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In Other News, Greeks Will NOT Hold A Full Day Strike On Sunday

Tyler Durden's picture


If only the Greeks were as passionate about maintaining the debt of their economy at a reasonably insane level, as opposed to the "full retard" reserved for banana republics such as the UK and the US, as they are about striking when it comes to preserving their entitlements, Europe would have a budget surplus of several quintillion. Today, and tomorrow, and likely everyday thereafter, Greece will be shut down as billions in (non-taxable) economic output is eliminated, trade is shuttered, and the tourism industry is dead. And since hospitals are also on strike, tourism may be the least of the casualties. Bloomberg reports: "Greek government workers shut down schools and hospitals and disrupted flights as demonstrators occupied the Acropolis in an escalation of protests against 30 billion euros ($40 billion) of additional wage cuts and tax increases unveiled this week." And no, there is no hope: "“Protests will increase,” said Spyros Papaspyros, the head of ADEDY. “Opting for the easy path of cutting wages and pensions can’t be accepted.” In essence, the Greek people would rather see their country bankrupt, the EMU destroyed and their nation locked out of the funding market for the next decade than have to retired at age 63. But at least they gave us democracy.... The same democracy that will see the Supreme Court soon side with the Federal Reserve over 300+ million US citizens.

More from Bloomberg:

    The ADEDY union federation, which represents more than 500,000 civil servants having their pensions and pay slashed under measures announced May 2 by Prime Minister George Papandreou, will hold a rally at midday joined by striking teachers. A general strike, the third this year, is planned for tomorrow, with private-sector workers due to participate.

    Protesters from the Communist Party of Greece draped banners over the walls of the ancient Acropolis citadel in Athens today that said “Peoples of Europe Rise Up” in Greek and English, as tourists took photographs. Unemployed teachers yesterday disrupted the evening news show on state-run NET TV.

    ‘Terrorizing’ Tourists

    Government spokesman George Petalotis condemned the occupation of the Acropolis, saying on NET TV that such protests “aimed to destroy tourism to Greece by terrorizing foreign visitors.”

    “My trip is complete,” said Roger Smith from the U.S. as he took photos of the protests below the Acropolis. Smith, on his first visit to Greece with his wife, Diane, said rich Greeks, like rich Americans, needed to pay their taxes.

    Fifty-one percent of Greeks say they won’t accept new austerity measures and would join protests against them, according to a poll of 1,000 people by ALCO for Proto Thema newspaper. That compared with 33 percent who would accept them. No margin of error was given for the poll, which was conducted from April 27 to April 29.

    Most Greeks feel anger and dismay rather than relief over Papandreou’s decision to request emergency loans, a separate survey showed. Just 14.8 percent of the 1,256 people polled by Kappa Research April 28-29 for To Vima newspaper felt relief or hope after the move, compared with 31 percent who answered “anger,” 30.6 percent “disappointment or fear” and 22.8 percent who said they felt “shame.” The margin of error for the poll was 2.6 percentage points.

TS Eliot was wrong. For Europe, May is about to prove the cruelest month by far. Should there be no change to the status quo, we anticipate the disintegration of the monetary union in the very near future. And the more Spain refuses to acknowledge that it has requested a several hundred billion dollar bail out, the more we are convinced our assumption is correct.


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Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:51 | 331227 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

In a convoluted way, default or debt forgiveness is the only way out. Hence, the demonstrations may lead to the best result.

BTW: Bank hatred (especialy foreign) is deeply rooted in the Greek DNA  

Once reality sets in, getting paid in drachmas and retiring at 63 may not look so bad.


Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:36 | 331306 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

>BTW: Bank hatred (especialy foreign) is deeply rooted in the Greek DNA  

Whereas in USA we love counterfeiting, bailment fraud, and Ponzi schemes.


Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:53 | 331229 chet
chet's picture

"Greeks Will NOT Hold A Full Day Strike On Sunday"

I'm tired, and striking is soooo HARD!  Can't we just bring in some cheap foreign labor to strike for us?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:59 | 331239 moldygoat
moldygoat's picture

Funny shit! Top Shelf!

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:55 | 331231 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Contractual agreements are always the leading casualties of socialist economies.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:14 | 331258 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

Ask the GM bondholders about free market contracts.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:36 | 331304 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Yes but it was socialist administration that canceled them...

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:34 | 331297 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

Contractual agreements? You mean Greek bonds?

What we have here are contracts between the government and bondholders to obtain revenue by stealing from future Greeks. The bondholders are buying shares in slavery.

Why should Greek people respect such a "contract"?


Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:16 | 331373 Catullus
Catullus's picture


there it is, folks. These are debts governments incurred, not individuals. The government has nothing of it's own. It's simply promising the wealth of those whom it can confiscate from. It's not private debt. There is no sacred honor in a government obligation. It's a contract only in the sense that thugs agree to divy up spoils.

Repudiate, Greeks! Be free of this. Starve your government. The rest of Europe will follow.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:48 | 331488 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Bingo. +100000

Fuck the Governments and their Bonds.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:55 | 331232 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

“Opting for the easy path of cutting wages and pensions can’t be accepted.”


If the "easy path" is cutting wages and pensions, then what is the hard path?

Total disintegration and chaos?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:19 | 331276 Shoegazer
Shoegazer's picture

They've cleared out the treasury and borrowed money from every sucker willing to give it to them so I believe the next step is: "tax everyone except me and don't touch my entitlements".

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 14:59 | 331236 Mitchman
Mitchman's picture

a) People will not change unless they are in enough pain.  Clearly the people out in the streets of Greece are not yet in enough pain and- more importantly, the IMF hasn't given them the pain they need to come to grips with their situation; b)  when the images of these demonstartions hit the television sets of Deutschland, Mrs. Merkel and the members of her party will not get elected dog catcher if she continues with the bailout; c) the UK election will have more negative impact than mopre currently thought; and d) although we all saw this coming, things are starting to get very scary. 

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:00 | 331240 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

The strikers are going on strike?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:04 | 331244 Cognitive Dissonance
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"In essence, the Greek people would rather see their country bankrupt, the EMU destroyed and their nation locked out of the funding market for the next decade than have to retired at age 63."

Tyler, this is too simplistic a view of what's going on. No doubt, people don't wish to give up anything and they will nearly always see themselves as the victim. With 30% of the working population in civil service, there is most certainly an entitlement mentality.

But Greece is a corrupt state, to the point that everyone must participate in corruption in order to get anything done. People don't trust their government and why would or should they? This isn't the first nor fifth time they have been in "crisis" and as far as the average Greek is concerned, the people in charge are simply helping themselves rather than helping the Greek people.

So in a country that long ago became a dog eat dog take care of yourself society, the people of Greece don't expect anything to change except they get more of the shaft. I'm not going to say they are revolting against the Ponzi because I don't know if the average Greek understands what's going on internationally. But they do know they must bribe every state employee and many private ones to get anything done and they are (rightfully) expecting this to continue only they will have less money to survive.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:16 | 331265 Mitchman
Mitchman's picture

Right you are CD.  So it is with the most sardonic of feelings that I point out to you that it is exactly the way we are not-so-slowly becoming here in this forsaken, increasingly corrupt US of A.  And nobody give s a s**t because it happens slowly.  And nobody gives a flying f**k so long as they are getting their share and they think the next guy is getting less.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:18 | 331275 hedgeless_horseman
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Greece is no more corrupt than America.  The difference is that Americans have faith in their corrupt government, less so with Greeks.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:19 | 331388 Cognitive Dissonance
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While I agree with your premise, I don't remember having to bribe the clerk at the motor vehicle department to register my car or the county tax clerk to receive the stamp that proves I paid my vehicle taxes and so on. This type of small time graft is the norm in Greece.

On the other hand, in America, rather than nickel and dime around like a bunch of amateurs, we do it all in one fell swoop with money printing on the sly and inflation that isn't acknowledged, thus eliminating messy things such as cost of living raises and other citizen adjustments to the corruption. And of course most of us have been conditioned to think our misery is good for us. Oh look, prices have gone up again. That must mean I'm richer than I was last week.

In reality we have it better because our way allows us to maintain our moral righteousness. No need to slip a twenty to the clerk to get those auto tags.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:53 | 331500 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

I think small time graft will become more common in America as it sinks deeper into poverty, as has been the experience in many countries throughout history.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 17:10 | 331527 hedgeless_horseman
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I was thinking more along the lines of law firm's wholesale, open, and legal funding of judges' campaigns in Texas.  When you give a judge $10,000 in Greece you conceal it, in Texas you report it as a tax writeoff.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:03 | 331334 CD
CD's picture


"In a striking example of the inextricable ties of our modern world, close to 1,000 tourists on a cruise ship lost a day of their vacation when Greek unionists, protesting planned legislation that will allow cruise ships with foreign crews to dock in Greek ports, stopped them from embarking in Piraeus. This prompted the Spanish cruise company to warn that it may suspend visits to Piraeus. If this occurs, at least 1,000 tourists per week, who are by definition in a high income bracket, will no longer visit Athens as part of their Mediterranean cruise. They will not eat at Plaka's restaurants, visit our museums nor buy souvenirs. This loss is not likely to affect the unionists who probably count every new injury to the Greek economy a trophy in their war against capitalism. But it does show how the actions of a few can affect the livelihood of many. It is a snapshot of how Greece destroyed itself - with every group taking care only of its own interests, without any consideration for the rest of society. All the groups, and their selfish interests, piled up, until Greece could no longer function."

As I may have mentioned earlier ( and +1 to Cog Dis above), those with the least influence in affecting the current situation will suffer the vast majority of the downside. While (eventual) default in some shape or form seems inevitable, I am wondering if the people mentioned here may shed the scales on their eyes, get up and actually DO something beyond bleating their indignation -- and wash out the stables of the myriad types of parasitic life forms that now inhabit it. Perhaps (much) more pain is still required for that to happen, but perhaps the pebbles/snowflakes are already in motion on the slopes of Olympus.

"We are a society that accepted unacceptable divisions: between those who worked like dogs and had to borrow to make ends meet, and those who made money with minimal effort; between those who obey the law and those who get away with anything, exploiting the law to their own ends; between those who avoid every obligation and exploit every benefit, and those who pay taxes and social security contributions."

Sound like (an)other country(es) we know...?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 23:45 | 331985 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

My bankster brother booked his honeymoon to the greek islands this august; he is exhibit a on the intelligence of banksters.  shadenfreude guilt...

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 02:25 | 332072 Moonrajah
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Who knows, maybe by that time he will be welcomed as a representative of the new overlords of Greece.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 10:25 | 332507 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

LOL. yeah, welcomed with a marble brick to the head.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:05 | 331246 sushi
sushi's picture

The Greeks would be better off if they stopped paying their mortgages and went out and bought a new pair of shoes and a few dozen Anne Taylor dresses. Works for other folks I know.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:12 | 331255 seventree
seventree's picture

Unfortunately most lacked the foresight to get over their heads in debt, leaving them with nothing to default on.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:06 | 331247 Albatross
Albatross's picture

On another thought, may be sheeple in continent

Europe are some what less sheeple in the good ole

USA (relatively speaking).

Hey, leave me enough crappy fast food&beer I don't

care about the rest here in the USA...

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:07 | 331249 Black Swan
Black Swan's picture

Yassu Re.......!!!!!

First the bailout, then eventually they default on said bailout, then departure from the EU. Knowing the greeks as I do, I will say this, either the greeks leave the Euro or the country implodes. Either way it ends real UGLEY folks.


Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:16 | 331266 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

The missing piece of the puzzle in this is the Greek union pension schemes.  Most unionized workers have been contributing to a second pension managed by their union.  I do not know the specifics of the plans, but I know that these funds have been as badly managed as anything else in Greece and the investment decisions made based on the size of the brown envelope.  With the proposed changes to the state pension, the union leaders are probably terrified the mishandling of the union schemes may cause these to collapse and take their power away.  I think they are trying to "burn down the house" to destroy the evidence of their crimes.  Rather than being ideologically opposed to the bankers, the union leaders have had their snouts in the same trough, but through a "workers revolution," they can bury their nasty secrets.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:12 | 331267 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture


Tue, 05/04/2010 - 15:52 | 331314 MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

Don't be afraid. People is facing hunger in Greece with the austerity measures, that are so tough you can't imagine. What did you expected? To stay silent? Of course they are going to protest. Socialist destroy Greeks, for they protect the corrupted.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:14 | 331366 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Greece is everyone's future if we don't throw the central bankers out.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:02 | 331335 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Greece going bankrupt is probably the best option right now for Greek citizens - the banks and idiot Greek bondholders DESERVE to EAT the losses - they should have known better than to lend money to drunken sailor governments like Greece.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:09 | 331349 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Of course, it's not about saving Greece but of saving the Greek bondholders (a multiple of foreign and domestic banks and wealthy individuals) which was also the entire purpose for "saving" the US banks in late 2008.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:42 | 331466 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture


Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:12 | 331358 Cursive
Cursive's picture

I guess my little family will just have to settle for a visit to the Acropolis replica in Nashville.  :D

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:13 | 331364 MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

What you are about to see in Greece is unimaginable.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:15 | 331368 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Are you there?  Can you give us any man-on-the-street perspective?  Anyone you know?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:38 | 331452 MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

I'm gonna inform you about Greek situation.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:43 | 331469 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Send an email to Tyler so we all can read 'on the ground' reality instead of MSM lies and bullshit.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:43 | 331472 Cursive
Cursive's picture


Looking forward to it.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:17 | 331377 ignorant
ignorant's picture

Couple months now reading and trying ustand this site why  is tht much obsessed with greece, provoking most of times on a obnoxious and pathetic way even retards can ustand . 

Reasons cud be

a/ personal whc don't believe

b/ you or yr bosses were heavily betting on greece default and nothing worst than a looser

c/ political on an assignment trying through greece to degrade  the EURO not on the value but as a trustworthy currency for other countries to have it on reserves (china,arabs) and big deals especially on oil not to be done on tht currency.

Don'y really care what of those happens but can tell you wht's going happen in greece.

Soon you wl get in USA a packet with G-Pap his mom and the IMF guys now trying to play monarchs of greece , then we talk again.

Better in deep sea than in deep shit.  


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 01:27 | 332050 nobita
nobita's picture

people here are not as negative about the us as greece???

and a bet on greek default has been an excellent bet if you placed it the last six months.

sorry about your country

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 16:25 | 331410 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

a;lsdjf? aldfkajsf;lskfj. aasd a;lsfkjlkjsadlkjfd! a;lsdfjsa! z/.c,npioew,kczx. woeiuw08ughvx;lw099u209uvdlw0[99u2w0[9uvc;khW[0U. A;SLDFJSADL;JJ. S.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 17:25 | 331559 Leo Kolivakis
Leo Kolivakis's picture

A pic from many photos on Yahoo:

How embarassing, to promote communism on the Acropolis! Shame on them!

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 17:42 | 331587 kohoutek
kohoutek's picture

Communists in Greece? Uh-oh!

Better call in the CIA and install a bloodthirsty right-wing dictator instead...that'll teach 'em!

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 18:48 | 331693 MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

Greece is a democratic country. All the political expressions are allowed.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 18:47 | 331688 MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

Leo, Socialists always hated communists. Hitler hated Stalin.

Was it better when antiauthoritarians promoted destruction in Athens back in December 2008?

Was it better when antiauthoritarians had socialists cover?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 19:58 | 331775 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But the Acropolis is looking mighty fine. Did my US taxes help pay for that? Or maybe I should say will my US taxes help pay for that?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 17:26 | 331562 Leo Kolivakis
Leo Kolivakis's picture

Edit: delete duplicate.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 17:27 | 331563 Leo Kolivakis
Leo Kolivakis's picture

Edit: delete duplicate.

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 19:27 | 331740 expatincentam
expatincentam's picture

Hey, it worked out so well in the USSR, NK, Cuba and Venezuela, why not try it in Greece?  Has anyone heard the stone hit the bottom of the well yet?

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 20:13 | 331793 Fishing Chimps
Fishing Chimps's picture

"But at least they gave us democracy". Yeah, thanks a lot for that, Greece, since democracy is merely another term for "tyranny of the majority" and is but a stepping stone to eventual dictatorship (more dictatorial than what we have now, of course).

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 20:17 | 331795 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

I know Tyler, Spain keeps saying that they didn't request this multi hundred billion dollar bailout.  When the prime minister gets out their and say's that it's not true, it's true as hell.  With Spain having over 20% in unemployment (thats conservative to), and not only having their banks buy toxic debt but they sold it as well and also had mortgage meltdown in their country.  Spain has a population of 45 million people, that makes it about 9 million people are unemployed.  I've always been wary of Spain during this financial mess up to last weekend.  They sat on the sidelines being quiet and not even saying a word about being associated with the PIIGS.  And as soon as Greece gets down graded to junk then the rating agencies slam Portugal and Spain in a downgrade.  They know that Spain is in trouble too, and they are trying to get a bailout under the table without looking like a large european country that couldn't take care of it's finances.


Just like an article you did yesterday or friday I believe about how a UK paper earlier in the year said that Europe has Trillions in toxic paper on their bank sheets and after being talked too the paper put the article out again without mention of the trillions in toxic paper.  140 billion for Greece (for now, and it won't work), Spain "not wanting" 389 billion for themselves and on and on and on.  It won't end, the only way it will end is when one country (Germany for sure) decides to call it quits and leave the EU.  Once that happens you will see everything fall apart in a matter of days.  Someone over their and over here has to say the game is over, time to take our fiscal medicine and fix our economies.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 02:41 | 332076 Moonrajah
Moonrajah's picture

Okay, let me get this straight. The Greeks don't want austerity measures (and who would?), so they are against an austerity-flavored bail out. But they are still being force-fed the bailout by the Goverment and the EU, because:

a) local bondholders are not ready for a haircut (hell, they're against any small trim);

b) the EU is afraid the EMU may be borked beyond repair.

If that's the case then they are displaying reactive thinking as opposed to proactive that is currently on the market which called their bluff (the yields on other PIIGS are rising pretty dramatically). And the current holders of Greek salad-leafs will have to either find some shmuck to foot the final bill or take the haircut. With all the PR storms around Greece, I don't think other European taxpayers will want to be on the receiving end of the Greek-shaft, no matter how much they are brainwashed that it is only right to "help a neighbor" (and what about Iceland for that matter?). And the Euro is already so bad that the BIS had to step in. How long will that safetynet remain?

So if European taxpayers including the Greeks don't want a bailout, the optimal way out is a swift default AND a return to drachma. Sure, the bondholders will find out that their supply of toilet paper just increased, but the EMU will have a chance to remain in the pricture. You can't win 'em all, right?

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:15 | 332168 Sigma O
Sigma O's picture

A few people here might be aware of the "Zeitgeist Movement" and the "Venus Project". The Venus Project is an exercise in rather old-fashioned, 1960s-style futurism, according to which advanced technology and rational social planning will allow an end to social hierarchy, the use of money, and a host of supposed psychological pathologies arising from economic scarcity. It was lifted from decades-old obscurity when it was featured in a massively popular Youtube video otherwise devoted to critiquing present-day religion, economics, and politics (I haven't seen the video but it sounds like it conveys the familiar message of, 'the elites are lying to you and controlling you for their own benefit'). I just stumbled upon the Youtube profile of Jacque Fresco, the 94-year-old futurist behind the Venus Project, and was fascinated to see a message from Greece!


'Dear Sir ,i am from Thessaloniki - Greece? .I don't know if you have been informed about what is happening here in Greece. We are a country FULL of energy ,we have Sun,Aeolic Energy,and a lot of Diesel, we have a rich land ,but our Political System in assotiation with Global Economical System achieved to make our Debt up to 350 Billion euros.This means that all Greek people will be poor, and slaves to this Global Economical System.
Do you believe that Greek people have the opportunity to fight ,and became free from this bad attack?How can i help my country to use all these goods that nature give to us to became the owners of our selfs? to became happy again.'


Unfortunately for my own desire to see weird retrofuturist revivals seriously affecting world events, the Zeitgeist Movement is too small, marginal, and impractical to be a factor in the Greek social and political upheavals of 2010.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 10:31 | 332522 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

I was unaware of greece's oil reserves...

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