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Greece and the economic crisis 2016

NEWS ARCHIVE - Nov 9 - Nov 16


November 16, 2016

Germany rejects debt relief for Greece after Obama offers support - Reuters

"German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said late on Tuesday granting Greece debt relief would do it a disservice.

...A finance ministry spokesman said there was nothing new to say. "Our position is unchanged. Obama's visit has not changed anything," he said at the government news conference."


Arrests in Athens as protest turns violent during Obama's visit to Greece - CNN

"Six people have been arrested in the Greek capital after a group of anarchists started throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails following an anti-capitalism protest, Athens police told CNN.

...Unrest broke out as the group tried to break through a police cordon to march to the US Embassy and Presidential Mansion, where Obama was attending an official state dinner.

Protesters threw Molotov cocktails, and police responded with stun grenades and tear gas, dispersing the crowds who eventually retreated into the side streets."


Greece, Seeking Dose of Stability, Is Rattled by Trump’s Win - NYT

"Even before Mr. Trump’s victory, Mr. Tsipras’s troubles had mounted all year. His popularity plunged after his government snapped in place new pension cuts and tax increases to appease his nation’s creditors, further angering beleaguered Greeks.

The risk now is that Greece could re-emerge as a weak link in the eurozone, as pivotal elections in several European countries next year may shift the focus from stabilizing Greece."


November 15, 2016

Obama: The US will stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with crisis-hit Greece - eKathimerini

"We consider this visit will contribute to the effort to reduce Greece’s debt," government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told Reuters. "The US president has repeatedly stated he wants to solve this huge issue before he leaves office."

..."To the rest of Europe, I will continue to emphasize our view that austerity alone cannot deliver prosperity," Obama said during a meeting with Tsipras.

More coverage:

Obama: Austerity can not be a development prescription - Ethnos

Obama΄s visit: We intend to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Greek people - Capital GR

Obama: Greece has a tough road ahead - Protothema

Obama prepares for questions on Trump, highlights Greece as 'reliable ally' - CNN

Obama praises Greece's 'extraordinary compassion' for refugees - Yahoo


Winter Is Coming for Tens of Thousands of Refugees in Greece - Time

"Greek authorities are still trying to determine the exact cause of the fire in Oreokastro camp, but residents say they already know the culprit: northern Greece’s bone-chilling winter nights. The boy’s mother had left a hotplate on in a desperate attempt to heat her tent and keep the family warm. Most likely the boy brushed up against the electric cooking appliance with his sleeping bag, which subsequently caught fire. Camp resident Hayat Abdullah, from Deir ez-Zor, Syria, warns that these kinds of fires are likely to happen again, as refugees battle the cold. “Of course it is dangerous to leave the hotplate on,” she says “But a lot of people use them to heat the tents. It’s all they have.”


November 14, 2016

Greece hopes Obama visit will boost chances of debt relief - Reuters

"The United States and the International Monetary Fund have urged a restructuring of Greece's crippling debt load but face resistance from the European Union, particularly Germany, whose banks would be most exposed to such a move.

Obama, on his last trip to Europe before handing power to Donald Trump in January, will discuss the debt issue and the continent's migrant crisis with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, but his visit will also trigger protests by leftist groups and trade unions that have long seen the United States as an "imperialist" power."


Obama calls for 'meaningful debt relief' for Greece - UK Guardian

"Obama, who has blamed the excoriating effects of austerity on Europe’s slowing growth, said while Athens needed to implement reforms, a nominal write-down would help reignite an economy that has lost over 25% of its output since the nation’s financial woes first surfaced seven years ago. At around €330bn (£284bn), or 180% of gross domestic product, Greece’s staggering debt is by far the biggest in the EU."


Here's What Happened the First Time a U.S. President Went to Greece - Time

"...Eisenhower's visit was not just about the Cold War: when he arrived in Athens, "cheering throngs" lined the streets as he passed in a Rolls-Royce with King Paul of Greece. "Ike could see the Parthenon glowing in light on the Acropolis, the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and a small obelisk monument to Americans who were killed in Greece's 1821-29 war for independence from the Ottoman Empire," the magazine continued, before he laid a wreath at that monument. As the crows cheered, he was seen to laugh in joy over the happy welcome he received."


Greece voted the best country in the world - NeoKosmos

"According to the readers of Condé Nast Traveller (CNT), Greece is the best country in the world and the top destination to visit in 2016, followed by Italy and the US.

The Readers' Travel Awards celebrate the best of the best in travel, as voted by the people who love to wander the world and explore different places.

....Despite the negatives, there was sufficient substance for Greece to come in at #1, proving that despite all its difficulties, the country continues to capture the attention and imagination of travellers, by climbing to the top from last year's fourth place."


Does Trump matter for the Greek economy? - eKathimerini

"Donald Trump’s assertions that he is “great with debt” and that he has “made a fortune by using debt” make him sound like the kind of person you would want on your side when you are struggling to make ends meet. It is doubtful, though, that the US president-elect would want to invest time in the Greek issue. At the height of the frantic negotiations between Athens and the rest of the eurozone, Trump said he felt that the euro was “set up to hurt the United States” and that he had little concern for Greece’s predicament.

“I’d let Germany handle it,” he told Fox Business. “We have enough problems; let Germany handle it. Germany will take care of it. This is peanuts for Germany. They’ll take care of it. Frankly, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin probably comes in to save the day, if Germany doesn’t.”


IMF’s demands for new Greek bailout deal - Protothema

"According to an article in “Vima tis Kyriakis,” IMF mission chief Delia Velkulescu stressed the need for the implementation of certain reforms in order for the Fund to even consider “throwing money” Greece’s way:

The abolishment of “personal dispute” with respect to existing primary pensions The further reduction of the tax-free threshold, currently at 8,600 Euros, and the elimination of all tax exemptions The increase in collective redundancies up to 10% of the workforce..."

Vintage Photo Hydra

Vintage image of the Island of Hydrah


November 12, 2016

Obama expects Trump queries on trip to Greece - Daily Mail

"Obama leaves Monday for a six-day trip to Greece, Germany and Peru. In Greece, he'll tour the Parthenon, give a speech about globalization and meet with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The White House says the stop in Greece is Obama's final state visit before leaving office."


Greece expects a bumper year for tourism despite 'unfair' coverage of migrant crisis - UK Telegraph

"The popularity of the Greek islands among British holidaymakers has survived the migrant crisis unscathed, according to the country’s tourism minister, who says 2017 will be a bumper year for Greece.

...Next summer the country, which boasted an overall seven per cent rise in arrivals from January to September compared to the same period last year, will be a beneficiary of the instability and security issues in nations such as its neighbour, Turkey, as well as Tunisia and Egypt, said Mr Josephides [Noel Josephides, chairman of Sunvil, which offers packages to Samos]."


November 10, 2016

Motorcycle assailants carry out grenade attack on French embassy in Greece - Yahoo

"Left wing organisations in Greece, which has a history of domestic militants periodically carrying out bomb or shooting attacks against authorities, have called for protests during Obama's visit but no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. "


Parties agree on TV watchdog, paving way for new auction - eKathimerini

"Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis, a SYRIZA official who chaired Thursday’s session of deputy House speakers representing the different political parties, agreed to a demand by the opposition that licenses be granted to more than just four TV channels as foreseen in Pappas’s auction.

The opposition parties had demanded that the authority for overseeing the auction be transferred back to ESR. "


Greece to ease capital controls soon, needs debt measures: Stournaras - Reuters

"We gradually lift capital controls and the next step will take place soon," Stournaras, a European Central Bank Governing Council member, told Reuters in an interview. "The full lifting of capital controls is the end of the road."

"To get there we need the finishing off of the second (bailout program) evaluation, discussion on debt measures and quantitative easing inclusion. Above everything else, it depends on how quickly full confidence returns."

More Coverage:

Greece to ease capital controls soon - Financial Express


Greece enlists terror squad after referee's home burned - USA Today

"Greek soccer has been plagued for years by persistent fan violence and allegations of corruption and match-fixing.

The government briefly delayed the start of the top division in September, arguing that a festering squabble involving the federation, league organizers, and clubs posed serious security concerns."

More Coverage:

Greece suspend football competitions after arson attack on refereeing chief - UK Guardian

All Greek football events suspended after arson attack - MSN


November 9, 2016

Gov’t plays down Greece impact of Trump victory - eKathimerini

“The significance that the US place on Greece does not change,” a government source was quoted by local media as saying Wednesday.

The same source stressed that the outcome of the vote did not affect the importance of outgoing US President Barack Obama’s planned visit to Athens later this month."

More Coverage:

We were prepared for both possibilities, gov't sources say on US election result - Ethnos


Tsakalotos: Aiming for Agreement on 2nd Review by November 28 - Greek Reporter

"The Greek side is aiming for an institutions-level agreement on the second review by November 28, when the EuroWorking Group will meet to prepare for the Eurogroup on December 5, a Greek finance ministry source told the press here on Tuesday.

Achieving this target will also mark the start of an in-depth discussion on debt relief that will help create a “clear exit corridor” for Greece, the same source said."


Greece suspends soccer competitions after suspected arson attack - UK Daily Mail

"The decision was announced by the EPO's temporary administrative board following a fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the Halkidiki area of northern Greece.

Neither Bikas nor any of his family were at the property, which suffered major damage."



NEWS ARCHIVE - Oct 2016

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