Showing posts with label Greek Crisis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek Crisis. Show all posts

Monday, September 25, 2017

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

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 / 12:04 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
Reuters Staff
2 MIN READ


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

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


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

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

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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

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

Bloomberg

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

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Greece Must Complete Most Pending Bailout Reforms by November-PM

By REUTERSSEPT. 18, 2017, 6:48 A.M. E.D.T.


The New York Times

ATHENS — Greece must complete most of the pending reforms agreed with its official creditors by November in order to speed up the conclusion of a key progress review and exit the bailout in time, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his cabinet on Monday.

Greece's bailout progress is being reviewed by its lenders on a quarterly basis and the next review is expected to start in October. Tsipras has promised to make the country financially independent by 2018, when its third rescue programme expires.

The IMF Needs to Stop Torturing Greece

The fund should write down the country's debt, not demand another bank recapitalization.
By J. Kyle Bass

19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017, 7:30 π.μ. EEST

“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,” wrote the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the 21st century, it’s the Greeks who should have been more careful about accepting offerings -- specifically from the International Monetary Fund, which is now torturing the country in a misguided effort to get its money back.

Greek officials have worked hard to shore up their economy and finances. From 2010 through 2016, the government achieved the all-but-impossible task of shrinking its primary budget deficit by nearly 18 percent of gross domestic product, and is finally in surplus. After a brutal contraction of almost 30 percent, the economy is exhibiting positive signs in almost every area -- industrial production, new automobile registrations, construction permits, tourist arrivals.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Greece: Where Literally Sitting on Goldmine Is Not Enough to Make Money

By Sotiris Nikas , Paul Tugwell , and Danielle Bochove
11 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017, 3:50 μ.μ. EEST 11 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017, 8:31 μ.μ. EEST

Bloomberg

“Irrespective of what will happen next, the damage for Greece as an investment destination is done and it is very significant,”

Eldorado Gold Corp. has put Greece on the spot.

The Canadian mining company’s decision on Monday to suspend all its operations in Greece, citing delays in acquiring routine permits, puts the Syriza government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a difficult position. Eldorado Gold is the largest foreign investor in Greece and its decision comes as the country, which is working on creating a sustainable path to exit its bailout program, tries to lure foreign investments.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Greece Offers Latest Effort to Reform Public Sector, a Key Bailout Demand

Aug. 30, 2017, at 1:08 p.m

US News

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's government presented a three-year plan to overhaul the country's public sector on Wednesday, the latest attempt to fix a problem that helped plunge the country into its worst crisis in decades seven years ago.

Athens, which has signed up for three international bailouts since 2010, has promised its lenders to shrink and modernize its administration to cut costs, make it more efficient and end a legacy of patronage hiring.

The leftist-led government says it aims to evaluate and educate state workers, distribute staff according to the sector's needs and seek candidates with digital skills, create online databases and simplify regulation by 2019.

UPDATE 1-Greece's Eurobank, Piraeus profitable in Q2, bad debt levels ease

AUGUST 30, 2017 / 7:43 PM / 15 HOURS AGO
Reuters Staff
4 MIN READ
* Eurobank posts 8.8 percent rise in Q2 profit

* Non-performing loans ease to 34.6 pct of book

* Piraeus Bank swings to 7 mln euro profit in Q2 (Adds Eurobank, Piraeus CEOs comment, details)

By George Georgiopoulos

ATHENS, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Greece’s Eurobank reported a sixth straight quarterly profit on Wednesday and Piraeus Bank swung back into the black, pointing to a recovery from the nation’s economic crisis as banks slowly reduce their pile of bad debts.

Greek banks have been struggling with problem loan portfolios after a protracted recession pushed unemployment to record highs, making it hard for borrowers to service debts.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Chastised by E.U., a Resentful Greece Embraces China’s Cash and Interests


By JASON HOROWITZ and LIZ ALDERMANAUG. 26, 2017

The New York Times

ATHENS — After years of struggling under austerity imposed by European partners and a chilly shoulder from the United States, Greece has embraced the advances of China, its most ardent and geopolitically ambitious suitor.

While Europe was busy squeezing Greece, the Chinese swooped in with bucket-loads of investments that have begun to pay off, not only economically but also by apparently giving China a political foothold in Greece, and by extension, in Europe.

Last summer, Greece helped stop the European Union from issuing a unified statement against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. This June, Athens prevented the bloc from condemning China’s human rights record. Days later it opposed tougher screening of Chinese investments in Europe.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Who Will Be Europe’s Alexander Hamilton?

AUG 7, 2017 4

Project Syndicate

SYLVESTER EIJFFINGER
Sylvester Eijffinger is Professor of Financial Economics at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

TILBURG – Not too long ago, the European Central Bank’s actions were usually met with cheers. But more recently, the ECB has drawn criticism from not just bankers and economists, but also citizens and politicians.
With returns on fixed-income investments decreasing, investors are being forced into equity investments, which have become riskier and more expensive, owing to increased uncertainty about financial and economic stability. That uncertainty reflects the fact that the ECB’s extremely low interest rates are serving to prevent desperately needed structural reforms in eurozone countries with high deficits and debt.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Greece launches new offshore oil and gas tenders

AUGUST 7, 2017 / 3:38 PM / 15 MINUTES AGO

Reuters

ATHENS, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Greece launched two tenders on Monday for offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the west and south of the country, the energy ministry said.

The move follows expressions of interest by a consortium of Total, Exxon Mobil and Hellenic Petroleum for exploration in two sites off the island of Crete, and by Greece's Energean for a block in the Ionian Sea in western Greece.

Greece scapegoats a statistician who only did his job


The Washington Post

By Editorial Board August 4
IN GREECE, the lucrative tourism industry is threatened this summer by millions of oversized jellyfish washing ashore on the nation’s beaches. An even slimier development is the ongoing persecution of the country’s first independent chief statistician, whose tough-minded steps to straighten out Greece’s notoriously fraudulent economic data have been repaid with farcical prosecutions by a judicial system rapidly discrediting itself in the world’s eyes.

Andreas Georgiou, an American-trained economist who spent two decades working at the International Monetary Fund, was hired as Greece’s top statistician in 2010 as the country’s debt crisis was spiraling out of control. His goal was to honestly report economic data that for years had been fudged by politicians and officials seeking to minimize their own fateful fiscal mismanagement.

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, July 20, 2017

Yes Greece Can


by Marcus Ashworth

Bloomberg

July 19, 2017 8:08 AM EDT
Greece's hopes of returning to the debt markets after a three-year absence have been held up by one of its main creditors, the International Monetary Fund.Under the strict conditions of its bailout, the country's debt burden is still too high to contemplate selling more debt, according to the IMF. But there is a compromise option, which Greece should pursue.The Hellenic Republic had been laying the groundwork to issue as much as 4 billion euros ($4.6 billion) in five-year bonds after repaying 6 billion euros of its existing debt this week. But the funds to pay down that debt came from the European Stability Mechanism, so Greece's overall debt hasn't been reduced, simply extended.The IMF's opposition to issuing new debt doesn't stop Greece from shuffling its debt stack by lengthening maturities.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Greek Bond Sale Is Said to Be Delayed by IMF Debt Cap Rule


By Viktoria Dendrinou  and Nikos Chrysoloras
19 Ιουλίου 2017, 12:43 π.μ. EEST 19 Ιουλίου 2017, 11:48 π.μ. EEST

Bloomberg

Greece’s much anticipated return to bond markets this week has been held off partly due to a ceiling set by the International Monetary Fund on the amount of debt the country can hold, according to three officials familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the talks are confidential.

How EU Reckons Greece Can Make a Successful Return to Markets

By REUTERSJULY 18, 2017, 10:51 A.M. E.D.T.
Continue reading the main storyShare This BRUSSELS — Greece's imminent return to markets will be a step towards a successful exit from its euro zone-funded bailout programme, but it will not be an overnight change.

The New York Times

The process, European Union officials say, will require a series of successful bond sales and the build-up of a "sizeable" cash buffer.

Euro zone creditors are keen to see Athens develop a strategy to tap the markets well before the end of its current 86-billion-euro financial aid programme, so that when the bailout expires in August 2018 the country will be more likely to stand on its own feet.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

EU Commission Says Greece Public Finances Back in Order

By REUTERS
JULY 12, 2017, 7:57 A.M. E.D.T.
The New York Times

BRUSSELS — Greece's fiscal position has improved and the European Union should end disciplinary procedures against it over its excessive deficit, the EU commission said on Wednesday, paving the way for the country to return to international bond markets.

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Greece: Protest and fire break out at Lesbos migrant camp

By Associated Press July 10 at 10:19 AM

The Washington Post

ATHENS, Greece — Authorities on the Greek island of Lesbos say a fire has broken out at a large migrant camp following a protest at the site.

Police said no injuries were reported from Monday’s protest and that the fire believed to have been set deliberately at the Moria camp is still burning.

ESM Urges Greece to Ready Market Borrowing Strategy

By REUTERSJULY 10, 2017, 3:09 P.M. E.D.T.

The New York Times

BRUSSELS — Greece should develop a strategy for its return to market borrowing and raise private finance before its euro zone bailout programme ends in a year's time, the head of the European Stability Mechanism said on Monday.

Klaus Regling told reporters "Greece will not need that much borrowing from the markets in the future" once bailout funding via the ESM ends in August 2018. It would be required only to replace maturing debt, given Athens' predicted fiscal surpluses.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Britain Isn't Greece, Prime Minister

Enough austerity. The government can afford to raise spending where that would help the economy.
By The Editors
7 Ιουλίου 2017, 9:39 π.μ. EEST
Bloomberg
Britain’s government isn’t due to announce a new budget until the autumn, but debate is already raging over public-sector pay. With Brexit bearing down, the embattled prime minister, Theresa May, will have to choose between making another embarrassing U-turn and defending a policy that is both unpopular and unnecessary.

Sadly for May, the U-turn makes better sense.