Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Eurogroup should be 'realistic' on Greece fiscal targets: Dijsselbloem

Tue Nov 29, 2016 | 4:45am EST


The chair of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers said on Tuesday that European lenders should be "realistic" in the fiscal targets they set for Greece after 2018, when a program of financial aid will end.

"We need to be realistic," Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the economic affairs committee of the European Parliament, saying that the International Monetary Fund has a point when it says "running a primary surplus of 3.5 percent for a very long time is a huge thing to ask".

Greece can meet 2017 primary surplus, must conclude bailout review- cenbanker

Tue Nov 29, 2016 | 3:25am EST

Nov 29 Greece can achieve a primary budget surplus of 2 percent next year, the head of the country's central bank said on Tuesday, warning that the main risk for the economy would be a failure to conclude a crucial bailout review.

"Despite the positive projections ... serious risks remain," Yannis Stournaras told a conference in Athens. "The main risk would be the eventuality of failing to reach agreement on the second bailout review and any delays in implementing the programme or backtracking."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump nominates two prominent GOP women: DeVos as education secretary, Haley as U.N. ambassador

The Washington Post

By Jerry Markon, Robert Costa and Emma Brown November 23 at 4:08 PM

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday selected two prominent Republican women for Cabinet-level positions, adding diversity to an inner circle that was already coming under fire for being composed mostly of white men.

In a potentially controversial choice, Trump intends to nominate billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos for education secretary, turning to a conservative activist who has forcefully pushed for private school voucher programs. Her nomination is expected to face strong opposition from public school advocates, who oppose her efforts to funnel taxpayer dollars from public to private and religious schools.

Weak Tea After Brexit

The May government’s additional spending won’t spur growth.

The Wall Street Journal

Nov. 23, 2016 8:47 p.m. ET

Theresa May’s government delivered another budget statement Wednesday, and we’re pleased to report that not all of the proposals are bad. But whether not-so-bad is good enough to give the economy the boost it will need to power through Britain’s exit from the European Union is another question.

Regarding the good, the best headline to come out of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement is that the government intends to stick to its schedule for corporate tax cuts, with rates falling to 17% in 2020 from 20% today. That’s down from 28% under Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown and would be roughly half the rate paid by companies in France and Germany. Mrs. May has also indicated she’s prepared to come down below 15% if necessary.

Turkey and E.U. Near Breaking Point in Membership Talks


The New York Times

ISTANBUL — The European Parliament is likely to vote on Thursday to suspend negotiations to bring Turkey into the European Union, infuriating Ankara and possibly hastening the end of a long and troubled process.

While the vote is advisory rather than binding, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is smarting from European criticism of its crackdown on opponents and on the news media after a failed coup attempt in July. So it has suggested that, in any event, it may pull out of the process altogether if there is no progress by the end of the year. Such progress now seems improbable.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

RPT-INSIGHT-Euro zone nations turn to hedge funds to meet borrowing needs

Tue Nov 22, 2016 | 2:00am EST


(Repeats story published on Monday)

* Belgium, Italy and Spain see spike in hedge fund take-up

* Bankers warn trend could exacerbate market volatility

* Risks stir memories of euro zone's sovereign debt crisis

* Long-dated bonds sustain heavy losses in recent sell-off

By Abhinav Ramnarayan and Helen Reid

Greece to continue bailout talks, aiming to finish before December 5

Tue Nov 22, 2016 | 1:42pm EST


Greece will continue talks with international creditors on fiscal and labor reforms, aiming to wrap up the second review of its bailout program by early next month ahead of a euro zone finance ministers' meeting, government officials said on Tuesday.

Mission chiefs of the creditor institutions overseeing the program's implementation - the euro zone's ESM rescue fund, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission - left Athens on Tuesday, leaving remaining issues to be resolved by technical staff and via teleconference.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Euro, Dollar Flirt With Parity

Trump outlook and Fed’s likely move are strengthening dollar, and ECB may not help stop euro’s fall

The Wall Street Journal

Updated Nov. 20, 2016 10:00 p.m. ET

A 10-day losing streak for the euro against the U.S. dollar is rekindling an old debate: Will the common currency reach parity with the dollar?

In the last two weeks, the euro has fallen 4% against the dollar, hitting $1.06, a level last seen 12 months ago.

The sharp shift in expectations for U.S. interest rates and economic growth since the American presidential election has refueled the euro’s fall against the greenback. If the Federal Reserve increases rates, expectations are the dollar would rise further by drawing money to the U.S. looking for higher returns.

Here's When the Dollar and the Euro Are Expected to Hit Parity


by  Lucinda Shen  @ShenLucinda  NOVEMBER 21, 2016, 10:59 AM EST

Good news for dollar bulls. Bad news for the global economy.
The euro and the U.S. dollar could be trading one-for-one next year as Europe struggles with political uncertainty and the U.S. is expected to go on a fiscal splurge.

In a note late last week, a team of analysts from Goldman Sachs predicted the two currencies will reach parity by the fourth quarter of 2017. The dollar has risen 4.4% against the euro, and 2% against a basket of world currencies since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election Nov. 8. The euro is currently trading at $1.06.

Monday, November 21, 2016

EU’s position in Brexit negotiations does not make sense, Philip Hammond says

The Chancellor accepted that negotiations could create uncertainty for the British economy
The Independent
Jon Stone Political Correspondent

The EU’s hardline stance against the UK in the upcoming Brexit negotiations “doesn’t make a lot of sense”, the Chancellor has said, as he warned that the talks will bring uncertainty to the British economy

A Falling Euro Is Neither A Collapse Nor A Disaster - It's The Solution

NOV 20, 2016 @ 05:35 AM

Tim Worstall ,   CONTRIBUTOR
I have opinions about economics, finance and public policy.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

The Express is getting rather overeager to tell us that a falling euro/dollar exchange rate is a collapse, an imminent disaster. When, of course, a change in exchange rates is the cure for what ails economies. That’s rather the point of having them in the first place rather than just the one world currency. So that if one economic area is doing differently than some other we can let the exchange rate take the strain of adjustment, rather than having to do that internal devaluation. You know, as the euro itself has forced Greece and Finland to do?

Friday, November 18, 2016

EU Sees ‘Smooth Sailing’ If Greece Implements Needed Reforms

 Richard Bravo

 Matthew Miller

November 18, 2016 — 11:15 AM EET Updated on November 18, 2016 — 11:35 AM EET

Greece and the institutions managing its bailout, currently negotiating policy reforms in Athens, could clear the way for discussions next month to ease the terms of the nation’s debt burden, which could presage a successful resolution of its rescue program, according to the head of the euro area’s Economic and Financial Committee of finance deputies.
“You need to do the reforms and that will bring back growth and that will then unlock those measures which in reality we’ve already agreed on,” Thomas Wieser, head of the Euro Working Group, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “I’m very positive by the end of this year we’ll be there then it should be comparatively smooth sailing for the rest of the program.”

May's changing vocabulary signals shift from 'hard Brexit'

Nov 18, 2016 | 7:48am GMT


By Elizabeth Piper | LONDON
There is a recognisable repetition in Theresa May's speeches about Britain's decision to leave the European Union: "Brexit means Brexit", making "a success of it" and getting "the best deal" for Britain are some of her stump phrases.

But a closer look at her speeches suggests her position on key aspects of Brexit has evolved since she took office in the aftermath of the June 23 vote to leave.

Together with public comments by ministers in her Conservative government, the changes appear to suggest May has shifted from favouring a "hard Brexit" - a clean break with the EU's single market of 500 million consumers - to supporting continued membership of that market if possible.

Who rules? Euro zone budget tensions surface

Thu Nov 17, 2016 | 11:51am EST


By Alastair Macdonald and Jan Strupczewski | BRUSSELS
Berlin's brusque "Nein" on Thursday to a call from Brussels for it to loosen its budget to help the euro zone's struggling south exposed tensions over who should control the currency union and police its rules.

Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose German finance ministry rejected the European Commission's call for it to spend more, went public last month to say the EU executive had become too "political" to act as impartial enforcer of euro zone fiscal rules and should hand the role to a new supervisor.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Another Financial Warning Sign Is Flashing in China


  Bloomberg News
November 15, 2016 — 11:00 PM EET

Add another credit indicator to the financial warning signs flashing in China.
The adjusted loan-to-deposit ratio, which includes a range of off-balance sheet items and is an indicator of the banking system’s ability to weather stress, climbed to 80 percent as of June 30, according to S&P Global Ratings. For some smaller lenders, the ratio has already topped 100 percent, S&P estimates.

Obama Urges Europe to Address Its Debt Crisis

Leaders should favor growth over austerity in response to rising populism, president says

The Washington Post

Updated Nov. 15, 2016 12:14 p.m. ET
ATHENS—President Barack Obama urged Europe to resolve lingering issues from its debt crisis, saying on Tuesday that leaders should favor growth over austerity, as part of their response to the rising populism in Western countries exemplified by the election of Donald Trump.
Mr. Obama made the appeal after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said it is time for Greece to receive significant debt relief from Europe.

Obama Keeps Hope Alive for Crisis-Ridden Greece


 Marcus Bensasson

 Eleni Chrepa


When a U.S. president last visited Greece, the economy was booming, Athens had been awarded the Olympics and the country was preparing to join the euro.
That was in 1999, and as Barack Obama gives his keynote speech on Wednesday defending democracy in its birthplace, the spotlight will inevitably fall on Greece’s deterioration. Its journey to the brink of bankruptcy, dragging down financial markets worldwide, was among the defining international events of Obama’s eight years in office and few places better show the ensuing forces of populism that ultimately brought in Donald Trump to replace him.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Japan economy: Exports help faster-than-expected growth


Japan's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected rate between July and September, due to higher exports.
Gross domestic product rose at an annualised rate of 2.2% in the three months to September, the third consecutive quarter of expansion.
Japanese firms have relied on overseas sales to make up for lacklustre domestic demand.
There are concerns a Donald Trump US presidency will hurt Japan if anti-free trade rhetoric became a reality.

Trump shapes White House, hires establishment figure, firebrand

 Mon Nov 14, 2016 | 1:34am EST


By Susan Cornwell and Alana Wise | WASHINGTON

President-elect Donald Trump was weighing contenders for other top jobs in his administration after choosing Washington insider Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and firebrand outsider Stephen Bannon as senior counselor.

Less than a week after his upset win over Democrat Hillary Clinton in last Tuesday's presidential election, Trump's choice on Sunday of Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman and friend of House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, could help him repair his strained relations with members of the Republican Party establishment.

But Trump also named Bannon, the combative former head of the right-wing website Breitbart News, as his strategist and senior counselor. The statement said Bannon and Priebus would be "working as equal partners to transform the federal government."

Trump shift puts euro markets back on edge as elections loom

Mon Nov 14, 2016 | 1:07am EST


By Dhara Ranasinghe | LONDON
Anti-establishment votes in Britain and the United States have roiled markets twice this year and investors are determined not to be caught off guard again.

In 2017, voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany - and possibly in Italy and Britain too - will vote in elections that could be colored by the triumphs of Donald Trump and supporters of Brexit, and the politics that drove those campaigns.

A litmus test for Europe is around the corner in Italy's referendum on constitutional change on Dec. 4. On the same day, Austria holds a re-run of a presidential election in which one of the two candidates is from the far-right.

Barack Obama calls for 'meaningful debt relief' for Greece

US president says it is in world’s interest for Greece to stay in eurozone and praises EU as ‘one of greatest political and economic achievements of modern times’

The Guardian

The US president, Barack Obama, has signalled he will use a critical two-day visit to Athens this week to step up calls for the country to be given “meaningful debt relief”.

Weighing in on the potentially explosive issue of how best to revive the European Union’s most financially strained member state, the outgoing president said debt forgiveness would play a pivotal role in giving people hope. “I am a strong believer that to make reforms sustainable, people need hope,” he told the Greek newspaper Kathimerini before the trip, which will be his final state visit before leaving office. “The International Monetary Fund has said that debt relief is crucial to put Greece’s economy on a sustainable path and set the stage for a return to prosperity.”

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Is the White House already changing Donald Trump?

The Washington Post

By Kathleen Parker Opinion writer November 11 at 7:12 PM
Witnesses who tuned in to Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s post-election get-together can’t have missed the change in the president-elect’s demeanor and affect.

Quiet and reserved, he seemed almost chastened. Dare I say, humble and deferential to the man whose citizenship he challenged for years leading up to his candidacy.

The real estate tycoon best known for ego, insults and invective seemed almost sensitive and earnest, as well as appropriately respectful toward the president and the rare circumstances in which he found himself.

It was . . . odd.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump sees Japan's Abe as ally in push back against China: adviser

 Fri Nov 11, 2016 | 2:16am EST


By Tim Kelly | TOKYO
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's meeting next week with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may mark the start of talks to garner Japan's support for a push back against China's growing influence in Asia, a security adviser to Trump said.

Trump's campaign comments, including a demand Japan pay more for the upkeep of U.S. forces on its soil, have worried Tokyo about a rift in a security alliance with Washington, in the face of a rising China and a volatile North Korea, that has been the bedrock of its defense since World War Two.

A tougher stance against China, however, and a call for Japan to play a bigger security role through a Trump-Abe axis would however fit with Abe's hawkish policies that include allowing the military to operate more freely overseas.

Sterling soars to 6-week high against weakening euro

Thu Nov 10, 2016 | 12:54pm EST

By Jemima Kelly and Patrick Graham | LONDON
Sterling surged 1.5 percent to a six-week high against the euro on Thursday, as investors unwound short positions against the pound amid uncertainty about the fallout from the U.S. election and focused on upcoming European political risks.

The pound's almost 20 percent slide since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June has been the main currency story on developed markets in the months that have followed, and investors have built up record short positions against it on the view that it has further to fall.

But the fog of uncertainty created by Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential vote, after a campaign that included a range of potentially disruptive policy pledges, from building a wall between the United States and Mexico to declaring China a currency manipulator, could provide a different set of impulses over the next few months.

Greece Establishes Independent Media Authority to Handle TV Licenses

Court had previously struck down ruling party’s auction of broadcast permits

The Wall Street Journal

Nov. 10, 2016 2:41 p.m. ET
ATHENS—Greece’s government and opposition late on Thursday broke an impasse toward the regulation of the country’s television sector, after they formed an independent media watchdog that will now take responsibility for organizing the new licensing procedure.

The presidents of the parliament reached a cross-party consent in the appointment of the nine-member body of the National Council for Radio and Television. The number of the licenses that will be auctioned will be decided by the new independent authority.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Greece to ease capital controls soon, needs debt measures: Stournaras

Thu Nov 10, 2016 | 5:50am EST


By George Georgiopoulos and Balazs Koranyi | ATHENS
Greece will soon ease capital controls further but full liberalization will depend on progress in easing the country's debt burden, which is also a precondition for entering the ECB's asset buying scheme, central bank chief Yannis Stournaras said.

Propped up by three successive bailouts, Greece hopes to emerge from a long recession next year. But much of its outlook depends on getting a long-sought reduction of its huge debt pile, easing capital restrictions and inclusion in the ECB's 1.74 trillion asset buying scheme.

What explains the speed of recovery from banking crises?

Christian Ambrosius 

Freie Universität Berlin, School of Business and Economics/Institute for Latin American Studies, 



While a large body of research has explored the causes and effects of banking crises, less is known about what determines recovery from banking crises, despite large variations in post-crisis performances across countries. In order to identify local and global factors that determine the length of recovery (i.e. the time it takes until countries reach their pre-crisis level of per capita GDP), this exploratory paper employs event–history analysis on 138 incidents of banking crises between 1970 and 2012. Regarding domestic factors, the simultaneous occurrence of currency crises, large financial sectors, overvalued currencies and large primary deficits are associated with later recovery, whereas higher debt-to-GDP ratios or inflation levels do not exhibit a negative effect on post-crisis performances. Regarding external factors, a low growth of world trade as well as indicators of uncertainty in financial markets are correlated with later recovery. Global interest rate shocks are particularly harmful for the speed of recovery among middle-income countries with a strong reliance on external capital. The results are similar when using the length of recessions as an alternative indicator of post-crisis performances.

To see full article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261560616301164

Greece's Golden Dawn says Trump win a victory for ethnically 'clean' states

Wed Nov 9, 2016 | 4:18am EST


Nov 9 Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party hailed Donald Trump's election as president of the United States, calling it a victory against "illegal immigration" and in favour of ethnically "clean" nations.

Golden Dawn, Greece's third-largest party, took its first seats in parliament in 2012 on a backlash against austerity policies in Greece, which has received three international bailouts since 2010.

Greece's bank fund may call for NBG shareholder meeting

Wed Nov 9, 2016 | 1:35pm EST


Greece's bank rescue fund said it might call a special shareholder meeting at National Bank of Greece (NBGr.AT) after voting against the appointment of a new chairman.

The rescue fund, known has HFSF, which holds a 40 percent stake in NBG, said in a statement on Wednesday that it might call an extraordinary shareholders meeting on the issue.

"HFSF... is contemplating calling an extraordinary general meeting taking into account that the smooth cooperation between the board of directors of NBG and the controlling shareholder is essential," the fund said.

DEUTSCHE BANK: It's hard to tell what Trump's election means for the euro

Business insider UK
Will Martin

Predicting which way the dollar will go against the euro now that Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States is near impossible, according to economists at Deutsche Bank.

Writing in a special report on the implications of Trump's victory in the euro area, a team led by Senior Economist Marco Stringa argues that the way the greenback will move against the euro — one of its most important crosses — in the medium term is "ambiguous."

On Wednesday morning, the euro initially surged against the dollar, picking up almost 2% in early trading, before paring its gains, and ending up in negative territory in early afternoon trade.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trump promised Brexit ‘times five.’ He delivered.

The Washinhton Post

By Adam Taylor November 9 at 11:22 AM

As Donald Trump's campaign progressed, Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union was clearly on his mind.

“They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!” Trump tweeted in August, prompting a somewhat confused response. He soon upped the ante — telling supporters at rallies in October that the U.S. presidential election would be “Brexit plus” and “Brexit times five.”

It was certainly possible to see the similarities in the two campaigns. Both Trump fans and Brexiters tended to be people who scorned the status quo and held negative views about globalization, immigration and political correctness. Often they wanted to upend the system and evinced a desire to bring their respective countries back to greatness.

First Grexit, Then Brexit, Now Trump?

Bryan Rich ,   CONTRIBUTOR


As we head into the election, everyone involved in markets is trying to predict how stocks will perform on the results. When the Clinton e-mail scandal bubbled up again, the stock market lost ground for nine straight days, the longest losing streak since 1980. Since the probe has allegedly ended, stocks have been up.

Does it mean Clinton is good for stocks and Trump is bad for stocks? Not likely.

Big institutional money managers think they have a better understanding of what the world will look like under Clinton than Trump, and therefore feel more compelled to go on with business as usual heading into the event (i.e. allocating capital across the stock market) with the expectation of a Clinton win, and conversely, they’re not as compelled to do so with the expectation that Trump might win (i.e. they sit tight and watch).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dollar strengthens as election seen swinging toward Clinton

Mon Nov 7, 2016 | 3:10pm EST


By Dion Rabouin | NEW YORK
The dollar rose on Monday after the FBI decided that U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will not face criminal charges, which was seen as a boost to her chances of winning Tuesday's contest with Republican rival Donald Trump.

The greenback gained 0.75 percent against a basket of currencies .DXY after getting hammered last week when FBI Director James Comey said the agency was looking at another large batch of Clinton emails, strengthening chances of a Trump victory, an outcome that was seen as likely to send shock waves through financial markets.

Brexit Feels Like a Very British Coup

NOV 8, 2016 1:01 AM EST


Mark Gilbert
There's a joke doing the rounds on Twitter:

Brexit walks into a bar. "Why the long farce?" asks the barman.
Unfortunately, it's too close to the truth to be truly funny. Post-referendum Britain feels oddly different to the pre-plebisicite United Kingdom; less united, certainly, and also somewhat diminished as a kingdom.

Less than five months after the surprise U.K. vote to leave the European Union, and at least four months before exit negotiations will officially begin, the acrimony surrounding Brexit is intensifying.

Euro founding father Otmar Issing warns about project's future

By Colletta Smith and Mark Syred
BBC 5 Live
7 November 2016

BBC News

Prof Otmar Issing told the BBC's Wake up to Money that faultlines across the eurozone remain, citing economic weakness in Greece, Portugal and Italy.
The European Central Bank's first chief economist also warned about the impact of negative interest rates.
And he said political pressures threatened central banks' independence.
Prof Issing told the BBC that structural problems in the eurozone and dwindling public support in some countries were still major problems.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mosul battle: 'IS leader Baghdadi' urges no retreat


The so-called Islamic State group has released an audiotape which it says is from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
If true, it would be the first public message from him in about a year and would dispel rumours that he is dead.
The voice on the audio calls on Iraqis to defend the city of Mosul against the Iraqi army, which is attempting to re-take it from the militants.
Baghdadi's whereabouts remain unknown. Some officials have said he may be inside Mosul alongside IS fighters.
It has not been independently verified that the voice in the audio belongs to Baghdadi. There have been repeated rumours of his death through the years, including last year when the Iraqi military said it had hit his convoy.
Mosul, the last IS urban stronghold in Iraq, is where Baghdadi declared a caliphate two years ago.

Brexit: High Court judges to give legal verdict


Senior judges heard a challenge last month from campaigners who argue Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without MPs' approval.
The PM has promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.
Its author, Lord Kerr, has told the BBC he believed it was "not irrevocable".
Judges are set to give their verdict at 10:00 GMT.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Brexit so complex it could overwhelm politicians, warn senior academics

Independent group says leaving EU will test constitution and legal framework to their limits and ‘possibly beyond’

The Guardian

Managing Britain’s exit from the European Union is such a formidable and complex challenge that it could overwhelm politicians and civil servants for years, senior academics have warned.

Theresa May has announced she will trigger article 50 – the two-year process of negotiating a separation from the EU – by the end of March next year. The government will also publish a great repeal bill, which will transfer all EU-originated laws into British law, so that MPs can decide how much they want to discard.

After another release of documents, FBI finds itself caught in a partisan fray

The Washington Post

By Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Sari Horwitz
November 1 at 9:04 PM

The surprise tweet from a little-used FBI account came about 1 p.m. Tuesday, announcing that the agency had published on its website 129 pages of internal documents related to a years-old investigation into former president Bill Clinton’s pardon of a fugitive Democratic donor.

The seemingly random reminder of one of the darkest chapters of the Clinton presidency a week before the election drew an immediate rebuke from Hillary Clinton’s campaign — with its spokesman tweeting that the FBI’s move was “odd” and asking whether the agency planned to publish unflattering records about Republican candidate Donald Trump.

An economist who was in the middle of the storm recounts Greece’s financial crisis

The Boston Globe

By Jonathan Schlefer
When economist George Papaconstantinou returned to Greece after working for a decade at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, he settled into a series of comfortable government and academic jobs. Then, to his surprise, PASOK, the social-democratic party, asked him to run for Parliament. He lost the first time but won in 2007. He also began advising the party leader, George Papandreou, on economic issues. Named PASOK’s press spokesman, he helped give the party a fresh, young image, contributing to its landslide election victory in 2009.

For Greeks, property equals debt

2 Nov 2016

Nikos Konstandaras Contributing Writer

The New York Times

People are turning their backs on what used to be a pillar of the country’s economy and society: real estate.

At law courts throughout Greece, people are lining up to file papers renouncing their inheritance. Not necessarily because some feckless uncle left them with a pile of debt at the end of his revels; they are turning their backs on what used to be a pillar of Greece’s economy and society: real estate. Growing personal debt, declining incomes and ever higher taxes as Greece’s depression grinds on have turned property and the dream of easy money into dread of a catastrophic burden.

Greece Defies EU, U.S. on Sanctions for Iran’s Bank Saderat

Athens bucks allies by vetoing renewal of sanctions against bank U.S. accuses of financing terrorism

The Wall Street Journal

Updated Nov. 1, 2016 4:28 p.m. ET

Greece has defied its European allies and Washington by blocking European Union sanctions on an Iranian bank the U.S. accuses of financing terrorism, officials familiar with the move say.

Athens’s action last month marked the first time a European country has picked apart the sanctions regime meant to remain in place following the July 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran. The regime is designed to constrain Iran’s ability to resume illicit activities and pressure it to stick by the agreement.