Greece Welcomes Its New IMF Overlords With Day Of Rioting And National Strikes

Tyler Durden's picture

What do you do when you are the prime minister of a bankrupt country and your only recourse is to get the Washington D.C.-based IMF to come in and tell you you have to cut wages by about 120% and fire 75% of the country (especially after the same Germans you recently demanded WWII reparations from, mysteriously have decided in the eleventh hour to have their last laugh at your expense). Why, you send in the national guard, armed with fake six-pack ridged bulletproof vests and gas masks, to repeat the miracle of Thermopylae against the marauding population which has suddenly realized that the past 10 years of chimeric happiness were a one-time miracle thanks to Mr Goldman and fat, and somewhat stupid, uncle Almunia. The next thing you do, once you realize you are about to have a [revolution|uprising|civil war] is to declare a moratorium on your €300 billion of debt, make your people happy and stick it precisely to the same bankers that you complain about every single day for "speculating" against you. Tomorrow Greece will face the trifecta of a much delayed hangover as 1) its bonds hit 9% as the hedge funds who have been buying up in expectations of a snapback capitulate, 2) EuroStat declares its deficit was officially 14%, and 3) a Greek civil servant strike in their fourth national walkout this year. 

Bloomberg reports.

The strike will shutter hospital and schools and also affect ministries and government offices, according to an e- mailed statement from Athens-based ADEDY, the umbrella group for more than 500,000 state workers. It will hold a rally in central Athens at 11 a.m. local time.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is under fire from voters who say his austerity measures have gone too far and from investors who argue that further action is needed to cut the EU’s largest budget deficit. As Greece meets EU and International Monetary Fund officials to agree on the conditions tied to any loan, the extra yield investors demand to hold Greek debt over German bonds has surged to a record 522 basis points.

“Papandreou is caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Jacques Cailloux, chief European Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “The market has zero confidence in what the Greeks are saying, and any further austerity measures pushed for by the IMF could be the ones that break the camel’s back if they are deemed unfair by the population. He doesn’t have any option though.

Today’s strike isn’t expected to affect public transport or air traffic, after air-traffic controllers postponed a planned walkout to clear a backlog of flights caused by the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland across Europe.

PAME Hellas, a union affiliated with the Greek Communist Party, called its own labor action. Members of the group blockaded entry to the port of Piraeus yesterday, preventing ferries from sailing. Others picketed luxury hotels in the city center, including at least one where IMF negotiators are staying.

We must dare, otherwise we will be led like lambs to the slaughter,” said Aleka Papariga, head of the Communist Party of Greece, the third-largest parliamentary party. “The working people aren’t about to be used to allow passage of policies that will bring the worst barbarity we’ve seen in the past 35 years.”

That's funny, cause America recently allowed passage of policies that would make Greek debt-to-GDP ratios seems like a midget in Liliput compared to the monster our own Treasury is about to spawn. Yet, as always, it isn't until it is far too late to fix something proactively that the people of any country, be it Greece or the US, wake up from their deep slumber. Greece has now officially woken up (we will show you footage of tomorrow's hopefully non-violent riots to confirm). We wonder how long before America does the same.

h/t Rodrigo

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RobotTrader's picture

My prediction is that Greece outright default tomorrow.

And retail stocks and REITs will rocket once again to new highs.



RobotTrader's picture

And somebody will buy a boat load of this to "make their year" in 2010.

Just like the lucky slobs that bought RBS when it was believed that Scotland and Ireland were going under:



Bthewee's picture

Sheeple do not understand nor do they wish too.

As long as the grazing is sustainable, they will remain in the pasture.

A Man without Qualities's picture

NBG is a massive binary bet that Greece does not default, or restructure, so I am not quite so confident.

Another thing to appreciate is that the Greek unions have large pension funds which made investment decisions based on the size of the brown envelope.  It's quite possible that the union heads would prefer to see a disorderly default as the chaos will better enable them to hide that they have been screwing their members for years...

holdinmyown's picture

I hate to be so pedantic TD and I know that you were going for hyperbole here but although it is perhaps possible (though improbable) for any government to fire 75% of the country it is mathematically impossible to cut wages by 120%.  A figure of 100% or less would have gotten the effect that you wanted but a figure >100% just makes you look foolish.

Citizen of an IKEA World's picture

Let go of 'your own' and grab a dictionary.  Check out 'sarcasm' and 'satire.'

sushi's picture

I have no wish to support TD in his pedanticism but a wage loss of 100% coupled with cost-push inflation of 40% which is 50% mitigated by undeclared earnings and smuggled goods, will have an effect equal to a wage cut of 120%.

TD wanted to say this but a) it takes up a lot of space and b) his hyperbole was smoking.


Alienated Serf's picture

i am fairly certain that you are the one who looks foolish.  in case you have noticed, this site has a lot of sarcasm/satire.  have you been taking everything literally?  Maybe you have aspergers or something.  or maybe you are just kidding, either your reply was a joke or you are.

Bonesetter Brown's picture


Member for 2 weeks 6 days

Give him a break guys.  This is only his third Greek bailout on ZH.

medanbola's picture

I meant riots, deaths, moratorium in Greece like 10 years ago in Argentina, not in the US. You are stretching your imagination too much.

EllisWyattOTC's picture

Yeah your right but hey people are going to hospitals and trying to tell the billing departments its payed for with obamacare, what happens when they are told all the things they have been promised cant be payed for they were lied to?

Kataphraktos's picture

From a proud Greek (and American) patriot:

I love you.

Tart's picture

Remember way back in the day when the US stock market seemed to care about what happened in Greece? Hopes for a Greece bailout made all the headlines. Russell 2K hit a new closing high today; guess that Greece stuff is just old news now, something for the boys here to chew their cud over.

Sudden Debt's picture

Spartans versus the Athenians...

all it needs now is a Persian invasion and they will be able to sell movie rights on that one.

"The 300 the sequel"

Adam Neira's picture

You can bet a million souvlakis on the fact that there will not be a civil war in Greece. Throw in some fetta and olives and I'll raise you another ten million.

mephisto's picture

Stunning predictions


Greece 2year heading for 9%...

change the link for the rest of the curve

Herne the Hunter's picture

Dax freefalls 100 points on news Greece's deficit climbs to 13.6% of GDP... Circuitbreaker.

primefool's picture

EUR/USD is down less than 0.5% since yesterdays close. Is the world really falling apart?

primefool's picture

But then of course we are in that time zone where currency manipulation by the PPT comes into action. So players who are not on the inside circle will never know the real market clearing price for anything - until it adjusts abruptly at some point.

primefool's picture

My thought on manipualtion of the markets by govts is - its like a doctor who refuses to tell you the truth. You are therefore always in the pink of health - and then - you are dead.

So it robs people of the ability to make adjustments to their portfolios and lives. It is diabolical - really.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Nothing will happen here, the S&P and Dow will shrug and move up 1.2% today.  Leo's liquidity tsunami propelling surfers towards 12,000.

primefool's picture

Of course "leaders" get a reputation for being Corageous, forward thinking, etc and will be generally popular with the living - by following the manipulation startegy. And the dead dont vote - so who cares?

ambrosiac's picture


The GGB 10Y spread over Bunds is at 550 bp, violence has erupted in Athens center a stone's throw from the IMF overlords in their Syntagma Sq beachhead, my friend is free from work due to the strike and we are about to enjoy drinks poolside courtesy of oodles and oodles of fiat currency these kind foreigners are about to throw our way.


Gotta run.  Zeus bless Ben, Angela, Olli and Dominique.

primefool's picture

The markets are cruisin fur a bruisin. Obama has finally realized that to win decisively in November - all he needs to do is take the banks down a few pegs. You can imagine how popular that will make him. Why would he not do it? He will - watch.

primefool's picture

Ya gotta treat Wall Street banks like dogs. With dogs - you need to establish yourself as an Alpha Male - otherwise the will treat you as a female ( ie. hump your leg) or a weakling - tear your ear off. To win respect with Pack Animals you Must establish Alpha superiority which involves kicking some group members around for no reason other than its fun!

WmWallace's picture

The silent Coup d’ etat of the United States of America
The silent Coup d’ etat of the United States of America is nearly complete. Congress is giving nearly unlimited authority to the private Federal Reserve Bank ("Fed"), owned by the big banks, to regulate themselves. They are then giving the Fed authority over most every publicly traded company with the simultaneous unconstitutional authority to print money to be used to purchase trillions of dollars of stocks and to monetize the Debt of the United States government. They are also working to subordinate the Fed and Congressional authority to the globalist/fascist International Monetary Fund. Once this occurs which is happening in Congress, the Coup will be done. The international globalist fascist bankers will have conquered the United States of America and the ultimate act of treason will have been performed in plain sight of an unsuspecting dumbed down American public....

Read how this will be accomplished here:!/note.php?note_id=385633773339

exportbank's picture

A country run by unions and lacking actual taxpayers may run into a problem. This shouldn't be considered an unusual outcome.

Instant Karma's picture

High debt + high interest rates + high fixed expenses = bankruptcy (delayed by new loans and working with creditors and some decrease in expenses).

Goods's picture

[Greece Welcomes Its New IMF Overlords With Day Of Rioting And National Strikes]

Welcome people of Poland to your new nightmare:

[Poland refused the Swine Flu vaccine. They had their own Central Bank and wouldn't submit to the Euro zone. They wouldn’t jump in bed with the IMF and were not suffering a recession but were prospering. Jane Burgermeister asks: so what really happened?]



jkruffin's picture

Once again ZH hits the nail on the head with honest truth before its reported

Dr. No's picture

If he cant cry, he cant sleep. 

MarketFox's picture

The IMF mantra is to subordinate countries to the tune of US dominance with regards to a US advantage.The US wants to make sure the score is such that their second and third strings get plenty of action in a one way game.

Instant Karma's picture

The Germans and French should just make good on the Greek bonds for their own banks, avoid that type of systemic risk, and kick Greece out of the EU. If Greeks want to retire at age 50 with a full pension, more power to them. And, they don't pay their taxes. Let them figure a way out of low revenue and high expenses.

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