Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Saturday, 1 December 2012


The sum which forms the title of this piece is the amount of money owed by Greece to the United Kingdom; I do not know how much is owed by the UK to Greece.

Even these days, when we are wont to talk of "billions" when once we spoke of "millions," $8.5 billions is a great deal of money, though Greece's indebtedness to France, at nearly $40 billions must be very worrying for the French.

I see that the Greek prime minister Mr Samaras, has remarked on "a breathing space" for Greece following the deal struck with the EU; Greece will now start to receive its next "bail-out" - which will total in excess of €40 billions, 23 billions of which will go to re-capitalising Greek banks.

Apparently part of the deal includes Eurozone creditors writing-off a substantial proportion of Greece's debt which currently stands at about 180% of GDP.  We must feel sorry for the French who will obviously be hit hard by write-offs. I have been very critical of all UK governments over the years, but I must acknowledge their wisdom at least in keeping us out of the accursed Euro.

It would be interesting to know who in his right mind would have loaned money to Greece in the first place; it is well-known that Greece massaged its accounts (i.e. lied) in order to gain entry to the Euro - back in 2001 - and the availability of low-cost loans in consequence have served to compound the country's insolvency. One must assume that presumably armed with such information, the lenders were in charitable mood at the time that the loans were made.

If they are still in that frame of mind, I wouldn't mind taking out a large loan myself - one that they can write off after 11 years.

Until the next time


Anonymous said...

ho ho ho christmas is coming and the Germans are next...
excuse my ignorance , why should we feel sorry for the French.? Have they not been part of the EU gravy train like the rest? Debt 86% of GDP (the same as UK) Only poor people in the Eurozone will suffer ..`Twas ever thus.......

Paul said...

"Feel sorry" - just a turn of phrase.

The problem is that unfortunately, despite the UK's wisdom in remaining firmly outside the Eurozone, a chill wind in he zone is quite likely to give us 'flu - if indeed it hasn't already.

France's $40 billion debt is therefore very disturbing; after all, one cannot expect the Germans to "bail out" all the profligate nations in Europe. In fact I imagine that the German populace is already at the stage of - as a friend of mine used to say - "not seeing the joke."

Anonymous said...

Germany next ,not a joke .........
indeed, are we not still at the beginning of the recession to end all recessions....maybe the history books will see this as the start of some great global shift...taking the digital revolution and the global recession together as history it may seem like a new industrial revolution to our forbears. I hope the change our world is going therough will end in a better world for all (but i doubt it)


Paul said...

No, I can't agree about the Germans being next. They have the German work ethic, intelligent trades unions, an economy that is still in growth - they make stuff and export it rather as Britain used to do.

I would guess Spain first, followed by Italy, whose prime minister has just resigned, so probably more instability there with old Berlusconi making noises about returning. If the Italians are lucky, perhaps Luca di Montezemolo will get the job; he's probably the best choice and probably also the most able.

After Italy? France I suppose. The one you have to envy is Estonia whose debt as a proportion of GDP has been about 6% for years... They are doing something right!

Anonymous said...

my money too is on germany after france because Germany is still manufacturing etc.at the moment. I assume all the others are down the pan already. Its all gone to hell in a handcart. I must look in to Estonia...


Paul said...

Well then, Germany will be the last!

Experts were saying in the summer that if Greece withdrew from the euro, it could mean the end of the currency; this I don't agree with since at present the Euro is the second most widely-held reserve currency (after the US$ of course, with Sterling a distant third).

States around the world wouldn't see the joke I fear...

To finish on a positive note, apart from Estonia, have a look at Slovakia, another euro state with low debt.