Monday, February 27, 2012

Greece and its debt

Greece is a country with a glorious if uneven past. The world owes a debt of gratitude for its ancient contributions to human social and intellectual development. The Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, spread Hellenic rule and culture to Asia Minor, Persian Babylonia and India in the 4th century B.C.. Rome overtook Greece in the mid 2nd century B.C. establishing Greco-Roman influence in its eastern domain. Greece became part of the Byzantine Empire in the late 4th century A.D.. As it ended in the mid 15th century A.D., Greece came under Ottaman rule. In the early 19th century Greece regained its independence after being ruled by outside powers for over two millennia. In 1981, Greece became a member state of the European Union. While being economically developed, in the past few years Greece has fallen on hard times. The country is plagued by high government debts, a weak banking system, economic recession, rising unemployment and civil unrest. Interestingly, there are numerous episodes of economic and political instability in the country´s modern history. In this article, the present condition of the Greek economy is examined in terms of the natal potential seen in a horoscope that has recently been proposed for the country.

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilization of ancient Greece, generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. As such it is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy and the Olympic Games. Greece was part of the Byzantine Empire from around 395 A.D. to 1453 A.D. and after that it was part of the Ottoman Empire, or until 1821. The modern Greek state had its origins in the Greek War of Independence (1821 – 1832). Greece has 11.3 million inhabitants (m.i) in a country covernig 132.000 square kilometers (51.000 square miles). The population is ethnically homogenous. Greece has borders with Albania (3.2 m.i.), the Republic of Macedonia (2.0 m.i.) and Bulgaria (7.6 m.i) to the north, and Turkey (71.0 m.i.) to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13.700 km (8,500 mi) in length, featuring over 1.400 islands - one fifth of which is inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains, of which Mount Olympus is the highest at 2,917 m (9,570 ft). Athens is the nation‘s capital and largest city. Greece is a developed country with a high income level (€21.900 per capita) in a global comparison and amounting to 91% of the average level of the EU (€24.000). The income is twice the amount of the poorest EU member state, Bulgaria (€10.700), but only a third of the richest, Luxembourg (€66.000). The distribution of income is one of the most unequal in the EU. Greece is a member of the European Union since 1981 and the Euro-Area since 2001. It is the largest economy of the Balkans but less than one third of the size of the Turkish economy. At the same time, there is a less flattering side to the economy, which is discussed below.

Founding of modern Greece
The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years, beginning in Mycenaean Greece, continuing most notably into Classical Greece, through the influence of the Roman Empire and its Greek Eastern successor the Byzantine Empire. Other cultures and states such as Latin and Frankish states, the Ottoman Empire, the Venetian Republic, Genoese Republic, and British Empire have also left their influence o
n modern Greek culture, but historians credit the Greek War of Independence with revitalising Greece and giving birth to a single entity of its multi-faceted culture. The first revolt of the Greek War of Independence began on 6 March 1821 in the Danubian Principalities, but it was soon put down by the Ottomans. As the civil war dragged on assistance arrived from several European powers, Russia, United Kingdom and France against the Ottoman Empire. With the Treaty of London on 3 February 1830, Greece was recognized as an independent State.[1] However, it did not have a government until one year later.[2] After years of negotiation, Greece was finally recognized as an independent nation with set borders in May 1832. As co-guarantors of the monarchy, the Great Powers also agreed to guarantee a loan of 60 million francs to the new king, empowering their ambassadors in the Ottoman capital to secure the end of the war. Under the protocol signed on 7 May 1832 between Bavaria and the protecting powers, Greece was defined as a "monarchical and independent state" but was to pay an indemnity to the Ottoman Porte. One historian notes that while the creation of the state was a success the ideals of a Greek nation, within and beyond the borders of Greece, were not realised.[3]

Birth of modern Greece
A very plausible candidate for a national horoscope for Greece has come to light. The date is January 13, 1822 and the place is Epidaurus, Greece (37N38, 23E08). The event is the formal written declaration of independence from the Turks by the Greek assembly. The astrological significance of this event was first recognised by Greek astrologer Thomas Gazis, who rectified the time to 10.00 a.m. on that day giving 26° Aquarius rising (sidereal) and introduced the horoscope thus:
"Which is Greece’s birth date? Some 20 years ago it came to my attention the copy of an old document, that I felt very significant! It was entitled «Declaration of the Political Existence and Independence of the Greek Nation». Let us see what this document says: «In the name of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, the Greek Nation that in the last 4 centuries has been under the horrible Turkish rule, unable to bear any more the heavy and unprecedented tyranny, which we have finally thrown off with huge sacrifices, proclaims today - through its legitimate delegates here assembled - in front of all humans and God, its political existence and Independence! Epidaurus January 1st 1822 [in the Julian calendar]». There is no doubt that this declaration constitutes the birth certificate of modern Greece! It fulfils all the criteria we set up and unambiguously states the creation of the modern country of Greece. The birthday of Greece is on the 13th of January [in the Gregorian calendar]." [4]

Horoscope of Greece
26° Aquarius rises in the ascendant of this tentative horoscope of Greece. This sign would be expected to describe the main traits in the collective personality of the nation. Aquarius is an air sign and is ruled by Saturn. This sign signifes dutifulness and responsibility. Those with Aquarius in the first house tend to be independent and willing to buck the trend if they think it is the right thing to do. The sign impels towards industriousness, perserverance, focus and forethought. There is an urge to help the underdog. The sign predisposes to new ideas, with an emphasis on humanity and science. The sign can also predispose to unconventional, stubborn, rigid or impractical ideas. If Saturn is weak in the chart there may be a tendency for suspiciousness and lethargy. Aries, ruled by Mars, falls into the third house of this horoscope. This gives a tendency for a focus on communications and new ideas. Libra, ruled by Venus, falls into the 9th house, which promises good fortune.[5] By comparison, Cancer rises in the ascendant of the USA horsocope, giving a regal and caring nature to the collective personality of Americans. Virgo rises in the British horoscope imbuing the collective personality with analytical acuity and discrimination. Taurus rises in the horoscope of India, giving a earthy and sensate nature to the collective personality.

As Aquarius is in the 1st house of the Greek horoscope, the financial position is seen to be ruled by the following houses and their lords:
  • 6th lord Moon indicates financial position.
  • 9th lord Venus indicates fortune.
  • 11th lord Jupiter indicates income and hopes.
  • 8th lord Mercury indicates easy gains.
As per the Systems‘ Approach (SA), there are no Moolatrikona signs in the 2nd house of wealth, 4th house of fixed assets, or 5th houses of speculation. Hence, these areas of life are not indicated as special problems in the national life. The only exception is if planets are placed in these houses or aspecting them. This can make a significant difference for their indications.

Saturn as 1st lord is placed in the 2nd house, giving status associated with the self. As Saturn is in old age, the dynamism is reduced. Moreover, the status is linked to ancient things, as that is a general indication of Saturn. Further, as Saturn is in the most effective point (MEP, or near the rising degree) of the 2nd house, its influence is greater. It is thus favourably influencing also the 4th house of assets, the 8th house of easy gains and 11th house of income. The influence is further helped by the good placement of 9th lord Venus in the 1st house of self. While Rahu, the lord of manipulation, is also there, bringing some problems, its influence is minimal in the horoscope.

6th lord Moon is badly placed in the 8th house, creating obstructions for the financial position. This placement will be tested in the coming five months.

9th lord Venus is well placed in the 1st house, receiving an aspect from Mars as 3rd lord of initiative in the 7th house of foreign agreements. Good luck is seen for Greece from an enterprising tourism sector and foreign involvements.

11th house Jupiter is well placed in the 3rd house of initiative. However, its power is very limited as it is in deep infancy. Fortunately, Jupiter is conjunct the 1st lord Saturn and is within the MEP of the 2nd house, also giving a moderate beneficial influence on the 2nd house of wealth, but also on the 6th house of financial position and conflict, 8th house of easy gains, and 10th house of position in the world. However, Jupiter is further undermined by an afflicting aspect from Ketu in the 7th house. Jupiter‘s 11th house is further afflicted by 8th lord Mercury, creating obstructions and endings for income and hopes. Mercury also afflicts the 5th house of speculation. Mercury is also harmed by its own destructive power, being placed in the MEP. Hence, the easy gains are reduced. The horoscope is running the Mercury-Mercury period since August 2011, suggesting that obstructions and endings involving incomes & hopes and speculation & management have intensified since then.

The strength of Jupiter and Sun, the dual indicators of banking, is not good at all in this chart. This is consistent with what we know about the the Greek banks: they are technically bankrupt but have been kept afloat by loans from the EU. The 11th lord Jupiter, Sun and Moon are the indicators of currency strength in this horoscope. The drachma was always a weak currency and if Greece were forced to leave the Euro-Area and take up the drachma again, it would likely collapse in value. The weakness of Sun and Moon, the indicators of government also suggest weakness on this front. In fact, the present administration of professionals has been appointed without democratic legitimacy to clean up years of accounting gimmicks and bad governance. As the Moon is also representing democratic government, the coming stationary aspect of Ketu in the 4th house of communal harmony suggests sudden upset over this state of affairs, the lack of democratic legitimacy. There are elections now scheduled for April 2012, when the aspect of transit Ketu to natal Moon will be applying. Ketu rules a sense of isolation and estrangement, which can result in sudden violent or unexpected acts.

3rd lord Mars is well placed in the 7th house in mutual aspect with the lord of luck, which is a very helpful combination. It gives fortune from taking action and gives opportunities for the same. It is a good aspect for the military, police and athletes and artists and women. However, the beneficience of this yoga is somewhat reduced by the bad placement of 7th lord Sun in the 12th house of losses. The weakness of the Sun suggests foreign agreements can lead to losses. The placement of Mars explains the Greek show of military bravery even in the face of being massively outnumbered.

Political instability
Cases of political instability in the 20th century history of Greece are legion. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Greeks launched the expansionist Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) to protect Greek minorities. The Turks rallied and repelled the invasion of the Greeks, which thus lost the war. A period of political instability ensued, with the Greeks voting to abolish the monarchy and make the country a republic in 1924. In 1935, however, the monarchy was restored. In 1936, General Metaxas, after being appointed prime minister by the king, established a right-wing dictatorship. In 1940, Mussolini's fascist forces attacked Greece from Italian-held Albania, but the Greeks repelled them. In 1941, Metaxas died and a short while later Greece fell to Nazi Germany, with King George II and the government fleeing to Egypt. More than 100,000 died in a famine. Following WW II, civil war raged in Greece 1944 from to 1949 between communist and anticommunist forces. This led to economic devastation and severe social tensions between rightists and largely communist leftists for the next thirty years. A new political period of crisis developed in Greece on 15 July 1965 after the resignation of Prime Minister Papandreou. Political renegades within the same party, the “Apostates", were appointed by the king to replace him, heralding a prolonged period of political instability, which weakened the fragile post-Civil War order. A military junta seized power in a coup d'état on 21 April 1967. The King began by cooperating with the junta but then launched a counter-coup on 13 December 1967, which ended in failure and he then fled the country with his family in the early hours of 14 December – never to return as king. In 1973, Greece is declared a republic, the monarchy is abolished and Papadopoulos assumes the presidency. Opposition to military rule leads to increasing unrest. Papadopoulos is overthrown in bloodless coup by Brigadier-General Demetrios Ioannidis, commander of the military police. He partially restores civilian rule but retains large measure of power. In 1974, an Athens-backed coup against President Makarios of Cyprus is followed by Turkish invasion and occupation of north of the island. Ioannidis government collapses. Exiled Karamanlis recalled and sworn in as prime minister. Referendum rejects restoration of monarchy. Civil unrest increases, highlighted by the Athens Polytechnic uprising in the early hours of Saturday, 17 November 1973, which is suppressed by the military. After losing any claim to legitimacy, the rule of the military junta ends in July 1974. In 1975, a new constitution declares Greece a parliamentary republic with some executive powers vested in a president.

The Economy and its problems
Greece's main industries are tourism, shipping, industrial products, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining and petroleum. Tourism accounts for around 15% of the national GDP, with close to 20 million foreign visitors in 2009. The shipping industry has also been a successful sector in the economy. Greek agriculture employs 12% of the total labor force and produces 3.6% of the national GDP. The big secret of Greek economy is that with EU funds, civil service jobs have increased sharply. Apparently, the development aid and loans have raised the income level above its natural state. This seems to be the reason behind the fact that there is little impetus for people to plan for their future and there seems to be a lack of vision for the country by the politicians.[6] The Greek economy has suffered from external imbalances, which is traced to a lack of flexibility in both product and labour markets. There is a lack of innovation, such that overall productivity growth is sub-standard. As a result, inflation has been higher in Greece than in the euro area, which explains the erosion of competitiveness. Unemployment, especially of the young, is very high in Greece. Greeks are well educated by international standards. Nevertheless, there are labour shortages in specific sectors. It seems the Greeks are not educating themselves for the jobs on offer. Due to labour market rigidities, the reallocation of labour between sectors keeps unemployment high. The problem could be linked to skill mismatches, between the skills in supply and what skills the firms need. Incomes in Greece are fairly low compared to many other well to do EU countries. The dispersion of incomes in Greece is also wide. In other words, there is a high degree of income inequality. There is a link between the two, such that the greater the inequality the lower the income level.[7] Such a situation breeds discontent and extremism in the social outlook. The labour force participation is low by EU standards, especially of women. [8] .

Some say Greece is in crisis today due to lack of responsibility of the citizens. Greeks see the state as an income provider and do not feel an obligation to it. Accordingly, they do not contribute their fair share of income to taxes needed to keep their state fiscally sound. Tax evasion and bribery appear to be common in society. This cultural phenomenon apparently goes back to the Ottoman period, when Greek people began hiding a part of their income in order to avoid paying taxes on it. Katsios (2006) argues that there is a link between the underground economy and corruption in Greece. Tax and national insurance burdens and intensity of regulations in Greece also seem to motivate people to bribe government officials. In order to avoid the bribery and regulation a shadow economy is complementary to the “corrupt state”.[9] Moreover, a vast range of governmental activities is found to distort and weaken the allocative, redistributional and stabilising role of government. Clearly, such corruption needs to be stamped out at the highest level of government first, then throughout society. The consistent lack of discipline in government finances, has resulted in recurring calls for prudent fiscal policies in order to ensure a balanced position. Improved tax collection and better functioning of the public administration are needed to strengthen public resources, which need to be channeled towards investment in knowledge, human and physical capital. The IMF and EU see such reforms as necessary to increase the growth potential of the economy and improve its attractiveness for productive investment in the long run. Greece also needs to focus on all round development, with less inequality, for a more prosperous and happy society.

International agreements
In 1981 Greece joined the EU. With the Maastricht Treaty, EU structural funds have flowed into the Greek economy with the aim to lift its low income level and bring it closer to the EU average.
On January 1, 2002, the Euro replaced the drachma as the currency in circulation in Greece. In 2004 December, the European Commission issued a formal warning after Greece was found to have falsified budget deficit data in the run-up to joining Euro-Area. On April 22, 2010, Greece announced that its budget deficit figures for 2009 had been underestimated, with the deficit and debt levels increasing significantly. The revelation caused the debt crisis in the Euro-Area to sharply deepen.[10] Such problems are consistent with the influence of Mercury in the horoscope and the weakness of Sun and Moon, indicating poor governance of the country.

Debt crisis and civil unrest
Greece also has a history of borrowing large amounts of funds abroad. This is reflecting the good fortune seen in the horoscope for Greece from international involvements. At the same time, there are problems linked to the debt and Greece's international obligations. The debt crisis is not only linked to bad management of public finances but importantly it is linked to the government support of a failing banking system. However, the associated rise in debt made fiscal austerity ever more important to assure international creditors that the government could service its debts. In January 2010, the government announced a second round of tough austerity measures, including public sector pay cuts, fuel increases, and a crackdown on tax evasion. In February 2010, the government austerity measures prompted a series of general strikes and protests that continued into March. In March 2010, PM George Papandreou likened the budget crisis to "wartime situation", announcing a third round of tax rises and spending cuts totaling €5 billion. In April/May 2010, fears of a possible default on Greece's debts prompted Euro-Area countries to approve a €110 billion rescue package for the country. As part of the bailout deal, PM Papandreou announced a round of even more stringent austerity measures. Trade unions called a general strike in protest. In October 2010, the government announced new, tougher, austerity measures in the 2011 draft budget, including new taxes and higher rate of VAT. In February 2011, international lenders said austerity measures so far implemented did not go far enough, and that Greece must speed up reforms to get its finances back on track. In June 2011, there was another 24-hour general strike. Tens of thousands of protesters marched on parliament to oppose government efforts to pass new austerity laws. In July 2011, the crisis began to deepen. European Union leaders agreed a major bailout for Greece over its debt crisis by channeling €109 billion through the European Financial Stability Facility. The solution assumed “voluntary writedowns“ of the debt held by private banks, which ended up being equivalent to 70%. All three main credit ratings agencies cut Greece's rating to a level associated with a substantial risk of default. In September 2011, the credit rating agency Moody's downgraded eight Greek banks due to concerns over Greece's ability to pay back its debts. In October 2011, Eurozone leaders and private banks agreed to a 50% debt write-off for Greece in return for further austerity measures. PM Papandreou cast the deal into doubt by announcing a referendum on the rescue package. In November 2011, faced with a storm of criticism over his referendum plan, Mr. Papandreou withdrew it and announced his resignation. A government of national unity was formed after talks between leaders of the governing Socialist Pasok, the center-right New Democracy party and the nationalist Laos party. Lucas Papademos, a former head of the Bank of Greece, became interim prime minister with the task of getting the country back on track in time for elections scheduled provisionally for the spring of 2012. In January 2012, debt rescheduling talks with Greece's private creditors faltered, endangering the €130 billion EU/IMF rescue package that Greece needs to meet its next debt repayment deadline in March. In February 2012, against a background of violent protests on the streets of Athens, the Greek parliament approved a new package of tough austerity measures agreed with the EU as the price of a €130 billion bailout. At the same time, political determination to avoid the stigma of default appears to have waned as the Greek government retroactively inserted collective-action clauses into the bond terms, suggesting the government will demand further writedowns. As a consequence, Standard & Poor’s and Moody's downgraded the nation's credit rating in late February and early March 2012 implying the government is officially in default.[11] The Greek economy has been in recession for five years and the ongoing cutbacks in public services and benefits in recent years have resulted in recurring bouts of civil unrest, sometimes violent.

The civil unrest goes back to before the outbreak of the debt crisis. In March 2005, trade unions launched 24-hour strikes in protest at rising unemployment and high inflation. In December 2005, amid protest strikes by transport workers, parliament approved changes to labour laws, including an end to jobs for life in the public sector. The plans sparked industrial action. In March 2006, public sector workers struck over pay and in protest at government plans to scrap job security laws and intensify privatisation. In March 2008, parliament narrowly passed the government's controversial pension reform bill in face of general public sector strike and mass protests. In October 2008, hundreds of thousands of public-sector employees and professionals went on strike in protest at privatisation, pay ceilings and pension reform. In December 2008, students and young people took to city streets in nationwide protests and riots over the police killing of a 15-year-old boy in Athens. Major public-sector strikes coincided with increased pressure on the government over its economic policies. The recession from 2006 to 2011 is associated with the Rahu and Jupiter sub-periods of the Saturn major period. Now the Mercury major period has started, the difficulties are likely to continue during the Mercury and Ketu sub-periods lasting through 2014.

Astrologically, the problems with social unrest are easy to see in the horoscope. First, the 4th, 2nd and 5th houses do not contain Moolatrikona signs, the rulership for communal harmony is shifted more to the 6th house and its ruler, the Moon. Natally, Moon is placed in the 8th house of obstacles and endings, suggesting plenty of difficulty for the communal harmonyand debts (as Moon also rules financial solvency). Second, the other houses continue to be important for this indication but only if they are afflicted or occupied by a functional malefic planet. The only such affliction in the horoscope is the aspect of 8th lord Mercury to the 5th house. Accordingly, we would therefore expect an underlying tendency for problems with communal harmony in Greece linked to the indications of the 5th house, such as young people and universities as well as speculation and morals of the country. Indeed, the problems of unrest have primarily been linked to two things, the debt crisis and young people objecting to injustices.

Astrology of significant historical events
The murder of Count Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias the first head of state of independent Greece on October 9, 1831, shows up strongly in the horoscope. Mars-Mars period was operating. There was a heavy loading of planets in the 8th and 12th houses, with transit Rahu at 28° Cancer and 6th house MEP afflicting Jupiter and Saturn in the 2nd house MEP – following a transit station at 0° Leo and Aquarius. Transit Rahu and Ketu were both afflicting the 12th house, containing the Sun and transit Ketu was aspecting transit Sun and the 8th house containing also transit Mars.

King George I was shot and killed in Thessaloniki on March 18, 1913 by a purported vagrant. Mercury Rahu period was operating. Transit stationary Ketu at 10° 29‘ Virgo was conjunct natal 6th lord Moon at 10° 30‘ Virgo. Transit stationary Rahu also afflicted natal Moon and transit Moon at 11° Cancer and 6th house. Transit 7th lord Sun was at 4° 51‘ Pisces and 2nd house and transit 8th lord Mercury was at 19° 15‘ Pisces.

The Greeks lost the Greco-Turkish War on August 30, 1922 when the Turks defeated the Greek army decisively at the Battle of Dumlupınar. Venus-Mars period was operating. Transit nodes at 7° 13‘ Virgo was conjunct natal 6th lord Moon at 10° 30‘ Virgo and transit 8th lord Mercury at 3° 28‘ Virgo. Many planets were in the 8th house.

During World War II, Gr
eece was invaded and conquered by the axis powers. Perhaps the most dramatic event was the fall of Athens, which took place on 27 April 1941. The Sun-Venus period was operating. Transit stationary Ketu at 8° 25‘ Pisces and transit stationary Rahu at 8° 25‘ Virgo and 8th house were conjunct natal 6th lord Moon at 10° 31‘ Virgo. 8th lord Mercury at 3° Aries and 3rd house was afflicted by natal Ketu at 4° Leo and 7th house. Transit 7th lord Sun and transit 9th lord Venus were conjunct in the 3rd house, along with transit 6th lord Moon and transit 1st lord Saturn in the MEP. The Moon major period began in August 1941, which is consistent with Greece being under military occupation as Moon rules the 6th house of conflict. Moreover, Moon is placed in the 8th house of obstacles and this period involved much suffering by the Greek population. The occupation ended in October 1944, when the Jupiter sub-period was underway.

A coup d'état led by a group of colonels took place on 21 April 1967. Rahu-Mercury period was operating. This dual malefic period would tend to be difficult, especially the sub-period of Mercury. There was political chaos which the coup leaders aimed to end. Transit 7th lord Sun was at 7° Aries under the aspect of natal Ketu at 4° Leo and 7th house. Transit 3rd lord Mars at 29° Virgo was weak in old age in 8th house while opposite natal Saturn and natal Jupiter.

Now that Greece is technically bankrupt, one test of this horoscope would be to consider the outcomes in the prior Mercury-Mercury period from August 1891-January 1894. In particular, it is of interest that this prior period was also involved in a bankruptcy. Indeed, by the 1890s Greece was virtually bankrupt, and public insolvency was declared in 1893. The default took place on December 10, 1893, when the government declared it could not longer service the debts.[12] Transit Rahu at 27° 20' Pisces was stationary conjunct the MEP of the 2nd house during the autumn months of 1893, while Ketu at 27° 20' Virgo was afflicting the 8th house. At the time of the official declaration, these planets had progressed to 25° 10'. This is a good fit for this historical event.

ercury period
The 26° Aquarius horoscope offers scope to explain the present debt crisis of Greece, especially from August 2011 when the Mercury - Mercury period began. Mercury is 8th lord of obstructions and endings. It is placed in the MEP of the 11th house of income, thus afflicting the 11th house of income and 5th house of speculation. 11th lord Jupiter is placed in 0° 17' Aries and 3rd house. It is aspected by natal Ketu at 4° 21' Leo and 7th house. This suggests that the incomes of people in Greece are low, based on self-effort and vulnerable to sudden upsets. Recently, the Greek government made an agreement to impose harsh fiscal austerity in exchange for huge loans from the EU to salvage its debts and banking system. We can see the easy gains for Greece from the influence of 8th lord in the horoscope. Moreover, with 1st lord Saturn placed in the 2nd house MEP of the chart, albeit in old age at 28° 54' Pisces, this gives status linked to self and old things. Indeed, Greece is considered not only the cradle of democracy in the world but the source of Western civilisation. These two placements also show the mixed influence of the neighbors in the horoscope. Indeed, Greece has been in a contentious relationship with Turkey over control of the island Cyprus. Greece is now battling to salvage its place in the European Union.

The outlook in coming months is anything but hopeful. In the horoscope, 6th lord Moon, which rules financial stability, is placed in the 8th house, suggesting that debt becomes a source of obstructions and endings. The coming station of transit Ketu at 10° 20' Taurus and 4th house, in aspect to natal Moon at 10° 30' Virgo and 8th house, promises to bring sudden, explosive events to Greece, involving the debts. As Moon is also the general indicator of the public mood, and is placed in the house of the belief of the public in its government, we may expect a violent rupture in this regard in coming months. As the Moon is a royal planet, it become the kings consort in the royal cabinet. Hence, this will likely be a very challenging time for the government.

On February 20, 2012, a financial rescue deal was announced for Greece, which is aimed at bringing Greek government debt down to 120% of GDP by 2020. The rescue package has been criticised, with some suggesting “The sad truth is that fixing Greece was never the rescue mission’s goal. The goal was to prevent, or at least stem, euro zone debt contagion; to slow the run on the Greek banks for fear that the bank-run could hit other weak countries; to prevent Greece from high-tailing it out of the euro zone and printing drachmas; and to broker a “voluntary” peace agreement with Greek bondholders.“[13] Not surprisingly, the financial outlook for Greece continues to dim. On March 3, 2012, despite the efforts of EU and Greek politicians to stabilise the situation, the US credit rating agency Moody's has announced it is downgrading Greek debt to the lowest level on its scale - in a warning of default. Clearly, this is yet another setback for the Greek government and the EU. Indeed, as discussed in earlier messages, the tentative horoscopes for both entities suggest ongoing financial difficulties, despite the efforts. Further, given the present period and transit influences, we can say that this horoscope suggests a very difficult time in coming months and into the summer of 2012, while the nodes are stationary at 10° 30‘ Scorpio and Taurus. We can even predict that the likelihood of the government going bankrupt is increased considerably and/or that the government is hit by a very serious crisis. All of this would have serious repercussions for the communal harmony.

As for the continued membership of the Greece in the Euro, that will certainly continue to be tested. It is good that natal 1st lord Saturn is not being tested in the forthcoming transits. Moreover, the cost of such a setback to the EU also needs to be considered. I have earlier predicted based on the tentative horoscope for the EU that "It would not surprise me if the EU would be down-scaled and its goals revised in the coming few years." However, it is hard to say if this involves Greece leaving the Euro zone, as there could be significant costs involved in that for other member countries. At present, I find it likelier that Greece continues in the Euro, by hook or crook, by being helped to avoid bankruptcy, in name at least, and thus be able to continue in the Euro-Area. The risk of some sort of social meltdown in Greece is, however, likely this summer. A new government could come to power later in the year and it could then decide to revise the country's foreign agreements and obligations. This, however, is all quite speculative.

On February 29, 2012, Astrologer & Author, V. K. Choudhry gave his view on this chart:
“The chart can be considered for future predictions. Weakness of Jupiter and affliction to the eleventh house by a Rahu like planet speaks for the general belief of the people. Weak Sun and the Moon also speak for lack of organisation. As currently the sub period of Mercury is running in the main period of Mercury the outlook for Greece is not good.“
This horoscope seems to reflect well the events of Greek national life. At the same time, it does not paint a hopeful picture for the financial or political position of Greece in the summer of 2012 when the Mercury-Mercury period is operating and difficult transits are felt. Venus, Mars and Saturn are the helpful planets in this horoscope. Their placements suggest some amount of comforts, fortune, energy and status - all of which is
consistent with what we know about life in Greece. Barring challenging transits, the Venus sub-period from January 2015, promises a fortunate change of events.

[1] Kohn, George C. (2007) Dictionary of wars. 3rd edition. Infobase Publishing, USA.,+1822&source=bl&ots=zNPcMDEoLS&sig=hEx7mXO011cVzF4T5xSeG2pj9q0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=59xLT4DkNcmu0QXBlOnuDw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Greek%20independence%20January%2013%2C%201822&f=false
[2] Beaton, Roderick and David Ricks, eds. (2009). The making of modern Greece: nationalism, romanticism and the uses of the past. Ashgate Publications. Surrey, UK.
[3] Seton-Watson, Hugh (1977). "The Greeks and the 'Great Idea', from his Nations and States: An Enquiry into the Origins of Nations and the Politics of Nationalism, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, pp. 110-117.">
[4] Gazis, Thomas (2007). Greece’s natal chart. April 28.
[5] Astrologer & Author V. K. Choudhry.
[6] Papadimopoulos, Themistocles (2011). Brief history of the Greek Crisis 1830-2010.
[7] Tárki European Social Report (2008). Income distribution in European countries: first reflections on the basis of EU-SILC 2005.">
[8] Moschovis, George and Mateo Capo Servera (2009). External imbalances of the Greek economy: the role of fiscal and structural policies. 10 July. ECFIN Country Focus.
[9] BBC (2010). Greece's budget deficit worse than first thought. 22 April 2010 16:34 UK.
[10] WSJ (2012). S&P Cuts Greece To Selective Default, Cites Collective-Action Clauses. February 27, 2012, 5:25 p.m. ET.
[11]. Katsios, Stavros (2006). The shadow economy and corruption in Greece. South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics 1.
[12] Apostolakou, Lito (2009). The Bankruptcy of Greece in 1893. Apr 28.
[13] Reguly, Eric (2012). Despite second bailout, Greece is still a time bomb. Globe and Mail
February 26.
*) BBC Timeline of Greek developments: