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Ian Williams - Fetcheveryone


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22 Oct
4:38pm, 22 Oct 2018
1901 posts
With regard to EU 'imposition' of austerity on Greece, I do not think it is helpful to describe the actions of any of the parties involved as an atrocity.

I tend to agree with many of the opinions of Yannis Varoufakis. Nonetheless, I recognise that he represents one side of a debate about the best way to deal with a debt crisis such as that facing Greece in recent years. People on the other side of the debate, including some EU finance ministers, an in particular, those from Germany and France, considered that once the crisis had developed (perhaps through policies which in hindsight were misguided), austerity was the best solution. I disagreed with the harshness of that policy, just as I disagree with the harshness of austerity in the UK in recent years. However I accept that the people proposing austerity are genuinely attempting to find a solution to the challenge of avoiding spiralling national debt.

My own view is that nations should act strenuously to avoid amassing huge debts that will be passed onto future generations, but nonetheless strategies for dealing with national debt should not set rigid time limits that impose serious hardship on the under-privileged in our own time. I recognise that achieving a harmonious balance is tricky. In general, I will argue (and vote) against austerity but I do not accuse those who take a harsher view of the need for austerity as being guilty of atrocity.

I also consider that in the current world, the financial and monetary polices of one nation have an inevitable impact on other nations, and that retreat into isolationism is not likely to achieve long-term well-being for any nation or for the world at large. It is imperative that nations find ways of working together. This does require contributing to debate while not demonising those who have different opinions.
22 Oct
5:54pm, 22 Oct 2018
1982 posts
I don't think Jovi was suggesting that the Franco German attitude towards the Greek cricis represented an atrocity. Just that "Change from within" can be a tool for inaction in such situations. The current situation with Saudi Arabia might be illustrative.

I disagree with Jovi on the point about leaving the EU. Even Varoufakis had said he wished the UK to remain as an influence in the EU.
22 Oct
9:46pm, 22 Oct 2018
5502 posts
Jovi Runner
Personally I'd punish the rich ruling elite who created the crisis & siphoned off a lot of the cash for their own vanity projects rather than punishing the man in the street - as them the culprits would be punished. Insisting the rich pay their taxes would be a start! . As I've said ad nauseam the average Greek in the street has as much say on how the country is run & money is spent as you or I do over how our politicians spend our tax money!
22 Oct
9:51pm, 22 Oct 2018
5503 posts
Jovi Runner
If as stated by remainers here we believe tbe EU is a benevolent organisation that works for the benefit of all then we should be prepared to dish out money to pooer countries to help those less fortunate - as happened in Greece, Spain, Portugal etc but should not then punish them by trying to get all the money back. Either we all contribute to the pit for the benefit of all or we are in it for ourselves- I can't see how it ca work both ways.
22 Oct
10:17pm, 22 Oct 2018
3198 posts
Um....you do know that poorer countries are net gainers and the richer ones pay more than they get back? It was a core claim of the leave campaign (though ignores the fact that we all benefit through improved trade etc, it isn't a zero-sum game).
22 Oct
10:29pm, 22 Oct 2018
7693 posts
Yep - europarl.europa.eu

Greece 2016 paid in 1.5Bn and got nearly 6Bn back in investments.

Interesting you mention Spain as they have tens of billions loans to Greece. Italy too, neither are rich or stable enough to write off those kind of debts at a whim.

I don't believe the EU is anything like perfect or especially benevolent, it's practical and steady.

And in a democracy you tend to get the government you collectively deserve.
22 Oct
10:48pm, 22 Oct 2018
3199 posts
So let's leave the EU, make it poorer overall (everyone apart from a few headbangers agrees that it's a lose-lose proposition) and especially reduce the support to poorer countries. Because the EU doesn't provide enough support to poor countries. That'll show them!

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