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Phuket business: Greece primed to exit the Euro

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Phuket business: Greece primed to exit the Euro | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: It is fair to say that recently the world’s markets have been as unstable as a new born baby trying to stand on its own two feet!

With the financial woes of the European markets, the rest of the world has been dragged down by a seemingly constant torrent of poor European economic news.

We have a new French President who, potentially, would like to get rid of the austerity measures that have been put into place, and now in Greece they don’t have a government at all.

A potential exit from the Euro seems inevitable from the land that brought us the Olympic Games and is generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. It is no surprise that the Greek people have had enough of cuts and austerity measures as they have been hit harder than any other country in the ‘Euro Zone’.

Recent election results show that the Greek people are officially fed up. However, with different parties being unsuccessful in formalizing a coalition government, this could drag out for weeks or even months, and if there is one thing that markets don’t like, it’s uncertainty.

We have seen this over the past few weeks as markets dropped to new 2012 lows, and as this uncertainty remains, I believe things will remain choppy until we have a resolution set in stone. The general consensus would seem to point to an inevitable Greek Euro exit, but then, how will markets react to this?

If Greece remains in the Euro, the second placed Syriza party is looking to form a coalition government and in effect tear up the austerity measures plan.

Here’s the situation. In February, Greece agreed a €174 billion bail-out deal with the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Part of the deal was that the country would undertake various reforms.

These reforms need to be passed by the end of next month before Greece can get the money. Of course, the problem is that there is no Greek parliament right now and it looks like no one will be able to put together a coalition.

As a result, there’ll be a second election. Will the result be any different? Probably not, and potentially Greece may take an even harder stance against Europe. So all roads point to a probable exit, which could not be all bad if handled properly.

As I said before, the one thing that markets do not like is uncertainty, and this route would get rid of that.

Also, a return to the Drachma for Greece would mean that, as an economy, they could quickly re-price themselves, ditching their debt and focusing on growth.

On the flip side, the value of the Drachma could be devalued by at least 50%, causing inflation. The need to handle this properly cannot be underestimated and as uncertainty continues markets will continue to be affected, so for now a cautious approach needs to be applied until we see light at the end of the tunnel.

A shift to safer investments is a wise move over the next few months. We have seen the US Dollar perform well, and the dollar index – the dollar against a basket of other major currencies – is at its highest level in two months.

The ride is going to remain very bumpy and a move into less riskier assets would be prudent, unless you are able to stomach the volatility we are now beginning to see.

For more information on how the UK budget affects you or UK pension plan reviews, please contact Alyman@montpeliergroup.com, or you can follow me on twitter @ AnthonyLyman.

Anthony Lyman is a Senior Financial Consultant for the Montpelier Group.

— Anthony Lyman

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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