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Greece and the economic crisis 2017

NEWS ARCHIVE - March 1 - March 7

March 7, 2017

Eurostat: Social protection spending in Greece at 20.5% of GDP in 2015 - Tornos

"Social protection spending in Greece represented 20.5 pct of the country’s GDP in 2015, according to figures released by Eurostat on Monday. This was slightly higher than both the Eurozone average ratio (20.1 pct of GDP) and the EU28 average ratio (19.2 pct of GDP)."

Greek Market Remains Rough - Bike Europe

"The Greece bicycle market shows a continued decline for the last five years. It’s estimated that in 2015 another over 10% drop occurred. Annual sales stands now at some 180,000 bikes with the majority of them in the lowest price range."

Who is responsible for the Greek Public Debt? - Neweurope

"The public debt of Greece is undoubtedly a snowball that grows over time and has its roots in the 1980s. From €1.6 billion (or 22% of GDP) at the end of 1980, it reached €320 billion (or 180% of GDP) in 2017."

More car accident deaths prompt calls for road safety national strategy in Greece - Xinhuanet

"Following the latest incidents, medical associations and road safety experts called for the swift drafting of a comprehensive national plan to correct Greece's poor safety record and prevent further tragedies.

"Car accidents are a plague for our country. Thousands of Greeks are killed or injured on the roads each year, and in their majority victims are young people," Yorgos Patoulis, president of the Athens Medical Association, told an Athens forum."

Slight fall in average hotel rates in March - eKathimerini

"Data released on Tuesday by travel website Trivago showed that the average online price per night for a double room in Greece has gone down 6 percent year-on-year to 79 euros, against 84 euros in March 2016."

March 6, 2017

Greece's economy performed even worse than expected at the end of 2016 - Business Insider

"GDP shrank 1.2% in Q4 of 2016 — marking the worst quarterly performance for the stricken southern European economy since the heart of its debt crisis in the summer of 2015."


Greek economy shrinks 1.2 percent q/q in fourth quarter - eKathimerini

Greece desperate for growth strategy as public mood darkens - UK Guardian

"The leftist government in Athens is acutely aware that the public mood is darkening. On Sunday, six out of 10 Greeks said they did not believe the crisis would be over in the next decade, according to research released by the Dianeosis thinktank. Unemployment at 23% – and close to 50% amongst Greek youth – is by far the greatest obstacle to optimism."

More Coverage:

Greece needs ‘growth shock’ says deputy PM - eKathimerini

Tsipras: Greece turning a page, poised to show strong growth - euronews

"Tsipras, whose government is still negotiating reforms with lenders under terms of a multi-billion euro bailout agreement, said a national growth strategy was needed for the country. “It is clear that no matter how they may want to stall negotiations at a technical level, there is no turning back. Greece has already turned a page,” Tsipras told a cabinet meeting, in an indirect reference to lenders."

Institutions returning to Athens, aiming for agreement in 2 weeks -

"...A source close to the talks said the IMF΄s intention is to participate in the Greek programme but the problem remains whether the Eurozone will be able to provide the "clarifications" it is demanding on the medium-term measures to ease Greek debt. "

Deeper into the mire - eKathimerini

"Incidents that would otherwise appear extreme or dangerous have become the norm. Vulgar political behavior, outbursts of violence and anarchy, the paralysis of the state apparatus, the dismantling of public hospitals, the tarnishing of institutions and a plethora of other signs of degeneration should be a wake-up call for Greek society."

March 5, 2017

Gov't redrafts countermeasures as talks with lenders continue - eKathimerini

"Government officials spent the weekend redrafting a proposed package of so-called countermeasures aimed at offsetting fresh austerity including calls for the reduction of corporate tax to 26 or 27 percent from the current rate of 29 percent. According to sources, the original package presented to creditors focused on reducing value-added tax and a unified property levy and cutting social security contributions for small and medium-sized businesses but did not include the proposal for corporations. Lenders rejected the government’s initial ideas, insisting instead on a package that includes growth-boosting measures."

Kotzias will meet with Tillerson on March 13th - Protothema

"...The meeting is a very good opportunity for Athens to express its concerns about the Turkish dangerously provocative stance of the last months and to promote its positions on a series of issues and especially the Cyprus negotiations.

...The meeting is also important because Tillerson is one of the people who is really close to President Trump and many countries want a meeting with him to express their views on their issues and to see how and if the US foreign policy will change under the new administration.

Greece Now Turns To World Bank For An Additional Financial Bailout Loan - newsbtc

"If the World Bank decides to accept this request, it spells disaster for the economy of Greece. The country would be pushed further into debt. Government officials are unable – or unwilling – to accept the terms and conditions of their latest bailout package. One could argue the Eurozone and IMF should have never given the country the money in the first place. After all, the country is doing very little to honor the deal. Additionally, its government seems incapable of reforming its financial system as it should.

It is possible the IMF will walk away from Greece’s bailout program altogether. Replacing the IMF with the World Bank seems to be an option, albeit it is doubtful that will happen."

March 4, 2017

Greece's fiscal targets should be eased to help growth, central bank chief says - Reuters

"The easing of the primary surplus targets, together with the implementation of the agreed structural reforms, would put the necessary conditions in place for a gradual lowering of tax rates, with positive multiplier effects on economic growth," [central bank governor Yannis Stournaras] said."

More Coverage:

Greek central banker calls for tax cuts, feasible targets - eKathimerini

Greece says dismantling criminal ring manufacturing drugs used by ISIS - Xinhuanet

"Greek authorities have dismantled a criminal ring manufacturing and trafficking drugs extensively used by ISIS for the first time in Greece, the Financial Crimes unit (SDOE) announced on Friday.

Two Greek nationals, one Turk and one Albanian were arrested during an operation by SDOE in cooperation with Greek police and Navy at Elefsina and Megara, two towns 17 and 33 kilometers northwest of Athens respectively, according to an e-mailed statement."

Shock as hundreds of migrants found camped out in CAVE in Greece - UK Daily Mail

"A series of raids on the idyllic island of Crete uncovered 112 migrants who were rescued after being found camped out in a cave.

Some 18 people were arrested after the migrants were discovered, some of whom had been living in abandoned farm buildings."

Minister: Greece not considering purchase of stealth aircraft - Tornosnews

"Greece is not currently considering the purchase of stealth aircraft for the Hellenic Air Force since the cost would be excessively high, Alternate Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas clarified on Friday, talking to Skai radio. The minister noted that a single stealth aircraft cost 100 million euros, while this amount had to be multiplied by five to take into account the cost of maintenance and support infrastructure. "Maybe in 2025," Vitsas added."

More Coverage:

Kammenos: We are exploring the prospect of purchasing F-35 jets - Protothema

Study: Greece and Cyprus are EU’s poorest countries - Yenisafak

"Between 2005- 2008, poverty levels in Greece soared by 40%, followed by Cyprus in second place, which registered a 28.2% increase in poverty rates. Unemployment rates stood at 23% in Greece, the worst among all European countries, according to the study."

March 3, 2017

Greece seeks France’s help on bailout, bond ‘test’ -

"On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis said the country could hold a 2017 "test" auction before the end of the year if current negotiations with rescue lenders are concluded "in the next few weeks" and the European Central Bank accepts Greece in its bond-buying stimulus program."

French giant CMA CGM to join race for Thessaloniki Port stake - eKathimerini

"French firm CMA CGM has agreed to take part in a consortium that will bid for the stake through its Terminal Link subsidiary."

Greece, lenders have political will to conclude bailout review - French PM - DNA India

"Tsipras said it was "totally feasible" to reach a preliminarily deal by March 20, when euro zone finance ministers are expected to meet again. But he also said Greece sought what he called a "global solution", which would include debt relief measures that will be implemented in the post-bailout period."

Greece 4th in Bloomberg's 'Misery Index' while Venezuela again tops list - Tornos News

"Eurozone member but crisis-battered and bailout-dependent Greece joined economic basket case Venezuela on Friday in Bloomberg's annual Misery Index for 2017, which the international business news provider says combines annual inflation and unemployment outlooks."

Mission of Experts from Abroad to ‘Count’ Greece’s Tourism Receipts - GTP.GR

“When you have 27-28 million arrivals you cannot possibly have only 13 billion in receipts. There is something wrong”, Rifai told the Greek Travel Pages (GTP), adding that he is not sure if the money tourists spend on food, shopping and entertainment are being taken under consideration in the “basket of calculations” in Greece.

“Right now the data suggests an average expenditure per tourist of less than $500 per visit while the international average is $1,000. Something is wrong… It doesn’t add up. It cannot be that Greece is so cheap and even the difference in the hotel prices does not make up for it”, he said."

Greece Knocks on World Bank’s Door for Money to Fund Job-Creation Program - WSJ

"Greece, embroiled in bailout talks with its international creditors, is requesting a €3 billion ($3.15 billion) loan from the World Bank to tackle the country’s high rate of unemployment in an unusual move by a developed country."

More Coverage:

Greece begs World Bank for loan as it risks defaulting plunging eurozone into crisis - UK Daily Mail

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2017 Overview - whatnottodoc

"Tonight, Friday, March 3 kicks off the 19th edition of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, one of Europe’s largest nonfiction events. Nearly 150 new and recent feature docs will screen at the event, which runs through Sunday, March 12, representing a mix of world premieres, regional debuts of other festival favorites, and a large showcase of work from within Greece and its Balkan neighbors."

Tsipras: We are close to a comprehensive agreement that will end the crisis for Greece and Europe - AMNA.GR

"Asked whether some countries might continue to raise objections to a completion of the review, Tsipras expressed certainty that all sides now understood that a comprehensive agreement for Greece was a win-win proposition that benefited everyone. Greece had met its commitments and was showing signs of recovery and seriousness, as well as having some strong allies in its efforts, he added.

Questioned about the blocking of decisions on Greece's debt by some countries, Cazeneuve said that the aim was to overcome the obstacles through the right compromises, so as to arrive at the right decisions for growth and jobs."

March 2, 2017

Greece Urges Lenders to Quickly Define Medium-Term Debt Relief Measures - NY Times

"Greece on Tuesday urged its lenders to define medium-term debt relief measures quickly so that the country can be included in the ECB's bond-buying programme and be able to finance itself from the markets when its current bailout ends. "

EC warns member countries who refuse refugees from Italy, Greece -

"The EC warned the relocation rate from Italy and Greece was below their expectations, although Feb. 2017 marked a new monthly record with 1,940 relocations.

To date, there have been a total of 13,546 relocations: 3,936 from Italy and 9,610 from Greece."

More Coverage:

EU Threatens Nations Not Resettling Migrants From Italy and Greece Fast Enough - ZeroCensorship

EU Deal With Turkey Helps Stall Influx of Migrants to Greece -

"Migrants who are refused entry to the EU and dispute the decision should be detained to prevent them staying illegally, the European Commission said Thursday as it unveiled measures to get tougher on migration. It added that relocation accelerated in February when some 1,940 people were moved, but regretted that the pace was still well below expectations. "It is possible and feasible to relocate all those who are eligible from Italy and Greece by September". "You have to pay it", [Dimitris Avramopoulos, Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner] said."

Greece targets the space race as well as innovative startups - Cortez Journal

"The launch of the space agency is part of the Greek government's drive to stem the country's brain drain. Since the start of the crisis in 2008, Greece's Central Bank estimates around 427,000 educated Greeks have left the country. The new agency will "create numerous new jobs, offering opportunities to Greek scientists to either stay or come back to the country," said Pappas [Nikos Pappas, Greece's Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media,]."

March 1, 2017

Turkey Asks Greece for Administrative Deportation of Two Coup Suspects - NY Times

"The two servicemen arrived in Greece after crossing the Evros river on Feb. 15 and requested political asylum. They are being held in a police station in northern Greece on charges of entering the country illegally."

US stepping in to ease Greece, Turkey tensions - eKathimerini

"According to sources, the US recently asked Ankara to tone down its aggressive stance in the Aegean. It is not known how Ankara has taken the American initiative, but it is clear that Washington fears a possible incident in the Aegean between the two NATO allies..."

Greece aims to be among top five European destination for Indians - Economictimes

"[Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura] said in 2016, around 70,000 Indians visited Greece through Europe.

"Our strategy is to promote 365-day tourism in Greece and we are confident that we will see a boost in the number of Indian arrivals with our initiatives. Our target is to double the 2016's arrivals by 2018," she added."

Jan emergency central bank funding to Greek banks drops -

"Emergency central bank funding to Greek lenders fell by 900 million euros, or 2 percent, in January compared to the previous month, Bank of Greece data showed on Wednesday."

Merkel pushing for review conclusion, but Greece must agree to measures - eKathimerini

"...The German chancellor is also expected to bypass any objections that may be raised by her finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, and will push for a specific outline of what midterm measures for debt relief will look like – once Greece agrees to measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund.

Draghi, as well as ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure, have already made it clear that Greece can only join the QE mechanism if it concludes the review..."



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