Greece and the economic crisis 2017
NEWS ARCHIVE - April 24 - April 30
April 30, 2017Cyprus can, so why can’t Greece? - Parikiaki
"Take education, for example. With the consensus of the left, Cyprus established private universities, some of which are quite exemplary, resembling good European and American institutions, and making significant strides. Today, thousands of Greeks are studying in Cyprus, along with young people from China, the Middle East and Russia. Cyprus’s private universities generate hundreds of jobs and boost the economy.
Over the past 20 years, many major foreign universities have wanted to do something similar in Greece, but to no avail. A golden opportunity was lost when Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was prevented from amending Article 16 of the Constitution and now Greece is littered with dozens of colleges of negligible quality, with just a few shining exceptions. As a result, Greeks pay thousands of euros a year to send their children abroad, even though we have the talent, manpower and geographical position to become a major private education hub in the broader region. Instead, we are consumed by our petty ways, continuing to support vested interests at universities."
Light earthquake, 4.3 mag was detected near Loukisia in Greece - Earthquakenewstoday
"A light earthquake with magnitude 4.3 (ml/mb) was detected on Friday, 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Loukisia in Greece. Event id: us10008fi8. Ids that are associated to the earthquake: us10008fi8. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km (6 miles) below the earth’s surface. Exact location of earthquake, longitude 23.4408 East, latitude 38.5324 North, depth = 10 km. Global date and time of event UTC/GMT: 07/04/17 / 2017-04-07 15:50:29 / April 7, 2017 @ 3:50 pm. The temblor was detected at 17:50:29 / 5:50 pm (local time epicenter). A tsunami warning has not been issued (Does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist)."
April 29, 2017ETC: Greece among top 3 destinations for Americans in the Mediterranean - tornosnews
"82% of Americans planning holidays in Europe prefer Mediterranean destinations, and Greece ranks as the third most desirable destinations in the Mediterranean with a 9% share.This is one of the conclusions reached by the Long-Haul Travel Barometer of the European Travel Commission (ETC)."
April 28, 2017Greece concerned by Macedonia's political crisis - Lancaster Online
"Greece's Foreign Ministry says it is concerned that neighboring Macedonia may be "sliding into deep political crisis" following attacks on politicians by protesters who swarmed into parliament.
A ministry statement issued late Thursday expresses "sadness and concern" at the assault on parliament and calls on Macedonia's political rivals to show a "spirit of compromise and collaboration."
Ankara continues to dispute Greek sovereignty - eKathimerini
"According to diplomatic sources, Greek authorities attribute the continued animosity emanating from Ankara to the fact that Erdogan did not get the clear-cut triumph he had hoped for in the referendum, and thus does not have the flexibility to push back against the country’s nationalistic circles and parties of the opposition.
And given these constraints, the reasoning in Athens is that Erdogan is seeking a foreign policy outlet – namely by disputing Greek sovereignty in the Aegean with constant air and sea space violations and by raising obstacles to a Cyprus settlement."
April 27, 2017Top euro officials eye May agreement on Greek loans - eKathimerini
"Eurozone finance ministers meet on May 22 to assess Greece's progress. It's been held up over tax, pension and other reforms.
EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici is also optimistic about an agreement that would "then pave the way for the disbursement of funds."
No trains in Greece on Monday due to Labour Day strike action - Tornos
"There will be no trains running on the Labour Day holiday on May 1, including on the Proastiakos suburban railway line, following a decision by the Greek railway workers' union to participate in a 24-hour general strike called by the General Confederations of Employees of Greece on the day."
Eurozone finance chiefs admit Greece will need debt relief - Euronews
"Jeroen Dijsselbloem, also admitted for the first time that some of Athens debt will have to be written off for its public finances to become sustainable.
Speaking in the European Parliament, he departed from the line taken by eurozone finance ministers until now on debt relief: “In terms of next steps I expect all of this will allow all institutions to come to the conclusions that the numbers add up and the IMF to financially participate.”
All in the name of power - eKathimerini
"It is obvious that the government’s desperate struggle to put off the reduction of the tax-free threshold and cuts to pensions – as demanded by the country’s creditors and particularly the International Monetary Fund – until 2019 and 2020 is as much a part of Plan B as it is of Plan A. If these measures were deemed essential for the good of the country, they would normally have to be put into effect now, regardless of the cost. But the government cares only for its longevity, not for the country. That is why it agreed to the measures, but only so that their effects can be felt after its term is finished and rest on the shoulders of the next government.
In the meantime, the coalition has been very busy coming up with new schemes to put more voters on the public payroll, to grant permanent status to fixed-term contract workers, to introduce legislative amendments that will see the clientelist state back in full operation, and to deceive the public with all sorts of investigative committees, as the prime minister visits religious sites and cuts ribbons on highways started by his predecessors."
April 26, 2017Germany expects quick deal with Greece on debt - World Bulletin
"Disagreements remain on further reforms including labour rights and the partial privatisation of Greek near-monopoly electricity provider PPC -- both thorny issues for the leftist-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras."
Greece will legislate reforms but implementation hinges on debt relief - Business Insider
"We will obviously legislate (the measures) in order to secure a deal on debt relief," [Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras] told ANT1 television, saying he wanted a solution to Greece's debt mountain by the end of May.
"They won't be implemented... unless we get a solution on debt," he said"
April 25, 2017Greece rejects new Turkish extradition bid for servicemen - Fox
"A Greek court has rejected a new Turkish extradition bid for three of eight Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece by helicopter after last year's failed military coup in Turkey.
Greece's supreme court has already ruled that none of the eight men should be extradited as they wouldn't get a fair trial in Turkey, and that their lives might be in danger there."
Greece and Italy View Macron Presidency in France With Optimism - Greek Reporter
"According to a Greek government official, the 39-year-old Macron has supported Athens in the prolonged and difficult bailout talks with European institutions. The official said that Macron spoke of his support during a telephone conversation with the French politician, who assured the Greek premier that if he gets elected he will work for a Europe for the young people."
The IMF Is Not Done Destroying Greece Yet - Zerohedge
"...it’s obvious the IMF are not done with Greece yet. And neither are the rest of the Troika. They are still demanding measures that are dead certain to plunge the Greeks much further into their abyss in the future. As my friend Steve Keen put it to me recently: “Dreadful. It will become Europe’s Somalia.”
An excellent example of this is the Greek primary budget surplus. The Troika has been demanding that it reach 3.5% of GDP for the next number of years (the number changes all the time, 3, 5, 10?). Which is the worst thing it could do, at least for the Greek people and the Greek economy. Not for those who seek to buy Greek assets on the cheap.
....where does the surplus come from? Easy: from Troika-mandated pension cuts and rising tax levels. That means the Greek government is taking money OUT of the economy. And not a little bit, but a full 4% of GDP, over €7 billion. An economy from which so much has already vanished."
Boat Carrying Migrants from Turkey to Greece Sinks; 16 Dead - Breitbart
"Greece’s coast guard said the bodies of nine people – six women, two men and a child – had been recovered from Greek waters off the island of Lesbos, while Turkish authorities found the bodies of a further six men and a child in Turkish waters."
Turkish Defence Minister blasts Panos Kammenos - Protothema
"Commenting on Mr. Kammeno’s recent visit to a military unit on the island of Agathonisi in the south-eastern Aegean for Easter, the Turkish politician claimed his Greek counterpart was putting on a show for his “domestic audience”. “We will continue to work without becoming part of the Greek show, but in a way as to not jeopardise Turkey’s interests”, Turkey’s Defence Minister said."
April 24, 2017Greece, creditors to resume talks in Athens, seek swift deal - Fox News
"Greece has already agreed to further slash pensions in 2019, and drastically expand the tax base in 2020 by reducing the current tax-free threshold. The talks are expected to focus on the final details of these measures, which will be worth about 3.6 billion euros ($3.85 billion) combined."
China, Greece to seek enhanced cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative - Hellenic Shipping News
"Citing the Piraeus port project, the Chinese foreign minister said the success of the project not only added new impetus to Greece’s economic recovery, but also became a good example for bilateral cooperation of mutual benefits. Talking about the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for mid-May in Beijing, Wang said China welcomed the presence of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and expected Greece to contribute to the initiative."
Dental tourism on the rise in Greece - Neo Kosmos
"What makes this service competitive is the fact that these practitioners have very high qualifications, the majority of them have been trained in US universities, and offer services at 25-35 per cent of the equivalent cost of treatment in other developed countries.
But apart from cost and certification, what makes Greek dentists appealing to visitors and members of the diaspora is something that can't be measured: what patients describe as a "warm, friendly approach", much different to what is the norm in other countries."
‘Urgent’ to reach agreement on loan for Greece: IMF - Express Tribune
"On the reform side, while some outstanding issues remain, Thomsen said “good progress” has been made with the Greek authorities in recent weeks, including on budget issues. An IMF mission will be back in Athens “next week.”
Greece announced on Friday a budgetary surplus (excluding debt charges) of 3.9% of GDP in 2016, in line with a target set by Europeans.
European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici welcomed the result.“This should contribute to the will for the steps that lie ahead to find a lasting and comprehensive solution,” he said on the sidelines of the IMF Spring meeting."
IMF Warns Greece That Additional Economic Overhauls Are Needed - WSJ
The International Monetary Fund had a sobering message for Greece this weekend: Even if the country secures debt relief from its European creditors—a question that is by no means assured with bailout talks still deadlocked—the nation still needs even more painful economic overhauls than currently planned.