Politics

  rickf 09:28 27 Jan 2015
Locked

Greece, a breadth of fresh air in world politics. Gives some of us hope.

  Pine Man 09:59 27 Jan 2015

What!

The country virtually bankrupted itself and went to the EU to be bailed out. Now they don't want to pay it all back.

How is that fresh air?

Gives some of us hope. - Yes of potential instability across the whole of Europe!

  john bunyan 10:04 27 Jan 2015

Greece is already in hock for 176% of its GDP. Where will the money come from for the new Government's promises? The lenders are unlikely to agree to a "haircut", and rescheduling the debt would still mean more borrowing. Until they tackle corruption and seriously collect taxes there is a good chance of chaos ensuing.

  Forum Editor 10:19 27 Jan 2015

"Greece, a breadth of fresh air in world politics. Gives some of us hope."

I'm delighted to hear it.

As far as I'm concerned I fail to see how expecting other countries to agree to allow Greece to default on its 2010 bailout agreement is a 'breath of fresh air' - it seems more like a whiff of lunacy to me. The Greek people were largely the architects of their own downfall as far as their economy is concerned, and they turned to the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF for help.

That help was provided, but conditions were imposed - quite understandable when you are handing over 240 billion Euros. Then along comes a man who promises to end "five years of humiliation and suffering", and the voters fall over themselves to elect him. he doesn't give verifiable details of his plan to end the suffering, but they elect him, just the same.

How he expects to re-negotiate a new agreement that doesn't involve some financial hardship is beyond me, but who knows? he might be a miracle worker, and all will be well again.

Realists prefer to think otherwise.

  rickf 11:37 27 Jan 2015

A compromise will be reached. I am looking at the bigger picture of politics deliverng a fairer society in the future. This is a developmental process and gathering momentum globally. You may not read about it but it's there as evidenced in the frustration and hopelessness of many, especially the younger generation who feel that the "grey old men" with their outdated world views have nothing to do with their aspirations. In the US the young with this attitude are known as millenials, think I spell correctly, and are growing. I kind of expected this rather staid and mundane responses but wanted it to be out there. I am also not thinking only about Greece but the general trend towards politics and politicians. The feeling is that they are there to serve only the priviledge and look after there own. I think the younger generation are seeing through this, the hypocrysy, the double standards and the outright lies and the cover up. Before anyone acuuses me of being a radical let me say that I think we do need a new kind of capitalism and NOT the usual same old, same old etc.,

  Quickbeam 11:48 27 Jan 2015

A 5 year capitalism plan?

It's not really the sort of thing that can be planed, it just happens every 15/20 years with or without a fan to be hit...

  rickf 11:56 27 Jan 2015

Sure, except that it's the same old revolving fan turning the the same old direction under a different guise and that is why it is cyclical, a revolving door where nothing ever really changesand ending back in square one. Don't think that when the banks were bailed out it was for the common good. In fact it was the poorer section of society funding the rich to keep them intact.

  Quickbeam 12:04 27 Jan 2015

Looking back to the '70s & '80s crashes that gave us sky high inflation compared to today's low inflation solution, we seemed to have gotten through those times with much less pain.

  Forum Editor 14:34 27 Jan 2015

"You may not read about it but it's there as evidenced in the frustration and hopelessness of many, especially the younger generation who feel that the "grey old men" with their outdated world views have nothing to do with their aspirations. In the US the young with this attitude are known as millenials, think I spell correctly, and are growing. I kind of expected this rather staid and mundane responses but wanted it to be out there."

Read political history and you'll discover that the young being disenchanted with conventional politics is nothing new - it's been the case since politics began.

The simple fact is, if young voters want radical change all they have to do is (a) put some candidates up for election and (b) vote for them. In a democratic society we get the politicians and policies we vote for - we have nobody but ourselves to blame if they don't meet our expectations.

What you perceive as "staid and mundane responses" may simply be realism being expressed. You may not want to hear it, but what happened in Greece has got nothing to do with higher political ideals - it's the result of people being fed up with having their nice life style cramped by austerity measures. The Greek nation has been running one of the most corrupt personal taxation situations in the Western world - tax evasion was estimated to cost the economy 20 billion Euros a year. Public services management was a joke, their were gross inefficiencies and more corruption everywhere you looked. The Greek people were literally fiddling while Rome burned, and they had to pay the price. They didn't like it one bit, and that, nothing more, nothing less, is what was behind the recent election result.

  Flak999 14:50 27 Jan 2015

I know that this is a radical (perhaps crazy!) idea. What would happen if all the countries in the world came to an agreement to just write off all debt and start again from scratch?

What would happen? Would the world end, would the apocalypse beckon? All of these debts are not actually real tangible assets are they? they are just figures sent between institutions by computer, nothing actually changes hands does it?

For instance when I paid off my mortgage two years ago, I transferred money from my savings account to my current account and from there to my mortgage providers account. Nothing actually transferred though did it? I did not fill a suitcase with wads of cash or gold bars and deliver it to my mortgage providers head office, it was just numbers in a computer programme!

Why can't the world just draw a line under each countries debts and start again? After all if the bank of England can just create money out of thin air (quantitative easing) surely it is just as easy to delete these imaginary debts in the same way?

When Argentina and Iceland defaulted on their debts what happened to them? Precisely nothing!

  rickf 14:51 27 Jan 2015

"it's the result of people being fed up with having their nice life style cramped by austerity measures"

Where have you been? It's the ordinary people who are feeling the terrible effects of the activities of the priviledged. The political class and the rich have not suffered one bit. Money stashed away in other parts of the world, money gained from corruption and non-payment of taxes. The ordinary people paid their taxes and have carried the burden. And whilst you are at it who really were not aaying their taxes eh?? Yes, the young have always been dis-enchanted. Do not be so arrogant as to think that you have read more political history than me. I would not have been so presumptuous. It just goes to show doesn't it. Typical!! It is this disenchantment that will eventually bring change. To adopt your presumptuous attitude you would next come up with lines like " The rich/ the innovative money market men will leave". There are talented people out there who also have some sense of morality.Let the "so called talents" them leave. This is exactly ehat has happened in an indirect way. The bluff has been called.

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