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Beware Greek Finance Ministers Bearing Their Souls

Beware Greek Finance Ministers Bearing Their SoulsThe Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has revealed that his country is the most bankrupt in the world and said that the EU knew that Athens would never repay its debts.

“Clever people in Brussels, in Frankfurt and in Berlin knew back in May 2010 that Greece would never pay back its debts. But they acted as if Greece wasn’t bankrupt, as if it just didn’t have enough liquid funds. In this position, to give the most bankrupt of any state the biggest credit in history, like third class corrupt bankers, was a crime against humanity,” said Varoufakis.

Unsurprisingly the response was swift and blunt.

“The Greek government is behaving as if everyone must dance to its tune. But there must be an end to this madness. Europe must not be made to look stupid,” wrote a commentator.

I can imagine Greek Cypriots are watching what happens next before they follow suit.

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21 comments to Beware Greek Finance Ministers Bearing Their Souls


  • Mr VAROUFAHIS well knows that that is the way the World works, most countries are deeply in debt and, if the circle were ever broken, few would be able to repay. The four month period his country has in the ‘not very’ long grass, will at least give him time to have some new currency printed.

  • Ian Edwards

    Yes, they’ll probably call it something like the Drachma….and the south will call theirs the Cyprus pound.

  • AM

    Europe must not be made to look stupid,” wrote a commentator.

    That is exactly what they should be made to look because this is true.
    They need to stop this hideous idea that the EU is working because it is not.

  • Miltiades

    “As of Q1 2013 UK government debt amounted to £1.377 trillion”

    USA
    “On March 6, 2015, public debt held by the public had reached $13.08 trillion or about 74% of Q4 2014 GDP.[5][6][7][8] Intragovernmental holdings stood at $5.07 trillion, giving a combined total public debt of $18.15 trillion

    Two of the richest nations on earth, heavily in debt, so Cyprus and Greece are not on their own.

  • AM

    But the main difference is the UK and USA have the means to pay off their debts on the otherhand the other 2 are stuffed ?

  • Polly Marples

    Well said AM.

    True they are not on their own in owing money, it is their attitude towards paying that separates them.

    I do hope ROC do not emulate Greece, somehow I do not believe they will.

  • Miltiades

    Should either America or the UK default on their very substantial debts, the entire world economy will collapse overnight.

    There is not a single nation that is free from debts.
    Japan and Switzerland too.

    Cyprus will recover in time.

  • cyprusishome

    At the moment I have grown some respect for the new Greek PM. He did a lot of posturing during the election that convinced people to vote for him and many of those people expected a lot of “fireworks”. However he and his leading ministers are taking an excellent political route, stopping the “we will not pay” attitude to one of “we will sort this problem sensibly”.

    The other Euro Zone countries such as Spain & Portugal in heavy debt are watching closely because if Greece escape their debts then the others will follow.

  • Frank Woods

    Miltiades,
    The difference between the US and UK and Greece and Cyprus is that the former both have excellent reputations throughout the financial world and Greece and Cyprus are an international laughingstock in that respect! Believe me! Economies based only on Tourism and Citrus fruit haven’t a snowballs chance in hell of repaying their international debt. You know that and they know that. End of story!

  • Polly Marples

    Oh yes Mutley. Recover….well I hope they do.

  • Miltiades

    The difference is that both the US and the UK are far too important to the world financial community and will always survive come what may. Smaller nations such as Cyprus are not.

    Do remember that following the barbaric invasion of 1974 by Turkey, the Cypriot economy was in tatters, it recovered and flourished for many years.

    It will recover again and will flourish again.
    Following the Greek demand for reparation by Germany for damage caused by the German occupation, one wonders if at some time in the future the RoC will sue the British government for rent due on the two sovereign bases, the rental was a part of the Zurich agreements devised entirely by Britain, however Britain refuses to pay up since it says the Zurich agreement is ….null and void. Bloody hypocrites !!

  • Polly Marples

    Well my armchair patriot you are free to leave all your comfort you enjoy in the country you call hypocrites OR prove yourself as better than them and go home to your goat shed.

  • Miltiades

    The UK IS my country. To strongly criticize abhorrent foreign policies by successive governments is MY right.
    Idiots and naïve Brits such as you no doubt are, are fed rubbish that you so easily digest. One such digested rubbish is that somehow Britain had a right to occupy Cyprus and when faced with a revolt to call the rebels ,,,,terrorists, just as they did with India’s Gandhi, now with a statue in Parliament square alongside another …..terrorist, Mandela.

    The hypocrisy is nauseating but none more sickening as the brainwashing suffered by Brits such as you.
    My dear idiot, the British empire was responsible for millions of deaths worldwide. Do a search, you may learn something.

    Can you tell me what right did Britain have in occupying my country any more than Germany had in occupying most of Europe.

    Well, I know the answer, we are Brits, we can do as we like and f the rest!!

  • Polly Marples

    OH dear, of course you are allowed to have double standards…you stay put in the comfort of your British home.

  • AM

    Milti, Please get your facts right and do some research ?

    Does the UK Owe Cyprus Rent for the SBAs?

    A considerable number of Cypriots have expressed to me their great annoyance at the ‘fact’ that the UK has failed since 1965 to honour its obligations under the Treaty of Establishment to pay the Cyprus government rent for its military bases. I have read many similar assertions in the newspapers and on the internet. The sum of £12m (some say per year, others say over 5 years) is often quoted. The ‘fact’ that the UK has not paid this supposed rent has become repeated endlessly and has long been an embedded part of modern Cypriot folklore.

    The more I asked Cypriot friends and acquaintances about this issue the more the ‘fact’ was thrust back at me and the more I could see how sensitive it was. Typically, respondents asserted that the UK’s refusal to pay the rent and the arrears all the way back to at least 1965 meant that, with interest, the Cyprus government was now owed billions (sic) and, by implication, this had contributed to the country’s financial crisis in March 2013! Putting myself in their shoes, I would probably be very upset too. But, is the assertion of non-payment true?

    This intriguing question led me to put on my forensic investigator’s hat. All the assertions I had seen or heard were linked to obligations apparently included in the Treaty of Establishment between the UK and Cyprus when the latter was granted its independence as the Republic of Cyprus in 1960. Having obtained a copy of the Treaty No 5476 of 12 December 1960 and its appendices, which are all in the public domain, I was unable to detect any reference either to the SBAs being leased to the UK or to any rent to be paid. This makes sense since, if the SBAs per se had been leased or rented, then they could not have been termed ‘sovereign’ – that would be an oxymoron.

    Sovereign means ‘under sole authority or ownership’.

    Reinforcing this, on page 118 of the Treaty, Sir Hugh Foot on behalf of the UK, stated that the UK does ‘not intend to relinquish their sovereignty or effective control over the Sovereign Base Areas and that therefore the question of their cession does not arise’. On page 119, the Cypriot representatives Archbishop. Makarios and Dr Kücük, replied that they wished ‘to assure you that the Republic of Cyprus will not demand that the United Kingdom should relinquish their sovereignty or effective control over the Sovereign Base Areas’ unless the UK government ‘should at any time decide to divest themselves of the aforesaid sovereignty or effective control over the Sovereign Base Areas, it is understood that such sovereignty or control shall be transferred to the Republic of Cyprus’.

    So, where does the mysterious popular assertion of the very specific figure of £12m rent for 1960-65 come from? It is probably a confused interpretation of Appendix R of the Treaty which covers Financial Assistance to the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and is very specific in referring to monies that the UK will pay as grants and aid (not rent). Over the period 1960 to 1965, the UK government agreed to pay RoC ‘by way of grant’ the sum of £12m ending on 31 March 1965. During the final 6 months of that period, and similarly before the end of each succeeding 5 year period, the UK agreed to review the grant aid in conjunction with the RoC to ‘determine the amount of financial aid to be provided’ to the RoC for the following 5 years. Appendix R also lists some additional grant aid of £1.34m for one-off infrastructure and other specified items, plus a loan if required for extension of the electricity supply on the island.

    For reasons I do not know, the initial £12m grant aid for the period 1960-65 does not appear to have been followed through with subsequent 5-yearly agreed aid after 31 March 1965. I would guess that agreement could not be reached so it has all been in limbo since.

    Grant aid is what the term implies: a gift of financial assistance (not a loan, not a rent and not compensation). There may well be arguments that the UK ought to have leased the base areas and ought to have paid rent for them but, as is clear from the Treaty wording, such arguments have no basis in the Treaty. Interestingly, Arch. Makarios who co-signed the Treaty on behalf of the Greek Cypriots seemed content in signing off on Appendix R; there were several amendments written in as codicil notes from him and Dr Kücük (representing Turkish Cypriots) but none of these suggest in any way that they felt that the SBAs’ status should be leasehold or rented.

    Cypru Mail September 2013.

  • Ian Edwards

    Well Yiannis, that would appear to be that. As usual, your “facts” turn out to be confused ramblings.

    However, if what AM has reproduced here is correct, then it seems that the UK in fact promised to give 12 million in grant aid to the RoC in 1965, and never did. No legal requirement, but hard to argue against a moral debt.

    I wonder how much 12 million pounds promised in 1965 would turn into with a reasonable interest rate over 50 years?

  • Miltiades

    Im as a matter of fact a supporter of British bases in Cyprus, or American or indeed any other Western nation.

    The British have on the whole given Cyprus a very bad deal, somehow they, the British, have never forgiven the Cypriots for having the ….audacity to want their own country managed and ruled by themselves.

  • Polly Marples

    Hogwash…they only think of Cyprus when they have to or when they are standing there with the begging bowl.

    Cyprus is just not that special and I suspect UK were glad to see the back of it.

  • Miltiades

    Rubbish! If Cyprus was not strategically important to Britains interests there would most certainly not be two large bases on its soil and neither would Britain have steadfastly refused to abide by the peoples wishes way back in the 50s.

    Read and learn something you ignorant woman.
    “Due to its strategic location, Cyprus has been coveted by various external powers throughout its history. Today shipping routes for oil and competition for control of potential chokepoints make European powers, Turkey, and others very involved with that island country.”
    http://www.rubincenter.org/2011/12/a-geopolitics-of-cyprus/

  • AM

    I think we are all aware why we were reluctant to give Cypriots the keys to the till,
    history tells us we should have kept them firmly out of reach of this child like state.

    Cypriots would struggle to run a tap let alone a nations affairs.

  • Polly Marples

    AM tell it like it is.