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156

I know that the population of Greece is much less than in the U.S., however I do not think it matters to people "lending" money to the governments This is where you are mistaken. The lender is concerned with the ability of the borrower to pay back the debt. If I have an annual income of $100,000, then all else being equal I can borrow much more than if my ...


66

It's going to be difficult to really choose a "best answer" here since to some extent the factors involved, and especially which ones are "most important" is going to be a matter of opinion. And this is because economics is not a settled science in the way that physics or chemistry are, such that there are "correct answers." That said, while it has already ...


64

Their economies are radically different otherwise. Greece has a weak economy in most fields, with the exception of tourism. Japan is a manufacturing and scientific powerhouse. Greece runs recurring high deficits and had rarely, if ever, shown inclination to stop doing so. While Japan was criticized at the start of their financial decline for insisting on ...


43

No. As long as the original credit of 330 billion euros is not paid back, you can hardly argue that the interest should be considered as a profit. In fact, the starting time for interest payback has just been suspended by ten years, to 2033 - according to the German Department of Finance, this amounts to 34 billion dollars of unpaid interest. Additionally, ...


40

Greece has a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than the United States. Greece's debt-to-GDP ratio is 182% which is the highest in Europe and 2nd highest in the world. In comparison, the US's higher debt-to-GDP ratio is 126%, according to OECD data. General government debt-to-GDP ratio is the amount of a country's total gross government debt as a percentage of its ...


30

It is often the little things that are hardest to settle. In a complex trade negotiation there is room for give and take on both sides. So both sides can come away from the negotiations feeling that they have won something. Both can then sell this to their partisans at home as a victory. But a name is a very simple thing, and either the country gets named "...


29

One little Japanese secret is this (alas the data was as of 2016): Of Japan’s net debt of 130% of GDP, about half (66% of GDP) is owed to the Bank of Japan, which the government in turn owns. By 2018 that percentage was down somewhat the BOJ owns about 45 percent of the 1 quadrillion yen Japanese government bond (JGB) market, crowding out banks and ...


27

It's probably part of the pressure/negotiation tactics of Ankara, as they have a long history of threatening Europe with this: Turkish government representatives, and even President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself, have regularly threatened to withdraw from the deal and "open the gates" over the past several years. In fact, Erdogan began making such ...


22

Their fears do have a basis in reality; the Macedonian government has become more nationalist recently, and their messaging paints them as the heirs of Phillip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. So at least rhetorically, they're acting as if part of Greece belongs to them. But they're such a tiny country, and they have no realistic prospect of taking ...


19

First, it might be interesting to note that all this does not exactly work the way you describe in the question. Euros are not printed by the governments. They are issued by the national central banks, under the oversight of the European Central Bank, but printed by a number of printing shops, some of them that were historically government-controlled, some ...


14

From the point of view of many of the Greeks making the objection, "Macedonia" should be the land on Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. The core of this territory lies in modern Greece, so for lots of them, it would be "central" or "true" Macedonia, rather than South Macedonia. Unfortunately for them, the name continued as a Roman Province, a ...


14

Brief - though partial - answer: Japan is an independent state, which prints its own currency. Greece is a member of the EU, and its currency, the Euro, is controlled by EU bodies - It could not simply print more Drachmas to pay its debt as an (emergency) measure. The EU insisted it follow an austerity program, which only worsened the economic situation; ...


13

TL;DR According to various sources, they do not have a legal right to (further) reparations. However that was only possible because of some legal trickery. In layman terms it went like this: 1953: Please wait with your claims until we are prosperous and can pay them without inconvenience. 1990: Now that Germany is re-unified your claims have no legal ...


13

This is a problem of nationalism. Not just Macedonian or Greek nationalism, but in general. So the reasons for Greek nationalists is really exactly the same as for FYRO-Macedonians: Macedonian President 'Won't Sign' Name Deal With Greece: Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has said he won't sign a deal with Greece on the former Yugoslav republic's name,...


9

Kicking Greece out would be the same as admitting the politicians had made a mistake. And as you know, they never admit that - at least not voluntary. "Kicking the can and hope the problem disappears over time" is the favorite way to handle problems in the EU. At first, allowing Greece to stay in was easier than to kick it out, so that was the approach. ...


9

In 2010, much of Greece government's debt was in the hand of private investors, especially French and German banks and there were serious concerns that a default could trigger a contagion that would destabilize the whole euro area. So even before any talk of leaving the euro, simply defaulting on the debt could have serious consequences. It might not have ...


9

Percentages are misleading in this case. Looking at the raw GDP numbers paints a clearer picture (metrics from World Bank as reported by Google search) Greece's peak GDP was 354B (0.35T) USD. It's around 200B (0.2T) now, and has been falling for about a decade. Japan's GDP is just under 5T USD, with a peak just over 6T The US (for comparison) has a GDP of ...


9

Japan has a strong industrial base and an export-led economy. Greece, beyond some tourism and some exports in the food industry, didn't have very much and imported a lot more than it could export. Some help was coming from the EU budget, and Greece had always been a net beneficiary of EU budget allocations, but it was not enough. But the real weak point is ...


8

Because FYROM wants to change its name and Greece doesn't. Macedonians of Greece object to being called South Macedonians all of a sudden because that's not their identity - as far as they're concerned they live in a region called Makedonia and consider themselves Makedones, and have been doing so for as long as anyone cares to remember. Not to mention ...


8

It depends on the official determination on who is the aggressor. In any but the most blatant attacks, this determination will be a political process. Most EU countries are obliged to defend Turkey against armed attacks on their territory (Article 5 of the NATO treaty, most significant EU members are also NATO members). All EU countries are obliged to ...


7

Some background: If someone is on a sinking boat you cannot turn them away as their life is at risk. Turkey / Greece land border is not as easy to get to as the seaside towns in Turkey that are close to the Greek islands. The Turkey / Greece land border has a permanent border fence. It is hard for Greece to claim they can’t stop people coming over that ...


7

Protection of refugees is an ancient custom. Many people practiced it, mostly for their own gain and applied to entire people/tribes. For instance, the Romans used, and sometimes invited, refugees to resettle depopulated areas. Contemporary refugees law instead is a product of World War II, and in fact was originally limited to the people affected by the ...


7

There are a number of factors which indicate how much of a problem debt is, these apply to both countries and individuals. First is how large the debt is as a proportion of GDP. This provides a crude indicator of how capable the country is of paying it back. Having said that GDP isn't exactly the same as the cash a government has available as this is liked ...


7

Apparently, the most recent data for Syria exposed in IMF's World Economic Outlook Database is from 2010. For example, see this query on inflation, for all the countries you mention, from 2000 to 2020. The report's notes on Syria are: Syria: Inflation, average consumer prices (Index) Source: National Statistics Office Latest actual data: 2011 Harmonized ...


7

No and yes. The thing is that "Germany" can either be the sum of all companies and entities in Germany OR the German Government. The latter lost money. The first actually made some by Greece being able to pay back some private debt (though I don't know any exact figures).


7

Based on conversations with a Greek colleague from Kavala, at least some of these people find the use of "Macedonia" for any region outside of either "Greek Macedonia" or the Macedon of Philip the Second to be something of a moral outrage. This is not at a level where appeals to pragmatism or logic are going to change their minds. Any resolution which ...


6

To address the rationale for all 3 points: The Greek debt crisis included a budget crisis. The debt wouldn't have been a problem if the budget was sufficiently in the black to pay interests and repay principals in time. Resolving the budget crisis meant both cutting spending and raising taxes. The Greek economy can be compared to its neighbors, such as the ...


6

Nothing happens to a country's soveregnity legally. That's because - unlike with most commercial lending (such as a mortgage), there is no tangible collateral in sovereign lending. In other words, the penalty for default isn't "we get to keep your collateral, or otherwise punish you" - there is no explicit direct penalty at all. Greece didn't ...


6

The soldiers mentioned above were released on the 14th of August 2018, 167 days after their apprehension. You can find a full timeline of events about this on here (in Greek). Their release, pending their then trial, came under no conditions, given that the court established no charges could be brought forth for espionage but only for trespassing Turkey's ...


6

8 years ago (in 2012) when this refugee crises started, the streets of cities in Turkey were full of Syrians. They were cutting your way asking for money, collecting food from trash. Today (in 2020) you can not see anybody in the streets. Somehow they were absorbed into the system. The official number is 4.7 million people. And Turkey is not a rich country. ...


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