Greece and the economic crisis 2017

NEWS ARCHIVE - June 1 - June 7



June 7, 2017

Greece Calls on Europe to Offer Growth Incentives, Help Break Debt Impasse

"Some European countries, including Germany, are worried that concessions could affect the pace of economic reforms in Greece and want any debt relief put off until 2018. The IMF has said it will not participate financially in the country's latest bailout unless there is clarity on the matter.

...Greece passed more pension cuts and tax increases last month that will be implemented after 2018, in an effort to convince the IMF to participate in its current bailout, the third rescue package since 2010, and push for debt relief."


Cementing a long-term deal with Greece - Washington Times

"Russia recently signed a 49-year lease with Syria, to build up its once-modest facility at Tartus into a naval base that can handle Russia’s largest nuclear-powered battle cruisers, and possibly even nuclear submarines.

...It is also the first time in 70 years that such a base complex exists in the Mediterranean beyond the control of the United States or its allies, adding the threat of sophisticated Area Access Area Denial systems, which can thwart the free flow of U.S. and allied naval and commercial vessels."


Greece Named FIL's 57th Member - Inside Lacrosse

"Greece joins France, Israel, Italy, Spain, and Turkey as FIL member nations on the Mediterranean and becomes the 29th member from Europe.

The journey began in July of 2014 when the Greece Lacrosse Association (GLA) was formed by co-founders Paul and George Katsiaunis during the 2014 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship in Denver, Colorado."


Piraeus Bank to sell assets, tackle bad loans in recovery plan

"Piraeus Bank, Greece's largest bank by assets, aims to sell its Balkan businesses and certain other holdings and shrink its bad loans portfolio, its new chief executive told reporters on Wednesday, outlining the group's plans up to 2020.

"Our vision is to be the most credible bank in Greece," said CEO Christos Megalou, who took over in April."



June 6, 2017

IMF offers eurozone creditors Greece compromise - Daily Sun

"Her proposal to agree on the outline of a programme including the IMF, but withholding disbursement of funds until debt relief details are nailed down, is similar to one proposed at the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers last month which ended without an agreement.

Talks over Greece's debt mountain -- which stands at 179 percent of GDP -- have been paralysed in recent weeks by disagreements between the IMF and European creditors led by Germany."


Greece: Eurozone’s Puerto Rico - Brookings

"...Alexis Tsipras, the Janus-faced populist Greek prime minister, has to somehow appease the voters after the austerity bill that his government has finally introduced, and which is a result of his two-year “negotiate and delay” policy. The 140 measures are, for the most part structural reforms, not austerity measures. The brand-new brutal wage and pension reductions are being pushed through because, instead of cumulative 5 percent to 6 percent growth during 2015-2016, the economy is still in recession. So, definitely, populism will exact a heavy price on voters.

To survive politically, Tsipras needs a scapegoat to blame for the austerity. Germany Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble is an easy target; the International Monetary Fund is another. What facilitates Tsipras’ efforts is that both opponents hold different views regarding further debt relief and whether the next round should include maturity extensions and interest rate deferrals paid on debt. They base their differing views on, among other things, reliable forecasts for GDP growth and estimates of primary balance surpluses almost 50 years into the future. Yes, this is not a joke. As a matter of fact, it seems more a blame game or a pretext for disagreement among the creditors rather than a serious effort to resolve the bailout and settle on the necessary conditions to put Greece back on a growth path."


June 5, 2017

Greece Leads as Top Travel 365-Days Destination, 30 Million Visitors Expected in 2017 - PR Newswire

"The World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that tourism in 2017 will help boost the Greek economy by 6.9 percent, and will boost employment by 6.3 percent, supporting nearly 1 million jobs and representing 20% of the country's GDP. One in five jobs created in Greece is related to the tourism sector. Tourism is essential to Greece's effort for recovery and prosperity. Every 30 or more tourists visiting Greece, creates one new job for a Greek."


Greece Forced To Sell Public Water Utilities Under EU-Imposed Privatization Plan - Mint Press

"Just in the past year, 14 major regional Greek airports were privatized, as was the port of Piraeus, Greece’s largest port and one of the largest in Europe. More recently, the port of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, was also privatized to a consortium of investors. In addition, special privatization funds have been created where the ownership of public assets such as water utilities has been transferred, leading up to their future sale."


D. Tzanakopoulos: We do not accept an interim solution - toxwni.gr

"More than one week separates us from the Eurogroup of June 15, a date that is a landmark for the overall solution, both from the Greek side and the majority of the partners. What has changed since the previous meeting? Do you think that we are close to a "total agreement" that the government seeks?

"In the previous meeting of the Eurogroup a proposal was tabled that although entailed identifying medium-term measures, did not appear sufficient to the IMF to reach a positive feasibility analysis of Greek debt. That is why it was and accepted not only by the Greek government but also by many of our lenders. So we note that it is necessary an agreement on medium-term measures will be quite clear and pure that all the institutions participating in the Greek program, including the IMF and the ECB in particular, be able to characterize the Greek debt as sustainable. This is the basic criterion and we believe that through the technical but also political consultations this may be possible.

Moreover you know that almost everyone, our lenders, international analysts and the world press, recognize that Greece has done what was required now is the time the Eurogroup to take its own responsibility in Greece."


Changes in the calculation of traffic fees announced by Assistant Minister. Finance - Ethnos

"Changes in the calculation of registration fees processed by the Finance Ministry. As is being processed the minister K. Papanatsiou said proposal to be proportionate as it will count the cubic and age, while an attempt is made to include the purchase price and criteria, such as pollution."


Power union dismisses climate change as conspiracy, hails Trump - eKathimerini

"In a lengthy announcement, GENOP dismissed concerns about climate change as a “Chinese conspiracy,” adding that “there are major business interests and specific industries behind the myth of climate change.”

“A year-and-a-half after the accord was signed, a superpower, the USA (one of the signatories and specifically the country with the second highest emissions), is letting the remaining 195 nations continue with the joint action plan that was inspired by certain interests in order to bring about the end of the fossil fuel era,” GENOP said in its announcement."


June 4, 2017

Summer rain storm turn streets in downtown Athens into rivers - Keeptalkinggreece

"It started with a loud noise. The first thunder occurred somewhere in the north back of my home. The second thunder followed within a couple of minutes. The first drops fell on the windows… soon the hell broke out. The much expected hail and rain storm stroke the Greek capital turning streets into rivers ..."


Greek leaders condemn London attack - eKathimerini

"In a tweet on Sunday, Tsipras said the attacks caused sadness and anger, and that “we must beat terrorism and fear with determination and solidarity.”

The leader of main opposition party New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, expressed his “whole-hearted support” to the UK after suffering a “third terrorist attack in three months.”


June 3, 2017

EU mulling secret plan B for Greece, sources say - eKathimerini

"The plan being considered would ensure that the IMF is no longer in the “driving seat of the Greek bailout program,” the sources said, adding that it would offer Greece less debt relief than it had hoped for but also less austerity in 2019 onward, after the current bailout has expired.

That would mean Athens could revoke some of the tough austerity measures it pushed through Parliament last month. The pension cuts and tax increases are due to come into effect in 2019 and 2020 respectively."


No deal yet on new loans, debt relief for Greece - Eurogroup head - ISM

"Ministers did not agree on releasing new loans to Athens, but Dijsselbloem said work is progressing towards a next disbursement "before the summer". Moreover, the German government, one of the most prominent sponsors of the relief package for Greece, does not yet have an internally coordinated vision of the prospects of the Greek bailout. And he stressed any debt relief would only be implemented at the end of the current bailout program next year.

The ministers and the International Monetary Fund agreed Greece would keep a primary surplus - the budget balance before debt servicing - at 3.5% of GDP for five years after the end of the bailout in 2018, before the surplus can fall."


Victorian Parliament honours the Anzacs in Greece - Neo Kosmos

"This new memorial honours the solidarity forged between the Greek and Australian people – from the Island of Lemnos in 1915 to the battles of the Greek and Crete campaigns of 1941 – and in the waves of post-war migration to Australia. The memorial was erected by the Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Greece, supported by the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council (the Council) and the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee (the Committee)."

..."This olive tree symbolises the fruit and hospitality of Greece, a hospitality that greeted the Anzacs in 1915 and beyond. The bonds of friendship forged between the Greek people and their new Australian friends stretches back to my own Greek relatives who welcomed the Anzacs on Lemnos - one of whom was my Australian ancestor Blackburn's Private Edward Tozer."


June 2, 2017

Greece approves $8bn Chinese-backed resort project outside Athens - UK Guardian

"State minister Alekos Flabouraris said on Friday that the leftist administration’s privatisation agency had given the go-ahead to a consortium of Abu Dhabi and Chinese investors backed by the Chinese conglomerate Fosun, which owns the British holiday company Thomas Cook, to turn the site into a major resort.

It had been earmarked as a metropolitan park but was largely abandoned for the past decade. Now the consortium plans to build a 200-hectare (494-acre) park along with apartments, hotels and shopping malls at the site, which also includes some venues from the 2004 Olympics."


Who is King Constantine II of Greece? - royalcentral

"King Constantine is the last reigning monarch of Greece. He followed King Paul in 1964 when he died of cancer. Then Constantine was 23-years-old. At this time, Greece was still feeling the effects of the Civil War of 1944–49 between communists and monarchists.

The same year Constantine became King he married Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, the sister of the reigning Queen Margrethe of Denmark. Together they have five children."


Gov’t to change electoral law in local authority power bid - eKathimerini

"The new electoral system will, critics insist, work at the expense of the party that holds the majority at the level of local authority.

..The decision has been blasted by mayors across the country as a way for the government – currently lagging behind main opposition New Democracy in the polls – to overcome its relatively weak influence at the municipal level."


Makeshift migrant camp in old Athens airport cleared- Reuters

"Authorities say about 100 refugees and migrants were still living in tents in Hellenikon, the former airport complex that also houses abandoned venues used in the 2004 Olympic Games, down from about 3,000 last year, most of which have been moved to other sites."


Ending Greece’s Perpetual Debt Crisis - NYT

"On May 18, Greece’s Parliament dutifully passed a fresh round of austerity measures, including tax increases and new cuts to pensions. Yet, Greece’s creditors met in Brussels last week and shamefully failed to agree on terms that would permit the release of 7 billion euros in bailout funds needed by July to keep Greece from defaulting.

A failure to do so would be catastrophic for Greece and an unconscionable stain on Germany, whose stubbornness is costing Greece the only durable solution to its woes: economic recovery."


Pressure to Minimize Numbers of Migrants Identified As ‘Vulnerable’ - EU

“The European Union has hit another low in its efforts to deter new refugees and minimize obligations to ones already within its borders,” said Emina Ćerimović, disability rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The EU should be promoting the protection of asylum seekers, including those among them who may be particularly at risk, not unjustly pressuring the Greek authorities and medical actors to overlook them.”


Greece Seeks Debt Clarity as Creditors Resist Concessions -Bloomberg

“What the Greek government is asking for is clarity on the debt issue, and this was not on the table” last week, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said at an Economist Conference in Frankfurt on Wednesday. Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras warned that Greece’s economy “cannot withstand the uncertainty of one more year on whether there is going to be some debt measures or not.”


Latest poll: SYRIZA voted in worst memorandum of all - Protothema

"An even more impressive finding was that 40% of the respondents said they thought the current measures passed in parliament by the government were the worst of all previous government in recent years. With regards to the government’s countermeasures aimed at ameliorating the effects of the new austerity measures on the less privileged, 79.5% said they thought they were just for show. "


June 1, 2017

Greece seeks bailout deal that will restore market access - Santamaria Times

"Alexis Tsipras said Greece will work hard over the next two weeks with its European partners and the International Monetary Fund to reach a "clear" solution by the next meeting of eurozone finance ministers on June 15.

"A clear solution for the Greek side will not create, or intensify, insecurity for investors," he said in a speech to industrialists."


The 10 Best Metal Bands in Greece

"The current economical crisis has taken a big toll on the Greek people’s everyday life, but the passion for Heavy Metal still remains. Whenever a big band show is announced in Greece, fans go crazy, and the attendance to these shows is satisfactory. The underground Metal scene, is also in a nice state, with a good amount of people supporting it, showcasing their passion for Heavy Metal."



NEWS ARCHIVE - June 2017

INDEX NEWS ARCHIVE



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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