PDA

View Full Version : Salaries and Pensions in the Eurozone



chris eblana
10-01-11, 00:26
Harmonization of Salaries and Pensions in the Eurozone! (http://eblanademocraticmove.blogspot.com/2011/01/harmonization-of-slaries-and-pensions.html)


I originally come from one country of the Eurozone and I am living in another! My family still lives in Greece, while I am making my living in Ireland. Every time I visit home and meet up with friends and family we discuss how are we getting on with our jobs, our lives and how do we make things meet. One thing that comes to my attention is how most things cost the same in the Eurozone. Of course you will say, that is one of the main reasons we do have the euro and one of its benefits. Yes, but then why our salaries are so different?

While Greece's minimum wage before the crisis reached about 700 € and now it got to just under the 600 €, Ireland's minimum wage was at 1200 € only to be cut in the current year for about 80 €. But if you go in any supermarket or any department store, the prices of the goods do not differ much. There are few differences of course: to rent or buy a property in Ireland costs up to three times the cost of one apartment in Greece, transportation and tobacco are also considerably higher (in the Irish case it was the property boom that led to those prices, and we all now realize that economies like these are not worth having; few people benefit, most lose and end up paying for the winners). How can people in Greece have a decent living if you think about it, when they earn almost half of what their Irish co-Europeans earn, but the prices of food, clothing and other necessary goods are the same? Can the prices of a bus or a train fare justify such differences? (In Ireland a bus fare costs 1.50 € while in Greece about 0.60 €). Alcohol used to be cheaper in Greece, but now with the new tax rate of 23% is actually more expensive to buy alcohol there than in Ireland!!

And this is not just between Greece and Ireland. I have travelled in many European countries, mainly in the Eurozone, and the prices do not differ much; the wages though do. How can anyone justify that Europeans must be paid differently for doing exactly the same job? Why must an Irish that works in a check out in a super market earn more than a Greek, and a Greek more than a Slovakian one? Why since we have the same currency, and a common market, common prices for most goods we still have unequal wages? And not just the wages but our pensions too! An Irish pensioner is earning about 800 € per month, while a pensioner in Greece about 300 or 400 € at best.

Different economies you will say of course. Each country controls its taxes, fiscal policies, wages etc. But what if we had one common European economy? Besides isn't the differences in our economies that make the existence of the Euro more complicated? We see that it creates problems that when manipulated by some groups of people or organizations (the Markets, George Soros), can create situations like the one we are now dealing with. One currency, one market perhaps we should start thinking about harmonization of our salaries as well. Why create this inequality in our working force? Is it because it suits our Governments? Imagine if Poland had the Euro and the Polish workers earned as much in Poland as in Ireland, why would they migrate in the first place?

But perhaps our elite needs those inequalities so they can always find cheap labor force. If an Irish man won't do the job for less, perhaps a Polish or a Romanian will! Is that the Europe that we want to create? With the expansion of the Euro perhaps we should put the bases for salary and pension harmonization that will eventually take place in all Eurozone members. The people would welcome such move. The goods that we need are getting more and more expensive with the Euro anyway, how come we can share a currency with Germany but not the German wages? How come we can pay the same for a bottle of milk but not earn the same? Why our leaders are only giving us half of the benefits of the common market and currency, why are they doing things half way? Why it is the people of Europe that must be the guinea pigs of the social and financial experiments of our Governments, and who profits from this situation?

We have a common and free market but some nations are being forced into having less to spend, while others are given more. If Greece has lower wages shouldn't have lower prices as well? Then the German tourists would really find things cheaper in their holidays, but to their surprise Greece is a very expensive country. In that way the Greeks are losing out twice: not just by not earning the same as the Germans and not having the same to spend and travel as much as them, but losing out in Tourism as well as the Germans prefer to go to Tunisia or other cheaper holiday destinations. So why is Greece in the Eurozone in the first place? If we make the sacrifice of not being able to devalue our currency and attract Tourism, then shouldn't be given equal wages with other Europeans and similar economies to them? Industrialization and technology, invest in new ways of energy and research in fields as green energy and agriculture. Why are we given half the benefits of EU and Euro membership and who takes the other half? Who profits when we lose?

If you think that is fair to be paid half of a person in a nearby country for doing the same job, and while belonging to the same "European family", same market and using the same currency then perhaps we should stick with this situation. But imagine if everyone in Europe had the same opportunity in prosperity, progress and development, same salaries and money to spent, was paying the same prices for the same goods; wouldn't that mean equality and all the things that EU is boasting for? Think about it! I do not want to be a second class EU citizen any more.


as posted in www.eblanademocraticmove.blogspot.com

LeBrok
10-01-11, 05:02
Ah, the public education fails again. :)



Different economies you will say of course. Each country controls its taxes, fiscal policies, wages etc.

Discrabing what's economy you missed the most important part: production, production, production. Greece doesn't produce much, so it doesn't have much to share among citizens, in form of wages. Money is just the equivalent of the production part of the economy.
Nobody cheats Greeks off money, making it a poorer country. Greece doesn't produce as much as Germany or Ireland, therefore it is poorer in comparison.
But it is just in the eye of beholder. When you compare Greece to Albania, Greece is a rich country. Well, it looks like Albania is producing even less. And this is the trick: production, production, production.

To think that all Euro using countries will have same standard of living is just a big misconception. In every country, and I mean every country, you will find zones or cities being richer than others. What does that mean? One city is cheating the other, in same country, out of money? How is this possible?
Production, production, production, that's the true essence of economy.

Elias2
10-01-11, 17:00
The current greek government is banking on green technologies to be its prime manufacturing products in the near future. Right now there are few growth industries outside of tourism.

LeBrok
10-01-11, 20:07
It would be great Elias, but it's not going to happen, at least on a big scale. New technologies need multi billion dollar investment, plus same amount of subsides for so called green technologies. In current financial state Greece is not in a position to find money for this. For a next few years you won't find much of support from population for more sacrifices, for example sacrifices to pay more for electricity. Without subsidies, ordinary folks would pay 3 times more for electricity from wind mills compared to coal, and 5 to 10 times more if solar panels are used.
Besides, when government plans something economy wise..., the money is usually well wasted.
All Greece needs to do is to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in society. This spirit exists everywhere you just need to channel it and support with good education. In mean time create good condition for business environment, and also speed up the growth with capital from abroad. Then sit back and watch,...lol, it's that easy.
There are many examples from around the world how it works.
Even Ireland, even if some people criticise it recently. They already forgot how poor the country was 20-30 years ago. It is a miracle of economy guys!!!
Recent downturn is not related to Ireland production economy, but it was caught in global financial screwup, and too much extended with debt. But this year there is a record investment money flowing in! That's right, Ireland is in different situation than Greece or Portugal, and it's going to beat it's debt with fast growth again. In 3 years nobody will remember how scary it was in 2010. I just hop they learnt the lessen and will be careful with borrowing too much money in the future.
Ireland is in great shape if it comes to production side of it's economy.
Greece is in bad shape with production and finances. Unfortunately there is no easy way to fix it. Especially if citizens are angry and don't want to help.
I wish all the best luck to all Greeks, and I hope the government will find the way out.

Regulus
10-01-11, 20:30
Ah, the public education fails again. :)


Discrabing what's economy you missed the most important part: production, production, production. Greece doesn't produce much, so it doesn't have much to share among citizens, in form of wages. Money is just the equivalent of the production part of the economy.
Nobody cheats Greeks off money, making it a poorer country. Greece doesn't produce as much as Germany or Ireland, therefore it is poorer in comparison.
But it is just in the eye of beholder. When you compare Greece to Albania, Greece is a rich country. Well, it looks like Albania is producing even less. And this is the trick: production, production, production.

To think that all Euro using countries will have same standard of living is just a big misconception. In every country, and I mean every country, you will find zones or cities being richer than others. What does that mean? One city is cheating the other, in same country, out of money? How is this possible?
Production, production, production, that's the true essence of economy.


I couldn't have said it better. Those that produce products (especially products), needed services etc., will have more money. That is why they call it "making money". The culture today seems to have been swayed by the promise of redistribution. Redistribution, if accomplished, only results in having to start over or an entire economy will just lie stagnate.

chris eblana
10-01-11, 20:31
Le Brok do you think that we are allowed to produce anything other than agriculture...?? don't you think that we want to produce things and progress...?? but when the vast majority of manufacturing industries are gathered in Germany and northern Europe, and what is left goes to China, what is left there to produce...?? We used to have great companies of light industry like PITSOS, and many others...our government sold them off and they are gone...other light industries left the country to move to china...globalization you see...so either germany allows us to start producing cars lap tops mobile phones and so on, or they will have to continue to support us...it is not that we do not want...it is that we are not allowed to.....when we strike we strike because we must....the mess was not created by the people, but it is the people that must take the cuts....with a minimum wage under the 600 euro and prices equal that of germany in most things, tell me how do you expect people to live..?? everything is privatized, everything is sold to private foreign companies...it is not that Greece does not have riches to exploit, we were not allowed to do so, unless we gave them up to the multinationals...exactly what is happening to Africa mate...Nigeria is an oil rich country..why is it still so poor...?? think about it....



also you talk about production production production....isn't in all european cities, the poorest areas, the working areas that produce more...?? the rich areas are the ones with the means of production, the poor areas are the labour force.....so why the rich areas are usually belonging to the elite and the rich...? simply because they steal the wealth from the workers....or they exploit them...and that happens in a national and international level....it is not because of production production production, but because of greed greed greed....the church owns the best usually land in most countries....what do they produce...?? nothing...!! i think your theory has a fault there...

Elias2
11-01-11, 03:16
It would be great Elias, but it's not going to happen, at least on a big scale. New technologies need multi billion dollar investment, plus same amount of subsides for so called green technologies. In current financial state Greece is not in a position to find money for this. For a next few years you won't find much of support from population for more sacrifices, for example sacrifices to pay more for electricity. Without subsidies, ordinary folks would pay 3 times more for electricity from wind mills compared to coal, and 5 to 10 times more if solar panels are used.
Besides, when government plans something economy wise..., the money is usually well wasted.
All Greece needs to do is to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in society. This spirit exists everywhere you just need to channel it and support with good education. In mean time create good condition for business environment, and also speed up the growth with capital from abroad. Then sit back and watch,...lol, it's that easy.
There are many examples from around the world how it works.
Even Ireland, even if some people criticise it recently. They already forgot how poor the country was 20-30 years ago. It is a miracle of economy guys!!!
Recent downturn is not related to Ireland production economy, but it was caught in global financial screwup, and too much extended with debt. But this year there is a record investment money flowing in! That's right, Ireland is in different situation than Greece or Portugal, and it's going to beat it's debt with fast growth again. In 3 years nobody will remember how scary it was in 2010. I just hop they learnt the lessen and will be careful with borrowing too much money in the future.
Ireland is in great shape if it comes to production side of it's economy.
Greece is in bad shape with production and finances. Unfortunately there is no easy way to fix it. Especially if citizens are angry and don't want to help.
I wish all the best luck to all Greeks, and I hope the government will find the way out.

I agree with this too. I'm not a greek government official, I just say what I hear on the news ect, and give my opinion. There is alot of reforms, more than there has been in a long time in greece, taking place because of this crisis. I have no idea what the country will look like in 5-10 years, but its probably going to be better managed from now on, time of crisis are usually when great changes occur the most.

Ireland has some advantages that greece doesn't have in a geographical sence. It doesn't have to worry or help the enormous amount of illegal migrants that greece has to deal with. It also is in a part of Europe that is more... stable, and doesn't have to spend alot of its GDP on defense. According to wikipedia, Ireland spends 1.5 billion on defense spending, while greece spends 14 billion, which is the 6th highest in the EU after spain. I just read Greece bought 400 APC's from Russia in a deal worth I dunno how many millions of dollars. This is not an excuse for going into this crisis just a FYI.

barbarian
11-01-11, 08:15
Ireland has some advantages that greece doesn't have in a geographical sence.
in this case, you must compare the tourism income also.

chris eblana
11-01-11, 15:53
in this case, you must compare the tourism income also.


tourism is a seasonal income and it is dependent on how the economies of Europe and America are doing...you can't rely on tourism. when europeans and americans do not have money, they do not spend as much...!!thus less money for the Greeks too (or the turks in that case)..

we need to start producing industry, but when this means more competition for the northern europeans, i doubt if they will give us the "know how" and allow us in the competition...ireland thinks of going green....now elias says that greece thinks that too...how many "green" economies can europe have, since most large global economies still rely on oil and gas, and cars...?? it is pure hypocricy...america and western europe became rich producing cars and other heavy industry but now they do not allow anyone else to do the same....we must either resolve in farming, tourism or now "green" energy...so in the future what, will america buy "green" cars from greece...?? they are having a laugh...!!!

Reinaert
11-01-11, 22:15
Ah, the public education fails again. :)


Discrabing what's economy you missed the most important part: production, production, production. Greece doesn't produce much, so it doesn't have much to share among citizens, in form of wages. Money is just the equivalent of the production part of the economy.
Nobody cheats Greeks off money, making it a poorer country. Greece doesn't produce as much as Germany or Ireland, therefore it is poorer in comparison.
But it is just in the eye of beholder. When you compare Greece to Albania, Greece is a rich country. Well, it looks like Albania is producing even less. And this is the trick: production, production, production.

To think that all Euro using countries will have same standard of living is just a big misconception. In every country, and I mean every country, you will find zones or cities being richer than others. What does that mean? One city is cheating the other, in same country, out of money? How is this possible?
Production, production, production, that's the true essence of economy.

This is bullshit.

Capitalism is taking European cash into China. European companies are investing in China, and the European labor force gets more and more unemployed. Production, production, production... So what???

The problem in the USA is, they don't produce anything anymore what they can sell to anywhere in the world. Canada has a lot of mining companies in different parts of the world, so they still earn money. Partly because they abuse international environment rules.

I am working in an electronic industry that is working for other industries that buy their stuff from China. We have a full time job to correct Chinese production faults.

I think it's a psychological manager preoccupation to want to buy stuff from China. (Those guys are communists, remember?)

The western capitalism has gone completely banana's.

Elias2
11-01-11, 23:33
This is bullshit.

Capitalism is taking European cash into China. European companies are investing in China, and the European labor force gets more and more unemployed. Production, production, production... So what???

The problem in the USA is, they don't produce anything anymore what they can sell to anywhere in the world. Canada has a lot of mining companies in different parts of the world, so they still earn money. Partly because they abuse international environment rules.

I am working in an electronic industry that is working for other industries that buy their stuff from China. We have a full time job to correct Chinese production faults.

I think it's a psychological manager preoccupation to want to buy stuff from China. (Those guys are communists, remember?)

The western capitalism has gone completely banana's.

Maybe we needs to bring back tariffs to protect our industries from chinas low wages, or slave wages as I call them.

Elias2
11-01-11, 23:36
tourism is a seasonal income and it is dependent on how the economies of Europe and America are doing...you can't rely on tourism. when europeans and americans do not have money, they do not spend as much...!!thus less money for the Greeks too (or the turks in that case)..

we need to start producing industry, but when this means more competition for the northern europeans, i doubt if they will give us the "know how" and allow us in the competition...ireland thinks of going green....now elias says that greece thinks that too...how many "green" economies can europe have, since most large global economies still rely on oil and gas, and cars...?? it is pure hypocricy...america and western europe became rich producing cars and other heavy industry but now they do not allow anyone else to do the same....we must either resolve in farming, tourism or now "green" energy...so in the future what, will america buy "green" cars from greece...?? they are having a laugh...!!!

Why not? competition is not a bad thing. There are more ideas for green energy than just electric cars. Greece is luckey that is has alot of sunshine year round, they should invest in solar power technologies, then thye can export it. This is just an idea but greeks have to start thinking outside the box.

barbarian
12-01-11, 01:03
tourism is a seasonal income and it is dependent on how the economies of Europe and America are doing...you can't rely on tourism. when europeans and americans do not have money, they do not spend as much...!!thus less money for the Greeks too (or the turks in that case)..

we need to start producing industry, but when this means more competition for the northern europeans, i doubt if they will give us the "know how" and allow us in the competition...ireland thinks of going green....now elias says that greece thinks that too...how many "green" economies can europe have, since most large global economies still rely on oil and gas, and cars...?? it is pure hypocricy...america and western europe became rich producing cars and other heavy industry but now they do not allow anyone else to do the same....we must either resolve in farming, tourism or now "green" energy...so in the future what, will america buy "green" cars from greece...?? they are having a laugh...!!!
agree.

i just want to say that if ireland has some geographical advantages, greece also has it. tourism is one of them.

by the way, i dont believe greece can be a production country, in addition to the facts you have mentioned, the mentality in greece does not work for production. greece prefers service and finance sectors.

i believe with the recovering global production and the need for sea transportation from china together with the new economical regulations in greece, your economy will be much better than before.

if you think about the increasing demand especially from the oil rich russia, agriculture may be very important for greeces future.

and i think green energy is just balloon, not a life buoy.

barbarian
12-01-11, 01:13
Maybe we needs to bring back tariffs to protect our industries from chinas low wages, or slave wages as I call them.

developed countries do not want to protect themselves, they want to go there. firstly, they build there their factories with the promotions (?), produce the items with the low energy and labor costs to sell in the global market. but the main target is to sell their products to chinese and indian people when they have enough purchasing power in the future.

LeBrok
12-01-11, 07:00
I'm generally agreeing with barbarian.

You don't need to reinvent a wheel. Ireland didn't make its progress inventing new technologies. They just created a great environment for business and finance, and companies went there opened factories and started producing goods=jobs and GDP. That gave people work and money, ..the rest is history.
China and Asia over all with cheap labour is going to produce cheap stuff for the world. There is no reason to compete with this. The only smart thing is to send your business people and Greek investments to take some income/interest back to Greece.
Germany, after the war was a ruin, dependent to US. But they didn't play a victim, saying: it's not worth to do anything now, because Americans will steal everything from us anyway. Americans are rich and will keep us Germans poor like slaves.” Right? It turned that Americans didn't held Germans back, Germans rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
And yes, even Germans lost lots of cheap manufacturing to Asia. But they didn't complained much either, they increased production of luxury goods, and look how they sell in China, lol. Everybody wants BMW there.
This is called a niche, and Germans obviously found one in today’s economy of the world. My hat is off, and low.
This shows that one doesn't need to compete with cheap stuff from Asia to be a successful economy.
US had it niche for many years. US was (and still is to some degree) a hub for scientists and entrepreneurs. For last 100 years the greatest minds went there to invent things, produce and sell.
Look at Singapore. Form manufacturing hub in 70-80 they became a financial/investment center now. They stopped producing on a big scale; instead they invested their billions in China and India and live from other nation labour now. And they really prosper. They were a kicked down colony not long ago. But they refused to play a victim, they took matter in their hands, and now they are a marvel of the world.
We are talking about 5 million people on an Island, no natural resources to sell, and GDP of 255 billion!
For god sake, every government should go there and learn how they did it. But no, many countries have there own special model of economy. Then when it fails (and often so) they will blame someone else, lol, the banking system, the US, the rich, the global warming, oh poor us. We would be a great country but everyone is against us, they won’t let us….

Firstly Greece:
- stop playing a victim
- don’t cry about past, think about future
- roll up your sleeves
- Fire all socialistic teachers and start educating people how real economy works (looking at Athens’ streets, people and especially young students, don’t have a clue!)
- Cut the taxes for businesses. Overtaxing businesses is like shooting yourself in a leg. Business will go away and take jobs with them. Ireland was poor till they figured this out, lol.
- Don’t be afraid of rich people and their businesses, they spend money for local services like construction. They support many local charities, hospitals, universities; they are people with feelings like everyone else and like sharing their wealth.

What rich people or businesses do with fortunes they make? Keep it in safe? No, they reinvest their money to build new factories=jobs to get even richer, or just because they love progress, or are patriotic, or workaholics, or just pure talent for making money. They invest in new risky technologies, even invented locally. This is how progress is done. This is how local population rips the benefits, and get richer too.
Businesses and rich people behind them produce real goods and services that benefit all society in the country. There is no other way around it to get to prosperity. Many governments tried running businesses by themselves and never with good results. It is estimated that in Greece 40 percent of population have government jobs or jobs related to government services. It turned to be a road to disaster. The only logical step is to embrace something else now, at least something that gave good results in other countries.
- Unleash entrepreneurial spirit in society. Have government programs supporting local entrepreneurs and their ventures. Let them get rich in the process, it’s a vital ingredient of success.
- Educate people in economy, finances, business, and encourage them to take risks.
- Advertise to corporations around the world how educated and skillful Greek labour force is.
- Don’t think you’re something special and try inventing unique Greek model. I think it was tired before for decades.
- Don’t be afraid of foreign corporations buying Greek properties or land. They bring investments and jobs to your country. In case of a war Greek government, with one decree, can take it all back. So what is the risk? They’ll buy a land and will export it away for ever?!
- Don’t base your future on one thing: like truism or green power. The Mediterranean coast is huge with big competitions and flights are cheaper every year, so competition is growing. Green technologies are expensive to implement, will take decades of government subsidies, and competition is steep from many countries. Danes are doing it for 40 years, what an experience! And I think they are about to slow down with wind mills,…luck of funds. It’s damn expensive compared to coal or gas. Whole green power is politically enforced and lacks real economic value. That’s why it’s not going well.
This is what happened in past when wind turbine subsidies ran out.
http://www.traders-talk.com/mb2/index.php?showtopic=116253 (http://www.traders-talk.com/mb2/index.php?showtopic=116253)
Please Greece don’t go there.

Don’t let the government to dictate economy where it should go. They always create something artificial that fails. Just unleash the forces, sit back, oil it with some smart regulations and life is good.
Later

Elias2
12-01-11, 15:45
Hmm when I said they are looking into green energies I mean as just an example on how to broaden the econoomic protfolio of Greece, I'm sure they're not going to just do one thing 100% that would be dumb. I agree with everything you say about letting the people grow the economy themselves, but alas I don't work for the greek government.

Wilhelm
12-01-11, 19:08
Ah, the public education fails again. :)


Discrabing what's economy you missed the most important part: production, production, production. Greece doesn't produce much, so it doesn't have much to share among citizens, in form of wages. Money is just the equivalent of the production part of the economy.
Nobody cheats Greeks off money, making it a poorer country. Greece doesn't produce as much as Germany or Ireland, therefore it is poorer in comparison.
But it is just in the eye of beholder. When you compare Greece to Albania, Greece is a rich country. Well, it looks like Albania is producing even less. And this is the trick: production, production, production.

To think that all Euro using countries will have same standard of living is just a big misconception. In every country, and I mean every country, you will find zones or cities being richer than others. What does that mean? One city is cheating the other, in same country, out of money? How is this possible?
Production, production, production, that's the true essence of economy.
You talk about Standard of Living, but Greece has a higher HDI than Austria , United Kingdom or Luxembourg, as of 2010

chris eblana
12-01-11, 19:24
I'm generally agreeing with barbarian.

You don't need to reinvent a wheel. Ireland didn't make its progress inventing new technologies. They just created a great environment for business and finance, and companies went there opened factories and started producing goods=jobs and GDP. That gave people work and money, ..the rest is history.
China and Asia over all with cheap labour is going to produce cheap stuff for the world. There is no reason to compete with this. The only smart thing is to send your business people and Greek investments to take some income/interest back to Greece.
Germany, after the war was a ruin, dependent to US. But they didn't play a victim, saying: it's not worth to do anything now, because Americans will steal everything from us anyway. Americans are rich and will keep us Germans poor like slaves.” Right? It turned that Americans didn't held Germans back, Germans rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
And yes, even Germans lost lots of cheap manufacturing to Asia. But they didn't complained much either, they increased production of luxury goods, and look how they sell in China, lol. Everybody wants BMW there.
This is called a niche, and Germans obviously found one in today’s economy of the world. My hat is off, and low.
This shows that one doesn't need to compete with cheap stuff from Asia to be a successful economy.
US had it niche for many years. US was (and still is to some degree) a hub for scientists and entrepreneurs. For last 100 years the greatest minds went there to invent things, produce and sell.
Look at Singapore. Form manufacturing hub in 70-80 they became a financial/investment center now. They stopped producing on a big scale; instead they invested their billions in China and India and live from other nation labour now. And they really prosper. They were a kicked down colony not long ago. But they refused to play a victim, they took matter in their hands, and now they are a marvel of the world.
We are talking about 5 million people on an Island, no natural resources to sell, and GDP of 255 billion!
For god sake, every government should go there and learn how they did it. But no, many countries have there own special model of economy. Then when it fails (and often so) they will blame someone else, lol, the banking system, the US, the rich, the global warming, oh poor us. We would be a great country but everyone is against us, they won’t let us….

Firstly Greece:
- stop playing a victim
- don’t cry about past, think about future
- roll up your sleeves
- Fire all socialistic teachers and start educating people how real economy works (looking at Athens’ streets, people and especially young students, don’t have a clue!)
- Cut the taxes for businesses. Overtaxing businesses is like shooting yourself in a leg. Business will go away and take jobs with them. Ireland was poor till they figured this out, lol.
- Don’t be afraid of rich people and their businesses, they spend money for local services like construction. They support many local charities, hospitals, universities; they are people with feelings like everyone else and like sharing their wealth.

What rich people or businesses do with fortunes they make? Keep it in safe? No, they reinvest their money to build new factories=jobs to get even richer, or just because they love progress, or are patriotic, or workaholics, or just pure talent for making money. They invest in new risky technologies, even invented locally. This is how progress is done. This is how local population rips the benefits, and get richer too.
Businesses and rich people behind them produce real goods and services that benefit all society in the country. There is no other way around it to get to prosperity. Many governments tried running businesses by themselves and never with good results. It is estimated that in Greece 40 percent of population have government jobs or jobs related to government services. It turned to be a road to disaster. The only logical step is to embrace something else now, at least something that gave good results in other countries.
- Unleash entrepreneurial spirit in society. Have government programs supporting local entrepreneurs and their ventures. Let them get rich in the process, it’s a vital ingredient of success.
- Educate people in economy, finances, business, and encourage them to take risks.
- Advertise to corporations around the world how educated and skillful Greek labour force is.
- Don’t think you’re something special and try inventing unique Greek model. I think it was tired before for decades.
- Don’t be afraid of foreign corporations buying Greek properties or land. They bring investments and jobs to your country. In case of a war Greek government, with one decree, can take it all back. So what is the risk? They’ll buy a land and will export it away for ever?!
- Don’t base your future on one thing: like truism or green power. The Mediterranean coast is huge with big competitions and flights are cheaper every year, so competition is growing. Green technologies are expensive to implement, will take decades of government subsidies, and competition is steep from many countries. Danes are doing it for 40 years, what an experience! And I think they are about to slow down with wind mills,…luck of funds. It’s damn expensive compared to coal or gas. Whole green power is politically enforced and lacks real economic value. That’s why it’s not going well.
This is what happened in past when wind turbine subsidies ran out.
http://www.traders-talk.com/mb2/index.php?showtopic=116253 (http://www.traders-talk.com/mb2/index.php?showtopic=116253)
Please Greece don’t go there.

Don’t let the government to dictate economy where it should go. They always create something artificial that fails. Just unleash the forces, sit back, oil it with some smart regulations and life is good.
Later


i think you do not understand that Greece IS the victim in many occasions in the past, and now. Haven't read what Mr Juncker said about the Greek situation, or what Mr Kohn-Bendt said in the European Parliament?

Juncker said that Germany and France knew about the situation of the economy of Greece, but they let it go bankrupt and even if Juncker knew, he could not say anything about it. Kohn Bends mentioned that while Greece is being help to sink in this debt, the rest of Europe and the NATO allies have not guaranteed Greece's sovereignty and Greece is forced to keep buying millions of worth of submarines from Germany and aircrafts from France...in a way he said we bail out Greece to have money so they can keep buying our submarines and aircratfts....AND Greece has to repay the loan..plus Germany never repaid Greece the compensation for the damages and the deaths caused by the Nazis during the WW2...so you are saying to forget, shut up, and do as we are told....and why we must all become like Germany or America or Britain? why should we sell off all our assets to the global elite and multinationals...??

no i think not....Greeks are not Germans...we do not like to shut up and swallow it...simply...you are saying that whoever does not protest to his country's humiliation and does not struggle, in the long term will be rewarded with a strong economy and progress...the American and German way..?? Why agressive anglosaxon capitalism is the best and only way to go....??

chris eblana
12-01-11, 19:30
agree.

i just want to say that if ireland has some geographical advantages, greece also has it. tourism is one of them.

by the way, i dont believe greece can be a production country, in addition to the facts you have mentioned, the mentality in greece does not work for production. greece prefers service and finance sectors.

i believe with the recovering global production and the need for sea transportation from china together with the new economical regulations in greece, your economy will be much better than before.

if you think about the increasing demand especially from the oil rich russia, agriculture may be very important for greeces future.

and i think green energy is just balloon, not a life buoy.



but the greek people want to produce....how many greeks work in factories in germany and belgium..? it is not that we do not prefer the production...it is that there is NONE left...!! they all left for china...germany has sucked up most of europe's industries.....european solidarity my arse...allow us to produce and save our economy, give jobs to our youth and invest in new technology, and exploit our natural resources on OUR OWN, not sell them off to multinationals, and then you will see a rich and strong Greece...but who would want that in reality....??

chris eblana
12-01-11, 19:37
Why not? competition is not a bad thing. There are more ideas for green energy than just electric cars. Greece is luckey that is has alot of sunshine year round, they should invest in solar power technologies, then thye can export it. This is just an idea but greeks have to start thinking outside the box.


ok we think outside the box and we start producing green cars....will the germans buy cars from greece..?? where sould we sell them..??

there was a model produced for the Athens olympic games....from the greek automobil company elbo (www.elbo.gr)... they created with the funding of private greek investors an electric car...back in 2004...what ever happened to it...?? it never went in mass production....you people do not understand how politics and the market work...it is ruthless and dominated by rich greedy nations that do not easily allow smaller countries to take a share of the market....whatever happened to zastava , dacia and yugo cars....?? they were either forced to close or were bought by larger european companies...didn't the romanians know how to make cars...?? of course they did, they have been making them for decades...where is dacia now then...?? and why elbo the greek automobile company is not allow to produce mass car production and is limited to produce buses for the internal market only...??

Reinaert
12-01-11, 21:31
Maybe we needs to bring back tariffs to protect our industries from chinas low wages, or slave wages as I call them.

You are right.
The Chinese people are slaves, used by the (hidden fascist) communist government of China. Worldwide (fascist) capitalistic companies are making huge profits by exploiting millions of people for their own greed.

Hey.. I am a Christian, and I simply say that trade with totalitarian fascist and communist countries is very bad!

Some members of this forum don't like that..
And they want me banned...

In Europe we have still a free expression of opinions though..
Wuhaaaaaaa...

Maciamo
13-01-11, 13:26
While Greece's minimum wage before the crisis reached about 700 € and now it got to just under the 600 €, Ireland's minimum wage was at 1200 € only to be cut in the current year for about 80 €. But if you go in any supermarket or any department store, the prices of the goods do not differ much.

I wouldn't put too much thought into minimal wages. Many European countries don't have any (including all Nordic countries, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy). Those who do are quite arbitrary and do not necessarily reflect the cost of life or GDP per capita. According to Google's public data, here are the minimum monthly wages in the eurozone.

Luxembourg : €1,724.81 per month
Ireland : €1,461.85 per month
Belgium : €1,440.67 per month (or €1,387.5 under 21 years old)
Netherlands : €1,416 per month
UK : €1,169.49 per month
Greece : €862.82 per month
Spain : €738.85 per month
Slovenia : €734.15 per month
Portugal : €554.17 per month
Slovakia : €307.7 per month
Estonia : €278.02 per month


Life isn't more expensive in Ireland or Belgium than in the UK, yet the British government decided to set a fairly low minimum wage for its workers. Likewise Greece has a lower GDP per capita and considerably lower average salaries than Spain, yet the Greek minimum wage is higher.



And this is not just between Greece and Ireland. I have travelled in many European countries, mainly in the Eurozone, and the prices do not differ much; the wages though do. How can anyone justify that Europeans must be paid differently for doing exactly the same job? Why must an Irish that works in a check out in a super market earn more than a Greek, and a Greek more than a Slovakian one? Why since we have the same currency, and a common market, common prices for most goods we still have unequal wages? And not just the wages but our pensions too! An Irish pensioner is earning about 800 € per month, while a pensioner in Greece about 300 or 400 € at best.

The main explanation is that housing cost varies a lot between countries like Ireland and Greece. Food and manufactured goods are part of a worldwide market and a global distribution network, which explains why the price of an iPhone, clothes in global chains, or breakfast cereals of a same brand won't vary much from one country to another. Local produce will vary more because of discrepancies in local wages. But in the end what drives salaries up is the price of real estate. That's why a job in London usually won't pay the same as a similar position in, say, Lancashire or Cornwall, even though its the same country.

Salaries are high in Ireland because nearly half of the country's population lives in Dublin's metropolitan area, where housing is very expensive. Greece is much more decentralised, with lots of people living in sparsely populated rural areas. Population density drives real prices up, which has for effect to increase wages. Salaries in Paris are often twice higher than in other parts of France. In Japan, Tokyoites enjoy nearly three times the GDP per capita of rural prefectures. Yet Parisians and Tokyoites spend so much money on accommodation that they often end up with less disposable income than people in smaller cities (unless they are willing to commute long hours to cheaper suburbs). It's not a matter or country, system or education; eventually a great deal of the wage gaps depend on population density and real estate.

Maciamo
13-01-11, 18:15
Discrabing what's economy you missed the most important part: production, production, production. Greece doesn't produce much, so it doesn't have much to share among citizens, in form of wages. Money is just the equivalent of the production part of the economy.
Nobody cheats Greeks off money, making it a poorer country. Greece doesn't produce as much as Germany or Ireland, therefore it is poorer in comparison.
But it is just in the eye of beholder. When you compare Greece to Albania, Greece is a rich country. Well, it looks like Albania is producing even less. And this is the trick: production, production, production.


You make it sound like the secondary sector (industry) is the most important for a country's wealth. But this is far from true. Coming from the former Communist block, you should know that putting undue emphasis on industrial production doesn't necessarily make people richer.

Nowadays, most of the world's industrial production is located in China. Most of the raw materials beside petrol (e.g. metals, coal, wood) come from just a few countries (Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, China). Many rich countries produce very little on their territory and have few natural resources. Ireland, Denmark or Benelux countries fit in this category.

This is also true for agriculture and stockbreeding on an industrial scale, like in the USA, Australia or Brazil. This doesn't apply to small-scale farmers like in Europe or Japan.

Countries extremely rich in natural resources or having plenty of cheap land for farming, can indeed make a lot of money. But it is usually made by just a few people controlling the companies who exploit those resources. This is the case of Russia, China, Brazil, OPEC countries, but also (to a lower extent) Australia, Canada and the USA. If you subtracted the income of the few billionaires who make their fortunes in farming, mining and petrol in these countries, the GDP per capita would be considerably lower.

My point is that nowadays, at the age of giant corporation and globalisation, wherever the primary and secondary sectors make a lot of money, they only benefit to a few people, and what you call "production" is almost irrelevant for the average citizen's wealth. In developed countries, about 70-75% of the population works in the tertiary sector, where there is no "production", just services, commerce, transport, tourism, government, education, and so on. Most of the people working in the secondary sector are low-paid workers.

Maciamo
13-01-11, 18:36
ok we think outside the box and we start producing green cars....will the germans buy cars from greece..?? where sould we sell them..??

there was a model produced for the Athens olympic games....from the greek automobil company elbo (www.elbo.gr)... they created with the funding of private greek investors an electric car...back in 2004...what ever happened to it...?? it never went in mass production....you people do not understand how politics and the market work...it is ruthless and dominated by rich greedy nations that do not easily allow smaller countries to take a share of the market....whatever happened to zastava , dacia and yugo cars....?? they were either forced to close or were bought by larger european companies...didn't the romanians know how to make cars...?? of course they did, they have been making them for decades...where is dacia now then...?? and why elbo the greek automobile company is not allow to produce mass car production and is limited to produce buses for the internal market only...??


This is a good example of the uselessness of the secondary sector ("production" in itself) without the tertiary sector to support it. Cars aren't going to sell themselves on their own. The most important part in selling a product is to promote it through marketing and to have a solid distribution network. The company's image, reputation, and services like good customer support, guarantees, and so on, also help.

It requires a tremendous amount of money and effort to start a big international company from scratch. If a country is poor and local entrepreneurs lack the funds to start big, they must either find foreign investors (Ireland made its wealth on foreign investment, thanks to its good relations with the USA), or work hard, hand-in-hand with the government, recruit the best minds in the country and be patient until they succeed (that's what Japan, Taiwan and Korea did, but I don't think many other countries have the diligence, organisation and ambition required to do the same).

LeBrok
14-01-11, 10:14
You make it sound like the secondary sector (industry) is the most important for a country's wealth. But this is far from true. Coming from the former Communist block, you should know that putting undue emphasis on industrial production doesn't necessarily make people richer.


If I sounded like this then my apologies. I didn't mean the heavy or just industry. When I said product and production I meant everything people and businesses consume/buy, from bread, shoes, furniture, skin cream to computer programs, cars, gasoline and houses.

The problem with Communist block production and industry was that there was not much production at all. Organization sucked, management didn't care and wasn't qualified, logistics were a laughing stock. Stores were empty, basic products rationed, you couldn't even get a toilet paper for god sake.
Everybody from citizens to party members new that we should produce more to make our lives better, but the system sucked, and the dream was never realized. And it was before Hong Kong, Taiwan and China took manufacturing away, lol.
Also it turned that economy is not about money. When I was a child ordinary folks made a 1 000 zloty a month. When I was 23 and left Poland, everybody was making 1 million zloty a month. Everybody was a millionaire! And still you couldn't buy a toilet paper. If you were lucky to get a roll, you paid 10 000 a roll.
This is when I learnt that good economy and prosperity for a country has nothing to do with amount of money people make, but how much they produce. If you don't produce, you don't have..., well, you only have money and mostly of toilet paper value and quality. :grin:

The socialistic ideas are not bad ones. If I knew life only from books, possibly I would be a communist. But at the end the real life shows us what works what doesn't, and I embrace the real life the most.

LeBrok
14-01-11, 10:45
But in the end what drives salaries up is the price of real estate.
I'm sorry Maciamo but you have it backwards, unless one is a real estate agent.
Notice that in places where real estate prices are going sharply up there is ongoing economic boom. It means that local people are making more money and have a surplus to buy houses or apartments, opposite to renting. Real estate is considered buy most people, not only a product but also an investment. Buying a car is not an investment but buying a house is. In good economies people make more money and they invest savings in real estate. Then you have your own house to live in or rent it to make an income on your investment. This sharp demand pushes the prices up. That actually encourages more people to invest, even from other cites or countries to benefit too. Often it leads to a bubble like in States or in Spain recently. But as long as there isn't overproduction or too much speculation, the real estate prices keep rising during economic boom. It all points to bigger incomes and demands pushing real estate prices up, and not vice versa.
We also know what happens if demand goes away, recession,people not buying and prices of houses go down. Supply and demand, at least in free market economies.
I've seen couple of these cycles first hand in Calgary, my city in Canada.

Beside this, I mostly agree on your points.

Maciamo
14-01-11, 11:46
I'm sorry Maciamo but you have it backwards, unless one is a real estate agent.
Notice that in places where real estate prices are going sharply up there is ongoing economic boom. It means that local people are making more money and have a surplus to buy houses or apartments, opposite to renting.

Look at big, fast-growing metropolises like Moscow or Shanghai. The average population isn't rich, but real estate prices have skyrocketed due to the inflow of people from the countryside. Lack of supply (in this case housing) drives prices up. In real estate, lack of space has the same effect. That's why big cities are always more expensive than small cities, which are in turn more expensive than the countryside (inside the same economy, and comparing neighbourhoods of similar socio-economic standing).

Sometimes real estate prices soar for other reasons, like speculation, as seen recently in the USA, Britain, Ireland and Spain. But that's also due to the lack of supply compared to the demand. When everybody wants to buy (even if they need to borrow heavily, not just because they have money), the natural outcome is a bubble of prices. The state of the economy and the wealth of citizens has little to do with it. Salaries just need to adjust over time so that people can still live in a city with inflated real estate prices. The effect might also be that poorer people move out and richer people move in the city. If not poorer people get poorer and end up in slums. This is what has happened throughout history in big cities in developing countries (in Europe as late as the industrial 19th century and early 20th century).

LeBrok
26-01-11, 06:16
I agree with your reasons influencing real estate prices.
There is only one, though major, argument that divides our opinion. I still claim that the main reason that effects price movement is economy and wealth of citizens.

- the successful cities have economies better that surrounding villages.
- all rise in Real Estate prices start with improving economy of a country or a region.
- you don't find many ,if any, investor and speculators in economically depressed regions or cities.
- demand and speculation is always higher in economically vibrant cities or regions
- if economy is good people make more money therefore they can afford buying house or apartment, investing versus renting.
- look that in improving economies people spend more money on better homes, higher standards, bigger apartments, than they used to before economy was good. This also influences higher prices, for better standard of living. New, though more expensive homes, have better insulation - energy efficiency, more power outlets, more bathrooms, nicer decor, bigger space, more high tech appliances. Ordinary citizens these days in good economies live in standard of living of rich people 50 years ago. This influence the prices as well.

I agree that speculation, especially in today's borderless market, lifts the real estate prices higher than if they only have been influenced by local economy.

Obviously there are contrary examples in areas where people love to retire. Usually there is not much production going on there, but the money rich people bring in move the housing prices up in these ares.

In many cases it's not too obvious or transparent, but the main thing moving real estate prices is the local economy.

Marianne
26-01-11, 14:35
Just to give you some feedback:

The ticket price for using the bus in Athens (at the rest of Greece it's more expensive) has gone from 1euro to 1.5. The price of 1lt of milk is around 2 euros (it depens on the supermarket or minimarket that sells it). Gasoline price is 1.7euros/litre and last year it was 1euro/litre. Bread is now sold 1.5-2.5 euros per 0.5kilo (depending on the bread) while a year ago it was 1-1.5 euros. And the list goes on and on.

So in Greece we have a reduction in salaries around 20-30% and a 40-60% increase in everyday goods the last year... So how Greeks are supposed to live? Go figure...

LeBrok
26-01-11, 18:09
It really sucks Marianne, I feel your pain.

Marianne
26-01-11, 19:09
I hope we will get out of this situation soon, but I see the government making mistakes on how they are handling the situation.

The IMF is asking us to increase the annual income so what our government does is increasing VAT. The problem is that since they have already decreased the salaries, people are not buying as much and by increasing VAT people buy even less. This leads to decreased income for the state. They expected to get around 700mil euros extra by increasing VAT but what they got was barely 500. The only reason we managed to reach the goal IMF set for us this year was demanding from businesses to pay more taxes for the last 5 years, and that barely covered the difference.

Now they found out that the National Bus and Metro company has a huge dept and instead of trying to figure out how all that money disappeared illegally, they decided to increase the ticket from 1euro to 1.5. At the moment it is more expensive to take the bus than using your car to cover the same distance within the city. So much for green growth and clean environment...

They keep increasing the taxes in order to get fast the money they need to satisfy the IMF and this is fine for a few months as long as they have a plan for the future to promote growth and increase income but they don't.

People are buying less and less and this leads to small businesses closing and people becoming unemployed which makes them buy even less. They should give businesses incentives to not fire people, they should reduce the taxes they pay and encourage people to start new companies but I don't see any of these happening.

I really hope they have a plan because I don't see Greeks being patient for long...