GREECE & SPAIN: The real story

In Clubmed, the guilty are protected and the innocent turn to violence. The Olympic Games are a sideshow.

Weapons of mass distraction are at work, but they will not work

The Daily Telegraph website’s ‘Hot Topics’ this morning read as follows:

Olympics: great moments Olympics: torch relay Olympics: Team GB Olympics: schedule Olympics: graphics

All fine and dandy if you like that sort of thing – despite the growing signs that its organisation is all over the place. But three things of late have conspired to ensure that Britain has its head firmly inserted up its backside at the moment: weather damage, the ‘Barclays scandal’,  and the Olympics.

The Government has awarded us the taxpayers the job of paying for the bad weather via our insurance premiums (another hidden bailout), the Libor scandal represents the glowing testicles of the global banking hyena (another scam to make us poorer), and the Olympics look set to be both the wettest in history – and a massive drain on our resources for no return (yet another legacy of Tony Blair).

But it would do no harm to remember where the Olympics started – and what its founder is still going through at the hands of Berlin am Brussels hypocrisy. And if we have an interest in sport (and for the vast majority, that doesn’t stretch to an Olympics covered in logos and sprinkled with puerile hype) then let us take our minds back to Spain, whose national football team is the envy of the world, and whose club side Barcelona just keeps on winning the Champions’ League – because it is the best and most stylish team of players ever assembled.

Yesterday, Senor Rajoy the Spanish Prime Minister raised VAT and cut social expenditure in a country already on its knees, and not surprisingly violence ensued. Despite the Troika’s Page One error of reducing demand, cutting output and demanding slavery in preference to debt forgiveness – and the EU’s continuing determination to deny that the euro has been a boon for some but a disaster for others – no amount of hard empirical evidence demonstrating the socio-economic disaster unfolding in the ClubMeds has made the slightest dent in the tin hats of Merkel, Schäuble, or Lagarde. The equally doubly-endowed standards of Nicolas Sarkozy have now been replaced by a dull Leftwing Establishment dweeb called Francois Hollande, but for all his greyness and lack of reforming instincts within France, the new President has at least put his hand up to say, “This is madness, and it must stop”.

Less remarked by the MSM yesterday, however, was this piece of news from Greece, published by respected title Kathimerini: (my emphasis)

‘In the shadow of another report on tax evasion – this one using
bank records – that shows tax cheats are robbing Greece blind of
critical revenues, seven retired and active tax officers, including four
high-ranking administrators, were sentenced to more than 70 years in
jail for embezzlement of up to 28 million euros  – then
promptly released on bail.’

This band of merry men first came under suspicion in 2001 after a retired inspector, Aliki Kyriakaki, made claims that she had come under pressure from certain members of the group to reduce tax fines against a large company she’d been auditing – and found to have arrears of 36 million euros, or $44.2million. She said they offered to write off the debts if they were paid bribes.
She said their tactics to keep her silent included having her disciplined numerous times on specious charges, for which she was
cleared completely by an administrative court. She had refused to work with her colleagues and become a whistle-blower to
reveal the corruption.

But her courage was all for nought, because the convicted felons were granted ‘conditional release’…although the authorities would not release their names. This despite the huge sums they had blackmailed and embezzled from taxpayers over the years. These low-lifers are thus now free to do the bidding of the gargoyles in Brussels and the IMF: and lest we forget, they will also be doing the work of the banks, speculators and pro-EU elites who caused all this mess in the first place. That is, they will continue to rob from the poor in order to ingratiate themselves with the rich.

The Greek legal system also allows convicted felons to buy themselves out of prison sentences for tax evasion. Naturally this usually means that the poor, minor dodgers rot in prison…and the troughers walk away. Most of the €70bn lost last year to the Hellenic Exchequer involves the latter: some 200 alleged tax cheats have been rounded up in recent months, but not one high-level business figure has been prosecuted….and as we’ve seen, by far the biggest heist in Greek tax history has resulted in the guilty being….let off.

As southern Gallic relaxez-vous stretches down to meet Mediterranean manana, the attitude held by the majority of taxpayers is thus very simple: “the government cheats me and hires blackmailers to rip me off, so I cheat them at every opportunity”. As my own woodman here in the Lot said to me six years ago, “I don’t pay tax m’sieur, it only encourages them”.

I have reached the stage with the Fiscal Union/Troika juggernaut where I no longer accept the thesis that Berlin am Brussels is simply inflexibly dumb. I think that particular axis of evil knows exactly what the problem is, and how it happened, viz: the EMU beyond northern Europe was always going to doom those who took it up, because it was of less than no use to them given the nature of their economies. And the fiscal rules would never suit Europe south of Bordeaux because the entire relationship between the citizen and the taxpayer is different.

This deserves some further elucidation.

Before they blagued their way into the eurozone on the back of EU hubris and graft, Greece and Spain were doing just fine thank you very much. Having at various times kicked out fascist colonels and a sclerotic Caudillo, both countries saw enormous growth through the liberalisation of capitalist mechanisms alongside generous welfare systems. Tax evasion was and remains endemic, because the elites are corrupt, and the tax collectors a bunch of blackmailers. But none of that mattered too much, because their primary ‘export’ was the country itself – the weather, the food, the culture, the olive oil, the glistening oceans and stunning offshore islands.

Above all, what Greece and Spain had going for them (when it came to attracting Nordeuropa holidaymakers) were high temperatures and low costs: meals, wine, beer, flights and hotels tended to be cheap. When I first went to Greece in 1970, you could bum around the islands on not much more than twenty quid a week. My first fortnight in Spain cost £50 – flights and apartment included. The sun shone, the ferries were sporadic, the people were gentle: it would be done manana, but in the meantime enjoy your yoghurt and honey, have some tapas with your La Ina, sleep it off on the beach, and then eat late with the locals and their children at the Taverna. With these two venues and Portugal, Europeans would never want for cheap, relaxing holidays.

But then along came the eurozone, and soon afterwards the plot was completely lost. Spain took advantage of cheap ECB and US bank money to invest in a second-home property bubble that could never sustain itself; and probably more than any other ezone founder, the Greeks swapped their wonderfully good value ‘drachs’ for an immediately inflationary euro…and its elites really began to dive fully-clothed into the money-trough. In this of course, the pols and bureaucrats were aided and abetted by Germany in general, and Siemens in particular. As vacation destinations, their problem was exacerbated by the growing realisation that other parts of south-eastern Europe, and intercontinental long-haul, were where one could now find excellent value and something a little more esoteric – be that Croatia or Thailand.

The foregoing is obviously a gross simplification of how we got to here, but it’s more or less fair. Given cheap loans by Trichet, an expensive currency made even more uncompetitive for exports by a successful Germany, and a spendaholic France, the ClubMeds saw their boom slowing down in real terms by 2004. But like everyone else in the world, they chose to borrow their way out of a changing balance of power between Europe and Asia.

Probably, sanity is at hand. As I predicted against the tide last month, the Karlsruhe Court isn’t rolling over, and Gauck is sticking to his guns. Schäuble-licken is bellowing that the sky will fall in if Germany ‘dithers’ further (it probably will) but both Bankfurt and the Opposition Parties can smell blood: they are starting to push a coordinated line – that Germany will be ruined by Merkel’s ego – and Fritz in the street is beginning to catch on. The longer things drag on, the more obviously inevitable the euro’s demise in its current form will become – which is, let’s face it, what Wolfgang Schäuble is really upset about. His dream of being Ubersturmbannfuhrerfinanz for the eurozone is fading rapidly.

As long as bonds spike and austerity rules, the euro will move even more rapidly towards its implosion. There are three options left today:

1. A Nordeuro is formed, led by Germany (and perhaps a Sudeuro by France)

2. Germany quits the euro completely

3. Insolvency events overtake the Sprouts, and the entire eurobanking system falls apart, immemdiately infecting the US.

If you can choose between them right now, than you’re a better man than I. Stay tuned.

67 thoughts on “GREECE & SPAIN: The real story

  1. As for paying for the weather it’s not even apparently going to better control what can be built on active flood plains anway. It does seem however as it won’t yet be airports as the decision by another female SoS (apt?) has been delayed

  2. Please don’t forget #4 (which happens in addition to #3)… Russia, China, South Korea, India, Australia (all currently stalled), and eventually Canada, Brazil, etc. also become infected when the US does and in the space of 1-2 years the world is pretty much over as we know it… thanks a lot Mayans.

    • Oh, yes, we are in deep deep No2s!
      As for options presented in the article:
      IMHO No1 is not going to happen. NordEuro / SudEuro will face the same problems like todays Euro and they will fall apart from the very beginning, as there will be no glue bonding eg. Italy, Spain, Greece in one currency.

      IMHO, there’s a No4: Euro is here to stay. EZ bears the pain and moves forward – Germany included. Slim chances one would say…i agree but the powers that be might have other plans….
      IMHO again, soon there will be a “global event” that will bring the necessary excuses for pressing one of the above reset buttons, either No2, or No3, or No4.

  3. What is happening comes as no surprise to me. I’ve always been, and remain, a firm Eurosceptic, but I don’t take any pleasure in being proved right. The Euro was just a grand political delusion, but it is a delusion which is gradually destroying the Greek economy.

    It is time that those who advocated this silly and stupid idea were called to account.

  4. I think there is still one more EZ throw of the dice, option 4. Countries who do as they are told ( and are useful to the project) will be saved. So, Spain and Italy are pushing through severe savings to balance the budget and when this is set in stone they will have access to cheap borrowing and be helped with funds from EU for growth projects.

  5. Expect the unexpected.

    Whenever crap hits the fan it is, more often than not, from an entirely unexpected direction. That the system is bound to collapse is perhaps almost beyond reasonable argument, but it seems to me that we see things as inevitably following a linear progression – this will happen, then this, then this and the end result will be ‘x’ (enter as required). It is always the little things that get us …

    Perhaps Tony Blair will be ennobled and immediately appointed as Shadow Foreign Secretary. Cameron will possibly be exposed in some explosive chicanery, the government will fall and Ed Miliband installed as PM. All by the end of August … you never know :-)

    Imagine that – Balls IC UK economy. Ye gods …

    • Perhaps the Liar’s ancestoral records will be tweaked to reveal that he is, in fact the rightful King of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny be re discovered and he gets the job he wanted all along.

  6. Always enjoy reading your excellent blogs but I must pick you up on a factual error.

    “Francois Hollande, but for his greyness……”

    He actually uses hair dye – always the mark of a bounder.

  7. @John Ward…..:”As long as bonds spike and austerity rules, the euro will move even more rapidly towards its implosion. There are three options left today:”

    Wrong! There are FOUR options. The three you’ve mentioned plus NOTHING. For those of you brought up to believe that proactivity is the be-all and end-all, just remember…. “Doing NOTHING is always an option”.
    That’s the option our world leaders have taken. They’ve decided on their course of action years ago. It’s working perfectly for them. Why do anything to change it?
    Kennyboy

      • There is no free market, it is as corrupt and manipulated as can be. Civil strife is more likely to enforce a change and that is a long way off as long as citizens believe the road to hell is actually the road back to milk and honey. Don’t hold your breadth awaiting the market.

  8. What would you rather be paid in, and save in… Drachmas, or Deutsche Marks? It is a no-brainer. The Greeks have been allowed to use the German’s currency (although it has been renamed as the Euro). It is they, the Greek (and Spanish) people, who want to keep it. With so much corruption of their own elites, is it any wonder they want to hang onto the currency of their industrious neighbour?

    We still seem to be a long way off from the majority of people in these countries wanting to ditch the Euro, so there is much more pain to come yet.

    • Jon, Agreed. I know of no one in Portugal wanting to dump the euro. The logic is quite simple. The Politicians/ business (ergo the Elite) are so corrupted now that ordinary folk feel they need an ‘outsider’ to reign these people in. Vested interests are being eroded by the day because of the demands of the Trioka and they feel that this is what is needed to make the country corruption free and competitive. There will be short term pain, but they do see light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps its the train coming the other way: we can’t tell at the moment.

      • Couldn’t be anything to do with endless subsidies from the northern countries, without which Portugal would be (more) bankrupt? I have lived for years in Portugal, a lovely place with super people. I speak the language, Brazilian version. However, in common with most ex-dictatorships, there remains a lot to do. It makes the UK look well run, which as we know it definitely is not. Countries like Greece and Portugal urgently need modernisation, especially of their political and administrative processes. That will cost a lot of money. Oh, sorry, they had that money already? Are we allowed to ask where it might have gone? No, I thought not.

  9. We go for a combination of no.1 & no.3. The known unknown is when/whether the southern european populations will revolt, & whether democracy will survive there. These things can happen very quickly. We were living in France in 1968 when DeGaulle was forced to go to Germany to ensure that the french army stationed there would remain loyal to the government. It was that close!

    • @Mo. This is reminding me of Donald Rumsfeld … “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

    • Don’t know about Greece, but being in Spain I’ll try to answer your questions:
      1- There won’t be any revolt. There might be sporadic demonstrations / camps once summer is gone. Black market is big (it must be, otherwise people would be starving since 2 years ago) and will remain so.
      2- Democracy has been largely absent since the end of dictatorship. There’s a regime composed by the descendants of wealthy Franco elite, distributed in 2 main parties and several independentist-regionalist ones (plus a puppet king). The elections only change seat distribution.

  10. JW,

    Although expected, Bob Diamond has been retained on a consultancy contract (why, I personally can not fathom, as he appears never to have known anything about anything, but he does and has since at least 1998 publicly declared his ‘love of Barclays’, so I guess Barclays board think that is probably worth a six figure monthly payment: do you or any Slogger know the terms of this ‘consultancy’?

    • Alertmango
      I haven’t tried to find out, my bp is too high as it is.
      This is a man who has publicly admitted manipulating Libor rates. ‘I was obeying orders’ didn’t work at Nuremburg, and it shouldn’t now.

    • A nice consultancy contract is the way to keep those with skeleton location knowledge from leaking it to the press. And there are clearly a lot of skeletons around.

  11. Option 4 or 5: a nice little war with Iran to take the focus off the Euro (and generate lots of business for UK, etc. arms manufacturers). Far fetched? The Bilderbergers will stop at nothing to ensure they’re OK (and have no scruples about damning the rest of us).

  12. Helga is the proprietor of a bar. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem she comes up with a new mark eting plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

    Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers’ loans).

    Word gets around about Helga’s “drink now, pay later” mark eting strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Helga’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in town.

    By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer – the most consumed beverages.

    Consequently, Helga’s gross sales volumes and paper profits increase massively. A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Helga’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

    He is rewarded with a six figure bonus.

    At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS. These “securities” are then bundled and traded on international securities mark ets.

    Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AA Secured Bonds” are really debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

    The traders all receive a six figure bonus.

    One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager
    at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga’s bar. He so informs Helga. Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Helga cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga’s 11 employees lose their jobs.

    Overnight, DRINKBOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

    The suppliers of Helga’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations; her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

    Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.

    They all receive six a figure bonus.

    The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who’ve never been in Helga’s bar.

    Now do you understand?

  13. Recessions and the resulting state financial pressures highlight those areas that are receiving crazy and unjustifiable subsidies. We have Remploy (£27k subsidy plus WTC/CTC and disability benefits, say £50k net cost per person per year) and the Spanish have the Asturias coal mines (subsidy per person tough to calculate but very large indeed). Both are in need of radical reform, but they should have been sorted while times were good. As usual they were not. I doubt if the Remploy people will march to London but the Asturias miners have little to lose as there are no decent jobs (not that coal mining is one) left in Spain. They and the police were the people who were violent in the last couple of days. At least Rajoy has bitten the bullet and raised VAT. For those who pay VAT (fewer as a proportion than in other countries) there is some consolation that the new rate of 21% is still only the average in the EU, rather than being lower than most, as it was. Only a couple of years ago, Spain’s main rate was 16%, which under the circumstances was too low. Now we have to see what they admit about the banks. We all know that their bad debts are far greater than they say in public, and I guess that behind the scenes, Rajoy is trying to find a mug in the EZ group who is prepared to pay off a couple of hundred billion Euros for him. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea.

  14. Yesterday Martin Schultz , the European Parliament’s president, commenting about the German Constitutional court judges delaying the ESM, said the judges”
    “were out of their depth on Europe, dabbling in affairs beyond their democratic authority and doing so with great ignorance”

    His arrogance is breathtaking….

    Whilst I concede that he is German, a quick glance at Wikipedia shows that the only job he has ever had is as a bookseller and he has been involved in politics since the age of 19, elected to the European Parliament in 1994

    “During his period of office as mayor of Würselen Martin Schulz was responsible in particular for the building of the Aquana aquatic leisure centre. In view of the town’s budget problems, this decision has long been seen as controversial.”

    How can Europe ever solve its problems when one of it`s “leaders” is a career politician with a history of spending money he doesn`t have, who sees fit to accuse sovereign constitutional judges of being out of their depth, acting beyond their authority and being ignorant, just because they don`t share the same views as he does.

    I really do despair …..

    • @Mountainman. Europhiles often resort to accusing ePhobes (new word coined there ;) as ignorant (c.f Will Hutton in a recent TV interview) and out of their depth.
      The EU bureauocracy is so byzantine and Machiavellian they are probably right. As JW indicates above, they probably know only too well what theya re up to.

      • Max, you`re right, I just get so frustrated seeing these Eurocrats spouting off about anything that takes their fancy as though they are an expert, knowing full well that absolutely none of them could survive even one day out in the real world

  15. Pingback: John Ward – Greece & Spain : The Real Story – In Clubmed, The Guilty Are Protected And The Innocent Turn To Violence. The Olympic Games Are A Sideshow. – 12 July 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  16. @Carys…”Recessions and the resulting state financial pressures highlight those areas that are receiving crazy and unjustifiable subsidies. We have Remploy (£27k subsidy plus WTC/CTC and disability benefits, say £50k net cost per person per year) ”

    I visited the local Remploy factories several times, a few years ago. I saw what they produced and I met and spoke with some of the workers there.
    They were severely disabled. That was the whole purpose of Remploy….to offer work to severely disabled men and women.
    These people took pride in their work and took home a wage at the end of the week. They could hold their heads high in the knowledge that they were doing something useful for the money they earned, instead of claiming benefits.
    This decision to close Remploy factories is truly a disgrace.
    The Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller MP, should hang her head in shame. Not that she will, of course. On 11 May 2011, thousands of severely disabled people marched (or went in wheelchairs) to protest at Westminster against the deficit-reduction plans implemented by the coalition government of which Maria Miller is a member and Minister for the Disabled. She allegedly refused to meet with the protesters.
    The wholesale butchery of the Remploy network was planned and promoted by Liz Sayce. (note for John Ward…John, you could do worse that spend some time investigating this snake’s background).
    Kennyboy

    • Agree with you on this, it’s a disgrace. Considering the massive waste of tax payers money,billions upon billions (criminally IMO), the gov.,local authorities, quangos at al have taken part in, for them to turn around and kick the most needy in the throat is a utter disgrace and they should be ashamed!( of course they’re not,because they have black hearts )

    • No, I disagree. The problem is not the principle, it’s the fantastic cost per person. Does nobody in the UK care about controlling state spending? The same applies in Spain. Remploy is not the only way to help the disabled and it is not helpful to imply that it is. It belongs to the 1950′s.

      • @Carys
        I was under the impression that Remploy was for the profoundly disabled, that is something I will have to look into, as In truth, I don’t know a lot about Remploy( maybe I should have kept my mouth shut until I checked :-)

  17. Even if Germany quits the Euro or creates a NordEuro this would only partially solve the EZ mess. Any group of countries operating a currency union will always suffer downsides from differential levels of productivity between its members.

    As we’ve said before, the only solution to that is full political union and full fiscal union (or a system of ongoing fiscal transfers). And all of that opens up a huge can of worms involving national constitutions, democracy, sovereignty and of course the electorates in member states.

    • Surely that is the plan, slowly erode democracy and national sovereignty to the point when they can realise their dream of a United States of Europe, even if it takes decades to achieve. Makes me wonder whether the USA would like this to happen as a firewall against the Brics or try to undermine the whole project and cherrypick all the goodies like the energy and raw materials located around Greece.

    • @Gity: I’m sure you’re right about it being their dream. But I think events over the past three years have caught them off balance and thrown them into disarray. They’re now fighting to keep it alive without really knowing what the hell to do. They’re in a complete shambles and the markets are closing in. Europe is already virtually blocked from the intl money markets.
      And as we see recently, the German constitutional court is getting involved and Merky and Baubles are getting it in the neck. Then there’s the street riots and unrest right across ClubMed at austerity and Merky’s image of being the new Hitler etc. The German people are waking up to her great scam. My own personal view is that sooner or later the EZ will have to downsize or shut down completely. This will then raise huge questions about the very need for the EU itself. This sends fear down the spineless parasites like Barreloso and the Garden Gnome.

  18. A cracking report!

    This item details exactly what ‘the state’ is all about. No more or less than grubby little people with their hands in our pockets looking to purloin whatever they can, from you and me, for naught. And don’t content yourself that these thieving bastards are the exceptions – it goes throughout the system like dry-rot.

    For the development of dry rot, a special set of conditions must exist. For thieving bastards to use the apparatus and mechanisms of the state to rob you, me, our inheritance, our children, our wealth, our future, our businesses, farms, villages, towns and our whole darn nation and every morsel they can there needs to be a special set of conditions too. And those conditions are no more or less than simply the presence of the apparatus and mechanisms of the state.

    If the apparatus and mechanisms exist you will be robbed, endlessly. Not maybe but 100% defiantly because that is exactly what the apparatus and mechanisms of the state are designed for. It has always been that way and it always will. The only variable is how powerful the apparatus and mechanisms are, the weaker the less effective they are at thieving the lifeblood of humanity the better you may be able to get-on. But weaker they are not getting. No no!

    Like dry-rot, the state, once it infests, it can only momently stagnate or grow. You will not get it to go away without destroying every timber it has reached into. If you let it grow it will consume more and more. It is ruthless and it is veracious.

    The only good thing is that eventually it destroys everything of the material on which it is hosted and then it dies. So in the end, ultimate victims of the ultimate state, we will all be suck dry and left to crumble in the wind. Then we may have a chance to build it up again and we can only hope that next time with more resistance, confidence and pragmatism.

    • An excellent description of The State. Too bad that many people still believe it has the best interests of the people at heart. Never.

      • Well thanks BT. You are too kind!

        When I was a young lad I decorated the bathroom at my parents house. There was a hole in the window sill and as I filled it it just grew and grew. In the end I was mixing ‘Tetron’ filler with gravel scooped-up from the driveway!

        A year later the builders demolished and replaced 30% of my folk’s timber framed house.

        So I know dry-rot when I see it and, having then seen a fruiting-body of the same fungus that was considered to be in excess of 100 years old, I know just what it smells like. It is a putrid musty smell you do not forget. And I can smell it now!

      • “I can smell it now”.

        Indeed. Every 4-5 years our political elites slap on a new coat of glossy varnish to their rotten structure and would have us believe they’ve solved the growing problem of rot. No way. But it isn’t long before the rot reappears and then they begin the re-varnishing cycle again. The only effective solution is to tear the rotten timber out and replace it.

      • Yes but no one is going to do what is actually necessary – there are no votes in that one !

        We need to take a large axe to the size and scope of the State, but as friends were saying today at lunch look at the howls of anger at all the ‘cuts’ here in the UK. Only as John Redwood points out the state will be spending more in cash terms in 2015 than in 2010. There are no bleedin cuts ! And that is the problem.

  19. I note that omnishambles now chrystalizes according to Theresa May..bullshit with added sparkle. All cesspit watchers should look out for this. I see UFOs are back in the headlines to keep us all as distracted as possible. Has anyone got a spare ticket for a destination a thousand miles or more from London 2012?

    • i was going to offer you my spare studio in the French Alps ….. but it`s only 760 miles from London. Shame about that

  20. “Spain, whose national football team is the envy of the world, and whose club side Barcelona just keeps on winning the Champions’ League – because it is the best and most stylish team of players ever assembled.”

    Spanish clubs financing: Spanish clubs’ unpaid tax bills are a disgrace

    If I was a betting man I would bet than in five years not a single Spanish club would win anything (I don’t know enough about football to make a witty bet!).

    • When the new Fifa spending rules rules come into force the big clubs are going to find themselves in an enormous pile of doodoo, or the top players are going to have to take a rather large paycut.

    • Nah, tax evasion is common practice among big companies here. Football clubs make money from sponsors and tickets. Small clubs might have problems, but the two big ones won’t.

  21. Nice piece JW, describes the plight in understandable terms.

    Let us assume there is enough ‘power’ NOT to let the euro fail. The two tier system would stop it being a ‘single currency’ and to me seems implausible.

    All back to our own currencies then, in an orderly fashion, is the best way forward. But will the greedy and the power drunk allow that to happen ? Not without a fierce struggle that is already turning the average european taxpayer into a slave to the state.

  22. Pingback: GREECE & SPAIN: The real story | Doomstead Diner

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