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Protesters drop golden turd by Athens embassy
Photo: DPA

Protesters drop golden turd by Athens embassy

Published: 13 Apr 2012 09:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Apr 2012 09:53 GMT+02:00

The protesters, members of a political-artistic collective, topped their offering off with a huge photo of the German national emblem – the eagle – that had the head of Chancellor Angela Merkel and very large breasts.

The model was a lifelike replica of a curled turd- several feet tall and covered in gold paper.

Greek police soon arrested ten of the 13-strong group and confiscated their fake faeces, local online English-language newspaper Greek Reporter said.

Three photographers were also briefly detained at the demonstration.

The Germans’ protest was directed against what they said was Berlin’s "neoliberal EU policy". In a statement published before the arrest they denounced Germany’s role in enforcing strict spending rules on struggling Greece.

The Local/AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:12 April 13, 2012 by raandy
The Greeks with there draconian mandated austerity measures will never come out of debt, and will consistently need bail out to restructure existing debt.

Austerity has resulted in higher unemployment, loss of retirement benefits, social services for older and young citizens ect. All these unemployed are a draw on the already overburdened system,which is getting more overburdened daily.

The EU members should realize that not every country can follow and become like Germany. The same situation is rearing it's ugly head in Spain and Portugal.

a more reasonable austerity and market reform program with a more than likely write off of Greek debt is the only way this nation will ever become a self supporting member of the EU.

Of course the other alternative is to kick Greece out of the EU, but that will bring about another host of problems for the beleaguered EU.
11:16 April 13, 2012 by kparsels
Thank you I needed a laugh! I'm still laugh every time I think of the headline.
11:42 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
@raandy.

Re this sentence" EU members should realize that not every country can follow and become like Germany".

I live in Germany, and I can tell you that living in Germany should not be the example to follow anymore. I have been talking to people that earn 900 Euros net per month in Munich. And people retiring after 45 years of work earning 700 Euros net a month. In Munich this money is not enabling u to survive (actually there was an article some times ago where 20% of people in Germany do not reach minimum salary level for living - I can see it). This is not what we should follow, and we should stop being blind. PS I have a very high qualified job, I earn good money, but every month I have to pay a rent in Munich of 1700 Euros a month in a crapy building....

The strategy of Merkozy has clearly shown of being unefective (maybe good for Merkel short term, but not good for sure on the long term)... so we need to think at working in EU as partner, and finding long term solution, otherwise it is better to stay every country on its own, and partner with powerful countries like China (for sure not Germany anymore)
11:43 April 13, 2012 by kj77nw
Nobody is mandating Greece to do anything. What Germany is saying is "if you want us to continue to give money to you, you must do the following". If Greece doesn't want any more money from Germany, they can do whatever they want.

And the money that Greece is getting comes out of German taxes and German retirement funds. How much of their monthly income are these artists willing to give so that Greece civil servants can retire in their 50s?
11:49 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
@kj77nw.

i would like to remind u that the money Germany gives will go back to germany. and i tell u that Germany needs Greece to survive, otherwise Siemens/Thyssenkrup/Commerzbank etc etc will lose a big business and a lot of money...

Btw, di u see yesterday article where it said that German companies were involved in corruption scandals with Greek politiciansd to gain contracts there? This should tell u why Greece is such a big case, while noone cared about Portugal and Ireland
12:18 April 13, 2012 by raandy
smart2012 I live in Berlin, for over 25 years. This situation is not unique to Germany .The middle class that existed 15 years ago has become noticeably smaller in Europe and North America,as the world wealth is now shared by the faster growing economies. However, Germany as a nation has a very strong and financially responsible economy.Even though the rest of Europe is struggling,albiet, Germany has benefited more from the Euro than its member states as a result of an export economy based on quality. China is booming as a producer of less expensive and lesser quality items as a result of its ability to do this,which will change as people demand higher wages and better working conditions not to mention unemployment benefits, safety,medical ,social freedoms and environmental responsibility I wouldn't put all my eggs in the Chinese basket yet, when their economy slows in a reaction to the European and North American markets in the future they will be suffering along with the rest of the world maybe more so.

Kj77nw nobody is arguing that the Greeks needed to change,only how fast and how much can they do in a short period of time, they were admitted with out a true due diligence and now the approving members must step up to the plate or kick them out. Germany is not the only member donating to the bail out and yes they have mandated measures that they wanted in place before they would go along with the bail out. ((Not long after Greece made the politically unpopular decision to slash government spending as a way to ease its debt crisis, Germany's finance minister questioned whether the deal goes far enough to earn a crucial €130 billion ($172 billion bailout)). or what isn't written is what they must do to satisfy members like Germany. call it by any other name you wish.
13:49 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
thanks raandy, aligned with you. Just one point re"nation has a very strong and financially responsible economy". Do not underestimate that Germany is the only country out of western EU that had a completely economical restructure 20 years ago due to East Germany coming in. This was supported by EU money and enabled a completely review of the financials under "extraordinary" conditions. Look at north of Germany, and you will find lands suffereing due to a too high debt
15:21 April 13, 2012 by Eastard
The Greeks will not successfully protest themselves into prosperity nor will anyone lend them enough money to return to the galla party life of times past. China and/or Russia will be glad to get involved and should be expected to offer an olive branch any day... recognize that they intend to own the olive farm shortly thereafter..

Any time the Greeks spend not working on status quo is wasted... They should organize to survive their own Great Depression... Most countries in the world have gone thur it... The USA, Japan, Germany, Russia, China, etc... all experienced the collapse of services and entitlements... Note how differently they all came out of this delima... The USA, Germany, and Japan came out of their problems with strong national economies while China and Russia came out with autocracies (leadership with unlimited power to maintain leadership)... Work and cooperation are the Greeks best tools... Use Japan as the best example... where they were humiliated after having been the aggressor... totally defeated... totally vulnerable... and yet they took the help of their advesery over many years to regain world leadership... They invested in sweat equity (work and sacrifice)... with almost no complaints... and no blame except for themselves... A true example of people with a mission taking responsibility for their own destiny with a plan to succeed...

I see absolutely none of this attitude in Greece...in fact I see maintenance of the opposite attitude... Theirs is not an intellectual process it is a physical effort and a major change in ownership of the underlying problem of their culture...
15:45 April 13, 2012 by Sayer
Every downtrodden group needs a different group to blame for their woes. In this instance Greeks feel that it is Germans who are the source of all of their financial troubles. In the same way that many Americans blame Latinos or other groups. Germany was/is no different, the Muslims of various nationalities being the current scapegoats du jour.

History is replete with examples of at least 50 occasions where people of a certain faith, who controlled money supply and goods supply etc. and who were 'punished' for such hegemony, whether real or perceived. I guess it's human nature. As a species we resent those who we feel make our lives worse, not better. A golden turd beats a pogrom by a royal flush, if you get my drift.
15:52 April 13, 2012 by Wise Up!
The EU only exists to shackle Germany. Germany no longer needs the EU, it has major trading patners outside. Germany is naturally dominant and Europe tries to hinder that. The best result would be for Germany to leave the EU and the Euro. Won't happen with Merkel. But the next generation no longer feels guilty for the holocaust and will be far less constrained.

Greeks now consider themselves to be in a 'financial Dachau' from Germany. Who needs them?
15:54 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
@ Eastard: You said: "The USA, Germany, and Japan came out of their problems with strong national economies". Are we sure you live in our world? did you realize that the countries you mentioned had "0" growth in the last months and in Germany people are already talking about an agenda 2030???????? (ie further increase the retirement age???).

I think you are making a mistake in comparing Germany with China and Russia. The last 2 are in a strong economical postion, unfortunately not Germany anymore....
16:18 April 13, 2012 by Bruno53
Because I live in USA, I don't want to intervene in Europe's affairs most of the time. Enough problems we got here in America. But something tells me this"European Union and European Parliament" is not working. May i suggest a breakup, not all of it, and let the Mediterranean countries of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece set up their own ones? While born in USA my ancestors came from the Mediterranean. These are my people. Not the French, British and Germans.
16:55 April 13, 2012 by frankiep
@smart2012

I think you missed the point Eastard was trying to make - that those are all examples of countries which have at some point in their histories gone through a severe depression similar to what Greece is going through today. The US got through its depression by being the last man standing after WWII. Germany faced this twice, once in the 1920s (and we all know what their solution was to that), and again after WWII where their hard work and large amount of outside support resulted in their amazing economic growth. Russia and China responded in the past to their severe economic troubles through brutal oppression. It's now up to the Greeks to decide what path they would like to take to get out of this, but right now it appears as if they don't want to take the (second) path Germany took in the 50s and 60s.
18:00 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
Sorry guys, I disagree, u r comparing apple to peers. Greece was never a strong economy and never it will be.. The only problem they have is that Euro is killing them (they r not competitive anymore on tourism and agricultural products as too expensive)... They would be better off with dracma.
18:54 April 13, 2012 by derExDeutsche
Let Greece default.
19:04 April 13, 2012 by AlexR
@kj77nw @Eastard & @Sayer: I'm wondering if you've bothered to even read the first part of the article (besides the title) before you've started commenting. The protesters who dropped the 'golden turd by Athens embassy' weren't Greeks. They were Germans. Only 10 Germans. As in citizens of Germany. Deutschland.

@kj77nw: You are wrong saying that "nobody is mandating Greece to do anything". I suggest that you should read the conditions of the bailout packages before making such statements. Both of the bailout packages that Greece signed are legal documents/treaties that come with many obligations, restrictions and mandates. If Greece fails to meet its obligations by paying back the installments, the consequences are severe.

You also say "we are giving money to you" as if those money are some kind of gift. It isn't a gift, it's a loan. And a very profitable loan for Germany for that matter. Germany gets a loan from the markets at 1-2% (or even less) and then lends Greece with an interest rate of 5-7%. You could read studies of prominent German economists who have indicated that with this method Germany has profited 400-800 billion euros from the Greek & Euro crisis.

Also the "we are giving money to you" is literally incorrect. We are not giving money to them, we are giving money to our banks and funds. On the first bailout package (1.5 year ago) only 20% of the loan was actually going to Greece. The rest was going straight to the banks. The second current bailout package is even worse. Zero (0) euros actually go to Greece. Greece was obliged to establish a "debt fund" where all the money of loan installments goes, in order to pay back the loans.

@Eastard & @frankiep: I'm not sure what you are saying. A brief look of the Greek history will show that when US, Japan, Germany etc had economic depressions, at the same time Greece had even more severe depressions, mainly because it was much smaller and poorer country than the above. Actually the last Great Depression was because of the German occupation of Greece with the stealing of all of Greece's gold and resources. And while the Germans had recovered quite rapidly after the war (mainly because the US had written off *all* of the German debt and initiated the Marshal plan), the Greece depression had lasted through the 50s, 60s and 70s.

The main indication of the greater Greek than the German depression is the millions of Greeks that immigrated in Germany and elsewhere after the war and until the 70s. At the same time, relatively very few Germans immigrated abroad due to economic reasons.
19:24 April 13, 2012 by kj77nw
@smart2012

"i would like to remind u that the money Germany gives will go back to germany. and i tell u that Germany needs Greece to survive, otherwise Siemens/Thyssenkrup/Commerzbank etc etc will lose a big business and a lot of money..."

Funneling German tax dollars through the Greek government in order to give them to big German businesses isn't economically sensible for Germany. And it doesn't sound like a good deal for the Greeks either. Both the Greek and the German people really should put a stop to this.
20:01 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
@kj77nw: I fully agree with you that we should put a stop to this if our politicians will not make up their mind on what they want to do with EU. I am afraid our American friend Bruno 53 is right :-)
20:34 April 13, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Honestly, if it wasn't for Athens, and the Peloponnessian War written by Thucydides, 2,500 years ago, who would give a turd about the Greeks? What have they done for Western Civilzation since then? OK - holding back the Persians at Thermapoli by the Spartans was a good thing, but since then???

See you all in 2013, as we do the 3rd Annual Greek Bailout.
21:09 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
@schwabhallrocks. It is for people like u that we will have a 3rd world war, and guess who will lose???
21:37 April 13, 2012 by Sayer
Let me add my few grams of Souvlaki, Ouzo and a few broken plates I broke dancing with men: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/27-statistics-about-the-european-economic-crisis-that-are-almost-too-crazy-to-believe .

It would appear that the article above has been understated to the extreme!
21:50 April 13, 2012 by siba
... wow, it is so hard to read some of the comments above. I always wonder why people comment on topics about who they are so ill-informed.

@ smart2012: You write that Germany does not have a strong economy anymore. Where did you read that? Germany's economy has never been better and the social security system (like the health care system) got an overplus in billions due to the high employment rate. And there is a high influx of immigrants from southern europe such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy looking for jobs in Germany... and the German governement is now working on policies to support them to find jobs. The economy is booming and urgently more workers are needed! That there are also people living from relatively low wages, that might be true, but the majority still is much better of than the rest of the western world. Look at the US where "working poor" is a mass phenomenon. Germany is still a paradise compared to the US job market. Just look at the statistical figures.

Today I talked to some Greeks living in Berlin. They said that many Greeks like to blame others for their faults and there is no discourse in Greece on finding strategies of "building up" Greece again. And I do not want to generalize but it was the elected Greek government and the lack of tax-paying people who caused the financial problems of Greece.

It is the European Union and not Germany alone bailing out Greece and attaching strings to it. But we saw what happens if Greek just gets money without regulation... it will just disappear in the hands of a few. So what is the alternative? Maybe investment in specific fields of Greek's economy how the left parties in Germany propose? But would the Greeks support that?

... Those who have a solution, become politicians and solve Greek's problems. Stepping out of the EU would be a disaster for Greece according to all calculations which have been done about this scenario. So this is apparently not a solution, at least not for Greece.
22:34 April 13, 2012 by smart2012
@Siba, I see you read a lot "Bild" type of newspapers... and in your comments u do not give any numbers. Just let me give u some: -0.4% growth in Q4 2011.

-1.5% production in Q1 2012. This is Germany. Is this strong economy? U r joking right?

And ask workers of Siemens, Q Cells, Thyssenkrup, airport, publich transport if they agree with u. U r right, statistics show lower unemployement vs 20 years ago (after East Germany unification), but compare to West Germany 25-30 years ago, and then u will get a different picture.

Anf to all of the immigrants that want to come to Germany.... do not bother to come here to find a 1000 Euro net job. With the tax u have to pay and the crappy pension system, u will not be able to afford a good life.
23:47 April 13, 2012 by siba
no, "smart"2012, I read the new york times, the economist, tagesspiegel, die zeit, der spiegel and some other newspapers.

in addition to decreasing unemployment numbers, there are many other positive figures. Here some quotes from the new york times from january and march this year:

"The German economy expanded faster than any other Group of 7 nation last year... Germany expanded by 3 percent last year from 2010, the Federal Statistical Office said in Wiesbaden."

"And investors fleeing the euro crisis continue to seek refuge in German assets, which are considered the safest in the euro zone. On Wednesday, the German Finance Agency said it had allotted €3.2 billion, or $4.1 billion, of five-year bonds priced to yield 0.9 percent — the first time it has ever sold securities of that maturity for less than 1 percent."

"Germany¦#39;s famously thrifty consumers may finally be more willing to spend, according to data released Monday, raising the prospect that domestic demand could take the place of flagging exports and help pull the rest of Europe out of recession."

Or just to quote the title of the spiegel of the march 21 2012:

'We Need To Learn from Germany' How the German Economy Became a Model - by Thomas Schulz in New York

to be continued
23:57 April 13, 2012 by Eastard
I will try again... my last post was rejected due to profanity... not intended...

The article was about Greeks taking the time to build a large gold replica of waste and signage to insult the Gremans... The posting was describing how nations all over the world have at different times in history for different reasons had to pull themselves up with SWEAT EQUITY (work)... and that there are many good examples of this. True recover of a country will not come from protest, blame, or insulting others... it comes from collective effort and common good. Changing currencies is not a solution to poor fiscal policy...
00:14 April 14, 2012 by siba
... and smart 12: I am an immigrant in Germany, as most of my friends, and we all earn good money (between 1500 Euro Netto for a friend who is trainee in advertisement and 2800 Euro after tax for scientific positions), having 6 weeks of paid vacation, no limits on paid sick days, and if we lose our job we get "unemployment money". due to these good conditions all my american friends do not wanna go back to the US.

To your situation in Munich I must say that life in berlin is much cheaper than in Munich. Here you pay 500 Euro for a good apartment per month. Munich is more of a city for the conservatives and the very rich. Berlin is ANOTHER world!
04:11 April 14, 2012 by kj77nw
@AlexR "I'm wondering if you've bothered to even read the first part of the article (besides the title) before you've started commenting. The protesters who dropped the 'golden turd by Athens embassy' weren't Greeks. They were Germans. Only 10 Germans. As in citizens of Germany. Deutschland. "

I'm wondering whether you bothered to read my response. Yes, they were German, accusing the German government of imposing harsh conditions on the Greeks, meaning that what they are really suggesting is that Germany keeps lending to Greece without such harsh conditions.

The problem here is that the Greek government was spending too much money in order to placate its voters, and the German government was using that fact as roundabout a way to subsidize its banks and industry with German taxes.

Merkel deserves a golden turd, but not for imposing harsh conditions on Greece. Merkel deserves a golden turd for lending money to Greece at all, a nation that clearly will not be able to repay anything for decades to come. Germany should let Greece default and leave the Euro instead of continuing this charade.
09:50 April 14, 2012 by smart2012
@siba. Thx, however i still see u r not giving any growth numbers :) Just comments, from a guy called Thomas Schultz........... And to be clear, what I told u is that I disagree that German economy is booming ( it is not at all), not that Germany has a bigger economy than other eu countries (anyway Germany is the biggest and with the better environmental condition to produce.....it is always raining ;) )

If u were in Germany 25 years ago, u would have become reacher faster, now no chance, as Germany is much more expensive than other countries... And when u compare salaries, remember that in Germany salary is paid 12 months (not 13/14 as in other eu countries), and u do not have the end of work package...

Ps: where r u from?
11:12 April 14, 2012 by AlexR
@Eastard: "I will try again... The article was about Greeks taking the time to build a large gold replica of waste and signage to insult the Gremans..."

You tried again and again you failed to even read the first paragraph of the article. Those protestors were *not* Greeks. They were actually *Germans* that took "the time to build a large gold replica of waste and signage" and dropped it on the doorstep of the German embassy in Athens. No Greek was involved in that protest, only German activists. If you fail to grasp that simple fact then the rest of your comment is irrelevant.

@kj77nw: Yes I read your very fist comment and replied on some issues you've raised. My apologies if I got it wrong but in that comment there wasn't any specific mention about the protestors being German, just Dos and Don'ts about the Greeks.

As for the rest, I replied in detail. We are not "giving money to Greece", we are lending them money. The money that Greece is getting does not come out of German taxes and German retirement funds. They come out of loans that Germany is getting at interest rates of 1-2% and then is lending Greece at interest rates of 5-7%, thus making a huge profit.

Regarding your last post, I don't think that Merkel deserves a golden turd or anything like that. Merkel was/is not the sole or even the main responsible for the eurozone crisis. They were the banks and the funds that used tax money to effectively gamble it on Greece and the rest of the PIIGS (and not only) countries. I say "gamble" and not "loan" because that's what it was. They were perfectly aware that the PIIGS economies were in trouble but they were keeping lending them for a quick profit, knowing perfectly well that in a case of any problem, the politicians will bail them out with our tax money. And that is exactly what is happening today.

As for the rest, I agree with you in part. The best for Greece should be to default. But even if I agree, I'm not very certain if the rest of the tax payers will be fine with that. Defaulting means that the Greek debt, i.e., our tax money will be written off. Who will cover in that case the huge losses of the German and European retirement/health funds?

However, the big issue with a potential default of Greece is not the previous one. If Greece defaults, there is absolutely no guarantee that this won't start a domino effect to the rest of the eurozone. And even if the eurozone countries could absorb the shock of Greece, Ireland or Portugal defaulting, they certainly can't protect themselves from a potential Spanish or Italian default.
11:39 April 14, 2012 by siba
smart 12: I gave you some numbers. Again:

economic growth 2011: Germany + 3 %, US + 1,8 %

unemployment rate 2011: Germany 5,9 %, US 9 %

balance of foreign trade 2011 in €: Germany + 120 billions, US - 423 billions

sources: OECD, IMF, European Commission

The new year started with a slow down in economic growth but all analysts say that the good economic situation in Germany is sustainable ... as quoted earlier there are good signs that there won't be any recession like in many other Western countries.

I am from Austria. I lived in New York and Amsterdam. I know Paris and London quite well. Germany is very cheap to live. If food, housing market... Germany is one of the cheapest Western countries, I really can say this of experience. In Amsterdam, Paris, New York or London, decents apartments cost 2000 Euros there, while you get the same for 600 Euros in Berlin.

In Germany most people get 13 sallaries plus a small 14th one.

Where are you from that you have such a negative perspective on Germany? Why do you live in Germany if you think conditions are so bad?
12:33 April 14, 2012 by smart2012
Thx siba ;) one comment: u r comparing DE to USA. All western countries r in trouble... Compare to china, India, brazil, Russia, Ukraine, turkey (ps: we r just talking about economy). I am from Canada, I work for an American company which (what a surprise) has closed many offices in Germany to move to uk and Switzerland. If u want to see booming economy, I recommend u to fly in the opposite direction vs where u have been, ie china and Dubai. In eu we are talking poor to poor..... (russia is thinking to take all the Greek debts and save Greece, this was not reported in Europe, but for Greece would be better...)

I am in Germany due to the American company, I may sound prevenute, but I became like that as I see German politician hiding issues they have, with the results that I am losing money in stocks almost every day... Ps: I go

often to Vienna, price vs quality is much better than Munich. Of course this my view
14:46 April 14, 2012 by siba
smart 12: actually, I do not care most about the ecnonomy , the quality of life is most important. and in this regard germany & some other Western european countries, canada, australia and of course the scandinavian countries are the best places to live. russia, china... sorry, human rights, democracy, health care, social security, environmentalism... all missing there.

I love my afordable life in berlin where is so much to do and I do not wanna leave again. vienna is nice but quite dead compared to pulsating berlin. and there is so much folks of canada and the us around here in berlin... I am sorry that you ended up in munich though I think life can be quite good there too. according to most polls it is even one of the places with the best quality of life in the world. however, it is all a question of attitude...so, have a good one.
15:41 April 14, 2012 by smart2012
thanks siba :-)

i agree with all of what u say in your last note, places like italy and south france are not easy to find anywhere else in the world. That is quality of life.

I was concerned about your booming thig, but now i am fully aligned with u...

Vienna is dead vs Belrin, but it is a party town vs Munich, trust me :-)

nice weekend
19:00 April 14, 2012 by siba
smart 12: yeah, I agree, I would also opt for vienna instead of munich - and of course I would not mind being in the south of france now, with a a good glass of local red wine in my hand ;) nice weeked you too
00:30 April 16, 2012 by bambolero
they must have money, to make that!
00:32 April 16, 2012 by bambolero
they must have money, to make that!
07:51 April 16, 2012 by bugger
"The EU members should realize that not every country can follow and become like Germany. The same situation is rearing it's ugly head in Spain and Portugal. "

And whats the connection? SOCIALISTS AND COMMUNISTS can't run an economy, EXCEPT INTO THE GROUND.

The U.S. should have saved a nuke for Stalin 67 years ago...
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