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By Alec Hogg
As you read this, the Greeks have apparently decided on their future in the country’s first referendum since 1974. Their aggressive young Prime Minister Alexis Tsipiras continues to remind us the most dangerous people are those who don’t know what they don’t know. A hard-left politician thrust into power by promises that are impossible to keep, he continues to bait those whom Greece owes money.
Most Greeks had little idea what they were voting for yesterday. They were presented with a convoluted 72-word question to which they could answer Yes or No. Tsipiras urged “No” in the belief this will strengthen his hand against Greece’s creditors. The rational man would describe him, rather, as a Judas Goat leading sheep to slaughter.
At some point the bouzoukis must stop playing. Greece has defaulted on its debt seven times in the past 200 years (behind only Argentina, at 8). This is the result of deeply entrenched structural problems in the economy which make another train wreck inevitable. Tsipiras’s Plan B is to resuscitate the Drachma. That way he believes he’ll be able to keep using other peoples’ money to fund the excesses. Zimbabwe tried the same thing and ended up with hyper-inflation and the destruction of its citizens’ savings.
At an AGM some years back Berkshire Hathaway’s deputy chairman Charlie Munger said Grexit was inevitable: “Greece is like your drunken brother in law sitting in the country club all day with the family business’s credit card.” Greeks need to sober up. Instead, by following delusional leaders, they keep demanding the rest of the European family keep paying for the spree. Economic laws cannot be broken. Things like this always end in tears.
From Biznews community member Ian Jayes
Your latest article on Greece refers. The situation is even more disgusting when one considers recent European history. Britain came out of the World War II with enormous damage to her infrastructure, extreme trade union activism and a crippling war-debt. Despite this, she managed to recover and is still one of the major economies of the world. Germany was all but destroyed with some of her cities flattened by carpet bombing. She has not only recovered, but has become the economic powerhouse of Europe. Likewise, France, Italy and other Western European countries overcame their war damage and became progressive healthy economies. They all provide social security and services for their citizens. Greece suffered less damage during the war than the others, had less to overcome, but through its profligacy, is now the sick-man of Europe. The analogy of a drunk at a country club bar with a family credit card is right on the button. If they are not prepared to take the pain of economic reform then they should not get a bail-out of any kind.of mid sized companies moving into the top 40s momentum as well as more diversification.
From Biznews community member Mo Haarhoff
I’m glad I disagree with you over Greece: https://medium.com/@gavinschalliol/thomas-piketty-germany-has-never-repaid-7b5e7add6fff. What will you believe once SA is in the same position? Which is the way we are heading with Russia, China and BRICS. I think it is safe to presume that no nation enjoys being dominated by others. And that’s why I empathise with Greece now.
From Biznews community member Laki Doussis
Whatever the merits to the arguments on both sides, the one thing I take extreme issue with is the historical ignorance reflected by commentators like the one posted directly under your article today claiming that Greece did not suffer as much as others. Greece suffered horrendously in the first place, and if Germany rose again like the Phoenix it’s because billions of foreign capital were ploughed into its economy after the war. There was no magical ascension in the East part of that country. Furthermore Greece then suffered a debilitating civil war with the damned Communists thereafter which in truth set her back decades. It very easy to make off the cuff appraisals of situations but we’ve both been around long enough to know that matters are seldom that simple. In closing I would like to ask Dear Uncle Charlie one question: “Why is the drunken brother-in-law in possession of the family business card in the first place?” isn’t that the root of the problem?
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