For Sale: Greek Government Assets — Slightly Used

Greece is trying to raise cash by reviving an ambitious program to privatize state assets. The country’s lenders, which include the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, hope the sell-off will cut the country’s enormous debt. But Antonis Tsifis, who runs a betting shop in a working-class neighborhood in Athens, is upset that the … Continue reading

Michael Noonan: I’m willing to overrule Finance officials and release ECB letter on bailout

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan says he is willing to overrule civil servants in his department and release a letter from the ECB which forced Ireland into a bailout. Mr Noonan was speaking in Limerick this morning, and said it “would be appropriate” for him to publish the letter, despite his department previously refusing to release it under … Continue reading

The Greek patient returns for more help

by BEN CHU The Greek begging bowl is being brandished, once again, in European capitals. The leader of the country’s coalition government, Antonis Samaras, wants Athens to be given more time to fulfil the conditions of its IMF/EU bailout. Under the agreement’s present terms, Athens is required to reduce its budget deficit, which stood at 9.3 … Continue reading

Serb government tightens grip on central bank despite EU, IMF warning

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s Socialist-led government stepped up control over the central bank in the struggling ex-Yugoslav republic on Saturday, ignoring IMF criticism and a warning that the move would hurt its bid to join the European Union. Parliament adopted amendments to the law on the National Bank of Serbia, as the government seeks to … Continue reading

ECB Plans to Set Yield Targets for Bond Purchases

Interest rates on Spanish sovereign bonds have been rising to dangerous levels in recent weeks. Now, SPIEGEL has learned that the European Central Bank plans to use a new instrument to stop the trend: The bank is considering setting yield targets on the bonds of euro-zone countries. Should interest rates exceed those levels, the ECB … Continue reading

Euro’s Medicine May Be Making Greece’s Symptoms Worse

By RACHEL DONADIO and SUZANNE DALEY ATHENS — Only a month after Greece installed a new government, the country is facing renewed peril. Its official lenders are signaling a growing reluctance to keep paying the bills of the nearly bankrupt nation, even as the government is seeking more leniency on the terms of its multibillion-euro bailout.

Special Report: Clandestine loans were used to fortify Greek bank

By Stephen Grey and Nikolas Leontopoulos (Reuters) – The chairman of one of Greece’s largest banks and his family took out loans totaling more than 100 million euros to finance an undisclosed stake in the bank, according to audit documents seen by Reuters. Offshore companies owned by Michael Sallas and his two children paid for shares in … Continue reading

One more summit: The crisis rolls on

by Charles Wyplosz The EU summit produced a vaguely worded agreement that can and has been read in different ways in different nations. This column provides a quick reaction to what was and was not decided. It concludes that useful progress was made, but this was far from the decisive turn-around that many had hoped … Continue reading

Angela Merkel, swimming instructor

WHEN warnings sound that the end of the euro is nigh, all eyes turn to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Germany must “assume its part” in saving the currency, says Spain’s economy minister, Luis de Guindos. If there is rescuing to be done, Germany is the obvious rescuer. Yet rather than toss out the lifebelt, … Continue reading

Cyprus becomes 5th eurozone state to seek bailout Cyprus becomes 5th eurozone nation to ask for a bailout as it struggles to rescue its banks

  NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus on Monday became the fifth eurozone country to request financial aid from its partners in the troubled European currency union as it struggles to shore up its banks, which took heavy losses on Greek debt. The island nation’s government said in a terse statement that it required assistance following … Continue reading