After a truly marathon negotiating session, a deal has finally been reached between the Eurozone leaders and Greece. The deal includes:
– More austerity, mainly in the form of tax rises and pension reform
– The repeal of Syriza’s anti-austerity laws
– Freeing up some of Greece’s ‘closed professions’
– Privatisation of state assets (like the ports and electricity grid)
– These assets will be transferred to a 50 billion euro fund managed by Greece but supervised by the creditors. The funds will be used to support the banks and Greece itself Continue reading
On Sunday Greece will vote in one of the most unusual referendums to be held in Europe in a long time. With only a week’s notice the country has been asked to vote on an extremely vague question, which in essence boils down to whether or not to accept an offer by the Eurogroup (Greece’s creditors) for a new series of bailouts and reforms. The only problem is that the Eurogroup has made clear that this offer is off the table, making the actual question essentially meaningless. Continue reading
The news has just broken that the European Central Bank will agree later today to end emergency assistance to Greek banks. This, together with yesterday’s news that the EU will not extend the bailout until Greece can hold a referendum on further austerity, means that it looks very likely that Greece is about to crash out of the Euro. Let’s quickly catch up on how the negotiations fell apart, before looking at what the events of today mean, and what could follow.
The situation is still changing fast, and on the evening of the 28th of June the ECB had indeed decided to end additional assistance to Greek banks, and capital controls have been imposed. The description below of what could happen is still relevant., but actual actions taken by the ECB and government may change.
The clock is ticking down to yet another deadline in the eternal negotiations between Greece and its creditors on debt and bailouts. The deadline this time is the 30th of June, when the country owes 1.5 billion euros in debt repayments to the IMF. If they don’t pay, they will have defaulted on a loan, and that could start them on the path to economic collapse and an exit from the Euro and European Union. Continue reading
With last Sunday’s election of Syriza to power in Greece, the world is waiting for the face off between new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the rest of the Eurozone. Germany, France and now the Netherlands say that there will be no debt reduction. Tsprias says there will be. With both sides so determined, it’s hard to guess at the outcome of the upcoming talks.
The problem is that there are two sides to the story of Greece’s crisis. The first is a tale of epic economic mismanagement, fraud and tax evasion on the part of the Greek government and society. The second describes the misery that Greece has been plunged into since 2008, where austerity has destroyed the job market, the health care system, and the future. Both sides of the story are true. Continue reading
One week from today Greece goes to the polls to elect a new parliament, in a surprise election after the previous parliament failed to agree on a president. Once again, the election has all of Europe on edge. The leftist and anti-austerity party Syriza is leading in the polls, and the fear is that their victory could lead to a Greek exit from the EU. So what does Syriza want? Will their plan work? And will the Greeks vote for them? Continue reading