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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Prospects of new Greek rescue rise at euro zone summit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won a commitment to seek a last-minute rescue at an emergency euro zone summit on Tuesday, before his country's banks run out of money.


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Can Greece's New Finance Minister Succeed Where Varoufakis Couldn't?

ATHENS, Greece -- Greece's controversial finance minister Yanis Varoufakis stepped down in a surprise move on Monday, one day after Greeks rejected a European bailout proposal in a national referendum. Varoufakis handed in his resignation to help negotiations and facilitate Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' efforts to reach an agreement with Greece's lenders during crucial talks with the Eurogroup this week. But who will be fit to fill Varoufakis' shoes? After all, even though he might have been a serious contestant for “most hated man among European officials”, the flamboyant minister was very popular at home, and many Greeks greeted his intransigence in negotiations with pride. Enter Euclid Tsakalotos, who until Monday was in charge of international economic relations as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. By all accounts, Tsakolotos is very different from his predecessor: While Varoufakis is essentially a Keynesian economist, whose views are generally in line with socialist ideals, Tsakalotos has been more radical in his views -- at least in terms of economic theory. But on a personal level, he's also more reserved and contained than Varoufakis, which may make it more difficult for him to connect with a Greek audience. Tsakalotos is by no means new to either economics or politics. The new finance minister is an accomplished economist with a remarkable resume and has been a member of Syriza for at least a decade. Since 2012, he has served as a member of parliament for his party, and became deputy minister of foreign affairs after Syriza's election victory in January 2015. Born in 1960 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Tsakalotos comes from a family that included a Greek general who held a prominent position during World War II and Greece's civil war. In his early years, Tsakalotos' family moved to England, where he attended the prestigious St. Paul's school. He went on to read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, where he also completed his PhD in economics in 1989, and later taught at the University of Kent. Outgoing Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis places his hand on the shoulder of newly appointed Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during a handover ceremony at the Finance Ministry in Athens on July 6, 2015. (ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images) When Tsakalotos came back to Greece in the early 1990s, along with his wife, the Scottish economist Heather Denise Gibson, he taught at the Athens Economic University. He has published several books and articles on the subject of the Greek crisis and why it happened. His writing has followed communist and liberal traditions, promoting the idea of contemporary societies' liberation in the latest crisis of capitalism. Tsakalotos' interests as an economist lie within the post-Marxist tradition. This brand of Marxism, also generally known as the New Left, is a popular current of thought that tries to reconcile basic social needs with the contemporary realities of capitalism, all while keeping a focus on social justice. Post-Marxism is represented by important theorists such as David Harvey and John Holloway, both of whom have been very popular in radical academic circles since the 1970s. It remains to be seen whether Europeans will be able to digest even this level of Marxism, or whether Tsakalotos will have to make bitter concessions against his fundamental beliefs. Most Greeks would like to believe that he will stick to his previous calls for an end to austerity. One young member of Syriza told The Huffington Post that Tsakalotos has been a “beacon and inspiration” for the party's youth when it comes to economic thought. He's known for entertaining the idea of an “alternative economy,” which envisions an alternative to capitalism that includes structures promoting social justice and wealth redistribution. The concept seems to be very appealing to many Greeks on the left, especially young people, in light of the country's recent economic and social crash. Newly appointed Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos attends a handover ceremony at the Finance Ministry in Athens on July 6, 2015. (ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images) Tsakalotos recently argued that the current Greek crisis not only bears the characteristics of an awful economic collapse, but also constitutes “a crisis of democracy” in Europe. At the same time, though, he has stood by Greece's Eurozone membership, choosing the “international road” against the failed idea of a “national strategy,” as he puts it. But can he hold his ground faced with the harsh realities of European economic policies? Wasn't he, in fact, chosen to deliver what Varoufakis couldn't? It's quite likely that Tsakalotos will have to make adjustments to his radical ideas, as they are bound to be received poorly by his European counterparts. And it may also be that, despite the change of guard, it is ultimately not the messenger who will matter, but rather, the content of the message itself. Greece has to make sure its message is one that's taken well by its lenders, or risk facing the outcome feared by many -- a "Grexit." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


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Europe Struggles to Keep Greece in Eurozone

Eurozone leaders were considering proposals to provide Greece with emergency financing to avert another default, but were sticking to demands for the most-painful economic measures Greek voters rejected last weekend.


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Greece debt crisis: Greek future in the euro slips into deeper uncertainty as Alexis Tsipras arrives at emergency talks without written plan

Greece’s prospects of staying in the eurozone have dwindled further after the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrived at an emergency summit of his fellow eurozone leaders in Brussels without a concrete plan to resolve his country’s debt crisis.


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Are Greece and China repeating history?

Greece may very well suffer the fate of Germany in the inter-war years, battling depression and hyperinflation at the same time, if it ultimately exits the ...


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Greece debt crisis: Olive oil supplies threatened as banking system grinds to a halt

It is a vital element of Greece’s agricultural economy, but now the flow of olive oil has begun to slow as farmers are refusing to part with their product unless their distributors pay them in cash.


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Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel faces revolt from the right for wanting to keep Athens in euro

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fraught negotiations over Greece’s eurozone future have been threatened by a growing revolt within her own conservative ranks as dozens of right-wing MPs and politicians queued in opposition to the idea of more aid for Athens.


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The Latest: Greek Tax Revenues Doing Well, Official Says

The Latest: Official: Greek tax revenues doing well despite bank closures


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Greek Prime Minister Tsipras races to restart talks with creditors after big referendum win

ATHENS, Greece – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads Tuesday to Brussels, where he will try to use a bailout referendum victory to obtain a rescue deal with European leaders. Tsipras faces intense pressure from creditors abroad and banks at home ...


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New form of Greek tragedy

A supporter of the No vote waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July ...


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Tsipras details ‘overall situation’ to Obama, not specific proposals

Government sources clarify earlier reports, which claimed that Greek PM discussed 'specific proposals'


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In the Greek crisis, the one number to watch

Since Greek voters rejected the European bailout deal on Sunday, spurring talk of a European financial crisis, one of the most remarkable aspects of ...


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Greece clings to eurozone hope as Alexis Tsipras battles banking collapse

Prime minister pleads with sceptical leaders to provide two-pronged financial assistance with Angela Merkel saying it is ‘matter of days’ until time runs outGreece is clinging to hopes of remaining within the eurozone as it pleaded with its sceptical European partners on Tuesday to agree fresh financial assistance that would prevent the collapse of its banks within the next few days.Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, submitted proposals for a third bailout to a summit of eurozone leaders in Brussels, making clear that his country would also need immediate support to stop a banking collapse that would force a return to the drachma. Continue reading...


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How Will Greece Deal With The Pain Of The Grexit?

How might a Grexit pan out? There is going to be pain whatever happens, but the question is how much pain and what will it lead to.


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Greece, Dead Or Alive, Is Bearish

Greece even restored to health or plunging into bankruptcy and debt repudiation in the hundreds of billions to public and private lenders is bound to unlock powerful deflationary forces. Not just at the country level, but down to our states and municipalities. Part of the pleasure of managing money is to [...]


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What Top Managers Are Looking For In Greece Discussions

Investors are seeing their portfolios whipsawed by the game of Russian roulette Greece is playing with the E.U. Among Marketocracy’s top managers, there is general agreement that the best times to invest are when everyone is scared, but are waiting to see signs that the crisis can be resolved before pulling the trigger. Here is my take on what our top managers are looking for.


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Barack Obama, Angela Merkel Discuss Greek Debt Crisis in Phone Call

President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday to discuss the Greece debt crisis before his talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the White House s...


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'No' isn't Greece's final answer

Following Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis' resignation, Greece wants a fresh start to negotiations with creditors. Yet the positions remain deeply entrenched, DW's Jannis Papadimitriou reports from Athens.


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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, euro fall on Greece concerns; commodities tumble

… emergency summit on Greece's debt crisis. Greek Prime Minister Alexis … day amid the worries over Greece and China. Commodity currencies fell … .8 percent. "China and Greece (are) prompting both growth concerns …


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Greece sees no issues in paying July public sector salaries

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece sees no issues in being able to pay public sector salaries in July, Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said on Tuesday. "We are not facing any particular problem in paying public sector salaries (on July 13)," Mardas told state TV ERT. "Based on what we know so far, they can be paid normally." Mardas stressed again that the Greek government was not making plans for a haircut on bank deposits. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Matt Robinson)


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European Central Bank Holds Key to Greece's Future

The ECB could force Greek banks into instant collapse if Athens doesn’t make bond payments due on July 20, but it remains a question whether it would necessarily do so.


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Eurozone summit possible on Sunday to back plan for Greece

By Julien Ponthus BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone leaders could hold a further emergency summit on Sunday to approve a plan to aid Greece if creditor institutions are satisfied with a Greek loan application and reform commitments, two senior EU sources said. The leaders were meeting on Tuesday evening in Brussels with Greek banks shuttered and fast running out of cash and the Greek economy on the verge of collapse. The sources set out a tentative timetable that could offer a breakthrough to keep Greece afloat and in the euro zone, provided it accepts credible reforms and spending cuts to make its public finances sustainable in the mid-term.


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Greek banks are reliable, Serbian Central Bank governor says

Belgrade, July 7, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency By Milos Mitrovic The deposits in Greek banks in Serbia are safe and the worst scenario is not at the table, Central Bank governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic said today. “When we say that these banks are well capitalized and liquid this means that deposits are safe”, Tabakovic said […]


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Greek Minister's Pre-Summit Notes Revealed

Eurozone ministers receive no fresh plan from Greece - but the country's new finance chief reveals more than he may have wished.


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The Guardian view on the Greek crisis: time for the French connection

The impasse between Athens and Berlin demands an active mediator. Step forward Fran├žois HollandeThe Greek crisis has reached a point where a mediator could play a crucial role. Eurozone leaders are gathering yet again for an 11th-hour attempt at compromise. This may offer a fresh chance for dialogue and open consultation, but it risks falling short of the kind of hands-on effort that is needed when the task is to steer both sides away from a hugely damaging impasse.Throughout the crisis there has been the clear possibility of an ultimate clash between, on the one side, Greece’s Syriza government and, on the other, the Brussels institutions – with Germany looming in the background. Intractable conflicts of this kind frequently need an even-handed mediator who addresses complaints, weighs the odds and options, and proposes terms on which adversaries might be persuaded and pressured into agreement. Continue reading...


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Tsakalotos reveals notes but no new proposals at Eurogroup

Greece turned up at Tuesday's Eurogroup meeting with a new finance minister but no new firm proposals on how to step back from the brink of a euro…


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'Last chance' meeting for Greece as euro zone creditors gather

He has spoken to President Obama on the telephone, Greek government officials say. But Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras needs help closer to home as he…


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Greek firms fear slow death as bank freeze cuts off imports

Lockdown taking toll on companies dependent on materials brought in from abroad – from bottles for wine to paper for toilet rollThe picturesque region of vineyards beyond Thessaloniki is famous for its wines and spirits that are in high demand across the world, regardless of Greece’s economic crisis. “But in order to sell wine abroad, we need bottles to put the wine in,” sighed a despairing Emmanuil Vlachogiannis, vice-president of Thessaloniki’s chamber of commerce.“We don’t make bottles in Greece, we import them. But with capital controls and a freeze on the banking system, imports are practically non-existent, so the bottles aren’t coming in. No one can export wine without bottles. We’re experiencing a devastation of the economy. For one week nothing has moved, there are no transactions.” Continue reading...


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Greece's new finance minister has to remind himself: 'No triumphalism'

Euclid Tsakalotos’s notes were caught on camera before EU meeting, including one apparently warning himself not to gloat about referendum resultEuclid Tsakalotos apparently had to make a written note to remind himself not to gloat about Sunday’s landslide referendum vote before attending his first EU meeting as finance minister of Greece. On a piece of headed notepaper from the Hotel – a four star, €170-a-night lodgings in Brussels – Tsakalotos, or one of his aides, had jotted down: “No triumphalism.” Related: Greece is the latest battleground in the financial elite’s war on democracy | George Monbiot Continue reading...


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Greek Island of Lesvos Faces Immigration Crisis

While Greece is in an ever lasting financial -and political- crisis, which according to European Parliament President Martin Schulz and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel could require humanitarian aid, the Greek island of Lesvos is facing a humanitarian crisis of its own. A United Nations Refugee Agency report released at the end of June found that Greece was the European country with the most seaborne immigrants and refugees for the first half of 2015, totalling to 68,000. “There has been a major increase in refugees and migrants taking the ‘eastern Mediterranean route’ from Turkey to Greece. More than 85% of those arriving in Greece are from countries experiencing war and conflict, principally Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. From Greece, most move onward across the Balkans to western and northern Europe,” the report found. A BBC report on July 9 found that up until now 15,000 immigrants and refugees have entered Europe through the Greek island of Lesvos, located in the northern Aegean Sea. With a little over 86,000 citizens, Lesvos is very close to Turkey from the East, North and South and is one of the largest islands in Greece. The island’s proximity to the Turkish coastline makes it a very common gateway to Europe. Up until mid June, Lesvos had approximately 21,600 arrivals by sea in 2015, according to a United Nations news report. These unprecedented numbers have made the situation in Lesvos especially difficult to handle.The BBC reported that this past Saturday 1,600 people arrived on the island. Local authorities called for help outside the island to control the situation. Lesvos has one “reception center” in the town of Moria, located in the southeast region. However, this center alone cannot service the increasing number of immigrants and refugees. Refugees and immigrants who do not stay in the Moria center are settled in tents. Most of the arrivals remain unprocessed as the authorities are unable to supervise all of them. New arrivals must cover long distances on the island to get papers that permit them to stay in Greece for a maximum of six months, deepening on their situation. The United Nations Refugee Agency report released at the end of June assessed Greece’s reception centers for immigrants and refugees as insufficient and noted that the country generally lacks the infrastructure to deal with the arrivals. “Greece needs support to be able to rapidly improve its reception and asylum capacity to match the ever-growing needs. Greece needs more assistance to address these challenges,” the report read. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson William Spindler told reporters in mid June that Greek islands are likely to see even greater numbers of immigrant and refugee arrivals in the months to come. “The number of arrivals is expected to increase further during the summer, when weather conditions make sea crossing from the Turkish mainland less hazardous,” he said. Splinder noted that despite the increased efforts of the local population and authorities, Greek islands need external help to be effective.


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Here's a brief, somewhat disturbing stock market history lesson (QQQ, SPX, SPY, IWM, TLT)

So far this year, stocks are about flat.  And while markets have been churning amid a poor start to the year in the US, a stock market crash in China, and almost non-stop headlines about the bailout negotiations in Greece, there has been a "stealth" correction — or decline of more than 10% — in some sectors of the US market.  And this could spell bad news for investors.  In an email on Tuesday, NYSE director of floor operations Rich Barry passed along a, "brief, somewhat disturbing market 'history lesson.'" Barry continues: "Looking at all six-month periods since 1970, the only time we've had the S&P 500 in the green, (year-to-date), with both Transports and Utilities down more than 10% was late 1999. In other words, right ahead of a three-year bear market and a major peak that took ~16 years to fully clear." By most conventional thinking, though, this makes some sense. The big market expectation in 2015 was the this would finally be the year the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. And given that transportation and utility stocks are usually big dividend payers and are seen as ways to get a consistent return when interest rates are expected to fall — and seen as stocks to avoid when rates are set to rise — it makes sense they would behave this way.  But Barry, one of the staunchest bulls we know, added that, "We do not think history will repeat itself, but wanted to alert you of this little market factoid."  So, no prediction of doom, but just "one of those things" that people like to point out and pass around.  The classic investing mantra is that past performance does not predict future success, but of course, all we have to go on is the past.  And the last time we saw transportation and utility stocks sell off, what happened next was ugly. SEE ALSO: China's desperate attempts to control the stock market will end badly Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Someone figured out the purpose of the extra shoelace hole on your running shoes — and it will blow your mind


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Foreign Airlines Will Only Accept Credit Card Payments from Greece

Greek tour operators received a letter from British Airways and Spanish Iberia airlines notifying them that from now on they expect tickets to be booked with credit cards only through the special GDS system. A few days ago, Turkish Airlines also issued an official letter stating that it will stop accepting reservations from Greek travel agencies. Another five companies have decided to move in the same direction. Among these companies are British Airlines and Iberia, which announced that they will only accept reservations using credit cards and via the GDS system, a ticket service created in recent years to serve bank accounts of foreign companies in most countries across the globe, which is only used by professionals in the sector. At the moment, individuals with Greek bank-issued credit cards will not be able to make any reservations through these companies. After British Airways’ and Iberia’s official announcement, Lufthansa, Swiss Air and Austrian Airlines briefed tour operators on the same matter.


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17 Migrants Missing After Boat Sinks in Aegean Sea

At least 17 people of unknown nationality are still missing after a sailboat carrying dozens of migrants sank in the Aegean Sea between the Greek islands of Agathonisi and Farmakonisi on Tuesday afternoon. According to the Greece’s Maritime Ministry, the Greek Coast Guard along with Turkish authorities launched a search and rescue operation in the Eastern Aegean Sea using a Greek Super-Puma helicopter, two Greek Coast Guard vessels, a Greek Navy ship and a Turkish patrol boat. 16 of the approximately 33 to 37 migrants from the sunk vessel have already been rescued. “The operation is ongoing. We are still looking for 17 to 21 people,” a Maritime Ministry spokeswoman revealed about the operation’s latest developments. During the first six months of 2015 more than 135,000 refugees and migrants from Africa and Middle East have made their way from the Turkish coast to Greek islands seeking for a better life in European Union countries, with the majority of them being Syrians.


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Greek Minister Warns Banks Are Unlikely to Open this Week

The extension of the bank holiday until Wednesday, July 8, which was decided on Monday, is likely to carry on for the rest of the week. In an interview to Greek radio on Tuesday, Alternate Administrative Reform Minister Giorgos Katrougalos warned that banks are unlikely to open this week. “Decisions need to be taken this week so that banks can open. Not open this week -technically, this is probably impossible- but they can enter a normalization path. The economy cannot work without the banks. I hope it will not take weeks. It is not possible to go more than one week with closed banks, we are already late,” he said. Greece has been under a capital controls regime since June 28 with the maximum daily withdrawal limit set at 60 euros per account while pensioners are eligible to collect 120 euros per week. The Greek Minister put the blame on the European Central Bank for not increasing the limit of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), currently capped at 89 billion euros, prior to the referendum and argued that the ECB could still make this decision. “The ECB does not doubt the solvency of the banks, meaning their capital sufficiency,” he noted. “The problem we are facing here was first and foremost a liquidity problem, which could have been dealt with. By not dealing with it immediately, by not increasing liquidity, an avalanche occurred.”


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Did Greece score an own-goal with game theory?

The high-stakes negotiations between Greece and its creditors have drawn attention to "game theory" and one of its biggest fans, former finance ...


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What does the Greek debt crisis mean for the U.S.?

In 2010 and 2012, the Eurozone's debt problems shook global stock markets and sparked fears of a financial contagion that might derail America's fragile economic recovery.


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What Will Happen to Greece If It Leaves the Euro?

With this weekend's big "no" vote in its bailout referendum, Greece has edged ever closer to finally leaving the eurozone. Its government is heading to ...


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Stocks drop as Greek talks show little results

Stock were lower Tuesday as the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Greek debt crisis weighs on global financial markets. Greek officials restarted ...


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Economist Piketty accuses Germany of hypocrisy in Greece crisis saying it's forgotten how its wartime debt was forgiven

With a flurry of exclamation points and curt rebuttals, Thomas Piketty, who rocketed to stardom last year with his treatise on inequality, told a German newspaper that the Germans are being hypocritical in the way they're treating Greece.


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Greek debt crisis: Alexis Tsipras makes his case at eurozone summit

Eurozone leaders are meeting to discuss the crisis, with Greece’s future in the eurozone hanging in the balanceLatest: Leaders to decide whether bailout is feasible tonightAnother emergency Summit on Sunday?Merkel warns just days left to resolve GreeceKenny: Need solution to address Greek people’s sufferingVIDEO: Greek economy is bleedingOops: new minister’s notes revealed.Photos: Euclid at the Eurogroup 7.39pm BST More developments......various sources are reporting that Greece is sending a letter tonight, outlining its request for a new bailout.1/ Greek govt sources from Brussels confirmed #Greece is ready to send letter to ESM for new aid programme - state news agency 2/ Same sources said #Greece also wants a bridge programme to cover funding needs for current month 7.30pm BST This may be significant. While he was being chased through the press centre, Greece’s new finance minister told reporters that there is ‘political will’ in Brussels to give Athens another chance.Eurozone shows 'political will' to give Greece new chance: new Greek finance minister to colleagues chasing him from press room @AFPTsakalotos: "There is a political will to have a new start"Tsakalotos, asked why he didn't bring a proposal today: "It is more complicated than that" Continue reading...


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Greek Banks Closed Another Week

A Greek official has conceded that the country's banks are unlikely to reopen this week despite an earlier pledge to do so. The post Greek Banks Closed Another Week appeared first on The National Herald.


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19 feared dead after people smuggler's boat capsizes off Greek islands

Shipwreck is deadliest in Mediterranean for over a month since operations to rescue migrants were stepped upUp to 19 people are feared to have drowned trying to reach Greece from Turkey, in the deadliest Mediterranean shipwreck since May.A people smuggler’s boat carrying up to 40 passengers capsized on Tuesday morning between the small Greek islands of Agathonisi and Farmakonisi, 10 miles from the Turkish coast. One passenger has been confirmed dead and 21 have been rescued, leaving as many as 18 still missing. “We don’t know their nationalities,” said Stella Nanou, a UN refugee agency spokeswoman. Continue reading...


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Eurogroup: Greece to submit a new request for ESM-financial assistance

“Greece is expected to submit a new request for financial assistance from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)” tomorrow Wednesday, the Eurogroup said in a statement. Italian News Agency ANSA had reported earlier that PM Tsipras was to request for an urgent loan of 7 billion euro as the ECB has […]


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Should Greece be kept in eurozone at all costs?

Would it be better if Greece left the eurozone? Or should the country be kept in the eurozone at all costs? Some say that five years ago the Grexit would have constituted a real problem because the eurozone countries were not prepared and integrated enough with each other. Greece’s bankruptcy might thus have caused a domino […]


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Grexit will leave the euro fragile

If Greece left it would guarantee default and generate permanent instability for the eurozone


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Opinion: Why 'Grexit' could be good for Greece

Fears of a Grexit are unfounded. A Greek exit from the eurozone offers the opportunity for the country to overcome a state of chaos.


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Obama speaks to Greek PM about debt crisis

President speaks to key players in the Greece financial crisis.         


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Bobby Jindal: Sanders and Clinton Would Both Turn Us Into Greece

You can't make it impossible for business to thrive and expect the economy to grow


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Drugmakers to continue supplying Greece

#economy


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Euro Mess: Inside the Fight Between Greece and EU Leaders

The Eurogroup, comprised of the ministers of the euro area member states, said at the end of their meeting today that the ball is in Greece's court.


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