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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kaiserhoff's picture

Tyler, you are insanely well read.  When do you have time?  Never mind. 

This is way past the perfect storm.  I think we are now into Chinese clusterfuck.  Ya'll enjoy the show.  This has to be the way the world ends.  I'm heading back to Mule Creek to raise pigs on clover and refine my corn squeezings for "medicinal purposes only." 

Vaya con dios.

Postal's picture

Tyler, you are insanely well read.  When do you have time?

Apparently, he doesn't sleep, either. O.o

TBT or not TBT's picture

He's obsessed with dirty machinations.  That's why he makes and sells soap.

homersimpson's picture

Tyler is a supercomputer used by Wall Street to run their algorithms for buying SPX on low volume days. Haven't you seen Tron?

faustian bargain's picture

I picture the Tylers as the South Park boys when they went on their nonstop World of Warcraft binge.

Adam Neira's picture

      The Greeks are slowly accepting their position in the bigger picture. They are not happy about it, but now realise certain truths. The level of cognitive dissonance is dissipating somewhat. There will still be outbreaks of manic violence. 

mynhair's picture

If it weren't the middle of the night in Greece, I'd be cheering.

Effing leech unions...

jdrose1985's picture


And Leo Kolavikis (with his intimate knowledge of Greece) was giving the buy buy buy back at what...6 or 6.5%?

That's okay, he's been right about the fools' rally in equities so far.. must give credit where it's due.

Funny to think these seeds were sown nearly 10 years ago by the likes of Goldman Sachs. I'll bet the removal of liabilities from the Greek balance sheet can hinge on a sole VP, just like the Paulson deal right?


Nihilarian's picture

I will accept any bull being right on market heading higher, so long as said bull will turn negative on the market before the market sells off. Timing and/or (good/bad)luck has a way of making geniuses appear as fools and fools as geniuses.

Citizen of an IKEA World's picture

Promethean Greece begs each day that she be spared, but the chains do not loosen and at dawn the vicious bird (Austrian economics) returns to feast again on the liver of promiscuous Hellenic spending.

False_Profit's picture

humpty dumptyopolus sat on a wall,

humpty dumptyopolus had a great fall,

and all the central bank monies,

and all the central bank men,

couldn't put dumptyopolus together again...

Kina's picture

I don't know if Greece has a GST / VAT but the only way it seems they will get the population to actually pay tax is bring this in and then reduce income tax.

I think Spain is as bad as Greece, isn't 25% Spain's economy actually blackmarket? That is 25% of the economy they miss out on getting tax on.


We have a 10% GST in Australia and it works fine, you are hardly aware of it. It replaced a plethor of sales and other business taxes. It is excluded from basic food stuffs though.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Greece has retail sales tax on top of wholesale sales tax. The country however is predominately little mom and pop stores that can game the taxation system.

Bartering is one method. Invoice for less than half the goods and so on. 

Best for Greece is default and start fresh

Paladin en passant's picture

Yes.  And part of the population's anger comes from new rules requiring written receipts/invoices for transactions above 1,500 euros.  This tells me no one pays the VAT for transactions now. The underground economy is about equal to the official economy.

Greece has no choice but to default.  The only question is who they'll blame.

brooklynlou's picture

- Greece has no choice but to default. The only question is who they'll blame.

Easy: America, Goldman Sachs, International Zionist Conspiracy, Masons; take you pick. (Psst: I'm not kidding about the Jews and the Masons. A Greek never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like ...)

As for the underground economy; its big enough to keep the country running even after a default. Remember, Greece doesn't really produce anything that requires vast amounts of capital - tourism and olives. As long as they can make Greece a cheap vacation destination, they'll get all the hard currency they need (just like the good old days of the drachma).

The only people that will get screwed are the politicians, the state banks, the bond holders (none of whom are probably Greeks), and a 10% slice of the civil servants.

Matto's picture

Hi Kina, ive got a different view on our GST. Its added a new level of complexity to business lodgement and pushed business owners to become tax collectors with many of them unable to  adequately understand how to perform their lodgement obligations.

The GST has shaved 10% off the spending power of most consumers (unprocessed food and water excepted) and created a big windfall for our governments. The deal was to use this money to get rid of more duties and taxes than has happened (business stamp duty due to be next but its 10 years after the GST introduction!!).

It also creates problems for service businesses and who are getting squeezed as they have GST to pay on their income but get no credits for their staff wages (predominant cost) so they can be loosing money and having to keep paying GST at the same time. So far Australia's continued growth has hidden a lot of these problems but they will be a lot more noticeable if the economy was to slow. Cafes and food processors suffer too as their ingredients are GST free but their sales have GST on top, squeezing their margins.

A further issue is small traders and contractors who inadvertently register for GST along with their business number and collect GST without remitting it in their BAS. This is actually very common and usually results in them realising they own the tax office $20,000 in GST 5 years later despite living hand to mouth the whole time.

Those who win are Doctors and the like who can claim credits on all their expenses but dont have to charge it on their income. It usually becomes a little bonus for them towards their income tax instalments.

Im not against the GST but dont believe it works as well as some think when you start to see what goes on in the background. Nice windfall for the Govts though..


jeff montanye's picture

another item is all sales taxes fall disproportionately on the poor.  that's why the rich like them and hate capital gains and estate (death) taxes.  not many (poor) people know that all capital assets' costs are marked to the market price on the day the owner dies so the heirs pay no capital gains tax if the assets are then sold (u.s. law).

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Rich: "Fuck the poor. If not for me, they would not eat."

alien-IQ's picture

Americans used to protest...I'm sure of it...I think I saw it in a movie or documentary once.

But maybe it was I'm not sure.

Number 156's picture

A blueprint for failure and utter collapse. The world is following it almost to the 'T'.

Watch it and cry. 

Nihilarian's picture

People protest when handouts are taken away. Until such a time, nothing will happen, even if you explain to those people that their current handouts are unsustainable. I linked to an article about GS relocation in some other post (, which caused VPs to be moved from private offices onto the floor. One VP responded, "If I had been at a bench my whole life, it would be fine, but I used to have an office." Yes, screw the millions in bonuses, or the fact that you even have a job; no more office you poor chap.

Fact is, a person given $1million will be emotionally much happier than if you give him $10million and then take away $9million. Protests will happen, they happen now every time salaries or benefits are cut for government workers. No one cares about the 'why' -- and thus no one accepts it as a necessity. Protests will happen in mass (at such a time when it'll be too late, ie. Greece). Tick-tock.

sushi's picture

And tourism is about 25% of Greek GDP, perhaps more if you add in the undeclared tips and sub rosa payments.

So protests will happen and there goes another big chunk of needed revenue. This is going to be a very messy spiral.

False_Profit's picture

the screen on the wall tells americans not to protest.

protesting is slavery.

compliance is freedom.

unemployment has been extended.

the new FRN$100 note will buy the same in feb 2011 as the current one does now.

unemployment has been held to below 10% by dear leader.

the green shoots are maturing.

the ussa is winning the war in eurasia.

text your vote to 555-dwts,

that's 555-dancing with the stars


jeff montanye's picture

thanks for the clarification.  i was thinking dimwits.

economists_do_it_with_models's picture

Ya, but this issue has already been resolved...  lol  *rolls eyes.

Once, twice, 3 times...4...

If SPY rallies *again* on news it's been 'resolved,' I'm going to want to bust up a room or something...

Interestingly, the 50-day ROC for NBG is only -2.63%.  1yr return is only -5.93%.  In 2003, the stock was <$2.  I think the risks far outweight the upside.

Mitchman's picture

Gee. The Nikkei is down almost 1.88% at the opening.  I wonder why?  Of course, that can't happen here.  I can't WAIT until tomorrow.  Dow 36000!

Number 156's picture

We have meltdown!


Mentaliusanything's picture

It may be the middle of the night somewhere but money never sleeps.

Fee -Finance - For - FUN

I smell the blood of a bank run

Be them alive or be they dead

I'll have their souls to make my Bread

non-anon's picture

Let the games begin!

Nolsgrad's picture

blood in the streets?

idea_hamster's picture

[self-edited to reduce teh stoopid]


Canucklehead's picture

After seeing Greek histrionics, you really have to appreciate the Soviet Union.  When they blew up their economy, they accepted their fate.  No serious problems befell the world.

Is this ever going to end?

Mitchman's picture

They obviously intend to put the HELL back in Hellenic.

Bthewee's picture

Until “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol” are put on hiatus,

due to budgetary concerns, or other divergent pastimes/engrossment's are withdrawn, 

The Sheeples will not wake up nor will they become concerned.


Sheeple do not understand nor do they wish too.

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


ONLY when the grazing is tough, or becomes hard,

will they raise their heads and look around at THE WHY.


THEN and only then will they seek to change to a new pasture


Pure Evil's picture

If you think about, once the dumb asses currently in D.C. nationalize the whole economy and turn this country into the Greek equivalent.

We will finally have the power to bring the whole shebang crumbling down like a Jenga tower.

I think we should be taking notes on how to rampage, riot, hold endless strikes, and fail to pay required taxes.

The current grass roots tea party movement should be turned into a "Fuck The Government" party.

Chaos and Anarchy Rules!

Gordon Freeman's picture

The Greek Communist Party?!?  G-Pap??  Hellloooo, McFly!!

medanbola's picture

Nothing new.  History repeats itself. Argentina 2001.  Riots. 25 deaths, moratorium (even worse, largest default in history).

three chord sloth's picture

Yep. The parallels are amazing.

A decade of ever-increasing gov't. debt. check

A population that proudly cheats on taxes. check

Yet demands gov't handouts/benefits. check

Can't pay back loans. check

Wants new loans. check

Won't clean house themselves. check

Hates that others demand they clean house. check

Blames everyone but themselves. check

Yep. Probably gonna end the same way.

SWRichmond's picture

Coming soon to a U.S. state near you.

In October of this year, one month prior to the November midterm elections, a special army unit known as 'Consequence Management Response Force' will be ready for deployment on American soil if so ordered by the President.

(AP Photo/David Longstreath).

The special force, which is the new name being given to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, has been training at Fort Stewart, Georgia and is composed of 80,000 troops.

According to the Army Times,

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

The Patagonian's picture

Not accurate.  This is a Brigade of approx. 3,500 at the very most, including service and support and joint service units. Additionally, it requires about 10 support soldiers in finance, logistics, intelligence, Combat Service and Support to field one infantryman.

The 82nd ABN DIV, which consists of three airborne or parachute infantry regiments (roughly brigade size) and service and support elements, is made up of approx. 10 to 12k pax.  There is absolutely no way that a brigade consists 80k people, it's ludicrous.  The Army Times article does not mention 80k troops anywhere.

It's not a special force, it is a small infantry brigade that specializes in crowd control and disaster relief and first response in the event of a bio/chem attack on US soil, something that infantry brigades and regiments have practiced as an aside training for decades - perhaps you don't remember the 82nd Airborne Division deploying to Florida to control the refugee camps after the Cuban Boat Lift of the early 80s.

And even if this was some nefarious plan, what are 3,500 soldiers going to do against 300 million US citizens?  It's the same argument I provide to my friends on the left about Blackwater, the company has about 250k employees, specializing in former spec-ops people.  But the amount of operators to support employees is greatly exaggerated especially as they also account for fledgling aviation and naval assets - it takes a lot of mechanics to keep the helicopters flying and a lot of sailors to keep the gunboats floating who are not by any means former SEALs or SF guys.  250k employees against 300 million American citizens? Please!  But that is the paranoia of the left, just as ridiculous as the paranoia of the right over a brigade in Northern Command.



caconhma's picture

There is another problem using an army against its own people. Quite often, at the best, they might declare a "neutrality", at the worst, they just change sides. And when they do, it is Viva Le Revolution and a good time to invest in guillotines  production and manufacturing. After all, America has to rebuilt its industrial might.

trichotil's picture

they got nukes, we don't.

Brzezinski: "Its easier to kill a million people...than it is to control them"

can't happen here eh?


The Patagonian's picture

Sure, the overall government may have tactical and ICBM nukes, but are you suggesting that they will use them on US soil against their own people?

An infantry brigade does not have access nukes, and if they did so, they still do not have the delivery mechanisms in the TO&E to deliver them, so that point is probably moot.