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Each evening, as darkness descends on Athens, police in riot gear wait in buses that line the side streets of the city centre. Some fidget with mobile phones, others stare into the night. What they are waiting for, nobody is sure. But everyone in the Greek capital agrees something could happen any time.

Voters get angry, and sometimes violent, when their own politicians let them down. But when they feel controlled and humiliated by foreigners, they become totally enraged. “Fiscal union” advocates will also need, when the time comes, to send out the eurozone riot-police.

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The billions in taxpayers' money would have been better invested in helping Greece make a fresh start after a default.

The finance ministers have probably changed the future shape of the euro zone and the EU in a more far-reaching way than a Greek insolvency would have done.

This new monetary union is built on hope and on permanent financial support
-- and is therefore based on an imbalance of power between the strong and weak.
Neither Europe nor Greek society can tolerate that in the long run.
Die Welt via Der Spiegel 22 februari 2012

A glance at Athens' streets today is enough to show what can happen when weakness is combined with the feeling of being dominated by foreign powers.

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Expecting the Greeks to tighten their belts again is unrealistic.
One should not push people beyond the limit of their endurance. Such pressure is stupidity, not policy.
The people of a great nation will not starve to pay an exorbitant debt to foreign creditors forever
Gregorz Kolodko, former deputy prime minister and minister of finance of Poland, Financial Times February 21, 2012

In three years of austerity Greece’s debt has risen from 113 per cent of gross domestic product to 163 per cent.
Homelessness has jumped by 25 per cent. Unemployment has risen to 21 per cent, among the highest in the industrialised world, with 48 per cent of young people out of work.

It is naïve to think they will watch TV, not demonstrate or fight in the streets. This policy is senseless.

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Troligen har inget land i fredstid tvingats ge upp så mycket av sin nationella politiska suveränitet
Staffan Sonning, Ekot 21 Februari 2012

Grekland har också tagit på sig att inom två månader stifta en ny lag som tvingar landet att alltid sätta avbetalningar på statsskulden före alla andra utgifter.
I teorin skulle en sån lag innebära, att Grekland först måste betala tillbaka lån som förfaller innan de exempelvis betalar ut löner till läkare, sjuksköterskor och andra offentliganställda.

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Over the next two months Greece has promised to adopt legislation
“ensuring that priority is granted to debt-servicing payments”,
with a view to enshrining this in the constitution “as soon as possible”

Charlemagne, The Economist 21 February 2012

Greece will be expected to deposit a quarter’s worth of debt-service payments into a “segregated account” that will be monitored by the troika (made up of the commission, the ECB and the IMF).

These arrangements may not amount to the budget “commissarr” once threatened by some creditors, but the effect may be pretty much the same.

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Tyskland vill att en ny budgetkommissionär, utsedd av eurozonen,
ska få makt att lägga in veto mot den grekiska regeringens budgetbeslut
om de inte är i linje med de mål som satts upp av långivare.
DN/TT 28 januari 2012

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De nya nödlånen på 130 miljarder euro som eurozonens finansministrar i dag väntas besluta om kommer inte att hjälpa Grekland överhuvudtaget.
Istället kommer pengarna bara att hjälpa de internationella banker som har fordringar på Grekland och förvärra situationen för landet ytterligare
Hans-Werner Sinn, chef för det inflytelserika ekonomiska Institutet Ifo i München, skräder inte orden i en intervju i tidskriften Der Spiegel.
Ekot, 20 februari 2012

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intervju i tidskriften Der Spiegel

QUOTE OF THE DAY, Daily Telegraph briefing 21 februari 2012:
"The politicians know [the second bailout can’t save Greece]. They want to gain time until the next election.
I think we’re wasting time by doing this. Greece’s external debt is rising with every year that passes until it leaves the currency union.
We’re getting ever further away from solving the problem."
Hans-Werner Sinn, the head of Ifo, a German think tank.

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