Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hey, Germany: You Got a Bailout, Too

In the millions of words written about Europe’s debt crisis, Germany is typically cast as the responsible adult and Greece as the profligate child. Prudent Germany, the narrative goes, is loath to bail out freeloading Greece, which borrowed more than it could afford and now must suffer the consequences.
Would it surprise you to know that Europe’s taxpayers have provided as much financial support to Germany as they have to Greece? An examination of European money flows and central-bank balance sheets suggests this is so.
Let’s begin with the observation that irresponsible borrowers can’t exist without irresponsible lenders. Germany’s banks were Greece’s enablers. Thanks partly to lax regulation, German banks built up precarious exposures to Europe’s peripheral countries in the years before the crisis. By December 2009, according to the Bank for International Settlements, German banks had amassed claims of $704 billion on Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, much more than the German banks’ aggregate capital. In other words, they lent more than they could afford.
When the European Union and the European Central Bank stepped in to bail out the struggling countries, they made it possible for German banks to bring their money home. As a result, they bailed out Germany’s banks as well as the taxpayers who might otherwise have had to support those banks if the loans weren’t repaid. Unlike much of the aid provided to Greece, the support to Germany’s banks happened automatically, as a function of the currency union’s structure.

How It Worked

Here’s how it worked. When German banks pulled money out of Greece, the other national central banks of the euro area collectively offset the outflow with loans to the Greek central bank. These loans appeared on the balance sheet of the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, as claims on the rest of the euro area. This mechanism, designed to keep the currency area’s accounts in balance, made it easier for the German banks to exit their positions.
Now for the tricky part: As opposed to the claims of the private banks, the Bundesbank’s claims were only partly the responsibility of Germany. If Greece reneged on its debt, the losses would be shared among all euro-area countries, according to their shareholding in the ECB. Germany’s stake would be about 28 percent. In short, over the last couple of years, much of the risk sitting on German banks’ balance sheets shifted to the taxpayers of the entire currency union.
It’s hard to quantify exactly how much Germany has benefited from its European bailout. One indicator would be the amount German banks pulled out of other euro-area countries since the crisis began. According to the BIS, they yanked $353 billion from December 2009 to the end of 2011 (the latest data available). Another would be the increase in the Bundesbank’s claims on other euro-area central banks. That amounts to 466 billion euros ($590 billion) from December 2009 through April 2012, though it would also reflect non-German depositors moving their money into German banks.
By comparison, Greece has received a total of about 340 billion euros in official loans to recapitalize its banks, replace fleeing capital, restructure its debts and help its government make ends meet. Only about 15 billion euros of that has come directly from Germany. The rest is all from the ECB, the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

Better Prepared

Germany’s changing financial exposure has major implications for its role as a leader of Europe’s response to the crisis. Before Germany’s banks pulled back their funds, they stood to lose a ton of money if Greece left the euro. Now any losses will be shared with the taxpayers of the entire euro area -- particularly France, whose banks still have a lot of outstanding loans to Greece. Perhaps this is what some German officials mean when they say that the euro area is better prepared for a Greek exit.
Ultimately, though, the cost of letting Greece go would come home to Germany. If bank runs and market turmoil forced Portugal, Spain, Italy and others out of the euro area as well, the losses could wipe out much of the capital of German banks. Not to mention the longer-term damage the euro breakup would do to the exports that drive Germany’s economy, and the potential demise of a European project designed to prevent a repeat of the horrors of two world wars.
To prevent such an outcome, with or without Greece, Germany will have to do everything it has so far refused, and more. This would include allowing the ECB to stand behind the debt of sovereigns. The euro area also needs a mechanism that would transfer money to economically troubled countries just as automatically as the region’s payment system bailed out Germany -- an element economists have long said is crucial to making the euro area a workable currency union. As we have advocated, a joint unemployment insurance fund could be a first step toward such a fiscal union.
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel considers the next step in the euro crisis -- one that could help the euro area return to growth or, alternatively, risk the survival of the entire currency union -- she should keep in mind that her country is indebted to the euro system as much as Greece is.
Read more opinion online from Bloomberg View. Subscribe to receive a daily e-mail highlighting new View columns, editorials and op-ed articles.
Today’s highlights: the View editors on the problems with the Facebook IPO; Clive Crook onEurope at the brinkJonathan Alter on political substance and slanderEzra Klein on the fight over Bain; Caroline Baum on overregulating banks; Tobias Moskowitz on data-driven policy; Panagis Vourloumis on Greek shock therapy; Junheng Li on China’s economic misinformation.
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Monday, 28 May 2012

Western negative stereotypes about Greeks from the Middle Ages to today

by Athanasios Kotsakis

With the Roman conquest, the Greek world came essentially in close contact with the Latin for the first time. This coexistence had multiple parameters. Apart from cultural osmosis between the two sides (both the effects of Greek culture in Roman and other Roman hiring practices and institutions in the East by the Eastern Roman Empire), the two worlds came in conflict with each other since the early Middle AgesThere were rivalries and frictions, even in ecclesiastical level, between the Old and the New Rome. Those frictions eventually led to the schism between Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians.The relations between the East and the West deteriorated after the great migration that took place in the era between the 3rd and the 5th century AD, when Germanic tribes flooded Western Europe and overthrew the western part of the empire, occupying Rome (476 AD). Yet, despite the raids, looting and destruction in the eastern part of the empire, the Germanic tribes were not able to prevail there. Prominent members of the aristocracy in Constantinople founded the "Panhellenic", an institution with strong anti-german orientation. Panhellenic's ultimate goal was the expulsion of the Germanic tribes from the area of the Eastern Roman Empire, a goal that was eventually achieved during the popular revolt in 400 AD. The aftermath of the riot was the extermination of the Goth Warlord Gaina and of all the Goths who had settled in the vicinity Constantinople.

Since then the Byzantine Empire will continue to be in conflict with the Germanic tribes and the western principalities, culminating in the ideological conflict with the empire of the Frankish ruler Charlemagne and his successors, who claimed the title of "Roman Empire" (800 AD)Wanting even to monopolize this title, Western leaders called the Byzantine emperor simply "king of the Greeks" and not "Roman", who in turn called the emperor of the West just "king" and the Franks 'barbarian race ".

Liutprando da Cremona and his picture for the Byzantines

In the context of diplomatic contacts between the two sides, the German Emperor Otto I (962-973), founder of the later Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, sent Lombard Liutprand, bishop of Cremona, to Constantinople, to negotiate with emperor Nikiforos Fokas, regarding the match of his son, Otto II with Theophano, a greek princess. But it seems that the bad behavior the Byzantines showed to Liutprand - the latter having been sent there as a representative of the German prince, that is a usurper of Roman legality in the Byzantines' eyes - enraged him so much that he wrote a very passionate and strongly critical report on his trip to Constantinople with the Latin title: "De Legatione Constantinopolitana". This text, which probably reflected not only his personal views but also the prevailing attitudes in the Western world, is considered to be useful for modern historians, in order for them to trace the roots of Western anti-Greek feelings. In this book the Greeks are presented as "frivolous," "stupid", "flatterers," "covetous," "deceitful," "crooks," "untrustworthy," "liars," "traitors" etc. , This opinion the Middle-Age Westerners held about Byzantine Greeks may be interpreted in the light of certain "inferiority complexes" of the early Medieval West towards the thriving eastern empire.

In particular, according to Liutprand, "Nikiforos is a truly monstrous creature, a pygmy with giant head, with eyes like the mole, with short beard, broad, thick, whitish. The forehead is one finger wide, his hair scruffy crowning his untamed and wild face, as if he were Iopas.The skin is blackish as if he were Ethiopian .. He is big-bellied with weak glutes. His thighs are large, with disproportionately short of stature, his legs wide. He wore an old peasant cloak, frayed and dirty. His words are cheeky, but his mind is like a fox and like Ulysses he is liar and perjurer" In addition, the Byzantine emperor: is boor, Padfoot, cuckold, effeminate, hairy, uncouth, barbarous, brutal, "walks like an old lady and has a goat's face."

Continuing, Liutprand says: "The king of the Greeks is hairy, wearing a cloak with long sleeves and feminine guise, he is a liar, deceiver, ruthless, sly fox, arrogant, stingy, greedy, eating garlic, onions and leeks and drinks valnionInstead, the king of the Franks is good looking, he is not wearing women's clothes, he covers his head, he is sincere, he is not deceiving anyone,he knows when to be compassionate, strict when necessary, he always has real humility, he never becomes a miser, he does not eat garlic, onions and leeks to make savings on the animals."

Also:- The Emperor cheats (...) and does not tell anyone the truth. He did as the Greeks always do".

- "Greeks are of uncertain faith: Latins, look carefully! Do not believe them, nor hear their words. How much more will they lie in order for Argos to prevail! ".

- "The perjurer Greece."

- "The deception derives from the Greeks, so that everyone can judge them from a single crime."

- "How much ready are the Greeks to swear on the head of another."

- "The skimpy dinner begins and ends with lettuce, once closed the dinner of their ancestors."

In the latter passages there is use of negative stereotypes about Greeks, that derives from Roman antiquity, which as it turns out, were in use and during the Middle Ages. The latter phrase, though not at all flattering to the Greeks, proves that Westerners saw the Byzantines descendants of the ancient Greeks, as they are faced as a single entity. And the negative characterizations against the Greeks and especially against the Byzantine emperor are clearly excessive and exude empathy.

So nearly a century before the schism of 1054 
the existence of negative stereotypes established, on a part of Westerns and especially the Germans, concerning,
in particular, the reliability of the Greeks and their hostility towards the West. From 1054 onwards the characterization of the "schismatic" or more rarely of the "heretic" will be added to the anti-Greek stereotypes, given that the Roman-Catholic Church did not regard the Orthodox heretics but only schismatics . Since the late 11th century  by conducting the 1st Crusade and especially after the fall of the Byzantine Empire by the troops of the Fourth Crusade, relations between the two sides dramatically deteriorated. The defeated Greeks will face not only the oppression but also the mocking of Western conquerors, who thought of them as "people of scribes."

The Chronicle of the Morea and the image of the Greeks

The rivalry between "Roman" (Greek) and Franks (medievalFrench) is reflected in the "Chronicle of Morea", a text of the 14th centuryprobably written by Gasmoulo of Peloponnese (f758-761769):

«Τίς νὰ πιστέψῃ εἰς Ρωμαῖον εἰς λόγον εἴτε εἰς ὅρκον;
λέγουσιν ὅτι εἶναι Χριστιανοὶ καὶ στὸν Θεὸν πιστεύουν·
ἐμᾶς τοὺς Φράγκους μέμφονται, λέγουν, κατηγοροῦν μας,
σκύλους μᾶς ὀνομάζουσι, ἀτοί τους ἐπαινοῦνται
(…) Ἀκούσατε τὲς αἵρεσες, τὲς ἔχουν οἱ Ρωμαῖοι».
«Ἀκούσατε οἱ ἅπαντες, Φράγκοι τε καὶ Ρωμαῖοι,
ὅσοι πιστεύετε εἰς Χριστόν, τὸ βάφτισμα φορεῖτε,
ἐλᾶτε ἐδῶ νὰ ἀκούσετε ὑπόθεσιν μεγάλην,
τὴν κακοσύνην τῶν Ρωμαίων, τὴν ἀπιστίαν ὅπου ἔχουν.
Ποῖος νὰ θαρρέσῃ εἰς αὐτούς, ὅρκον νὰ τοὺς πιστέψῃ,
ἀφῶν τὸν Θεὸν οὐ σέβονται, ἀφέντη οὐκ ἀγαποῦσιν; ὁ εἷς τὸν ἄλλον οὐκ ἀγαπᾷ μόνον μὲ πονηρίαν
». (στ. 724-730).

Regarding the split between the two Churches (1054) Chronicle of the Morea says:

«Οἱ Φράγκοι γὰρ καὶ οἱ Ρωμαῖοι πίστιν μίαν ἐκρατοῦσαν·
τῆς οἰκουμένης οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς, Φράγκοι τε καὶ Ρωμαῖοι,
οἱ πατριάρχαι κ᾿ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς οἱ πρῶτοι τῆς οἰκουμένης,
ἐπαῖρναν τὴν χειροτονίαν ἕκαστος ἀπὸ ἐκεῖνον,
ὅπου ἦτον Πάπας κι ἀρχιερεὺς εἰς τὸ σκαμνὶ τῆς Ρώμης.
Διαβόντα γὰρ χρόνοι πολλοὶ αὐτεῖνοι οἱ Ρωμαῖοι,
Ἕλληνες εἶχαν τὸ ὄνομα, οὕτως τοὺς ὠνομάζαν,
- πολλὰ ἦσαν ἀλαζονικοί, ἀκομὴ τὸ κρατοῦσιν -
ἀπὸ τὴν Ρώμη ἀπήρασιν τὸ ὄνομα τῶν Ρωμαίων.
Ἀπ᾿ αὔτης τῆς ἀλαζονείας, τὴν ἔπαρσιν ὅπου εἶχαν
ἀφήκασιν τὸν ὄρδιναν τῆς ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ρώμης,
καὶ στήκουν ὡς σχισματικοί, μόνι τὸ καῦχος ἔχουν.
Τηρήσετε, ἄρχοντες καλοί, τὴν ἀπιστίαν ὅπου ἔχουν·
λέγουν ὅτι εἶναι Χριστιανοί, καὶ ἀλήθειαν οὐ κρατοῦσιν·
τὸν ὅρκον τους οὐδὲν κρατοῦν, οὐδὲ Θεὸν φοβοῦνται·
μόνον τὸ βάφτισμα ἔχουσι τὸ τῆς χριστιανωσύνης» (στ. 789-804).

"Anti-Greek" Western stereotypes of modern times until the Greek Revolution

The negative pattern for the Greeks will be repeated to a degree in works of Western travelers who visited the Aegean in the 16th,17th and 18th century, as in these of the Western officials. 

For example:- The Venetian monk Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623) called the Greeks  "infidels" and said they need "a little bread and lots of whacking" ("poco pane e molte bastonate") and should be treated as wild beasts, they must be constantly humiliated and prevented from training with weapons.

- The Italian Pilgrim Zuarllardo writes in the late 16th century: "We should not trust the Greeks too. they are known enemies. "

- The French 
Aegean traveler  Jean Thévenot (1633-1667) said that: "The Greeks are covetous, infidels, traitors, pedophiles, very vindictive, hypocritical and very superstitious," and that " They hate the Catholics more than the Turks."

- The French Jesuit Robert Saulger (1637-1709) called the Orthodox inhabitants of the Cyclades "schismatic" and "superstitious" and believed that the Greeks are "pride when they are greater, but humble when they lose and sometimes by necessity are liars". " Also, "They are crafty, a little unstable and truthful in their friendship. So in the East will refer to the Greek  infidelity and will tell you to believe the opposite of those that the Greeks believe." But these supplements do not apply to everyone, because in the Aegean Islands met "many who were very sincere, honest and prudent."

It should be noted that these passages are not representative of the Western writers who refer to the Greek Orthodox population of the Aegean. Anti-Greek feelings is not usually the most dominant element in their writings. However, repetition in modern times of medieval negative stereotypes about Greeks is something that could not pass unnoticed. This phenomenon is obviously part of the overall climate of the time in the western area where the image of the Greeks (Hellenes) is generally not the most positive.

Only later, with the emergence of artistic and ideological currents, such as Romanticism, will the interest rekindle  in Western Europe not only in ancient Greece, but also in the fate of the contemporaries, enslaved Greeks. Many Western Europeans will indeed come as volunteers to fight alongside the Greeks during the Greek Revolution (1821-1829), a phenomenon that will be repeated until the Greco-Turkish war of 1897 and the Cretan revolutions of 1866 and 1896, as in the First Balkan War (1912-13), mostly by Italian Garibaldini.

On the other hand, Westerners Hellenists will significantly promote the Greek (Hellenic) letters (eg Louis, King of Bavaria and father of Otto of Greece) and despite the unilateral persistence in ancient Greece and the rejection of the Byzantine past, they could be described as real and warm Philhellenes, given the practical support in the Greek (hellenic) national liberation struggle. However cases of other Western Europeans who favoured greek (hellenic) but who were also violent anti-Hellenes as the Dutchman Cornelius de Pauw, the Prussian Jacob Salomon Bartholdy, the English William Gell and Thomas Thorthon, and also the British Richard Chandler and Charles Perry, who argued that modern Greeks are "resourceful, cunning and crafty people" and "deceitful, crooks and traitors."did not disappear. The most famous scholar, however, in this category was the Austrian Philip James Fallmerayer (1790-1861), who was best known for his theories regarding the absence of any relationship between ancient modern Greeks (Hellenes).

Also in the mid 19th century the image of Greeks (Hellenes) for much of the Western public opinion was very negative, given the reluctance of Greece (Hellas) for alliance with the Western coalition, which campaigned against Russia during the Crimean War (1853-1856 ) and the mission of Greek (Hellenes) volunteers alongside the Russians. The overall picture, however, of the Westerns for the Orthodox world was generally not the best, as opposed for example with the image that had many for the Muslims, but at the time allied Ottoman Empire.

Western European and especially German negative stereotypes about Greeks (Hellenes) (late 19th - early 21st century.)

Dealing with the ancient Greek (hellenic) past and the promotion of Greek (hellenic) letters will continue primarily from the German educational and research institutions throughout the 20th century, but the geopolitical conflict between the two countries, which are found in opposite camps during the two world Wars will not favor the occurrence of philhellenic feelings for the modern Greeks, although there have been several Germans philhellenes throughout the last half a century. Already almost from the first day of the Federal Government, of Bismarck (late 19th cent.), Some Greeks blamed the Germans -as part of their geopolitical ambitions- they wished to govern Greece "as a province of Bavaria" under the doctrine of "Deutschland über Alles".Also noted that the tight embrace between Germany and the Ottoman Empire before and during the First World War was not unrelated to the systematic extermination of Hellenism in Asia Minor by the Neo Turks, who were planned by German officers - consultants, as Fr C. Otto Liman von Sanders who called the Asia Minor Greeks "hostile elements, inspired by revolutionary ideas from outside", which should be prosecuted mercilessly. During the Nazi period there is evidence indicating that the Greeks (Hellenes) were accused as "lazy and cafe  habitues", that  the Germans said they would oblige them to work "as they know how to put slaves to work."
Today, 70 years later, the scene is repeated in some way with one another form.The military invasion of the Third Reich in Greece (Hellas) has been replaced by common consent of the German economic penetration, reaching far to undermine our national sovereignty, in a quasi-re-known from the 30s and 40s as "living space" of Germany (" Lebensraum ").

Also, articles in the German press, especially in broad popular consumption, characterize the Greeks (Hellenes) "vermin," "lazy," "crooks," "thieves," "liars," "worthless," "untrustworthy," who should be punished with harsh economic measures or the loss of part of their territory (eg some islands or even the Acropolis itself!), preferably in favor of Turkey. Similar types of publications have been identified in other countries such as Denmark and other Nordic countries, secondarily in England and rarely in France, but above all perhaps in Holland, where in addition to the above, the Greeks (Hellenes) are seen as "inventors" of gay sex . Often Greek (hellenic) immigrants living in central and northern Europe, mainly in German-speaking and Nordic countries, face the ridicule and scurrilous attacks of a not insignificant portion of the indigenous populations there.

But such a war  is not limited to the Greeks (Hellenes), although our people is at the forefront lately of the peoples encountered derogatory, primarily by the Protestant north. Mediterranean peoples, and especially Catholics, with not particularly great appeal to economic growth, are treated as category B Europeans, on one hand effected by the current economic crisis on the other, ridiculed by some partners in northern Europe, they have been characterized as "lazy ", 
"parasite", " pigs ", etc. , While believing that they are "sinners" who should be "imprisoned".

The existence of these stereotypes is obviously a product of various combinations of parameters: firstly the current politico-economic conditions and also the different glimpse into the personality, culture and historical and cultural background among the peoples of Europe. It seems that has somehow developed in Europe a psychological gap between the Protestant north and Catholic (and Orthodox) South, which, however, due to the gradual spread of economic crisis and north of the Alps, begins to subside, though perhaps not at the expected degree.

Moreover, the fact that Greece is a true European country, but not essentially Western, as orthodox, seem not to create favorable conditions for developing this very friendly feelings of the western side of cycles that affect to some extent the common opinion, some of which connect or identify Greece (Hellas) with their enemy, Russia, even talking about "slavic-orthodox" culture and has become a reason for the existence of an "unholy alliance" or an "axis of evil" of the Greek Orthodox and Serbs during the wars of former Yugoslavia in the '90s. Also, in the German press of the era was pulled from the limbo of history the theory of Fallmerayer, for obvious reasons, and maps were circulated to Greece as a patchwork of peoples, with the eastern Aegean islands belonging to Turkey.

Of course phenomena of suspicion and hostility toward the West, especially to the Germans, have been observed previously on a part of some Greek Orthodox, given the many negative experiences accumulated from centuries of coexistence with the West. So in light of the above could be interpreted the phenomenon of being in Europe today some negative stereotypes about Greeks, and certainly in line with the general historical background of relations between the Greeks and the West.
However, the peoples of the West, including parts of northern European populations, begin to understand now the real causes of the current global economic crisis, developing in many cases philhellenic feelings, even philhellenic action: eg movement "Je suis 
 Grecque" («I'm Greek"), developed in Nantes, France from the end of 2011, which has spread to other countries, is perhaps the first important example of European solidarity movement to the Greek people . Also, from February 2012 Italian mayors offer symbolic salary in favor of the Greek people in the solidarity movement philhellenic "Magna Grecia" («Great Greece").
The Greek (Hellenic) civilization and the human values, which it represents, may constitute a realistic alternative, universal character anthropocentric proposal against the Protestant value system and the instrumentalist Anglo-Saxon thought, a product which is now the dominant socio-economic anti-human, neoliberal model emergence of the individual benefit. The struggle today is not so among the Greeks (Hellenes) and the West, but between peoples and the global financial oligarchs and their oppressors. The request to return to the values ​​of Greek (hellenic) culture seems now increasingly imperative for all mankind, this helps the Greeks to get closer to with the peoples of Western Europe, leaving behind any prejudices and passions of the past.

Published in the journal "Νέος Λόγιος Ερμής" (January - April 2012).

Saturday, 26 May 2012

If this is Europe, we don't want it!

SHOCK: Mother and son jump from the roof hand in hand!

The tragic incident happened yesterday at 8 am. Mother and son climbed on the roof of the building in which they lived in Metaxourgio Athens and dipped down!

The first information refer to financial problems. Both in recent years lived with the mother's pension, which was 340 euros. The 60 year old son was unemployed musician in the profession.

Note that a few days ago the musician posted on a site describing the problems they faced, but nobody moved ... "The problem is that I had not planned to have enough cash in my account, and suddenly the economic crisis started. Although I have enough property and sell at cost, I have run out of cash and we can no longer eat, and my credit card with 22% rate is full  even if the banks borrow at 1%, and i also have other running costs. I live a dramatic life. I have no solution. I have Enough property but no cash and no food, what now? Does anyone know any solution? Powerfull of the world, for the economic crisis you created, you must be hanged, at least " the memo concluded.

The case that comes a day after the suicide of 60-year man with many children, who cut his veins on a bench and left there his last breath.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Response to the Euro-fascists!

The Greek people have never been asked,
therefore they are not obliged to honor any 


Written by Pyros the Athenian

Everyone in Greece (Hellas) knows that our country is not independent. Since the Greek revolution the vultures of the West devoured all the independent voices of the newly state, with great example the assassination of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first (and only) independent ruler of Greece (Hellas).

 Since then Greece (Hellas) is "tied" to the chariot of Europe. Wanted desperately to join the "civilized" Europe, where the principles of democracy, equality and justice - which incidentally is a Greek (Hellenic) gift, but nobody deliberately did not educate the Greeks, who were completely unaware of their history, and emerged from a period of 400 years of obscurantism - represented hope and joy of a people who had suffered so.

We were convinced by the "civilized" Europeans, or rather we tried to convince ourselves at all costs - that we are part of Europe (of course, Europe got its name from Greek mythology and the word is very much Greek) that we participate as equal partners in the European architecture, that the loss of economic sovereignty, which was granted by our inclusion in the common currency, was a small sacrifice in front of the common good of Europe (of Germany as demonstrated ).

So the Greeks due to naivety and - most importantly - because of historical ignorance, were "delivered" in the arms of (German) Europe. A Europe which had not overcome the negative stereotypes against the Greeks, which was carrying since the Middle Ages. Proof of this is the ease with which - most Europeans - accepted and welcomed the German - mostly - Media propaganda against the Greeks (Hellenes). A hatred that goes back to the 5th AD and culminated in Charlemagne (ninth century), who never received recognition and legitimacy as successor of the Roman Empire. Besides, so it was. Since then the Germans guarding us, as history has proven many times.

Once they took the Greek polls results, the "Fuhrers" of Berlin put aside any pretense of democratic legitimacy of the EU and began mud expulsion threats of Greece 
(excact phrase from an article by G. Delastik at the EPIKAIRA magazine). Openly threatening that if the Greeks (Hellenes) did not honor their signatures and commitments, namely to consent to physical extermination because of austerity and recession of the memorandums, would be expeled from the eurozone.But the German "friends" and "partners" forget that the Greek people never consented to any memorandum, any austerity measures and when they were given the opportunity, through democratic processes-, spoken up their opposition to it. Therefore, it is not required, the Greek people to honor an agreement that they did not make! 

Unlike, the one who must stand by its commitments and signatures is Germany as a defeated, must compensate Greece for Nazi atrocities and return the entirely conventional loan which they took from Greece!

I was trying to understand the German mentality, but in vain. The vanity of the attempt to repeat the germanization of 
the rest non-German Europe, when the Germans themselves have suffered so many losses from previous failures suggests schizophrenic tendencies. They do not realize that the only thing they manage from their action is reaction? The same reaction that created the fifth century in Byzantium the anti-german movement called "Panhellenic" which had as its purpose to prevent the germanization of the eastern part of the Roman Empire and finally completed successfully its mission. This is what happens now but it is not happening only in Greece. 

Greeks (Hellenes) and many Europeans are realizing every day the new (;) orientation of the unified Europe that is not what everyone hoped it would be, ie social welfare, equity, solidarity, and democracy but instead turned into an undemocratic Europe where decisions are not made by elected - but appointed by secret places, commissioners who override the popular mandate, where the economy and the rules of precedence stand over the dignity of human existence and democracy, in which Europe of people has become a Europe of banks.

So this is not the Europe we want. We do not need, and the threats of the Eurofascists for expulsion of our country from the euro area and Europe, in my ears sound like ... greetings, wishes to come true!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The purpose of Euro!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

5 million Greeks (Hellenes) fewer due to austerity!

Dimitris Kazakis

What conclusion would you make for a country, if somebody said that the population is declining at an uncontrollable rate ? The obvious: The country and its people are in danger of   being vanished from the map. This has happened to the population of Bulgaria. In 1985 the population of this country amounted to 8,948,649. It was the result of a dashing Bulgarian population growth since 1946, unprecedented in the history of the country, according to which the population grew by nearly 2 million. And then came the disaster. The overthrow of the socialist regime and the collapse of social structures that followed, along with the forced adjustment imposed on Bulgaria by the IMF and other global organizations of markets, resulted in a real genocide. In 2001 the population of Bulgaria was reduced to 7,928,901, or about 1 million fewer than the era of socialism. While in 2011 reached 7,327,224. The projections of the Bulgarians themselves are disappointing. In 2020 the population of the country will be at 6,950,436, while the 2030 is projected to come down to 6,519,217. 

With generations lost  before they are born, the Bulgarian people "pay the price"  for the lowest wages in Europe - close to the Chinese - the opening of markets and privatization of everything,  the on hold foreign investments remain elusive dream. But they can boast that they have the more sustainable pension system in Europe. This is logical since the vast majority of Bulgarians are dying before the age of 65 and therefore they are not entitled  even to the meager pension provided by this system.

We know that a similar situation is experienced by all countries that passed the forced adaptation and "cure" the IMF and market institutions.
CanIt  happen in Greece (Hellas)? Anyone who thinks that this is not likely, is fooling himself. It happens already. According to the 2001 census the resident population of the country was 10,934,097, while in 2011 the permanent population stands at 10,787,690. Decreased by 146,407. And this happens for the first time in the history of the country after the Civil War. 

Why did it happen because we were also in this area too, we became Europeans. The Long-term austerity, the pressure on all sides in the Greek (Hellenic) family, the lack of social protection for maternity and child, and the systematic dismantling of the social fabric heighten the demographic crisis the Greek(Hellenic)  society has been experiencing for two decades,  and led to the present shrinking of population.

Greece (Hellas),  from a country of elders, began to change slowly in a country where the Greek population is in decline. It is significant that in 1970 births were in Greece  70.9 thousand 
over than deaths the same year.  In 1980, 60.9 thousand more were born than those who died that same year. While in 1984-85 the figure is beginning to shrink dramatically, reaching the 1990 just 8.1 thousand births over deaths the same year. After 1998 and especially the decade of 2000 births ceased longer outnumber the annual deaths, bringing the country's population starting to decline. It is no coincidence that in 1984-85 begins the next cycle of adjustment policies and austerity and bleeding of households.

The same phenomenon seems to be confirmed with the average age of husband and wife during marriage. The trend of the Greek family was from the 1920's the couple to marry for the first time at the age of just over 28 for the husband and about 23-24 for the wife. The pattern seems to vary after the political transition of 1974, where there is a decrease in the average age of husband and wife in 1 to 2 years. But then in 1985 
 the age begins to increase. Every year, especially after 1990 the average age of husband and wife during marriage is steadily growing. The increasing pressure on the younger generation because of unemployment and the inability of the new couple's livelihood, even if they work both are forced to raise the marriage age. So in 2000 it reached an average age of the husband to be 31 and his wife just over 27. While today the average age of the husband moves close to 33 and his wife at 29. Behind this spectacular rise in age mainly lies the need to restore livelihoods of both spouses before marriage. Which all previous years and each year was more difficult.

These developments have obviously more drastic impact on childbearing potentials, which in previous years went declining.But if you believe that the tragedy of the demographic decline of the Greek population stops here you are illusioning. The new data of the natural movement of population the last two years of memorandums and the disposal system of the country turned the population decline into an ethnic cleansing. The drastic decline in birth rates in relation to the explosion of deaths occurring annually the last two years creates a gloomy prospect. According to the most modest estimates of 10,787,690 which was according to the census of 2011 the resident population of the country in 2021 is estimated to have shrunk to 9,385,290, while by 2031 it will be dropped to 7,551,383. In other words, the country's population will shrink more than 2 million over the next 20 years.

The dissolution of the medical, nursing and welfare infrastructure of the Greek state under the requirements of the troika  (ECB, IMF, EU) is absolutely certain to worsen dramatically the natural growth of the population to unprecedented degree. If this is combined with the dramatic drop in living standards and livelihoods particularly of the young people, it is certain that future generations of Greeks will never be born. If also the contraction of the Greek population and add the looming migration of mainly young people at a pace that seems to move at least between 15 to 20,000 per year, then the immediate future looks even more dissapointing.

So we should not just talking about political class and class exploitation imposed on the country. This is a whole system of policies to the enslavement of the entire population. If the average age of Greek (Hellenic) society goes up year after year, with the base of the age pyramid to shrink to finally disappear, then who will stay to defend this place? Who is left to call Greece (Hellas) home and claim it for his children? Who? grandfather and grandmother?

Across the country will happen the same that happened with the rural population. When prompted the rural population to be middle-aged (65 years old), then saw that they were free to impalement throughout the countryside and turn it into an object of speculation in the housing market. Who can you fear when you are facing 65 year old men? Who will be afraid when there will be no young people to defend the present and the future of this country?