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Just Got Back From Greece ..


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So .. I'm a Euro enthusiast .. the single market has been good to me .. I've sold my services in every European country .. I bank in Euros and in sterling ..

I work in Greece quite often and I've got to know the country quite well .. It's a disaster area .. Of all the EU rules they comply with only those that suit them .. The country is massively corrupt and massively inefficient .. It's very hard for small businesses to do business there and it's very hard for foreigners to work their due to the currency controls (How can the EU possibly tolerate that ? Even in a single market let alone within the Euro, the free movement of money between countries has to be a given.)

I used to work in Greece on the "European" basis .. ie:- I work then invoice then get paid within 30 days. Unfortunately due to all the silliness around the currency controls and the VAT insanity they are on Non EU terms now (ie Cash on the end of the job) This makes me twice as expensive for them as the only thing they can do is pay one of their employees the money pay PAYE on it and then give me the cash .. The only other way to get paid is to wait 9 months ..

It's a crazy country and I have a friend who is running a business there .. It's very tough, goods and services from the rest of the EU are very expensive as everything has to be paid cash on delivery, and pretty much the only way to get cash through the business legally is to pay income tax on it ..

When Greece was bailed out my friend was massively upbeat about it .. he told me that the greek government would not do anything to try and full fill the conditions of the bailout but that when they didn't then at least the EU would be in charge of the Greek Ministry of Finance and that finally they would get the reforms the country so desperately needs to survive ...

This week when I spoke to him he was talking about moving his business to Romania. The bailout has come .. there have been no reforms in Greece almost none of the conditions have been met , he (and almost everyone else) thought that this would give the EU a chance to take direct control of the Greek Ministry of Finance and force through the reforms .. apparently that's not going to happen and the Greeks are going to get the second part of the bailout anyway ..

Why can't the EU take this opportunity to take some sovereignty from this bankrupt country .. for it's own sake if nobody else’s ?

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This week when I spoke to him he was talking about moving his business to Romania.

Is that wise? I think it rates even worse than Greece on Transparency International's corruption index.

And just on the the news that the EU aren't going to include Romania in the borderless Schengen - it was to be in April 2011 but Brussels has changed its mind.

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Why can't the EU take this opportunity to take some sovereignty from this bankrupt country .. for it's own sake if nobody else’s ?

Which bit of sovereignty? The EU has zero political legitimacy. Greeks could legitimately bomb Brussels as an act of war against a foreign power. And factions may well do that if your insane plan were put into action.

Get your ostrich head out of the sand - the EU is a failed experiment. Time to return lawmaking to the sovereign nations and the Governements their citizens elected. Kill the EU, the EC and the European Supreme Court

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Get your ostrich head out of the sand - the EU is a failed experiment.

Ostriches don't actually put their heads into the sand, but they do lower their heads towards the sand when looking around.

If they put their head in the sand, they would suffocate.

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Before the WW1 one could travel from Paris to Saint Petersbourgh without a passport.

The EU is not needed for freedom of trade or movement.

Indeed having just been spanked by HMRC for importing some kit from the US, I have to say the more government/bureaucrats intervene to "ease" means of trade across borders the more expensive and difficult that trade becomes.

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Why? Because some official body or other says so? What a ludicrous, unquantifiable statistic. Would like to hear said body substantiate or qualify it.

I think if you look on the Transparency International site, you will see that it is a 'perceptions index' - it doesn't claim to be more than that.

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Which bit of sovereignty? The EU has zero political legitimacy. Greeks could legitimately bomb Brussels as an act of war against a foreign power. And factions may well do that if your insane plan were put into action.

Get your ostrich head out of the sand - the EU is a failed experiment. Time to return lawmaking to the sovereign nations and the Governements their citizens elected. Kill the EU, the EC and the European Supreme Court

They should kill off the UN while they're at it , couldn't stop Israhell invading Lebanon , couldn't stop the US invading Iraq , supported fabricated global warming figures on the Himalayan glaciers , another useless waste of taxpayers coin.GET RID OF.

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So .. I'm a Euro enthusiast .. the single market has been good to me .. I've sold my services in every European country .. I bank in Euros and in sterling ..

I work in Greece quite often and I've got to know the country quite well .. It's a disaster area .. Of all the EU rules they comply with only those that suit them .. The country is massively corrupt and massively inefficient .. It's very hard for small businesses to do business there and it's very hard for foreigners to work their due to the currency controls (How can the EU possibly tolerate that ? Even in a single market let alone within the Euro, the free movement of money between countries has to be a given.)

I used to work in Greece on the "European" basis .. ie:- I work then invoice then get paid within 30 days. Unfortunately due to all the silliness around the currency controls and the VAT insanity theay to get cash through the business legally is to pay income tax on it ..

When Greece was bailed out my friend was massively upbeat about it .. he told me that the greek government would not do anything to try and full fill the conditions of the bailout but that when they didn't then at least the EU would be in charge of the Greek Ministry of Finance and that finally they would get the reforms the country so desperately needs to survive ...

This week when I spoke to him he was talking about moving his business to Romania. The bailout has come .. there have been no reforms in Greece almost none of the conditions have been met , he (and almost everyone else) thought that this would give the EU a chance to take direct control of the Greek Ministry of Finance and force through the reforms .. apparently that's not going to happen and the Greeks are going to get the second part of the bailout anyway ..

Why can't the EU take this opportunity to take some sovereignty from this bankrupt country .. for it's own sake if nobody else’s ?

Yes it's fantastic isn't it. It's all looking on track AFAIK.

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"I think if you look on the Transparency International site, you will see that it is a 'perceptions index ..."

And as such probably a useful guide if not a guarantee.

Interestingly, Turkey is 56 in the list, which is quite a bit better than Italy at 67.

And what can the TPI index tell us?

Greece is one helluva mess, which is consistent with the OP, even if we all knew that already.

That Greece is more of a mess than Roumania?

Well that would be a surprise but since it appears that Roumanian national debt is only some 20% of GDP, whereas Greece's is >100% it may well be true.

(Source: usual suspect.)

This is again consistent with what the OP's anecdotal, albeit surprising and lends credence to that anecdotal, which is useful.

Edited by indirectapproach
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