Greece - what's next?

MartinD

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
As some of you may or may not know, Greece is currently suffering from quite a serious financial crisis. In basic terms, they were spending far more money than they had so when the global financial crash happened some years ago, they ignored it and carried on spending. As a result, they ended up with a massive deficit and had to borrow a shed load of money from the rest of the EU and IMF. At the moment, they're in debt to the tune of €160bn+.

More recently, they've been trying to work out a plan to keep the country going with a few more loans and handouts but the recently elected government had an anti-austerity plan meaning they wouldn't cut public spending. This means they've been unable to repay a portion of the debt that was due 2 days ago (around €1.5bn). The IMF and EU have decided, at the moment, not to lend any further money which resulted in many of the Greek banks running dry and limiting customers to €60 per day in withdrawals.

What's that got to do with hosting? Well, we're now in a position where customers in Greece can't pay their bills to the hosting companies they use. I've had a number of customers recently asking for their due dates to be extended as they can't pay. Not necessarily because they have no money but because their bank AND PayPal refuse the transaction and wont let money out of the country - this is largely due to the Capital Controls now in force in Greece;

"As you may be aware, capital controls have been imposed in Greek banks since 29th of June. Due to these controls no payments can be made to foreign country accounts from credit/debit cards that have been issued in Greece (same capital controls apply to transferring funds to Paypal accounts)." (direct quote from a customer).
Paypal have also issued comment:

"Due to the recent decisions of the Greek authorities on capital controls, funding of PayPal wallet from Greek bank accounts, as well as cross-border transactions, funded by any cards or bank accounts are currently not available. We aim to continue serving our valued customers in Greece in full, as we have for over a decade."
We're now in a position whereby a large number of Greek customers cannot pay for their hosting by traditional means. Country issued credit and debit cards cannot be used for transactions and anything via PayPal is blocked; they're essentially locked out or locked 'in' depending on how you look at it. I know of one large hosting company director who has been speaking with a few others about arranging to fly over to Greece and take manual payments from customers.

The question is; for how long does the rest of the hosting world try and help the Greek people with their accounts? Obviously it cannot continue indefinitely but at the same time, we don't want to be cutting them off when they're already at a very low point.

We may have to wait and see the outcome of the referendum this weekend but it's looks as though there's a swing to Greece pulling out of the EU entirely (or rather, being ejected). If that happens, where does that leave the people of Greece..and, more importantly on this forum, where does it leave the providers who are out of pocket?
 

rds100

New Member
Verified Provider
I am planning of adding a month worth of free credit to out Greek customers if their next payment fails. I hope they will be OK after a month.
 

MartinD

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
i think it will be a world collapse,

next country victims will be Spain.
Well, no, I don't think the world is threatened by any means but the rest of the EU certainly have an issue on their doorstep.

Spain's economy was never really that great through all of this but I don't see Greece as being a problem. Spain are at least able to keep their heads above the water and have been doing so for a while now.

I am planning of adding a month worth of free credit to out Greek customers if their next payment fails. I hope they will be OK after a month.
We've done the same. All customers from Greece have been given an extension to ensure they stay up and running without problems. Basically pay when you can, preferably sooner rather than later but we'll help where we can.
 

Licensecart

Active Member
We've tweeted from when we heard that we will support our customers in greece if they contact us as-well. It's hard that the government allowed it and now their people have to suffer. The government should sue the banks.
 

MartinD

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
We've tweeted from when we heard that we will support our customers in greece if they contact us as-well. It's hard that the government allowed it and now their people have to suffer. The government should sue the banks.
You're getting confused. For all intents, the government and the banks are the same thing and it was the previous government that created the problem.

The government needs to make some serious cuts, the banks need to tighten their purse strings and the IMF need to relax a little.
 
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Licensecart

Active Member
You're getting confused. For all intents, the government and the banks are the same thing and it was the previous government that created the problem.


The government needs to make some serious cuts, the banks need to tighten their purse strings and the IMF need to relax a little.
Ah I thought they was like us, most banks in the UK are privately ran minus the Lloyds TSB which the tax payers own like 5% or something.
 

AnthonySmith

New Member
Verified Provider
Had 4 customers contact me who are having trouble, I just looked up customers in Greece and to be honest some of them paid very recently so I dont know if they are savy enough to get around the paypal blocks or something.

Anyway I am just going to offer a blanket free 3 months to everyone in Greece (Current customers only) because to be honest if the issue is not resolved by then I suspect a VPS will be of no concern to them as chaos will have descended long before then.

But it certainly will be interesting seeing how it turns out.
 
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Tyler

Active Member
Anyway I am just going to offer a blanket free 3 months to everyone in Greece (Current customers only) because to be honest if the issue is not resolved by then I suspect a VPS will be of no concern to them as chaos will have descended long before then.
Just wanted to pop in to say, kudos to you! Not a whole lot of providers (especially LowEnd ones) would be so kind and understanding about the situation over there. :)
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
People in Greece should have grabbed and started using Bitcoin a while ago (tech folks at least).  Far from perfect, but not getting slayed like their currency is and hasn't been regulated into unavailability yet.

It's time to defund the global lending cabal and their quiet banking / monetary wars against humanity.

Shops out there should work with Greek customers during this time.  Rise above the profits, help the customers into crypto currencies and other alternatives.  This is bad for the Greek people, but good for monetary change. Be that change you wish in the world.
 
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DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
People in Greece should have grabbed and started using Bitcoin a while ago (tech folks at least).  Far from perfect, but not getting slayed like their currency is and hasn't been regulated into unavailability yet.
Bitcoin would allow a few Greek geeks to pay their VPS bills but Greece has the 3rd lowest Internet penetration rate in the EU (59.9% based on 2013 stats) so switching to crypto currencies isn't really a viable solution for the average person  transacting business or trying to pay their electric/rent bills, buy food, inside the country. 

Greece 6,451,326 Internet users on Dec 31, 2013, 59.9% penetration, per ITU
 

William

pr0
Verified Provider
I predict (JEW CERTIFIED):

1.: GREXIT - Greece will stay EU but switch to Drachma

2.: Greece will cut their debts another time by 50%

3.: IMF will cut debt in half as well
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Bitcoin would allow a few Greek geeks to pay their VPS bills but Greece has the 3rd lowest Internet penetration rate in the EU (59.9% based on 2013 stats) so switching to crypto currencies isn't really a viable solution for the average person  transacting business or trying to pay their electric/rent bills, buy food, inside the country. 
No doubt.  Coins are but one diversification and oh shit shielding step all people everywhere should be taking.  Other steps they could have taken are holding precious metals (silver being the everyday person holding), barter goods, self reserves, etc.

Unsure how the situation is within Greece, but I take it as usual such limits and regulations are impacting the urban population harsher?

Seems that Greece is sitting on a powder keg.  If the debts are external (like always seem to be) they should be leaving such debt behind ala Iceland style.  Whole concept of debt as a government aside from legit cash spend hole (war funding, massive natural disaster, etc.) is illogical.  Citizens everywhere should take the deferred payment debt book away from government.  It is a tool that yields little good and much sorrow.  See municipal bonds in the United States and the inevitable domino drop still waiting to happen.
 

souen

Active Member
Unsure how the situation is within Greece, but I take it as usual such limits and regulations are impacting the urban population harsher?
Some comments from a LET member in Greece:

http://lowendtalk.com/discussion/comment/1145268/#Comment_1145268

http://lowendtalk.com/discussion/comment/1146132/#Comment_1146132

Things are very difficult here. There is an artificial almost bankraupt of the banks (major propaganda from foreign and local networks that lead millions of people to try to lift all deposits from their bank accounts within a week. This situation crashed all liquidity from Greek banks and the European Central Bank refused to use the ELA - Emergency Liquid Assistance- to give liquidity).


There is a referendum on Sunday, with the question if the Greek people will accept the proposals of the troika. This proposal contains, among others, VAT rise to almost all of products and services that today are on 6,5 and 13% (insurances, medicine, tourism services, public services etc. and all food) to 23% (today all of other products in Greece are on 23% VAT).


Also, lower pensions, bigger taxes, perpaid taxes for all companies etc.


Greek government refuses to accept such mesures because it will kill all the active remaining economy, especially tourism (all tourist countries in EU have VAT from 6 to 12%).


Now, there is capital control, that allow us to withdraw a maximum cash amount of 60€ per day (although all online transcations or buying goods from markets or gas stations etc. are without limit). On the other hand, we cannot make transactions outside Greece (even to paypal!).


(Have to mention that all foreign people with foreign cash or credit in Greece, like tourists, can withdraw as many euros as they want, there is not any limit for them).

[...]

Most of the people are dealing fine with the cash withdraw limit. (How can they do different?) The limit is only for withdrawing, not for credit/cash card buys. If you want to buy something from a store or pay a bill via ebanking, card or online, there is not any limit.


prices are the same, both for food and gas. There are some temporarily outages to gas station because a lot of people went to fulfill their tanks. But those gas stations ordered new filling from the companies and got gas again.


I do not have much time to translate to you, guys, what troika aks us to do. I think most of you would feel like we do... Just imagine that in the last 6 years we lost about 40% of our salaries, the same time that all most goods raised up to 20%...


We are not allowed to have collective bargaining as all of EU can do, taxes and VAT are going high every year, tax-free limit is now to zero when in most of Europe is over 10.000 euros, taxes in companies raising to 29% - 45% depending of type of companies and unemployment is now over 26% in general population and 58% in youth...


Those are the results after 6 years of memorandum from troika...

[...]

Greece had not such high debt (analogue to the population and GDP) compared with other big european countries. FRrance and Italy's debt, as of the GDP, is higher than Greece. The major problem is that Greece got into the euro currency, without the ability to get there. In 2001, prices went higher over 200% in just 2 years of the euro currency, because of the lack of protect from the Central European Bank. How a country can have a same value currency with, let's say, Germany when their citizens have too much difference in salaries? A normal salary in Greece would be 700 euros before crisis, when in Germany most of employees do not earn less than 1800 euros per month... And Greece's borrowing was lower than a lot of european countries. It was a problem of our private banks, that transferred stealthily to the public sector in 2009-2010... Then, the state's economy collapsed and troika came here as savior, giving us the "memorandum". have to mention that our dept was 120% compared to our GDP in 2010 and now, our debt is over 180% - after 6 years of Europe saving Greece...
An interesting documentary on the Greece situation: http://greeceonthebrink.com/

Granted, I'm not sure the Marxist stuff at the end is the solution, but if the numbers are correct, the situation has gotten ridiculous and no wonder people are protesting.

Nice gesture on the part of providers offering to extend the payment date for Greek residents during a tough period. Goes towards customer loyalty, knowing a provider is flexible/open to negotiation.
 

Francisco

Company Lube
Verified Provider
I predict (JEW CERTIFIED):

1.: GREXIT - Greece will stay EU but switch to Drachma

2.: Greece will cut their debts another time by 50%

3.: IMF will cut debt in half as well
They and the other 'PIGS' need their old currency to stand a chance of getting back into shape. The big selling point for Portugal for instance was travel but now that it's EURO all over, it isn't a great option.

Greece is going to just have to suck it up and deal with it. I think they'll go to their old currency as well but expect inflation to get pretty nasty (I expect 1/2 - 1/4 what the EURO values at). People are expecting the same given the lineups around the block to get money out of the ATM machines.

Francisco
 

HBAndrei

Active Member
Verified Provider
Donated €12 to this, if we can all donate €3 (€4 with postage) hopefully if a lot of us in the hosting industry and around the world we may be able to help the people of Greece as-well as our customers: https://www.indiegogo.com/greek-bailout-fund.htmlits a long shot but if we try maybe we can make a difference.
Thanks Mike for that link, I've donated 6euros, I know it's not much but if everyone would do it then that'd be it.
 
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