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More Greek Resistance To New World Order

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The news out of Greece continues to suggest that every attempt to reform the economy and liberalize key sectors is being met with serious resistance.

The latest is truck drivers.

Kathemirini:

Truck drivers protesting plans to liberalize their sector kept their vehicles parked along key sections of the national road network yesterday, causing serious traffic disruption, in opposition to the scheduled submission in Parliament today of the controversial draft bill that would open up their profession to competition.

Hundreds of trucks remained parked in long lines on the outskirts of Athens, Thessaloniki and other major cities for the eighth day in a row. The longest blockades were at the Haidari and Elefsina junctions and the Corinth tollgates. Riot police officers remained on standby, on orders from the government to stop truckers from heading into the city center.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/riot-police-on-standby-as-greek-truckers-form-massive-protest-blockade-2010-9#ixzz10Ftj1eVd

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Hmm. We were in Greece last week, and drove from Athens to the beautiful Pelops. and back via the Corinth tollgate road. Everywhere we went everything seemed to be bumbling on as per lovely chilled-Greek normal. Did hear one shopkeeper tell some Yank tourists that 'every Greek wants the drachma back' though. The several Greeks we spoke to said that nothing (i.e. of any austerity measures) has really hit anybody yet.

Someone emailed us a fantastic Vanity Fair article on the Greek economic shambles. Rather long but will post if I can find.

A couple of snippets I remember after reading it on the beach: the Greek debt amounts to 250,000 Euros for every working adult.

Average pay for state railway workers is 65,000 Euros (seems incredibly high) , and the annual losses are so huge that for years it would literally have been cheaper to pay for everyone who now travels by train, to go by taxi instead.

Athens was absolutely crawling with taxis - I'm sure they'd be pleased. ;) Must be more taxis per head there than any other country I've ever visited, which is quite a few.

PS: one thing that struck us. In Nafplion (a most picturesque little seaside town where we stayed, mostly Greek tourists rather than foreigners) there is a vast car parking area alongside the harbour and along part of the seafront. The town is pretty busy, especially in the evenings - there's a mass of cafes and restaurants - and all that parking is free. After the UK, where councils screw every last penny out of parking, it seemed weird, especially since all the municipalities are probably broke. But of course, the Greeks would never stand for it. Would guess that they'd simply refuse en masse to pay.

You've got to hand it to them.

Edited by Mrs Bear

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IMO this type of the union protest should be illegal and punishable by law ...

The unions should be illegal as well ...

My reasoning is that some lucky employees with strong unions and large strike affects are in a better position than other employees ...

For example my mother works in a small private shop and she has never had a luxury to negotiate better conditions by causing a severe national traffic disruption ...

The constitution says that all citizens (so also all employees) have equal rights ...

This is so undemocratic ...

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1 week from today and Spain grinds to a halt for a national strike, even got my timesheet code emailed through in case I was taking part which kinda threw me as I'm a Private sector employee (and no, not participating).

It's happening everywhere!

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IMO this type of the union protest should be illegal and punishable by law ...

The unions should be illegal as well ...

I doubt that many if any of the Greek drivers belong to a union, in the UK probably less than 1% of truck drivers belong to a trade union, the fuel protests in 2000 just sort of happened without any of us really knowing they were coming, this is probably a similar grass-roots protest.

Greek drivers face many of the problems we do, competition from former eastern bloc countries with significantly lower operating costs.

I'm not working atm and don't know if I ever will again, seems to me the British transport industry is going the same way as steel, coal, textiles, shipbuilding etc... personally I'm glad I'm nearer the end of my working life than the beginning, seems there's nothing left for anyone to do.

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The Greeks aren't 'resisting the New World Order' or rebelling against being made to pay for the sins of the finance industry or anything of that ilk - they are simply refusing to accept a cut in their standard of living.

The fact that they can't afford (for whatever reason) to maintain the standard of living to which the population has become accustomed is neither here nor there to them. I guess it'll take all out collapse for them to accept reality. Probably the same in the UK.

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Hmm. We were in Greece last week, and drove from Athens to the beautiful Pelops. and back via the Corinth tollgate road. Everywhere we went everything seemed to be bumbling on as per lovely chilled-Greek normal. Did hear one shopkeeper tell some Yank tourists that 'every Greek wants the drachma back' though. The several Greeks we spoke to said that nothing (i.e. of any austerity measures) has really hit anybody yet.

Someone emailed us a fantastic Vanity Fair article on the Greek economic shambles. Rather long but will post if I can find.

A couple of snippets I remember after reading it on the beach: the Greek debt amounts to 250,000 Euros for every working adult.

Average pay for state railway workers is 65,000 Euros (seems incredibly high) , and the annual losses are so huge that for years it would literally have been cheaper to pay for everyone who now travels by train, to go by taxi instead.

Athens was absolutely crawling with taxis - I'm sure they'd be pleased. ;) Must be more taxis per head there than any other country I've ever visited, which is quite a few.

PS: one thing that struck us. In Nafplion (a most picturesque little seaside town where we stayed, mostly Greek tourists rather than foreigners) there is a vast car parking area alongside the harbour and along part of the seafront. The town is pretty busy, especially in the evenings - there's a mass of cafes and restaurants - and all that parking is free. After the UK, where councils screw every last penny out of parking, it seemed weird, especially since all the municipalities are probably broke. But of course, the Greeks would never stand for it. Would guess that they'd simply refuse en masse to pay.

You've got to hand it to them.

Good post, sums up the problems in Greece quite well if you do the maths.

"it seemed weird, especially since all the municipalities are probably broke." - Yes, parking may cost and be annoying, but at least the UK councils books are closeish to balancing.

"the Greek debt amounts to 250,000 Euros for every working adult." - As they cant pay, then someone else is 250,000 Euros per Greek person poorer than they think they are.

"Average pay for state railway workers is 65,000 Euros (seems incredibly high) " - Big clue as to where the money has gone.

Greece has basically pulled an Iceland. Iceland ripped off the UK, its savers and its taxpayers. Greece seems to have done the same with mainland Europe. Neither nation is going to get much more free cash, at least I hope they dont. They are going to have to earn their own.

Parking trucks blocking roads, wont help them make up for this gap in their income, caused by the removal of the ability to obtain funds fraudulently via Greek bonds.

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In Nafplion (a most picturesque little seaside town where we stayed, mostly Greek tourists rather than foreigners) there is a vast car parking area alongside the harbour and along part of the seafront. The town is pretty busy, especially in the evenings - there's a mass of cafes and restaurants - and all that parking is free. After the UK, where councils screw every last penny out of parking, it seemed weird, especially since all the municipalities are probably broke. But of course, the Greeks would never stand for it. Would guess that they'd simply refuse en masse to pay.

We were out there last year, thought similar. Also noticed the same with parking in France - was getting quite flustered looking for some signs/paymachine till I realised no one else had any kind of ticket in the window, and none of the cars arriving seemed to care. Did make me feel a bit odd about how conditioned we have become in the UK.

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I doubt that many if any of the Greek drivers belong to a union, in the UK probably less than 1% of truck drivers belong to a trade union, the fuel protests in 2000 just sort of happened without any of us really knowing they were coming, this is probably a similar grass-roots protest.

Greek drivers face many of the problems we do, competition from former eastern bloc countries with significantly lower operating costs.

It's because they were previously forced to buy a licence at a cost of hundreds of thousands of euros. You see, no new licences have been issued for years, possible decades, so if you wanted a licence, you had to buy one from someone who was retiring.

People took on loans equalling hundreds of thousands of euros to buy licences and have a career as a truck driver. The new law eliminates the licenses, wiping out the assets of existing drivers, and leaving many of them with huge loans to pay back but no way to pay them as they can be undercut by new market entrants who don't have the up-front costs of paying for licences.

Basically, the government is passing a law that will arbitrarily bankrupt half the existing drivers, with no compensation.

Edited by RufflesTheGuineaPig

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Maybe it was a mistake for the Germany to lend them the credit card..

No mistake. The best thing that Germany ever did. Keeps the Euro down, while Germany prospers. Of course the rest of Europe is f*cked.

PS: And eventually, Germany gets all that lovely Greek waterfront real estate too...

Edited by Toto deVeer

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It's because they were previously forced to buy a licence at a cost of hundreds of thousands of euros. You see, no new licences have been issued for years, possible decades, so if you wanted a licence, you had to buy one from someone who was retiring.

People took on loans equalling hundreds of thousands of euros to buy licences and have a career as a truck driver. The new law eliminates the licenses, wiping out the assets of existing drivers, and leaving many of them with huge loans to pay back but no way to pay them as they can be undercut by new market entrants who don't have the up-front costs of paying for licences.

Basically, the government is passing a law that will arbitrarily bankrupt half the existing drivers, with no compensation.

The government really are a bunch of bastards. It's almost like with HIP inspectors in the UK. I am surprised they did not torch London given how justifiable their grievance was. It also illustrates why no more planning permissions should ever be granted, or else the people already forced to buy houses might suffer hardship, and even be unable to repay their mortgages! I suppose it would be just about fair if everyone who got planning permission paid compensation to the existing homeowners. It's only reasonable for them to bring the country to a standstill otherwise, and riot if that should not convince the powers that be.

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It also illustrates why no more planning permissions should ever be granted, or else the people already forced to buy houses might suffer hardship, and even be unable to repay their mortgages! I suppose it would be just about fair if everyone who got planning permission paid compensation to the existing homeowners. It's only reasonable for them to bring the country to a standstill otherwise, and riot if that should not convince the powers that be.

It's not directly comparable to houses. The license is merely an investment that allow you to work. The government could have issued more licenses slowly over time. Governments can make more land.

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The license is merely an investment that allow you to work.

I am pretty sure you do not need a license to be a truck driver, and there are certainly many other kinds of work that don't require one. Anyway, is it fair to tell people who don't yet have a license to take out a large loan if they want a job?

The government could have issued more licenses slowly over time. Governments can make more land.

My opinion is that it is fundamentally unfair to limit the number of people who are allowed to invest in a particular asset. I don't see why it would be any fairer to diffuse the situation slowly. It just means heaping more misery on people who i) don't have a license, and ii) pay for transport. Besides, just how would you allocate the new licenses? Perhaps you could auction them :-) I don't see there is a way of doing that fairly either.

It would be exactly the same if the government allow everyone to build on farmland. House prices would collapse, but the best argument against would be that it's somehow unfair on people who already have mortgages.

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IMO this type of the union protest should be illegal and punishable by law ...

The unions should be illegal as well ...

My reasoning is that some lucky employees with strong unions and large strike affects are in a better position than other employees ...

For example my mother works in a small private shop and she has never had a luxury to negotiate better conditions by causing a severe national traffic disruption ...

The constitution says that all citizens (so also all employees) have equal rights ...

This is so undemocratic ...

so Goldman Sachs get away with trillions and you'd shackle the power of ordinary people to fight back? :rolleyes:

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one thing that struck us. In Nafplion (a most picturesque little seaside town where we stayed, mostly Greek tourists rather than foreigners) there is a vast car parking area alongside the harbour and along part of the seafront. The town is pretty busy, especially in the evenings - there's a mass of cafes and restaurants - and all that parking is free. After the UK, where councils screw every last penny out of parking, it seemed weird, especially since all the municipalities are probably broke. But of course, the Greeks would never stand for it. Would guess that they'd simply refuse en masse to pay.

You've got to hand it to them.

Well not really - by refusing to pay for quite reasonable things they are now in the biggest economic mess of any country in the whole world.

Not really all that clever...

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so Goldman Sachs get away with trillions and you'd shackle the power of ordinary people to fight back? :rolleyes:

Exactly how do I fight back against GS? Oh, you mean I could fight against other ordinary people who are not unionised?

(BTW, I don't see GS have done anywhere near the damage caused by RBS, HBOS, NR, or the Labour government).

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Well not really - by refusing to pay for quite reasonable things they are now in the biggest economic mess of any country in the whole world.

Not really all that clever...

Oh, dear. I should have put a little winky thing after my last line.

'You've got to hand it to them.' ;)

(That's better.)

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I am pretty surprised that you need a really expensive license to be a truck driver in Greece. As part of the EU surely any truckers could come in from anywhere else in the EU to compete?

An excellent comparison with housing here, the govt artificially restricts the amount of land available to build houses and as a result houses are very expensive.

bewildering :rolleyes:

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I am pretty surprised that you need a really expensive license to be a truck driver in Greece. As part of the EU surely any truckers could come in from anywhere else in the EU to compete?

An excellent comparison with housing here, the govt artificially restricts the amount of land available to build houses and as a result houses are very expensive.

bewildering :rolleyes:

It's true. You did need a hugely expensive licence to drive a truck in Greece. The Greek economy has been ruled by bizarre and Byzantine rules for years. All of these complex, poorly documented rules helped public officials to receive many brown envelopes stuffed with cash over the years. Of course, it makes everything more expensive for the average punter as these costs are eventually passed on to the end consumer.

The truck driver situation is an example of the government doing the right thing (liberalising the economy) the wrong way (not offering any compensation)

By the way, ALDI is withdrawing it's entire operation from Greece after less than 2 years in the country. There's a dirty little story behind that one if someone can be bothered to do the digging.

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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