Sunday May 24, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Eurozone seeks to keep bailout on track after Greek budget vote

Greek lawmakers’ midnight approval of a 2013 austerity budget put the onus on European finance ministers meeting later today to keep their three-year crisis fight on track.

The finance chiefs gathering at 5 p.m. in Brussels intend to prevent a 5 billion-euro ($6.4 billion) Greek bill redemption on Nov. 16 from triggering an accidental default, while they’re unlikely to ratify a 31.5 billion-euro payment to Greece that has been frozen since June, a European official said Nov. 9.

“We remain confident that European support will be agreed on by the end of November, or early in December,” Erik Nielsen, London-based chief global economist at UniCredit SpA, wrote in a note to clients yesterday.

With the euro-area economic slowdown reaching Germany and stoking mounting public protests in France and Spain, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Lisbon today, following her trip last month to Athens. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said last week the outlook for the euro area is worsening. The euro has fallen 0.8 percent against the U.S. dollar since Nov. 7.

The European ministers will assess whether the latest round of cuts that Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras squeezed through parliament with 153 of 300 votes, are sufficient to warrant further aid. Samaras today garnered the support of enough lawmakers from his three-party coalition to secure approval for the 2013 budget.

Samaras has pressed for two extra years, until 2016, for Greece to meet deficit-reduction targets imposed by its creditors. That prospect opens a debate about how to plug the resulting financial hole, such as engineering a buyback of Greek debt.

European leaders’ current target is to reduce Greek debt to 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020. The European Commission last week estimated the ratio in 2014 will rise to 188.9 percent from 176.7 percent this year.

Meanwhile, the ECB’s Draghi said last week that the central bank stands ready to unleash its bond-purchasing program, known as Outright Monetary Transactions. Investors are still waiting for Spain to seek such a program, which would entail an aid request to European bailout funds.

Without ECB help in refinancing the 5 billion-euro Treasury bill redemption this week, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told lawmakers late yesterday, the country’s private sector faces “sudden death.”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Nov. 6 he needs to know how much the ECB would push down Spain’s borrowing costs before his government signs up to any conditions attached to aid. Draghi said last week that the decision must be taken by Spain and the ECB “can’t give any assurances ex ante.

Yields on Spain’s 10-year bonds have fallen below 6 percent since the ECB’s plan emerged, down from a peak in July of 7.6 percent. They were at 5.82 percent at 9:05 a.m. in Madrid today..

“I would be surprised if a Spanish request will be realized this side of New Year,” UniCredit’s Nielsen said.

Merkel will meet with Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in Lisbon today. Portugal, which is receiving bailout aid, has been given more time to narrow its budget shortfall after tax revenues fell short of forecasts.

Merkel last week stuck to her austerity-first agenda, saying that the only way to win back confidence in the markets was through competition-enhancing measures and lower debt.

“Investor confidence will be absent, therefore the reduction of debt is of utmost importance,” Merkel said in a Nov. 8 speech in Berlin.

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Monday November 12, 2012 (11:05)  
Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
Listed firms have whisked away most of their cash reserves
Car sales drop a gear on VAT rate uncertainty
Bulk of loan requests comes from food service
Protesters torch trolley bus, clash with police in Athens
Around 40 hooded anti-establishment protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at riot police in central Athens on Saturday, setting fire to a trolley bus. Police fired teargas to try and cont...
Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
After a busy week of talks with European leaders aimed at securing support for a deal for Greece, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces challenges on the home front amid tensions with SYRIZA o...
Inside News
SOCCER
Reds add Cup to league trophy with 3-1 win over Xanthi
Olympiakos completed a league-and-cup double on Saturday by beating Xanthi 3-1 in the Greek Cup final at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, that was more balanced than the final score suggests. ...
BASKETBALL
Olympiakos strolls past Korivos Amaliadas
Olympiakos completed the Basket League’s semifinal line-up on Saturday after sweeping Korivos Amaliadas with a 2-0 score in the best-of-three quarterfinals. After winning 91-52 in Game 1 at ...
Inside Sports
ANALYSIS
Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
A Grexit or the introduction of a dual currency is not a solution to Greece’s problems. On the contrary, it would be a worst-case scenario for Greece in the short term. Only in the medium to...
COMMENTARY
First aid for the capital
The fact that the center of Athens exudes the stench of human waste is an undeniable truth, just like the fact that in late spring, one nostril smells blossoming bitter lemon trees while the...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Reds add Cup to league trophy with 3-1 win over Xanthi
2. Olympiakos strolls past Korivos Amaliadas
3. Protesters torch trolley bus, clash with police in Athens
4. Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
5. Police on standby after Roma dispute leaves one dead
6. Dog attacks seven people in Thessaloniki, including 13-year-old boy
more news
Today
This Week
1. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
2. Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
3. Listed firms have whisked away most of their cash reserves
4. First aid for the capital
5. Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
6. New civil service assessment scheme focuses on rewards instead of punishment
Today
This Week
1. The Greek-German breakthrough that didn’t come
2. Conspiracy madness
3. Greece came close to not paying IMF
4. National self-awareness put to the test
5. Albanian demarche raises concerns about possible territorial claims over Greece
6. Greek endgame nears for Tsipras as bank collateral hits buffers
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.