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Years of such corruption and tax evasion, coupled with reckless expenditure—as a share of G.D.P., for instance, Athens spent almost twice the E.U. average on military purchases—pushed the Greek state into massive budget shortfalls, prompting the government to borrow heavily. In late 2009, the government announced that it had racked up enough debt to be running a deficit of almost thirteen per cent of G.D.P., sparking fears of a default. Greece’s creditors were mostly European banks, which had, in part, used public bailout money following the 2008 credit crunch to scoop up Greek bonds. For example, French and German banks were on the books for thirty-one and twenty-three billion euros, respectively. The troika stepped in during the spring of 2010, and again in 2012, to orchestrate bailouts of the Greek government, offering two hundred and forty billion euros in loans in exchange for a drastic reduction in government spending and other measures to make the Greek economy more competitive. “Understand that this debt is symbolic,” Theocharakis said. “It’s simply too much to ever be paid back fully.”
The troika stepped in during the spring of 2010, and again in 2012, to orchestrate bailouts of the Greek government, offering two hundred and forty billion euros in loans in exchange for a drastic reduction in government spending and other measures to make the Greek economy more competitive. “Understand that this debt is symbolic,” Theocharakis said. “It’s simply too much to ever be paid back fully.”
While European leaders and International Monetary Fund representatives continue to blame Greece for the impasse in negotiations over the terms of Greece’s bailout, a Saturday report by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitungreveals the IMF vetoed a compromise that cut military spending proposed by the European Commission.
European officials involved in the negotiations told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the vetoed proposal, put forward by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, would have allowed Greece to defer 400 million euros in pension cuts, as long as it cut an equivalent amount from its military budget. The German newspaper reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Holland had signed off on Juncker’s compromise plan.
The IMF denied the accounts of the officials who spoke to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
If the report is correct, ideology is playing just as much of a role as arithmetic in preventing a resolution. The IMF's refusal to consider a plan that would lessen pension cuts is consistent with itshistorically neoliberal political philosophy.
The report also belies claims by Greece’s troika of creditors -- the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank -- that they remain unified in their firm negotiating stance. In addition, it appears to confirm that the IMF is the most hawkish of the three creditor parties.
Speaking at a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Prague, Mr. Rasmussen added that among the European allies, “only two devoted more than 2 percent of the gross domestic product to defense.”
One of those countries was Greece.
That seems astonishing given that Greece is in a deep economic and financial crisis. Greece’s economy has shrunk by 25 percent over the past two years.
During that time, the middle and lower classes — not the rich business community — have been hit hardest. The International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have imposed stringent austerity measures in return for loan guarantees. As a result, pensions and health care, transportation and education have all been cut drastically.
ATHENS—As Greece slashes spending to avoid default, it hasn't moved to skimp on one area: defense.
The deeply indebted Mediterranean nation, whose financial crisis roiled the global financial system this year, is spending more than a billion euros on two submarines from Germany.
It's also looking to spend big on six frigates and 15 search-and-rescue helicopters from France. In recent years, Greece has bought more than two dozen F16 fighter jets from the U.S. at a cost of more than €1.5 billion.
Much of the equipment comes from Germany, the country that has had to shoulder most of the burden of bailing out Greece and has been loudest in condemning Athens for living beyond its means. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admonished the Greek government "to do its homework" on debt reduction.
The military deals illustrate how Germany and other creditors have in some ways benefited from Greece's profligacy, and how that is coming back to haunt them.
Greece, with a population of just 11 million, is the largest importer of conventional weapons in Europe—and ranks fifth in the world behind China, India, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea. Its military spending is the highest in the European Union as a percentage of gross domestic product. That spending was one of the factors behind Greece's stratospheric national debt.
The German submarine deal in particular, announced in March as the country lurched toward bankruptcy, has cast a spotlight on the Greek military budget and on the foreign vendors supplying the hardware. The deal includes a total of six subs in a complicated transaction that began a decade ago with German firms.
The arms sales are drawing heat from Turkey, Greece's neighbor and arch-rival. "Even those countries trying to help Greece at this time of difficulty are offering to sell them new military equipment," said Egemen Bagis, Turkey's top European Union negotiator, shortly after the sub deal was announced. "Greece doesn't need new tanks or missiles or submarines or fighter planes, neither does Turkey."
Greece's deputy prime minister, Theodore Pangalos, said during an Athens visit in May by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he felt "forced to buy weapons we do not need," and that the deals made him feel "national shame."
Other European officials have charged France and Germany with making their military dealings with Greece a condition of their participation in the country's huge financial rescue. French and German officials deny the accusations.
Greek Debt “Illegal, Illegitimate, and Odious”
Last month the Greek Truth Committee on Public Debt established by Zoi Konstantopoulou the speaker of the Greek parliament “came to the conclusion that Greece should not pay this debt because it is illegal, illegitimate, and odious.”
Most of the loaned €245 did not stay in Greece. More than 90% went directly and immediately to Deutschebank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and other banks.
Former Greek Labor and Social Security Minister and chair of the National Bank of Greece Louka Katseli said Greece actually spent a meager 3% of the $275 billion loaned by the banksters.
For a full explanation of the swindle, see “The Troika Swindle: Greeks Owe Nothing” on Infowars.com.
Earlier reports attributed to Greece’s recently replaced Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had it that the Syriza leadership had believed that last week’s referendum would never pass and had planned with a ‘yes’ vote to resign and let a new government accept the Troika’s terms. However, the badly played hand simply reaffirmed what was already apparent: the Troika, in particular the Germans, has no regrets for the failed economic policies it has inflicted on the Greek people and sees blind submission to even more failed economic policies as the only response it will accept.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Bailout discussions between the Greek finance minister and his skeptical counterparts in the 19-country eurozone will resume Sunday after breaking up following more than eight hours of talks without any apparent breakthrough that will secure the country's future in the euro
Greece's finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos is clearly struggling to convince skeptical creditors that the Greek government can be trusted to deliver on its reform promises in exchange for a financial rescue package securing the country's future in the euro.
The pressure has been on Greece all day even after the Greek parliament passed a harsh austerity package that it hopes will lead to a three-year bailout. Over and over, finance ministers and top officials of the eurozone said the same thing as they arrived for the key meeting in Brussels on Greece's bailout proposals - we don't fully trust you to make good on your promises
Greece's left-wing Syriza government, they said, needed to do a lot more than just publish a 13-page plan of reform commitments before they could sign off on another multibillion-euro bailout deal that would keep the country afloat and prevent its exit from the euro.
A European official at the talks said creditors want "more specific and binding commitments" from the Greek government.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to talk publicly, says there's a general feeling in the room that the Greek proposals are "too little, too late" and as such, more proof of the government's commitment to follow through is required. The official said those pledges don't "necessarily have to be austerity measures."
"We are still a long way out, both on the issue of content as on the tougher issue of trust," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone's top official, said on his arrival at the meeting. "On paper it is not good enough yet - and even if it is good on paper, then we still have the question: will it really happen?"
Greece is running out of time to convince its creditors. A Sunday summit of European Union leaders could be its last chance to prevent the collapse of the banking sector and an inevitable exit from the euro currency.
Earlier, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who has taken a hard line on Greece over recent months, said the Greek government will have to do a lot more than just say it wants to reform if it's going to get more money.
"We will definitely not be able to rely on promises," he said. "We are determined to not make calculations that everyone knows one cannot believe in."
Schaeuble was clear in who he blamed for current crisis. He put that firmly on the shoulders of the radical left Syriza government that was elected in January on an anti-austerity prescription. The "hopeful" economic situation regarding Greece at the end of last year has been "destroyed by the last months," said Schaeuble who anticipated an "extraordinarily difficult" meeting.
The new steps under review included a temporary Greek exit from the eurozone, and placing the proceeds from the privatization of Greek assets worth up to 50 billion euros, about $55 billion, in a fund in Luxembourg to help pay down Greece’s huge debt. Similar options were first put forward in a policy paper prepared by the German Finance Ministry, and they have since stirred an angry response from some Greek officials.
Many are still under the impression that TARP = The Bailout.
In fact, TARP was only a small part of the Wall Street bailout. Most of the bailout was accomplished through the Federal Reserve.
The net total? As of November 10, 2011, it was $29,616.4 billion dollars — (or 29 and a half trillion, if you prefer that nomenclature). Three facilities—CBLS, PDCF, and TAF— are responsible for the lion’s share — 71.1% of all Federal Reserve assistance ($22,826.8 billion).
$29 Trillion is around twice the size of America's GDP.
The Federal Reserve claims they only lent $1.7 Trillion to the big banks. Why the huge difference in totals? Because the Fed only counts the most outstanding at any one time.
Here's a quick list of the Fed borrowers:
Citigroup - $2.513 trillion
Morgan Stanley - $2.041 trillion
Merrill Lynch - $1.949 trillion
Bank of America - $1.344 trillion
Barclays PLC - $868 billion
Bear Sterns - $853 billion
Goldman Sachs - $814 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland - $541 billion
JP Morgan Chase - $391 billion
Deutsche Bank - $354 billion
UBS - $287 billion
Credit Suisse - $262 billion
Lehman Brothers - $183 billion
Bank of Scotland - $181 billion
BNP Paribas - $175 billion
Wells Fargo - $159 billion
Dexia - $159 billion
Wachovia - $142 billion
Dresdner Bank - $135 billion
Societe Generale - $124 billion
"All Other Borrowers" - $2.639 trillion
"To their consternation, they won, igniting the great Greek revolt of 2015, the moment when the people finally issued a primal scream, daubed their war paint, and formed the hoplite phalanx ... "
"Syriza has been in utter disarray for 36 hours. On Tuesday, the Greek side turned up for a make-or-break summit in Brussels with no plans at all, even though Germany and its allies warned them at the outset that this is their last chance to avert ejection."
On Saturday, as another round of emergency negotiations took place in Brussels, the former Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, wrote exasperatedly in The Guardian: "Greece's financial drama has dominated the headlines for five years for one reason: the stubborn refusal of our creditors to offer essential debt relief …
"In 2010, the Greek state became insolvent. Two options consistent with continuing membership of the eurozone presented themselves: the sensible one, that any decent banker would recommend – restructuring the debt and reforming the economy; and the toxic option – extending new loans to a bankrupt entity while pretending that it remains solvent.
"Official Europe chose the second option, putting the bailing out of French and German banks exposed to Greek public debt above Greece's socioeconomic viability … It takes the mathematical expertise of a smart eight-year-old to know that this process could not end well ...
"Our government was elected on a mandate to end this doom loop; to demand debt restructuring and an end to crippling austerity …
"Greeks, rightly, shiver at the thought of amputation from monetary union … To exit, we would have to create a new currency from scratch. In occupied Iraq, the introduction of new paper money took almost a year, 20 or so Boeing 747s, the mobilisation of the US military's might, three printing firms and hundreds of trucks. In the absence of such support, Grexit would be the equivalent of announcing a large devaluation more than 18 months in advance: a recipe for liquidating all Greek capital stock and transferring it abroad by any means available … "