Sheldon Adelson, a casino tycoon, is expected soon to choose between Madrid and Barcelona for a €16 billion ($21 billion) gambling resort. The euro-zone turmoil does not faze him: “It will take us four to five years,” he told Forbes magazine. “By then everything will be solved.” Mr Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands (LVS) hopes to create a “Euro Vegas”, capable of attracting the 1 billion people who live in the 50 countries within a five-hour flight from Spain. He chose the country because of the weather and because its unemployment rate, now at 23%, “assures us the support of the government”.
It doesn't seem to bother him that under his communist utopia, most of the philosophy, books and movies he adores would never have been made.
As a Greek, I am a bit ... concerned that this Zizek dude is apparently one of the "spiritual fathers" of our new main left party (the quote is from the YT clip, from Mr. Tsipras himself.
How about stopping to beg for money from the eeevul European establishment then? I mean, you can't really be at war with someone and at the same time have them bankroll your schools, hospitals, police, government officials, etc. It makes you look .... wimpy.
AElfwine, I'm sorry, but the problem is very simple: money. I'm all for standing for social rights and justice, but ultimately somebody has to pay the salaries of teachers, nurses and university professors. The Greek government has had to ask for a lot of money
delmoi, Tsipras is not proposing to leave the euro. He isn't doing it because 70% of Greek voters want to remain in the euro.
I can't remember where I saw it, but it turns out that lack of infrastructure actually adds to the GPD
Also, if you think that François Hollande and his French Socialist Party are "far left", you are very much deluded.
Saying the politics of austerity that have caused Greece’s predicament as the author does gets it totally backwards. Why is austerity necessary? Because Europeans, and Greeks more than anyone else, have for years lived well beyond their means, with vast, unaffordable social safety networks and deep-rooted senses of entitlement fueled by debt. In Greece's case, the government outright lied for years about the size of its deficits, but in all cases Europeans are collectively guilty of looking the other way as every country violated its deficit targets.
From The Guardian, Is Žižek the Borat of philosophy?
It also seems to me that switching to a devalued drachma, as opposed to sticking with the Euro and part-defaulting and letting (1) (2) and (3) settle themselves out, would mainly penalize Greeks with savings. Are there enough Greeks with savings that pickpocketing all of them would help Greece recover more quickly?
Actually, all three stories are true.
From the Treaty of Rome in the 1950s, which was a direct response to the horrors of WWII, to the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, which was a direct response to the end of the Cold War, and the introduction of a single currency and the European Constitution which became the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, the history of the EU is one of progressively tighter integration, not just in an economic sense but in a political or world-historical sense as well. To allow Greece to 'exit the Euro', whatever that means, since there is no legal foundation or precedent for such a thing, would reverse this trend and sow lasting distrust, which will immediately impact Italy, Spain, and Portugal and feed the the largely populist Euro-skepticism in countries like France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, and thereby undermine and perhaps wholly dismantle the vision of a unified Europe, free from war and strife.
The first concern of any investor, in particular in the current climate, is certainty. The Democratic Republic of Congo offers really low real wages, yet investors (except the most exploitative, least scrupulous sort) don't exactly queue at the door. Merely promising high returns isn't enough in there are unpredictable risks involved. Put yourself in the shoes of an investor and ask yourself: would I bet on that horse?
By completely ignoring the economic situation that Greece is in at the moment, Žižek comes off as a little facile, no? So Greece is being held down by a Brussels technocracy that they finally have a chance to cast off due to the crisis situation. Well, great, but who gets stuck with the bill?
This isn't the source I had in mind, but Wikipedia says this: "For example, government-provided clean water confers substantial benefits above its cost. Ironically, lack of such infrastructure which would result in higher water prices (and probably higher hospital and medication expenditures) would be reflected as a higher GDP."
Or take public transport: If everyone and their Grandma has a car or two and drives around a lot, that is reflected by higher GDP. More efficient modes of transportation (mass transit) on the other hand lead to lower GDP.
See, delmoi, this is where your reasoning is wrong. So, so wrong. There is a very good reason, and that is namely that otherwise all Greek banks would become automatically insolvent.
How is such an exit carried out, then? Well, you have mentioned Argentina in previous threads. Let me tell you what happened in Argentina in 2001: all bank accounts were frozen overnight, and withdrawals severely limited. Before they were unfrozen again, all dollar-denominated accounts were forcibly converted into devalued pesos.
In the case of an exit from euro the Bank of Greece predicted, about 15 days ago, a depression of 22% and a reduction in the average income of at least 55%
Paying government employees in worthless scrip, while they'd still have to pay their food, utility bills, mortgages, rents, etc. in euros doesn't exactly strike me as the acme of social justice.
In any case, your question isn't even an hypothetical. Tourists are already scared off.
And that exactly is the calculation that millions of Greeks are doing right now, and taking their money out of the country, bringing the economy close to a collapse.
You see, printing money isn't a problem. I can print money. You can print money. The Greek government can print money. The problem is convincing anybody that that money is worth anything.
You see, I've been to Cuba. There, you have two parallel currency systems: regular pesos and convertible pesos...
I consider the argument that wages should be lowered specious. Big part of the Greek economy was inwards-focused and wage reductions, in addition to uncertainty about further cuts and fees, have struck a severe blow to demand.
Even the troika admitted that the second wage cuts had no effect, but the last agreement still demands further cuts. After all the story will always be about the failure of Greece, not about the failed plans of its 'advisors'.
it's difficult to see how a Greek exit would be anything short of cataclysmic.
"It's never just one thing, but almost always debts, joblessness, the fear of being fired are cited when people phone in to say they are contemplating ending their lives," said Eleni Beikari, a psychiatrist at the non-governmental organisation, Klimaka, which runs a 24-hour suicide hotline.
Klimaka received around 10 calls a day before the crisis; it now gets more than 100 in any 24-hour period
"Most come from women aged between 30 and 50 and men between 40 and 45 despairing over economic problems," said Beikari. "In my experience it's the men, suffering from hurt dignity and lost pride, who are most serious."
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