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Czech web users about Merkel and Greece

Angela Merkel ruled out additional debt write-off for Greece, after the 2010 bailout – which meant to artificially reduce some interest rates, too – and the 2012 haircut, i.e. orderly default. Germany will be kind to anyone who follows the rules, she wants Greece to stay in the eurozone if possible, but a new write-off is really not possible.

The BBC chose a picture of a frustrated meditating Merkel in the dark. The top Czech news server (CZ) decided that a very different picture is appropriate for this kind of news. ;-)

As you can see, even if you are surrounded by carnival Mädchen who are arguably more sexy than you are, you may still be the most powerful one – the most powerful woman in the world.

I found the most popular reader comments under the article entertaining (with some traces of the characteristic Czech humor) – and the consensus which probably applies to the whole Czech Republic is rather clear. Here is the translation of these comments. The header contains the author and the count of the helpful-unhelpful votes.

Jan Fischer, 63-0

I understand the Germans that they no longer want to subsidize the Greek welfare state with increasing amounts of money. In the elections, the Greeks have spoken: Yes to the piling of the new debt. They have the right to decide in this way but the responsibility for the consequences mustn't be transferred to others. They have the right for poverty, begging, and bankruptcy if they wish so. However, they don't have the right to blackmail and to live out of other people's money.

Marek Tůma, 66-1

Tomorrow I will try to visit my bank and propose them to forget about the mortgage for my house, which I was supposed to repay for 5 additional years, and give me another loan to buy a villa I have been dreaming about, one in the Austrian Alps, which will bring the slopes closer to my home.

Petr Šrámek, 53-0

I am a fan of the Greek way... the 14th pension etc. If we don't have enough money, let others pay for that – for example the EU, Germany... We have the right to get it. We won't repay the debt because we won't allow the European Union to trample upon our rights. ;-)

Ondřej Pekárek, 42-0

It is still not clear to me what others are talking about. When I borrow (e.g. a mortgage), then I have to send the payments according to the conditions I agreed with when the loan was negotiated. If I stop the payments, it's up to the creditor to deal with me in some way. If I want to find a sensible way to please both sides, then fine. If I don't want to pay anything, then just go away from the house to the street and help yourself in any way you want. Maybe it's time to send the Greeks out of the [EU flag] and take the gloves off.

Jiří Galamboš, 54-3

The Greeks have voted for the Left and the communists while hoping that one doesn't need to pay the debt, as we were already hearing from Mr Jiří Quimby Paroubek [a fat authoritative social democratic ex-PM].

It's up to the stupidity of the Greeks so they may continue to walk along this path. Before they will understand that the world is going in a different direction and it's too late for them.

As far as we are concerned, we should primarily take care of ourselves. Greece should act as a warning for us. Even though the Czech Leftist... WHO KNOWS?...

Michal Najman, 36-2

Greece has devoured its assets, borrowed a lot from all over Europe, and now it is crying that the situation is hopeless and the only solution is to forgive the debt. At the same moment, they will increase their living standards by raising the salaries and creating artificial jobs in the public administration. This is a nice way of solving the state's fiscal crisis and the problems with the commitments to the creditors...

Jan Fischer, 23-0

If the Greek debt will be forgiven by the creditors again and again, all of us may very well team up and vote for the communist party that will prefer not to repay any debt either and that will promise a generous welfare state for the rest of the eternity or at least up to the bankruptcy. It depends on how patient others will be in forgiving or postponing the debt in order to preserve the illusion of the unity. It's not just about Greece, it is about many Southern states that must know that it is not possible to indefinitely pile up debt without consequences. I understand that the ordinary Greek thinks that he personally hasn't done anything wrong and he shouldn't be responsible for the consequences. But the character of the governments and politics they had determines the future that awaits them. Most of the Greeks were voting for those who gave the voter what he wanted regardless of the question whether the government could afford it. Now they did exactly the same again, in a situation that is even worse. They said Yes to an even faster piling of the debt because they didn't like where Greece has ended because of its previous borrowing. So yes, they deserve the consequences for their not having learned the lesson.

Jiří Veselý, 22-0

Debts should be paid. Fine, we may forgive the interests because they can't afford them. But the principal must be repaid in its entirety. Lend $50 to your neighbor, he will return $25 and he will want to borrow again.

But it is true that the EU has helped them to this situation when it allowed them to get this far. This trend should have been stopped earlier. The common currency has helped that, too. If each country still had its own currency, the exchange rate could be adjusted and the business-as-usual could continue.

Petr Uram, 21-0

The Greeks have gotten used to being poured upon by other nations' money for free [they call it fiscal waterboarding!] and when the donors want to stop, they feel as if they were robbed. If they don't like the cure by the gradual slowdown of the donated money, well, then it will be necessary to cut the umbilical cord abruptly and to let them drink the mess in its entirety.

Jiří Kučera, 22-1

The first ones who should be arrested are those comrades from the European Union who have allowed Greece, cheating obviously in everything and failing to fulfill pretty much a single condition, to join the eurozone; however, all of us will pay for their mistakes: the history often proceeds in this way.

Petr Šrámek, 17-0

They have the right to decide about their future. The Greeks have decided in the elections: to continue piling the debt, not to repay anything, to live out of the other people's money, and especially to blackmail! Whatever it costs, one should distance himself from Greece, the further, the better. No to extra aid, No to extra forgiving of the debt, and ideally, they should be expelled from the eurozone. This story will be worse for Greece than for the EU or the eurozone. Let us not allow to be blackmailed.

Ondřej Malý, 16-0

Haven't the Greeks hired Mr Paroubek as their financial adviser? There exist sources and the debts don't have to be repaid. :-)

Jiří Vinkler, 22-2

I don't know why Europe is so harsh against Greeks... I would expect the old debt to be forgiven. However, that wouldn't be enough to mitigate bankruptcy which is why they would need to get new "loans". Doesn't anyone understand how much the Greeks have suffered and saved money in recent years? They no longer have the 15th and 16th salaries, the bonuses for arriving to the workplace in time, and discounts for ouzo [alcoholic beverage in the region]... :-) The Germans should understand all of this sacrifice and stop making fuss about the aid. :-)

Miroslav Urban, 18-1

We may finally eat sumptuously, good soldier Švejk, when others are lending to us...

Jiří Brož, 27-4

The photograph of Angela Merkel with girls is completely unbalanced. What I am missing are the representatives of the Turkish, Arab, African, Albanian, Asian, and Kosovar minorities. :-)

Jiří Galamboš, 17-1

Why do Greeks ask for money in Germany, France, and other non-communist countries? The Greeks have voted for communism and socialism. Logically, they should ask for the money among their comrades in Russia, China, North Korea etc.!

Václav Vaněk, 13-0

Last week, Greece and its left-wing government had a vote about the proposal to denounce the Russian attack on Mariupol.

We must ask why and who was behind that.

The Russians are looking out of it as a devil on each side.

My opinion is that Russia had an agreement with Greece that if Greece creates some problems in the EU and disintegrates their unity, it will be financially supported in the case that Greece has to leave the EU or the eurozone.

Germany won't allow modifications of the funding of Greece because that would mean the political death for Angela Merkel and she is the main exponent of the current EU policies with respect to Russia.

Russia would benefit for two reasons:

1. Europe would have enough of its own problems, thanks to Greece, and it wouldn't focus on Russia and enforcing the sanctions too much.

2. Greece is a NATO member which means that this organization's interests – organization that Russia views as a problem – would automatically be harmed as well.

At any rate, we have the proverb that when two men are arguing, the third one is laughing and we know who is the third.

Lukáš Muller, 19-2

And what about to start to work?

Vladimír Kučera, 13-0

Why are you looking so stupidly? Go and find sponsors for Greece! And the money, debt write-off, and a rich husband... [a parody on a scene from the Russian TV fairy-tale Grandpa Frost]

Jiří Galamboš, 17-2

If Ms Merkel manages to fulfill her declaration, it will only be good news.

Miroslav Kratochvíl, 10-0

On the other hand, I also think that the EU is treating Russia as a bad father who was pumping sweeties into his kid and then spanked the kid for its having tooth cavities. Someone has mentioned the analogy with "ours". How we educated our gypsies, that's how we have them. :-D

Monika Konečná, 10-0

Is the debt burden impossible to manage? And who has accumulated the debt? And what does the new left-wing government want to do? It wants to erase the old debts so that it could create new ones. Do they think that they will be wasting money and others will pay for that? What would happen if the same thing were done by Spain, Italy,...?

Karel Fuksa, 10-0

Greece has de facto gone bankrupt. Every policy that is overlooking this fact is only prolonging the misery for the ordinary Greeks...

Jiří Kučera, 10-0

As a layman, I don't understand why should the Greek exit from the eurozone shake the euro. My common sense tells me that if I get rid of the weakest link in the chain, then I will get stronger... and it looks like Greece will have to return to the drachma.

Josef Med, 12-1

Adolf, excuse me, Angela has apparently discovered the wheel. This is how Greece's creditors should have acted a long time ago instead of pouring new money into them as if they were pouring a hard liquor to Mr Kalousek [a former Czech finance minister]. :-)

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reader MikeN said...

According to The Economist, Greece's remaining debt doesn't mature until 2030 or so, with an interest rate of just 2.4%. So the only real default would be that Greece doesn't stick to the privatization plan she agreed to.

reader Luboš Motl said...

You're living completely out of reality.

There are about 3 highly nontrivial transfers of money just this year, each of which requires some conditions to be fulfilled, and Tsipras et al. want to violate every single one of them.

The first opportunity for Greece to go bust is less than one month away. Why don't you read e.g. this?

reader Uncle Al said...

The solution to world economic implosion is instant and trivial. On January 02 2016 all existing debt instruments in excess of $(USD)500,000 as of January 02 2015 disappear. Poof! End of problem.

One might contend a certain amount of sacrifice by responsible lenders will be met by a certain amount of obscene gain by the shiftless and criminal. I have a word for that: Socialism. Socialism is the true destiny of Mankind. Economically destroy those whose functional superiority oppresses the useless.

reader Peter Castelijn said...


I have a question, in this video( the rules of entanglement seems to me complete opposite of the conditions you have in your blog.

sometimes A=+1 and B=+1

not A′=+1 and B=+1

not A=+1 and B′=+1

not A′=-1 and B′=-1

My interpretation of Penrose's video,

sometimes A=-1 and B=-1

not A’=-1 and B=-1

not A=-1 and B’=-1

not A’=+1 and B’=+1

There is a high probability that i misunderstood, i have no training in quantum mechanics, would be grateful if you can explain.



reader Gordon said...

Which one is Angela Merkel? :)

reader Peter Castelijn said...

There was no criticism intended, I was just wondering, thanks for your answer.

reader Luboš Motl said...

If you just redefine the conventions and simply flip the sign of all the A,B,A',B' observables, isn't the problem solved? Is that really so difficult to do?

reader Peter Castelijn said...

There was no criticism intended, I was just wondering, thanks for your answer.

reader William said...

As a Dutch citizen, I reluctantly supported the initial aid package for Greece, since I thought the benefits would outweigh the negatives. Not helping Greece, at the height of the financial crisis, could have severely undermined the stability of the Eurozone. An implosion of tiny Greece, could have negatively affected much larger countries, like Spain, Italy and even France. That was my main worry at the time.

But now that the European economy is somewhat improving again, and now that everyone had plenty of time to shield themselves from the potential effects of a Greek meltdown, I don't really worry about that anymore. Ideally, I hope that the Greeks will restructure their economy and stay within the Eurozone, but honestly, I don't think they will ever change their gluttonous way of living. If they refuse to implement the troika reforms, we should certainly pull all life support plugs.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, I didn't even dare to ask the question.

If you are a physician, you must know the answer: are those who are not Angela Merkel siblings? :-)

reader Luboš Motl said...

It makes sense, William. People were worried in 2008-2009 etc. But with the hindsight, don't you think that even in 2008-2009, the worries about the domino effects and similar catastrophes were hugely overblown, and even if those events did take place, they would have been a case of self-fulfilling prophesy, not something that would be inevitable in a world where people behave rationally?

The "mutual dependence" of various "random" pairs of economic subjects, companies, nations, and individuals is vastly smaller than how it is usually presented.

reader Giotis said...

Greece can't lose Lubos, if you have noticed the finance minister is Spock, really!

reader Tony said...

Obama is better in that respect. This guy is working out.

If you combine the trends I think Greece may lose to the US in the near future (President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho):

reader physicsnut said...

Beautiful quotes. I like the suggestion that they should borrow from North Korea.
Just saw the Dedication in your Thesis - you have been doing battle with the monsters for quite a while.
And Thank You for that.

reader William said...

In hindsight, I think it was definitely overblown, yes. All the more reason why we should not let the Greeks get away with their despicable behaviour this time. They willingly accepted the aid and in return they promised to implement the badly needed reforms. If they break that promise now, and if they effectively steal the money that was temporarily given to them, they should be thrown out of the Eurozone and the European Union. I know we can't really 'throw' them out, but we can cut them off from all the important financial, economic and political systems, which would for all intents and purposes be the same. On top of that, as many Greek assets as possible should be seized, to minimize the losses. Also, maybe our Royal Navy should invade some of their islands, to establish some nice vacation resorts, lol. Hopefully, the Greeks would learn a valuable lesson from all of this and transform their failed state into a prosperous nation, but considering their past stupidities, this is extremely unlikely indeed. They would probably continue to blame the outside world for their self-inflicted misery.

reader Tony said...

Well, for one thing, what Carney is saying shouldn't surprise you. Born in Canada, previously Bank of Canada Governor. Previously also chairman of Financial Stability Board, following Mario Draghi. Both learned their ropes at Goldman Sachs.

They prefer if EU would follow the US model, with strong Federal Government and GS pulling the strings behind.

That's not conspiracy theory, that's human nature.

reader Luboš Motl said...

If you want to "bribe" Greece, be my guest. I usually think that one only bribes someone else, XY, if XY has something to offer in exchange. I don't think it is the case of Greece and I have my doubts about Cuba, too.

The U.S. has clearly been "bribing" others, just because it became an American hobby, not because it has led to anything useful in the recent 70 years.

reader Swine flu said...

Bribes come in many shapes. Bretton Woods was probably useful, at least for a while.

reader cynholt said...

Greece lied to get into the EU - but at the encouragement of Goldman Sachs and the international bankers who took their reasonably small debt at that time and repackaged it into a loan that they assured the government of Greece would get them into the EU. This trickery on the part of GS is at the base of the Greek problem, and both the bankers and the Troika have always known it. These financial interests have always intended to rape Greece of its assets, force the country into permanent austerity and load its taxpayers with debt they could never pay off.

reader TomVonk said...

if you are surrounded by carnival Mädchen who are arguably more sexy than you are,

All I can say to this issue is that your journalist has an exceptionnally good taste.

These Mädchen are absolutely gorgeous and I would immediately take Angela's place if I was offered to :)

Clearly much more engaging, pleasant and trustworthy than

reader Luboš Motl said...

The stereotype that German girls or women must be ugliest in Europe is probably exaggerated, right?

reader William said...

No, it is not at the base of the Greek problem. The base of the Greek problem is the inability of Greeks to live within their own means. Goldman Sachs only helped to extend the length of the party a bit, but the Greeks were partying well before they joined the Eurozone. Just look at the various Greek deficits, which go back decades. Fiscal irresponsibility, together with horrendously bad moral standards, eventually led to the mess we're seeing now.

And yes, the troika knows of course that Greece lied and cheated its way into the Eurozone, but why do you equate this knowledge of the troika with them 'raping' Greece? On the contrary, far from 'raping' Greece, the troika provided the Greeks with incredible amounts of help. And the billions upon billions of aid were very eagerly accepted by the Greeks too. There was no coercion. If it wasn't for this generosity, Greece would be 'raped' by reality.

No one is trying to force the country into permanent austerity, either. But Greece is broke, so the living standard HAS to be lowered. Realistically, there's no other way. The only way to extend the party even further, is if foreigners fund the Greek deficits. That's just not going to happen, beyond all the help that was already provided. As a Dutch citizen, why should I continue to pay for the Greek excesses? Enough is enough.

reader cynholt said...

The Fed, IMF, Bankers who loaned Greece the entitlement money don't work for their free stuff either. So I can't side with one freeloader over another, William. Neither side works for what they have. At least the Greek merchants and farmers want to work and trade goods.

reader pEGO said...

Such a kind off topic, but relate to theme.
Greek mythology in brief.

reader Gordon said...

Goldman Sachs and other
"investment" banks are predatory opportunists who would sell their grandmothers to Greece, and also take out large life insurance policies on them, and also on Greece in case the gmothers turn into the raging grannies and kill Greece :)
---abit strained--Matt Taibbi did better with the "vampire squid" metaphor. Read Michael Lewis' first book "Liars Poker" to get a black humor view of the scum from the inside.

reader William said...

Just because a central bank has the ability to create money, doesn't mean that it can do so without impunity. A central bank has to work very hard to uphold its reputation. It can't just create an unlimited amount of money to make everyone a millionaire. If it did, it would quickly lose its credibility and people would lose faith in the currency of the central bank. Inflation would skyrocket. Just look at what happened to the Weimar Republic and more recently Zimbabwe. If the ECB would bail Greece out, its reputation would certainly take a hit. In turn, this would lower the value of the euro.

As for regular banks, they aren't freeloaders either. They are the lifeblood of the economy. The thousands of people who work in the financial services industry, really aren't that different from ordinary merchants. Like merchants, they provide the public with various useful products as well. It is really a mystery to me why you would think that all their products and services should be free.

reader Mikael said...

As a German I think I have to manage expectations, that despite Merkel, if Paris, Rome and Madrid isn't showing Greece their limits as well, the Greek blackmailing will go on until others follow their example, whereby all moral values in the Euro zone will be reduced to zero and at the final end the European economy will be in ruins. On the hand I think the strength of Merkel as a person is overestimated. On the other hand with ESM and similiar constructions in place the power over the Euro zone has already been removed from Berlin.

reader Tony said...

First time I hear there is such a stereotype. Really?

BTW, I remember the days when all Russian women were supposed to be unibrows with a mustache.

reader John Archer said...

No problem, Tony. After all it two to misconstrue! :)

Yes, it IS very simple, but I'm constantly confronted by people (not you) who seem set on being extremely obtuse.

Incidentally, I too am aware of the insidious creep of Federal and Executive powers in the USA but clearly with nothing like the knowledge that you natives have.

Another time then. Salutations! :)

P.S. I just added an additional comment at the end of my previous one.

reader Luboš Motl said...

There was a joke... what the Europeans wanted to be like. It was a list of top ten things. Cars like those from Germany, girls from (?) etc.

At the end, they got administration like in Italy, finances like in Greece, and girls like in Germany, or something like that.

You may find tons of pages about the stereotype.

reader John Archer said...

Yep! That we would! Haha! :)

reader Tony said...

Damn! Sandra Bullock is German?! What a wiggly world:

reader Tony said...

It's already happening.

reader Luboš Motl said...

It's totally shocking what kind of outrageous words are being heard from the mouths of French politicians or Obama, among others.

If they want to pour additional billions to the Greek black hole, be my guest. By they don't have the slightest moral right to push Germans to pay another Pfennig to Greece. Germans have already donated and forgiven literally hundreds of billions of euros to Greece.

It's not really just Germany. Each Czech is investing guarantees for $1,500 for Greece. It's like all of my computers, tablets, and smartphones combined. We can survive to sacrifice these ill-conceived guarantees in the past but we can't afford to create new similar ones in the future, especially when 300,000 fucked-up Marxist parasites are gathering on Podemos rallies in Spain, waiting to emulate whatever Greece manages to win, and when France shows glimpses of the desire of being treated in a similar way in the future, too.

Meanwhile, the Czech populist government increased the salaries of all public sector employees by 10%.

All this has to stop and it is essential for the future of Europe that millions of Greeks are thrown to the terrible misery they deserve.

reader William said...

Hopefully, the Spanish conservatives will play hardball with Greece to take the wind out of the sails of Podemos. If they give in, they will likely lose the next election, since the Spanish public might think that change is indeed possible.

And here in the Netherlands, sadly, there are quite a few political parties who agree with Tsipras. They want to 'end' the 'destructive' austerity policies of the 'neo-liberals' and 'banksters' who took over Europe. It's absolutely crazy.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Billy Bob, what you described is the cool thing about string theory as well as *any other* viable scientific theory.

They are mathematically consistent theories and whatever the data show, these theories remain in agreement with the data as long as the interpretation is done correctly. As the process continues, one is narrowing down smaller subclasses of these theories, or determining the values of parameters that these theories depend upon more accurately.

You may think that you only hate string theory but you hate all of science as such.

reader Billy Bob said...

That's the cool thing about strings. Whatever the results their is a mathematically consistent theory that will match whatever interpretation you make of the data! You just got to find it or more likely narrow it down to a finite class of theories. ;)

reader Luboš Motl said...

It's terrible, almost hard to believe news about the Netherlands that I would normally consider even more civilized in these and other respects than the Germans.

reader Gordon said...

Hey, you must think I am an American (like Dan Quayle, apparent lawyer and politician, who, amongst other things, once said he hadn't visited Latin America because he didn't speak Latin...He must have learned his law from Yogi Berra, a much superior intellect.)

reader Mikael said...

The problem I think is, that many European people don't understand and secretly hate capitalism, although they profit so much from it.

reader Crater said...

Would you not consider the original underwriting and loans to have been imprudent and what we're seeing now is what always happens when an imprudent lender loans money to a feckless borrower?

Are both parties not reaping what they have sowed? There is culpability on both sides, I think. Perhaps, more so on the lender. Anyone on the street can walk up to you and ask for money and make all sorts of extravagant promises, but it's up to the lender to make the rational decision with his money.

Greeks are indeed in misery now. Varoufakis appears to think that the misery of default would not be much worse for Greeks than the misery they are currently enduring.

The fall out across Europe would then be the real problem as many other governments are saddled with impossible loans.

reader Carlos said...

Why did they lend money to Greece in the first place? If you lend money to an untrustworthy character, then who is at fault here? The untrustworhty character or you? I whole heartedly agree with Syriza. The EU must pay for their complete idiocy. That is what happens when a bank lends money to an untrustworthy character. It will loose money on the loan. Don´t blame the Greeks, why would you blame an irresponsible greek for your blunder? I say, Greeks should not have to pay a single dime and have the right to laugh at the idiots who gave them the money.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Crater, up to recently, Greece was a viable democratic country. It was also a cradle of the Western civilization.

Lenders are lending their money in order to earn the interest - the profit from the loan. This interest covers the discount rate plus the risk that the borrower gets completely broke and they will have to get at least a part of the assets from the borrower in the hard way.

For this reason, the interest rate depends on 1) the probability that the borrower will end up in the red numbers, 2) the assets that will be sold, monetized, and divided among the lenders when the borrower goes broke.

The markets decide about the interest rates - e.g. on Greek bonds - and they were always rather high. So at this high price, one always found some lenders who find the interest rate attractive enough.

Indeed, the borrower may get broke, but going "broke" has a very clear definition. Going broke doesn't mean that the borrower with assets suddenly decides that he doesn't want to pay and nothing will change about his life.

Going broke means to go bankrupt which means that all the remaining assets of the borrower that are not necessary for bare survival are divided among the lenders and the borrower starts a life in misery.

This has to happen for the completely fundamental basic laws of the society to be obeyed. Indeed, I think that it's become imprudent to lend money to Greece. That's why I have been urging everyone not to send another Pfennig to Greece at least since 2010. Just read my blog.

But the fact that new loans for Greece will be imprudent, and perhaps many recent years of loans were imprudent, in no way means that Greece may avoid the future which has only two possibilities now: 1) reducing wasting of the money so that the repayments may be made, 2) becoming the nation equivalent to a third world country or a bunch of homeless individuals without assets.

There exists absolutely no other acceptable solutions. The lenders may lose some of their money but they can't lose the money as long as the Greek state actually has assets. And they lose money, that's the end of the story and they will in no way be obliged to keep the Greeks alive or something like that.

reader Tony said...

Another possibility: Greek debt will be 'restructured' and transformed into creatively named opaque financial instruments, which will then be sold to pension and other funds all over the EU.

Nobody will understand the nature of these 'instruments' except for a few 'economists', one of which will receive Nobel prize in economics and become celebrated in media as a 'financial genius'.

reader Luboš Motl said...

They may laugh and repeat your stinky Marxist propaganda against lenders and stupid Europeans - but they also have the duty to die of hunger now.

The fact is that the only side that behaved stupidly were the Greeks. And that's the truth that will be written down by those who survive.

It's bullšit to say that "the EU" has been lending money to Greece. The lenders were very particular people and companies and banks, mostly German ones, whose existence, identity, and behavior had nothing whatever to do with the existence of the EU.

The EU only made it to the "troika" supervising their government's management of the finances (before the troika was kicked out of the country by Tsipras' thugs) as a representative of these German and otherwise Euiropean-continent-based lenders because of the political correctness - if they were supervised by Wehrmacht or Bundeswehr or what's the current name which is exactly how it should have worked since 2010, lots of left-wing people would be whining all over the place.

reader Carlos said...

Dear Lubos, I am not a Marxist.This actually is capitalism at work. Banks that behave irresponsibly and hand out loans to whoever drops at their door, should loose their money, go bankrupt and have better more responsible banks survive. If the lenders were private individuals and firms, so much the worse. CEO´s and CFO´s that made those decisions need to be fired on the spot. Where is the Marxism here? Should the cry of ¨Ohh, those Greeks tricked us and fooled us¨ save them from paying for their recklesness? If you lend money to a fool, who is the real fool? Where is the Marxism in this statement?

reader Crater said...

Dear Luboš Motl, Thank you for you kind response. I completely agree with you about what ought to be the correct relationship between lenders and borrowers, But, practically speaking, events have moved well beyond proper financial etiquette (from what I think was a fatally flawed beginning). I do not think the things you insist on will be met. I fact, I'm fairly certain of it.

So, what to do now?

The Greek economy is in depression. Unemployment is about 26%. Youth unemployment is about 51% There are already many homeless people without assets. It is already the third world.

The new Greek leaders believe they can best secure the survival and future prosperity of their country through re-negotiation, some debt forgiveness or default. Other countries have followed this path and survived.

The main problem is not Greece per se, though it will suffer more, but the entire wobbly financial set up of the EU and perhaps even its continued existence in its current form. That is why EU officials are talking tough and screaming so loudly - and also why they may eventually and quietly give some ground on the debt problem. We'll see.

reader Tony said...

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me, eh?

reader Luboš Motl said...

The new Greek leaders believe they can best secure the survival and future prosperity of their country through re-negotiation, some debt forgiveness or default.

You are probably not following the situation but the new government promises to avoid dirty default and they even insist that they want to stay in the eurozone and the EU.

Lenders - who have about EUR 320 billion stronger arguments in their hands - won't allow a new haircut, forgiveness, or default in gloves.

Now, your question applies: What will you do now?

The debts have nothing to do with the EU. It's insulting for you and others to repeat this lie all the time.

Greece has screwed its ability to produce and life in general by having elected increasingly toxic political garbage for over 40 years. So it has to suffer. Ordinary communists believe that a superstate takes care of all the citizens.

People like you want to something more extreme than communism. You want a superstate to take care of *whole nations* that screwed their life. Sorry, this can't work and this mustn't work.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Tony, I am not getting why this should be deliberately done. It's like deliberately planting grenades into your pillow. Why? The ECB could just print or forgive those hundreds or billions or trillions if it wanted. It's not really difficult to print a trillion and pour it from helicopters over Greece. The problem is that it is just wrong, even though it's still better than what you suggest.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Carlos, there is nothing "irresponsible" about giving loans because this is really an essential part of capitalism and there is nothing irresponsible about capitalism. All people who say that there is something intrinsically irresponsible about capitalism or banks are Marxists.

reader Tony said...

Sorry for the confusion. I was sarcastic. It was an allusion to the subprime mortgage financial crisis in the US. As the seller of such 'instruments' you can get a nice commission and buy the yacht ;)

reader Luboš Motl said...

Nice, Tony, except that even in the case of the subprime mortgages, no one was actually buying them as a part of any "financial product" once it was generally understood that they were junk.

reader Crater said...

Dear Luboš Motl,

Oh my. Your charges that I am an ill-informed lying
communist are unsupportable and simply quite laughable. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hope
you will be able to agree with me that this is a crisis, at least. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be talking, would
we? In a crisis, I try to take my emotions
out of the equation and approach the problem in a dispassionate manner, examining
even non-standard points of view in order to obtain new insights that may lead
to a solution. I had no idea you would
find this so offensive. I misjudged your
blog. My apologies. No response needed. Good-bye.

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reader George Kender Comney said...

The Greeks are planning to unite with Russia to take the Straits after Odessa, that is why they canonized Abbot Paisius who "prophesied" about this. That is why we neutralized Greece during the Crimean and Cold wars. Athos has been a soviet spy base for two centuries and we must use bunker buster nukes to destroy it.

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