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

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

How Big Are the PIIGS? (Bigger than you may realize!)

“PIIGS” we are informed in the current Wikipedia entry “is a pejorative acronym used to refer to the economies of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. Since 2008, the term has included Ireland, either in place of Italy or with an additional I.” With apologies, I am joining the ranks of contributors to such august publications as the New York … Continue reading

Those Revolting Europeans

The French are revolting. The Greeks, too. And it’s about time. Both countries held elections Sunday that were in effect referendums on the current European economic strategy, and in both countries voters turned two thumbs down. It’s far from clear how soon the votes will lead to changes in actual policy, but time is clearly … Continue reading

Germany’s FinMin:new Greek govt must respect pledges

May 4 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday that Greece would have to “bear the consequences” if its voters elected a new government in an election on Sunday that does not respect commitments made by the outgoing coalition. In a speech in the western German city of Cologne, Schaeuble said future … 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

Eurozone private sector drops, signalling recession: PMI

(BRUSSELS) – Eurozone private sector activity retreated in March, providing new evidence that the 17-nation single currency area is in recession, a key survey showed on Wednesday. The composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) compiled by Markit research firm hit a three-month low, dropping to 49.1 points in March compared to 49.3 in February. A score … Continue reading

German ‘hypocrisy’ over Greek military spending has critics up in arms

Athens’ fondness for weaponry, and willingness of Germany and France to feed it, under fire as Greece struggles with debt crisis. A few months before submarines became the talk of Athens, Yiannis Panagopoulos, who heads the Greek trade union confederation (GSEE), found himself sitting opposite Angela Merkel at a private meeting the German chancellor had … Continue reading

Greece tops European arms importer ranks

Greece was Europe’s largest importer of arms between 2007 and 2011, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released on Monday. Arms imports by Greece fell 18 percent compared to the 2002-06 period but Greece still ranked 10th internationally, falling from fourth place. Globally the volume of international transfers … Continue reading

Greece is being destroyed by ‘respectable’ fanatics

The EU, which boasts that solidarity is its founding principle, is forcing Greece into destitution and chaos Greek democracy is being destroyed. Not by soldiers marching with insane slogans on their lips about the inevitable triumph of the German master race, international proletariat or global jihad, but by moderate men and women who think themselves … Continue reading