Thursday, April 27, 2017

I.M.F. Torn Over Whether to Bail Out Greece Once Again


The New York Times

WASHINGTON — As the International Monetary Fund approaches the seventh anniversary of the contentious Greek bailout, it is torn over whether to commit new loans to a nearly bankrupt Greece.

For more than a year, I.M.F. officials have been saying — loudly — that they cannot participate in a new rescue package for Greece unless Europe agrees to ease Greece’s onerous debt burden.

Greece will legislate reforms but implementation hinges on debt relief: PM

Tue Apr 25, 2017 | 1:08pm EDT


Greece will legislate additional reforms sought by its lenders but implementing them in 2019 and 2020 is contingent on securing further debt relief, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Turkey strikes Kurds in Iraq, Syria, drawing condemnation

The Washington Post

By Suzan Fraser | AP April 25 at 2:26 PM
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish warplanes struck suspected Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from Baghdad and criticism from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, which is allied with Kurdish factions in both countries.

Syrian activists said the attack killed at least 18 members of the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which is a close U.S. ally against IS but is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group because of its ties to Turkey’s Kurdish rebels.

Deutsche Invest highest bidder for Greece's Thessaloniki Port

 Mon Apr 24, 2017 | 8:49pm IST


German private equity firm Deutsche Invest Equity Partners was the highest bidder for a majority stake in Greece's Thessalonki Port with 231.9 million euros, the country's privatisation agency HRADF said on Monday.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Brexit Bulletin: What Macron Means for May

Macron has pledged to be tough on Britain.
by Simon Kennedy
24 Απριλίου 2017, 9:30 π.μ. EEST


Theresa May’s first electoral test came on Sunday in France.

Even as she heads for a general election at home, the U.K. prime minister will have been looking across the English Channel at the weekend in the knowledge that whoever wins the French presidency will have a key influence on Brexit negotiations.

Emmanuel Macron, the favorite to win next month’s run-off after the first round of votes, pledged on the campaign trail to be “pretty tough” on the British “because we have to preserve the rest of the European Union.” He also promised to coax “banks, talent, researchers, academics” to relocate to France.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Greece Hits a Bailout Target. The IMF Is Not Convinced

by Sotiris Nikas
20 Απριλίου 2017, 10:19 π.μ. EEST


Greece achieved a 2016 primary surplus almost seven times higher than its bailout target, but the International Monetary Fund is skeptical the country can sustain that performance.

The Hellenic Statistical Authority is set on Friday to unveil data on last year’s primary surplus, which Eurostat is expected to validate on Monday. The surplus will be close to 4 percent of gross domestic product, according to a finance ministry official who asked not to be identified in line with policy. The bailout target was for a primary surplus of 0.5 percent of GDP.

Greece attains primary surplus of 3.9 pct of GDP in 2016- stats service

Fri Apr 21, 2017 | 5:24am EDT


Greece improved its public finances last year, achieving a general government surplus of 0.7 percent of gross domestic product compared to a 5.9 percent of GDP deficit in 2015, the country's statistics agency ELSTAT said on Friday.

Venezuela opposition plans silent procession, road sit-ins

The Washington Post

By Joshua Goodman | AP April 21 at 12:04 AM
CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s energized opposition is planning sit-ins on roads, silent marches in white to commemorate the dead and other nontraditional protests as it tries to build on the momentum of recent street demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the South American country again Thursday to demand elections and denounce what they consider an essentially dictatorial government. They were met by curtains of tear gas and rubber bullets as they tried to march to downtown Caracas.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

At Least 3 Die in Venezuela in Violent Protests Across the Country


The New York Times

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Protesters demanding elections and a return to democratic rule jammed the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities on Wednesday. National Guard troops and government-aligned militias beat crowds back with tear gas, rubber bullets and other weapons, and at least three people were killed, according to human rights groups and news reports.

Monday, April 10, 2017

EU should consider billion-euro investment boost for Greece - Austrian finmin

 Mon Apr 10, 2017 | 3:46am EDT


The European Union should consider a one-billion-euro ($1.1-billion) special investment programme to spur growth in debt-ridden Greece, Austria's finance minister told daily Der Standard in an interview published on Monday.

Hans Joerg Schelling said Greece would only be able to get back on track and regain access to capital markets if it was able to generate sustainable growth in the mid- and long-term. It was important to help the country participate in a pick-up in growth in the euro zone, he added.

Greek PM says debt relief is a condition for more austerity

Sun Apr 9, 2017 | 6:53am EDT


By Renee Maltezou and George Georgiopoulos | ATHENS
Greece will implement additional austerity measures agreed with its official creditors on condition of further debt relief that will enable the country to be included in the ECB's bond buying scheme, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

Athens struck a deal with its international creditors at Friday's meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Malta on key elements of a reform package that could unlock bailout funds for the country to help it repay maturing debt in July.

"Medium-term debt relief measures, able to include us in (the ECB's) quantitative easing, and a fiscal path that will not be unattainable, is the condition for us to implement the measures we decided," Tsipras told his leftist Syriza party's central committee.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

EU, Greece seek bailout deal by Friday

 Wed Apr 5, 2017 | 8:57am EDT


By Renee Maltezou and Jan Strupczewski | ATHENS/BRUSSELS
Greece and its international lenders remained at odds in talks to release fresh bailout loans to Athens on Wednesday as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said a deal was needed this week and accused creditors of 'playing games' and causing delays.

Talks between Greece, the European Union and International Monetary Fund have stuttered for months due to differences over Greece's fiscal progress, labor and energy market reforms, rekindling worries of a new crisis in Europe.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Abu Dhabi’s Plowing Ahead With These 10 Mega Projects During an Oil Slump

Abu Dhabi is building $37 billion worth of projects, including a Louvre and a new airport terminal, despite the oil slump.

by Zainab Fattah
2 Απριλίου 2017, 9:12 π.μ. EEST
Abu Dhabi, which sits on about 6 percent of the world’s oil reserves, has pushed ahead with a construction program that began before crude prices slumped in 2014. From Louvre Abu Dhabi, a new airport terminal and a nuclear power plant, here are the 10 biggest projects underway in the sheikdom. With a combined value of 134 billion dirhams ($37 billion), they're expected to be completed by 2020, according to a list provided by the government this month in response to questions from Bloomberg.

At least 10 dead as blast hits St. Petersburg metro station in Russia, reports say

By David Filipov April 3 at 8:23 AM

The Washinhton Post

MOSCOW — A large explosion tore apart a train at a central St. Petersburg metro station Monday, killing at least 10 people, Russia’s state news agency reported.

The Tass news agency said “preliminary information” placed the death toll as at least 10. The report could not be independently verified, but images on social media indicated a significant number of injuries.