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Some PIIGS are more equal…: Spain Gets One Extra Year To Reach Deficit Targets

George Orwell was a prophet when he summarized in a single phrase the equality in the Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“.  Paraphrasing the line of pig Napoleon and adjusting it to the farm of the Euro Zone, the famous line can very clearly be read as “All PIIGS are equal, but some PIIGS are more equal than others.”.

Remember the tet-a-tete chat between German Finance Minister Schaeuble with his Portuguese counterpart Vitor Caspar last February, when the German promised the Portuguese “changes in Portugal’s bailout” once he is finished with Greece?

Now another member of the PIIGS club is going to get preferential treatment: and that is Spain! EU diplomats said on Monday that Europe would grant Spain an extra year to reach its deficit targets.

So far no consessions were made to Greece even though there is talk for a two year extension. That would be accompanied by a third bailout.

“Europe will grant Spain an extra year to reach its deficit targets after it outlines further budget savings to finance ministers meeting in Brussels, diplomats said on Monday.

Although no final decision is expected at a Monday meeting of euro zone finance ministers on a bailout of Spain’s banks, a wider gathering of EU finance chiefs on Tuesday is set to ease a debt goal that has pressured Madrid to make punishing cuts that are exacerbating a recession.

“Spain’s budget consolidation targets will be adjusted to give it an extra year,” said one of the diplomats.

“This is not a unilateral move. Spain needs to make the necessary cuts to reach that goal and this will be discussed on Tuesday at the Ecofin (meeting of ministers). I expect the extra year to be granted.”

Officials said the European Commission will propose a new deficit goal of 6.3 percent of economic output for this year, 4.5 percent for 2013 and 2.8 percent for 2014.

Madrid had been due to reduce its budget deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product by the end of 2013. But a deep recession is putting that beyond reach.

The Commission will make the proposal to the EU’s finance ministers on Tuesday, who would then have to agree. At that point it would become binding, two officials told Reuters.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos will spell out to the meeting his government’s plan for a package of up to 30 billion euros over several years through spending cuts and tax hikes that are due to be announced this Wednesday.

A source close to the Spanish government said 10 billion euros of cuts would come this year and that the measures would include a VAT hike, reduced social security payments, reduced unemployment benefits and changes to pensions calculations.

A decision on the full details of a bailout of up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) Spain has requested for its banks is also due shortly.

A Spanish government source said it would sign a memorandum of understanding on Monday in Brussels regarding the rescue, which would be followed on July 20 by a full loan agreement. As part of that, it will agree to create a single bad bank to house toxic assets from its banking sector.

While Madrid strives to cut its debts and shore up its struggling banks, it has consistently pleaded for help to get down its borrowing costs. Spanish 10-year government bond yields above seven percent are not sustainable indefinitely. (Further Reading Reuters via BusinessReport)

Of course, Spain is not (yet) in the bailout mechanism as Greece is. But when Greeks read such news, no wonder they develop an aversion against Germany and its Northern satellites. Or they refrain from paying the extraordinary and emergency taxes.

PS I wonder how the Spaniards react about the harsh austerity. Not much different than the Greeks, I hear.

 

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50 comments

  1. Spain’s public debt is way below the Greek one (as a percentage of GDP), too. They didn’t need any costly haircut yet. And didn’t produce as many negative headlines as Greece. Not even remotely. So, that’s a comparison of ouzo with oranges.

  2. “As part of that, it will agree to create a single bad bank to house toxic assets from its banking sector.”

    The Spanish people would do well to come out onto the streets and revolt now before this goes ahead. Just look at the situation in Ireland, where the “Bad Bank” idea was put in place. At this stage, the Irish have almost lost count of how much this is costing them in reality, and nobody really wants to think about how this is going to be paid for. It runs into the billions, and gets worse almost by the day.

    http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/revealed-the-cost-of-transferring-loans-from-the-banks-to-nama-e246m-to-date-excluding-bank-of-ireland/

    And the net result? Here is the absolutely shocking answer to the real cost of juggling the debt run up by totally gungho banks

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0709/new-report-shows-consumers-struggling-to-pay-bills.html

    To make this very clear, this report makes it very clear that more than 30% of the population in Ireland has less than €100 a month to live on. Why, becasue the Irish government decided that banks come first, and the people will have to pay.

  3. Reminds me of a story.

    Some states in the US have no state income tax. Tennessee is one of them.

    Years ago the State Legislature was going to vote to start one. The people went CRAZY. They stormed the Statehouse while the legislature was in session, beating on the doors and windows with their hands, sticks, whatever they had.

    The legislators were terrified, Tennessee State Police locked the doors and called for re-enforcements. The legislators were evacuated, some on stretchers after suffering cheats pains or heart attacks. Many soiled themselves.

    The tax was not passed.

    The moral of the story? Sometimes people need to make it clear to politicians that they have had ENOUGH and will take NO MORE. (Like Popeye used to say, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more”)

    When politicians understand that their well being, their homes and even their lives are at risk, they either quit or start listening and representing their people.

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    how can one produce negative headlines? only if somebody writes negative 🙂

  5. William,
    are you by any chance suggesting that politicians should actually listen to the people instead of dictating what the people should do (as “suggested” by banks and other vested interests like foreign governments not a million miles away) :EEK:

    You are suggsting anarchy? Bad man 🙂

  6. I heard week after week about how Spanish banks will NOT NEED A BAILOUT….. until they did.

    …”The Spanish acceptance of aid for its banks is a big embarrassment for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who insisted just 10 days ago that the banking sector would not need a bailout.”…

    As coach Mike Ditka once said, “who you crappin'”? (Who are trying to BS?)

  7. The situation with Spain is actually more serious than in Greece, but started later so the effects are delayed.

    The Germans and others have managed to convince themselves (but not the financial markets or anyone else in the world) that only Greece has a serious problem. They think, like Goebbels, that if they repeat their propaganda loudly and insistently, people will believe it.

    Rajoy has all the intellect and backbone of Papandreou — so you know what to expect from this weed. The problem in Spain is directly from the banking system, whereas in Greece it was an indirect effect owing to state management incompetence allied with weak production structures. But in all the eurozone, and ultimately in Germany, the weakest points in the economies will fail.

  8. On the one hand, we have some weeks of bad news about Spanish banks. OPn the other, we have YEARS of bad news about tax evasion, strikes, broken promises, screwed up reforms, corruption, riots, political madness, you name it, in Greece. You wanna say both sides balance each other out, William? Who’s bullshitting whom here?
    8-/

  9. That report says, 1.8 million Irish folks (that’s about 30% of the total population) only have €100 or less to spend AFTER they paid their rent, their utility bills and their food purchases (the other 70% apparently have more than that). Well, I dunno, but to be able to pay for those essentials and still have some money left, doesn’t that sound quite enviable for many Greek people?
    :-/
    However, of course a tax reform that actually reduces inequality would be a good idea.

  10. Gray

    You’re right, but the public debt to GDP ratio is only a part of the economic picture of a country. If you calculate the non public debts of Greece and Spain as a percent of GDP you will find out that they’re 43.3 (2011 data) and 90.0 (2010 data) respectively. The gross external debts of Greece and Spain as a percent of GDP were 208.6 (2011 data before the PSI) and 153.6 (2010 data) respectively. Following the successful completion of the Greek PSI the gross external debts as a percent of GDP of Greece and Spain are similar. The bottom line is that both countries are in dire economic straits.

  11. Perhaps you need to pay some attention to what actually happened, rather than spouting German propaganda.

  12. I dunno, Gray.

    This kinda sounds like a group of people on a sinking ship in icy waters debating who is a fault. Does it really matter?

    My point was you had Rajoy outright LYING and telling everyone that “there is no problem” / “there is no problem”, when he damn well knew THERE WAS A PROBLEM.

    That sounds like BS, looks like BS and smells like BS.

    Regardless of “ouzo with oranges”. That WAS BS.

  13. Here is a nice summary of the Euro crisis from the BBC. Greece and Spain are like ouzo and oranges, two very different economies with very different causes for their problems. Greece’s problem is due to its own mismanagement not the banking sector. Grey is right.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16290598

    Good luck in convincing the yahoos on this board that it isn’t propaganda though. It’s from the BBC not indymedia so it must be lies!

  14. So headlines from things like the 2008 riots, or the May 2010 Marfin Bank deaths, or the taxi strikes during peak tourist season last summer were not necessarily negative, they were just reported that way by the media?

  15. Yes, but the Irish are people who understand what responsibility means, and what needs to be done to help their country get out of the mess they all partook in. What it is to be honest and honourable in other countries is what is referred to in Greece as being a m@l@ka!

  16. If you rely on the idiots in the BBC for your economic analysis, that would explain why you continually fail to make any sense at all.

  17. I seem to ruffle your feathers quite easily, so I must be getting something right.

    Tootles

  18. William

    Although the anti-state income tax Tennesseans prevailed more than a decade ago, the State probably adopted other measures to make up for the difference. The State of Tennessee simply raised other taxes and opted to reduce its funding to local governments. Then the local governments facing a revenue shortfall raised their sales taxes, sewage and sanitation fees, and property taxes.

    It’s part of the democratic process to participate in peaceful demonstrations expressing the people’s opposition to an unpopular tax. Picketing and sit-ins are also acceptable forms of protest. Furthermore, the people can write letters and call their representatives in an attempt to reverse the government’s decision. Physical abuse, verbal threats, and destruction of both private and public properties are unbecoming behaviors.

  19. Finance ministers are SUPPOSED to lie at some circumstances, to suppress panic reactions. That is to be expected. No sane person ever expects truth from finance minister, when asked about necessity of bailout or currency devaluation.
    These truths will allways be told ex post facto.

  20. You know Gray,

    every time I read one of your posts, irrespective of what it’s about, I get slightly more nauseous, and I have to convince myself all over again that there might also be Germans who aren’t self-rightious, who don’t believe themselves to be God’s created UberMensch, who don’t believe in Germany’s self-appointed role of universal policeman, who don’t believe they have the God-given right to tell everybody else what and how to do things.

    I find it harder and harder to think of Germany as a country with people instead of a place full of power freaks who haven’t learned anything after causing 2 devastating world wars, I even find it very hard to believe that it isn’t actually waging a 3rd one right now.

    And then this morning I suddenly thought, it’s not going to be too much longer before Germany gets a proper dose of it’s own medicine. In fact, is just around the corner. And I find myself cherishing the thought that people like you will be wondering what did I do to deserve this, and why is everybody so reluctant to help me? That’s the time when you should read the crap you’ve been spouting here again. Because my friend, that’s what you’ve done to deserve everything that’s coming your way.

    What goes around, comes around, and you are no exception. It will be a hard landing, and as far as I’m concerned, it can’t be hard enough…

  21. keeptalkinggreece

    As I closely follow the EU bailouts, I can tell, the moment you hear an official (PM, FinMin) denying bailout, you know he will officially request in a week lol
    With devaluation … yes, that’s another thing: you know it when it happens, the same with government reshuffles.

  22. What an absolute load of rubbish! That attitude is nothing but a carte blanche handed over to these guys to lie and cheat their way through life and be as corrupt as they possible can. Excuse? “Sorry, you can’t expect me to tell the truth, it’s for your own good” Actually, thingking about it, that is the title of a book by Alice Miller (For your own good) different subject matter, same reasoning, same bullshit as she more than adequately points out.
    The first thing anybody has to DEMAND from any politician is Truth. The second one is accountability. Your reasoning absolves them from both.

  23. Which just goes to show you have no idea what you are talking about. the Irish situation is totally different from anything else going on anywhere in Europe. It has now morphed with it, which was unavoidable once the “Nein” brigade started dictating things.
    The Irish situation was caused by nothing else but a few selfish, greedy idiots who thought they could conjur up as much money as they could dream off using their treasured Anglo Irish Bank. One of them even gave himself a loan of 250 million €(if memory serves me well) for the sole purpose of buying shares in the same bank he got the loan from!
    In Ireland they talk about “The Golden Circle”, a group of about 15 people. Known to the government, and previous government, but names kept secret. Why? The revelation this weekend that one of the present big shots in Irish government got an unsecured loan of €900.000 from one of those fraudulent bankers, might just point you in the right direction.
    The Irish situation was casued by a massive bank collapse, nothing else. And the then government, up to their ears in the scam, decided one night at an emergency meeting to blanket guarantee the banks, iow, to land the Irish people with the debts racked up by their mates.
    The only problem with the Irish people, who are only too aware of what has and is happening, is that they haven’t got the balls to stand up and shout enough. Don’t ask me why, they just don’t, and are paying a very, very high price for something they have literally nothing to do with.
    Meanwhile, the penny is dropping that it is indeed all in vain, and the consensus is that Ireland too will need a second “bailout”. Iow, Joe Soap needs to cough up more to save the banks. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing to do with knowing about responsability and all the other political waffle designed to pat them on the head while they pay through the nose for the greed of the few, who by the way are still lapping it up on their ill-gained fortunes.
    One of those fraudulent bankers, known to the Irish as “Fingers” (what’s in a name?) organised himself a pension pot of 75 million €, and is happily allowed to live on that while being labelled “disgraced”. The Irish people are paying for that 75 million, as well as everything else. He’s playing golf instead of rotting in jail.

  24. Ubermensch? Me? I’m only a one eyed guy in a group of blind folks here. I’m sorry that in your opinion I’m not humble enough about that.
    .-/

  25. keeptalkinggreece

    you mean to say, you’re the one-eyed guy leading the blind folks? ahahahaha

  26. Humble and yourself are mutually incompatible concepts.
    But it’s people like you who generate and fuel the commonly held, less than favourable, and deadly accurate perception of re-occuring German politics and attitudes.
    We know you don’t give a shite about others, so maybe you would like to think about the damage your self rightious attitude is doing to Germany and its people instead? The constant display of selfish “Deutschland Uber Alles” attitude displayed should accommodate that without any problems. Or does your one-eyed vision not even see that?

  27. Well, the question is, do Greeks want to live in a town like Colorado Springs?
    http://www.governing.com/topics/mgmt/Colorado-Springs-DIY-government.html

    That’s the consequence of that anti-tax attitude. A huge divide between the “haves” and the “have-nothings”. Do Greeks want that? Their choice.

  28. And what about the behaviour of slashing peoples income to save fraudulent banks, halving somebodys pension for the same reason, allowing families to end up with no means of supporting themselves, using patients as pawns in political games?
    What about the behaviour of reducing a minimum wage to a level that it doesn’t sustain even the absolute minimum needed to survive, threatening people via the media, deliberately lying to people about the situation their country is in, spending billions on weapons when people are starving in the streets of the cities. How “becoming” are those behaviours?
    And what do you think writing letters and your other “acceptable” forms of protest accomplish? If anything, we would not be in the situation we are in.

  29. You didn’t get it. Study some economics, this is pretty basics stuff. Every reporter knows that there is questions where only possible answer from FM is “there won’t be devaluation”, true or not. They know it and play it against politicians to make good headlines later. This is nothing new.

    Never expect politicians to tell the truth. Or media. It is YOUR responsibility to filter the BS they feed you before you ingest it.

  30. Colorado Springs can be a paradise for those with money, and a black hole of poverty for those have-nots. Ultimately, we are building a Mad-Max society where gated enclaves of Rich will provide the same nice services they’ve always had, and outside the gates of Utopia, will be Jobergian slums for the rest of the have-nots.

    Is this what we want for Greece and any city really?

  31. Ephilant, I don’t expect you to agree with me. If that ever happened I would commit myself to an asylum.

  32. Wow! what a great bunch of posts. Entertaining as well as enlightening.

    My questions is: Do we now live in “different times” or has this been the way the world has always been run and the “difference” is that we now have the Internet and great forums like KTG to bring truths (and opinions) into the light?

  33. keeptalkinggreece

    oh, it’s just frustrated PIIGS and their breeders.

  34. you’re there already my friend. It’s an open air one, run by the lunatics.

  35. I agree with both these posts from you, Ephilant. I do not think Gray even serves the interests of the German Volk: it looks to me more that he is in the financial services sector and is worried that the public are beginning to cotton on the fraud and corruption that this sector has made its profits from.

  36. I do agree with taking, and do take responsibility for what I do and say, and also for the consequenes thereoff. But why am I to be held responsible for this, but the politician somehow isn’t?
    If I am going to be asked to vote for somebody who in return promises to act in my best interest, then THE LEAST I MUST be able to expect from that person is the truth. By stating what you state, and accepting the games you advocate, you simply do away with accountability in any shape or form. And hoping that the truth will be told ex post facto is like farthing in a crowd after a feed of Guinness and hoping nowbody will smell it. It’s too late, the damage is done, and they will smell it. No denying that one!
    It is not the kind of leadership we should expect and neither should we tolerate it.

  37. By chance, I decided to re-read Animal Farm again, about 2 weeks ago. (Partly because I have first edition copy, which I am very proud of!)So, with some recent familiarity I can tell you the reason some PIIGS are more equal than others: it is in fact EXACTLY the same reason as in Orwell’s book!
    In Animal Farm, the two original leaders were both big muscular boars — who imposed their views with popular consensus, although often contradicting each other. The turning point came when Napoleon (who had taken a whole brood of young generation piglets into his sole personal care) was able to use a thuggish private army to evict his rival (violently), suppress any popular dissent or even questions, and impose his personal ideas on everyone.

    As with the eurozone crisis, the powerful large countries (Italy and Spain) scare the two northern countries quite a bit. Therefore, they are more equal. The little PIG Greece could only exert influence by threatening terrible things. For a while, Napoleon and Himmler were actually terrified by the the squeaking piglet called Tsipras (who apparently had some sort of thermonuclear device and threatened to use it unless others behaved properly). However, Napoleon and Himmler were able to threaten the voting piglets of Greece that if they dared to listen to Tsipras, they would all die immediately.

    So, the Greek piglets elected as their leader a funny old guy who had no ideas and not much backbone (some say that he has no vision at all). Napoleon and Himmler were very pleased with themselves. Meanwhile, the Italian PIIG (a clever prof. of economics) politely threatened Himmler with bureaucratic problems (like never agreeing to sign anything) and got the support of Napoleon. The Spanish PIIG (an idiot) was also a beneficiary of this, but only because Spain is similar to Italy in size.

  38. if you need any financial support for that, do ask here 🙂

  39. Did you realise, KTG, that you seem to have Samaras commenting here under a pseudonym? 🙂

  40. I don’t advocate any games, just point out that FM post has certain restrictions and in *some*situations* truth is secondary matter, and avoiding bank run primary.
    And that all political speak should be taken with grain of salt.
    Other than that, no disagreement.

  41. giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

    If you are looking for people with the national identity GERMAN you will have no luck because people with national identity are the mess and where will you put the 350.000 German-Greeks?
    But in Germany there is a strong antifascist movement with lots of experience to share.
    This year’s SCHANZENFEST in Hamburg on 25th of August will show it’s solidarity with struggles in Greece and folks who work in solidarity groups, translation collectives, counter informers, etc. are all invited to share their experiences.

  42. keeptalkinggreece

    it’s Samaras, Venizelos, Papaconstantinou and Papandreou together…

  43. Why should I be diplomatic to folks who hate Germany anyway? Especially you, Xenos? Who do you wanna fool, really?

  44. Actually, I think Venizelos isn’t such a bad guy, vastly preferrable to Samaras. And Papandreou had some good ideas, but, sadly, turned out to be a lousy crisis manager. Well, at least you don’t suspect I’m the reincarnation of George Mercouris, ktg…
    😀

  45. keeptalkinggreece

    I gave up suspecting

  46. Get the chip off your shoulder Gray. Nobody hates Germany, although your doing great job of convincing people they should. It’s not Germany, it’s the attitude of some Germans (always too many), and you just are the prime example of the self-righteous, navel staring, ignorant stereo type that people cannot but dislike. Nobody asked you to put yourself forward as the poster boy for everything dislikeable about the German mindset, you did that all by yourself, to yourself.
    In English, we have a saying. When in a hole, stop digging. Instead, you bring out the JCB and get digging at 100 km per hour…
    Nobody asks you to be diplomatic, I’ve certainly given up on that regarding yourself. But a little “engage brain before opening mouth” would save a lot of agro.

  47. Actually, I have very good relations with Germany. I am frequently invited to give public lectures (mostly in Berlin) and have been treated with far more respect there than I get in the UK or Greece. There is much that is good about Germany and German people — but this does not include what is going on now with the eurozone. This is a disaster for all of us, including the German people.

    BTW my stepmother is German and is a lovely person. My father spends 4-6 months of every year in Germany (since 1997) and also has great respect for German people.

  48. Ephilant

    Privatizing profits and nationalizing losses is the way that most large banks and corporations prefer to operate. It can be described as corporate warfare and crony capitalism. The belief that large banks and corporations are too big to fail and the presence of systemic risk, coupled with effective lobbying, often lead to the implementation of economic policies of socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the poor. Cutting the salaries, pensions and benefits of financially vulnerable citizens is often done because the government is incompetent to increase its revenues from the collection of all the taxes due. The affluent by hiring smart tax lawyers and accountants, taking full advantage of the tax loopholes, utilizing tax shelters and offshore companies, often avoid paying their fair share of taxes. It’s both unacceptable to have violent demonstrations and destruction of property, and the government to treat its poor and weak citizens unfairly. Looting and burning stores, and throwing Molotov cocktails, stones and bottles at police are actions not to be condoned. It’s probably a cliché, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Persistent and peaceful demonstrations, continuous strikes, and even civil disobedience can bring an economy to a grinding halt, weaken and eventually topple the government, and lead to new elections.

  49. 2 wrongs do indeed not make a right, but they most definitely make a reason! At some stage enough is enough, and a short, sharp reality check never failes to wake them up.
    The main problem is total lack of accountability for those that make the rules. And that accountability must be demanded in the strongest possible way, because they all seem to suffer from selective hearing as well as the inability to open, leave alone read letters. The following is a quote out of survey released a few days ago by the League of Credit Unions in Ireland (A Credit Union is a Money lending Cooperative owned by it’s members who have saving accounts and can borrow under certain strict conditions. It is mainly used by Joe Soap to put a little aside and get by when things get a little though. The rich have their corrupt banks and bank managers, especially in Ireland). Here goes:
    “Survey findings that over 1.8 million people have only €25 per week left after paying their bills prove that it is not feasible for the government to believe that it can impose water and property taxes on people who are already completely strapped for cash.
    The Irish League of Credit Unions’ ‘What’s Left?’ survey showed that 602,000 people have absolutely nothing left when they pay their bills, that half of households struggle to pay their bills on time and that 40% of households have had to borrow to pay their bills over the last 12 months.
    In this context, how does the government possibly believe that it can impose property and water taxes which will amount to over €1,000 per household? People’s incomes have been slashed by a combination of austerity measures and stealth taxes. They have had enough and cannot take the imposition of any more financial pain.
    These figures must be looked at in the context of figures released last week which showed that the top 10,000 Irish earners who have average incomes of €595,000 per year pay an effective tax rate of just 29%.”
    It means that the average Irish person has a disposable income of €1300 a year! The government which protects the 10,000 top earners at any cost, is planning on introducing a “house hold tax” of €1,000 a year….Write letters, peacefull protest,and all the other niceties? Tell that to 30% of a population who are literally being told they will have €300 A YEAR to live on as of January 2013. I guarantee you the answer will not be very peacefull. No Nicolas, at some stage enough is really enough. And as governments don’t ever understand that word enough, they just have to be forced. I don’t like violence, I don’t condone violence, but I do know that now and again a few carefully selected broken windows and the odd burned out BMW does wonders for changing the right peoples minds. Right way to do things? No. Effective way of doing things when your back is against the wall? Definitely. And peoples backs are most definitely against the wall. It’s not going to be too much longer before the “Justified Social revolution” that Patriarch Ieronymus referred to some months ago will actually errupt. Sad but true. 25,000 miners in the streets of Madrid are behaving exceptionally well. But how long for? I’m old enough and well travelled enough to remember the miners strikes in Belgium and the UK. Peacefull they were not. Justified they were most definitely.

  50. Economic public diversion
    The main point that we should all be noticing is that our Greek government got the country into this hole. And the pressure should be on them not from the IMF, WCB or ECB, but from the Greek citizens themselves, especially from the private citizens, who are struggling to make it through day by day.

    In regards to Germany, the German people are having their attention diverted from the main problems affecting Greece and the other EU members that are in an economic crisis. They have their media to thank for that, especially the news publications of Der Spiegel and Bild. Which are controlled by the elietest class in Germany, who are they? They are the politicians in the current government CDU and FDP (pro industrialist) and the industrialist who control and run the factories and companies such as Mercedes Benz, MAN, Triumph, Addidas, etc.

    They do this to divert the peoples attentions away from the real situation in Germany at present. This is because the wages for the private sector worker is low in comparison to other developed Western countries, such as France, Norway, Austria and Switzerland. The current CDU/FDP government in Germany have made it easier for the industrialists to hier and fire employees, the hier Azubis (apprentices) which make upto 30% to 50% of their employees for 3 years, paying them only 300 to 500 Euro per month, working in fulltime hours and working just as hard or even harder than the fulltimers. And once the 3 year contract is over they are let go without a guarantee of a position at the company and they hire new Azubis to take their place and the circle goes on and on. Saving the industrialist a lot of money. On top of that they also take on Mini Job employees who get paid a maximum 400 Euro per month at a rate of 5 to 11 Euro per hour. Again saving the industrialists money on employee entitlements such as medical insurance and holiday pay.

    And they the CDU/FDP want to push this to the other EU members.

    This is slavery and the Germans do not even know it.

    It is all a game of pointing the finger at other issues and problems to divert attention away from what is really going on in Germany and around the world.

    I know because i have live in Germany and in Greece.

    In Greece we can easily fix a lot of problems if we reduce our public sector number of employees from 1,000,000 to 80,000. And control public spending to politicians, public purchases should be tendered and controlled. And bribing and corruption minimised and eradicated. And the police can start installing more red light cameras and speed cameras, and issuing parking fines to collect more revenues for the state. And to retrieve monies from all politicians and public servants that took public monies illegaly.