Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

A Plea For Greek Elites!

Posted by hkarner - 23. Mai 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017, Observing Greece

I had never heard of Mr. Aristides Alafouzos before. Like many foreigners, I have practically zero knowledge of the Greek elite (political, economic, social or otherwise) except for those who are in the media all the time. Whether one likes the term ‚elite‘ or not, every society, even a communist one, produces its own elites. Some are artificial elites (i. e. hereditary or appointed), others are natural ones (meritocracy, charisma, etc.).

I learned about Mr. Alafouzos through two obituaries in the Ekathimerini (here and here). It seems clear that Mr. Alafouzos was one of the natural elites.

There is a German saying which cannot well be translated into English: „Wie der Herr, so das Gescherr“. One translation might be: „Like master, like man.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Greece Reaches Bailout Agreement With Creditors

Posted by hkarner - 3. Mai 2017

Date: 02-05-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Greek Finance Minister says there will now be negotiations with creditors on debt relief

ATHENS—Greece and its international creditors reached an agreement early on Tuesday on the austerity measures and economic overhauls the country must implement to keep its bailout program going, clearing the way for debt-relief talks.

“There is white smoke…Negotiations on all issues have been completed,” Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said after a marathon meeting with a delegation of creditors.

The agreement will release the next bailout disbursement Greece needs to make around €7 billion ($7.63 billion) in debt repayments in July. But more important, it sets the conditions for the creditors—the International Monetary Fund and the German-led eurozone—to discuss ways to ease the country’s mounting debt. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Leaving the euro would be devilishly difficult

Posted by hkarner - 25. März 2017

Date: 23-03-2017
Source: The Economist

It would not, however, be impossible

ONE BIG QUESTION has lurked throughout the euro crisis: should one or more members quit? The most obvious candidate is Greece, the country where the trouble began. It never met the criteria for joining, but its deficit and debt figures were misrepresented. And the crisis has inflicted agonies on the Greeks. Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s economic- and monetary-affairs commissioner, notes that Greece’s GDP per person has fallen by 45% since late 2009 and unemployment is nearly 50%. This is the worst performance ever by any advanced country.

Now a further row looms, over funds needed for Greece’s third bail-out this summer. The IMF reckons that Greece will never repay its debts, which currently amount to 180% of GDP and rising. Yet euro-zone creditors refuse to accept any debt relief, preferring variants of “extend and pretend” to avoid owning up to fiscal transfers. Meanwhile Greece’s government rejects more austerity, just as Greek voters did in a referendum in July 2015, only for it to be forced on them all the same. Even so, Greeks do not want to leave the euro—perhaps because for them it has become like Alcatraz: a prison that keeps people in mainly by making escape too risky. If an orderly procedure for leaving the euro were available, a Greek departure might become more attractive. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Dijsselbloem’s Dutch Flippancy

Posted by hkarner - 23. März 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017, Observing Greece

I joined a large American bank as a trainee back in 1972. After having gone for over a year through various training programs with fellow MBAs, I was sent into the field where business development was the job description. My first boss was a Dutchman. An unforgettable man. Simply Dutch. The ideal boss to take one down from the academic heights of MBA training programs to the rough field of selling.

His Dutch humor was great for those who could take it and terrible for those who were overly sensitive. The former laughed about the latter for being overly sensitive. The latter asked whether being sensitive wasn’t part of responsible conduct.

MEP Ernest Urtasun (Spain): But you apologize for saying, or for implicitly saying, that the South has spent the money on women and alcohol in the last years? Would you apologize for that?

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Dutch President of Eurogroup): No, certainly not!

My Dutch boss would have fired a guy who gave such a stupid response. And, frankly, I, too, thought – after listening to that exchange – that Dijsselbloem ought to tender his resignation the very next day. Absolutely irresponsible his insinuation! Some, like Nick Malkoutzis, took it with sarcasm by tweeting: „Dijsselbloem under fire for claiming Southern Eurozone spent money on ‘alcohol & women.’ The rest we just wasted.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Griechenland lässt Dijsselbloem allein stolpern

Posted by hkarner - 22. März 2017

Markus Bernath aus Athen22. März 2017, 17:42 derstandard.at

Der Eurogruppen-Chef will nicht zurücktreten und bedauert „Missverständnisse“ wegen seiner Äußerungen

Sie waren die eigentlichen Adressaten der Stammtischäußerung von Jeroen Dijsselbloem, doch die griechische Regierung und ihr Sprecher Dimitris Tsanakopoulos fertigten am Mittwoch den Eurogruppen-Chef kühl ab. Eine Vorlage für Extremisten, den Graben zwischen Nord- und Südeuropa erweiternd und „nicht hilfreich“, während Europa gerade in einer Phase des politischen Nachdenkens über seine nächsten Schritte sei, kommentierte der Regierungssprecher in Athen. Und Tsanakopoulos fügte hinzu: „Es ist unnötig, auf den sexistischen Aspekt dieser Bemerkung hinzuweisen.“

In einem Interview mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung hatte der niederländische Finanzminister, der seit 2013 die Eurogruppe führt, zur Kredithilfe für EU-Länder erklärt: „Als Sozialdemokrat halte ich Solidarität für äußerst wichtig. Aber wer sie einfordert, hat auch Pflichten. Ich kann nicht mein ganzes Geld für Schnaps und Frauen ausgeben und anschließend Sie um Ihre Unterstützung bitten.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Reverse Domino Effect

Posted by hkarner - 20. März 2017

At last a sober realistic view – instead of all the  panicking! (hfk)

Date: 19-03-2017
Source: www.foreignaffairs.com

No One Is Following Britain Out of the EU
By Pierpaolo Barbieri

Following France’s 1954 humiliation at the hands of the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower divined the phrase “domino effect” to suggest that the victory of communist guerrillas would lead to a cascade of parallel events elsewhere: “You have a row of dominos set up,” Eisenhower said. “You knock over the first one. … What will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.” Ike’s idea caught on; the “domino” concept was applied to everything from the Cuban Revolution to the Prague Spring.

Most recently, the prospect of a domino effect was a staple of discussions of the British referendum on EU membership. In this case, a first-mover (the United Kingdom) would trigger the implosion of the EU by daring to exit first. It would be swiftly followed by others eager to free themselves from the shackles of transnational regulators and their world-leading single market. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Greek Parties: Adjust Your Programs To What Voters Really Want!

Posted by hkarner - 13. März 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017, Observing Greece

A frequent experience with management consultants is that their beautifully phrased ideas and proposals, all in PowerPoint format, don’t work so well during implementation. Many times the reaction to that is to involve the consultants even more, based on the belief that, eventually, their beautifully phrased ideas and proposals simply had to show results.

Every once in a while a common sense manager asks a different kind of question, namely: „If we want to increase efficiency in, say, Operating Division A, why don’t we ask the people concerned how they think we could accomplish that?“ More often than not, the result of such common sense is miraculous.

The non-profit think tank Dianeosis made a survery where they tried to find out „What Greeks believe“. The results are astonishing! Here are some excerpts: Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Athen feiert Durchbruch bei Sparverhandlungen

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2017

Die griechische Regierung erhofft nach einer Annäherung mit den Geldgebern mehr budgetären Spielraum, den sie allerdings erst erwirtschaften muss. Die Reformprüfer kehren indes ins Land zurück.

Athen. Bittere Pillen musste Griechenlands Finanzminister Efkleidis Tsakalotos diese Woche bei der Sitzung der Eurogruppe in Brüssel schlucken. Und trotzdem gab es im Anschluss in Athen viele lachende Gesichter: Die Koalitionsregierung unter Alexis Tsipras war durch die Verzögerungen in den Verhandlungen mit den Gläubigern über die Zukunft des griechischen Rettungsprogramms schwer unter Druck geraten. Jeder Tag der Unsicherheit verringerte die Chancen auf eine Stärkung des zarten Wachstums und eine Rückkehr an die Kapitalmärkte. Da waren die Rückkehr der Prüfer des Gläubiger-Quartetts nach Athen und die Aussicht auf eine endgültige Einigung in den kommenden zwei Monaten eine gute Nachricht. Neuwahlen, von der Opposition und vielen Medien immer intensiver herbeigeredet, sind damit vorerst vom Tisch.

Erstmals gab es in Brüssel wieder aufmunternde Worte. Eurogruppenvorsitzender Jeroem Dijsselbloem merkte an, dass die griechischen Budgets im Gegensatz zu früher „halten“, und Klaus Regling, Chef des EU-Rettungsschirms, sprach von „Vertrauen“, das Athen gewonnen habe. Das hörte sich schon ganz anders an als die scharfen Töne zu Weihnachten, nachdem Tsipras den griechischen Pensionisten eine Sonderzahlung in der Höhe von insgesamt 600 Millionen Euro überwiesen hatte.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why European institutions cannot handle the Greek crisis

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2017

Date: 17-02-2017
Source: The Economist
Subject: The European Union’s delicate political economy

GREECE’S marathon crisis is at least instructive. Past flare-ups have illustrated a textbook’s worth of economic principles. The latest episode—a dispute over the sustainability of Greece’s mammoth debt—provides a lesson in political economy. The beleaguered economy itself is not at the centre of the disagreement; rather it is the European Commission and the IMF and others that are at loggerheads, squabbling over projections of Greek growth. This sort of institutional wrangling is not incidental to the process of European integration; it has historically been a crucial ingredient, helping defang the continent’s tricky interstate relations. But as Greece’s latest turn in the spotlight demonstrates, the role of Europe’s institutions has changed during the euro-area crisis. Paradoxically, they themselves have become part of the existential threat facing the European project. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany-IMF Staredown on Greece: The Election Calculus

Posted by hkarner - 14. Februar 2017

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Yves Smith

The next big round of extend and pretend for Greece isn’t set to take place until July, yet serious jockeying between the key actors, the IMF versus the European countries acting as lenders, is underway now. Why? The politicians and Eurocrats are keen to get a deal, at least in general terms, agreed now so as to keep Greece out of the headlines as much as possible for an upcoming series of European elections.

Of course, the European view of “getting to a deal” means knuckling the IMF into joining a new round of financing. As we’ve discussed since 2015, the Fund’s staff has been in open revolt, and has leaked important internal documents to the press more than once, making clear the agency’s view that Greek debts are not sustainable (note that these leaks may have been sanctioned at a more senior level). By the Fund’s own rules, that means it cannot provide additional loans. The latest Financial Sustainability Report reached the same conclusion, although it did uncharacteristically say that some fund directors (as in board members) did not agree with that view.

If the IMF does not provide more dough, the consequences are serious, as we’ve stressed and Wolfgang Munchau underscores in a comment at the Financial Times: Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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