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Germany: 'We're Happy to Give the Greeks Anything, Just Not Money'
Spiegel ^ | 03/04/10 | Sebastian Fischer and Severin Weiland

Posted on 03/04/2010 2:31:25 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster

Berlin Plays for Time

'We're Happy to Give the Greeks Anything, Just Not Money'

By Sebastian Fischer and Severin Weiland

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is pinning his hopes on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who he is due to meet in Berlin on Friday. Merkel, however, has already said that financial support for the debt-stricken country will not be on the agenda.

It is one of the most sensitive subjects in Berlin: aid for Greece. One wrong word by a top German politician and the already nervous markets could become even more jittery. Instead, politicians are keeping their mouths shut and holding their breaths.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday in Berlin. Given the tense situation, the meeting promises to be explosive. As a precautionary measure, Merkel has already said that financial support will not be on the agenda.

Instead, the meeting is an attempt to make sure the Greek government stands by its obligation to gain control over its budget deficit through spending cuts. On Wednesday, Papandreou announced new austerity measures in Athens. The mood in Greece is tense. Under the proposals, wages will be reduced, taxes will be raised and gasoline prices will go up -- measures that are guaranteed to drive the unions into the streets to protest against the recently elected Socialist government.

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bailout; germany; greece; sovereigndebt

1 posted on 03/04/2010 2:31:26 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster; PAR35; AndyJackson; Thane_Banquo; nicksaunt; MadLibDisease; happygrl; ...

P!


2 posted on 03/04/2010 2:31:49 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster (LUV DIC -- L,U,V-shaped recession, Depression, Inflation, Collapse)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

“The mood in Greece is tense. Under the proposals, wages will be reduced, taxes will be raised and gasoline prices will go up — measures that are guaranteed to drive the unions into the streets to protest against the recently elected Socialist government.”

But I thought Socialism was the answer Europe! I keep seeing “What’s wrong with Socialism?” crap everywhere. Apparently people don’t like it, however another article explained why Germany won’t bail Greece out.

It seems that in Greece, you can retire at 58 and receive a pension for the rest of your life. And for some odd reason, they get paid for 14 months a year. So Germany, who has a retirement age of 67 and only gets paid for the actual number of days in the year (snort!), will be paying for Greeks to sit around 11 years more than they do.

Greece has got to change things and they have spoiled their citizens with unreasonable expectations. Protests are going to have to be expected, but also not do anything to appease them. Appeasing them is what got them in the situation to begin with.


3 posted on 03/04/2010 2:54:15 AM PST by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Maybe they’ll send them a case of strudel.


4 posted on 03/04/2010 2:59:25 AM PST by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
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To: autumnraine
Well said. In fact, as I understand it some of the Greeks in cushy Govt or unionized jobs got paid 15 months pay a year - that's just been cut back to 14 and that's what's causing the strikes.

It's demented. And who do the Greeks blame for their self-inflicted troubles? Everyone but themselves.

5 posted on 03/04/2010 3:00:26 AM PST by agere_contra
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To: autumnraine
It seems that in Greece, you can retire at 58 and receive a pension for the rest of your life. And for some odd reason, they get paid for 14 months a year. So Germany, who has a retirement age of 67 and only gets paid for the actual number of days in the year (snort!), will be paying for Greeks to sit around 11 years more than they do.

Another interesting statistic: Germany's civil service sector (including defense, education etc.) is about 10-12%, in the US it's slightly more (15% in 2002), in Greece it's more than one third.
6 posted on 03/04/2010 3:04:12 AM PST by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: agere_contra

“And who do the Greeks blame for their self-inflicted troubles? Everyone but themselves. “

Including the Nazi’s from 70 years ago. (no joke, they think they deserve money from Germany because of Hitler)


7 posted on 03/04/2010 3:26:44 AM PST by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: autumnraine

Including the Nazi’s from 70 years ago. (no joke, they think they deserve money from Germany because of Hitler)


Agreed this is at least bizzare. Looks like politicians in Greece are in full panic mode. But then again what do you expect from politicians? That they take the responsibility for their self inflicted problems when there is the slightest chance to blame someone else???


8 posted on 03/04/2010 3:34:28 AM PST by darkside321
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To: wolf78

If Obama gets his way, we’ll be more like Greece’s numbers in another 6 years.

And I wonder if those numbers you present include GM in the gov’t sector? AIG? Etc.


9 posted on 03/04/2010 3:42:53 AM PST by FreedomPoster (No Representation without Taxation!)
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To: autumnraine
So Germany, who has a retirement age of 67 and only gets paid for the actual number of days in the year

Vacation and Christmas bonuses (13th and 14th month) may be available to some workers in Germany. It depends on the employer and how you negotiate your contract. Christmas bonuses (13th month) are pretty common, I believe. It may not be 100% of monthy pay, though.

Some firms may only pay 12 months, but include vacation and Christmas bonuses as extras in each monthly check, or make one month's check a double pay check

I would say it is not unusual in Germany to get an extra month or two pay in some form.

10 posted on 03/04/2010 3:57:34 AM PST by longjack
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To: wolf78
Germany's civil service sector (including defense, education etc.) is about 10-12%, in the US it's slightly more (15% in 2002), in Greece it's more than one third.

I would think the US % would be much higher now. What years were used for Germany and Greece.

Also, do you know if the US figure includes the state and municipal sectors?

11 posted on 03/04/2010 4:07:38 AM PST by Ken H
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To: longjack

Wow. Thanks for the information.

Here in the UK, in a good year (so not recently!) we would get a Christmas bonus roughly equivalent to one day’s pay.


12 posted on 03/04/2010 4:11:38 AM PST by agere_contra
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To: longjack

Well i´m not 100% shure for Germany (But i think it´s the same there) because i live in Austria. But the “13th and 14th” month pay is law here. So every employer has to pay it.


13 posted on 03/04/2010 4:12:55 AM PST by darkside321
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To: agere_contra

Though thinking about, its the rate of pay that matters, not how it’s split into bonuses etc.

Unless those bonuses are state-mandated, which is another matter.


14 posted on 03/04/2010 4:13:04 AM PST by agere_contra
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To: longjack

While it may not be uncommon for “firms” to pay 13 or 14 months in Germany, I am speaking of PUBLIC employees in Greece. Government workers.


15 posted on 03/04/2010 4:14:01 AM PST by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: darkside321
Wow, really?

A state-mandated burden on employment of roughly 16%?

Or - put another way - a state-mandated reduction in wages of 16%.

If its all workers, not just State, then I guess it all comes out in the wash. But I bet it isn't all workers, and so these European countries have developed bizarre internal fault-lines of worker recompense.

16 posted on 03/04/2010 4:18:49 AM PST by agere_contra
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To: agere_contra

Both the state and private companies have to pay this to their employees.
i guess it´s even more than 16% because if you have to pay higher loans (there for 2 times a year the “double” amout of money you usually have to pay) you normally fall into a higher tax category for this month so the state will tax you even more because of this. Of course this “hits” both the employer and the employee. on the pro side this “extra money” boosts the consume.


17 posted on 03/04/2010 4:37:37 AM PST by darkside321
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To: TigerLikesRooster
The greeks have 6000 islands, and only a few hundred are populated. I understand today that Germans have offered to buy some of them ~ provided they are put up for sale.

Seems like just yesterday (1943) and the Germans owned the whole darned place!

18 posted on 03/04/2010 8:59:18 AM PST by muawiyah ("Git Out The Way")
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Now they are suggesting that Greece sell their islands for cash......Can you imagine. Next, we will be told to sell Federal Land for cash.


19 posted on 03/04/2010 9:58:24 AM PST by proudtobeanamerican1 (Prayers Up! It's our last defense!)
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To: autumnraine

you are not considering the actual wages.

450 euros A MONTH is the minumum wage.

The euro inflation is what caused many problems over every day items.

This is going to get ugly, remember also the real crisis is spain. Greece is just a test and a place reporters go on an expense account.


20 posted on 03/04/2010 10:11:03 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: proudtobeanamerican1

you can only sell your home ONCE.

BTW: the word on the popular street is the Greeks are now REALLY pissed over that who island land grab offer.

The Greeks have an expression “an angry man will burn the house to kill the termites.”


21 posted on 03/04/2010 10:14:33 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: longtermmemmory
Spain and especially Italy, are much richer, because they are much more industrialized and agriculturally productive than Greece, which is really a pretty small place with a numerically small population.

So, althought they are in huge trouble, Spain and Italy have a much better financial cushion. What enabled Greece to foolishly enlarge its public sector was the many years they were on the Euro-dole, along with Portugal and Ireland. They received huge yearly subsidies from the EU, which according to plan then stopped. Ireland made the best use of the money in improving infrastructure and education and was ready (sort of) for the cut-off.. Portugal and Greece used their free money to make things worse!

22 posted on 03/04/2010 2:48:15 PM PST by Kenny Bunk (Go-Go Donofrio. get us that Writ of Quo Warranto!)
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To: Ken H
I would think the US % would be much higher now. What years were used for Germany and Greece.

Germany: 12% was 2002/2003, but total numbers have since decreased. Was 11%-11.5% in 2006%. Probably around the same right now.

Also, do you know if the US figure includes the state and municipal sectors?

AFAIK yes. Same for Germany which is also a federal republic (most of the police, school system etc. is state responsibility).
23 posted on 03/05/2010 3:06:25 AM PST by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: darkside321
Well i´m not 100% shure for Germany (But i think it´s the same there) because i live in Austria. But the “13th and 14th” month pay is law here. So every employer has to pay it.

It's not the same in Germany, where a christmas bonus in the form of a 13th "Monatsgehalt" is a bonus most often agreed upon between unions and employers. So if you e.g. work for Daimler / Mercedes, you get it. But as it's a bonus it's sometimes subject to economic performance of the company, e.g. during the current crisis you only get half or so. Or it's being completely scrapped in return for employment guarantees.
24 posted on 03/05/2010 3:11:12 AM PST by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: wolf78

Well thanks for the info.
I really didn´t know this.

lg aus Österreich


25 posted on 03/05/2010 3:33:58 AM PST by darkside321
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To: TigerLikesRooster

The last two times in was the German war machine the conquered the bulk of Europe & beyond — this time it’s German banks.


26 posted on 03/06/2010 11:57:31 PM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never "free")
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