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November 26, 2010

Wages and Bonuses to be tracked in central database

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Comparison: The Irish and Greek financial meltdowns

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November 19, 2010

New cuts coming for Greece: 5 billion euros targeted for 2011

November 16, 2010

Greece to hit 144% of GDP: blames Germans for intensifying interest on debt

Wall Street Journal on Papandreau 'lashing out' at the German positions:

"Greece's prime minister lashed out Monday at Germany—its chief euro-zone benefactor—for tough talk on government-debt defaults, making clear the widening strains inside the 16-member euro-zone as the currency bloc wrestles with a teeming sovereign-debt crisis.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the spiral of higher interest rates could 'force economies toward bankruptcy.'

Addressing reporters in Paris, George Papandreou said the Germans' view—long-held, but recently reiterated—that private bondholders could suffer losses as part of a future bailout was intensifying government-debt woes.

The German position "created a spiral of higher interest rates for countries that seemed to be in a difficult position, such as Ireland or Portugal," Mr. Papandreou said. He added that the spiral could "break backs" and "force economies toward bankruptcy.

...Greece said Monday it would miss a target to reduce its government deficit to 8.1% of gross domestic product this year, which was set after Greece took a €110 billion ($150 billion) bailout from euro-zone countries and the International Monetary Fund. (Germany put up €22 billion of that total.)

As recently as last month, Greece said it would beat its target and report a deficit of 7.8%. Instead, it now says the deficit is likely to be 9.4% this year, and that government debt would total 144% of GDP at the end of 2010.

Citigroup economist Giada Giani said Greece's debt could reach 165% of GDP in 2013. At the time of the bailout, Greece agreed that its 2010 debt would be 133%, rising to 150% in 2013."

New Austerity Cuts

Kathimerini has a brief on the new austery plan cuts to be made public on Thursday

The government is about to announce new austerity measures totaling about 13 billion euros for next year, following the meeting that Greece’s creditors had with Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou yesterday in Athens.

The measures will become public on Thursday, when the government tables the 2011 budget in Parliament, but their format has not yet been completed, according to sources.

...The target for an additional 13 billion euros for 2011 is based on Athens attaining the 9.4 percent budget deficit that Eurostat expects for 2010, though with a 2-billion-euro lag in state revenues in the first 10 months of the year this appears rather unlikely. The deficit at the end of the year may well exceed 10 percent, calling for even more additional revenues in 2011. Papaconstantinou will update his European counterparts today and tomorrow at the Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings.

November 15, 2010

Greece admits breach of bailout rules

Agence France-Presse via the Google news site:

"Greece admitted on Monday that it is in breach of conditions for a new instalment of its 110-billion-euro bailout as the IMF and European Union begin an audit of its austerity cuts.

The EU's statistical agency Eurostat issued its final revision of Greece's accounts for the past four years, triggering a new forecast by Athens that its public deficit this year would reach 9.4 percent of output, breaching a 8.1-percent target.

...The Greek economy shrank by 4.5 percent in the last 12 months, official data showed on Friday. Gross domestic product contracted by 1.1 percent in the third quarter.

...However Papandreou's government won a solid endorsement from voters in local elections over the weekend, which he had explicitly turned into a referendum on the austerity programme in its first test at the ballot box since the painful reforms began."

PASOK wins majorities in governorship races

Voter abstention estimated at 55%.

"PASOK looked set to win the majority of regional governorships following the second round of local elections yesterday, which proved memorable for the unexpected victory of independent candidate Giorgos Kaminis in the City of Athens and the extremely low turnout, as less than one in two Greeks cast their ballot.

With the majority of votes counted late last night, PASOK or PASOK-backed independent candidates led in six of the 11 newly created regions being contested."

More detail at Kathimerini

Eurostat revises Greek 2010 deficit at 9.4%

Greece After The Fall

Though containing observations about the economic situation in Greece vis-a-vis after the crash, this is also a general travel article as the writer moves from Athens out to the islands. At forbes by Akhil Sharma:

"Has the near financial collapse changed the country?

...The goal of my trip was to memorialize what Greece to outsiders looked like; to me it seemed there were already enough experts. When I went for long walks in the neighborhood, what I saw over and over again was an ease, a relaxed attitude which might be sensible, but might also explain some of the problems that Greece is running into. Often I saw shop workers, young women in elegant jackets who stood outside their shops smoking while the occasional customer wandered around unattended inside. Athens was the first city on my trip and I didn't want to extrapolate too broadly. "

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