January 8, 2014

Money and Politics - Turkey’s Vicious Circle

Turkey has lost its equilibrium. Inflation of 7.8 percent and political turmoil have international investors running scared. A strong government needs to step in (via Reuters)

December 29, 2013
Greeks Quit Eating Out
According to a survey entitled, “Nutrition and Economic Recession,” 93 percent of those polled claimed to have reduced the amount of times they eat out in restaurants and taverns.
The poll was carried out by  EKPIZO in collaboration with the Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece and the results published on Consumer Day, March 15 2013.
Of those polled:
55.1 percent have suffered an income reduction
44 percent claim that their income is insufficient to cover their daily food requirements
The basic criteria for choosing the day’s meal is the cost of its ingredients
The consumption of some ingredients has been reduced due to changes in eating habits as well as their high price. These products include meat (63.7 percent reduction), fish (60.5 percent), patisserie (51.2 percent) and alcohol (48.8 percent)
The consumption of some foods has increased during the Greek economic recession, rice and potatoes (70.8 percent), legumes (70.8 percent), bread (50.2 percent) and vegetables (46.9 percent). (via Greek Reporter)

Greeks Quit Eating Out

According to a survey entitled, “Nutrition and Economic Recession,” 93 percent of those polled claimed to have reduced the amount of times they eat out in restaurants and taverns.

The poll was carried out by  EKPIZO in collaboration with the Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece and the results published on Consumer Day, March 15 2013.

Of those polled:

  • 55.1 percent have suffered an income reduction
  • 44 percent claim that their income is insufficient to cover their daily food requirements
  • The basic criteria for choosing the day’s meal is the cost of its ingredients
  • The consumption of some ingredients has been reduced due to changes in eating habits as well as their high price. These products include meat (63.7 percent reduction), fish (60.5 percent), patisserie (51.2 percent) and alcohol (48.8 percent)
  • The consumption of some foods has increased during the Greek economic recession, rice and potatoes (70.8 percent), legumes (70.8 percent), bread (50.2 percent) and vegetables (46.9 percent). (via Greek Reporter)

December 27, 2013
Greek Families Ask Samaras and Papoulias to Adopt their Children
Several families that are a three-child household from a region in central Greece, Almyros, made a symbolic move, indicative of their desperation. They asked the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, the President of Greek Republic, Karolos Papoulias, as well as the President of Greek Parliament to adopt their children as they cannot afford to raise them on their own.
Many families in Greece have suffered painful cuts in salaries; their members are jobless, while the State has reduced the grants to multi-child families. All these strict measures have affected all Greek families and namely multiple children households as they cannot make ends meet and are unable to cover even the basic needs of their children.
According to the local newspaper Taxidromos, there were 40 applications with which the parents called the President of Greek Republic, the President of Greek Parliament and the Greek Prime Minister to adopt their children. All these applications were sent on Monday, by the Almyros’ Association of three-child families. Those three political leaders were asked to adopt a total of 120 children from Almyros. (via Greek Reporter)

Greek Families Ask Samaras and Papoulias to Adopt their Children

Several families that are a three-child household from a region in central Greece, Almyros, made a symbolic move, indicative of their desperation. They asked the Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, the President of Greek Republic, Karolos Papoulias, as well as the President of Greek Parliament to adopt their children as they cannot afford to raise them on their own.

Many families in Greece have suffered painful cuts in salaries; their members are jobless, while the State has reduced the grants to multi-child families. All these strict measures have affected all Greek families and namely multiple children households as they cannot make ends meet and are unable to cover even the basic needs of their children.

According to the local newspaper Taxidromos, there were 40 applications with which the parents called the President of Greek Republic, the President of Greek Parliament and the Greek Prime Minister to adopt their children. All these applications were sent on Monday, by the Almyros’ Association of three-child families. Those three political leaders were asked to adopt a total of 120 children from Almyros. (via Greek Reporter)

December 2, 2012
Greeks turn to the forests for fuel as winter nears
After first felling society’s most vulnerable, with pensioners and low-income workers at the fore, debt-stricken Greece’s great economic crisis is now destroying the middle class. The announcement this week that €44bn in emergency aid will soon be funnelled into the country – the latest in a series of rescue programmes by the EU and IMF to prop up an economy running on empty – comes as little consolation for people on the ground.
Poised for their worst winter since the eruption of the crisis three years ago, Greeks who once thought nothing of heating their homes now hesitate. After relentless waves of austerity and tax rises that have seen their purchasing power drop by up to 50%, even doctors and lawyers are feeling the pinch, with many saying they cannot afford the 40% surcharge the government has slapped on heating oil.
Having been on the frontline of Europe’s debt drama from the outset, Greece embraced austerity in return for international financial assistance that has kept bankruptcy at bay and tied it to the family of single currency nations. But the effect has been ever more devastating on its social fabric. Middle class downsizing is the latest tell-tale sign in a country whose GDP officials predict will shrink 25% by 2014 – a contraction unheard of in an advanced western economy since America’s Great Depression. (via The Guardian)

Greeks turn to the forests for fuel as winter nears

After first felling society’s most vulnerable, with pensioners and low-income workers at the fore, debt-stricken Greece’s great economic crisis is now destroying the middle class. The announcement this week that €44bn in emergency aid will soon be funnelled into the country – the latest in a series of rescue programmes by the EU and IMF to prop up an economy running on empty – comes as little consolation for people on the ground.

Poised for their worst winter since the eruption of the crisis three years ago, Greeks who once thought nothing of heating their homes now hesitate. After relentless waves of austerity and tax rises that have seen their purchasing power drop by up to 50%, even doctors and lawyers are feeling the pinch, with many saying they cannot afford the 40% surcharge the government has slapped on heating oil.

Having been on the frontline of Europe’s debt drama from the outset, Greece embraced austerity in return for international financial assistance that has kept bankruptcy at bay and tied it to the family of single currency nations. But the effect has been ever more devastating on its social fabric. Middle class downsizing is the latest tell-tale sign in a country whose GDP officials predict will shrink 25% by 2014 – a contraction unheard of in an advanced western economy since America’s Great Depression. (via The Guardian)

November 30, 2012
Spanish unemployment crisis – picture gallery
Jasper Juinen was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 1973. He left school at the age of 16 to start as a trainee with Reuters photographer Jerry Lampen, then joined Getty Images in 2007. Here, he documents the troubles of Villacañas in Spain, a formerly thriving industrial town now struggling with unemployment (via guardian.co.uk)

Spanish unemployment crisis – picture gallery

Jasper Juinen was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 1973. He left school at the age of 16 to start as a trainee with Reuters photographer Jerry Lampen, then joined Getty Images in 2007. Here, he documents the troubles of Villacañas in Spain, a formerly thriving industrial town now struggling with unemployment (via guardian.co.uk)

March 14, 2012
Dutch government in lockdown as AAA-rated country comes unstuck 
A hush has descended on a handsome 17th century villa in The Hague where the leaders of the Netherlands’ rightwing minority government are huddled over spending ledgers, debt projections, budget balances, housing market analyses and deteriorating pension fund figures.
Mark Rutte, prime minister and leader of the liberal-conservative VVD party, has imposed a vow of omerta on his colleagues locked away in his official residence until they chart a path out of a worsening public finances debacle.
Europe’s two-year debt and deficit crisis has pitted preachy northern creditors against “feckless” Mediterranean spendthrifts – countries the Dutch are wont to dub the “garlic belt”.
But suddenly the air in Brussels and elsewhere is thick with tales of pots and kettles, glass houses and stonethrowing as the triple-A rated Netherlands comes unstuck.
Rutte launched the three-week retreat for the top members of his government at his residence last week after shock budget projections from the CPB Bureau for Economic Analysis, the old and authoritative thinktank which crunches the finance ministry’s numbers.
The CPB, accustomed to delivering inarguable verdicts on fiscal and budgetary policy, said the Netherlands was in flagrant breach of the new eurozone rulebook and fiscal pact it has been highly instrumental in drafting. (via The Guardian)

Dutch government in lockdown as AAA-rated country comes unstuck

A hush has descended on a handsome 17th century villa in The Hague where the leaders of the Netherlands’ rightwing minority government are huddled over spending ledgers, debt projections, budget balances, housing market analyses and deteriorating pension fund figures.

Mark Rutte, prime minister and leader of the liberal-conservative VVD party, has imposed a vow of omerta on his colleagues locked away in his official residence until they chart a path out of a worsening public finances debacle.

Europe’s two-year debt and deficit crisis has pitted preachy northern creditors against “feckless” Mediterranean spendthrifts – countries the Dutch are wont to dub the “garlic belt”.

But suddenly the air in Brussels and elsewhere is thick with tales of pots and kettles, glass houses and stonethrowing as the triple-A rated Netherlands comes unstuck.

Rutte launched the three-week retreat for the top members of his government at his residence last week after shock budget projections from the CPB Bureau for Economic Analysis, the old and authoritative thinktank which crunches the finance ministry’s numbers.

The CPB, accustomed to delivering inarguable verdicts on fiscal and budgetary policy, said the Netherlands was in flagrant breach of the new eurozone rulebook and fiscal pact it has been highly instrumental in drafting. (via The Guardian)

March 7, 2012
Italy’s Mason-Dixon Line: Euro Crisis Fuels South Tyrolean Separatist Dreams 
Many in northern Italy have long wanted to secede. Now, the euro crisis is giving the separatist movement new momentum, with the rich north unwilling to pony up for the poor south. Prime Minister Monti’s efforts to exert control may be making matters worse. (via SPIEGEL ONLINE)

Italy’s Mason-Dixon Line: Euro Crisis Fuels South Tyrolean Separatist Dreams

Many in northern Italy have long wanted to secede. Now, the euro crisis is giving the separatist movement new momentum, with the rich north unwilling to pony up for the poor south. Prime Minister Monti’s efforts to exert control may be making matters worse. (via SPIEGEL ONLINE)

March 7, 2012
Puertollano, Spain
Mercedes Garcia, the director of a residency for severely mentally disabled adults run by Fuente Agria Foundation, hugs a patient. The residency has been running on fumes for months because the local government, squeezed by austerity measures to combat the euro zone debt crisis, has not paid its share of expenses. (via Reuters.com)

Puertollano, Spain

Mercedes Garcia, the director of a residency for severely mentally disabled adults run by Fuente Agria Foundation, hugs a patient. The residency has been running on fumes for months because the local government, squeezed by austerity measures to combat the euro zone debt crisis, has not paid its share of expenses. (via Reuters.com)

March 5, 2012
Armenian Economy: a Diagnosis
Policy Forum Armenia, a Washington based Armenian think tank and advocacy group, has published an in-depth report, which might well be the best diagnosis of Armenia’s economic woes available out there.
Unlike the optimistic wish-like projections of the Armenian officials, or the softened, politically colored evaluations of World Bank and IMF officials on the state of the Armenian economy, this report lays out well reasoned and factually backed criticism of key aspects of the Armenian economy, dwelling on public debt, fiscal policy, taxation, inflation and the banking sector.
The report warns that unless drastic changes in the economic policy direction and political-economy landscape are carried out, within the next 3 years, Armenia will be forced to undergo a large and painful devaluation of its currency, the dram, and/or an external sovereign debt restructuring or default. (via The Armenian Observer Blog)

Armenian Economy: a Diagnosis

Policy Forum Armenia, a Washington based Armenian think tank and advocacy group, has published an in-depth report, which might well be the best diagnosis of Armenia’s economic woes available out there.

Unlike the optimistic wish-like projections of the Armenian officials, or the softened, politically colored evaluations of World Bank and IMF officials on the state of the Armenian economy, this report lays out well reasoned and factually backed criticism of key aspects of the Armenian economy, dwelling on public debt, fiscal policy, taxation, inflation and the banking sector.

The report warns that unless drastic changes in the economic policy direction and political-economy landscape are carried out, within the next 3 years, Armenia will be forced to undergo a large and painful devaluation of its currency, the dram, and/or an external sovereign debt restructuring or default. (via The Armenian Observer Blog)

March 1, 2012
"It is hardly surprising that “austerity” is unpopular. It is nothing other than a transfer of incomes from labour and the poor to capital and the rich. One of the greatest fallacies of the current crisis is that “there is no money left”. This is wholly untrue. Companies are sitting on cash mountains all across Europe. And the profit share of national income has risen. This is why stock markets are rising – corporate incomes (profits) are rising."

Michael Buurke on how Ireland’s EU referendum can strike a blow against ‘austerity’

(via guardian.co.uk)

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