Tag Archives: Greece

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

Germany and its allies are ready to let Greece leave the euro unless Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepts the conditions required to extend his country’s financial support, according to Malta’s finance minister, Edward Scicluna.

Greece’s creditors are cranking up the pressure on Tsipras as he seeks a deal to prevent his country defaulting on its obligations as early as next month. By bowing to German demands, the premier risks a domestic backlash from voters and party members whom he’s promised an end to austerity.

German-Led Bloc Willing to Let Greece Leave Euro: Malta (Bloomberg)

Alternatively…

As Greece heads toward 11th-hour funding talks with its euro-area membership on the line, bondholders are surprisingly sanguine about its failure so far to secure a deal.

Forget the strategists at Commerzbank AG who say there’s a 50 percent chance it’ll leave the currency bloc, and those at Barclays Plc who put the exit risk higher even than in the 2012 debt crisis. The Bloomberg Greece Sovereign Bond Index shows those with money at stake aren’t seeing a significant increase in the chances of a euro-zone departure….

Investors Still Don’t Think Greece Will Exit the Euro Bloomberg)

Reuters

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Germany has rejected Greece’s application to extend its loan agreement and renegotiate the terms of its bailout, raising the very real threat of Athens running out of money in the coming weeks.
The Berlin government said on Thursday that Greece’s application for a six-month extension of its loan and a renegotiation of some its terms was “no substantial solution.”

Germany rejects Greece’s application to extend its loan agreement (CNBC)

Historic Depths of Greece’s Economic Misery, Charted (Salon)

Graphs via Salon

alexis-tsiprasGreek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

…Asks Zero Hedge

Who adds:

Moments ago Bloomberg blasted a headline which has to be validated by other members of the European Commission as well as Merkel and the other Germans (and may well be refuted, considering this is Europe), which said that:Commission To propose Six Month Exension – sources So did Greece just win the first round of its stand off with Brussels? It remains to be confirmed, but congratulations to Greece if indeed it caused Merkel and the ECB to fold….

After Greece Warns It May Get Funds From Russia Or China, Europe Said To Propose 6 Month Extension (ZeroHedge)

Thanks Sido

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Maria Karagianni, a member of Syriza’s youth wing, at breakfast meeting hosted by Communities Against Water Charges in North Dublin at Edenmore, Dublin on Saturday.

“What we have learnt from the campaign is, never give up, it can be done, don’t give in to those who will try to discourage you, build as many alliances as you can..

“Then what happens is the mainstream media will try to attack the movement. The mainstream media is generally controlled by the elites in society who fear genuine grassroots movements of working people. They will always try to undermine movements resisting austerity. In Greece, you could have a rally with 10,000 people and it will not be in the news.”

Maria Karagianni,  said when mainstream media failed to cover the protests, people turned to social media and covered their protests themselves. “Social media has been very important,” she said.

The anti-water charges campaign was “inspirational” to the Greek people, she said.

“It is so impressive. It is a genuinely working class movement that challenged the narrative that everything is good in Ireland and everyone is happy.”

FIGHT!

Greeks ‘inspired’ by Irish anti-water charge campaign (Kitty Holland, Irish Times)

Meanwhile…

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At the Syrzia breakfast on Saturday.

From left: Moira Murphy Community against water charges, Richard Mc Aleavey Greek solidarity, Gerard Kennark from Community against water charges, Cat Inglis from Community against water charges, Maria Karagianni and Nyoman Tzouvla Syriza acivists, Ronan Burtenshaw from Greek solidarity.

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

SchauebleVarouAFP_3188964bGerman Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Yanis Varoufakis today

Greece’s new finance minister has urged Germany to help end the “gross indignity” of the Greek debt crisis. Yanis Varoufakis said “too much time, hopes, lives” had been wasted by Greece’s forced austerity programme….

Some club, in fairness.

End ‘gross indignity’, Greek FM Varoufakis tells Germany (BBC)

Meanwhile…

FTSE Eurofirst falls 0.4 after impass in Greek debt deal

Shares in Greece’s biggest banks fall 8pc

Denmark slashes rates to -0.75pc on currency fears

Varoufakis calls more for time and emergency bridging loans

Markets rocked by surprise ECB move to cut Greek bank funding (Telegraph)

Earlier: Making A Drachma Out of A Crisis

(AFP)

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Government buildings yesterday

Ger writes:

Enda Kenny goes to Brussels today to meet European leaders . He is “not expected to use the meetings to plead for Irish debt renegotiation” despite this being the perfect time and opportunity.

But he is “expected to strongly defend Ireland’s corporate tax regime at a meeting with Mr [Jean Claude] Juncker”.  Good times.

Kenny not expected to follow Greece in debt relief demands (Suzanne Lynch, Irish Times)

Earlier: Making A Drachma Out Of A Crisis

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

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photoAnna Christofides (above) and barrier-free Greek Parliament last night

So…Greece.

How’s that going?

Athens-based, Galway-born political scientist Anna Christofides writes:

Despite threats and scaremongering from the EU, Greek voters have spoken; “no more austerity” and “no more EU imposed governments”. The message is loud and clear, the task is less so.

It is early days for Syriza and the new Greek government and Greeks are nervous. Many believe that change will not come fast enough or be radical enough. However, the streets of Athens are already showing signs of change. The gradual militarisation which had taken hold of Athens’ city centre has been rolled back since the new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, took office on Monday.

The barriers in front of the parliament have been removed and the buses of riot polices have disappeared from the streets. Just as a palpable feeling of depression and desperation descended on the city following the Troika bailout deals in 2010, now there is a tangible feeling of hope and cautious optimism.

Nonetheless, Syriza must tread carefully. Though they have been elected with a political mandate for change and to put an end to austerity, the reality is, their first battle may lie closer to home than with their European aggravators. The fact remains that the country is deeply divided. Though Syriza won the elections by a clear majority, 6% of the population continue to support the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party and 34% continue to support the parties that signed the memorandums and implemented devastating austerity measures which have left more than half of the country’s youth unemployed. Representing and satisfying such a conflicted and confused society is no mean feat.

Moreover, the country’s state institutions have traditionally supported and implemented the policies of Right and far Right governments. In turn, they themselves are supported by the country’s oligarchy, who, up until now, have proved untouchable. Syriza is well aware of this. It is no coincidence that they contacted the leaders of the Army and Police within one hour of the release of the first exit polls on Sunday evening, to confirm their trust for both of these institutions. Despite this, election statistics indicate that, once again, police were amongst the staunchest supporters of Golden Dawn.

In addition to the immediate domestic challenges there is extreme pressure from the European Left. The political investment in Syriza is collossal, the future of the entire European radical Left relies on their ability to demonstrate that a valid, political, alternative to the current neo-liberal status quo exists. With so much pressure there is no margin of error for Syrzia.

For those of us that long for a radical redistribution of power and wealth and fairer society for all, let us hope that they get it right.

Thanks Bewildered Student

Meanwhile…

KrugNobel cat-loving Economist Paul Krugman

…So now that [Alex] Tsipras [leader of Syriza] has won, European officials would be well advised to skip the lectures calling on him to act responsibly and to go along with their programme. The fact is they have no credibility; the programme they imposed on Greece never made sense. It had no chance of working.

If anything, the problem with Syriza’s plans may be that they’re not radical enough. But it’s not clear what more any Greek government can do unless it’s prepared to abandon the euro, and the Greek public isn’t ready for that.

Still, in calling for a major change, Tsipras is being far more realistic than officials who want the beatings to continue until morale improves. The rest of Europe should give him a chance to end his country’s nightmare.

Paul Krugman: Syriza should ignore calls to be responsible (Irish Times)