Maybe Germany would write off Greek loans in exchange for the Parthenon

Section:

It would make a fine amusement park in Saxony. After all, the Greeks have managed all this time without the Elgin Marbles. And maybe Britain could sell those to South Korea. Fitting conclusions to Western civilization.

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Having Government Property Means Greece Is Solvent, ECB Says

By David McHugh
Associated Press
via Yahoo News
Monday, June 6, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110606/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_europe_financial_cris...

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Financially troubled Greece can pay its debts if it is willing to sell off billions in state property and carry through on plans for budget cuts, a top European Central Bank official said Monday.

The official, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, said Greece, with a debt of E330 billion ($485 billion) and "marketable assets" of E300 billion ($435 billion), is "solvent to the extent that it is willing to sell off some of those assets."

In a speech in Berlin, Bini Smaghi said Greece needs to find the will to do this -- as well as the determination to close its budget deficit, which requires backing off from spending decisions of the past decade. He noted that just holding public employee salaries to the rate of inflation over that period would have meant 30 percent less debt measured against gross domestic output.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Lewis E. Lehrman on How to Solve the U.S. Debt Problem

Lewis E. Lehrman, chairman of the Lehrman Institute, sponsor of The Gold Standard Now project, advises that to reduce the $1 1/2 trillion U.S. deficit, the Republican Party must initiate an investment program.

Working Americans are not saving, which enables the banks to lead the country into a cycle of debt, leverage, boom, panic, and bust.

Lehrman says: "Eliminating the budget deficit of a trillion and a half dollars cannot be done overnight. The proposal by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan was very dramatic -- one Republican called it radical -- but it was not happily received. The solution, of course, is to design an American program for prosperity, because you can solve these entitlement problems with a growing economy.

"We need a tremendous program of investment, and investment comes from savings. When you pay savers, middle-income professionals and working people, 0 percent at the bank, you are not going to encourage them
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"The key question is whether the Greek government and the Greek people are willing to implement these measures," he said, according to a text posted on the ECB website.

European officials are working on a possible second bailout for Greece after a E110 billion ($159 billion) rescue last year from the 16 other eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund failed to put the country back on its feet. Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou Monday night hinted he may call a referendum to get approval for painful new austerity measures and economic reforms.

Greece has promised to raise E50 billion ($72.5 billion) in an ambitious privatization program through 2015, selling off regional airports and state-run companies, and making use of state land and property that includes largely idle facilities from the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The plan is facing broad public and union hostility, especially since the privatization plan comes when the price of many of the assets is low because of the recession. The government insists it will not sell real estate on a large scale but earn the money from leasing projects.

Thousands of Greeks protested Sunday for the 12th consecutive day in Athens and other cities against the privatization scheme.

Many economists, however, take a more pessimistic view of Greece's situation than does Bini Smaghi. They say Greece's debts are too big to be repaid and will have to be reduced in size through a restructuring -- unless other euro countries are willing to keep funding more bailouts.

European officials reject forced restructuring as a solution but have raised the possibility of having bondholders bear some of the burden of fixing Greece's debt problems.

Banks and other financial institutions will be asked to keep their lending to Greece at current levels or possibly extend repayment deadlines for the bonds they hold, the EU's Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told a committee of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Monday evening.

However, that desire to involve private creditors in a second Greek bailout may clash with previous promises from the EU that Greece will not default on its debts. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has already warned that any changes to bond agreements that leave lenders with less money that they would otherwise get would be ruled a default.

"We are working on a formula that would not lead to a negative opinion from the credit rating agencies and that will not lead to a default," Jean-Claude Juncker told the parliamentary committee.

The IMF also says a Greek debt restructuring is not foreseen.

"Right now the program which we are supporting ... does not contemplate a debt restructuring," the IMF's acting managing director John Lipsky said in London.

Bini Smaghi, a member of the central bank's six-member executive committee, also said Monday that Greece would be even worse off if it forces bondholders to take less than the amount they are owed. He says Greece must stick to its deficit reduction plans.

He confined his remarks to restructuring plans that cost bondholders money and did not address so-called "soft" options of voluntary bond renewals or stretched-out payments.

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Prophecy Resource (TSXV:PCY) and Pacific Coast Nickel (TSXV:NKL)
Begin 8,000-Meter Drilling Program Wellgreen Project

Company Press Release, June 2, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Prophecy Resource Corp. TSX-V:PCY, OTC-QX: PRPCF, Frankfurt: 1P2) and Pacific Coast Nickel Corp. (TSX-V: NKL, US-PINK: PNIKF, Frankfurt: P94) have begun an expansion drilling program on their Wellgreen platinum, nickel, and copper project in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The program has been commenced by Prophecy and will be completed by Pacific Coast Nickel upon completion of the arrangement transaction whereby Pacific Coast Nickel will acquire the Lynn Lake and Wellgreen properties from Prophecy.

The program includes 8,000 meters of solid-core diamond drilling from through September with up to three drills to test at least 17 infill and exploration targets. This drilling will augment the existing resource which is being updated to National Instrument 43-101 standards by Wardrop Engineering, a Tetra-tech company. The resource estimate (based on 701 drillings before 2011) is expected to be released in July. The 2011 drilling is aimed to further augment the
resource estimate.

The grades and type of disseminated mineralization at Wellgreen are highly analogous to those observed in Minnesota's Duluth Complex.

For the complete company statement, please visit:

http://www.prophecycoal.com/news_2011_jun02_Prophecy_Commence_8000_Wellg...