Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I have been perusing some of the Greek related articles this morning and found some pretty funny stuff.


Just as bankers were beginning to hope that Greece had finally ceased to plague their deals, Union Bank of India decided not to go ahead with a deal immediately at the end of its dollar bond roadshow.

Here, Greece is to blame for a bond deal gone bad for an Indian Bank. Now, I know that there is a limited amount of money out there for investment, but the world is pretty big. Surely, the $1.5 billion Greece sold yesterday did not suck all the money out of the world.

Another one:


"Think of it this way: A German worker is being asked to work a little longer to let a Greek civil servant retire a little earlier," says Marc Chandler, senior vice president of Brown Bros. Harriman.

Greece did raise its retirement age for civil servants from 61 to 65. Germans though still retire at 67. Yet, all the money that Germany pays into Europe each year is subject to the same dynamic since not many European countries have a retirement age of 67. Not to mention the fact that either way, a Greek worker is going to collect money for the state, whether they get 12k euro from their gov't employer, or 12k in social security.

But, I wonder if Mr. Chandler had voiced similar opinions about TARP? "Think of it this way: American children will be asked to work harder in the future so that I can keep my well paying job."

Then this one takes the cake: http://www.cnbc.com/id/36461833

I read that Greek hairdressers can retire at age 52 since they work with dangerous chemicals. I figured that it was a joke but I'm told it's for real.

Now, unless hair is part of the Greek civil service, this guy makes little sense. Next we'll hear that Greek dogs live in air-conditioned doghouses. According to cats living in NYC's Battery Park.Mr. Farrell doesn't have a hair dresser, so he must not realize that hair dressers can retire at the age of 51 in any country.

The laughs just keep on coming.

by Upstate NY on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 12:10:39 PM EST
Yeah, they're having a field day.

Brown Brothers Harriman, huh? The Bush family Nazi bank? They're experts on Germany, for sure.

<mutter mutter where'd I put that guillotine..?>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 12:31:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blame the NYT for the last one:

Vasia Veremi may be only 28, but as a hairdresser in Athens, she is keenly aware that, under a current law that treats her job as hazardous to her health, she has the right to retire with a full pension at age 50.

"I use a hundred different chemicals every day -- dyes, ammonia, you name it," she said. "You think there's no risk in that?"

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 12:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are we talking about social security here?

That certainly is ridiculous but I can't follow the article. The article makes claims about unions getting these sweet deals for workers, so are we talking about union pensions? And what union negotiates with the gov't over hairdressers. There doesn't seem to be clarity in that article, and it's surprising since the writer is Greek, and he doesn't seem to be aware that the Greek retirement age for gov't workers has been raised, as has the age for social security, and gov't pensions have been slashed. I know that was written over a month ago, but the changes came prior to that.

by Upstate NY on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 12:42:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should add that this is all moot anyway since both in German papers and the FT article I linked to above, it's pointed out that Germany will profit from the loans.

One area that Greece could legally take German money to fund this woman's hairdye risks is by applying for the $20 billion in EU funds allocated to it for the period of 2007 to 2013, but reports are that Greece is so dysfunctional that it only manages to secure 10% of its allocation, as opposed to 70% in Belgium, 70% of a much larger pie.

by Upstate NY on Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 12:45:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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