Greece and the economic crisis 2015
NEWS ARCHIVE - May 1 - May 5
May 5, 2015
"...It promised to turn the page on five years of austerity that brought Greece to its knees, but the first 100 days of the radical government of Alexis Tsipras has seen that hope disappear into the yawning gulf between it and the country's creditors.
...Tsipras, 40, had hoped to convince Europe to restructure Greece's enormous debt, which stands at 175 percent of its GDP, but other EU leaders stubbornly insisted that Greece must "respect its commitments".
Since then Brussels and Athens have been going back and forth on the still unspecified "list of reforms", with Greece refusing funds from the last tranche of its original bailout until a deal is agreed.
..."There is no more liquidity in the Greek economy," Tsipras's own spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said Monday.
"The length of the talks pose risks that must not be ignored," the liberal daily Kathimerini warned Saturday, referring to the danger of hospitals and other essential services running out of cash.
In the meantime, Greece must pay the IMF and the ECB back 12.5 billion euros by the end of August."
Greece lobbies creditors for loan payout, cites progress - Pierce County Tribune
"International creditors are pushing the Greek government to deliver economic reforms and budget measures before they unlock the remaining 7.2 billion euros ($7.7 billion) in its bailout fund. But the left-wing government wants to safeguard campaign promises that were vital in its January election victory, all on relaxing the austerity measures imposed on Greece to stave off its financial decline.
A Greek default on its debts could bring financial turmoil that could see it abandoing the euro. Economists say that could further devastate the economy and might have unpredictable effects on long-term confidence in the solidity of the shared currency.
Despite the positive comments Tuesday, the progress is unlikely to be enough for European creditors to immediately pay Greece the money it needs as its coffers run dry. Germany, Greece's biggest European creditor, confirmed that talks were more constructive than in the past but said the timing of a full deal was still uncertain."
May 4, 2015
"Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis sounded the alarm on Monday, saying that while Athens intended to meet all its payment obligations, including nearly 1 billion euros to the IMF in May, it needed fresh funds before the end of the month.
"Liquidity is a pressing issue," Sakellaridis told a news conference. "The Greek government is not waiting until the end of May for a liquidity injection. It expects this liquidity to be offered to the Greek economy as soon as possible."
Citi forecasts Greek devastation, unstoppable debt spirals in Italy and Portugal - UK Telegraph
"If Citigroup is right, the slight rebound in Europe over the summer will not be enough to stop Club Med going from bad to worse, with a string of soft defaults/restructurings.
...Greece continues to be a catastrophe. The alleged stabilisation will prove to be a false dawn. The economy will contract by a further 2.9pc in 2014, and 1.4pc in 2015, pushing unemployment to 32.4pc, and the debt to 201pc of GDP.
...Citi's team is headed by ardent euro-federalist Willem Buiter, and most of his team are from eurozone countries, so this is not an Anglo-Saxon report.
Of course, there is always the possibility that they are completely wrong. They had better be wrong. "
May 3, 2015Greece claims 'deal is close' as country fights to remain in eurozone - UK Telegraph
"Greece is edging closer to a deal with its European creditors that will unlock vital financial aid to Athens and secure the country's future in the eurozone.
Government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis told reporters on Sunday that he was confident a deal could be struck as soon as Sunday evening, echoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' comments last week.
Greece, is due to repay €200m to the IMF on Wednesday, and a further €750m later this month. Protesters, including Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis took to the streets on Friday to protest against the repeated rounds of austerity that have been imposed on Athens by Brussels."
Greece and creditors 'miles apart' on deal to avert debt default - Australian Financial Review
"As the two sides were still locked in discussions on Saturday, it wasn't clear that there would be enough progress to clinch a deal in time for the planned May 11 meeting of euro- area finance ministers, some officials warned.
...Even if an agreement between Greece and international creditors is reached soon, it would take weeks for the next aid tranche to be paid, Handelsblatt reported on Saturday, citing people close to the government.
Still, the government prepared to streamline at least three different value added tax rates into one, and limit exemptions, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported on Saturday, citing people close to negotiations. Varoufakis said on Thursday that Greece wouldn't discuss the sales-tax increase or pension cuts as part of the current talks."
May 2, 2015Greece wants restruction, not New Bailout - Germany to consider reparations - VOA
"Greece has said that it would not ask for a new rescue package from its international creditors if they would simply restructure its debt.
...Also on Saturday, President Joachim Gauck, who has mainly a ceremonial role, said that Germany should consider Greece's demands for $312 Billion in reparations for the Nazi occupation.
"It's the right thing to do for a history-conscious country like ours to consider what possibilities there might be for reparations," Gauck told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
"We are not only people who are living in this day and age but we're also the descendants of those who left behind a trail of destruction in Europe during World War Two — in Greece, among other places, where we shamefully knew little about it for so long," said Gauck.
Many in Greece blame Germany, their main creditor, for the tough austerity measures and record high unemployment rate deriving from two international bailout packages in the amount of about $272 billion (240 billion euros)."
May 1, 2015
"Most top credit rating agencies say they would not cut Greece's rating to default if it misses a payment to the International Monetary Fund or European Central Bank, a stance that could keep vital ECB funding flowing into the financial system.
...Nevertheless, the risk of automatic 'cross defaults' from a missed payment to the IMF or ECB to other public and private sector Greek debts appears minimal according to legal experts.
The only potential impact Allen & Overy's Yannis Manuelides saw from any missed payments was that they could technically give the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) the option to demand immediate repayment of one of its big Greek loans. But as the EFSF is government controlled, that seems highly unlikely and it would most likely waive that option.
Still, failing to make the payments to the ECB and IMF -- Fitch has said it "cannot be discounted" -- would leave the ECB in a powerful position with regard to Greece."
Five Years After First Bailout, Greece Back on the Brink - WSJ
"The confrontation is the most dramatic sign of how the euro—intended to deepen European unity—has instead fostered political divisions between the Continent’s creditor and debtor countries, and between its voters and political establishments.
...But deep ideological differences and clashing political constraints in Greece and its eurozone partners, led by Germany, pose formidable challenges for the twin deals needed to keep Greece afloat: completing the current bailout program and adopting a new one."