Ilustration by Manos Symeonakis
When French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced two weeks ago that French banks had agreed to participate in a rollover of Greek debt, it seemed a rare moment of relief in the country’s strained efforts to tackle its fiscal crisis. “The idea is that we won’t let down Greece and that we’ll defend the euro, which is in the interest of us all,” said Sarkozy, reflecting a sense of purpose and unity that the European Union has often lacked over the last 18 months.
However, the French proposal — which we will come to — soared briefly on the wings of hope before crashing into the immovable obstacle of reality. Two days of talks between bankers and insurers last week led to the Paris blueprint largely being discarded. However, the rejection of the French scheme appears to have helped Greece dodge a debt bullet. The more experts scrutinized the French plan, the more they realized it was a seriously flawed proposal that would worsen Greece’s debt problems.
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece
Tagged Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Charles Dallara, debt rollover, ECB, EFSF, EU, European Central Bank, European Union, eurozone, Financial Times, French banks, Greece, Greece bond buyback, Greece default, Greek bonds, Greek crisis, Greek debt, IIF, Jans Kees de Jager, Nicolas Sarkozy
Illustration by Manos Symeonakis
Having seen the caliber of some of the Republican Party’s presidential candidates, it’s hard not to want with every fiber in your body for Barack Obama to succeed during his first term in the White House. But this week, thanks to the comments he made aboutGreeceafter meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it was difficult not to feel respect for the American leader slipping away.
The headlines after the two politicians held their news conference inWashingtonrevolved around Obama and Merkel’s warning that the Greek debt crisis could bring the world economy to its knees if it’s not tackled properly. “America’s economic growth depends on a sensible resolution of this issue,” said Obama. “It would be disastrous for us to see an uncontrolled spiral and default inEuropebecause that could trigger a whole range of other events.”
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece, International affairs
Tagged Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, euro, European Union, eurozone, German economy, Germany, Greece, Greece creditors, Greece debt crisis, Greek bonds, Greek debt crisis, Greek default, Greek economy, Ireland debt, US economy, US exports, USA, weak euro
Anyone who is a parent or has looked after a small child will be familiar with the dreaded moment when a toddler tells you, “I didn’t do anything.” Once you hear these words, it’s a sure bet that you will find food on the floor, toys smashed to pieces or crayon scrawls on the wall. But it’s not just kids that employ these naively transparent methods, politicians are pretty adept at using them too.
Graffiti by Absent
It was, therefore, pretty easy to see through the government’s spin doctors this week as they insisted that the issue of debt restructuring did not come up at all during a meeting in Athens between Prime Minister George Papandreou and renowned financier George Soros. Visiting George did not mention the subject even once, government sources told journalists.
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece, Greek politics
Tagged Bruegel, Competitiveness, Debt restructuring, Der Spiegel, Dimitris Vayanos, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, EU, European Commission, European Union, George Soros, Greece, Greece competitiveness, Greece debt restructuring, Greece haircuts, Greece reforms, Greek bonds, Greek debt, Greek economy, IMF, International Monetary Fund, London School of Economics, Sovereign debt crisis, Zsolt Darvas
- Illustration by Manos Symeonakis
Every year, Greece celebrates its independence on March 25. It marks the date when the revolution against Ottoman rule began in 1821. This March 25, though, the proposition of Greece standing on its own will not seem so attractive. Should the European Union leaders’ summit on March 24-25 end in disappointment — as many expect it to — debt-stricken Greece will be left dangerously isolated.
Prime Minister George Papandreou has spent the last few weeks furiously trying to cultivate contacts with his European counterparts — including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy — in the hope they might be able to sway opinions ahead of the March 25 summit and a meeting of leaders from eurozone countries on Friday, March 11.
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece
Tagged Angela Merkel, Axel Weber, Bruegel, EEAG, EFSF, ESM, EU leaders' summit, euro, European Economic Advisory Group, European Financial Stability Facility, European Stability Mechanism, European Union, eurozone, George Papandreou, Giorgos Papaconstantinou, Greece debt, Greece debt restructuring, Greece default, Greece deficit, Greece interest rate loan, Greece March 25, Greek bonds, Greek bonds haircut, Herman van Rompuy, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Nicolas Sarkozy, Sovereign debt crisis