009 already. Unfortunately, it has been in denial about it for another 2 or 3 years which is regrettable, because it wasted time, money and opportunity and made the inevitable adjustment process (be it within the Eurozone or not, within the EU or not) only harder and more costly for everybody.

    • Martin

      If i made a mistake in one number this doesn’t change anything about the true causes.

      The number is not a fact. It is an expression of the facts. The facts make the number ,so you need to know all the history that make this expression (the number) possible and repeating the usual against Greece doesn’t cut it.

      Greece did not have a good time. The manipulation started from the inception of the euro. I will not repeat everything now.

    • Martin

      And noone said it was ok before the troika. Do not put words in my mouth. So yes ,you distort much.

      It was not ok from the inception of the euro and noone knew a lot except the “leaders”. You like it or not Germany had spread and still has her tentacles everywhere and for everything.

    • Dear Tasos

      You wrote: “I believe that their purpose was primarily a political one and not simply to offer technical assistance, guidance and supervision with all the good intentions of helping Greece get back on track. The primary goal has been the protection of Greek’s foreign creditors and the ring fencing of Greek economy in order to limit the potential blowout from an inorderly default…”

      I in principle agree. I think the Troika aimed for both!

      1. Trying to keep Greece from going under (short-term by providing loans for below market interest rates, mid- to long term by enforcing reforms and if necessary a haircut).

      2. As Greece’s situation looked, say, “challenging” already in erly 2010, Troika had to seriously take into consideration that their efforts failed / came too late / were proving not to be realistic to implement given the world economy, Greek politics, etc. Limiting the fallout in this scenario was also an aim, no doubt about it.

      You see my Nr. 2 the primary aim, I see Nr. 1 as the primary objective.
      But in principle, I guess we see it in a similar way.

      It is well possible that some individuals within Troika were focusing more on Nr. 2 while others were thinking implementing Nr. 1 should be possible and therefore there’s no need to worry too much about Nr. 2.

    • @Martin
      Yes this is a realistic assessment of the Troika’s mission. I would also like to point out that the most realistic suggestions concerning the program and Greece’s debt load came from the IMF not from the EU or the ECB part of the troika. Their mission has been simple I think right from the start: Damage control and nothing else. It was the IMF that pointed out right from the start that Greece’s debt dynamic was getting out of control and an immediate restructuring was needed along with immediate austerity measures to handle the primary government deficit. This I think was accepted by the Greek government but was of course anathema to the institutional foreign banks that knew could not bear the necessary haircut without going under and being forced to seek bailouts. This stance was immediately accepted by their governments which forced Greece down the road that led us to here. Everything else from that point on was window-dressing.

      Make no mistake severe cutbacks were implemented, the will for privatizations was, and still is, here but the buyers are nowhere to be found and structural reforms concerning primarily work relations were also put to place. If a debt restructuring has been implemented right from the start and the global economy was in good shape that might have a slim chance of working. As it stands, it was hopeless from the beggining.

      Still, we have only the Greek government to blame for all that. The Troika’s strategy was transparent. Greece, back in 2010 held all the cards because it could with a simple law force any haircut deemed necessary to its creditors since more than 90% of its debt was under Greek law. That could bring them running to the negotiating table very fast. Of course it was also necessary to tell the public the hard truth about the state’s finances and the necessary very hard sacrifices it would take to balance the budget as soon as possible. Years and years of lying to the public and cultivating myths had to be undone. They could not do it in the end and chose to put their hopes in the Troika’s promises yielding to the pressure of Merkel and co. The final touch was the PSI one and a half year later that deprived Greece of any bargaining power. The only good thing was that it completely discredited the political establishment beyond the point of recovery. That’s the story so far and it does not look like it is going to have a happy ending.

    • Dear Tasos
      I agree – just beg to differ about the ending. Hopefully, there will be some sort of positive ending. Maybe not exactly a “happy” one, but still. I guess chances are it does not need to go very much more downhill from here for Greece. And then, after another haircut which may be due within the next 12 months or so and once the reforms show some effect (and the government has managed to implement a working adminstration in terms of tax collection, etc) there may be a recovery that might astonish the Greek and foreigners alike.

    • Dear Martin
      I really hope I could share your optimism. Actually I really really wish that Greece was the sole problem area within the Eurozone. Were this the case there would be some solution. Any solution, even an exit from the eurozone could work if the rest of the eurozone and the world were in good shape as well as the solution you are suggesting. I am not sure that anything could work now as we speak. Not because of the state of Greek economy which is pretty awful, but because of the state of global economy which is equally awful. Everybody tried their best to hide this reality and it seems that they failed miserably. Recent developments in Italy and Spain clearly spell the end of the euro. I cannot imagine how Spain could refinance its debts for this year with 10yr rates as high as 7%. I cannot imagine how the whole of the eurozone will avoid a deep recession when state after state post ever worsening predictions for next year. Spain is effectively shut out from the markets, Spanish banks as well, Italy is soon to follow. We are approaching the critical point of no return for the whole thing. The funds needed for these countries simply do not exist. I cannot see a way out that does not involve the collapse of the whole thing.
      Let me also share one final piece of evidence about the unbelievable incompetence of the Greek economical and political elite. There are discussions everywhere in Europe about the future of the euro and contingency plans are made for a post-euro era from governments and companies. In France for example 20% of the people asked in a poll were in favor of abandoning the euro, in Italy this percentage is especially high and Berlusconi is reported to consider building his comeback around eurosceptisicm and an exit from the eurozone. The only country where there is no public discussion about the future of the euro is Greece! The establishment with the help of the media cannot even raise the issue because they have used the grave consequences of a possible exit as a threat to blackmail the people into submission! The whole thing could be collapsing as we speak and in Greece of all countries the possibility of a break up or a Greek exit is considered taboo in public discussion and anyone who would dare to raise the issue would be labeled a traitor!
      So to sum up, like a good tragedy only a deus ex machina could resolve the drama that preceded but this being the real world I cannot hold my breath for a miracle.

  • Why are the Sallas family, Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, Andreas Vgenopoulos and so on not yet in jail? This can only be done by the Greeks, not by the troika.

    • Sure. But the troika’s silence is allowing the Greek gangsters in power to get away with it. Whereas the troika is extremely vocal on the small things, its silence on this is remarkable. And remarkably guilty.

    • Yeah, it’s always the troika’s fault, Mr. Varoufakis. At least in your unhumble opinion. Yadda yadda yadda. Can’t you once play a different record, for a change? Or at least be consequential? If the Troika allegedly is the source of all problems, simply default, get out of the Eurozone, and take matters in your own hands. That would be the reasonable consequence.

    • Gray Goods, I am seriously growing tired of people with selective vision/hearing/memories etc. Which part of the following is not clear to you? Or, if you understand everything, would you be kind enough to point out which is the main statement and which is the addendum?

      “All I can say, at this point, is that there is something terribly rotten in the southeastern flank of the Eurozone’s Bailoutistan. And, curiously, the troika seems to care not one bit.”

    • >>>Have you seen a banker in Europe go to jail?

      Yes, to sell products to inmates!

    • @Ilias Trou

      Unfortunately not yet. And this is what must change, on a very large scale. See, as long as banks get away with their crimes by paying a few hundred million euro in fines, and fire some scapegoats, nothing will ever change.

      But it will change the whole industry pronto if the top excecs are not fired but instead are taken in investigative custody, no bail allowed until trial, and get prosecuted and convicted as any other thug.

    • @ Yanis

      Sorry, but the troika can scream bloody murder or be silent as much as it wants: it is the sovereign decision of the Greeks to allow them banksters to get away or not. The troika doesn’t keep them out of jail, and doesn’t throw them in. So it is high on time to accept the responsibility for doings (and ommissions) ONLY Greece has under her control. And DO something!

    • vss

      Why don’t you do something about your own rotten system?
      Your judges ,your politicians ,your banksters?

      Do you want the Greeks again to bailout Europe?
      Not with money but with higher principles as REAL Justice.

      This is also your responsibility.
      Why don’t YOU do something about it, with all the power you mighty Germans have?

      Is it because you would like to see your country get everything from others?

    • @ Very Serious Sam

      “Sorry, but the troika can scream bloody murder or be silent as much as it wants: it is the sovereign decision of the Greeks to allow them banksters to get away or not. The troika doesn’t keep them out of jail, and doesn’t throw them in. So it is high on time to accept the responsibility for doings (and ommissions) ONLY Greece has under her control. And DO something!”

      You are absolutely right. The problem is what is the goal and by what means?

      What people in other countries fail to realize about Greece is that:

      All mass media are absolutely controlled by the bankers. They can instill fear, false hope, make heroes and crucify scapegoats in no time.
      Having the capability to watch regularly foreign press and shows, at least the correspondences for Greece, i can tell you, they are no different than the greek ones.

      When unemployment is reaching such high levels, people don’t have the fundamental means to lead their lives. That means that they can not think properly, within reason. They are more susceptible to fear mongers and psychological warfare. It resembles a free for all struggle.

      There are shadow military-like “patriotic” organizations ready to take control in case of a mass revolt. The reason that Greeks haven’t revolt by now is that
      1) they have been heavily hammered by the police forces. Nothing is shown in telly. As is the case in Madrid right now.
      2) Because we have been quite recently through a civil war and dictator ship, people are quite aware that they do not constitute a solution. They are afraid that by revolting, a more messy situation might arise.
      3)There is a lack of trust between Greeks. Much deception have been thrown at our faces, and promises and hopes have been shattered, consequently it is extremely difficult for someone to have and idea and lead, because nobody trust words any more.

      these are just reasons, the moral of this story is that democracy is something that when you lose it, it is very difficult to get it back. And a hint for all non-greek speakers, democracy and republic are two different things.

    • @Demtri, especially for you:

      “AN OLD friend in the aviation business, with years of experience with Greek clients, told me a story that serves as a parable for how the country got into its current state. It concerns the sale of four Airbus long-haul planes after the national flag carrier, Olympic Airways, went bust. In 2007 an American valuation consultancy, Avitas, put a value of $45m on each of the A340-300 planes, which were then eight years old and still airworthy. Offers by outside firms to handle the sale were turned down. Instead a special state-owned firm with hundreds of employees was established, just to flog the four surplus planes.

      In 2010 a small German airline called Cirrus offered $23m each for them. But the Greeks rejected this because of a rule that state assets could not be sold for less than 75% of their declared value. They then called for another expert valuation on the planes, which by then had been grounded for a year: the valuers marked them down to just $18m each.

      By then, this tiny part of the secondhand airliner market was becoming flooded with this type of four-engined aircraft, which had been made uneconomic by high fuel prices. This, and the deteriorating state of the grounded planes, pushed their value steadily lower. By 2012, after three years sitting unused and un-serviced in the humid atmosphere of Athens, the only offer was from Apollo Aviation in Miami, which wanted the planes for scrap. The Greek trade unions kicked up a fuss about state assets being flogged cheaply abroad. But the deal was eventually sealed by the new government earlier this month, with the planes being sold for just $10m each.

      So, a sale of surplus state assets that might have strengthened Greece’s coffers by $180m in 2009 ends up raising just $40m, three years and two international bail-outs later. In part the most recent slump in value is because the buyer will have to spend up to $20m on repairs to make the planes fit enough to be ferried across the Atlantic with no passengers (which is cheaper than full restoration). At these prices it might have even been better to break them up for scrap in Athens: at least that would have provided a bit of work for jobless Greeks.”


    • vss

      Metaxa. Especially for you.

      Eeeehh ,and this says what for the condition that we are in and i add ,from the inception of the euro afterwards and is different from what we have been saying about Greek-only mismanagement?

      Inside the euro ,every unreasonable event occured like it was normal.

      And still this is certainly not a “parable” of the Greek condition today.

      That seems to be a real Greek problem. Unlike the crisis of German mismanagement.


      The problem is ,no matter how much money you give ,that is exactly what your government wants ,to get more real wealth from Greece.

    • vss

      Oh ,vss ,yoohoo.

      Read the comments at the site of the drivel you posted.
      There are some logical people that understand at least the basics.

    • @gray goods

      Seriously??? Are you that short-sighted? Do you think that corruption and the lack of corporate governance and regulatory frameworks for financiers and bankers and the controversial (to say the east) intertwining of the ruling-financial-media elites are a purely Greek problem? Well, I have news for you… Goldman Sachs, Lehmann Brothers, Barclay’s, RBS, Société Générale, Santander, Deutsche Bank: not Greek banks. The L in Libor does not stand for Athens.

    • Nice attempt at moving the goalposts, Kyriakis. But we were talking about that rotten Piraeus Bank affair, not about the Libor scandal. However, since you raised that point, isn’t it only reasonable that the Eurozone governments focus on the much bigger issue of the too-big-to-fail-banks criminal activities, than about yet another fraud case at a Greek bank? And anyway, where’s the logic in constantly blaming the Troika for its allegedly heavy handed, authoritarian attitude towards Greece only to demand more micromanaging of Greek bank issues now? Could you folks please make your mind up? And accept your own responsilibity for getting your Augias stable in order instead of blaming everybody else for the stink of your own crap?

    • Gray

      Haha. Good joke Gray. Did you think all of it by yourself or you had Troika help?

      Troika doesn’t do anything at any bank. BECAUSE EVERY BANK IS A TOOL FOR THEM. And if Troika doesn’t like our “stables” then she shouldn’t mess with crap herself. I guess she likes crap afterall. Especially when it is connected with her anyway and she wants to cover it.

    • @graygoods I wan’t trying anything of the sort, I am merely commenting on your biased (I was really close to using bigoted instead) statements. For your convenience, let me remind you (or didn’t you even get it the first time?) that the point of this article by Mr Varoufakis is to criticize: a) the practices of Greek banks, b) the lack of action on behalf of watchdogs, whistle-blowers, politicians and the judiciary c) the non-transparency of Greek business and politics AND d) the conspicuous silence of our ‘saviors’. All these can be complementary to each other you know. So there goes your point about refusing to clear our own mess and blaming others and your Bild/Daily Mail propaganda.

      Concerning accepting responsibility, I would be grateful were you to avoid generalizations from now on. Some of us have been calling things by their name for a long time already; some of us have not contributed to this mess; some of us have been met with ridicule, exclusion and (occasionally) violence for these activities; and some of us have had to leave the country to make a living because our own compatriots made sure that this was not possible in our homeland. Please also note that I have been trying VERY hard this far to avoid using ‘inappropriate’ vocabulary in this comment, as I usually do for people that attack me based on racial stereotypes.

      The practices of banks around the world are similar, regardless of origin, board members etc. What is true for Piraeus Bank and MEG TODAY is also true for HSBC and Barclay’s -obviously on a different scale. Therefore, things need to change in each country individually, as well as regarding the general regulatory framework, to tackle these phenomena. Again, complementarity. If you can’t see that, I am very sorry for your intellectual capacity.

      As for the troika’s involvement, these ‘champions’ of transparency, these proponents of ‘morality’, these ‘renowned experts’ on governance and policy making have (time and again) made suggestions, issued orders and used blackmail to promote their goals and idea(l)s -when the objects of their criticism were Greek voters, the unemployed, public sector workers and pensioners. The fact that they have remained silent on this subject raises serious questions regarding their integrity and motives. If you can’t see that, I am very sorry for your morals as well.

      On a final note, I would greatly appreciate it if you took the time to answer my original question. I believe I am entitled to that, at least as a matter of courtesy, seeing as how, so far, I have met your points one by one. So be careful next time before accusing anyone of changing the subject, and make sure that you are not doing so yourself.

    • Kyriakos, participating in internet discussions doesn’t entitle you to anything (where did you get that weird idea?), but to answer your question: It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about the need for common European regulation rules of the banking sector (I’m all for that), we don’t have that yet, we also don’t have any laws that would make other nations responsible for caring about Piraeus bank, so that is still solely a Greek issue. And would you folks now pls stop waiting for anybody else to get the hot iron out of the fire and accept it’s your own (Greek) responsibility to care for your national issues? Please don’t mistake us in the rest of Europe for being your nannies! Thank you.

    • Just reread YanisV’s statment that “the troika’s silence is allowing the Greek gangsters in power to get away with it.” It’s really ridiculous. The Greek government and the Greek people aren’t responsible for anything, everything should be solved by the Troika! Including law enforcement and justice. At the same time, Greeks are entitled to complain about and determinedly resist any interference in their affairs, I understand. What a creative view of democracy and national sovereignty! This turns everything that great philosophers have written about this subject on its head. I suspect it was written under the influence of drugs.

    • You are allowing your prejudice to overcome your senses. My wrath was addressed, first and foremost, to the Greek government, the Greek justice system and the Greek media. Only then did I express disdain at the troika for not saying a word about this subject. I find it astonishing that you do not agree with me. My simple point is that the troika are responsible for supervising the use of European funds in the context of the recapitalisation of the Greek banks. When Greek bankers are subverting the rules of recapitalisation it is the troika’s duty to the German, Austrian, Dutch and Finnish taxpayers to step in and at least speak out against the subversion of its own rules. Anyway, the troika has no problem speaking out against things that Greeks do that it does not like. Except of course when the Greeks in question are… bankers. In short, you should be outraged at the troika.

      Lastly, you must be confusing me with someone who is against European intervention in Greece’s affairs. I am all in favour of Europeanisation – of passing powers from the member-states to the Centre. What I do protest is idiotic interventions that make the problem worse (as opposed to solving it).

  • Yanks, how can journalists bite the hand that feeds. Banks continue to advertise on tv and other media, ads that pay salaries. It is a shame that legitimate parts of the real economy go without capital so that fat cats can play their games. Question: Was Sallas ever a card-carrying member of pasok?

    • Dear Dimitris
      The way you put it, you’ve managed to blame even the failure of the Greek media to detect and publicise this on the Troika.
      Well done!
      Now seriously: I don’t know how big a part of the revenue for media comes from ads that banks buy with the media. But I’d be surprised it would be so much that it would be downright impossible to write anything critical about banks, especially in an appalling case like this. Plus, I would expect the newspaper that first comes out with this to make huge business from it, selling many more papers, etc.
      Are you telling me that apart from your tax collection, policians in general, land registry etc also your media is dysfunctional?
      And if so, are you telling me that is the fault of Troika?
      Or is it a German conspiracy?

    • Martin

      No the German and Troika conspiracy is the opportunity to use these problems to get everything yourselves.
      The banking problems specifically are well connected with the Troika.

  • Excellent post, so glad someone finally pointed it out. This incident tells you all you need to know doesn’t it? Especially the Troika’s silence. The dissection of the Greek political-economical elite has been masterful by the Troika. Make no mistake they came to Greece with full knowledge of all the rotten background of the local establishment. Its own backstabbing nature provided them all the information they needed. It was the simple act of controlling the banks and forcing them to open their books that paved the way for the end. The only good thing of the banking sectors bankruptcy was the fact that the establishment of media masters-bankers-big state contract driven businesses-politicians was damaged beyond repair. The glue that kept them linked: access to all the loans they desired through the eurosystem simply ceased to be. That led to a situation of every man for himself. This once powerful establishment is deteriorating fast and resembles more and more the bloodbath that would follow if you put sharks in an ever shrinking fish tank and deprive them of nourishment.

    This is probably the only good thing that came out of Greece’s default. Greek people who felt rightly oppressed by this establishment that drove the country to the ground and the people towards poverty have now a unique chance of raising their voice and help rebuild the country. It is a very limited window of opportunity since the aforementioned establishment may well prefer to willingly drive Greece out of the Eurozone in order to preserve its shaky status quo and try to strike some sort of deal with the Troika. The months ahead will be critical in that regard.

    Finally one needs to take into account the silence from the Troika. It seems that all the decisions have been made. The future of the eurozone may be still undecided but Greece’s controlled exit seems settled. The best one can hope now is a clear solution and not half-measures meant to sugarcoat the harsh reality or completely hide it like a promise to re-enter or some sort of dual currency. This clear solution could be a starting point for rebuilding Greece. For that to happen, all the blame for the suffering of these past years must fall on the right shoulders. This is the where the Troika comes in. This is where they could make a difference and give the country a chance. If they clearly point the finger at the right culprits something can come out of this situation. Not even the unbelievably corrupt journalists could spin their tales then.

    • @Pedro
      Don’t worry. German taxpayer’s money is very well taken care of! They have seniority over all other debt, are covered by British and not Greek law and through the loan agreement are covered by possible collateral through sales of Greek state property. In fact they are not allowed to fall in the hands of politicians altogether! What more can you ask for? As of this year all money just make a small stop in the central bank of Greece and are immediately transferred back to the ECB, the IMF and any state involved in this crappy deal. This is why people here are pissed off when anyone mentions that Greece is “saved” through these loans.

    • >>>What more can you ask for?

      A default & then an Euro exit. Someone has to start to exit this prison. How much suffering does it take to tell the Eurocrats to f**k off? How will we ever get rid of them in the North where people do not feel the crisis yet?

    • @Pedro
      I doubt people in Germany-France-Holland etc. do not feel the crisis. It is going to get worse make no mistake. How much suffering does it take to tell the troika to F**k off? Do not know. Not much I presume, things are critical as it is. But unfortunately it seems they are going to take off on their own and the people will not even get this satisfaction.

    • No Tasos. They do not feel it here in Germany. Maybe in Holland (housing bubble). But the uneducated here have no clue that they are on the hook for more than an annual gross salary (without ESM) of guarantees. They buy real estate and other stupid things that the governent will tax at the very moment the guarantees become due.

      In addition we have tons of Spaniards learning German in order to work here. I see them every morning with their books running to the language schools…At the time they can speak it, there will be no more jobs…

      I prefer to transfer my possessions away outside the EU…

    • @ Pedro,
      Prison indeed! How much “suffering will it take”? Who knows…Greek people’s tolerance for suffering only matches their unbelievable fear, and their infinite stupidity..

    • @ pedro
      Prison indeed! “How much suffering..” I don’t [email protected] Tasos- not much you reply- but that i s optimistic. The greek people’s tolerance for suffering seems only comparable to its unbeleivable fear and its infinite stupidity. It grieves me that I should speak so of my own people..

    • >>>I prefer to transfer my possessions away outside the EU…

      Smart move. The EU commission can restrict free capital flow from inside the Euro area to outside the Euro area. it is artivle 64 or 64 of the treaty. They just have to inform the ECB.

      The Euro will end up like the German Mark, the East German Mark to be more exact: A transfer rouble, that is not convertible to other currencies.

  • Who can claim the moral high ground in the international banking world any more?

  • It is one more sign that there is a plan. The Greek banks are a tool for troika. They will keep them alive as long as they need them. In a destroyed Greek economy the banks will have no earnings. Who will be able to borrow? Who will have savings to put in all those banks? Nobody. It is like trying to save you parking place after your car is stolen even if you know that you will never be able to buy a new one.

    • Exactly.See what happens elsewhere EVEN if they have more respectable institutions and financial instruments…Theirs are more respectable because we, feeling inferior, tout them as such…

    • Maybe you should look at a P&L once. Profit is not equal to sales (unfortunately).

  • A small interview about the privatisation of water in Bolibia.
    It starts at about 2:40

  • Hans-Joachim Fuchtel

    The man that comes in Greece to increase the brain-drain towards Germany and convince people to sell their land for nothing.

    He wet his pants in Crete. Too bad the Cretans didn’t do anything serious against him.

    • The brain drain has already happened. IT was always like this even 40 years ago. Correct me if I am wrong, but there are more Greeks outside of Greece than inside. The smarter ones usually in The US or the UK…


    «Μια φορά οι λύκοι πρότειναν στα πρόβατα ειρήνη και ηρεμία, λέγοντας:

    «Η σημερινή μέρα θα γίνει απαρχή μεγάλων καλών και για σας και για μας· γιατί, απαλλαγμένοι από τον πόλεμο και τις συμφορές, θα μπορούμε να συγχρωτιζόμαστε άφοβα. Ας κάνουμε λοιπόν σπονδές ειρήνης. Για να είναι όμως η ειρήνη σταθερή και να μην καταλυθεί αμέσως μετά την υπογραφή της, θα πρέπει να διώξετε τους κακόβουλους και εχθρικούς σκύλους, γιατί αυτοί σας αναστατώνουν και σας κάνουν να υποπτεύεστε τους λύκους. …

    Πράγματι πολλές φορές, ενώ εμείς απλώς συνοδεύουμε τα κοπάδια, αυτοί πηδούν και γαβγίζουν, με αποτέλεσμα οι δικοί μας να εξοργίζονται και να προξενούν βλάβες χωρίς να το θέλουν. Τι τους χρειάζεστε λοιπόν τους σκύλους, όταν θα έχετε ειρήνη με τους λύκους;».

    Τα πρόβατα δέχτηκαν, σαν αφελή που είναι, και έδιωξαν τους σκύλους. Τότε οι λύκοι τους χίμηξαν και, βρίσκοντας τα αφύλαχτα, τα κατασπάραξαν. Οι συνετοί άνθρωποι πρέπει να φυλάγονται και να μην πιστεύουν τα λόγια των εχθρών.»


    “One time the wolves offered to sheeps peace and tranquility, saying:

    “Today will be a good and great beginning for you and us; because, free from war and suffering, we can safely rub. Let us therefore do libations of peace. But for peace to be stable and not abolished immediately after signing, you should kick out malicious and hostile dogs, because they upset you and make you suspect the wolves. …

    Indeed, many times when we simply accompany your herds, they jump and bark, so that our kind chafe and cause damage without want. What do you need the dogs when you have peace with the wolves?”.

    The sheep received the wolves ,as naive as they were , and chased the dogs away. Then the wolves jumped on them and finding them unattended, they devoured them. The wise men must guard themselves and not believe the words of enemies.”

    — Aesop

  • fwiw, I did see articles on this on and, however the full Reuters article is very comprehensive and quite damning.

  • Do you think that the top slice of IQs (over 180) which in a population of 7billion already amounts to the equivalent of an entire country population and all interconnected through the markets and globalization, (and most left with no other values than the value of their wealth) would EVER bother at all about trivialities like…the Piraeus Bank?Nor would the employees of their political servants. All the REAL ruling classes care is that the worlds’ banking system is kept working and that monetary economy do not get fully disrupted.Otherwise, all of the sudden, the wealth they have amassed would have only practical and no nominal or market value whatsoever.So zombie Banks will be kept alive and eyes will be kept shut so that the whole edifice does not crumble.In the meantime our wealth will continue -through state taxes and bank claims- to be channelled to them.Elementary dear friends even to the eyes of my very middle – of the road – intelligence.All of my hopes are on the renegades from the group of the high IQs and the super rich (the last a subtotal of the first) who will side with us: The homo sapiens and Not with the new species of the “homo terribilis sapiens”.It is a battle of IQs and values.The first against the second…

    • I failt to understand why you equate intelligence with money-making. There is no evidence to suggest that highly intelligent people (rather than high IQ) are significantly better at, or more interested in, making money than those of average intelligence. Presumably, those in banking and commerce who are the most successful are those with a mix of determination, creativity, intelligence, connections and criminal ability. I don’t expect much from these people, nor should you. The war for the economic survival of the middle and working classes has to be fought with determination and probably violence too. That is how the political elites of Europe and the USA have structured things…

    • Dear Y-patia

      I think that sure there is a correlation between IQ and success on the job market. So, in general, individuals holding more senior positions will tend to be more intelligent than individuals holder less senior positions.

      But, on the other hand, I believe the financial crisis has exposed that in many positions there were individuals that certainly morally and in not few cases also intellectually were unfit for their job.

      A lot of senior managers in the banking sector for example did not understand what their banks were doing / what risks they were taking.

      So they actually could not do their job. But they still got rewarded very generously, benefitting from huge bonuses that made them more inclined to take risks they did not understand.

      I don’t think there is a “class” of individuals with an IQ of 180 and up.

      I am sure there were many position holders with a far more modest IQ (and a moral compass, let’s call it “MQ” of well below 100).

    • I must have lived on another dimension – or a parallel universe ( nowdays trend) but last ive check high energy physicist – astro physicists and the likes and generally nasa or darpa employees are not in the forbes 50 list.

    • Dear Guest (xenos)
      I disagree with you on the violence but otherwise I think what you write makes a lot of sense.

      What I still don’t quite get is this:
      We have democracy, in all of the EU countries. The systems differ slightly and so does the way the media plays a role in terms of “policing” the system (by highlighting scandals, facilitating debate, etc) and also the legal system.

      However, in principle in all EU countries people can vote. So in principle, if there was a consensus in society that certain changes (e.g. stronger regulation in banking, separating investment banking from the rest, etc) was necessary or that “the rich” should be taxed a little higher (or taxation should be enforced at all, in e.g. Greece) then this should really be possible.

      Conspiracy theories aside, how is it possible that the majority of the population does not seem to get this? I guess it is a mix of not truly being aware of it and still basically being more or less happy with the system as it it.
      Which points to countries such as Greece to make a start: There, satisfaction with the current system should be lower than in e.g. Germany or so.

      We’ve learned from the revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989 that what appears stable from outside can suddenly collapse.

      If done in a sensible way (I’d prefer “evolution” to “revolution” wherever possible – less violence and more of a chance to not throw away the whole system and then having to start from scratch when a good part of what we have works fairly well), change can be a great thing.

      I think that in e.g. Greece the hatred or all those conspiracy theories concerning Germany and so on basically serve the corrupt elite quite well. It gives the angry, desparate and hopeless somebody to blame while maximizing the potential for the structure of socienty / the economy to remain “intact”. This way, the elites can carry on with their exploitative behavior.
      This is not to say that cross-border effects do not exist.
      But I could imagine that fixing the mess “bottom-up” could be easier and necessitate less violence than trying to sort the problem out beginning at the top.

    • @Martin

      Representative democracies do not provide direct causal connections from the popular will to political outcomes. There are major intervening structural variables — most notably, political parties, the mass media and its corruption, the infrequency of elections that hold politicians to account in a cycle that they can control — and these work in such a way that most policy is determined by elites.

      Of course, the internet is a more direct information and communication mechanism, but has really had an effect only in the Middle East. The reason is simple: old people don’t like or use the internet much, and certainly do not use it in the way that teenagers do. With the demographic structure of Europe so biased toward elderly people, the young constitute too small a proportion of the electorate to affect much. Europe has already become a large old people’s home, with not much going for it, and not enough economic activity to pay for the pensions and healthcare of its increasing very old population. (What Germany is doing is cementing the structural failings of Europe and ensuring that the continent will fail, whereas Germany itself is ok because it has become the fiscal and monetary centre of the EU.)

      The Islamic countries. on the other hand, are massively weighted towards very young people. There, change can be effected more easily than in Europe, even without democratic process. Since democracy is slowly being established across the Middle East, it is reasonable to assume that they will eventually overtake Europe in both democratic and economic terms. The only issue is the timescale of this, I think.

    • Dear Guest (xenos)

      I think you are right with the demographic factor. However, even in Europe the vast majority of people is well below, say, 60 years old.
      With the current life expectancy, even somebody who’s 55 or so should take an interest in the way things develop in his / her country. For hopefully, they will have decades to live in this place. And they may have children, too. So even if the thinking was “it does not matter as I will die within the next 10 years or so”, they may still be motivated to change things for the better because they love their children and grandchildren.

      I think there is hope.
      But people must behave responsibly. If a few only look after their self-interest, a system can be stable. But if a whole nation of continent becomes like that, things will hit the wall (like what happened in Greece where individuals behaved in a rational way – but ultimately this lead to a status of affairs where only a few benefit). The majority is better off if rules are established and followed and a long-term perspective is taken.

      I am less pessimistic about Europe: It is still very wealthy by global standards. Even struggeling countries like Greece are wealthy on a global scale.

      But this stupid debt economy has to stop. We’ve got addicted to debt and that is unhealthy. First, there are massive withdrawel symptoms, but ultimately, this will be a healthier way to go forward than cheating the system, being cheated, etc. Let’s get Goldman Sachs unemployed!

  • Καζάκης – ΕΟΖ ,Νερό ,Ξεπούλημα
    h ttp://

  • You know what they say.

    If you want something done , do it your self.

    Professor for once i dont agree with your assessment.

    We are a sovereign country after all , we can choose to exist euro ( the wise choice atm ) we can choose not to vote for the coalition , we can do whatever we wanna do in the end blaming others for our seer stupidity as a nation , all the time , its not prudent and is getting tiresome.

    • st3roids

      But it would be stupid also to accept responsibilities that do not belong to us.

      Now ,i want out of the euro too.

  • Arrest the Criminals at Goldman Sachs and in the Greek Government.
    Greece is a crime scene.
    h ttp://

    Lazy Ouzo-Swilling, Olive-Pit Spitting Greeks Or, How Goldman Sacked Greece
    h ttp://

    • Banker left Speechless by Irish Journalist
      h ttp://

    • “Arrest the Criminals at Goldman Sachs and in the Greek Government.”

      Indeed. You take care of the criminals in the Greek government, will you?

      “Greece is a crime scene.”

      Yes, and the majority of the population did for a lot of years participate in committing crimes. Now, as the party ended, only the ‘elites’ are left as criminals, whilst the average Demitri on the street, of course, never had any knoledge, let alone did activel contribute. Because nobody could knwo that the system was rotten!

    • vss

      Sure vss as you wish ,NOT.
      As usual you want to generalize too much and start the same good old attacks.
      Whatever goes around comes around vss and the boomerang has already turned against your government.
      Crimes as in Germany vss.
      And it seems you are one of those that you want them to continue.

  • excellent report Mr. Varoufakis, personally I had no clue!
    nothing on TVs, nothing on radios in Greece, absolutely nothing! amazing, ”deafening silence”as you wrote!

  • For the Germans

    1) Drunk German tourists didn’t pay their bills because as they said “Greece owes them”.
    They wanted trouble and they got it. They got their asses kicked.

    2) The almost bankrupt German (or i should say Anti-German) company Schlecker just released her new products.
    Proudly they advertise Cretans made soap.

    3) And the good side of Germans with a brain in their heads. Apologising for their government.

    And this is an image with data about just a little of the true wealth of Greece. For anyone that still wants to think Greece has a real problem and that certain powers didn’t economically attack her for the land.

    Here is the translation:

    1. We are a country that controls a land and sea area as far as Germany and Austria combined.

    2. The world has officially 17,000,000 Greeks.

    3. We are second (2nd) in the world in deposits in Switzerland.

    4. We accept 16,000,000 tourists a year and have a significant tourism industry.

    5. We have three very large shipyards that manufacture all kinds of ship.

    6. We have bodywork industries that manufacture heavy trucks, buses, trolleys, railway wagons, trailers, concrete mixers, tanks, etc..

    7. We have 2400 VLCC tanker ships and trucks. We are first (1st) in the world in commercial shipping ,while Cypriot owners have 1500 huge tankers and trucks – fifth (5th) in the world.

    8. We are first (1st) in the world in nickel ,first (1st) in magnesite, first (1st) in hydromagnesite, first (1st) in perlite (1.6 million tonnes), second (2nd) in bentonite (1.5 million tonnes) ,first (1st) in the EU in bauxite (2.174 million tonnes), first (1st) in chromite, first (1st) in zinc, first (1st) in aluminum AND MORE.

    9. We are second (2nd) worldwide in sheep’s milk, third (3rd) in olives, third (3rd) in saffron, kiwi, peaches.

    10. We have the second (2nd) best air force in NATO after the United States and the Turks are penultimate. We have the second (2nd) best Navy in NATO with Turkey last.

    11. Gold is found in Thrace worth 38 billion euros. We have in Macedonia and Thrace the three largest gold deposits in Europe.

    12. We have south of Crete 175,000,000,000 barrels of oil, the third largest deposit worldwide. The value of our oil AND our gas is $ 10,000,000,000,000, according to the U.S. Geological Institute.


    • “There aren’t people in the world that have offered so much to humanity as the Greeks and have been fought so much by so many who have not offered anything.”

    • Dear Demetri
      So why did you accumulate of this debt then?

      With some of your claims you seem to get a bit carried away:

      I would not be so proud about being 2nd in Swiss Bank accounts. This reflects the failure of the Greek state to tax the wealthy – which is why you are where you are now.

      Your airforce and navy may be fantastic – but unless you are planning to conquer something, they don’t have too much economic value, do they? I think it may be a bit of an obsession of Greece to be seen as strong, especially versus Turkey.

      You are a big shipping nation, true. But I don’t think Greece actually builds a lot of ships. It just operates them:

      Congratulations on being second in the world in “sheep’s milk”!

    • Martin

      1) If the system functions properly ,noone cares about the local debt. Especially when it can be serviced.
      2) The debt ,even though high now ,was artificially increased by a lot of manipulation. This (debt increase) is ofcourse used as an excuse to attack Greece ,but the manipulation is apparent now.
      3) The facts ,not only the account deposits ,are a testament for this manipulation and for the attack against Greece.
      4) The Greek state is worthless and corrupt ,but it can not be by itself. You have to separate the Greek mismanagement and the European mismanagement of the system in all of Europe and at the same time you have to see how any local mismanagement of any country is connected to the European.

    • Germany owes Greece about 500 million from war compensations, and from a big loan that was given to Germany at that time never to be returned.
      Greece lost 1.100.000 of its population during the german occupation, having an overall population of around 3.000.000 at the time, thus having the worst losses of WW2.
      Around 800.000 out of the above number died from HUNGER!
      So shut up

    • Dear waves
      I think you probably mean 500 Billion (not million). Only million would almost not be worth the effort considering the amounts we are talking about in this whole, crazy Euro-crisis.
      Thanks for bringing up the war again. I am aware Greece suffered terribly through the German occupation and there were many, many deads.
      But it was not more than a third of the population. By making claims like that you hurt your cause because they are just not true, most people who have a bit of knowledge about history would know it and it can be easily falsified.
      That said, I am not proud of how Germany treated Greece during the war and how they’ve handled this issue after the war.

    • Dear Demetri
      I do agree with big parts of your comment from 20 July at 15.58.

    • Dear Martin

      The population of Greece before WWW2 was 3-3.5 million.

      What is it that you question?

    • Dear waves

      I don’t know where you got your numbers from. Here’s what I got:
      Population of Greece in 1940 (i.e. before Greece got occupied by Italy, Germany and Bulgaria) was 7.3 Million.
      See under “vital statistics” here:

      Again: I don’t say that Greece did not suffer terribly during the war. But it’s population was not a mere 3 to 3.5 million and also it was not a third of the population that died due to the occupation (though they suffered terribly – I know and don’t dispute that).

  • About bailoutistan…

    Proffessor and the others , ive red something today , the seer validity i cant verify so maybe someone can

    Theres a post that among others sais

    Second in swiss deposit accounts ( maybe some of them can return home in order to invest under proper strategies)

    around 50 bn in gold reserves

    Around 100 billion in uranium reserves

    First in europe in aluminium , Bauxite

    Third in world inolives and olive oil – second in peaches , third in saffron , 7th in cotton

    We get around 35-40 bns from tourism a sum , equally if not more than the industrial earning Austria has

    Germany owns us like what 500 bn ? is that correct or fiction , at least what we claim but even if in hage we get half of those are still plenty

    Last it used to be a rumor but now even the u.s geographical institute sais that Greece has 175 bn of oil barrels south of crete , that along with misc other oil and gas reserves in country to a sum up to 10 trillion dollars.

    Not to mention that we are the most beautiful country in europe with the most blue flags earning for our seas.

    So whats true of all those whats not and if all those are valid why the heck we havent take the guns yet to shoot the 300 political gansters that claim we are poor

    • Dear St3roids

      The gold reserves of Greece are about EUR 4.3 Billion, according to Wikipedia. That’s quite far off the 50 Billion you mention, but still not to be sneezed at.
      In German – but if you scroll down for where the bit with the flags appears, you can find Greece and in the column “Goldreserven” (gold reserves in German) you see the number.

      I am not sure Germany “owns” you about 500 Billion. You mean you owe Germany? Or Germany ows you (from the war or something)?

      Tourism sure brings in a lot and from what I’ve read in German papers, from a tourist perspective Greece is very competitive now (in terms of what you get for your money). You really don’t need an industry like e.g Austria as you have tourism, that’s true. I mean, it wouldn’t exactly hurt to have more of an industry, but it’s not a necessity.
      And Greece certainly has commodities, but some of those will take years to become available and make an impact on Greek finances (exploiting petrol and gas takes a while to get operational – first you need to find the stuff, install the infrastructure, etc).

      I think you are not exactly “rich” but certainly not as poor as you feel right now.

    • Martin

      Or ,you just made an innocent mistake. I hope.
      Gold reserves and gold deposits (unmined gold) are two different things.

      Even if we talked about gold reserves ,we have a lot more outside the country.

      A tiny question. Why do you use wikipedia? Can you not find documents (if even contradicting) from main sources? Like the institutes themselves?

      As for numbers about gold deposits ,let me tell you about a gold scandal in Greece and the so called amazing unregulated free market. Several foreign companies were signing contracts (by bribes ofcourse) to use the gold mines.

      Instead of truly using them and publishing studies about the gold reserves ,the fact and only the fact that a new company on the “gold” block appeared ,had the prices increase. Gold was never mined. True studies by these companies were never published. The companies earned money ,not from the gold itself but from the manipulation of the commodities market of Greece.

      Just for fun ,you find out about these companies.

      Done ,thank you. Next company ,please? Done ,thank you. Next company ,please? And so on and so forth.

      These numbers are from these companies. So please do not show me wikipedia numbers.

    • Martin

      Oh ,i see that st3roids was talking about reserves.
      My bad.

      As for the commodities these are/were (before the crisis) already mined.
      We also have osmium and another weird stuff that is used for missiles costing $ 10000/kilo.

      This small land is ridiculously full in resources.

      And as any other country with resources ,the people must become poor. Especially the Greeks. Thanks to the traitors and sleepy citizens this is happening. It never stopped actually. Most people never saw the truth after the 1821 revolution. Slowly we became “of the west”. We are not west and we are not east. We are not north and we are not south. We are Greeks.

      “The Greek people are anarchic and difficult to tame. For this reason we must strike deep into their cultural roots: Perhaps then we can force them to conform. I mean, of course, to strike at their language, their religion, their cultural and historical reserves, so that we can neutralize their ability to develop, to distinguish themselves, or to prevail; thereby removing them as an obstacle to our strategically vital plans in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.”

      Henry Kissinger, while addressing a group of Washington, D.C. businessmen in Sept.1974

  • Professor Varoufakis

    Why are you associating, even thinly, this ‘pongi’ scheme that was consummated between May 2009 and January 2011 with the newly elected tri-partite government of Antonis Samaras? Why are you ‘carpingly’ searching to find faults in the present government and crave to be the Italian submarine commander to torpedo and sink the Ellis, the Samaras’ government, in the midst of its Herculean and admirable efforts just began to salvage Greece from its present tragic predicament? Is it because all you are concerned with is that with the failure of government you will be able to illustriously tell your friend Stournaras, I told you so!

    • When a scandal surfaces, it is the government and justices of the day that have a duty and an obligation to investigate. Mr Samaras and his cabinet have a golden opportunity to confirm your trust and hope in them. Will they take it?

    • I think the Greek media can play a greater role in explaining better to the Greek population how this impacts them and thus force the issue on the governing coalition. Granted, I’m not living in Greece however it seems the media over there is silent on this topic.

    • Could you be so kind and please, pretty please, pretty please with sugar, whipped cream and a cherry on top, learn to at least spell before spewing your drivel? It’s “ponzi”, not “pongi”; and it was the “Elli”, not the “Ellis”.

  • @ Martin, vss, n eu d etc.

    Calvinist moral lessions always aplied, apply and will apply to those who are indebted.

    Never applied to the vulptures.

    So it is very sad to hear the stupid next victims building a case against themselves.

    Just take a look at the LIBOR scandal back at your home.

    • …and see how the corrupted european governments and media are dealing with it.

  • @Anyone-who-is-familiar_IMF_UK

    I have a debate with some British friends about how much has the UK state paid for the Greek bailout.

    I have done a small research and I have found out that the UK is involved in the NAB IMF funds (which were raised for the Crisis).

    I think that it was involved in “the 6th tranche of €8bn in early December 2011. Of this amount, the IMF took over €2.2bn.”
    NAB involvement on this amount is 50%, and the UK participates in NAB with 18.67%

    Finally for the moment they have paid 18,67%*1.1bn = 206millions

    My question is does anyone really how the UK IMF NAB funds are really raised and paid?

  • For all Greeks and all other non-Germans here in order for us to better understand what Germans have in their minds:

    VSS said this:

    ““Arrest the Criminals at Goldman Sachs and in the Greek Government.”

    Indeed. You take care of the criminals in the Greek government, will you?

    “Greece is a crime scene.”

    Yes, and the majority of the population did for a lot of years participate in committing crimes. Now, as the party ended, only the ‘elites’ are left as criminals, whilst the average Demitri on the street, of course, never had any knoledge, let alone did activel contribute. Because nobody could knwo that the system was rotten!”



    • @N_E_D:

      I hope it will be soon:

      Kein Volk, kein Reich und kein Euro !!!

    • n eu d

      Really? Hehe.

      Kein = Cain = murderer.

      Cain is actually derived from a Greek word that means murderer.
      Hebrew comes from the word Hubris and so on and so forth.
      Jerusalem comes from the word Ιεροσυλία (Ierosylia) = sacrilege.

      Language reveals the true History of humanity.
      Come to think of it ,there is no language that is not Greek.

      Are Germans a real race? No really. Are they?

    • Dear Demetri
      You are understandably very proud of Greece’s past.
      As impressive as it was, I think you kind of underestimate the role other civilisations had before Greece (Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt).
      They were there and great way before ancient Greece rose to power.
      Don’t start huffing and puffing now, please. I am not saying that ancient Greece was not great. But when I read what you write it sounds a bit like people where monkey and then, suddenly, ancient Greece appeared on the scene, tought humans how to write and think and catapulted the world kind of into what we have today.
      It was not quite like that…

    • Aristoteles, I will throw a huge party when that will happen: “Kein Volk, kein Reich und kein Euro !!!”

      You are all invited!

    • Martin

      Sorry Martin ,i do not want to spoil it for you ,but civilization existed long before the civilization you mention too..

      The oldest human skeleton (homo sapiens resemblance) ,that is still not mentioned in conventional history books was found in Greece and is about 1,5 million years old.

      Two pyramids were found recently in China ,each with a couple inside (man and woman – well preserved) ,wearing ancient chinese clothes with ancient hellenic symbols and of European origin. The Chinese government decided to be somewhat silent about the fact when they found out that they are dated at about 6000 BC.

      In America almost every ancient site has ancient Hellenic symbols and stories of “white men” travelling there.

      As an example Stonehedge has them too.

      What i am saying with all of the above is that all civilizations are connected with similar stories and go back a lot more than we can imagine. The modern sciences have a lot of gaps for everything.

      Now how civilization begun? NOONE TRULY KNOWS.

      But we already know ,that no matter what everyone has found till this day ,something always comes up to connect it with Greece.

      How so? NOONE TRULY KNOWS.

    • Dear St3roids
      Ok, thanks a lot for the clarification.
      Less than 600 billion Euros seems quite a bargain!
      …but don’t wait too long with claiming the money – otherwise it may be the same story as with Greek reparations for the Middle East and South Asia for what Alexander the Great did.

  • 20/07/1974
    Turkish invasion in Cyprus. (Attila 1).



    And before the Turks

    For Greece and integration the Cypriots revolted in 1931.
    For Greece and integration the Cypriots fought in two world wars.

    Integration in 1950.

    For Greece and integration EOKA revolted in 1955 ,when the British refused Cyprus her freedom.

    “EOKA is impossible to be defeated.”

    “One field Marhal ,three Generals and 40000 British soldiers were not capable of defeating EOKA.”

    “Digenis one of major rebel leaders of all time.”


    • In a highly provocative statement, the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu described the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on July 20, 1974 as a “peace operation”.

      He also criticized the Greeks and Greek Cypriots that “they always wanted to turn Cyprus into a Greek island.”


    • Betrayal of Americans the invasion in Cyprus.

      “Παρασκευή, 19 του Ιουλίου, 3 τα ξημερώματα, ο σταθμός της Κυρήνειας έπιασε ένα σήμα με οδηγίες προς τους Τουρκοκύπριους. Ειδοποιήθηκε ο πρεσβευτής των ΗΠΑ στην Κύπρο, Ρότζερ Ντέιβις, που απάντησε πως πρόκειται για επίδειξη δύναμης. Στις 9 το βράδυ, η Λευκωσία ειδοποίησε την Αθήνα: «Στα ανοιχτά της Κύπρου φάνηκαν τουρκικά αποβατικά». Η Αθήνα απάντησε: «Πρόκειται για άσκηση».
      Όταν ο Ιωαννίδης συνελήφθει είπε “Μας πρόδωσαν.””

  • As in the WW2 the lower a middle class of Germans started downgrading Poles. The poles were dirty, the Poles were lazy, the Poles didn’t have any culture, for this reason such people should be treated like animals, and their property should be confiscated for those who deserve it. If a German soldier was walking around Poles, the Poles had to stand a salute the thievery thugs. After that all the Jewish people who started the war as the Nazis were saying have to be eliminated completely in order not to start a new war. When the Germans will on the end win the war the subhuman Slavs will be the slave labor for the higher German race.
    Yes the history is repeating, the Greeks are lazy, even though they work more than Germans, the Greeks have siestas instead of working, the Greeks have too much property in common, the Greeks are inefficient, and the Greeks almost don’t have any patents. For this reason the higher race must manage the affair of inferior Greeks for them.
    As always it starts with storm troopers of the lower middle class and slowly the upper classes join in. Only very recently in east part of Germany more than a million Germans were spying on other Germans and in many cases on their husbands or parents just for a few more marks more. We don’t know as yet how many Germans are paid to through mud to Greeks and to all south Europe.
    They already have rebuilt their old Reich, the Austria has joined, the Czech Republic, the Slovakia, the Baltic states, they helped in destroying former Yugoslavia to get back Croatia and Slovenia, so more or less the Reich is complete. They know that they will not get Russia, they are still fighting for Ukraine, so the new slave labor suppose to be southern Europe. We suppose to be the new slaves for the better people in the Reich.
    Let them have their own Reich, but they should get out of Europe.

    • Dear Demetre
      This is a mix of lies, half-truths and delusional ideas.
      Do you really believe what you write or is this some kind of joke?

    • Martin, care to remind us of the racist drivel Germany’s media were spewing in chorus against Italians when the Fiat Group was bidding to buy Opel’s brandname and factories (sans know-how, as Opel itself has no know-how, since all R&D was and is done by General Motors) and was competing against Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska’s Magna & GAZ group that had given a rather good amount of money as kickbacks to Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Steinmeier?

      It wasn’t that long ago, so you must surely remember. BTW, I happen to be a subscriber to several German media myself and I happen to have a working knowledge of your language, so I know racist slurs when I see them. And trust me, your beloved Bild and FAZ are ridiculously close to Greek nationalist newspapers like the Popular Orthodox Rally’s antisemitic A1.

    • Dear Ο Αιρετικός
      I don’t think Opel not having been sold to Fiat has not got to do too much with “racism”. I am not so sure it would have made sense for either of them (Opel or Fiat) to get together. Two weak companies together are not necessarily strong after a merger. I think that merging with Chrysler probably made more sense for Fiat.

      Your theories with “nice kickbacks” for Messrs Steinmeier and Schroeder surprise me. Any evidence for that? And why pay Schroeder – he was not in office anymore when the discussions about what should happen with Opel were taking place. Why would anybody want to pay him a bribe?

      To state that Opel has no know-how does only prove that you don’t know very much about what you are talking here. Opel has one of the main research and development centers of General Motors worldwide.

      Sadly, Opel seems to be gently dying but I don’t think it’s because it has not got “know-how”. Maybe, a merger with Fiat would have been a good thing, who knows.

    • @Demetre:

      You said: “As in the WW2 the lower a middle class of Germans started downgrading Poles. The poles were dirty, the Poles were lazy, the Poles didn’t have any culture, for this reason such people should be treated like animals, and their property should be confiscated for those who deserve it. If a German soldier was walking around Poles, the Poles had to stand a salute the thievery thugs. After that all the Jewish people who started the war as the Nazis were saying have to be eliminated completely in order not to start a new war. When the Germans will on the end win the war the subhuman Slavs will be the slave labor for the higher German race.”


      Do you know where the name Slav and Slavs derives from and why these people were called Slavs in the first instance???

      Second question for you and all other interested readers:

      The Franks were a barbarian German tribe which originally resided in today’s Benelux region (Holland mostly), do you know what meaning “frank” has in the English and German languages???
      What does “frank” or “frankly” means in English/German???

      So now you can better answer my first question why some people were called Slavs 🙂

      Now my last question for you and any other interested person:

      We now know who were slaves and who were the free ones but let me ask you another related question:
      Why are bad people called villains in English and French??? And what does this all have to do with people who were living in villas? As far as I know Greco-Romans were living in villas right? So what does the word “villains” says about the barbarian German tribes relations with the Greco-Romans at all???

      If you answered all my questions rightly than you can see how deeply RACISM is ingrained into the culture and even language of our modern day Northern “friends”.

      ROMA VICTOR! Η Ρωμανία νικά!

  • Tradable sectors in Eurozone periphery countries DID NOT underperform in the 2000s

    — Cypriot president stated that the markets are a major conspiracy.
    Cyprus was checked and found to have a debt of 2.5 b.. Imf reported 10 b. and later 15 b. The markets with their “self-fulfilling prophecy” attitude did the rest. Interesting that a little before “the problems” ,the gas drilling was interrupted by an explosion where 14% of gas was lost.



    RETURN TO DRACHMA NOW. [email protected] THEM ALL.

  • All people have their weak points. For Yanis his weak point is always the subject of Greek banks.

    Because when Yanis talks about Greek banks, I often wonder whether he feels fine: 🙂

  • From the Testosterone Pit:

    ” “Southern Europe Does Almost Nothing—Except Complain”
    Friday, July 20, 2012 at 4:47PM

    “While Eastern Europe is largely implementing the necessary reforms, Southern Europe does almost nothing—except complain,” said Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov in an interview, a withering blast aimed at neighboring Greece.

    And in Greece, “The risk of bankruptcy is still existent,” said Fotis Kouvelis, the leader of Democratic Left, smallest of the three parties in the coalition government. His way of reminding the bailout Troika—the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the IMF—to open the money spigot all the way, or else! The Troika inspectors are scheduled to return to Athens next week to have another look [read…. Greece Flails About, Troika Inspectors Paint “Awful Picture,” Merkel Draws A Line, German Industry & Voters Back Her: It’s Almost Over For Greece].

    In September, armed with the inspectors’ final report, the Troika will decide whether or not to make the next bailout payment to Greece. If the decision is no, Greece will default and most likely return to the drachma.

    “We demand an extension,” Kouvelis said, summarizing eloquently the strategy since the June elections. Instead of implementing with fiendish dedication the reforms that the prior government had agreed to in exchange for the second bailout package, the new government insists on renegotiating those reforms and then delaying those renegotiated reforms, while insisting on the continuous flow of other people’s billions. He complained about the recession, and that therefore structural reforms couldn’t be implemented.

    But neighboring Bulgaria is one of the EU’s fastest growing economies. It has the second lowest national debt of all EU countries and even sports a budget surplus. Individual and corporate income tax rates are 10%. And it’s one of only three EU countries in compliance with the financial stability criteria in the Maastricht treaty. The very criteria that were supposed to have prevented the debt crisis ravaging the Eurozone. So the fiscal union treaty, pushed through by Chancellor Angela Merkel but hung up in the German Constitutional Court, is supposed to accomplish the same thing that the Maastricht treaty already failed to accomplish: force countries to obey limits on deficits and debt.

    But Bulgaria has been in compliance, in part due to Djankov, who became Finance Minister in 2009, after a 14-year stint at the World Bank. When asked if his country, still one of the poorest in the EU, wasn’t balancing its budget at the expense of the people, he said: “That is a false and dangerous contradiction that the Southern Europeans recently added to the debate. Countries like Germany, Finland, or also Bulgaria have growing economies and still adhere to the deficit rules. Balanced budgets and growth are not a contradiction. Prerequisite is that the necessary reforms are implemented.”

    Spain has been trying to do that. But people resist. With unemployment at 24.4%, their government on the brink of financial doom, and their banks collapsing, Spaniards have turned to protests. Yesterday, firefighters were on the forefront. While some battled the police, others protested tongue in cheek, and with a good laugh, making their point with perfect visual clarity—and with a lot of bare skin. Read…. Naked Firefighters Protest Salary Cuts (VIDEO – they use their hands or helmets to cover up their equipment).

    And in Greece, reforms just aren’t implemented. Even the privatization of bloated state-owned enterprises is bogged down. 28 projects by 2015: electricity provider DEI, the postal service, airports, railroads, ports, hospitals…. For €19 billion, an amount that keeps shrinking. But this year, only two projects are on the list: the national lottery and the former International Center of the Olympic Press, a mere building.

    And so, Costas Mitropoulos, the frustrated CEO of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, which was put in place a year ago to implement the privatizations, resigned. “The newly elected government has not given the support needed,” Mitropoulos wrote in his letter of resignation. “Instead, they have indirectly yet systematically reduced the prestige and credibility in the eyes of potential investors.”

    And the argument that Bulgaria has an advantage over Greece because it has its own currency doesn’t hold water. After losing value at an exponential rate, the lev was pegged to the Deutsche Mark in 1999 at 1:1 and then to the euro at the DM’s conversion rate. And the peg has held! Alas, Bulgaria was scheduled to adopt the euro by January 1, 2012. A deadline that came and went. So was Djankov hesitating to adopt the euro? “Hesitating?” he said. “More than that. We put the process on ice. We first want to see what the future rules of the Eurozone look like.”

    • Absolutely on the spot. Every Euro sent to Poland yields great return. For the ClubMed it just disappears in a bottomless pit!

    • Planning to move to Bulgaria VSS? Or maybe get your children to move there… It is a paradise for people to live there… Economy is blooming and people have very high living standards…
      Please save this blog of your presence…go get some guns and prepare for the Reich march…oh and get some family coffins too…At the end we will meet at our families graves and I’ll be happy to see if you will be still interested in talking about the lazy south and the civilized north. Pain is coming to you whatever you may say here or you may think (because the way you think will not bring any solution)…

    • Poland is a great place. Look how it developed from 1990 to today. Look at Portugal & Greece. Still the same bottomless pit. I have great suppleirs from Poland, Slovakia % Czech Republic, but a not a single one from Portugal, Spain or Greece.

    • “Planning to move to Bulgaria VSS”

      No, but maybe doing business there, seems to be a not to bad place, it ranks 59th, even better than Poland, which ranks 62nd.

      Greece is on 100, which is quite an achievement, considering that it shares this area with extremely civilized and modern countries like Yemen and Papua New Guinea.

    • vss

      “Greece is on 100”

      Good. At everything superficial that brings disaster to the world ,brings death to children Lagarde cares about ,so that people like vss can play “the man” ,we are amongst the last.

      At everything natural we are amongst the first.

      Thank you.

    • Dear VSS, I see you collected even more data to throw at me when we will stand over your family’s graveyard once the war is over…good…keep posting…pain is coming…

    • I see. Our foreign neoliberal apologists on this blog are now admitting that they are not interested in the quality of life in a country, but how ripe that country is for “doing business with”. I presume that means trading, FDI or subcontracting. In any of these case, the criterion is how much profit the foreigner can make out of that country — not how well the people of the country are actually doing.

      Basically, this sort of exploitation is so blatant, I wonder why these crooks expect to be taken seriously. I suppose they are so used to fooling ordinary people, they think that they can fool everyone. Sorry, but quite a lot of us are considerably smarter than you money-grabbing criminals. You should have been able to work that out by now, but apparently not.

    • ” when we will stand over your family’s graveyard once the war is over”

      Yanis, is this the style you want to have in your blog? Hateful, racist, dreams of violence by always the same Greek guys against Germans are increasingly the standard here, not the exception anymore.

  • The silence is indeed – well, at the same time shocking and what was to be expected. I just remember how I wrote after the last elections as a short comment at ARD online that in Greece, in your words, “hospitals are starved of chemo-drugs”. And whereas hatespeak of some “well informed” people was of course published, this comment was not. Some prefer to read that “they” should obey to “our” commands, not about such unimportant things like – the people.

  • I don’t know if you are a reader of that fine online magazine CounterPunch, Yani. This morning when I went on the site to read Alexander Cockburn’s weekend column, I was saddened by the news that he had died last night after a two-year long fight against cancer. In the ten years or so since I discovered CounterPunch, I don’t think I’ve ever missed one of Cockburn’s colums. He was of the few brave American journalists who freely spoke his mind. I look forward to reading his memoirs A Colossal Wreck, to be published by CounterPunch next year.

  • Some people have difficulty understanding that Greeks don’t want to privatize the electricity provider DEI, they don’t want to privatize the postal service, the airports, the railroads, the ports, the hospitals etc. People consider privatizing those enterprises is tantamount to theft. Those enterprises don’t belong to the government. Those enterprises belong to the Greek people. If somebody wants to buy those properties first they have to issue shares to individual Greeks and anybody who wants to buy it has to buy the shares from the willing sellers. It should be no different from any other financial transaction.
    Selling the national lottery is pure robbery, is a theft. Why should Greeks sell something that makes money for them?
    The Germans want to buy those companies for nothing. What will happen afterwards is much more tragic than the sale. The Germans will install administrators from Germany for doing nothing. Their salaries, pensions, insurances, will be paid by the said companies and they will be expenses for tax purposes. Any services will be done by Germans in Germany or in Greece for astronomical fees, any computer services etc everything will be done by Germans. Those companies will show no profit, they will blackmail the government for price increases, for low or not existing taxes etc. Any investment will be exaggerated many times over and the money will be borrowed in such a way that the public will pay and pay and pay. This is the way to serfdom.
    The government didn’t sign any of those reforms. The government was forced to do so. This was a rape no voluntary transaction. The Greek people know that, the signatories to a rape know that people know that.
    The Germans should get out from Europe. Raping is not the way to build; raping is a way to distraction

    • So why don´the Greek people just decide that they want to live in a socialist/communist country? However, this would need an EU exit, since capitalism is a “must have” to be part of the EU.

    • Demetre

      ALL of the EFSF loan agreements are unsigned.
      One could say this gives Greece an advantage ,but since every “leader” is sold-out the only advantage the political leaders think of ,is to have their own butts covered. I guess that is why they are unsigned.

      Just pleasing the masters and a way for each side to escape responsibility if something happens.

      “We didn’t sign anything. It was the other guy”.

      “We never signed these policies. It was just a proposal”.

    • OK Demetre. What is your solution? We sold all of that kind of state-owned company’s years ago in Holland. So you (Greece)want to keep them.

      But…how is going to pay for the Greek inefficient oldfashion creepy company’s? To keep them in the way they are?The Dutch? We?

      For Greece is one word, INEFFICIENT.
      Nobody is to blame for this expedite the Greeks…..

      If you borrow money like Greece did AND DON’T invest it….you will be broke.
      Look to an office in greece. The computers? From the museum. Stuff from the nineties. Crowds of people waiting. Shopping cards white papers… Who for the hell can work normal in such a mess?

      You talk and talk and talk. But… were in the world do you want to find the MONEY for your solutions? Of course you can go one blaming everybody excepted the Greeks, but it is not very practical because nobody will be impressed.

      Well, we are very close to the moment Europe is finished with Greece. And, my dear Demetre, that is a fact.
      And now? Who is interested in your state company’s? Nobody…

      We sold ore state owned company’s in the right time and nobody was crying and screaming like the Greeks….
      (Busses, trains, energy, PTT (post, telephone), KLM (Airline) etc.)

      Demetre, Holland is neutral in these matter, we only have to pay.. And beggars can’t be choosers… So you solution please. Nobody here will send to jail or kicked out of Europe excepted Greece.. And that is not because I like this but because it is an fact… As I told you. There is no sympathy for this Greek way of thinking here.

      Kind regards, Martin

    • Martin ,Holland

      Media propaganda that suits you is not facts.
      YOU never payed for Greece.

      You be done with us and we will be done with you.

      Slaves that follow the word of their masters have always a good life.
      Enjoy it.

    • Martin ,Holland

      As for the “beggars can’t be choosers” let me remind you a little story taken from one of the bibles of Greece.


      When Οδυσσέας ,returned to Ithaca all he wanted was to get his “world” back. But he had the patience to wait. Athena transformed him into a beggar. So he was able to enter undetected into his own house and prepare the attack. His rage was under control but ready to service him.

      The “Trojan horse” ,any trojan horse was ,is and always will be Greek ,no matter how much all the rest of you try to use it.

      Come ,come to Greece. Make the changes you want. This time it is not the horse that goes into Troy but Troy that goes into the belly of the horse.





    • (13.12) Oneliners and emotions. Please Demetri answer, why did the Dutch have to sell their state-owned companies, open their market and the Greeks don’t have to do? Because those firms didn’t belong to the Dutch people?
      And once again, who is going to pay for those inefficient firms? The Greeks?
      And if you go back to the Drachme, how is Greece going to pay the bills? Where do you want to find the money?
      These are simple questions. And if Greece wants to leave, sto kalo. But it will be a disaster for Greece! Do you really think we and the rest of europe want to split up with Germany because Greece has problems with Germany?

    • The whole of Europe is now infested with neoliberal propaganda and thinking, despite the clear evidence that the results are disastrous for economic and social health, and benefit a tiny minority of super-rich.

      For the idiots here who cannot understand why privatisation is a terrible idea, then the only thing I can suggest is that you learn how to think properly. The effects of this strategy are there to see in the UK, and only a fool can fail to be appalled by them.

    • Martin ,Holland

      You ask me? Ask the Dutch.

      The minute everything in the whole world is privatised and in the hands of few individuals ,you can kiss goodbuy your “open” markets.

      What is already evident will be even more evident. Even more countries working for nothing ,so that less countries can sustain their way of living.

      Instead of stupid excuses ,why don’t you just commit genocide and be done with it? Destroy Africa ,kill the Arabs ,eliminate the Greeks ,attack the Chinese ,be cute with Russia. If you can. So that your tender souls do not get hurt? To be able to say: “Oh ,we didn’t know”?

      Then you can have your resources.
      Keep dreaming.

    • Dear Demetre, the only thing what can impress me are arguments, not many words.


      *Why is privatization of the inefficient state firms is a disaster for Greece and was it NOT for the Netherlands?
      *Who’s going to pay for those firms when they stay in the hands of the state?
      *How can Greece transfer these old-fashion state-owned firms to something better without money?
      *How is Greece going to pay the bills for 60% off its food, petrol, parts, car’s etc. when they have to leave the eurozone?

      Best regards, Martin

    • Martin ,Holland

      What can i say Martin ,you really make me wonder about your way of thinking…..

      Frist of all we have said these things in the past ,so if you want a full analysis go back and search.
      Second there is a whole history behind these events and proof that when the broader system is not regulated ,then those that hold significant assets can control the lives of others at will.

      1. Privatisations can work. If there are angels on board.
      Why should we trust the most important assets in foreign hands that are very few and very specific and are proven to have manipulated Greece in the past? Together with their Greek? partners.

      So that a bigger gap exists between the Greek people and companies that control the most important resources?

      Ask the Bolibians why privatisation of water can not work.

      The people that are on board is a problem ,not the fact that these companies are state owned or private owned. Troika could have asked the people to change ,but she wants the same government (their partners) ,so as to sell everything for nothing. These companies bring money to the Greek people. And these money were stolen by our politicians for fraudulent investments ,together with many German corporations.

      There is only one reason privatisations can work. Those that have the monopolies do not want to cause any trouble. Not just yet.

      In Holland maybe they have already all the policies they need in place to control you at will. In Greece they will try to change even our culture for money and control. NO ,thank you.

      It is the private sector that needs to be more free ,but without insulting the individual. And the state and markets need more regulation.
      The important assets ,that offer to the livelihood of people MUST belong to the state and the state MUST be true to each citizens.

      State or not ,it is the people behind it that matter the most and for the most important resources they must be Greek.

      2. We pay as always. But i forget. Even the rocks here evade taxes.

      3. 4. Simple. We are NOT the ones that owe the big money. THEY owe to us and they should pay. Period. The debt is just an excuse to pass their policies.

      Also ,
      the manipulations of the eurozone have nothing to do with any individual problem of any country. EZ has to do with manipulation of markets ,fraudulent transactions ,uncontrolled transfers etc.. These are the real problems and they belong to the european level of management.

      The Greek economy functioned just fine before the caused deflationary spiral and the loss of value. So we would rather feel some pain now ,than total loss of freedom.

      All in all the only reason Greece will have a hard time at least at the beginning outside the euro is because of the perception of the markets towards Greece. No true problem exists.

      But having our monetary sovereighnty will be a good enough reason for investors in many areas.

      If nothing changes in Greece ,it will be because of stupid people preserving the same corrupted politicians. Then this situation will be repeated. Then and only then you can say to me “I told you so”.

      Until then we prefer to fight for a change in Greece that is Greek.

      Economy is not the broader frame of society and it is not the only problem.

      But i have no reason to suspect that you are honest and want to truly see the facts and not just what you want to present as facts.

    • @No EU

      You indicate with your response that you do not know how to think. Your attempt to conflate my rational-empirical statement that privatisation has had disastrous consequences with non-European quasi-communist countries is a typical cheap political trick.

      If indeed you were concerned about what I advocate for European capitalism, you would ask. The mere fact that you do not, is clearly because you have a political viewpoint that you wish to impose on others. In other words, you are a bigoted propagandist. Enough said.

    • You still don’t tell me who is going to pay for your plans. They should pay…
      Very nice, but they don’t do that. Nobody will invest in Greek state-owned firms working with worthless Drachmes….

      So again, who is gone a pay for your solution? Where do you want to find the money?

    • Have you not read our Modest Proposal? If you do, you will see how the crisis can be stopped without having the taxpayers of the surplus countries pay.

    • “without having the taxpayers of the surplus countries pay”

      Should read without having the taxpayers of the surplus countries pay explicitly.

      There is no free lunch (outside of the Clubmed). The transfers would be implicit via inefficient capital allocation, higher borrowing costs for the North etc…

    • Martin ,Holland

      Greece was never the problem. Greece was just a target.

      Even today there is big outflow of capital from domestic investments.
      Even today. What does that mean?

      That investors look at the potential and get their money out only when they see that the imposed austerity destroys that potential.
      Investors are not politicians and serious investors won’t listen at Merkel or Samaras only for their decisions.

      What exactly am i saying?

      That the economy of Greece was just fine. Even with the corrupted stupidos ,that the Greeks trusted for too long. Also our private sector is even today holding on ,after all these attacks. But it is getting worst.

      Why must they reform by destroying the small businessman?
      Why should the reforms be used for private ownership of assets?

      The economy of Greece is being destroyed by austerity itself.
      Capital leaves exactly because of the misplaced austerity.

      A bit of logic please. You make the reforms to better things.
      Not worsten them. And you make the reforms while you already are in good standing and the global economy is booming. Well we were. We still are good enough. Even with all the problems. The global economy is not.

      They used the crisis as an excuse to worsten ,not better ,the economy of Greece so that everything can be sold out for nothing.
      And only when everything is in the hands of certain individuals we may have development again.
      Or simply we stall them.

      Got it?

      Either state-owned important assets or private-owned ,investors will come in Greece again. In any country. But if important assets are private-owned ,every time people will feel security ,they will create a crisis ,bring people between a hard place and a rock and pass policies to their liking.
      Change education ,change culture ,change religion ,whatever.

      Just consider your own questions. You say how will you feed yourselves? We still can ,but if we couldn’t and all control of assets was at the hands of an elite ,many would accept anything ,any policy for some food.

      The problem of Greece is not economical. The problem of Greece is CONTROL-FREAKS. The whole world ,because of the unregulated system and the overall nature of this system ,has an economical problem and ofcourse any sovereign is affected by that. In Greece the problems intensify ,because they use the crisis for other purposes.

      They have you confuse the EU crisis with the individual problems of every country. Now the tax-payer of every country does not pay for any “rescue” of any sovereign. They pay for the policies that some want to impose on sovereigns and for the cover-up of banks.

      What we need is to send all these people to hell. And for the money that were stolen from Greece to return to Greece.
      And for the money that were stolen from any taxpayer of any country to return to them.

      Remember. The Greek population rejected the”bailout”.
      We do not want anybody’s money. Others owe to US much more.
      There is no democracy right now.

      I do not care at this point about any implementation of any reform ,because they are used for the wrong purpose.
      And if what they say about the Greek government (traitors) ,not being able to implement them soon enough ,is true ,then i consider this a blessing.

      Stall the selling out of MY country ,until the crisis reaches the higher and most protected layers ,that want everything.
      Protect MY country until the “masters” lose control and the system collapses.

    • (Reaction july 24 15,37) Dear professor, I’ve read your Modest Proposal.
      BUT in the Netherlands for instance Eurobonds are unacceptable. In many ways, political and emotional.
      The last fact is important (emotional), the Netherlands will lose its triple A ratting BECAUSE of the problems in the south and this will effect the elections in September. The anti-Europe sentiment is growing by the day in Holland. So, your proposal is very interesting but unfortunately (psychological) unacceptable for the Dutch voter.

      I personal think the Dutch voter will neither push a red or a yellow magic button but a bleu one, the one that South-Europe disappear (symbolic) in the Mediterranean Sea!

      So, were we end up will be a big surprise. But if the euro crashes it will crack in Holland.

      King regards, Martin.

    • @Martin, Holland:

      ” I personal think the Dutch voter will neither push a red or a yellow magic button but a bleu one, the one that South-Europe disappear (symbolic) in the Mediterranean Sea!”

      And I personally ask myself if such was the mood of most Dutch people than what would most people in Southern Europe call the Dutch symbolically???

    • Nothing Aristoteles. Greece is far away, 99,9% of the Dutch population doesn’t haven’t a clou about Greece.
      (it is not a popular holiday destination, The Dutch go to Turkey because you can speak Dutch, Get Dutch food, the hotels are owned by Dutch-Turks, it is cheaper, the service is better, etc.)

      It is not a big business partner, you hardly find Greek products here. And if they know someting about Greece they know powercuts, strikes and dirty toilets. And Beachbar Manolis. That’s it.
      And of course every day an other scandal about Greece in our news.

      Holland is well organized. Like Switzerland.
      So can you blame them? What do you expecting from the Dutch voter? That they throw their good neighbor and businesspartner Germany out of the EU?
      And start shouting YES! YES! More money to Greece? We love the way Greece is doing it’s business?
      We love the corrupt way Greece was/is doing it’s business?

      Be reasonable!

    • @Martin Holland,

      You know what we Greeks know about Holland?

      Amsterdam has/is a nice big brothel with lots of cheap prostitutes and full of funny coffee shops were dutch people like yourself smoke their dope every day so they end up getting some drug associated psychical side effects like paranoia and psychosis.

      Since you also mentioned toilets etc, here in Greece any toilet which is used by your folks needs to be completely overhauled in order to get rid of the dirt which you leave!

      I can tell you more nice things about the dutch if you like 🙂

    • @ martin, Holland
      July 26, 2012 at 13:24

      “The Dutch go to Turkey because you can speak Dutch, Get Dutch food, the hotels are owned by Dutch-Turks, it is cheaper, the service is better, etc.)”

      Then why the heck do you guys even bother going abroad????

      I mean, I’m not doubting you at all. It seems Dutch people also come to Portugal. There’s this place in Algarve, our main tourist region, Albufeira. During summer, you can find almost all nationalities there, spending the evening in lots of different bars and pubs. Still, having been there many years on vacations, one thing became gradually apparent to me: the Dutch were the most insular I’ve ever seen. You could find the lot of them in a … Dutch Bar! (I had the unfortunate idea of going there for a drink… the feeling of not being welcome, in my own country, was… strong)

      I’m sorry for this slight off-topic, but it seems to me much of the “ClubMed” stupid propaganda capitalizes on this kind of … insular … nationalistic … to say the least … feelings.

    • Aristoteles: And you know who is working in the brothel? More and more girls from th ClubMed. It used to be Dutch colonies, South America and Africa. Now it is ClubMed!

    • We are very far out of topic, sorry professor, but this is not in Holland, this is not the Central station in Amsterdam, not the center of Alkmaar….
      These are hotels in Turkey….believe it or not!,+Kemer&hl=nl&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=n5QSUPiyBsm80QXh6YCoAg&ved=0CE8Q_AUoAQ&biw=1310&bih=790

      And these Dutch guys (we) have elections in september…… and can pull the plug out of the Euro….

    • @Martin Holland:

      “And these Dutch guys (we) have elections in september…… and can pull the plug out of the Euro….”

      You are funny guys 🙂

  • Hereticos

    You have corrected my wardrobe, you have corrected my spelling, the next time you’ll be asking me what deodorant I use in my toilet, so you can use it in the latrine of your thinking.

    • Sir: when you yourself breach the most basic principles of social etiquette, it should not be a surprise to you that others feel entitled to say anything that they like. Sauce for the goose is also for the gander…

      Similarly, one of the nicest things about rational argument is that responses to it are either rational or non-rational; when, on the other hand, you make ridiculous claims that cannot be sustained by facts or serious analysis, do not be surprised that people also respond with non-essential criticisms.

      In a nutshell: if you were making serious and polite comments, I doubt that anyone would feel entitled to criticise the quality of your English.

  • No E U D
    Somebody wrote that the politburo of the German industrialists decided that Greece should leave the Euro. Sure supposedly Germany has another politburo which is that of the financial might. The communist dictatorship at least the members of the politburo were elected or almost elected, those of the industry and finance name themselves in. Is this a new communism without communists or a new Nazism with Nazism covered not to be seen?
    I don’t think the capitalism is a must in EU. The ideology as a must is a communist idea. What should be a must is democracy not capitalism. All so called industrial western countries have a huge element of socialism. Capitalism as ideology is as corrosive as communism.

    • NO E U D
      Article 19 of Lisbon treaty has nothing to do with capitalism.

    • He most liekly meant 119 not 19:

      Article 119
      1. For the purposes set out in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, the activities of the Member States and the Union shall include, as provided in the Treaties, the adoption of an economic policy which is based on the close coordination of Member States’ economic policies, on the internal market and on the definition of common objectives, and conducted in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition

    • We will get a Greek vacation in terms as no more bad haeadliens from Greece in September when Greece exits the Eurozone and wil be back on the road to recovery.

    • Dean

      Όπως είχα πεί ,η Γερμανία θα παίξει τον κακό μπάτσο και η Αμερική τον καλό μπάτσο.

      Πώς τα καταφέρνει η άτιμη ,έτσι?

      Η ΑΟΖ βαίνει καλώς και η Ελλάδα θα δεχτεί οικονομικές συμφωνίες αλλά με τί αντάλλαγμα και σε ποιούς τομείς?

    • @Demetri:

      You said this: “Dean Όπως είχα πεί ,η Γερμανία θα παίξει τον κακό μπάτσο και η Αμερική τον καλό μπάτσο. Πώς τα καταφέρνει η άτιμη ,έτσι? Η ΑΟΖ βαίνει καλώς και η Ελλάδα θα δεχτεί οικονομικές συμφωνίες αλλά με τί αντάλλαγμα και σε ποιούς τομείς?”

      Don’t be so negative my friend! We don’t know what will come out of this late movements of Billy Clinton and the other guy Τσαρλς Κόλινς!

      As I said before pegging a new Drachma and maybe also a new Lira to the USD might be a very good idea, especially if Greece and Italy are given also preferential trade status and other priviliges by the US government 🙂

      There is a saying: He who laughs last laughs longest 🙂

      This may be the US and not the Germans!

  • Guest (xenos)

    When one makes “ridiculous claims that cannot be sustained by facts or serious analysis,” I think it would be wise, for one who bothers to read them, to remain silent.

    • Is there suppose to be some point here? It looks rather like a Smart Alec response to me, indicating that you are just incapable of rational debate.

  • @Martin:

    You said this: “Dear Demetri
    You are understandably very proud of Greece’s past.
    As impressive as it was, I think you kind of underestimate the role other civilisations had before Greece (Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt).
    They were there and great way before ancient Greece rose to power.
    Don’t start huffing and puffing now, please. I am not saying that ancient Greece was not great. But when I read what you write it sounds a bit like people where monkey and then, suddenly, ancient Greece appeared on the scene, tought humans how to write and think and catapulted the world kind of into what we have today.
    It was not quite like that…”

    Dear Martin,

    What do you really know about Greek history?

    Did you study Greek history at a University or have you been taught much about Greek history at the German school?

    Spare to tell me how much you were taught at your German school since I had the great “privilege” to visit a German school too 🙂

    So if you don’t happen to be a professional historian your knowledge about the Greek history is like my knowledge of Astrophysics which is all 🙂

    Obviously though you are unknowingly ignorant so I excuse your rubbish comment above 🙂

    And no worries there are many good books in case you want to correct your historical ignorance about Greek history!

    • Dear Aristoteles
      I did indeed learn about ancient Greece in history at school and I am aware that I am not an expert in that field.
      I just got the impression that you and Demetri sometimes get a bit carried away about how great and unique ancient Greece was. That’s why I dared to mention that there were other civilizations, too – some of them existing even before Greece and also being important in the course of the development of human civilization.

      You are obviously very upset and feel insulted which I find hard to understand. Maybe read again what I wrote and them point out exactly what you find so unbearable, please?

    • @Martin:

      “That’s why I dared to mention that there were other civilizations, too – some of them existing even before Greece and also being important in the course of the development of human civilization.”

      You say this because of your historical gaps in knowledge! As I said I have had the privilege myself to visit German school and I know how insufficient history is taught at German schools.

      I won’t go into details here because this is not the context of this blog but I will just give you one hint so you can understand that the Greek history is far older than just 4000 years old:

      “You are obviously very upset and feel insulted which I find hard to understand. Maybe read again what I wrote and them point out exactly what you find so unbearable, please?”

      I am not insulted at all by what you said. It shows just your lack of knowledge but as I said you can easily correct that and if you don’t want to correct that it is your problem and not mine since you have to live with it 🙂

    • “What do you really know about Greek history?”

      Well, I know a lot of things about Greeks history, for instance, that it cultivated a very special relationship between elder men and young boys. Do I blame the modern Greeks for this? No, of course not.

      Aristoteles, Demented Demetri, Dean, and others: you sorry excuses of Greeks and reasonable persons in general make me puke. Before I started to write and read here, I had a high opinion about Greeks, which I acquired in Greece and all over the world. You guys managed, thanks to your extremely moronic comments, that by now my picture of Greeks slowly turns to become one of arrogant, racist, stupid, lazy, infantil blog hooligans.

      But I’m not there, not yet. Because there is still the odd Greek voice of reason, for instance the one of our host Yanis V. here.

    • vss

      You are very skilled or so you think in projecting everything you do to others and then accusing them for answering back at you.


    • To Martin,

      If you want to understand what is the difference between the greek culture and the mesopotamian, sumerian, egyptian etc, even more if related to the once called “european civilization”, nowdays reduced to a brain-dead consumerist, money-driven society, without having to read the ancient greek works, i suggest you read the complete works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. When you will have finished, you will have your answer.

      Best regards

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