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Yanis Varoufakis responds to conservative German MP's attack

Yanis Varoufakis responds to conservative German MP's attack

(7:08) Yanis Varoufakis, the previous Greek finance minister, explains the problem that Greece and the rest of the European Union have. June 18, 2015.

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London1 London1 (919 days ago)

The trouble is Greeks, compared to the majority of Europe, are lazy.

Early arsed retirement, short days, short weeks.

Huge benefits.

You spent the money you borrowed and didn't grow.

Why would more get you growing?

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Original comment

The trouble is Greeks, compared to the majority of Europe, are lazy.

Early arsed retirement, short days, short weeks.

Huge benefits.

You spent the money you borrowed and didn't grow.

Why would more get you growing?

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (918 days ago)

Depends what you mean by lazy. Greeks are not lazy in terms of hours they work. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the average Greek worker works 2,017 hours per year, compared with the average German worker who works 1,408 hours per year. LINK

"You spent the money you borrowed and didn't grow. Why would more get you growing?" It's not more or higher loans they want, it's about the austerity demands that prevent growth - for example: cutting jobs or lowering wages means less tax coming in, and people with lower wages spend less, so businesses close, jobs are lost, welfare costs increase, and the downward cycle continues.

I think Europe should think more in terms of investing in Greece (and Italy, Spain, Portugal) rather than loaning money simply to service old debts to private banks.

Call me cynical, but if austerity prevents Greece from growing, that's great for the private banks (because they'll get their interest forever), and bad for European tax payers (because they'll be paying the interest).

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Original comment

Depends what you mean by lazy. Greeks are not lazy in terms of hours they work. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the average Greek worker works 2,017 hours per year, compared with the average German worker who works 1,408 hours per year. LINK

"You spent the money you borrowed and didn't grow. Why would more get you growing?" It's not more or higher loans they want, it's about the austerity demands that prevent growth - for example: cutting jobs or lowering wages means less tax coming in, and people with lower wages spend less, so businesses close, jobs are lost, welfare costs increase, and the downward cycle continues.

I think Europe should think more in terms of investing in Greece (and Italy, Spain, Portugal) rather than loaning money simply to service old debts to private banks.

Call me cynical, but if austerity prevents Greece from growing, that's great for the private banks (because they'll get their interest forever), and bad for European tax payers (because they'll be paying the interest).

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London1 London1 (918 days ago)

I was being generally lazy myself in assigning blame.

They do retire early, compared to the UK.

Their pension system is a joke.

Whilst a lot of this is of their doing.

The banks, no doubt about it, must also be held accountable.

Lending a country almost twice it's GDP is ludicrous.

Even if they could pay off 5% a year, with no interest, it would take 90 years and they are being charged something like 3% interest.

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Original comment

I was being generally lazy myself in assigning blame.

They do retire early, compared to the UK.

Their pension system is a joke.

Whilst a lot of this is of their doing.

The banks, no doubt about it, must also be held accountable.

Lending a country almost twice it's GDP is ludicrous.

Even if they could pay off 5% a year, with no interest, it would take 90 years and they are being charged something like 3% interest.

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Guest: Guesting (918 days ago)
Latest comment:

You should distinguish between when people are allowed to retire (formal retirement age) and when they actually do (real retirement age). In Greece the difference is substantial, apparently with little difference in real retirement age compared to other European Countries.

That said, tricking the EU to become a part of the union was horrible.

That said, I think it's time to forget about some of the debt (half?). Many have been allowed to get away with huge debts (examples include Germany and Iceland). Greece needs to be able to get its economy running. Greece has suffered enough, I don't think any other country will be tempted to follow Greece's example.

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Original comment
Latest comment:

You should distinguish between when people are allowed to retire (formal retirement age) and when they actually do (real retirement age). In Greece the difference is substantial, apparently with little difference in real retirement age compared to other European Countries.

That said, tricking the EU to become a part of the union was horrible.

That said, I think it's time to forget about some of the debt (half?). Many have been allowed to get away with huge debts (examples include Germany and Iceland). Greece needs to be able to get its economy running. Greece has suffered enough, I don't think any other country will be tempted to follow Greece's example.

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Guest: 0987654321 (919 days ago)

They're so lazy they don't even want to jump out their banks windows. btw., I didn't know that siesta is a greek word.

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They're so lazy they don't even want to jump out their banks windows. btw., I didn't know that siesta is a greek word.

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