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Greece and the economic crisis 2016

NEWS ARCHIVE - Oct 1 - Oct 9

October 9, 2016

IMF says still engaged with Greece, no decision yet on bailout role - Reuters

"The IMF's comment came after two sources with direct knowledge of the Greek bailout talks told Reuters on Saturday that negotiations for the fund to commit financial resources to the program are making little headway and the IMF likely would accept a special advisory status with limited powers.

...The IMF has been holding out for more than a year over the terms under which it would participate in any new Greek bailout, arguing that the fiscal targets set in the European bailout are unrealistic without major debt relief for Greece. "

Greece Submits Complaint to NATO Over Turkish Submarines in Aegean Waters - Greek Reporter

"The Greek Foreign Ministry and the National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) filed a complaint regarding the presence of Turkey’s submarines in Greek territorial waters that coincided with provocative statements made by Turkish officials disputing Greece’s borders and questioning the Lausanne Treaty. The treaty defined territory between Greece and Turkey following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire."

October 8, 2016

Greece likely to get part or all of next loan tranche on Monday - Reuters

"Euro zone finance ministers are likely to approve on Monday the disbursement of much or all of the money from the 2.8 billion euro ($3.14 billion) tranche of loans Greece is waiting for, two senior euro zone officials said on Friday.

The disbursement in part or in full is likely because the country has met almost all the 15 reform milestones agreed with lenders as conditions for the payout."

Tsakalotos Says German Position on Debt Is Unrealistic - Bloomberg

"Speaking in an interview on Friday with Bloomberg Television, Tsakalotos said he conveyed this message to his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble earlier in the day. The two are participating in annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has expressed skepticism that Greece can recover without a reduction in its debt load, though Schaeuble said as recently as Thursday that the Mediterranean country should meet its commitments, adding that it doesn’t have to pay interest for more than a decade."

Hundreds of flights canceled in Greece ahead of strikes - India Times

"Airlines on Saturday announced the cancellation of hundreds of flights in and out of Greece ahead of a series of one-day strikes by the country's air traffic controllers. Aegean, the country's largest airline, and its subsidiary Olympic Air cancelled all of their flights in or out of the country for tomorrow, when the walkout is set to begin.

Irish budget airline Ryanair has grounded 110 flights scheduled for today and tomorrow, calling on the European Commission to take action "to prevent these repeated ATC strikes from continuously disrupting the travel plans of millions of Europe's citizens and their families".

October 7, 2016

Creditors at odds on Greek debt - eKathimerini

"Questioned by Kathimerini about the eurozone officials’ call for the Fund to back down on its debt lightening demand, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, “We have displayed flexibility in the past in assessing the sustainability of the debt, but we clearly believe that as it is the debt is not sustainable.”

The French official added that the conditions for the IMF’s participation in the Greek program “have not changed. We believe that very significant structural reforms must be made and we also believe that the debt has to become sustainable in the future.”

Lagarde reiterated the Fund’s view that it will not participate in the Greek bailout programme - Capital GR

"...She stressed that Greece has implemented some reforms but still lots of work still needs to be done, while the IMF mission for Greece will return to Athens in about two weeks to help out with the second review of the ESM programme."

Greek exports grew by an average annual growth rate of 1.45 pct in 2001-2005 - Athens News Agency

"The report noted that in the period from 2001 until 2008 exports grew steadily with the exception of 2005, while in the period 2009-2013 exports fell sharply. Export trends were volatile in the last two years as from 2012 onwards both exports and imports showed signs of stabilization. Greek imports fell by 15.99 pct in the last 15 years, leaving the country's accumulated trade deficit at 348 billion euros, almost equal to the country's public debt of 338 billion, of which 219 billion euros were formed in the 2001-2008 period."

Will Helena Paparizou return to Eurovision next year? - ESC Today

"As the rumour mill in Athens is getting hotter by the minute regarding on whom will fly the Greek flag in Kyiv next year, Greek media is speculating that the 2005 Greek Eurovision winer is vying to represent Greece at the forthcoming 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Today during a morning show aired on private Greek channel Ant 1, well known Greek tv host/journalist Themis Georgantas spilled the beans and said that Helena Paparizou is considering to return to Eurovision next year and is currently in discussions regarding the matter."

Further Coverage:

Greece Confirms participation in Eurovision 2017 - Wiwi

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July 2016 was 23.2% - Ta Nea

"In particular, according to data of ELSTAT, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July 2016 was 23.2% versus 24.8% in July 2015 and 23.4% in June 2016. The total number of employees, in July 2016, was estimated at 3,703,828 people. Unemployed amounted to 1,120,843 persons while the economically inactive population totaled 3.22078 million people.

The number of employed increased by 80 663 persons compared with July 2015 (2.2% increase) and 14.617 persons compared with June 2016 (up 0.4%). The unemployed decreased by 76 727 persons compared with July 2015 (down 6.4%) and 5.395 persons compared with June 2016 (down 0.5%)."

October 6, 2016

Attica Bank to issue collateral bonds for central bank borrowing - Reuters

"Attica Bank will issue government-guaranteed bonds that can serve as collateral to borrow funds from the Greek central bank's emergency liquidity facility (ELA), its deputy chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

The bank, majority owned by the engineers pension fund TSMEDE, suffered deposit outflows in the last month after the Bank of Greece asked it to freeze lending and address corporate governance issues.

"We will issue 380 million euros of such bonds to have a comfortable collateral cushion for tapping the central bank's ELA (emergency liquidity assistance) window," Deputy CEO Thanasis Tsadaris told Reuters."

Public Uproar Over Home Auctions in Greece - Greek Reporter

"Dozens of auctions are taking place throughout courts in Greece, with many of them being cancelled due to demonstrations and interventions by angry citizens.

In Thessaloniki on Wednesday, protesters clashed with riot police outside the county court where an 80 home of a six-member family was auctioned."

Greece to Begin Schooling Migrant Children - VOA

"Greek Education Minister Nikos Filis said Wednesday that 1,500 children would be taught at 20 public schools or in classrooms at six refugee camps starting Monday.

“Schooling refugee children falls under Greece’s international obligations,” Filis told a news conference."

Lagarde: Greece hasn't done enough - eKathimerini

"IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that Greece has more work to do on reforms, essentially confirming fears that the Washington-based organization is not yet prepared to participate in Greece's third bailout.

Lagarde made her remarks ahead of the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington Thursday, signaling dismay with European leaders, for not having agreed to restructure Greece's debt, and Athens, for doing enough on reforms. The IMF has already expressed reservations about changes to Greece's tax system and social security which were passed into law by Parliament before the summer."

October 5, 2016

Greece sees jump in migrant border crossings - Washington Post

"Greek police detained 214 Syrian refugees after they crossed a river that forms a natural border with Turkey, authorities said Wednesday.

The announcement marked the second recent mass crossing of the Evros River — 107 refugees were detained in the same border area last week.

A police official told The Associated Press that refugees and other migrants were taking advantage of current low river levels near the border town of Orestiada. "

ECB lowers emergency funding cap for Greek banks to 51.8 bln euros - eKathimerini

"The move reflected improving liquidity conditions in Greek banks and the stabilisation of private sector deposit flows, it said. The ELA ceiling is valid up to October 20.

Greek banks have relied on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) since February 2015... "

Exiled in despair: Migrants in Greece losing hope - Fox News

"More than 60,000 refugees and migrants are stuck in Greece, stranded by measures designed by the European Union to stop more traveling to the continent. Only 4,500 people — less than 10 percent of the total — have been placed so far in EU countries, where anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise.

Greece's government is scrambling to provide container huts before the winter, while camp dwellers have turned the tent city into a tiny shanty town: hammering furniture together out of scrap wood, cooking on cinder block stoves and hoisting tarp covers for roofing."

Greece’s Passenger Shipping Market Shrinking - GTP GR

"The study, which examines domestic coastal shipping, the Greece-Italy route and ferry services, found that Greece’s passenger shipping market has decreased in size by 32 percent in the last seven years, suffering losses to the tune of 7.8 million passengers and 2.9 million vehicles in the 2008-2014 period."

October 4, 2016

Prince Charles lays flowers on the grave of his grandmother Princess Alice of Greece - Hello

"Princess Alice is buried at the beautiful Church of St Mary Magdalene, above the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives.

..She passed away in 1969, and was first laid to rest in St George's Chapel in Windsor – but, her final wish was to be buried at the Russian orthodox convent, near her aunt Elizabeth, the Grand Duchess of Russia, who was killed by the Bolsheviks and declared a Russian Orthodox saint. Prince Charles also laid flowers at the grave of his ancestor Elizabeth.

Princess Alice's remains were transferred to the church in August 1988, but it wasn't until 1994 that her son, the Duke of Edinburgh, first visited the site, when he travelled to Israel for a ceremony honouring her for saving Greek Jews during the Second World War."

EU Commission would like Greek debt deal by year-end - Reuters

"By the end of the year I would like to see, to strike an agreement on debt," Moscovici told parliamentarians.

"That is indeed legitimate and has been long awaited, that requires an effort to be made on all sides, creditors, all partners in the Eurogroup and also the Greek authorities when it comes to implementing the reform programme," he said.

Following a restructuring of privately-held Greek bonds in 2012, euro zone governments are now, through their bailout fund, the main owners of Greek debt. The Commission itself does not hold any Greek bonds."

Stavroula Tsolakidou: 16-year-old Greek girl wins World Chess championship - Tornos News

"Greek 16-year-old Stavroula Tsolakidou is the world champion in the Young Chess Tournament that was held in Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia. Stavroula earned 9 points in 11 matches and was declared the winner in the world tournament. The 16-year- old girl returns to Greece with the whole team and from Wednesday school will be her top priority. From last year she had been declared world champion within 16 years olds but this year she struggled in a strong battlefield with older than her age chess players (18 years old), succeeding something very important for Greece and Greek Chess. The president of Stavroula’s team, the Chess Club of Kavala, Vasilis Theodoridis, couldn’t hide his delight and satisfaction: “Her distinction is unique. No athlete, ever before, has ever won three championships in a row in this young age”.

October 3, 2016

Greece’s 2017 Budget Plan Sticks With Robust Growth Forecast - WSJ

"The 53-page budget sticks with Greece’s previous forecasts that the economy is expected to contract by 0.3% this year before growing by 2.7% in 2017. Many see these targets as too optimistic, saying the economy is now entering a period of stagnation, rather than growth, having shrunk by more than 25% since the debt crisis erupted in 2010.

“Although there are some indications pointing to some stabilization in the economy, tight fiscal policy, difficult credit conditions and muted external growth are expected to limit the recovery in 2017,” said Diego Iscaro, senior economist at consulting firm IHS Global Insight."

Greece expects growth, lower debt, unemployment to ease in 2017-draft budget - Reuters

"Recession-hit Greece on Monday predicted a return to growth in 2017 and a drop in its huge debt burden via a tax-heavy draft budget submitted to parliament, pledging to meet the reform targets of lenders throwing it a financial lifeline."

Where is the IMF on Greece? - Reuters

"Though Greece secured some debt-servicing relief in past negotiations, the debt overhang serves as a barrier to international business confidence in the country’s prospects. It is an enormous obstacle to the sustainable return to the capital markets by both Greece’s government and its private sector, despite very favourable market conditions due to low interest rates and the widespread search for yield by investors.

There is also a crucial political dimension: debt relief is essential to prevent an otherwise probable political upheaval within Greece and the country’s possible departure from the euro zone."



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