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January 30, 2009

China to rescue?

Writer Costas Paris had this to say at the Wall Street Journal about the Greek effort to get the Chinese on board:

"If the downgrades of the country's credit ratings continue, we will find ourselves in the terrifying position of not drawing liquidity from the European Central Bank due to the risk that (Greek) bonds may not be accepted," Greek Central Bank Gov. George Provopoulos said this week.

...The country's debt spreads have blown out, with the 10-year Greek government bond yielding 208 basis points more than the corresponding German bund, the widest spread within the euro zone. Athens plans to issue around EUR60 billion in bonds next year.

In addition to directly buying Greek bonds, Chinese banks purchasing debt in the secondary market could also ease some of the strain on Athens."

An editorial at kathimerini online confronted the turmoil the bond sale was stirring up among nationals.

"A number of political and economic commentators have in the past few weeks been lashing out at international speculators for allegedly targeting Greece’s troubled economy.

Let’s get serious. If our national economy were not overindebted, if it were not so lacking in credibility and if it were not so dependent on its creditors, then no foreign speculator would currently be in a position to inflict any damage on the country."

Also at Kathimerini was the expected headline: "Workers march against austerity measures." Looks like there will be a lot more marching before the crisis is over.

Also see:

China may put $1 billion or more into Piraeus upgrades - June 10, 2010


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