August 16, 2015 at 8:23 pm #43166
Gee. From what I’ve seen over on this side of the pond, it looks like Greece is just about completely “fixed.” (Of course, “fixed” in common U.S. English = “neutered.”) But your post seems to confirm the little I’ve found when I’ve dug a bit deeper – i.e., all is NOT well (which came with heaping non-surprise). What is a bit surprising is that general society hasn’t (yet?) broken loose into chaos. But then Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” is looking more like a carefully hidden fist inside a metal-studded glove. Too much looks too unsustainable, yet things go on as if nothing’s wrong and the numbers are reported at levels suggesting all is well. What, me paranoid? Nah….
Glad you’re hanging in there safely however. Thanks much for the update!August 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm #43228
Proteus things are turning for real bad times. Greece is not fixed at all. There debt is just getting to the point of collapse. IMF wants out and Germany will not do this loan on there own. Not looking very good.
Also the world markets are going down and oil is too! I see a World economical collapse soon.
Greek prime minister to resign, government officials sayAugust 20, 2015 at 8:40 pm #43232
My personal opinion is the whole thing is just a huge leveraged buy-out. Greece is giving huge amount of assets to the EU banks and the IMF. Those will turn around and sell it to double their money even after they write of the debt Greece owes.
RobinAugust 25, 2015 at 10:20 am #43353
Yes, and the PM has officially resigned, setting out the way for elections in the second or third week in September. Behind the political and social tensions, there are huge problems like those you all mentioned. Assets are being sold (16 airports, small islands etc) and this is only the beginning of the avalanche. I don’t expect anything good to happen in the coming months. Whoever gets elected will have to make true of all these promises to the powers that be, and they will be little more than puppets since they won’t be able to exercise much of political volition; instead they will have to implement all those things voted under the constant threat of being kicked out, crashing the system and all-out collapsing etc. Immigration issues are not solved since under “Dublin II” treaty the immigrants will most likely be returned to the point of entry in the EU when rejected by most other EU countries, which means Greece will have to manage with nearly half a million extra people while not being able to support itself or its people. It doesn’t take a genius to predict a major humanitarian crisis is brewing, among all other social unrest when the austerity measures hit home. Also, what seems to be forgotten is the diseases present in various people entering illegally through hundreds of boats. Although the coastguard is making every effort to assist, control and screen people, there are various strains of dangerous bacteria found that could spark an epidemic in the islands or the mainland (or even in other countries, if proper sanitation and disease control stations are not established). Rioting might not be looming around the corner as yet, but it’s not as far away as news reports suggest.
I hope that Greece will not have to ask for assistance from the international task-force during the massive NATO exercise (35,000 people) in September in the Eastern Mediterranean…August 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm #43361
When I read this, I was struck with the thought – a very eerie one – that one could almost substitute the United States here except for some of the minor specific details, like elections next month. The parallels to what’s happening in the United States are striking. Oh, we have the facade of greater wealth perhaps, when compared to Greece, but the degree of problems and the pace at which the decline is happening and rapidly accelerating is frightening. The following were my hasty first thoughts written to a friend in an email, immediately after I read Proteus’ last entry. I included a link to the above post at the end of my email (my friend has recently become an occasional reader of this forum).
When I read this post by Proteus55, I felt like I was reading about the U.S. It sounds like what we’re facing, except for one thing: the comments in the short final paragraph. If WE had to ask for outside assistance, who would we even go to? The U.N.? And who would come? China and Russia? No one else has sufficient manpower to “subdue” whatever crisis we might have that required such intervention. Otherwise, the problems existing there in Greece sound all too familiar, including the position our next president will be in, no matter how well meaning he or she might be. S/he’ll just be a figurehead, without the power to really fix what’s wrong, and will end up being the lightning rod for everybody’s dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the nation. We’ve become Greece – bankrupt, broken, being run over by disease and crime-ridden invaders in the form of “undocumented workers,” run by corrupt politicians who do their work while in office, then step aside so the nation can elect the next group of “leaders” to save us from ourselves. And the death spiral continues. This post is just eerie.
To Proteus: The line under my signature block is one that I suspect you can relate to, all too well. My heart goes out to you and your good and decent countrymen, as do my prayers. I wish I had something more to offer, and perhaps it’s a sign of my own faith that I regretfully say, “I wish I had something more to offer,” because I don’t believe that the power to fix this is realistically available to mankind any longer. In theory it should be, but I think we’ve collectively gone past the point of no return before the “big one” hits (in the U.S. that reference means the long-anticipated massive earthquake everyone “knows” will eventually functionally destroy much of California, but figuratively means any cataclysmic event that could do the same in any number of other circumstances). Meanwhile, life goes on with many people pretending even to themselves to be oblivious to the decay all around us – socially, politically, physically, morally, and spiritually. And I think that last one (spiritually) would be the only real key to unlocking the other four. Unfortunately, we’ve (collectively) turned our backs on, or at least casually dismissed the Almighty, and are paying the price in so many ways.
None the less, my prayers are with you and yours Proteus. I just cannot help but be struck by the metaphor that is Greece, when looking at my own country. I don’t want to imagine how bad it must be to actually live there.September 14, 2015 at 1:25 pm #43802
Greetings my friends. Thank you for your kind words everybody. It’s true that the situation here hasn’t really improved, despite what the news say. They are always discussing how to partially lift the capital controls, but so far very little improvement has been felt by the average guy on the street. Georgia Saint made a very important point in the previous point, as well as pointing out the truth that most people live their lives obliviously to what goes on around them, in all five aspects he mentioned. I also believe that the spiritual is a pivot around which the other four (physical, social, political and moral) revolve. Take that away and most of the rest become meaningless. Even a blind effort to survive is countered by “what for?” How a sense of the spiritual impacts on moral goes without saying, as can be witnessed in belief systems all around the world. Moral choices impact on all forms of social interactions, including politics, which of course, affects the physical in a most direct way (laws, policies, wars, regulations etc). So what’s been going wrong in Greece? ALL of the above. I don’t just mean, “despirited” in a casual way; I also mean the true spiritual component which, if missing, turns people more materialistic and not as moral and able to endure hardships as they would be if they were more spiritual. As for the moral, that’s in a mess too, judging on the corrupt State and how politicians for decades lied and participated in more scandals that could even make a film star from erotic movies blush from shame. Politics has been going down the drain for a very, very long time indeed. So most people mobilise themselves in their daily lives caring only for the physical and the social component. But, alas, those get compromised as well. So what do they do? Do they seek the right causes and then, gather their resolve to fix the issues? No, because they are rudder-less and have no proper guidance, having embraced a way of life that nurtures reticence, lack of strong morals, indifference and other poor choices with regards to standards. Of course, not everybody is like this. But the vast majority suffers from such things, and we all suffer from these choices (since our world is shaped by a minority of ruthless and corrupt people, including the majority’s lack of direction and action to oppose the tyrants). Why am I saying all these things?
Because it’s almost election time in Greece (again). Next Sunday, there’s that same show once again. The politicians have been furiously debating, spewing their lies as usual to get votes. Their arguments (however weak) seem to focus on what can be done as opposed to what was promised and were unable to deliver, and also the sentiment of the average man regarding unemployment, the refugee crisis and so on. As always, there’s a visible component in the news (and in people interacting in general) and an unseen component. The visible component is all out in our daily news which tend to focus on the coming elections, the shallow debate before that, and the refugees. The unseen component is out for those who watch closely and discern minor changes in facial expressions and stuff that gets under-reported or distorted by propaganda. So my assessment of these gentlemen is that, once again, they are all lying; that’s probably not big news anyway (which politician is not lying, right?) but I mean lying in that they don’t plan on keeping any promises to the people and also they intend on deceiving their partners and others by promising useless things, like “progress” without tangible proof, so long as they get to rule and the privileges associated with it. They have said almost nothing of the warplanes training over our skies for the last two days (F16 probably part of the NATO exercise) – there was no mention in the news feed on TV or in google news even for Greece, unless one searches by himself on sites reporting military news. They constantly underplay the huge crisis with the refugees, now focusing how the island of Lesvos (Mytilini) is now empty of refugees without at the same time explaining that most Syrians were taken by Germany (almost 12,000 the last week or so, using three ships to log them and then ship them to the mainland) – there’s thousands of them coming in daily (not just Syrians but also people from Pakistan and Afghanistan who are not going to be sent to Germany because they are unwanted by nearly all ; you see, the preference was made due to the fact that most Syrians have plenty of money with them (various reports here in Greece mentioned them having 500 euro bills, smartphones and various expensive items whereas the rest of the refugees are poor and lack resources of any kind); maybe there are other reasons for choosing to accept Syrians above the rest, but you can easily see the problem that due to Dublin II Greece will be forced to accept almost a million of people that cannot be moved elsewhere (unless some laws change) and to feed them when it has serious problems to feed itself. EU says that they send money to cover such costs with regards of the refugee management and food supplies but that’s just a lie since it only accounts for a fraction of the cost. Do they cover full medical and food supplies to them, including accommodation, tickets and a chance to live decently? Or do they condemn them to live in freight containers or ripped tents with their only chance of survival to be integrated to the crime that already is abundant in the city centre? Recently there were images in the news of most of our major city squares (piazzas) truly overflowing with refugees camping there, as they have nowhere to stay. How will this be solved by a bankrupt state and lying politicians striving to get the most votes just to rule for a bit longer before all hell breaks loose? Because, to be honest, that’s what I foresee: all hell breaking loose soon enough, and it won’t be pretty.September 15, 2015 at 5:15 am #43807
Proteus, just from a lack of something to say I have to note that winter is coming and somehow people will have to think about what they are doing coming to a colder climate. People won’t give away food if it means no food for themselves. It may come down to one country using their military to force another country to take refugees. The refugee flood has to be stopped somewhere. If it’s the ocean inshallah. They brought it on themselves.September 15, 2015 at 11:31 am #43810
It will come to that. We may not know what the breaking point is either in terms of the operational support or of the public being willing to put up with it, but there is a point where govts will say “no more”. If Europe takes in a couple million migrants this year, can they take in 10 million next year? If they find a way to do that, can they then take in 100 million the year after? There are untold millions of people in the Muslim world and in Africa who are willing to allow Europe (and the US if we let them) support them.September 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm #43812
Most recent UNHCR report. In terms of ‘over burdened operational support’ that has already clearly taken place… Check it out:
“In Greece, the reception infrastructure, services and registration procedures
are falling dramatically short of needs. At all main entry points, there is a
lack of adequate reception conditions resulting in serious hygiene, health
and protection risks. The limited capacity to respond creates a tense and
The Ministry of the Interior of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is
enhancing its registration system in order to manage this increasingly
challenging situation. The electronic procedure is more efficient and
protection sensitive. The reception conditions have also been improving.
However, with the ever growing number of people arriving from Greece,
these improvements remain insufficient and additional measures are
The Government of Serbia has worked to improve the reception facilities
and has established three new refugee information and first-aid points at
the green border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the
way to the One-Stop Centre in Preševo; near Kanjiža at the border with
Hungary; and in the centre of Belgrade, together with UNHCR and partners,
to provide information and assistance to refugees. However, in light of the
increasing number of arrivals, further efforts are needed. ”September 16, 2015 at 10:23 pm #43851
Brulen, MountainBiker and Toby, that’s absolutely right and it is worrying to see how inadequate are all the measures put in place to deal with the issue. One thing becomes rather clear to a lot of people, either they grossly underestimated the problem and now they are trying to find loopholes to refuse more refugees, OR it was part of a plan to use trojan horse tactics and infiltrate Europe (and possibly US) with extremist elements. I believe there’s a significant threat to national security of all the countries involved, and I’m sure the entire issue is a logistical nightmare to manage on behalf of the anti-terrorist organisations. Imagine not having a legal framework to refuse the refugees, and then imagine having to screen them for extremist beliefs (ie blow people up -infidels- so as to go to heaven) – how can they do that without being called racist on the grounds of religious discrimination? It’s a mess, and not just due to the fanatics that undoubtedly use the pretext to enter unseen; it’s possible that terrorist cells are routinely using the refugee routes to move back and forth from Europe to Syria, Libya and other places receiving training or orders of what to blow next. Regional police, border patrol or coastguard in Greece are doing all that they can, but they are flooded by the sheer number of incoming people. Europe committed 4 warships to assist efforts in the Mediterranean against the traffickers… 4 ships…are we serious? Are these forces sufficient enough to cover the entire Eastern Mediterranean?…obviously they would be working in sync with other forces in the area, but in terms of immediate response, I wouldn’t expect much to be honest (unless the ships are loaded with navy seals, other special forces people and electronics that rival those of an air-carrier). Does anyone remember what happened last year, with ISIS stealing an Egyptian frigate (!) and Egypt asking Israel for assistance in recapturing it? Thankfully it all ended well after the Israeli intervention, and the frigate was returned to Egypt, however I hope this kind of thing is not repeated with these European ships – hopefully they are better prepared. Many people commonly underestimate these extremists as backward fanatics; maybe they are these things, but a lot of them have been trained and armed by the West. I can imagine the level of chaos they could cause if the EC countries are not truly prepared for them.September 16, 2015 at 10:43 pm #43852
As for the UN mandate that countries accept refugees under International Law, any compliance with that is purely voluntary. Countries are sovereign entities and are free to ignore the UN, and should do so when the UN is demanding that countries act contrary to their own self interest. When the Muslim world starts taking orders from the UN, then the rest of us can start paying attention. Until then it is a one sided agreement not in the Western world’s favor.September 17, 2015 at 12:19 am #43855
I noted on the evening “news” tonight that violence has broken out with the “refugees” being blocked at the Hungarian border. I think we’re supposed to be feeling great horror that poor, innocent refugees are being “attacked” by riot police (when they riot), while we just forget about the fact that they weren’t invited in the first place (at least until Merkel did so). They’re overwhelming borders and essentially taking over countries without regard to nations’ needs to control population numbers, types of skills (or lack thereof) coming into their countries, etc., not to mention the basic issue of knowing who and how many are being added, and being able to plan for them since they generally have no prearranged lodging or jobs awaiting them once they get wherever they choose to go. We shoot people coming in our windows at night, but we’re supposed to welcome invaders that demand our food, education, land, jobs, etc. All of my family were (legal) immigrants to the U.S. in the 1800s, and became highly productive, integrated members of the nation they entered, after applying to come from their four nations of origin. I can’t possibly object to legal immigrants. It’s the invaders I have serious issues with.
I also note that there is a sudden increase of Cuban “refugees” coming into south Florida now that diplomatic relations are in full swing, fearing that the “wet foot/dry foot” policy that allows special status for Cubans will likely soon be eliminated. It’s interesting, too, that suddenly our US news media is not talking much about our own waves of illegal immigrants coming in, while the focus is now on Europe and the “small” (10,000) number Obama promised to take in over the next year. Why do I get the feeling that there might, just might, be some orchestration to all of this?
What else should we have expected as we moved from strong borders throughout the world for the most part, to a one-world “united nations” (lower case) concept. That sounds good to freshman philosophy students with no real-world independent living experience. But it doesn’t quite work in the real world, for some odd reason…. [SARC/off]September 17, 2015 at 11:37 am #43863
I just want to offer a comment on the frequently heard mantra in the US that “we are a country of immigrants”. As the Americans in the group here know it is used in an attempt to make those who object to open borders look bad or feel guilty. What the open borders folks never want to discuss is that until fairly recent times, immigrants were expected to support themselves from the moment they got off the boat or walked across the border. At some point in the mid to latter 1800’s some immigrants might have been able to avail themselves of some assistance from churches or non-government funded entities, but that was far from universal and there were no entitlements. Further, immigrants were expected to learn English and fully assimilate. Yes there were ethnic neighborhoods where the old language prevailed at home, but the kids had no choice but to learn English as that was the only language used in the schools.September 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm #43866
Yes all that, plus we didn’t have very many people living in the US relative to the abundance of natural resources. The US has been restricting immigration for over 100 years it’s not like just anyone could enter the country. Anyone arguing there were no controls and no restrictions is an obvious disassembler of truth. We should in fact repeal the The Immigration Act of 1990
“The Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub.L. 101–649, 104 Stat. 4978, enacted November 29, 1990) was signed into law by George H. W. Bush on November 29, 1990. It was first introduced by Ted Kennedy in 1989. It was a national reform of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It increased total, overall immigration to allow 700,000 immigrants to come to the U.S. per year for the fiscal years ’92-’94, and 675,000 per year after that. It provided family based immigration visa, created five distinct employment based visas, categorized by occupation, as well as the diversity visa program which created a lottery to admit immigrants from “low admittance” countries  or countries where their citizenry was underrepresented in the U.S.
Besides these immigrant visas there was also changes in nonimmigrant visas like the H-1B visa for highly skilled workers. There were also cutbacks in the allotment of visas available for extended relatives. The Temporary protected status visa was also created where Congress established a procedure by which the Attorney General may provide TPS to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary condition. It specifically benefited citizens of El Salvador.
Other aspects of the act include lifting the English testing process for naturalization which was imposed in the Naturalization Act of 1906″ From WikipediaSeptember 17, 2015 at 12:53 pm #43872
Not requiring people to be proficient in English in order to become a citizen is beyond outrageous. Non-English speakers cost the country a fortune, not just in the schools, but also in all government functions and in healthcare. Once per year I go for follow-up testing in Boston for a cancer I had 10 years ago. Without fail I see people being accompanied by translators, the cost of which either gets added to healthcare costs or govt. entitlement programs cost. These aren’t family members accompanying grandma. They’re people on someone’s payroll.
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