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Will Greeks Defy Rape and Pillage By Barbarians Bankers?

Another reason this rescue is not a rescue is that one of its major elements, that of stripping Greece of assets, is unlikely to raise the €50 billion expected. The demands here are astonishing. Greek premier George Papandreou agreed to only €5 billion of asset sales a year ago; the best state owned assets are expected to fetch at best €15 billion. Trust me, if that’s all you can get from the best properties, anything else that can be cobbled together is likely to be worth at most half that in toto. So it’s not hard to foresee that the receipts from the infrastructure sales are likely to fall short by about half. And the notion that the invading banker hoards are going to “supervise” tax collection is sure to mean that they will make certain that they are first in getting tax receipts. As various readers have pointed out, lower middle and middle class Greeks have taxes withheld from wages; it’s the rich and the participants in the black economy that escape. It is far fetched to think that foreign involvement will improve matters; indeed, I’d expect everyone who can to operate out of the black economy as an act of rebellion.

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