Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

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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The Bitch Is Back!

Posted by hkarner - 10. Februar 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017, Observing GreeceKastner

Suddenly, the Greek crisis is back. Or so all the media have reported in recent days. In actual fact, the Greek crisis is neither back nor has it ever been gone – it’s just there!

The question is only whether the crisis is dormant or coming back to life. It is dormant when there are no ‚decision points‘ (no major payments due, no major deadlines to be kept, etc.). When a new tranche has just been disbursed with a new review date set in 6 months, one can rest assured that there will be no Greek crisis until 6 months later. When there are decision points all the time, there will be a Greek crisis all the time. We are now, once again, approaching decision points. And the bitch is back.

As always, the Greek Analyst nails it above. I think even if all of Greece’s debt were forgiven, the problems would continue. They wouldn’t be felt for a number of years because, starting from zero, Greece could again start borrowing heavily. But that wouldn’t change the process: as soon as a decision point comes up, the crisis returns.

Marcus Walker of the WSJ put together a coherent thread about the timeline of the Greek crisis where he traces Greece’s problems to the fiscal mismanagement from 2002-09. Not quite! I believe that today’s Greek crisis has its origins back in the early 1980s when two tectonic movements reinforced each other: the spendthrift policies of the PASOK/Papandreou (father) government and the financial benefits of having joined the EU. This is not to blame PASOK alone. On the contrary, PASOK started it and when ND came to power, they tried to be a cheap copy of PASOK. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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IWF: Athens Schuldenberg ist „unhaltbar“ und „explosiv“

Posted by hkarner - 30. Januar 2017

Laut Währungsfonds ist ein Schuldenschnitt unumgänglich. Die Eurozone müsste „glaubwürdigere“ Maßnahmen ergreifen, um den Schuldenberg zu verringern.

Wien. Seit dem kurzfristigen Aufflackern der Griechenlandkrise in der Folge der Wahl von Alexis Tsipras zum Premierminister vor rund eineinhalb Jahren ist es ruhig geworden um Athen, die Eurokrise und die Troika aus EU, EZB und IWF. Andere Themen – von der Migrationswelle bis hin zu Brexit und dem neuen US-Präsidenten Trump – bestimmen inzwischen die politische Großwetterlage. Doch auch abseits der allgemeinen Öffentlichkeit köchelt die Griechenlandkrise weiter vor sich hin. Das zeigt ein vertraulicher Bericht des IWF über die Schuldentragfähigkeit des Landes, der Anfang Februar den Mitgliedsländern vorgelegt werden soll und nun vorab publik wurde. 

Der in Washington beheimatete Währungsfonds stuft die Schuldenlast des Landes darin als derzeit „unhaltbar“ und langfristig „explosiv“ ein. „Selbst bei einer vollständigen Umsetzung der im Rettungsprogramm gebilligten Reformen werden die Staatsverschuldung und der Finanzbedarf langfristig explosiv werden“, heißt es wörtlich. Die Eurozone müsste „glaubwürdigere“ Maßnahmen ergreifen, um den Schuldenberg zu verringern. Konkret schlägt der IWF vor, Griechenland zu erlauben, die Rückzahlung der bisher gewährten Milliardenkredite bis 2040 auszusetzen und die Laufzeiten bis 2070 auszudehnen. Mit anderen Worten: Griechenland solle einen Schuldenschnitt erhalten. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Questions That Could Reshape a Worried Europe in 2017

Posted by hkarner - 30. Januar 2017

Date: 29-01-2017
Source: The New York Times

Europe is facing multiple tribulations in 2017, engulfed in uncertainties over terrorism, borders, migration, economics and President Trump’s new America First message booming from across the Atlantic.

“It’s not the first time Europe has been challenged by crisis,” said Anna-Lena Högenauer, a researcher at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Luxembourg, but “there’s definitely a combination of crises.”

Here are some of the potentially disruptive issues and events looming for the year that could reshape — or at least deepen — the fractures in the European Union, a 28-nation bloc of more than a half-billion people and the world’s largest single free-trade zone.

Will ‘Brexit’ cause instability?
Negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union, known as “Brexit,” the outcome of a referendum last June, could officially start by the end of March, a self-imposed deadline set by Prime Minister Theresa May. But the run-up to those negotiations — further complicated by a Supreme Court ruling that Ms. May needs Parliament’s approval to begin the process — has created enormous uncertainties. They include how European Union citizens residing in Britain — and the British citizens residing in other European Union countries — will work and live if they cannot freely traverse borders as they do now. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Foreign Investment – A Long Shot?

Posted by hkarner - 16. Januar 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017, Observing GreeceKastner

This rather pessimistic commentary by Alexis Papachelas of the Ekathimerini concludes with the following paragraph:

„Greece has become cheap, it has potential and a capable manpower; but in order to lure investors it will have to implement reforms and inspire confidence, and it will need a government that speaks the same language as investors.“

There, in only one sentence, everything is said! I would only add: Greece also needs a society which sees the positive aspects of foreign investments.

The economic ingredients all speak in favor of Greece: yes, Greece has become rather cheap and, of course, Greece has a capable manpower and potential. So why are foreign investors not lining up to put their money into the Greek economy, into real investments instead of only financial speculations? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can the EU Survive Populism?

Posted by hkarner - 4. Januar 2017

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Brussels And Greek Slot Machines!

Posted by hkarner - 30. Dezember 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016, Observing GreeceKastner

Here is a good one to finish off the eventful year 2016. As the Ekathimerini reports:

„The European Commission has sent a letter to the government asking it not to implement a new regulation on the operation of video lottery terminals (VLTs), which OPAP has undertaken.

Dated December 21, the letter asks the government to forward its draft measures for the operation of the gaming market to Brussels and to freeze the application of the new VLT operation regulations, as the Internal Market Directorate-General argues the rules approved in October by the Greek Gaming Commission (EEEP) do not protect punters or society sufficiently.“

Well, aren’t we glad that Greek society is being protected by the EU Commission?!? With that kind of an efficient EU government, it can only be a question of time until Greece becomes sufficiently protected against illegal migration, etc.

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