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

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

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

Christine Lagarde’s perverse praise for Latvia’s economic ‘success’

by Mark Weisbrot IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has made conflicting remarks in the last few months indicating that she might have doubts – shared by IMF economists – about the self-destructive economic policies that are pushing the eurozone deeper into recession and causing a financial crisis. This despite her comments that offended many Greeks last week, in which … Continue reading

As Greece Turns Leftward, Its Tycoons Stay in Background

ATHENS — While money pours out of Greek banks and Europe debates whether or not Greece deserves its next handout, the people potentially in the best position to help shore up the nation’s finances are mainly keeping their heads down. They are among the wealthiest Greeks — whether shipping magnates, whose tax-free status is enshrined in the … Continue reading

Greek leftist vows to reject loan terms

The head of Greece’s radical left-wing Syriza party said Tuesday his cabinet will reject all austerity measures imposed under an EU-IMF loan deal, if he manages to form a new government. “The public verdict has clearly nullified the loan agreement and (pledges) sent to Europe and the IMF,” Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address. The country’s youngest … Continue reading

Voting in the Dark: Greece Goes to the Polls

How do you hold an election in a country that has lost its sovereignty, its sense of its own past and its imagined future? What promises can discredited politicians sell, in the fifth year of recession, to people whose wages have vanished or plummeted by a third, pensioners living on less than 300 euros a … Continue reading

Election Threatens to Become Snapshot of Greek Despair

Greek voters are slated to head for the polls this weekend. The candidates are pledging to change everything in the crisis-plagued country. But in many cases these promises are coming from the very politicians who helped drive the country into the abyss. A group of men with microphones and cameras pushes its way to the podium under the … Continue reading