Showing posts with label Structural Reforms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Structural Reforms. Show all posts

Friday, April 13, 2018

Uber to suspend service in Greece after new legislation

APRIL 5, 2018 / 11:10 AM / 8 DAYS AGO
Reuters Staff

3 MIN READ

ATHENS (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber said on Thursday it would suspend its licensed service in Greece after the approval of local legislation which imposes stricter regulation on the sector.

Uber, which operates a licensed service in the Greek capital, has faced opposition from local taxi drivers who accuse it of taking their business.

“New local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ride-sharing services,” Uber said in a blog post. “We have to assess if and how we can operate within this new framework and so will be suspending uberX in Athens from next Tuesday until we can find an appropriate solution.”

Uber operates two services in Athens: UberX, which uses professional licensed drivers, and UberTAXI, which uses taxi drivers.

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
4 MIN READ

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
Bloomberg

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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The IMF Has Approved a $1.8 Billion Conditional Loan For Greece

Reuters
10:31 PM ET
The International Monetary Fund on Thursday approved in principle a $1.8 billion standby loan arrangement for Greece, making a conditional commitment to help underpin the country's long-running bailout program for the first time in two years.

But the IMF's approval-in-principle means the fund will not make any money available until after it receives "specific and credible assurances" from Greece's European lenders to ensure the country's debt sustainability.
The approval is also conditional on Greece keeping its economic reforms on track. The current bailout, Greece's third since 2010, is now shouldered exclusively by European institutions.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Greece to Get Some Cash-And Some Idea of Future Debt Relief

By REUTERSJUNE 15, 2017, 8:54 A.M. E.D.T.
 The New York Times

LUXEMBOURG — Greece's international lenders prepared on Thursday to unblock as much as 8.5 billion euros (7.44 billion pounds) in loans that Athens desperately needs next month to pay its bills, and to give some idea of what debt relief they may offer over the long-term.

The chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters the size of the payment to Athens would be discussed during the meeting, since lenders agreed that Greece had pushed through all the requested reforms.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Greece to Launch New Tender for Gas Grid Sale in June-Energy Minister

By REUTERSJUNE 6, 2017, 10:21 A.M. E.D.T.
The New York Times

ATHENS — Greece will launch a new tender competition for the privatisation of its natural gas grid operator DEFSA in June, Energy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday.

Stathakis announced the tender in an interview with Greek news website liberal.gr without disclosing details.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Τα προβλήματα με την ελάφρυνση του χρέους

Μιράντα Ξαφά
Huffington Post

Μετά την κατ' αρχήν αποδοχή από την κυβέρνηση των μέτρων που ζητούν οι δανειστές για να κλείσει η δεύτερη αξιολόγηση, μόλις ψηφιστούν τα μέτρα προβλέπεται να ανοίξει η συζήτηση για το χρέος. Παρά το γεγονός ότι το θέμα αυτό συζητείται παρασκηνιακά μεταξύ Ευρωπαίων και ΔΝΤ εδώ και μήνες, λύση που να είναι πολιτικά αποδεκτή από όλους τους εμπλεκόμενους στη  διαπραγμάτευση δεν θα είναι εύκολο να βρεθεί. Μία πρόσφατη μελέτη τριών επιφανών οικονομολόγων εξηγεί γιατί.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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

Bloomberg

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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Deutsche Invest highest bidder for Greece's Thessaloniki Port

 Mon Apr 24, 2017 | 8:49pm IST


Reuters

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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Greece sells state-owned railway operator to Italian firm


By Associated Press January 18 at 6:42 AM

The Washinghton Post

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s privatization agency has signed a deal to sell the country’s state-owned Trainose railway operator to Italian state’s Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane for 45 million euros ($48 million).

The agency says the sale of its 100 percent stake to the Italian railway company is subject to approval by European Union authorities.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Greece’s Long Winter

An early election would signal how much reform voters will support.

The Wall Street Journal

Dec. 19, 2016 7:11 p.m. ET
1 COMMENTS
Europe has a packed election schedule for 2017, and it’s set to grow more crowded if Greece holds another vote. The snap parliamentary poll that looks increasingly likely won’t solve the country’s economic problems, but at least the exercise would have the virtue of clarifying for Greeks and the rest of the eurozone how much reform Athens will be able to undertake.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Greece needs reforms, not debt relief: Germany's Schaeuble

 Sat Dec 3, 2016 | 6:30pm EST

Reuters

Structural reforms rather than debt relief will help Greece to achieve sustainable growth and stay in the euro zone because rates and repayment are putting hardly any burden on its budget, Gerany's finance minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Euro zone finance ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday to discuss short-term measures to lighten Greece's debt burden and to assess Athens' progress in reforms required within its third bailout program.

Asked in an interview by Bild am Sonntag newspaper whether it might be time to tell German voters that a debt cut for Greece was inevitable, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said: "That would not help Greece."

Monday, October 24, 2016

Opinion: Appearance and reality in Greece

Greece's euro crisis has disappeared from the headlines, but the problem has still not been resolved. And since nothing much is changing in Athens, it will soon be a hot topic once again, says Spiros Moskovou.

Deutsche Welle

"I hereby declare the nonprivatization of the state electricity company DEI to be one of Syriza's key political concerns," Energy Minister Panos Skourletis announced at the governing party's conference in Athens last weekend. Yet last May, the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, together with the Greek parliament, approved an initial list of state-owned businesses for privatization.
An important point here is the sale of a quantity of shares in DEI. The whole privatization package is intended to bring in revenue of 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion) for the Greek treasury by the end of the year.

Monday, October 3, 2016

What’s Derailing Greece’s Plan to Sell State Assets? Its Own Government


The ruling Syriza party must privatize chunks of the country’s infrastructure to meet bailout terms. Many of its ministers are standing in the way

The Wall Street Journal

By NEKTARIA STAMOULI
Updated Oct. 3, 2016 12:09 a.m. ET

ATHENS—The day that Christos Spirtzis became responsible for much of Greece’s ambitious privatization program, he vowed to ensure it failed.

Greece’s leftist infrastructure minister has resisted every sale of roads, airports and trains, even though he and his government have promised to raise €50 billion from privatizations as part of the country’s international bailout.

“I hope the deal will not bear fruit,” the combative, chain-smoking former labor unionist said after his government, under pressure from Greece’s creditors, confirmed the sale of 14 regional airports to a German investor. He backed calls for local referendums to scuttle the deal. When he finally had to sign the contract, he did so “with a great deal of pain,” he told Greek radio listeners in a trembling voice.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Greece passes new reforms for fresh batch of bailout aid

Tue Sep 27, 2016 | 3:02pm EDT

Reuters

Greek lawmakers on Tuesday passed reforms sought by the country's creditors to cut pension spending and expedite privatisations in exchange for financial aid under the country's latest international bailout.

Signalling the conclusion of a first review of bailout terms, parliament voted by a majority to reform the country's electricity market and transfer state assets into an umbrella sovereign wealth fund.

The reforms were passed by a majority vote in the 300-seat parliament by members of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' leftist-led government. Passage of the reforms may unlock 2.8 billion euros of loans when deputy euro zone finance ministers meet this week.

Fatigued Investors Want Draghi to Buy Greece Before They Do


 Nikos Chrysoloras

September 28, 2016 — 4:03 AM EEST Updated on September 28, 2016 — 10:05 AM EEST

Bloomberg

Michel Danechi isn’t buying the Greek turnaround story just yet.
As Greek business leaders and government officials presented to investors last week in London a list of reasons why valuations of the country’s assets make them attractive, Danechi’s Duet Asset Management took note. But what he wants to see is for Greece to show it can make good on pledges made to euro-area creditors so it can be included in the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s quantitative easing program.

Greece approves plan to transfer state utilities to new asset fund


State assets, including water and electricity utilities, are to be transferred to a new asset fund created by international creditors. The plans have sparked demonstrations and public sector strikes across the country.

Deutsche Welle
28-9-2016

Greece's parliament passed new reforms on Tuesday night to cut pension expenditure and transfer control of public utilities to a new asset fund.
 The reforms seek to unlock 2.8 billion euros ($3.14 billion) in financial loans as part of the country's latest bailout program.
The reforms were passed by a narrow 152-141 majority vote in Greece's 300-seat parliament, after 152 parliamentary members of the ruling Syriza-Independent Greeks coalition approved the reform bill. Only one member of the coalition voted against the bill, along with all opposition members.
The reforms will see public assets transferred to a new asset fund created by Greece's creditors. Assets include airports and motorways, as well as water and electricity utilities. The holding company groups together these state entities with the country's privatization agency, the bank stability fund and state real estate. It will be led by an official chosen by Greece's creditors, although Greece's Finance Ministry will retain overall control.

Friday, September 23, 2016

COSCO sees Greece's Piraeus among world's top 30 ports by 2018

Thu Sep 22, 2016 | 2:10pm EDT

Reuters

By Angeliki Koutantou | ATHENS
China's biggest shipping company, COSCO Shipping, plans to ramp up container volume at Greece's biggest port in Piraeus by 35 percent by 2018, the port's new managing director, Fu Cheng Qiu, told Reuters on Thursday.

COSCO Shipping, which owns the world's fourth-largest container shipping fleet, bought 51 percent of the port's operating company last month for 280.5 million euros ($315.5 million), one of Greece's biggest and most strategic privatizations since a debt crisis began in 2009.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Greece Lags in Implementing Economic Reforms, Says Schäuble

Athens has yet to agree with creditors on what measures should be adopted
The Wall  Street Journal

By ANDREA THOMAS
Updated March 23, 2016 10:40 a.m. ET


BERLIN--German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Wednesday Greece is still lagging behind in implementing economic overhauls promised last summer to its creditors in exchange for bailout money, expressing however optimism that a solution will be found.

Greek creditors—the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund—and Athens have yet to reach an agreement on the reforms that Greece must adopt.

Without such a deal, creditors cannot complete a review of its up-to-€86 billion ($96 billion) bailout program.

Monday, January 25, 2016

SYRIZA ANNIVERSARY: WHAT HAS ALEXIS TSIPRAS ACHIEVED?

BY JOSH LOWE ON 1/24/16 AT 2:32 PM

Newsweek

Power can do funny things to a person. Just look at the panel Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sat on at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. There, the former firebrand, besuited and sporting a fancy watch, shared a stage with an old foe, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, and other EU leaders. Tsipras solemnly warned an audience of brainy business types and the global super-rich about the dangers of “populism” for Europe.