Saturday, December 01, 2012

greeks quick to throw fists when pissed...,



reuters | For hours the leader of the Greek journalists' social security fund had been chairing a meeting about disastrous losses on retirement savings caused by the country's economic collapse. "She tried to present herself as the fund's savior and asked (members) to double contributions to 6 percent of salaries," said one of those present that night at the Titania hotel. Spanopoulou, 58, did not succeed.

When she rose to leave around midnight, enraged fund members first swore, then waded in punching, kicking and tearing at her clothes, according to witnesses. A bodyguard managed to bustle her out of the room, but another group caught her just outside the hotel and gave her a second beating. She spent the night in hospital.

It was a brutal sign of the fury many Greeks feel at the way the country's debt crisis has dashed hopes of a comfortable old age. Greece's pension funds - patchily run in the first place, say unionists and some politicians - have been savaged by austerity and the terms of the international bailout keeping the country afloat.

Workers and pensioners suffered losses of about 10 billion euros ($13 billion) just in the debt restructuring of March 2012, when the value of some Greek bonds was cut in half. That sum is equal to 4.6 percent of the country's GDP in 2011.

Many savers blame the debacle on the Bank of Greece, the country's central bank, which administers three-quarters of pension funds' surplus cash. Pensioners and politicians accuse it of failing to foresee trouble looming, or even of investing pension fund money in government bonds that it knew to be at high risk of a 'haircut' - having their value reduced.

A Reuters examination of previously unpublished data from the Bank of Greece reveals the bank invested pension fund money in 1.18 billion euros of Greek bonds after the economic crisis began.

Prokopis Pavlopoulos, a lawmaker in the ruling coalition's conservative New Democracy party and former interior minister, said: "From July 2010 it was obvious that a debt restructuring would be inevitable. While foreign banks were unloading their Greek government bonds, no one moved to tell Greek pension funds to do something, that a haircut was coming."

Spanopoulou, while deploring the violence she suffered, said: "The Bank of Greece knew about the haircut on bonds well in advance and should have informed (our) fund."

5 comments:

Big Don said...

...Jovan Belcher pulling in a cool $1.9M/yr and he wasn't happy either....probably hung out too much in 64130....

CNu said...

lol, looking back after a long life in retrospect, too bad you never bumped up on any poonannie so fierce it threatened to cause you to lose your mind - in my book - that means you skrate missed out brah....,

Big Don said...

...More like the Mother-of-All IQ-75 Future-Time-Orientation failures....

DD said...

It's almost like a Turing test...

Big Don said...

...good discussion and *Comments* here---> http://www.soundpolitics.com/archives/006215.html

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