Monti Calls for EU Summit to Confront Populism

Italian Premier Mario Monti on Saturday proposed a special European summit to confront growing populism in the face of the continent’s financial crisis. “We are in a dangerous phase,” Monti said on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti Forum on Lake Como after meeting with European Union Council President Herman van Rompuy. He said a divisive … Continue reading

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

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

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

Eurozone crisis will last for 20 years

By Wolfgang Münchau I always wondered who buys risky assets after one of these “historic” statements from the European Council. Sometimes the rally lasts for hours. Other times it lasts for days. The last one ended after less than a week; Italian and Spanish spreads are now above pre-summit levels. The consensus among observers had … Continue reading

ECB warns Greece as ministers plan softer bailout bid

By Harry Papachristou and George Georgiopoulos (Reuters) – The European Central Bank told Greeceon Monday not to waste time trying to renegotiate its international bailout as government ministers hashed out a plan for easing its punishing terms before a review by the country’s lenders. Echoing Greece’s euro zone partners, ECB policymaker Joerg Asmussen signalled that Prime Minister Antonis … 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

Angela’s vision

IN THESE times of tribulation for the euro, Germany offers a prophecy. One day, when the euro zone has got beyond the wilderness of austerity and structural reform, it will be rewarded with prosperity. Europe will have worked off its debt and become more competitive. Markets will see that the real problems of the world … Continue reading