Greece Collapse: The real situation in the streets of Athens

Greek banks to shut for six days; ATM withdrawals capped at €60 a ...

Message:
Hello from Greece. About the situation with capital controls.
-A lot of false information on media in Greece (TV, Social media etc.) is spread. You do not know what true or not any more is. A lot of rumors are presented as real news by people that benefit from the situation.
-People cannot use their debit cards for food or fuel. Most supermarkets and fuel shops only accept cash. The same goes for other kind of shops, although public announcements say otherwise.
-Those that had already web banking in use are luckier. They can use it to pay bills and shop online but only from stores within the country. No international shopping.
-Although the situation looked bad weeks ago, many people were unprepared for this and were left with 5€ in their pocket and no food or fuel.
-A lot of shops and companies put their employees in mandatory leave as they cannot get supplies to continue their production. So people that had a good steady job are left without income in addition to the already unemployed.
-Although the government says that capital controls will be withdrawn soon, this is not expected to happen but after many months.
Petros N.
Athens, Greece


Hello Petros,
Thanks for your email letting us know about what’s really going on over there.
What you are describing in your letter is an exact copy of what happened in Argentina after the “corralito” went up in 2001. Officially speaking, the capital control is done to stop bank runs and money leaving the country, either because Greeks close their bank accounts and horde Euros under their mattresses or directly wire transfer money to banks abroad. Officially speaking, you can use your debit card to pay for food, gas and pay your bills, so you don’t really need a lot of cash. The problem is that’s not what ends up happening in the streets.
Speaking in practical terms, when you’re standing in line in a grocery store with a bottle of milk, some eggs and a bag of bread, you can’t actually force the shop owner or employee to take your debit card if he doesn’t want to. You can complain all you want, but you won’t change that person’s mind. With a country on the edge of collapse, it’s perfectly understandable that most businesses will prefer cash. This also happened in Argentina. The “cash only” signs went up almost instantly. Some of the larger retailers still accepted debit cards but for years gas stations operated on a “cash only” basis after the collapse.
As you say, a lot of people have been caught completely unprepared. We discuss these topics here all the time because we do prepare for these events and notice the red flags, especially such obvious ones as those seen in Greece. Still, the average person in Greece, just like the average person elsewhere, is not a prepper let alone a true survivalist. I think that in the following years, the two main concerns people will have will be the economy and crime. The economic mess you are already seeing and have experienced it for some time now. Crime will be the next stage. With growing poverty, social instability and lots of cash on the streets there’s no way around it you will see crime rise unless the government does and outstanding job in keeping it under control, which I don’t think they will.
You also mention people losing their jobs right now specifically because of the default. Again, the exact same thing happened in Argentina. You already had high unemployment, but this is like a dagger through the heart. Businesses just hold on until they figure out their next move, they downscale, they don’t want to sign any contracts or move any merchandise until they know what’s happening next. From a speculator’s perspective, why would I buy a ton of cheese if maybe tomorrow I can buy it for a lot less money under a new currency? I’d rather stick to my Euros and pile them under the mattress. I can later exchange those Euros for whatever new currency comes up, which will no doubt be worth a lot less and buy that cheese for maybe half the amount of Euros. With this kind of uncertainty, the entire economy just freezes.
Its going to be a bumpy ride in Greece from now own, even more than before. If you have been following my advice over the years it will sure serve you well. If not, then you probably want to start digging into the website archives because you’ll end up experiencing a lot of that sooner rather than later.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Greece imposes capital controls and the “corralito” goes up

greek banks atm line

It was as predictable as it could be.
I do hope our readers in Greece followed the advice given in “Greece about to Leave the Euro?” posted February this year. If not, well, here’s five things you should probably start doing as of tomorrow morning:

So far it seems that bank transfers abroad have been suspended and the limit for cash withdrawals will be 60 Euros per day. Of course that is, if you find an ATM with cash, which only 40% seem to have any left.
So, what can you do at this point? If you didn’t take your money out of the Greek banking system and you don’t have any cash either you’re out of luck. It’s time to go around hunting for ATMs with money still left. You have to get up early, hit various ATMs. You should also use your debit card and purchase a good amount of food, make sure you top up any medical prescriptions you have and stock up on those as well. If you haven’t bought it already, I sincerely recommend you my book “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”. It’s not written in Greek, English only so far, but it does provide useful advice for many of the things you will no doubt experience in the future.
It’s not the end of the world and Greeks have been living with the crisis for some time now. Lets hope it doesn’t happen, but things could get even more complicated. It’s time to hope for the best but plan for the worst as well.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Icebreaker 100% Merino Wool Clothes

In my search for the ultimate survivalist wardrobe I came across Icebreaker brand of clothes. I’m pretty excited with my first Icebreaker 100% Merino base layer. Fits great and being made of 100% merino wool, what’s not to like?

-Warm, even when wet

-Cool when needed

-Wicking action, drawing moisture away from the skin.

-Antibacterial properties.

-Naturally odor-resistant, Non-itch merino

-Great material and very finely made garment.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Russian Conflict: USA sends tanks and armor to Europe

U.S. is sending tanks, Bradley armored fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzers to its allies in Central and Eastern Europe.

U.S. soldiers fire ceremonial rounds from M1A2 Abrams tanks at the Adazi training area, in Latvia, last November.

It will include 90 tanks, 140 armored vehicles and 20 pieces of heavy artillery. Enough equipment to arm an entire brigade will be positioned in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.

Dragoons assigned to Head Hunter Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment load their Strykers and equipment onto a local railway as they prepare for their upcoming rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve at Rose Barracks, Germany, March 11, 2015.

This is a clear response to Putin’s actions in Eastern Ukraine and a show of support for its NATO allies. U.S. had this same amount of armor stationed in West Germany during the Cold War, making it more of a symbolic move than a strategic one.
At this point, it could all end in sabre-rattling but with this kind of escalation there is always the possibility of more serious conflict erupting.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Schools after an Economic Collapse?‏

Hi, I was wondering what would happen to school in a “collapse” of the economy. Based on your experiences, would kids still be needing to go to school? Would I still need to worry about getting kids to school? And if they do need to go after a collapse, is it something you would recommend taking them to school? Or is it safer to keep them home?

Thanks!
-J

Thank you for bringing up an interesting and very relevant topic that isn’t brought up often. Other than the time spent in our homes, our work place is the one were most adults spent most of their time. When it comes to children though, that place will be the school they attend.
School standards… not what they used to be
An economic collapse such as the one that took place in Argentina directly impacts schools. Public schools and many private ones depend on government money to support themselves. To some degree, this reality affected the education on most countries around the world after the global economic crisis of 2008. While some private schools can keep up their standards by increasing the fees, other private schools may not be able to do so because parents have a more limited income. These schools only offer standards that are marginally better than public ones. This creates one of the most noticeable and more enduring levels of inequality which will stick with the child for the rest of his life. In the case of Argentina, parents have two main priorities: Pay for medical health cover and pay for a good enough school for their kids. Other than a handful of exceptional cases, public schools simply aren’t an option if you expect your child to have any kind of future.
With less funds, teachers are less motivated. They make less and as time goes by becoming a teacher becomes less of a career option given the low wages and overall depressing experience of having to teach in a much more challenging environment. As the society becomes poorer, the infrastructure and supplies suffer as well. Maintenance is rarely kept up to date, even the kids clothes or school uniforms start showing their age. If this all sounds a bit depressing, its because that’s exactly how it feels.
School meals suffer as well. The quality of food is worse, there’s even LESS food in the children’s plate, and I’m not talking about Argentina here, I’m talking about reports of school meals in United Kingdom in the last couple years. Both in Argentina and UK, school personal would downright lie about how much a child has been eating or how many servings they’ve had. Many parents have reported being surprised by how hungry their supposedly well fed children were after class hours.
Safety in and around schools
One of the most concerning aspects of post-collapse schools is safety. In the case of Argentina, pupils that went to some of the more exclusive (and more expensive) private schools were told to stop using the school uniform given that many had been kidnaped for ransom. A kid walking down the street with a uniform of a 500 USd a month school was a dead giveaway.
Violence within school themselves was and still is a problem. Stress affects not only parents but children as well and the entire society becomes more violent. School fights become much worse, more brutal. In some of the worst public schools it is common for kids to beaten one another almost to death, stabbings occur practically every day and a good number of pupils attend classrooms armed with firearms. In many cases, they even do so for self-defense rather than looking for trouble. The economic polarization quickly becomes a social one as well. Since kids with money don’t attend schools where poor people go, others things to hate about one another are quickly found. Among girls, its been years now that reports of one girl being targeted, not just bullied but severely beaten or even disfigured or killed “because she was pretty”. Last week a boy almost beaten to death “because he was white”. In the case of Argentina, “being white” may be having a slightly clear colored skin compared to the group average rather than being a clear ethnic difference.
If all this sounds chaotic and dangerous, its because it is so. Even in some of the more exclusive private schools the level of violence is considerably higher than in most other developed countries, simply because it has become a more violent society. No one bats an eye because of some Facebook bullying. Getting bullied in that context means getting physically beaten not just once but recurrently.
What to do?
Do you send your kids to school? Of course you do, its important to do so and I’ll give you several reasons. Not only does your child need to have an education, he needs to learn to handle other peers as well. Regarding education you could argue that homeschooling is just as good or even better. I’m not trying to start a debate here but I do know some very well educated home schooled children but I probably know even more children that are home schooled that simply don’t have the education level found is good students attending good schools. It really depends on the parents, how well educated they are themselves and how much time they have to spend with their children. Not everyone is capable of objective self-criticism when it comes to these two.
But even more important than education, is the ability to get along and learn how to interact, even succeed and compete with others socially. If a child can’t handle other children like him, he wont be able to do so as an adult either, and believe me this will be more challenging in a post-collapse society.
What you should do is find a good, safe school for your children to attend. The best one you can provide. Sometimes its about paying for it, sometimes its moving to places where you have them. It takes a bit of work but in most developed countries parents cant find a good school for their children.
Besides sending your child to a good school, you need to give them the tools to defend themselves, both verbally and physically if needed. The right attitude, the right amount of self-confidence will go a long way in avoiding being targeted by bullies in the first place. When it comes to physical self-defense, I recommend teaching your child basic self-defense techniques. I specifically recommend Brazilian jiu-jitsu over all other martial arts for children. It’s one of the safest martial arts to practice for kids given the lack of punches, it focuses more on technique rather than strength (good for girls!), it is highly effective in the real-world (too much mumbo jumbo in the martial arts world) and it can be used without leaving visible wounds. Maybe your son is more than capable of putting a well-deserved beating on anyone that deserves it, but even if that’s the case he can get into trouble none the less. In places like Argentina there’ little tolerance for such nonsense and few school principals would bother a parent of a child that was clearly defending himself but in other countries this may not be the case and a “twisted arm” will get your child in a lot less trouble than a “broken nose” or even a simple bloody lip.
Schools have changed quite a bit in the last few years. I’m not yet forty and I remember a very different school environment. I would have the monthly Guns & Ammo magazine which I openly read in the classroom during breaks and by the time I was fifteen years old teachers knew that if they needed to cut something I was the kid to ask for help because I always had a folding knife with me… in the classroom.
Different times? My classroom was right next to the school’s air rifle shooting range. We had one in the school’s courtyard. You first learned to shoot air rifles in school, then you’d go to the Federal Shooting Club (TFLZ) and shoot 22LR and finally you learned to shoot a Mauser 1909 in 7,65 Argentino as part of the school’s curriculum.
Different times indeed.

TFSF01.jpg

Aiming with a Mauser 1909 Modelo Argentino

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Fun Fact About Fallout and Nuclear Explosions

Fallout 3 other Vault Boy images - The Fallout wiki - Fallout: New ...
If you ever played videogames you’re probably familiar with the charismatic Vault Dweller, the mascot of the Fallout series videogames. But why is it that the little guy is bringing his thumb up? Turns out it’s not just the much needed positive attitude. He’s actually measuring the distance of a nuclear explosion. It seem that an old nuclear war survival tip said that if with your arm extended you could cover the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion with your thumb then you were far enough to survive. I think that wind direction will play a big role as well but still, fun to know and I hope I NEVER have to try it out for real!
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Greece About to Default

... low as Greece edges closer to a possible default | Daily Mail Online

The chances seem to be pretty high. The Vulture Funds are looking to cash in on those credit default swaps…

Wall Street bets on 75% chance of Greek default

Fernando—
You might be receiving questions about the Greek debt situation and concerns about the outcome.
I thought I would share this article with you.

Larry

 

Why Greece’s pension problems are also ours…

It’s looking more and more like Greece will not be able to reach an agreement with its creditors by the end of this month. That’s when more than $1.8 billion in debt comes due.

A last-minute deal is always a possibility. After all, a so-called “Grexit” event would have huge implications … especially for bond markets.

But even if negotiators suddenly come up with a grand bargain, there’s something every single U.S. citizen should take away from this ongoing crisis …

I’m talking about the fact that Greece’s unsustainable pension system is one of the biggest sticking points between Athens and its creditors.

Essentially, the International Monetary Fund is asking Greece to:

•  Cut its pension promises by the equivalent of 1% of the country’s GDP

•  Quickly address the fact that loads of Greeks are taking early retirement, and

•  Enact other cuts to things like state-funded supplementary pensions.

Meanwhile, Athens says it’s unwilling to take any of these steps.

According to an article from the BBC yesterday:

“[Prime Minister] Tsipras rejected demands for pension cuts, citing his country’s dignity.”

And Mr. Tispras himself was quoted as telling a Greek newspaper,

“Further cuts to pensions after five years of looting under the bailouts can only be viewed as serving political expediency.”

Wait — a country preserves its dignity by defaulting on its debts? And making budget cuts to stave off bankruptcy is considered looting?

(Continue reading over at uncommonwisdomdaily.com )

Thanks Larry, interesting read.
I’d say yes, defaulting may preserve the dignity of the people if not doing so means you’ll drop further into poverty and misery. Defaulting isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While some look to make legitimate business, other “investors”, (yes, lets be kind and call them that) that “lend” money to a country that is falling apart and has no way of repaying have other things in mind. Lets look at it from a capitalist point of view. If I invest money with some shady company looking to sell ice in the north pole, and this company I just invested it suddenly fails, who’s fault is it? It’s mine of course. Mine because I’m the one that made a poor decision and invested in something that had little chance of success. That’s the nature of capitalism, sometimes you lose money, sometimes you make it. If you’re always in a win-win scenario, then you’re unfairly rigging the game to your benefit.
The problem you have in countries such as Argentina isn’t that politicians tried to get rid of the corrupt IMF, but rather that they did so only to steal money themselves. In many ways, Argentina did well on its own all things considered after the crisis. The problem was the massive amount of money stolen by the ruling government.
Greece would do well to put its own people ahead of the interest of companies, foreign or domestic. That you don’t bargain with, the lives of your people, their health and dignity comes before anything else. If they can’t come to an agreement with the EU, then they should default and leave the union.
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.