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

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

Why the All-Important Greek Election Changed Absolutely Nothing

On Sunday, Greek citizens voted for the euro. On Monday, investors voted against it. And so, an election that we expected to avert an international financial meltdown ultimately corresponded with one.

Grexit? More like Grout

Greece is on its way out of the euro – messily, haphazardly, and largely irrespective of what happens in the election. In expectation of a currency collapse, taxpayers are delaying payments, damaging government revenues. Withdrawals from Greek banks totalled over €2bn in early May, and by all accounts are now gathering pace. This is a slow-motion … Continue reading

Bet on Greek Bonds Paid Off for ‘Vulture Fund’

When Greece announced on Tuesday that it had made a €436 million bond payment to the hold-out investors who rejected the country’s historic debt revamping deal in March, the decision came as no surprise. After all, with the Athens government in disarray and investors wary of having anything to do with Greece, now would be … Continue reading

Greece: income down 25% in 2011, says OECD

Central bank predicts further 20% fall in 2013-14 (ANSAmed) – ATHENS – Despite the severe austerity measures imposed by the government in Athens, in line with international creditors, in a bid to restore to health the country’s disastrous national accounts, the recession in Greece is being felt with increasing force. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation … Continue reading

Greece eyes UK-style railway privatisation

Greece is considering breaking up its railway and selling the right to operate some routes to different companies, in an attempt to maximise proceeds from the privatisation and sidestep regulatory hurdles. The heavily indebted country had initially planned to sell Trainose – the monopoly that operates 500 freight and passenger routes on 2,500 km of … Continue reading

Greece, amid debt crisis, is limping toward London Olympics

ATHENS, Greece — Ancient Greeks invented the Olympics and the nation’s athletes have remained loyal participants throughout the years, but contemporary Greeks are struggling to make the Summer Games in London. With less than three weeks before the May 10 flame-lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia, which starts the official countdown to the late-July opening of the Games, … Continue reading