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Thread: Three-Dead-in-Greek-Riots

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    Three-Dead-in-Greek-Riots

    Greek authorities say at least three people have died in central Athens in a fire during huge street demonstrations against harsh new government austerity measures.

    Early reports say the victims died in a burning bank building apparently set on fire by the protesters.

    Across much of the central city Wednesday, riot police armed with stun grenades and tear gas fought running street battles with rock-throwing protesters angered by the looming spending cuts.

    Television footage showed police using tear gas to prevent some 50 protesters from storming the parliament building. Violence also erupted in the northern city of Salonika.

    The strike halted flights, trains and ferry services across much of the country. Schools and private offices were shut and hospitals worked with limited staffs.

    Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou submitted an austerity bill to parliament Tuesday containing $40 billion in budget cuts, including pension rollbacks and tax hikes.

    The budget measures include cuts to civil service pensions and wage freezes which many say will disproportionately hurt the poor.

    Three Dead in Greek Riots | Europe | English
    Disproportionately hurt the poor? America provides forty percent of IMF funding. We've got our own poor, thanks, and that money would be better spent in America. Let Greece take care of its own poor by defaulting on its debt and pulling out of the Euro. It's only a matter of time, anyway.
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    Re: Three-Dead-in-Greek-Riots

    Yeah, but the work week is damned short in Greece and they get paid for more days than are in a week. So yeah, it sucks that they may have to work like the rest of us; but they should STFU and get back to work.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: Three-Dead-in-Greek-Riots


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    Re: Three-Dead-in-Greek-Riots

    How much of their GDP is spent on bureaucratic and social spending? Anyone know?
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Three-Dead-in-Greek-Riots

    Hmm, came across this, and can't verify the accuracy, but it points out some of the internal problems in Greece contributing to their problems. It's pretty eye-opening, and I had no idea that corruption was such a problem there.

    The Painful Arithmetic of Greek Debt Default | e21 - Economic Policies for the 21st Century

    excerpt:

    Greece has the worst corruption score in the euro zone, according to Transparency International, which gives Greece a rating of 4.7. Only Greece and Italy (at 4.8) have corruption scores lower than 5 (i.e., high numbers imply less corruption). It is not a coincidence that Greece and Italy were the two euro zone countries that employed fraudulent accounting practices and derivatives trades to mask the size of their growing government debts (which are now far in excess of the debt-to-GDP ratios of other euro zone countries).
    How does corruption limit the capacity for tax and spending reform? Tax avoidance, which relies on bribery to avoid prosecution, is a national pastime in Greece – the envelope used in the bribe even has its own name, the “fakelaki,” confirming the age-old adage that the Greeks “have a word for it.” Bribery is so rampant in Greece that real estate developers’ method of obtaining cheap land is to burn down public land, squat on the burned parcels, and pay off public officials to permit this. Greece’s forest fires, particularly in the Peloponnese in 2007, have been a source of public outrage for years, and yet the developers continue to squat on the land with impunity. Is a society that permits that sort of lawlessness capable of tax reform?
    According to a recently published study by Katsios (2006), Greece has the largest “shadow economy” (untaxed income base) of any OECD country, which the author argues is related to the corruption of the Greek government through various channels4 . In 2006, Katsios estimates the Greek shadow economy at 28% of GDP. Second in line behind Greece in the extent of its shadow economy was Italy, at 26%. The tolerance for corruption in Greece makes it virtually impossible to imagine a significant increase in taxation via higher tax rates; increases in tax rates will simply increase the size of the shadow economy, and could actually reduce tax revenues.
    Without major anti-corruption reform, fiscal policy adjustment must rely on expenditure cuts alone to achieve budgetary balance. With respect to those government spending cuts, however, it is also hard to be optimistic. High corruption is associated with excessive and wasteful spending that is hard to reverse. The existence of corruption reflects a deep inability to coordinate political action in pursuit of policies that would benefit the nation, including reducing wasteful spending.
    Greece has one of the highest levels of “social protection” (i.e., welfare) expenditure in the euro zone. Consider a comparison group of the eight euro zone countries with 2008 per capita annual GDP of less than 27,000 euros, shown in Table 1. Within this bottom half of the 16 euro zone countries, Italy (6,226 euros per capita) and Greece (5,139) show the highest per capita spending on social protection; in contrast, the remaining six countries (Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, and Slovakia) spend an average of 3,730 euros per capita. Not coincidentally, the average corruption score of 6.1 for those six countries is much higher than those of Greece or Italy
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Three-Dead-in-Greek-Riots

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    How much of their GDP is spent on bureaucratic and social spending? Anyone know?
    Dunno, but they've apparently got 70 guys in Western Afghanistan working on infrastructure projects in support of the International Security Assistance Force, which is thirty more guys than Mongolia. That set them back a few hundred thousand euros. For a NATO member nation that's pretty pathetic, considering that America currently has more than 100,000 troops deployed there, mostly along the border with Pakistan where the bad guys are. Meanwhile, how much American tax money will go to Greece via the IMF for their bailout and bailouts to come?
    Last edited by Ahlevah; 05-05-10 at 02:52 PM.
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