Greek economic crisis

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Post   » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:20 pm

I know we have at least a few Greek members here.

If (well, when) they need help -- is there a way for us to do so, if we can? If you can't buy food, you certainly can't buy hay. Animal feed is from what I understand all imported. FedEx'ing a wad of euros (if my bank, for example, even has them) might not be the best idea. :-/

Does PayPal work, or would foreign exchange controls currently in place shut that out?

I'm spitballing here, but those people, their loved ones and their pets, are gonna need help. Does anyone know of practical ways to do so?

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Post   » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:13 pm

Pig party is the only person who immediately comes to mind. She is resourceful and has family in England. I don't know what the future holds for her but I am hoping better health and some happiness!


Post   » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:25 am

As far as I know paypal is not available in Greece right now.

Some big companies are paying employees in cash.

I don't think you can do much besides go there and spend money that you have to bring from home!
I believe tourists are allowed (this was the case a while back) to use the cash machines for more than €60 a day, but I doubt there is much left in them.

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Post   » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:53 am

My heart goes out to the good people of Greece :(

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pig party

Post   » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:50 am

First up, thank you and especially thank you Talishan, and I mean in the most sincere way possile; just as I am approaching the end of my rope I see you write that and it takes the sting out of the week I have just had, topped off by the bank (see whine thread).

Lynx is right, I am in a very fortunate position of having my mum back in the UK. She's currently paying for all my meds at the moment (which aren't cheap) and she left me her bank card so while there is money in the ATM I she can pay it in in the UK and I can draw it here if I need to. That said, I am the sort of person who would rather not.

Yes, paypal is out here.

Fortunately the greeks don't do panic like the Brits. The petrol strike in the UK caused monumental chaos. Here it just is what it is. Hence, there is food in the shops and petrol in the pumps. Hopefully it will stay that way. There are still many farmers here and the market will have veggies regardless. Most people have their own plots of one size or another and chicken, goats etc or a family member certainly does.

Here on Rhodes hay is all local grown at this time of year, we may have problems later in the season, but I am hoping we will be OK by then.

Pellets may become a problem, but pellet free won't kill them.

Also family here, and friends too, look out for each other in a big way. You have to remember that there is no benefit system here, so someone in hard times its important to stick together. I live in a world where I swap eggs for stuff I need from neigbours. My husband has just gone out to fell a tree for somone, in exchange for dinner, lol.

The problem will hit in the winter. Most work will end when the season finishes, so you make your living in the summer months and that has to see you though the winter for most people. But, hey, that's 'meta avrio' (after tomorrow). Lets get through today first.

What I am finding increasingly frustrating is seeing how it is being reported outside Greece. You cannot hold with the statement 'if Greeks paid their taxes....' to mean ALL Greeks haven't. You can't hold a nation responsible for individuals, in the same way you can't hold all Brits accountable for the UK going to war in Iraq - very costly exercise, or for all US citizens responsible for the crash of the US banks and other examples too numerous to mention.

We know people avoid tax, but there is more tax unpaid by the big corporations, big businesses and 'important people' than could ever be paid by all the 'peasants'. Put together. Start with the trust funds on the Caymen Islands and go from there...

This really isn't just about an immediate crisis in Greece, or the crisis it has caused in Europe, or even the ripple effect it will have world wide. This is about the of the way the world has developed a sense of 'worth'. Not who you are, just what you've got. We criticize things to improve them and we keep criticizing until that has happened. Economics? Capitalism? The free market? Consumerism? No, those are above critisism. We will slap a band aid over Greece and say 'its working'. Till the next immediate crisis happens.

I don't feel sorry for me, I am in a very fortunate position by comparison. I feel deeply troubled by everyone out there whose 'worth' has become measured by a number on an accounting spreadsheet..

Rant over, thanks for listening.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:03 am

Thank you for your insider perspective. I have an acquaintance whose MIL still lives in Greece, and they are supporting her from Canada.

Big corporations not paying their due is a problem world-wide and we should all pay attention to Greece.

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Supporter in '10

Post   » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:21 am

That was far from a rant. It's a very insightful, and interesting statement. I'm glad I can here from a local as well. And agreed, the problem is from the top down, not the bottom up.

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Post   » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:39 am

Well, my vote is that YOU NEVER LOSE YOUR INTERNET!

Such an important form of communication and we want to hear from you regularly. Is heat an issue in the winter? I hope people do not suffer cold this winter and hope for recovery in a way that benefits the citizens and not just the few.

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:41 pm

Pig party, thanks VERY much for your post and your insight. Please keep in touch (ditto Lynx!) And let us know how you and your friends and family are doing.

Keep going. One day at the time, I guess, for you and for your beautiful country.

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pig party

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:49 am

Thanks guys :)

Lynx - It's bloomin' freezing in the winter (I say that as a native, not a Brit as 12 degrees c in the UK counts as summer).

People here used to collect dead wood for their fire places but that got banned an age ago. People switched to oil heaters, but the price got hiked so high most don't bother now. Those little 3 bar gas heaters are popular, but you have to buy gas bottles as there is no mains supply. We have one. I also cook on gas, but I am an exception not the rule - electric is the usual. Its that hot right now you could probably cook most stuff if you just left it in the car with the windows up??

Anyhoodle, the current plan is to raise taxes on anyone earning less than 12,000€ a year to 15%. Did I mention that the 2.80 p/h wage is gross, so yeah, err, nice one?

Over 12,000€ a year you'll get taxed 35%. That will be the higher tax bracket though. No mention of the rich kids paying more. 12, 000€/year....120,000€/year...let's not differentiate, that would be bad. Or at least would upset Tsipras whose current personal wealth stands at 185 million. Give or take.

Oh, and corporation tax? Well, that is proposed at 28% (the only figure that's been reduced oddly enough). Is that less tax than someone who earns 12,001 euros a year? Oh, yeah, it is - total surprise. Not.

Can you hear the general sense of disillusionment seeping through there?

I think GL has become my soap box!!

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Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:13 am

Scrub away!

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Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:50 am

Delude away, Geez...I would say what next, but am flinching like a beat pup for you.

You have the right kind of spunk to be there.

You can quote me

Post   » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:13 pm

Do rant away, and please keep us posted on how you're doing and how things are going.

Like so many other things, it's the law-abiding that get slammed. Parliament can pass laws mandating all this (if it can get through), but you still have to have enforcement.

So some wealthy shipping magnate is told he now has to pay tax, when he never has, his family never has, and all he's done in the past is bribe someone? He's gonna pay it now? Not. Let's further say someone comes to his door and says you have a court date about this, he's going to say, "Yes, I'm sure, correct" and politely close the door in the person's face.

How can you possibly enforce any kind of fairness, even if it were to be passed?

Pig party, if you stayed in the EU but dropped the euro, what would happen to you, your family and your neighbors?

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pig party

Post   » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:21 am

That's the nub of it right there Talishan, sadly laws are best at dealing with 'after the fact', if there is even an attempt at them then.

Case in point is the Greek couple who have a house next door to where my OH works. They only holiday here as they reside in Cameroon officially and have some job or other in the oil export business, though I don't know from where or to. They come here for a couple of weeks at a time, and bring with them their 'house nigger' (that's in their words NOT mine) who they like to show off by ordering around. They don't pay Greek tax on their earings, swindle some reduction in the austerity measure tax by letting the house as a holiday home (it is some incentive or other to increase tourist income) and not only voted 'yes' to the proposals but got their knickers in a proper twist that the majority voted' no'.

Same here as elsewhere. I just can't fathom where the bailout money goes. This link is kinda interesting- we are a bit pants, but not that pants!!

Its not actually about the greeks saying 'we won't pay' more Greeks asking 'how is that amount even possible' and can we at least be aloud to 'live' rather than struggle to survive?

There are after all only 12 million of us.

There is so much uncertainty about the return to the drachma. I think it is embedded in fear, in much the same way it was for Scotland. What will happen if.....That said I think it is the businesses (and by that I mean the bigger/international ones) and those with stakes in stock markets who fear the uncertainty the most.

People, generally, have become so used to being kept scared of the future that they will shun change because of it. Personally I think that the drachma would perhaps offer us more control, but then if you've forever got an economic lunatic running the asylum, then Euros, Drachmas, pig poops....same problem, different currency?

It is hard to judge the tone in Athens and Northern Greece from here. We are in the midst of tourist season, so everything plays on as normal and looks pretty healthy, all things considered, from a outside perspective. The 'all inclusive' hotels shot many of the smaller hotels, restaurants etc to bits a few years back, but that's been an ongoing process, so it is not immediately obvious that it used to be any different.

Two of the larger hotels here announced that due to the crisis and a possible tax increase they have not paid the staff their wages and may or may not do so for the rest of the season. Yet the workers still turn up to work. Why? Because they MIGHT get paid. What else are you going to do?

So we wait, as ever, to see what the fat cats will cook up for us today.

Sunday is beach day. I only hope said fat cats are stuck indoors and the aircon is out. Come on Karma, didn't we have words about this?

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Post   » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:57 am

"Two of the larger hotels here announced that due to the crisis and a possible tax increase they have not paid the staff their wages and may or may not do so for the rest of the season. Yet the workers still turn up to work. Why? Because they MIGHT get paid. What else are you going to do?

This is rotten! I hope it is not an underhanded method of making money off a bad situation.

And that pants word again! Twas explained before. Guess I will have to look it up.

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:14 am

Honestly? What I'd really like to see (hear?) is you -- or someone very much like you, an intelligent, hard-working, ordinary Greek -- speak in Brussels. I wish that all of the finance ministers and prime ministers would read just exactly what you wrote above.

That's the sort of thing they need to hear, and to be prepared to act on, in all of these interminable meetings and negotiation sessions.

Lynx, it's a straightforward method of making money off a bad situation. It's not even underhanded. You have a job? Show up. Work. Maybe you'll get paid, maybe not. Don't want to take the risk? Fine. Go home, because there's a few hundred people standing in line to take your job and to take their chances, and we'll do the same thing to them because we can get away with it. What truly sucks is the Greeks like Pig Party, her family and neighbors that get stuck in the middle of it.

That needs to be manifestly illegal (as it is in the US and other countries), and most importantly if it's illegal in Greece payment needs to be enforced, not some wealthy international hotel chain owner bribing his or her way out of the problem.


Post   » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:34 am

The Eu monstrosity has come up with a deal to hand out extra money. It isn't a done deal yet, Greece has to agree and if they do, a definite approval still has to be discussed among 7 Eu countries... (I don't know what that is about, but they are the last hurdle)

(And I say hand out though it is called a loan, but we all know Greece will never ever be able to pay it back)

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pig party

Post   » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:04 am

Lynx - pants = a bit rubbish!

Talishan - what gets me is that I am not saying anything that sensible people don't already know. This is not me cooking up some sort of conspiracy theory; this is just what is happening the world over. Every single day. We know who's in charge and what the motives are. Its only about keeping people believing that there is no other way.

Last year two people I know quite well took the hotel to court to recoup 6 months of unpaid wages. They got about half of it, less court cost. This year no one would legally employ them. They are 'trouble causers'. They are working for black money now.

You only have to look at the 'quantitative easing' that saw 4 trillion dollars get printed in the states alone. That's 40,000 a person. Bet everyone felt so much wealthier after that? Nope?Thought not. Infact, hands up if you even knew it happened. Bet the Brits don't know it happened in the UK either. Same, same with the bailout here. They aren't going to reinstate peoples pensions, just change the law so in retrospect it wasn't illegal.

Unfortunately anything people like us have to say doesn't manifest itself into making the rich richer, so only people who think along smilar lines have any interest in hearing it.

I watched the documentaries 'The Power of Nightmares' and 'Inside Job' again recently. I don't know if anyone else has seen them? Probably not.

Where my mind wanders is to what happens if the socialist government fails to meet the promises it made during its election campaign? Rewind to pre WW2 Germany. When the 'middle ground' becomes intolerable, people polarize. In Germany the Nazis came to power. All that really prevented 'Golden Dawn' here (read neonazis) was that Greeks don't fear socialism. Or at least they didn't.

You have to also remember that many older people here remember this - What you really, really don't want to end up with is the cycle of who did what to who first - you end up with Ireland (I had to watch an 8 hour documentary, twice, just to work out how that all started....and continues) or ISIS. Sadly this farce empowers this sentiment. Hell, your talking about a group of people who get all uppity if you call 'Constantinopoli' Istanbul. I spent many a happy hour here proving I am not of Turkish descent at a variety of beurocratic offices. At a time when people ought to come together you find a politician or several at the forefront driving wedges.

All the while I see none of them queuing at ATMs, skipping meals or having their pensions cut in half. We know that this is as much political posturing, spin and rhetoric as it is actual polotics, and has little if anything to do with making anything better. For anyone.

Think of it this way - there are currently a bunch of scientists huddled somewhere under the Swiss/French border at CERN searching for a 'god particle' or two. Meanwhile large swaths of the general european population are busy searching down the back of sofas for loose change. It could only get mildly more ridiculous if Monty Python started writing the scripts for 'Yes, Minister'.

Hmm, if I keep this up I am going to need a bigger soap box!!

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Post   » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:14 am

If you all want, I can create a public forum called "World Politics".

Sticky, to point out how life around the globe affects guinea pig health and welfare because it affects all of us who care for these creatures.

Feel the Bern.

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Post   » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:27 am

Yes, apathy is rampant and it drives me nuts.

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