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Europe is driving full-tilt, foot on the pedal, into a brick wall

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posted on May, 21 2012 @ 05:06 AM
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This is quite a disturbing assessment of the European situation as it stands in its current economic crisis. Some of his observations however sound just like other poor areas of any developed nation on earth. However there is that uncertainty, not a half empty / full glass, but that of what will eventuate as the the country of Greece continues on inevitably into a financial and economic abyss.

UK Telegraph


I see the G8 has a brilliant solution to the problems of the eurozone. President Obama says it’s time for “growth and jobs”. Jolly good. That’s the stuff. Let me show you how to create employment – the Brussels way.

Come with me through the streets of Athens, not far from Syntagma Square, and your mind will reel with the horrified realisation that history is not a one-way ratchet, that human progress is not guaranteed, and that a proud country can be reduced – by years of torture and bullying – to a state verging on total political, economic and moral collapse.

You will see businesses boarded up and windows smashed because no one has the money or the energy to fix them, and on almost every wall a riot of graffiti full of poisonous hatred for politicians. You will see people sitting on cardboard, heads down, hands out, or pushing trolleys full of scrap metal.


Not far from the town hall, I saw a man using the pavement as an operating theatre to eviscerate a mattress for its springs. In the eyes of every politician there is a glassy humiliation, a sense that the fate of the nation is no longer in their hands. Even worse than the humiliation is the dread that things will deteriorate further still. Thousands are now being fed by soup kitchens.

Unemployment is rising by the day, and among young people it now stands at a shameful 54 per cent. Yup, folks – those are the results of an EU plan to produce “growth and jobs”. It was called the euro, and it has been a catastrophe for Greece and pretty bad (with one notable exception) for the rest of the continent.

As far as I can understand the “strategy” of the EU, it is now to prepare for Greece to leave the single currency. Not that the Greeks themselves are anything like psychologically ready to quit: the politicians are punch-drunk, exhausted, and appalled at the loss of face and loss of security that would go with a sundering from “Europe”. Most voters choose pro-euro parties. But money is being withdrawn from banks; events are gathering momentum; and it is clear from their remarks that other EU leaders are getting ready for an outcome which until recently was held to be impolite to mention: the Grexit.

And then what? And then the strategy would appear to be to cauterise the amputation; to circle the wagons; to issue the most ringing and convincing proclamation to the markets that no more depredations will be tolerated; and to get the Germans to stump up, big time, to protect Spain and Portugal. We are told that the only solution now is a Fiscal Union (or FU). We must have “more Europe”, say our leaders, not less Europe – even though more Europe means more suffering, and a refusal to recognise what has gone wrong in Greece.

The euro has turned out to be a doomsday machine, a destroyer of jobs, a killer of growth, because it entrenches and exacerbates the fundamental and historic inability of some countries to compete with Germany in making high-quality goods with low-unit labour costs. Unable to devalue their way back into the game, these countries are forced to watch industry wilt under German imports, as the euro serves as a giant trebuchet to fire swish German saloon cars and machine tools across the rest of Europe.



EU leaders may want a fiscal union, but it is deeply anti-democratic. We accept large fiscal transfers in this country because Britain has a single language and a single political consciousness in a way that Europe never will. Rather than creating an “economic government of Europe”, the project will lead to endless bitterness between the resentful donors and the humiliated recipients, as these diminished satrapies will be instructed to accept cuts and “reforms” – designed in Berlin and announced in Brussels – as the price of their dosh.



Surely it is now time to accept that the short-term pain of a managed euro rupture – a wholesale realignment, possibly a north/south bisection – would be better than continuing to immiserate so many people around the continent.

At the end of a day in Athens, I was so sad at what I had seen that I went to a kafeneion and ordered a metaxa. And then another. At length, I fished into my wallet and found a rather handsome banknote, with an image of Apollo from Olympia. “Not today,” said the owner, politely declining my drachmas. “In a month, yes.” It will be awful for Greece, and turbulent for Britain, but at present I can think of no better solution.




posted on May, 21 2012 @ 05:33 AM
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I read this whilst listening to a youtube vid of the anti-nato protest in Chicago yesterday. The American veterans throwing away their medals in disgust, shame, anger and healing specifically.

I could not help but to weep for all of the disaffected in our world today.

The numbers are growing. People are hurting and many feel hopeless. They may feel that they can not change the economic and political situation, some are losing hope.

I wish to express my solidarity with the disaffected, my empathy and desire to help to the desolate and my appreciation to all who are telling the world about the suffering of others.

I hope that together we can find solutions and make a better future so that our children do not have bitterness and hopelessness foisted upon them.

The nato conference found no answers to the Euro situation, I don't even think they are looking for any they seem resigned to controlling the fallout.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 01:26 PM
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Naa, they have to worry about Polands missile defense system and more Iran sanctions, to hell with their own economy.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 01:42 PM
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This is true except for the fact that if Greece leaves then everyone else will eventually. They have to face the fact that it does not work. They wanted this union to represent the future, a world government. It would fail similarly.

So if Greece is out, Portugal will eventually before or shortly after Spain. We Spaniards don't really identify with Europe. We are an entirely different beast altogether. Portugal is our close cousins but even they are not anything like us. Greece is not European either. This identity they tried to create in Europe failed because at its heart, was only lies and hopes, not facts and truth.

Great ideas don't usually work. That's why you need to be practical and K.I.S.S


Spain is not too far behind Portugal, and Portugal is there but by the grace of God.


edit on 21-5-2012 by BIHOTZ because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by BIHOTZ
This is true except for the fact that if Greece leaves then everyone else will eventually. They have to face the fact that it does not work. They wanted this union to represent the future, a world government. It would fail similarly.

So if Greece is out, Portugal will eventually before or shortly after Spain. We Spaniards don't really identify with Europe. We are an entirely different beast altogether. Portugal is our close cousins but even they are not anything like us. Greece is not European either. This identity they tried to create in Europe failed because at its heart, was only lies and hopes, not facts and truth.

Great ideas don't usually work. That's why you need to be practical and K.I.S.S


Spain is not too far behind Portugal, and Portugal is there but by the grace of God.


edit on 21-5-2012 by BIHOTZ because: (no reason given)


As an English person, I highly agree with you. The EU was a stifling attempt to remove identity under a common banner. It failed.

The Greeks should proudly remain Greek, the Spanish and the Portugese should remain Spanish and Portugese. I think the UK is massively distrustful of the EU (outside of politics of course).



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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A big time finance wizz ( currency markets) married into my wifes family a few years back. He is from Italy and France. I often shoot the bull with him. This last friday we discussed the Euro and Greece. He says that there is no doubt that Greece will leave the Euro, but he thinks it will happen in about 12 months. The expectation is that their new currency (the old currency) will be devalued from the Euro by 50% just to start. It will likely fall from there to about 20%.
He believes that if they can't keep Portugal from going down then it will be a chain reaction with Spain and Italy leaving as well, all in fairly rapid succession.
He pointed out that Greece produces nothing except tourism and that after they leave the Euro Greece will probably become the tourist destination of Europe due to the "cheap" cost. Also, goods will begin to flow from greece as their currency will allow them to undercut the Euro in a big way. This will all take years of course.
Nothing all that revealing, but it was an interesting conversation with someone knowledgable about currency and the region.




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