Showing posts with label SYRIZA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SYRIZA. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Euro zone to unlock new loans to Greece, working on debt relief

MARCH 12, 2018 / 8:12 PM / 2 DAYS AGO

Francesco Guarascio, Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone creditors are expected to disburse new loans to Greece this month and are working on debt relief measures, the head of the bloc’s finance ministers said on Monday, steps that should help underpin its economic recovery.

Greece’s 86-billion-euro bailout program, its third since 2010, is due to end in August and international lenders are debating how to ensure the country makes its exit on a sustainable footing.

Among options under consideration in Brussels are support measures that could run into tens of billions of euros and help ease servicing costs on a public debt pile that, in terms of economic output, is among the biggest in the world.

Greece Is Quietly Backsliding on Reform

Greece needs public sector reform and investment, not more debt-fueled consumption.
By Phylis Papadavid

Greece’s planned August exit from its third European Stability Mechanism bailout has triggered investor optimism. Its July 2017 bond issuance, the first in three years, was oversubscribed, as were subsequent issuances in February of this year. And yet financial investors should curb their optimism. Greece’s return to the markets, and its economic recovery, are likely to be a bumpy and slow -- especially if it continues to delay key reforms.

Clashes break out in Greece over foreclosures

By Associated Press March 14 at 12:34 PM
ATHENS, Greece — Five people were detained Wednesday during clashes between riot police and protesters attempting to disrupt a central Athens auction of foreclosed properties.

Left-wing activists have stepped up protests in recent weeks against online auctions as the government remains under pressure from bailout lenders to speed up the process and ease the strain on banks stemming from a huge backlog of nonperforming loans.

The auctions are required as part of the country’s international bailout, which is due to end in August. Creditors have also promised to deliver some debt relief for Greece if it fulfils all the conditions of the bailout.

Friday, March 2, 2018

2 Greek soldiers on patrol accidentally stray into Turkey

By Associated Press March 2 at 4:35 AM

The Washington Post

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greece says two of its soldiers on patrol on the Greek-Turkish border accidentally strayed into Turkey and have been taken to the city of Edirne by Turkish authorities.

The Greek army said Friday the two-man patrol strayed into Turkish territory on Thursday because of bad weather, and that Greek and Turkish authorities were in contact with each other and were undertaking procedures for the two to be returned to Greece.

Most of the Greek-Turkish border is marked by a river, and a fence runs along much of the land section. Some parts, however, aren’t clearly marked, and the area where the soldiers strayed was reportedly in woodland.

Although NATO allies, relations between Greece and Turkey are often strained.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Greece enters final round of reform talks with creditors

The Washington Post

By Associated Press February 26 at 11:21 AM
ATHENS, Greece — Greece entered a last round of reform talks with creditors Monday, just five months before the country’s massive rescue program ends — and with the government and central bank publicly disagreeing on how to finance the nation after the bailout.

Government officials said the talks with representatives of Greece’s European partners and the International Monetary Fund in Athens would cover privatizations and energy.

But the negotiations were upstaged by a continued spat between Greece’s central bank governor, Yannis Stournaras, and the government over financing policies after the bailout runs out in August. The country will then have to raise money from international investors in bond markets — at a much higher rate than bailout creditors charge.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Work has begun on whether Greece needs debt relief: EU rescue fund head

Reuters Staff

TOKYO (Reuters) - Technical work has begun to determine if Greece requires debt relief after its expected exit from a bailout program later this year, the head of Europe’s rescue fund said on Friday.

Requiring investors to take a haircut, or accept losses on the value of government debt, would not be part of any restructuring once Greece exits its bailout program, said Klaus Regling, head of the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone rescue fund.

“The technical work has started so that we are ready by the summer when the program ends,” Regling told reporters after giving a speech in Tokyo.

Greece Approves Bribery Investigation Involving Political Elite

By Niki Kitsantonis

Feb. 22, 2018
ATHENS — After 20 hours of acrimonious debate, Greek lawmakers on Thursday approved the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate accusations linking 10 high-profile politicians to bribery by a Swiss drug manufacturer.

The investigation, which will follow separate and secret votes for each of the 10 politicians, was backed both by members of the coalition government and by some in the opposition. It will examine whether the politicians took kickbacks from the pharmaceutical company Novartis, or were aware of illicit payments.

The list of people to be investigated is dominated by the Greek political elite: It includes two former prime ministers, Antonis Samaras and Panagiotis Pikramenos; the current central bank governor, Yannis Stournaras; and the European Union commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Turkey Is Out of Control. Time for the U.S. to Say So.

There’s a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces. The administration should make clear that it won’t tolerate any more bad behavior—now.

By ERIC EDELMAN and JAKE SULLIVAN February 13, 2018

Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria, the once unthinkable prospect of a direct clash between Turkish and American soldiers has become alarmingly real. Turkey’s current fight, against U.S.-backed Kurdish troops in the northwestern Syria territory of Afrin, is destabilizing enough. But the real risk will come if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan follows through on his repeated promises to press further east toward the Kurdish-controlled and U.S.-patrolled city of Manbij. The only way to prevent a conflict is for U.S. policymakers to adopt a clear and tough-minded approach to Turkey now, before things get worse.

Greece, Turkey Try to Calm Tensions After Aegean Sea Crash

The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked to calm tensions after Greek coast guard vessel is damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in Aegean Sea.
Feb. 13, 2018, at 4:58 p.m.

US News


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked late Tuesday to calm escalating tensions after a Greek coast guard vessel was damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in the Aegean Sea, the site of a boundary dispute.

A government official in Athens said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim spoke by telephone about the circumstances of the boat crash. The official asked not to be named pending an official announcement.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Greece Takes Step to Normalcy With Bond as Bailout Nears End

By Sotiris Nikas  and Lyubov Pronina
8 Φεβρουαρίου 2018, 12:19 μ.μ. EET Updated on 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2018, 4:52 μ.μ. EET
Country to price seven-year bonds to yield-hungry markets
Debt relief discussion and a new monitoring scheme to come


Greece will sell 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) of seven-year bonds in another step toward exiting a bailout program in August that has kept the nation afloat.

The offer for the 2025 notes will price to yield 3.5 percent, inside an initial target of about 3.75 percent, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak about it. Investor orders for the sale topped 6 billion euros, the people said. Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Nomura Holdings Inc are the bookrunners for the bond.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Investors Welcome Greece Back Out of the Naughty Corner: Gadfly

The Washington Post

By Mark Gilbert | Bloomberg January 25
As the global elite gathers in Davos for the World Economic Forum, the European Union has been applauded for its political and economic progress in the past year. And nowhere is the bloc’s newfound cohesion more evident than in Greece.

The country has been the main beneficiary of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s 2012 pledge to do “whatever it takes” to save the common-currency project -- even if the nation’s debt doesn’t qualify for the central bank’s bond-buying program.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lamda says new obstacles emerge over Hellenikon resort

Reuters Staff

ATHENS, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Greek property developer Lamda said on Friday new obstacles had appeared in its plans to develop the disused Hellenikon airport site, one of the largest projects on the country’s privatisation agenda.

Lamda said Greece’s culture ministry had declared a new archaeological area over parts of the airport compound and imposed other restrictions, a move it said was an ‘unexpected change in the contractual agreed terms’.

Greece's Eurobank close to deal to sell Romanian assets to Banca Transilvania

Reuters Staff


ATHENS, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Greece’s Eurobank said it is close to finalising a deal to sell its Romanian subsidiaries to Banca Transilvania.

The potential sale is part of a restructuring plan agreed by Greece’s third largest lender with European Union authorities, and includes Romanian units Bancpost, ERB Retail Servces IFN and ERB Leasing IFN.

Public debt, unemployment, big NPL pile weigh on Greece: central bank governor

Reuters Staff


ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s banks have shown progress in tackling a stockpile of non-performing loans, Bank of Greece governor Yiannis Stournaras said on Friday, but said it would remain a challenge for the country.

Greek banks are saddled with 103 billion euros in bad loans, equal to almost 60 percent of the economy, after years of financial crisis and crippling recession. The European Central Bank wants that reduced by 38 billion euros by the end of 2019.

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Turning Point for Greece

By Marcus Ashworth


Nov 6, 2017 1:00 AM EST
Greece is taking a step closer to get the respect it deserves from Europe.Yields on the country's government bonds, which have already taken great strides lower this year, hit a new low last week on news the government is preparing a major debt swap. The exercise, first reported by Bloomberg News, should allow Greece to sell bonds in future -- and help end its dependence on the largess of its main creditors.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Refugees in Greece demand transfer to Germany, start hunger strike

Karolina Tagaris, Deborah Kyvrikosaios
ATHENS (Reuters) - A group of mainly Syrian women and children who have been stranded in Greece pitched tents opposite parliament in Athens on Wednesday in a protest against delays in reuniting with relatives in Germany.

Some of the refugees, who say they have been in Greece for over a year, said they had begun a hunger strike.

“Our family ties our stronger than your illegal agreements,” read a banner held up by one woman, referring to deals on refugees between European Union nations.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Don't blame others for your problems, Germany's Schaeuble tells Greece

OCTOBER 25, 2017 / 12:03 AM / UPDATED 14 HOURS AGO

Reuters Staff



ATHENS (Reuters) - Outgoing German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble urged debt-wracked Greece to stop blaming others for its financial woes and stick to a reform agenda instead of relying on debt relief.

Schaeuble, a leading advocate of Greece’s tough austerity programs and one of Germany’s most powerful politicians, was elected speaker of its lower house of parliament on Tuesday.

The 75-year-old lawyer, whose no-nonsense approach on austerity made him a popular hate figure among Greeks, told Greek Skai TV that Athens must take responsibility for its fiscal difficulties and act on them.

Monday, September 25, 2017

EU ends Greece's deficit procedure in positive signal to markets

Reuters Staff

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states decided on Monday to close disciplinary procedures against Greece over its excessive deficit after improvements in Greece’s fiscal position, confirming the country’s recovery is on the right track.

The move, although largely symbolic, sends a new signal that Greece’s public finances are again under control, facilitating the country’s plans to tap markets after a successful issue of bonds in July which ended a three-year exile.

EU fiscal rules oblige member states to keep their budget deficits below 3 percent of their economic output or face sanctions that could entail hefty fines, although so far no country has received a financial penalty.

Greece had a 0.7 percent budget surplus in 2016, and is projected to maintain its fiscal position within EU rules’ limits this year.

“In the light of this, the Council (of EU states) found that Greece fulfils the conditions for closing the excessive deficit procedure,” the EU said in a note.

“After many years of severe difficulties, Greece’s finances are in much better shape. Today’s decision is therefore welcome”, Estonia’s finance minister Toomas Toniste said.

The EU states’ decision confirmed a proposal by the EU executive commission in July to end the disciplinary procedure for Greece.

The economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the decision was “a recognition of the tremendous efforts and sacrifices the Greek people have made to restore stability to their country’s public finances.”

But he stressed that Greece still needs to positively exit its bailout program which ends in August after a third review of the country’s reforms by international creditors.

“There needs to be constructive cooperation between all institutions and the Greek authorities to ensure a smooth and swift conclusion of the third review, with no unnecessary drama,” Moscovici said.

Friday, September 22, 2017

As Crisis Ebbs, Tsipras Promises Doubters a 'New' Greece

21, 2017, 9:57 A.M. E.D.T.

ATHENS — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has found a precious commodity he hopes can help him and the nation turn a corner after years of crisis and austerity -- time.

Since taking power in early 2015, he has spent most of his days and nights in firefighting mode, battling Greece's creditors to renegotiate the harsh terms of a series of bailout deals.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's Bailout-Review Time in Greece and Markets Are Wary - Again

By Sotiris Nikas  and Viktoria Dendrinou
20 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017, 5:00 π.μ. EEST


Crunch time for Greece as review tests bailout-exit capability
IMF demands on Greek banks, debt relief among review issues
The moment of reckoning may soon be upon Greece.

As the country enters the final year of its bailout, questions remain on whether it will be able to stand on its own feet when the rescue program ends. In the immediate term, with creditor representatives descending upon Athens last week for the third review, other concerns loom large: Will this review of the bailout program be different from the previous two? What role will the International Monetary Fund play? Will Greece complete the 95 measures in the review in time?