Sorry about that--moved old posts from the News to your thread so we could have this all in one spot, and the forum displays posts in chronological order, so ack, Louise has the 1st post now. >_>
No worries; from my own time moderating a forum years ago I know how blunt a tool moving posts around can be.
Couple of general thoughts on some of the things that have been posted here:
The problem is simple. Greece makes $2 a day and spends $4 a day. It doesn't matter how much Greece had in its account at the start, simple math will draw that number down to $0. You can keep adding money in via loans or gifts or bailouts or magic fairies. It won't do a thing to solve the problem because the number will still go down to $0.
In some of your posts you mention how the issue is Greece spends more than it makes and thus runs up debts. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, Greece is hardly unique in doing that; you'll find almost all countries in the world rely on deficit spending and its hard to think of any countries that don't have considerable debts. Even within ivory tower economic theory there are very few positions that argue countries shouldn't
spend more than they make... frankly the Austrian School (which argue for very little government spending to begin with) is basically the only major one with even Keynesian's putting forward that there will have to be extended periods where a government relies on deficit spending to get by.
That's not to say that you have to agree that deficit spending is a good idea or that there isn't an issue with the degree of deficit spending by Greece but saying that deficit spending alone is the issue means that virtually every other country in the world would also be in the same position.
I do think the Greeks have some point, at least in principle, that Germany was gifted a whole lot of money (far more than Greece is asking for, I believe) when it faced historical crises.
Germany's historic crises came after it had been involved in World Wars, lost a generation of young men, in the first case lost a significant amount of its productive land and in the second be an occupied country divided between other nations with its infrastructure utterly destroyed. It's hardly a relevant comparison to draw with a Greece which hamstrung its own currency and had severe structural weaknesses. It's also worth noting that Germany itself managed to stabilize its hyperinflation in 1923 after foreign efforts failed; the Dawes and Young plans came much later. And the Dawes plan wasn't much different to the current options for Greece: a large sum was loaned directly to Greece, existing debts were lowered and restructured (as Greek debt already has been) and Germany had to make serious changes to its economy and spending.
Granted on paper, what the euro does is brings fixed interest rates for everyone with predictably turbulent results... But it was sold as, 'This is supposed to allow the whole to adjust and prop up weaker areas when shit like this happens.' Or some such, now dubious balance.
But the euro was never sold on that idea; in fact one of the key points about it (later formally ratified in the Lisbon Treaty; Article 125) was that there would be no
bailouts. There was never any suggestion that weaker members would be directly propped up by stronger ones; that would have taken the Eurozone into the realm of fiscal rather than merely monetary union. In fact the way the Euro was sold was that there would never be any need to prop up weaker areas to begin with; the strict financial requirements of first Maastricht, then the membership critera were meant to keep all the countries stable. Of course, those requirements ended up not being strict at all and in Greece's case they simply lied about their economic situation up until 2009/10 but in regards to what the Eurozone was sold to people as that doesn't change anything.
Should the average people, the moment this original situation beyond their control forces them into debt, always (and therefore probably, repeatedly, cyclically as business tends to work it) quit everything they might be doing at the moment -- job training for more specialized careers that might take years, taking care of families, living in stable situations so they can move wherever the jobs might be, etc. etc. -- so that they just might have a slightly, piddly better chance of working overtime for months in low-paying jobs in the hopes of paying off debts fast? What if the debt is something like cancer treatment and no amount of short-term overtime is gonna cover it?
You seem to be mixing apples and oranges kylie. Consumer debt (which you appear to be talking about here) in Greece isn't a particularly massive issue; its consumer debt levels are less than they are in the UK, the US, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands or Denmark. And that's the official figures; if the professional classes which overstate their debts and debt payments to evade taxes were accounted for the number would be even lower. Greece's consumer economy is primarily cash based which means things like credit card debts are a relatively minor matter.
Greece's crisis is due to its sovereign debt and deficit; the amount of money the Greek state as a whole owes to its lenders and how much money it needs to borrow each year to keep up its spending.
So, it appears a debt deal has just been struck. Greece will get its third bailout in return for reforms to its pensions, improving its tax revenue systems and a general liberalizing of the economy. There will be no haircut (i.e. debt writeoff) and only minor restructuring. In the short term that should keep Greece in the Eurzone and give it a touch of breathing room... but my suspicion is that unless something fundamental changes it will just lead to Greece staggering along till another crisis hits in six months or so.
It's worth noting that this deal is less
favourable to Greece than the one offered prior to the "referendum" and frankly is less favorable than the one offered back in February. For all of Tsipras' and ex-finance minister Varoufakis' posturing what they've done is put the Greek people through six months of pain to get a worse deal then they were offered because of their ego and hubris.
It also should be noted that this isn't a done thing it. It needs to be ratified by the various governments of the Eurozone. After Tsipras (who, lets remember, was elected as a eurosceptic left wing firebrand) purged most of the more hardline left from his party recently its expected he'll get the measure through (although I think a lot of Greek people will feel betrayed by him) and likewise Merkel should be able to force it through in Germany... but there are other places that may prove problematic. The other bailed out countries may resent Greece getting terms better then they were ever offered while the likes of Slovakia and Slovenia may sit back and wonder why they're being asked to provide vast amounts of money so Greece, even with the proposed changes, can keep offering benefits far more generous then a Slovakian or Slovenian can expect.