The Reason Why Greece Is Pissed, Or They Don't Call It The "Misery Index" For Nothing

Tyler Durden's picture

A day ahead of the general Greek strike coupled with major Parliament blockade protest, it is useful to remember just why it is that Greeks are so pissed. Well, besides the obvious increase in the retirement age from 61 of course. So below it is in chart format. While we previously presented the UK "misery index" which back in March hit a 20 year high for the first time, here is the same appropriately titled index for Greece. And if the UK is at a 2 decade "misery" high, then Greece is roughly at a 10 billion year high. It really may all be uphill from here... Unless of course the Greek population decides it is happy with the status quo.

via John Lohman

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edotabin's picture

Pissed Bitchez!

SilverDosed's picture

Very bearish for tunnels, bullish for flamethrowers

markmotive's picture

Niall Ferguson on Greece's potential default:


It doesn't look good folks.

Reptil's picture

Now or later, there will be settlement. A small fish like Greece, even if it grew spines with adding 13 or so CDS to it's assets, can be swallowed, by bigger fish. Better now (first pinguin always makes it past the sealeopard (or not?!) than in a year or so. (better for the greek that is ..)

As far as the banks here, well... they did 2 bank tests and everything was ok, according to them. Enough reason to (try to) pay out bonusses, and take on more risk in the past year. So you can see this as a "real life" bank test. Fuck em. Unhealthy companies as the dominant model is bullshit, IMHO. So is adding private debt to public accounts when the SHTF, since that would mean handing in the keys, and become serves too.

Pampering over the gap will not work, it's useless to try, so is it in most/all other cases... Brace yourself, it's gonna be a hell of a ride, and there be pissed bankers, that put on war colors.. and will try to kill our economy (abillity to grow out of the debt) or do a DSK on some, and as a last (or first?!) resort; will blow themselves up.

I'm now convinced they will lose in Europe, if we keep this line, and go down in flames. There's going to be a lot of collatteral damage. It's crucial, when at war, to minimise exposure IMO. But europe will be the first pinguin that always makes it. Like Greece but then on a global scale.

Bob's picture

Didn't watch the video, but heard what you were saying.  Thank you. 

Weisbrot's picture

they are just taking it like a Greek, and we aren't that far down the line to becoming a Greek style tragedy ourselves........

Thanks Corrupticians.

monopoly's picture

Why don't they just tell the banksters to f___ off.

Harlequin001's picture

Before they can do that they must write off your pension funds and other freebie health care unemployment benefits etc. The subsequent crash in bond markets will render all companies that have a pension funding requirement insolvent bringing stock markets near to zero as well. Then you can write off any equity that you think you have in your house.

Before they can tell the bankers to fuck off, they have to tell you to do the same, unfortunately...

lizzy36's picture

But that is going to happen anyone.

The issue with respect to restructuring isn't "IF" it is "WHEN".

And so the choice is now, and let the recovery start tomorrow. Or a slow bleed over the next year, and then restructuring.

The thing is if it happens now, the banks suffer more that 12 months from now. As does the ECB, which holds what $50B in Greek bonds. If you wait 12 months the people suffer more.

Harlequin001's picture

Absolutely right, we should have done this in 2001. I don't have a pension by the way, neither do I rely on state benefits of any kind, I pay to educate my children and I buy my own medical care as and when I need it.

The sooner this system is gone the better, in my view...

Ben Fleeced's picture

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

What did you do today ya dumb ass hat?

Oh, don't have, don't take, pay it all by myself biatch.

I smell pants on fire. I call you out, sir.

En garde monsieur chein!!

Reptil's picture

Oh look, it's got a nose-ring! How convenient.

Fiat currency systems always reverse to a more stable state. The trick is to not have some sort of asset transfer, and be self-reliant. There's always going to be money of some sort, and it's hardly the end of the world.

Dutch, german, french, italian, spanish, portugese, english and many more populatition majorities say "no". They might have a limited idea what that means, but they know they're fucked regardless of their descision, and still have power to stop the system in it's tracks. So that's why there's going to be settlement soon.

Bob's picture

Actively negotiating a little social contract, bitchez.

Harlequin001's picture

Ben Fleeced,

and this gibberish means what, exactly...

Freddie's picture

There are a lot of delusional posters here who think all the problems are solved by "screwing the bankers."  I hate em too especially Goldman Sachs who helped hide Greece's indebtedness.

The Greeks, especially the leftists, think well paying govt jobs or lush welfare benefits are a birthright.  Just like Fed, state and local govt union workers in the United States. The USA is in far worse shape than Greece.  See Calif and Illinois for a start. Greece wanted Germany's standard of living including the toys (Mercedes), long vacations, nice houses and all the benefits.  Greece makes what? Olives?  Some shipping.  So they gorged on debt and the Greeks had a party and the party is over.  They are as fault as the bankers especially the left that thinks endless welfare is a birthright.  F*** Em.  

Incubus's picture

"It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."


"Only after disaster can we be resurrected."

"This was freedom. Losing all hope was freedom."



"For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of used motor oil. And I have to foot the bill for nuclear waste and buried gasoline tanks and landfilled toxic sludge dumped a generation before I was born."


Add debt government debt to that quote, too.  Fuck what the fuck oldasses ran up.  It's about time for a goddamned reset.


"I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now. This is my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead."


macholatte's picture

Have they been drinking too much?

Beauty is in the eye.......

pissed [p?st]

1. Brit, Austral, and NZ slang intoxicated; drunk.        2. US slang annoyed, irritated, or disappointed
anti Oligarchy's picture

British version is best - especially when spoken by a hot Brit

"C'on let's go get pissed"

wombats's picture

Can you present this chart for the US?

omi's picture

CME! Can we have some futures for this?

Parth's picture

Its expected that a large perceentage of population in US will have to work into their 80s. 61 retirement age? Germans will not bail them out. Some Greek friends of mine also noted that people really do not work that much before retirement anyway- something like "take it easy". Haha.

Ben Fleeced's picture

Kinda like the faulking Italians who go on strike for three weeks culminating in contactual three week summer vacation?

Non productive Americans like this. Facebroke it!






hpro123's picture


all I can say is that a percentage of the greek population already works in their 80s... and please, tell some of your "greek friends" to quit noting and chatting and start working instead. People? As in all of them? Almost all of them?

What about the 20+ % that are unemployed for the past 2-3 years and are desperately seeking some/any form of employment? What about the seveal engineers I have met at "Continuous Education for Advancing your Career" seminars (not free) that make good use of their education by Delivering fast pizzas? Please, do not oversimplify things, it is way below what ZH standards should be.

LosersAverageLosers's picture

i am a buyer of greek employment + inflation at 17%

JustACitizen's picture

I am just glad that they are setting an example. I don't care whether they retire at 61 or not - I just want to see some members of the banking executive suite hurling themselves out of tall buildings. It would probably be too much to ask to watch them being hurled out of the tall buildings...I suppose. Perhaps the politicians though...

Parth's picture

Well I am not supporting the banksters, but they(Greek civilians) are a poor example. Just sell it to the German population and I think you get the idea. 

JustACitizen's picture

So - you think that the Greek government would be selling to the German population? More likely they would be selling it to the International Rentier Class who would use the German people's money to purchase the assets and then charge the German people to visit "their property".

Right now I am a big fan of the citizens of Iceland and I may yet become a big fan of the Greeks - we'll see how this pans out.

Ben Fleeced's picture

It's hate the German people for advancing their interests.

I smell pre WWI predjudice and fear.

Let's build a dirigbible for the USA!!



A Man without Qualities's picture

"More likely they would be selling it to the International Rentier Class who would use the German people's money to purchase the assets and then charge the German people to visit "their property"."

You're 100% correct.  The foreign taxpayer provides cheap loans to repay the private sector debts at a premium to fair value and in exchange for this, the Greeks sell off assets at fire sale prices to the rentier class, who then make massive profits.  The classic example was the Cochabamba water company in Bolivia.

Harlequin001's picture

It seems to me that the Greeks are complaining because they haven't enough freebie welfare. How can anyone support this?

Fact is it will get a lot worse before it gets any better, before people realise that they have to work for their keep in the real world...

JustACitizen's picture

Just because I am against the banksters - does not make me a fan of social welfare. The fact is that when you lend money - you take risks. You take the risks for profit. Sometimes you make - sometimes you lose. It is supposed to be your judgement/contract/due diligence etc...that is the difference between a tidy profit and a loss. We have an entire generation of banksters and "financial engineers" who believe that they are entitled to a profit. Now, who else do we know that feels entitled to something for nothing? What regard do you hold those people in?

Harlequin001's picture

I couldn't agree with you more, I think generally speaking those who are against the bankers are against social welfare. Face it the two go hand in hand because it's the way the system is sold to the populace; we need banks to buy debt to pay for these benefits.

To be blunt, I do not come from a wealthy background and without this system of debt sales it is debatable as to whether I would ever have been educated at all. Same applies to many westerners educated and kept healthy by the state. Certainly the British are one of if not the most inventive nations on earth, but one must question how inventive we would have been without debt sales to the empire, how much money we would have been able to commit to these ideas with less money in circulation.

I understand that any fiat system, just like a ponzi, has a lifespan and that span is now over. We  now must go back to a gold standard before we can embark on the next system of fiat that we all ultimately desire if the truth be known. It is a cycle that has run it's course, this time around.

Our choice is to default now and take a hit on our assets today or bail out and default later taking a hit on our assets with a commensurate drop in currency values. Most decent folk understand that we should default now because by devaluing money later, those at the lower scale of wealth starve also.

I believe that what I see today is a vain attempt to recover a terminal systemic decline. Where I seem to differ from most is my belief that this is a desperate attempt by politicians to not face up to the problem that is being benefited from by bankers. That is not the same as bankers conspiring to steal taxpayer money. Governments need to sell debt; banks buy government debt; banks need to be bailed out or governments can't sell debt and collapse in default. Governments in default can't provide free education, welfare etc. Citizens riot.

Greeks complaining about austerity don't seem to understand that the system is over until it can be reborn again from a new system built atop sound money. But then why would they? They've been lied to all along by socialist politicians who told them that the system was sustainable. They don't seem to be complaining about banker bailouts, they are complaining about a lack of welfare...

'What regard do you hold those people in?' None, I have no feelings either way. If I have a complaint against anyone it is against governments globally that conspire to reduce currency values rather than write off non existent wealth.

Without these same bankers we despise I would probably not have been educated. In the same way without the system's collapse I would not have benefited to the extent that I have from the rise in gold and silver. It is a pity the system had to end for me to benefit so greatly but then the system's end is inevitable, it's not my fault.

In the same way as bankers are benefitting from the bailout I am benefitting from the inevitable rise in gold and silver, which is a direct consequence of what the bankers are doing...

Should I hold them responsible for my rise up the social wealth ladder? Yes, obviously. Should I despise them? Yes, but for reasons other than those mentioned in this post...

A Man without Qualities's picture

The Greek trades unions cannot be so stupid as to think the current situation is sustainable.  My experience in Greek business tells me that the trade union leaders are just as corrupt as the bankers they rail against.  In fact, in a lot of deals, the trade union leaders get money in brown envelopes or put in offshore bank accounts.  I suspect they are orchestrating these protests in order to protect their personal positions (either more money or promises that their secrets will remain secret.)

Why anyone in their right mind would want to invest in this sort of system (via privitization) escapes me.  I suspect the German government have spoken to Deutsche Telecom about their experiences with OTE, which has been an unmitigated disaster, and realized there is no hope of making the situation viable without a root and branch change to the culture of cronyism and corruption.  To date, the Greek authorities have failed to meet every target, every promise, so the present value of future promises must be close to zero.

Add to this, banks did not price Greece risk on a stand alone basis (they were well aware of the reality of the situation), but rather on the basis that the Eurozone tax payers would have no choice but to intervene.  Therefore, why shouldn't they share the burden of restructuring?

Harlequin001's picture

I too suspect that Greek politicians know they must ultimately default, and that they are under considerable pressure from the EU not to do so because of the consequences of that default.

Question is, 'who do the Greek politicians represent, the Greek people or Europe, and at what point can the reply that Greeks better interests are in staying in Europe override issues of national sovereignty?'

My view is that it is treason, pure and simple. Greek politicians should represent the Greek people and to hell with all after, and the best way to represent the Greek people is to tell them in no uncertain terms that the gravy train is over. period.


Ben Fleeced's picture

History has shown that Greece was a folloer of the Puritan ideal.

Focus on the US. Your mental only efforts would be better served.

hpro123's picture

Harlequin001 ,

most of your posts here are rational and well thought out... however, you seem to partially suffer from the same MSM disease tha a lot of ZH regulars also suffer.

Operative phrase in your post above is "SEEMS TO ME". As you may have figured out by now, seems often deviates from reality.

~80% of the Greek workforce, myself included, do NOT work for the Government. This 80% does NOT get raises, does NOT retire at 61 or 41 or whatever and definitely does not get "freebie welfare"!!! This 80% is already operating under the assumption that it will never retire...

Engineers in Greece had their own Social Sec/Medical Fund that has now been merged with almost every other Fund there is for sans State and Private Employee fund. In 2007 our fund supported 1 retiree for every 6,75 working contributors. In 2010? 1 for every 10.4 still working.

Free welfare? Just a brief intro to "free welfare" for the employeed  Greek private sector: Social Security is MANDATORY, whatever you do. Even if you are not employed, as long as you were stupid enough to try and have your own business, you are liable to the Fund for every single penny you would owe them if you were working. No ability to pay your monthly dues? No problem, just a 3.5% surcharge for the 1st month and 1.5% monthly thereafter!!!

Back to employess in the private sector... Can you figure how much the "free welfare" costs the Greek economy? Let me enlighten you: 49.2% of their Salary!!! The State (via the Funds) racks in 49.2% of whatever I should be paid! 20.x% from the employee and 28.x% from the employer! Close to 50% before we even cash the montly paycheck become homage to the State. What does a private sector employee gets for this 50% ? A great medical care? IKA (the fund of the private sector employees) guarantees that every time you need some exam, say a CAT scan, you will have to wake up at 05:00, go line-up with the rest of the poor bastards outside their offices and if you are lucky, you may see your number called before the end of their work day! If yes, you can get an appointmnet for a CAT scan in, say, 3 months? 5 months? These are real numbers here, not fiction! If NO, well,tomorrow is another day and you can again meet your new friends in the line outside their offices!

So, I would be very carefull in using generalizations like "they do not have enough freebie welfare and want to retire at 40-50-60". It is obvious that the State employees were way different in those respects but, again, some 80% of teh greek workforce does NOT work for the Government.


As a footnote, today will be interesting!!! You will have the regular Indignados in full force outside the parliament and at the same time there will be demonstrations organized by the same state-employee syndicates that the private sector Indignados denounce!

edotabin's picture

System's gotta be cleared out.

1. Ire directed at banksters

2. Ire directed at politicians

3. Ire directed at about 60-70% of gov't employees that hardworking private sector folks such as yourself support while they mock everything and everyone.

zuuuueri's picture

Everything this guy says is right on- and on top of all that, everyone in greece has to somehow deal with the bullshit system of farming out privileges and monopolies to well-connected people. Want to sell or make , well, basically anything? If you're not the one who's already blessed to do so in the area, you will run into an impassable wall of paperwork. At least they dont send thugs around to break your kneecaps, but they instead choke you with permits, hearings, inspections, etc, so that you never actually can commence business. They can and will stretch it out to _years_ , and the whole point is not to make sure everything is perfectly inspected and legit, haha, no the purpose is to force you either out of business, or to pay into their syndicate one way or another. 

What's the result of this? cartel-like abusive pricing on everything. The price at the cash register (nevermind the criminal 23% vat) is higher for almost everything, in greece, than it is in germany. 

In a way i'm lucky, i live and work abroad and don't have to deal with this shit day to day, and go back to visit when i like, but, the system in greece is bullshit. 

There are three groups, not just two, in this formula. There are the private sector, who pay heavily, work hard, and whether theyre farmers in some village maybe clearing 5-10k a year, or successful professionals or small business owners doing well, they are raped backwards and forwards with taxes, fees, red tape, 'extraordinary fees', and corrupt officials on every side.  There are the politicians and the elites, who have eaten the lions share at the orgy of borrowed money. Then there are their bought and paid for lackeys, the flunkies in the public sector, who you see rioting in the streets bitching because they're about to be kicked off the gravy train.

They were useful enough to the politicians when they were being bought with cheap promises of guaranteed salaries and pensions, etc. They supported the politicians, they supported the insane mentality that it's everyone's duty to pay out the ass to support The System, they were there day and night ramming this socialist crap down peoples throats.. but of course now that the party is over they are going to try to bleed the rest of the country dry to preserve their pathetic little privileges. The bigshots of course have sold the whole country out to foriegn interests, and georgie is probably already looking forward to a seat on the board somewhere in london or new york as thanks for having delivered yet another formerly inrependent country into their hands, and even more, for pulling off the first test run of total obliteration of sovereignty inside the EU. 

Both the small and large parasites have been bleeding greece. The working people in the private sector, be they self employed, or whether they work for someone else, have been bled dry to pay for this system. (even with all the loans, they still needed a lot more money than what they could borrow). It's hard to have any sympathy for the bloodsuckers who have been happily pulling down their salaries for 15 or 20 years while doing nothing, and now screaming because their pension is evaporating. Let the fuckers burn. 

If the small-time parasites end up being the thing that finally cracks the whole thing apart, well, then they will have finally done something useful. might not entirely compensate for the fact that they were part of the problem, but it'll help.  

Meanwhile, the powers outside of greece will move heaven and earth, as long as they can, to keep up appearances and preserve the fiction of a united europe.  Until they sink the whole thing together, they will keep finding ways to keep any part from breaking off, 'bailing out' in their backwards lingo. 

When they can't keep it going any longer, thats when it gets fun. I wish we'd default, but i suspect they will find yet another way to, as they say,  kick the can down the road. These sort of things go far longer than reasonable people often suspect they would, because, well, reasonable people dont think or act like desperate junkies.  Even knowing this it is hard not to look around and say 'holy shit can't they see this is falling apart right before our eyes?' 



Harlequin001's picture

Well hypro, one of the first comments I made on ZH was that 'If I invest 1 million dollars or pounds into a business I have a vote. If I make two employees redundant I am outvoted. Democracy is nothing more than the ability of the masses to vote themselves ever greater welfare at my expense, which they have done with immeasurable success (and cost) to date...' I would add 'and that I have no way to protect myself or my investment from it'. Maybe I'm wrong but you sound like you are of like mind.

Some of us work hard to build our businesses and we appreciate the difficulties in making and keeping our money. Many seem not to care as long as the check arrives every month, and that is not a Greek phenomenon. It is global.

Perhaps someone should explain to me how it is legal or even right for someone, anyone (including a government) to demand money from me to pay to someone else who is created a job so as to not count him as unemployed? This, sadly is the state we are in, where some governments, (the US Govt creates one in six jobs and Egypt even more) do exactly that, and when there is insufficient tax revenue to pay for it we borrow at taxpayers expense so as to not lay them off and count them as unemployed. This too is welfare, and when I say it is freebie I mean that it is always at someone else's expense, even debt sales. Anyone who reads my comments will know that I understand that nothing is free.

I shut my business down and left for foreign shores because my country is no different to what you have described above other than the tax rates are higher. I have no particular dislike of Greeks, and neither do I view them or their economy as any different to any other European. It is simply the case that they are further down the route to collapse than the others that will follow...

Widowmaker's picture

Let me paraphrase: Arbeit macht frei.

As usual the issue is not work it's incorporated elitist fraud.

Freddie's picture

ZH has a lot of 2008 O-Mugabe voters who are lefties.  They think if we all screw the bankers then life will be good.  Leftist govt unionized workers and welfare vermin expecting endless handouts are as bad as the scum bankers.