“But Lucas my dear, if you run out of poor people, you can always steal from the sick”


Bank of Greece complicit in broadscale embezzlement revealed by respectable Greek health site

The illegally denied default of Greece entered a dramatic new phase this afternoon with the revelation by mainstream Greek public health website Health News that, shortly before midnight on March 8th – the eve of Greece’s psi completion on Friday March 9th – on average 70% of public utility funds in varous large, interest-bearing accounts at the Bank of Greece were raided. These included most of the State’s regional hospital budgets, various universities and (it is alleged) at least one utility company.

The shortfalls came to light late last week and this morning as various hospital purchasing cheques in particular began to bounce. The monies – estimated by one source to total some 1.4 billion euros – appear to have been used to pay off the tiny minority of private sovereign creditors who, under the original terms of their bond purchase, were entitled come what may to full payment of the bond’s yield entitlement.

Setting aside the amoral audacity of this act, it does yet again raise the issue of a Greece so utterly lacking in any real funds in the real world, that to pay off a minute proportion of the bondholders it had to resort to such a desperate measure.

“The Greek government used this money in order to purchase government bonds from various bondholders without getting permission from the bank account owners,” one reliable Athens source told The Slog in commenting on the story, “hospitals and universities have been robbed of hundreds of millions of Euros, absolutely essential for their core functionality.”

On being pointed at the Health News site, The Slog immediately contacted another of many Athens sources who have flocked to this website in recent weeks. This informant in turn offered access to a senior administrator in a major teaching hospital. The person thus contacted told me: “There can be no doubt about this. It isn’t even very subtle. All the monies were withdrawn over a brief period of time on March 8th after normal banking hours. I have spoken to teaching contacts at Universities over the weekend, and it has been confirmed that they too have the same embarrassment. These people are criminals who should be brought to justice. But in the Greece of today, it will not happen”.
One final source told me shortly before posting, “The Bank of Greece is naked in this matter. We ask them for the reasons why this has happened, and they claim to have no knowledge of such things. This is ridiculous. This could not have been done without their cooperation. There is nobody now in Greece we can trust”.
Equally, nobody should be surprised that senior politicians and government officials have conspired to do such a thing. The Venizelos elite has shown itself to be without ethics or remorse in many ways already. The European Central Bank, Brussels, the IMF and even Berlin have also shown a compliant willingness to look the other way or simply ignore the Law if it suits them so to do. But now, I think institutions around the world – and their stakeholders – need to look at what’s happening in southern Europe and ask themselves, ‘Is this really right? Is any cause worth this amount of depravity and deprivation?’
Footnote: sharp-eyed Sloggers may have noticed that last Friday – that ill-starred March 23rd – the Greeks once again postponed the time by which English Law bondholders have to participate in psi. The reason: they aren’t going to participate, and Athens does NOT have the money to pay them…as the above post demonstrates rather well.


  1. If Greece is the canary in the mine, I am very much afraid we can expect this sort of thing to happen more and more blatantly. Who is going to have the means to stop it when the periphery – we ordinary joes – are bled white to feed the centre? Am I being too outrageously pessimistic?


  2. Wow just sent link to max keiser. does anyone have tyler’s email at zero hedge this needs to get posted far and wide


  3. Unreal, 1st class info John.

    Will this be enough to turn the tide of apathy relating to these criminals?

    Stealing from the sick and from students. Classy! I wonder what the colonels are making of all of this?


  4. Well, now we know why it didn’t happen on the 23rd. What will they cook up for the fourth? Steal from the pension funds, railways, infrastructure funds … one wonders how long they can manage this.

    It comes back to my comment when the 23rd didn’t happen: prolonging the agony will make the problems worse. Hospitals without money are serious problems.


  5. Yup, it’s five card stud all the way and the house, having already removed the netting and shot the referee, will put the goalposts wherever it thinks it needs to. The problem for us is that they ain’t bluffing…!


  6. ….. prolonging the agony will make the problems worse.

    Very hard to disagree with that, Gemz. But, as you know only too well, they’ve decided they can outrun Mr Reality.


  7. Pingback: Greek government robbed public institutions to complete bond swap


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  11. @Hieronimus
    They decided that years ago. The banks did that too, in the US. The US taxpayer is picking up the bill for it. So will the German ones in this case.

    They should all have done a Sweden. It would have hurt, but these things do. Smaller and more contrite banks would be a real bonus.


  12. Just noticed the photo JW, and am imagining an uncropped version: Lucas’s hands (not visible here, but obviously) down in front of him for protection; the Old Laggard (only showing her left) has her right around his tackle… and she’s not trimmed her nails recently… Please confirm that you haven’t been subjected to censorship?

    This explains the mild grimace on his boat, and I’m sure his eyes are watering. It’s enough to make anyone sick..


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  14. How odd.

    What’s the point of having Central Bank complicity if they can’t even shuffle around a few electronic noughts between accounts like every other self respecting ponzi’ist….

    There’ll be another explanation issued shortly.


  15. Well,if John Corzine,ex GS super rich turbo charged bond dealer,now politician,can get away with it at MF Global(John,if you are reading this, I want the cash and shares your outfit were holding for me as ‘custodian’,not your f.c.ing money to speculate with),then it looks like the Athens mob are abreast of current market practice in the world’s leading financial centres,ie.in good times we segregate monies, but when the outcome looks ugly,heh we just get a little confused,we are investigating these irregularities,you mean the payroll cheques have just bounced,I will be back to you on this one…


  16. William, your money got “vapourised” at MF Global?
    My deepest sympathies. What those guys did has totally changed my whole worldview. I had naivelly assumed that the super-rich could get away with screwing taxpayers, shareholders and maybe some poor people, but not with looting brokerages and the like. No-one is safe from their deprivations.



  18. Gemz
    Being very morbid here
    There is the case that without treatment some of those presently needing treatment will probably not need so in some very short timescale


  19. So, the question is, if the Greek people are aware of this, what are they doing about it? I will tell uou what they are doing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! This is why their gov’t continues to rob and steal from them, because they know the citizens of Greece have become cowards, who will take this punishment over, and over and over…….


  20. Just been put up on DMN –

    “Immigration policy

    Refugees: EU takes over financing of internment camps in Greece

    DMN | Published: 26/03/12, 19:03 | Last updated: 26/03/12, 19:07

    Greece will set up internment camps for 30,000 refugees. The facilities will be paid for by the EU, which is setting 250 million euros aside for the camps.

    Greece will set up internment camps for 30,000 refugees by 2014. With this, Greece would have more than twice as many detained refugees than there are inmates in its prisons.

    The refugees will be housed in abandoned military barracks. The costs for the extension of the camps will be taken over by the EU. It has pledged support for the project amounting to 250 million euro. The internment camps will be officially presented as “closed hospitality centres”.

    With these planned new facilities Greece and the EU are responding to the developments in refugee movements. Authorities estimate that there are nearly one million illegal immigrants in Greece. The country is the main point of entry for refugees who want to enter the European Union.”

    First thought: now a whore, with knickers around one ankle and legs spread wide!

    Second thought: surely Italy and Spain have a bigger problem? True, Turkey is exacerbating the situation on the NE border, but the problem in GR cannot be as bad as in I & ES, or?

    Third thought: How quickly could these facilities be converted into “holiday camps” for Sloggers and other recalcitrants? Is this dawning of the age of internment in sunny climes, rather than to icy Siberia?

    As for misappropriation of hospital & student funds – I feel that Venizelos could have difficulty trying to buy life insurance at this moment.


  21. to be scrupulously honest, in terms of my own personal experience to date, the thought of the possibility but when the other bit gets here you can be sure you’ll hear me squeal.. I’ve heard the shrieks all the way from over there and, say what you like about the Greeks, most of them don’t lack courage.


  22. Hello? Ah yes, we’ve looked into this matter thoroughly and it appears…… that you don’t actually have an account with us… we suggest that you contact your bank….


  23. Although I haven’t made to a TV news station today, I’m guessing this won’t be the lead story with the BBC or SkyNews? I’ll be surprised if it gets any coverage at all in the MSM because as every European Politican from Sarkozi to Rhenn has told us – the Greece “Problem” is solved.

    I trust that when people are secretly moved to hospitals in other countries that still have electricity and some form of treatment, that they’ll move them to German hospitals?

    I think this European Union thingy is marvellous, I can’t believe they didn’t think of it decades ago…

    Ours are closed, or are we about to see 1000 beds currently blocked by our own old and sick “unblocked” to make way for old and sick Greek pensioners too?


  24. Unfortunately, the colonels are with the rest of the sheeple, asleep. But I would expect no different treatment elsewhere; it’s every man for himself on the Titanic.


  25. Disgusted

    you have to wonder just how much they actually know about this.

    The same question can be asked of almost any modern Western country to some degree or other. The US for their toxic assets, the UK for printing money and Germany for giving money to all and sundry.


  26. @Tembo

    that is not a pleasant thought. I truly hope that Greece avoids such happenings. I do not want my taxes going to a bank that knows no better. Even with a super-corrupt hospital, a small amount of the money goes to helping someone.


  27. Each time I read The Slog I think that the Euro zealots and political elites can’t get any worse ,but they do. Stealing from the sick is unbelievable .
    It show’s that nothing ,but nothing, must be allowed to stand in the way of
    the United States of Europe.


  28. Gemz, I had formed the impression, perhaps wrongly, that the lack of a sufficient difference is a big part of the problem! I knew it was too good to last. (only kidding, love you really)


  29. Pingback: John Ward – Exclusive: Greek Governemnt Robbed Public Institutions To Complete Bond Swap – 26 March 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  30. It is all very frightening I think, and I believe the USE will get its way. There seems to be enormous power behind the europroject and I believe it is not all European by any means.


  31. No. Greece has the biggest problem, closest country to Asia, easily permeable land border, and infinite open sea. The EU has ignored this reality since Day 1, and illegal immigrants who manage to move on to the next country are returned to ‘point of entry’. So a huge illegal immigrant population sleeping rough or 11 to a room (50€ a month) and the Orthodox church, numerous local charities, Medicins du Monde and Sans Frontieres overwhelmed totally. And now greeks standing in line too.

    And the truth is, the sad thing, its the best educated/ most enterprising who immigrate.

    Nothing excuses concentration camps though!


  32. If true, as reported, this is simply appalling.
    It is virtually impossible to understand such horrendous actions.
    If it is true, then the EZ is not doomed to fail, it has failed,


  33. From Greece: I read about this here, now. Obviously the hospital & university people know but it hasn’t hit the headlines yet. Rather, blogs & internet – the media is owned by the establishment.

    Cowards? We have an imposed junta government that nobody wants; the courts are completely corrupt and a function of the party in power; prices are the highest in Europe and salaries/pensions slashed slashed slashed – making each day a struggle to live; peaceful demonstrators are tear gassed by the terrorist police; MPs unavailable and in hiding.

    Come & live this and tell me what you’d do. Molotovs on the streets are expression, easily put down. And there is the internet. And peaceful demonstrations dispersed as above.

    Assassination? The politicians are in hiding & surrounded by special police. Yesterday’s national day celebrations passed with no witnesses since we were fenced out.

    There will be a solution – but give us time. This is an UNDECLARED junta state now and there is no normal recourse.


  34. Pingback: Greek Government Robs Hospital and Public Accounts To Pay Bondholders. « alternative economics

  35. Yes, depredations, sorry. The whole MF Global saga sends me up the wall.Some of thge latest developments…
    All the senior officers bar Corzine himself are still in their posts, and Louis Free, the ex head of the FBI, an MF Global trustee, is trying to give them massive bonusues.
    There’s a 120 million dollar professional liability insurance policy, signed in case what happenned actually happenned, which another trustee has failed to claim on behalf of looted clents, and is instead passivelly standing by as Corzine et all try to seize it to pay their legal expenses.

    Its pretty gobsmacking, robber baron stuff, and i really didn’t think the American elites could act l like that.


  36. You folks have my deepest sympathies for what is going on in your country.
    If the greek people I know are any indication this will get sorted out sooner than later, and I hope you folks don´t run out of rope and trees.


  37. “…..and there is no normal recourse.”

    Whether or not that is the stage Greece is at now I cannot know but it seems to me as sure as eggs is eggs, it is a stage that will be reached sooner or later. Surely, however much we would wish it otherwise, that is the inevitable stage that must be reached globally before the current extremes can be neutralized. It always takes one extreme to cancel out another. It is just the way things are.


  38. >I think this European Union thingy is marvellous, I can’t believe they didn’t think of it decades ago…<

    Problem is: some very evil deceitful buggers DID think of this decades ago, thats why we are so deep into the crapper today.


  39. Very much seconded. We, who can only imagine what it must be like, are thinking of you and hoping that the madness ends soon.


  40. Expediency…..that’s a really, really big word; could possibly be the biggest in the language? (supercalifragilisticexpialidotious doesn’t even come close)


  41. @OAH

    remember that the Olympic sailed happily from 1911-1934 and was known as “Old Reliable” but for a small dent in the side the Titanic could have done the same. Re-arranging deck chairs worked for a generation on the Olympic, and many other liners of the time.


  42. @VJ

    I guess they aren’t copywriters. Anyway, it depends on the style of their writing as to whether they would deprive, deprave or simply drink too much beer.


  43. Pingback: Greek Government steals funds « muses of the moment

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  45. The ‘most enterprising’ description includes many who apply their entrepreneurial skills to crime. So I hope you weren’t suggesting we admit them all …. ?


  46. Was the money ‘borrowed’ temporarily, that is, was it eventually paid back, or was it taken permanently (stolen)?



  48. Pingback: Reports say the Greek government cleaned out bank account funds to pay bondholders « Investment Watch Blog – 2012

  49. This is appalling but doesn’t surprise me. I know of no socialist govt that hasn’t stolen all the money. It is what they always do. Gordon Brown did the same thing here to feed his ponzi scheme. Greek people need to form militias to protect themselves and their country from the criminals and kleptocrats in control.


  50. @raw: “If it is true, then the EZ is not doomed to fail, it has failed,”

    Exactly so. If the likes of Merkel fail to speak out about this, it will further confirm that she is *in on it*.


  51. Only just read this VJ, excellent – I mean, devastating. Tell me, how long have you been a helicopter pilot?! I take it this is bona fide?


  52. Your cry for help has gone out – rest assured ! The people to whom I spread the word of what is going on are aware that the Greek people are being written down by their own leaders. It may not help you until the Rope and trees have done their bit. But it might just help a few more people to avoid the worst of the coming apocalypse.

    You might be first – but we are all going down into the same pit. The only unknown is the timescale….

    Best wishes to you and yours :)


  53. Bloody hell woman! (I hope I’m not miscasting you, enters private email address) I thought I was a literalist. We probably meant the same thing then….


  54. Eleni, I must agree with ‘Disgusted’. The junta as you call it is not undeclared. It is perfectly legal within Greek democratic laws. The next elections will see the Greek people elect the same bunch, with different names of course, who will continue with the show.
    The Greeks as a people must accept what has happened is their responsibility to fix and I still do not see this acceptance of responsibility. It is always someone else’s fault or responsibility.
    I recall a short holiday I had to Santorini late last year. I had the pleasure of the company of a handful of Greeks of my vintage and we had a good chat about the matter. What struck me was their unanimous attitude that it was the responsibility of the Europeans ( and the world for that matter) to ‘GIVE’ them the money needed. No changes on their behalf because it was not their problem.
    Until this basic attitude changes, nothing will change in Greece even after it is amputated from the eurozone.


  55. “The Greek government used this money… without getting permission from the bank account owners”.

    Sounds pretty much like theft, doesn’t it?

    “When you see… your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed.”
    -Atlas Shrugged.


  56. I dont get it, why would Greece have a shortage of money any more? Not long ago, I read here that they are printing money. If they can print, and supposedly ECB is letting them, what’s stopping them from printing more?


  57. What a FRAUD and FARCE the EU and Greece are playing. The EU and Greek politicians who created the mess went unpunished without anyone being found guilty of theft and incredible misdeeds!
    Nothing will change and Greece’s corrupt politicians will do the same thing all over again, stealing EU and Greek citizen’s money, with no Politicians or Justice Ministers ever held accountable or responsible for crimes.

    ***Just Pathetic! — after $200 Billion in Greek Politicians money was moved secret Swiss & Offshore Banks recently!


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  60. I think so. We already see reports of many Greeks arming themselves for protection. It is only one step away for some sort of co-ordinated organisation to emerge, to aim their anger and fire at those who have bankrupted and brought their country to its knees. All these people need is clarity of mind as to *who* the enemy is and not to be distracted by believing that if they vote for a new Left/Right govt, it will all be alright. It won’t be. They need to wipe out the political class and start afresh.
    And it’s looking ever more necessary for exactly the same thing to occur across Europe, including Britain.
    Hell! we’ve not even begun the dealing with the coming issues of peak oil and look what a huge mess the politcal elites have already created!


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  62. Harold, PASOK (the one of two rulling parties) got about 44% in the last election, as its leader, Papandreou, promised “there’s plenty of money”, promised to fight tax evasion from the rich, while the then PM Karamanlis had given more and more tax cuts for the rich, and promised austerity. When Papandreou got elected he did the exact opposite of what he promised.
    Now, both parties stand at around 30-35% combined, with blancket propaganda everywhere, and those who are still voting for them are those who have no internet, or are rich/corrupt.
    Today the New Democracy (the other one of the two rulling parties) said they will not be setting up kiosks, or anything, to promote their candidates for the elections that may take place May 6th -they are afraid they’ll be set on fire.


  63. Eleni
    Most people I know see the ordinary Greek people as among the nicest in Europe. A corrupt elite does not a corrupt nation make.
    Easy for us to say I know, but we are with you – and the internet will continue to print and viralise every last crime of the Venizealots.
    Our very very best wishes to you


  64. Extreme racist views are gaining ground in Greece, but look at the immigant illegality there – and the mad EU doing nothing about it – and you can see why.
    Think ten years of the New Labour flood, then multiply by ten.
    It is a disgrace, but pc has stopped this ‘enforced denationalisation’ from being reported.
    As for Recep Erdoguns, expect nothing but murderous hypocrisy.


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  66. I am sorry to tell you ( remind you ) that what you just read and freaked you out is only ” business as usual ” for Greece .Is the only way in which the country has been operating for many many years . The administrators , accountants , managers , teachers or whoever from unis and hospitals who discovered that in schock are the same ones that have been robbing the system on various scales for years and years as well.Nothing new here .Greece would have not come to this financial ruin if a moral and cultural bankruptcy didnt precede .Maybe Greece will default ( uncontrolled ) maybe the europeans will keep her on life support for years , maybe a miracle ( lets fantasize – oil in the Aegean ) will save the greek economy but to reverse and recover from moral bankruptcy will take many years and a lot of harder work . Till then we all will be wondering how amoral and incompetent politicians are still ruling Greece .


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  70. Probably too late, but.. yana: your command of the (english) language commends you; your message is read and understood.


  71. Could you please refrain from blaming “the EU” for the lack of intra-EU transfer, and lack of expulsion of unwanted immigrants from Greece? Somebody – from Greece! – must have voted, in Brussels, to create the current practice, in plain sight of the consequences that the southernmost shores of the EU are bearing now. I sure would like to see the names of the Greek politicians who voted Yes, and how many millions they pocketed for doing so.


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  83. The Bank of Greece is a private institution (92% private) above Greek law. They are not obliged to list their shareholders publicly or publish major financial data. It’s the only institution in Greece operating above and beyond the law.

    Also, the Greek government robbing the people occasionally is not something new, but it’s the first time they did it with government bonds. In the past it was just an “extraordinary additional tax” to companies and proprietors, usually a 10% of your revenues, without warning. I lived it three times in Greece as a small business owner. Other cases were with excessively high taxes through the social insurance system (sometimes up to 55% of gross salary for “heavy duty workers” such as cargo loaders) etc.

    It’s the first time they violate their own bonds. But they did more: they confiscated large parts of cash that was in accounts of private collective pension schemes (such as the trust fund for the seamen, which is 100% private – and the government just “took the money”). One of these funds affected was the Pharmacists fund. That is why that 77 year old pharmacist pensioner committed suicide in Syntagma square, leaving the note behind stating that he won’t search food in the garbage and doesn’t want to leave debt to his children.

    A lot of former middle class people in Athens search the garbage cans every night. Others are more discreet – they just hang out outside stores and politely ask the shoppers for some money to buy food.

    German financial analysts have unofficially stated that the “percentage of home ownership in Greece is abnormaly high” and of course they are attacking by imposing a property tax in the electricity bill. If you chose not to pay it, you have to go through a huge process, and after that it will just be transferred to your tax return to pay it with your income tax.

    A colleague of mine (I’m a translator) told me, when I called him, that he is now paying in total taxes more than double than he was paying last year. And they say that “new measures are coming in May-June, because the ECB is asking for more salary cuts”. Private salaries are now starting at 440 Euros per month (gross) while unemployment is 22% (youth 51%) and the cost of licing about the same with an average Chicago suburb (maybe 10% less or so).

    I lived in Greece for 22 years. Never remembered having such problems with the drachma, it was a normal country and the purchasing power was more than double than it is now.

    Greece is done. Game over.


  84. Greece can’t print money. No country can. Only the ECB can. It’s like a gold standard but without the gold.


  85. If you count all the “crooks” including fake little pensions, it’s about 8% of the population (huge, but still a minority) and the amounts fairly small in most cases (such as fake disability pensions of 250 euros each etc). At the same time, the contributions to the social insurance funds were huge in percentage of salaries, income taxes very high (and highly controlled through the “official cash register machines” and the official receipts etc), and very little tax deductions for professionals.
    Normally, even after corruption, they should have a surplus. The Greek government is huge.
    Yes, there is moral bankryptcy which started with the first Papandreou (socialist movement right out of Harvard with the catch phrase “Allagi” which means “Change”) in 1981 and increased in size to such an extend that the new generation is screwed up beyond repair. A large number of them incapable of assuming initiative and they are just waiting for the government to hire them somewhere – the educational system demonized private enterprise and profit. I lived it.
    To this day, even the Greek “libertarian” movements favor a “big brother” kind of government and can’t even imagine anything different than an all powerful State. As a matter of fact, they consider the U.S. system “too extreme”. The mentality of the entire country revolves around “Government”. Which is highly corrupt.
    So what they do, is chasing everyone and having all these “reports” by anonymous people accusing everything under the sun for V.A.T. tax evasion. Fear, of course, is spread widely. It is estimated that 36% of businesses country-wide have collapsed/closed down within just the last 2 years. Etc etc.

    For just a suspicion of tax evasion, the government freezes accounts without any trial or relevant process – automatically, “pending final decision”. No accounts of the frozen (among which are accounts of private employees with 3-4 thousand euros) were ever released – they are all considered “lost” by the account holders.
    Honest people have seen their jobs, businesses, salaries, homes, families, go down the drain. The excuse that the government uses is that there was corruption (which was almost exclusively inside the government and only a minority, mostly highly ranked members of unions and their friends and relatives, or close friends of the politicians etc.).


  86. My oldest daughter is still in Greece, at the university of Crete. She lives in a nice downtown condo building. This year they had no heat. (no heating oil, no heat). I had to send extra money for electricity, which penalizes you with a 100% penalty if you consume “too much” (what an American home consumes per week…).
    Things in Athens are a lot worse.

    It was NEVER like that in Greece before. Currently many areas, formerly middle class, resemble third world areas, and more than 1 million illegal immigrants living in “out of this world horrible” conditions make it a lot worse. And it’s getting worse by the day.
    Greeks all over the world are assembling to send money, food and clothes to this formerly proud EU country. Even the Greek Cypriots have started to send containers with food cans and clothes.

    Even people who were always calm (such as the high clergy of the church etc) are now all of a sudden talking, and using words such as “one step before humanitarian disaster in Athens”. Greeks been too proud you won’t see them searching the garbage cans during the day – only the hundreds soup kitchens. They search the garbage at night. My colleage told me that a large garbage container that was packed from the entire apartment building was “almost empty” Monday morning before the garbage truck arrived… he told me “believe it or not, they even took the almost empty plastic restaurant food boxes”.

    I’m not exagerating. These are real people reports from middle class areas. People say that if the crisis hits the “middle of the middle class”, then we’ll have close to civil war on the streets.


  87. Pingback: Crunch Time for Greece (Case for Bank Holiday and Eurozone Exit Now): Disbursements to Greece by the EFSF and IMF “Conditional on Compliance with Conditionality” | HoweStreet.com

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  89. Pingback: EUROBLOWN: A small clue as to why the main Greek Parties are struggling for support…and why Brussels has a BIG problem | The Slog

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