Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Greece Seeks to Lure U.K.-Based Shipowners, Brokers on Brexit

by Paul Tugwell  and Sotiris Nikas
31 Μαΐου 2017, 2:05 π.μ. EEST

The Greek government wants to persuade shipowners and shipping-insurance companies based in London to move their European Union headquarters to Greece as the U.K. prepares to exit the bloc.

“We’re in contact with five large ship-insurance brokers who are considering various EU member countries for the transfer of their headquarters,” Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis said in an interview in Piraeus, Greece’s biggest port. Kouroumblis declined to name the firms as the talks are private. “We’ll meet by the latest in June to discuss the terms they’d like in order to choose Greece,” he said.

Greece denies report it may opt out of receiving more bailout money

Tue May 30, 2017 | 10:34am EDT


By Renee Maltezou | ATHENS
Greece on Tuesday denied a German newspaper report it could refuse receipt of bailout loans needed to make a July debt repayment if its lenders fail to offer clear debt relief terms, despite it having passed more reforms.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Greek Creditors, IMF Seek to Bridge Split Over Debt Relief

by Viktoria Dendrinou  and Rainer Buergin
21 Μαΐου 2017, 4:11 μ.μ. EEST 22 Μαΐου 2017, 7:16 μ.μ. EEST


Euro-area finance ministers gathered in Brussels on Monday, seeking a compromise with the International Monetary Fund on debt relief for Greece that could signal the final act in the seven-year-old drama for the continent’s most indebted state.

The IMF is reluctant to participate in a bailout unless the euro area ensures the country’s 315 billion-euro ($355 billion) debt load is sustainable. Some nations like Germany that are resisting a change to Greece’s debt profile won’t release any new funds until the Washington-based fund joins the program. Athens needs the new aid installment before it has to repay about 7 billion euros to lenders in July.

Constantine Mitsotakis, Who Forged Greek-EU Ties, Dies at 98

by Eleni Chrepa
29 Μαΐου 2017, 3:03 π.μ. EEST 29 Μαΐου 2017, 9:38 π.μ. EEST


Constantine Mitsotakis, the Greek prime minister who strengthened ties with the European Union and attempted unpopular cuts to state spending in the 1990s, has died. He was 98.

He died in the early hours of Monday morning, according to a statement from his family.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

White House considers naming Reince Priebus ambassador to Greece: Report

by Melissa Quinn | May 27, 2017, 4:30 PM

Washington Examiner

As President Trump and his advisers consider making changes in the White House amid the flurry of reports involving Trump's campaign associates and Russia, one such change could involve making Chief of Staff Reince Priebus the ambassador to Greece, according to a report.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Scientists just published an entire study refuting Scott Pruitt on climate change

By Chris Mooney May 24 at 1:46 PM

The Washington Post

In a sign of growing tensions between scientists and the Trump administration, researchers published a scientific paper Wednesday that was conceived and written as an explicit refutation to an assertion by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt about climate change.
The study, in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, sets up a direct test of a claim by Pruitt, made in written Senate comments following his confirmation hearing, that “over the past two decades satellite data indicates there has been a leveling off of warming.”

Turkey’s leader confronted by France, Germany at NATO summit

The Washington Post

By Raf Casert | AP May 25 at 2:22 PM
BRUSSELS — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was confronted by key allies France and Germany with diplomatic complaints despite him traveling to Brussels to celebrate the unity of the NATO alliance.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both raised the issue of nationals from their countries currently held in custody in Turkey. It was the latest example of steadily decreasing relations between Erdogan and several of his European allies in the wake of last year’s coup attempt.

Ex-Premier of Greece Is Hurt When Bomb Explodes in His Car


The New York Times

ATHENS — A bomb exploded on Thursday in a car carrying Lucas Papademos, a former prime minister of Greece, through central Athens, the police said. Mr. Papademos, 69, was injured in the explosion, along with the driver and another person in the car.

A government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, said Thursday evening that the three were in “stable condition, are conscious and are undergoing all the necessary medical tests.”

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Debt relief or a fourth financial assistance programme for Greece?

The Eurogroup faces a difficult choice on Greece — implementing a debt reduction plan drastic enough to make a return to market borrowing possible, or agreeing to a fourth financial assistance programme and continuing to fund Greece at the preferential lending rate.


No Greek debt relief needed if primary surplus above 3 percent/GDP for 20 years: paper

Wed May 24, 2017 | 9:24am EDT


By Gernot Heller | BERLIN
Greece will not need any debt relief from euro zone governments if it keeps its primary surplus above 3 percent of GDP for 20 years, a confidential paper prepared by the euro zone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), showed.

The paper, obtained by Reuters, was prepared for euro zone finance ministers and International Monetary Fund talks last Monday, which ended without an agreement due to diverging IMF and euro zone assumptions on future Greek growth and surpluses.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BlueBay Turns Short Pound as 'All Roads' Point to Hard Brexit

by Anooja Debnath
24 May 2017, 7:00 π.μ. EEST


Sterling could drop to $1.20 toward end of this year: Dowding

Bundesbank’s Dombret says Brexit to be hard or very hard
The pound is heading lower whatever the outcome of the U.K.’s elections, according to BlueBay Asset Management.

New deadline for Greece set after another stalemate

By Pan Pylas | AP May 23 at 8:26 AM

The Washington Post

BRUSSELS — Hopes for a breakthrough in negotiations for cash-strapped Greece were dashed again and another deadline was set.

Greece once again failed to get approval from its European creditors to receive the next batch of bailout loans that it needs to meet a debt repayment hump this summer. It also failed to secure an agreement on the sort of debt relief measures it can expect to get when its current bailout program ends next year.

Greece Has the Resources to Heal Itself

But it will have to curb tax evasion or remain an eternal ward of the euro zone.
By Leonid Bershidsky


23 May 2017

The euro area's finance ministers again failed to come to an agreement on debt relief for Greece. No surprise there. Hammering out the details would force them to accept an uncomfortable reality: Greece won't be ready to tap private debt markets for years to come. In the meantime, if it wants to get off life support, it will have to find a way to cut tax evasion.

Lone wolf or complex plot? Analysing the Manchester bombing

The use of an improvised bomb may suggest a more elaborate plan than other recent attacks


May 23rd 2017

DETAILS of the Manchester Arena bombing are slowly emerging. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. The police have confirmed that the murderous act last night was carried out by a single suicide-bomber who detonated an improvised explosive device packed with shrapnel in a crowded foyer. He has been named as Salman Abedi, reportedly a Manchester-born 22-year-old with family of Libyan origin. Separately, a 23-year-old man has been arrested in a Manchester suburb in connection with the crime. Wrenching photos of the first young victims and missing concert-goers have been posted online.

What an Attack at an Ariana Grande Show Means for Teen Girls


The New York Times

The pink balloons, floating above the maelstrom of panicked concertgoers, are what struck me first. Images of innocence, bumping along above hordes of shrieking children, many of whom refused to release their balloons even as they fled the arena.

Do you remember your first pop concert? That first time you watched a female hero belt it out onstage without apologies? I was in eighth grade when my dad agreed to drive me and my best friend to see Garbage, a Scottish pop band led by the coolest woman of all time, Shirley Manson. Her anger, confidence and sexuality stood in for stirrings of teenage passion that I had no way to express. I was awkward and insecure — weren’t we all? — but when I stood in the presence of a woman who stared down the system with a growl in her voice, I forgot about how weird it felt to be 13.

British prime minister raises nation’s threat level, saying another attack ‘may be imminent’

The Washington Post

By Griff Witte, Karla Adam and Souad Mekhennet May 23 at 5:32 PM
MANCHESTER, England — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday night raised the nation’s threat level and deployed the military to guard concerts, sports matches and other public events, saying another attack “may be imminent” following a bombing Monday night that left 22 people dead.

The announcement, which takes Britain’s alert level from “severe” to its highest rating, “critical,” clears the way for thousands of British troops to take to the streets and replace police officers in guarding key sites.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Did Donald Trump brief the Russians?

Another scandal in the Oval Office—and it’s a big one

The Economist

Democracy in America
May 16th 2017by J.A. | WASHINGTON, DC

DONALD TRUMP‘S decision to sack James Comey as FBI director on May 9th seemed to many like a defining moment in his chaotic early stab at governing. Even some Republicans wondered whether it could spell the beginning of an early end to Mr Trump’s crisis-ridden presidency. But already that looks like last week’s story—following claims, first published by the Washington Post on May 15th, that Mr Trump divulged highly classified information to Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador to Washington, DC, in the Oval Office.

German foreign minister Gabriel demanded debt relief for Greece

Deutsche Welle

Shortly before an Euro Group meeting, German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel demanded debt relief for Greece. Indirectly, Gabriel is standing up against fellow German cabinet minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

See video of Mr Gabriel's speech here:

Greek Creditors Seek to Break Impasse on Stalled Bailout Review

by Viktoria Dendrinou
21 May 2017, 4:11 μ.μ. EEST
Euro-area finance ministers gather in Brussels on Monday to try to clinch a deal on easing Greece’s debt burden, which would resolve a stalled review of the country’s bailout and pave the way for a new set of rescue loans.

While Greece and its bailout supervisors have agreed on economic overhauls, the completion of the country’s review has been held back by disagreements between key creditors over how much debt relief is needed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Greece cuts 2017 growth forecast

Sat May 13, 2017 | 5:24pm EDT


Greece cut its 2017 growth forecast to 1.8 percent from 2.7 percent, according to a mid-term budget plan unveiled late on Saturday, driven by uncertainty caused by delays in concluding the latest review of bailout reforms.

Greece and its foreign creditors reached a deal on reforms in early May after six months of tense negotiations but the wrangling hurt economic activity. The Greek central bank governor had warned the delays could hobble economic recovery.

China's Xi offers indebted Greece strong support

Sat May 13, 2017 | 12:50am EDT

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered the prime minister of deeply indebted Greece strong support on Saturday, saying the two countries should expand cooperation in infrastructure, energy and telecommunications.

Xi told Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that Greece was an important part in China's new Silk Road strategy.

"At present, China and Greece's traditional friendship and cooperation continues to glow with new dynamism," China's Foreign Ministry cited Xi as saying.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Συνέντευξη του Ιβάν Σαββίδη στο Πρώτο Θέμα 02-05-2017


Ιβάν Σαββίδης: Ο Τσίπρας στη Βουλή μου θύμισε τον Πούτιν
Δημήτρης Μαρκόπουλος02/05/2017

Με  πρωτοφανή σφοδρότητα, ασυνήθιστη για επιχειρηματία, μιλάει σήμερα στο ο κ. Ιβάν Σαββίδης, πρόσωπο των ημερών μετά τη σύγκρουση κυβέρνησης και αντιπολίτευσης για την τροπολογία που αφορούσε στη διαγραφή προστίμου 38 εκατ. ευρώ από λαθρεμπόριο της ΣΕΚΑΠ που σήμερα ανήκει στον ομογενή επιχειρηματία.

Ο κ. Σαββίδης με μια συνέντευξη 8.500 χιλιάδων λέξεων που διήρκεσε τρεισήμισι ώρες στον αρχισυντάκτη του ΠΡΩΤΟΥ ΘΕΜΑΤΟΣ Δημήτρη Μαρκόπουλο:

-Τάσσεται 100%  στο πλευρό του Αλέξη Τσίπρα συμβουλεύοντας τους Έλληνες, «Να κρατηθείτε από τον Τσίπρα. Είναι προϋπόθεση επιτυχίας του μέλλοντος».

-Τον παραλληλίζει με τον  Ρώσο Πρόεδρο Βλαντιμίρ Πούτιν, λέγοντας πως ακούγοντας τον Τσίπρα την Παρασκευή, ήταν έτοιμος να τον χειροκροτήσει και πως αυτός, ένα τέτοιο πρόεδρο θέλει.

- Επιτίθεται ανοικτά κατά του αρχηγού της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης Κυριάκου Μητσοτάκη, υποστηρίζοντας πως με τη στάση του διώχνει τους επενδυτές  και... προβλέπει πως δεν θα γίνει ποτέ πρωθυπουργός!

-Διαχωρίζει τη θέση του από τον πρώην πρωθυπουργό Κώστα Καραμανλή λέγοντας πως τον θεωρεί φίλο του, ενώ  αφήνει πολλές αιχμές κατά του Αντώνη Σαμαρά  για τον τρόπο που του επέβαλλε την αγορά της ΣΕΚΑΠ λέγοντας χαρακτηριστικά  πως μου μεταβίβασε τον δικό του πονοκέφαλο.

-Δηλώνει  πως έτσι ή αλλιώς θα αποκτήσει  σύντομα ένα από τα κεντρικά τηλεοπτικά κανάλια της χώρας και δηλώνει ενδιαφέρον τόσο για τον Πήγασο όσο και για τον ΔΟΛ που βρίσκονται σε διαδικασία εύρεσης στρατηγικού επενδυτή.

-Και τέλος όταν ερωτάται αν η επόμενη συνέντευξη του θα είναι στα Ελληνικά τονίζει πως όταν θα δώσει συνέντευξη στα Ελληνικά τότε αυτό θα σημάνει και την έναρξη της πολιτικής του καριέρας στην Ελλάδα.

Monday, May 8, 2017

PM Tsipras says Greece has done its bit, now wants debt relief

Thu May 4, 2017 | 4:46pm EDT


By Renee Maltezou | ATHENS
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called on Greece's international lenders on Thursday to reach an agreement on easing its debt burden by May 22, when euro zone finance ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the bailout progress.

Athens and its creditors reached a long-awaited deal this week on a series of bailout reforms Greece needs to unlock loans from its 86-billion euro rescue package, the country's third since in 2010.

Macron and the Revival of Europe

Roger Cohen MAY 7, 2017

The New York Times

It’s not just that Emmanuel Macron won and will become, at the age of 39, France’s youngest president. It’s not merely that he defeated, in Marine Le Pen, the forces of xenophobic nationalism exploited by President Donald Trump. It’s that he won with a bold stand for the much-maligned European Union, and so reaffirmed the European idea and Europe’s place in a world that needs its strength and values.

With Le Pen defeat, Europe’s far-right surge stalls

The Washington Post

By Michael Birnbaum and Anthony Faiola May 7 at 10:08 PM
BRUSSELS — The anti-E.U. French leader Marine Le Pen’s larger-than-expected defeat Sunday in her nation’s presidential election was a crushing reality check for the far-right forces who seek to overthrow Europe: Despite the victories for Brexit and Donald Trump, they are likely to be shut out of power for years.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Data is giving rise to a new economy

Fuel of the future

How is it shaping up?

The Economist

 May 6th 2017
AN OIL refinery is an industrial cathedral, a place of power, drama and dark recesses: ornate cracking towers its gothic pinnacles, flaring gas its stained glass, the stench of hydrocarbons its heady incense. Data centres, in contrast, offer a less obvious spectacle: windowless grey buildings that boast no height or ornament, they seem to stretch to infinity.

Yet the two have much in common. For one thing, both are stuffed with pipes. In refineries these collect petrol, propane and other components of crude oil, which have been separated by heat. In big data centres they transport air to cool tens of thousands of computers which extract value—patterns, predictions and other insights—from raw digital information.

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

The data economy demands a new approach to antitrust rules


A NEW commodity spawns a lucrative, fast-growing industry, prompting antitrust regulators to step in to restrain those who control its flow. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era. These titans—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look unstoppable. They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world. Their profits are surging: they collectively racked up over $25bn in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon captures half of all dollars spent online in America. Google and Facebook accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America last year.

The extraordinary ways in which China humiliates Muslims

Bans on “abnormal” beards and even the name “Muhammad”


CHINESE officials describe the far western province of Xinjiang as a “core area” in the vast swathe of territory covered by the country’s grandiose “Belt and Road Initiative” to boost economic ties with Central Asia and regions beyond. They hope that wealth generated by the scheme will help to make Xinjiang more stable—for years it has been plagued by separatist violence which China says is being fed by global jihadism. But the authorities are not waiting. In recent months they have intensified their efforts to stifle the Islamic identity of Xinjiang’s ethnic Uighurs, fearful that any public display of their religious belief could morph into militancy.

PM Tsipras says Greece has done its bit, now wants debt relief

 Thu May 4, 2017 | 4:46pm EDT


By Renee Maltezou | ATHENS
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called on Greece's international lenders on Thursday to reach an agreement on easing its debt burden by May 22, when euro zone finance ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the bailout progress.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pledging more austerity, Greece cuts deal with lenders

Tue May 2, 2017 | 3:47am EDT


By Renee Maltezou | ATHENS
Promising to cut pensions and give taxpayers fewer breaks, Greece has paved the way for the disbursement of further rescue funds from international lenders and possibly opened the door to reworking its massive debt.

Officials from both sides reached a deal early on Tuesday on a package of bailout-mandated reforms, ending six months of staff-level haggling. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos announced it with a term associated with papal elections.