Greek Banana Republic Status Upgraded To AAA After Sit-Ins At Eight Ministries Prevent Troika Inspections

Tyler Durden's picture

A day after we learned that the Greece tragicomedy just gets better and better after it had run out of ink to print tax forms, and hence is unable to collect taxes, and were forced to got over a minute long bout of hysterical laughter having learned that Greece plans on refinancing its rolling debt (which trades at over 100%) with Century Bonds, no seriously and this under the sage advice of BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Lazard, we now get the latest update in this progression of relentless Banana Republic upgrades after learning that the Troika is unable to conduct its much needed inspections of Greek deficit cut progress due to sit ins by protesting government workers at 8 ministries. From Kathimerini: "The troika has been in Athens since Wednesday but its monitoring of Greek finances is running into a variety of problems, as besides the disagreement with the government on a number of issues, the representatives of the country’s international creditors had to deal with sit-ins at the building they were about to visit on Thursday. Public sector employees blocked the entrance to the Finance Ministry and the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) in protest at the planned measure of putting thousands of them on labor standby status." Seriously what else? News that government workers start shredding debt indentures for fun? In the meantime the Troika is having official meetings with what's left of the government at the local Starbucks...

From Kathimerini:

The inspectors met with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos at the deputy prime minister’s office on Zalocosta Street instead, a meeting that went relatively well according to reports, making amends for a rather disastrous meeting in late August that had led to the troika’s hasty departure.


The new snags concern the labor standby system, closed-shop professions and the privatizations.


By Monday, the troika will need to have completed its assessment, while the government must have approved the labor standby system, as well as the new public sector salary system, the 2012 budget draft and the new midterm fiscal plan. Venizelos therefore had an extraordinary meeting with Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas on Thursday evening, and there will be an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Sunday.


Public sector workers also staged sit-ins at seven other ministries on Thursday, but decided to leave during the day. Protesters intend to stay at the Finance Ministry until tonight while the sit-in at the ELSTAT building is not seen ending before Sunday.

Meanwhile the government has resorted to withholding the salaries of state employees who have outstanding tax debts, provided their monthly salary exceeds 1,000 euros. Already 20 civil aviation authority employees have had their salaries withheld.

Well at least the meeting went well...

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oogs66's picture

they need to issue some bonds so they can pay the banks for their advice and no inspection must mean Germany can give even more money! 

jm's picture

Just keep breast-feeding those assholes off the German teat, guys.


malamasa's picture

Those assholes JM pay 5% to the Germans while the Germans borrow money at less than 2%

Not bad deal eh!!

and Jm I really doubt that you know where Europe is ...

jm's picture

Guess we now know that Greek government employees read ZH.

Speaking of Europe, ask the German taxpayer what he thinks of the little vig you describe.

malamasa's picture

Government employee ...of course not ...I belong to the private sector y ..I've been working my whole life in the private sector 

and if you want the truth .......



jm's picture

Your country pays German banks because it borrowed from them at a contracted interest rate. 

Germany pays less in interest costs because they are not bums on a historical, collective basis.  Do I really need to spell out why your country has to pay a higher interest rate?

Great, you're in the private sector. *claps*

Now why aren't you bitching about the bums doing the sit-in? 

Why should you be pissed that people see through the ridiculous joke on the German taxpayer?



malamasa's picture

You dont have a fucking clue what am I doing here ....and how I act as a citizen ....

so ..please stay there in your fantastic world in US ..and always check


snowball777's picture

But he's complaining about it...doesn't that count for something? /sarc

richard in norway's picture

you are not a nice person

jm's picture

The truth hurts, and nobody ever wants to hear it, much less handle it.

As long as there is a good faith effort on the part of a debtor, you forebear.  You work with them.

When they thumb their nose at you, you cut your losses and leave them to their own self-made fate.

US and European banks will never take this step as long as taxpayers shell out to keep the charade going.

That's cruel.


snowball777's picture

You mean those awesomely prudent banks that wouldn't exist right now but for bailouts?

It takes two to tango; a bad loan is just as much the fault of the creditor with dollar/euro signs in their eyes.

Perhaps if those banks had been left to their own self-made fate, we wouldn't be playing charades anymore.

jm's picture

Uh, when a bank "cuts losses", it means there are losses. 

To some extent, there is a place for taxpayer assistance, but it should be done in the framework of democratic process.  Most of what has gone on in the last couple of years is under a cloak of secrecy that shoudl make everyone's skin crawl.

snowball777's picture

There should be no "taxpayer assistance" for banks. None. Whether that collusion is above-board or not or controlled by a democratic process (two wolves, one sheep) is completely irrelevant. To pretend that moral hazard is bad for citizens but okay for banks is to invite violent revolution.

jm's picture

One could argue that this should be for voters to decide, but clearly not some technocrats.  But I've pissed off enough people this morning already.

macroeconomist's picture

You piss people off because you don't know a thing about the crisis in Europe, neither the reasons nor the way to a solution. Instead, you utter the same crap with the "oh lazy Southerners" camp. Here's some stuff for you to read about optmal currency areas and eurozone. You probably won't be bothered, so in summary:

1. High German Wages are possible because of the structural problems in the South.

2. Since joining the Euro, the south has lost all its competitive advantage against Germany and France (to a much lesser degree though) due to common monetary policy and lack of taxes, quotas, or other forms of protection for domestic industries

3. In an optimal currency area (OCA), one of the most important requirements is common fiscal policy, especially when some members run into problems. This is not robbing German taxpayers, it is only getting some of their gains from the OCA back. Which makes all sorts of sense. It is exactly like U.S having federal debt, and the taxes of, let's say New Yorkers, paying for Californian debt.

4. A feasible solution is to issue EU bonds by transferring the excess of Southern Debt over 60% of GDP to a European Pool. That does not necessarily mean that the necessary strucural reforms would not be carried out in these countries. It will only enable the PIIGS to finance some of their debt at much lower rates (at the expense of Germany, France and some others who finance their debt at lower interest rates than the EU bonds will possibly have).



jm's picture

Oh, Good Lord in heaven, now I've pissed off an economist.

Thanks for building the story around dumb political decisions that were unforecastable at time t = 0.  Anybody can go back at what happened ten years ago and say "see, we knew it all along!"  Read my papers.  Where the hell were you guys when the monetary union was in design mode?

No, but thanks.  I'd like to stick with cashflows to determine default contingencies and let the market determine the haircuts and austerity.  But there's no way in hell that's gonna stick when there's a slop trough to be had.  Yet.

macroeconomist's picture



I have been against the monetary union since the first days, particularly the inclusion of the South. Many wrote that THIS would happen during early 2000s. What I get annoyed with is that a lot of people keep on arguing it is all Greece's fault, and the poor German taxpayers are paying for this. I am sorry but that is not the case. That was my whole point. 

I am totally against bailing out the banks, and i do not think the Greeks must sell all their assets to pay for that stupid debt. 

jm's picture

I never siad it was all Greece's fault,  But when you thumb your nose at your creditors, well the forebearance grows cold.  Debtors have to sacrifice and creditors have to eat some too.  Usually this process is accomplished through judicial process.  Traders think CDS will save them but they depend on a determination process that conains inherent political and finacial biases against them. 

Countries aren't amenable names to either CDS or judicial process.  This is why it has gone on so long and involves more and more skin in the game.





edotabin's picture

Understood and agreed.  On the other hand, things are totally out of control in Greece. It is difficult for someone that hasn't lived it to understand just how wrong things are in the Greek public sector. Long term, the best thing that can happen for Greece is to scale back the public sector by 50% and slowly begin repairing the damage of dogma, indoctrination and entitlement that have far surpassed reality, effectiveness, efficiency and just plain working to help your fellow citizen.

It is kind of like in America where the police has gone from "to serve and protect" to "scare and intimidate"

richard in norway's picture

good faith effort, would that be the greeks selling their children. you keep taking pot shots at the ordenary greek people, the only ones who have actually lose anything so far. and the only ones who dont get their point of veiw represented on main stream media


bash the greeks is a very popular sport these days, doesnt that make you think that we are being misdirected

jm's picture

Richard, I can tell you are a kinder man than me, but it doesn't make what you say right.

If the Greek government can't service their debt, then they need to default and face the consequences, not create complications and stalling just to receive another cashburn that forestalls the inevitable for another week or so.  There is no shame in admitting you overextended.  The shame is in all this pretence and graft.

Banks won't give because they have a taxpayer backstop.  Greek government employees won't give because their government keeps a life-line going by gaming the "negotiations".  Who is losing here?  The guys backstopping the whole stupid, stupid game.  

About a default, nobody knows what those consequences would be, other than both better and worse than what some people expect.


malamasa's picture

JM you long CDS right?


Do you really think it is up to the (Stupid) Greek Government to decide when Greece is going to default?

I think they have no choice on the matter and its not their call.

Plus our PM Papandreou has US roots and has been accused in Greece as conspiring with certain HF owners (call me Soros his family friend) to create this situation .....

your thoughts on this???? 

jm's picture

My thoughts: Sorry I was an asshole to you.

mjk0259's picture

Considering that the default risk is a lot higher than 3% and that the Greeks would have to pay 100% or more, that is a pretty bad deal for the Germans

Dental Floss Tycoon's picture


Dem Greek slaves got to be taught a lesson!


No fly zone, bitches.


malamasa's picture

sleves ... remind me your roots ???? .....Africa boy 

snowball777's picture

Awfully proud talk for someone who is about to be a German's houseboy.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Malamasma is posting more like Malakeesma with that statement. (inside Greek joke)

DavidAKZ's picture

Confessions of an Economic Hitman anyone with Boston big dick prices ?

BlackSea's picture

Uh, soo, I guess Greece will get it's money since the meeting was good and no new bad information was unearthed.

richard in norway's picture


but they dont want the money. the greek people want to default. they dont see any end to this, all they can see is years of being squeesed. they wantt to get it over with. its the politicans and bankers that want to keep it going

DormRoom's picture

Greece should hold a national referendum, and put the question of exiting the EZ to a vote, and be done with this.  Without popular support, Greece will continually have budget gaps, since no one is going to pay,  and Germany will be left holding the bag.

richard in norway's picture

no one wants to ask what the greeks want to do cos the PTB wont like the answer

YHC-FTSE's picture

Maybe. Referendum sounds like a good idea, but despite the riots by passionate protestors, the results of such a poll might be in the PTB's favour in Greece. The protests are against austerity, ie they want more benefits, more pensions, more stuff for free. They don't give a shit where it comes from, these ouzo swilling monkeys want more. 


The thing that caught my eye was Greek students throwing CDs at the police. The reason? The government could not afford to print them so they distributed text books on CDs instead, and they deemed that unacceptable. Actually paying for them like the rest of us in N.Europe doesn't seem to occur to these people. No wonder they are in the untenable position they are in - Any bailout of Greece will eventually hit my pocket and a default by Greece will also eventually hit my pocket! Where do you think the banks and the governments are going to recoup their losses? I'm really tired of people portraying these lazy, selfish, aggressive beggars as heroes against the banking oligarchy. If the Greeks had any decency and honour, they would have voluntarily left the EZ, and apologized to the rest for their fiscal impropriety. 

edotabin's picture

30 years of indoctrination do not vanish in 2.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

These were grown adult males at their best. Notice how man-children are taking over?

AnAnonymous's picture

Not sure that certain other countries in the world will consider the Greek situation handling as tragicomedy.

When they compare what happened to them in this US world order at the hands of US hands through institutions like the IMF and the way the Greeks are allowed in, it is very doubtful that they will appreciate the double standards at work.

But as in this US driven world, wanton hate is encouraged and laudated over well sourced hate which is a disgrace for a human being to feel (dixeunt US citizens), they will have to put up once again with that obscene exhibition of injustice.

ivars's picture

Here is comparison chart between my feb 6th chart of DJIA and actual prices. After 8 months with mistakes in the middle, its for last 2 months within 0-5% of actual DJIA:


In original chart, the trend continues to go down with increasing speed.

agent default's picture

I think there is a revolution brewing there, be very weary of the Euro.

jez's picture

He probably meant "wary", as I think you noticed. I'm both weary and wary of it.

malamasa's picture

yes maybe and world war3.....

QuietCorday's picture

I suspect an internal revolution may be on its way as well. However, I sense something far more complex in global terms may emerge.

I am keeping my eye on how Turkey is playing this situation, and possibly taking advantage of EMU/EU weakness and Greece's predicament to make some expansionist power plays that could lead to a nasty upheaval that pulls the E.Med into hell again. 

I have just come back from the Eastern Med, and it was rather alarming to note how many Beirutis and Cypriots I know seem to be accepting the possibility of war over the issue of Cypriot exploration drilling. The impact of Turkey making such a play could be severely destablising for the region with a global impact, as it would pull in Britain, the US, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and probably Russia into the mix, with Egypt involved as well, with the usual renegade suspects, backed by Iran, Syria etc, taking advantage of the chaos.

This could end up as an almighty mess and the first big front for what could become a third world war. With Western and Central Europe in financial chaos, the US economically weak, Greece in internal political turmoil, UN and core NATO member troops stuck in the Afghanistan mire ... well, the situation doesn't bear thinking about. 

This sort of thing is the reason why I loathe the EU and its idiocies. They have been so stupid and so narrow-minded with their ideological soixante-huit attitudes that they forgot about the core obligation of government: ie. defence of the realm from external and internal threats. In attempting to prevent pan-European war with their blinkered eyes, they have created a situation where the EU will be unable to respond adequately to threats to EZ members while, at the same time, kneecapping sovereign states' abilities to protect themselves.  

Die Weiße Rose's picture

a multi-cultural Europe is the future

Germany is glad to help our Greek friends...

Estonia joined the Euro recently and Poland is waiting to join soon

China started it's space-program, so no hard landing...

Europe, Russia and China are nations that have lasted for thousands of years,

they have seen civilisations and Empires rise and fall...


Golden Receiver's picture

Since when did Europe become a nation? Isn't the fact they are not considered by some to be part of their current problem? Did I miss the <snark> tag?

buzzsaw99's picture

Did I miss the <snark> tag?



agent default's picture

Bullshit.  German surpluses are the Eurozone periphery deficits.  The Euro was just a wealth transfer mechanism and the transfer is now complete.

papaswamp's picture

The hilarity! ...and the Germans approved this? The Greeks called China yesterday on ways to cook the books and in the mean time instructed govt. workers to 'protest' so would have time to alter figures.

Seriously, how many times is this going to happen?

sabra1's picture

at least they haven't blown up any buildings! (WTC7)

Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Seriously, how many times is this going to happen?"

How many times are the Euros going to show up and hassle the Greeks?

I think the Greeks are being very clear: either pay us or get lost.