back to article Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

A well-meaning, if definitely doomed, attempt to crowdfund a bailout for soon-to-default Greece has been launched on Indiegogo by a Yorkshireman who works in a London shoe shop. Pitched as a bailout fund for Greece, replete with Gettysburg Addres-style "by the people, for the people" rhetoric, Thom Feeney aims to raise €1,600, …

  1. tmTM

    Technically

    You'd be helping out the Greek Government.

    The Greek people are buggered whatever happens.

    1. Alien8n
      Joke

      Re: Technically

      Would that be the Greek entry?

    2. dorsetknob
      Facepalm

      Re: Technically

      Technically HE CAN F**K off I AM NOT PAYING ANY OF MY MONEY TO BAIL OUT THE PIGS AT THE TROUGH

      what a twat bet he been sniffing his customers sweaty shoe's

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    I do not see why it should succeed

    It will yield the expected democratic result which is a NO. Just expressed in money.

    I love the idea by Greek politicos to put the conditions of the bailout in Greece to a referendum.

    We should do the same (all countries involved in bailing them out) so that democracy is matched by democracy and the Greeks see exactly how much goodwill is there to bail them out. Based on opinion polls it is <20% in all European union countries.

    I would definitely be voting no on this one and I would not be the only one.

    1. David Webb

      Re: I do not see why it should succeed

      We have already bailed them out though, so it's basically a "should be ignore the fact we were lent around as much as Apple has in their offshore accounts?".

      If Greece do decide to forget they owe cash, then leave the EU, how are they going to support their currency when no country in their right mind will lend them any cash? Not sure a country can survive without national debt, or a currency where 1 Euro buys 1,000,000,000 drachma.

    2. tony72

      Re: I do not see why it should succeed

      I'd be happy to vote to bail out the Greeks...on condition that they cede the right to choose their own government until their economy is back on track. They have shown conclusively that their are unable to elect a competent administration, so what can you do?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: I do not see why it should succeed

        They have shown conclusively that their are unable to elect a competent administration, so what can you do?

        Take a leaf from Greek history and appoint a tyrant? Rarely ends well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I do not see why it should succeed

          "They have shown conclusively that their are unable to elect a competent administration, so what can you do?"

          Just like we did with voting Blair in a few times?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I do not see why it should succeed

        To be fair to the Greek people I think they voted in the government they thought brought them the best chance of default, and therefore bankruptcy which is probably the smart move for them.

        If a private individual ran up massive debts and credit cards bills that realistically they could never pay back, then it's better for them to write off the debts by declaring themselves bankrupt and starting again.*

        We all know the country could never pay back 240bn, its stupid to pretend they even could even though the most rigorous process of austerity.

        * I'm not advocating this type of behavior for private individuals but in this case the Greek people are not at fault for their previous governments idiocy.

      3. Mad Chaz

        Re: I do not see why it should succeed

        Here's an alternative. Put a "I vote for this guy because he's the lesser of 2 evils" as an option on the ballots. You'll be surprised what % votes end up there, in any contry. If it's a majority, they aren't allowed to vote new spending and take a 20% salary cut.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Go

        Re: I do not see why it should succeed

        and what would you do with the UK govn then?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I do not see why it should succeed

      that would be an interesting vote! Pay up or piss off!

  3. LucreLout

    Islands

    Greece has thousands of islands of varying size. Selling 100 year leases on them would readily bail out the Greek state, as well as providing a near their shore playground for the rich, who would spend money on the mainland.

    The lease ensures the people of Greece get their land back, just as the British lease of Hong Kong did. Sure, it may not be ideal, but it has got to be better than the economic armageddon that is set to befall them.

    The EU can't afford to allow Greece to leave in the teeth of a British referendum, unless it is seen that Greece implodes. If they leave and all is well due to free trade agreements etc, then it increases the likelihood that one of their largest net contributors will walk away; And that is something the EU really cannot afford. So rather than negotiate sensibly with Britain over reform, the EU will nuke Greece from orbit. It's the only way they can be sure what we'll vote for. And it stinks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Islands

      100 year lease? I'd want ownership!... The whole giving Hong-Kong back was great for China not for the inhabitants, very non-democratic.

      I think before actually handing Hong-Kong back, they should have been given the chance to vote for independence OR rejoining China (keeping hold of it was not an option)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Islands

        Don't forget all the other "easy wins" to raise some cash that they have failed to do! They promised to make 50BN euro worth of privatisations back in 2009, they then changed this to 30BN then 20BN they have done so far 2BN! They STILL haven't privatised the port of Piraeus one of the largest ports in the Med and worth a pretty penny.

        The old economics phrase good money after bad springs to mind.

        1. LucreLout

          Re: Islands

          Don't forget all the other "easy wins" to raise some cash that they have failed to do!

          Sure, but all they have to do is setup an ebay auction starting now with 8 hours to run, linked to an account owned by the IMF, with leases to begin immediately. I'll happily make all arrangements on their behalf for a 0.01% fee.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Islands

          if they had got their shit together back in 2009 (like selling off stuff and sorting pensions and public spending out) like to an extent the Irish, Spanish and Portuguese did they might be well nearly coming out the other side of their mess. Then they have the nerve to blame the Germans, who do they think have been keeping them afloat for the past 5 years! The best bargaining position has to be the Germans still owe us x BN from WWII, FFS how to win friends and influence people!

          1. Simon Harris

            Re: Islands

            "The best bargaining position has to be the Germans still owe us x BN from WWII"

            Listen, don't mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right.

      2. graeme leggett

        Re: Islands

        It was only the New Territories that were leased and needed to be returned.

        But holding onto Hong Kong Island and Kowloon while 85% of the entirety of Hong Kong went back to the People's Republic didn't make much sense.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Islands

        "I think before actually handing Hong-Kong back, they should have been given the chance to vote for independence OR rejoining China"

        I'm sure if they had voted for independence and China said "no, it's ours, we only leased to you so you can't just give it away", we'd have sent the entire fleet of UK aircraft carriers armed with "phantom" jet fighters to defend the new burgeoning democratic state from those pesky rice farmers, yes?

        ok, ok, so at the time we did actually did have a couple of aircraft carriers and actual planes that could fly off them at the time, but that wasn't as funny an image to portray

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Islands

      I should think all those uninhabited islands would be perfect places to develop solar and wind farms.

      1. Joe User

        Re: Islands

        DrXym: "I should think all those uninhabited islands would be perfect places to develop solar and wind farms."

        Yes, but how would you get the electricity off those island farms to someplace that can use it (and pay for it)?

    3. PleebSmash
      Thumb Up

      Re: Islands

      #SellGreeceNow

      Where's my island(s)? I want to tour them first before I decide to spend.

    4. Tromos
      FAIL

      @LucreLout

      Free trade agreements? Don't make me laugh. A Greek exit will have a negligible effect on their trade as it is next to sod all in the first place. Pop into your local supermarket and check out the Greek yoghourt. Oh dear, it appears to be 'Greek style' yoghourt (usually from France). Check out the feta cheese - again Greek style salad cheese. Look on the wine shelves for cheap but drinkable table wines. South America, South Africa and all sorts of exotic spots from outside Europe well represented, not much from Greece. Same again with fruit - look at the countries of origin. We had cherries from Argentina FFS! The common market (which is what we originally joined) has completely and utterly failed, and especially failed Greece.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @LucreLout

        yep they basically export sod all. If they leave the Euro then the only way they'll bring any money in is through tourists

  4. Derpity

    Ignorance of the issue

    So basically the rest of the EU handed Greece 200+ billion with zero chance of getting repayment?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Ignorance of the issue

      Pretty much. Greece shouldn't have been lent the money they needed as their current system is still f*cked, better to let them out and fix themselves.

      Greece is a spendaholic and we are their enablers.

      In the interests of balance though - letting Greece goto the wall earlier would have resulting in the Eurozone imploding - Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland all would have gone in a massive mega implosion and a significant destruction of the Eurozone economy. So by that measure even if we get nothing back from Greece (and we'll probably get something eventually) its a bit of a bargain.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Ignorance of the issue

        Said Eurozone implosion wouldn't have been the fault of Greece anyway, it's Germany you should be looking very hard at here.

        Much was made at the time of the fiscal fudging that went on to allow Greece and Italy into the Euro, yet the German elephant in the room was quietly ignored as it's unfixable.

        The problem is the German constitution and the Bundesbank (and we have the Allied Powers immediately postwar to thank for this). In a fit of rabid paranoia over the hyper-inflation of the Wiemar Republic and its results, the Bundesbank is fearsomely independent and has as an overriding goal the control of inflation. This can be Good Thing as it stops their version of the loony left tax 'n spending their way to bankruptcy (c.f. Gordon Brown, the current greek mob, etc).

        The slight snag in this arrangement with the Euro is that if the European Central Bank were ever to set interest rates that conflicted with the requirements of the Bundesbank, it's hello constitutional crisis in DE and a rapid "gexit". Unfixable, as there ain't a cat in hell's chance of getting the required votes in Germany to change the setup. The net effect is that the allegedly independent CEB running the Euro for all countries is actually the Bundesbank's poodle.

        When the PIIGS states started overheating (remember the "Celtic Tiger" and such?), everyone expected a hike in interest rates from the CEB of somewhere north of 0.5% to suppress this. At the same time the Bundesbank predicted a slight slowdown in the German economy, so what we actually got was a 0.5% cut in rates.

        The effect on the Euro periphery was like pouring petrol on a fire[1] and the rest is history.

        [1] And had the side-effect of causing growth rather than recession in DE, compounding the fuckup, as the PIIGS blew loads of cheap credit on products by Porsche, Mercedes, Miele, etc ad nauseum.

        1. icesenshi
          FAIL

          Re: Ignorance of the issue

          Yes let's just blame Germany for everything and ignore all the mistakes and spending by Greece. Greece had nothing to do with it, nothing at all.

          1. seven of five Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Ignorance of the issue

            > Yes let's just blame Germany for everything

            And don´t forget to mention ze war.

          2. Dazed and Confused

            Re: Ignorance of the issue

            Don't blame either the Germans of the Greeks, blame the loonies than lumped them in the same box. They just have different views on how money works. It isn't the case that one is necessarily good and the other bad, they are just different. Like whether you speak German or Greek.

            Germany for fairly obvious reasons has a morbid fear of inflation. I won't call it paranoia given their history their fear is fully justified.

            Many of the southern European cultures don't see inflation as such a bad thing.

            In many ways inflation is a good thing for the younger generation and a bad thing for the older one. When I got my foot on the housing ladder back in the 80s you expected to spend every last penny you could lay your hands on to be able to climb onto the ladder. But you were confident that a couple of years down the line inflation would mean that the mortgage you were paying had become tolerable and a couple of years later OK. Anyone with saving however was in trouble because the value of those saving was being wiped out. OK that was alleviated to some extent by the ability to earn some interest.

            Now we've put all the widely diverging cultures into one economic box. Those who'd always assumed they could just print more cash suddenly find they can't. Inflation isn't going to wipe out their debts and they've gone through a period where suddenly debt had looked easy, they could get as much as they wanted at what looked like absurdly low interest rates, but now instead of the loan amount having been whittled down to size they suddenly find that it needs to be repaid in full.

            1. JLV

              Re: Ignorance of the issue

              >Don't blame either the Germans of the Greeks, blame the loonies than lumped them in the same box.

              Blame the loonies that loaned them money at (nearly) the same rate for years. Bankers were so lazy in chasing extra returns that they didn't properly rank risk. The bailouts to date have had the results from transferring risks from banks to EU governments, and ultimately taxpayers.

              The Greeks have suffered hugely but still haven't nearly gotten their heads out their asses. 67 retirement age by 2020? We've had that in Canada for years now and we don't have demographics that require it nearly as much. Shows what sufficiently stupid voters, essentially electing governments that spend beyond their means through up and down economic cycles, have too many public servants, tolerate corruption and promise mathematically unsustainable benefits, will achieve. France, with 30+ years of not balancing one single budget, might wanna think about that.

              With all the contempt that is their due, it remains true that any tinhorn country out there, a la Argentina, would have its debt reduced because they couldn't pay. Simple as that. Greece has had the farce that everyone pretends to believe that their stupidity can be fixed and that the stupidity of their lenders does not deserve haircuts.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ignorance of the issue

                > Blame the loonies that loaned them money at (nearly) the same rate for years. Bankers were so lazy in chasing extra returns that they didn't properly rank risk. The bailouts to date have had the results from transferring risks from banks to EU governments, and ultimately taxpayers.

                Since it is abundantrly clear to everyone that the EU willl do whatever it takes to stop any nation leaving the Euro, includign transferring the risk from a risky economy to a reliable one and its taxpayers, what makes you say that banks assessed the risk incorrcetly? The banks all got their money back, rather proving that they didn't make a mistake here.

                The problem is taht the assessment of political risk is trumpign economic risk.

                1. JLV
                  Paris Hilton

                  Re: Ignorance of the issue

                  > The banks all got their money back, rather proving that they didn't make a mistake here.

                  You are 110% correct.

                  I was naively thinking of a world in which bankers performed their essential function correctly, were remunerated handsomely, but reasonably, and were held accountable for their business decisions. As in "get fired, like everyone else does, when you screw up badly enough".

                  You know, banking being a regular business, not tails-I-win, heads-taxpayer-loses.

                  Sorry, gotta go. My unicorn is calling from the garden.

                  p.s. Not sure that the EU will do whatever it takes in this case. In years of following international news, I can't remember seeing diplomats and politicians of nations that are not at war be so publicly acrimonious towards each other. Oddly refreshing but that level of distrust will make it hard to reach a deal, regardless of the merit, or not, of aiming for one. Not to mention that Tsipras has worked his electorate into a frenzy and they are now in the loop as well.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Ignorance of the issue

                    > I was naively thinking of a world in which bankers performed their essential function correctly, were remunerated handsomely, but reasonably, and were held accountable for their business decisions. As in "get fired, like everyone else does, when you screw up badly enough". You know, banking being a regular business, not tails-I-win, heads-taxpayer-loses.

                    Where did the banks screw up? It wasn't banks who transferrred their risk to Eurozone taxpayers; it was politicians. Banks bought Greek bonds. And why should'nt they? You don't think nations should be able to borrow money by issuing bonds? You're complainign that the bonds' risk was priced incorreclty, but it clearly wasn't. The price and risk assessment are based on the real world, the world which contains, among other things, politicians and their idiot decisions. A large part of the 2008 crash was caused by the incorrect assesssment of risk, and banks were rightly criticised for taht. Now you're attackign them for not fudging risk assessment?

                    Incidentally, Greece was, till they elected Syriza, one of the fastest-growing economies in the Eurozone. Why was that obviously a country that no-one should invest in?

                    1. JLV

                      Re: Ignorance of the issue

                      >>You're complainign that the bonds' risk was priced incorreclty, but it clearly wasn't.

                      IIRC correctly, before this all blew up, circa 2007-2008, Germany's bonds were at 3.5%. Greek bonds were at 4%. So, you take the small borrowings of a generally solvent, big, fairly dynamic exporting country with a large economy which had been getting more competitive recently. Then you compare it to country which does not export much, has already borrowed huge amounts of money, is not, to say the least, at all dynamic and well run. And you price that at an extra 0.5%?

                      Now, I know what you are saying. EU ended up covering. But that is not the whole story. When Argentina defaulted, a lot of banks had been lining up loaning them more money because they had forgotten that Argentina is default-prone. Sovereign-country bond risk is generally priced low, but historical stats do not fully support that risk assessment, only medium-range amnesia about past defaults coupled with short-term greed.

                      You are saying that they were priced correctly because they knew the EU would pick up the pieces. But look at things like the Madoff affair, CDO risks leading up to 2008 mortage crashes, the Iceland banks. These show that banks often operate on rosy assessments and against basic economic wisdom even when there is no obvious exit strategy. So, no, someone is not exercising due diligence.

                      And then, if is bad enough, then the taxpayer steps in. Which they kinda have to, by the way, bank runs are disastrous.

                      What we need is a mechanism where there is a clear and direct line of responsibility in case the problem gets bad enough that taxpayer bailouts are needed. At that point, the top, decision-making, level of the banking executives of the bank in question need to lose their job for incompetence. There needs to be special legal clauses that cancel their golden parachutes and significant government contingency funds to combat any defensive legal action. Furthermore, we already have mechanism where convicted criminals cannot work in the financial industry. Those need to be adjusted so that those executives are also barred for life.

                      And what about the bank that was getting US federal bailouts and then turning around and paying big bonuses? Bailouts should mean an automatic cutoff of the bonus spigots for folks over a certain pay threshold.

                      I do not dispute the need for banks. And I don't have a huge chip on my shoulders about bankers. Honest mistakes can be made and it is not the government's job to nanny everything. But in almost any private sector industries, failure is less cause for systemic concern and is more limited in scope. And has generally resulted in more heads rolling. I mean, you'd have to look at things like HP buying Autonomy for $10B to see something as stupid as 4% Greek bonds or Madoff and I am sure a lot of those guys have been tarred and feathered, kinda.

                      These may not be the exact regulations that are needed and I am sure there are impracticalities.

                      But, if we don't introduce an element of personal risk, skin in the game, to making very bad banking decisions at scale, we will just be doing the same thing again in a few years for a different crisis. This isn't from a desire for revenge, just my perception that bankers, who are very smart guys, need to be incentivized to pay way more attention when they commit their companies to strategic directions that can result in ruin.

                2. David 132 Silver badge
                  Megaphone

                  Re: Ignorance of the issue

                  Since it is abundantrly clear to everyone that the EU willl do whatever it takes to stop any nation leaving the Euro

                  And there's the rub.

                  The Eurocracy are not, despite their public protestations, afraid of Greece leaving and thereafter collapsing into chaos, rains of blood, cats and dogs sleeping together, etc etc.

                  That would be a good outcome from the perspective of the EU - "pour encourager les autres", it would stiffen the resolve of Portugal, Ireland, Spain &c. to double down on their austerity efforts and be good little EU team-players.

                  What scares the EU powers-that-be is that Greece will default, Grexit will occur, and - unshackled from grossly unsuitable and inflexible monetary policy, the Greek economy will begin to recover on its own terms. "Hang on," Portugal/Spain etc will say, "if the Greeks are doing better now that they have a floating exchange rate and fiscal autonomy, why don't we do the same?". And bang will go the acquis communitaire and the unifying dreams of Monnet, Delors, Juncker et al.

                  Sadly, or happily depending on your point of view, there's little chance of that latter outcome, as the Greeks have seen fit to elect a loony left government with about as much grasp of fiscal realities as Rick from the Young Ones.

                  My own view? It's one of those scenarios where I really don't care who wins or loses. Like watching a wasp fighting a scorpion, I don't care whether the centralising control freaks in Brussels get their way, or the Dave Spart-alikes in Syriza. I just feel sorry for the Greek people who are having to suffer through this mess.

          3. Mad Mike

            Re: Ignorance of the issue

            I don't think he's saying Greece doesn't have something to do with it. He's simply highlighting what happens when you try and join economies that are vastly different, belonging to cultures that are vastly different with very different outlooks on life.

            The Med culture is vastly different to the culture of more northern Europe, something that France suffers from a little as well. The Greeks always thought it was a great idea as it gave them access to almost unlimited loans at very low rates (compared to previous years), which they took up with abandon. Allowed them to keep completely unsustainable practices in place, such as retiring at a stupid age. Britain did this to some extent and that is also coming back to bite us now.

          4. enormous cow turd

            Re: Ignorance of the issue

            Greece should never have gained membership - their economy is simply incompatible with the rest of Europe. The commercial advantage they had as a holiday destination with the Drachma doesn't really exist with the Euro. The don't manufacture/grow/export anything of value, so that made them vulnerable. They operate an unsustainable 'black economy' so insufficient taxes are raised form the population to support an oversized public sector. They have a left-wing government who routinely buy votes by making only popular policies. German corporations were happy to sell their cars / TVs / stereos to a Greece that was newly enriched by EU funding, but the levels of debt are/were unsustainable.

            Small wonder the Greek population don't want their artificially enhanced standard of living to be reduced back to pre-EU levels - it's a hot country, everyone like Air Conditioning. So who to blame?

            1) Brussels - for pretending everything was ok and letting Greece into the EU

            2) Greek Government - for selling out their voters for short-term gain, pumping up the public institutions, not collecting taxes

            3) German Corporations - for jumping on the VW/Merc/BMW b(r)andwagon

            4) Greek Population - for all of the above

            So if Greece quits the EU and defaults on their payments (declaring bankruptcy) what is the real issue - they already have 0% credibility and they get a chance to rebuild their economy without having to pay back a bean. What will Brussels do? Invade to get their cash back? I doubt it. But a precedent is set, so maybe Spain / Portugal will default and quit next - then the whole house of cards starts to fall down.

    2. knarf

      Re: Ignorance of the issue

      Ah... No this is so Germany/France can keep selling cars to Southern Europe. Like the rest of the world Money flows North

    3. dogged

      Re: Ignorance of the issue

      > So basically the rest of the EU handed Greece 200+ billion with zero chance of getting repayment?

      Sort of.

      What actually happened is that the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund paid off about 180 billion of Greece's debts and bailed out their banks after the financial crash. Greece can't pay it back because this group (currently being termed "the troika") also implemented such savage austerity that the Greek economy has pretty much collapsed, it lost over a quarter of its GDP, unemployment is soaring, youth unemployment is at over 60% and that means that Greeks are now draining MORE cash from the government because they don't have any jobs and their pension funds have been massively raised.

      This was the situation before they elected Syriza - the alternative was even harsher fiscal punishment, hard though that may be to believe, and that fiscal torture is still what the "troika" are demanding because obviously, you make a buoyant economy by paying people to be unemployed, right? (!?!)

      The actual solution is for Greece to leave the Euro so that they can devalue their currency. The Eurozone doesn't want this because the so-called PIIGS have been keeping the value of the Euro nice and low which is lovely for Germany's exports.

      Trouble is, bankrupt people can't buy from Germany.

    4. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Ignorance of the issue

      The problem with Greece is it has been lax about collecting taxes, has a bloated public sector and corrupt by European standards. Put them all together and you have a country spending more money than it should.

      The current government can't be blamed for the mess the country finds itself in but it sure as hell isn't helping the country get out of the mess. Greece might not like the options, but options it has - either stay in the Euro and take the bitter medicine, or leave and be assured of absolute economic ruin. Even if both choices are negative, one is still obviously better than the other.

  5. OwenMc64

    Or, to put it another way.....

    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/martyn-turner-1.2266978

  6. tkioz
    Pint

    Well at least he's trying I suppose which is more than I can say for anyone else involved in this bloody mess.

  7. knarf

    Sadly this would not work

    As history tells us, Greece would just spend the money on some fancy sporting event while leaking cash to everyone who doesn't need it.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Sadly this would not work

      Yes, and then they'll build a bug fuck-off horse.

      1. Squander Two

        Re: Sadly this would not work

        It was more of a come-hither horse. A fuck-off horse wouldn't have worked.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Sadly this would not work

          a come-hither horse.

          The mane attraction?

          Seeking a stable relationship?

          Perhaps the Greeks need to pay the Danegelding? Or are they just making up policy on the hoof, as their economy Withers?

          Sorry. I'll ftop being filly.

  8. codejunky Silver badge

    Meh

    socialism is great until you run out of other peoples money. And it looks like people aint willing to continue to pay for someone elses party.

    Next lets see if that house of cards (EU) topples.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      Greece hardly has a long socialist history. Military junta until 1974 and then a government largely dominated by the centre-right (with occasional full on right wing leanings) New Democracy Party.

      Current government is a proper red-socialist one but as they only got to power in January this year, it seems a bit weird to blame them for the history?

      Greece has suffered from many financial issues - as much the fault of external parties as their own behaviour - and joining the Euro was really a mistake for them. It let the stronger economies like Germany sell them goods at prices which undermined their own system.

      Basically for most of its time in the Euro, Greeks bought goods from non-Greek companies and what money was in the system trickled out to the rest of Europe. They have no way of long term survival, even if they comply 100% with the IMF punitive demands, they dont have enough of an economic base to rebuild.

      At least if they left the euro they could debase their currency, attract tourists, sell things overseas and rebuild a national income.

    2. Awil Onmearse

      Re: Meh

      Socialism? I'll have some of whatever you are smoking.

      Greece has had an ostensibly socialist government for all of 6 months. So logically, this disaster has happened in it's entirety under an assortment of more-or-less authoritarian right-wing loonies, dictators and asset-stripping free-marketeers.

      The risk of default was baked in to the rates of the original loans, right? so tough luck. If you have a problem with the "institutions" providing "socialism" to the reckless creditors by bailing them out and transferring the debt to the European taxpayer, write to your representative instead of spouting bitter shite.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        Apparently a couple of people take issue with me suggesting Greece was socialist in its ways. So My apologies, instead it is whatever you would call-

        >Early retirement

        >Generous pensions

        >Spend happy

        >Spending beyond their means

        >Very happy to take credit

        >Nationalised industries and protective of that

        >Champions of the public sector

        I am sure this list can be expanded plenty. I do feel sorry for the Greek people though who were sold a bar of gold but it turned out to be a chocolate bar that has melted.

  9. CAPS LOCK

    Defaulting on loans hasn't hurt Iceland ...

    ... mind you I see they can't afford Kerry Katona any more...

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Defaulting on loans hasn't hurt Iceland ...

      Iceland's situation was completely different. They didn't have systemic corruption, widespread fiscal evasion, and insane retirement policies. They had a problem with excessively large banks, which was fixed - although painfully - by letting them default and go bust.

      Greece defaulting (or getting lent more money for free, or leaving the Euro, or any combination of the three), on the other hand, doesn't really seem to be a fix for any of their actual problems.

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Better sell a few islands to China, underdogs!

    1) State funnels tons of cheap money (because it's all denominated in Euro) to well-connected greek-with-a-big-ear-in-government for a decade, promises to pay it back later. European governments play ball because it's easier to play the whore than the one who says "no".

    2) Life is easy, productivity is low, state is bloated, holidays are extensive, waiters are rude etc. Maybe there is still cheese to export?

    3) Money pipeline stops; oh my god where is the money (now safely stashed away in private stashes) for the pensions going to come from???

    4) GIVE MONEY PLOX!!

  11. Alien8n

    Federal systems

    One of the big issues is federal systems don't work except as part of a single country. The EU is the worst case scenario, a federal system with disparate ideologies at local level. It works well in the US (to an extent) as each state is part of the bigger US ideology. It doesn't work in the EU as each country has it's own goals and ideologies and doesn't see itself as part of a bigger "nation". Even the UK's federal system (yes, it is a federal system now) doesn't work, with Scotland and Wales constantly begging for more money from England. For a federal system to succeed it has to be accepted that the money put in by the richer parts (in the EU's case, the richer nations) will by and large be given to the poorer parts. Unfortunately local ideologies are increasingly showing that the EU as a federal system is broken. When Westminster is complaining about how much money should go to Scotland how on earth can anyone expect them to accept that British taxes should be going to Greece and/or Eastern European countries?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Federal systems

      this is probably the BIGGEST failing of the whole EU project that the politicians just don't see to get. The US works because as you said all the states have basically the same values and ideals (and speak the same language which also helps!) In Europe we don't and are never likely to either, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. And until the EU works this one out the whole EU social experiment is doomed to fail. Rewind a bit and get back to a loser economic union

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interestingly there is (by design) no legal method by which Greece can be ejected from the Euro zone, indeed its not even clear if they can withdraw voluntarily.

    I'd like to see them default on the IMF loan and then go back to the ECB to make a deal on the various Euro loans. The IMF had no business getting involved in the first place, fiscal issues were never part of their remit until the current crop of (mostly French) Europeans took over - let them explain to the Chinese et al how they've managed to lose their money.

  13. theOtherJT

    Per head of population....

    There's ballpark 500,000,000 people in the EU, right? Which means every single one of them would have to throw Greece about €500 to pay this down.

    Put another way, Greece has somehow managed to run up a debt of about €21,000 per head of it's 11ish million population?

    I'll freely admit I'm not any sort of economist, but I don't see how they're going to convince anyone that that's a good value proposition there.

    1. PrivateCitizen

      Re: Per head of population....

      as the saying goes, if you owe the bank £100,000, they own you. If you owe the bank £100,000,000,000 you own the bank.

  14. Anne-Lise Pasch

    If the Greek government had taken the 1.6bn repayment and bought stocks, then announced they would actually pay up the 1.6bn after all today, they'd have made enough to pay off the whole 240bn debt. Just saying.

    1. psychonaut

      oh you dirty bint! thats beautiful!

    2. Hawkeye Pierce
      Joke

      They should at least check whether, when they took out the loan, they took out PPI*. That would sort them out if they did.

      (*) Joke copyright Hugh Dennis, Mock the Week

  15. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Scottish solution

    If your country goes bust after some crazy stock market adventure - just merge with the big country next door, get them to pay the debt and then when it looks like working out, go independant again.

    The only difficulty would be inventing a flag for a united Germany-Greece

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Scottish solution

      "The only difficulty would be inventing a flag for a united Germany-Greece"

      And all the countries in between.

      1. Alien8n

        Re: Scottish solution

        Germany did invent one, but it wasn't very popular...

        1. Naselus

          Re: Scottish solution

          "Germany did invent one, but it wasn't very popular..."

          I don't know, it was all the rage in Europe for a short while.

    2. Ejit

      Re: Scottish solution

      Scotland had no national debt as a result of the Darien failure. The Company of Scotland was privately funded and it was the investors that took the haircut.

      The fact that those investors were mostly "anglo-scots" with lands and interests in England led to the English bribe, also called the "Equivilent" of £398,000 as compensation if the Union was driven through.

      Have you never wondered where the term a Parcel of Rogues comes from?

      Those that drove through the Union went on to form the Royal Bank of Scotland to better launder the monies that flowed from Scotland getting access to the commonwealth to trade thereafter.

      It was Darien that brought about the Union, but we won't let your prejudice spoil a good troll.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about if Greece offers to sell UK the rest of the Parthenon to add to the Elgin marbles, would that help pay their debts?

  17. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Trollface

    Maybe they could sell an island to Apple...

    ...and sell them full sovereign rights to it. Next one over could be sold to Samsung. Another to Google and so on. I'm sure there must some with extinct volcanoes for Musk etc too :-)

    Apple could then sell all it's products and services through it's own Appleania Government and tax itself. Win win!

  18. M7S

    If the Greeks leave the Euro/EU/whatever

    Will we be spared any more showing of that Muller Rice advert with the incredibly bad rhymes?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Euro is a scam in the first place

    This gargantuan EU scam works as follows :-

    - Dupe European countries into giving up their sovereignty by promising them that this new currency is the best thing since sliced bread.

    - Pretend that you have controls in place by announcing that there are controls for entry

    - fix it so that the Politicians in each country accept your Euro by making it lucrative ;-)

    - In the case of countries like Greece, Portugal etc who very obviously don't make it, cook the books to make it look like they have passed the criteria (check out a BBC program a few years back highlighted this)

    Those are the first steps - now the Banksters are rubbing their hands with glee. Next

    - print as much money as you can with nothing to back it up (no precious metals - only computer ones and zeroes)

    - pretend you are lending the countries huge amounts of cash to help them with their infrastructure with exorbitant interest rates

    - do this for a number of years

    bingo - time to call the cash in. Now you can force the country to sell it's assets on the cheap.

    Except that you didn't reckon that years of austerity makes people so mad that they vote in a party that looks after peoples interest above everything else. So in comes a Syriza and calls your bluff.

    Just in case we thought we were safe in the UK - we're not. There is a clause that forces the UK into the Euro by default by the year 2020.

    The Greeks will be the heroes of Europe if they default.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: The Euro is a scam in the first place

      UK into Eurozone - Isnt that one reason why Cameron wants to re-negotiate or failing that lose the appropriate election so Labour gets the blame?

      On the other hand Greece looks like a guy on a parapet with various groups shouting jump but not on us.

  20. David Roberts
    Go

    Rightshoring?

    Work with me on this.

    Greece exits the Euro, devalues the currency.

    High unemployment, labour cheap as chips.

    Land also cheap as chips to strong currencies.

    Build a call centre, and staff it with locals, but have tech savvy 2/3 line support sourced across Europe.

    O.K. now how many of you would consider moving to Mumbai in a tech support role?

    How about Greece?

    Sun, sea, sand.

    Cheap villa with pool.

    All the Retsina you can drink.

    4 hours flight back to home base.

    I must have a CV around here somewhere.....

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