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Greece is the word

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Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Tue Jun 30 2015, 17:47

People here (COH) usually have an opinion on what is happening in the world....

In my Country we have a unique perspective having lived through the Troika Terrors....They come to your country and demand you slash budgets set aside for  the elderly the most vulnerable.  The people of the middle ground those most tightly squeezed, by taxation and re-taxation and more taxation....It makes demands, at the same time accepting no responsibility for what has happened.... The Troika is made up of three bodies The European Central Bank, The International Monetary Fund and The European Commission.... In my Country they would sail into town, to pat us on the head, say we were doing well....but needed to do better!....They sailed into Dublin and dined at some of it's finest restaurant, Dublin like every capital city is always buzzing....They just happened to miss the misery in the other 97% of the Country....

So I say GO GREECE! STANDUP TO THE BULLYING BY THE PEOPLE WHO GOT US INTO THIS MESS!

I wish the Greek people, the wonderful Greek people, nothing but a future that encompasses and reflects their magnificent past....They have given modern civilisation so much....They deserve better....

Let us not ignore the elephant in the room, I don't have up to date figures, but up to a couple of weeks ago Italy had pulled 54000 refugees out of the Mediterranean and Greece had given refuge to 48000+.....And at this time Europe chooses to do this!!!

Refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, are arriving daily on the Greek Islands....Shame on the Eurozone....

I heard this and it could be applied to Greece... Movies say it so much better than me....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WITlM2pY_a4





A friend that bullies us, is no longer a friend...

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Tue Jun 30 2015, 18:23

sorry don't agree with your post.

Noone bullies Greece. Greece had corrupt government for years. Greece messed up they own Country.

I'm sick and tired to hear the Banks are the bad guys. This is like me stealing Money and get into depth with my credit Cards and then when asking to solve my depth I start blaming others.

I'm a tax payer and I don't want that my Money goes to greece anymore. They start to Change or get out of the Eurozone.

I hope everyone stays tuff on Greece. He was asking for a referendom on Sunday. i hope the Greece People kick the new Government ass. The new Greece government are Alpha Egos playing with people's future. They messed up the Country they Need to solve it. Europe can help but we are not the bad guys.

It is the same when America is going into other countries to help and then years later blaming the Americans to mess it up.

Most People are tired of this game

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Tue Jun 30 2015, 18:49

Looking from the outside I should be agreeing with you....but I don't....

We have lived through the Troika, I should be saying "if we can do it, so should you"....I should be saying exactly as you have said above Nicky x 10....but I don't.....

You see we are supposed to be a union, as strong as our weakest link....Yes many of the northern eurozone now appear to know best....but why wait until now, where were they before the crisis....making all the right noises as they do now...but without any policing....

We are all in a mess, we should help Greece (EU should have helped us!)  Instead the targets given to Greece are punitive, bearing in mind what the Greeks have achieved in the last 5 years has been nothing short of extraordinary 

"We should be clear: almost none of the huge amount of money loaned to Greece has actually gone there. It has gone to pay out private-sector creditors – including German and French banks. Greece has gotten but a pittance, but it has paid a high price to preserve these countries’ banking systems. The IMF and the other “official” creditors do not need the money that is being demanded. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the money received would most likely just be lent out again to Greece.
But, again, it’s not about the money. It’s about using “deadlines” to force Greece to knuckle under, and to accept the unacceptable – not only austerity measures, but other regressive and punitive policies."

I remember so well a deadline we had, to pay such a loan of several billion to these banks, the Troika pompously preparing to "give" us the money to do so and the sure knowledge that getting that money would shut wards in hospitals, put school kids in vehicle containers used as classrooms, close homes for the disabled end education for the disadvantaged.  Basically stop any if not all progress....

I lived through it and hated every second, and we had NO refugees to care for.....I wish we had had the courage of the Greeks to stand up and say enough is enough....

I paid biggo too, so you are not alone Nicky, I just see it from the other side....

I also think the timing is awful...

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by party animal - not! on Tue Jun 30 2015, 19:24

As I understand it, Greece borrowed many millions from Goldman Sachs to attain the right financial figures to get into the Eurozone,

I also understand that there is an unbelievable complex tax system which is easy to evade, and a very low retirement age for state pensions.

Here in the Uk much like an awful lot of places in the world the present retirement age is 67 because the state could not withstand it being any lower. After all that money comes from those who are taxpayers.

As far as I can tell, the Socialist government does not believe in privatising anything, and maybe it doesn't help to have a finance minister who has a degree in gamesmanship.......!

Correct me if I'm wrong

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by lelacorb on Tue Jun 30 2015, 20:32

Nicky80 wrote:sorry don't agree with your post.

Noone bullies Greece. Greece had corrupt government for years. Greece messed up they own Country.

I'm sick and tired to hear the Banks are the bad guys. This is like me stealing Money and get into depth with my credit Cards and then when asking to solve my depth I start blaming others.

I'm a tax payer and I don't want that my Money goes to greece anymore. They start to Change or get out of the Eurozone.

I hope everyone stays tuff on Greece. He was asking for a referendom on Sunday. i hope the Greece People kick the new Government ass. The new Greece government are Alpha Egos playing with people's future. They messed up the Country they Need to solve it. Europe can help but we are not the bad guys.

It is the same when America is going into other countries to help and then years later blaming the Americans to mess it up.

Most People are tired of this game
Nicky but do you realize what 'you're saying? Do you know that if comto also very poor countries, such as Greece, Germany had not condoned the war debts, Germany no longer exist 'and the debts were forgiven yet nel1989, when and' fall of the Berlin Wall and now Germany acts as the great master who owes nothing to anyone! As you hypocrites! I live in a country (Italy) in crisis but it 's the only one in Europe to save the refugees, we spend thousands of euro to keep them, treat them and you Germans close the borders' cause you do not need more'. Do not forget that in Greece and 'born democracy and the great thinkers and philosophers, I do with you and worth your dear Merkel, I am proud to be Italian and to see that our soldiers are not going to make war unnecessary but save lives !

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Tue Jun 30 2015, 22:36

What Would He Say wrote:
We are all in a mess, we should help Greece (EU should have helped us!)  


eeehhh we helped Greece and still do because my TAX Money goes there. We helped Ireland too because my TAX Money went there too. You can pay me back later ... it is ok Razz

What Would He Say wrote:it’s not about the money. It’s about using “deadlines” to force Greece to knuckle under, and to accept the unacceptable – not only austerity measures, but other regressive and punitive policies."[/size]
 
The Deadline was negotiated with Greece at the time. You need to set Deadlines in life to succeed. Even in my Job I have Deadlines. Your boss has a deadline when to pay you. Deadline is normal. If your Boss does not pay your salary at the time when the Deadline is what do you say? Deadlines are normal
Now if Greece negotiated they deadline to this date then obvious if the deadline comes to an end you need to Show what you got and of course the pressure is high.


lelacorb wrote:
Nicky but do you realize what 'you're saying? Do you know that if comto also very poor countries, such as Greece, Germany had not condoned the war debts,
[/quote]

OK you want to go down this road. Here we go...
Germany paid the war debts 1960 to Greece 115 Million "Deutsche Mark". And in 1960 Germany paid 11 other countried too. and they all agreed this has now an end and all is solved.  1990 when East and West Germany got reunited they was a "London Debts conference"  to finalise the war debts question again and as been finished at this time. To say above Germany did not pay it is a lie. Please get your Facts right before you blame others.

And now why did the Greece government bring it back up. oh yeah...they have economy problems. Ah well...now please be infomred if Greece things the payment at the time was not enough our Government advised already this can be discussed again. And the German People are very open to it. But we German can seperate two cases. Nazi War and Greece bad economy. Greece can complain about our history all day long and ask for payment it will not solve they real Problem.

lelacorb wrote:
Germany acts as the great master who owes nothing to anyone! As you hypocrites! !
[/quote]

You are correct. Germany does not owe anything to anyone anymore. I'm a new Generation. History is history and we did make our payments. Now we move on. New Generation a new strong country and Germans who are not Nazis anymore. We don't owe anything anymore. Now we help others because we want to as a strong economy and do so. It does not make us a "great master" but thanks for the compliment Very Happy

lelacorb wrote:
I live in a country (Italy) in crisis but it 's the only one in Europe to save the refugees, we spend thousands of euro to keep them, treat them and you Germans close the borders' cause you do not need more'.  !
[/quote]

eehhh I don't know what News you are watching but we get refugees everyday. Our borders are open. Just around a Corner at my place they have opened an regugee home. People moved in few weeks ago.



But yes blame it on the Germans and Merkel.... we can handle it Very Happy

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Tue Jun 30 2015, 23:14

party animal - not! wrote:As I understand it, Greece borrowed many millions from Goldman Sachs to attain the right financial figures to get into the Eurozone,

I also understand that there is an unbelievable complex tax system which is easy to evade, and a very low retirement age for state pensions.

Here in the Uk much like an awful lot of places in the world the present retirement age is 67 because the state could not withstand it being any lower. After all that money comes from those who are taxpayers.

As far as I can tell, the Socialist government does not believe in privatising anything, and maybe it doesn't help to have a finance minister who has a degree in gamesmanship.......!

Correct me if I'm wrong



Oops PAN, I went to press quote button and gave you a greeny....Which you kind of deserve because you are correct.....




Greece never met the fiscal criteria for membership. So how was it allowed in? By cooking the books. A right-wing Greek government worked with Goldman Sachs to hide its debts using massive currency swaps at fictional exchange rates...... Euro zone governments went along with the story.....What does that tell us?








Lela, you are correct in everything you say, and what Italy is doing is nothing short of heroic!....Greece has taken in 80% as many but it is kept quiet.... why?  Sure, they are not in as much mortal danger at sea, the trip from Turkey to the islands is safer but???  And from what I hear, the Greeks have treated the refugees with the same kindness as Italy.  As you say both countries could do with a hand from fellow EU....But again the "Gods" in charge will do nothing until the eleventh hour...






Also, something to be aware of is that the route from Afghanistan, Syria etc; to Greece stands a far greater chance of being used to a much greater extent in the coming year....




Ultimately, the IMF has long since admitted that its calculations about the economic effects of austerity were badly wrong.....No objective analysis believes that Greece has any hope of paying back its debts....So whats this really all about?




One cannot but wonder what the Troika of the IMF, ECB, EC is up to?  As we have seen this Troika has previously shown a capacity for allowing a contortion of the rules...and a contortion of the rules of capitalism...All reward but NO risk....(BANKS)




Who knows the truth but one cannot but recommend the Greek government for asking its citizens for their views ....via a referendum....From the birthplace  of democracy....How terrifically democratic!!!

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Tue Jun 30 2015, 23:51

Sorry Nicky, I did not address you... we posted at the same time....

I totally agree with you... I also never availed of  "easy credit" that was given to people before the crash.... and like you I paid and paid and paid for the sins of others....

But I have to ask was easy credit as available in Germany, as here in Ireland?....or what was the difference?

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by lelacorb on Wed Jul 01 2015, 08:11

Merkel has forgotten when Europe halved war debts to Germany»


Riccardo Barlaam




"Scheitert Europe?", "Europe fails?" Asks the former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in his book, just published, in Germany it is a tough indictment of the "policies euroegoismo" implemented by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, the policy of '' every man for himself ', as defined by the former leader of the Greens, the political marathon runner, a vocal critic of the current German leadership.
Fischer writes that it is "surprising" that Germany has forgotten the historic London Conference of 1953, when Europe he erased much of the war debts. "Without that gift - writes the former German Minister in his book - we would not have regained credibility and access to markets. Germany not to be revived and we would not have the economic miracle. "


DOCUMENTS
Agreement on German external debts
The austerity measures imposed by the couple Merkel-Schaeuble, according to former German minister, was "devastating" because it has imposed on southern European countries' deflation of wages and prices "can not be overcome with the weight of the penalty; "The trap of spiraling debt," condemning these countries to not get out of the crisis under the pretext of fiscal consolidation. Fischer, ultimately, accuses Germany of Merkel and her grand coalition "euroegoismo" and have too short a memory. "If the ECB did not follow the decisions of the Dragons but the objections of the Germans at this time the euro would no longer exist. The biggest danger for Europe - said the German political -currently is Germany. "


But what was decided at the London Conference of 1953? The first class of Germany has defaulted twice during the twentieth century (in 1923 and, in fact, after World War II). In the international conference were the forgiven debts of two world wars to give her a chance to start again. Among the countries which then decided not to require the bill was Italy's De Gasperi, the founding father of Europe, and also the poor and battered Greece, which also suffered extensive damage during World War II by German troops its road infrastructure, port and its production facilities.
The amount of debt German war after 1945 had reached 23 billion dollars (of the time). A colossal figure which stood at 100% of German GDP. Germany could never pay off debts accumulated in two wars. Wars caused by it. The Soviets demanded and got the payment of war damages to the last penny. While other countries in Europe and beyond, they decided to give up more than half of the amount due from Berlin.


The August 24, 1953 twenty-one countries (Belgium, Canada, Ceylon, Denmark, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Pakistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the French Republic, Spain, the United States' America, Sweden, Switzerland, Union of South Africa and Yugoslavia), with a treaty signed in London, allowed her to halve the debt by 50% from 23 to 11.5 billion dollars, extended over 30 years. In this way, Germany could avoid the default, that there was in fact.


The other 50% would have to be repaid after the eventual reunification of the two Germanys. But in 1990 the then Chancellor Helmut Kohl opposed the renegotiation of the agreement that would provide a third default on Germany. This time Italy and Greece agreed not to require the due. In October 2010, Germany finished repay debts imposed by the Treaty of 1953 with the last payment due in the amount of 69.9 million euro. Without the agreement of London, Germany would have to repay debts for another 50 years.


The rest of the story is known. And 'written in the sacrifices imposed by the rigid position of Germany to southern European countries that for years struggling with a crisis that seems endless. Fischer has no doubts. He points the finger at his fellow Merkel: "Neither Schmidt nor Kohl would react so undecided, turning away as did the Chancellor. They would rather take advantage of the impasse caused by the crisis to take another step towards European integration. Merkel thus destroying Europe. 

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by lelacorb on Wed Jul 01 2015, 08:28

Dear Nicky, as you can read in this article Germany was saved from Europe and not only three times, in 1923, in 1953 and 1990. Germany has paid only 50% of war debts and paid them in thirty years and this is because Europe has shown solidarity (in spite of the death and devastation caused by Germany) and allowed that Germany would not fail and now it is Germany that oppose a bailout of Greece? And that was not correct because you do not want the rates you pay serve to save Greece? Then the taxes that I or my parents have paid to save Germany?

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Jul 01 2015, 17:31

Well, Lela, please see my post above. Still the same answer I have to give Wink

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Hebe on Wed Jul 01 2015, 20:14

In the negotiations with Greece Angela Merkel is not acting in her role as Chancellor of Germany but in her role within the European Union so I don't understand the verbal attack on Germany. She is representing all the countries in the European union not just Germany.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Jul 01 2015, 21:06

Thank you Hebe Give Flowers Hug1

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by lelacorb on Thu Jul 02 2015, 00:17

Hebe wrote:In the negotiations with Greece Angela Merkel is not acting in her role as Chancellor of Germany but in her role within the European Union so I don't understand the verbal attack on Germany. She is representing all the countries in the European union not just Germany.
 Angela Merkel and 'Chancellor of Germany, and only one of 28 people who represent Europe and and' light to all other European countries who are just trying to defend his country and not Europe, she is in Europe only Germany and she has no other role, and this and 'the official story.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by LornaDoone on Thu Jul 02 2015, 01:38

Well I just learned a lot on this board about what's going on and the opinions on both sides.  Thank you - better info here than what I've gotten from our news outlets.

My opinion doesn't really matter but if it's true that the money loaned to Greece went to banks and new money loaned would go to banks and not to help Greece get out of debt then that would be a continual circle jerk and Greece would NEVER get out of debt.

If on the other hand, if this is due to a corrupt government on Greece's part along with money grubbing greedy banks and the Eurozone "looking the other way" then maybe Greeks need to get rid of their corrupt government before they negotiate on their debt.  If the same jerks are in power not much use negotiating to the same corruption that may have caused this.

If the Greeks are spending money they don't have and then expect someone else to bail them out then they are living in la la land.

So obviously nothing I've said is of any help just popping in opinions based on what I've read above.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Thu Jul 02 2015, 06:42

LOL Lorna I like LALA Land hehe

But yes it was a corrupt government over the years. The Greece people demonstrated a while ago against those corrupt government they had in the past and partly still have. During the last few weeks, while it was clear the Deadline comes, the rich people were able to get around 1 Milliarden Euros out of the Country daily. Now calculate this in a total amount. I think that's why the euro leaders are even more upset. The New Government should have stoped that.

The Money loaned to Greece is not only to fix the debth but also to invest in an economy to grow. They need economy really urgently......There are no Jobs and young Greece People leave. That's why the Euroleaders push for strong reforms.

The Greece people want to stay with the Euro and the Euro wants to keep Greece Very Happy It is just a matter to solve that issue that Greece can move Forward and not turn into circles.

Even though the Deadline passed now the Greece Banks get still Money from the Eurozone so that the People can get they Money and Banks don't have to be bancrupt. they do that to Keep the door open for new negotiations with Greece. The door is not closed.

I think the bigger Problems is the new Greece Government made lot of promisses when they voted them to power. Now he has to show the Greece People that he can Keep the promisses he made. I think the new Greece Government doesn't want to lose his "face". And the Euroleaders don't want to lose the face as well. They should argue behind the Scene rather in front of the press. Would have made lot of things easier for them Wink


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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Thu Jul 02 2015, 23:25

Lorna...I've always loved the different perspectives on this site....So glad it is still alive...

Nicky...Both you and I have suffered these last few years....I think to a greater or lesser extent we the Irish and you the Germans have both been let down by our Leaders....Please do not make the mistake of underestimating the power of democracy....Democracy is in the Greek DNA, for some reason that has come as a surprise to the Euro Tsars....

Most importantly as I predicted earlier in the week, the refugee status has shifted..... Greece overtook Italy yesterday....

Greece has processed 69.000 (sixty-nine thousand) refugees.
Italy has processed 68,000 (sixty eight thousand) refugees.

As I said earlier the refugee path over Turkey and into Europe via Greece is becoming very well known, with many greedy people setting up business in aiding this route....where as the Med cannot be sustained for a long period this route is a "goer" all year long (more or less)....and the more successful, the more poor and desperate people will come from Afghanistan, Syria etc...

Makes you wonder....


Also, re the retirement age of the Greeks....you should be aware that if you had been to Greece or Cyprus in fact, ageing happens at a different pace....I've met women my own age that could be my Granny LOL, also they have a great reverence for their elderly (Elderly being anyone over the age of ?)  I can see when money was offered to them on the cheap they put it into early pensions and in true Greek Style amazing infrastructure...Go to Greece marvel at their sweeping roads, Ahhh..... 

I have to admit I am strangely In Love with "The Rock Star" the name gaven to to Greece's Mr Varoufakis, committed and intelligent......Varoufakis was the man Christine Legarde (IMF) was alluding to when she spoke of negotiating in the future with "grown-ups"..... How dare she!!!

Imagine the timing of this, Hmmm, last week of the month....If you are a nurse or fireman....You didn't have you salary processed NICE...NOT...

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by lelacorb on Fri Jul 03 2015, 21:30

Nicky80 wrote: Beh, Lela, si prega di vedere il mio post di cui sopra. Sempre la stessa risposta che ho da dare;)
Yes, your answer is clear, it is the response of a selfish that he received money from European countries not to die of hunger but is not willing to give money not to starve the Greeks. Thank you on behalf of all Greeks!

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Jul 03 2015, 22:51

No Lela not a response of a selfish but a Response of intelligencs. Very Happy

You know that is what we Germans do we do not give any money to everyone and let everyone starve. Really we do. I don't even know why we are involved in this Greece issue if we don't give any Money. Must be a dream. Can somebody kick the bad Germans who let everyone starve in Greece. Please somebody stop the bad Germans. OMG we are so selfish. Please dear WORLD please do something against the mean selfish Germans. Please---  tongue tongue tongue tongue

I'm sure all the European countries like UK, France ....they all want to help Greece but not Germany. No we are too selfish. And all the other European countries are SO scared of Germany that no one is doing anything just because of the Germans uuuhhhh Scary. WOW we have so much power. Does anyone think the US are scared of the Germans too? Maybe we rule the world WOOOOOWWW

YahoooooYahoooooYahoooooYahoooooYahoooooYahoooooYahoooooYahooooo

Oh by the way. So Greece People are starving? Like in Africa? Really. So why is UNICEF not doing anything? They should call out for food charity? And why doing the referendon on Sunday if they all starving? When did the starving of People happen?  And why the international tourism is still big alive in Greece when they all starve? And why does the Greece governement not advise that they are all starve because of Germany?

Let your anger out Lela. Let it out. If you complaint about the German everyday and it makes you feel better then hey it was a plesure to satify you. Razz 

I think we need an anger management thread. Razz 

Oh an by the way as you wrote thank you on behalf of all Greece. Do you know there are a lot of Greece who Support the Eurozone? The referendon on Sunday could be a 50/50 result. And do you know there are lot of Germans who think Greece should vote NO. It is 50/50 here too. And I'm sure in other European countries it is the same.

I don't understand why you are so angry Lela. Your posts are always so negative and angry. Please find any thread in this Forum where you can be happy and I'm happy for you. really.

I'm sorry if I sound too sarcastic but I'm a proud German (and I'm a capricorn) and I really think if you want to talk about political issues we need to get the Facts right. But at the moment we sound like the Daily Mail lol!  

Do I have still friends out there? Let me Google Razz Razz Razz

Lela the same like you I feel for the Greece people. But the government is another Story...Please don't hate us Give Flowers

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Jul 04 2015, 00:19

Talking about the Daily Mail.........

Tonight's edition

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3148451/A-island-pretending-blind-benefits-8-500-pensioners-faked-aged-100-lawyers-claim-earn-just-12-000-New-book-reveals-Greeks-cheated-ruin.html



A whole island pretending to be blind to get benefits, 8,500 pensioners who faked being aged over 100 and lawyers who claim to earn just €12,000: New book reveals how Greeks cheated THEMSELVES into ruin

[*]James Angelos' book looks at widespread tax evasion and benefit fraud 
[*]Includes case of the island where 498 people pretended to be blind 
[*]Also reveals how super-rich bought camoflage for pools to avoid tax 
[*]Greece is on the brink of collapse as it decides whether to reject EU bailout


Greece in teetering on the brink of ruin - and it is hard not to feel sympathy for the pensioners crying in the street and the mothers facing empty supermarket shelves. 

Yet those reading a new book may find themselves feeling a little less compassionate towards the Greeks. It reveals an eye-popping catalogue of benefits scams and tax avoidance schemes that have robbed the public purse.

James Angelos' The Full Catastrophe: Travels among the New Greek Ruins lays bare the corruption which filtered through all levels of society - from the islanders who pretended to be blind, to the families who forgot to register their parents' death and the doctors who 'earn' just €12,000 a year - yet live in Athens' most exclusive neighbourhood.




It was the rumours of an 'island of the blind' which first bought Angelos, a journalist, to Greece in 2011.

He had heard that on Zakynthos, something like two per cent of the population were registered blind.

All was not quite how it seemed, however, and it transpired that 61 of the 680 'blind' residents were quite happily driving around the island.

In fact, an astonishing 498 of those 680 were not blind at all - or even partially sighted. 

But being 'blind' had its advantages - in particular, the €724 paid in benefits once every two months, and a reduction in utility bills. 

It was a scam which could be traced back to one ophthalmologist and one official, which was estimated to have cost the country €9 million.

And, as Angelos discovered, it was only the tip of the iceberg.

How big is the problem of disability benefits fraud, Angelos asked the then-deputy health minister Markos Bolaris.

'Very big,' came the accurate, but short, reply.

Indeed, when those claiming disabilities were asked to present themselves at government offices so records could be updated, 36,000 failed to do so.

That translated to an immediate saving for the government of €100m a year. 




But the fraud was certainly not confined to just disability benefits.

When the government chose to take a closer look at who they were paying pensions to, they found a slightly suspicious 8,500 pensioners had surpassed the milestone age of 100.

An even closer look revealed, 40,000 pension claims were fraudulent. It seems people were forgetting to register their loved ones' deaths.

It's not that these scams were not known about before, of course. 

A Daily Mail investigation in 2011 revealed the subway system was essentially free for the five million residents of Athens - because, with no barriers, it relied on an honesty system which few were honest enough to use.

It described street after street of opulent mansions and villas, surrounded by high walls and with their own pools, which, on paper, were the homes of virtual paupers.

They were all allowed to declare their own income for tax purposes - and officially, they were only earning €12,000 - or a paltry £8,500 - a year, below the tax threshold. 

Apparently, only 5,000 people admitted to earning more than £90,000 a year - prompting one economist to describe Greece as a ‘poor country full of rich people’.

The lengths these doctors, lawyers and businessmen would go to to hide their wealth from the government was, it has to be said, impressive.

According to official records, just over 300 homes in Athens' most exclusive neighbourhood had swimming pools, and had paid the resulting tax for such a luxury.




But when the government decided to have a look on Google Earth, it became clear these residents hadn't been totally honest.

The real figure for swimming pools in the area is believed to be closer to 20,000.

But instead of coming clean, there was a boom in sales of camouflage tarpaulins to conceal their existence from the tax inspectors flying over the gardens. 





And then there are the tales which seem to be more down to incompetence, rather than actual fraud.

In particular, there is the tale of treasury employee Savvas Saltouridis, who used an Uzi submachine gun to murder the mayor of his Greek mountain town in 2009, who remained on the municipal payroll for years afterwards - even though he was languishing in jail.

He was taking advantage of the complex disciplinary system

Angelos, then working for the Wall Street Journal, was told by retired clerk Apostolos Tsiakiris, who took over as mayor after the killing: 'You can't be a murderer and keep getting paid.

'That doesn't happen in any other government.' 

But what do when so many are cheating the system? It is estimated tax evasion alone might be costing the country as much as €20billion a year in lost revenue, while years of benefit fraud will certainly have added up.

But when Angelos suggested punishing those who tried to play the system, he was given a straight forward - if depressing - answer.

'If you start putting people in jail, maybe you'll have to put half of Greece in jail,' an official said.


Last edited by Nicky80 on Sat Jul 04 2015, 09:07; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Silje on Sat Jul 04 2015, 00:36

Honestly  I don't  know why Greece joined the Euro in the first place? I think they might be better off if they leave Euro and go back  to their old currency. They are already  bankrupt. Of course the banks want their money back. I guess the EU have to pay some of it and the banks have to loose the rest. This has been going on to long. Time to end this.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Sat Jul 04 2015, 13:26

We can all agree to disagree....but one thing that should, and must unite all is that Democracy will tomorrow decide the fate of the people who invented the concept....spooky....

If we are to believe in democracy we have to believe that at this important time it doesn't let the Greek people down.....Whether it is a YES or a NO.....we have to hope/pray that the right path presents itself.....and in turn proves that democracy was always a good idea....


Tonight I'm watching mama mia.....Just to remind myself of a beautiful country with fabulous people....Movies eh?


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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Sat Jul 04 2015, 18:23

I consider myself a fairly literate person, but for the life if me, I have to read that referendum over and over to understand the choice to be made. Maybe it's me as an English-speaking American with the problem (a given, right?), but somebody should have reconsidered the wording another draft or two.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Jul 04 2015, 20:42

So true, Way2, and some Greeks have even said so. Wonder who worded it and if they had a hidden agenda............

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Sat Jul 04 2015, 20:50

Yes it was here in the news too. Very confusing.

But what is more confusing for everyone is that the Government asked for a Referendum which makes no sense anyway. The Greece government wants the Greece people to decide about the bailout conditions by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central bank. But that expiered on the 30th June. So even though the Greece people vote for yes they have to renegotiate for a new bailiout conditions anyway. I think that's why everyone is confused anyway what to vote for.

I agree with WWHS that whether it is a YES or a NO we can only hope it will bring the them to the right future. The only thing what is sad is that the Greece government is advising the Greece people to vote for no. Why asking for a Referendum when you as a government want a specific vote anyway..... the Greece People are split in two parts. At the Moment it looks like 46% would vote for no and 37% for yes. Whatever the vote results will be we can only hope that all Greece people will not split in two parts in the country and the government leads them the right way.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Jul 05 2015, 22:31

Kind of the same info as that in the daily mail article.  But that stuff about the island with 500 blind people is just galling!  If we aren't diligent in weeding out fraud in our services and don't find ways to fund services and infrastructure that we ALL use then we're on the road to ruin.  Look, I don't like taxes like everyone else, but if we don't pay for things and we elect corrupt government officials (Chris Christie among others) then we're doomed to follow in Greece's footsteps.



http://nypost.com/2015/07/05/decades-of-fraud-have-swindled-greeks-out-of-billions/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow




Decades of Fraud Have Swindled Greeks Out of Billions

Their banks are on lockdown, their supermarket shelves are ransacked and pensioners are sobbing in the street.

But as Greeks go to the polls Sunday — to choose between more belt-tightening or a freefall out of the euro zone — they may only have their cheating selves to blame.

Decades of widespread tax and pension fraud have swindled the country out of tens of billions of dollars a year, a new book claims.

And those frauds have been as brazen and bizarre as they’ve been rampant, according to the book, “The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins,” by James Angelos.

Take the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos, where almost 2 percent of the population was registered as blind and thus entitled to $400-a-month disability pensions and other charity perks.

That’s a blindness rate some nine times higher than elsewhere in Europe.

Trouble is, the island’s supposedly vision-impaired residents included a taxi driver and a man whom one official described to Angelos as “a bird hunter.”

Among the 680 residents registered as blind in 2011, some 500 weren’t blind at all.

And an astonishing 61 were actually driving around the island, Angelos found.

“It appears the ‘blind’ of Zakynthos saw only the color of money,” the Greek newspaper Ethnos wrote of the scam.

Here’s another scam from Angelos’ book: pensions for the dead.

A recent Greek government investigation — undertaken as part of an anti-fraud crackdown mandated by the country’s creditors — found a highly suspicious 8,500 pensioners had passed age 100.

A closer look showed some 40,000 pensions were being “collected” by people who were no longer among the living.

In a country where even “blind” taxi drivers can collect disability, it came as no surprise to Angelos when he found a treasury employee who remained on his town’s payroll three years after he was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his mayor with an Uzi.  


Scams permeate every walk of life — even when Greeks aren’t actually walking.

The subway system serving 5 million Athenians was essentially a free ride.

Athens’ subway has no turnstiles, and riders are expected to pay their fares on the honor system.

Unfortunately for the city coffers, honor is in short supply.

The honor system also falls short when it comes to Greeks reporting their income for tax purposes.

In a country of 11 million people, only 5,000 admitted they earned more than $100,000 a year, the Daily Mail reported.

One economist was prompted by the report to joke that Greece must be “a poor country full of rich people.”

But even when officials try to crack down, the fraudsters go to extreme lengths to outwit them.

A Daily Mail investigation focused on one of Athens’ most exclusive neighborhoods, full of lawyers, doctors and masters of industry.

Only 300 of the area’s homes claimed to have swimming pools, which require owners to pay a luxury tax

But when officials looked into the low number, using Google Earth to scan the back yards, they found the number of pools to be closer to 20,000.

The fraudsters responded by buying camouflage-print tarps to cover up their pools, the Mail reported.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Silje on Sun Jul 05 2015, 22:57

They voted NO so let see what happens next....

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Mon Jul 06 2015, 08:59

Yes they voted no which was to expect and the Euro Leaders made it clear there will be no new negotiations. And after the referendum the Greece Leader Tripras asked again for new negotiations and the Euroleader made it clear that the finance Minister Varoufakis has to go. What a smart move from Brussels. And few hours later he resign and wrote on his Website, early morning, the Euroleaders made him too Razz
He wanted a power game and now he got it. I'm so happy he is gone.

I'm sure with a new finance Minister who has a brain and not a big mouth will be easier to negotiate the best for Greece.
The Greece leader has to come with an outcome now for the Greece People otherwise the Referendum will back fire to the Greece government.

Difficult situation anyway.....

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Leon Felini on Mon Jul 06 2015, 10:08

Hello, I'm new here. I met G many years ago at Oscars in 2010. Funny guy.

Greece did really well in terms of popularity against bully nations.. My family who residing there all voted "yes" but they are in socio-economic class that is not affected by austerity measures of TROIKA. 

The masses spoke.
Such a beautiful sunny country. Surrounded by water and beaches & islands. Blessed.
Birthplace of Western civilization & democracy.

Germany is nice for work. They have efficiency, industrial harbours, factories, Aldi, Lidl (as good Chinese quality ) and great recruitment processess in terms of German pilots for Germanwings. Budgeting everywhere or what 

Anyway, Professor Giannis Varoufakis is an academic and lectured in US, Australia. Real academic. He "resigned" figuritivley but is still advising.
He left  because Wolfgang Schauble & Chancellor Merkel needed to save face. He outsmarted them. And the masses & the world love him....

Genius.

He'll be back.
As soon as Greece achieves their objectives.  

Germany had their debts wiped off. Argentina defaulted so many times...
Iceland banking system collapesed. Defaulted...economy is back to where it was before. And I should know about Icelandic banking & shipping tycoons  better than most.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by party animal - not! on Mon Jul 06 2015, 11:08

And what is your view on the situation with pensions? 

Here in Britain it is being raised to the age of 67 simply because there is a dwindling number of younger people in work paying the tax to support  a generation who are living much much longer?

I understand that until recently many civil servants and government employees expected to retire at 55, but with youth unemployment so high who will pay for that?

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Donnamarie on Mon Jul 06 2015, 11:46

Tho I'm not commenting here I am reading all of the comments here and news reports and trying to understand all the ins and outs.  Yes, what about pensions going forward?  Even if the Greek government is forgiven their debt how are they going to take seriously the collection of taxes?  So far I see the banks and the Greeks both at fault.  But the Greeks get most of the blame.

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Mon Jul 06 2015, 13:07

OKKKKK.....here we go....Democracy spoke, but more than spoke it spoke with a heart full of fear, but roared anyway....

IF YOU believe in democracy, there are no half way houses....

I tried to point out above....but I am not a good writer, better talker.....That Greece is in a unique position, a doorway, a gateway, a threshold between the WEST and all that we SHOULD fear....AND Greece is in NATO!!!!!!

I don't want history to recall that when Greece (A WESTERN NATION) needed us we did nothing....Because what comes around goes around and one day we may need them(Greece)  strategically/geographically more than Berlin and Shauble could ever imagine.....money is NOT the only issue here!

I don't think the pensioners of Greece thought this way, the way I see things, when they voted... I imagine they were voting for freedom to live or die under there own sovereignty.... I think their decision was brave!!!  People that voted knew how much food was left in their larders, how much medication they have at home for their diabetes or asthma or worse and voted anyway...WOW!!!

None of us are the same, the EURO was/is a catastrophe......IT WILL BREAK UP......If not immediately, then at some point make no mistake.....

What upsets me, is that the people in charge of my money, Nicky's money and any other poster in the Eurozone, the people in Charge, PAID by us to oversee this and make sense of it, to police it, and care for it, have let us down badly and continue to do so....

Last night by 10pm our time it was clear we had a NO vote, I waited MY LEADERS to make the well rehearsed statement already pre-prepared in the event of a landslide NO.... I waited for NOTHING, because yet again, the people I pay to be on the ball were tucked up in bed with their heads under the covers saying to the wife/husband "I didn't expect that!".....

Well F**** you I pay you all of you, even the Banks, I pay the whole lot of you to have Plan B, C, D, ready and able to launch at a moments notice.....Yet again, YET YET YET AGAIN We are left down by the headless chickens running  Europe and the Banks....

BTW, can we get one piece of propaganda right....The average pensioner in Greece gets 350 Euro a MONTH...not all, but most, so please stop this nonsense, there were anomalies but lets not focus on the few.....It's like in my country when I read in Ireland we all had 5!!!! toilets in out houses, yes new houses were OUTRAGEOUS, but they were not the norm, so please lets not rise to this trickery....

Surprise is a luxury not afforded to the people I expect to be on the ball....

I applaud the Greek people!!!! and yet again I am left speechless and disappointed at how unprepared out "Leaders" are...

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Mon Jul 06 2015, 15:09

WWHS you are completly wrong when you wrote above "when Greece needed us we did nothing". That is so wrong.
Since Greece joined the EU we have paid already 230 Milliarden Euros to them to help them. Plus on top of that 150 Million Euros of debt waived. In 2012 the banks cut 53,5% of Greece debth. This was a big cut. Nevertheless, many Greeks do (especially Greek politicians) as if the EU is the worst invention since Hitler's "Third Reich".
Surly this situation is a mess. And the finance minister really had to go.

Sometimes you can read the public importance of people at the stock exchange. When Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation as Greek Finance Minister this morning via Twitter, a hit of the exchange rate of the euro within minutes jumped high up. If Varoufakis goes, that's good for the euro zone, so the message of the financial markets. This is hard work to mess up like this as a person.

I'm sure he had good Ideas. And lot of people agreed with him that some rules are to strict for Greece but he messed it up because his big ego get in the way. He really succeeded from the beginning onwards to make enemies in European politics. For many of his finance minister colleagues Varoufakis was subsequently becoming the provocation nothing else. His international career ended after 4 or 5 month. What did he succeed for the Greece people apart from the referendum? Nothing just chaos.

If our German Government would ask for a referendum to vote for Greece to leave the Eurozone or not I'm sure the way the mood is at the moment most would vote they should get out. But this is not the point of it. And this is not how you solve problems. Everyone can do referendums and asking for it in the middle of a heat of a problem and BANG. This will not fix the problem which really exist.
They really have to start paying taxes now. The corruption has to stop. They are Milliarden of Euros from rich Greek people on Swiss bank accounts. And no taxes was paid for that. This really has to stop.
And just to be clear. Greece need the money and we gave it to them with strict conditions and they took it. They could have said no thank you from the beginning. So please give me a break making it sound like the Greece people had no choice and no one helped them.


Last edited by Nicky80 on Mon Jul 06 2015, 21:10; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Nicky80 on Mon Jul 06 2015, 15:12

party animal - not! wrote:And what is your view on the situation with pensions? 

Here in Britain it is being raised to the age of 67 simply because there is a dwindling number of younger people in work paying the tax to support  a generation who are living much much longer?

I understand that until recently many civil servants and government employees expected to retire at 55, but with youth unemployment so high who will pay for that?

We have the same problem too.  The young generation is getting less and less. Most couple chose a cereer rather to have children and the old people we have live longer. We have more old people in our country then young people. We had some changes for us too.


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Re: Greece is the word

Post by party animal - not! on Mon Jul 06 2015, 15:17

And as one economist from Oxford University said today (paraphrase) 'The new Greek government  don't appear to have done anything so far to improve the country's situation and know full well that they need to reform tax systems and much else, and they've already been in power six months. But they've done nothing

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Wed Jul 08 2015, 12:49

party animal - not! wrote:And as one economist from Oxford University said today (paraphrase) 'The new Greek government  don't appear to have done anything so far to improve the country's situation and know full well that they need to reform tax systems and much else, and they've already been in power six months. But they've done nothing


Pan Nicky...sorry I did not reply sooner....

Hi PAN, I am sure you are wise enough not to believe everything you read.....Maybe you would be good enough to inform the Prof of this.....It's hard to do anything when nobody wants to play with you.....


From 12 days ago;
The former Greek finance minister, Varoufakis was EXCLUDED from the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers....When he sought legal advice on what rules allowed the group to exclude him, he was told: "The Eurogroup is an informal group and thus is not bound by treaties or written regulations.  While unanimity is conventionally adhered to, the Eurogroup President is not bound to explicit rules"
This is the very definition arbitrary rule: ....decisions of vast consequences are being taken by a group that does not consider itself bound by treaties or regulations

Nicky, yes certainly huge amounts of money have been talked about, in that instance 67% went to German Banks and a lesser portion to French etc.


Yesterday we heard tough talk from the Euro Tsars.....bizarrely we heard little on Sunday night or majority of Monday.....in case you wonder why.....they were waiting to see the markets appraisal of the No verdict.....the markets were calm(X China dif story) Where's Carla when you need her???....they STUPIDLY assumed this meant that a Greek exit would not upscuttle there financial forecasts after all...So lets just throw them out it is not going to impact the markets....who cares if we make Greece into Sudan-on-our-doorstep......

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by Leon Felini on Thu Jul 09 2015, 08:07


Finance minister Yanis  Varoufakis was forced resign despite landslide victory only because some  Eurozone leaders (mainly Schäuble & Merkel) found him arrogant & antagonistic. He's an academic who sticks by his convictions. But he will be back when things settle. Enormously popular. Cult following as unconventional intellectual. Might run for PM in future...

Re: age of retirement, it is on par with rest of EU.
The country needs complex fiscal policy reform &  development to invigorate economy.
IMF bailout over ECB

Raising taxes and cutting spending, hurts the econom. It needs growing again. Otherwise, shrinking national income makes it harder  to pay back debts even though fewer of them. And that's why the IMF prescribes a big dose of monetary stimulus,  (a cheaper currency) to offset the economic pain from fiscal austerity. That is how Iceland's economy  managed to recover the though it cut its budget more than any country excluding Greece.
Greece didn't get a cheaper currency or enough debt relief. In 2010, policymakers were afraid that if Greece defaulted on its debt, it would affect the stronger Eurozone economies like Germany & France.  Greece wasn't allowed to default, even though it needed to then. So situation reached the current crisis today,

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Re: Greece is the word

Post by What Would He Say on Sun Jul 12 2015, 13:45

Just to keep those of you outside Europe up to date....

There is an awful lot of headless chickens running around the halls of the great and mighty....

I, personally would wish they were searching for a solution, but a solution to the Greek debt is not even on the agenda.....

This could go down to the wire ....20th July......And we will all be poorer for it....if not monetarily.....certainly poorer in the solidarity of our European "union"......

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Re: Greece is the word

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