Everybody gets so much information all day long
that they lose their common sense.
~ Gertrude Stein
Another round up of recent headlines, ledes, blog posts and soundbites from around the internet on the situation in Greece…
Greek Wealth Is Everywhere, Just Not on Tax Forms: “New York Times – By Suzanne Daley – May. 01 (Investigative Report) – In the wealthy, northern suburbs of this city, where summer temperatures often hit the high 90s, just 324 residents checked the box on their tax returns admitting that they owned pools. Athenians declared taxes at a local office. Greek’s shadow economy represents 20 to 30 percent of its G.D.P. So tax investigators studied satellite photos of the area — a sprawling collection of expensive villas tucked behind tall gates — and came back with a decidedly different number: 16,974 pools.”
Greeks prepare to turn against IMF: “Years of national denial about looming bankruptcy have turned to resentment as Greece is told how it must tackle its debt crisis
Deep inside the august halls of Athens University, the renowned political commentator Paschos Mandravelis will deliver a message this week that until very recently was lost on most Greeks.
His speech will focus on a single fact: that the country in the centre of the storm of Europe’s worst crisis since the creation of the common market, missed the biggest story ever – its own looming bankruptcy. ‘Everyone,’ he says, ‘starting with the Greek media, was in an incredible state of denial.'”
Control the jackals circling the beleaguered people of Greece: “When the speculators have finished exploiting financial meltdown in the eurozone, they will turn their rapacious eyes on Britain”
Debt crisis: The eurozone will collapse without reform | Adrian Pabst: “At their meeting last night in Brussels, the task of the eurozone leaders was no longer simply to sign off on Greece’s €120bn bailout. The pressing problem is how to stop the ongoing spread of panic across European and world financial markets.
Greece’s fate now seems to be sealed – a belated bailout, coupled with savage public spending cuts that undermine the welfare state and dismantle core social standards. Athens is now a precedent, but it must not become an example for other heavily indebted eurozone countries.
Now that contagion is engulfing Portugal and Spain, the eurozone cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes of delaying intervention or failing to restructure debt.”
Euro crisis goes global as leaders fail to stop the rot: “The growing crisis in the eurozone threatened to undermine the global economic recovery as markets plunged across the world on fears that European leaders may not be able to contain the debt contagion spreading from Greece.
Stock markets in London, New York, and Shanghai dived following criticism that much delayed and half-hearted measures to rescue Greece were undermining confidence in wider efforts to kick start the world economy. [….]
Market commentators have asked if the Greek government is strong enough to push through austerity measures demanded by the IMF and eurozone countries, hinting that ejection from the euro area remains a possible outcome.
Riots and strikes in Greece could be repeated in other countries which have yet to adopt their own austerity packages.”
Greek debt crisis: coalition won’t solve anything: “Plans for a ‘national unity’ government are useless – only the Greek public can put the country back together
The national tragedy that befell Greece yesterday, when three innocent people were murdered by violent extremists who infiltrated a peaceful and massive demonstration in Athens, marks the end of the country’s political elite as we know it. It’s terrible to turn deaths into a symbol, but the blood spilt symbolises the end of patience, tolerance and passive or active acceptance of the ways of the Greek political class.
A leading Greek journalist, Alexis Papahelas, implies in his column in Kathimerini newspaper that a government of ‘national unity’ is desirable. Such scenarios have been circulating widely in parliament’s corridors. I respect Papahelas and I know many Greeks do, but an emergency government featuring ‘leading personalities’ from across the political spectrum will not resolve or improve anything.”
EU to debate ‘stabilisation fund’: “EU finance ministers will discuss establishing a new ‘stabilisation mechanism’ to prevent the Greek debt crisis from spreading.”
(via BBC News.)
EU launches €70bn plan for euro: “EU leaders have agreed a financial defence plan in an attempt to protect the eurozone countries from speculative attacks in the wake of the Greek debt crisis.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, said today that an ‘intervention unit’ designed to preserve financial stability in the 16 eurozone countries would be in place by Monday when the markets reopen.
The creation of the unit, which will have up to €70bn at its disposal to shield the euro against further market speculation, comes after the shared currency’s value fell amid fears that member countries such as Spain and Portugal could suffer similar debt problems to Greece.”
Austerity measures approved in Greece, protests continue: “The new measures have been voted in the Greek Parliament yesterday by a majority of 172 votes out of a total 300, these including the votes of the ruling Socialist Party (PASOK) and the extreme-right party of junta nostalgic creeps, LAOS.
The Conservative party, the Communist Party and the Radical Coalition of the Left voted against the measures. The procedure was not without surprises as 3 PASOK MPs cast a blank vote, leading to their expulsion from the Party. One of them a veteran Socialist politician and Olympic Games champion Mrs Sacorafa is refusing to hand over her seat in Parliament.”
Loukanikos, the Greek anarchist dog: “Photographs of Loukanikos, ‘sausage’, the legendary dog who has been present at nearly every outbreak of mass class struggle and social disorder in Athens in recent years. Previously reported in the Guardian newspaper, who mistakenly named him as Kanellos.”
Greek Debt Woes Ripple Outward, From Asia to U.S.: “The fear that began in Athens, raced through Europe and finally shook the stock market in the U.S. is now affecting the broader global economy.”
(via NYT > Home Page.)