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So Much For Austerity: Greece Has Already Overspent In Just The First Two Months Of The Year

Tyler Durden's picture


For one reason why Greece thought that the EU and the IMF were just keeeding about all that austerity mumbo jumbo, here is one explanation, from Kathimerini (via Eurointelligence), according to which three of the Greek "ministries have already disbursed more funds than they should in the first two months of the year." Shockingly, the department of health insurance for the self-employed has already disbursed almost 50% of the allotted funds in just the first two months of 2010! One can see why Greece may suddenly be worried that Europe, and especially the IMF, were actually quite serious about all those spending cut threats. And if Greece already had violent demonstrations, general strikes and bombings without in fact having instituted any austerity, then one can see why John Taylor sees civil war as one of the most unpleasant, yet realistic implications of a Greek bailout (as well as lack thereof, hence the Catch 22).

From EuroIntelligence:

Greece might need further spending cuts

Kathimerini reports that the Treasury’s latest expenditure projections for Greece suggest that most likely there will be a need for further spending cuts. Three ministries have already disboursed more funds than they should in the first two months of the year: The Ministry of Economy, Competitiveness and the Marine spent 18.2% of its total appropriation for this year, the Interior Ministry 17.4% and the Ministry of Labour  17%. Even worse are insurances.  OAEE health insurance for self employed has disbursed 41.7% of its assets. The social insurance ΙΚΑ 25.3% and 20.4% NAT.

h/t Paul


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Thu, 04/08/2010 - 15:37 | Link to Comment bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Race to the end of the tracks.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 15:37 | Link to Comment holdinmyown
holdinmyown's picture

What is surprising about this is that ALL of the Greek ministries haven't spent more than they should in the first 2 months.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 15:39 | Link to Comment Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

Don't be so concerned about Greece, how much US spending on food stamps and extended unemployment payments and other shit. Lets look what we do here to prevent popular uprising, is it any different than Greece? The only difference is printing press and everybody is proud of strenght of it! Hurrah! we have press so we are much better than those low lives!

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 15:43 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I will watch closely to see if/how California follows Greece into insolvency.

The train wreck does appear to be in sight.  Although I have been watching for it for a long time.

Repent!  The end is near.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 15:48 | Link to Comment truont
truont's picture

The Greek Govt will only tighten their spending when they A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y have to.

They are playing a game of chicken, betting that they will get bailed out by EU, IMF, or Benny-Boy (or perhaps even Asia?)

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 18:06 | Link to Comment Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Let's say the have to.

The bail out will only be temporary. 3 months later more will be needed. the catch 22 situation is real.

No government can stay in power, if austerity measures are implemented.

Between the anarchists (the Greek Zorba-like free spirit is at work here) and the opposition of whichever government is in power, will demonstrate to the nth degree of destruction and chaos will indeed ensue.

There are no pleasant solutions here.

And elsewhere? Ireland, Portugal, UK, USA, China, Spain, Italy, even tiny Luxemburg let alone the eastern block. The list goes on and on.

Two options:

  1. Head for the mountains (for the old folks)
  2. Reclaim your government. (for the younger ones)

At least here in the US we have our guns and ammo.

I have already reserved a spot for me in the Andes.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 00:14 | Link to Comment perchprism
perchprism's picture

The Romans had a political out in times of dire national distress:  elect a dictator for 6 months or a year.  He would reign supreme for that time period, and provide cover for the Senators who could not otherwise possibly vote for what they all knew was necessary.  This was when Rome was still a Republic, of course.

So the dictator could order into being all the unpopular decisions and austerity budgets.  Makes sense to me.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 07:30 | Link to Comment Adam Neira
Adam Neira's picture

Another example from history, circa 600 bc is Solon. He came in and basically saved the Athenian State. There is a way out of the global mess but real wisdom is required. A modern day Solon is required. He will work with other righteous people. G-d is just. He always makes sure that a certain number of truly righteous individuals are left down here on terra-firma to hold the very fabric of the universe together. As history attests wisdom flows through the zeitgeist to the most righteous of an age. All the pieces of the divine jigsaw puzzle are falling into place...G-d has a plan !

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 15:49 | Link to Comment Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Spend/claim as much as possible BEFORE the austerity measures are imposed and enforced, or before the default occurs.  Good strategy on the part of the greeks.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 04:35 | Link to Comment nathan1234
nathan1234's picture

Exactly. That's what they are doing. Spend what's budgeted and worry about defaults as and when it occurs.

Fresh lenders will be taken to the cleaners

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:00 | Link to Comment Shameful
Shameful's picture

Out of the gov handbook

"When in doubt double spending."

"If things are bad, double spending"

"If things are good, double spending"

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:01 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I think you all give the playas too much credit. Bureaucracies are too big, left and right hands do not know what the other is doing, redundancies and inefficiencies pervade the system. They aren't planning anything. It is just happening.

O-U-T O-F C-O-N-T-R-O-L 

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:23 | Link to Comment tmosley
tmosley's picture

I agree.  In general, one should never blame on conspiracy what one can blame on incompetence. 

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:41 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

The culture of corruption isn't going away just because they've been promised a bailout.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 19:26 | Link to Comment Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

Shades of 1931.  By the time some countries finally hammered out the terms of loans to support others, things were already moving beyond the event horizon.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 20:53 | Link to Comment Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Pure momo fo sho

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:10 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

....the department of health insurance for the self-employed...

I wonder if they also have a

  • Dep't of food for those with actual jobs
  • Dep't of transportation for those who can afford gas
  • Dep't of shelter for the one's who are not suckin' on the .gov tit
Thu, 04/08/2010 - 18:21 | Link to Comment Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

BTW: Health insurance in Greece is a coupon method. Something that we may end up instituting here in the US of A, if we overuse the system as determined by the Obama 129 agencies. 

The only good thing is that the coupons can be traded sold exchanged etc. (Illegally of course. as the people are fighting corruption with their own version of corruption.)

Evading tax has been turned into a form of a national sport. The name of the sport is called survive the big government.

Small companies hire each others relatives on the books and claim their meager salaries as deductions. No money changes hands. Only on paper. companies have to pay for some benefits only.

Hundreds of similar schemes. part of the game of surviving the big bro. 

The relatives pay no taxes and get health insurance.  


Thu, 04/08/2010 - 20:56 | Link to Comment Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Sounds like swapping insurance cards here in the US or purchasing burnt out light bulbs to swap out when in a public space or at work...

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 00:18 | Link to Comment perchprism
perchprism's picture


Dunno, but they've got  The Ministry of Economy, Competitiveness and the Marine.



Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:12 | Link to Comment InsanePonziClown
InsanePonziClown's picture

that one's easy to figure, when you know you're company is going bankrupt, everyone steals the office supplies, everyone

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:23 | Link to Comment mikla
mikla's picture

+1, that's exactly what's happening.

Similarly, have you ever filled out your "weekly progress report" about stuff you got done this month, when a significant part of that time was spent in the streets rioting?  You need to be paid overtime to process the government checks that it's your job to mail out.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:42 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture



Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:21 | Link to Comment MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

The Socialist Govt tries to destroy Greece. Socialists created the enormous debt back in the 80's and were re-elected 6 months ago promising money to the people, saying "money do exist". Now GAP (PM) is hidding as Greek people feels painful austerity measures that lead them to poverty.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:50 | Link to Comment SimpleSimon
SimpleSimon's picture

Ben is retrofitting his helicopters to get them to be able to fly the Atlantic, drop some loads, then fly back.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:08 | Link to Comment seventree
seventree's picture

C130 Hercules rigged for pallet drops.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:56 | Link to Comment nedwardkelly
nedwardkelly's picture

Haha, of course everyone department is going to spend money 'ahead of schedule'. Once it's spent, noone can tell you not to spend it.


(I'm not sure spending 18.2% in two months is anything to get hysterical about... Wouldn't ~16.7% be what was allocated?)

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:01 | Link to Comment holdinmyown
holdinmyown's picture

Exactly.  What else would you do if you were the Greek gov't?  The gig is up so party-on until all other gov'ts around you fall with you.  Don't let up until absolutely necessary.  This party is going to crash but Greece won't be the only one with a hangover.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:55 | Link to Comment rsi1
rsi1's picture

Wow, this is looting, they know this is going to implode, so take advantage of the system while you can. it looks like a lost cause.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:07 | Link to Comment Mongo
Mongo's picture


Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:08 | Link to Comment Mark of Zerro
Mark of Zerro's picture

Drachma...come to daddy!



Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:10 | Link to Comment BlackBeard
BlackBeard's picture

Once a junkie...

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 17:31 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

i admire that actually

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 19:34 | Link to Comment plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

This Greece shit is nothing but a Plug, A cork, A piece of putrefied Fecal matter stuck in the Asshole of progress causing severe constipation. We need to flush out all the dead Feces from the Asshole if we are going to get anywhere. In the mean time, Rally on. I knew the market would go up today,. ZH, Shorts are taking it up the Asshole of progress. Nothing like a good Bowel movement.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 19:35 | Link to Comment Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

I hereby dub thee Sir (or Lady) Proktos.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 20:52 | Link to Comment plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

Thank you. I do so accept the privlidge. Being a short is a pain in my dirty Rectum. GS up over $3.00 on Greek news. Excuse me whilst i insert an Enema up my Royal Ass.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 19:31 | Link to Comment Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

Greece has been trying to claim kinship to emerging markets in yet another bizaare "marketing" attempt to gin up interest in their bonds.

I think the theme music to their road show (assuming it happens) should be a Prince variant -  "Tonight we're going to party like it's 1998..."

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 21:24 | Link to Comment Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

G-Pap doing Day's of our Lives, live and in color!

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 23:35 | Link to Comment Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

I heard he's going back in a couple of weeks for an encore.

Edit - Oopps, they just changed the line up.  Instead of the Pap-whatever-ster, they are looking to have some regular Athenians make an appearance instead.  You know, keepin' it (or makin' it) real...

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 08:59 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Would that be a G-Pap smear?

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 09:21 | Link to Comment Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

@ 14%+ on the 3m?  Hardly.  He is running headlong into the hard, unforgiving wall called objective circumstances .. as the food stamps get collected and the trailer parks evacuated in sunny southern Europe while the termites choke on the splinters. 

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 21:05 | Link to Comment Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Why did this information come out, it's because they are gearing up the world and the markets to know that EU will not bail Greece out.  Trying to make them out as incompetent, foolish, greedy etc. etc..  And in so doing they can rationalize their reasons for not bailing them out.  And one of the posters where correct, if a bailout was signed and sealed tomorrow 3 to 4 months from know they would need another bailout and then another and another.  And thats not even saying anything to what will happen for the rest of the PIIGS.  A country of 11 million people who have 1,400 Islands where most of them are uninhabited (about 1,175 don't have anybody living there).  If they want money they should ante up property/territory as collateral or just let them buy it outright and considered soverign territory of said loan countries (France, Germany whomever).


When Greece govt. officials over the past weeks been saying this or that and going back on things they said even hours after the incident, tells me that they are desperate.

Fri, 04/09/2010 - 04:54 | Link to Comment nathan1234
nathan1234's picture

They should sell some of these islands to GS. And after the event  raise annual property taxes on full islands owned to 50% of purchase value.

GS should get it a$$ buggered.

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 21:53 | Link to Comment Captain Willard
Captain Willard's picture

The Colonels of our youth are coming back to Greece.... they will bring martial law, austerity, devaluation and official theft.

I give civilian government in Greece no more than 6 months.

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