November 4th, 2011
12:42 AM GMT
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(CNN) - Have you ever been to an event where you felt out of place?

You toy with the option of going home. Cocoa and slippers suddenly regain their appeal.

Then again, you might get some benefit from staying: you might meet someone interesting – your knight in shining armor.

When you do finally head for the door it turns out to be locked and your only alternative is creeping out of the window (hopefully unnoticed).

That is the situation Greece is facing today.

Backed into a corner by those who have bailed it out, the country is facing the twin evils of unprecedented hardship at home and unbearable pressure from its pay masters.

The pay masters are living it large at the elite G-20 gathering in Cannes while Greece's leader is summoned for emergency talks, like an unwelcome gatecrasher soon to be sent on his way lest his presence cloud the occasion.

Like an ambivalent party guest, Greece's on-again – and now apparently off-again - referendum vote on last week's bailout deal raises the possibility that the country's future could well be outside the eurozone.

Irrespective of the posturing on all sides, some fundamental questions remain unanswered.

Here, I try to break it down with the help of some experts like Charles Proctor, partner at lawyers Edwards Wildman and Michael Hart, director of FX strategy at Roubini Global Economics.

1) Could Greece abandon the single currency?

In short, no.

Proctor says the legal framework governing the European Union only talks about a member state leaving the bloc – not the currency. A scenario that is hard to imagine. Even if Greece were to consider a future beyond EU borders for a few years, getting back into this elite club would be fraught with difficulties later down the line.

2) So, could other eurozone members make Greece leave the eurozone?

Again, negative. This is not a two-way door. No matter what Germany and France may say, Proctor says they cannot force Greece to exit the euro area either. “There is no exit door. Either because Greece wants to go through one or because either member states want to push it through one,” he says. Then again, the EU could revise these treaties.

3) Can Greece go back to the drachma?

Greece abandoned its previous currency, the drachma, when it joined the eurozone. In accordance with treaty 128 on the functioning of the EU, eurozone members like Greece have delegated their right to set their own currency to the eurozone. As a result, Greece is not legally allowed to reintroduce its own currency. Proctor says it has revoked that right.

On CNN this week the Greek Foreign Minister did not specifically deny the country was printing drachma at this stage.  [Editor's note: The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Gregory Delavekouras, has since said via email:  "Greece is not printing drachmas anywhere in the world. Greece is a member of the eurozone and will continue to be so."]

4) How much would the drachma be worth?

Hart has thankfully crunched the numbers so I don't have to but even since he made his original calculations a month ago Greece's situation has become more precarious.

The main benefit Greece would get from leaving the euro and returning to the drachma would be being able to set its own rules on how much of its debt it will pay back.

Using a currency as this kind of tool is risky and often viewed as the preserve of the emerging markets like Argentina, Brazil and Turkey.

The drachma was pegged to the European single currency in 2000 at a value of 340.70 drachmas per one euro. To begin to see the benefits of a euro departure and say zero its current account deficit, Hart says Greece would have to devalue the drachma by 50%. Hart says that because the country is so indebted, the drachma could theoretically weaken 120% in real terms – in other words, its actual buying power would be significantly reduced.

Then again, such figures are only relevant if Greece decides to exit through the backdoor, flouting the legal technicalities.

5) What effects would a change of currency have?

Proctor says if Greece were to abandon the euro it would have to do so "literally overnight." There would be a run on banks across the country as people rush to withdraw their savings in euros before the changeover. If that were the case capital controls would have to be introduced to prevent the banks from collapsing.

We saw this most recently in Argentina when many lost their wealth after the peso was unfixed from the dollar in 2002.

The following list of peak-to-trough devaluations since the mid-90s gives us an idea of what we could be talking about:

- 2002 Argentina: 280 %

- 1999 Brazil: 78 %

- 1998 – 1999 Russia: 330 %

- 1997 – 1998 Indonesia: 660 %

- 1997 – 1998 Thailand: 110 %

- 1994 – 1995 Mexico 115 %

Greece has repeatedly denied it is considering leaving the single currency and until this week open talk of a departure was taboo. Yet the longer it waits, to take a decision, the more it will cost them. Just like that late taxi ride home: the price is always higher, the later you leave – even if the party was a washout.

soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Paul Johnston, PhD Economics

    Paul Johnston, PhD Economics, Athens

    November 4, 2011 at 6:37 am |
  2. JohnnyBKK

    Pardon my math, but I don't think you can be more than a 100% less than anything.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  3. Marija

    In points 1) and 2) you state that it is impossible for Greece to leave the Euro, but in points 3) and 4) you admit that Greece may be printing its own currency and considering the valuation of a new currency. So which is it?!

    Unfortunately, points 1) and 2) of your article are largely wrong.

    Juncker himself has said, with regards to Greece leaving the Euro unilaterally, that "We are working on the subject of how to ensure that is not a disaster for the people in Germany, Luxembourg, the euro zone. We are absolutely prepared for the situation".

    So it IS possible for Greece to abandon the single currency, and it IS possible for other eurozone members to make Greece leave the eurozone.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  4. Marija

    JohnnyBKK, I believe you can be more than 100% less. 340 Drachma were pegged to 1 Euro in 200, so a 120% increase would imply that 748 Drachma would now be pegged to 1 Euro.

    NB I myself did this simple math calculation, so I can't guarantee correctness.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  5. Mel

    If its value goes from 100 to 50, then its current value is 100% less than its original (if you focus on the original discount it is 50%)

    November 4, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  6. James

    "Paul Johnston, PhD Economics" – I wonder what Greek academic official you paid off to "earn" your PhD? PhDs are generally associated with insightful analysis, not rants and childish name calling.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  7. Brian

    Marija is spot-on. Greece can leave the euro if they wish and other EU nations can force them to leave, if need be. The author is citing policy that hasn't been tested and, quite frankly, won't be worth the paper it's printed on when push comes to shove. Europe, just like every other civilization that has tasted world prominence, has broken agreements and manipulated "sacrosanct" policies when the need arises... what makes you think that, after 2,000 years, Europe will suddenly be constrained by laws of their own making? This article is a waste of space.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  8. olefre

    About the math. I think, devaluation is a writedown of the rate Euro/Drachma.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  9. Gary

    I'm sorry, but this article does not make any sense at all. "Marija" is correct, points 1/2 contradicts with points 3/4! But what do you expect, its a woman who wrote this article.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  10. Jeff

    Countries, governments and public officials will do what they want, regardless of the law. Haven't we all learned this yet?

    November 4, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  11. Louis

    Disappointing article. I would expect analysis of what will happen if they leave regardless of the rules, as that's clearly where we're heading.

    November 4, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  12. brooke

    @Gary: that was stupid to say. just because a woman wrote the article doesn't mean that women do not understand the issue. I've seen plenty of stupid articles written by men. I also immediately recognized the contradiction in the story. But to be fair I also knew this information anyways, since I'm an American working here in Germany and pay their taxes, I was already well aware that Greece can indeed be forced out of the EuroZone.

    In general, the Germans are absolutely livid over this. Add that some Greeks are in the streets protesting against German assistance by actually dressing up as Nazis, spray painting swastikas all over their embassy, and openly comparing Angela Merkel to Hitler has the German people really really angry at the Greeks. The German government might be all for helping Greece and putting on the smiley face, but every German person I know is really angry about this, and says that no more money should be given to Greece because it's they're own fault for having a national culture of tax evasion and general fund mismanagement by the Greek government, and that they are not interested in changing their ways as a nation. And when people try to help them, instead of accepting the help (and also understanding the origin of the problem), some of the protestors go to this low level. German people are tired of Greece and are not interested in helping them anymore actually due to this. Angela Merkel will not be reelected because of this.

    November 4, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  13. Gus

    A major reason why Greece joined the Euro is because they do not have the native industries or innovation
    to grow their own economy. Greece managed to meet the minimum entrance standards, which were unfortunately
    short-sighted, and then rode the whale for a while.

    November 4, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  14. YorkyRoyal

    If point 1 and 2 are impossible, then there is no need to write the rest of the other points on this article.

    November 4, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  15. YorkyRoyal

    @ Brooke, I agree with you in both points, about woman as a writer and about Germans and the way they feel and think about the whole situation. I also live in Germany, that what you said, is absolutely 100 perfect correct. People just do not know, unless they live here. Brooke, well done.

    November 4, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  16. Mac

    The only reason this is a crisis is because so many banks and countries were foolish enough to lend huge amounts of money to a nation that couldn't possibly pay it back. The principles and structures that our economies are base on are flawed.

    November 4, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  17. Paul Radley

    I agree with the others – what a disappointing article. Some useful insight about what would happen down the line would have been interesting, instead of some juvenile allegories about disappointing parties.

    November 4, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  18. Johnson

    The best move for the EU would be to expell Greece from the EZ at least. If possible it should be expelled from the EU. It has proven to be a dishonest, corrupt nation not worthy of being part of Europe.

    November 4, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  19. TheDood

    Let the Greeks sink! It's nobody's fault but their own that they can't manage their own finances! Bailouts/Handouts have to stop!

    November 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  20. bgroover

    Ave Frau Merkel , morituri te salutant!!!!

    November 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  21. dan allen

    Those who think leaving the euro is a real option should consider what it means when one country leaves. Then investors look at the next likeliest country to leave, and then there's a bank run in that country. It collapses. You have a run of countries without financing. In other words, the entire euro collapses in short order.

    People are concerned that Greece is blackmailing Europe but no one talks about the fact that Europe is blackmailing the world. If the eurozone collapses, we go into a depression, so Europe is saying, give us money (through the IMF, G20, China, USA) to deal with our situation. Yet, Europe has lower debts than America, there are big surpluses in Germany. If Germany isn't willing to commit, then why should the American taxpayer? The EU is blackmailing us.

    November 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  22. Brian

    I'll gladly pay you Tuesday (in Drachma) for a hamburger today (in Euros).

    Seriously, I lived in Greece in the late 80's and the drachma fluxuated so widely, my landlord begged me to pay him in US Dollars. I remember it went from around 120 Drachma/Dollar to over 200 Drachma/Dollar within little more than a week. Not sure this would be the answer they're looking for. Ashame we didn't take Turkey instead. I think Turkey would have been a better fiscal and diplomatic choice than Greece.

    November 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  23. emmanuel chuks

    The citizen of greece now have a chance to deceide the future of their country, that is what democracy is all about. They should reason together and make the right deceission for them and the genertions to come. This is a lesson for some continenst that want a single currency for member states. All countries are not equal, some are reacher than the other.

    November 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  24. angela

    Greek people want euro, those who are protesting in the streets are those who are loosing their jobs in public sector and other benefits, common greek people never where rich or live beyond their means, you know nothing about poor and tired greek people

    November 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  25. Scott

    The author is an idiot and has no clue what nations can do. Greece can leave the EU and the Euro any time it likes. What is the rest of the EU or world going to do about it.... invade? Agreements can be broken. A nations interest can change and its leadership can say "sorry, this agreement no longer serves the interests of our nation, we are therefore ending our participation in it".

    November 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  26. Scott

    And by the way... someone needs to also give this author a math less. You can not have something lose more than 100% of its value. 100% is its total value, if you reduce it by 100% of its value... it becomes worthless (0). You can't eat 120% of the pie... there is only 100% of the pie.

    November 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  27. Marija

    Scott- I agree largely that the author has no clue what nations can do.

    However- you *can* be more than "100% less". 340 Drachma were pegged to 1 Euro in 2000, so I believe a 120% increase would imply that 748 Drachma would now be pegged to 1 Euro.

    November 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  28. George Tzinakos

    A member state cannot leave voluntarily only by eurozone. If the country (Greece) wishes to do so, then must decide to withdraw from the European Union also.
    Member state elimination from EU (involuntarily) is not foreseen in the Treaties, therefore not allowed.

    Read the article of Panagiotis Kanellopoulos (Professor of Law of the EU University of Piraeus, the European seat Jean Monnet) @ (Greek site – use Google translator).

    November 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  29. OPO

    Sorry but your answers are dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Say Greece decides to leave the Eurozone despite all the mentioned negatives. Who will stop them, the EU Army?

    November 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  30. Arthur

    It can leave but it can't afford it and if it was better, Greece would be in the process of leaving. To compete in the Global economy, Europe cannot be many little countries and at the end of this crisis Europe will be economically and politically stronger and well positioned for the future. Europe was stagnating and now it woke up.

    November 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  31. TDK

    Most comments above have it right. If Greece or the EU decide to "break up", no amount of treaties and paper rules can hold them together.

    Unfortunately, not too many people understand the predicament of the simple Greek private sector employee, retiree, or even the occasional honest hard-working civil servant. A "strategic" decision was reached, between the EU and Greek governments to include Greece in the Eurozone, influenced to a huge degree by banking interests. And overnight, the Greek people were given a "strong" (but largely artficial and irrelevant to local economic figures) currency in place of their "weak" (but realistic) drachmae... Result? The individual buying power was artificially bloated, the banks felt soooo solvent that they flooded the market with cheap loans and credit cards to everybody including the homeless and schoolchildren and German and French products had a real field day pushing almost everyone else out and local production to zero.

    Yes the Greeks have been living beyond their means for quite some time. But just consider how much of that has been the result of "forcing" an irrelevant currency on a country already struggling with its own systemic flaws and troubled economy... Well, at least the German and French workers of VW, BMW, Renault, Siemens, Citroen and Bosch have had their salaries paid for quite some time by the Greeks by artificially making their products cheaper and more accesible by having the Greeks use the Euro...

    November 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  32. warrior

    If Greece wishes to leave the euro, no one will stop them. If the German people wish to hate the Greeks, they may do so, but keep in mind that the people of Greece are the ones who are paying a high price for some politician's stupitidy.
    the politicians lead the dance..the people have no say to the matter whatsoever. so, if anyone wishes to blame someone,blame the politicians. not the people.

    As for those Holland satyrist jokers, Karagiozides, who are trying to impress the world with their amadeus satyrical song about the Greeks, we don't give a flying .... they are nothing but hateful, racists, and arrogant.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  33. olefre

    Marija Suppose 1 Euro is worth 340 Drachmas. A devaluation of 20% would be calculated as:
    1/340 – 0.2/340 = 0.8/340. Clearly a devaluation must be with a percentage below 100.

    November 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  34. Don

    I am astounded by the mathematical illiteracy of many of the posters. To say that 100% is the always the maximal value is a fallacy. Olefre, you are confusing terms. A reduction in value of 120% is NOT the same as devaluation of 100%. Think of it this way–the Euro can increase in value more than 100% as compared to the drachma (or any other currency).

    November 5, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  35. stefanos

    It has proven to be a dishonest, corrupt nation not worthy of being part of Europe.
    November 4, 2011 at 11:46 am | " .
    Dear "friend". I don't know who are you, how honourable you are, but you do NOT have the right to claim such things about a NATION. Enough, liars and speculators !!!! Grece is NOT its politicians. Find out what the people say, feel an how they react. I hope your country is a perfect paradise. Wake up, before it is too late. Or, if you dont have a country DONT judge others........

    November 5, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  36. Johnson

    This article is so confusing. I agree with many of the above criticisms. I do think Greece will eventually leave the EZ and or EU and nobody will be really sorry to see that happen. Regardless of the law, Greece will do what it wants.

    November 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  37. Matt

    He buckled, sacked the generals, call for a referendum and then backs down to form some possible political junta/ a coalition. So there will be a coup, but obviously things will have to get far worse in Greece in relation to civil unrest. We all know how the Greeks would have voted in the referendum. The riots kill growth, austerity kills growth. What do the people want, not what the politicians want. The civil unrest has to stop and their is only one way, a coup and pulling out of the Euro. Greece has 4 years of civil unrest and they will have another 4 years. But the issue is what occurs will not save the EU not now, it has been 4 years, it may save Greece for chaos, but not the EU.

    November 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  38. olefre

    Don. The point is that the article uses the term devaluation. In 5) What effects would a change of currency have?
    it is claimed that various countries have devaluated with more than 100%. You seem to be talking about an appreciation of the Euro. The definitions can be found here:

    November 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  39. Gerxa

    Hello friends from the U.S. and America, I have one request to you. We do news site in Eastern Europe and Greece, but here in Bulgaria salary is only $ 250 / month. We want to know the real news that our neighboring country Greece. We are looking for sponsors for 7 p l u s 7. n e t
    >>> First Investment Bank
    IBAN: BG59FINV91501014708692
    The crisis in Greece hit us cruelly, here is 30% unemployment, people drink, but banks only suck people's money. We want Europe to do your human and real news in English, so if you have heart – help, even with $ 1, we will be grateful from the heart. One day it became like Murdoch or Buffett will visit the United States. Greetings from Europe poor and the poorest country in it – Bulgaria.

    Veljko Velev – editor and a student from Sofiashow more show less

    November 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  40. Mak30Alek

    They should just leave. With all these problems they will take the whole European Union down faster than the blink of an eye. It's either save the EU now and possible Greece at the same time; destroy the EU economy as well as the Greek one, or save the Eu and Greece my be having some hard times. The best is to try and save both by having them leave, repair themselves as much as possible and hopefully re-enter and maybe prosper. And I beg to differ on the comment about Bulgaria being thee poorest in Europe, cause a couple of its neighbors are doing much worse.

    November 6, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  41. Mak30Alek

    Another thing. The Greeks cant just leave the EZ, they have to leave the EU as well. So its leaving the EU completely or not. And they really need to and fast.

    November 6, 2011 at 3:34 am |
  42. Sofia

    Why I am not allowed to speak about the German Oblications to Greece from the 2.Worldwar?

    November 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  43. stefanos

    The most fair way for the Greeks is to give us a period of restarting our economy , with assistance and advisors from the E.U., and to reduce our short term payments of our loans.Even with this kind of haircut our debt will not be lower than 150% of our GNP for a long period. Stabillity will not be ensured for Greece and for the EU. But think of this: here comes ITALY,BELGIUM,IRELAND,PORTUGAL,SPAIN etc. Are we the only "corrupted" inside the EU or is just the cure – German's way of economical policies- that is the wrong one for this desease; Of course we have made a lot fo mistakes and we do have to solve them fast and accurate. But if we dont have new "money" inside E.U. this bubble will come to an end – with the present formation- real soon.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  44. Alex

    Iam a simple man doing his job and i try do it good. One thing iam sure of is that we all have different kind of information and maybe none of it is true. My opinion is that when a company doesn't going well atleast 2 things happen, noone lends money to this company because there is much risk and the company has lower the prices it sells so to sell more. The last 2 years eu lends money to the company is called Greece and everything it is selling is more expensive because of the vat, the diesel and other things. In the same time the company instead of trying to spend less somehow it spends more and it's position becomes even worst. A normal company or even a stock would share the failure with the banks, the stock holders or anyone risked on it so to gain more. That's not an option here because we have the way to gain more than just the loans nad the interest. We can have the whole country, it's sun, sea, soil, petrol, gas, uranium and the super strategic geo point in mediteranean. We are going to sell the photovoltaic cells that they going to pay with the money we lend the as help so buy cheaper energy for the next 30 years. Anyway the story is really long but i think you can fill it by yourself. Look back in history and follow the money. Who gets it in the end? I am sure it is not the Greeks.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  45. Sofia

    Why I am not allowed to speak about the German obligations to greece from the second Worldwar? Why is this comment awaiting moderation? You allow comments which are against a whole nation, against the Greeks. And I am not allowed to respond?
    Again: German Oblogations to Greece are about 700 billion euros.Why am I not allowed to talk about this?

    November 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  46. Sofia

    Thank You cnn.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  47. Sofia

    Do you really think that the real problem is the currency? Euro? Drachma? Liretta? The problem are the European politicians. They allow the markets to rule.So. Who guaranties me that the markets will leave me alone with the Drachma? Real Democracy and real Justice is the key for opinion.
    And another thing. How can the media insult the honor and the history of any Nation? this is like insulting yourself. thank you again cnn. and dont forget if Democracy wouldnt excist at all, then it wouldnt be any media. :)

    November 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  48. GregoryK

    Could Nina Dos Santos leave CNN ?
    The answer is yes
    When she makes up that kind of stories

    November 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  49. Paul Johnston, PhD Economics

    The EU is a fraud and a farce created by corrupt bankster criminals to rape EU countries. They must be stopped!

    November 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  50. Jack B

    @ Paul: For someone with a PhD you make awfully simplistic statements! I can say that because I have one myself...As to the article: The author fails to mention that this guest (Greece) came to the party under false pretenses – they lied their way in. You can look it up! Another well-know fact is that in Greece many people avoid paying their taxes and get away with it. And while German politicians have been very accommodating, for the most part, how much longer, do you think, German taxpayers will be willing to foot the bill?

    November 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  51. Sofia

    Jack B. for someone with a PhD , you should know that the Greeks are paying back the money with very high interrest. And NOBODY gives us the money for FREE.
    Also we have to know that Greece is forced to buy weapons fron the German and French industries, for billions and billions every year, even now with the crisis. Do we realise who is paying who? One day the planet will wake up. i hope.Peace and unity!

    November 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  52. Sofia

    Most money of the european taxpayers , are going to save the banks. even the cats and the birds knows that by now.
    It is really amazing to see, how easy and quick some people are to say bad things about my country. WHAT DID GREECE DID TO YOU?

    November 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  53. Sofia,1518,769703,00.html

    Here you can find a very interresting artikel written by a german professor .
    About the german obligations to Greece. Thank you.

    November 25, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  54. george

    There's some funny sketches on the euro.. hehe.. check out the thatshowitreallywas channel in youtube.. ;)

    December 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  55. george

    There's some funny sketches on the Euro hehehe type thatshowitreallywas in youtube and see them express themselves

    December 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  56. Trina

    Screw Greece

    December 9, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  57. Audrey Meridienne

    EU should have taken Turkey in and left Greece+Cyprus out. The effect would be the complete opposite, since Turkey is the world's 15th largest economy right now with the 2nd highest growth rate in the world after China and they are in top ten by 2020 in every forecast. The only potential member that can help EU out is Turkey, and they were willing to join for a while, not so much now as it would be suicide. Turkey is also a regional power and EU can not become a major power without Turkey as a member. The shallow-minded politicians of Europe missed the opportunity and burned themselves. Sad.

    December 10, 2011 at 6:49 am |
  58. Sofia

    Trina: ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ...

    December 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  59. Sofia

    Dedicated to those who wants to know what Greeks gave to Europe and to the whole world:
    From Wikipedia
    Professor Dr. Xenofon Zolotas, is also famous for demonstrating the contribution of Greek language to the English vocabulary by making English speeches, as he said, "using with the exception of articles and prepositions only Greek words", to foreign audiences.Two of his speeches in English are considered to be historic. This is because they contained only terms of Greek origin

    December 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  60. Sofia

    I always wished to address this Assembly in Greek, but realized that it would have been indeed "Greek" to all present in this room. I found out, however, that I could make my address in Greek which would still be English to everybody. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, l shall do it now, using with the exception of articles and prepositions, only Greek words.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  61. Sofia

    Kyrie, it is Zeus' anathema on our epoch for the dynamism of our economies and the heresy of our economic methods and policies that we should agonize the Scylla of numismatic plethora and the Charybdis of economic anaemia. It is not my idiosyncrasy to be ironic or sarcastic, but my diagnosis would be that politicians are rather cryptoplethorists. Although they emphatically stigmatize numismatic plethora, they energize it through their tactics and practices. Our policies have to be based more on economic and less on political criteria

    December 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  62. Sofia

    Our gnomon has to be a metron between political, strategic and philanthropic scopes. Political magic has always been anti-economic. In an epoch characterized by monopolies, oligopolies, monopsonies, monopolistic antagonism and polymorphous inelasticities, our policies have to be more orthological. But this should not be metamorphosed into plethorophobia, which is endemic among academic economists. Numismatic symmetry should not hyper-antagonize economic acme. A greater harmonization between the practices of the economic and numismatic archons is basic. Parallel to this, we have to synchronize and harmonize more and more our economic and numismatic policies panethnically.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  63. Sofia

    These scopes are more practicable now, when the prognostics of the political and economic barometer are halcyonic. The history of our didymus organizations in this sphere has been didactic and their gnostic practices will always be a tonic to the polyonymous and idiomorphous ethnical economies. The genesis of the programmed organization will dynamize these policies. Therefore, I sympathize, although not without criticism on one or two themes, with the apostles and the hierarchy of our organs in their zeal to program orthodox economic and numismatic policies, although I have some logomachy with them. I apologize for having tyrannized you with my Hellenic phraseology. In my epilogue, I emphasize my eulogy to the philoxenous autochthons of this cosmopolitan metropolis and my encomium to you, Kyrie, and the stenographers

    December 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  64. Sofia

    That was the second text from Professor Dr. Zolotas. Sorry , but I had to send it piece by piece...

    Maybe one day, Cnn will publish something like this....

    December 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  65. MB

    Greece should not have been allowed to join in the first place – they had a huge amount of debt to start with! It is not the Greek people at fault but corporate suits and administration – they had their run now they should just go!

    December 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  66. george

    Pretty funny cartoon on the Greek euro hehehe go to youtube and type thatshowitreallywas and find French and German Euro Protest hehehehe

    December 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  67. gene

    European Union does not mean European economic union it means complete union , union with borders, union income tax, union with help of each other (like a family). I think that the European leaders were in a hurry to make the union without thinking to make a strong and workable union. They only looked for the stronger countries how to become stronger.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  68. Constance

    Why are most of you here attacking the ppl of Greece? They did not create this mess, the politicians did. The ppl of Greece are stuck paying dearly for the politicians dishonesty. How would u like to have your paycheck cut by 500 euros & then be expected to pay 800 euros in taxes on top of that, just to pay for the corrupt politicians of not just the current, but the past? U can't pay what u don't have and how do r u expected to pay when the govt already took 30 percent of ur earnings? So if u all want to play the blame game, blame Germany for all that Hitler did to us, yes us the Greeks suffered at his hand also! Gosh, does that sound fair to blame all of Germany? No, so why blame all of Greece? Hmmmm.

    December 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  69. Jason Reich

    The Greeks are already leaving the Euro - the Portuguese too. There has been a sharp increase since early 2011 in Greeks and Portuguese seeking employment out of the Euro-zone ! Website monitors like Alexa are reporting much higher frequentation of Monster and and efinancial careers from within Greece, Portugal, and even Italy ! Highly qualified professionals are seeking to leave and work in the United Kingdom ! Which goes to show that the UK Prime Minister knew what he was doing when he turned his back on the EU in Brussels.

    December 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  70. John Doe

    The article does not conclude anything neither provides any actual information (unless you consider information a random dude's opinion).
    So, your article sucks.

    December 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  71. PJ

    I wish it would leave the EZ. Greece will never function properly. It is a gentic problem where everyone has to steal from the Government all it can. Greece will always be a problem so long as Germany pays the bills.

    January 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  72. Roelof

    It's not a question of 'can'. Greece IS leaving the eurozone.

    January 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  73. John

    Greece does not deserve to stay in EU ;when they joined the EU they manipulated their balance sheets (or being diplomatic :lied!) and rae not trustworthy. But , hey how can you trust greeks in the first place ,given their record of backstabbing during the centuries...

    January 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  74. Med

    Yeah...Yeah... You are right....Greece will leave the Eurozone, will turn back into drachmas ...and the next day everything will turn back to normal for the rest of the European countries and the World...Yeah Right !

    January 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  75. Peter Pan

    The problem is that our Greek politicians are corrupt and immune from prosecution.....

    January 19, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  76. Kenneth mahoney

    Yes, in my opinion Greece can leave the eurozone, if they all put theri forces together and help each other out

    January 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  77. EuroplanB

    The Solution to the Greek Crisis must meet a number of tests:

    1) It must begin the healing process for Greece. It must create hope for the future.
    2) It must create certainty for Greece's creditors
    3) It must create certainty for all Euro debt creditors for all PIIGS countries.
    4) It must prevent contagion.
    5) It must be perceived as fair by the citizens of the debtor countries.
    6) It must be affordable.

    The existing bailout plan fails most of these tests. The Euro Cash and Carry Plan meets all the tests.

    Greece will have zero debt and total responsibility for their own fate. No one else controls their destiny. This is essential. They can start to rationalize, invest, and build knowing that the fruits of their labours will not be used to pay foreign creditors.

    Creditors will have certainty and liquidity so there is no risk of contagion and new creditors know with certainty what the worst case scenario is for their investment. This may be what it takes to get China and America involved. They are guaranteed not to loose their principal so they may be willing to buy PIIGS bonds.

    It is much less expensive than the present bailout plan. The next tranche of the Greek bailout is $170 billion. This plan would cost the ECB $17.5 billion per year.


    February 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  78. codys

    In the Greece salary is 1000$-1500$ . But he have same economy as Romania were the salary is 300 -400 $ there is the problem :) In romania 1 yers ago the salary in the public sector is cut by 25 % :) and now we are in top 5 economic growth :)

    February 8, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  79. christosl

    merkel and european union must feel shame for what they did to greece.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  80. Angela

    I am sure the the EU is and was well aware of the situation in Greece before they lended the first bailout money to them?? Why are they offering to give them more bailout money if they know that Greece will never return it back??? Also, why is the EU forcing them to make cut backs on labor fees along with very heavy taxation which certainly do not help Greece stand on her feet again but only to sink into deeper proverty?? They aren't bailing out Greeks, they're bailing out banks, or rather stock holders of banks. None of the bailout money will go to Greece but to very high interest rates !!!The Greeks are "trapped" and will never repay the principle. When that happens, either hyper inflation will wipe out the debt, or the people will rise up and refuse to be "economical" slaves and will vote for a national default.
    Greece has surrendered its democracy and brought in the EU economic autocrats. The Greek people ought to demand freedom from the Euro – they don't seem to realise that the only way to remain in the currency union is to suffer permanent recession and hardship. If I were Greek, I would have defaulted the first day, the banks would have formed a line to work out a deal, just as they did before. The bailout is just a way for bank stockholders to glean as much money before the inevitable happens

    February 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  81. maria lalioti

    Ολοι εσεις που λετε οτι η Γερμανια πληρωνει τα χρεη της Ελλαδας εισαστε ηλιθιοι.....η Ελλαδα πληρωνει μια ζωη τηνΓερμανια....τις τραπεζες..... Πληρωνουμε για οπλα για υποβρυχια και γενικοτερα για εξοπλισμους χαλασμενους με μεγαλα τιμολογια . Αυτα τα λεφτα που μας δινη η ευρωπαικη ενωση.....τα δινουμε πισω....1000 ο\ο παραπανω.....με τοκους.Δεν μας διωχνουν γιατι μας 'αρμεγουν' ,γιατι μας θελουν σκαλοπατι για το Αιγαιο....και.γιατι σκοπευουν να μοιρασουν την χωρα μας σε αγροτεμαχια. ΔΙΕΦΘΑΡΜΕΝΕΣ ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΣΕΙΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΕΣ- ΔΙΕΦΘΑΡΝΕΝΗ ΒΟΡΕΙΑ ΕΥΡΩΠΗ-ΚΟΠΛΕΞΙΚΟΙ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΟΙ-ΠΑΓΩΜΕΝΟΙ ΣΚΑΝΔΙΝΑΒΟΙ........ανθρωποι σκληροι-μονοπυρηνικοι ολοι σας,που κανετε ασχημα σχολια για τους ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ. ΒΑΡΒΑΡΟΙ.-

    February 13, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  82. Elias

    Sofia I love you!

    February 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  83. ΝΙΚΙ

    The Greek population existed victim of Germans, that they gained money from the Greek population, that stole.
    In the end victor he will be the Greek population.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  84. ΝΙΚΙ

    It has been drawn a international conspiracy amining at the completion of destruction of Greece.
    All however know that the Greeks taught the culture and the fight for the freedom.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  85. ΝΙΚΙ

    It has been drawn a international conspiracy amining at the completion of destruction of Greece.
    All however know that the Greeks taught the culture and the fight for the freedom.
    All Greeks will prevent this attack from the Germans and any others of the EU

    February 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  86. ΝΙΚΙ


    February 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  87. Kiki

    If Greece leaves the Eurozone what happens to the Greek Nationals that are in Germany and England, and wherever else they are in the EU? Will they be deported? It looks like through the years Greeks have pretty much continuously elected the very same 2 parties that have pretty much stolen the money that the upper EU countries have given to them, and haven't used that money for the people, yet they have continued to vote for them, can the Eurozone not impose that the people not vote for either, and maybe find a solution to placing a prime minister or president of whatever they use in that country to benefit the country in the long run?

    February 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  88. Chris

    Audrine, Turkey was in this position only 10 years ago and the only reason it is growing sligtly is because it is NOT in the EURO. Did you hear of Greece before it joined.

    And why has countries like Denmark, Sweden and the UK not joined the Euro? Because the Southern states were set up.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  89. Chris

    And those in Holland picking on Greeks? Their future Queen 's father Maxima was involved in the worse attrocities in Argentina. Queen Beatrice is part of the Bilderbergs who helped set this rubbish up.

    The people are awakening....

    February 15, 2012 at 5:11 am |
  90. Fay

    The most easiest thing to say and write is that Greeks is the problem and that we must been get kicked off of th EU.
    The truth is that it isn;t the problem. When the crisis started we had against us Merkel. Not because she doesn;t like us. Germany is the only country that Greece was paying years and years -siemens , – and we bought even submariens with problems!!All the money that Greece received from the EU was send back 100 times more to Germany!!!
    Merkel tried to show that only Greece is the problem.And that only Greece haw the problem Well she isn't . It's economical crisis that has hit all the south of Europe-Spain , Italy , Portugal. Greece is not the only country.
    When the summer time you will come to Greece to visit us for vacation you will understand that the only one who it isn't it's fault is greeks.
    They say and write that greeks the only thing they do is drink ouzo and dance zorba . Well that is wrong.Greeks works 12-14 hours a day at the office , and schools , at the malls and our salary was 1000 euros a month!!Yes , you read right , a month. Now with the new measures , they took down our salaries to 600 euros a month and the kids under 25 years old their salary is 350 eurow a month!!! The taxes when up to the sky.
    So stop hurting Greece all the time. Even if the kick us out of the EU we will make it. Under very difficult situations , but we will make it. We are Greeks , and we will make it out.
    But I have one simple questionQ When will Germany pay Greece for all what she did many years ago?
    And think something else.After Greece which country is next?

    A greek

    February 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  91. Peter

    Has Germany paid any reparations to the Greeks for the atrocities they have commited during the second world war? I am not being smart I just want to know? Thanks

    February 18, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  92. Sivonay

    @Peter, has Greece paid any reparations to the Bulgarians, Turks, Egyptians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and numerous other peoples for the atrocities they have committed during the wars of Alexander the Great?

    Actually, Germany did pay reparations to Greece, $50 million, which was then a lot more money than now (the much larger Soviet Union got only $200 million). Is it the fault of the Germans that the Greek politicians squandered the reparation money?

    February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  93. 61unsoc

    This is all about money...plan and simple. World wide in fact! I'd like to know who 'broke the wheel'? Not that over the past 50 years or so OUR Governments have been able to balance, figure out, spend or for that matter even know what was good or bad for the countries Peoples.
    All these so-called "Financial Wizards" and no one knows what to do or how to correct the financial problems. This 'over-spending' by all governments has been going on for decades. Now that those in power don't know how to handle the shame and dis-trust...they place the blame on the people.
    As to the EU...each country is still it's own country. Sure, intra-state financing, trade, etc., but not the same rules, laws or business understandings. How can this be a 'union'?
    Maybe they should consider putting the 'boot' to a couple states in the US...their total 'debts' not long ago were about 2 trillion.

    February 19, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  94. Deniz Boro

    Any exchange of value or any evaluation of value is supposed to be impartial. EURO was aimed to be that. However when it got to evaluating countries to be accepted to the EU or setting rules or treshholds, this was not applied. People can be analytic but they can be emotional as well. This is what makes them human. When EU exepted Greece into its fold it made an irrevocable decision. Now, it will either loose money or face. If it looses face, it will be the end of the whole United Europe dream. On this I do not want to speculate more on the wrong decisions and convictions, values or else of Europe. They felt themselves closer to Greece with its more familiar history. I can only say that I am gratefull even to France for keeping Turkey out.

    February 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  95. Angela

    Sivonay... i don't think that we should go back hundreds of years calculating which country invaded what country so that they can pay war fees ..... this way everbody will owe to each other!!!! France to England , England to Germany, Germany to Italy etc etc etc.....
    Also Greece has NEVER received any war funds from Germany at any time, the only agreement made between themselves concerned immigrants that were accepted to Germany.
    Keep in mind that alot of the money given to Greece from the EU was returned to Germany in the form of submarines and equipment of which Germany herselve was paying off the Greek goverment in order to sell them!!!
    Greek goverment is currupt but Germany certainly gained alot from Greece and Greece certainly is not the only country which is bankrupt ... What will happen with spain italy etc..... or is it their fault too???
    Why is the EU again loaning money which they certainly know they will never receive back?? Why are they forcing Greece into more poverty??? Why at a time like this are they forcing them to buy war equiptment AGAIN??? Why are they lowering the people's salery's and on the other hand raising taxation ????
    None of the bailout money will go to Greece but to very high interest rates !!!The Greeks are "trapped" and will never repay the principle.
    The EU is not trying to help Greece it is trying to buy her out since they know that the bailout plan is not anywhere possible!!!!

    February 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  96. GG

    The name Europe comes from Greek Mythology. Queen Europe was King Minos' wife and the mother of the Minotaur. The Minoan Civilization was the first western civilization of which European civilization is based on. Democracy was a Greek invention, something that the European Union is based on. It may even be argued that Capitalism itself has strong routes in ancient Greece as well. Medicine, science, mathematics, economics, architecture, philosophy, art and more were either invented or improved greatly by Greeks to provide the basis for the same fields used today by Europeans. Without Greece in Europe is like taking away a humans soul; in other words Europe will be a corps.

    February 25, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  97. Goodguy1

    Goldman Sachs put Greece in the Euro Zone by using Fraud when reporting Greece's finances. Now Greece is in default from the loans given by Goldman Sachs and essentially Goldman will no "OWN" Greece. Tell does a bank own a country? One of the same banks we Americans bailed out.

    February 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  98. Nancy

    Greece will only be the first country to be owned by a bank ... portugal, spain, italy will follow!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  99. Paulinee

    Just finished rienadg your article on the situation in Greece. I'm very impressed by how well you illustrated the angles you chose to cover, and I'm a little sad that you couldn't cover everything.I also feel kinda bad. When I finished rienadg the bit where you described the possible motives for why people would want the Greek economy to flop like a fish out of water, the word Cool! went through my head. I'm a poor, starving college student and I have nothing against Greece. I think I thought it was cool was because clever motives like that fascinate me. Yes it's evil, yes it's corrupt. But I'll be a monkey's uncle if it isn't clever.And while I was thrashing this out with myself, I got to thinking, What if it's all three? All of it could, in fact, be fueled by racism, and profit is simply a bonus.Start with number 3: Hatred for Greece. How can German and the rest of Europe make an example of the Greeks and put them, as I'm sure they would say, in their place ? Someone notes for whatever reason that Greece is a hot tourist spot and that large profits could be gained from the islands. So someone suggests that they take financial control of the islands. But how?Credit default swaps. They start taking out fire insurance on their neighbor's house. They get it for a low cost and start betting against Greece's financial situation. If the country defaults, they just won the lottery, a week's worth of money at five or six poker tables (each), and every horse race for the next century. And where does this fortune go? Why, to buying footholds in Greek tourism. These footholds are quickly followed by butt-holds, more commonly known as recliner chairs, couches, and what have you.Racism is more than just a motive, though: It's also a means. If I understood correctly, Greece is using the Euro and the accompanying prices, but their wages haven't changed a bit. People are getting payed the same amount, but prices got jacked up. So people are in a really crappy financial situation and desperately need outside help.And here figures in the racism. Keep the rest of Europe poised against Greece and they won't help at all. With a corrupt government currently in place, the economy will sink lower and lower until the country defaults because no one wants to help these heathens .How the corrupt government got there I don't know. It may have been planted, or it might simply be what a friend of mine would call a happy accident . At least, from the point of view of those wanting Greece to fall. Either way, it's the wrong thing in the right place at the right time. and Cool! just went through my head again. I feel bad.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:05 am |

    Let bygones be bygones.If Tom cannot keep his promise, he'll lose face.We are divided in our opinions.He invited me to dinner yesterday.She dressed herself hastily.I have a headache, and she has a stomachache.I have just finished the book.Our school is in the east of Beijing.You have my word.As you know, I am a very kind person.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
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