Helen123, It took you 3 1/2 years to post a comment on this topic? No wonder the Greeks are in deep s**t.
"The european union was supposed to be a union of nations helping each other"...............................
Yeah that was the general idea. But it also means that each country still works independently to advance and grow their own economy to prosper, without depending on or expecting "free" handouts when the going gets tough. In other words, help yourself first before expecting "free" money. There is no such thing as a free lunch, someone pays for it in the end. You can blame your own fools in government, not the EU, for the incompetence of the people you elected to govern over many years; you know, they were the ones to cook the books in order to get EU funding, they actually ran 2 sets of books; the real budget numbers and the fake budget numbers which they presented to the EU. Perhaps if the Greek people actually got off their backsides and didn't expect their lifestyle to be funded by the government and also if the citizens paid TAXES, it would be a totally story in Greece now. The psychology of Greeks is that they are insulted if they are expected to pay taxes. The yasou, yasou social security mentality is the problem. One example, if your spouse (husband/wife) is deceased, you still get a lifetime pension for that person. This doesn't happen anywhere else in the world except for Greece, where you get a pension for a dead person.
So perhaps you should look into things alittle more closely at home in Greece, before you blame everyone else in the EU for the current "Greek Tragedy" that has happened.
Wow, you got out of bed on the wrong side today, Tania
- the "deceased spouse life-pension" is simply fraud: you're required to inform the tax authorities in Greece if a relative dies, same as in other countries; if you don't then it takes time for them to catch up with you, just like in other countries. I'm sure there are plenty of people in Oz who conveniently "forget" to inform the pension service and get used to the extra lolly rolling in.
- Greece didn't run two sets of books to join the EU, it was common knowledge that they, along with pretty much every other member, didn't fulfil the entry criteria. However, what use is a club with no members? Rules were bent and blind eyes were turned for every applicant because the EU Social, Economic and Political Experiment was deemed to be so wonderful for Europe as a whole - and because so many politicos had bet their reputations on it: another "too big to fail" fiasco.
- there's no point blaming the voters of Greece, or any other country, for the sins of their political masters: you can only vote for those who stand for office, unless you live in a REAL democracy where "none of the above" is on the ballot. Otherwise you're told you're apathetic and will have to put up with what you get. The usual "qualification" to vote of being able to take one breath after another doesn't help much either.
- where Greece went wrong is believing the BS about the EU being a "good idea"; all that resulted was increase in the price of everything, subsidies stolen by the major parties who alternated in power, and the loss of all that made life in Greece something for the rest of Europe to envy when they went for their annual Shirley Valentine Fortnight beside the Med. The country worked because taxes on luxuries (which included cars) were high and life was simple - you had no car but you didn't need one as taxis were cheap and buses/trams/trains could get you anywhere. You didn't need to drive to the supermarket because you could walk there in the cities and the traders came to you in the country, while markets were everywhere.
Now Greece has the ridiculous scenario of the people who, both personally and via their families, have been stealing money for decades declaring a bunch of Right-wing dimbos a "criminal organisation" and trying to ignore the votes of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people. Apparently it's only criminal if some Nazi ape stabs a loud-mouth Commie but stealing billions and then forcing the whole country to repay it (and then stealing part of that as well) is okay; destroying the centre of Greek cities and killing bank employees in arson attacks is acceptable if you're a rabid Commie-Anarchist but thumping some illegal immigrant drug-dealer is beyond the pale if you happen to cast your vote to the Right....
Maybe you should find out a bit more about what's really going on in Greece before you give poor old Helen such a hard time? ;)
Seedy, I do know as much as anyone else generally what is going on in Greece now and since they joined the EU. I don't live in a vacuum. I am not an economist and don't pretend to be, but there is such a thing as common sense.
It is the culmination of many factors that has resulted in Greece's dire predicament and mostly all self-inflicted. Incompetent governing, political parties promising the world to garner voters support, corruption in government and private sector, lax or ineffective or non existant tax collection, spending way more than is collected in tax revenue, cheap lending, overbloated public service sector with little or do nothing jobs, citizens sense of entitlement to social security and living off the government, 14 month annual salaries, government fiddling with the books to enable to meet criteria for borrowing massive loans from anyone with no way to repay from GDP resources, unrestrained government spending and relying on more loans to pay off the old loans, constantly increasing and snowballing debt that they cannot even afford to pay the interest on it let alone repaying the principle, unprofitable state services and institutions, and the list goes on.
Greece has been living on a gravy train to no-where for ages and citizens had gotten used to it all and became very comfortable, living in a "no worries" lifestyle and living within that happy bubble; and now that all the facts and revelations have been exposed since the global financial slowdown/crises, they find the reality very different to what they thought it was, and it is very difficult to adjust their perceptions and to their new austere lifestyle. They cannot accept that Greece is broke and will be for probably another decade unless things change drastically, and they also cannot accept the fact that austerity measures have to be implemented. Some believe that their debt shouldn't even have to be repaid at all. Their reality is unbearable and understandably so. This is what happens to anyone or any nation that lives a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. Sooner or later it will crash. And if the GFC didn't happen it was only going to compound the "Greek Tragedy" even further and with greater consequences to the rest of the world.
So I stand by my previous comments and I am sorry if "poor old Helen" has been given a hard time, but let's wait and see if she chooses to comment with her opinion which is welcome to me and everyone.
Tania, Tania, Tania: "there is such a thing as common sense." To quote Mark Twain: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; it's what you know for sure that just ain't so." "Common sense" is horribly uncommon and mostly not sense.
Saying these things are self-inflicted is like telling a woman with a handbag that her mugging is self-inflicted: if Greeks vote, they get crooks in government - if they don't vote, they get crooks in government. It's true that in the Good Old Days people in Greece didn't pay direct taxes, but that's because there were no direct taxes to pay; the economy still worked and people could still feed their families and, with the help of a "fakelaki", get medical/legal help and so on. The economy was simple and relied on some exports, family remittances from abroad and a burgeoning tourism industry. State institutions were unprofitable indeed, but what kind of a State seeks to make a profit from its own people anyway - don't they already own these institutions?
The problems arose when the Eurozone decided that it needed to expand and Greek politicians, like so many in othe EU countries, decided that some of the cash they were disbursing should be used for "charities", ie the ones which begin at home and end up in Switzerland. When someone "lends" you money which they hint you will never need to repay then why not borrow more on the same terms tomorrow and the day after? If you show the punters at home that something has been built/improved with EU funds thanks to your political acumen then why spoil the story by telling them that you and your cronies have actually stolen the rest?
When you employ people to run the country, and others to make sure they do it properly, all overseen by Brussels bean-counters then why wouldn't you assume that they are all doing their jobs properly, especially when budgets are presented which all add up and show everything is hunky-dory? If you try to question it, you're a trouble-making conspiracy theorist and a boat-rocker with paranoid delusions. When Brussels tells you that all's well in the world and here's a few billion more to tide you over, how are you supposed to know that they can't even get their own accounts signed off for over a decade?
To cap it all off, there's a bunch of overfed crooks running the country who didn't want to take the obvious step of telling the EU to go whistle for their money since the Eurozone might have collapsed - THAT was Greece's ace in the hole but the EU couldn't risk it being played. Now it's too late but I question whether things could be much worse anyway, especially after the fiasco in Cyprus - my view is that it's better to take your licking now and get it over with than slowly shuffle to the head of the queue where you'll get one anyway. ;)
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Most superstitions today in Greece like the Evil Eye and Touch Red are seen as humorous topics than actual beliefs. Most of Greeks don't believe in superstitions, but they use them as a tool of cunning to achieve a goal or transfer one bad event or failure to another person because they don't want to take responsibility for their actions. They believe that makes them submissive and act annoying so to prove they are dominating. Also some Greeks that actually believe in bad luck as an energy also believe in Friday 13 and Tuesday 13 as bad days and the number 13 is considered of bad luck in Greece.
Some Greeks believe that spitting chases the devil away. That is why when someone talks about bad news (deaths, accidents, etc…) or compliments babies, children and even adults, the others slightly spit three times saying “ftou, ftou, ftou”. ''
Wow this is completely wrong! I don't know who wrote this but it's wrong. When somebody assumes a hypothetical death or makes a death wish the adults hit one wooden object with open palm or closed fist as a response of disagreement or pure superstition. Grandparents do that a lot. Greeks don't actually spit, this is wrong. They pretend to spit, but not when they hear a death wish or someone saying ''What if...''. They fake the action of the spit inside their chest when they pass an office for death rituals or a dead-carring car or anything to do with the death rituals. Also this is used for humour purposes most of the time. The ''ftou ftou'' part is called onomatopoeia.
''Most of the Greeks owe their names to a religious saint and in Greece name days are more important than birthdays.'' False. Very very very false I can't even stand the nonsense. Birthdays are always more important and name celebrations are too small in significance compared to birthdays, but of course there is one exception: Christmas. Anyone named Christos, Chris and even those who aren't named have very significant presence on this day. I took 150 Euros and I am not named Christos or Chris, but my brother took 200 Euros from the relatives. We were both important because in Greece everyone celebrates at the day of the Christmas.
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