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Greece Rejects EU Terms 1307

New submitter Thammuz writes: With almost all ballots counted, Greeks voted overwhelmingly "No" on Sunday in a bailout referendum, defying warnings from the EU that rejecting new austerity terms would set their country on a path out of the euro. Figures published by the interior ministry showed nearly 62% of those whose ballots had been counted voting "No", against 38% voting "Yes". "Today we celebrate the victory of democracy, but tomorrow all together we continue and complete a national effort for exiting this crisis," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address.
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Greece Rejects EU Terms

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  • Good for greece (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @06:44PM (#50049297)

    One size doesn't fit all, so it should come as no surprise that a currency made for industrial nations doesn't work so well for a tourist economy.

    • Re:Good for greece (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 05, 2015 @06:50PM (#50049313)

      One size doesn't fit all, so it should come as no surprise that a currency made for industrial nations doesn't work so well for a tourist economy.

      Umm... that wasn't what this referendum was about. The Greeks will never accept an exit from the Euro. Even though they thoroughly deserve to be booted out.

      • Re: Good for greece (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 05, 2015 @06:54PM (#50049335)

        Eu has been very cruel to Greece and the Greek people.

        Imf and troika already admitted through internal and leaked reports that Greek debt needs to be restructured. Yet they purposely are throwing Greece under the bus in an act of financial war. (to make them fall in line through force)

        Hopefully this is the first step in dismantling the unelected eurocrats in ecb and troika who are destroying the European continent.

        Greece will stay in Europe and the euro but start the process of fixing the euro so that it works for the piigs too.

        • Re: Good for greece (Score:5, Informative)

          by buybuydandavis ( 644487 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @09:50PM (#50050305)

          Interesting usage of "force": refusal to float an infinite supply of loans that will never be paid back.

          The eurocrats are of course thugs, but limiting how much they'll shake down the rest of their subject citizens to subsidize Greece is not a great example of their thuggishness.

          • Re: Good for greece (Score:5, Informative)

            by blue trane ( 110704 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:08PM (#50050393) Homepage Journal

            The Fed right now has $1.7 trillion in "toxic assets" on its balance sheet. In return, primary dealers got $1.7 trillion in deposit accounts at the Fed. No one else was going to lend to those dealers; they were tapped out, couldn't roll over their funding. But the Fed extended its unlimited safety net to them. Why not give Greece the same courtesy?

            • by buybuydandavis ( 644487 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:33PM (#50050533)

              The Fed right now has $1.7 trillion in "toxic assets" on its balance sheet. In return, primary dealers got $1.7 trillion in deposit accounts at the Fed. No one else was going to lend to those dealers; they were tapped out, couldn't roll over their funding. But the Fed extended its unlimited safety net to them. Why not give Greece the same courtesy?

              One bit of crony capitalism justifies the next? Some of us were against the Fed's bailouts too.

        • by BradMajors ( 995624 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:35PM (#50050541)

          No one forced Greece to accept the IMF and EU bailout. Greece could have restructured its debt before its bailout, but decided against it. Somehow I am missing how the IMF was cruel for offering loans to Greece and then expecting to eventually get the money paid back.

          • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:49PM (#50050611) Homepage Journal

            that's what the greek people expected to happen. just printing more money.

            NOW essentially what the goverment can do is to tax all money that is being held in greek accounts, almost the same as just printing new money.

            they can't just print more money since they're in the euro, but the people still expect (and syriza promised to !) to pay money as usual. they expect that the government pays out more money than it has because that's "democratic".

            also a confusing ballot is democratic according to syriza.. with an unlawlully short campaign time to boot. not that it matters, the cash is going to run out anyways. it's like the prime minister and finance minister either deliberately try to run the country into a crisis or they don't have even cursory knowledge of how things work.

            • by hjf ( 703092 ) on Monday July 06, 2015 @01:14AM (#50051237) Homepage

              Back in 2001 here in Argentina the government couldn't print more pesos than what was in the central bank reserves as US dollars. Provinces needed money (because some provinces subsidize others through federal taxes). So what did most provinces do? Print their own "money": bill-sized bonds with face values of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. The federal government responded by printing their own bonds. So basically every province had their own "quasi-currencies" that were valid only within their boundaries, and they were accepted at a value of 80-90% face value, and only up to a certain amount for your shop (usually up to 50% in bonds). (Except LECOP, the federal bond, which was accepted at full face value up to 100%).
              These bonds had (I think) a 10-year payout at 3% yearly. They were largely forgotten when Argentina exited the "convertibility" system that tied the Peso to the USD, and the bonds were "recalled". People quickly traded their bonds for true Pesos at the bank. But of course, the banks kept these bonds and cashed them 10 years later.
              This is one of the possibilities for Greece, assuming Greece has any sort of local production to feed their people (Argentina does. We don't need to import food, but we do import most other things)

        • by guardiangod ( 880192 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @11:04PM (#50050679)

          >Eu has been very cruel to Greece and the Greek people.

          In much the same way a rehab clinic is cruel to drug addicts.

          Before you say that rehab clinics don't withhold living essentials (eg. food) from drug addicts, have you considered asking EU for those items, instead of asking EU to 'give us free money' (by way of forgiving loans).

          I think, at this point, they would rather give you living essentials to shut the pensioners up, instead of giving them any more money.

  • by faragon ( 789704 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @06:51PM (#50049319) Homepage
    Nationalism is the main threat for destroying the European Union. And that is not going to be good for the Greek people, not for people in other countries. Is a win-win vs lose-lose situation. Please, everyone, more brain and less nationalism.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 05, 2015 @06:56PM (#50049341)

    I am Belgian. Greece owes me, my wife and children over 3000 euro. We fronted it out of our taxes and if they don't pay us back, we'll pay it back out of our taxes. Now, I am all for social solidarity... anybody who has spent time here in Belgium knows how easy it is for an IT worker to do independent contracts under the table. I declare all of my side activities and pay my taxes specifically because I believe in helping those who are down on their luck.

    But solidarity is a two-way street. Greece was bailed out once, in 2010, in exchange for reforms. They were slow in reforming and in 2012 we had to bail them out again... and they still haven't reformed and here we are in 2015 and they want more money. The reforms that our governments are asking are not onerous. It basically comes down to "don't spend more than you can pay". The Greeks for some reason seem to think that the rest of the Eurozone should pay for armies of useless bureaucrats and pensioners whose median pensions are higher than ours make more than my parents. Now, Greece is small and strategically important, so maybe every Belgian should just give them 600 euro and call it a day.

    But then Podemos in Spain will be asking for the same thing. Then the Five star movement in Italy will want their free money. I'm sorry, but fuck you guys. I work my fucking ass off to support my family and my countrymen. Greece threw my good will in my face. They can go become lackeys to the Russians for all I care, fight a civil war, I don't care. I hope my government refuses to give them another cent.

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @07:57PM (#50049695) Homepage Journal

      "Drop the hammer on them."

      That's the easy part. The hard part is dealing with what happens after the hammer has been dropped.

      Someone once said that the definition of a bad policy is one that leads to a place where you have nothing but bad options. I believe everyone (not just the Greeks) thought back in 2000 it woudl be good policy to bring Greece into the Eurozone. But now we've now reached the point where otherwise rational people are talking about "dropping the hammer", as if having an incipient failed state in Europe is a small price to pay for 600 euro in your pocket. The frustration is understandable, but the the satisfaction of dropping the hammer on Greece would be short-lived -- possibly on the order of weeks depending on the scale of financial disruption.

      The unhappy truth is that bad policy choices fifteen years ago means all the options available today lead to long-lived, complicated, and expensive consequences.

    • by goose-incarnated ( 1145029 ) on Monday July 06, 2015 @02:29AM (#50051557) Journal

      I am Belgian. Greece owes me, my wife and children over 3000 euro. We fronted it out of our taxes and if they don't pay us back, we'll pay it back out of our taxes.

      You're blaming Greece for this? Why the hell did your country bail out Greece's creditors and take on Greece's debts? If your country had acted responsibly they would have let Greece's creditors fail.

      The situation now is that we have Creditor A lending money to debtor B which Creditor A knows in advance that debtor B cannot pay back. So Creditor A then sells the debt that they already know cannot be paid back to EU countries. The only question in all this is: why did your country agree to this?

      The people you should be mad at are the ones who bailed out the creditors. Once the loans were made to Greece, the "austerity measures" imposed +- five years ago were simply a blind to get the private creditors paid. Greece owed money to private creditors; your country (part of EU) decided to loan Your Money to Greece on condition that Greece paid back the private creditors. I feel no sympathy for any of the current creditors.

  • Pay Your Debt! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 05, 2015 @07:05PM (#50049381)

    Now they seem to be wanting a 30% discount on their debt. Funny that!
    You give up now the 30%, and tomorrow they will put together another act like this to have another 30% cut.
    Never negotiate with Debt Terrorists!
    There are rules to be in the Euro zone. Nobody forced anybody to accept those rules.
    If Greeks now they finally came to reality that retiring at 50yo might lead to shortage of pension funds, and they want "discounts", they should be booted out of EU.

  • Maggie was right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kimanaw ( 795600 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @07:14PM (#50049439)
    Whatever your opinion of her otherwise, The Iron Lady saw this coming [businessinsider.com]
  • Borrowing, who cares? Federal government spending is on auto-pilot to increase dramatically over the coming decades. When the feds run out of borrowing capacity, they will have no where else to turn but to raid people's investments. We are just as bad as the Greeks. We don't want to pay for our government, either.

    http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us... [usgovernmentdebt.us]

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @08:45PM (#50049981)

      We are just as bad as the Greeks.

      Greece was borrowing money to pay back formerly borrowed money. The U.S. is still borrowing money to do things with it (hopefully productive things). I'm a fiscal conservative, but in the current extremely low interest rate environment, it actually makes sense to borrow a lot of money to get more (productive) things done than you could do without borrowing.

      The only thing you have to watch out for is that you don't borrow so much that you find yourself unable to pay it back when interest rates climb. That's the situation Greece found themselves in - as they got deeper into debt, their credit rating declined and it became more expensive for them to borrow money, which resulted in them being unable to pay back what they owed.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday July 06, 2015 @01:01AM (#50051191)

      A big one is just that the US controls both its currency and its monetary policy (meaning taxing and spending). That manes that it can take the steps it feels necessary to deal with loan repayments, such as increased inflation and/or a weaker currency. It doesn't have to convince other countries of it, it runs the currency.

      An even bigger one at this point is that the dollar is the world's reserve currency. Things are settled in dollars on the international stage, meaning that the US can't have a current account crisis. It makes the dollars, things are paid for in dollars, so it can make more dollars to pay for things. It is unique in that situation. While it could change, that is how it stands.

      In fact, that is part of the reason the US is able to borrow so much, and in some ways needs to. People and nations want to put their money in what they see as a safe reserve, and the dollar is one they seek. To make that possible, the US has to issue debt instruments. They have to be able to buy US dollars.

      Yet another difference is that the US has high tax compliance. Most people in the US pay their taxes. There are those that cheat or outright evade, but they are the minority. That, combined with a generally quite low tax burden (compared to most first world nations the US has very low taxes), means that raising taxes in the US is a very valid strategy. People won't be happy, but they'll pay. Greece has real issues with tax avoidance which makes tax increases problematic.

      Still another difference is in what the economy produces. Despite what you may have heard on whiny online sites, the US makes a lot of stuff. It is the #2 producer of durable goods after China, and only slightly. It builds lots of things that others in the world want. A good example would be microprocessors. Both Intel and AMD are US companies, and Intel fabs most of their newest CPUs in the US. The chips that run most computers in the world come from the US. Makes the economic situation rather different than a place that relies heavily on tourism.

      Finally there's the issue of who owns the debt. Most of the US's debt, about 65%, is owned by the US itself. Of that a large part is intragovernmental holdings, and then debt held by the federal reserve. Of the nations that do hold US foreign debt the two largest, Japan and China, do so for strategic reasons to keep their currency cheap compared to the dollar and thus have a strategic interest in keeping that debt. Greece on the other hand, owes most of its debt to other countries.

      It is far to simplistic to look and say "Oh this is all the same!" Public debt is actually a pretty complex issue.

  • by kosmosik ( 654958 ) <kos&kosmosik,net> on Sunday July 05, 2015 @07:41PM (#50049623) Homepage

    I don't quite understand what they are cheering about. They have put themselves into this situation and really there is no good outcome now for them. They take the EU conditions and further tighten expenses (drastically) or leave eurozone and stay between Turkey, Russia and the EU. Also in the second choice (leaving the EU) they go back to Drahma and face weeks lasting deep crisis and than 5-10 years of economic recession. Really no reason to cheer in my opinion.

    And for the record - I love Greece as a tourist. I've been there many times but I also recall that they have a culture of not paying taxes which in my opinion is stupid and unpatriotic. Mind you - I am Polish and here also people HATE to pay taxes - they know that their taxes are being spent in wrong ways usually, the taxes fuel a caste of mindless clerks etc. but nevertheless Polish people DO PAY taxes like VAT and icome.

    For what I know the Greeks as a tourist I know that they had a culture of mass avoiding the taxes - f.e. in late 90's I were on holiday in Greece and common practice was to use credit card for payment - best bargaining method. You just go to shop, pick some wares and tell to pay with credit card - imediately they dropped the price to the minimum and begged you to pay in cash (since using credit card would produce paper trail and taxing). And it was extremely common. Also in restaurants - go, eat and then wave credit card - the payment would drop from f.e. 2200 drahmas to 1000 (!!!) with a promise of further discount the next day. Really. Not to mention thousands of not finished housed used as finished houses (another reason for not paying taxes).

    I have nothing against the Greeks - I like them - they are kind, warm and similar to slavian people. But they need to learn that paying taxes is what makes you country function. They need to learn that if they are into some international community they can't lie about their finances to get a credit. And so on.

  • Idiots. The whole corrupt and incompetent lot of greek politicians. They frauded their way into the Eurozone and have been dragging their heels ever since. This whole Syriza stunt was the very last straw. They were the worst. They could've gotten real reforms on the way - they had the mandate by the people. Instead they kept fucking and bullshitting around, squandering the very last bit of good will with every gouvernment in the Eurozone. Even Italy is pissed - which actually is quite amazing in itself, because they're are almost right up there with Greece when it comes to mal-administration.

    They could've gotten away easy - now they'll be left to their own devices.

    At least it's a clear "No" by the people. Better a clear NO that a whishy-washy YES. Tsipras can use this to get some real internal reforms on the way. ... Although I doubt he will.
    Well, at least we can finally make a clear cut. No more money for free for all. No more bizarely overpaid early pensioneers and nepotism. The Eurozone should finally cut their losses, have Greece move back to the Drachma and prepare for humanitarian help, like food supplies and such - at least that money won't be wasted.

    Lets finally put the ECB goodies and candy to work for nations who are actually pulling their weight and can use a little help aswell, like some baltic nations.

    My 2 eurocents.

    • I have a question for you. The few times I have been in Europe specifically for business, the businesspeople in Switzerland and Belgium who I met with spoke rather derisively of the "southern Europeans." Certainly from the comments on Slashdot today there seems to be a lot of anger and, from my perspective, prejudice (justified or not is another question) against the southern European countries. The southern European countries also seem to just be doing what they've always done.

      So my question is--given this

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @08:18PM (#50049819) Homepage Journal

    It doesn't help that Greece was forced into an austerity plan in their last bailout. Essentially that kicked off a death spiral. Austerity has already been well discredited (see here [aljazeera.com], here [theguardian.com], and here [huffingtonpost.com]. Original paper here [umass.edu]) yet it keeps being foisted off on citizens everywhere.

    I'm not suggesting that Greece should spend money like a drunken sailor on leave, but following a faith based economic theory even after it has been disproven (even to the satisfaction of the writers of the original paper) is not the answer.

  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @10:32PM (#50050515) Journal

    All EU citizens should demand a referendum asking if the taxpayers should pay this 'debt' created by derivatives and fraudulent market trading, or tell the bankers to write it off, suck it up, and never again be allowed to put depositor funds at risk on this commodities shell game ever again. And I have no trouble using some form of asset forfeiture against them to recover some of the stolen funds.

  • by periklisv ( 2262430 ) on Monday July 06, 2015 @03:53AM (#50051825)
    As a Greek, I am stunned, and disappointed, by the level of criticism (and hate!) in slashdot. What I clearly see is that fellow Europeans are being told huge LIES about the Greek crisis, and what this referendum means. I'll try to put things in perspective:
    1. The money fellow European governments are giving us, are not free; They are loans, that we happily repay, even if the interest rate is a highway robbery compared to what they are paying.
    2. Nobody said about "writing off the debt". What we ask is for the due date to go further in the future and the interest rate to be lower.
    3. If the rest of the European governments cared at all to be repaid, then they wouldn't insist on "reforms" which have been 100% proven wrong, such as tax increases and pension/wage cuts. These are the stuff we object to. Many of the other important reforms (early pensions, unemployment benefits) are already imposed for quite some time now. I could write a book about how increasing taxes can't increase a country's GDP but guess what, there are even now so many books that prove this.
    4. Especially to my Belgian friends: The 2 bailouts of Greece helped repay loans given by private sector banks. In effect, we traded private sector loans with state loans. In other words, you people lended us money so that your banks didn't lose their money. Now we owe you money (instead of your private banks) AND you think that this was a mistake. We do too, so we agree on this.
    5. Greece doesn't need more money to "keep spending above its limit". We've had a more or less balanced budget for the last couple of years, apart from the loan interest payments. So we need you to lend us money so we can repay the loans you already gave us. Is this more reasonable than what we're asking? (To postpone the pay off date and decrease interest rate)
    6. You are angry because we tricked our selves into the eurozone. You are right. We are angry too that you tricked us into the eurozone. There was nothing good for us there, no reason at all to be part of it, yet our politicians agreed with your politicians that we need to be part of it, no matter what. And they, all together, agreed to put Greece into the Eurozone, what a huge mistake that was and oh how many lies were told so we believed them (you did too). They made a ton of money out of it. Then they made a ton of money from the debt crisis itself. Meanwhile, half the Europe suffers from austerity (with Greece being the most hardly hit country, but Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus got a great feeling of what austerity means) and the other half is being taught that "lazy Greeks are asking to be given for more money).

    Friends, stop hating each other, we're passed beyond this. The people is suffering, not only in Greece, but in other nations too. A Polish fried says "you should see my country", and some other said "we're poorer than you". And why is this? Who is benefiting? Does this mean that Poland et.al. have to double their taxes and cut their wages in half and pensions by 60%, destroy their healthcare and educational system, sell out everything that can be sold, just to become "richer"? Would anyone really suggest that? Then why is it a must-have for Greece? How on earth will this help repay the loans? Up until now, it has created a 27% unemployment and 99% misery.

    So, please people, don't believe what your media say. You're not giving away money, we're not asking for free money. Greece has paid the price, and was punished hard, for decades of poor planning, bad habits and outrageous corruption. But it's time for other countries to stop hiding behind the propaganda and be realistic, just like we are now.

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