Friday, March 26, 2010

Greeks Parade their Nationalism, Racism and Stupidity

Not for the first time a...slight problem occurred during the parade in Athens celebrating the Greek Independence Day on the 25th March: Members of the Elite OYK force (Underwater Missions Force) shouted racists and degrading and bloodthirsty slogans against Albanians, Slavomacedonians and Turks.

As mentioned, this is not the first time this has happened, as various extremist elements whose sentiments are succinctly encouraged in the Armed Forces, get rather exited on days of "National Celebration", and think that they are to be applauded for expressing their "patriotic" sentiments in public - even when on duty and in front of an audience, as they parade.

It must be noted, however that: a. what they did is against the constitution and the laws which they have sworn to respect and uphold and b. A number of martial laws have banned the voicing of such slogans (not because the officers disapprove, but because the political leadership preffers not to be embarrassed by such idiocies).

What is however original this year is that the Greek state actually took a position of this vile phenomenon: the Minister of Citizens Protection (ex Minister of the interior) condemned the occurence, with what can be called a rather austere announcement:

«During the Military Parade in Athens for the celebration of the 25th March, a team of the Underwater Missions Unit of the Coast Guard, shouted extreme racists slogans, as is evident from a relative video.

I categorically repeat that this kind of behaviour are not fitting for anyone who bears a uniform and who has given an oath to the Constitution and the laws of the state. None of these brainless people has the right to sully the celebration of a historical day of memory with racist slogans of hate and xenophobia.

It is obvious that important questions are raised concerning the level of training, the dangerous stereotypes that are created or encouraged in each Force which is charged with protecting the security of the country. It is however necessary to separate operational readiness from extremism, hatred and racism in all their forms. These gentlemen have no place in the Coast Guard."

A number of Political parties and Organisations also reacted to this occurrence, including the SYRIZA party and the Movement "United Against Racism and the Fascist Threat", who have called for a demonstration outside the Ministry of Defence on the 29.03.

The reactions of the State included the suspension of the head of the participating unit and the commissioning of a Sworn Administrative Inquiry concerning the whole affair.

Truly amazing moves that need to be encouraged: we can only hope that those involved will be exemplary punished - both the commanding officers and the serving soldiers - , to serve as an example to other morons who harbour similar sentiments.

We may even dream of an effort to change the logic that is propagated within the Armed Forces, where the "Patriotic Sentiment" is thought to be more hatred of others than love of ones own.

For if they feel that they help their country by provoking (more) hostile feelings in neighbouring people, I, as one who cares for his country, have a different opinion.

And until the Greek State does so itself I can only ask forgiveness of our neighbours and of any foreigners living in Greece and who suffer daily attacks from such idiots: Not because I in any way share their sentiments, but because I, as part of Greek society, have allowed the cancer of Nationalism, racism and xenophobia to spread to such an extent that their representatives feel free and proud to express themselves.

The priest who, outraged, shouts encouragement to the brave soldiers of the nations is, one suspects, more upset about having the Church's Revenues (Finally! after 180 years from the creation of the Modern Greek State) partially taxed, than for any patriotic reason...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dancing Alexander-style, Down Under

Dancing Alexander-style, Down Under
Skopje | 15 March 2010 | By Sinisa-Jakov Marusic

The issue of national identity is taken seriously by Balkan people – including the least serious among them.

Dear friend, today’s repertoire is a little act by a talented group of artists from the faraway country of Australia.

The fact that they originate from these parts, from the bosom of the Balkan semi-peninsula, may answer many questions that may arise while watching.

This performance, dubbed “Alexander’s Oro”, [The Oro means a traditional Macedonian folk dance] and which appears to be taking place somewhere among the Macedonian diaspora in Australia, has recently caught the eye of the audience back home.

Unfortunately the video has been removed from Youtube, but you can see it here.

Although it may seem like a spoof of a sort, mainly because of the goofy acting and poor choreography, sadly, it’s not. These people honestly seem to have tried to be as serious as possible in expressing and nourishing their national identity.

According to a placard posted at the back of the scene, the young performers belong to the Macedonian Youth Association Nikola Karev, which is celebrating 30 years as ambassadors of Macedonian folklore.

So, what’s wrong? Well, for one, this is not a traditional Macedonian dance, so should not be confused with genuine folklore. Nothing like this has ever been seen in Macedonian folk tradition. In fact, it goes against everything established as Macedonian folk music and dance.

Those unfamiliar with the real article should take a look at a “Teskoto”, a 19th-century dance expressing the heavy-hearted departure of the many Macedonians who had to leave their homeland for a better life abroad.

This and many other dances, fortunately, remain deeply embedded in the collective memory of the Macedonian people and are still performed, in almost original form, and without any need for folk ensembles dedicated to their preservation.

Unfortunately, the dance from Australia, which involves ancient warriors performing a medley of traditional Macedonian folk dances with a few loose interpretations of their own, fits another phenomenon – so-called “turbo-patriotism”, or kitsch patriotism.

Whether this derives from the recent bid by Macedonia’s political establishment to link the origin of the Macedonians to the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great, or whether it merely stems from ignorance and a simple desire to annoy the Greeks – who insist on claiming exclusive rights to this historical figure – it really doesn’t matter.

Here is the plot. The ten-minute show depicts the life of the Alexander the Great, the man who came from somewhere round here and who at a young age had the whole world under his boot… or sandal.

The story goes that in his short but inspiring life, the young prince fought alongside his father, Philip, defeating the Greek city-states, only to watch him later fall victim to a treacherous assassination.

Strong and courageous as he was, he assumed the helm and led his people on a military campaign, conquering nearly all the known world and extending the borders of his empire all the way to India.

Note the gloomy narration that interrupts the dancing here and there to deliver us the main points of the story. At the end of his life, on drinking from a poisoned goblet of wine, our hero shouts: “The bitter wine has killed me but Macedonia shall live on!”

Many people have foamed at the mouth over the ridiculous forms that national blindness can take but apparently some people don’t get it.

So, for those that understand what I mean, I suggest you lean back in your chairs and enjoy the full absurdity of this ten-minute dance. For the rest, keep sharpening those plastic swords.

Source: BalkanInsight, 15.03.2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thank you Angela!!

The German Chancellor's Hardline Stance on the Greek Crisis might force Greek Society to change...

The crisis that Greece is facing today is due to many factors. One would be foolish to insist exclusively on the role of, say, the Hedge Funds, while ignoring the role of ratings awarded by International Risk Asserors…Or to underline only the role of the EU and the lack of solidarity of this institution, and not point out the damage that the strong Euro has done to tourism-oriented economies as is the Greek one. And lastly but not leastly it would be a great error to leave out the inherent problems of Greek Society from an analysis of the current situation.

Thus, when trying to understand what has happened here we must note that the new Greek government, announced that the country’s public debt was almost twice the amount that had been claimed by the previous government. In so doing it hoped to achieve a number of things: By giving an inflated number it could, the following year claim the rewards of having managed to deflate it! It was also, they thought, a useful tool for internal politics, as they could, as is traditional in Greek politics, claim to have inherited “burn land” from their predecessors. Finally it must not be forgotten that what they said is in an extent true: Maybe the final numbers where exaggerated, but certainly the conservatives had lied when they had declared that the public debt in Greece slightly exceeded 6% of the GNP…

However now other “forces” come into play, leaping at the opportunity: On the one hand that European Commission, which, in its wisdom, has decided that the “Sacred Number” that must not be surpassed when talking of Public debt to GNP ratio is 3 (percent), started screaming that the Greeks had lied (again) about the (sacred) numbers, while the big players (such as Germany) came down like a ton of bricks on Greece, who was tarnishing the image of the (sacred) Euro, and menacing its strength, giving little consideration that the economic policy that has been followed in the last period aimed at preserving a strong Euro was one of the factors that was destroying the “Southern” Economies: German Tourists are unlikely to come to Greece to spend their Euros, when they can get much the same (Sea – Sex – and Sun) outside the Eurozone, where their Euro could buy a lot more!

That the new Iron Lady of Germany (why do Ladies become “Iron” when they are hardliners in politics, while the Gents don’t?), Angela Merkel, insisted that Greece “tidied up its act” without European is easily explainable in terms of internal German politics: It is easy fodder for German Nationalist feeling who have “been paying for the lazy and corrupt Southerners for too long”, ahead of important upcoming regional elections. The strong Euro policy is also mainly in the interests of Germany, the “industrial powerhouse of Europe”… Of course little is said in Germany both on the matters of a. German reconstruction after the Second World War (which led, among other things, to Germany never paying back the “forced loan” that Nazi Germany had imposed on Greece, or a number of payments due for damages done by Germany either to Greece as a country or to Greeks as individuals) and b. of European aid for the process of German Reunification…

And yet…recently the EU Commission released a report about “stability and convergence programs of fourteen EU members” ( in which (shock! horror!) it is clearly stated that “[in Germany] the general government deficit [is] 5½% of GDP in 2010…budgetary outcomes could turn out worse than projected, given (i) the lack of specific consolidation measures beyond 2010, (ii) the need to reconcile the possible implementation of announced tax cuts with fiscal retrenchment, and (iii) the fact that implementation of the new budgetary rule also at sub-federal level is not ensured.” Meaning a. that the Germans are also not respecting the number of the Holy Trinity as far as debt in their current budget is concerned and that they are, to put it politely, lying about what their figures will look like in the near future. If we followed Angelas’ example we should be screaming that they be burnt at the stake… The same report states that “[In France]… the assumptions underlying the programme scenario are assessed as rather optimistic and some expenditure-side measures are not specified.” Sounds like more figure-cooking going on here! “[In Italy]… The deficit and debt ratios could be higher than targeted…”, but they are just Southerners! “[In the Netherlands]… The debt ratio, which breached the 60% of GDP Treaty reference value in 2009, is set to increase substantially over the programme horizon.” Ah…They don’t seem to be respecting holy numbers either… “[In Austria]…the programme as the consolidation from 2011 onwards relies mostly on measures as yet unspecified.” Boil and bubble, cook and trouble! And finally “[In the UK]… the general government deficit reaching 12.7% of GDP in the financial year 2009/10.” Good grief! That’s worse than the Greeks! But that’s fine…they don’t use the Euro! “The fiscal strategy outlined in the United Kingdom's convergence programme does not foresee the correction of the excessive deficit by the fiscal year 2014/15, as recommended by the Council on 2 December 2009.”

And this concerns only the Government Debt and deficit, which seems to be the only concern of the European Union and not the Total External Debt of each country (i.e. the debt and deficit of the State plus the individual debts of the citizens). For as far as the Total Debt is concerned the Greek figures are not bad: Ireland is at 1200% of its GNP, the Netherlands at 380%, the UK at 370%, Belgium at 350%, Denmark 310%, Austria 275%, France 246%, Portugal 217%, Norway 207%, Finland 197%. Germany is at 189%, while Greece is (only) at 182%!

So what is the conclusion? That the Greeks are “naughty”, not because they cooked the figures – everybody does that! - but because they actually admitted it!

But the truth is dangerous as has often been said, and the admission that the Greek Economy is a mess made the tigers of “International Economy” in a most bloodthirsty and profit-making way on the “weak link of the Eurozone”. The Rating Houses debased Greece’s ratings twice in a week (an unprecedented move) which caused all the numbers to go berserk and, to put it simply, made money borrowing expensive for Greece…And from whom will Greece borrow expensively? That’s the best part: the same people who gave it negative ratings in the first place! And it goes without saying that the money that these institutions shall be lending is precisely the money that national governments (including Greece) had spent in recent years to save these same institutions from bankruptcy!

And what will Greece use this expensive money for? Buying stuff it does not need from…Germany, and France and the US…What exactly? Well, Angela, so obviously concerned about the state of the Greek Economy agreed – during negotiations with the Greek prime-minister precisely about the Greek debt – to sell Greece six spanking-new submarines! Evryone can see how that will help German Economy, but I am not quite sure about the aid is will be to the Greek debt…And Nikolas (Sarkozy) also in deep concern about his “friends and allies” the Greeks agreed to sell them six frigates…again in direct negotiations with the Greek PM concerning “a European help-package to save the Greek Economy”. I wonder how our friends and allies would react if Greece actually agreed with them and slashed back spending by not buying this stuff?

After these recent agreements the Greek PM made his way to the US for a talk with the American President. After his return to Europe the PM, who till then had been adamantly against borrowing from the International Monetary Fund, came out and declared that he was now considering that option: what had changed since his visit to the US? A likely scenario is that the US President, who effectively controls the IMF agreed to lend on better terms, as long as Greece bought a few (more) American Warplanes…This allowed the Greek PM to return to his European colleagues saying “either you offer me an even better deal, or I go to the IMF, which will undermine your precious Euro”…

And yet here me must pause and take a breath and those of us that are Greeks and/or live in Greece, we must excaim: “THANK YOU ANGELA!” Why? Because despite all the above the Greek Economy is in a mess also because a number of cancerous growths of Greek Society itself have never been addressed. These include – but are not limited to – a. corruption: All sectors and segments of public life in Greece are polluted by corruption: from the health sector, to tax collection, to administration to the workings of the private sector, to the juridical sector, to public works (we could mention the largest scandal of the last decades that involved the German SIEMENS corrupting politicians to be awarded contracts…). b. which is closely linked to the functioning of the political world of the country, which still works largely based on the principle of clientelism: vote for me and I will find a spot for you/your spouse/son, daughter…c. which two factors are at the root of most other problems of Greek society, such as tax-evasion, individualism and egoism when treating with others or with the State, total lack of faith in the institutions, a legal system that is full of useless and/or contradictory laws etc etc etc.

There is, then, some hope that this recent “crisis” and the way it is being treated by our “allies”, will activate at last some reflexes in Greek Society itself that will lead to a radical change of its working and its structure. By demonstrating the weakness of Greek society and Greek politics Angela may be lighting the fuse that will lead to the powder-keg of social change in Greece. Maybe politicians will finally be forced, under popular outcry, to change their mentality…

Not to mention that these circumstances may be used so as to create the opportunity to break radically with frozen positions of Greek External Policies, especially as far as our “enemies” are concerned: Under the cloak of “its our European allies that are forcing us” the Greek government could get the people to accept new directions in the country’s relations both with Turkey and even more easily with the (F.Y.) Republic of Macedonia, resolving a number of questions that under the name “National Questions” are in fact gaping wounds which drain the country of time, energy and resources…For it is precisely because of these “National Questions” that Greece wastes billions each year on the purchase of military hardware, which has played an important role in augmenting the country’s debt…

So let us cry “Thank you Angela!” hoping that Greek Society and leaders will indeed follow such a route and not choose the alternate route of isolation, easy Eurosceptism and Conspiracy-Theories that will lead it into the open arms of the extreme right…

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Marios Z.

The interrogator and district attorney decided to put in jail Marios Z., because he dared to participate in the massive protest on 11th March, 2010, and was unlucky enough to face a promiscuous, fanatic and liar police officer. The police officer, who arrested Marios, after having led him to the General Police Division of Athens, he testified against Marios that his face was covered, that he threw molotovs to him and that he was threatened by fire.

In questioning, audiovisual material, which conclusive demonstrates that Marios’ face was NOT covered, NO molotov and NO fire was around, and that in the specified area there was NO tension, which could match with the police officer’s testimony. Moreover, the inquiry relied on dozens of citizens who were present at the event and offered voluntarily to testify the truth.

But, after the interrogator and district attorney heard, off the record, the testimonies of the police witnesses, they ignored the dozens of defense witnesses and audiovisual material, and proceeded to the unprecedented decision to bring Marios to custody.

We don’t lose our faith in what is clear and obvious. We declare our FULL SUPPORT to Marios Z., and ask for the immediate release and dismissal of proceedings against him and all other arrested on 11 March 2010.

The petition will be delivered to the responsible ministries.

You can find the online petition here:

More Info:

John Lichfield: A lesson, son, in crisis and paradox

John Lichfield: A lesson, son, in crisis and paradox
Independent, 15.02.2010

Why did the banks go after the poor Greeks, Daddy? Good question ...

Monday, 15 February 2010

Daddy, Daddy, who are the "financial markets" who are bullying the Greeks and the euro? Well, son, they are hedge funds, pension funds and the trading arms of the big banks.

But Daddy aren't those the same banks which the world's governments have just spent billions of euros, pounds and dollars to rescue from the consequences of their own greed and stupidity?

Er, yes son. And, Daddy, aren't those banks now betting those same billions to try to make money from the fact that some of the governments are over the heads in debt? Er, yes son.

And these countries, including Greece, would not have been so deeply in the red if they had not given all those billions to the banks who are now attacking them? Or if the world economy had not been dumped off a cliff by all that bank-inspired debt and bank-led speculation in bad debts?

Well, son, yes, that's partly true but some countries, especially Greece, have been living beyond their public means for years. In Greece, for instance, lawyers, doctors, restaurant owners and wealthy ship-owners, pay virtually no income tax but expect to live in a properly functioning, modern state.

OK, Daddy, I understand that. It's very naughty of them. But isn't this still a case of the banks biting the hand that fed them?

Er, no, son, it's worse that that. It's like the banks complaining that governments are naked after taking their clothes. But the markets (i.e. banks) don't think that way. If they smell blood, they pile in like hyenas after a limping zebra. It's called a market opportunity.

But why did they suddenly go after the poor Greeks, Daddy? Haven't their olives been stuffed for years? Yes, son, but the markets noticed two things. First, that a new Greek government had confessed that the country's budget deficit last year was 12.7 per cent of GDP – double the number the previous government had thought of. It probably wasn't that high actually. The new government in Athens reckoned that it would be a good wheeze to inflate the number so that they could gain credit for bringing it down rapidly in 2010. It is called a mythical Greek figure. Mythical or not, it was enough for the markets to smell blood – or money.

And the second thing that the markets noticed, Daddy? I was coming to that, son. They noticed that Greece no longer had a currency of its own. It was a member of the euro. It could not devalue or print money. Worse, under the rules of the euro, the European Central Bank could not intervene to help a member state in difficulties. It was as if Greece – and other euro countries with big debts, like Spain, Portugal and Italy – had no central bank to help them through a crisis.

So what did the "financial markets" do, Daddy? They started a gambling game in which they bet on a possible Greek "default": that Greece would go bankrupt and not be able to pay its debts. By doing so, they made it more likely that Greece would go bankrupt by increasing the cost to Athens of rolling over (ie finding new takers for) its €300bn in accumulated debts. In other words, it was, for "the markets", a one-way, no-lose bet – unless the EU intervened.

So what happened, Daddy? The EU made a statement last Thursday that it would stand shoulder to shoulder with Greece ... but not yet. If the markets continued to bet on Greek default, the EU leaders said, they would lose because the other euro members would find some way of bending their collective rules to give Greece money. In return, Greece had to agree to painful changes to reduce its budget deficit by at least four per cent this year.

But, Daddy, that will be quite easy for the Greeks because the 12.7 per cent figure for 2009 was exaggerated in the first place. Er, yes, son, but "the markets" chose to accept that figure so they are now stuck with it. We are talking about "market reality" which is not the same thing as real reality.

And, in fact, the new Greek government is taking, by Greek standards, very tough measures, including a plan to make lawyers and doctors and restaurant-owners pay some income tax.

But Daddy, why did the EU not just give the Greeks the money and tell the markets to ... Shh, son, no rude words. That's where we come to another kind of reality – "political reality". The other EU governments, especially the stern Germans, wanted to make sure that Athens would start to take its medicine before they gave them any sweeties. Remember Aesop's fable about the ants and the grasshoppers, son? Well Aesop was an ancient Greek but, according to the Germans, the modern Greeks are grasshoppers.

Is that all, Daddy? No, son. The "crisis" was pushing down the value of the euro against the dollar, which was something the Germans and others rather liked because it would help their economies. Like the sinner who wanted to be good but not yet, they wanted the Greek crisis to end but not immediately.

Isn't that a dangerous game, Daddy? Yes, son.

So what happened? It's still a bit unclear. The "markets" – thousands of people playing poker at the same time – are still trying to see how best to make money from the new situation. Should they carry on betting on Greek default? Or should they now bet on everything being OK?

Is this a sensible way to run the world, Daddy? No, son, but consider this. The crisis has scared the Greeks. They may now finally put their house in order which will, in the long run, be good for the Greeks.

The crisis, which is a Greek word, son, has also scared the EU, even the stern Germans. The original rules of the euro – good rules for good times but bad rules for bad times – will probably be changed. Something will be done to permit the EU to help struggling states, so that, in future, the markets will not smell blood and worsen the problems of stragglers.

So good can come from bad? What do you call that, Daddy? A "paradox", son. Is that also a Greek word? Yes, son, now go to bed.

Still trying to figure things out...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Εμείς χρωστάμε ως κράτος, οι Αγγλοσάξονες ως κοινωνίες


Την Ελλάδα αποκαλούν επιτιμητικά «γουρούνι» (από το «ακρωνύμιο» Ρ.Ι.G.S.), λόγω του υψηλού δημόσιου χρέους της, οι ξένοι εταίροι μας, οι δικοί τους ρουθουνισμοί, όμως, είναι που ακούγονται τόσο ηχηρά εδώ και μια δεκαετία, καθώς οι πολίτες και οι επιχειρήσεις τους βυθίζονται στις λάσπες της πιο τρομακτικής υπερχρέωσης που γνώρισε ποτέ ο πλανήτης.
Αν το πρόβλημα της Ελλάδας είναι το δυσβάσταχτο δημόσιο χρέος, που για το 2010 εκτιμάται ότι θα υπερβεί το 120% του ΑΕΠ (έναντι 84% του ευρωπαϊκού μέσου όρου), η νάρκη, στην οποία πατούν κυρίως οι αγγλοσαξονικές χώρες, αλλά και τα κράτη-μέλη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης, που κερδοσκοπούν ασύστολα με το ελληνικό δημοσιονομικό πρόβλημα, είναι το συνολικό τους εξωτερικό χρέος, που σε περιπτώσεις χωρών, όπως η Αγγλία, η Δανία, η Ολλανδία, ξεπερνά το 300% και φτάνει ακόμη και το 400% του ΑΕΠ τους.

Δύο τρόποι μέτρησης

Υπάρχουν δύο τρόποι για να μετρήσει κάποιος την υπερχρέωση σε μια χώρα. Το δημόσιο χρέος -και ειδικότερα το χρέος της γενικής κυβέρνησης- είναι ένας βασικός δείκτης, που πιστοποιεί ότι το ελληνικό κράτος, εδώ που έχει φτάσει σήμερα, δεν απέχει πολύ από τη χρεοκοπία. Υπάρχει, όμως, και το εξωτερικό χρέος, δηλαδή το χρέος που οφείλουν τόσο το Δημόσιο όσο και οι ιδιώτες και οι επιχειρήσεις έναντι άλλων χωρών, ενώ σε αυτό δεν περιλαμβάνονται υποχρεώσεις από μετοχές και άμεσες επενδύσεις.

Στην πρώτη περίπτωση (δημόσιο χρέος) η Ελλάδα κατέχει την πρωτιά, μια και σύμφωνα με στοιχεία της Eurostat, στο τέλος του 2010 το κράτος θα χρωστά 304 δισ. ευρώ, ενώ η συνολική παραγωγή της χώρας θα είναι στα 234 δισ. ευρώ (χρέος 129,3% του ΑΕΠ). Συγκριτικά, το δημόσιο χρέος για την Ιταλία υπολογίζεται ότι θα φτάσει φέτος στο 120%, για το Βέλγιο στο 105% του ΑΕΠ, για την Πορτογαλία το 86%, για τη Γαλλία το 84% του ΑΕΠ, ενώ για τη Γερμανία το 78,86%.

Τα... μαλλιοκέφαλά τους

Αν, όμως, υπολογίσει κάποιος το χρέος με βάση τα λεφτά που χρωστάνε μαζί ο δημόσιος τομέας, οι επιχειρήσεις και οι πολίτες, τότε η Ελλάδα μοιάζει με... παράδεισο μπροστά σε αυτό που συμβαίνει στον υπόλοιπο αναπτυγμένο κόσμο, ο οποίος έχει χρεώσει το παρόν και το μέλλον των παιδιών σε μια... πιστωτική κάρτα.

Σε αντίθεση με πολλές χώρες της Δύσης, η Ελλάδα είναι μια χώρα με αναλογικά υψηλές καταθέσεις (ξεπερνούν τα 230 δισ. ευρώ, ήτοι όσο το ετήσιο ΑΕΠ), με συγκριτικά ελάχιστα χρεωμένους πολίτες (τα νοικοκυριά χρωστούν 119 δισ. ευρώ), χαμηλό δανεισμό στις επιχειρήσεις (133,795 δισ. ευρώ συνολικά) και με ένα μάλλον «πλούσιο» τραπεζικό σύστημα, όπου οι τέσσερις μεγάλες τράπεζες διαθέτουν καταθέσεις 165 δισ. ευρώ. Το πρόβλημά της έγκειται στο γεγονός ότι το Δημόσιο έχει δανειστεί ένα σκασμό λεφτά και χρειάζεται κάθε χρόνο να δαπανά το 6-7% του ΑΕΠ για να το εξυπηρετεί.

Με βάση τα τελευταία στοιχεία που δημοσιεύει η Παγκόσμια Τράπεζα (τρίτο τρίμηνο 2009) για το εξωτερικό χρέος, καθώς και στοιχεία της Eurostat, της Παγκόσμιας Τράπεζας και του ΟΟΣΑ, προκύπτει ότι η Ελλάδα βρίσκεται στις τελευταίες θέσεις των χωρών με το μεγαλύτερο εξωτερικό χρέος ως ποσοστό επί του ΑΕΠ. Πρόσφατη σύγκριση, που επιχείρησε στην ιστοσελίδα του το NBC, κατατάσσει την Ελλάδα στη 16η θέση, σε σύνολο 20 χωρών. Σύμφωνα με την Παγκόσμια Τράπεζα, το ακαθάριστο εξωτερικό χρέος της χώρας μας στο τέλος του 2009 υπολογιζόταν σε 594 δισ. δολάρια, μέγεθος θηριώδες σε απόλυτα νούμερα, αλλά λιγότερο «τρομακτικό» από όσο άλλων χωρών, καθώς αντιστοιχεί στο 182% του ΑΕΠ. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, όμως, καθίσταται προφανές πως το εξωτερικό χρέος έχει δημιουργήσει ισχυρές εξαρτήσεις της ελληνικής οικονομίας, κυρίως του δημόσιου τομέα, ο οποίος χρειάζεται τους ξένους επενδυτές, για να μπορέσει να εξυπηρετήσει το δημόσιο χρέος. Ετσι, από το εξωτερικό χρέος της Ελλάδας, πάνω από το 60% αντιπροσωπεύουν ομόλογα του Δημοσίου, τα οποία βρίσκονται στα χαρτοφυλάκια ξένων θεσμικών επενδυτών.

1.200% του ΑΕΠ η Ιρλανδία

Με ΑΕΠ της τάξης των 200 δισ. δολαρίων και εξωτερικό χρέος 1,235 τρισ. δολαρίων, η Ιρλανδία εμφανίζεται να χρωστά πάνω από το 1.200% του ΑΕΠ της.

Για την Ολλανδία, με ΑΕΠ 675 δισ. δολάρια και εξωτερικό χρέος 2,580 τρισ. δολάρια, η σχέση διαμορφώνεται στο 380%, ενώ για την Αγγλία το συνολικό εξωτερικό χρέος ξεπερνά το 370% του ΑΕΠ, μολονότι το δημόσιο χρέος της χώρας υπολογίζεται στο 80% του ΑΕΠ. Σε κάθε κάτοικο της Αγγλίας αντιστοιχεί εξωτερικό χρέος 150 χιλιάδων ευρώ. Πολύ υψηλό εξωτερικό χρέος, σε σχέση με το ΑΕΠ, εμφανίζουν επίσης το Βέλγιο (350%), η Δανία (310%), η Αυστρία (275%), η Γαλλία (246%), αλλά και η Πορτογαλία (217%), η Νορβηγία (207%) και η Φινλανδία (197%). Πάνω από την Ελλάδα κατατάσσεται και η Γερμανία, με εξωτερικό χρέος στο 189% του ΑΕΠ. *


*Ανάρτηση για αρχειακούς λόγους...