News Greece - Time to cut them off?

Discussion in 'The Front Room' started by Raven, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. MYstIC G

    MYstIC G Official Licensed Lump of Coalâ„¢ Distributor Staff member Moderator FH Subscriber

    It's also still an ongoing row. Not a particularly great overview but there seems to be little else that's tracking the issue:
  2. Wij

    Wij I am a FH squatter FH Subscriber

    Fuck them in the eyes. Invade!
  3. Job

    Job The Carl Pilkington of Freddyshouse

    500 quid each that bailout for us brits, that's like my car insurance.
    500 quid for ONE bailout of one small country, which will mostly go to investors using huge sums to make even huger sums.
    I smell a war on it's way.
  4. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    The Icelandic people wanted jobs, just like us, and aren't all bazillionaires because of it. They're mostly honest hardworking types.
  5. Wij

    Wij I am a FH squatter FH Subscriber

    And so were the Germans in the thirties !!!!!! :eek:
  6. Embattle

    Embattle FH is my second home

    That may be but as in most crashes people suddenly like to claim they knew nothing and act like they didn't benefit in some way...which is rarely the case.
  7. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    Come off it Emb. Were you prescient about how the UK banks were over-extending themselves? Why would you expect the Icelandic people to be any different?

    They're the same as you and me. It wasn't my fault that the banks went to the wall and I'm well fucked off that I'm being forced to pay for it when I had nothing to do with it.

    Actually, invade, tbfh :)
  8. Embattle

    Embattle FH is my second home

    You miss the point, yes there is a difference from being directly to blame but claiming it is nothing whatsoever to do with you and that you didn't benefit in any way would be utterly untrue, which is the case in places like Iceland at the time and Greece as well but with other complex issues as well.
  9. Deebs

    Deebs Chief Arsewipe Staff member Moderator FH Subscriber

    The sooner we leave the United States of Europe the better. Things are only going to get worse in Europe.
  10. Deebs

    Deebs Chief Arsewipe Staff member Moderator FH Subscriber

    or should I say the United States of Germany?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Aoami

    Aoami I am a FH squatter

    Is it true that the EU forced Greece to amend their constitution to bind them to pay back the EU before they can increase spending on public services?
  12. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    The banking crisis in the UK, and the overextention of the banks, was nothing whatsoever to do with me, Emb.

    Unless I missed something? I just got on with my job, paid my taxes etc. etc. Just like the Icelandic people.

    If they'd have given me a vote I'd have said let the banks go to the wall. The Icelanders went "fuck 'em - not our fault" - but were undemocratically overridden (apparently). And they were right.

    If I benefitted in any way it's still nothing to do with me - because I wasn't an active participant and only a passive participant by the virtue of the fact that I live in the UK. And I can't help that. :)

    I know it's true that when Greek PM Georgios Papandreou pitched a referendum about the cuts he signed his fate and was quickly replaced by the former vice president of the European Central Bank... ;)
  13. Tuthmes

    Tuthmes FH is my second home

    This is why we (in the Netherlands) call having anal sex, doing it Greek style.
  14. Moriath

    Moriath I am a FH squatter

    Like Deebs said

    Germany doing the sneaky this time not going for war going for economic take over. With France as its lap dog tbh
  15. Wij

    Wij I am a FH squatter FH Subscriber

    Ahem - personal debts and gov't defecits. May not have been down to you personally but plenty of Brits and Icelanders were involved in both.
  16. Moriath

    Moriath I am a FH squatter

    lol its all governement and multinationals .. nothing to do with your man on the street ... and every country is as bad as another you cant say i didnt borrow shit so i am immune .... your immune till the bank doesnt lend your company and then they go into admin and you lose your job .. see how far was nothing to do with me gets you then tbh
  17. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    No personal debts. All paid, including mortgage. And I'm not in the least bit responsible for government borrowing, spending or the levels of taxation. I'm easily a net contributor.

    I've no choice about how these things are set up and, as you know, disagree with the way they are.

    To do with me? Not. One. Jot.

    Way to miss the point Moriath. The debts, how they came about, the economic system and banking crash - nothing to do with me. Not my fault. This is the context of what I'm talking about.

    But to humour you - I'm well-educated and more than able to compete in the jobs market. If I'm not working (which I'm not at the moment) it's by choice, not because I can't get a job. I don't work "for a company" and if the company I had a contract with went under I'd simply find another one. If there was nothing at all in the UK I'd move.

    The "debt crisis" doesn't affect me half as much as it affects other people. Doesn't mean I'm happy about it though. I support the ordinary greeks and ordinary icelanders who didn't have a say in any of this shit, that's all...
  18. Embattle

    Embattle FH is my second home

    Quite frankly you seem to use yourself as some sort of template of other people in other countries, which would be wrong in my opinion but if it makes you happy feel free to continue thinking it.

    As I said the fact is most people benefit in some way, nothing you try to use as a counter so far has changed that yet and in reality to me has just helped prove it. People elect their own governments which make decisions rightly or wrongly that we endorse, in the case of Greece it would seem a lot of the populous benefited from it in terms of wages, big projects, joining Euro, etc which they were all happy to accept while avoiding paying tax and turning a blind eye to their own countries lack of ability to pay for all of it. In the case of Iceland it relates to having very big banks that pay tax, that pay wages that boosts the economy which when doing well people are happy to ignore until the downsides appears to hit, I will admit that Iceland is in no real way comparable to Greece but then it comes down to international agreements as to what will happen and very few people will ever read those let alone understand them.

    Personally I've wanted Greece to default for a while since I don't see Greece ever being able to stick to what they've agreed, it just seems a case of throwing money at it and hoping it'll get better and that the Greeks will change their ways.
  19. Embattle

    Embattle FH is my second home

    Actually thinking about it on the way to work you must be Greek considering the tax you once claimed to pay and your views :p
  20. Wij

    Wij I am a FH squatter FH Subscriber

    Emphasis added for Scouse :)
  21. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    Aye, Wij, Emb, I understand where you're coming from but, on balance, I think this is pertinent:

    I think I am. For the Greek public, for the Icelandic public, I think that I'm a not bad template for you guys either. Or anyone in Britain, Wales, Northern Ireland, Spain, France and Italy.

    I work. I pay my taxes according to the system I was born into, that I had no choice about and have no control over. Just like you.

    Also, just like you, I'm a passive receipient of "benefits" that may or may not be created by this system in good times and a passive receipient of being fucked over when it goes to tits.

    We all vote in elections for groups of politicians who do nothing different from each other tbfh. In the 80's Thatcher (conservative) oversaw the installation of lassiez-faire capitalism in the UK. Irresponsible lending by the banks went on through the 90's (under the conservatives) then Blair was elected in `97 (Labour) and the practice continued until ten years later and then, taking 99.99% of the public by total surprise, CRASH!

    The public didn't "endorse" this. They didn't even understand it. And you can see that whoever you bothered to vote for the same shit went on. The government has very little to do with it anyway as it's a global crisis, above the petty level of "country". It's a systemic issue.

    How are "normal" people culpable for this? When you vote, do you see a different financial system installed? Do we have a real choice?

    Personally, I think people get suckered in by the notion that Greeks are all "tax dodgers" and have an emotional reaction to that. The greek government set the rules. The people don`t understand the ramifications of them - so they carry on in the system that is provided for them. They get jobs. They work. They pay the tax that the government wants to collect. It's fuck all to do with "the people" who, IMO, are scapegoats, tbfh....
  22. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    Must be. In my view I work to get paid. I also pay all of the tax required of me by law, not one penny less.

    If I don't work, I don't get paid. I don't claim benefits when I'm not working - even though I could.

    Me and them fucking Greeks. What a bunch of tax-doding work-shy cunts eh?

    Personally, I'd stick me and them in a gulag, using us as slave labour, whipping us until the economic crisis has gone away. It's all people like us' fault anyway. Tax dodging work shy bastards that we are. We voted for financial destitution, so we deserve it. :)
  23. DaGaffer

    DaGaffer Down With That Sorta Thing

    Scouse, 49% of Greeks are fiddling their taxes, from small evasions to full avoidance. When its that endemic, and you have a population that repeatedly votes in governments committed to public spending, how can you claim the population have no responsibility for the problem? Greece has a massively overblown welfare state, but half the population seem to think its perfectly OK for someone else to pay for it, preferably someone not Greek.

    Each of the PIIGS countries, and Iceland, and the UK, have slightly different reasons for the state they're in, and each of those countries has different levels of responsibility for the crisis, be it politicians, the financial sector or the public, but in every case, the public has some responsibility, and Iceland, the most democratic country on Earth, where pretty much everyone votes on everything, has more public responsibility for their actions than most; they made a decision to guarantee domestic depositors in their banking sector but leave foreign depositors out to dry, and this wasn't a decision made by the banks themselves, it was made by the Althing (parliament), the democratic representative of the people who'd happily deregulated their banks (with full public approval - its not like the UK where this shit is cooked up behind closed doors) to the point where they owed four times the country's GDP to foreign creditors. Unlike in the UK and the EU, where we all feel pretty divorced from the decision-making process, and are powerless to influence it, that's not been the case in Iceland.

    It drives me mad when people try to wash their hands of all responsibility for the financial crisis; yes, the financial sector and the politicians have to shoulder most of the blame, but I look around at the kind of things people in Ireland were doing during the Celtic Tiger years and think "were you people insane?" Not necessarily because they bought three houses or had a massive credit card bill (for people who'd been dirt poor for their entire history, it must have felt like a lottery win), but because they voted for massive levels of social welfare but never questioned the narrowness of their tax base. They were quite happy to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the fact that you get paid the highest dole rates in Europe but had the lowest income tax contribution; that they were the only country in Europe that didn't have a council tax (or equivalent), or Water rates, and the scary thing is that a lot of them still won't accept that you have to put in more tax than you spend on public services.
  24. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    I think you've missed a huge part of my argument Gaff, so the below is just thoughts on a few of the things you've said there (I'll cover the crux later):

    All things the population doesn't and never will understand - because understanding it is a full-time job.

    Politicians get voted in on (and debate using) rhetoric because of this. It's why they talk shit - because talking reason doesn't wash with people. Promise the people low taxes and spending on the health service and that's what they'll vote for 9 times out of 10.

    People, quite understandably, haven't got time to learn about all this shit. They've got kids, jobs, lives to be getting on with. They just want jobs. They pay the taxes they must. If, as you say, Greece has a culture of tax-dodging then it's the "culture" that they were born into and grew up in - do you honestly expect them all to start paying voluntarily? They're human beings.

    We'd do exactly the same given the same situation.

    This. It felt like they were winning. Humans run on feelings most of the time. They don't understand the rest of it. They vote for their politicians because their rhetoric feels better than the other mans, or because the other guy looks funny, or because their mum and dad voted that way.

    I'd say that it's predictable - not scary - they simply don't get it...

    Separately, I'd also reiterate the point that it's a global financial crisis. Governments can do jack shit about it on their own. It's a systemic problem.

    Anyway - to return to the point I made at the top of the post: IMO all the guff above is moot anyway Gaff. Quoting myself:

    ?? :(

    Conservative, Labour, same shit went on. It's not a real choice. How can you be held culpable if you don't have a real say in the matter?
  25. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

  26. mr.Blacky

    mr.Blacky Can't get enough of FH

    Don't recall anyone ever saying that the Greeks were lazy.. tax dodging, bloated public sector yes.
    As for the statistics I do wonder how they got that number if they cant even get the people not to avoid taxes
    • Like Like x 1
  27. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    It's not that they avoided taxes - it's that the tax system was set up not to collect.

    If you had an unfinished floor on your house you didn't pay tax. Simple. So nobody finished their houses or had bits of metal sticking out of the top - and the government (not the people) didn't do anything about it. They've fixed that now and hey presto! the tax will be collected.

    Painting the greeks as a bunch of tax evaders is just propaganda to cover up the fact they're getting shat on.
  28. Job

    Job The Carl Pilkington of Freddyshouse

    There's only 11 million of them, WTF do they need 130 billion for?
    The total equals 20,000 euros each.
    I'm sure if the UK asked for 20 grand for every person (1.4 trillion) they'd tell us where to get off.
  29. Scouse

    Scouse HERO! FH Subscriber

    Yup. Seems to me that the Greek people didn't get themselves into that mess...
  30. Embattle

    Embattle FH is my second home

    Firstly looking at that article in simplistic terms doesn't mean they actually work hard since they book a lot of hours but for those hours the productivity is rather shit so in essence it doesn't prove much.

    Secondly swimming pools declared is always the classic example used regarding tax evasion, although a lot of action is being taken to regain control of the tax situation finally.

    In the end it won't matter what you or a few others think about it being unfair since they are going to pay one way or another.

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