July 06, 2015

Greece's sad saga mirrors the dysfunction of the whole EU

Marissa SemkiwArchive

Greece is on the brink of becoming a failed state. Yesterday, Greek voters rejected an international bailout plan.

So what happens next?

A major exodus of finance and investment will rapidly overwhelm Greek society.

Overnight, the real value of millions of Greek savings accounts will plummet as Greece abandons the Euro.

And in a country already fraught by deep social currents of dissatisfaction, the risk of political extremism would grow quickly.

This sad saga doesn’t just speak to an illness in Greek society.

It also tells a great deal about the dysfunction that now defines the European Union as a whole.

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commented 2015-07-07 13:51:36 -0400
Going to throw this idea in the mix – to me it’s not that far fetched but maybe I’m overthinking things.
Would Greece becoming a failed state not make it ripe for isis to storm in there and conquer? They would then have a real base of operations on the coastline of Europe to fortify and defend(and flood in en masse). Greece has nothing but water between it and Turkey. Libya is only marginally further away. Look at the Geography.
commented 2015-07-07 02:22:51 -0400
Maurice… I believe John Crosbie was was actually quoting Winston Churchill but the essential wisdom of that observation is very much valid… The “Oxi”-morons dancing around the fountain on Sunday night are in for a rude awakening in the coming days, and it’s a sad thing what two-thirds of Greeks, who voted “Oxi”, are going to impose on themselves and the one third of the population that don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy….
commented 2015-07-07 00:09:00 -0400
Peter Netterville, I don’t believe all Socialists are insane, I think the young ones are just naïve. As former MP from Newfoundland, John Crosbie, once said, “If you’re not a Socialist before you’re 30, you haven’t got a heart. If you’re still a Socialist after you’re 30 you haven’t got a brain”. (He had such a way with words… I don’t know how to do the Newfoundland accent on the printed page so I won’t try)
commented 2015-07-06 22:23:03 -0400
Look to Greece if you want to see Canada under NDP leadership. Look to China if you want to see Canada under Liberal leadership. Now look to Canada to see Conservative leadership. ’Nuff said.
commented 2015-07-06 21:49:55 -0400
Bill said, “Canadians can lean from the EU mess”

They can and they should but they won’t. First Alberta, then federal. Socialism in a mental disorder. Canada is doomed!

Damn, look up there, is that the sky falling?

No, I’m not kidding … too much.
commented 2015-07-06 21:38:22 -0400
I agree Joan – there is far more to Greece;s economic woes debt) than you get from MSM – And yes it does speak to the whole EU economic system – shored up by rapacious lending cartel and propelled into debt financing as it’s first order of interest – things may iron out if they dump the Euro and return to trading national currencies discounted or premiumed as per the nation’s productivity — instead of rationalizing the losers and winners in one currency kept afloat with subsidy and bail outs.

Canadians can lean from the EU mess – equalization to productively delinquent provinces is very similar to what the EU does on a larger scale.
commented 2015-07-06 21:18:33 -0400
The other comparison being made, of course, is of Greek debt to Icelandic and Irish debt.


It’s worth having an open mind about for when we have to make decisions about Alberta debt and Ontario debt., notwithstanding therebel.media efforts to promote a separate-from-Canada People’s Republic of Alberta or Duceppe’s similar efforts to promote a separate-from-Canada People’s Republic of New France.

Eh, cohesive Canada? United we stand. Divided we fall. Our choice.
commented 2015-07-06 21:11:05 -0400
What this result shows that Greeks are not Germans. And this is just the beginning of these sorts of woes for the EU because Spain, Portugal, and who knows who else are next.

Here is an alternative view I find compelling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ksb-pFW0R9w

I think the EU is dangerous and should dissolve. Sorry.
commented 2015-07-06 20:59:37 -0400
“Socialists are feels good” That makes a lot of sense. And that explains why so many socialists cannot carry on a good debate, logic and reason are not part of their toolset.
commented 2015-07-06 20:56:34 -0400
You are right Fraser M, New Zealand really turned it around.
If the Greeks are that stubborn, let the chips fall where they may, and lets get it over with.
commented 2015-07-06 20:20:15 -0400
Peter — Most socialists don’t see at all that it fails. Mainly, they’re not accountants… not that you need to be an accountant to budget. Socialists are feel-good. And the recipients of this “feel good” grow to feel entitled. They don’t care that it’s borrowed money to be paid back (with interest). They don’t look at long-term effects; that’s somebody else’s job. Socialists don’t even see the big picture, that it’s big government controlling peoples’ lives. If socialism wants to survive long-term, the best example they can use is North Korea. (Yes, I said it, North Korea is actually a good example!) North Korea doesn’t bother with going to the IMF for loans; they just bluster and threaten and blackmail to get handouts. These handouts don’t have to be paid back. (End of good example. Everything else about North Korea is a bad example…)

Where true socialism has flourished, one has to look at the national leadership — and they’re all totalitarian. And what happens in these totalitarian states? The leadership skims everything it can, and rewards the populace with a pittance. And eventually, the money disappears. We witness this daily with former socialist nations, and with failed (now-3rd-world) nations.

The only people who truly enjoy socialism, much like the people who truly enjoy unions, are the ones at the bottom receiving the handouts, and the ones on the top skimming. Everybody else loses.
commented 2015-07-06 20:05:18 -0400
Perhaps the Clinton’s charity foundation could be used to help bail the Greeks out of their mess, or maybe Bono and Elton John could arrange fund raising through Band Aid . Instead of saving whales they could save Greeks.
commented 2015-07-06 20:04:53 -0400
Europe is prime for another arch duke to be killed………….and then it starts
commented 2015-07-06 19:43:00 -0400
Sooo… that means that socialists are insane? Couldn’t agree more!

And as for Alberta, we’ll bounce back after the Notley crew trashes the place.
commented 2015-07-06 19:32:32 -0400
Peter said: “knowing how it has failed over and over again.” Definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.! Or, “If you do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten” Unquote.
commented 2015-07-06 19:26:04 -0400
Sound like anyone we know closer to home? Quebec, Ontario, soon to be Alberta?
commented 2015-07-06 19:22:10 -0400
Socialism fails everywhere, and still we have socialists here in Canada and the US that keep pushing for it. Can they not see what socialism does to societies? Are these socialists idiots?

Maybe Terry or Jimmy or another one of our socialist trolls can explain this mindset to me because it is beyond me how people can still push for socialism knowing how it has failed over and over again.
commented 2015-07-06 19:02:16 -0400
It came as a bit of a shock to hear someone actually tell it like it is. Very well done! Thanks Marissa!
commented 2015-07-06 18:18:04 -0400
Is history repeating itself today? This is going to happen to Greece.
The Ghost of Buenos Aires
The signs of looming national bankruptcy are plentiful, and bankers in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo know them well. In late 2001, they were the first to see the coming crash in Argentina. Men traveled across the Rio de la Plata, from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, carrying suitcases filled with US dollars. They stood in long lines at the city’s banks, depositing the contents of their suitcases into accounts and safe deposit boxes there. Uruguay is South America’s Switzerland, a safe haven for money in times of crisis. No one asks about where the millions come from.
Argentina in crisis.
Once the Argentine businessmen had transferred their dollars abroad, the second phase of the collapse began. The Argentine government froze all bank accounts, capping the maximum amount an accountholder could withdraw at only $250 (€198) a week. Small investors, those who had left their money in the banks, were the hardest hit. Tens of thousands of desperate citizens stormed the banks, and many spent nights sleeping in front of the automated teller machines.
The last phase of the downturn began in the Buenos Aires suburbs. After consumption had dropped by 60 percent, young men began looting supermarkets. In December 2001, 40,000 people gathered on Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace. There, they banged pots and pans together day and night, until an unnerved President Fernando de la Rúa fled by helicopter.
The image of the fleeing president has burned itself into the collective memory of Argentineans. It marks the worst financial crisis of the last 100 years. De la Rúa’s successor allowed the peso to float free on the world currency-exchange markets after it had been pegged to the US dollar at a ratio of 1:1. Tens of thousands of small business owners, who had incurred debt when the peso was still pegged to the dollar, filed for bankruptcy. Unemployment quickly ballooned to 25 percent.
Five presidents passed through the Casa Rosada in the space of two weeks, until Nestor Kirchner, a provincial governor until then, assumed the presidency in 2003. Kirchner informed the country’s international creditors that Argentina would not be able to repay its $145 billion (€115 billion) in foreign debt.

commented 2015-07-06 17:58:25 -0400
Greece is in a bankrupt position the people have voted for bankruptcy what will happen if they do not go on to sound fiscal budgets like New Zealand did.
Well here is what will happen
1) The stock market will crash and credit will seize
2) All financial institutions will fail
3) All government funded programs will end (such as medical, defense, police, education, support like roads, utilities etc)
4) Business will close and jobs will be lost
5) There will be mass rioting (and no police to stop the rioters or fire fighters to fight the fire)
6) Everyone will start killing each other for food
7) The rich will buy the country and turn a democracy into a dictatorship.
So as Maggie Thatcher said " socialism is fine until you run out of other people’s money" and it looks like Greece has run out of other people’s money. Maybe Putin would like to finance the Greeks they could use another military base. All they would have to do is pay the Greek multi billion dollar debt, I wonder how the poor Russians would feel about that. Don’t forget the Greeks had to but down a communist revolt and half the Greeks are communist anyway. Luckily they live in a warm climate
commented 2015-07-06 16:53:07 -0400
This will be interesting to watch. That economic union was a crazy idea in the first place. The Greeks sense of entitlement is so ingrained, they will keep demanding until their economy’s last breath. People don’t pay taxes, the EU won’t pay bail out money free of austerity demands. Where will the money they demand for their entitlements come from? Such a strange mentality.
commented 2015-07-06 16:42:26 -0400
Marissa you nailed it. It’s like the 30 year old living in his parent’s basement whining because his parents told him that he can’t have any more snack food or beer until he gets off the couch and gets a job. They are still willing to food, house, and clothe him until that time. In other words Greece, it’s time to grow up. Unfortunately, there are a lot of other countries, provinces, states, counties, and municipalities who just don’t get it.
commented 2015-07-06 16:34:54 -0400
And as Europe goes – so goes Ontario.
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