The Parthenon is not for sale –

Since January, a game of massive proportions has been launched against the euro and the European economy, by American banks – led by Goldman Sachs.

The very bank that is currently under scrutiny at the US Senate, has been known for years to play dirty games not just against institutions but also against entire countries. For an eye opener, I suggest visiting

Late last year, Goldman Sachs offered a loan to Greece, then went around and bet against it. It’d be as if your bank that gives you a mortgage speculated that you won’t be able to pay your monthly dues and bought insurance against you.

This is what sports bookies do: they don’t care if they bid for or against a result.

This unethical practice is being currently uncovered by the US senate, at the same time as a war against the Greek economy has been launched. Those outside of the political arena are quick to speculate that an orgy of mismanagement is to blame.

The truth is very different.

Every country has a national debt, including major western powers such as Germany, France, the UK and Russia. Why did I leave out the US?

Because California alone has a debt matching that of Greece.

Imagine having a car loan and the bank increased the rates every month. Imagine that at the same time, they lowered your credit score, each month so that you could not refinance the loan.

That’s exactly what is happening right now with the Greek economy.

Now, all this definitely makes excellent cannon fodder for the news media. Instead of focusing on Wall Street, the mortgage crisis, the failing US economy and the 10% unemployment that President Obama has failed to manage – they are eager to bring the war overseas.

Some media have attempted to induce humor – albeit of the offensive kind – stating that in order to repay its debt, Greece must sell important national monuments or several of its islands in the Aegean.

Humor can go that much far though.

I’d love to see the faces of Americans, if they were asked to privatize the Capitol, or to give the Statue of Liberty back to France. Perhaps, if the Grand Canyon were about to be sold to Mexican investors to turn it into a mega mall, then it’d become apparent what Greece is being asked to do.

The Parthenon is not for sale, dear Westerners.

If anything else, the stolen marbles of its frieze, on display at the British Museum – after being ‘treated’ with storage, molding and vulgar scraping of their Pentelic marble – are being demanded back.

Visit to understand that there will be war long before Greece surrenders its heritage and national monuments to the predatory bankers of Wall Street.

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  1. Don’t put all Americans on the same plate with this. History and heritage are extremely important and priceless. For every jackass that suggests Greece do such a thing, there will be 100 Americans chanting against it.

  2. Tia, the educated should not be concerned, it’s those that lack knowledge and education that are included in the collective term. This article is for those that do not use their mind before they suggest such things out in public.

  3. The west owes a lot to Greece. The current events as portrayed by the press is nothing but a means to increase their publicity. Greek people do not deserve this negative light and frankly speaking, the war is indeed against the euro by Wallstreet speculators.

  4. Jim – the west owes nothing to Greece, except respect and decency. The political games currently being played on the back of the Greek economy are an extension of those played on the backs of Americans – hence the current state of the US economy. Don’t forget Enron – it’s dwarfed by Goldman Sachs.

  5. Acro, as an American who lived in Greece for 11 years I can assure you that I’d be the first one to sign a petition against the banking practices of Goldman Sachs. It’s evident that the system is so corrupt that many of us fail to see it. My best memories from Greece are those of its people and their friendliness, also how everyone seemed to enjoy life more than we do in the good old US of A!

  6. My friend, the Greeks that deviously entered Troy inside the hollow horse, are being tricked now in turn by their own allies.

    The European unity has not supported Greece as it should. Sure, Goldman Sachs could be blamed but also Germany for delaying allegiance to Greece at this critical moment.

    I sincerely hope all goes well.


  7. Bill Karamouzis says

    Great post Theo,

    I lived in Greece for 6 months and think a lot of changes are needed though.

    One of my relatives worked for the government and would complain every day about his 4-6 hour shift + smoke breaks.

    Another one worked for a German company working in Greece and would work no less then 8-10 hours a day.

    The work ethic and mentality has to change. The Greeks want to live like Germans and work like Cubans and that just ain’t going to happen.

    Retire at 61 or 63? That’s a joke.

    Doctors living in 1 million Euro homes claiming 3k Euro in yearly pay without any punishment? That’s a joke.

    Almost the entire travel industry is a cash market, from family run hotels, to cabs and food places it’s always cash. One of the largest industries in Greece is underground and the civil servants must subsidize them. That’s a joke.

    The system is broken and while I agree the markets are toying with Greece, if this is the kick in the butt to get these reforms pushed through then so be it these are steps in the right direction.

    Just my 2 cents…

  8. Bill – I’m sure you’re familiar with the Greek word “filotimo” – it kicks in when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan 🙂

    However, the picture you’re painting is a fragment of reality.

    Greeks work far more than their European counterparts – do some research on statistics – while being paid far less.

    Ever heard of the ‘700 euro generation’? That’s the average monthly wage for Greeks since the introduction of the euro.

    School professors working for 30-35 years will receive 1200 euro as their final monthly check – and pensions are a fragment of this. Meanwhile, Greece is expensive as a destination, again because there was no realistic price adjustment from the drachma to the euro in 2000. E.g. items costing 50 drachmas were repriced at 50 eurocents – but at a conversion rate of 350 drachmas to the euro that’s an increase of 300%+

    Of course things are not perfect and there is a lot to be desired and achieved.

    However, even though there’s good intention to fix issues such as nepotism and egotism within the Greek state, what is happening right now is financial slavery to the foreign Banks. The game of money is being played with Greece as the paradigm. Next comes Portugal, Spain, Italy and other European countries of the south.

    You and I have lived and worked outside of Greece long enough to understand the work ethics of foreign markets; the introduction of worldwide practices does not always work at every place.

    Perhaps, much of what gives Greece its unique position in the world, is its attitude in life.

    Incidentally, I’ve experienced the Cuban family lifestyle at some point and I wasn’t so close to home before 😀

  9. Bill Karamouzis says

    I’d love to see some stats on how Greeks outwork Germans or anyone else in the Euro zone. It’s clear there is alot of money in Greece, but it’s not making its way back to the government forcing it to borrow funds. Hence the problem comes back to the Greeks themselves.

    Productivity is Greece is terrible. I’m not speaking about everyone, but as an average when added together it’s far below western standards.

    And this still does not take into account tax abuse and a retirement age at 61 (till now).

    The cost of living and introduction of the Euro did huge damage, but no one forced it on Greece. In fact they lied to get INTO the Euro when they were not ready.

    As you can tell I’m not a big fan of excuses and lies. Greece needs to TAX EVERYONE working in Greece correctly and fairly, smash corruption and bust up these 2 million+ person labor unions.

    You can’t sustain a country were the self employed don’t report taxes while the civil servants are making 700-1400 Euro. That is a HUGE reason why the government can’t pay people correctly, because everything from the tax system to the land title system are ass-backwards.

  10. Bill – again you’re using a fragment of the situation to justify the imposing of Draconian measures. The Greeks don’t mind being told they must work harder; they will absolutely refuse to do anything under threats of a foreign, non-sovereign power.

    Germany is a unique, structured example of a hard working society – with all the pitfalls that it entails. Obsession with productivity in Japan is even worse and yet the Japanese economy – the world’s biggest industrial power – is in shambles. Perhaps, people are overworked and there is a lack of humanity in these societies?

    Perhaps, the French and their 35 hour workweek and 5 weeks of mandatory vacation time truly know how to enjoy life better?

    No, Greeks do not retire at 61, the age is 65 and will pushed up to 67 – unless you’re referring to exceptions to the rule in certain professions. There are professions that are considered ‘heavy and unhygienic’. Also, parts of the military such as the pilots retire with every service year counting as double; the same applies in the US, if I am correct.

    With the exception of Canada, I invite you to tell me which Western country offers affordable, socialized medication and healthcare to its citizens? Definitely not the US; unfortunately I would have to point you to Cuba, which, despite its Marxist regime offers great healthcare to its citizens.

    Tax evasion is not rampant, definitely not like in Mexico, Brazil or Portugal. Unless you mean that because Greeks know how to live life differently, unlike the Scandinavians and northern Europeans, that is a crime and has to change.

    Greece is at the crossroads of many cultures, including that of the entire Balkan population and that of Turkey. Its heritage, distinct color and mentality cannot change per ‘westernized’ standards – definitely not by force and definitely not overnight.

  11. Bill Karamouzis says

    Good points, this problem is complex but hopefully will work out in a positive way for the people living there.

    Your coverage is good to see though, I hope more people blog about this as well. News sites often only give you one side of a complex issue.

  12. Regurgitating the news is one of the pitfalls of today’s interconnected world. People don’t spend time to think, to analyze or to comprehend anything deeper than the surface. If we spent our time retweeting then perhaps the economy would be better, but would that make *us* feel any better? 🙂

  13. A series of articles covering the planned attack on euro and Greece by hedge funds:

    Reuters article on the meeting:

    BusinessWeek article on the DoJustice investigation:

    Bloomberg article on the investigation:

    Wall Street Journal article on the Hedge Funds’ “ganging” of euro.

  14. Being Greek many times I had in mind that Western Civilization owns a lot to Greece. Now @ 33 I know this is the past, modern Greeks have nothing to do with ancient ones and their education, unfortunately.
    Reading offensive blog posts for Greece and our ancient heritage makes me wonder if someone is entitled to make fun of it so easily, if he is then I have the right to bash him in every chance I can get.
    I dont know how many of you visited Greece these last 6-7 yrs, you should know already that 4/5 of us work like dogs day and night in 2-3 different jobs just to have our own house(under heavy loans) and make some more money for sending our kids to Higher Education.
    The rest 1/5 is doing nothing, just exploiting tax law holes making money from others misery.
    Banks is the biggest exploiters of them all, they buy land all the time and give loans in high interest even if they know that lender is not strong enough to pay the loan in the near future, that results in taking his land as well, this act only is devasting for us Greeks.(John M. Keynes said it perfectly 74 yrs ago: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1936)
    Entering euro made us loose our buying power because everyone got prices up in one day while Government didnt protect us at all.
    For example one small bottle of water used to cost about 15 cents(5 drachmas old coin), next day after we entered euro this same product went at 50 cents. Many changed exact number of drachmas price in euro price only 1 Euro is 370.75 drachmas so leaving number the same and replcaing only word drachmas with cents or euros was a big economical step back for all of us.
    Just imagine what impact we had in our lifes after this change.
    As I wrote elsewhere we should either exit EU or default but until then we must try to stay inside EU until there is no hope.

  15. I stopped after you compared Greece’s debt to California’s debt. This match may be correct, but California’s GDP in 2008 was $1.85 trillion, compared to Greece, with only $356-billion.

    Let’s see, California thinks it has a financial crisis, and it’s debt matches Greece.

    What responsibility does Greece have to say, “We can’t afford this loan?”

  16. Maki kalimera 🙂 Since it’s not 5:00pm yet in Greece, I can still say ‘good morning’ to you.

    There is nothing wrong with either hard work or acknowledging one’s vices. The line needs to be drawn before one trades in their history and national pride for a few million euros. Westerners only see the surface or the image being projected by the mass media and have no understanding of the Greek psyche and intuition.

    I will leave you with some thoughts that may help you overcome your current predicament over working conditions in Greece.

    Greeks built America in the 1890’s and 1900’s by working as railroad setters, coalminers and men for ‘the dirty jobs’. They slowly but surely built their future as well, despite the racism they faced from a society that had no methods of understanding their need to socialize within their own circles, to spend time at the cafes smoking and talking loud.

    The Megali Ellas or Magna Graecia consisting of Southern Italy and the entire Sicily was for centuries the biggest sprawl of rich colonies, thanks to the Greeks. They flourished because they were given ample space – see the metaphor for practical ‘freedom’ – and the chance to restart their lives.

    Greeks abroad succeed in everything they try their hands on, it’s a proven fact. Greece is too small for thee, the exact words of Philip II to his son Alexander the Great. If it takes to leave Greece behind for a while, to succeed financially or personally, by all means do it. Learn from other cultures and absorb their methods and procedures. And take what you learned and experienced back to Greece – back to Odyssey’s Ithaca – because that’s where you ultimately belong.

  17. Hey Danny – what matters, ultimately, is the impact of an economy on its people. Numbers can be used to serve either argument, I won’t deny that.

    I am sure Californians are proud of their geolocation and overall status within the US, however governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has reached his money-managing peak a long time ago; when he left Hollywood. California is in crisis even with a GDP of $1.8 trillion dollars.

    The overall idea is this: Greece needs to fight back because the rules of the game are set by banks with agendas. For starters, as Max Keiser suggests, Greece needs to oust Goldman Sachs.

  18. Goldman Sachs just announced they’re opening an office in Poland. Someone needs to organize a protest and boycott here asap.

  19. Greece is just the fall guy that the ratings agencies are using to help Wall Street financiers betting against the Euro. And they are already working on their next Global scam.

    The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud

    Goldman Sachs and Wall Streets next scam. Goldman Sachs and Al Gore own a percentage of the Chicago Climate Exchange.

    The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) advertises itself as “North America’s only cap-and-trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide.” Barack Obama served on the board of the Joyce Foundation from 1994 to 2002 when the CCX startup grants were issued. As president, pushing cap-and-trade is one of his highest priorities. Now isn’t that special?

  20. Shawn – They will need to put out the fires at home first. The Senate hasn’t started digging yet. Expect to see a massive lawsuit soon.

    Jim – as I posted at Rob’s blog, Greeks are being asked to clean up the crap created by the hounds of Wall Street.

    Like Hercules and the task of the ‘Augean stables’ we have all the water we need to flush it all clean.

    Now let us do our effing job!

  21. Acro, as much as I respect your educated opinion and well-written blog post, I can only to a certain extent agree with it.

    First of all, to blame foreign banks or speculators is just too easy a way of handling with the situation. It was Greece, not the banks or hedge funds, that provided faked stats as an instrument to accelerate its acceptance into the European Union. Greece has been on the rocks before (like many other countries for that matter) and, looking at the more recent past, for a long time now. So I would actually say that the Greek politicians (and the country’s media) should first of all play fair by accepting their own mistakes instead of blaming foreign agents.

    Secondly, speculators are not the cause of the Euro’s depreciation. The European currency exchange rate did not go down because of any bank or hedge fund, but because all of a sudden Greece announced that it was heading for bankruptcy. This came as a surprise to the markets throughout the world, of course, and the Euro quickly depreciated. Only then did speculators begin to pump massive amounts of cash into short positions, betting the Euro would go further down. By doing so they certainly have contributed to the current situation, but only to a relatively small extent. The Euro will continue to fall as long as there is uncertainty in the market. And the Euro’s current weakness is actually a sign of the weakness of some European countries, especially those in the South. As a result, it is justified that the Euro will fall in value against other currencies. From today’s point of view, it is overvalued. Speculators realize this and try to benefit from the situation, but they have not caused it.

  22. Dom – Greece did not announce “heading into bankruptcy”. Greece did not seek canceling its debt, nor did it provide faked stats. I’m sorry that you too are a victim of the organized attack and scare tactics of the market players.

    There is already plentiful information about how this situation was orchestrated – on Greek soil no less – by the hedge fund managers. Read the links I provided above, coming not from some small gazettes but from publications such as WSJ, Businessweek, Bloomberg and Reuters.

    The game of betting on one’s misfortune might sound fair on Wall Street – but they don’t seem to like it when the odds are turned around. American banks played these games, not the Greek government that issued valid bonds which were turned into ‘junk’ by the hedge speculators.

    If I start circulating rumors that one’s wife is a whore, odds are that nobody will believe she’s not.

    Now that Greece became the testbed for this experiment, the big players of the Eurozone are worried and want to put in place mechanisms that will not allow the shorting of national debt bonds.

    The world should thank Greece for taking the beating for everyone else.

  23. Turn about is fair play. If you research recent history it was their own “son” George Soros, who nearly bankrupted Great Britain a few years ago by “shorting” the British pound. He made billions on the deal so what’s wrong with the rest of the world using their own playbook. Oh, I forgot the ancient attitude. “We can do it to others but nobody is allowed to do it to us.”

  24. Ted – George Soros is Hungarian, despite the Greek-sounding name. He’s also behind the hedge fund manager conspiracy, read the links I provided above. Also, I’m not fond of made-up phrases such as the one you quoted 😀

  25. Yes certainly not the fault of the Greeks for this mess. Just like it wasn’t the Americans faults for taking stupid mortgages they couldn’t afford. Sure, if the banks are willing to give mortgages and credit cards, we sure should spend spend spend! It’s not our fault that we can’t pay back our loans! It’s the bank for giving us the means to spend all this money. Stupid banks.


    “Now that Greece became the testbed for this experiment”

    That’s exactly the attitude to which the press refers. Blame others so you can protest social service cutbacks and higher taxes. It’s not your fault. Someone else did this to us.

    I bet if you go to every jail in the world, 99p of the incarcerated will say that they are serving time through no fault of their own.

  26. Money – If you don’t want to understand the facts, then you simply reiterate the buzz of the media.

    If your credit card rate is increased and your credit score decreases, plus your loaning bank bets money against you that you won’t make it – all WHILE you’re attempting to make payments, then surely something is wrong with that picture.

    It’s exactly what the hedge funds’ managers and banks, including Goldman Sachs did.

    Unless you’ve lived outside the US it’s easy to assault places where things are different. Funny how Cuba has a better healthcare system than the US.

  27. I just said my BRING THEM BACK:)

    i’ll pass on the message


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