Remember how the Greek people held a referendum just a few days ago to overwhelmingly reject the austerity measures presented by the European Union? Well, the two sides finally came to a deal over the weekend to avoid financial collapse - but it’s way worse for the Greek people than they were expecting. Pat and Stu had the story and reaction on radio.
Listen to the story in the opening minutes of today's podcast:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it may contain errors
PAT: It's Pat and Stu in for Glenn on the Glenn Beck Program. 877-727-BECK. 877-727-BECK.
Imagine how pissed off you would be if you had a nationwide referendum. And you voted 61-38 against some sort of proposal, and everybody is celebrating and you think it's great, and a couple of days later, the opposite of what you voted for just happened after you promised that, no, no, I'm all about not doing this thing. If you tell me not to, we'll not do this thing. And then the president of your nation does that thing.
STU: Can we throw in more details?
PAT: Go ahead.
STU: Number one, the president was arguing that they should vote down the deal.
STU: So he was on the side of no deal.
STU: Then the deal that they passed is not the deal that they rejected, but the deal that has actually gone through today is much, much worse than the deal that they just rejected. And the president was cheering on for them to reject a couple of days ago.
PAT: I mean, will this guy be the president of Greece tomorrow?
STU: Two months, tops.
PAT: It has to be soon, right?
STU: It has to go through their Congress. Then they can request new elections which is the weird thing that other countries do. Oh, it's time for new elections. Tomorrow! Run to the polls!
PAT: Yeah, the parliamentary system is weird.
STU: It's weird. I don't like it at all. Ours is better. Look, we're about to have a 17-person field where we'll have debates.
PAT: It's still better.
STU: Look, tomorrow, let's do new elections. I like that part of it here much better than there. Still, if you're going to have a referendum, one of these things that the president was secretly hoping that they would take the deal so he wouldn't have to do it himself. This is the last-ditch effort. If you're going to encourage people to reject the deal, they come out and reject it, then you'll face the negotiators within a week and then say, okay, we'll take terms that are far worse.
PAT: Yeah. Did you not understand what the European Union was telling you to begin with? Did you not get that the IMF was serious? Did you not understand that all your creditors wanted payment and they happened it now? And so if you can't give us that payment, then we'll have to have other measures to show us that you're serious about paying back this debt?
JEFFY: But my people said no.
PAT: Yeah. Well -- and not only that, he encouraged his people to say no.
STU: That's the weird part of it. If he was on the side of saying, we must take this deal. It's the only thing we can get --
PAT: That's one thing.
STU: They rejected it and make it worse. He would come back to the people and say, look, I told you we need to take that deal.
PAT: Right. That's not the way it went down.
STU: But he encouraged them to say no to it. So now they have -- parts of this deal is unbelievable, in which, again, with, they have to take it, right? I guess. They got themselves in this situation. I do not feel bad for Greece at all. This is a government problem. A problem of a corrupt government over a long period of time. A problem that is our problem, if we continue to do what we're doing. Thinking about things like giant union giveaways. Ridiculous pensions. Retiring at 52 years old. Creating 13 and 14th months to pay their friends more through the government. I mean, ridiculous corruption over a long period of time. I do not feel bad for them in the slightest. But part of this deal is that they have to take $50 billion of their stuff, their assets and put it in a fund for the rest of Europe to sell. They just get to take $50 billion of their stuff throw it in a fund and Germany auctions it off on e Bay. That's part of this deal.
PAT: That's amazing.
PAT: Yeah. On the streets, many ordinary Greeks were dumbfounded over the spectacular U-turn.
Well, yeah. It was the big vote, you know, that was proclaimed worldwide. Everyone knew the Greeks rejected this. All right. Now you'll get what's coming to you.
And instead of that, apparently Cypress (phonetic) had some sort of revelation in the meantime and thought, oh, my gosh, yeah, we -- wait. That was the wrong vote. So now we'll have to take what we can get, because otherwise our economy crumbles and people will be starving.
JEFFY: He played chicken and lost, right?
PAT: Yeah. It kind of seems that way. So, anyway, they will now have to accept the package that's much harsher than the one rejected to the tune of about 4 billion euros. So that's 6 billion dollars-ish.
PAT: Or 5 billion. Yeah, it's a little lower than it was. And according to one 20-year-old, he said, I voted no. And, of course, this new proposal doesn't correspond to that no. Vasilis Seeka (phonetic), who is 20 and unemployed said, I feel like a slave. They do what they want, and we can't participate.
That's how you would feel after that vote, right?
STU: And also, just for media purposes, after you put a name and then 20 years old, you don't need to put unemployed in Greece. That's just assumed. We can just assume he's unemployed if he's 20 in Greece.
PAT: Is it 54 percent unemployment in Greece?
STU: It's over 50.
PAT: Yeah, it's massive unemployment for, you know, like 16 to 24-year-olds. Massive. Like hardly anybody has a job who wants one in that age range. I mean, it's pretty tough country-wide, but at least for the 50 and 55-year-olds, they have pensions that they can't get.
STU: Which is great.
PAT: Which is great. You know, when you're expecting that pension, at least you know that you can keep expecting it. It's never going to come, but you can keep expecting that all you want.
STU: That's always nice. At least you have that going on for you, which is nice.
PAT: Has the bank reopened today?
STU: Supposedly that will happen.
PAT: I would think so.
STU: Look, the euro, some of this talk is boring as anything. And I understand that. The interest, of course, here is, what does it mean here for us? And I think, A, you have the situation where when you build the European Union, you don't let countries out of it. Basically under any circumstances. Because you didn't build this thing to make trade easier. You didn't build this thing to compete with the United States. Although, that's all part of it. You built this thing for power. You built this thing to be able to dictate terms to countries that before you could not dictate terms to. So they're not going to let this thing fall apart. And that's the reason for my believing that they'll come up with a deal eventually. Which now they have. Which is at least patchwork as far as this negative effect goes for us. At least the assumption is, we have a couple of years at least before this thing rears its ugly head again. And, you know, the problems start popping up. Though, any of these countries, this could happen to at any time. Italy is in the situation. Spain is in the situation. Portugal is in the situation. They all have these massive problems. And if one of them does go sour, then it really could affect the markets. It could affect our lives in a real way. The thought is that this pushes it down the road yet again a little way.
PAT: And I guess we'll all take it. Isn't that what we're all hoping for? Just push it down the road a little bit? That's what we hope for in this country. That's what we continually get with the printing of a billion dollars a month. A trillion dollars a year.
We're just pushing things down the road. Yeah, just keep bringing the money. Then we'll keep the interest rate low, and then we'll just worry about it later on and hope that something good happens. You know, maybe we -- the mall of the USA and we start selling goods to the world and then we pay for the debt that way. Except for the fact that we don't make anything anymore, so there wouldn't be anything to put in the mall. So I don't know how you work your way out of the problem. I mean, we're in a serious situation as well. Not quite to the extent of Greece. Because our debt ratio to GDP is only around 90 percent. Right?
Ninety, 95 percent. There's is at 175 percent to 200. We had the figures last week or the week before. And it seems like it was 175 or 200 percent over GDP. That's not a good ratio.
STU: You know, we're on the same road.
PAT: We are.
STU: We can see the tail lights of Greece. It's a little bit in the distance, you know, but you could see it. And that's what's scary. There's a fundamental thing in this country I think that holds us back.
We were a country built on capitalism. We're a country built on a free market. On personal responsibility and all the things we talk about. And we constantly are upset at the idea that those things are going away. But in Greece, they never were. In countries like Greece and others, they never had those principles. There's not that fight. I think we talked about that book. Michael Louis' (phonetic) Boomerang. And in the book, he talks about the financial crisis. And just the experience of each individual country. It goes through Iceland, Greece, Ireland. All these different countries that had major collapses through the 2008 thing. They're fascinating stories and they all kind of happen for different reasons. But in one of the chapters, I can't remember which one it is, it talks about how the country doesn't have a Glenn Beck. They don't have a voice of opposition fighting to make sure these things don't happen. These countries don't have -- and we're obviously on the Glenn Beck Program here. But that's the one he specifically mentions by name. And Michael Louis is not a conservative author necessarily, if you know who he is, by any means. He's just a high-profile guy. He's written all sorts of big financial books. He wrote The Blindside, as well, if you know that movie. He's a great, great writer. One of my favorite writers.
But when he talks about that, it's a situation we take for granted here. There's always people, oh, my gosh, we have to stick to these principles. These principles are important. Other countries don't have that. They have, our culture is important. Or they have certain things that they fight for. But they don't fight for those sorts of principles. And even though we've gone down this road so far with terrible presidential choices, terrible senators, and terrible things we've done, we still have those principles that draw us a little bit back towards some sort of sanity and keeps us a little ahead of the rest of the world. That's not a lot to say for a country anymore. I'm not proud to say that's what we have. But at least it's something
PAT: The other thing that I think is going sort of unnoticed here is that Greece, you know, one of the cradles of democracy is still practicing direct democracy. And they just did with this referendum. And this is what democracy looks like. Okay. The people voted. And their leader just said, nah. That was cute. Nah. That's what democracy looks like especially when you have a country like Greece that's somewhat socialist. And then they mix in a little democracy. I mean, democracy has really become code word for socialism.
STU: Yeah, democracy might work a little bit better if you have a country like we're talking about, that has some principles of individual responsibility.
PAT: That would be nice.
STU: When you have a socialist country with how much can I give people for free.
PAT: Doesn't work.
STU: You have democracy, wow. By the way, this deal has a bunch of this in there, which is huge tax increases for the country. It's not going to help their economy.
PAT: Oh, this one does too?
STU: Yeah. These people will get beat up from this thing.
PAT: Wow, it just keeps getting better. 877-727-BECK. More of the Glenn Beck Program with Pat and Stu next.
Featured Image: ATHENS, GREECE - JULY 13: A man sits alone with his thoughts as protesters gather outside the Greek parliament to demonstrate against austerity after an agreement for a third bailout with eurozone leaders on July 13, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The bailout is conditional on Greece passing agreed reforms in parliament by Wednesday which includes streamlining pensions and rasing more raise tax revenue. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)