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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Unemployment in Greece Hits Depression Levels


U.S. News & World Report (blog)

Unemployment in Greece Hits Depression Levels
U.S. News & World Report (blog)
Unlike other weak economies, stable employment in Greece has actually been a big part of its economic problem. Nearly one-quarter of the Greek workforce is employed by the government, one of the highest rates in the world. In the United States—which ...


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Cameron and Hollande agree on hastening end of Assad's rule in Syria

French and UK leaders talk of need to help opposition form new government and end 'civilian toll from political stalemate'

France and Britain agree on the need to speed up the transition from President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria to a new government, French president Fran├žois Hollande said after a 40-minute meeting with David Cameron at the Olympic Park in London.

"David Cameron and I are in total agreement – we must accelerate the political transition [and] help the opposition to form a government," Hollande said. He also reiterated his promise to recognise a provisional Syrian government so long as the Syrian opposition form one that is inclusive and representative.

Britain accepts there may come a point when such recognition of the disparate opposition is possible, and also accepts that this might in turn helped persuade the Russians to abandon their support for the Assad regime. But Cameron and his advisers still think it is premature to recognise an opposition that remains divided and unable to solve differences between external and internal opposition groups.

Britain has been sending non-lethal communications equipment to the opposition, but has rejected direct military aid. In France, where Hollande is under political pressure from Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, to do more, there has been some discussion of sending weapons.

Efforts are being made to structure the Free Syria Army into a more cohesive disciplined force as one way of attracting more defectors from Assad's army, and ensuring that rival militias do not lead to a divided military operation.

The Arab League is trying to encourage opposition factions to sign up to a common transition plan for a post-Assad Syria but the main exile group, the Syrian National Council, has been reluctant to take part, fearing a dilution of its influence.Both Cameron and Hollande recognised that the longer the military and political stalemate continues in Syria the more innocent civilians will be killed and the greater the risk of the conflict's implications spreading to elsewhere in the Middle East, especially Lebanon. Cameron has appointed a senior diplomat, John Wilkes, to act as his special envoy with the opposition.

William Hague, the foreign secretary, told MPs this week that he has been repeatedly stressing to Syrian opposition groups "that when a country such as ours faces an existential crisis, such as the last world war, across all parties we come together and sink all differences for the duration of the crisis. Syria is in an existential crisis and that is exactly what they need to do."

Apart from Syria, the two leaders – who have sparred over Hollande's domestic tax policies – discussed EU plans for a eurozone banking union due to be published next week, as well as a forthcoming EU summit that will assess the progress Greece is making in meeting its requirements to cut its deficit.


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Greek minister says his country perfectly safe for Israelis


Greek minister says his country perfectly safe for Israelis
Jerusalem Post
Visiting Greek Defense Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos took offense at press reports saying the state has asked his country to increase protection for Israeli tourists, saying this is "completely unfounded and malicious." Panagiotopoulos said Greece is ...

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Osborne: eurozone crisis shows Scottish independence plans would not work

Chancellor says Alex Salmond's plans for monetary union between independent Scotland and UK would be unworkable

George Osborne has warned that the eurozone crisis has exposed a fatal weakness in Alex Salmond's plans to keep sterling and the Bank of England after Scottish independence.

In a speech to the CBI in Glasgow, the chancellor said the first minister's proposals to create a new monetary union between Scotland and the rest of the UK after independence were unworkable since their economic interests would inevitably clash.

Speaking after the European Central Bank announced a new bailout plan for Greece, Spain and Portugal, Osborne said: "The members of the eurozone are now faced with what I've described as the 'remorseless logic' – the very lesson of the eurozone crisis – that you can't have monetary union without greater fiscal and political integration."

He said eurozone leaders were planning further controls of the fiscal policies of individual member states to ensure greater consistency across all its members. That again reduced their economic freedom, and meant greater convergence in overall fiscal and monetary policies.

That left Salmond facing very serious questions about how independent Scotland could hope to be, if it retained sterling and the Bank of England as its central bank, Osborne said.

"In a world in which a separate, independent Scotland wished to pursue divergent economic policies, what mechanism could there be for the Bank of England to set monetary policy, as it does now, to suit conditions in both Scotland and the rest of the UK?

"As chancellor of the exchequer, I have seen no such credible mechanisms proposed by those advocating independence. I am not clear they exist."

Salmond argues that the whole UK economy would benefit from close monetary ties after independence: Scotland's exports and North Sea oil and gas receipts would benefit the UK's balance of trade. He also believes the rest of the UK should continue to subsidise Scottish renewable energy to help cut carbon emissions.

However, Salmond is also promising to cut corporation tax to below UK levels, lower other taxes such as air passenger duties and compete for foreign investment with London – measures his critics insist prove that a monetary union would be unworkable.

John Swinney, the Scottish finance secretary, said that on the day the OECD predicted the UK would shrink further, by 0.7% this year, it was very rich for Osborne to lecture Scotland given that the chancellor's "disastrous economic policies are threatening jobs and investment across this country".

Swinney added: "The cast-iron position is that an independent Scotland will keep the pound – a position that the Scottish secretary Michael Moore has agreed with. And Scotland urgently needs the powers of an independent country to boost economic recovery and create jobs, and many of the leading job-creators in Scotland agree with us on that."


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Greek Poll Shows Anti-Bailout Syriza Ahead in Voter Preference


KGMI

Greek Poll Shows Anti-Bailout Syriza Ahead in Voter Preference
Bloomberg
The number of Greeks who believe the country is heading in the wrong direction rose to 76 percent from 64 percent in a previous poll in July. The survey found 86 percent of respondents said they are dissatisfied with the performance of the coalition ...
Support for Greek Coalition Dips, Far Right Group Boosted - PollWall Street Journal
Support for Greek far-right party surging, poll saysChicago Tribune
Greek unemployment rises to 24.4 per centFinancial Times

all 21 news articles »

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Migrant boat sinks off Turkey, children among 61 dead

AHMETBEYLI, Turkey (Reuters) - At least 61 migrants including Palestinians and Syrians, more than half of them children, died after their overcrowded boat sank just tens of meters off Turkey's western Aegean coast on Thursday, officials said. Tahsin Kurtbeyoglu, governor of the coastal district of Menderes in Izmir province, told Reuters an initial investigation showed the small vessel sank around dawn due to overcrowding. Its destination was unclear but the small Turkish town of Ahmetbeyli from where it set out is only a few kilometers from the Greek island of Samos. ...

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Greek Police, Uniform Services Protest Paycuts


AFP

Greek Police, Uniform Services Protest Paycuts
Wall Street Journal
ATHENS--Thousands of Greek police, firefighters and coast guard officers gathered Thursday in central Athens to protest a new round of wage cuts, expected to be announced by the government as part of the 13.5 billion euros ($17 billion) in budget cuts ...
Greek unemployment surges to 24.4 percent in June, police step up protestsWashington Post
Greek Unemployment Rate Advances to 24.4 Percent in JuneBusinessweek

all 353 news articles »

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Greece Olympia welcomes seventh- and eighth-graders


Greece Olympia welcomes seventh- and eighth-graders
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
From left, Mike Walker, assistant principal, walks with Heather Finley, Rosy Lin, Joe Tortora, and Nick Gelo to the middle school entrance at Greece Olympia. The green line shows middle school students where their wing is. / TINA YEE/staff photographer ...


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Migrant boat sinks off Turkey, children among 60 dead


DAWN.com

Migrant boat sinks off Turkey, children among 60 dead
Reuters
Its destination was unclear but the small Turkish town of Ahmetbeyli from where it left is only a few kilometers from the Greek island of Samos. Greece is a common entry point for migrants trying to get into the European Union. "The latest death toll ...
Dozens dead after Turkey migrant boat sinksBBC News

all 506 news articles »

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ECB unveils bond-buying program to fight crisis




FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank unveiled its most ambitious plan yet to halt Europe's financial crisis on Thursday with a pledge to buy unlimited amounts of the government bonds of countries struggling to manage their debts.

Large-scale purchases of short-term government bonds would drive up their price and push down their interest rate, or yield, making it less expensive for countries to borrow money.

[...] the ECB's pledge of support came with a caveat: countries that want the central bank to help with their debts must first seek emergency aid from the bailout funds managed by the 17 countries that use the euro and submit their economic policies to the scrutiny of the International Monetary Fund.

Analysts warned that while the ECB plan would provide short-term relief to European countries and financial markets, it doesn't address underlying economic weakness across the region, which could persist for years.

The eurozone's bailout funds could buy bonds as well, but they have concrete limits on their finances set by governments that are putting up taxpayer money — and much of that is already committed anyway to bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Without trying to be a 'party pooper'," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital, "suppressed borrowing costs certainly provide relief in the short term but do not resolve problems of solvency and debt unsustainability.


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Irish party, Greek festival appeal to food lovers


Lexington Herald Leader

Irish party, Greek festival appeal to food lovers
Lexington Herald Leader
Call (859) 266-4488 or go to Oneillsirishpub.com. □ Lexington's Greek Festival will be Sept. 14 to 16 at The Red Mile Clubhouse, 1200 Red Mile Road. There will be traditional Greek foods, pastries, dancing and live entertainment. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m ...


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Greece: Out-And-Out War Against Wage Earners


Greece: Out-And-Out War Against Wage Earners
OpEdNews
According to a recent report of a "leaked' communication between Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras and the Minister of Labor Yiannis Vroutsi, the Greek government-of-the-regime, obediently following orders from the Troika, plans to abolish the 5-day ...


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Support for Greek Coalition Dips, Far Right Group Boosted


KGMI

Support for Greek Coalition Dips, Far Right Group Boosted - Poll
Wall Street Journal
Further demonstrations are expected in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Saturday where Greece's prime minister traditionally makes a keynote economic speech at an annual trade fair. This year Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will skip the ...
Support for Greek far-right party surging, poll saysChicago Tribune
Greek Coalition Parties and Opposition Lose Support, Poll ShowsBusinessweek

all 17 news articles »

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Support for Greek far-right party surging, poll says


Support for Greek far-right party surging, poll says
Chicago Tribune
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party has increased its support among austerity-hit Greeks since entering parliament this year, and would emerge as the third largest party if elections were held now, a new poll showed on ...

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Dutch PM: Greece should not get more financial help


EurActiv

Dutch PM: Greece should not get more financial help
EurActiv
During a televised election debate on 4 September, the leader of the VVD stressed that Greece had already been given support twice and received loans of €240 billion and that is "enough". "The Greeks are in a better position because of it, but I say ...
No More Money for Greece: Dutch Prime MinisterCNBC.com
Dutch PM: No More Aid for GreeceWall Street Journal
Dutch PM cuts Greece aidSky News Australia
Sydney Morning Herald -The Australian
all 345 news articles »

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Greek Coalition Parties and Opposition Lose Support, Poll Shows


Greek Coalition Parties and Opposition Lose Support, Poll Shows
Bloomberg
Support for the Communist Party remained at 4.5 percent, while the nationalist Golden Dawn party would win 9.5 percent if elections were held today, up from 6.9 percent, becoming Greece's third-biggest party. Support for the Independent Greeks dropped ...

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Six-day work week in Greece?

Greece's creditors outline a new austerity demand in a leaked e-mail.

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Greek life, underage acceptance at bars score Illinois as top party school


Greek life, underage acceptance at bars score Illinois as top party school
Daily Illini
If you flipped on your television in recent weeks, you may have caught Jimmy Kimmel or CNN poking jokes at the Princeton Review's recent list of the biggest and best party schools in the country. West Virginia University topped the chart, but our very ...


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Eurozone demands that Greece mandate six-day workweek in exchange for ...


New York Daily News

Eurozone demands that Greece mandate six-day workweek in exchange for ...
New York Daily News
Greece may soon see one-day weekends if its government bows to its creditors' demands. Eurozone lenders say that Athens must introduce a six-day workweek in exchange for the country's second bailout, according to a leaked letter obtained by the ...
Troika to Greece: Work six days a weekMarketWatch (blog)
Greece looks goneUPI.com
Greeks pushed to work more to pay debtCNN
Huffington Post -Axis of Logic -Bloomberg
all 480 news articles »

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