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Greece and the economic crisis 2016

NEWS ARCHIVE - Dec 8 - Dec 17

December 17, 2016

Tsipras says people of Greece have made enough sacrifices - Reuters

"Our creditors need to keep in mind that the Greek people have made enough sacrifices and now it's time for them to fulfill their obligations," he said. "We are decisive that we will never surrender our people to the 'yes men' who want Greece in the straight jacket of austerity for many years ahead."

Tsipras’s spending spree may be relief to Greeks but it won’t end crisis - UK Guardian

"First came the announcement that low-income pensioners, forced to survive in tax-heavy post-crisis Greece on €800 or less a month, would receive a one-off, pre-Christmas bonus. Then came the news that Greeks living on Aegean isles which have borne the brunt of refugee flows would not be subject to a sales tax enforced at the behest of creditors keeping the debt-stricken country afloat.

Finally, another announcement both antagonising and pointed: 30,000 children living in poverty-stricken areas of northern Greece will henceforth be entitled to free meals in schools."

Greece Willing to Compromise with Creditors on Program Review Provided it Excludes IMF Demands - Greek Reporter

"The Greek government is willing to accept mutual compromises on some issues with the country’s creditors to reach an agreement that would allow the completion of the second program review on the condition that any deal would not include the prior legislation of measures. Prior legislation of measures was demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a senior government source told journalists in Berlin on Saturday."

Greece approves pension handout defying eurozone - Yahoo

"A total of 196 lawmakers out of 257 present from across the party divide approved the bill deepening a row that has also brought simmering EU disputes over austerity to the fore.

The handout measure, announced by under-pressure leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last week, earmarks 617 million euros ($656 million) for a one-off payment to poor pensioners."

More Coverage:

Greece passes pension deal in defiance of bailout creditors - BBC

Half one million documented migrants live in Greece: survey -

"Approximately 577,000 documented migrants originating across the world are currently living in Greece, according to a survey released on Saturday from the Greek Forum of Migrants."

December 16, 2016

Europe "Infuriated" By Greek Decision To Give Impoverished Pensioners A Christmas Bonus - Zerohedge

"Assuming that the threat of not granting Greece some theoretical debt concession (which would reduce Greek debt by 20% some time in 2060) would be sufficient, the bureaucrats gave the Greek government a few hours to come to their senses and to eliminate the promise to pensioners.

That did not happen and instead on Thursday, Greek lawmakers backed the decision to allocate €617 million - a surplus from savings - in a bonus to pensioners as Greece snubbed its international lenders and legislated plans to give pensioners a one-off Christmas bonus despite the clear warning from creditors in what has become the latest standoff over the country's third bailout."

December 15, 2016

France puts weight behind Greece in debt dispute - Fox

"Hollande said ahead of Thursday's summit of European Union leaders that "it is out of the question to ask for further additional efforts from Greece or prevent them from taking a number of sovereign measures that respect the commitments" that Greece previously took."

Greece Pushes Forward With Measures Opposed by Creditors - WSJ

"A war of words this week between Greece, European lenders, and the International Monetary Fund has exposed the deadlock in talks over Greek austerity and raised the risk of another breakdown in the country’s ill-fated bailout. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has to meet strict targets agreed to with lenders amid a deep slump in popularity in the recession-battered country."

Moskovisi: Greece can not be sentenced to eternal austerity - Ta Nea

"The European official answered the criticism of the International Monetary Fund to Greece's rescue program, warning that the country should not be faced with "politically impossible" demands and rejects the arguments previously raised this week senior IMF officials regarding pensions and tax free."

Greece on collision course with lenders as ESM freezes debt relief - UK Guardian

"The dispute between Greece and its creditors has turned more ugly after the European body financing the country’s €86bn (£72bn) bailout programme decided to freeze a deal on short-term debt relief measures.

The prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, was taken by surprise on Wednesday when the European Stability Mechanism announced it would not honour an accord to ease the burden of repayment obligations on Greece’s debt pile. The decision, taken in direct retribution for a series of surprise social welfare measures unveiled by the leader, is likely to put Athens on a war footing with lenders amid mounting signs of the Greek crisis flaring again."

Vasilis Leventis: Elections will take place on January 22, 2017 - Protothema

"Leventis noted that “for us, this means that new elections will be announced before the end of the year, because Mr. Tsipras also wants to avoid the stigma of being the lowest bidder in the January 12 conference concerning the Cyprus issue. Consequently, the most likely election date is January 22, 2017."

Tsipras calls for breakthrough 'without blackmail' - eKathimerini

"Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he would press fellow EU leaders at a summit on Thursday to end deadlock over plans to distribute some of the more than 60,000 asylum-seekers now in Greece."

Mitsotakis: Greece needs cuts in taxes, public spending, restoration of bank liquidity - Capital GR

"New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined on Tuesday his party’s main proposals to help Greece exit the economic crisis during a speech at the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce."

December 14, 2016

IMF:Greece doesn't need more austerity, cuts went too far - MSN

"IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld, and European Department Director Poul Thomsen, who has been heavily involved with the negotiations with Greece, used the blog to defend the IMF against misinformation they say "turns the truth upside down."

Greece's row with eurozone deepens as markets remain flat ahead of US Federal Reserve meeting -UK Telegraph

"While shares tumble and yields surge as Greek markets reel from the news that the country's creditors have stopped the implementation short-term debt relief, the development seems to have had little impact on prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

After announcing a special VAT exemption for Aegean islanders yesterday, the Syriza leader has today announced that Greece will extend a pilot programme providing 30,000 school children free meals, due to begin in January."

December 13, 2016

Archaeologists discover mysterious 2,500-year-old 'lost city' in Greece - FoxNews

"Remains of towers, walls and city gates were found on the hill’s summit and slopes, although hardly anything of the city is visible on the ground below. Archaeologists hope to avoid excavation by using technologies such as ground-penetrating radar, enabling them to leave the site in the same shape as when they arrived."

Euro zone chides IMF over Greece blog - Reuters

"Euro zone officials hit back at the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday for publishing an article on the way forward for Greece's fiscal and economic policy that thrust into the open a row between the lenders over Athens' bailout."

December 12, 2016

Tsipras to meet Germany's Merkel in Berlin Friday - Fox News
Tsakalotos:Greece seeks 'honest compromise' in reform standoff - Reuters

"Greece, which is on its third international bailout since crisis first hit the indebted nation in 2010, is again at odds with lenders on fiscal targets and the scope of reforms required to conclude its latest review on bailout progress."

Greece Ranks Last Place in EU’s Social Justice Report - Greek Reporter

"The report examines six different social justice sectors including poverty prevention, equal rights in education, labor market access, social cohesion, as well as the absence of discrimination in healthcare and justice."

Regling: I do not see the need for a 4th program or loan - Capital GR

"...Medium-term measures on debt will not be agreed before the end of the programme. That was also confirmed by the Eurogroup on Monday. These possible measures were already identified in May, so we already know what might be done in the future. At the end of the programme it will be decided whether they are really needed. We will then have a new debt sustainability analysis (DSA), so we need to wait another year and a half, and a lot can happen by then."

Police find explosive device in backpack at Labour Ministry - Protothema

"...Newspaper “Efimerida ton Syntakton” had received an anonymous phone call at 1.20am warning that an explosive device had been planted at the Labour Ministry building. Police immediately cordoned off Stadiou and Piraeus avenues..."

December 11, 2016

Greece passes austerity 2017 budget, eyes 2.7 percent growth - Washington Post

"The budget adds more than 1 billion euros in new taxes, mostly indirect taxes on items from phone calls to alcohol. It also cuts spending by over 1 billion euros.

The budget was backed by the left-dominated ruling coalition and opposed by all other parties. It passed by a vote of 152-146 on Saturday."

December 10, 2016

Turkey's President Erdogan asserts that some of Greece's Agean's islands should belong to Turkey - ZC

"At a speech in Ankara on Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the Treaty of Lausanne, a 1923 peace accord which forged modern Greece and Turkey's borders, was essentially a defeat for Turkey because it "gave away" islands to Greece."

December 9, 2016

Greece urges EU support for Aegean camp reduction plan - BBC

"Most of the more than one million people who entered Europe last year did so through Greece, travelling from Turkey.

...Precise figures are difficult to obtain, but in November it was estimated that about 16,000 asylum seekers were living in camps on Greek islands."

More Coverage:

Number of stranded refugees in Greece could rise under latest E.U. plan - Washington Post

Italy, Greece face off against easterners in EU migration feud - Reuters

Greece ferry strike hits island supplies - Fox News

"The ferry workers' protest has disrupted supplies to the Greek islands and also hurt farmers on the island of Crete and elsewhere who are unable to get their produce to the mainland."

Prime Minister Announces Handouts as Strike Cripples Greece - ABC News

"Tsipras said the government would distribute a total of 617 million euros this Christmas to some 1.6 million low-income pensioners, replacing a holiday bonus scrapped by Greece's bailout creditors."

December 8, 2016

Strikes, anti-austerity rallies held across Greece - UK Daily Mail

"Protests were held in cities around Greece, with more than 5,000 at marches in the country's second largest city, Thessaloniki.

...Thursday's 24-hour strike went ahead despite a decision this week by bailout lenders to grant Greece a series of short-term debt relief measures aimed at evening out the country's repayment schedule."

Brussels says Greece should take back some asylum-seekers from March - Reuters

"Under EU rules, the first country of entry should handle an asylum-seeker's claim, but that system broke down in 2015 when Greece was overwhelmed by the arrival on its shores of most of the more than 1 million people who entered Europe."

More Coverage:

EU Proposes Sending Migrants Back to Greece - WSJ

Europe's Still Dithering Over Greece - Bloomberg

"...The deal, sketched out and agreed to in principle earlier this year, should help the Greek government convince voters to keep accepting much-needed domestic reform. That’s good. It isn’t enough, though, to put the country’s debts and budget plans on a sustainable footing.

...It’s widely acknowledged that the country’s debts, even after this week’s measures, will not be paid back in full. Facing up to this now, with sufficient relief to make the debt position sustainable, would help the rest of the union as much as it would help Greece."



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