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Everything posted by izzy

  1. I didn't know Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs lived in Sheffield.
  2. Contacted agent. Admin error!! Details refer to another property...
  3. http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/4387992?search_identifier=0ad4ee66390140e39f0359d17d17ef1e Original asking price: £299,995 Offer on the table: £97,500. Got to hope for their sake someone missed the 1 off the front of that figure.
  4. You'd have to make a special effort to catch a riot by staying within a few blocks of the parliment. Economically Greece might be cracking up but the sea, beaches and mountains are the same as ever and the only thing affecting tourists is that prices have come down a bit in the tavernas and cafes. Beware of hysteria in the media, it's easy journalism.
  5. Can't confirm whether this is happening but if it is it would be very bad news indeed. In many cases you can't diagnose the nature of a lump without further investigations. These tests should be much more widely, and promptly, available not restricted.
  6. Average time for an ex-pat to "go Greek" is about 2 months. I seen this a hundred times. They step off the plane going, "isn't it terrible how corrupt everyone is." In a matter of months they're working the system like pros and passing on tips to newcomers. Greek people are good and bad like everyone else, but living within the Greek system is a corrupting process in itself. As for lazy, offical stats say no.
  7. There is a new phenomenon in Greece. The summer evenings have brought circles of people, mostly left wingers, gathering every evening in towns and villages up and down the country, to plot ways to disrupt the government. Seems like a large minority is being radicalised. Truly, anything could happen. I've also heard a rumour that the Russians have very quietly bought an abandoned hotel in a quiet area overlooking the Aegean, left the outside untouched but erected lots of radio masts and communications equipment.
  8. In addition to a pitiful economy, Greece also has an inconveniently bolshy population. The UK looks like a much more profitable prospect.
  9. Being better off is a subjective concept and not one that can always be simplistically reduced to a nominal value.
  10. Personally, I'm a little suspicious of Samaras. He was the one who sunk the Mitsotakis government in the early 90s, when Mitsotakis was saying that Greece faced future debt problems if public spending wasn't tackled. Samaras left the party forcing Mitsotakis into an election, which he lost. But, that said, he is the leader of the opposition, in a country where the ruling party is facing a lot of public protest. The risk to the EU is that a minor party full of hand-knitting commys or gun-totting fascists takes power. It might be hard to deal with such a rabble and the situation would quickly descend into chaos. Whichever way you spin it, Greek default would spell the beginning of the end for the European project and somehow I don't see that happening.
  11. I agree. A Greek default would be catastrophic to the European banking industry, especially if ireland and Portugal follow in close succession. This is now a full-blown European crisis. The EU has two choices: default and disintegration or full political and fiscal integration. I can't see any other way.
  12. I have to disagree with this in the case of Greece. Levels of personal indebtedness in Greece are way below the EU average. What has indebted Greece is public debt. And here Germany has been very active. Greek politicians were bribed by German companies to buy UBER expensive projects and it was all charged to the taxpayer. Of course, not only the Germans were in on this racket but they were involved in one of the highest profile cases that was exposed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Siemens_alleged_scandal_in_Greece
  13. When Greece defaults, the Greek banks are likely to become insolvent. But what about the international banks in Greece, like HSBC. What will happen with Greek customers' deposits held by international banks?
  14. I've noticed an increased stock because nothing seems to be selling. Some of the houses in my search area have been on the market for almost a year.
  15. Do commerical banks create money? I thought they just profitted from lending out deposits (while, of course dishonestly implying to the depositors that their deposits are at hand.) However, central banks can just print the stuff, can't they?
  16. Time is on your side. What you offer depends on how bothered you will be if your house finally ends up worth less than you paid for it. If you're not too concerned about this and really like a particular house then 20% below seems reasonable. But, if you want to factor in likely future losses you might want to be closer to 30% below. In this case you might have to be prepared for a longer wait, and many offers, until you find a sufficiently motivated vendor.
  17. Sadly not. Take a while to investigate the recent history of Africa and you'll find it's common practice. Here's a little starter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrice_Lumumba http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inga%E2%80%93Shaba_HVDC http://www.forbes.com/global/1998/0810/038_01.html
  18. Really? With the exception of a few wonderful uprisings, the British public have been placidly taking it up the behind for a millenium. Remember the article that pointed to those with Norman names still being significantly richer than the natives?
  19. Who says they'll get everything free? What about the poorest in the US, what provision do they get?
  20. That may be so, but the policy makers fail to recognise is that the UK is not the USA and average middle class incomes in the UK are a fraction of their US counterparts. I know someone in the US who is self-employed, and because he is not covered by any work health insurance, he pays $4000 a month for his family's healthcare insurance. Not many middle class people in the UK could afford such premiums. As for what happens when the Jeremy Kyle crew are told they can't get cancer treatment because they've got no insurance - well, the hospitals better be armour-plated or they'll be going up in smoke.
  21. Very interesting article. The British public is used to being treated like children in the NHS: medical records are held by doctors, communications are made between doctors on behalf of the patient and care is free at the point of delivery. If we move to a private system the average British punter is in for an almighty culture shock. Can you imagine, first you have to phone your insurance company, who tells you who you can see under your scheme. You attend your doctor, who then tells you to go to a haemotoglist to get tests - but you have to find the haemo yourself. Then, when you need surgery, you have to find out which surgeon is covered under your scheme, what room provision you have and so on. All the while, you have to collect up all your own medical records and make all the contacts on your own. Might suit intellect able types but the vast majority will be utterly lost. Oh, and then there's the bill.
  22. There is something more serious going on. Since 1948 the Dept of Health has had a legal responsibility to provide comprehensive health provision for the population. That is being repealed in the latest bill. I think the part that is going is the 'comprehensive.' From now on I see health provision becoming patchy and the public will need to pay for co-insurance. As for a two-tier system, well, civil servants have a very inexpensive fund (they pay about £10 a month I think) which allows them to be treated in a special civil service hospital if they have to wait more than a few weeks on the NHS.
  23. Title says thousands, quote says one bloke and his ten mates. The article also quotes one woman moaning that they can't make it on 2000 euros a month income. Greeks always quote income in net, so we can assume that 2000 euros in the pocket. She says they can't afford meat more than once a week. Why the hell not? Sounds like Greek moaning to me. As for people leaving Athens, that's been steadily happening over the last decade. Look at the development of East Attika: just a few small towns 20 years ago, now a massive conurbation.
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