Missing Madeleine
Come join us...there's more inside you cannot see as a guest!

New EC Thread

Page 4 of 40 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 22 ... 40  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Tue 7 Feb - 8:32

European Stocks have opened higher in anticipation that Greece will accept the new conditions.

Merkel has pointed out that Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal Ireland and France have adopted stringent measures so why shouldn't Greece?

The OECD Secretary General , Gurria , says uncertainty about Greece has been too expensive and should have been resolved a long time ago.

He says Greece will not leave the EU and other Countries will be joining.

Goldman Sachs says the only way to deal with this and any future monetary crisis is to raise the EFSF level. He also thinks all Euro Countries will join in
a Bail out to stop a disorderly default.

Sarkozy says Greece MUST honour the commitment to stick to the austerity plan.

Papademos is seeking a Greek consenus as EU Leaders press for a decision. It is thouight that Greek policitians, mindful of a forthcoming General Election
might be delaying approval to try to prove to the Electorate they tried their hardest to get a better deal.

Greeks took to the streets in the pouring rain to protest at the 15,000 Government employees losing their jobs.

A General strike is being planned and knowing the volatility of the Greeks maybe they should have had a Referendum .

You can take a horse to water , but you can't make it drink.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Tue 7 Feb - 10:44

Athens hopes bankruptcy avoidable



6 February 2012


Presseurop

To Ethnos

To Ethnos, 6 February 2012








For Athens daily, To Ethnos,
Prime Minister Loukas Papademos has concluded a "preliminary agreement"
with the leaders of the main political parties before continuing
negotiations with the EU/ECB /IMF troika. The leaders of socialist
Pasok, conservative New Democracy and of the far-right LAOS, have agreed
to slash 1.5% off public spending and accepted the principal of
lowering both the minimum wage and pensions, according to the paper.

To Ethnos, which notes that the political parties, whoever they be, "led us to the edge of destruction," believes that the agreement -


... unquestionably gives us the means to avoid the danger of
bankruptcy. But it is an agreement that implies long and painful
sacrifices for the Greek people, in particular for those sections of
society that are economically out of favour. This must be present
permanently in the minds of the leaders, so that their actions draw the
best from the agreement and avoid the errors and failures of past
efforts in order to overcome the crisis.
Negotiations between Athens and the troika on one side and creditors
on the other are scheduled to continue this week with the aim of
avoiding a bankruptcy with unpredictable consequences.




Many Investment Managers say they believe Greece will leave the EURO within 18 months.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Tue 7 Feb - 11:31

There is talk that if Greece is awarded the E600 million bailout, a new account will be opened for this money and it will be released as and when
required.

There is a General Strike going on and thousands of Greeks are outside the Greek Parliament building demonstrating against the 150, 000 job cuts.

Personally, Greece has borrowed so much money even if they maintain these strict austerity measures it will take generations for their economy to show
a profit, never mind adhering to the new fiscal policy. They would have been better off going for an orderly default over 2 years ago.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Tue 7 Feb - 12:33

Eurozone crisis


Save the ECB from the danger of Greece



2 February 2012




Arend van Dam







A Greek default can still not be ruled out, and it would
place the European Central Bank in considerable danger. To avoid this,
states should pay up and provide guarantees, believes economist Melvyn
Krauss.



Melvyn Krauss




The European Central Bank’s significant holdings of Greek
government bonds have left it exposed to considerable risks, much more
than the markets or what we read in the business press would lead us to
believe (perhaps 100 billion euros).

The currency of a country whose central bank has suffered a mortal
blow has little chance of survival. Athens understands this very well
and takes advantage of it. Why should Europe give to Greek politicians,
who clearly have shown no intention of introducing reforms worthy of the
name, a weapon that can be turned against her? We must protect the ECB,
and now.

Of course, giving guarantees would entail a risk to the taxpayer, and
that is precisely what explains the immobility of Europe’s leaders.

The cunning game played by Greek politicians


They must grasp, though, that if they take this threat out of the
hands of their blackmailers, the risk they are exposed to will lessen.
If the Greek politicians perceive that their cunning little game is not
working, they might change their tone and make real efforts to undertake
reforms.

The European taxpayer will then get a good deal: giving guarantees,
as discussed above, lowers the risk of a costly default. Prevention is
better than cure.

Putting larger amounts into the European Stability Mechanism (MES),
the permanent relief fund [to come into force July 1], will on the
contrary save money. And committing more money to protect the ECB would,
for the same reasons, also save money. This is what is called
"promising to increase spending," but that does not mean that the money
will actually be spent.

Whether Greece defaults or not, the Germans want to exclude it from
the eurozone and are trying to gain time to bring Italy and Spain
on-side to get those countries’ support in coping with the turbulence
that Greece’s exit may provoke. But that very fear could merely speed up
a default by Greece. Like a bee about to die, it can still inflicts a
fatal sting.

European policymakers cannot afford the risk that Greece, feeling
that it is about to excluded from the euro, will launch a final attack
like a dying bee and default. They must protect the ECB from what could
be a fatal sting.

Guarantees for the ECB


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also entering this game. The
more Europe protects itself, the less likely the possibility that the
IMF will intervene with an additional contribution to the bailout funds.
European leaders are reluctant to seek a greater contribution from the
IMF. For the ECB, though, it’s a dangerous game. If the IMF decides not
to put in additional funds and Greece does default, the ECB will be
totally exposed. Better to take protective measures and let the IMF play
the cards it wants to play.

The factor that could most swiftly trigger a Greek default could be a
dispute over the losses that private investors in Greek bonds would
have to accept if the relief fund had to be deployed for Greece.

Agreement alone, however, is unlikely to be enough to stave off a
default. The haircut for private investors would be so large that the
rating agencies would not be able to call it "voluntary”, and would
therefore claim that it is a form of default. No one knows what this
could entail. It could trigger mechanisms to compensate the bond holders
for their losses, and it could nullify the ECB guarantees for banks. In
this climate of uncertainty, protecting the ECB is the top priority.

Almost all the attempts by European leaders so far have failed, which
explains why the crisis persists. This may be their last chance. If
they fail to demonstrate greater competence in defending the ECB, it may
be too late both for it and for the euro. The ECB must be able to use
tax revenues. The time to provide guarantees to the ECB is now.











Fiscal pact

EU in a vicious circle






The fiscal pact is a great disappointment, a “pretext for the EU not to build a solidarity-based political union”, laments Gazeta Wyborcza.
Commenting on the recent EU summit, the leading Warsaw daily devotes
much space to Germany’s unpopular idea to appoint a special eurozone
commissioner for Greece in return for financial aid for Athens.

“The idea of a ‘Greek supervisor’ is unfeasible, but it shows that
the crisis suggests solutions that undermine the EU instead of uniting
it politically”, writes Gazeta, wondering what has happened to
the “new Marshall plan” for Athens, which was announced in July 2011 and
was supposed to help create jobs and train the unemployed.

“The case of small Greece, which the powerful monetary union has been
unable to help, discredits the eurozone in investors’ eyes. The fiscal
pact won’t change this”, concludes the Warsaw daily.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Tue 7 Feb - 14:42

9:36pm UK, Monday February 06, 2012



Anthee Carassava, in Greece






The Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos has postponed key
crisis talks intended to shore up support for badly-needed austerity
measures, defying mounting European pressure.



The prime minister's office has offered no official explanation for the delay.


However, a senior government official told Sky News that Mr
Papademos' decision to push back talks with the leaders of his coalition
government by a day was "not a setback".


"More time was simply required to iron out a final text of measures
being drafted by the prime minister and team of visiting inspectors from
the European Union and International Monetary Union," the official
said.


He said the measures, which had been agreed to "in (their)
overwhelming majority," would be given to the party leaders of Mr
Papademos' coalition government for final review.


An agreement, the official said, "was expected well ahead of Thursday", when the Eurogroup convene.












Austerity measures in Greece have already caused riots





It is the second time in as many days that Mr Papademos has moved to
shore up the support of his socialist, conservative and far-right
coalition partners as Greece's international lenders insist on a new
rash of brutal budget cuts - including wage and pension cuts - in
exchange for a proposed 130bn euro rescue package.


With Athens facing a 14.4bn euro bond redemption on March 20 - money
this cash-strapped country does not have - failure to win cross party
agreement today could push Greece closer to a messy default with global
financial impact.


The delay follows a five-hour meeting the prime minister held on
Sunday with the party leaders of his coalition agreeing on some "basic
issues", including the need to press ahead with spending cuts of 1.5% of
gross domestic product, or 3bn euros in 2012.


But, as talks heated up over what those cuts would entail, party
leaders exited Maximus Mansion - the prime minister's office - with
remarks which suggested a dangerous deadlock.


"They are asking for more recession," said main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras of the creditors' demands.


"I am fighting in every way to avoid this," he added.


The head of the small far-right Laos party, Georgios Karatzaferis,
said he "will not contribute to a revolutionary explosion arising from
impoverishment".












Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos has delayed crucial austerity talks twice in as many days





Eurozone ministers had hoped to meet on Monday to finalise details of
the mammoth bailout, the second being patched together by the European
Union and the International Monetary Fund.


However, patience with the Greeks is quickly waning.


Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker, who also chairs the
eurozone's 17 finance minister group, warned of the dire repercussion
Athens faced if it failed to meet lenders' demands for added austerity.


"If we should determine that everything is going wrong in Greece,
then there would not be a new programme, then that would mean that in
March a declaration of bankruptcy would occur," he said.


Pundits and politicians across the political spectrum have riled in
response, accusing Europe and its top pay master, Germany, of
blackmailing Greece, forcing it to wage even more brutal budget cuts as
the sole cure for the country's debt woes.


"It is beyond clear that in a country in deep recession this
particular policy mix of austerity is not working," Notis Mittarakis, a
senior economy strategist with New Democracy said.


"It has failed."


Officials privy to the crisis talks told Sky News that party leaders
and their teams were scrambling to find alternative cut backs that could
meet or as one official put it "water down" creditors' demands for
lower wages, salary and pension cuts on top of already 30 to 40% slashes
sustained in the past two years.


"If these measures are adopted and the government does in fact cave
into pressure, then workers will be faced with an armageddon," warned
Thanos Vassilopoulous of Greece's biggest labour union GSEE.


"We must resist. We must revolt."


GSEE and Adedy, the civil servants union, have called for a 24-hour
nationwide strike on Tuesday, warning of heightened strike action in
response to aPosted by: opencurtin on February 7, 2012 1:05 PM
GREECE
are in denial , the fact is Greece is nothing more than a third world
country who have cooked their books for years squandering billions in
grants given to them by the EU and tricked their way into the euro to
grab more money now the tied has gone out and we see that they're
wearing no bathing togs .

  • Recommend (0)
  • Report this comment
  • Permalink

Posted by: Loyalist from South of France on February 6, 2012 9:17 PM
Posted by: neilly from Scotland on February 6, 2012 4:18 PM

This is like an alcoholic refusing to admit there is a problem. No addmission no cure.

*********************

Exactly Correct,,,,!!!
It is a pity Blair and, especially Brown, never faced up this fact,
despite being told time after time after time to heed the
warnings,,,,!!!
And now look at the state of Britain and the UK as a result of Labour's
financial illiteracy, and totally incompetent handling of Britain's
economy,,,,!!!
It is now taking a proper Government led by David Cameron to sort yet another of Labour's messes,,,,!!!
Well Done David and The Team,,,,!!!

  • Recommended (6)

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Tue 7 Feb - 16:44

The latest News is the Greek Government is preparing the final draft for presentation tomorrow.....the consensus is that Greece needs the EURO more than they need Greece. Schauble has announced that E130 Billion is maximum offer to Taxpayers and he will discuss in full tomorrow.











Debt crisis


Why we’ve had enough of Greece



7 February 2012


El Mundo
Madrid







  • Comment 1






  • Text larger
  • Text smaller
  • Send
  • Print



Arend van Dam








The game has gone on for nearly two years: Athens
pretends to comply with the demands of its creditors and partners, and
they pretend to believe in Greece’s commitments. As the spectre of
default comes nearer, however, the Greek bluff cannot go on much longer,
writes an El Mundo editorialist.



John Müller




Yesterday [February 6] saw the same repetitive pattern we have
seen for almost two years now, as the time when Athens will run out of
money (most likely in March) draws near and the EU is expected to
return and pump more cash into the Greek veins. And each time it is
costing more to get Greece to adopt credible reforms.

Everyone knows that the Greeks are playing with fire. But this seems
not to matter to anyone, least of all to the Greeks. The government of
Lucas Papademos, a technocrat who was supposed to have the support of
all parties to take the difficult decisions that George Papandreou
dared not take, has proven as slow to budge as its predecessor.

Yesterday the troika of the IMF, the European Central Bank and the
European Commission had to threaten the Greek government with the
torments of hell to get them to agree to lay off 15,000 civil servants
in 2012 to lower the country’s deficit. Greece has more than 700,000
public servants (out of a population of 11 million) and has promised to
cut that number by 150,000 by the year 2015. But it is doing so with
the alacrity of a turtle. In fact, it already had promised to slash
32,000 last year, but in the end trimmed only 2,000.

That’s how things stand in Greece. The troika asks the Greeks to
reduce the minimum wage (which is higher than in Spain), lower
salaries, eliminate bonuses, reduce pensions and lower public spending,
and Greek politicians turn a deaf ear. They know very well that Europe
has been woefully misled, and they are taking advantage of it.

Their national self-esteem and pride are gigantic


There were three principles that Germany defended as sacrosanct: no
bail-out, no default, and no exit from the euro. The first one was
violated in 2010 when it agreed to bail out Greece, Ireland and
Portugal. Now, the Greeks are messing about on the second (yesterday
the Prime Minister ordered the Finance Ministry to draw up a report on
the possible consequences of a default). And leaving the euro has been
brought up several times in the negotiations over the last few days.

The Spanish government is no stranger to this. The EU leadership do
not like the prospect of opening the exit door of the euro club,
because after Greece would go Portugal, and nobody knows where the list
could end. But they would also like the Greek politicians to take
events more seriously. "We knew long ago that the Greeks are the way
they are. The problem is not only economic but political,” says a
senior official.

And the way out does not seem to lie in threats, like the German
threat to appoint a proconsul or the French idea of creating a separate
account where the money to pay the interest can be deposited. The
Greeks have never felt inferior to other Europeans. Although their
economy is in ruins, their national self-esteem and pride are gigantic.
They have, in fact, always distrusted the idea of Europe, unless it
would mean that Brussels would fund their lifestyle. But all this was
known almost from the day they entered the EU.




Translated from the Spanish by Anton Baer

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Tue 7 Feb - 17:29

7 February 2012
Last updated at 15:18











Greece exit would not end euro, says EU commissioner




















Mark Lowen: "Many Greek people think the future is very dark indeed"






Continue reading the main story









Pressure is rising on Greece's national unity government to agree tough reforms demanded by the country's lenders.

The EU, IMF and European Central Bank have made further
spending cuts, labour market reforms and bank rescues a condition of
extending a new bailout.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes told a Dutch
newspaper that there would be "absolutely no man overboard" if Greece
left the euro.

Greek party leaders are meeting on Tuesday amid a general strike.

A previous meeting on Sunday night proved inconclusive,
leading to further last-minute talks between Prime Minister Lukas
Papademos and the troika of official lenders on Monday.

The leader of the left-wing Syriza party coalition, Alexis
Tsipras, repeated a call on Tuesday either for Greece's debts to be
written off, or else for the country to pause its debt repayments for
three years.

Meanwhile, public transport and the country's ports ground to
a halt as two of the largest Greek public-sector unions began a strike
on Tuesday in protest at continuing austerity.

Police had to use tear gas to prevent some protesters on Syntagma Square from breaking a cordon around the parliament building.

The Greek economy is expected to suffer a fifth consecutive year of recession this year, and has already shrunk 12% since 2008.

'Good will'
"What's a man overboard?" Mrs Kroes told the Dutch newspaper
Volkskrant. "It's always said that if you let one country get out, or
ask it to get out, then the whole structure collapses. But that's simply
not true.


Continue reading the main story Analysis





Mark Lowen
BBC News, Athens




This is a day that shows the bind this government is in: as
ordinary Greeks gather on Syntagma Square to protest against austerity,
party leaders are locked in crucial talks on more cuts to unlock
Greece's bailout funds.

The country is dangerously close to the financial abyss. If
the loan money doesn't flow into Greek coffers within the next month,
Athens will be unable to pay bond redemptions and would be forced into a
potentially catastrophic default.

The framework of a deal to reduce the minimum wage and fire
15,000 civil servants is there, but needs a sign-off by politicians
unwilling to back unpopular measures.

Once again Greece seems to be edging towards agreement at the
eleventh hour - the fear of failure still appears too great to
contemplate by Greece and the eurozone.




"The Greeks have to realise that
we Dutch and we Germans can only sell emergency Greek aid to our
taxpayers if there's evidence of good will."

A similar message was delivered with a more optimistic spin
by Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the "eurogroup" of eurozone finance
ministers, who said he had no doubt that Greece would remain within the
eurozone, provided that it met its obligations to other members.

"The euro will outlive us all," he said.

Mrs Kroes' boss, Commission President Jose-Manuel Barroso, also weighed in, insisting "we want Greece in the euro".

There has been growing speculation that eurozone leaders are preparing the way for a Greek exit from the single currency.

"It would take a true optimist to expect [that] Greece's
fiscal difficulties will start to improve once its second bailout is
agreed," said Dutch bank Rabobank in a research note on Tuesday.

"For [eurozone] politicians it is not necessary sympathy with
Greece's position that is keeping Greece in [the euro], but rather the
potential for the Greek crisis to deal the rest of [the eurozone] an
enormous blow through contagion, that is underpinning support to
maintain the status quo."

Debt write-off

Continue reading the main story Greek deadlines







  • This week: Eurozone finance ministers to hold a
    meeting or conference call to approve the latest bailout, as soon as
    Greek politicians agree to conditions
  • 15 February: The latest a deal can be finalised in order to allow enough time for the Greek debt exchange, according to the Commission
  • 20 March: Greece must have received its next tranche of bailout cash to meet a 14bn euro debt payment
  • April: Greek elections expected



Fears have most recently focused
on Portugal, whose government is rumoured to be sounding out lenders
about a restructuring of its own heavy debtload.

As part of Greece's new 130bn euro ($170bn; £110bn) bailout
deal, private sector lenders have agreed to write off up to 70% of the
value of the money that the Greek government currently owes them.

However, Mr Tsipras of the Syriza party coalition repeated on Tuesday reservations about the debt deal.

"The debt is not sustainable," he told Greek television channel SKAI.

"With the [debt restructuring], most of the [bailout] money will go to the banks and to the bondholders."

Eurogroup chairman Mr Juncker has given his backing to a
German plan that a proportion of future bailout money should be paid
into an escrow account that can only be used by the Greek government to
repay its other, private-sector lenders.

On Monday, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said
the negotiations in Athens - which went on until four in the morning -
were "so tough that as soon as one chapter closes another opens".

Continue reading the main story



Crisis jargon buster


Use the dropdown for easy-to-understand explanations of key financial terms:


Default









Default

Strictly speaking, a default occurs when
a borrower has broken the terms of a loan or other debt, for example if
a borrower misses a payment. The term is also loosely used to mean any
situation that makes clear that a borrower can no longer repay its debts
in full, such as bankruptcy or a debt restructuring.
A default can have a number of important implications. If a borrower is
in default on any one debt, then all of its lenders may be able to
demand that the borrower immediately repay them. Lenders may also be
required to write off their losses on the loans they have made.





Glossary in full




He was speaking after meetings with EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank delegates.

Mr Venizelos went on to criticise the political parties for not reaching a deal with the nation's benefactors.

"Instead of looking at this tragic dilemma... there are many
who spend their effort on a conventional, outdated, party confrontation
as if nothing has happened.

"Sadly, we are distracted and we are not telling the Greek people the truth," he said in a statement.

Greece was bailed out once in 2010 and another bailout deal was agreed last year by the EU and IMF.

On Monday, Greece agreed to pass a new law allowing more
government employees to be fired - it is likely to lead to 15,000 civil
service jobs being cut.

They also agreed to a 20% cut in the minimum wage.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 0:07

7 February 2012
Last updated at 22:16











Greek leaders postpone meeting as euro exit discussed




















Mark Lowen: "This country must make painful reforms."






Continue reading the main story













Global Economy
















Pressure is rising on Greece's national unity government to agree tough reforms demanded by the country's lenders.

Greek party leaders once more postponed plans to meet on Tuesday and approve terms of a new bailout.

This comes as the European Commission's Neelie Kroes told a
Dutch newspaper that there would be "absolutely no man overboard" if
Greece left the euro.

But Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' office told the BBC that a draft agreement has been finalised.

A formal sign-off on the reforms demanded by international
lenders - including a 20% cut to the minimum wage, pension cuts and
civil service job cuts - is hoped to be concluded on Wednesday, the
BBC's Athens correspondent Mark Lowen said.

Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also told public
radio that a Greek exit from the eurozone now would be less risky than
if it had happened in 2010 when its debt crisis first broke.

"There is less risk now," Mr Rutte said. "It is in our
interest that Greece remain [in the eurozone] and to achieve that it
must do all it has promised to do but if that does not work out, then we
are stronger now than a year and a half ago."

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday there would be "unforeseeable consequences" if Greece left the euro.

"I will have no part in forcing Greece out of the euro," she said.

Meanwhile, public transport and the country's ports ground to
a halt as two of the largest Greek public sector unions began a strike
on Tuesday in protest at spending cuts, tax rises and job losses.


Continue reading the main story Greek deadlines







  • This week: Eurozone finance ministers to hold a
    meeting or conference call to approve the latest bailout, as soon as
    Greek politicians agree to conditions
  • 15 February: The latest a deal can be finalised in order to allow enough time for the Greek debt exchange, according to the Commission
  • 20 March: Greece must have received its next tranche of bailout cash to meet a 14bn euro debt payment
  • April: Greek elections expected



Police had to use tear gas to prevent some protesters on Syntagma Square from breaking a cordon around the parliament building.

'Tough' negotiations

The government held meetings with EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank delegates on Monday.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the negotiations were "so tough that as soon as one chapter closes another opens".

At the same time, as part of Greece's new 130bn euro ($170bn;
£110bn) bailout deal, private sector lenders are negotiating with
Greece to write off up to 70% of the value of the money that the Greek
government currently owes them.

The leader of the left-wing Syriza party coalition, which is
not part of the interim government, repeated a call on Tuesday either
for Greece's debts to be written off, or else for the country to pause
its debt repayments for three years.

"The debt is not sustainable," Alexis Tsipras told Greek television channel SKAI.

"With the [debt restructuring], most of the [bailout] money will go to the banks and to the bondholders."

The Greek trade unions called for an end to the policies promoted by the government and the so-called "troika".

In a petition delivered to parliament, the unions expressed
"opposition to measures included in the new memorandum which, aside from
the dramatic impact on workers, it is also a confession of the dead-end
economic policy followed and its adverse consequences on real economy".

'Good will'
Outside Greece, European leaders turned up the pressure.

"What's a man overboard?" Mrs Kroes told the Dutch newspaper
Volkskrant. "It's always said that if you let one country get out, or
ask it to get out, then the whole structure collapses. But that's simply
not true.


Continue reading the main story Analysis





Mark Lowen
BBC News, Athens




This is a day that shows the bind this government is in: as
ordinary Greeks gather on Syntagma Square to protest against austerity,
party leaders are locked in crucial talks on more cuts to unlock
Greece's bailout funds.

The country is dangerously close to the financial abyss. If
the loan money doesn't flow into Greek coffers within the next month,
Athens will be unable to pay bond redemptions and would be forced into a
potentially catastrophic default.

The framework of a deal to reduce the minimum wage and fire
15,000 civil servants is there, but needs a sign-off by politicians
unwilling to back unpopular measures.

Once again Greece seems to be edging towards agreement at the
eleventh hour - the fear of failure still appears too great to
contemplate by Greece and the eurozone.




"The Greeks have to realise that
we Dutch and we Germans can only sell emergency Greek aid to our
taxpayers if there's evidence of good will."

A similar message was delivered with a more optimistic spin
by Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the "eurogroup" of eurozone finance
ministers, who said he had no doubt that Greece would remain within the
eurozone, provided that it met its obligations to other members.

"The euro will outlive us all," he said.

On Monday, Greece agreed to pass a new law allowing more
government employees to be fired - it is likely to lead to 15,000 civil
service jobs being cut.

They are also likely to agree to a 20% cut in the minimum wage, BBC correspondents in Athens say.

The Greek economy is expected to suffer a fifth consecutive year of recession this year, and has already shrunk 12% since 2008.









More on This Story











Global Economy













Essentials

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 7:36

France-Germany



Merkel seeks to save marriage of convenience



7 February 2012




Libération, Le Figaro, Le Monde & 2 others





Bas van der Schot







With 80 days left to run before the first round of French
presidential elections, the German Chancellor has joined the campaign
alongside her most precious ally in Europe, Nicolas Sarkozy — an
initiative judged to risky on both sides of the Rhine.



In an interview jointly accorded by both leaders to the
television networks France 2 and Germany’s ZDF in the wake of a
Franco-German intergovernmental meeting on 6 February, Angela Merkel
expressed her support for the French president, who has yet to announce
that he is in the running for a second term. Her unprecedented move has
prompted comment in the press on both sides of the Rhine.






For Libération,
the Chancellor acted as a “press officer” for Nicolas Sarkozy,
“officialising” his status as a candidate for re-election: a role which,
the left-wing daily argues, is not without risk for the German leader:










It
may serve to further reinforce France’s position of economic inferiority
with regard to its partner, and give the impression that Sarkozy’s
future campaign will be under German influence.










For its part, Le Figaro does not contest the possiblity of German influence but simply remarks -












The
much talked-about "German model", based on industrial competitiveness
and budgetary austerity, is now the only viable option on a continent
swept by the winds of globalisation. France is free to imitate it or
reject it.










Rival daily Le Monde offers some insight into “why Mrs Merkel is campaigning for Mr Sarkozy,” who is lagging behind in the polls -












Mr
Sarkozy and Mrs Merkel both have an interest in demonstrating that the
couple is working as it has done in the past: the French President wants
to give the impression that he is running Europe, while the Chancellor
aims to show that she is not.










On its front page, Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung remarks that “courage has been transformed into high spirits” and offers an alternative analysis of the Chancellor’s motives -












Perhaps
with the benefit of hindsight, 6 February will appear as a day when a
desperate woman decided to clutch at straws. If Merkel believes the
announcement made by socialist François Hollande [the candidate who
wants to renegotiate the fiscal pact], she must be fearful of the
consequences for her work in Europe. The socialist does not want to make
cuts, but to relaunch the economy. The reality is that the Chancellor
is not really fighting for Sarkozy in France, but for her own policies.
And on this basis, her initiative may be reckless, but it is not
irrational.










Conservative newspaper Die Welt makes no bones about its fear of Hollande while enthusiastically reporting that the two leaders have “at last come together for Europe” -












Although
the contest will be determined by France’s 45 millions voters, this
election concerns everyone in Europe. […] Its outcome could turn back
the clock by years or even decades in Europe.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 8:42

Tear gas was used last night to stop the rioting over the latest austerity demands.

Troika ( the ECB, EU and IMF) want to see the various Parties of the Greek Government seperately to ensure they are all in agreement with the austerity
demands, this is expected to make hackles rise amongst the Politicians.

February 12th is the Parliamentary Vote and Feb13th to deal with the write down of the Private bondholders., then negotiate with Troika and March 20th is the deadlne for everything to be in place.

Angela Merkel has toned down her speeches, now says she does not want Greece to leave the the Euro. Her popularity in Germany is the highest it has been since 2009.

Portugal is very different to Greece but caught up in the contagion which concerns the TROIKA. It is largely on track with its austerity plan.

The French Transaction Tax seems to have been ill conceived. It will only raise E1 Billion which is less that 1% of French debt and BNP Baribas says business might leave France .

Civil Servants are striking in Greece today.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  frencheuropean on Wed 8 Feb - 12:12

Breaking news in France:

http://lemajor.over-blog.com/article-suite-au-discours-de-sarkozy-angela-merkel-est-elue-presidente-98202373.html

frencheuropean
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Number of posts : 1187
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2009-11-02

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 15:57

English translation


T he M ajor
[Manipulations, crafts & other truths]
Return to Home
Oldies but Goodies * Gallery *
Following the speech Sarkozy, Angela Merkel was elected president!








Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 16:32


Euro










Eurozone crisis


The “Grexit” taboo has been broken



8 February 2012


De Volkskrant
Amsterdam









"Brink of Disaster"

Tom Janssen







At a time when Athens is still involved in debt
restructuring negotiations with its private creditors, Neelie Kroes’
recent allusions to a Greek exit from the euro are a sign that European
leaders are intent on preparing the terrain for such an eventuality.



Marc Peeperkorn




Of course, Neelie Kroes
was called to order on 7 February by her colleagues in the European
Commission. Brussels’ official line has been and continues to be that
Greece will have to be kept on board at all costs – and specifically
with a further loan for 130 billion euros – because if one stone
falls, the entire edifice of the euro will collapse. And at that point,
the price to be paid will be far greater than the one for emergency
aid to the Greeks.

The fact that the Commissioner for Digital Agenda chose to ignore this financial domino theory in an interview
given to De Volkskrant was not an involuntary slip or a blunder. On
the contrary, her remarks are the latest manifestation of a drive that
began last autumn to dismantle a number of European taboos, so that
hearts and minds will be prepared to abandon the Greeks to their fate
if that proves to be necessary.

The first of these euro taboos – the denigration of Greek
politicians – was put to the test last September by EU diplomats. The
pent-up exasperation of spending cuts that Athens promised and then
forgot more quickly than it could apply them finally drew scathing
criticism.

“We can’t keep bailing”


“We have had enough of Greek bullshit and procrastination,” said
one. Another described the management of the crisis as “an out-an-out
scandal”; a third went as far as to speculate about the possibility of
Greek default: “We can’t keep bailing. There comes a time when the
captain has to say: ‘Everyone into the lifeboats, we have to jump
ship.’”

The second taboo – a country cannot be excluded from the eurozone
– was breached in November by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and
French President Nicolas Sarkozy. When the Greek Prime Minister sparked
their ire by announcing a referendum on spending cuts, Merkozy made it
known that the only relevant question was: would Greece stay in the
euro or not? Clearly, it was possible to leave.

In the same month, European presidents Herman Van Rompuy and José
Manuel Barroso put an end to a third taboo: the euro will never end. In
an emotional presentation to the European parliament, they both warned
that the survival of the euro could be jeopardised if EU leaders did
not rapidly intervene.

In recent weeks, it has been the turn of taboo number four: a
eurozone country can never go bankrupt. Once again, Merkel and Sarkozy,
and also Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees De Jager, declared that
Athens could forget about its second 130 billion emergency loan if it
did not satisfy criteria stipulated by the EU and the IMF. And without
this money, Greece will go bankrupt, added Eurogroup President
Jean-Claude Juncker, just in case there were any doubts on the matter.

Commissioner Kroes has taken down the fifth and last taboo


Now Commissioner Kroes has taken down the fifth and last taboo,
which had been accepted as dogma: that the eurozone would collapse if
Greece went back to the drachma. “It is absolutely untrue,” declared
Kroes. In this context, it is worth bearing in mind that Greece’s
European Commissioner Maria Damanaki (in charge of fisheries) said this
weekend that Brussels had already prepared emergency plans for a Greek
exit from the euro – an assertion subsequently denied by the
Commission.

These remarks from Merkel, Sarkozy, Kroes and EU diplomats have made it possible to discuss a Greek exit from the eurozone. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees De Jager
have acknowledged that such an eventuality could take place. But that
is not to say it is going to happen this week – the extremely painful
negotiations between international backers and the Greek government,
which remain ongoing in Athens, will nonetheless probably result in an
agreement in coming days.

But all of the parties involved know that in three months they will
be back in Athens where they will once again conclude for the umpteenth
time that Greece has not kept its promises. And everyone will then be
prepared for a Greek exit. And more importantly no one will say that it
comes as a surprise.









Greek crisis

Grexit not a tragedy for EU






Political and economic chaos will turn Greece into a failed state, warns Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, analysing a recent Citibank report
on the Greek crisis. The report estimates that the risk of Athens’
defaulting on its sovereign debt in the next 18 months stands at 50
percent and there are many indications to believe that “leaving the
eurozone will be a tragedy for the Greeks but not the EU.” Why?


Firstly, with each successive restructuring plan, European banks
have been writing off more and more Greek debt. So while in the case
of default, Greek bonds will become worthless, losses for the EU
financial institutions will be limited.

Secondly, the financial markets have clearly distinguished between
the case of Greece and Portugal, which are unable to survive without
outside help, and that of Ireland, Spain, and Italy. [...] In this
situation, Brussels has a much stronger position in negotiating with
the Greeks.
However, the talks have stalled, so more and more EU politicians
believe that a Greek default and exit from the eurozone could be the
least evil.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 18:19

8 February 2012
Last updated at 17:22











Greece bailout: Coalition 'to finalise' austerity deal











The talks had been postponed to give opposition leaders time to digest the proposals


Continue reading the main story









Greek
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is meeting coalition parties in an
attempt to seal an austerity agreement to secure a new EU/IMF bailout.

The three parties were handed the draft after final touches were agreed between the PM and EU, ECB and IMF officials.

The accord is likely to include a 20% minimum wage reduction,
pension cuts and 15,000 civil service lay-offs, and has prompted
further mass protest.

Eurozone finance ministers are to discuss the bailout on Thursday.

Analysts believe this news indicates the Greek politicians
have reached an agreement, with Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker
previously having said the Brussels meeting would "depend on the results
of the talks in Athens".

The party leaders had arrived at Mr Papademos' office for the meeting at about 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT).

It had been postponed for a few hours on Wednesday, having
already been put back twice before, because they were yet to see the
document.

Mr Papademos held talks late on Tuesday night with
representatives from the troika - the European Commission, European
Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

A meeting that had already been delayed on Monday night was
postponed again on Tuesday evening as the heads of the three coalition
parties said they had not seen the document outlining the austerity
deal.


Continue reading the main story Greek deadlines







  • This week: Eurozone finance ministers to hold a
    meeting or conference call to approve the latest bailout, as soon as
    Greek politicians agree to conditions
  • 15 February: The latest a deal can be finalised in order to allow enough time for the Greek debt exchange, according to the Commission
  • 20 March: Greece must have received its next tranche of bailout cash to meet a 14bn euro debt payment
  • April: Greek elections expected




  • Gavin Hewitt: Europe waits on Athens


The 50-page text was eventually
given to officials from Pasok, New Democracy and the far-right Laos
party on Wednesday morning, reports said.

One of the key issues for the coalition was said to be a plan to reduce monthly pensions from 360 euros.

According to unconfirmed reports in the Greek media, the measures were aimed at trimming 3.2bn euros:



  • Minimum wage to be cut by 22% from 751 euros per month to 600 euros.
  • Supplementary pensions to be reduced by 15% but basic pensions also likely to be cut
  • 15,000 public sector jobs to go by end of 2012
  • But holiday bonuses, known as 13th and 14th month salaries, expected to be saved
If the parties give the text their "agreement in principle" it will then be put before the Greek parliament.

The BBC's Mark Lowen, in Athens, said a deal was expected to
be announced later but that the package of cuts and reforms would go
down very badly with an austerity weary Greek nation.




An estimated 20,000 people protested in Athens on Tuesday against the austerity measures


Public transport came to a standstill on Tuesday as an
estimated 20,000 people protested against the cuts. At one point a
German flag was set alight outside parliament.

As part of Greece's new 130bn euro ($170bn; £110bn) bailout
deal - Greece's second international bailout - Mr Papademos and Finance
Minister Evangelos Venizelos have also been engaged in a separate strand
of negotiations with private creditors over a write-off of up to 70% of
the value of the money owed by the Greek government.

On Tuesday night, a spokesman for the International Institute
of Finance (IIF) which is negotiating on behalf of the private
creditors said the talks had been constructive and its three officials
were returning to Paris for further consultations.









More on This Story

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 23:30

5 European Nations Agree to Help U.S. Crack Down on Tax Evasion

By DAVID JOLLY and BRIAN KNOWLTON

Published: February 8, 2012






PARIS — Washington won important backing Wednesday for an effort to identify offshore accounts held by Americans, as key European allies agreed to help.
In a joint statement, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain said they wanted “to intensify their cooperation in combating international tax evasion.” In return, Washington has agreed to “reciprocate in collecting and exchanging” information about U.S. accounts held by residents of those countries.
The agreement concerns the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, known as Fatca, which became law as part of a 2010 jobs bill. Fatca is meant to help the U.S. Internal Revenue Service identify hidden accounts and other assets held overseas by Americans, but the law has caused an outcry among foreign financial institutions that fear the cost of compliance as well as what they have said are unrealistically tight implementation deadlines.
There were also concerns that Fatca — which will require that virtually every financial institution in the world report any accounts held by Americans, with a withholding penalty for noncompliance — would put banks into a position of violating national secrecy laws to comply.
The United States and the five European countries said Wednesday that they would get around the secrecy problem by having financial institutions share data with their own governments, which would then share with Washington.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, welcomed the government-to-government approach, saying it would greatly reduce “the administrative burden, compliance costs and legal difficulties.”
The U.S. Congress estimated that Fatca would raise up to $1 billion a year for 10 years after implementation, a cost that banks have argued will be dwarfed by the cost of compliance, which has been estimated at up to $100 million for each multinational bank, according to the European Commission.
Algirdas Semeta, the E.U. tax commissioner, said he was confident that the information-sharing deal would help to accomplish the common goal of addressing international tax evasion “in a business-friendly manner.”
U.S. Treasury officials say privately that they hope other countries that have raised objections to Fatca, including Canada, Switzerland, China and Japan, will see the benefits of the approach announced Wednesday and that the agreement is almost certain to expand. They say discussions with other countries are continuing. The necessity of getting China on board for any such global deal is evident, as evidenced by Beijing’s announcement this week that it had forbidden its airlines to participate in an E.U. carbon tax program.
Li Xinghao, a spokesman for the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said last month of Fatca that “unless the law is modified, the China Banking Regulatory Commission has no right to mandate Chinese banks to disclose account information of U.S. clients to the U.S. taxing authorities.”
The agreements with the European countries will not provide an exemption from Fatca for any jurisdiction, but if a country were to oblige all of its financial institutions to automatically hand over all account data related to Americans, then it could obtain blanket exemption for its banks to transfer funds between themselves without being subject to the so-called pass-through payment withholding requirement for transactions with noncompliant institutions. The pass-through payment measure has been one of the elements most hotly contested by the financial industry.
The announcement Wednesday came as the I.R.S. proposed rules to implement the law in a 388-page document that addressed some of the criticisms.
Douglas H. Shulman, the I.R.S. commissioner, acknowledged in a statement that compliance “creates a significant undertaking for financial institutions,” and said the proposed regulations “reflect our commitment to take into account the implementation challenges of affected financial institutions while allowing for a smooth and timely rollout of the law.”
Denise Hintzke, head of the global tax compliance initiative at Deloitte in New York, said the rules included extending some compliance deadlines and allowing greater use of computerized searches of existing accounts for signs of American connections.
Fatca has also been criticized by American expatriates because it imposes new reporting requirements. Some have said it makes Americans less attractive as clients for financial institutions, raising the cost of doing business overseas. Those criticisms were not addressed in the proposed rules.
Brian Knowlton reported from Washington. Mia Li contributed from Beijing.
























Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Wed 8 Feb - 23:56

8 February 2012
Last updated at 23:35











Greece bailout: Coalition fail to agree cuts













Greek Prime Minister Lucas
Papademos has failed to secure the support of his coalition for a raft
of new austerity measures, reports say.

He was meeting officials from three parties to try to secure a deal leading to a fresh bailout package.

The main stumbling block in the crunch talks were proposed cuts to supplementary pensions, reports said.

Mr Papademos was said to be going directly to discuss the problem with EU and IMF officials.

They are representing the so-called "troika" of bailout
creditors - the European Union, the European Central Bank and the
International Monetary Fund - who had earlier agreed the draft proposals
with the prime minister.

They are thought to include a 20% minimum wage reduction,
pension cuts and the sacking of 15,000 public sector workers - and have
prompted further mass protests.

According to George Karatzaferis, leader of the far-right
Laos party, a coalition member, the bulk of Wednesday's seven-hour
meeting was spent discussing the issue of supplementary pensions, which
had reportedly been in line for a 15% cut.

















Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Thu 9 Feb - 6:43

Jamia Dannhauser of Lombard St. Research says the Greek problem is not resolved even if the current deal is accepted.
The forecast is for 120%GDP in 2020 which would mean that Greece would still be in recession .

The ECB is doing a good job but merely buying time.

The new fiscal rules mean tighter spending and the Banks will reduce loans. The tightening of credit conditions is too severe.

Dino Kos says the deal is too severe and Greece will be in depression for years.

Grant Thornton says business is slowing in the Eurozone,

Denmark and Poland want to join the EURO but Sweden is opposed. There is concern that the proposed new Members, Croatia and others do not have
sufficient GDP to be able to adopt the new fiscal policy.

Finland and Germany would be happy to see Greece leave the EURO. Business leaders in Greece want to stay but the Unions are against.

The EURO has climbed on expectation that Greece is finally accepting the deal. The sticking point seems to be the reduction in Pensions.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Thu 9 Feb - 12:00

Europe Finance Ministers are meeting at 6pm today to discuss the Greek bailout and the latest News on whether the Greek Government has agreed the
measures insisted upon by the Troika.

Greece needs to find E300 million to meet shortfalls and reducing Pensions is the only option.

James Ferguson of Western Securites says there have been no cuts implemented and Greece has stopped paying Tax. He is worried that Greece will not be able to sustain the poverty the whole way of life offers, and believes there will be contagion, particularly with Portugal , if Greece defaults.

Draghi is considered to have acted well in recent weeks but Greece owes the ECB E35 million and if the Country Defaults this would have to be written off.

There has been a drop off of lending by European Banks and it is possible a credit crunch will be coming up

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Badboy on Thu 9 Feb - 13:41

1 IN 3 GREEKS IS LIVING BELOW THE POVERTY LINE,IT SAID IN AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN TODAY.

Badboy
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Male
Number of posts : 7718
Age : 50
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2009-08-31

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Thu 9 Feb - 16:28

Eurozone


Greece retires...



9 February 2012


To Vima
Athens






Haddad







Agree to new austerity measures or risk being kicked out
of the eurozone: that’s the alternative presented to Athens on the day
the euro group is meeting. It’s a situation Greek politicians have
failed to avoid, regrets To Vima.



Giorgos Malouhos




In the dramatic hours between yesterday afternoon [February 8]
and this morning, Greece failed, as expected, to stand up to the
coercion of its creditors. In essence they said “Yes to everything” –
except to lowering pensions. On this point the creditors seem to be
giving more time to balance the objectives, but in practice, the
Troika’s ultimatum has been accepted.

Greece fought for the pensions, and this is worth something in this
chaos. But the chaos is here: how much deeper the recession will get
due to the additional new measures has not been figured in. Revenues
plunged in January, the structural targets [deficit reduction] have not
been met, and social cohesion and peace have been undermined, as has
development.

Our membership in the single currency remains, nevertheless, just as
threatened as before, if not more. Nothing is guaranteed, simply
because nothing that will happen will serve this purpose – to stay
inside the eurozone – but will go exclusively to repaying the debt.
That has been the Achilles heel of these negotiations.

To avert the destruction of Greek society


In reality, Greece itself is retiring: after the party leaders sign
off in favour of austerity, and if all this is passed by parliament,
our national sovereignty will no longer have any meaning. It is
becoming possible to inflict on us all kinds of policies and political
developments, whatever they may be, which is leading us to an impasse,
and to an explosion of competitiveness, not in the Greek economy, but
between society and its political class, between the recession and the
hope of recovery that is slowly dying.

The country appears headed for an era similar to the interwar years,
which helps to dash any hopes of "seeing the light at the end of the
tunnel" – without having succeeded, despite the rhetoric, at achieving
any national reform. We are very close to seeing our membership in the
single currency revoked – and this state of affairs will go on, because
the tightening of the screws is going to get worse.

To stay in the euro, whatever it will cost, to avert the destruction
of Greek society: that's the only thing our leaders should have been
negotiating. And that's the only thing that was not mentioned by the
Minister of Finance as he headed off to the Euro Group meeting [February
9].


I am leaving for Brussels in the hope that the Euro Group meeting
will be held and will come up with a positive decision to support the
programme [for financial aid]. The survival of the country in the coming
years depends on getting this funding, and whether or not the debt is
reduced. On this depends the country's place in the eurozone, and even
our place in the European Union.
But he is the only one saying it. The reality points to something else.









Negotiations

Last-minute deal and a call for a general strike






The parties that support Prime Minister Lucas Papademos have
reached a last-ditch agreement on new austerity measures demanded by the
troika (EU, ECB, IMF) before a second aid plan is approved, reveals the Financial Times.
The 130 billion euros are meant to help Athens avoid default. The green
light came a few hours before a crucial meeting of eurozone countries’
finance ministers in Brussels, who are convening precisely to examine
the Greek plan. Greece’s major unions, which consider the plan unjust,
have called a two-day strike starting on February 10.




*** The Troika are meeting tonight to discuss the agreement from the Greek Parliament But Draghi refuses to say what is happening on the Greek Bonds purchased by the ECB.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Thu 9 Feb - 20:14

Feb 9, 2:40 PM EST


Greek deal to cut spending does not end debt drama



By DAVID McHUGH
AP Business Writer













AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis











Business Video





























Advertisement


















































Buy AP Photo Reprints


































Photo Gallery














Violent protests in Greece









FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- More than two years after it came
clean about its addiction to debt, Greece may finally have begun its
long and painful road to recovery.
Greece's
fractious political leaders struck a deal Thursday to make deep cuts in
government jobs and spending to help save the country from a default
that could shock the world financial system.
The
deal, under negotiation since July, is one of two critical steps Greece
must take to receive a euro130 billion ($170 billion) bailout from
other countries in Europe and around the globe. It was announced by
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' office and will be scrutinized
during talks in Brussels between finance ministers from the 17 countries
that use the euro.
German Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble said no final agreement unleashing the bailout money
would be reached Thursday. He said more work had to be done to fulfill
the conditions for a bailout.
In addition to
the fiscal austerity mandated by the European Union, the European
Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Greece is close to an
agreement with private investors who hold nearly two-thirds of its debt
to sharply reduce the country's borrowing costs.
Greece
needs the bailout by March 20 so it will have enough money to redeem
euro14.5 billion worth of bonds coming due. If it doesn't make that
payment, it will be in default. Financial analysts fear that could set
off a chain reaction similar to the financial meltdown triggered by the
collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008.
The
bailout will ease some of the uncertainty that has unsettled Europe and
the world financial system for more than two years, but it will not
bring down the curtain on Greece's debt drama.
Greece
remains in a deep recession. Unemployment is 20.9 percent after the
economy's third straight year of decline. Its government finances and
its economy are being dragged down by costly political patronage, tax
evasion and special protections for some favored trades.
Greece
will be struggling to pay its debts for years, says Domenico Lombardi,
senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "The scope of the problems
that have to be tackled in Greece are so huge and so entrenched," he
says.
Efforts to fix those fundamental
problems, at the behest of Greece's increasingly exasperated creditors -
including prosperous Germany - are moving slowly, if at all. If they
are not solved, Greece may find itself back at the edge of default.
The
deal Greek political leaders struck Thursday includes a 22 percent cut
in the monthly minimum wage to euro586 ($780), layoffs for 15,000 civil
servants and an end to dozens of job guarantee provisions.
Greece
is also close to a vital debt-relief deal with banks, hedge funds,
pension funds and other private investors. Under the tentative deal, the
private investors would exchange euro206 billion in Greek government
bonds for euro30 billion in cash, plus euro70 billion in new bonds. The
cash would come from the euro130 billion package from Europe and the
IMF. The new bonds would have a lower average interest rate and a longer
term of maturity.
The combination of less
principal to repay when the bonds mature and less interest to pay every
year until then means Greece would spend about 70 percent less than it
would have without a deal.
The debt held by
the European Central Bank and other public institutions accounts for one
third of Greece's national debt and is not part of this tentative deal.
However, ECB President Mario Draghi said Thursday that the bank could
distribute to member countries the profits it stands to make on Greek
bonds, leaving open the possibility of additional debt relief for
Greece.
If Greece were to default, investors
would become reluctant to lend to other heavily indebted European
countries for fear they would not get their money back, pushing their
borrowing costs even higher than they are now.
Those
other countries include Italy, which has an economy six times the size
of Greece's. Most analysts say Italy is too big to bail out.
The
specter of default has hung over world financial markets for more than
two years. Whenever there has been progress - and, indeed, U.S. stock
indexes have doubled from the lows they reached in March 2009 - Greece
has always stood in the way of more.
And while
the immediate danger appears to have passed, it is far from clear
whether Greece has won enough debt relief to fix its finances for good.
Its
economy - ultimately the key to handling debt - remains in a deep
recession. It shrank at an annual rate of 5 percent in the third quarter
of 2011. Earlier in the year, it was shrinking at an 8.3 percent rate,
about as fast as the United States economy was shrinking during the
worst of the Great Recession. Thousands of shops and small businesses,
vital to the Greek economy, have gone bankrupt. And protesters have
taken to the streets of Athens regularly to denounce the government and
its austerity measures.
Greece's troubles with
debt go back to the 1980s, when successive governments began increasing
the size of government and the number of public employees. By 2010, the
total had reached 750,000 full-time employees - including 10,000 Greek
Orthodox priests and 81,000 military officers - and 150,000 on part-time
contracts. That was almost one in five people in the Greek labor force.
Government
jobs became a way of rewarding supporters of Greece's two main
political parties. The parties made matters worse by raising the wages
of government employees to unsustainable levels. At the same time, the
government was lax about collecting taxes. It had to issue ever more
debt to cover its spiraling wage bills.
At
first, bond investors lent freely, at interest rates slightly higher
than for economic powerhouse Germany. After all, Greece was one of the
17 countries that use the euro. All had promised to observe strict
budget and deficit limits. And while on paper the treaty that created
the 27-country European Union forbade bailouts, there was a vague sense
that Europe could not let a country go bust.
Then
came Oct. 21, 2009. A newly elected government in Athens told its
European partners that its finances were far worse than the previous
government had disclosed.
The national
deficit, the difference between what the government took in and what it
spent, was not 3.7 percent of annual economic output, as had been
believed. It was 12.5 percent, and that was later revised higher to 15.4
percent. One condition of being in the eurozone was that countries were
required to keep deficits to a manageable level of no more than 3
percent of economic output.
Investors around
the world, still reeling from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the
worldwide financial crisis just a year earlier, began looking hard at
risk. They demanded higher interest rates to loan Greece money by buying
its bonds, and Greece's borrowing costs soared.
On
April 27, 2010, ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Greek
bonds to junk status - the first time a eurozone country was given a
non-investment grade rating.
The next month,
other euro countries and the IMF intervened. They promised euro110
billion in loans - to be paid out in stages - so that Greece could pay
its debts as they came due.
The terms of the
bailout were harsh: higher taxes and deep cuts in public spending and
wages at least through 2020, a package of fiscal belt-tightening known
as austerity. As it took hold, the Greek economy sagged further, and
it's expected to remain weak for years.
The
second euro130 billion bailout package would come as loans plus euro30
billion in cash that would go to the private creditors who agree to swap
their bonds. Greece would use an additional euro40 billion of the
bailout money to invest in the country's banks, which stand to take
massive losses as part of the debt-relief deal.
Even
with the debt relief and the bailout money, it will be difficult for
Greece to ensure that its new, lower level of debt is manageable, or
that it will be able to sell bonds at favorable interest rates over the
next decade. Greece will have to continue to borrowing money to repay
holders of bonds that mature, as well as to finance budget deficits that
will continue, even though they'll be smaller.
"I
do not think the plan will work," says Uri Dadush, director of the
international economics program at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace. Dadush says Greece needs even more debt relief.
But
a responsible budget and sound economic policies are supposed to
convince investors that the country will be able to pay its debts, and
thus should be able to borrow at affordable rates.
In
recent weeks, other countries in the European Union have made some
progress in doing just that. In the final months of last year, countries
such as Italy and Spain watched helplessly as yields on their debt
spiraled ever higher. Governments fell in Rome and Madrid.
The
new governments moved swiftly to cut spending. The result has been an
easier time raising money in the bond markets and much lower rates. On
Nov. 25, the interest rate on Italy's two-year bonds was 7.40 percent.
On Friday, it was 2.96 percent, the lowest since June 2010.
Much
of the improvement, though, is credited to the European Central Bank,
which announced a program in December designed to help stabilize shaky
banks in the eurozone. The ECB said it would loan the banks unlimited
amounts of money at 1 percent interest and for three years instead of
the normal one. The banks responded by borrowing euro489 billion ($632.6
billion). They've used at least some of that money to buy government
bonds - extra demand that has helped bring down governments' borrowing
costs.
But Greece's problems are so severe it has remained locked out of the bond market.
Greece's
outstanding government debt is about euro350 billion, an amount equal
to more than 160 percent of its annual economic output. The budget
reforms and debt-relief deals aim to get that figure down to 120 percent
by 2020. The United States has a debt-to-gross domestic product ratio
of 100 percent. But because it is seen by investors as one of the safest
countries to lend to, its borrowing costs have stayed low.
For
Greece, the target of 120 percent is still a relatively high figure.
According to the IMF, it is on the outside limit of what is manageable.
And the figure assumes that Greece's economy will meet expectations for
economic growth - no sure thing after years of ever deeper recession.
Also
in question is whether Greek voters, who will choose a new government
in an election tentatively set for this spring, will put up with eight
more years of austerity.
---
AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman in Washington contributed to this report.


Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Fri 10 Feb - 6:08

It is looking increasing like Greece will default.

The Troika meeting last night with the Greek Finance Minister did not receive a rubber stamp of approval , the Troika said there was no evidence from
the package produced that Greece was complying with the existing rules and the Troika are going to demand yet more cuts.

There is no clear majority Party in Greece and the accepance of the austerity measures has relied on a Coalition agreement which cannot guarantee
that any new rules will be accepted.

The Greek population is planning a range of strikes in protest at the measures crippling the Country.

President Obama has spoken to Monti, EU President saying America will help all it can but he must be assured that everything has been done to build
a Firewall around other vulnerable Countries to avoid contagion. They are due to meet shortly.

There is also the question of the Private Bondholders and the percentage writeoffs they will agree.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Fri 10 Feb - 6:27

German exports soar, but not for long



9 February 2012


Presseurop

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 9 February 2012








"Germany exporting more than ever," boasts German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Despite the crisis, "the German economy exported over €1 trillion in
2011," the paper says. This is historic high, up 11.4% compared with
2010, according to the German Statistics Office. Demand came from all
emerging nations, especially China, the paper explains. But with €627
billion, "the EU remains the most important market for German exports,"
representing nearly two thirds of total exports within the European
Union.

Given the situation, Süddeutsche Zeitung notes, "American
and French economists had asked the German government to even out its
trade balance with the other EU countries". But given that the trade
balance between Germany and its European partners was close to even in
2011, it is only partially responsible for the financial imbalance of
some European countries, the paper says.

The Financial Times Deutschland, however, sees
a "downside to the miracle of German exports". For the paper, "based on
imports, the intense economic slowdown in the Eurozone, in Switzerland
and in Eastern Europe, weighs on the German economy". Sales abroad
dropped by 4.3% between November and December, something not seen since
the recession of 2009. This contraction has impeded German growth this
winter, the paper says.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Fri 10 Feb - 7:10

Greece bailout: Eurozone ministers set new conditions




















Juncker: "We do not have all necessary elements on table to take decisions"






Continue reading the main story













Global Economy








  • Q&A: Greek debt crisis

  • Why Greece won't go away

  • 'Magic' made Greek debt disappear

  • What caused the eurozone crisis?











Eurozone finance ministers have set out new conditions to a 130bn euro ($170bn; £110bn) bailout for Greece.

The ministers, meeting in Brussels, said the Greek parliament would now have to pass a package of cuts and reforms on Sunday.

In addition, Greek politicians will have to find an extra 325m euros ($432m; £273m) in savings for 2012.

Greek unions had already called a 48-hour strike, beginning on Friday, in opposition to the measures.

The chairman of the meeting of Eurozone finance ministers,
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, also said Greek leaders
would have to give "strong political assurances" that they will continue
to implement reforms after a general election due in April.

"Despite the important progress achieved over the last days,
we did not yet have all necessary elements on the table to take
decisions today," he said, referring to a plan agreed by Greece's
fragile ruling coalition after days of talks.

"All these measures are important to ensure a smooth implementation of the programme also after the upcoming general elections.




The Greek government's latest austerity proposals have already prompted protests by unions


"These three elements, those I mentioned, need to be in place before we can take decisions," Mr Juncker added.

He further welcomed "assurances provided by the Greek
government that all the necessary elements will be put in place in the
coming days," Reuters reports.

The conditions would need to be fulfilled before Eurozone finance ministers reconvene on Wednesday, he said.

Toughening mood
Eurozone countries were also "seriously considering" creating a
new, separate account for Greece, which would block a portion of state
revenues to guarantee the repayment of bailout loans, EU economic
affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said.

A Franco-German proposal on budgetary discipline, with
automatic penalties for eurozone nations that overspend, is "one
possibility for reinforcing surveillance and effectively implementing
the programme," he said.

The BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels says that given the
worsening state of the Greek economy, there is serious concern among
European ministers that the overall plan for Greece - involving the new
bailout as well as an agreement for private banks to write off a
substantial chunk of Greek debt - still doesn't do enough to put the
country on a sustainable economic path.

Greece is trying to negotiate the bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF).


Continue reading the main story Analysis





Chris Morris
BBC News, Brussels




What has become clear at this meeting is the distinct lack of
trust among Eurozone ministers that Greece can live up to the promises
it makes. They looked into the details of the plans that Greek political
leaders had reluctantly signed up to and decided that not enough had
been done.

Mr Juncker suggested that patience with Greece is running
thin, after a series of difficulties in implementing the terms of the
first bail-out given to Athens. The European Union, and the European
Commission in particular, will now be trying to monitor Greece much more
robustly, sending officials to help speed up progress on issues such as
tax evasion and privatisation on which they feel previous promises by
the Greeks have not been kept.

The pattern established over the past 18 months or so seems
to be reasserting itself. On one side, there is political opposition in
Greece to tough austerity measures, and on the other, pressure from
voters in countries which are paying money into bailout funds to ensure
good money is not being thrown after bad.




It is the second such bailout, and lenders have insisted on more austerity measures in return for the loan.

The mood among Eurozone countries appears to be toughening on Greece, our correspondent says.

While the official view is still that Greece must be saved,
he says there is more and more talk on the margins that a Greek default
would not be a disaster.

'Painful measures'
The plan agreed by the Greek government earlier this week
includes 15,000 public-sector job cuts, liberalisation of labour laws,
lowering the minimum wage by 22% from 751 euros per month to 600 euros
and negotiating a debt write-off with banks.

But a key demand of the EU, IMF and European Central Bank was
reform of the pension system, an issue that proved to be a stumbling
block.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos tried to convince his coalition partners to overhaul pensions and save 300m euros a year.

Talks broke up without an agreement, but officials later
announced that a compromise had been reached. It was not clear how the
300m euro saving would be made.

The government needs the backing of the eurozone ministers
and the approval of the Greek parliament before the deal can be
finalised.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, of the left-wing
Pasok party, launched an attack on his conservative rival Antonis
Samaras after attending the finance ministers' meeting in Brussels.

Mr Venizelos said his European counterparts "took into
consideration that [Mr] Samaras has still not signed" a letter
committing to spending cuts and reforms.




Mr Juncker (left) and Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos discussed the bailout


"The (conservative) party must decide - if they want to stay in
the eurozone, they have to say so clearly," Mr Venizelos said, AFP
reports.

Greece is already feeling the effects of an earlier round of
austerity, put in place as part of a deal to release funds from a
previous bailout.

Those cuts triggered widespread unrest and violent protests.

Greece is deep in recession with unemployment rising above 20%.

Unions have already said they will go out on strike over the
latest austerity plans, condemning them as "painful measures" that would
create misery.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed America's willingness to help stabilise the eurozone.

In a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, he also urged European countries to promote a strategy of growth.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Panda on Fri 10 Feb - 7:42

7:09am UK, Friday February 10, 2012





A wave of fresh protests is expected to hit Greece today
after eurozone Finance Ministers rejected the country's proposals on
austerity.



Greek leaders reached a last-minute deal including three-billion euros worth of cuts - but Brussels says it is not enough.



The country now has less than a week to meet three conditions in return for 130 billion euros in aid to stave off bankruptcy.



The other eurozone countries have demanded Greece finds another 325
million euros in savings, passes its cuts package in Parliament and
secures written guarantees the plans will be implemented even after a
new government is elected in April.



The Greek people are already in uproar over the existing austerity
measures, which make sharp cuts to the minimum wage and thousands of
public-sector jobs.











Protesters demonstrating in Athens against the new austerity measures





Its deputy labour minister has resigned in protest after Greece
agreed to the deal, accusing debt inspectors of using "shameless and
blackmailing tactics".



The unions are also furious and have called a 48-hour strike for Friday and Saturday in opposition to the new cuts,



Even debt inspectors have conceded that the new measures would keep the country in a recession for a fifth straight year.



:: See more videos and stories on our dedicated eurozone crisis page


But following the meeting with other eurozone ministers on Thursday,
Greece's finance minister warned that the alternative will likely be
worse.



"Unfortunately the choice we face is one of sacrifice or even greater
sacrifice - on a scale that cannot be compared," Evangelos Venizelos
said.



Other European officials warned that more severe steps still might be necessary.



"Greece still has its homework cut out," Jan Kees de Jager, the Dutch
finance minister, said after the meeting. "A lot of measures need to be
clarified and taken."











Union members have called a 48-hour strike over the plans





Olli Rehn, the EU'e economic affairs commissioner, has said plans
proposed by France and Germany to get Greece to set up a separate
account dedicated to repaying its debt are also seriously being
considered.



This would be an unprecedented intrusion into the fiscal affairs of a
sovereign state in Europe and underlines the frustration at Greece's
slow reforms over the past two years.



Greece's wriggle room is rapidly diminishing. It has until March 20 to redeem 14.5bn euros in bonds - money it does not have.



The country's total debt is 350bn euros - equivalent to 160% of its
annual economic output and unsustainable even for a healthier economy.



Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has made clear that all major
party leaders in the coalition government had backed the latest cuts but
its eurozone partners have indicated they will need written assurance
before the meeting next Wednesday.



Once all the demands have been fulfilled, Greece will get the green
light to start implementing a separate bond swap deal with banks and
investors which is designed to reduce its debts.



The country is expected to rush the new austerity measures through
parliament on Sunday but the government is already facing growing
dissent from the majority Socialist party.

Panda
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 30555
Age : 59
Location : Wales
Warning :
0 / 1000 / 100

Registration date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: New EC Thread

Post  Sponsored content Today at 2:20


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 40 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 22 ... 40  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum