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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:56 AM

Greeks Raid Forests in Search of Wood to Heat Homes

Source: Wall Street Journal

January 11, 2013, 8:51 p.m. ET
Greeks Raid Forests in Search of Wood to Heat Homes

EGALEO, Greece—While patrolling on a recent cold night, environmentalist Grigoris Gourdomichalis caught a young man illegally chopping down a tree on public land in the mountains above Athens.

When confronted, the man broke down in tears, saying he was unemployed and needed the wood to warm the home he shares with his wife and four small children, because he could no longer afford heating oil.

"It was a tough choice, but I decided just to let him go" with the wood, said Mr. Gourdomichalis, head of the locally financed Environmental Association of Municipalities of Athens, which works to protect forests around Egaleo, a western suburb of the capital.

Tens of thousands of trees have disappeared from parks and woodlands this winter across Greece, authorities said, in a worsening problem that has had tragic consequences as the crisis-hit country's impoverished residents, too broke to pay for electricity or fuel, turn to fireplaces and wood stoves for heat.
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Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324442304578232280995369300.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Greeks Raid Forests in Search of Wood to Heat Homes (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Alamuti Lotus Jan 2013 #1
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #2
tavalon Jan 2013 #3
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #5
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #11
MNBrewer Jan 2013 #4
fasttense Jan 2013 #6
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #7
Tempest Jan 2013 #8
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #9
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #10
NickB79 Jan 2013 #13
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #14
madrchsod Jan 2013 #12

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:01 AM

1. it appears that the austerity measures are doing precisely what they are designed to do.. *nt

 

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:28 AM

2. Out of curiousity

what do you think the alternatives were to current measures and how would those alternatives be funded ?

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:22 AM

3. See iceland for a roadmap

Throw out the IMF thugs. Nationalize everything.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:12 AM

5. That isn't a valid example

The issues in Iceland revolved around three private banks - Kaupthing Bank hf, Glitnir Bank hf and Landsbanki Islands hf. The Icelandic government assumed responsibility for the debt which remains payable. The price which Icelanders paid was higher unemployment and a higher rate of infaltion. There is also no reason to suppose that Iceland does not have a recognisable tax collection system - unlike Greece.

The Greeks do not have the funds to nationalise anything. Aside from that they made a choice to refinance their debt at substantially lower rates of interest but paid the price of the new finance being secured against state owned assets. As such nationalising anything at present would be counterproductive. The fact remains it was their choice.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:44 PM

11. There are many, many, many very wealthy Greek people.

California is balancing its budget by increasing AND COLLECTING taxes on the wealthy. That is what Greece should do.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:32 AM

4. Funded by confiscating the wealth of the 1%!

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:18 AM

6. The alternatives are limitless.

But for a start ....put a 90% tax on anyone earning more than $250,000.00. Take the tax money and pay people to work.

Prosecute and jail the bankers and politicians who created the illegal debt. Then declare the debt a fraud and don't pay it.

Put on a transaction tax on stocks.

Kick out all the uber rich, confiscate their stolen wealth and send them to GALT.

Make corporations pay 35% tax with NO loopholes

Put a tariff on anything that is imported and let the Greek people run their own markets.

Nationalize all the resources in the country and use the profits to put the people back to work.

Like I said the alternatives to austerity are limitless.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:26 AM

7. The subject here is Greece

Doesn't matter what tax rates they use if the tax is not collected.

Personally I wish they had walked away from all debt , left the Euro and EU too and had a fresh start.

btw - you can't blame their own banks in general - much of the debt owed to their banks, same as with Spain , became delinquent as a result of the 2008 financial crash thanks to the antics of US financial institutions.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:35 AM

8. That applies to Greece as well

The biggest reason for Greece's problems is that the rich haven't been paying taxes in the country.

Conservative governments allowed them to stash it overseas without penalty.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:39 AM

9. The biggest reason for Greece's problems is tax hasn't been collected period.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:42 PM

10. This is a tragedy.

The Germans have no oil and have invested in solar panels on their houses to become energy-independent.

In fact, trees are extremely important in preventing global warming.

Installing solar panels and then impoverishing the Greek people to the point that they destroy their forests makes no sense whatsoever.

What fools we all are.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:05 PM

13. Germany is far from energy-independent

They generate over 60% of their electricity from burning coal and gas, and import massive amounts of gas and oil from Russia and Norway. Since they began shutting down nuclear reactors, they've had to import electricity from time to time from France, when they used to be a major exporter of electricity.

Their solar and wind programs are the envy of the world, but have only displaced approximately 20% of their energy needs so far. There is still a long ways to go.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:57 PM

14. Yes. Thanks. I realize that. I should have said that Germany has no oil and gas.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:03 PM

12. the greek upper class shipped all their cash out of the country.

a good percentage ended up in the usa. where i live they have their own banking system and always pay cash.

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