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

Spetses, the tycoons’ playground where gulf between rich and poor grows wider

by Vanessa Thorpe On a jetty alongside the town beach a loud phone call disturbs the peace of a handful of Spetses residents lying in the sun before taking their daily swim – one free pleasure that is still available to all. A rich weekender from Athens booms ostentatiously into his mobile, directing a man … Continue reading

Greece Expels Voula Papachristou From Olympics Over Racist Tweets

By DEMETRIS NELLAS ATHENS, Greece — Triple jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked off Greece’s Olympic team Wednesday for her comments on Twitter mocking African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right political party. The Hellenic Olympic Committee said Papachristou is “placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the … Continue reading

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

Was It Worth It? Debt-Ridden Greeks Question the Cost of the 2004 Olympics

Eight years after the Athens summer games, Greece is in economic turmoil and the value of all those expensive new facilities is in question. By JOSH SANBURN The Helliniko Olympic Complex in Athens was supposed to be thriving long after the 2004 Summer Olympics had ended. Built on part of the site of the city’s old … Continue reading

Security firm spies on Reuters correspondent

(Reuters) – A private security team was hired to follow and photograph a Reuters special correspondent who has written a series of articles exposing mismanagement in Greek banks. Stephen Grey, who was in Athens last week for further reporting, was followed to a meeting at a building in the city on June 20. The unidentified … Continue reading

Special Report: How a Greek bank infected Cyprus

(Reuters) – Like many Greek tycoons these days, Andreas Vgenopoulos is in trouble. By Stephen Grey, Michele Kambas and Nikolas Leontopoulos The self-made businessman built one of Greece’s leading corporate empires over the past two decades. Among its jewels was a major bank in the nearby Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus. Then it all started to unravel. … Continue reading

Olympics Blamed for Stoking Debt Crisis in Greece

ATHENS – As London prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games, Athens’ experience eight years ago could offer some sobering lessons. Many of the facilities now lie overgrown and empty. Many Greeks – and even the head of the International Olympic Committee – say hosting the 2004 Olympics contributed to the country’s debt crisis. The … Continue reading

Most Aid to Athens Circles Back to Europe

PARIS — Its membership in the euro currency union hanging in the balance, Greece continues to receive billions of euros in emergency assistance from a so-called troika of lenders overseeing its bailout. But almost none of the money is going to the Greek government to pay for vital public services. Instead, it is flowing directly back into the troika’s … Continue reading