- Illustration by Ilias Makris
Some people will think that the haircut of 50 percent or so being proposed for holders of Greek debt is a get-out-of-jail-free card for Athens and unfair punishment for investors. They would be wrong on all counts.
The writedown, set to be finalized at the European Union leaders’ summit on Wednesday, is the result of failures by both parties. The banks and hedge funds made what they hoped would be a risk-free investment in a country that they knew was the most badly placed of all those standing on the shifting sands of the euro. The market should have factored in the structural problems that plagued both the single currency and Greece, but it didn’t. In accordance with the rules of the game, both sides will pay a price.
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece
Tagged banks, euro, European Central Bank, European Commission, European Union, eurozone, Greece, Greece troika, Greek banks, Greek bonds, Greek debt crisis, Greek haircut, Greek pension funds, International Monetary Fund
Joining host David Reed of the Missouri School of Journalism and guest Clark Boyd from PRI’s The World on Global Journalist, a half-hour weekly discussion of international news by a panel of journalists from around the world.
The topic of discussion? Greece and the eurozone crisis:
And, catching up with Jeff Santos on Revolution Boston.
Illustration by Ilias Makris
He meant it as a warning, but when Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said a few days ago that Greeks’ incomes would be returning to 2004 levels, it could have been interpreted as the most optimistic thing the government has said for months.
In many ways, 2004 was the most hopeful year Greece experienced for decades. It had a growth rate that was the envy of many eurozone countries, it pulled off the miracle of successfully hosting the Olympic Games and the national soccer team became the biggest outsider to ever win the European Championships. It was a time when everything seemed possible.
Posted in Economy, Greece
Tagged Evangelos Venizelos, Great Depression, Greece, Greece collective contracts, Greece incomes, Greece recession, Greece unemployment, Greek bonds, Greek crisis, Greek debt crisis, Greek economy
Illustration by Manos Symeonakis
There are many things for which Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will be called a liar over the weeks to come, but something he said in his muddled news conference on Tuesday rang true: It was when he explained how he found it “impossible to explain” to those outside Greece the opposition parties’ stances on how the country should tackle its economic crisis.
As flawed and damaging as the eurozone and International Monetary Fund-inspired austerity program has been, the alternatives being suggested by the opposition have been even more confused and unrealistic. The prime target for Venizelos’s comment was PASOK’s main political rival, New Democracy, which has elbowed even the Communist Party out of the way in its effort to be in the front line of those opposing the current formula for overcoming Greece’s massive debt problem.
Posted in Economy, Greece, Greek politics
Tagged Antonis Samaras, Greece, Greece tax, Greek crisis, Greek debt crisis, IMF, New Democracy, PASOK, Troika
Illustration by Manos Symeonakis
Some had hoped for a dramatic and inspiring last throw of the dice to drag a confused, beleaguered and sometimes reluctant country forward, but Prime Minister George Papandreou’s speech in Thessaloniki last weekend felt distinctly like an admission of defeat.
Any address that begins by focusing on the failings of the previous government, as Papandreou’s did by rehashing the argument about New Democracy’s disastrous management of the Greek economy, is condemned to look back rather than forward.
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece, Greek politics
Tagged euro, Eurobonds, eurozone, George Papandreou, Greece, Greece austerity, Greece default, Greece recession, Greek crisis, Greek debt crisis, New Democracy, PASOK