Pages

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

Friday, February 8, 2013

Is There Hope for a Recovery of the Greek Economy?


Gold Seek

Is There Hope for a Recovery of the Greek Economy?
Huffington Post
After five years of a deepening economic recession and growing unemployment in Greece, one may wonder whether there is now hope ("elpida") for an end to the Greek fiscal and debt crisis, the restoration of the country's competitiveness, and a ...
The Greek Deal Does Not WorkSocial Europe Journal
Stournaras Says Greek Recovery May Begin by End-2013Bloomberg
The Good, the Bad, and the Greek (Risks)Gold Seek
Kathimerini -Greek Reporter
all 9 news articles »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.huffingtonpost.com

Greeks rushed into policy change


Greeks rushed into policy change
The Racquette
Potsdam's Greek life is changing their pledging procedures, also known as new member education programs, in accordance with two new initiatives introduced recently by the Assistant Director of Campus Life and Greek Affairs, Julie Dold and Dean of ...

and more »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.theracquette.com

EU budget cut ushers in austerity for first time in union's history

Northern Europeans spearheaded by David Cameron and Angela Merkel win the day, but UK contribution still set to rise

The age of austerity caught up with the European Union on Friday when a gruelling nonstop 26-hour negotiation resulted in agreement to slash the new seven-year EU budget by 3.3%, or €32bn, the first reduced budget in the union's history.

The outcome, after a failed earlier summit in November, was seen as a notable victory for David Cameron, who spearheaded a north European campaign for budget cuts, and a defeat for his polar opposite in the bargaining, President Fran├žois Hollande of France, whose pleas for a relaxation of austerity and for more spending to spur growth were rejected.

"The British public can be proud that we have cut the seven-year credit card limit for the EU for the first time ever," Cameron said. "People do understand that the major problem we have had is the credit card limit for the EU has been too high. It has always been pushed up and at last someone's come along and said this has got to stop."

But Cameron acknowledged that, while the EU budget as a whole would be reduced, Britain's own contributions to the EU would increase. He blamed this on changes to the UK's EU rebate, introduced by Tony Blair in 2005, which ensure that the 12 new member states have a partial exemption from the compensatory payments to Britain.

"Our contributions were always going to be going up but they will be going up by less," he said.

Cameron's satisfaction contrasted with Hollande's downbeat tone: "Europe has not won as much as it could have."

In the short term, Hollande managed to protect his key constituency, French farmers, by securing a €1bn increase in the contested common agricultural policy compared with figures proposed in November. The CAP took up by far the biggest chunk of the new budget, 39%, but overall farm subsidies and spending are being cut by €50bn compared with the seven-year period ending this year as its share of the total comes down progressively.

Following three years of financial crisis that threw the survival of the euro into doubt and triggered swingeing cuts in public spending and services in many EU member states, Cameron argued that the EU budget could not be immune from the austerity. The summit agreed to cut the budget from more than €992bn in the current period to €960bn, or 1% of EU gross domestic product, the figure stipulated by the strongest politician in the EU, Angela Merkel.

This figure refers to spending pledges, while Cameron opted to focus on the lower figure of €908.4bn, agreed as the supposed ceiling on what may be spent. The gap between the two sets of figures is usual.

France sought to get the second figure increased to €913bn, triggering an overnight clash between London and Paris, with Germany cast in the role of mediator and ultimately siding with Cameron, leaving Hollande looking weak, not for the first time, at an EU summit.

After snubbing a bargaining session with Cameron and Merkel as the summit opened on Thursday afternoon, Hollande later conceded. Unusually, senior French officials paid tribute to the PM.

"He's a true negotiator with a lot of tenacity," said a French official of Cameron. "At one point [Hollande] said there needs to be a compromise … Cameron did not need an agreement because the rebate is safe."

The crucial swing factor was Merkel, who broadly sided with Cameron, while Hollande decided against leading a troika of France, Italy, and Spain.

Given Cameron's recent speech on Europe, committing the UK to an in-out referendum by 2017 if he's in office, there was much rancour that his views should prevail when it is not clear if Britain will be in the EU by 2020.

But French officials, seeking to talk up extra funding Paris would gain, also risked shooting themselves in the feet. The summit agreed to establish a new €6bn fund for mitigating the worst EU areas of youth unemployment of over 25%. The French officials said they would also get some of this money, effectively admitting that parts of France were as badly hit as crisis-ridden Greece.

If Cameron won and Hollande lost, there were many who argued that Europe's future prospects also lost out in an intensive bout of horsetrading that prioritised national and vested interests over smart investment geared to improving the EU's flagging competitiveness in the global contest.

National lobbies were bought off essentially by ransacking planned funding for digitalisation, broadband investment, hi-tech, research, transport networks, and infrastructure.

Compared to figures presented in November, when a summit failed to agree a budget, some €50bn was raided from these areas in order to accommodate competing national claims on the two biggest items in the budget – the CAP and the cohesion funds that go mainly to eastern Europe and the less developed parts of the union.

Unlike national budgets, the EU budget cannot be financed by borrowing and deficit spending is outlawed. The €52bn gap between pledged spending and the spending cap insisted on by Britain had critics predicting trouble ahead.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, said the budget figures would break EU law and warned that the parliament would refuse to endorse them. The budget needs to be passed by an absolute majority. The four biggest parliamentary caucuses promptly denounced the deal. France sounded supportive of a rejection.

Cameron's drive was particularly aimed at eurocrats, with the PM also demanding savings of up to €7bn in the salaries, pensions and administration costs of the EU institutions. The issue is symbolic – the costs are only 4% of the budget. The administrative budget was finally cut by only €1bn.


guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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

Duke fraternity's racist “Asia Prime” party puts Greek community behavior back ...


Red Alert Politics

Duke fraternity's racist “Asia Prime” party puts Greek community behavior back ...
Red Alert Politics
A fraternity at Duke University was suspended this week after throwing a racist Asian-themed party. The fraternity, Kappa Sigma, promoted their “Asia Prime” party on campus complete with invitations that read “Herro Nice Duke Peopre” to sound like a ...
'Racist Ragers' and the Party PapersChronicle of Higher Education (subscription) (blog)

all 73 news articles »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT redalertpolitics.com

Analysis: U.S. funds get gun-shy on Europe's periphery

NEW YORK (Reuters) - After going gung-ho on the euro zone's weakest economies in the second half of last year, U.S. fund managers are paring back their bond holdings in the region, sensing they've seen the best for now. Total returns on government debt in so-called "peripheral" countries in Europe -- Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland -- have descended back to earth in the new year after hitting the stratosphere in 2012, and that's making some U.S. investors nervous. For instance, Standish Asset Management in Boston, has already cut its positions in the group. ...

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT news.yahoo.com

EU complaints lodged against Greece's retroactive renewable energy tax


pv magazine

EU complaints lodged against Greece's retroactive renewable energy tax
pv magazine
Greece-based Metaxas and Associates Law Firm has lodged two complaints with the European Commission against the retroactive taxes applied to renewable energy systems in Greece. Meanwhile, rumors abound that the Greek government is considering ...

and more »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.pv-magazine.com

First tastes: Two new Greek restaurants, Ammar's and My Greek


First tastes: Two new Greek restaurants, Ammar's and My Greek
TheNewsTribune.com (blog)
Both restaurants fill a broader void – there really aren't enough Greek or Mediterranean leaning eateries here – but both lack the professionally designed interiors of Zara and the former South Hill My Greek. I'd make the case that despite the failure ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT blog.thenewstribune.com

Ex-Greece cop who coerced woman into sex denied parole


Ex-Greece cop who coerced woman into sex denied parole
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The cases against Pignato were key in the downfall of former Greece Police Chief Merritt Rahn. Rahn was convicted in 2010 of of trying to stifle an investigation into the crimes of an off-duty Greece police sergeant and helping fabricate the background ...

and more »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.democratandchronicle.com

Eurostat voices concern over case against Greek statistics chief


Eurostat voices concern over case against Greek statistics chief
GlobalPost
ATHENS, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The European Union's statistics agency said on Friday it is "deeply concerned" at charges against Greece's statistics chief as the data he is accused of inflating had passed stringent checks to ensure complied with European law.

and more »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.globalpost.com

Greece and the troika, dancing in the dark


Kathimerini

Greece and the troika, dancing in the dark
Kathimerini
Tax has become an increasingly sensitive issue in Greece. As wages shrink and jobs disappear, nobody is looking forward to the prospect of paying more into public coffers. But anxiety has been spurred by the voting of a new tax bill in January, which ...
Stournaras Says Greece On Way BackGreek Reporter
The Greek Deal Does Not WorkSocial Europe Journal
Stournaras Says Greek Recovery May Begin by End-2013Businessweek
The Market Oracle
all 6 news articles »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.ekathimerini.com

FTSE 100 suffers worst weekly fall for three months, with Imperial Tobacco among the losers

Political uncertainty in the eurozone persists despite EU budget deal, with doubts over Rajoy and Berlusconi

As leading shares suffered their worst week for nearly three months, Imperial Tobacco was one of the main fallers despite continuing takeover speculation.

Analyst Martin Deboo at Investec cut his rating on the cigarette maker from buy to hold, and reduced his price target from £25.80 to £24.50. But he said there was still the prospect of the company being taken over by British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco, even if not immediately.

We continue to think that the attraction of a take-out by a joint BAT/Japan Tobacco consortium will eventually become irresistible, given the synergies that we think are available, the increasingly constrained organic growth outlook for the industry and the low costs of debt finance. If anything we think the probability is increasing, as Imperial's challenges mount and its valuation sinks.

However he said such a deal would be complex and time-consuming, and depended on a restructuring at Japan Tobacco first. As for Imperial's prospects he said tough trading conditions in Europe would constrain its growth, with profits expected to be lower in the first half:

The response is to seek fresh cost savings. Back of a fag packet, we think that £150m-£200m of annual savings will be needed to narrow the growth gap to BAT. While there might be some low-hanging fruit in the supply chain, the big picture is that savings need to be achieved relative to a starting point of high margins by peer standards.

Imperial closed 47p lower at £23 on Friday, the biggest faller in the leading index. Overall the FTSE 100 closed at 6263.93, a 35.51 rise on the day. But since Monday the index has dropped 84 points, its biggest weekly points fall since 16 November last year. as investors cashed in some of their new year gains amid renewed political uncertainty in the eurozone and despite ministers agreeing a new EU budget.

A corruption scandal in Spain threatened prime minster Mariano Rajoy, while in Italy there were concerns as Silvio Berlusconi gained ground in pre-election polls. Any return of the former Italian prime minister to power risked undoing many of the reforms put in place by the technocratic Mario Monti, said analysts.

On top of that there were downbeat comments on the prospects for the eurozone economy from ECB president Mario Draghi, which unsettled the euro.

But positive Chinese trade data on Friday pushed mining shares higher. Antofagasta added 8p to £11.32, helped by HSBC raising its recommendation from underweight to neutral. The bank was also positive on Anglo American, up 35.5p to 1972.5p. The data from China - now a key consumer of commodities - showed a 25% jump in exports in January, better than expectations of a 17% rise. Imports climbed 28.8%. Analysts said the figures were distorted by a new year holiday, but still showed the economy was strengthening.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation rose 6.7p to 377.7p. Its shares benefited from a positive production update earlier in the week, and revived bid speculation. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said:

Due to FTSE 100 free float rules introduced last year, companies must have at least 25% free float by the end of this year. ENRC currently has an 18.5% free float. An equity placement appears to be the obvious solution. An alternative end-game however, is in the opposite direction, i.e. minorities are bought out in a takeover. Recent press reports have suggested both founding shareholder Alijan Ibragimov, and current largest shareholder Kazakhmys as interested in making a bid for the whole company, mooted to be in the region of 600p per share.

Elsewhere GKN, the automotive and aerospace group, accelerated 9.6p to 255.5p after buoyant Chinese car sales figures.

Pump maker Weir climbed 45p to £21.23 on hopes of increased business from fracking operations and also supported by an upgrade from UBS. The bank issued a buy note and raised its price target from £20 to £23. The bank said:

Weir's peer group of Metso and Outotec surprised on both orders and profits. There is no doubt mining capital expenditure is coming down but the processing market seems better insulated so far. Metso, a competitor in slurry pumps delivered an upbeat assessment of the mining services market, describing it as "excellent".

UBS also helped credit information company Experian climb 13p to £10.96 after the bank moved from neutral to buy.

Royal Bank of Scotland ended up 6.2p at 339.1p. The bank was the latest to settle over the libor scandal, paying £390m to UK and US authorities for its part in rigging the inter-bank lending rate.

Vodafone climbed further after Thursday's results, up 2.05p to 173.9p. Analysts continued to speculate on the future of Verizon Wireless, the joint venture between Vodafone and US group Verizon. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which moved its recommendation from neutral to buy, listed four possibilities:

First, the current status quo may remain in place (likely over the near-term). In this case, Vodafone's US dividends would rise very sharply, by more than 50%

Second, Vodafone could consider a partial US stake sale – this would highlight US value, non-US value and the value of tax credits. Our reading of the current telecoms environment is that Vodafone may be more open to selling some of its US stake. A full stake sale is very unlikely, in our view.

Third, Vodafone and Verizon could merge over time – we believe Vodafone would receive a decent premium into any merger, given the PE multiple differential.

Lastly, Vodafone Group could be acquired outright, and subsequently split up.

Smith and Nephew slipped 1p to 709.5p as Societe Generale issued a sell note on the medical equipment group. It said research spending would take time to come through to earnings, and it was uncertain about the company's acquisition plans:

[Its] track record on M&A is mixed - the chief executive reiterated his interest in bolt-on deals, with a particular interest in emerging markets (where many of the targets are privately owned and may have poor financial disclosure).

Marks and Spencer added 4p to 382p after it took analysts and investors to Istanbul to showcase its international strategy in the region. Analyst Nick Bubb said:

By working with powerful local partners, M&S can get the best pitches in the new shopping centres and the recently revamped Bagdat flagship store in Istanbul would certainly put many of M&S's UK stores to shame in terms of visual merchandising. So, the visit to Istanbul succeeded in convincing the City that M&S have decent growth plans in the key region of the Middle East. But if you took the profits that M&S generate from their Middle East region out of their International Division total profits there wouldn't be much left…as M&S is still bedevilled by the problems of its "legacy" operations in Ireland and Greece and the growing pains in newer regions like China. There is some way to go before the M&S International Division is firing on all cylinders.

Ocado rose another 3.4p to 118.4p after Thursday's inline trading update, and renewed talk it could be a bid target for Marks or Morrisons as they played catch up with their online offerings.

Lloyd's of London insurer Catlin closed 20.5p lower at 518p after full year profits of $339m fell short of the $384m expected by analysts. Part of the shortfall came as Catlin raised its projected loss from superstorm Sandy from the $200m it forecast in December to $225m.

But Bwin.party digital, the world's largest listed online gaming group, jumped 19.1p to 135.8p, a 16% rise which made it the best performer in the FTSE 250, on hopes it could get a licence in New Jersey.

It has a joint venture with Boyd Gaming in the state, and on Thursday its governor indicated that he would sign a law allowing the licensing of internet casinos and poker, subject to some amendments. Governor Christie vetoed a gaming bill in its current form but left the way open to backing a compromise bill by saying:

Now is the time for the state to move forward, leading the way for the nation, by becoming one of the first states to permit internet gaming.

Analysts at Numis said:

The successful start of licensed online gambling in the state is likely in our view to have two positive effects. First, to encourage some other states to license online gambling. Second, to encourage Federal legislators, even those who oppose gambling, to pass Federal legislation in an attempt to control the development of the US market.

The New Jersey news gave a lift to other companies involved in online gaming. Playtech put on 42.3p to 532p while 888 was up 19.25p at 135p, Betfair was 14p better at 693.5p, Sportech added 4.25p to 80p and William Hill rose 4.7p to 399.6p.

Finally, ahead of Valentine's Day, the City fell out of love with online dating group Cupid. The owner of Uniform Dating and other websites lost more than a quarter of its value over the week, including a 21.25p fall on Friday to 135.25p despite the company issuing a statement intended to calm nerves. Following an online blog questioning its prospects, Cupid said trading was in line with expectations but admitted it was part of a radio investigation into the online dating industry. The Radio 5 programme is due to be broadcast on Sunday.


guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds




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

Senior Fellows program sponsors lecture on Greek mythology and ancient tales


UT The Daily Texan

Senior Fellows program sponsors lecture on Greek mythology and ancient tales
UT The Daily Texan
Philosophy and Classics professor Paul Woodruff speaks to a group of communication students about ancient tales on Thursday morning. The lecture, sponsored by Senior Fellows, gave students an opportunity to gain additional insight on Greek mythology ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT dailytexanonline.com

MORE ON THE STORY


RT

MORE ON THE STORY
RT
European creditors could consider a further reduction of Greece's debt if the country manages to achieve a significant primary surplus by 2016, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble announced. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director ...


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT rt.com

EU leaders agree to $1.28 trillion 7-year budget





BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders agreed Friday to a drastically reduced 7-year budget worth €959 billion ($1.28 trillion) — the first cut in spending in the 27-country group's history.

The two-day fight over what the EU pledged to spend on everything from infrastructure to development aid laid bare divisions over what the role of the union should be.

At its heart, the hard-fought summit in Brussels was a tussle about what the 27-nation European Union stands for: some leaders argued that it was a drag on national budgets in tough economic times, while others said the economic crisis highlighted the need for closer and deeper ties.

Van Rompuy noted, however, that the budget did put aside €6 billion ($8.02 billion) to help alleviate youth unemployment, which has skyrocketed because of the economic crisis over the past few years, notably in Greece and Spain.

The budget also includes items meant to generate economic growth in the future, such as research and development, increasing digitalization and creating a new, more accurate satellite navigation system.


READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.sfgate.com

Greek flair and flavor


Tampabay.com

Greek flair and flavor
Tampabay.com
While there will be plenty of celebrating at the Hernando County Fairgrounds this weekend, you'll probably not hear that word. Instead, at the third annual Greek Festival, which kicks off today and continues Saturday, the exclamation will be "Opa ...
Opa! Greek festival runs today and tomorrowHernando Today
Glendi offers a rich taste of Greece in Manatee-SarasotaBradenton Herald
Greekfest Features More Than Just FoodPatch.com

all 5 news articles »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.tampabay.com

Japanese Residents Want 'David' To Cover Up

Put some pants on, David! Modest residents in the Japanese town of Okuizumo are none too pleased with two additions to Minari Sports Park. Replicas...

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.huffingtonpost.com

Greek telecom OTE sells sole satellite to Arab group


Greek telecom OTE sells sole satellite to Arab group
GlobalPost
Greece's main telecom provider OTE has sold a majority stake in the country's sole satellite operator Hellas Sat to Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat, the group has announced. OTE, controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, will raise 208 million euros ($284 ...

and more »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.globalpost.com

Insight: Lessons from ancient history as Barclays boss plots revival

LONDON (Reuters) - When Barclays' new boss Antony Jenkins wanted to tell his senior bankers what was in store for them, he gathered all 125 around him on specially built tiered seats, styled like an ancient Greek agora to guarantee eye contact and conversation. The British bank's reputation was battered and it had to change, but to transform attitudes across 140,000 staff Jenkins knew his top bankers had to buy into his plan - or quit. Other big organizations had faced profound change and had to adapt, including Kodak and the Roman Empire, he told them. Not all of them succeeded. ...

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT news.yahoo.com

Greece sees smaller deficit this year, fiscal gap looms later


Naharnet

Greece sees smaller deficit this year, fiscal gap looms later
Fox Business
The updated plan takes into account debt relief measures Greece agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in December to keep its bailout on track, averting a chaotic bankruptcy and potential exit from the euro zone.
Greece sees lower budget deficit in 2013, fiscal gap in 2016Reuters
Greece Targets Smaller Budget Deficit in 2013Wall Street Journal
Greece cuts deficit targetsIrish Examiner
Economic Times
all 5 news articles »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.foxbusiness.com

UNT bans alcohol at all Greek events


Dallas Morning News

UNT bans alcohol at all Greek events
FOX 4 News
The University of North Texas announced a ban on alcohol at all fraternity and sorority events following a near fatal accident involving an underage student. The university said drinking is no longer allowed at any Greek-sponsored event regardless of ...
UNT Places Ban On Alcohol At Greek Life EventsCBS Local

all 10 news articles »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.myfoxdfw.com

Half of Greek households struggle to pay bills and taxes


Greek Reporter

Half of Greek households struggle to pay bills and taxes
Reuters
ATHENS (Reuters) - About half of Greek households struggle to pay their mortgages, utility bills and taxes, according to a survey on Thursday that showed the risk to government revenue targets posed by growing financial hardship. More than 90 percent ...
Greek household incomes down average 38 pct from cuts, survey showsKathimerini
Austerity Cuts Greek Household Income 38%Greek Reporter

all 4 news articles »

READ THE ORIGINAL POST AT www.reuters.com