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Yes, I noticed that and it irked me too, but I thought it was worth posting for the rest of the article.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 25th, 2011 at 02:10:26 PM EST
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No problem with the rest of the piece, but it annoys me to no end that these sort of falsities have aquired status of received wisdom, of undisputable fact.

About the "lies": The Simitis government as well "lied" about the real numbers to join the Euro (and what a great idea that turned out to be....). In fact they were simply copying "creative accounting" tricks well established in Italy. Everybody in the EU knew at the time that this was nonsense, a cursory investigation would have shown it... yet nobody did anything about it.
BTW guess who was Governor of the Bank of Greece (and thus either complicit in playing with the numbers, or a fool) at precisely that time? Loukas Papademos, current PM and Merkozy / troika favorite...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Nov 25th, 2011 at 06:54:31 PM EST
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Off the books financial instruments are not new. In this case, currency swaps of the sort conducted with Goldman swaps. Nor were they hidden, they were announced everywhere and indeed Eurostat noted that a change needed to be made so that they could be accounted as debt. The change was made. Two years after Greece entered.

Germany conducted the same sort swaps in some sectors.

Even today you see funky accounting in all these countries.

by Upstate NY on Sat Nov 26th, 2011 at 10:25:08 AM EST
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