May 17th, 2012
07:24 PM GMT
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Editor's note: This blog was originally published after talks to form a new government following the May 6 election failed. Greece now faces its second election, on June 17.

 

London (CNN) –  Hello, Greece.

The world is again focusing on you. The economic pain and social unrest has rightly made voters and politicians the world over debate austerity, growth and structural reform.

What you are going through has made it clear that austerity is not an easy solution.

You, the Greek people now have a chance to do something I suspect millions in Europe would dearly love to do - vote on whether to leave the euro. That is what June 17 will now be about, because there will be massive pain for you, Greece, if you stay with the economic reforms, and even more pain if you reject the loans from Europe and the International Monetary Fund. Pain either way.

I have been resisting talk about Greece leaving the single currency given there is no firm, clear, legal way for you to exit, or be kicked out. It could very well happen.

I keep reading that most of you want to stay in the euro and the young people I have personally spoken to on the streets in Athens have told me: "We are European, and we barely remember the drachma. Why would we want to go back to it?"

But that does not seem to matter. Analysts are talking about it, politicians are talking about it and business is preparing for it.

Read how the euro crisis is affecting vacation plans

Might it become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

The recent market gyrations are all being blamed on Greece, unfairly in my mind. Falling U.S. oil prices, sputtering Spanish banks, falling European Union industrial production, softening Chinese and Indian markets have little to do with Greece. The recent fall in the euro has been tied to Greece but that has been orderly, so far.

But Greece brings back into focus where we are. The euro crisis never really ended, and fears of global recession are back.

You, the Greek voter, have a big decision to make. Yes, you will vote for the party or leader of your choice. But it will have a much bigger impact than the austerity versus growth debates. Greece has for too long fudged the books and not reformed its economy which many other European countries have.

Trillion dollar question: Will Greece exit?

Bottom line: It isn't great, but I can't see how you can have it both ways, no matter how much we all wish you could.

So, read carefully all the predictions of what will happen to your economy if you stop negotiating with those who are paying your bills.

I still wonder if European leaders and the International Monetary Fund will give you, Greece, more breathing room as long as those whom you ultimately put into power pledge to continue to work with the international lenders.

You must be asking the same questions.

But remember, if the lenders give you, Greece, more time, it means you will have to pay back even more money, pay even more interest on even more loans that will surely be needed to cover budget shortfalls, if reforms are slowed. You will need more international money, not less.

Is that more preferable to your banks collapsing, your borders being blocked to keep the currency being shipped out, and potential serious social unrest?

I leave you with this, Greek voters. Very few countries have fallen behind on their payments to the IMF. There are only three - Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe, according to the IMF itself.

So, Greek people, is that a list you want to be attached to?

Sincerely,

Jim

Posted by: ,
Filed under: BusinessFinancial crisisGreece


soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. A Reader

    This is a pathetic article..really poor journalism. Jim Boulden merely regurgitates the trash he has been fed in whatever media he has gotten his information from.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  2. Roelof

    What a panic. First of all 75% of Greece it's debt is no longer damaging Europe. Greece isn't an innovative country, Greece isn't a trade country, an exit is necessary. EU might feel it. But that's that. Only by export economies grow. Look at South America. Their economy is booming. With the euro, Spain doesn't export, doesn't create jobs, doesn't show economical growth, they hurting themselves being in the eurozone. When you call a Spanish multinational, you'll hear a Spanish IVR. But the euro is way to expensive for Spain to do business with Spanish linguistic countries. Ones they get rid of the euro, have a currency that fits the country, they'll suck South America dry (small exit difference between Spain and Greece).

    May 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  3. Padrig

    Jim, the Greeks are doing what all economists have been recommending they do, devaluate their currency... and with it ours too.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  4. A seconde reader

    Indeed... I guess it's an article against Greeks :/ like if he's going to teach them what to do ...

    May 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  5. washington nightingale

    It's been too long that European Empirialists have been at the top of the food chain. I am all for Greece to back out of the Euro for the scheming ways of these banking industries. What does Greece have to lose. Tell IMF to go to hell and this CNN reporter to meet it there.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  6. osman adam

    Dear Greece, you are a free slave anymore, respect the power. You know Greece,the weaks always shoul suffer,sorry...

    May 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  7. guesta1

    Austerity is not easy but where is the money coming from then ? There are tons of countries with lower living standards than Greece.

    Give me 1 million dollars (or more !), let me live like a real rich guy and will be happy to conclude that I neither want austerity !

    May 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  8. tulo canes

    Are you are stupid? Argentina, Brazil, Iceland, etc... etc... and many, many more, you should read some more man!

    May 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  9. osman adam

    Dear Greece, stop spending money for defense anymore. Turkey will never attack on you, leave this idea out from your brain.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  10. tulo canes

    USA & Europeans bankers should takes theirs losses & go to hell! What the f... cares! Bankers+ Greed, PAY THE PRICE NOW!

    May 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  11. Roelof

    And when Spain is able to position itself (not with the euro, the euro sucks), they'll be able to pay their debt owners. So exit for Spain means. Export, job creation (50% of youth unemployment, waste of talent with the euro), economical growth, paying back their debt owners. And.. don't forget Spain is investing in energy resources (innovative), that causes them not to get hurt in the long term.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  12. osman adam

    Dear Greece, your real enemies are those who behaves like your friends(Germany,France).

    May 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  13. jim jarmusch

    and if IMF'itself will fall now, won't that be a prologue:))??!!GO GREECE F*** THIS B*STARDS, within the awkening!!

    May 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  14. Jumpjet

    Dear Greece,

    Do not let yourselves be bled to death for the failings of crooked men with power and money. Spit in the IMF's eye; they've long had it coming.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  15. Jumping Jack Flash

    For whom should the Greeks vote? The two political parties that ran the country into the ground for the past 35 years and are now suddenly born-again "reformers", or for the radical parties that at least have the honesty to admit they are against reform.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  16. aseghir

    All those articles (will Germany/France split; Greece, etc.) are clear signs that the US and the UK can't wait until Europe collapses. Not one single positive article on Europe – which still attarct immigrants from the world over, and sails way ahead when it comes to quality of life, human rights, whatever. Maybe that's what you guys can't stomach.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  17. Chris

    The Greeks will feel the pain just like when Iceland refused to pay the British – uh, wait, they are doing just fine.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  18. Schlaap

    The problem is that, even if all their sovereign debt is written off they still sit with a massive budget deficit. Even if all their debt is "forgiven", the country is still living beyond its means. They will have to adjust, whether they stay in the euro or not. If they leave the euro tomorrow, who would be willing to fund this overdraft?

    May 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  19. Peter

    Dear Greece,

    Don't listin to this author. Look at what austerity did to Argentina.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  20. Nick Z

    CNN, be careful what you wish for. So you want to be the National Inquirer of the news industry to increase your marketing base at the expense of quality journalism? Then, continue to publish the articles from contributors that don't truly understand the subject matter at hand and do very poor research.

    You CNN, yes YOU carry the responsibility for posting 60 percent of the crap that proliferates across the newswires.

    Star, National Inquire, New York Post (and CNN?) – So CNN, is that the list you want to be attached to?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  21. Johnson

    Most other peoples in the EZ pray that Greece gets out. Greece is bad news. Always has been bad news and always will be bad news. Greece is not worthy of inclusion in the EU never mind the EZ. Let Greece sink. Its neighbors will eat up the remains.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  22. Cassander

    Dear Jim,

    The Greeks have done what was humanly possible: lost their pensions, their jobs, their future, cut their wages below 500 euro /month – earning less than what is humanly possible to survive with – and they are still told that more measures must be taken.

    Meanwhile, hedge fund investors like JP Morgan and Kenneth Dart make billions of euro on the back of Greece, by betting against its debt.

    The Greeks won't pay a single penny of what they don't really owe, but is instead "the pound of flesh" that bankers want.

    Like Leonidas to the Persians – come and get it – MOLON LAVE. Out with the euro, down with the banks, down with Europe. ZITO H ELLAS!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  23. hachimada

    No one likes austerity. But dear Greeks, where is the money if you want to keep spending? Do you really think what you print is "money"?

    May 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  24. The Oracle

    At least we can all agree on a solution – BLAME!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  25. George G

    Dear Jim,
    I am Greek and I find your article pathetic. You can't intimidate us anymore. You really talk like a mafia guy.
    This small Nation who know faced in the passage of centuries HUGE enemies with great armies, we always stayed there at the very front, we fought and at the end we always won. The new enemy is the plague of humanity, the greedy loan sharks, the Banks! Their greediness for gambling collapsed in 2008 and in order to "clean their mess" they transfer the bill to our countries. Actually your words remind me of xerxes when he said to Leonidas "We have so many bows and arrows that if we leash them at you the sun will be completely covered". Leonidas replied to him "Good, we shall fight in the dark then!". This is Sparta Jim!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  26. Economic reform

    I feel the problem is the way Mediterranean culture is VS culture in northern EU. It’s very different. I think it will be very hard for Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal to stay in EU give their cultural and different work ethics. They can never be like Germans, French or even the Brits.
    Maybe its best if the medetaranin nations got to gather and formed their own economic union.
    EU can work if the union was to make it easy for trade and travel between different EU nations but once you start saying lets us all have the same currency. That makes things very complicated and I dot thing it can work.
    The Brits are smart they have kept their British pound.
    E.U as a whole needs some real urgent reforms if they want to survive as whole of Europe.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  27. Roelof

    Brussel should appologize to the EU for letting Greece in the eurozone and appologize to the Spanish for allowing them in.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  28. Roelof

    BTW, the only reason why Turkey has a booming economy is because they don't have the euro and a country next door that does. Look at the average wages around Greece. 300 $ to 500 $ a month. It's like Greece trying to sell ice cream, while their neighbour is selling it for 1/10.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  29. Reader1

    CNN really pays you for such articles? You write so many words, without saying anything new or proposing a decision...really pathetic

    May 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  30. orwell

    They dont really want to exit from euro.
    They just try to blackmale their lenders.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  31. Dr. Plattfuss

    Lately the quality of CNN "analysis" is an insult to its readers' intelligence. Maybe CNN should tighten its belt, buckle down and apply a bit more intellectual austerity.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  32. OB Iyase( Netherlands )

    Well said contributors to the plight of the ordinary citizens of Greece. Euro has completely failed it's purpose and the rest members of the EZ should admit this, Greece, do not shy away from accepting the truth and the truth is PLEASE vote in the reformer that will ensure the welfare of it's own in other to alleviate your sufferings, besides you are not alone in this pains. You may be tagged the scapegoat but I tell you others in the EZ, are looking for WHO WILL BELL THE CAT!!!!!!!. I REST MY CASE.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  33. john joseph

    The Best thing Greece can do it get out of the Euro.
    All European countries need to have their own local currency (Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc).
    Any every day European person that I speak to, tells me the same thing,
    "Life was much better, when we had our own local currency".
    No every day person anywhere in Europe, wants the Euro.
    It is Europe (Different countries) not one big Germany or France.
    Looking forward to when Greece, Italy, Spain, etc have their local currencies back,
    and will then take a vacation there, withas millions of other Americans and others will,
    as soon as these countries are affordable again, (with THEIR OWN CURRENCIES).
    So looking forward to the Euro going away !!!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  34. john the smart

    Are you kidding me people? Greece is the probelm. They took out laons and dint pay the bills. They lie about what they earn to avoid payuing taxees. Million Dollar mansions on the isles and they claim to be poor? PLEASE. The Europen Union new when they signed off that the little countries had debt issues. they were supposed to work on them and bring alignement to tall the banks. Instead these fools continued to act as if nothing would happen. Well it did. The richer countries do not believe in paying for the Greek people to live in the lap[ of luxury and not work. Forget your pensions, your government never collected money for them..or should I say you never paid the taxes to support them. good luck. Drop out of the EE and see what dump you will become. Look at tourism already...down 50%! Wait to you dont have garbage men to clean the streets...then how much would people pay to come see the ancient crumbling ruins? Not much...they will see a modern crumbling ruin via CNN. OPA!

    May 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  35. john the smart

    Hey George G. PAY YOUR TAXES should be the rallying cry of the greek people. Zeus will not come down from the sky and bring baskets of wine, cheese, and cash. It is tnot banks or overnments, it is people. Teh Greek people. PAY YOUR TAXES, and take your filthy little hand out of the pocket of those who lived more within their means. OPA! flaming chesse and broken plates!

    May 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  36. Wayne

    Wow........we all need to be accountable too our debts(nations as well) There's a lot of posters on here that believe that biting the hand that feeds you is ok and in such you will be given more! Keeping this idealism will get Greece a global food handout instead of a bailout

    May 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  37. nikos

    Dear whatever your name is, i really don't care,
    I am also Greek and i find your article offensive to my intelligence, you can't possibly tell us how to act to get out of this "crisis". You are worst than terrorists, actually you are terrorists, mass media, bankers, multinational corporations, you are all the real terrorism. OUR VOTES WILL BE THE ANSWERS TO YOUR PATHETIC ARTICLE.

    sincerelly yours,
    proud to be Greek...

    May 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  38. george

    i dont undestand .....why you guys are ....all sundelly concernd with our econmy .......???????and why are you thrreatin us with this articles?????????we are 5 years now in aysterity ....and ression mesures .......and whats the result???????nothing ........read a little bit of our history ........we are not afraid .....of no banks money currency .......SO STOP THREATIN US ........

    May 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  39. JPap

    It's very easy to express an casual opinion for other people (or countries). Now, read some facts. For the last 37 years (I'm 39 now) We (the Greeks), have being voting for those unworthy, useless, opportunistic power-craving "politicians" for just this one reason: they gave us money. we never asked where all these money were coming from. Now we know (plus interest). I really don't care about the currency in which we will pay our debts. The only thing I care for is: REforms, Greece now has a UNIQUE opportunity to reform the public sector, the education system, public health system. To get rid of all this beaurocratic nonsense, the corruption, the stupid self-fullfilling conclave of "politicians" who got us where we are now. We, the Greek people are to blame for what happened to us. We brought us on ourselves. Do you know what we will do on June 17? we will again vote for the same useless clan that will either have an "easy way out" (of the crisis not the euro) or the new lefties that do not have any clue of whats going on in the eurogroup (or EU) assemblies just because we want to punish the first ones. the reforms? they can wait for two or three generations (or we think they can wait if we have money in our pockets). We are a third world country attached by mistake in Europe. Instead of shouting for the values and ideals that fade away in our country, we cry and get angry for the crums they take away from us.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  40. George

    The Greek Nation, like in the WW1 & WW2, is again at the front line of a new type global war. This time, against the EuroNazis, the bankers, and the utopian globalists. In the end, the GREEK NATION is going to teach the world how to establish real democracy. It will also give an unforgettable lesson to the international crooks who dear to attack the nation. The Greeks will change Europe for the benefit of all the European people. The Greeks now need the support of all the free people worldwide because they fight on their behalf as well. Regarding the article, I would like to thank the author because it makes the Greeks stronger; the Greeks know all these are pseudo-dilemmas. In fact, we need a few articles like this one to make the Greeks more aggressive and radical in their responses that could change and save all European peoples.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  41. lefteris

    we r 15000 years old nation so we can handle this bank dinasty that rules the earth right now and will be in the years to come...HELLAS η ταν η επιτας

    May 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  42. Karpatho annoy

    Everyone is to busy contemplating the cost of agreek exit from the euro,but in actuality the question posed is what happens postmortem. The Greeks will turn to Russia for help ,assistance and alliance. Once that happens Russia gains a foothold in Europe through a once trusted western ally thus disrupting a very crucial equilibrium in a very sensitivve geopolitical region. That in my opinion will be a more severe consequence,rather than the banks losing a few hundred billion €s.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  43. Take over

    Dear Jim Boulden,

    Is this a threat to the Greek people. Careful with YOUR threats pal. It seems to me you're nothing but an IMF stooge and maybe Golden Dawn will take it personally up with you?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  44. Gianpietro Segato

    Dear Greeks, be careful with tour wishes.Funny...Their crisis originates from themselves or...should we try to look back overseas?The paradox is that the authors of this financial disaster ask the victims to be virtuos, openminded and forward-lookig....Not even a word about the international financial speculation.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  45. theseusaegean

    WE THE GREEKS BELIEVE THAT THIS ARTICLE IS FULL OF CRAP
    and "john the smart " you have little or no education, especially you are unable to read or write...

    May 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  46. Peter

    So what is your point then, "Jim"? That the Greek people accept their "bad luck" and stop eating for a few years?

    You're no Einstein, really.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  47. Suck it up Princess IMF

    How scared are the IMF if Greece leaves.

    Iceland left, Argentina defaulted and they survived.

    Remember GREEKS they called Iceland terrorists before they left this scam.

    Maybe Golden Dawn should be sent to Brussells and also meet up with a few Rothschilds family for 'discussions'.....

    If they attack Greece, then attcke the IMF and the Elite families I say.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  48. Luis

    The most pathetic and ridiculous thing I've read on the press. This is not journalism

    May 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  49. Βασιλης

    Ρε osman adam...κανε μας τη χαρη και ασχολησου με τη τουρκια...ανοητε.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  50. Suck it up Princess IMF

    John the Smart is a f**l wit because the countries of the world have eebts in the Trillions.

    Greece is nothing.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  51. MarkProg

    I hope you're joking Jim,

    you simply repeat what bankers are saying....

    Mrs Merkel. Goldman saks and IMF are playing a bad game against Greece, increasing the dept adding huge interests.
    The problem is far out of our wish and remember that they haven't ever ask people for anything.

    We'll send them out of our country with our vote, and please Jim leave us alone, don' t try to fear our people,
    as we have lost too much, we have nothing else to lose anymore but our life ...

    But remember Jim WE ARE GREEKS and none and nothing should ever stop us
    sincerelly yours,
    proud to be Greek...

    May 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  52. Alex Charalambous

    Jim has written his point of you with an outside view like most people who live outside Greece and are not Greeks. But the problem with Greece is not as simple as most MME's and people envisage. Greece has been under the Othomans for 400 years. Greeks have gained their independence with the help of Phillelines and the Greeks who live abroad but not of foreign governments . The latter ones have used the foreign friends of Greeks to cash in. Nevertheless , this continued throughout the decades after that. Greece has greatly contributed to the second WW but never gained anything out of it like others especially Germans (the culprits). They got loans that did not have to repay. Instead Greece was manipulated by the winners and their manipulation caused our civil war.Germany never paid their debts to Greece , but paid other countries and still paying for the harm to the Jewish people. Now Greece has been borrowing money from the foreign powers for ages since the independence in 1821. But Greeks were under the same mentality as the Othomans (400 years does create that). The foreign powers used this ignorance to gain on Greece. Education and assimilation to the new independent world was not taught and governance help was never given to a new country such as Greece. I work for a private company and when we acquire a smaller company the first thing is to bring that new smaller company to par of a modern big company culture so that they can continue trading as equals. Greece has grown and developped by the imposition by the foreign powers of governors and kings coming from the foreign powers. Thus, Greece gas developped into a pion of the foreign powers, at least the Greek leadrs. They destroyed Greece because they were doing the same thing as the foreugn powers, milking the country. The people of Greece never trusted these comedians and manipulators so they started cheating them , thus cheating their own country. NOW THIS has reached the end of the road and instead of these foreign powers to realise their past and present mistakes are blackmailing the Greek people to sumission and scare mongering. But someof us would protest and commit suicide if it needs be, because suicide is better than a slow death. SLOW DEAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT CAN COME FROM TODAYS METHOD OF BORROWING AND AUSTERITY. Just as well die fighting and that is what the people have now chosen ... and in the process a lot of other countries and their people will die too. Someone needs to realise this but the globalisation, and banking empires would not allow it. THERE ARE NO MORE DECENT PEOPLE LEFT ON EARTH I am afraid, at least not in the eadership of countries.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  53. IMF & Others

    From Greek Australians

    May 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  54. Roelof

    For the booming economy in Turkey and the crisis in Greece (because of the euro, Greece being a junky), I wonder where the term 'cold Turkey' comes from. When people want to get rid of a habbit, they mostly do it cold Turkey.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  55. cnnitnews

    That`s becomes ridicules. They`ve just got 30 billions for 3 months. This is 1000 EURO per month for (from) every greek.
    Show me those POOR????!!!! greeks whom isn`t enough 1000 euro per month??? This CIRCUS becomes as much stupid as it possible.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  56. Jorge

    Pathetic journalist. This is not an article.. Trash

    May 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  57. Jim Boulden Sucks

    Talk about threats.

    Watch out world...these are the morons in charge of our Banking Systems.

    Nationalise them all now!!!!!

    May 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  58. siren45

    don't you think Greek voters have got enough on their plate without reading patronising claptrap from ignorants?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  59. Michalis Cahalkiadakis

    I agree it's a pathetic article. Come to Greece and see how families survive nowadays. How the state has drained every cent out of low income and middle income families who now face the fear of not been able to pay their mortgages not because they have made bad planning but because their salaries or pensions have decreased more than 30% while prices have gone up and taxes likewise. Most Greeks pay taxes and have no social help from the state or any kind of infrastructure that the state must provide considering the money taxed. The state is ruled by corrupted politicians who have signed every sovereign right in the name of their world class dominators and still have the face to show up and run again for cabinet. Greece needs help to stand on its feet by promoting investment, find ways to provoke economic growth. I highly doubt that any European country gives a dam about Greece. Their scope is to minimize their profits before bailing out. What if Greece disregards its debt and says i pay no more? Do you really think that people are going to be worse off? Maybe for few year s or so, surely for longer in the big cities but people will eventually find ways to survive. We have always found ways to do so. The worst case scenario is for many young educated people such as me who have spent thousands of Euros in studying will end up becoming farmers again. Not that it is bad on the contrary if it's what it takes to gain my life back and not live under constant financial terror, i ll gladly do that. This article is a pure propaganda of journalist that like so many others have learned to judge without having a clue what is really going on. True money makes the world go round but up to a point. Money isn't everything. Life is, been able to breathe on your own and not having someone to take the oxygen mask off whenever he feels like. I prefer been free to been a puppet !

    May 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  60. Jim Boulden Sucks

    He has a twitter account Jim. Does he live in London or US?

    May 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  61. Jim Boulden Sucks

    cnnitnews,

    The Greeks did not receive the money. Bondholders did as did a few for 'sweetners'(ie pay Politicians and police).

    This article is pathetic.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  62. Really

    Honestly this article really lacks any depth or deep thought. All it seems to me is a veiled threat to the Greek people.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  63. Roelof

    Maybe offtopic, our Dutch national song includes that we always honored the Spanish king and we're from German descendance (blood). The Spanish conquered Holland ones, they'll never do that again, otherwise we'll let them starve again. We destroyed 40 Spanish ships with one of ours (because they couldn't read maps). All with all they should be able to be better off without the euro.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  64. cnnitnews

    I remember numbers that aver. salary in Greece was 2200 euro BEFORE crisis. Now this isn`t enough 1000 euro from every greek per month simply to pay percents even with 105 billions minus. This is new unique and bloody form of slavery.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  65. Ioanna

    Hahahahaa little Jim! We got many journalists like you in Greece and we call them "parrots"!!! hahaha!
    Nice proganda effort... But we won't share your meal

    May 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  66. Enough

    Jim,
    have you seen a greek advertisement with Kitsos and Tasoula? You are just TRAGIC (oh, is this a greek word? maybe we should charge you if you use it...)

    May 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  67. GSegato

    Dear Greeks, be careful with tour wishes.Funny...Their crisis originates from themselves or...should we try to look back overseas?The paradox is that the authors of this financial disaster ask the victims to be virtuos, openminded and forward-lookig....Not even a word about the international financial

    May 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  68. chris

    What they fear most is coming ....... greek people more and more are turn

    May 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  69. Hey Jim

    As long as those Elite Banking families are around, the world and the people will always be their play things.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  70. Philip_Athens

    Dear visitors of CNN:

    Beware the propaganda.

    Sincerely,
    Greece

    May 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  71. takis

    When people more and more become poor then they will remember where they belong and they will change their political views , european vultures and minions of capitalism better be ready for that...

    May 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  72. IMF Idiots

    Someone is scared of the Greek people.....

    May 17, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  73. modestius

    Hmmm! I really laugh when a foreign journalist comments about situation in Greece, not taking all facts in consideration. Mr Boulden are you aware that the last 15 years Greece paid more than 500 billions euro in interests for those loans? I guess not. How about we tell IMF and EU go to hell, wipe out our so called debt and get new loans from China and Russia so the country have growth free of the usurious debt? Eh?

    May 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  74. Greece is done

    Yep, austerity is painful that for sure. When money stops growing on trees it a bit unpleasant. Exiting euro will also be very painful, and likely lead to biggest misery you country encountered since Turks. As a foreigner, I do not care that you leaders stole money they borrowed in your name: It's your business to elect responsible people to run your country.
    Now, you can choose not to pay, but do not complain when people you own isolate you for the next 50 years. Being poor for few decencies is better than loosing whatever honour you might have left.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  75. Manthos

    Everybody has an opinion, as an ass have always a hole!

    You really don't know anything about Greece and Greek peoples!
    We will vote as we want! Not as YOU wish....

    Live your dream until 17th of June....

    May 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  76. IMF Idiots

    Hey Greece is done,

    "I do not care that you leaders stole money they borrowed in your name" Glad you admit the Greek people have been robbed.

    I do not care either when its your turn to get raped by the IMF. Coming soon.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  77. George

    Jim's IQ is far below the most uneducated Greek. However, a monkey has higher IQ than the people who paid him to write this article. Tell us what they gave to drink or smoke before writing these nonsense’s Jim...

    May 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  78. Jimbo

    Next time someone sees Jim in the street, throw Yogurt and Eggs at him.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  79. Tim

    Personally I wish Greece would leave the EU then there would at least be one country in Europe where my Dollars have some value.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  80. C. Zacharias

    Dear owners of CNN,
    With God's help, Greece will became an independent sovereign state again. On the contrary, you should deplore the zionists-controlled political and financial puppet-leaders of your "independent" country. Do not forget, Orthodox Russia is back ! VIVA VLADIMIR PUTIN !
    Athens, Greece

    May 17, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  81. mayamanda

    I am Greek and really surprised with this article.
    Please provide me with a list of the countries that I should like my country to be part of.
    In this "good" list, have these countries been actually " saved " by IMF?
    Would you like your country to be part of this list?
    Is your country part of another list, that my country would never be?
    Whom should I vote so that my country makes it to the same list your country is in, Jim?

    I look forward to a time where journalists instead of trying to terrify us, would actually have the courage to speak the truth.
    The truth is Jim, and I am sure you know this better than me that this is just about rich becoming richer and poor becoming poorer.

    More than 2000 Greeks have committed suicide, since the IMF "saving" started.
    We are a country of 10 mil.

    We do not want to be owned by banks.
    We have dreams and we want to live with dignity.
    Don't you, Jim?

    May 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  82. Jim Tucker

    Jim, how much did you get paid to write this pathetic article??

    May 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  83. Matt

    Greece shoudl be kicked out of EU . They are just sucking money from us. Even African countries don't suck so much. If they cant afford that living standard they should stop showing off. They should be realistic. This is not Greece of Alexander's time.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  84. john joseph

    Remember (After Egypt) it is the Greece (followed by Rome) who set up Western Government as we know it today.
    If in the U.S., U.K. , Or anywhere in the western world, when you see those columns on your public and official government buildings, remember where they came from !
    Greece is now going to show Europe (and the World) once again, that it is a leader.
    As a country , it has all it needs to survive on it's own.
    So does every other European country (Individually) , fully able on their own.
    Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc, take notice, and go back to your own local currencies.
    Debt is nothing more than slavery.
    Get out from under it, and live on your own resources.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  85. Dimitrios Papageorgos

    Well jim,

    I dont what you were told, but your deaply missinformed, excuse my bad english.

    This is not help this is blood sucking. Greece is rich in oil and gas and other materials such as gold coper and some rare ones. If you dont know about it ask information. Greeks are honorable people they dont want to turn theyr backs to anyone.

    Greece was driven in this possition deribletly in order to become bankrobed. Why? in order that some fands come and take everything for a peny. Our politians are being blakemailed becouse they were taking black money. They dont want small parties to come in charge becouse they will expose them. The olympics cost to greece 7 times more becouse of bribes. This was going on many years back .

    The Greek people wants justice, we want an examination of the true debpt without the bad agreements with black money. Ho ever cheated must go to prison. Ho ever made bad agreements on our backs he must ask his money from the ones ho payed black money not from the people of greece.

    We want a patriotick goverment who will make arangements so that we finally start using and selling our oil and gus. We have trillions the loans are nothing compearing to our welth. All thoose nations who pretend that are our allies must support us diplomaticaly and militarilly if needed against those who are being suported to threaten us not to drill our gas and oil.

    We are on the edge. There is no turning back, we are ready to fight with any means if neeeded in order to protect our wrights for us and for future generations. They deliborately didnt let us take a loan from Russia in order to lead us to the IMF and couse a problem the European union. Dont ask me ho or why couse you are a journalist and you should already know.

    Hellens believe in justice they are honest and fair. A small party of people took advantge of us and brought us in this situation. We will fight again to take buck what was taken from us. All we need is a Hellenic goverment by true Hellenic people and then believe me, once again we will prove ho we really are, and not what propaganda says.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  86. Charlie

    I did not read anything about the corrupt politicians that theft the money lended to Greece. Why the IMF keeps lending to corrupt governments, forcing the youth to pay for it? That is what is at the core of the issue, but everybody prefers to look to the other side.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  87. john

    Leonidas actually replied to xerxes' "we have so many arrows that we'll block out the sun" down the lines of "All the better, we'll fight under shade!"

    May 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  88. Greece is done

    @IMF Idiots
    Yeah, blame the IMF and Rothschilds and Bush and whatever.. bla bla bla... It's everyone's fault, but yours.

    You're (referring to Greeks) responsible for your politicians, and every nation deserves it's leaders. You elected people that promised you free things, and now it's time to pay for it. Your national focus has been (for years) to find a way to get the gov. to give you more, and you've consistently elected people who promised more free stuff. It must have lead to disaster, you do not need a crystal ball for that. So now stop whining, and start paying back. Your debt has already been reduced, and you're still complaining.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  89. From the UK

    Jim Boulden – you've sickened the majority of readers with your article. People are killing themselves and all you can do is write this? Show some humility and issue an apology for your vitriolic diatribe.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  90. George

    Matt, you are talking nonenses.. Greeks just don't get a cent. These so-called huge loans to the Greeks are virtual loans going from one account to another to pay fake interests. When the first bankers and politicians in Athens go to jail (soon), then you will learn that the debts of Greece are not even 1/3 of what they talk about. For sure the Greek people did not put these money in their pockets. Instead they paid 500 billion to the sharks in the last 15 years. Why the Greek puppet goverment and the EU do not tell the Greek people to whom and why we owe these money? You will have a big suprise after the elections. And..check your country's debts to see how larger is from the Greek one...they will knock your door soon..or are you a banker yourself?

    May 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  91. hellenicpower

    dear author,
    i am not going to criticize your pathetic writing and your lack of professionalism. However, i understand that you are doing your job that your boses told you to do. You can easily understand from the comments above, that Greeks are really determined and united against this assymetric theat,,,and i suugest that you translte this:,..Τι μένει να δούμε; Το ίδιο "έργο" που είδαν κάποτε και οι Πέρσες αποικιοκράτες. Να δούμε τους Έλληνες να λούζονται, να στολίζονται και, αφού διασκεδάσουν με τους φίλους τους, να "ρίχνονται" στη μάχη. Θα ξαναδεί ο κόσμος τους "ωραίους" Έλληνες ν' αγωνίζονται με τον τρόπο που τους επιβάλει η παιδεία τους. Θα ξαναδεί ο κόσμος τους βάρβαρους να πνίγονται στα δάκρυά τους. Αυτό γινόταν πάντα κι αυτό θα γίνει και σήμερα. Κανένας και ποτέ, είτε ξένος είτε Έλληνας, δεν λεηλάτησε χωρίς αντίσταση το "σπίτι" των Ελλήνων..... ZITO I ELLAS...gamiste tous aderfia!!!!!!!!!

    May 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  92. Dimitrios Papageorgos

    Also i wanted to mention that this is a bad propaganda like the one against Vladimir Putin ho is a real patriot for his country.

    We hope that our orthodox god will send us soon for a leader a patriot leader like Vladimir Putin

    May 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  93. Greece is done

    @mayamanda

    Pay the money back, then you can go back dreaming. You go to IMF to pay a debt that you took to pay a debt and so on and so forth. IMF is giving you money with strings attached. It's not a mother Theresa, it's a last resort...

    May 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  94. ninetynine percent

    Greeks made the mistake of listening to Goldman Sachs and wall st.
    Goldman made its money, Greece is bankrupt.

    Sounds familiar ?

    May 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  95. Paris

    "Very few countries have fallen behind on their payments to the IMF. There are only three – Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe, according to the IMF itself."

    You might want to check for that again, from the top of my head we also have Argentina who stopped co-operation with the IMF quite abruptly and Iceland, who refused to pay its odious debt to a few countries. That's not just a bad article, it is a regurgitation of every stereotypical and scare-mongering piece of "journalism" that we have been seeing for the past few years.

    And to paraphrase G W Bush, if someone cannot "put food on his family", the last thing that goes through his/her mind is the position of Greece within Europe, let alone foreign markets, stocks, Germany, France, the UK or whatever else is not relevant to the immediate survival.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  96. Angelos

    Look, in Greece, we don't have problem with the austerity if the program of IMF and EU was fair, but how to be fair when we stay unemployed so no money for taxes and at the same time German and other countries companies increase their exports to Greece? And does any journalists, for example, white for the 2 billions gift to Siemens from the greek politicians, who had won with fraud in Greece...
    if anyone wants to learn the truth ask us and not the journalists...

    May 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  97. Cfu

    Go to the hell mr.Jim

    May 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  98. Oleg

    George G
    wrote: " This is Sparta Jim!""

    Sorry, dude, this is not Sparta. You have to pay taxes like all of us do, and pay off your debt. And you will. Siesta is over for you as well as for Spain and Portugal.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  99. Paris

    @Oleg
    So you know for a fact that "George G" or any other "George G" doesn't pay taxes? This is a big problem that has come along with the current crisis, a lot of BS flying around and too many eager to jump and take a bite!

    May 18, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  100. George

    The hell is too good for Jim and IMF! They should come to the modern Auschwitz concentration camp they have done in Greece. In 1940, the Nazis forced people to work without food to the death. In 2012, the Germans and IMF push people Greek people to commit suicide with their extreme policies and inhuman experiments. Is there any difference? The Germans are experts in treating humans. Ask the Jews to tell you what they had suffered from the Nazis. However, the Greeks will not become the new Jews of the Euronazis.We beat in the WW1, WW2, we will beat them in the WW3. This is what is happening in Greece now. Greek people know it, they are at war! They have 3,300 victims from suicides and thousands of suffering peoples. But one cannot win without losses. THE GREEK'S ALWAYS FIND THE WAY TO THE VICTORY! Note: Some EU officers, some Greek politicians, and IMFofficers should face criminal chargers for crimes against humanity

    May 18, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  101. Roelof

    The plan is very simple. Greece should give us back our euro's and we'll give them back their Drachma.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  102. seawolf73

    But you see Bolden, Greeks like Freedom from the past. Today, they teach democracy to people who worship money and their owners as their God and priests. You are corrupted by Goldman Sachs, but your religion is going to fall soon...so you dont have much time before you'll meet your Masters in Hell

    May 18, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  103. asyousakforit

    "even more pain if you reject the loans from Europe " loans are only for interest payments. If Greece really wants less pain, just default. How can no debt be worst than having a debt that you cant even service, however european banks it's shareholders and businesses will suffer. That is why the EU leaders are so afraid of Greece leaving but not showing it. They even prevented an earlier referandum and put a pro bailout person in charge. Come on, its is time to see things in the light.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  104. Dimitrios Papageorgos

    Oleg and Roelof you think we dont pay taxes? You think Greece is takeing your money? Greece is fighting for you too and you dont even know it. If we willnot make it to show you the truth becouse you dont know it then it will be your turn. You realy have now idea whats going on.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  105. asyousakforit

    It is often said "even more pain if you reject the loans from Europe." Loans are only for interest payments. If Greece really wants less pain, just default. How can no debt be worst than having a debt that you cant even service, however european banks it's shareholders and businesses will suffer. That is why the EU leaders are so afraid of Greece leaving but not showing it. They even prevented an earlier referendum and put a pro bailout person in charge. Come on, its is time to see things in the light.and call a spade a spade.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  106. george

    The Germans owe to the Greeks more than360 billions for burning Greece in 1940, for stealing Greece's gold reserves, forcing the country to take a loan for Hitler's needs. Pay this money first to the Greeks and then come back to talk about debts. Germany lost WW1, forced to signed a treaty to pay the damages and reparations. Never honor the treaty, never paid anything. instead, Germany destroyed Europe in WW2, lost the War again, signed a treaty again to pay the damages. Again, never paid anything, instead received money through the Marsall plan to rebuild the country. Pay one time your debts and then you can talk about the Greeks. You might beleive that because we have corrupted politicians that you will get away with money you owe to Greece? By the way, check the debts of your country.. they are far higher than Greece's. But will ever pay it back?

    May 18, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  107. Thanasis

    Roelof, if you want "your" (??) euro, come in Greece and take it... IF YOU FIND ANY!!... Banks are full of Euros... people are not... that's the whole concept.

    Your country profits from the euro-crisis. Actually your country's prosperity is based on the blood of Greeks Italians Spanish Portuguese etc. But soon there will be NO EURO anymore. Ah, Greeks will be the last to laugh then... seeing all those pathetic euro-dreamers cry over their destroyed dream, that they, with their own stupidity, have destroyed!

    May 18, 2012 at 1:10 am |
  108. Vahuira

    @George

    you are right with the cruelness of the Germans during the WW2 against jews and to other nations they attacked.
    but the life, the history is so interesting. Germans who have 2 big defeats in both WW's, after then they stood up and developed their country, and became one of the biggest economy since 1960's. and how has that happenned? with working, with creating world-wide famous & strong brands. they paid the cost of the rising german nationalism after the 1929 financial crisis.

    and ur "We beat in the WW1, WW2, we will beat them in the WW3." Maybe, but with the help of the british, french allies. not with Greece's own power, armies. they still seem Greek's friends, but everyone treat u well in ur good days, how about in ur bad days? are they behind you? no .... sorry but Greece was always the spoilt kid in the EU family. Greece wasted the money for weapons, whether Turks may attack. Turks had so many other problems to solve till attacking Greece. But Turkey also know and will remember how old Greece cabinets supported the terrorist organisation PKK, and their the leader Abdollah Ocalan during the 80's and 90's.

    there are only few independent economies in the world. rest are slaves of the imf, eu or to other communities and economies.

    and jews, still rule the economy of the world behind the curtains.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:15 am |
  109. CharlieChan

    Come on Greece. Save yourselves, Don't be freeloaders! Don't let others suffer for your greed.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  110. Denise

    I agree with Alex Charalambous Read his comment! TO ALL YOU HOW DON'T KNOW GREECE! NEVER STEPED ON OUR LAND LISTEN CAREFULLY! WE GAVE YOU DEMOCROCY, PHILOSOPHY, EDUCATION AND THE FOUNDATION OF MEDICINE WHEN YOU WERE STILL CAVE MEN!

    LEARN HOW WE ARE AND THEN SPEEK .... WE HAVE ALOT MORE TO OFFER THEN YOU THINK SO WHEN WE VOTE WE WILL SEE THE OUT COME AND THEN TELL YOU OUR CHOICE LEARN TO RESPECT THE RIGHT OF EACH NATION TO RULE IT SELF WITHOUT PREJUDING OUR ELECTIONS TO YOUR BENIFITS... EXCEPT THAT WE WILL SUFFER BUT IF WE LEAVE THE EURO ZONE IT IS NOT GRATE LOSS EITHER! WE ARE ON THE EUROPEN CONTINET WE ARE EURO! EVEN WITHOUT THE EURO ZONE...

    WE ARE HONEST PEOPLE WITH CORUPT POLITIONIS THAT HAVE NOW BROUGHT US TO THE END OF THERE ROAD AND WE DEMAND CHANGE THAT IS WHAT THIS ELECTION IS ABOUT!

    IF WE DEFAULT WE WILL SUFFER BUT WE WILL NEVER DIE! WE HAVE SERVIVED 5000 YRS OF HISTORY WE WILL SERVIVE THIS TOO!

    LEARN TO QUIT TRYING TO PUSH PEOPLE INTO THE DIRECTION YOU WANT FOR THE GREEK PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH AND READ WHAT YOU SAY TODAY TOMMAROW WE WILL NOT FORGET YOUR WORDS.. WHEN WE RISE UP AND OUT OF THIS AND BECOME STRONG ECONOMY WE WILL REMEBER HOW WAS ON OUR SIDE TOO!

    HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD SINGLED YOU OUT LIKE YOU ARE DOING TO US KNOW? TOMMAROW WILL YOU WANT TO TRADE WITH THEM?

    MY PEOPLE ARE STONG IN THERE BELIEFS WE WILL SERVIVE! AS FOR THE GERMANS WELL THEY WILL FEEL THE PAIN THEY BROUGHT US IN WWII BUT NOT WITH GUNS BUT IN THERE POCKETS!

    May 18, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  111. Andries Hofstra

    Well CNN...Now you show your colours.
    "Dear Greece be carefull what you wish for"?
    I stand to question CNN and the mainstream media on the economic news lately.
    They almost all regurgitate what they are being told..By whom?
    What is CNN's reason to be so bias?

    As for the Greek people? I stand with them on this.
    Better be poor and free than slaves to the EU!
    Get out! Like we all should!In its current form.
    Anyone with sense knows you can't put a nations people in a debt like that.

    As for the rest of Europe....Well its not looking good guy’s.
    Right at this moment Bankia in Spain is showing sighs of failing.
    So Spian,Italy and offcource Portugal are dragging the rest of the EU down.
    And how is Ireland doing?
    And so we are being sidetracked..by the media...
    By not asking the real questions.Like who helped admitting the country’s to the EU?
    Falsifying figures of growth at of such?
    Instead the media starts to blame the average Greek.
    Putting us up against one another.
    Get your tone straight CNN!

    Even look at the ridiculous measures they are about to take in my country!
    Het "Kunduz" akkoord as its been called already.
    After the totally detached kabinet who only wanted to train docile "Police men" in the war zone in Kunduz Afghanistan.
    Our "finance minister" De Jager just a few month ago blatantly lying about getting money with interest back of what we shuffle with train loads into the IMF and into Greece.
    Most politicians, how surprising! Are crooks over here too.
    With nice jobs in banking and advisory boards waiting for them after political careers.

    I never had stocks...And could never afford a mortgage to buy a house because you must have a "fixed" contract for that.And I am not expecting to see one in my life time any more.Not with this system for labor in place here in Holland..

    And yet I am 31 and I can’t see any light for Europe in its current form.
    But mostly struggling with the fact that we are still paying the bill because the banks and speculators sneaked away from it all in 2008 and before.Asking us with a threatening voice to hand over more.
    Or else we lose everything!
    I start to wonder whats left anyway?I start to wonder about how terrible it really would be in the long run?
    Bottom line for me is that we are being controlled by banks, corporations and more important an undemocratic currupt EU government.

    A political and corporate elite.
    Who are making use of this crises by implementing more laws effectively overwriting our national laws and legislation.Pushing the big PANIC button for us all to hear and see everyday on the media.
    And they probably getting away with it too.
    As always in history are people who are kept afraid are easily controlled, distracted and fooled.

    I have better “Header” sentences for CNN.
    “If you strip a country democracy and dignity away there will be a revolution.”
    Or “Don't treat a Nation as a Company! By sending EU board members from the head office over as a replacement.”

    Greets from the “Rich” Netherlands

    May 18, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  112. Joseph B

    Let the socialist in Greece destroy their economy and kick them out of the EU and let Greece be an example of what happens to a socialist country that does not pay its bills. I would predict their economy would wind up like Germany of the 1930's and a fascist right wing dictator will take over after the socialist destroy their country.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:22 am |
  113. george

    there are more chances for a dictatorship in Germany of U.S. than in Greece. It cannot survive such a thing in Greece more than a few hours nowadays.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  114. Peter

    Propagandist. Your are article clearly deflects your legitimate way you earn money and how of a reporter you are Mr. Jim Mouthpiece.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:38 am |
  115. Greece is Just Getting Started!!

    The Elite should watch out

    May 18, 2012 at 1:39 am |
  116. Greece is Just Getting Started!!

    Isnt't it funny how brave some of those attcking the Greek people are behind their computers?

    They are paid flunkies....

    May 18, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  117. Joseph B

    George, when people become desparate, they turn to extremism. Hitler didn't have a chance to get in power until the economy collapses which will happen to socialist Greece. Greece deserves to be kicked out of the EU so it can experience of being the equivalent to the Phillipines of Europe where young Greek women will resort to selling their bodies to eat. Good luck to their failed experiment with socialism, the Greek people will pay the price for this disaster.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  118. gk

    NOBODY CAN PUSH GREECE OUT OF EUROZONE BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY TO DO IT LEGALLY. GREECE IS EQUAL MEMBER OF EUROZONE

    May 18, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  119. Joseph B

    The Greek people are getting what they deserved, they have some of the laziest people on the planet who want to blame everyone but themselves for the problems they created for themselves. The Greek people have only themselves to blame and if they want to get out of this mess they are going to have to work very hard and be austere whatever path they choose to take. Thats what happens when a bunch of lazy socialist don't pay their bills, welcome to reality.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  120. george

    has the author ever wondered, why the whole world is focusing on a country that acounts for just 2% of the Euro?|
    Food for thought ...

    May 18, 2012 at 1:46 am |
  121. Andries Hofstra


    I do not connect at all of this party has to say.
    But a critical voice in the EU is good to hear.
    "Who the hell do you think you are?'

    May 18, 2012 at 1:47 am |
  122. Dimitrios Papageorgos

    Joseph B i bet your wife is comeing every summer in Grecce. thats why you love it so much

    May 18, 2012 at 1:54 am |
  123. Joseph B

    This was a well written objective article, but it is obvious from the many comments by Greek people that they are completely out of touch with reality, brainwashed by years of socialism. Pay your bills or pay the price. All the Greek people will be paying the price especially those who are blaming everyone else for their own lazy iresponsible behavior. The lazy socialist will now have to work hard to be able to survive..

    May 18, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  124. Adlas

    Why don't you comment on the US and how it has screwed up its economy and the level of debt it faces instead of commenting on Greece?

    May 18, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  125. seawolf73

    Comme to Greece and exposes us your wishes Bolden...we little childs would like to argue with you...

    May 18, 2012 at 2:42 am |
  126. Mr.Zoidberg

    Too pathetic...

    May 18, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  127. seawolf73

    it is not pathethic, it is very insulting for a nation who decide their future by a democratic vote. Bolden should be strongly criticized and apologize for his unilateral comments

    May 18, 2012 at 3:14 am |
  128. Afshin

    Absolute rubbish from an arrogant correspondent. I am sad that CNN is publishing this type of articles and fading away it is credibility …
    I used to read CNN as my main source of information, and admire the authors insights for various topics. But , Now, I hardly even skim the articles written by so-called correspondent for CNN. Seriously!! What kind of article is this???
    The author is so arrogant, Bolden, you are talking to a Nation not a school kids, You cannot insult any Nation, let it be Greece or your so-called black list Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe!!!
    Even a 9 years old kid can write better article than you respecting nation’s dignity…
    Have you ever bothered yourself to read what famous economists are suggesting to Greece?

    May 18, 2012 at 4:08 am |
  129. Paul Andriopoulos

    Dear Jim,
    So of the wall article, the results of the elections were an answer to the big political parties. Do not take it so personaly,poor judgment comparing Greece with the countries you mentioned. Generaly misleading article

    May 18, 2012 at 5:00 am |
  130. bman

    Nice to see CNN admits this story originated from London. The new safe haven for finance and banking vultures around the world.
    To be honest someone needs a haircut. I think it should be the banks. it's time to tax their profits, tax their reserves, tax their employees, and executive officers. Basically wherever they try to put their money tax it. reward spinoffs and corporate headquarter shutdowns. Basically force them into involuntary nonprofit status until they are no longer too big to fail and can't afford to buy a national politician.

    May 18, 2012 at 5:02 am |
  131. PedoBear

    I like little children.

    May 18, 2012 at 5:06 am |
  132. seawolf73

    The banks and their associates like Bolden are infecting all -spheres of the society, and the media is an important one for them... the third power is just a dead one, humans knows what freedom is about. You just show the picture of your own falling Neo-Liberalistic world , not the one of the Greeks are made for

    May 18, 2012 at 5:22 am |
  133. Wall Street Ranter

    The reality is Greece never should have taken the IMFs money to begin with. Have they not seen the way the IMF sucks it's victims freedoms and resources? They should have gotten out early. But better late then never, their screwed either way....time to be screwed on their own terms. - The Wall Street Ranter -

    May 18, 2012 at 5:54 am |
  134. Bribarian

    leave the Euro, it is time for Europe to be reborn, where better to start than Greece?

    May 18, 2012 at 5:54 am |
  135. Rebel

    Leave the euro. All fiat currencies have failed in history. Only ones to finish ahead with them are crooks. Leave the Euro, start a real currency and tell the crooks to get lost.

    May 18, 2012 at 6:22 am |
  136. Read This!!!

    Sure, There's Greece... But What About Spain?
    By:
    Yanis Varoufakis

    Let's, for argument's sake, concede that we Greeks are spendthrift, lazy, corrupt, deficit-prone usurpers of other Europeans' hard labor. But what of the Spaniards?

    Did the Spanish government not have a budget surplus before the Crisis erupted?

    Was Spanish public debt not lower than Germany's before the Crisis erupted?

    Was Spain not the one country which, quite remarkably, managed to stage an Olympic Games that (a) was profitable and (b) left behind it splendid facilities and urban renewal (as opposed to debts and white elephants)?

    Did Spain not develop firms (like Zara) which showed Europe that it is possible to compete head-on with the Far East in sectors that the rest of Europe had exported there (at least in terms of jobs and labour intensity)?

    Was Spain not the locus of German heavy industrial production (e.g. Volkswagen's Seat) that produced healthy German profits?

    And yet, this very country is finding itself in the same black hole into which Greece fell two years ago. How might this be possible if, as conventional wisdom insists, the Crisis is due to Greek-style profligacy?

    Even the most cursory look at what is happening to Spain today will convince the open-minded reader that there is something deeply wrong with the conventional view of a 'rational' core - one that insists on rational economic prescriptions, and a faulty periphery, which is trying to shirk its responsibilities.

    Since last summer, the losses of the Spanish banks (caused by ridiculous bets on real estate financed mostly by German banks) had been unloaded on the shoulders of the Spanish state, the result being that the latter was, effectively, shut out of the money markets (courtesy of interest rates exceeding 5 percent). So as to avoid declaring that Spain had formally joined the ranks of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal as the fourth 'fallen sovereign,' Europe's powers-that-be came up with the following brilliant idea:

    The ECB will be accepting any piece of paper presented to it by Spain's banks as 'collateral' for massive loans provided at 1 percent interest rate.

    But since no matter how may loans one gives to the insolvent, the insolvency does not go away - Spanish banks were simply buying time in this manner. For this reason, Europe deemed it appropriate that the Spanish state should borrow more money at interest rates ranging between 4 and 5 percent (possibly from the EFSF, Europe's bailout fund) to hand over to the banks in the form of 'recapitalization.'

    But since the Spanish state is, as a result of the new borrowing, pushed further into the bosom of insolvency, something had to be done so as to allow it to refinance itself. This is what they decided upon: The same (insolvent) banks receiving capital from the state should lend the state (at 6 percent interest) part of the loans they are receiving from the ECB (at 1 percent interest).

    Do you, dear reader, grasp what is going down here? Banks bankrupted by their own idiocy transferred their losses to a state that was, up until then, managing to report a budget surplus. This the state, and the taxpayers, folded into a long term insolvency. Then these same banks secured dirt cheap ECB loans which they lent, partly, to the state they bankrupted at huge interest rates while, at the same time, collecting from them... capital. And to allow for this 'solution' to Spain's difficulties, Europe imposed upon Spain swinging austerity that undercuts the national income from which the state must raise the taxes that will repay all these loans it was forced to shoulder.

    So, when journalists the world over, fellow economists from northern climes, German and Dutch politicians, etc., point the finger at the Greek electorate for having made the 'wrong' choice at the polls, i.e. for having shunned Europe's Grand Plan for overcoming the xrisis, I answer in no uncertain terms: I shall concede all you want me to concede about my fellow Greeks on condition that you give me a plausible answer to a simple question: What on earth is Europe doing to Spain as part of this Grand Plan?

    May 18, 2012 at 6:29 am |
  137. Rowland

    Resistance
    Anger
    Bargaining – You are here
    Acceptance

    May 18, 2012 at 6:35 am |
  138. Welcome to the third world - Greece!!!

    It's ironic to see a country who hosted the Olympics just a few years ago demonstrate the lavish lifestyle the country has to offer. Now we know, where all the money was wasted by the Geek Government. To my fellow Greeks, let's not blame the banks with all these mistakes, at end it was Greece who borrowed money to show off to the world. No matter what the outcome on the next election, austerity will be forced upon the people of Greece. If Greece default and out of the EU, where do you think we can get the money to pay for the politician, government employee, and most of all your pension? No banks or countries will lend us money if we default... think about it my fellow Greeks.... Welcome to the third world, Greece!!!!

    May 18, 2012 at 6:37 am |
  139. david

    Worthless words. Not even worth the paper it was printed on...oh...yea...makes it even more worthless. Congrats Jim, I give you the award for Worthless Journalist of the Year 2012. Your momma must be so proud.

    May 18, 2012 at 6:49 am |
  140. dim

    This is your trash article? or someone helped you write? surely you must justify your salary so no comment

    May 18, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  141. nottheman

    So they default to the IMF, woopedy doo, the IMF can't do anything about it really. Greece would rebound fast.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  142. all your comments suck

    Greece: you brought your troubles upon yourselves! The EU should just kick you out already. Enough money has been wasted on you. Whatever you people do, don't support Greece, they are cheaters and scammers!
    Great job author!

    May 18, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  143. wow

    You Greek posters wishing violence on this author are pretty pathetic. You act like spoiled children.

    First, "be careful what you wish for" is like grabbing someone who is going to walk into an open manhole before he falls in. It's a warning. Only children and insecure people do not want to be warned, they would rather put their hand on the hot stove and burn it themselves.

    Even more so, an insecure child will put their hand on the hot stove and burn it just to spite those who said hey, don't do that, it's hot.

    Reacting with threats of violence to those who try to warn you just shows what a sad state your country is in. You idiots voted for Neo Nazis and Communists, anything to vent your rage, and meanwhile you are pounding your chests about how you gave us Democracy?

    Really?

    Look to your own present and the people you voted for. What a shame.

    You voted for these leaders who did this to your country and you are complicit in what has happened to it now. You quote ancient heroes but only very few of you act like them. That is, you don't want the responsibility you want only to blame.

    And for the guy who remarked on all the interest Greece paid over the years... it's the same as the interest the USA pays over the years and everyone else does. They all borrow more money each year to pay the interest on last year's loans, rolling the whole thing forward. So you paid the interest with borrowed money for the most part.

    And no, you are NOT fighting for us.

    You are destroying the savings of those of us who worked hard and put money away and invested it for our futures. Those of us who never touched a greek bond or loaned you money, people in countries who worked hard and got no handouts, all of us are suffering. And this just makes you happier.

    If you cannot have your free toys anymore, you want to burn the entire house down and take everyone with you.

    Selfish to the end. You did this to yourselves, and in your rage you want the whole world to suffer.

    You will exit the Euro I am sure of it. It will cause much sadness for your country, and if all of us act like you are acting now, we will point the finger and laugh at what you have done to yourselves.

    Remember Greece, one of our greatest inventions was Tragedy and you sure know how to use it still, and how to export it everywhere.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  144. Stance

    Dear Greece, Start working and spend economically!!!

    May 18, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  145. @wow

    The only tragedy is your venomous, ignorant, hate-filled diatribe, that just proves what a moron you are. Get a life and stop commenting about countries you know nothing about.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  146. george

    Your are right, The world Tradegy is Greek. And many other words of your language are Greek. In fact, Europe is also a Greek word. So, don't tell the Greeks to get out of europe and euro. just face it, your TRADEGY refers to the INTERNATIONAL CROOKS, THE BANKERS, and the unelected EU oficcials who support them. The bankers cannot defeat Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain., Italy, ....When theystart privatizing the first banks the world will learn how these fake debts were created. By the way, GREEK PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE BEGAN ALREADY TO BUILD A GOOD SIZE JAIL FOR CORRUPTED BANKERS, POLITICIANS, AND PARROT JURNALISTS WHO SUPPORTED THEM TO CHEAT THE NATIONS OF SOUTH EUROPE. , See you around when you get what you deserve. By the way, Greece will not exit Euro, if the Germans doesn't like euro they can do a DeExit.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  147. Maximum Bob

    Geez, please pull the trigger and leave the Euro. Your wild spending and lack of fiscal restraint has finally come home to roost. IMF, stop throwing good money after bad. Greece will not change their ways, so let them go. Greece lacks the will to act responsibly, so let them go. But, watch what happens next. Massive social unrest, and it will get ugly. Greece, it's your choice, have at it.

    May 18, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  148. zoi

    ok let us exit from the euro or kick us out if you prefer that word.But then lets all sit back and look what will happen to the rest of europe.The whole europe will collapse like dominoes and believe me it will happen.You left us with no industry so that we can buy your stuff now what?WE WILL SURVIVE even if you wish differently.PROUD TO BE GREEK

    May 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  149. SeeThruIt2

    I like browsing these comments to get a pulse of the readership opinions on an issue.

    The majority of these comments suggest that CNN readers are very left-leaning.

    May 18, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  150. SeeThruIt2

    I read the comment yesterday by the Greek socialist party leader that said he doesn't beleive the IMF will withhold funding. Or that they "repudiate" their loans.

    He's still thinking solely of the Greeks and their selfish interests. They don't realize that the IMF must consider the ripple effect with Portugal, Italy, and Spain if they were to forgive the Greek debt with no pain. Germany and France can't afford to bailout all of those nations. So, they will choose to cut their losses early.

    May 18, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  151. george

    Germany is making money out of these nations.Tthey dont' bail out as you say. you distribute nonses, and if you don't know whats going on just make a research to find evidence.

    May 18, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  152. Vrock

    Bla bla bla......Seriously do you pay these guys to write these articles?I can write pages and pages about the crisis in Greece and say things that make no sense and still be believable.Ask 100 economists about the crisis and you will hear 100 different opinions.But if you don't live in a country (and for some years at least) you can't understand the real situation.Does anyone have ever told you about how many suicides happen in GR every month?I don't think so because even here the local news don't say the truth.The point is when you write these kind of articles it's because of ignorance or deception?Please make a real and in depth search about something when you write.Just to mention Greece is only the 3% GDP of Europe.How can we cause such a tremendous crisis in EU?As you may know (ask a historian) in every war there is a proximate cause and an actual cause.The same here with the difference that is an ecomic war.I don't say that everything was perfect and right in this country but i don't accept to taunt and accuse my country for things that we are not responsible for.

    PS:Don't read and believe whatever they want you to read and believe.Search something before you post or write something, it's very annoying when you write inaccurate things and lies.By the way the president of Italy is Mario Monti and in Greece before the elections was Lukas Papadimos, both ex-bankers.Wow what a coincidence!

    May 18, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  153. .

    It's the same old problem. The socialists and public sector union pension systems have run out of other people's money.

    Are you paying attention, Amerika?

    Well, ARE YOU?

    May 18, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  154. Dimitris

    Dear Jim, i want to advise you that in Greece 1 year now is making a huge propaganda from all media,tv-radio-newspapers that we must stay in euro to make more sacrifises ..that if we leave euro we would be very poor ,the state will not be able to pay salaries,retirements and another stupidness in order to terrify the greek people.I have a question, do you know this propaganda ,i doubt if foreign journalists knows about this.

    May 18, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  155. ScottH

    I guess the 'Greek' thing to do when you rack up about 20K in credit card debt is to pout and call Visa and Mastercard "greedy". Really people?

    May 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  156. What the Mafia wants, the Mafia gets

    Hey, Greek people:

    As long as you elect an anti-austerity party, the anti-austerity party will be unable to form a government.

    Take our "advice" and elect a pro-austerity party. Then, "we" will form a government.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  157. ROULA

    DEAR JIM,
    I AM FED UP WITH YOUR BLOODY CHANNEL CNN ALL-ALL-ALL THE TIME ATTACKING MY COUNTRY. YOU, THE BANKERS, THE JEWS AND THE MASONS WHO HAVE THE BASIS IN YOUR 'FREE' COUNTRY ARE ATTACKING MOTHER GREECE WHO SPREAD THE LIGHT OF CIVILIZATION IN WHAT YOU CALL MODERN WORLD IN WHICH YOU AND THE REST OF THE AMERICANS CLAIM TO BE. I WILL NOT GO TOO FAR AWAY, BUT I WOULD KINDLY REQUEST Y.O.U TO WATCH OUT WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT GREECE BECAUSE GREECE I.S AN EXAMPLE OF FREEDOM. LOOK AT THE REVOLUTION IN WALL STREET WHERE PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED FOR REVOLTING AND PUBLICALLY EXPRESSING THEIR BELIEFS. LOOK AT THE UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE DOWNFALL OF THE UNITED STATES WHICH PUSHED HUGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TO FLEE AMERICA TO MAKE A LIVING. LOOK AT THE USE OF GMOS, THE STERILISATION MEASURES AND ALL THE FACE VIRUSES YOU INVENT TO KILL YOUR OWN PEOPLE AND THE REST OF THE WORLD SO THAT YOU AND ONLY YOU WILL RESIDE THERE. AND IF YOU FIND GREECE POOR, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT ALL GREEKS HAVE A LOT MORE D.I.G.N.I.T.Y AND F.R.E.E.D.O.M THAN YOUR CITIZENS DO. FINALLY, DEAR JIM, LET ME TELL YOU THAT WE OWE N.O.T.H.I.N.G. TO A.N.Y.O.N.E. ON THE CONTRARY, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS PRAISE GREECE BECAUSE WITHOUT GREECE'S SIGNITIFANT CONTRIBUTION IN CIVILIZATION, THERE WOULD BE NO AMERICA TODAY, NO PRESIDENT OBAMA, AND PROBABLY, YOU, MY FRIEND MIGHT BE EATING BANANAS THE AMERICAN JOUNGLE.
    THANK YOU

    May 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  158. finnja

    ...and why is it that some Greeks always refer to heir big achievement – Democracy? Apart from the fact that Democracy was only for free men back then (not laves or women), this was achieved by your ancestors. Probably. Who knows, if your ancestors weren't actually Persian back then... but ok. Anyway, this is as ridiculous as Austrians who refer to Mozart in order to underline their glory. The question is, what are the achievements of YOU and YOUR GENERATION? 140 protected professions that can be inherited? So much for DEMOCRACY.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  159. ROULA

    AT @FINNJA
    DEAR FRIEND,
    I AM NOT SURE TO WHAT EXTENT YOU HAVE STUDIED THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE GREEK CIVILIZATION. BY THE WAY, DO YOU KNOW THAT THE FIRST ONES WHO DISCOVERED AMERICA WERE T.H.E. .G.R.E.E.K.S?
    AND COLOMBUS DID THE SECOND MISTAKE TO GO THERE AND DISCOVER A PLACE WHICH BECAME THE HOME OF THE JEWS, MASONS AND SATANISTS WHO EXTERMINATED ALL THE RED NATIVE INDIANS AND OCCUPIED THEIR LAND IMPOSING THEMSELVES BY USING GUNS?
    AS FAR AS THE POSITION OF THE W.O.M.E.N IS CONCERNED, I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO STUDY THE HISTORY MORE CAREFULLY AND SEE THAT IN PLACES SUCH AS SPARTA AND CRETA, WOMEN WERE QUEENS. IF YOU ARE A SUPPORTER OF FEMINISM, YOU SHOULD STUDY THE POSITION OF THE WOMEN IN RELATION TO ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD AND YOU WILL SEE THAT IN GREECE, WOMEN WERE THE FIRST ONES TO ENJOY MORE BENEFITS THAN OTHERS IN THE WORLD. AS FAR AS THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF MY GENERATION AND ME I MUST SAY THAT THEY VERY MUCH DEPEND ON THE MASONS AND THE JEWS OF AMERICA WHO ARE NOT LETTING GREECE FLOURISH. AS A RESULT A HUGE NUMBER OF EDUCATED PEOPLE LEAVE GREECE AND O.F.F.E.R THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE IN BUSINESSES AND UNIVERSITIES ABROAD. I KNOW, IT IS SAD TO SAY THAT GREECE IS NOT OFFERING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE, BUT I WOULD INVITE YOU TO STUDY ALL RECENT INVENTIONS IN MEDICINE AND OTHER SCIENCES AND YOU WILL SOON REALIZE THAT GREECE IS S.T.I.L.L. CONTRIBUTING BUT THE MASONS AND THE JEWS OF AMERICA ARE NOT ALLOWING THIS COUNTRY TO GROW. IF I CANNOT PERSUADE YOU WITH MY WORDS, I WILL NOT TRY TO DO SO, ANYWAY. THE MASON GOVERNED CNN AND BBC IS GOOD AT BRAINWASHING PEOPLE. OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!

    May 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  160. ME

    Whatever you say, i am sure Greece will give it's battle and will win as ALWAYS!
    Jim, watch out what you say,please!

    May 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  161. finnja

    good article (possibly this comment makes it through): http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/why-greece-needs-to-leave-the-euro-zone-a-832968.html

    May 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  162. Tintos

    To George G........from another Greek

    You are a malaka....grow up for gods sake and enough with the B/S from ancient times. Greece is no longer "sparta"..its a nation full of know it alls who think that they have discovered the secret to good living and like to make fun of non-Greeks who "work all the time and do not enjoy life".....time to move out of your mama's house, start being productive and stop voting for crooks who disguise them-selves as politicians or "union leaders"

    Tintos from Korinthos

    May 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  163. ROULA

    @finnja
    Dear Finja,
    watch this video and you will understand what's going on.
    regards,
    Roula

    May 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  164. Kostas

    More austerity measures mean less money being spent by Greeks within Greece, which in turn makes the economy weaker, thus making it more difficult for the Greek government both to apply further needed austerity measures, as well as to collect revenue with which to pay its creditors. In short, the measures are bringing Greece's economy to a halt. Money is not circulating except for food and fuel. This makes the situation worse in terms of meeting future obligations. Greece recognizes this and is looking for a way out. So does the rest of Europe, but for the lack of a better solution insists that it continue. THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES WITHIN THE EURO. We know this now. So the only alternative is to look for a solution that will allow for growth in the future: a return to their own, weaker currencies. Greece et al. joined the EU to improve their standards of living, not to have to borrow money to cover the trade deficit with its northern neighbors forever. If only Greece could stay afloat by creating some sort of bubble consisting of bogus financial "products" like some of its critics have some in order to buy time to sort this out.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  165. Cassander

    Down with the bank Shylocks!

    May 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  166. Dan

    The start of this article states that Greece will vote on June 17th on leaving the Euro. Greece is voting now by – understandably – withdrawing their money from their banks they are committing financial suicide and giving the rest of the eurozone reason to send them on the way. It's my guess this will happen this weekend as the ECB has stopped lending for a 'few days' how ridiculous they always do this on weekends so I expect to wake up Monday to a Greece outside the euro... not June 17th..

    May 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  167. Cassander

    Dan – You must work for JP Morgan, or Kenneth Dart, armchair economist!
    800 million euro in withdrawals is a p*ss in the bucket of 215 BILLION euro in bank reserves.

    Enjoy your miserable weekend watching baseball and eating nachos.

    May 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  168. Cash is FREEDOM

    The Mafia doesn't like people to have roots.

    Money in the bank is a form of "roots".

    Greek people!!! Spanish people!!!

    If you take your money out of the bank, you are playing into the Mafia's hands!

    What will you do with the cash? Invest it? The Mafia will steal it from you. Spend it? Well, that's one way to give your money to the Mafia (i.e. to companies that it controls).

    The director of the Mafia **loves** cash more than anything else. That should tell you something.

    May 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  169. charles johnson

    I have come to the conclusion that "If we don't hang together, we will all hang separately". This is a quote from the American revolution against the U. K., but it is just as true today as it was then. I think the rich countries of Europe should realize that the poorer countries are partners and should be helped because there is no possibility that they can be as efficient and productive.
    This is how we operate in America where dollars from the North go to less wealthy states to improve the country for everyone. There are still inequities, but we avoid War among the states of the Union and that is ultimately cheaper than helping other people.
    I think Europe should become more Federal.
    C Johnson

    May 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  170. Dan

    No I don't work for either JP Morgan or any other bank and I am very sorry for the Greeks and Spanish and Irish for that matter. Germany has used the euro to expand it's export business under a cheap currency whilst the med states are left to suffer the consequences. When the ECB stops lending which it would prior to an exit because it wont get it's money back and that lending stops before a weekend then it's prob because Greece is about to exit. I feel for the Greeks whose money is in the bank after they close on Friday night... It's an utter disaster for Europe and we are now at risk of real issues as the EU breaks apart or at worst rips itself apart... On TV in the UK last night politicians were openly talking about the UK leaving the EU... this might be the start of turmoil not seen since the 1930's.

    May 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  171. Earling

    Rotten article...threatening and untrue. Why did you hide Argentina from you list of IMF defaulters. Maybe because it is a good example of a country that refused to be blackmailed and stood it's ground?

    May 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  172. GEORGE

    ΕΠΙΤΕΛΟΥΣ ΦΕΥΓΟΥΜΕ.ΚΡΑΤΗΣΤΕ ΤΗΝ ΑΛΛΗΛΕΓΓΥΗ ΣΑΣ ΓΙΑ ΣΑΣ.ΨΕΥΤΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΥΠΟΚΡΙΤΕΣ.

    May 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  173. efklidis2000

    I leaved and worked in the US for more than 15 years before my return to Greece. Stop listening to what media say. People in Greece work many more hours, earn away less money and YES, do pay their taxes. Greece is not the problem; on the other hand, ask your self what you would do if you were in the same situation before you make judgements. With (I hope) or without Euro , with (I hope) or without IMF/EU loans we will make it. History is on our site... Our culture,education and values have always guide us to prosperity!!!

    May 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  174. Mr M

    Great article! The greek people must finally take responsibility for their country! Balming other, history, the bad politicians, the Germans, etc. etc., is simply *NO SOLUTION* to any problem. Other countries have and had similarly large problems, and they dealt with the much better than Greece... a structural problem in their society? I dont know...
    Greece, decide whether you want to have the EURO and accept ausetrity measures *or* leave the EURO-Zone (probably better imho, on the long run, that might be better for any other country, including Greece), they cannot and must not have both. Corruption and inefficiency for decades!

    May 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  175. george

    the ansuer to the sharks (the bankers) from the Greek Nation is crystal clear: einai varia i pou*sa tou tsolia! Come and get the money if you can. We owe you nothing. These loans are fake and all the Greek banks would be transfered to the state. Then,we will learn who played the dirty games agaisnt the NATIONS OF SOUTH EUROPE. Corrupted Bankers should be send in jail, there is still some space for them there. Greeks will push the bankers in the corner. Ai sto dialo mafia.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  176. efialtis

    greeks set the foundation of the modern civilization and protect the west . i believe that 400 billions euros its a fair price for the rest of the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!! αν δεν ειμασταν εμεις ακομα στα δεντρα με τους πιθηκους θα εισασταν!!!

    May 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  177. BIGWill

    Other than big breasted goat herding chics Greece doesnt have anything else to offer...let them fail

    May 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  178. Euro Expat

    Interesting to see all the patriotic Greeks come out of the woodwork. What I am wondering is, if Greece leaves the Eurozone, and you go back to the drachma, how much is this "new" Greek currency going to be worth? Who wants the currency of a country that is on the verge of bankruptcy? The drachma wouldn't be worth much outside of Greece because no one outside of Greece is going to want to touch it. It might as well be monopoly money.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  179. george@\

    We have paid to be in the Eurozone, ITS NOT FREE TO ENTER EURO, no one can take Greece out of Euro. If the Germans don't like euro they can just leave. FULL STOP.

    May 18, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  180. Panayiotis Kasimis

    Όποιος θέλει την αλήθεια κυριε JIM πρεπει να έρθει εδω να μιλήσει με τον καθημερινό κόσμο και να μαθει την αλήθεια... η αλήθεια δεν ειναι σε ότι ακουτε μονο απο τους πολιτικούς... τις εταιριες, τους τραπεζιτες. Αυτο που ζούμε καθημερινα εμείς θα το ζησετε συντομα και εσεις. Εγω τα χειροτερα ηδη τα ζω... εγω ήδη δοκιμαζομαι... και αντεχω... εσεις μπορειτε να αντεξετε; Αμφιβάλω... γιατί πολυ απλά διακατεχεστε από μια αλλαζονια μονίμως ότι είσαστε οι κυριαρχοι του κόσμου. Λαθη γινανε και όλοι εχουμε μεριδιο ευθυνης σε αυτα. Άλλοι περισσοτερο άλλοι λιγοτερο. Μην εθελοτυφλείτε στα δικά σας χρέη και τα δικά σας λάθη... τα ίδια που καναμε εμείς και συνεχιζετε και εσεις να κανετε ως έθνη. Η κριση δεν ξεκινησε απο την Ελλάδα... η κριση αξιων, η οικονομική κρίση... η κρίση γενικά που υπάρχει σε τουτο τον πλανήτη προυπήρχε των πάντων. Μια κατάσταση μονιμα βιαιων αλλαγων. Τιποτα σταθερο... ολα μεταβλητα. Μια μεταβλητη λοιπον είστε και εσεις... μια παραμετρος του παιχνιδιού. Τους κανονες όμως δεν τους βάλαε εσεις ως δημοσιογραφος... και θα κληθείτε καποια στιγμή να μπείτε στην αρένα και εσεις να αγωνιστείτε για αυτά που παλεύουμε εμεις ως λαος αυτή τη στιγμή. Τότε διπλα σε ποιους θα ειστε; Θα μπορειτε να ζητήσετε βοηθεια από κάποιον; Αναλογιστείτε το σημερα και πάψτε να λειτουργείτε σα να είναι δεδομενο το αυριο σας.

    May 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  181. Marios

    I used to believe that a reporter's job is merely reporting, not analyzing or expressing opinion. This issue is even more crucial when we refer to economical profiting and bank blackmailing. The greek people are victims of a new malevolent type of tyranny. The whole thing is huge experiment and when Greece falls, others will follow. It is not strange that suddenly the whole world is being interested to a small country with much less dept than others... The reason is that if Greece falls, anyone can fall... Mind these words and protect yourselves... History is before us and time will sadly prove all of the above true...

    A Greek citizen, a citizen of the world and a humble young man...

    You don't need to know anything. (nobody does...) Merely observe and think....

    May 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  182. george@\

    IT SEEMS THAT IF YOU PAY GOOD, THEY CAN PUBLICH ANYTHNING IN CNN, DESPITE POOR QUALITY. tHE AUTHOR'S IQ IS BELOW THE AVEARAGE OF MONKEYS.

    May 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  183. We want our money back

    The Greeks have been enjoying life with money from other countries. If they don't wan't to pay it back, I suggest we others take it back. We should send ships and army to occupy either the big islands or the mainland so we get our money back.

    May 19, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  184. Come and get it :-)

    Dear Mr Jim,

    >I leave you with this, Greek voters. Very few countries have fallen behind on their payments to the IMF. There are only >three – Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe, according to the IMF itself.

    Let me show you what happens when you mess with Greece, with something close to your culture:

    This is not Zimbabwe.

    May 19, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  185. sats

    The power serves the power alone. take care !

    May 19, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  186. finnja

    Getting the money back from Greece is a ridiculous idea, anyway. The idea is, not to trnasfer any more money, there. That is all.

    May 19, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  187. Vrock

    To all haters,bull#$%@#rs,ignorants of history,falsifiers of history,scorners of Greece.Beware what YOU wish for because it may return like a boomerang to you.Others should worry not us.Time and history has proven that is on our side thousands of years now (otherwise we wouldn't last not even one freaking day in this world).After the storm always comes the sunshine.In the end, truth will PREVAIL!!!

    May 19, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  188. Michael

    Dear Jim,
    I read carefully your letter to the Greek voters, in view of the new elections scheduled for June 17.
    Please rest assured that the issues you raise, about the implications for Greece in the case of an exit from the euro area, or even the union, are on my mind, as well as on the minds of most Greeks.
    As you say, the majority of Greeks want to remain in the union.  Actually, the vast majority of Greeks are hard-working, and actually they work harder than the average Brit or German, and for much less pay (please, suggest a tv series “go Greek for a week in the private sector”, in order to find out). Yet there exists definitely a number of other Greeks that have abused the system. Such people exist in all countries, but here  nobody checked on them for decades as our politicians got more and more corrupt, often with foreign money. So those that abuse the system have indeed multiplied and became bolder than elsewhere.  The latter have no problem to find on the next ballot their favorite representatives that will allow them to keep  going as usual, at the expense of the former, and they actually actively undermine everyone who tries to cross their ways, often with mob-style ways.
    I ask you to understand the impossible situation the former are in: it is not a question of accepting that they will have to work even more (if there is work) for even less, largely they are already at ease with that concept. It is that in the next ballot they will not  find, regardless how hard they look, an option that
    1) Has a chance to contribute to the formation of a government, that is one that can be expected to get more than 3% of the ballot tally.
    2) Is led by an individual that is committed to growth enhancing reforms and the principles of the union. I ask you to kindly recall that Mr. Venizelos is the framer of the law that makes it almost impossible to impeach elected officials, even when they have committed flagrantly high crimes. And that he reputedly tossed the head of the IMF mission out of his office. And that he took pride in wrecking the good name of Greece with the implementation of the PSI, after opposing actively useful reforms for decades. And that Mr. Samaras recently invited to join him the very member of parliament that brought down in 1993, by joining the then dissident party of Mr Samaras, the government of the very party he now leads(!). The government at the time struggled to get at grips with the implementation of numerous useful reforms. Actually, the moment that happened was over the effort to privatize the national telecommunication company, that is to sever the links with, as it turned out, the stream of black money flowing in from Siemens – in case you care to recall. The other parties, besides the one of Mr. Tsipras and the hard-line communists and neo-nazis,  are spin-offs of these parties with incoherent populist positions.
    3) Is formed by a majority of candidates that do not have close ties with vested interests that vehemently oppose useful reforms.
    4) Is not a wasted vote. Please recall that in the last elections a record number of voters abstained, or cast a blank ballot, demonstrating their desperation with the candidates presented. And please note,  just to remind you once more what we are dealing with here, that the likes of Mr Venizelos and Samaras have adopted an election law that actually makes the blank votes, indirectly, to count for them!
    So, please, Jim, instead of telling me to vote wisely, tell me instead specifically whom I should vote to ensure that my country not only stays in Europe, but actually becomes a country the other member countries will be proud to call a partner.
    Sincerely,
    Michael Mitsopoulos
    Greek voter

    May 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  189. Paulo Guilherme Hostin Sämy

    Hey Greeks! Don't miss the opportunity to cash your savings, keeping them in euros, out of any bank in Greece. So, when the change occurs, from euro into a new Greek currency, you will not be caught. Then, after the defense has been made, you will can go to the streets asking for changes!!! Don't wait for an announcement of the Governement. They will keep it secret; they defend huge groups whose cash is enormous!!! Your country is marvellous, your islands, your people too!!! But that is not the question. They question is money, and money is blood!!!

    May 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  190. Socrates

    All you smart people, can you please tell me, why they put the interest rates up and up for Greece? it's like giving poisson to drink instead of watter, to someone choking to death.

    May 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  191. finnja

    Michael, you have a point here. Not to forget that the party that seems to guarantee EURO-ZONE membreship started the whole mess by hushing up the true finances together with Goldman and Sachs bankers. Also, both big Greek parties did everything NOT to impement reasonable structural refoms, when there was time. For the City of London (and betting financial sharks in general) and for the two long-time ruling parties of Greece, I wish, Greece would default on its payments, that would truly hurt them. But I am not sure, what it would to to people, in Greece and other EU member states. Maybe reforms in Greece would be easier and its economy would recover faster and maybe the EU wouldn't be harmed by the exit either. Or maybe not. We just don't know. I wish us citizens of the EU all the best of luck.

    May 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  192. Socrates

    Greece give the greedy Banks nothing. they are drinkingyou blood for many years.

    May 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  193. finnja

    Socrates, it is because if you lend money, you want either to be sure that you get it back, or you are ready to risk not getting it back but only if there is also a chance for the returns to multiply... That is the logic of the markets. Which is scary, actually, 'cause it means that a wrong word from a politician or banker or even from the man in the street can drive a country (or company) that is already in a vulnerable situation into bankrupcy... Money rules.

    May 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  194. finnja

    Socrates, another problem is that Greece always spends more money than it makes. So, also if you don't give any money to anyone any more (and, logically you then won't get significant amounts of money from the EU), you would have to borrow money from a bank. They won't give you money, however, because they know, you won't repay it (just like before)...

    May 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  195. Socrates

    Greeks have to choose, betwen burn in Fire or drow in the Oceon. thanks to their mistakes and their politicians mistakes. Don't tell me you people from Greece that you didn't spent more than you were getting when things were "looking' so beautifuly Rosy. Bouzokia, Holidays every 6 Months, expenceve cars expenceve cloths etc. Now you going Broke. that's how it works people. get a lesson from our mistakes, (the Greeks). Spanish next, Italians and the rest. Sorry if I am upseting you but that's how I see things. By the way , I'm not an Economist or Highly educated person. I just see what I see.

    May 20, 2012 at 4:03 am |
  196. Pavlina Jansen

    World Leaders had better stop meddling in Greece and get their own acts together.
    Greece is not their country or protectorate to psuh around... Wise up folks or they will go the opposite you want and revolt against your constant interference!

    May 20, 2012 at 4:37 am |
  197. Pavlina Jansen

    G8 Leaders had better stop meddling in Greece and get their own acts together.
    Greece is not their country or protectorate to psuh around... Wise up they will go the opposite and revolt against your interference!

    May 20, 2012 at 4:38 am |
  198. Bakos Lakos

    Keep on terrorizing people with your cliche/biased articles...

    May 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  199. paul nolan

    So much speculation and what ifs. Heres my take : the Greeks want to stay in the Euro as they know Big Brother (Germany and IMF) will continue to bail them out .So they would vote to stay in .. otherwise who will give them money every month to pay their public sector workers. Regarding the second part of paying back the money .. well they will vote for the party that proposes they dont pay the money back. A case of having your cake and eating it.
    So when we go round this merry go round a few time someone else will need to make a decision for Greece as what they want is unrealistic.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  200. Chris

    I'm a Greek Australian and have been following passionaltely what has been done to my people. I hurt at the lies, half truths and blatant intimidation used to beat the Greeks into the slave live. Careful everyone, we Greeks are no ordinary people, we can turn on a dime, and actually thrive when pushed. We also have very long memories. Greece, tell the Germans and IMF jump, I will be there to support the new drachma or any conflict. Molon lave cowards!

    May 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  201. Chris

    God bless Greece & it's people. They know what is best for themselves.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  202. Chris

    Once again, the banks mess up and this time they're hurting a cultural rich country, Greece.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  203. Gman

    You liberals are nuts. This is a simple problem, you must balance the equation of taxes = spending. Greece has ignored this problem for decades. Why do liberals have so much trouble with multiplication and division? This is a good article and the author is correct, leaving the EU is going to be extremely painful, much more painful than the austerity measures. Which, cry me a river, pushes the retirement age up 2 years to 62. Get back to work you lazy Grecians!

    May 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  204. GDG

    Still awaiting moderation! Was it something I wished for? Wasn't I careful enough?

    May 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  205. Rock

    Some greek broads Ive seen had the BEST a$$es – the men should all work and not be able to retire at 50 but these hot broads deserve special attentions

    June 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  206. Rock

    KHAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

    June 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  207. Rafael

    The Germans are threatening to kick out the Greece of the European Union which I think is noithng more than sable rattling to prevent Greece of getting back their confidence and do what I wrote earlier (almost as if the Germans have been reading my piece):THIS GOT ME SO MAD!I don’t think the Greek fully understand the unique advantage position they have. They hold the future of the EU in their hands which leverage (to keep it in Goldman Sachs terms) they can use to stick it to the IMF and the rest of Europe.Germany hand the rest of Europe are afraid to death that the EU falls apart if Greece is not able to pay their “huge” debt so they will do anything to prevent that. Since they are the first in Europe to hold this position they have the higher ground in this game.Other PIIGS countries which will follow the same path of Greece later in the game getting unsustainable debts are less likely to be bailed out so Greece must profit from this unique position to firstly get rid of the IMF. Secondly get zero interest rate loans from the EU or otherwise go back to the Drachme in which position they can devalue their currency which they can’t do now and print up the same Micky Mouse money which Goldman Sachs trough Bernanke does.So it’s a win win situation if they refuse the IMF firstly and secondly refuse to pay any debt in Euro’s unless they get it for free. I can assure you that no one wants to blow up Europe at this point in time so GREECE PLEASE PROFIT FROM THIS UNIQUE POSITION!If you hold a little debt your a dupe but when you hold a very large debt, positions turn as all banksters know. So, Greece has to begin to do the same as the U.S. and spend like crazies with the same argument as Bernanke does namely that it allegedly is to save the economy.Otherwise DIE ON YOUR KNEES GREECE!!!!Look what has happened to the jellyfish Britons who didn't have the right stomic to stand up against these Goldman Sachs Gangsters. (That's why so many of them went to America in the past!)They now will die on their knees because of all the crazy IMF Neo- Liberal austerity measurements. London is most unequal city in Western world with gap between rich and poor widest SINCE SLAVERY!

    June 20, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
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  209. Right Under Mask

    Wow, I am so scared.
    Well, whatever happens to us, the Greeks, in the end people will point at you and remind you how selfish, hetero-catastrophic, psycho-maniacs you are. You do realize that the Germans set up a trap so that we fail to pay our loans. It's not our fault. At first they tried to present these loans as "presents" and praised us to spend and buy their products. So you, filthy rich CNN, don't you tell me what to do. I do not care if the Germans stay out of cash. They defrauded us and I bet USA was in the way as well, otherwise you, CNN, wouldn't be terrorizing us! You have no morals, you know. The only thing you do is to control the USA and the American citizens, whom you will betray to save yourself, I am sure of it.

    August 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
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