The European Financial Crisis

George Papandreou
The European financial crisis began in 2008, when member countries of the European Union were hit by debt crisis. The country’s worst hit by the crises included Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus. In 2001, Greece experienced a debt load of more than 100%, at the time it was joining the European Union (EU).

During that time, Greece lowered interest rates on mounting debts and this led to an economic boom. However, in October 2009, the conservative establishment was pushed out of power by the socialists. The new government revealed that the country’s deficits were actually more than twice the estimates.

This revelation led to a debt downgrade; a move that worsened in February 2010, when credit rating agencies and institutional bond owners began selling debts. It seemed like the trading systems were collapsing at the time.

On April 2010, Greece debt was downgraded to junk status by S&P. The government followed these developments with a string of austerity measures designed to stem the slide. In April 2010, Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou requested the EU and IMF to rescue the country.

The European Central Bank (ECB) and the E.U, through the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) promised the country a bailout package worth $145 billion. The bailout was tied to the country adopting austerity measures. Despite the intervention, the country’s financial crisis continued to worsen. To date, Greece is still under a bailout program.

Portugal’s management of the situation was relatively smooth during the onset of the European financial crisis. However, towards the end of 2009, the Greece debt crisis created panic in the country. This panic emanated from fears that the country wouldn’t be able to grow its economy over the long-term; even as fears concerning the growing deficit continued to plague the economy.

By November 2010, interest rates rose so high that the country became a candidate for bailout. The government requested a bailout from the E.U on April, 2011. The bailout package totaled $116 billion. Portugal opted out of the EU bailout on 18, May 2014, despite a staggering debt burden.

Spain’s financial crisis stemmed from a real estate bubble burst; the crisis hit the country’s growth prospects despite a sound banking sector. In May 2010, Spain adopted a series of austerity measures to curtail higher than expected deficit. Fitch later downgraded the country’s debt from AAA. On 9 June 2012, Spain was granted a bailout package by Eurogroup totaling €100 billion. On 23 January 2014, the country withdrew from the IMF/EU bailout after making a full recovery.

Italy became a victim of the European financial crisis as a result of slow growth and huge debt to GDP ratios. Even before the Euro-crisis, there were fears that Italy would fall victim to its own debt crisis. In May 2011, S&P downgraded the country’s debt outlook and in July 2011, Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi rushed through an austerity package aimed at starving off the crisis.

In Cyprus, the country’s economy was demoted to junk status in 2012 by International rating agencies. The small island nation’s government requested for bailout from EFSF in June 2012.

The government cited its inability to stabilize its banking sector due to exposure from the Greek debt crisis as the main reason behind the request. The terms of the bailout, agreed upon on November 2012 were tied to implementing cuts in social benefits, civil servant salaries and pensions as well as increasing VAT, property and fuel taxes.

Most economists believe that the Eurozone economies have to stay on their feet to stem another Eurozone crisis. Specific signs of trouble include German losing faith on the Euro-project and doubts about the ECB’s ability to intervene in future crisis.


The Real Estate Market in the Middle East

The oil rich countries of the world constitute the Middle East. This region is astonishingly demanding more from the real estate market and has no sign of letting things fall off. United Arab Emirates seems to be the hottest selling place among the other countries in this region.

Dubai, the business capital of UAE is considered as the world hub for business and trade with people from different countries investing for higher returns here. The real estate industry in the Middle East is hot and steaming with foreign money rushing into regions including Dubai, Oman, Qatar and other regions of gulf.

The reason of booming real estate market in the Middle East is due to the tactical approach of the local governments in transforming the wealth from the oil resources to something useful and prolonged to the economy as such. Tourism is greatly encouraged in the Middle East pulling people from different parts of the world.

Even the sheikdoms of the countries are involved in their share of building up the infrastructure of that place apart from expending huge sums in building huge buildings, hotels, luxury apartments as well as vacation communities.

Dubai is peddled as the Manhattan of the Middle East with the tallest building of the world, Burj Khalifa standing tall as its pride. The real estate market in the Middle East has pulled in plenty of foreign investors and thus celebrating the heights of glory. The Grand Hotel La Florida made a declaration that they will be setting up travel destinations focusing on leisure and business needs in and around the places in the Middle East.

At the same time the builders of the amazing Palm Jumeira are extending their feet bringing in another amazing eight hundred million dollar project in here. Newer apartments and condos are rising up all across this region and these latest expansions are being sold off immediately after the announcement itself.

The main reason behind these hot selling cakes is the distinctive amenities and other facilities offered by the builders.

With recession at its peak in the year 2006, little did it strike the real estate market in the Middle East. The entire region is back to more than normal with stronger and matured outlook towards the developments and other positive aspects widening up in this region. There is absolutely no doubt that investors who are ready to put their money in are sure to gain huge in the following years to come.

Just have a look at the unbelievable night scene in Dubai, with sumptuous restaurants and extravagant discotheques where wealthy men in need of attention can burn tens of thousands of euros in one night, many of them real estate tycoons. No wonder there is a rise in diabetes cases in this region with all the good food they can easily afford, bringing in the best chefs in the world including from France.

The Middle East is known for its oil reserve and the immense wealth they have acquired from it. The real estate market in the Middle East is sure to reach greater heights in the near future rewarding everyone who wisely did the job of investing.


Art Collectors


Among the many definitions of art, one that we especially like is that which defines it as ‘the creation of beautiful or significant things’. As broad and comprehensive as this definition may be, if we pay close attention to what’s around us, we will quickly discover that art is present even in the most minimal things. Through art posters, we can rediscover this simple truth everyday.

Despite today the word ‘art’ is generally used to refer to the visual style, the concept of what it is has continuously changed over the years. We like to think of ‘art’ as a generic term that describes any product of Salvador Dali art posters the creative impulse, out of which sprang all other human pursuits. Just like drawings, etchings, paintings, sculptures, stage designs, and portraits, art posters are a form of art.

Art in our lives

Given that art touches our lives in a hundred thousand different ways, it only appears logical that, throughout the years, poster collecting has become a widespread activity all around the world. Art posters are popular because they add color, joy, beauty, emotion, and excitement to our days. Not to mention they also make great gifts!

As art posters’ beauty and cultural value gradually gained recognition, demand for art posters began to rise. And it never went down. Even when a lot of people think there is probably no greater joy than owning an original painting, we must admit that the high price of most original paintings make them a luxury item that is out of the reach of the standard Joe or Mary.

In that respect, art posters have a huge advantage: not only are they a much affordable and convenient alternative to original paintings but also, the boom of this industry has driven the printing techniques to evolve so that now it is possible to obtain art posters of truly excellent print quality. In addition, a side industry of poster framing has developed, also to cater to this significantly growing market of enthusiasts and collectors.

One of the favorite topic in art is beautiful women’s bodies. A long time ago men preferred women with some belly fat and this can be seen in paintings from past centuries. Nowadays a woman has to be slim to attract the eyes and this is true in advertisement and art as well. If a lady does not know where to buy green coffee bean extract to lose weight, she may find it difficult to look as fit as lean as it is expected from her. This is why diet pills are so popular.

The most diverse audiences you can think of – in terms of nationality, ethnicity, cultural background, age, genre and sexual preferences – all find something of interest in art. It is as old as the human species. Historians say that as soon as the man appeared on earth, so did art because it is a basic form of human expression.

The most primitive forms of art typically date back to the Prehistoric age. Indeed, it evolved with the man – from the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, to Ancient Near East, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, all the way through to art in Early Europe, Middle Age, and 15th century to our 21st century, where prints, photographs, posters, and digital art prevail.

The short history of Art posters

Undoubtedly, art posters have come a long way. The first posters appeared in the 15th century, when European artisans used to handmade every single sheet. One of the first forms of posters were billboards, which were already identified as the predominant means of public expression as early as 1600. In 1675, Jean-Michel Papillon, a French engraver and poster designer, started making block designs in matching, continuous patterns. Many others followed his steps, from Theophraste Renaudot in the 1600s, to Jules Cheret, Grandville, Raffet, Johannot, Gavarni, and Gilded in the 1800s.

During the 1890s, known as the ‘Belle ‘poque’ in France , a poster craze came into bloom. With ‘Moulin Rouge’, Toulouse-Lautrec’s first poster in 1891 the poster became fine art. The French, known for their great sensitivity and their refined taste in decoration, started to purchase art posters of renowned artists and display them in their favorite places. Believe it or not, in the early 1890s, the pioneering Parisian poster butterfly art postersdealer Sagot listed 2200 different posters in his sales catalog. Following this trend, poster exhibitions, poster magazines and poster dealers proliferated everywhere in Europe.

In 1894, the first Art Noveau poster design appeared. This new poster style originated practically overnight, when its creator, Alphonse Mucha – a Czech artist working in Paris – was pressed to produce a poster for the city’s new celebrity, actress Sarah Bernhardt. Featuring many different artistic influences such as the Pre-Raphaelites, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and Byzantine influence, the Noveau poster style dominated the Parisian scene for the next ten years and became the major international decorative art movement up until World War I.

Another important European movement called Cubism is credited with the massification of the poster. Based on the key concept that the essence of objects can only be captured by showing it from several points of view simultaneously, Cubism was created and developed from 1908 through 1912 in collaboration between Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and French artist Georges Braque.

Although this revolutionary movement – which stemmed from French painter Paul Cezanne – was not widespread or long-lived, it boosted an enormous creative explosion throughout the world that echoed through every part of the 20th century art. Among the many art movements directly or indirectly influenced by Cubism were Orphism, Constructivism, Purism, Futurism Precisionism, and, to a degree, Expressionism. Picasso, Cubism most renowned artist, made his works available in poster form, leading the poster back to its original uses.

Art posters of modern world

Today, art posters are embraced by the most varied audiences in the most remote places of earth. Some of the main sub categories within art posters are abstract and vintage posters, figurative posters, limited edition posters, giclee posters, floral posters, landscape posters, museum posters, architectural posters, and photography posters.

Recently, giclee has become a important tool in the limited edition visual and fine art world. A term derived from a French verb that means ‘that which is sprayed by a nozzle’, giglee represents an archival digital print. More specifically, giclees are made by a way of printing where the picture is scanned and digitally improved by a computer to be made exactly like the original art.

The resulting image is sent to a high resolution botero art postersprinter, spraying lots of invisible droplets of ink on to many substrates in order to make an picture with a smooth tonal gradation. To give the appearence of an original image at a lower price, giclee prints are often combined with the human touch of hand-embellishments.

In terms of price, giclee prints starts at approximately US$200 and they are really a superb option for those art lovers who prioritize print quality but are somewhat sensitive to price.

In sum, art posters are a very effective and affordable means to expand your knowledge, and your children’s and grandchildren’s knowledge about many different forms of beauty – be it in prints of original paintings or in landscapes, cities, crowds, sports, animals, babies, or people in general.

Newcomers to poster art certainly enjoy being a part of this fabulous world. Moreover, once they are immersed in it, none can take them out, like diabetes.