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Greece and the economic crisis 2017

NEWS ARCHIVE - Feb 1 - Feb 6

February 6, 2017

Germany: If IMF goes, Greek program is over - Protothema

"According to a German Finance Ministry spokesperson, Germany estimates the IMF will remain on board the Greek fiscal adjustment program. When asked during a press briefing what would happen if the Fund decided to leave the program, spokesperson Juerg Weissgerber was blunt saying that in the event the program would be terminated."

Was Greece’s Deficit Inflated? - WSJ

"Andreas Georgiou, Greece’s chief statistician from 2010-2015, stands accused of inflating the country’s budget deficit on orders from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to justify Greece’s unpopular bailout program."

Creditors maintain pressure on Athens for reforms as IMF role remains unclear - eKathimerini

"...There are fears in Brussels that the risk of a return to the instability of the summer of 2015 will grow further if Athens does not take steps to legislate measures following Monday's keenly-awaited meeting of the International Monetary Fund's board."

European sources: Will the IMF insist on 4.5 billion in cuts? - Iefimerida

"...[the] optimistic assessment is based on the IMF showing a readiness to throw out the requirements both as to the measures to be voted onin Athens as well as the measures for the debt to be presented to the European block. In particular (based on the reading by the Greek side) the requirement for reductions of 4.5 billion is no longer on the table..."

February 5, 2017

Greece hopes migrant burden will turn into boon - Yahoo

"In Athens, over one million euros ($1.08 million) has been injected into the economy via a refugee housing programme, financed in part with the EU funds.

The funds help pay for rents several months in advance, for prepaid supermarket cards and metro and bus tickets, and the salaries of about 100 people hired to carry out the programme."

Olympiakos beats Iraklis 3-0 to keep 13-point lead in Greece - USAtoday

Defending champion Olympiakos beat Iraklis 3-0 Sunday in the Greek league to keep its 13-point lead over Panionios and PAOK.

Panionios beat Xanthi 2-0, and PAOK defeated Asteras 3-2.

The Death of Liberalism in Greece - Greek Reporter

Despite its failures, the programme agreed by the IMF, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the Greek government did work. At the end of 2014, the economic figures showed a surplus, a return to growth and a small drop in unemployment. After five years of austerity, everything indicated that Greece was following the same recovery path as Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland. This very short success story was lost in the drama that followed Syriza’s electoral win and subsequent unsuccessful negotiations in early 2015."

February 4, 2017

The IMF Should Get Out of Greece - Bloomberg

"The IMF should never have gotten into Greece in the first place. As late as March 2010, with concerns about the Greek government's ability to pay its debts roiling markets, Europe's leaders wanted the IMF to stay away...

...European governments and the IMF lent Greece a vast sum to repay its existing creditors. Greece’s debt burden remained unchanged and onerous, and the most vulnerable Greeks were forced to accept crippling austerity to repay the country’s new official creditors. The economy quickly and predictably went into a tailspin.

... Even when the IMF recognized the error of its ways, it didn't change course. An internal “strictly confidential” report, later made public, acknowledged that the program was riddled with “notable failures,” including the lack of private debt restructuring and excessive austerity."

Greece is in a mess but not at the brink - Reuters

Hopeful analysis from Reuters writer John Foley, though his comment "Investors are not assuming the worst" only makes sense if Foley's assumption that everyone in positions of power are trying to make only rational decisions instead of political ones.

"Who benefits if Greece defaults on its debts? Neither its creditors nor its obstreperous government. That is the best reason to hope that tense talks on whether the country deserves the next slice of an 86 billion euro bailout will end amicably...

...That leaves the next move to Syriza. If Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras really feels creditors are asking for too much, he can call an election. That would probably hand power to the rival New Democracy party, which might be able to persuade creditors to take a softer position. Equally, a new government might just inherit the same problems."

Foreign Minister: Greece not "chicken" at Cyprus negotiations - Tornos News

[Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias] said that the Greek side is not dogmatic in its approach and has the flexibility needed for a good compromise but will not make concessions that lead to a bad, flawed compromise.

The minister said he was satisfied with the progress in the talks so far...

As a positive example, Kotzias referred to a major shift in Britain from a traditionally pro-Turkish stance to the current view that Turkey cannot “maintain western and interventionist rights.”

Turkey Warns Greece Over Military Drill In Aegean - Turkish NY

"About reports claiming Greece had ordered military reinforcements in Kos island, Muftuoglu said: “Greek military drill is a clear violation of international law.”

... He said Ankara would take all legal actions to defend its right over the Aegean Sea."

More Coverage:

Athens sticks to low-profile responses as Ankara ups rhetoric over islets - eKathimerini

Tsipras: ‘There are no gray zones in the Aegean’ - Amna Gr

February 3, 2017

Grexit? Greece again on the brink as debt crisis threatens break with EU - UK Guardian

"...a perfect storm is brewing.

Bailout negotiations between Athens and its creditors have stalled. The possibility of Grexit, or euro exit, has re-emerged and bond yields have soared. The yield on two-year Greek government bonds has risen from 6% to 10% in less than two weeks as spooked investors have dumped their holdings. And the shrill rhetoric last seen at the height of the crisis in 2015 has returned."

New Metron Analysis poll shows ND leading by a 10.2% margin - Capital GR

"...a new poll by Metron Analysis conducted for Ant1 TV, New Democracy leading by a 10.2% margin in the vote intention. Specifically, ND is polling at 25.8%, with Syriza at 15.6%.

The Golden Dawn is third at 5.6% and is followed by the Communist Party (5.0%) and the Democratic Coalition (4.9%)."

Antigone being pushed out of Greek high schools - Protothema

Bizarre effort to remove one of the most-read ancient works about the abuse of power by the state against the individual. Sophocles' tale includes the main character (Antigone, the daughter of the previous late king of Thebes) appealing to tradition, religion and family ties for the right to properly bury her dead brother who was killed in the Thebian civil war. The current King Creon over Thebes decides this is not possible, the dead brother is a rebel against the state and has forfeited his rights. Creon's decision sets a series of events in motion that goes far beyond just cursing a dead body with being left humiliated and exposed above ground, but splits his kingdom and wrecks his family.

Could the Greek Education Ministry chose a more representative piece of literature for this sort of crazy action?

"The Panhellenic Association of Philologists (PEF) have reacted strongly against the plan by the Greek Education Ministry to scrap the teaching of classical play Antigone of Sophocles in high school. The association issued a statement expressing its its opposition to the proposed circular, which insists that the ancient classical play should be taken out of the curriculum, while the compulsory gender and addictions studies should be included in weekly thematic units. The statement stresses that not even under the 7-year military dictatorship had the teaching of Sophocles’s Antigone been suspended..."

Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus issue and programme review dominate Tsipras-Merkel's meeting - AMNA GR

"...Merkel briefed Tsipras on her contacts with the Turkish leadership and more particularly as regards peace and stability in the region, the refugee issue, the Cyprus problem as well as EU-Turkey relations.

On his part, Tsipras underlined his commitment to finding a fair and sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue and stressed the importance of the EU-Turkey agreement."

Turkey says Greek military exercise on Kos breached international law - eKathimerini

"The Turkish foreign ministry said it was aware of Greek media reports that Greek special forces had parachuted onto Kos and said the exercise was a breach of a 1947 treaty that banned all such training on the island.

A Greek defense ministry source confirmed there had been a scheduled exercise at the beginning of the week involving parachutists.

"The training schedule of the Greek armed forces is not going to stop," the source told Reuters.

Turkey warned it could take action if necessary."

More Coverage:

Turkey says Greek military exercise on Aegean island breached international law - Reuters

February 2, 2017

Turkey and Greece Trade Jabs in Island Dispute - NY Times

"The exchange is the most public disagreement over the tiny islands’ sovereignty since 1996, when soldiers from both countries landed on them before American-led mediation persuaded both sides to leave the area.

Turkey disputes Greece’s claim that the islands — known as Imia in Greece and Kardak in Turkey — entered Greek ownership in 1947, after first being assigned to Italy in 1923 following the fall of the Ottoman Empire."

Greece reports mass Turkish air incursions as tensions simmer - Reuters

"A statement by a Greek deputy shipping minister in early January on plans to make 28 small Aegean islands habitable stoked Ankara's ire.

"Greece is trying to take advantage of Kardak and similar rocky areas. Greece will not be permitted to open new areas here," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said during a roundtable interview with reporters on Wednesday."

More coverage:

Turkish fighter record violations in the Aegean - 138 in one day! - Iefimerida

Around 10,000 refugee children to attend school this month - eKathimerini

"Some 10,000 refugee and migrant children up to the age of 15 will be attending Greek schools by mid-February, according to the Education Ministry... "

February 1, 2017

Greece says wraps up talks with Total-led venture for offshore gas drilling - eKathimerini

"In October, Greece named a consortium of France's Total, its biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum, and Italy's Edison as the preferred bidder for the offshore gas drilling block in the Ionian Sea."

Turkish Vice President, Veysi Kaynak: We will not allow Greece to exploit Imia - Protothema

"...Greece was trying to exploit the Imia islets, something the Turkish military would not permit. “The rocky isles of Kardak (how Turkey refers to Imia) and similar isles, are subject to exploitation by Greece, but the Turkish government will never allow Greece to create new spaces around them”

Greek court says Turkish servicemen must stay in custody - eKathimerini

"The court on Wednesday upheld police arguments that they should be detained for three months pending examination of their asylum bids, due to national security concerns."



Epicurus Greece Travel

Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life

Rick Steves Athens and Peloponnese Guide Book

Rick Steves Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese

Amazon 2016 Lonely Planet Guide Greece

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