Greece: ‘A Sovereign Debt Crisis of Sophoclean Dimensions’ – It’s Not Only Greeks Who’ve Lost Their Marbles

It’s not only Greeks who’ve lost their marbles (Telegraph, June 26, 2011):

The essence of ancient Greek tragedy is that the audience knows it will end in disaster, but feels compelled to watch the horror unfold. And so it is with the modern version, a sovereign debt crisis of Sophoclean dimensions. Themes of the great dramatist’s finer works are all there: how arrogance, pride and deception result in unbearable pain; the inevitability of retribution and (not yet witnessed in Athens or Brussels) the arrival of wisdom through suffering.

Tomorrow, Greek MPs are scheduled to vote on a fresh austerity package. If it’s passed, the country will receive the next 12 billion euros of a 110 billion euro bail-out. Sadly, this is little more than a financial hors d’oeuvre. Still required is an additional 100 billion euro deal if Greece is to remain solvent until 2013. In effect, the country is borrowing enormous sums to service existing debts, which it cannot afford to repay. As Sophocles reminds us, when divine and human purposes conflict, the gods will always prevail. In this case, Athena, the deity of endeavour and reason, is deeply offended by Olympian self-indulgence. The upshot will not be a miraculous economic recovery, but a spectacular flame-out. As far as Greece is concerned, there is no deus ex machina. The tragic denouement will involve its default or withdrawal from the single currency, perhaps both.

Greece is bust; it already owes 160 per cent of its GDP. Its economy is staggeringly inefficient. Many in the public sector enjoy retirement at 50 and pensions close to full final salary. The private sector is blighted by corruption. The tax-collecting system operates on the basis of a tips box, with only 5,000 Greeks admitting to an income of more than 100,000 euros. When in January 2001 the country flagged its intention to ditch the drachma for the euro, the then prime minister, Costas Simitis, promised: “Our inclusion [in the eurozone] ensures for us greater stability and opens up new horizons”. That was the comedy.

Read moreGreece: ‘A Sovereign Debt Crisis of Sophoclean Dimensions’ – It’s Not Only Greeks Who’ve Lost Their Marbles

EU President Unveils New EU Headquarters, A £280 Million ‘Gilded Cage’

Looks like a caged Illuminati beehive.


With its “humane gathering place”, “diversity carpet” and £280m cost it is perhaps apt that it has been heralded as the building that “houses the heart of Europe”.

EU president unveils new £280m ‘gilded cage‘ (Telegraph, June 24, 2011):

While Herman Van Rompuy, the EU president, has described his “Europa building” as a “jewel box”, David Cameron has been less enthusiastic dubbing it a “gilded cage”.

But perhaps even more unfortunate is the moniker the edifice, which will house Mr Van Rompuy’s presidential office and be home to future Brussels summits from 2014, has earned from EU officials.

Built as a state of the art glass and wood wing to an existing Art Deco building, the complex will be focused around a womblike central structure providing a home for summits and meetings of Brussels officials or diplomats.

And it this organic looking “urn” shape has already been nicknamed the “E-Uterus” by Council of the EU officials who will be working in the new building.

“It looks like a womb and, I am sure, many grand visions of Europe will be birthed from there,” quipped one official.

Read moreEU President Unveils New EU Headquarters, A £280 Million ‘Gilded Cage’

Global Earthquake Update And Overview: Continuing Worldwide Unrest – Yellowstone, Cascades, California (06/22/2011)

Update:

Magnitude 7.3 Earthquake Of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands


Monitor the quakes via the sites below:

Read moreGlobal Earthquake Update And Overview: Continuing Worldwide Unrest – Yellowstone, Cascades, California (06/22/2011)

GREECE: Get Ready For 40 Hours That Will Decide The Fate Of The Euro

GREECE: Get Ready For 40 Hours That Will Decide The Fate Of The Euro (Business Insider, June 24, 2011):

Get ready for the most exciting 40 hours of your life.

Greece has just announced (via Bloomberg) the official schedule of the austerity debate.

It will start on June 27 at 6:00 PM (11:00 AM ET). The final debate will start at 10:00 AM (3:00 AM ET) on the 29th).

Already this morning, futures dipped just on one comment from a PASOK (ruling party MP) on how he might vote against the measure.

This debate will be filled with comments and tension, and should be totally wild.

Read moreGREECE: Get Ready For 40 Hours That Will Decide The Fate Of The Euro

China Formally Working With IMF To Avoid Eurozone Restructuring – Step Aside IMF, China Is Now In The Driver’s Seat. Officially.

China Formally Working With IMF To Avoid Eurozone Restructuring (ZeroHedge, June, 23, 2011):

Step aside IMF, China is now in the driver’s seat. Officially.

From Market News:

China doesn’t want to see a eurozone debt restructuring and is making efforts with the International Monetary Fund and countries related to the sovereign crisis on avoiding it, a government researcher said Friday.

China, the IMF and related countries are all making efforts…we don’t want to see a debt restructuring,” Qu Xing, director of the China Institute of International Studies, a Foreign Ministry think tank, told reporters at a briefing here Friday.

Will third time be the charm for the Chinese “white knight” approach to Europe, where it has so far sunk about $50 billion in bad money after good? Find out after the next imminent kneejerk spike in the EURUSD…

PIMCO, The World’s Biggest Bond Fund, Expects Greece And Other European Economies To Default – Allianz Global Investors Capital: Greek Default ‘Inevitable’

Greek cabinet approves austerity budget (Telegraph, June 22, 2011):

Pimco, the world’s biggest bond fund, shrugged off last night’s vote of confidence in the Greek government warning that it expects Greece and other European economies to default on their debts to resolve their problems.

“For the next three years, we’re going to see different economies work out different problems. For European economies, especially Greece, it would be through default,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of Pimco, said in Taipei on Wednesday in a video conference.

“Nothing has been done to enhance growth,” he said. “No single (Greek) indicator has shown strength. They are afraid a restructuring would hurt European banks.”

However, he doubted a Greek default could trigger another global financial crisis: “Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain would have to be involved. But Greece is too small in terms of economic impact.”

Horacio Valeiras, chief investment officer of fund firm Allianz Global Investors Capital (AGIC), predicted that Ireland and Portugal, countries that also received financial bailouts in the wake of the global credit crisis, will have to restructure their debts.

“We are not investing in Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal,” he said at the press briefing. He sees default in Greece as “inevitable”.

California-based Pimco (Pacific Investment Management Company), is based in California and is the world’s biggest bond fund manager with nearly $1.3 trillion in assets under management.

1000s March In Luxembourg (The Second Richest Nation On Earth) Against Austerity Plans

Luxembourg is the second richest nation on the earth. Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and ranked 175th in size out of 194 independent countries of the world. The GDP (PPP) per capita income of this small country is 78,795. It is the richest country or state of Europe or EU.
Source


1000s march in Luxembourg against austerity plans (AP, June 21, 2011)

LUXEMBOURG — About seven thousand people from across Europe marched through Luxembourg on Tuesday to protest budget cuts and reduced social protections they say are making workers pay for the sins of the rich.

The protest comes a day after European finance ministers met in the region’s richest state to hold marathon talks on debt-stricken Greece.

Read more1000s March In Luxembourg (The Second Richest Nation On Earth) Against Austerity Plans

Ceasefire Between Germany And ECB Has Expired: Greek Compromise Plan Now ‘OFF THE TABLE’

Ceasefire Between Germany And ECB Has Expired: Greek Compromise Plan Now “Off The Table” (ZeroHedge, June 19, 2011):

The one catalyst which sent the EURUSD (and thus its first derivative, the SPX) surging on Friday was the Guardian story that Germany, Sarkozy and most importantly, the ECB, have reached a consensus over the form of the second Greek bailout. In the immediate aftermath, Greece, sensing European weakness, announced that it would seek to pass the Troica plan however with substantial changes, a development which prompted us to say that “now that Merkel has effectively thrown in the towel to her, and the CDU’s, political reign by agreeing with the ECB’s and France’s demands, a move which will be brutalized by Der Spiegel in T minus 5 minutes, the fact that Europe blinked to Greece’s bluff, just may mean that every demand out of Greece will be met.” Well, sure enough here is Der Spiegel, however instead of seen as bending over to Greece, Germany appears to have had a dramatic change of heart, and told not only Greece to take its demands and shove them, but the ECB to go fornicate itself.

Per AFP: “A German compromise plan to resolve a dispute with the European Central Bank over the Greek rescue that was reported by Der Spiegel magazine is no longer on the table, a government source said Sunday. Der Spiegel had reported ahead of its Monday issue that the German finance ministry called for a beefed-up version of Europe’s temporary bailout mechanism lending to Greek banks to insure they have adequate collateral with the ECB. Germany’s share of guarantees would climb to 246 billion euros from 123 billion euros, according to the report. But a German official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that while “several options” were being debated to involve private creditors in an Athens rescue, the reported proposal was “no longer on the agenda“. The source added that the initial plan had differed from the reported proposal in “key aspects”. German officials say they seek a plan with as few “unwanted side effects” as possible.” Naturally, key among these being the perception that German is a toothless power, happy to invite inflation now that wanton Euro printing will be the next step in the bailout chain of command. And so the ball is back in the ECB’s court which will have to scramble once again to prevent Jean-Claude Jun(c)ker’s greatest nightmare: the 20 big figure plunge in the EURUSD predicted by John Noyce earlier.

Read moreCeasefire Between Germany And ECB Has Expired: Greek Compromise Plan Now ‘OFF THE TABLE’

Greek Debt Crisis: Bilderberg PM Papandreou In Emergency Talks For More EU Money – Protesters Warn That ‘People May Die’ As Anger Over Fresh Austerity Measures Sees Athens In Revolt

See also:

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Revolution is the Only Answer (For Greece, Ireland etc.)



A Greek protester shouts slogans during a rally against the government’s latest austerity measures in central Athens. Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/AP

Greek debt crisis: George Papandreou in emergency talks for more EU money (Guardian, June 19, 2011):

Greek protesters warn that ‘people may die’ as anger over fresh austerity measures sees Athens in revolt.

With its coffers nearly empty, its people protesting and its political system under unprecedented attack, Greece stands on the brink of crisis as European officials prepare for a week of crucial meetings to avert economic collapse.

Fears that a debt-choked Athens could plunge global financial markets into turmoil are mounting as Germany and France edge closer to a new multibillion rescue package for the nation. Eurozone finance ministers are expected to give the green light to an emergency loan for the country when they convene for urgent talks in Luxembourg.

Read moreGreek Debt Crisis: Bilderberg PM Papandreou In Emergency Talks For More EU Money – Protesters Warn That ‘People May Die’ As Anger Over Fresh Austerity Measures Sees Athens In Revolt

France: Radioactive Green Tea With 1,038 Becquerels Per Kg Found In Paris

The EU radiation limit of 500 becquerels per kg goes back to the Chernobyl disaster and has NOTHING to do with safety.


Du thé vert japonais radioactif intercepté à l’aéroport de Roissy (AFP, Jun 17, 2011‎)

French find cesium in Shizuoka tea (Japan Times/Kyodo, June 19, 2011):

PARIS — The French government has decided to dispose of a shipment of green tea from Shizuoka Prefecture after detecting radioactive cesium above the European Union limit at Charles de Gaulle airport, an official said Friday.

The tea is the first food item imported from Japan to exceed the EU radiation limit of 500 becquerels per kg since March 11, when the nuclear crisis erupted at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

France detected radiation of 1,038 becquerels per kg in the 162 kg shipment of green tea, they said.

Read moreFrance: Radioactive Green Tea With 1,038 Becquerels Per Kg Found In Paris