* * *
Last week, the Greek parliament once again approved more austerity to unlock withheld Greek bailout funds in Brussels: a symbolic move, which has little impact without any actual follow through, like for example, actually imposing austerity. And while Greeks have been very good in the former (i.e. promises), they have been severely lacking in the latter (i.e. delivery).
That may be changing. According to Kathimerini, Greek Finance Ministry inspectors are about to start seeking out the owners of all local undeclared properties, while the law will be amended to allow for financial products and the content of safe deposit boxes to be confiscated electronically. The plan for the identification of taxpayers who have “forgotten” to declare their properties to the tax authorities is expected to be ready by year-end, according to the timetable of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.
On a baking hot day in July 2015 Greece’s radical-Left Syriza government won a spectacular mandate to defy the austerity regime of the EU-IMF Troika.
Against all expectations, 61pc of the Greek people voted in a referendum to reject the Carthaginian terms of their latest bail-out deal, a scorched-earth ‘Memorandum’ described by a young French economy minister named Emmanuel Macron as a “modern day version of the Versailles Treaty”.
It seemed as if the long-running showdown between Athens and the EU authorities had reached an explosive juncture. Markets were braced for the ejection of Greece from the euro in short order. Monetary union was on the verge of break-up.
H/t reader sqoudgy:
“Yes, Greece was definitely raped by the Deep State banksters and global corporatists mainly based in EU.
But what does that mean for Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and UK, all bankrupt and rapidly approaching Stage 1 that Greece reached 5 years ago?”
* * *
It’s official: The Germans will not allow debt relief for Greece. Instead, Berlin wants to send in the repo man.
The untold story of the Greek “bailouts” is that it wasn’t a “bailout” — it was an auction of Greek assets. Real, tangible things with real, tangible value were seized in exchange for pieces of paper that guarantee Athens will be chained to Berlin and Brussels for the foreseeable future.
H/t reader squodgy:
“The quiet raping of Greece and its people.”
* * *
You had been warned, Greece (April 23, 2010):
“The only solution for Greece is to arrest the Goldman Sachs bankers immediately and all those involved in the fabrication of Greek economic data in 2000, when you became a member of the eurozone. The next step is to nationalize all banks like Sweden did in 1993. The International Monetary Fund is that last thing you need. You will lose your sovereignty. It exercises terrorism. You will be raped in such a way, that it will be the worst pain you have ever felt.
If someone burns down your house in order to sell you charcoal, would you consider this logical? That is exactly what Goldman Sachs did to the Greek economy. They burned you down like arsonists and then they tell you not to worry they’ll give you charcoal. It’s outrageous.”
* * *
After two straight quarters of growth Greece’s economy contracted from October to December, marking the worst quarterly performance since the height of the country’s debt crisis in the summer of 2015.
The latest data from the country’s statistical service Elstat revealed the economy had shrunk 1.2 percent in the final quarter of last year which is three times more than the estimated 0.4 percent.
* * *
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Nothing is inevitable in financial markets — except perhaps the return of Greece as a source of concern. More than seven years since Greece’s sky-high debts first unnerved investors and stoked speculation of the end of the euro currency, the country is back in the spotlight for the same reasons.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Not long now….”
* * *
A new study on European attitudes toward Muslim migration has revealed that 55 per cent of Europeans in ten different countries want a halt to migration from majority Muslim nations.
The study was carried out by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and surveyed European attitudes to Muslim migration in the UK, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Poland, Italy, Hungary, France, Austria, and Spain. The 10,000 people surveyed were asked whether they agreed with the statement, “All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped”.
Apart from Spain (41 per cent) and the UK (47 per cent), a majority in every country wanted a ban on Muslim immigrants. Across all countries, an average of 20 per cent disagreed with the statement, and in no country did the percentage that disagreed surpass 32 per cent.
Tensions are again on the rise in the Aegean Sea, where Greece is increasingly confronted by belligerent language from Turkey asserting its claim over some little rocks sticking out of the Mediterranean. A Member of Parliament of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday even threatened with violence in retaliation for “games” allegedly played by Athens.
“I am warning Greece: You were saved owing to a cowardly [Turkish] admiral in 1996. Do not play the Kardak game with us. We will shoot you!,” tweeted Hüseyin Kocabıyık, the AKP deputy from the city of Izmir. Some 21 years ago the two countries almost went to war over the islets, located some seven kilometres from the Turkish peninsula of Bodrum. They are called Imia in Greek and Kardak in Turkish.