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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ELSTAT: Greek Museums See Visitors and Revenue Increase

The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) released data showing a 19.1% increase in the number of museum visitors across Greece in March. Furthermore, the report noted that museum revenues also increased by 14.7%, compared to the same month in 2014. During the first quarter of 2015, a 12.1% increase was recorded in the number of museum visitors, while revenues increased by 21.4%. According to ELSTAT’s calculation, archaeological sites across Greece had 30.1% more visitors in March 2015 and the sites’ revenues increased by 16.9% during the same month.  


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Wednesday’s Strikes Show Greeks Refuse Change

It is really sad to see the people of a country that was on the brink of bankruptcy three days ago to go on strike and take it to the streets to demonstrate against the deal that saved them from bankruptcy. It is as if this is a strike in favor of bankruptcy. The new bailout agreement Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has managed to secure after 17 hours of hard negotiations that verged on humiliation is not a bed of roses for Greece. It’s more of a bed of nails. The proposed deal contains some harsh austerity measures and reforms that would make even diehard capitalists cringe. Yet, austerity reforms might be the shock therapy the Greek economy and Greek society need. A society that has learned to survive on tax evasion, lawlessness and corrupt practices, from the Prime Minister to the last newspaper kiosk owner, and from the hospital manager to the small tavern owner. A society with 35-year-old pensioners, blind taxi drivers, paid sinecures in the public sector, people who receive pensions 10 years after they died, doctors who declare 10,000 euros yearly income and countless other categories of happy Greeks who live splendidly while destroying the economy. Now all these people, and they are not just a few, see the new reforms as a danger to their well-being. They see the “greedy” Europeans as the ones who want to impose evil things such as tax audits, public employee evaluations, debt repayments and retirement after 60. In other words, they hate to see practices and rules that apply to normal countries apply to Greece because… “we are unique, special people.” So on Wednesday, public sector employees, municipal workers, pharmacists and doctors will go on strike to protest against the harsh reforms the Greek government is about to bring in order for the country to stay afloat and (hopefully) get on the path of economic recovery. It is natural, though. Public employees don’t want to be evaluated because many of them do very little actual work. The same applies to municipal employees. Pharmacists want to be the only ones selling vitamins and other parapharmaceuticals and the new bailout deal says that these products can be sold in super markets as well. Public doctors are a different story: They have every right to strike because their salaries have dwindled to humiliating levels. And there’s very few of them left in Greece. The strike is also for unionists and their friends who want to protect their sinecures. So, in essence, it is special interest groups that don’t want the changes the required reforms will bring. And they go on strike. The right to strike is undeniably an essential right in a democracy. However, in Greece, it is so abused that not only it has lost its sheen, it has also lost its meaning. During the economic crisis there has been a major strike almost every two weeks. Going through the motions, people rally and shout slogans that have lost their meaning. Strikes and demonstrations have become part of the Greek lifestyle. This must be the only country that has a website that tells you what strikes are on each day. And all strikes and demonstrations are essentially for the same demand: Don’t change anything, we are fine in our corrupt, clientelist, statist existence; we want to keep living on loans we refuse to pay back; we want all the privileges of a European Union membership and none of the obligations; the world owes us because we are the cradle of western civilization; we want free money because we voted so. Wednesday’s strike, which is the same repeated strike that goes on for five years now, is supposedly against austerity. But if strikers are honest with themselves, they will admit it is a strike against change. Against the changes needed so that Greece will not have to rely on borrowed money and handouts forever.


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Greek debt crisis: Tsipras won't 'abandon ship' in bailout storm

Greek prime minister tells state television that Sunday’s bailout deal was a bad night for Europe, but he won’t walk away.Tsipras defends bailout on TV - highlights start hereCan’t rule out Grexit......but admits Greece couldn’t copeIMF warns Greece needs serious debt reliefInstant ReactionEC may ignore UK objections over Greek financingIntroduction: Now for the politics.... 9.20pm BST What about the big question ahead of tomorrow night’s vote on the bailout -- might you resign?Tsipras says that “A captain cannot abandon ship” during a storm. 9.11pm BST So, is the threat of Grexit finally off the table?Tsipras says that, until the bailout deal is finalised, nothing is certain.Greek PM @atsipras asked if #Grexit finally avoided: I cannot say anything with certainty before the deal finally signed. #greekment Continue reading...


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IMF Deputy: Greece Needs Debt Relief

Greece needs debt relief to recover its economy after agreeing to several austerity measures in exchange for a bailout, said International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min. “The financing is clearly a very important issue for the Greek economy and the debt relief is also an important issue,” Zhu said, according to a Bloomberg report. “Given the debt ratio is way high, something we need to think of is a proper way to do the debt relief profile and debt restructuring to reduce the burdens and help the economy move forward.” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to a three-year bailout plan worth 84-86 billion euros that will keep the debt-stricken country in the Eurozone. The European Commission also agreed to reevaluate the Greek debt and offer some relief on the condition that Greece successfully completes reforms. Greece missed another payment to the IMF on Monday, increasing arrears to its creditor to approximately 2 billion euros. Athens requested a loan repayment extension, which will be discussed at an IMF board meeting, Zhu said. “Since they have arrears, of course we are not allowed to disburse the funds further,” he said. Once the arrears are cleared “we will be able to disburse the remaining funds in the program we negotiated three years ago,” he said, according to Bloomberg. See the text of the IMF analysis below:


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Athens to vote as IMF warns Greece needs extra debt relief above bailout

Fund’s leaked debt sustainability report shows that Greece’s public debt is likely to peak at 200% of national income within the next two yearsThe International Monetary Fund has warned that Greece will require far more generous debt relief than is currently on offer from its creditors, as MPs in Athens prepare for a crucial vote on Wednesday on a new bailout plan. Continue reading...


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Greece: Revolt over austerity deal reaches Cabinet

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's left-wing government launched a frantic 24-hour effort late Tuesday to push more austerity measures through parliament and meet demands from European creditors as it faced down mounting anger at home.


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OIL EXPERT: 'A potential return of Iranian oil to the market could not have come at a worse time'

The world powers and Iran struck a deal on Tuesday to curb Iran's nuclear program for at least 10 years in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions. Since Iran has the fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves, everyone's wondering what Iran's re-entry on the global market means. "A potential return of Iranian oil to the market could not have come at a worse time," Barclays commodities analyst Michael Cohen wrote in a note to clients. "An increase in Iranian exports beyond 300-400 kb/d would be difficult for the market to absorb." Right now, the oil market is already saturated as supply greatly outpaces demand. Consequently, more Iranian oil means that prices could drop further, and there will likely be increased competition within OPEC (especially since Iran and Saudi Arabia are both members of the oil cartel.) Furthermore, "given continued statements from the Obama administration that sanctions can be snapped back at any time, we would expect refiners to be reluctant to conclude long term procurement arrangements with Iran during 2015," writes Cohen. Good news for Mediterranean countries Still, one area that is poised to benefit from Iran's oil is the Mediterranean Euro area.  After Iran was banned from selling oil to Europe in 2012, Russia pounced on the market. But now, “Iran is going to be competing in Europe head-on with Russia,” Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc. previously told Bloomberg. "We are looking forward to Iran coming back to the market," a spokesman for Greece's biggest refiner Hellenic Petroleum told Reuters. However, it's important to note that there are still many uncertainties over how quickly Iran will get off the bench and back into the game. "Restarting of mothballed fields and reopening the sector to foreign investment faces many obstacles," according to Barclays analysts. Additionally, Dr. Mamdouh G. Salameh, an international oil economist and World Bank consultant, told Gulf News that Iran's oilfields are old and need huge repairs if the Islamic Republic wants to increase production. "It will take Iran more than two years to deploy the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology to repair the damaged reservoirs in its oilfields and try to increase production," he said. "Even then it might only succeed in limiting the fast depletion in its oilfields rather than increase production."SEE ALSO: The Middle East is about to change in 3 major ways Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How much sex you should be having in a healthy relationship


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The Simple Life, at Katarraktis

The following sequence is the epitome of what summer in Greece means to me: 1. Order a bottle of ouzo, appetizers, and the fresh catch of the day. 2. Take the ouzo with a bucket of ice, and a glass, a few feet down to the beach. 3. Take a quick dip and as you […] The post The Simple Life, at Katarraktis appeared first on The National Herald.


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Greek leader tries to quell revolt in Parliament, push through bailout plan

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras scrambled to keep his party in line Tuesday ahead of a fateful parliamentary vote that will determine whether his country is able to apply for a massive international bailout or goes bankrupt.


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Unf**k Greece: world reacts to Greek bailout deal

WHILE the Greek people grapple with shock bailout conditions agreed to by their leader, the world has reacted with some hilarious memes.


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Britain will NOT foot the bill for rescuing Greece, Osborne warns after Brussels threatens to hit UK with 1BILLION bill for emergency loans

George Osborne today vowed to fight off a European bid to force the British public to contribute almost £1billion towards any bailout of Greece, branding the plan a 'complete non-starter'. The Chancellor arrived in Brussels for talks with EU finance ...


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Greek PM: Debt Deal Amounts To 'Blackmail'

The Greek prime minister has described the bailout deal with European creditors as "blackmail", but has vowed to follow through with it.


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Greek PM defends 'harsh' debt deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vows to implement a deal offered by eurozone leaders, but makes it clear he does not believe in it.


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Italy's sovereign debt hits record high

Italy's public debt has hit a new record, at a time where the eurozone is struggling through the Greek debt crisis. Italy is the currency union's third largest economy and the most indebted country after Greece.


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Why the IMF should not aid a Greek bailout

Even if the country implements market reforms, VAT increases and pension cuts, its debt will still be too big to service – so why should the IMF contribute to a loan?The International Monetary Fund is only stating the bleedin’ obvious: Greece’s debts are unsustainable and debt relief is required “on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date – and what has been proposed by the ESM”.The ESM is the European Stability Mechanism, the fund that is meant to be leading the latest €86bn bailout of Greece. So, in essence, the IMF is saying the plan will not achieve one of its primary goals of allowing Greece to fund itself in financial markets within a few years. Even if the country succeeds in implementing the market reforms, VAT increases and pension cuts demanded in Monday’s agreement, the debt will still be too big to service. Continue reading...


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Bankers are in a sweat over Greece – but not Milk Tray man Mark Carney

Bank of England governor spoke to MPs about the Greek crisis in a drawl that was so laid-back as to be threatening, while his colleague failed at simple maths Urbane, tanned, decked out in accessories as featured in this month’s GQ and smooth. Very smooth. Mark Carney is the Milk Tray man de nos jours. While other European bankers have been getting into a sweat over Greece, the governor of the Bank of England gives the impression of a man who has just been on holiday there. Not even an imminent eurozone crisis could shift him from chilling on his sun lounger. Carney is a man who never worries about missing a pedalo, because there’s always another one coming along soon. So when Milk Tray man told the first meeting of this parliament’s Treasury select committee that “eyes would have to be kept open on this”, everyone knew the latest Greek bailout deal would almost certainly end in disaster. To prove his point, Carney raised his hooded eyelids a millimetre. “There are big execution risks,” he said in a Canadian drawl that was so laid-back as to be threatening. Greece might as well hand over the keys of the Parthenon to Germany right now. Related: Back to zero inflation: falling food and clothing prices drag rate back to 0% Continue reading...


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History shows how the Greek crisis could pan out

The Greek bailout saga reminds me of a story from antiquity about discussions (or, euphemistically, negotiations) between representatives of a powerful state, aiming to secure its empire and deter subjugated member-states from future rebellion, and a pesky weaker state, which is offered the choice between total destruction and the acceptance of the stronger state’s demands, viz payment of tribute and loss of sovereignty. The weaker state’s representatives invoke quaint notions such as justice and freedom in their arguments against personal and financial enslavement, but this is met with a lecture on the harsh truths of realpolitik (as we might call it): that questions of justice are only relevant “between those with an equal power to enforce it”, and that the sole question of relevance is “one of self-preservation – that is, not resisting those who are far stronger than you”. In the hope that they might somehow preserve their independence, the weaker state declines the offer then on the table, that of enslavement, only to be faced with no choice at all: their adult males are killed, their women and children enslaved, and their land and property expropriated.Such was the story told by Thucydides of the treatment of Melos by the imperial state of Athens in 416-15BC. While any parallels with current events must be drawn with caution (who could imagine that a modern European nation would impose collective punishment on its weaker brethren?), it is perhaps worth mentioning as a footnote that the Athenian empire was only to survive its destruction of Melos for little over a decade.Dr Terry PeachUniversity of ManchesterThe latest hardball by Germany suggests a Europe lacking both empathy and understanding of cultural differences Continue reading...


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The left must now campaign to leave the EU – the case is undeniable

Progressives should be appalled by European Union’s ruination of Greece. It’s time to reclaim the Eurosceptic causeAt first, only a few dipped their toes in the water; then others, hesitantly, followed their lead, all the time looking at each other for reassurance. As austerity-ravaged Greece was placed under what Yanis Varoufakis terms a “postmodern occupation”, its sovereignty overturned and compelled to implement more of the policies that have achieved nothing but economic ruin, Britain’s left is turning against the European Union, and fast.“Everything good about the EU is in retreat; everything bad is on the rampage,” writes George Monbiot, explaining his about-turn. “All my life I’ve been pro-Europe,” says Caitlin Moran, “but seeing how Germany is treating Greece, I am finding it increasingly distasteful.” Nick Cohen believes the EU is being portrayed “with some truth, as a cruel, fanatical and stupid institution”. “How can the left support what is being done?” asks Suzanne Moore. “The European ‘Union’. Not in my name.” There are senior Labour figures in Westminster and Holyrood privately moving to an “out” position too.It was German and French banks who benefited from the bailouts, not the Greek economyHostility to the EU is seen as the preserve of the hard right, and not the sort of thing progressives should entertain Related: Greece is the latest battleground in the financial elite’s war on democracy | George Monbiot Continue reading...


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Despite financial woes, Greeks welcome refugees. Will others?

Amid a nationwide financial crisis, Greeks have been welcoming and generous to the thousands of refugees arriving to their shores each week, reports the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR). Greece and Italy have borne the brunt of a wave of migrants seeking asylum from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, and Somalia, according to the report released Friday. Amnesty International reports that about 5,000 refugees were arriving in Greece each week in June.


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Greek rescue deal met with scepticism

Economists divided over whether agreement is enough to restore Greece’s good health


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Tsipras will rely on opposition in vote

Fresh austerity measures threaten to leave Greek PM’s government in tatters


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Britain attacks EU aid plan for Greece

Osborne leads objections from non-euro countries to bridge financing for Athens, riling Paris


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Georgians Squeezed by Greek Crisis

Greece and the European Union may have reached a bailout deal to ease the Mediterranean nation's financial crisis, but the effects of the country's economic collapse are expanding eastward.


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Greece debt crisis: The Austrian businessman whose charity is sending tons of medicine and food to the impoverished nation every month

Unvaccinated babies, hospitals begging for insulin and mothers unable to feed their children. Such problems are emerging in the European Union as a result of wealthier northern states attempting to reform the economy of its tiny, southerly member, Greece.


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IMF signals it could reject Greek deal

Greek liabilities can fall to sustainable levels only through large-scale debt relief, says memo


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Greece debt crisis: German-Greek relations slump further after Der Spiegel magazine cover prompts controversy

Fresh fat has been added to the fire of German-Greek relations after the respected and mostly serious Der Spiegel magazine published a front cover depicting an alarmed Teutonic tourist with a fistful of Euros reluctantly dancing Sirtaki with a chain-smoking, Ouzo-slurping Greek.


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Experts remain sceptical on impact of third Greek rescue deal – FT

#economy


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Obama: Greekment positive for Greece, Europe

Adds that "“further work will be required"


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Tsipras live — Alternatives during summer were: agreement or unruly bankruptcy

'Crunch time' continues for Greek PM, his government and the country's finances


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Eurozone to Pay 40-50 Billion Euros of Greek Bailout: Source

Eurozone governments will contribute between 40 and 50 billion euros ($44-55 billion) of the three-year bailout for Greece expected to cost of up to 86 billion euros, a European official said.


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UK 'could be overruled' on Greek loan

The European Commission is to suggest using an EU-wide emergency fund as part of the Greek bailout - despite UK opposition.


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Greek leader struggles to hold government together after bailout deal

ATHENS — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras scrambled on Tuesday to hold his government together a day after striking a cash-for-cuts deal with European creditors that some within his radical leftist party consider a grievous betrayal.Read full article


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The Latest: Obama says Greek debt deal a 'positive step'

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest on Greece's financial crisis (all times local):


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Grexit and Turkey: A Serious Proposal

A few days ago, I suggested a novel solution to the Greek debt crisis: Greece should leave the EU and form some sort of federation with Turkey. The proposal was satirical, but like many provocative ideas, contains a kernel of truth. Assuming that literally becoming a part of Turkey is politically impossible, what might a constructive arrangement between the two countries actually look like? To begin with, let me state my assumption: staying in the Eurozone is bad for Greece. This does not mean that the current negotiations for a bailout and haircut should end, but they should be accompanied by elaboration of a plan for an orderly exit from the euro. So long as it is in the Eurozone, Greece cannot grow. Grexit is necessary. But if it were to leave the Eurozone, what currency could Greece use? Returning to the drachma will no doubt be accompanied by a massive loss of purchasing power. The international bond markets are unlikely to have much faith in Greece's ability to manage its own currency, given its inability to collect taxes and produce workable budgets. Greece's government simply has no credibility, which unfortunately means that Greek citizens pay the price. Under such conditions, uniting with Turkey in a currency union based on the Turkish lira may not be a crazy idea. Ankara is more credible than Athens. It is true that per capita income in Turkey is currently about half of that in Greece. But the Turkish economy is growing and Greece's is headed in the opposite direction. Greece's nominal income, as we have seen, is distorted because of its denomination in euros. The actual economic conditions for production in Greece are arguably closer to those in Turkey than they are in Germany. And tying Greece to the lira would help the country direct its economy southward and east, toward the Middle East, rather than toward the European markets in which it is uncompetitive. The crisis has already led to previously unthinkable proposals for cooperation between the two old enemies. Recently a Turkish MP suggested that Turkey could pay some of the Greek debt. Of course, taking on the entire amount of Greece's accumulated debt is another story, particularly as the Turkish economy suffers fallout from the turmoil of the Middle East. It is hard to see why Turkey would take on the task of paying off European taxpayers who are the ultimate creditors of Greece. But it is surely worth exploring whether the two economies might together form a more optimally sized currency union than the current one Greece is stuck in. History has many examples of former enemies coming together when conditions change. Perhaps today's crisis offers a similar opportunity for Turkey and Greece. -- 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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Slim majority of Greeks see bailout deal positive

Some 51.5 percent of Greeks believe a bailout deal the country clinched with lenders is positive and a higher percentage thinks that the country's parliament should approve it, according to an opinion poll on Tuesday. The Kapa Research poll for To Vima newspaper, conducted on July 14, had 72 percent of respondents saying there was no alternative but an accord with lenders, and 70.1 percent that parliament should ratify it. Greece's parliament is due to vote on Wednesday on a raft of tax hikes and pension reforms that must be passed if bailout talks with international lenders are to start.


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Greece debt crisis: Leaked IMF report heaps fresh pressure on creditors to grant massive relief as part of latest bailout deal

… committed Greece’s creditors to “consider” further debt relief for Greece provided … loan” from its creditors, leaving Greece unable to avoid a catastrophic … the Pasok and To Potami opposition parties he argued that the Greek …


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IMF warns Greece needs deeper debt relief, Schaeuble wants 3. Bailout AND Grexit

A secret study by the International Monetary Fund showed that Greece needs far more debt relief than European governments have been willing to contemplate so far. The IMF study is an updated version of July 2nd as it takes into consideration the capital controls imposed since June 29th 2015. In […]


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More than half of Germans back Merkel's approach to Greece: poll

A poll has shown that more than half of Germans agree with Chancellor Angela Merkel's position on bailout negotiations with Greece. Almost all said they doubted whether Greece would apply the reforms.


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Greek Leader Pushes for Political Survival

Alexis Tsipras, forced into a humiliating climbdown on his country’s bailout deal, has unveiled a strategy for political survival that may sound counterintuitive: His party allies want Greeks to rally around him and the agreement to spite the creditors.


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Greek Economy Minister: Banks Will Not Open This Week – Deposits Will Not Be Slashed

During an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Greek Minister of Economy, Shipping and Tourism Giorgos Stathakis said that banks will reopen when the European Central Bank (ECB) raises the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) to Greece, so after the various Eurozone parliaments vote on the deal. Furthermore he said capital controls will remain for “a couple of months.” The Minister also addressed the fund that will be set up to liquidate public assets and generate 50 billion euros. Out of this sum, 25 billion will be used to recapitalize banks, 12.5 billion to pay off debts and 12.5 for investments by the Greek government. “I think that this new fund will work more as a guarantee fund rather than as a fund that will go on with such huge privatization, which obviously does not exist. But I think the new 82-billion loan that Greece will receive, which is a lot of money, required some guarantee,” he said. Stathakis also outright rejected any possibility of a deposit haircut because money from the loan will be used to recapitalize banks. “I think that this program has less austerity than the previous one. Because Greece is expected to produce fiscal surpluses much lower than the ones existing in the previous program. So it is an austerity program but has less austerity than the previous program and probably that is one of the advantages of the current agreement,” Stathakis noted about the country’s new bailout program.


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Greece Repays ‘Samurai’ Bonds to Private Japanese Creditors

In a symbolic gesture that prevented another payment default, Greece repaid samurai bonds maturing on Tuesday, July 14, to private creditors in Japan. “The payment was made, the funds should be credited in the bondholders’ accounts,” a Greek government official said to Reuters. “The 20 billion yen payment (148 million euros) was confirmed this morning,” Japan’s Mizuho Financial Bank spokeswoman told AFP. Samurai bonds are yen-denominated bonds issued in Tokyo by a non-Japanese company and subject to Japanese regulations, giving the borrowers access to Japanese capital. The proceeds from the issuance of samurai bonds can be used by non-Japanese companies to break into the Japanese market, or it can be converted into the issuing company’s local currency to be used on existing operations. Samurai bonds can also be used to hedge foreign exchange rate risk. Greece has already missed a 1.6-billion-euro debt payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June and an additional 450-million-euro payment that was due on Monday.


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IMF Deputy: Greece Needs Debt Relief

Greece needs debt relief to recover its economy after agreeing to several austerity measures in exchange for a bailout, said International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min. “The financing is clearly a very important issue for the Greek economy and the debt relief is also an important issue,” Zhu said, according to a Bloomberg report. “Given the debt ratio is way high, something we need to think of is a proper way to do the debt relief profile and debt restructuring to reduce the burdens and help the economy move forward.” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to a three-year bailout plan worth 84-86 billion euros that will keep the debt-stricken country in the Eurozone. The European Commission also agreed to reevaluate the Greek debt and offer some relief on the condition that Greece successfully completes reforms. Greece missed another payment to the IMF on Monday, increasing arrears to its creditor to approximately 2 billion euros. Athens requested a loan repayment extension, which will be discussed at an IMF board meeting, Zhu said. “Since they have arrears, of course we are not allowed to disburse the funds further,” he said. Once the arrears are cleared “we will be able to disburse the remaining funds in the program we negotiated three years ago,” he said, according to Bloomberg. See the text of the IMF analysis below:


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Greece’s Financial Havoc Creates Great Uncertainty in Auto Market

The current financial havoc in Greece has created great uncertainty, leading the country’s primary consumers to postpone many of their purchasing decisions, such as buying a new car. As a result, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Peugeot Citro├źn, being the most exposed car manufacturers to the Greek, Italian and Spanish markets, are feeling uncomfortable in front of an endless wait-and-see Grexit scenario. Volkswagen Group does not seem to be seriously affected as its exposure to Greece and other southern European countries is estimated at just 5.2%. The situation in Europe has been unclear not just to Greek consumers but to the rest of the euro-countries’ citizens as well, leading to a 20-year low in automobile sales in 2013. The next year though, sales steadily rebounded with a 5.4% increase. Although the European car market’s concern about a potential Grexit is serious, the damage may be minor taking into account that during 2014, only about 71,000 new cars were registered in Greece compared to 1.36 million in Italy, 855,000 in Spain, and approximately 143,000 in Portugal. Only if some of the rest of the European countries choose to follow Greece’s example, asking for a less austere rescue plan, a dangerous turmoil could burst out affecting Germany, Europe’s largest market.


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Euro zone finance ministers struggle for ways to keep Greece from defaulting

Euro zone finance officials were struggling on Tuesday to find a way of keeping Greece from defaulting on debt repayments to the ECB next week, with up to six options on the table but none that is problem-free. Greece needs 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion ...


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Greek Govt Sources: Tsipras Will Not Step Down

These have been a tough two days for Greece’s SYRIZA party and the Tsipras administration. At least 30 SYRIZA lawmakers have stated their intent to turn down the deal Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made with international creditors on Monday morning. Though the package is likely to be approved as it has the support of New Democracy and “To Potami,” the mutiny within SYRIZA raises questions about whether this SYRIZA-ANEL coalition will survive the cracks. Despite the fragile situation, government sources claim Tsipras has no intention of stepping down from his post after the Greek Parliament votes on the deal on Wednesday evening. Rumours had surfaced that Tsipras was going to resign following the vote. Government sources now say that that the Prime Minister finds such a move unethical and feels obliged to carry out his duties. Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Shipping Minister Giorgos Stathakis said in interview on Tuesday that any cabinet reshuffling would happen after parliament votes on Wednesday, though he did admit he would not be surprised if it happened before that. The new administration after any reshuffling will still be a SYRIZA-ANEL coalition.


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Legislation for Bailout Deal Submitted to Greek Parliament

The legislation for the deal between Greece and its international creditors for a European Stability Mechanism (ESM) package was submitted to the Greek Parliament on Tuesday evening with an urgent status. The legislation is composed of two articles. One contains the agreement reached during the Euro Summit. The second article contains the new measures the government has agreed to implement with a significant portion being extensive taxation schemes. The new measures include VAT reforms with 6%, 13% and 23% rates, depending on the type of service and product. Aegean islands will also lose the special VAT rate they have enjoyed, though some of the more remote islands will be able to keep it. Certain luxury taxes will also be raised while there will be an increase in the solidarity tax rate ranging from 0.7% to 8%, according to income levels. Aside from taxation, the rest of the second article focuses on reforms in the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Greece’s Parliament is expected to vote on Wednesday evening.


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Osborne resists use of UK-backed EU fund for Greek emergency loan

UK chancellor says Britain paying towards bailout help is ‘non-starter’ but European commission considers idea of loan that would include £850m from UKEurope is split over whether Greece could be offered an emergency loan from a central EU fund in a move that could require around £850m of financial support from the UK.George Osborne, the chancellor, is furiously opposing the idea, saying it is a “non-starter”, but the European commission confirmed it is under consideration in spite British objections and German scepticism about the plan. Continue reading...


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Greek Prime Minister faces heat from own party over latest bailout deal

BRUSSELS – With members of his own party openly denouncing a preliminary rescue deal struck with Greece's European creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must fight to cling to his government's majority after he was forced to shred election promises ...


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Greece Promises to Eliminate Tax Evasion Amid Financial Troubles

Tax evasion has been rampant for generations in Greece


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Eurozone Seeks Short-Term Financing for Greece

BRUSSELS—Eurozone governments were racing Tuesday to find a way to get Greece some desperately needed short-term financing within the next few days, but legal and political obstacles were complicating the effort, European officials said. A deal struck by ...


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