Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Greece Said to Expect Revised Bailout Proposal for Tuesday Talks

by Sotiris Nikas
28 February 2017, 4:03 π.μ. EET
Greece’s auditors are pulling together a list of policies the country needs to implement to unlock additional bailout funds as they prepare for the resumption of talks with Athens on Tuesday, two people familiar with the matter said.

Greece has asked European lenders for a draft Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding and the International Monetary Fund for a Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies as it braces for details of creditor demands, the people said, declining to be identified as negotiations between the two sides aren’t public. The government expects an accord in March or early April, but the scale of pending issues raises concerns they may be politically hard to sell at home, they said.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Half of Germans against debt relief for Greece, survey shows

Fri Feb 24, 2017 | 4:05am EST


Around half of Germans are against granting debt relief to Greece and around three in 10 want the debt-laden country to quit the euro zone, a survey showed on Friday.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

IMF Signals Greek Debt to Be Dealt With at End of Aid Program

by Birgit Jennen
22 February 2017, 8:41 μ.μ. EET


IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde signaled that Greek debt restructuring can wait and the country should focus on overhauling its economy for the duration of its latest bailout, which expires in 2018.

Brexit Bulletin: What Can By-Elections Tell Us About Brexit?Bre

Labour is facing a stiff challenge in its traditional heartlands.
by David Goodman
23 February 2017, 9:30 π.μ. EET


Voters in Copeland and Stoke Central take center stage today in by-elections that will have an impact beyond the borders of the two constituencies.

Both districts have traditionally elected Labour MPs but voted for Brexit, putting it firmly on the agenda during the campaigns, alongside more granular local issues. That, coupled with timing of the polls and the positions of the parties involved, mean they matter more than the average by-election, according to Bloomberg’s Robert Hutton.

Greece Teeters Back to the Edge of the European Union

The bailout program has fallen far behind schedule and is on the verge of falling apart.

The Wall Street Journal

"It is inconsistent to attack the government both for not completing the review and for the measures needed to complete it."

Feb. 21, 2017 4:07 p.m. ET
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been in a defiant mood lately. Some say it’s just a ploy, others believe he’s sincere. Either way, he could be pushing his country back to the brink of Grexit.

Speaking to his party’s central committee earlier this month, the prime minister had harsh words for Wolfang Schäuble, speaking of the German finance minister’s “constant aggressiveness” against Greece and his “contemptuous remarks” toward the country.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Save Greece by Saving Its Economy First

FEB. 21, 2017

The New York Times

With the Greek government set to run out of cash by the end of July, the country’s main creditors in Europe continue to demand harsh budget cuts as a condition for crucial loans. But after a decade of failing to save Greece, Germany and other European nations, along with the International Monetary Fund, ought to try a different approach, one that makes reviving the economy a priority.

Greece’s creditors appear willing to provide new loans to pay off debts coming due this year as long as the country commits to achieving a fiscal surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product before interest payments by 2018. The I.M.F., more sensibly, has argued for a surplus of 1.5 percent. It also says that European officials should commit to reducing the Greek government’s debt, which is so huge that it equals about 180 percent of the country’s annual economic output. That debt relief could come in various forms, including giving the country more time to repay or reducing the amount owed.

Eurozone Agrees to Greece Talks in Exchange for Bailout Payments


The New York Times

BRUSSELS — Eurozone finance ministers agreed on Monday to begin negotiations in Athens as soon as next week over much-needed overhauls in exchange for bailout payments, with Greece appearing to win a reprieve from the crippling austerity that it has faced for years.

The agreement fell short of an all-encompassing deal, with key questions unresolved over the shape of the changes to Greece’s pensions, as well as its tax and labor rules. But it is a positive sign ahead of a meeting this week between Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, who have taken contrasting positions on debt relief toward Athens.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Greece needs 'far less' money than agreed in third bailout: ESM head

Mon Feb 20, 2017 | 3:20am EST

Greece will need less in emergency loans from international lenders than originally agreed in its third bailout program due to a better-than-expected budgetary developments, the head of the euro zone bailout fund was reported on Monday as saying.

Klaus Regling told German newspaper Bild that at the end of Greece's money-for-reforms package in August 2018, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will "probably have paid out far less than the agreed maximum amount of 86 billion euros" because the Greek budget was developing better than expected.

Schaeuble denies 'Grexit' threat, says Greece on right pathGre

 Sun Feb 19, 2017 | 12:13pm EST


By Erik Kirschbaum | BERLIN
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble denied on Sunday that he had said Greece would have to leave the euro zone if it failed to implement economic reforms.

Schaeuble said in an ARD television interview that Greece would not have problems if it implemented agreed reforms, but would if it fails to carry these out.

"I never made any ('Grexit') threats," Schaeuble told ARD's Bericht aus Berlin program just before the network played recent comments in which he said Greece was "not yet over the hill" and the "pressure needed to stay on" Greece or it "couldn't stay in the currency union".

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Swift deal on Greece needed to avert fresh uncertainty: EU's Dombrovskis

Thu Feb 16, 2017 | 4:45am EST


There are costs in delaying agreement on Greece's bailout review, the European Commission's vice president responsible for the euro was quoted as saying on Thursday, and a solution needs to be found swiftly.

Inconclusive talks between Greece and its international creditors on economic reforms and debt relief have cast doubt over the future of Greece's 85 billion euro bailout program.

"There is a common understanding that time lost in reaching an agreement will have a cost for everyone," Valdis Dombrovskis told Greek news portal Euro2day.

EU Sends Envoy to Salvage Greece Deal as February Date Looms

by Eleni Chrepa  and Marcus Bensasson
15 February 2017, 2:00 π.μ.

Greece and its creditors are intensifying efforts to complete a stalled review of the nation’s bailout that would unlock much-needed aid before more than 6 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in obligations come due in July.

EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in Athens Wednesday to try to reconcile differences over what reforms are needed to stabilize the country’s economy. European rescue monitors had wanted a deal reached by Feb. 20 when euro-area finance ministers gather in Brussels.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Germany wants Greece in euro zone, IMF says no special deals

BUSINESS NEWS | Mon Feb 13, 2017 | 5:20pm EST

By Jan Strupczewski and Joseph Nasr | BRUSSELS/BERLIN
Germany on Monday voiced support for Greece to stay in the euro zone and the European Commission dispatched a senior official to Athens to persuade it to take on further reforms to salvage its bailout accord.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, meanwhile, remained firm that as a lender the IMF could not cut any special deals for the crisis-hit country, which has received three bailouts since 2010.

The moves came as the European Commission forecast a large jump in economic growth for Greece of 2.7 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, this year and next.

Brexit Bulletin: Can Britain Split the Difference?

The U.K. may need to drive a wedge between EU states in Brexit talks. So far the Continent is singing with one voice.
by Simon Kennedy
14 February 2017, 9:30 π.μ. EET

It now looks like Theresa May was a little naive.

Back in October, the U.K. prime minister said she hoped her commitment to start the Brexit process by the end of March would prove enough for the European Union to engage in some “preparatory work” beforehand.

“This is important,” she told the BBC. “It’s not just important for the U.K.; it’s important for Europe as a whole.”

Instead, European officials held their line that there would be “no negotiation without notification” that Britain was definitely leaving.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

As Ties With U.S. Cool, Europeans Look to Forge Other Alliances


The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The weather, and her reception here, were far colder than when she visited last summer during the Obama administration, but Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign minister, made it clear that she can handle a chill in the air.

“I think we are entering into a different phase of our relationship,” Ms. Mogherini said Friday in a 30-minute interview, adding, “A more transactional approach means Europeans will be more transactional, and we will base our approach on our interests.”

But Ms. Mogherini said she had received important reassurances from top administration officials on the Iran nuclear deal and on Russian sanctions.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The IMF Staff Has It Right on Greece

FEB 8, 2017 2:00 AM EST
By Mohamed A. El-Erian

When the International Monetary Fund’s board met Monday to discuss Greece, it was heartening to read that “most Executive Directors” agreed with the staff’s view that the country’s debt, at 179 percent of gross domestic product at the end of 2015, was “unsustainable.” Yet “some directors had different views on the fiscal path and debt sustainability.” This division within the board also applied to what Greece still needs to do with its budget. With the medium-term primary fiscal surplus heading to 1.5 percent of GDP, “most Directors agreed that Greece does not require further fiscal consolidation at this time.” But, again, “some Directors favored a surplus of 3.5 of GDP by 2018.”

Brexit Bulletin: Victory, But at What Price?

Theresa May is now a technicality away from starting Brexit.
by Simon Kennedy  and Tim Ross
9 February 2017, 9:30 π.μ. EET

Theresa May was celebrating on Wednesday night as the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to approve starting the Brexit process.

Not only that, but the government managed to avoid any amendment to its 137-word bill, leaving it on track to invoke Article 50 by the end of March. The unelected House of Lords will now debate the legislation, but doesn’t have the authority to derail it.

Brexit Secretary David Davis hailed the 494-122 vote as “historic” and said it was time for the county “to unite to make a success of the important task at hand.” Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was exultant, as was one-time Tory leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Greece: Priorities for a Return to Sustainable Growth

(From the IMF site)
February 7, 2017

Greece should deepen and accelerate reforms, which, together with further debt relief, are needed to allow the economy to return to a sustainable growth path, the IMF said in its latest annual assessment of the Greek economy.

The IMF’s Article IV report notes that the country has made progress in reining in its fiscal and external deficits, although this has taken a heavy toll on society. The report identifies a path to sustainable growth and prosperity that requires a two-pronged approach: ambitious policies on the part of the Greek authorities and significant debt relief on the part of Greece’s European partners.

The Q&A below highlights some of the key issues about the country’s progress and its reform priorities for the period ahead.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Το διαμέρισμα της συζύγου του κ Μητσοτάκη στο Παρίσι.

Το άρθρο που ανακίνησε το θέμα είναι αυτό:

Αφού το διάβασα (όχι όλο) κατέληξα στις παρακάτω παρατηρήσεις:
Στο κείμενο δίνει τιμή συμβολαίου 1.470.000 Ευρώ τα οποία σύμφωνα πάντα με το κείμενο πληρώθηκαν με 900.000 Ευρώ δάνειο (3.000 ευρώ ανά μήνα δόση) και με 470.000 μετρητά. Το άθροισμα του ποσού του δανείου και του ποσού των μετρητών που καταβλήθηκαν για την αγορά του συγκεκριμένου διαμερίσματος δεν είναι ίσο με το ποσό που αναγράφεται ως τιμή αγοράς στο συμβόλαιο. Συγκεκριμένα το ποσό της τιμής του συμβολαίου είναι κατά 100.000 Ευρώ μεγαλύτερο από το άθροισμα του δανείου (900.000 Ευρώ) και των μετρητών (470.000 Ευρώ). 
Επίσης λέει ότι η τιμή στο έβδομο διαμέρισμα του Παρισιού (εκεί όπου είναι το διαμέρισμα) κυμαίνονται στις 20.000-28.000 Ευρώ το τετραγωνικό, και τέλος ότι η επιφάνεια του διαμερίσματος είναι 92 τ.μ. Αν όμως διαιρέσουμε την αξία του συμβολαίου με την μέγιστη τιμή της αξίας του τ.μ. στο έβδομο διαμέρισμα (28.000 Ευρώ), όπως την δίνουν οι συγγραφείς του άρθρου, έχουμε 52,5 τ.μ. Δηλαδή, με την τιμή που δίνει το άρθρο για το τετραγωνικό μέτρο στο συγκεκριμένο διαμέρισμα του Παρισιού, μπορούσε να αγοράσει διαμέρισμα με περίπου τα μισά τ.μ. Επειδή το διαμέρισμα είναι 92 τ.μ. και η αξία του συμβολαίου είναι 1.470.000 Ευρώ συμπεραίνουμε ότι ότι το άρθρο δίνει, κατά προσέγγιση, διπλάσια αντικειμενική αξία για το συγκεκριμένο διαμέρισμα του Παρισιού, όπως αυτό προκύπτει από τα δεδομένα του άρθρου. Η ίδια διαδικασία με την ελάχιστη τιμή για το τ.μ. στο έβδομο διαμέρισμα του Παρισιού δίνει 73,5 τ.μ. για το διαμέρισμα. Με βάση την τιμή του συμβολαίου και τα 92 τ.μ. του διαμερίσματος η τιμή ανά τ.μ. είναι 15.978 Ευρώ ανά τ.μ. Επειδή τα δύο τελευταία στοιχεία (αξία διαμερίσματος σύμφωνα με το συμβόλαιο και επιφάνεια του διαμερίσματος) ήταν γνωστά στους συγγραφείς του άρθρου ήταν γνωστή και η πραγματική τιμή του τ.μ. του διαμερίσματος της κ. Μητσοτάκη. Η τιμή αυτή όμως δεν αναγράφεται στο άρθρο. Αντί αυτής, της πραγματικής τιμής του τ.μ. του διαμερίσματος, αναγράφονται τιμές (20.000 και 28.000) που είναι σημαντικά υψηλότερες της πραγματικής.

Από το ίδιο κείμενο:
Η τιμή των ακινήτων με βάση το συμβόλαιο είναι 1.470.000 ευρώ. Το 95% του ακινήτου ανήκει στην ίδια και το 5% στον Γιώργο Παπαζήση. Εκτός από το τίμημα αγοράς, πληρώνει ακόμη 80.000 ευρώ σε μεσιτικό γραφείο και 74.823 ευρώ σε φόρους και συμβολαιογραφικά έξοδα. Δηλαδή η Μαρέβα Μητσοτάκη πληρώνει περίπου 2 εκατομμύρια για να αποκτήσει το σπίτι του Βολταίρου.
Εάν προσθέσουμε το τίμημα αγοράς (1.470.000 Ευρώ), την δαπάνη για το μεσιτικό γραφείο (80.000 Ευρώ) και την δαπάνη για τους φόρους το σύνολο είναι 1.624.823 Ευρώ που απέχει μακράν των “περίπου” 2 εκατομμυρίων που ισχυρίζεται το άρθρο.

Για τους λοιπούς ισχυρισμούς του άρθρου και των συγγραφέων περί υποχρέωσης υποβολής δήλωσης πόθεν έσχες από την σύζυγο σε περίπτωση διάστασης και όχι διαζυγίου, και τα όρια του νόμου που επικαλούνται, μπορώ να υποθέσω ότι είναι το ίδιο πρόχειρα και αυθαίρετα με τα οικονομικά στοιχεία για την αγορά του διαμερίσματος. Ο ίδιος δεν είμαι νομικός για να τα ελέγξω ούτε και έχω τα στοιχεία στην κατοχή μου που θα μου επέτρεπαν κάτι τέτοιο ακόμη και αν ήμουν νομικός.

IMF says Greece should meet lower fiscal surplus target

 Mon Feb 6, 2017 | 9:36pm EST


By David Lawder | WASHINGTON
The International Monetary Fund said on Monday that Greece's economy would only grow by just under 1.0 percent in the long run given the constraints of its bailout program, but should meet the fiscal surplus target preferred by most IMF directors.

In its annual review of Greece's economic policies, the IMF said most of its board directors favor a Greek fiscal surplus target of 1.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2018, while some directors favor the higher 3.5 percent target sought by Greece's European lender group.

Trump: militant attacks 'all over Europe,' some not reported

Mon Feb 6, 2017 | 9:06pm EST


By Steve Holland | TAMPA, FLA.
President Donald Trump on Monday accused the news media of ignoring attacks by Islamist militants in Europe.

Trump, who has made defeating Islamic State a core goal of his presidency, did not specify which attacks were going unreported, which news media organizations were ignoring them, or offer any details to support his claims.

"All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported," he told a group of about 300 U.S. troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Syria has secretly executed thousands of political prisoners: rights group

The Washington Post

By Liz Sly February 6 at 8:18 PM
BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government secretly executed between 5,000 and 13,000 people in just one prison as part of its campaign to eliminate opposition to his rule, a new report by the watchdog group Amnesty International has found.

The killings took place over a four-year period between 2011 and 2015 in the notorious Sednaya facility outside Damascus, and the bodies were later disposed of in mass graves, according to the report released Monday by Amnesty.

Split by ‘Brexit,’ May and Merkel Diverge on Wider Issues, Too


The New York Times

LONDON — In another era they could have been allies.

Both vicars’ daughters and born just a few years apart, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain share an understated pragmatism and conservative roots, and have made their way in the still largely man’s world of politics. But there could be so much more.

At a time when President Trump is lashing out at friend and foe, and when the macho politics of strongmen is resurgent from Moscow to Manila, when not just the European Union but high-minded Western values, free trade and security alliances are under attack, the two women might have worked together to defend the liberal global order.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Greece’s Response to its Resurgent Debt Crisis: Prosecute the Statistician

Andreas Georgiou, who became Athens’s statistics chief in 2010 to fix data fraud, now faces repeated accusations he manipulated figures to help impose austerity programs

Feb. 6, 2017 10:53 a.m. ET
ATHENS—Greece is struggling under its austerity regime and new questions are mounting as to whether it can satisfy its bailout terms. Some people in high places know just whom to blame—a statistician in rural Maryland.

Before Greece’s debt crisis, its governments manipulated statistics and masked the size of budget deficits, waste and patronage. The statistician, Andreas Georgiou, moved from the U.S. to become Greece’s first independent head of statistics in 2010. The European Union certified he subsequently fixed the omissions and reported the deficit in full.

On the contrary, Mr. Georgiou’s foes claim, he manipulated the deficit figures as part of a plot to force severe austerity on Greece under the 2010 bailout “Memorandum” imposed by the EU and International Monetary Fund.

Russia, Turkey, Iran discuss Syria ceasefire implementation in Astana

Mon Feb 6, 2017 | 12:42am EST


Experts from Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations have started a technical meeting in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, to discuss in detail the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire agreement, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"Representatives of Jordan are expected to take part for the first time," a ministry spokesman said of the talks.

U.K. Business Says Brexit Already Having a Negative Effect

by Tim Ross  and Lucy Meakin
6 February 2017, 10:22 π.μ. EET 6

Brexit has already damaged businesses even before Prime Minister Theresa May triggers the start of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, according to a survey of the country’s largest companies.

More than half -- 58 percent -- of top executives at Britain’s biggest firms said the vote to quit the bloc has had a negative impact on their businesses, the Ipsos MORI “Captains of Industry” poll found. Two-thirds of the chief executives, chairmen and directors interviewed for the survey said they believed the business situation would worsen in the next 12 months.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Germany's Gabriel condemned Berlin's handling of Greece in letter: report

Thu Feb 2, 2017 | 3:31pm EST


German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel criticised the German government's handling of Greece in a letter he wrote to Chancellor Angela Merkel last month, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

Handelsblatt newspaper said Gabriel - who swapped the Economy Ministry for the Foreign Ministry last week - had expressed his "great concern" about the talks on Greece's financial rescue and thought the government in Berlin should play a "more constructive role".

Germany wants the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to have a stake in Greece's bailout to give the rescue plan greater credibility, but also opposes granting Athens significant debt relief. The IMF says it will only join in if this rescue is the country's last and it includes significant debt relief.

The IMF Should Get Out of Greece

FEB 3, 2017 1:00 AM EST


Ashoka Mody
The International Monetary Fund's involvement in Greece has been an unmitigated disaster: Time and again, its failure to heed crucial lessons has visited suffering upon the Greek people.  When the fund's directors meet on Monday, they should agree to forgive the country's debts and get out.

The IMF should never have gotten into Greece in the first place. As late as March 2010, with concerns about the Greek government's ability to pay its debts roiling markets, Europe's leaders wanted the IMF to stay away. Europeans feared that the fund’s financial assistance to one of their own would signal broader weakness in the currency union. As Jean-Claude Juncker famously put it: “If California had a refinancing problem, the United States wouldn’t go to the IMF.”

Syrian army says it will press on against Islamic State near Aleppo

WORLD NEWS | Thu Feb 2, 2017 | 9:08am EST


By John Davison and Tom Perry | BEIRUT
The Syrian army signaled on Thursday it would press on with operations against Islamic State northeast of Aleppo, in a veiled warning to Turkey which backs a separate military campaign in northern Syria.

Syrian government forces have rapidly driven Islamic State back in the last two weeks, advancing to within 6 km (4 miles) of the city of al-Bab that the jihadists are fighting to hold.

The army's gains risk sparking a confrontation with Turkey, which has sent tanks and warplanes across the border to support Syrian insurgents who are trying to seize al-Bab in a separate offensive.

U.K.’s Brexit Plan: Prepare for Failure, Hope for Success

by Tim Ross , Robert Hutton , and Alex Morales
2 February 2017, 11:31 μ.μ. EET
Prime Minister Theresa May is making plans for emergency laws to protect the U.K. economy in case Brexit negotiations break down without a free-trade deal, as concerns grow that she’ll fail to achieve the sweeping agreement she wants.

In its 75-page plan for Brexit, May’s government said on Thursday that while it was expecting to find common ground with the 27 other members of the European Union, it will prepare contingency measures to avert economic chaos if the discussions collapsed.

Oil edges up on threat of U.S. issuing new Iran sanctions

Fri Feb 3, 2017 | 2:23am EST


By Keith Wallis and Osamu Tsukimori | SINGAPORE/TOKYO
Oil prices edged up on Friday on news that U.S. President Donald Trump could be set to impose new sanctions on multiple Iranian entities, firing geopolitical tensions between the two nations.

Comments by Russian energy minister Alexander Novak that oil producers had cut their output in accordance with a pact agreed in December also helped support prices, analysts said.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Trump's administration is prepared to roll out new measures against more than two dozen Iranian targets following Tehran's ballistic missile test, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

This Ancient City Would Still Be Among The Wealthiest In The World Today

By Sovereign Man on February 1, 2017 2:02 pm

Value Week

In the year 440 BC, more than two decades into the reign of Pericles, an audit of treasury in Athens showed a massive surplus of more than 9700 “talents”.

A talent was a common unit of measurement in the ancient world, especially for gold and silver.

And, based on today’s precious metals prices and the traditional gold/silver ratio (14:1) used by the ancient Greeks, 9700 talents is equivalent to about $700 million today.

At the time, Athens boasted a population of around 43,000 citizens and 28,500 foreign residents… so on a “per capita” basis, the ancient Athenian surplus amounted to just under $10,000 per person in today’s money.

Turkey and Greece Trade Jabs in Island Dispute


The New York Times

STANBUL — Turkey and Greece have reignited a decades-old disagreement over the sovereignty of a pair of uninhabited Aegean Islands, in a spat that analysts say risks aggravating other diplomatic disputes between the two countries.

The Greek defense minister, Panos Kammenos, flew over the two disputed islands on Wednesday, the Greek government said, in a pointed response to a visit three days earlier to nearby waters by the commander of the Turkish armed forces, Hulusi Akar.

The exchange is the most public disagreement over the tiny islands’ sovereignty since 1996, when soldiers from both countries landed on them before American-led mediation persuaded both sides to leave the area.

Europe gets creative to win banks after Brexit

Wed Feb 1, 2017 | 10:56am EST


By Anjuli Davies, Andrew MacAskill and John O'Donnell | LONDON/FRANKFURT
Regulators in European countries competing for post-Brexit banking business are offering London-based banks a range of short-term workarounds to help them relocate, bankers, regulators and lawyers say.

Global banks have warned they might have to move their European bases from Britain if its departure from the European Union means they lose "passporting" rights to operate across the bloc under the supervision of just one member state's regulator.

Brexit negotiations have yet to start and will take years but big centers like Frankfurt and Paris, as well as smaller ones like Dublin, Amsterdam and Luxembourg, are encouraging banks, insurers and fund managers to consider moving to them.

Europe’s threat list includes jihadists, Russia — and Donald Trump

By Ishaan Tharoor February 2 at 1:00 AM
Want smart analysis of the most important news in your inbox every weekday along with other global reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know?

The Washington Post

Nothing illustrates the crisis facing the world order more than a letter circulated this week by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council. Tusk's message, addressed to the leaders of the European Union's member states, pointed to the other Donald, describing the Trump administration as one of the potential "external" threats facing Europe.

Theresa May Gets Parliament’s Backing on ‘Brexit’ Bill


The New York Times

LONDON — Easily winning a crucial vote among lawmakers, Prime Minister Theresa May was well on her way Wednesday to winning the parliamentary approval that Britain’s highest court said she needed before she could begin talks on ending more than four decades of European integration.

Wednesday’s vote, in the House of Commons, will not be the final parliamentary verdict on Mrs. May’s plans, but with 498 lawmakers in favor and 114 against, it was emphatic enough to show that any subsequent efforts in Parliament to complicate, or slow, the path to withdrawal would probably be in vain.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Η Επιστολή Τσακαλώτου

 "Σε απάντηση της προκαταρκτικής αξιολόγησης των θεσμών για το επίδομα για τις συντάξεις και τν ΦΠΑ που ψηφίστηκαν από την ελληνική Βουλή και εφαρμόστηκαν από τις ελληνικές αρχές αλλά και τις απόψεις που εκφράστηκαν στην έκτακτη τηλεδιάσκεψη του Eurogroup στις 20 Δεκεμβρίου, θα ήθελα να καταστήσω σαφές τα ακόλουθα:

Σε ό,τι αφορά το μέτρο για τις συντάξεις, παρακαλώ να σημειωθεί ότι τόσο ο πρωθυπουργός όσο και εγώ ο ίδιος καταστήσαμε δημοσίως ξεκάθαρο, και θα συνεχίσουμε να το πράττουμε, ότι πρόκειται για ένα εφάπαξ ποσό που δεν θα έχει μόνιμη επίδραση στην πρόσφατη μεταρρύθμιση για τις συντάξεις. Σχετικά με την προσωρινή αναστολή της αύξησης του ΦΠΑ στα νησιά για συγκεκριμένα νησιά του Αιγαίου το μέτρο θα εφαρμοστεί μόνο για το 2017 και χρηματοδοτείται πλήρως από τον προϋπολογισμό του 2017.

Οι ελληνικές αρχές δεσμεύονται πλήρως να ακολουθήσουν το δημοσιονομικό πλαίσιο που έχει συμφωνηθεί και που βασίζεται στους στόχους για πρωτογενές πλεόνασμα 0,5%, 1,75% και 3,5% για το 2016, 2017 και 2018 αντίστοιχα. Οι ελληνικές αρχές θα ενεργοποιήσουν τον «δημοσιονομικό κόφτη» που θεσμοτήθηκε στο πλαίσιο της πρώτης αξιολόγησης όπως προβλέπεται στο νόμο 4389/16, σε περίπτωση που τα αποτελέσματα που θα επικυρωθούν από την Eurostat αποδεικνύουν ότι δεν έχουν επιτευχθεί οι στόχοι.

Turkish servicemen in Greece seek release from custody

The Washington Post

By Associated Press January 30
ATHENS, Greece — A group of Turkish servicemen seeking asylum in Greece have appeared before an Athens court to contest their continued detention despite the rejection of Turkey’s request for their extradition.

The pilots and flight engineers fled to Greece in a military helicopter a day after the failed July 15 military coup in Turkey.

New loans for Greece depend on IMF participation: German Finance Ministry

Tue Jan 31, 2017 | 5:13am EST


Further financial assistance for Greece depends on the successful completion of a review of its bailout program and the participation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a spokesman for the German Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Further payments depend on the successful completion of the program's review and the participation of the IMF," the spokesman said.