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What Greece and North Korea have in common?

dmastermind
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 11:01:25 GMT

[And...would you travel there in 2015?](http://leafcanoe.com/community/#!/travel-tips:holiday-in-greece-during-th) *Greece, July 2015* A crowd squeezes around an automated teller machine underneath the Acropolis, clutching their debit card with both hands. They say that Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, has turned their country into *North Korea*, as they are lining up to get rationed cash. They cannot withdraw more than €60 ($66) a day, because the Greece’s banking system is being frozen since last Monday. This also means they can’t transfer money abroad. Looking at Greece's crisis - in a big picture - and trying to generalize, I could not help it but make comparisons to North Korea, no matter how controversial it might seem at first sight. *Read below and tell me if you feel the same way I do.* *Why is Greece similar to North Korea?* `1. Greece does not listen to the outside world.` If Greece undertook drastic reforms it could begin growing so that over time the debt and new loans would be manageable. Instead, the Greek government was borrowing more euros in bail out money from the EU and its lenders required Greece to impose crushing spending cuts and tax increases, which caused unemployment. *Greece's government had been borrowing more than it reported publicly*, so the country was having bigger debts than previously thought. It also evaded the rules and borrowed money under the radar to enable more spending. *Greece introduced Euro*. If it didn't use the euro, it could have boosted its economy by printing more of its currency (the drachma) to lower its value in international markets, to create competitive exports and to encourage domestic investment. Recently, Greece has also announced it will not make a required payment to the IMF which will definitely spook investors - not the best time. `2. The higher-ups in the Greek government (apparently) have no idea about economics.` Does everyone remember *the disastrous 2009 North Korean currency reform* which amounted to a confiscation and redistribution of wealth? After *Greece adopted the single currency euro*, public spending soared a big time - only public sector wages rose 50% in the 8 consecutive years. After years of overspending, its budget deficit spiralled out of control and the higher-ups failed to take this money back in taxes. `3. Citizens always suffer most.` It does not matter what the government does or think it will do... ultimately the regular people pay and its regular people who suffer. The economic crisis hit small merchants first. They are less able to get credit from their suppliers, especially those dealing in imported products. They simply cannot buy from the suppliers, because Greeks are not allowed to make an electronic transfer. *What about tourism?* Yes, prices are falling, but if the crisis will be unfolding for the prolonged period of time how does it affect the economy? Greece is one of the tourism-based countries. Before you go to Greece, [read 4 golden tips that help you to prepare.](http://leafcanoe.com/community/#!/travel-tips:holiday-in-greece-during-th) *Can you find more similarities between these 2 countries that at first sight look nothing alike?* *Would you go to Greece or North Korea in 2015?* Let us know! Thanks, dmastermind [Greece atm](//muut.com/u/leafcanoer/s1/:leafcanoer:2c4b:greeceatm.jpg.jpg)