This is the definitive bad cop approach. Of course, the Euro-wimps will never do it. But, it's the type of strong medicine the European Union/Euro will need if it wants to survive. Following the wimpy "extend and pretend" road with the debt of the PIIGS will end badly.
David Goldman / Asia Times - Inner Workings:
Europe Needs One Horrible Example --
The trouble with European debt negotiations is that they have not yet persuaded the citizens of highly indebted countries that they must consume less, work harder, retire later, and generally lead unhappier lives. That is what happens after years of living beyond one’s means. The Greeks in particular take the view that the Europeans need them (not to default) more than they need the Europeans, for their debt is so large that it would impair Europeans banks were they to default.
Here’s a simple idea: Don’t allow them to default.
1) Kick them out of EMU and send them back to their miserable drachma...
In effect, the ECB would turn up at Greece’s door like the loanshark who says, “I bought your paper from the guys you owe, and now you owe me — and I want a piece of your business, or else.”
3) The European governments will then go to the Greeks to collect the debt. If the Greeks don’t want to sell their national patrimony, take legal action to seize Greek assets everywhere in Europe, starting with foreign-currency bank accounts, Greek ships in international ports, and so forth.
4) Demand that the Greek government seize the property of Greek citizens who have not paid taxes and auction it to foreigners. That would bring in plenty of foreign exchange. Sell the Parthenon, too. Sell it all. Of course, none of this actually will happen; pushed to the wall, the Greeks will find ways to find the money...
Diane Francis /
Greece Is Not a Country, It's a Party --
Finally, someone at the European Central Bank has hinted that a baseball bat may be what's needed to fix the never ending Greek debt mess.
The hint was couched in polite Euro-speak, mentioning a "second stage of bailouts," where the Eurozone would take some control over a country's [read Greek's] economic policies if it could not do so itself. Hours later, the Bank's economist was more blunt and stated that if Athens doesn't take the necessary measures then other parties would "interfere."
Translated into plain and simple English, it looks like the Euros are finally realizing what has to happen. Greece needs to undergo a severe "workout," which is banking jargon for lenders commandeering a profligate's management. Put another way, on the streets of Calabria or New York City, it is time to bring in the "muscle" because the loan "sharks" want their "juice."
More genteel lingo and methods have been applied to no avail. This is because Greece is not a country, it's a party...
----The opposite view: the Greeks are not at fault, they are being screwed by the bankers.
Democracy vs Mythology: The Battle in Syntagma Square --
What is going on in Athens at the moment is resistance against an invasion; an invasion as brutal as that against Poland in 1939. The invading army wears suits instead of uniforms and holds laptops instead of guns, but make no mistake – the attack on our sovereignty is as violent and thorough. Private wealth interests are dictating policy to a sovereign nation, which is expressly and directly against its national interest. Ignore it at your peril. Say to yourselves, if you wish, that perhaps it will stop there. That perhaps the bailiffs will not go after the Portugal and Ireland next. And then Spain and the UK. But it is already beginning to happen. This is why you cannot afford to ignore these events...
----Other Reference points on Greeks behavior:
Michael Lewis / Vanity Fair:
Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds --
what the Greeks wanted to do, once the lights went out and they were alone in the dark with a pile of borrowed money, was turn their government into a piñata stuffed with fantastic sums and give as many citizens as possible a whack at it. In just the past decade the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms—and that number doesn’t take into account the bribes collected by public officials. The average government job pays almost three times the average private-sector job...
The Greek people never learned to pay their taxes .... because no one is ever punished. It’s like a gentleman not opening a door for a lady...
----The Greeks are serial defaulters.
Greek Sneaks: 45 Gardeners, but no Garden --
There were forty-five gardeners from Greece....Greece has been a serial defaulter throughout history (91 aggregate years in the last 182 – or approximately half the time).
They said, "The weeds in the garden would decrease!"
They made quite an array,
And were very well paid.
But, it all turned out to be a big fleece.
Break the Kneecaps of those Delinquent Deadbeat Greeks