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Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Contribution: Greek Bond Buyback Boondoggle


Business Recorder (blog)

Guest Contribution: Greek Bond Buyback Boondoggle
Wall Street Journal (blog)
By Guest Contributor. Klaus Adam, an economic professor at University of Mannheim and Bundesbank Research Professor, is skeptical of a proposal for the ECB to repurchase Greek bonds issued to private creditors. The Greek bailout is badly off track.
Money edges back to Greece as euro exit fear wanesReuters
Greek tourism industry fares better than feared: dataBusiness Recorder (blog)

all 14 news articles »

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Eurozone hopes of crisis easing rise as budget deficits tumble

Dublin banks rescue a special case, Merkel and Hollande agree, as EU says aggregate defcit falls to 4.1% form 6.2%

The eurozone appeared last night to be in a stronger position to survive the debt crisis after EU figures revealed member governments cut their annual budget deficits last year.

The EU statistics office, Eurostat, said the aggregate budget deficit in the 17 countries using the currency fell to 4.1% of GDP in 2011 from 6.2% in 2010 – the first year of the sovereign debt crisis.

Ireland cut its annual deficit from 31% of GDP to 13.4%, while Germany brought the deficit on its annual budget down to 0.8%, Eurostat said.

The figures were published before a flurry of meetings that culminated in the taoiseach, Enda Kenny, gaining a commitment from Fran├žois Hollande of France and Angela Merkel of Germany that cheaper funds would be made available to prevent Dublin's bank rescue from bankrupting the country.

Hollande said after talks with Kenny that he supported calls to treat the Irish banking sector as "a special case" after the Dublin government was almost brought to its knees by the crippling cost of bailing out the Irish Republic's main banks.

Merkel previously blocked direct recapitalisation of banks with eurozone rescue funds until a banking supervisor is fully operational late next year but issued a joint statement with Kenny on Sunday affirming that Ireland's bank rescue was a "special case".

"I said Ireland was a special case and should be treated as such," Hollande told reporters after his meeting with Kenny. Asked if recapitalisation could be backdated, he said: "Yes, recapitalisation already took place through their own funds so the Eurogroup will take that into account."

The Eurogroup represents the 17 nations in the single currency zone and has sought to impose strict austerity measures on members with escalating debt.

Eurostat said although annual budget deficits had fallen, eurozone public debt rose to 87.3% of GDP in 2011 from 85.4%.

Ireland's public debt jumped to 106.4% from 92.2% in 2010 as the benefits of spending cuts were undermined by a fall in tax receipts and a prolonged recession.

Greece, where the crisis started, had the highest debt ratio in Europe last year, reaching 170.6% of GDP, or €355bn (£289bn). It reduced its annual deficit to 9.4% from 10.7% in 2010 and 15.6% in 2009.

The Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, said his government would receive €31.5bn in loans next month if the Athens parliament pushed through €13.5bn in spending cuts and tax increases, though it remained unclear that MPs would do so.

The finance minister, Yiannis Stournaras, warned MPs that "people would go hungry" should Greece failed to take receipt of its next rescue loans.

"The cost for the country will be boundless if we don't get the €31.5bn instalment," he said.

Stournaras asked if MPs thought the Europeans were bluffing over their demands for new cuts. "Time is running out," he said. "If we want to get the instalment before state funds at our disposal are exhausted we must move very quickly."


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Despite Push for Austerity, E.U. Debt Has Soared

Greece in particular has also seen its overall debt load actually get bigger as a percentage of the economy, according to data released Monday by Eurostat.

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Greek Super League team travels 17 hours by bus for match


Yahoo! Sports (blog)

Greek Super League team travels 17 hours by bus for match
Yahoo! Sports (blog)
Veria FC, currently seventh in the Greek Super League, made the 497-mile trip to fourth-place Asteras Tripolis by bus instead of plane as one of two harsh measures to save money on the day. From the AFP: The northern Greek team traveled by bus to ...
Cash-strapped Greek team travel by busMSN NZ News

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Europe's cash machine to start spewing money | Phillip Inman

Christmas is no longer cancelled in Dublin, Lisbon and Athens – even Madrid could celebrate

In the austerity wracked eurozone, the cash machine is about to start spewing money. Yes, we've heard the promises of ending the crisis before. But this time, something, at least, is happening.

Christmas is no longer cancelled in Dublin, Lisbon and Athens. Even Madrid could celebrate should its procrastinating PM Mariano Rajoy put his hands out to catch some of the falling euro notes.

Not only has the European Central Bank (ECB) said it will supply unlimited loans to replace debts held in private hands, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has joined in.

Why has she changed her mind? Several reasons.

1. The economic situation is getting worse. Austerity is driving the countries worst affected by high debt levels further into recession.

2. Social unrest is tearing at the fabric of Portugal and Greece.

3. Regional separatism is gaining ground in Spain.

4. In Ireland, emigration and a prolonged banking crisis is crippling the economy.

5. And Merkel has established an unassailable position in German public life, allowing her to marginalise hardline MPs and the previously influential Guido Westerwelle, her free market, austerity-loving coalition partner and foreign minister.

Merkel has told the Irish, Greeks, Portugese and Spanish, don't worry what austerity does to your economy and the short-term hit to growth. Keep with the programme and you'll get all the money/loans you need.

In the last couple of days Antonis Samaras, the Greek PM, has assured his own MPs that the money promised for November by the country's lending "troika" – the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the ECB – will arrive on time.

It's just as well, given that the Greek finance ministry reported on Monday that its annual deficit is rising again and the overall debt pile jumped. The prospect of restricting the mountain of loans to 120% of GDP by 2020 now looks fanciful.

Enda Kenny has likewise told his parliament that Merkel agrees Ireland is a special case. And consequently, desperately needed funds for the banking sector will find their way from ECB headquarters in Brussels and Frankfurt to Dublin, probably never to return, except in some de-valued form in 50 years.

Spain was nervous about asking for a bailout in case Germany inflicted all manner of extra austerity measures on its weak economy. A recession this year and next is already in prospect so deeper cuts would be particularly unwelcome.

The nerves are still jangling in Madrid, as an effective vote for independence in the Basque country looks like being replicated next month in the more politically significant region of Catalonia.

Yet Rajoy, like the other leaders, has had all the reassurances he needs that he will need only to pursue existing spending cuts to open Brussels' fighting fund.

So can this policy become a platform for lasting prosperity? Unfortunately, the omens are not good.

Merkel is also demanding closer regulatory and fiscal ties as a price for the loans, which is throwing up all kinds of problems. Not least that some aspects of regulation cover the 27 members of the EU, while others only affect the eurozone 17.

Yet even if there is a way to gain the agreement of Britain and Sweden to rules made largely for the eurozone, there is still the issue of social unrest.

It seems implausible that leaders in the peripheral countries can mask their financial problems with more and bigger loans from Brussels and the ECB. With an exchange rate dictated by the German economy, these countries face years struggling to export their way out of recession. Their main problem is that the debts left over from the crisis are too big. Without debt forgiveness in some form, the Merkel sticking plaster will peel away while the wound remains unhealed.


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Greece revises up its 2011 budget deficit, debt figures, citing deeper recession


Press TV

Greece revises up its 2011 budget deficit, debt figures, citing deeper recession
Washington Post
ATHENS, GreeceGreece has revised up its budget deficit and debt figures for last year, citing a deeper than expected recession and new data. The national statistical authority said Monday that government overspending in 2011 was 9.4 percent of GDP, ...
Europe's Debt Surged to Record Last Year, Led by Greece: EconomyBusinessweek
Greece says 2011 deficit and public debt worse than thoughtMSN Philippines News
Greece public debt and deficit worse than estimated: ReportPress TV
The Baltic Course -Nzweek
all 166 news articles »

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Greece revises up its 2011 deficit, debt figures

Greece has revised up its budget deficit and debt figures for last year, citing a deeper than expected recession and new data.

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT news.yahoo.com

Malaria returns to crisis-torn Greece

Malaria has returned to Greece as financial cuts contribute to the re-emergence of a once extinct disease.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.telegraph.co.uk

How an American hero fell to Earth

Lance Armstrong's feat of 7 Tour de France titiles was like the demigod Hercules completing his "Twelve Labors." His downfall, however, mimicked a Greek tragedy.

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT edition.cnn.com

Greece's Aegean Airlines to buy rival Olympic Air


Financial Mirror

Greece's Aegean Airlines to buy rival Olympic Air
Reuters
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's Aegean Airlines is making a fresh attempt to buy Olympic Air, this time for an agreed 72 million euros, in a bid to generate savings to cope with the country's deep recession and create a stronger domestic competitor to ...
Greece's Aegean airline to buy rival Olympic Air for $94 millionWashington Post
GREECE: Aegean agrees to buy rival Olympic for 72 mlnFinancial Mirror
Aegean Closes $94 Million Deal to Buy OlympicGreek Reporter
Europe Online Magazine -4-traders
all 97 news articles »

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Greek Study: Secondhand Smoke Danger in 20 Minutes


Greek Reporter

Greek Study: Secondhand Smoke Danger in 20 Minutes
Greek Reporter
Heavy concentrations of secondhand smoke, such as those found in bars and cars, can lead to airway restriction for bystanders within 20 minutes of exposure, according to a Greek study presented at CHEST 2012, the annual meeting of the American College ...

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Cyprus to contact troika Monday for final round of bailout talks

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus plans to contact international lenders on Monday evening to invite them to the island for final talks on a comprehensive aid package for the Greece-exposed island, officials said. While it was unclear when lenders from the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission would arrive in Cyprus, authorities have said they want a deal with lenders by the Eurogroup meeting on November 12. ...

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Downton Abbey Censored for Gay Kiss on Greek TV


New York Daily News

Downton Abbey Censored for Gay Kiss on Greek TV
Care2.com (blog)
Greek TV state cut out a gay kiss from the British period drama Downton Abbey earlier this week. For its part, the state-run NET channel said that because of the time (10:05 pm local time) the episode was aired, parental guidance rules required the ...
Hate crimes increase, extreme right strengthens as Greece economy sinksNBCNews.com (blog)
Anti-Golden Dawn Cleric Gets Death ThreatsGreek Reporter
Rising Concern About Immigrants in Greece Rising Concern About Immigrants ...Immigration Blog (blog)
New York Daily News -Kathimerini -McGill Daily
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Senior Merkel ally hints at more time for Greece


Haaretz

Senior Merkel ally hints at more time for Greece
Reuters
BERLIN (Reuters) - A senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party hinted on Monday that Greece could be given more time for certain structural reforms if its international lenders suggested this. Hermann Groehe is the latest senior member ...
Hope among hardship in GreeceHaaretz
Greek PM expels lawmaker over anti-austerity stanceChicago Tribune
Greek Premier Ousts Lawmaker Who Opposed Austerity PackageWall Street Journal
Hurriyet Daily News -MarketWatch -The Local.de
all 67 news articles »

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Greek deficit, debt worse than thought


Irish Times

Greek deficit, debt worse than thought
NEWS.com.au
According to the still provisional data, the 2011 deficit stood at 9.4 per cent of gross domestic product and the public debt at 170.6 per cent, EL.STAT said on Monday. "The revisions as regards the debt ratios are primarily due to the update of gross ...
Europe's Debt Surged to Record Last Year, Led by Greece: EconomyBusinessweek
Euro Zone Slashes Fiscal Deficit in 2011, Debt Still UpFox Business
IFR Comment: Key upcoming dates in the Greek euro crisisInternational Financing Review

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Greece's Aegean airline to buy rival Olympic Air for $94 million


Greek Reporter

Greece's Aegean airline to buy rival Olympic Air for $94 million
Washington Post
ATHENS, Greece — Greek airline Aegean says it has agreed to purchase its main rival Olympic Air for €72 million ($94 million), nearly two years after an attempted merger was blocked by the European Commission on the grounds that the combined carrier ...
Greece's Aegean agrees to buy rival Olympic AirReuters
Aegean Closes $94 Million Deal to Buy OlympicGreek Reporter
Aegean Airlines in talks to buy Olympic - sourcesReuters UK
4-traders
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Greek Premier Ousts Lawmaker Who Opposed Austerity Package


The Local.de

Greek Premier Ousts Lawmaker Who Opposed Austerity Package
Wall Street Journal
ATHENS—Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday expelled a rebel lawmaker who said he would vote down the country's latest round of tough austerity measures, a move seen as a warning to other deputies from his conservative New Democracy ...
Greek PM expels lawmaker over anti-austerity stanceChicago Tribune
Greek PM Samaras to visit Bavaria: reportMarketWatch
Greek PM set to visit Bavaria over bail-outThe Local.de
Haaretz -MSN Malaysia News -MSN Philippines News
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Greek Premier Ousts Lawmaker

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras expelled a rebel lawmaker who said he would vote down the country's latest round of tough austerity measures.

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Aegean Airlines in talks to buy Olympic


Greek Reporter

Aegean Airlines in talks to buy Olympic
Reuters
ATHENS | Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:54am EDT. ATHENS (Reuters) - Aegean Airlines is in talks to buy domestic rival Olympic Air as the two Greek carriers look to consolidate to cope with the country's deep economic downturn, two sources close to the airlines said.
Aegean Closes $94 Million Deal to Buy OlympicGreek Reporter
Greece's Aegean airline to buy rival Olympic AirBusinessweek
Greek carriers Aegean, Olympic in takeover talks: state TVMSN Philippines News
Travel Weekly UK
all 87 news articles »

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Greece's Extreme Right Strengthens as Economy Sinks


New York Daily News

Greece's Extreme Right Strengthens as Economy Sinks
CNBC.com
As the euro zone debt crisis leaves Greece grappling with a 25 percent overall unemployment rate, activists say they have noted an increase in the number of hate crimes reported. 'It is virtually impossible to find a job': Brain drain is new Greek ...
Anti-Golden Dawn Cleric Gets Death ThreatsGreek Reporter
Your friendly neighbourhood fascistMcGill Daily

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