Oct 20

euro-collapse

- Europe’s Fatal Flaw Laid Bare For All To See. Again. (The Automatic Earth, Oct , Oct 17, 2014):

markets, at the end of last week, sort of refound their – shaky – feet, oil up a dollar, EU exchanges up 3% or so, Greece even up over 7%, while interestingly gold didn’t move much at all during the wild week (no safe haven), and most movement was perhaps, through all the see-saw, in bonds. To sum up the week: panic followed by plunge protection teams. And now the ‘leaders’ hope plunge protection will save another day too.

And they may. Germany sinks a bit, but Germany is strong. US housing is at least not falling further, but US consumer spending stalls and drops. The deep dark weakness has not yet hit the big economies. But the nerves are back. Volatility is back with a vengeance. As it should. And that will paint the picture going forward, plunge protection or not. Da markets will come again and again and dare central banks to plunge protect. Continue reading »

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Oct 04

greece-athens
Athens, Greece, Nov. 2012

- Here We Go Again: Greece Will Be In Default Within 15 Months, S&P Warns (ZeroHedge, Oct 4, 2014):

Remember Greece: the country that in 2010 launched Europe’s sovereign solvency crisis and the ECB’s own helpless attempts at intervention, which later was “saved”, only to default shortly thereafter (but without triggering CDS as that would end the Eurozone’s amusing monetary experiment and collapse the Deutsche Bank $100 trillion house of derivative cards), which later was again “saved” when every single global central bank made sure Greek bonds became the only yield-generating securities in the world? Well, the country which at last count was doing ok, is about to not be ok. Because according to none other than S&P, at some point over the next 15 months, Greek debt is about to be in default when the country is no longer able to cover its financing needs. In other words, back to square one. Continue reading »

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Sep 19

- True story: You know your country is broke when the cops have to call 911… (Sovereign Man, Sep 18, 2014):

Imagine coming home from work and finding that a group of men have broken into your house. What do you do?

I have a gratified feeling that for an increasing number of our readers, the answer would be to draw their firearm and defend the home.

But it’s safe to say most folks would… call the police. Continue reading »

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Sep 17

porsche-panamera

- What The “Porsche Indicator” Tells Us About The Greek “Recovery” (ZeroHedge, Sep 17, 2014):

As the “Big Mac Index” is to global purchase price parity levels of inflation, so when it comes to the state of the “recovery” if not for everyone, then certainly for the 0.1%, there is no better metric than the “Porsche Indicator.” Recall: “Porsche Reports Record Sales in 2013; 21 Percent Increase Over 2012” which certainly didn’t come on the back of yet another year of declines in real incomes for the middle class (spoiler alert: it came on the back of some $10 trillion in liquidty injections by the world’s central banks). Continue reading »

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Aug 23

- Russia Busts European Sanctioned-Fruit Smuggling Ring (ZeroHedge, Aug 22, 2014):

Just days after Russia banned the import of various foods from sanctions-supporting nations, VZ reports Russia’s food safety ministry Rosselhoznadzor has discovered fruit being smuggled in via Belarus that was restamped as being from Zimbabwe and various other non-sanctioned nations. It appears the smuggling nation culprits are Poland, Slovenia, and Greece and Russia is now “actively monitoring the situation,” suggesting they may extend import bans to Belarus also if the situation continues. In addition, Rosselhoznadzor intends in the future to move to a system of electronic certification of goods in transit.

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Aug 17

putin smile_0

- “Anti-Putin” Alliance Fraying: Germany, Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic Urge End To Russian Sanctions (ZeroHedge, Aug 16, 2014):

Last week Germany reported that in the second quarter, its GDP declined by 0.2%, worse than Wall Street consensus. This happened a few shorts days after Italy reported a second consecutive decline in its own GDP, becoming the first Europen country to enter a triple-dip recession. What’s worse, Europe’s slowdown took place before the brunt of Russian sanctions hit. Surely in the third quarter the GDP of Germany, a nation whose exports accounts for 41% of GDP, will be even worse, with whisper numbers of -1% being thrown casually around, but one thing is certain: Europe is about to enter its third recession since the Lehman collapse just as we forecast at the end of 2013, a “triple-dip” which may become an outright depression unless Draghi injects a few trillion in credit money (which will do nothing but delay the inevitable and make it that much worse once the can can no longer be kicked), and unless normal trade ties with Russia are restored. Continue reading »

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Aug 10

- Ten Years Later: The Greek Olympic Wasteland In Photos (ZeroHedge, Aug 7, 2014)

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Jul 15

putin smile

- 9 EU countries ready to block economic sanctions against Russia (RT, July 15, 2014):

France, Germany, and Italy are among EU members who don’t want to follow the US lead and impose trade sanctions on Russia. US sanctions are seen as a push to promote its own multibillion free-trade pact with Europe.

“France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, and EU President Italy see no reason in the current environment for the introduction of sectorial trade and economic sanctions against Russia and at the summit, will block the measure,” a diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS. Continue reading »

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Jul 02

- 18 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Accelerating As We Enter The Last Half Of 2014 (Economic Collapse, June 30, 2014):

A lot of people that I talk to these days want to know “when things are going to start happening”.  Well, there are certainly some perilous times on the horizon, but all you have to do is open up your eyes and look to see the global economic crisis unfolding.  As you will see below, even central bankers are issuing frightening warnings about “dangerous new asset bubbles” and even the World Bank is declaring that “now is the time to prepare” for the next crisis.  Most Americans tend to only care about what is happening in the United States, but the truth is that serious economic trouble is erupting in South America, all across Europe and in Asian powerhouses such as China and Japan.  And the endless conflicts in the Middle East could erupt into a major regional war at just about any time.  We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and people need to understand that the period of relative stability that we are enjoying right now is extremely vulnerable and will not last long.

The following are 18 signs that the global economic crisis is accelerating as we enter the last half of 2014… Continue reading »

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Jun 17

Flashback:

- Argentina’s Economic Collapse (Documentary)

Catherine Austin Fitts at the IRTA 08 Barter Convention:

- Former Assistant Secretary of Housing: The U.S. is the Global Leader in Illegal Money Laundering (Video)


- Greek employees: salary delays up to 12 months & “coupons” instead of “money” (Keep Talking Greece, June 17, 2014):

Do you remember the serfs and servants and villeins and peasants in the good old times of feudalism and the Middle Ages? If you don’t, I have good news for you! The custom of working in return of goods instead of salary revives in Greece of modern European Union and of exquisite Euro area. The results of a survey conducted by the Labor Institute of the Confederation of Labor Union (GSEE) are shocking but not unexpected. KTG has often reported in the four years of blogging about these sweet little working and payment conditions of modern Greek slaves living under the feudal law of austerity, recession and  competitiveness. Continue reading »

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Apr 25

- Sign Of The Times: 900 “Rich” Greeks Try To Steal EUR500 “Social Dividend” From The Poor (ZeroHedge, April 25, 2014):

Thanks to the ‘generosity’ of their European overlords, the Greek government has been allowed to offer its long-suffering people a so-called “social dividend”. As KeepTalkingGreece explains, the one time paid allowance between €500 and €1,000 funded with money from the primary surplus of 2013, is designed to be for the poor; but over 900 applicants with assets over €500,000 applied for the handout and several dozen with assets over €2,500,000 had the balls to apply. As he concludes, “can’t help but wonder whether we are indeed a society in such a moral decline.” Continue reading »

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Apr 23

- Define Austerity: Spanish, Italian And Greek Debt/GDP Rise To Record Highs (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2014):

Ask any European why their standard of living is so atrocious (after years of freeflowing debt-funded largesse) and the answer is well-known: austerity.

Also ask any European if austerity means public debt should go up or down and the answer is also as clear: down.

Which is why most Europeans will likely be confused to very confused when presented with the latest Eurostat data according to which not only did Eurozone debt rose remain just shy of all time record highs and certainly increasing from a year ago, but those PIIGS nations which are the first to blame austerity for everything, such as Greece (net of the debt wiped out as part of its 2012 bankruptcy of course), Portugal, Spain and Italy, all saw their public debt hit all time highs.

Total Eurozone debt closed 2013 at a level of 92.6%, just shy of its all time high and up from 90.7% a year ago, 87.4% two years ago, and so on. Continue reading »

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Apr 12

- 72% Of Greeks Need More Work To Make Ends Meet (ZeroHedge, April 12, 2014):

Almost 10 million out of 43.7 million part-time workers in the European Union were under-employed in 2013. As Bloomberg Brief’s Niraj Shah notes, based on Eurostat’s Labour Forces Study, a record 72 percent of Greek part-time workers wished to work more hours compared with 4.2 percent in the Netherlands.

20140411_part

Maybe the Dutch should lay some more people off to lower their bond yields? As we explained in great detail here, the Greek “recovery” is a mirage and these numbers do not lie.

Source: Bloomberg Briefs ( @economistniraj )

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Apr 09

- More Americans Go Hungry Than All But 2 European Nations (ZeroHedge, April 8, 2014):

Since 2007, when the financial crisis touched down across the world, the proportion of people going hungry in Europe has soared, according to the OECD. As Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah notes, the number has doubled in Greece alone from 8.9% in 2007 to almost 18% currently unable to afford food. Across the European Union, the proportion of people going hungry ranges from 4.6% in Germany to over 30% in (ironically) Hungary. However, before one gloats at the weakness in Europe and the cleanest dirty shirt the US pretends to be, at 21.1% of Americans unable to afford food, only Hungary and Estonia are in worst shape

USA USA USA…

population-unable-to-afford-food

Source: @economistniraj via Bloomberg Briefs

 

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Mar 27

Greece-01

- Greek Supreme Court Rules “Bank Deposit Confiscation” Against The Constitution (ZeroHedge, March 27, 2014):

While we are sure the governments and their IMF handlers will find a way around such annoyances as the rule of law, the Greek Supreme Court just ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. We humbly suggest the Ukrainian courts be rapidly brought to a decision on the same ruling, before IMF hands start dipping into pockets.

As Keep Talking Greece explains,

Greece’s Supreme Court ruled that the seizure of bank deposits due to debts to the state without previous notice was against the Constitution. The judges had taken up a debtor’s complaint filed in 2006. The debtor had seen his pension being grabbed from his bank account due to debts to the tax office.

Continue reading »

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Mar 23

AGAIN:

The Ukraine is on track to be the next country that will be raped & pillaged by the IMF financial mafia.

Greece has been warned before:

“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.”

See also:

- Pensions In Ukraine To Be Halved – Sequestration Draft:

The self-proclaimed government in Kiev is reportedly planning to cut pensions by 50 percent as part of unprecedented austerity measures to save Ukraine from default. With an “empty treasury”, reduction of payments might take place in March.


- EU-Ukraine trade pact paves way for brutal austerity (WSWS, March 22, 2104):

Amid intensifying US and European Union sanctions and military provocations against Russia, the EU and the Western-backed government in Ukraine yesterday signed a pact that paves the way for brutal austerity measures and free market “reforms.”

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is based on the deal that former President Viktor Yanukovych’s Ukrainian government rejected, leading to the US- and EU-instigated protests and violence that ousted him last month.

The pact, signed in Brussels, declares that the Ukrainian government must “embark swiftly on an ambitious program of structural reforms” and submit to “an agreement with the [International Monetary Fund].” The plans being drawn up are based on the “Greek model”—the savage cuts imposed on Greece by the IMF and the EU that have produced a massive growth in unemployment and poverty.

Continue reading »

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Feb 15

20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire

- 20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire (Economic Collapse, Feb 14, 2014):

If you have been waiting for the “global economic crisis” to begin, just open up your eyes and look around.  I know that most Americans tend to ignore what happens in the rest of the world because they consider it to be “irrelevant” to their daily lives, but the truth is that the massive economic problems that are currently sweeping across Europe, Asia and South America are going to be affecting all of us here in the U.S. very soon.  Sadly, most of the big news organizations in this country seem to be more concerned about the fate of Justin Bieber’s wax statue in Times Square than about the horrible financial nightmare that is gripping emerging markets all over the planet.  After a brief period of relative calm, we are beginning to see signs of global financial instability that are unlike anything that we have witnessed since the financial crisis of 2008.  As you will see below, the problems are not just isolated to a few countries.  This is truly a global phenomenon.

Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks have inflated an unprecedented financial bubble with their reckless money printing.  Much of this “hot money” poured into emerging markets all over the world.  But now that the Federal Reserve has begun “tapering” quantitative easing, investors are taking this as a sign that the party is ending.  Money is being pulled out of emerging markets all over the globe at a staggering pace and this is creating a tremendous amount of financial instability.  In addition, the economic problems that have been steadily growing over the past few years in established economies throughout Europe and Asia just continue to escalate.

The following are 20 signs that the global economic crisis is starting to catch fire: Continue reading »

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Feb 13

- Greek Unemployment Hits New Record; People Employed Drops To Record Low; 61.4% Of Youth Without A Job (ZeroHedge, Feb 13, 2014):

Something funny happened on the Grecovery: the Grecession…. Actually, make that the Gepression. In a nutshell – according to Elstat, Greek unemployment in November rose to a record high on both a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis with 28% of the labor force without a job, the number of people unemployed rose to a record high 1.382 million, even as the number of labor inactive people keeps rising, hitting 3.377 million and on its way to catch up with the rapidly declining 3.55 million people employed, which incidentally in November also posted a new record low. And tying it all together was the Greek youth unemployment rate which posted a record high for November at 61.4%, and after a few months of declines which gave some hope that things are indeed improving is back to its old, soaring ways.

Greek employment table:

Greek Emp Table

Record low number employed: Continue reading »

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Feb 02

Third Greek Bailout Package Is Finally On Deck (ZeroHedge, Feb 2, 2014):

As noted on Friday, the Greek soap opera, in which Europe pretends to bail out Greece when it is just bailing out its insolvent banks by not touching the status quo, and Greece pretends to reform and comply with austerity reforms when it merely continues to spend as before until the money runs out and the entire act is repeated, is about to enter its third act.

Continue reading »

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Jan 31

- Greece Is Back: Germany, France, Creditors Hold Secret Meeting Due To Greek Bailout “Mounting Concerns” (ZeroHedge, Jan 31, 2014):

There was a time – roughly between May 2010 and the spring fall of 2011 – when all the world had to worry about was Greece. Then the realization finally dawned that since a Grexit from the Eurozone would kill the EUR and the European integration dream with so much “political capital” invested, crush Deutsche Bank, and bring back the much dreaded (by German exporters) Deutsche Mark, it became clear that there is no fear that Greece, which is now a decrepit shell of a country with a collapsed economy and society in shambles, has now become a slave state to European bureaucrats, business and banks (in Nigel Farage’s words), will never be formally kicked out of Europe and only an internal coup would allow it to finally break free from the clutches of unelected European tyrants. And then the world moved on to more important things: like Japan, China Emerging Markets and how they are all enjoying the Fed’s taper. Sadly, we have to report, that Greece is once again baaaaack. Continue reading »

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Jan 25

- Europe’s Modest Proposal To End Unemployment: Slavery (ZeroHedge, Jan 24, 2014)

Having spent weeks talking amongst themselves about the chronic and dangerous rise of youth unemployment in Europe (as we warned here), the Center of planning and Economic Research in Greece has proposed a controversial measure. As GreekReporter reports, the measure includes unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees. “Unpaid” work sounds a lot like slavery to us… but it gets better; the report also suggested “exporting young unemployed persons.” No comment… Continue reading »

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Jan 16

- Nigel Farage Booms “Europe Is Now Run By Big Banks, Big Business, And Big Bureaucrats” (ZeroHedge, Jan 15, 2014):

With Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras settling into his role as EU President, UKIP’s Nigel Farage stunned the “Goldman Sachs puppet” with a 150-second tirade of truthiness he has likely never experienced. Farage sacrastically remarks how Greeks “will be dancing in the streets” at Samaras’ ‘successful’ negotiation on MiFiD reminding him that “60% of youth are unemployed and the neo-nazi party are on the march.” Europe is now run by “big business, big banks, and big bureaucrats,” Farage goes on, suggesting the smarmy-looking Samaras should “rename his party from New Democracy to No Democracy.” People do not want a United State of Europe, the outspoken UKIP leader explains, they want a “Europe of sovereign states,” and concludes ominously, “the European elections will be a watershed.”

…And you come here Mr Samaras and you tell us that you represent the sovereign will of the Greek people? Well, I’m sorry, but you’re not in charge of Greece, and I suggest you rename and rebrand your party – it’s called ‘New Democracy’, I suggest you call it ‘No Democracy’.

Because Greece is now under foreign control. You can’t make any decisions, you’ve been bailed out, and you’ve surrendered democracy, the thing your country invented in the first place.

And you can’t admit that joining the euro was a mistake – of course Mr Papandreou did that didn’t he, he even said there should be a referendum in Greece and within 48 hours, the unholy trinity (troika) that now run this European Union had him removed and replaced by a ex-Goldman Sachs employee puppet.

We are run now by big business, big banks and in the shape of Mr Barroso, big bureaucrats…

Ouch!!

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Jan 09

European-Union

- If You Are Waiting For An “Economic Collapse”, Just Look At What Is Happening To Europe (Economic Collapse, Jan 8, 2014):

If you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the “economic collapse”, just open up your eyes and look at what is happening in Europe.  The entire continent is a giant economic mess right now.  Unemployment and poverty levels are setting record highs, car sales are setting record lows, and there is an ocean of bad loans and red ink everywhere you look.  Over the past several years, most of the attention has been on the economic struggles of Greece, Spain and Portugal and without a doubt things continue to get even worse in those nations.  But in 2014 and 2015, Italy and France will start to take center stage.  France has the 5th largest economy on the planet, and Italy has the 9th largest economy on the planet, and at this point both of those economies are rapidly falling to pieces.  Expect both France and Italy to make major headlines throughout the rest of 2014.  I have always maintained that the next major wave of the economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening.

The following are just a few of the statistics that show that an “economic collapse” is happening in Europe right now:

Continue reading »

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Jan 08

- Spain Youth Unemployment Rises To Record 57.7%, Surpasses Greece (ZeroHedge, Jan 8, 2014):

There has been much speculation recently about some immaculately conceived Spanish economic recovery. And while it has certainly sent the local Ibex stock market soaring, we fail to see any indication of such a recovery, at least in official economic data. The latest example being, of course, today’s European unemployment for November, which at the Euroarea level remained flat at 12.1%, which also is the all time record high following a prior revision. However, what is more troubling is that according to the official European statistics keeper, Spanish unemployment in November was 26.7%: tied for the all time high seen in October and hardly an indicator of some imminent economic renaissance. There is, of course, always December – that month in the New Normal when hiring really picks up. Continue reading »

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Jan 07

- Chart Of The Day: Greek Poverty (ZeroHedge, Jan 6, 2014):

And now, the saddest chart of the day: Greek poverty since the crisis, and in 2013, when the so-called “Grecovery” arrived.

Greek Poverty

Here is how Greek Kathimerini describes the fact that nearly half of all Greek incomes, some 44%, had an income below the poverty line in 2013 according to estimates by the Public Policy Analysis Group of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB).

The poverty threshold is measured as 60 percent of the price-adjusted average income in 2009, or up to 665 euros per person per month and up to 1,397 for a couple supporting two underage children. The AUEB researchers also found that last year 14 percent of Greeks earned below the adequate living standards, compared with 2 percent of the population four years ago.

The blame, of course, was placed squarely on austerity, or the fact that Greece, whose epic socio-economic problems stem primarily from its massive overleveraging leading up to 2008, did not leverage some more to “fix” itself.

Continue reading »

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Dec 14

- Peripheral Europe’s New Normal: 50 Applicants For One Minimum Wage Job (ZeroHedge, Dec 13, 2013):

While it is arguable whether two instances of the same event are sufficient to indicate a pattern, when it comes to Europe under the New (feudal) Normal we are willing to make a generalizing extrapolation. Recall a week ago when we reported that hours after unleashing a campaign to hire 400 employees for its brand new megastore in the Mediterranean city Valencia, Ikea’s servers in Spain promptly crashed after the company got at least 20,000 applicants (and possibly many more that would have registered had the system not experienced its Obamacare moment). The punchline here, of course, is not the dilapidated server infrastructure of Ikea – in a world in which nobody spends any growth CapEx any more that is to be expected – but that there were 20,000 applicants for what were effectively 400 minimum wage jobs, or, said otherwise: 50 candidates for each job. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the mythical recovery that Spain’s premier Rajoy fabulates in people’s minds on a daily basis. Needless to say, the 2% “success rate” of applicants means it is three times harder to get a minimum wage job in this European country than to get into Harvard. Today, we find the same 2% number in action once again, as if by magic, only this time relating to minimum wage job applicants in that other European basket case – Greece.

From Keep Talking Greece

More than 18,000 candidates for 390 job vacancies at €580 gross

Continue reading »

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Dec 04


YouTube

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Nov 29

- Europe’s Peak Youth Unemployment Gets Peak-er (ZeroHedge, Nov 29, 2013):

Despite a ratings ‘upgrade’ Spain’s youth unemployment rate has re-surged to a record 57.4% (just below that of Greece which still tops the scary chart list at 58%). Italy and Portugal also saw notable rises (despite the former’s record low short-dated bond yields) at 41.2% and 36.5% respectively. Ireland and France saw modest improvements but overall the Euro-zone’s youth unemployment just keeps rising. In spite of all the rhetoric from Merkel, Van Rompuy, and Barroso, 24.4% of Europe’s under-25 population is unemployed

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Nov 26

BEFORE:

- About 50% Of New Greek HIV Cases Are SELF-INFLICTED TO RECEIVE €700 Per Month Benefits

AND NOW ….


- WHO apologises for claiming half of Greek HIV infections are self-inflicted (Guardian, Nov 26, 2013):

WHO blames ‘gross editing error’ for report claiming half of new cases are acquired deliberately by people trying to claim benefits

The World Health Organisation has apologised and blamed an “editing error” for claiming in a September report that half of the new HIV cases in Greece were acquired deliberately by people trying to claim government benefits.

In a correction issued on Tuesday, the WHO said the report should have read that “few” new cases of HIV are deliberate.

“This was just a gross editing error for which the WHO apologises,” said a WHO spokesman, Gregory Härtl.

Continue reading »

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Nov 25

- Half Of New Greek HIV Cases Are Self-Inflicted To Receive €700 Per Month Benefits, Study Finds (ZeroHedge, Nov 25, 2013):

When one reads the following stunning, and tragic, excerpt from the World Health Organization’s recent report “Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region: final report” what can one say but… Grecovery.

From the WHO:

Case study: countries’ experiences of financial crisis – Greece

Suicides rose by 17% between 2007 and 2009 and to 25% in 2010, according to unofficial 2010 data (398). The Minister of Health reported a further 40% rise in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Suicide attempts have also increased, particularly among people reporting economic distress (610). Homicide and theft rates have doubled. HIV rates and heroin use have risen significantly, with about half of new HIV infections being self-inflicted to enable people to receive benefits of €700 per month and faster admission on to drug-substitution programmes. Prostitution has also risen, probably as a response to economic hardship. Health care access has declined as hospital budgets have been cut by about 40% (398) and it is estimated that 26 000 public health workers (9100 doctors) will lose their jobs (611). Further cuts are expected as a result of recent negotiations with the IMF and European Central Bank.

But at least they have the Euro.

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