Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα international lenders. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα international lenders. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 30, 2015

Greece warned against trying to reverse bailout deals

The head of the Eurogroup warned on Friday that Greece could not ignore its international obligations, after a first meeting with the new anti-austerity government that wants to renegotiate its multi-billion-euro bailout...

"Taking unilateral steps or ignoring previous arrangements is not the way forward," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, representing Greece's eurozone creditors, told a news conference after talks with the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

For his part, new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Greece was willing to broker a deal, but not through the detested "troika" of fiscal auditors representing the country's international lenders.

Varoufakis, a maverick economist, said the government would seek "maximum cooperation" with the EU, the eurozone and the IMF and had already begun talks but would not cooperate with "a committee built on rotten foundations."

Dijsselbloem warned before arriving in Athens that the new Greek government is already setting itself an impossible task, raising expectations it cannot meet.

"If you add up all the promises (made in the election campaign), then the Greek budget will very quickly run totally off course," he said in Amsterdam.

Friday's talks come on the heels of warnings by the European Union and Germany that there was little support for reducing the debt, which the radical new government is hoping to cut in half.

New maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will begin a tour of European capitals next week to press home Greece's case, meeting his British, French and Italian counterparts on Monday and Tuesday. Tsipras will also visit Italy and France next week.

Debt rating agency Fitch said Greece was still likely to reach a deal with its creditors but only after protracted talks damaging to the economy.

"There is a high risk that protracted and difficult negotiations will sap confidence and liquidity from the Greek economy," it said in a note.

Ahead of the meeting, Greek stocks lost another 1.59 percent a day after after plunging on concerns about the first moves of Tsipras's radical new administration to roll back several reforms underpinning the bailout.

European Parliament chief Martin Schulz, the first visiting foreign dignitary to meet Tsipras' government, on Thursday said the prime minister had assured him that Greece would seek "common ground" with its EU peers.

But in an interview late on Thursday, Schulz said Tsipras' coalition alliance with the Independent Greeks, a hardline nationalist party, was "not something good for the country."

"This government will enter into confrontation with the European Union at a time when dialogue is needed," he told SKAI TV.

Elected on Sunday, the new government has already begun to roll back years of austerity measures demanded by the EU and the International Monetary Fund in return for the huge bailout granted to avoid a financial meltdown in 2010, and says it will negotiate to halve the debt.

‘Debt reduction not on radar'

But European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said a reduction of the 315-billion-euro debt linked to the bailout "is not on the radar".

"I don't think there's a majority in the Eurogroup... for a reduction of the debt," he told Germany's ARD television, referring to the eurozone's finance ministers.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's vice-chancellor and also its economy minister, said he expected Greece to "stick to its commitments" for fiscal and economic reform made in exchange for the bailout.

He was critical of a decision by the new government to scrap the privatisation of the two main ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, and the biggest Greek power company, decisions which have also drawn a rebuke from China that has a major investment in Piraeus.

  • The Greek central bank said 4.0 billion euros in private deposits had been withdrawn from banks in December.

But Daniele Nouy, head of the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board, said despite the post-election turbulence, Greek lenders were "pretty strong".

First row over Russia statement

Tsipras' government managed to have its first foreign policy row this week after it complained to Brussels over allegedly not being consulted when the EU threatened new sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers eventually overcame Greece's reluctance and agreed Thursday to extend the sanctions against Russia.

Tsipras' Syriza party has been seen as pro-Russian, with Moscow's ambassador becoming the first foreign official to be received by the prime minister after his election victory. Many party members are former Communists.

Tsipras, who ousted the conservatives of former prime minister Antonis Samaras, has said Greece is no longer prepared to bow to the "politics of submission”, in a clear swipe at its international creditors.

Varoufakis has said the government wants "a pan-European New Deal" to encourage growth and help the continent deal with Greece's crisis.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


Παρασκευή, Απριλίου 26, 2013

'Wasting a whole generation of people in Europe is stupid'

The “stupid” austerity measures imposed after the 2011 EU bailout may see Portugal losing all the gains of the Carnation Revolution, European MP, Rui Tavares, told RT on the anniversary of the peaceful coup of 1974.
Frustration with austerity is deepening among Europeans, with one in five of the workforce without a job in Portugal and Spain's unemployment jumping to a record of 27.2 per cent.

People in the two heavily-indebted nations are launching fresh protests against their governments and international lenders.

Member of European Parliament from Portugal, Rui Tavares, believes having so many young and educated people out of jobs is Europe’s biggest tragedy.

RT: More anti-austerity protests are planned for Thursday. What's fuelling the anger now among the Portuguese?

Rui Tavares: Today is the day of the 39th anniversary of our revolution (the Carnation Revolution of 1974). This revolution for us means a bloodless coup. The flowers were put in the rifles of the soldiers that not a single bullet was fired. But for us, it means the power of democracy – for prosperity, for dialogue, for a better education for everybody, for access to the universities – to overcome the illiteracy that we had in Portugal in those years. And what austerity means for us today is the possibility that we’ll lose it all. That our best generation will emigrate to Brazil and Angola, and the UK, and the US. That the investments that we did will be lost and that we’ll go back in history. 

RT: We’ve heard people talking about the “financial fascism” being imposed upon the Portuguese?

Rui Tavares: Upon the Portuguese and the Europeans, at large. I think that when you talk about fascism there’s a split in the European consciousness. People in Germany are living in a different world now, but we don’t renounce our rights to persuade them, to convince them that this austerity is stupid. Not because the Portuguese can’t live with scarce means. We can. But because it’s not working and it won’t work. 

RT: We see demonstrations not only in Portugal, but in neighboring Spain as well where the people took to the streets, following the announcement of huge unemployment figures (27.2 per cent). Is there a fear that this could spread to Portugal? Is there solidarity between the Portuguese and their Spanish brothers?   

Rui Tavares: Yes, of course. Our youth live in a very similar situation. One third of our youth is unemployed. The other third have very bad jobs. And that’s what you want to tell Europe: ‘isn’t it stupid to waste a whole generation of people – to have it not working’. These are very bright people, very educated people. If you go around Lisbon, you’ll see what they can do. Isn’t it stupid to have them out of a job? Today I think that’s the worst kind of waste that you can have on the continent, in the EU that we have today. 

RT: As a European parliament member, you have a chance to put your ideas forward. If you could speak to your colleagues from Germany, France and the Netherlands – what would you say to them right now?

 Rui Tavares:
I speak to them every day. I tell my Dutch colleagues that 20 of our biggest companies are paying taxes in the Netherlands, not here. They’re making their money here, but paying their taxes there. I tell my German colleagues that it’ll be much better if they want to close down their nuclear power plants to have solar energy, coming from Portugal to the North. So there’s a way that we can work together. It’s not just the way that’s Berlin and Frankfurt on to the South. But there is a more intelligent, a more clever way that we can work together. And, you know, finally build this European Union.


Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

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