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Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

World's Riskiest Debt In Pictures

A look at some of the safest to the scariest sovereign bonds in the world as measured by their risk of default. The following country's bonds credit default swaps (CDS) are good gauges on the markets perception of risk. Greece, of course, is off the charts. But the US, while the most liquid bond market in the world, is not the safest. In this new world, Brazil bonds are better than France and China is as good as Japan.

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EIB Chief: Greek Recovery Will Take Decades


Greek Reporter

EIB Chief: Greek Recovery Will Take Decades
Greek Reporter
The head of the European Investment Bank (EIB) said it would take Greece decades to recover from its financial crisis and criticized the efforts of European politicians, in comments published Thursday. “The recovery process (in Greece) will take one to ...

and more »

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How Greek Celebrities Spent the Christmas Holiday


Greek Reporter

How Greek Celebrities Spent the Christmas Holiday
Greek Reporter
Another Christmas has come and gone, and some famous Greeks spent it in Hollywood style, while others went home for the holidays. Nia Vardalos returned to Canada for Christmas, heading to Winnipeg to gather around the tree with her sisters and brother.


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Greek Tourism Officials Charged With Fraud


Greek Tourism Officials Charged With Fraud
Greek Reporter
With Greece struggling to lure more tourists from the country's biggest revenue raiser, five people, including a former executive at Greece's National Tourism Organization (GNTO), have been arrested after they allegedly attempted to extract cash from ...

and more »

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Two Greeks Arrested in Immigrant Attacks


7Online WSVN-TV

Two Greeks Arrested in Immigrant Attacks
Greek Reporter
The party has denied any involvement despite its stated agenda of wanting to force all foreigners out of Greece to keep the country racially pure. Golden Dawn, which got only 0.29 percent of the vote in the 2009 elections, won 6.7 percent in this year ...
2 Greek men arrested for attacks on 3 migrantsMiamiHerald.com (registration)

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Greece's 10-month tourism receipts fall 4% on fewer EU visitors


Greece's 10-month tourism receipts fall 4% on fewer EU visitors
Focus News
Greece's receipts from tourism were 4 percent down in the 10 months through October, as fewer people from other European Union nations visited the country, Bloomberg reported. Tourists spent 9.77 billion euros ($12.91 billion), compared with 10.18 ...


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A Greek dish for the holiday season


A Greek dish for the holiday season
nwitimes.com
Home cooks interested in putting a Greek spin on a festive meal may want to opt for a flavorful lamb dish. "Lamb is the perfect dish for the holidays. In Greece, we also serve a lot of beef and pork too," said Gus Couchell, owner of Greek Islands in ...


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Greece: The odyssey


Greece: The odyssey
Aljazeera.com
Filmmaker: Philip Williams and Mavourneen Dineen. At the end of another year of painful austerity and mouting debts, Greece's battered economy is seeing over 1,000 workers lose their jobs every day. On the surface, many cities still looks prosperous ...


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Petroceltic planning to explore for oil in Greece


Petroceltic planning to explore for oil in Greece
Kathimerini
Petroceltic International Plc, an oil and gas company with operations in Egypt and Eastern Europe, plans to explore for oil in Greece. The company has made an application in the country for onshore and offshore blocks with Hellenic Petroleum SA (ELPE ...


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MIA: Macedonia expects new ideas from Nimetz, Greek media report on proposals


MIA: Macedonia expects new ideas from Nimetz, Greek media report on proposals
Focus News
Skopje. UN envoy Matthew Nimetz will pay a visit to Greece and Macedonia after the New Year and Christmas holidays. Although there are no official announcements, Athens and Skopje expect him to put forward new ideas for overcoming of the ...


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Bulgaria-Greece border crossed by more than 30000 vehicles during Xmas ...


Bulgaria-Greece border crossed by more than 30000 vehicles during Xmas ...
Focus News
SofSmolyan. More than 30,000 vehicles and more than 120,000 people have crossed the border checkpoints along the Bulgarian-Greek border since the start of the Christmas holiday until now, Senior Commissioner Boyko Bozhkov, Director of the Regional ...
100 000 Bulgarians, Greeks Go to One Another's Countries for ChristmasNovinite.com

all 3 news articles »

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Germany's austerity plans will beggar Europe | Costas Lapavitsas

Berlin's mantra about spending cuts in the eurozone is bringing unemployment and spreading hopelessness across Europe

Has the eurozone crisis ended? Many politicians in Europe, including France's president Fran├žois Hollande, seem to think so. Well, not so fast. Far from ending, the crisis is yet to reach its most difficult phase.

It is easy to see why politicians claim the crisis is over. Greece has just been promised another €50bn, provided it accepts still more austerity, deregulation and privatisation. Elsewhere in the periphery, Ireland is in its sixth year of recession, Portugal is heading for major economic contraction, and Spain is going from bad to worse – but their governments are imposing austerity, and people appear to be putting up with it. Even core countries, including Italy and France, have accepted the need for balanced budgets. Across the eurozone, there is no effective opposition to the mantra of austerity emanating from Berlin.

The financial markets, meanwhile, have been placid since September when Mario Draghi, chairman of the European Central Bank, announced that he would buy the debt of countries in difficulties provided they accepted bailout conditions. The spreads on Italian and Spanish debt have tumbled by 250 basis points. The official launch of the European Stability Mechanism has also helped, since the ESM is fortified with €500bn. The calculation of bond markets is transparent: for the moment it is not profitable to borrow money to speculate against the debt of weaker European countries.

But austerity and calmer financial markets do not amount to ending the crisis. Rather, they point to the emergence of a German eurozone. Commentators who have protested that crisis leadership in the eurozone has been weak have been wide of the mark. In practice, austerity is transforming the periphery into a vast East Germany: a zone of weak growth, low wages, poverty and no economic dynamism. There will not even be some of the fiscal transfers, amounting to perhaps €60bn annually, that have supported East Germany.

Equally wide of the mark have been those who stress the importance of an overarching state in charge of fiscal policy, or of a banking union to lessen the risks of banking collapse in the eurozone. Germany will not accept either a fiscal union or a banking union that would use its taxpayers' money to subsidise others in the eurozone. These debates have merely distracted attention from Germany's determination to impose rigid fiscal discipline on "delinquents" and to monitor only the biggest banks in the eurozone, leaving smaller German banks out of the net.

But the most telling piece of evidence of the emergence of a German eurozone has been the reluctance to confront the deeper cause of the crisis, namely the divergence in competitiveness between – mostly – Germany and the rest. German gains in competitiveness have not been due to greater efficiency, but are a result of the fact that Germany has systematically undershot the eurozone inflation target, while other countries have either hit, or overshot it thanks to the wage restraint imposed on its workers, harsher than elsewhere. Over the years a great gap has emerged between Germany and the rest, especially the periphery, whose competitiveness has collapsed.

The benefit to Germany has been sustained current account surpluses, the true aim of wage restraint. By the same token, the periphery has accumulated deficits and debts. Austerity is now forcing a brutal correction of these imbalances – by crushing peripheral wages. Yet, the cure cannot be effective since German wages have not been rising strongly.

The solution would be for Germany to rebalance its economy by strengthening domestic demand. Instead, Berlin's reliance on exports has grown: in 2012 the contribution of its domestic economy to growth will be zero. The eurozone is becoming a vehicle for German mercantilism, whereby the German people are first beggared in order subsequently to beggar others.

This situation is manifestly untenable. It brings unemployment, destroys productive capacity and spreads hopelessness across Europe. In Greece conditions went beyond absurd long ago. As the eurozone moves deeper into recession in 2013, social and economic tensions will ratchet up across the continent. The most difficult phase of the crisis is still ahead of us.


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