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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« Reply #90 on: January 29, 2012, 04:09:32 pm »

1/29/12

http://news.yahoo.com/greek-pm-says-total-consensus-austerity-steps-151703417.html

The finance minister of debt-stricken Greece on Sunday rejected a proposal from Germany for the EU to take control over its tax and spend decisions, citing national sovereignty.
 
"Whoever hands people a dilemma between financial aid and national dignity is ignoring basic historical teaching," said Evangelos Venizelos on the eve of an EU summit on the eurozone debt crisis in Brussels.
 
In a statement released as he left for the meeting, Venizelos said: "Our partners know that European unification is founded on the institutional equality of member states and respect for national identity."
 
German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler had said he supported stricter EU monitoring of Greece, in an interview to be published Monday, after Athens dismissed calls for it to give up control over its budget.
 
Roesler told the daily Bild that the EU should step in to ensure that Greece toes the line on budget austerity, saying: "We need more leadership and monitoring in implementing the course of reform."
 
"If the Greeks fail to do this themselves, the leadership and monitoring must come in a stronger way from outside, for example via the EU."
 
The idea that Greece might cede budget control to the EU was contained in a German submission to its eurozone partners first revealed late Friday by the Financial Times and confirmed by European sources.
 
Under the radical plan, a commissioner appointed by the 16 other eurozone finance ministers could veto budget decisions made by Athens.
 
Greece is now trying to wrap up a deal with private investors -- including banks, insurance companies and investment funds -- who have been asked to take a "haircut" worth about half the money owed to them.
 
For Greece, agreeing on such a deal is a precondition for further bailout funds from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
 
Athens faces a critical bond reimbursement worth 14.5 billion euros on March 20.
 
Under the Private Sector Involvement deal, the creditors are asked to accept a halving of the 200 billion euros in debt they hold. Talks have been snagged on the amount of interest to be paid on the remainder.
 
Venizelos told reporters Saturday he was hopeful of a deal within days.
 
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, meanwhile, said on Sunday there was "total convergence" among his political allies on new austerity measures needed for a second bailout and on debt cuts to avert default.
 
"This will allow us to negotiate in the best conditions," Papademos said.
 
Papademos had sought agreement on the broad outlines of an accord with the private creditors, and the new recovery plan put forward by the EU and IMF.
 
He had held talks with his Socialist predecessor George Papandreou, as well as Antonis Samaras, head of the centre-right New Democracy party, and far-right leader George Karatzaferis.
 
Papademos said negotiations with the private creditors "are not easy" -- adding that "the partners want additional engagements and conditions" -- but stressed that if the talks failed, Athens "faced the spectre of default".
 
"We will together put up a hard fight to guarantee the country's place in Europe and the eurozone... united we can succeed," he said.
 
The eurozone and the IMF are demanding this commitment, asking for it in writing, for the second time since November, so that Greece will stay on the straight and narrow through early elections to be held in the spring.
 
Samaras, a longtime proponent of EU-IMF remedies, is tipped to win the polls.
 
The international troika of the European Commission, ECB and IMF is trying to make Greece's debt mountain sustainable by 2020.
 
They demand austerity measures and deregulation before they will agree to release the second bailout, initially agreed in October, for 130 billion euros.
 
Among proposed measures are revising wages to boost competitiveness at a time when the economy is facing its worst recession in decades. The troika is also asking for new cuts in social benefits and higher property taxes.
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« Reply #91 on: January 29, 2012, 05:51:27 pm »

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_EUROPE_FINANCIAL_CRISIS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-01-28-11-28-47
Jan 29, 1:39 PM EST
Germans float direct EU control over Greek budget
By JUERGEN BAETZ Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany is proposing that debt-ridden Greece temporarily cede sovereignty over tax and spending decisions to a powerful eurozone budget commissioner before it can secure further bailouts, an official in Berlin said Saturday.

The idea was quickly rejected by the European Union's executive body and the government in Athens, with the EU Commission in Brussels insisting that "executive tasks must remain the full responsibility of the Greek government, which is accountable before its citizens and its institutions."

But the German official said the initiative is being discussed among the 17-nation currency bloc's finance ministers because Greece has repeatedly failed to fulfill its commitments under its current euro110 billion ($145 billion) lifeline.
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« Reply #92 on: January 31, 2012, 06:02:54 pm »

Investors face more than 70 pct loss in Greek deal

http://news.yahoo.com/investors-face-more-70-pct-loss-greek-deal-233412969.html

1/30/12

BRUSSELS (AP) — Investors participating in a deal to slash Greece's massive debt would face an overall loss on their bond holdings of more than 70 percent, a person involved in with the negotiations said early Tuesday.

European leaders at a summit in Brussels said a final debt deal could be signed off in the coming days, together with a second multibillion-euro bailout package designed to save the country from a potentially disastrous bankruptcy.

Athens and representatives of investors holding Greek government bonds over the weekend came close to a final agreement designed to bring Greece's debt down to a more manageable level. Without a restructuring, those debts would swell to around double the country's economic output by the end of the year.

If the agreement works as planned, it will help Greece remain solvent and help Europe avoid a blow to its already weakened financial system, even though banks and other bond investors will have to accept big losses.

The person involved in the talks said Monday that the more-than 70 percent loss was the result of cutting the bonds' face value in half, reducing the average interest rate to between 3.5 per cent and 4 percent and pushing repayment of the bonds 30 years into the future. A second person briefed on the talks confirmed that the loss on the so-called net present value of the bonds would be around 70 percent.

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« Reply #93 on: February 01, 2012, 09:20:39 pm »

Greece Warns It Will Soon Be In “Condition Of Absolute Poverty”
1 February 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/greece-warns-it-will-soon-be-condition-absolute-poverty

Excerpt:

From Kathimerini:

The jobs to be lost concern 60,000 employers and 100,000 employees in the sector, ESEE expects.

Given the data for a 6.2% fall in household consumption in 2011 and the Eurostat forecast for a further decline by 4.3% this year, ESEE warns that soon Greece will be in a condition of absolute poverty.

With 60,000 enterprises having shut down since the start of the crisis to date, their number is set to double by the end of this year, ESEE estimates.
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« Reply #94 on: February 02, 2012, 12:32:12 pm »

EU official: Greece needs extra $20 billion

2/2/12

BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece needs about an extra euro15 billion ($20 billion) to get its debt down to manageable levels — and the rest of 17-country eurozone is being asked to help foot the bill.

Debt-ridden Greece is close to a deal with private investors to reduce its debt burden by about euro100 billion and that — plus an agreement to enact deep spending cuts — could pave the way for a euro130 billion bailout from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund. But on Thursday a European Union official said this plan was not enough to help fix Greece's problems, which are getting worse as the effects of the recession take hold.

In order to bring Greece's debt burden to a sustainable level — 120 per cent of its economic output in eight years' time — the country's international debt inspectors calculate that Greece needs an additional euro15 billion — a shortfall it believes should be made up by the rest of the 17-country eurozone, the European official. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter

The extra money, in theory, could come either from the other euro countries or by having the European Central bank, its national counterparts and state-owned banks like France's Caisse de Depots taking a loss on their Greek bond holdings, the official said. Analysts estimate that the European Central Bank holds euro50 billion to euro55 billion in Greek bonds by face value but it can't simply write them down without breaking the EU treaty, which prohibits the bank from financing governments. Writing off a debt would be, in effect, transferring money directly to a government.

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http://news.yahoo.com/eu-official-greece-needs-extra-20-billion-150528625.html
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« Reply #95 on: February 02, 2012, 12:33:48 pm »

Greece Seen as Struggle Even After 2nd Rescue

2/2/12

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-02/greece-seen-as-struggle-even-after-2nd-rescue.html

Greece, struggling to seal agreement on a second rescue from creditors in coming days, will remain at risk of abandoning the euro, say economists including Holger Schmieding of Berenberg Bank.

Greece may stay saddled with too much debt, too little economic growth and too large a budget hole to do without yet more aid that euro nations led by Germany are increasingly reluctant to offer.

Deeper spending cuts required for extra loans of at least 130 billion euros ($170 billion) and domestic resistance to overhauling the economy risk limiting the impact of any second aid package, the economists say. The deal is also slated to include a 50 percent cut in the face value of more than 200 billion euros of Greek debt through a voluntary exchange by private creditors of outstanding bonds for new securities.

“Greece is in deep trouble,” Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg in London, said in a Jan. 30 report. “The current Greek adjustment program is failing. Excessive austerity, a lack of supply-side reforms, administrative incompetence and political deadlock have pushed the Greek economy into an apparent death spiral. More of the same will not work.”

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« Reply #96 on: February 04, 2012, 08:22:36 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-says-2011-budget-deficit-beat-target-source-101434552.html

2/3/12

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece is still struggling to overcome "crucial" issues before it can secure a 130-billion-euro ($171 billion)bailout package needed to avert a messy bankruptcy, the country's finance minister said.
 
After marathon negotiations on Friday to agree tough labor reforms that would appease both wary political leaders and irate lenders faced with a rising bill to save the country from bankruptcy, Athens said more work was needed to seal a deal.
 
"After 12 hours of tough negotiations, we have solved many issues but other crucial issues are still open," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters.
 
A long-delayed bond-swap with private bondholders is now the "easier" part of talks to save Greece from bankruptcy, he said.
 
Greece is under growing pressure to wrap up talks on the bailout and a bond swap to avert a chaotic default, but hopes of an imminent deal faded after euro zone finance ministers put off a meeting expected on Monday to finalize the rescue.

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« Reply #97 on: February 04, 2012, 02:14:25 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-pushes-deal-lenders-contested-reforms-113626928.html

2/4/12

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has agreed to recapitalize its struggling banks after a planned bond swap largely through common shares with restricted voting rights, a banking source told Reuters on Saturday.
 
The banks are expected to require recapitalization because of impaired loans and losses from a bond swap to ease Greece's debt burden.
 
Investors were worried that banks would fall under state control if they were recapitalized via common voting shares rather than non-voting instruments. The inclusion of restricted voting rights suggested the banks would remain privately-run to a certain extent at least.
 
"Greek banks' recapitalization will be done mainly through common shares with restricted voting rights," a senior banker said without providing further details.
 
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)
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« Reply #98 on: February 04, 2012, 02:19:34 pm »

New Greek package may require up to 145 billion from euro zone

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone governments may have to provide up to 145 billion euros to Athens under a second emergency loan program for Greece, EU sources said on Friday, 15 billion euros more than previously expected.
 
The extra funds are mainly required to help recapitalize the Greek banking sector once a deal is struck to write down the value of bonds owned by private-sector creditors, the sources said.
 
"It's mostly because of recapitalization needs of Greek banks due to PSI," one of the sources said, referring to what's called private sector involvement. The other source did not say explicitly that 145 billion euros would be needed, but said that figure was the right order of size.
 
Negotiations with private sector creditors to take a 70 percent net-present-value writedown on their holdings, cutting Greece's debts by around 100 billion euros, are close to being concluded.
 
But it remains unclear how much of a writedown the official sector - the European Central Banks and national euro zone central banks - may have to take on their holdings of Greek government bonds in order to make Greece's overall debt burden sustainable.
 
The IMF says Greece's debts must be cut from around 160 percent of GDP now to 120 percent of GDP by 2020 in order to be sustainable. The conclusion of PSI will help bring the debts close to 120 percent by 2020, but not all the way there.
 
As a result, there is expected to be a need for the official sector to take a hit, in addition to the extra funds from euro zone governments, the sources said.

http://news.yahoo.com/greek-package-may-require-145-billion-euro-zone-121255338.html
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« Reply #99 on: February 04, 2012, 02:21:41 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/eurozone-ministers-discuss-greece-072934027.html

2/4/12

Greece has one day left to clinch a eurozone bailout and a bond swap with creditors to manage its crushing debt repayments, the finance minister said Saturday, warning that talks were "on a knife edge."
 
"The moment is very critical," Evangelos Venizelos told reporters after a telephone conference with fellow eurozone finance ministers, which he described as "very difficult.".
 
"Everything must be concluded by tomorrow night... so that we can be within the timetable given the bond maturities in March," the minister said.
 
"We are on a knife edge."
 
Athens has been negotiating with the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank on further action needed to unlock a new rescue deal worth 130 billion euros ($171 billion).
 
Pressure is also mounting for a deal with private lenders to wipe out part of the 350-billion-euro Greek debt, with Athens facing imminent loan repayments of 14.4 billion euros ($19 billion) on March 20.

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« Reply #100 on: February 05, 2012, 07:49:08 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/clock-ticks-greeces-bailout-deadline-005638924.html

2/5/12

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's prime minister scrambled on Sunday to convince lenders and politicians to sign off on a 130 billion euro ($171 billion) rescue, after his finance minister said just hours remain before the euro zone abandons the country to its fate.
 
A technocrat appointed in November, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is trying to ensure cash-strapped Greece avoids sinking into a chaotic default when big bond redemptions come due next month.
 
His finance minister said Athens had only until Sunday night to clinch a second financing package from lenders, after euro zone ministers bluntly told him they were ready to abandon Greece without proof it could push through painful cuts.
 
"We are on a knife edge," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Saturday after what he called a "very difficult" conference call with euro zone counterparts.

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« Reply #101 on: February 05, 2012, 07:55:44 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/most-germans-want-greece-quit-euro-poll-113545662.html

2/5/12

Most Germans want Greece to quit euro: poll

BERLIN (Reuters) - The majority of Germans feel the euro currency bloc would be better off if debt-crippled Greece left it, a poll published in mass-selling newspaper Bild am Sonntag showed on Sunday.
 
The Emnid poll said 53 percent of Germans surveyed thought Greece should return to its former currency, the drachma, while only 34 percent felt it should keep the euro.
 
Euro zone ministers had hoped to meet this coming Monday to finalize the second Greek bailout, which must be in place by mid-March to prevent a chaotic default, but the meeting was postponed because of reluctance in Athens to commit to reforms.
 
Without the austerity measures, which include cutting holiday bonuses and lowering the minimum wage in a country reeling from its fifth year of recession, the ministers say they cannot approve the 130 billion euro ($171 billion) rescue plan.
 
The Emnid poll said 80 percent of Germans surveyed opposes releasing the rescue package unless Greece implements the reforms.
 
(Writing by Brian Rohan; Editing by Will Waterman)
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« Reply #102 on: February 05, 2012, 03:14:00 pm »


Greece Fights on Two Fronts to Secure New Bailout

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/business/global/greece-fights-on-two-fronts-to-secure-new-bailout.html?src=busln

ATHENS — Greece’s efforts to secure a second, €130 billion international bailout and avoid a default next month stalled on Sunday.

Prime Minister Lucas D. Papademos met with leaders of the three parties in his coalition government to seek their support for the austerity measures demanded by the country’s creditors, including a reduction in the public payroll and pay cuts for workers in the private sector.

At the same time, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos met with representatives of creditor banks to secure agreement on a bond swap that would lower Greece’s debt by €100 billion, or $132 billion.

The so-called troika of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are demanding that the Greek government impose new austerity measures before granting the country a second bailout. On Sunday, Mr. Papademos sought the backing of Antonis Samaras, head of New Democracy, and Giorgos Karatzaferis, leader of the Popular Orthodox Rally, and George A. Papandreou, the former prime minister.

While all three parties are part of Mr. Papademos’s coalition government, they were clearly reluctant to endorse measures on top of those that have already helped send the national economy into recession.

Leaving the prime minister’s residence on Sunday, Mr. Karatzaferis told reporters that he “will not contribute to the explosion of a revolution due to a wretchedness that will then spread across Europe.”

He did not elaborate.

Mr. Samaras also suggested that no agreement was reached on imposing further austerity measures.

“They are asking for more recession than the country can take,” he said, referring to the troika. “I am fighting against this.”

The prime minister’s office released a statement Sunday saying that Mr. Papademos and political leaders “agreed on basic issues including the implementation of measures within 2012 to curb public spending by 1.5 percent of G.D.P., securing the viability of auxiliary pensions, tackling a competitiveness deficit by taking measures which include the reduction of wage costs and nonwage costs — in a bid to boost employment and economic activity — the recapitalization of banks using a combination of methods that secure the promotion of public interest with the banks’ corporate independence.”

“The premier and party leaders are to meet again tomorrow to complete negotiations on the content of the program,” the statement concluded.

Mr. Papademos’s effort to line up support for the new measures have been hampered by turmoil within the parties, including a challenge to the former prime minister, Mr. Papandreou, from within Pasok, the largest party in Parliament.

Mr. Venizelos, the finance minister, met Sunday with Charles H. Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance. Mr. Dallara represents the banks that are being asked to swap their current holdings of Greek debt for new securities, a key component of the proposed bailout.

Those talks have dragged on for months.

Greece must make a €14.5 billion debt payment on March 20 or risk a default that could prove disastrous not only for the country, but for the broader euro zone, and deal a blow to a fragile global economy.

In Germany — the country that has contributed the most to the rescue package — there is widespread skepticism that Greece has the will to make the changes needed to avoid bankruptcy. A majority of Germans — 53 percent — think the euro zone would be better off if Greece reintroduced its own currency, according to a survey conducted by Emnid for the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Of those surveyed, 34 percent thought it would be a bad idea for Greece to leave the euro zone. A full 80 percent opposed releasing the next installment of rescue funds unless Greece complies with the program of austerity measures it has agreed to.

Politicians have also become less shy about discussing Greek bankruptcy, once a taboo subject.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg and head of the Euro Group of finance ministers, told the German magazine Der Spiegel that Greece would be bankrupt in March if it did not meet the terms for further aid. The threat of bankruptcy “should give Greece some strength when at the moment there are some signs of paralysis,” Mr. Juncker said, according to Der Spiegel.

Mr. Juncker criticized Greece for failing to adhere to the schedule for selling state assets, and said the country’s image suffered because “there are elements of corruption at all levels of administration.”

A euro zone official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said that Mr. Juncker's comments constituted a warning to Greece and reflected the growing sentiment that Greece needed to accept the tough conditions laid down by international lenders if it was to receive a second bailout.

“There comes a point where something has to give — and people are becoming frustrated,” said the official.

Mr. Ackermann suggested last week that the European Central Bank, which owns Greek bonds with an estimated face value of €50 billion, might also need to pitch in.

“Investors have made a big contribution,” Mr. Ackermann said, in response to a question about the E.C.B.’s role. “With so much at stake, all sides should contribute.”

The E.C.B. has refused to take part in debt relief because it does not want to be seen as providing financing to governments, which it regards as a violation of its charter.

There is speculation, however, that the E.C.B. might find a way to contribute profit from its holdings of Greek bonds.

The central bank bought the bonds on the market at a steep discount and could profit from interest payments and repayment of principal.
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« Reply #103 on: February 05, 2012, 04:39:40 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/deadline-day-greek-debt-deal-115805059.html

2/5/12

Greece on Sunday insisted on extending critical talks on a debt rescue into Monday, as the government's coalition backers denounced pressure from public creditors to pass harsher austerity measures.
 
After a five-hour meeting with his socialist, conservative and far-right allies, Prime Minister Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said the talks would continue on Monday, and that agreement had been reached on many issues.
 
But George Karatzaferis, leader of far-right party LAOS and Antonis Samaras, head of the conservative New Democracy party both attacked what they said was pressure to impose even harsher cuts on the Greek people.
 
"I will not contribute to the explosion of a revolution from destitution that will burn all of Europe," Karatzaferis told reporters as he exited the meeting.
 
Moments later, Samaras said the country was "being asked for more austerity, which it is unable to bear. I am fighting to prevent this."
 
Athens has been in talks with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank -- known as the 'troika' here -- on further action needed to unlock a new eurozone rescue deal worth 130 billion euros ($171 billion) pending since October.
 
Pressure is also high for an agreement with private lenders to wipe out part of the 350-billion-euro Greek debt, as Athens faces loan repayments of 14.4 billion euros ($19 billion) on March 20.
 
The measures demanded by the troika reportedly included a 20-percent cut to the monthly minimum wage of 750 euros ($985); a 15-percent cut in supplementary pensions; and 15,000 civil service redundancies this year.
 
Earlier, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos had warned that agreement had to be reached on Sunday for Greece to keep up its debt repayment schedule safely.
 
"Everything must be concluded by (Sunday) night... so that we can be within the timetable given the bond maturities in March," Venizelos said.
 
"We are on a knife edge," the minister had warned on Saturday.
 
Papademos, who has reportedly threatened to resign if his coalition fails to back him, concentrated on what had been achieved so far in his comments Sunday evening.
 
He said the political leaders had agreed on "basic elements" including new public spending cuts, pension adjustments and bank recapitalisation in addition to a controversial labour cost revision.
 
The leaders had also agreed to "take measures to reduce public spending by 1.5 percent of output in 2012" and tackle a competitiveness deficit by reducing wage and non-wage costs, a measure strongly opposed by unions, he said.
 
Agreement had also been reached on recapitalising Greek banks taking part in a voluntary debt write-down in a way that would ensure the banks' "business autonomy", said Papademos. Lenders accepting state aid would not be nationalised, he said.
 
The caretaker prime minister also held back-to-back meetings with senior troika officials and representatives of the Institute of International Finance, the global banking organisation leading the debt writedown talks.
 
Papademos is himself a former European Central Bank deputy chief.
 
IIF managing director Charles Dallara and Jean Lemierre, adviser to French bank BNP Paribas, made no statements after the talks.
 
Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker has turned the heat on Athens, threatening to cut off funds if reforms were seen to stall.
 
"If we were to see that everything was failing in Greece then there wouldn't be a new (refinance) programme," Juncker told German magazine Spiegel.
 
French Economy Minister Francois Baroin on Sunday said talks were "difficult" but that progress had been made on the privately held debt swap.
 
"In any case, the rendez-vous is on February 13 at the latest," Baroin said, referring to the tentative deadline for a deal.
 
Europe's commissioner for maritime affairs Maria Damanaki, who is Greek, said the country has been on a "disastrous path".
 
"For two years we have promised changes which we failed to pursue, or failed to complete," she told To Vima weekly.
 
"We say much and do little. We agree to timetables we do not keep. Hence we have created the image of a state that is systematically unreliable," Damanaki said.
 
The debt deal is also decisive for Greece's political future, as the government is expected to hold early elections upon its conclusion.
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« Reply #104 on: February 06, 2012, 01:12:40 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-caves-civil-firings-174100605.html

2/6/12


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's coalition government on Monday caved in to demands to cut civil service jobs, announcing 15,000 positions would go this year, amid mounting international pressure to agree on austerity measures needed to secure major new debt agreements.

The announcement signals a shift in Greece's policy, as state jobs have so far been protected during the country's acute financial crisis, which started about two years ago. Public Sector Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas said the job cuts would be carried out under a new law that allows such firings.

Unions have called a 24-hour general strike for Tuesday, in response to the new austerity measures, while about 4,000 protesters braved torrential rain late Monday to join protest rallies organized in central Athens by left-wing opposition parties.

Greece is racing to push through painful reforms and clinch a euro130 billion ($170 billion) bailout deal from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund to avoid a March default on its bond payments.

Debt-ridden Greece has been kept solvent since May 2010 by payments from a euro110 billion ($145 billion) international rescue loan package. When it became clear the money would not be enough, a second bailout was decided last October.

Its implementation depends on the austerity measures but also on separate talks with banks and other private bondholders to forgive euro100 billion ($131.6 billion) in Greek debt, in exchange for a cash payment and new bonds worth 50 per cent less than the original face value, longer repayment terms and a cut in the interest rate to be paid on the bonds. Greek government officials say they expect private investors to take an overall cut of up to 70 percent on the value of their bonds.

But delays in negotiations with rescue creditors pushed a crucial meeting of coalition party leaders back by one day to Tuesday.

"We are opposed to indiscriminate firings," Reppas said. "The work force reduction is strictly connected with the restructuring of services and organizations at each ministry."

Officials at the Public Sector Reform Ministry gave no details of the new plan, or say how many of the job cuts would be compulsory.

The government has promised to reduce the 750,000-strong broader public sector by 150,000 by the end of 2015, but has so far insisted it could reach that target through staff attrition.

Greece's coalition party leaders pushed back a key meeting by a day till Tuesday, due to the ongoing negotiations with EU-IMF debt inspectors who were to hold a new round of talks later Monday.

They have already agreed to cut 2012 spending by 1.5 percent of gross domestic product — about euro3.3 billion ($4.3 billion) — improve competitiveness by slashing wages and non-wage costs, and re-capitalize banks without nationalizing them.

Creditors are also demanding spending cuts in defense, health and social security, a cut in the minimum wage, as well as the civil service layoffs, as European pressure increased on Greece to make more concessions.

European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said Greece is already "beyond the deadline" to end the talks.

After talks in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there can be no bailout deal unless Athens implements creditors' proposals.

"(The proposals) are on the table," she said. "And time is pressing. Therefore something has to happen quickly."

"Time is pressing and for the entire eurozone is much at stake," Merkel added.

Greece is in its fifth year of recession, while unemployment has hit record highs of about 19 percent — following a spate of austerity measures in return for the rescue loans, that included significant cuts in pensions and salaries coupled with repeated tax hikes and an increase in retirement ages.

"The current policy of austerity ... is turning workers into pariahs, jobless people and pensioners into paupers and deprives our youth of any hope," a statement from the servants' union ADEDY said. "This policy has already pushed Greeks beyond their limits and must be stopped at any cost."

Yiannis Panagopoulos, leader of Greece's largest union, the GSEE, said the creditors' demands were certain to lead to more hardship.

"What is going on is not a negotiation," he said. "It's blunt, cynical blackmail targeting an entire people."

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« Reply #105 on: February 06, 2012, 05:47:36 pm »

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-06/greek-pm-papademos-requests-default-report-pasok-spokesman-says.html

2/6/12

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s Prime Minister Lucas Papademos requested the country’s Finance Ministry to prepare a document on the implications of a Greek default, Panos Beglitis, spokesman for the socialist Pasok Party said.

The Prime Minister yesterday told the leaders of the three political parties supporting his interim government that he asked the Ministry “to record accurately and realistically all the consequences of the country’s exit from the euro zone,” Beglitis said today in an interview with Radio 9, according to a transcript of his comments e-mailed from the Athens-based offices of Pasok.

“It’s an important initiative because the Greek people should know exactly what consequences a bankruptcy and euro zone exit would have and thereby take their responsibility,” Beglitis said.

Papademos will tomorrow confer with George Papandreou, leader of Pasok, the biggest party in parliament, Antonis Samaras, head of the second-biggest, New Democracy, and George Karatzaferis, leader of the Laos party, to hammer out details for an accord framework to meet conditions of a 130 billion-euro (170 million) bailout. A tentative consensus was reached among the leaders at a meeting yesterday.

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« Reply #106 on: February 06, 2012, 05:56:22 pm »


http://news.yahoo.com/greeces-dithering-hurting-everyone-224931999.html

2/6/12

Fears that Greece won't accept a new bailout deal are having a chilling ripple effect from Greece to Western Europe to the United States. Political leaders of the debt-ridden country have yet to accept deeply unpopular reductions in public wages and other actions linked to a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. With only weeks left until the country defaults, Greece's prime minister Lucas Papademos postponed a meeting Monday of leaders from the conservative, socialist, and far-right parties. Here's who's been impacted:
 
The U.S. As The Wall Street Journal reports, though Greek leaders did agree to cut 15,000 public-sector jobs by the end of the year, the meeting's postponement until Tuesday rattled leading blue chip stocks in the U.S. "Seven of the S&P 500's 10 sectors finished in the red Monday, led lower by materials and financials. Travelers fell 1.3%, while Pfizer and Boeing each fell 1.2%, leading blue chips lower." Other sliding corporate stocks include Humana, Sysco, and Consolidated Communications Holdings. Jerry Webman, chief economist of OppenheimerFunds, tells the newspaper that recent gains in the market are no match for sour news in Europe. "You do get up this morning and see again this stalemate or case of brinksmanship in Europe, and you remember that the fairly tepid recovery we're seeing in the U.S. and other places means it's vulnerable. When you don't have a lot of momentum, it's easier to stop it."
 
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is the primary paymaster of Greece, unleashed on the small debt-ridden country Monday. "I honestly can't understand how additional days will help. Time is of the essence. A lot is at stake for the entire euro zone," she said. According to Reuters, "Merkel expressed the exasperation spreading among euro zone leaders at seemingly endless arguing in Athens that has yet to produce a definitive acceptance of the austerity and reform conditions demanded by the lenders."
 
France The political fortunes of French President Nicolas Sarkozy have been devastated by Greece's drag on the French economy, causing some to openly speculate that the conservative politician will be the "next domino to fall" following prime minister upheavals in Britain, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. Today, the French president warned the indebted nation that "The situation of Greece must be resolved once and for all.” As The Globe and Mail's Eric Reguly writes, "Now he’s on the defensive, trailing in the polls, and faces being trounced by an unlikely candidate, the bland (in comparison) François Hollande of the Socialist Party, while Marine Le Pen, of the xenophobic, anti-euro, extreme right Front National party, is coming on strong,"

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« Reply #107 on: February 06, 2012, 10:02:01 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/imfs-blanchard-sees-very-large-greek-haircut-205652844.html

2/6/12

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, said on Monday it looks like the 'haircut' on Greek private debt will be "very large" as negotiations between bondholders and the government drag on to cut Greece's debt burden.
 
"With respect to private creditors at this stage it looks like the haircut will be very large," Blanchard told an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, adding: "But that is only half of what it needs, and it may be in a way it's the easier half, the other half is (improving) competitiveness."
 
Blanchard said Greece needs a "dramatic" reduction in its public debt. The IMF has said Greece needs to cut its debt to 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020 - from nearly 160 percent now - to put its economy on a sustainable path.
 
Blanchard said the only way for Greece to eventually emerge from its economic doldrums was for the government to cut public debt and reduce labor costs and for a commitment by Europeans to support Greece "as long as it's needed."

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« Reply #108 on: February 07, 2012, 02:03:22 am »

This whole thing is a joke. A bad joke. They are milking this for all it's worth and then some. All they have to do is agree to bail them out and then do it. These dramatic back and forths is getting really old. Geece has been on the verge of collapse for how long now? It's ready for as long as they decide to drag it out.

We have how many countries with reasonably stable currencies? And how much does Greece cost? About 170 billion? Just have those countries involved print up an equal portion of each country's cash totaling what they need, then send it to them. What little new cash is added to the system is small enough it would have no devaluation effect, and Greece's debts would be paid in full.

170 billion? There are drug dealers and dictators that have that stashed away in Cayman Island vaults! That's pocket change on the world scale. Yet they are making them wait and suffer all this time on a deal being made. Such a sad joke.
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« Reply #109 on: February 07, 2012, 08:58:04 am »

^^^

Or how about the Vatican? Aren't they worth trillions? Why aren't they chipping in? Yah, $170b is chump change compared to their wealth...after all, didn't they say we should "redistribute the wealth" in order to end this global economic crisis? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #110 on: February 07, 2012, 03:02:06 pm »

Yeah right, they are doing some "redistributing" alright! As they say, follow the money. It heads straight to the bankers, which is really no surprise seeing they set the whole system up as a debt-based economy. Wouldn't another name for bankers be "moneychangers"? It's kind of the same thing in principle I think. Select people hold the key to a given task, and it is only them that you can go to. Isn't that what the moneychangers were in the temple? The people had to have the correct tribute for the temple, or they could be banished from the community or worse, and the moneychangers knew it. Sounds awfully familiar to me to modern day bankers.
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« Reply #111 on: February 07, 2012, 05:37:59 pm »

2/7/12

Greece facing 'dramatic dilemma'

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Officials in Greece are under pressure to reach agreement on more austerity measures, as the threat of a default hangs over the country and protestors take to the streets.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and the leaders of Greece's governing coalition need to hammer out the details of a package of job and salary cuts, as well as pension reforms and other measures to reduce public spending.

Papademos was set to meet with party leaders Tuesday evening, but talks have now been pushed back to Wednesday, according to the Prime Ministers office.

It was the second delay since the leaders agreed Sunday on the "main elements" of the program, including a plan to reduce public spending by 1.5% of gross domestic output this year.

Meanwhile, Greek labor unions held a daylong strike Tuesday to protest the reforms, which they see as being foisted on them by foreign creditors.

The reforms are needed for Greece to receive a second bailout worth €130 billion from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

What's next for Europe?

Without additional funding, Greece will most likely miss a €14.5 billion bond redemption in March. The concern is that a so-called disorderly default could force Greece out of the euro currency union and shock the global financial system.

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« Reply #112 on: February 08, 2012, 08:17:49 pm »

2/8/12

Greece Draft Cuts Minimum Wage 20%

Greece will pledge permanent spending cuts, including lower pension payments and a 20 percent reduction in the minimum wage, as the economy contracts this year at a faster pace than originally estimated, according to the draft of a new financing deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

“To restore competitiveness and growth, we will accelerate implementation of deep structural reforms in the labor, product and service markets,” according to the letter of intent addressed to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in a document obtained by Bloomberg News.

The letter, attached to the 43-page Greek-language draft agreement, is to be signed by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos. The draft is the focus of a meeting Papademos is having in Athens today to seek approval from the leaders of the three parties supporting his government to secure a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) rescue plan ahead of an emergency euro-area finance minister meeting in Brussels tomorrow.

While no information was provided about the finance chiefs’ agenda at the meeting tomorrow, the scheduling suggests policy makers, who have to ratify the Greek accord, were optimistic about negotiators reaching an agreement in Athens.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-08/greece-to-pledge-20-cut-in-minimum-wage-pension-cut-draft-accord-shows.html
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« Reply #113 on: February 08, 2012, 08:22:07 pm »

2/8/12

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek coalition leaders were locked in crucial debt talks with the prime minister Wednesday to review layoffs and other steep cutbacks as part of a euro130 billion ($170 billion) bailout package intended to save the country from a looming bankruptcy.

The coalition met for seven hours without reaching consensus on where the cuts should fall, but eurozone finance ministers scheduled a meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the second massive bailout for Greece, an indication a deal was close.

Athens has already accepted a demand to fire up to 15,000 workers in the public sector in 2012, but is under pressure to impose deeper cuts, including reductions in pension payments and the minimum wage. Leaders of three parties making up the 3-month-old Greek coalition have been under intense pressure to accept the new austerity measures.

A disorderly bankruptcy by Greece would likely lead to its exit from the eurozone, a situation that European officials have insisted is impossible because it would hurt other weak countries like Portugal, Ireland and Italy. Two years of cutbacks already have seen unemployment rise to around 19 percent and poverty to 20 percent in Greece, according to data from the EU statistics agency Eurostat.

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/greece-mulls-harsh-cuts-bailout-221629870.html
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« Reply #114 on: February 08, 2012, 09:50:05 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/greek-bailout-talks-hit-snag-over-pension-cuts-011801258.html

2/8/12

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Crucial talks aimed at averting Greece's bankruptcy were held up early Thursday after leaders of the three parties backing the country's coalition government failed to agree to creditors' demands to make euro300 million ($398.22 million) cuts to state and private pensions.

The talks broke up after a seven-hour meeting on austerity needed for the euro130 billion ($172.56 billion) bailout package.

"There was very broad agreement on all parts of the program, with one exception," Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, who later met debt inspectors from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, said in a statement.

Greece needs the euro130 billion deal to avoid a March default and is being pushed to wrap up negotiations in Athens before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels scheduled for 1700GMT.

Papademos needs approval from all coalition parties — the majority Socialists, main rival conservatives and the rightwing LAOS party — before signing off on the deal.

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« Reply #115 on: February 09, 2012, 08:59:26 am »

2/9/12

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has reached a tentative agreement on new austerity cuts demanded by creditors to release a euro130 billion ($173 billion) bailout, hours before a crucial meeting of finance ministers in Brussels, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' office said Thursday.

A spokeswoman said the agreement with the majority Socialists and the conservatives will allow alternative cuts to those rejected early Thursday during a marathon meeting of the three coalition party leaders. No details were available on what alternative measures would be chosen.

The spokeswoman spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, confirmed the latest stage in the austerity talks, telling reporters at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany that the Greek party leaders had accepted the terms of the deal. The ECB is involved in the debt talks along with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund — known as the "troika".

Although all the other cuts demanded by the troika were approved, party leaders had, however, balked at new pension cuts, leaving the bailout in limbo and the threat of bankruptcy high.

The deal came just ahead of talks in Brussels between finance ministers from the 17 euro countries.

"It is up to the eurogroup to decide at the highest level if the conditions are in place to proceed with the second (bailout) program," said Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, a spokesman for the European Commission, one of the three institutions charged with negotiating the rescue conditions.

Also attending the meeting in Brussels will be Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, as well as Draghi.

Greece needs the bailout by March 20 so it will have enough money to redeem euro14.5 billion worth of bonds coming due. If it doesn't make that payment, it will be in default. Financial analysts fear that could set off a chain reaction similar to the financial meltdown triggered by the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008.

In addition to the budget cutting mandated by the troika, Greece is close to an agreement with private investors who hold nearly two-thirds of its debt to sharply reduce the country's borrowing costs.

Greece remains in a deep recession. Unemployment is 19.2 percent after the economy's fifth straight year of decline. Its government finances and its economy are being dragged down by costly political patronage, tax evasion and special protections for some favored trades.

There is considerable resistance in Greece to further austerity. The country has endured two years of vicious spending cuts, the economy is in its fifth year of recession and unemployment is at a record 21 percent rate. Angry union leaders announced a 48-hour general strike for Friday and Saturday
.


http://news.yahoo.com/greece-reaches-austerity-deal-140638437.html
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« Reply #116 on: February 09, 2012, 09:26:16 am »

^^^

Funny how the MSM is saying now that a bailout deal has been reached and everything's rosey...read the bolded in the article above...it doesn't exactly say that... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #117 on: February 09, 2012, 11:39:00 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/greek-debt-crisis-eases-drama-not-over-143429053.html

2/9/12

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — More than two years after it came clean about its addiction to debt, Greece may finally have begun its long and painful road to recovery.

Greece's political leaders struck a historic deal Thursday to make deep cuts in government jobs and spending to help save the country from a default that could shock the world financial system.

The deal, under negotiation since July, is one of two critical steps Greece must take to receive a euro130 billion ($170 billion) bailout from other countries in Europe and around the globe. It was announced by Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' office and will be scrutinized during talks in Brussels between finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro.

In addition to the fiscal austerity mandated by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Greece is close to an agreement with private investors who hold nearly two-thirds of its debt to sharply reduce the country's borrowing costs.

Greece needs the bailout by March 20 so it will have enough money to redeem euro14.5 billion worth of bonds coming due. If it doesn't make that payment, it will be in default. Financial analysts fear that could set off a chain reaction similar to the financial meltdown triggered by the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008.

The bailout will ease some of the uncertainty that has unsettled Europe and the world financial system for more than two years, but it will not bring down the curtain on Greece's debt drama.

Greece remains in a deep recession. Unemployment is 20.9 percent after the economy's third straight year of decline. Its government finances and its economy are being dragged down by costly political patronage, tax evasion and special protections for some favored trades.

Greece will be struggling to pay its debts for years, says Domenico Lombardi, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "The scope of the problems that have to be tackled in Greece are so huge and so entrenched," he says.

Efforts to fix those fundamental problems, at the behest of Greece's increasingly exasperated creditors — including prosperous Germany — are moving slowly, if at all. If they are not solved, Greece may find itself back at the edge of default
.

The deal Greek political leaders struck Thursday includes a 22 percent cut in the monthly minimum wage to euro586 ($780), layoffs for 15,000 civil servants and an end to dozens of job guarantee provisions.

Greece is also close to a vital debt-relief deal with banks, hedge funds, pension funds and other private investors. Under the tentative deal, the private investors would exchange euro206 billion in Greek government bonds for euro30 billion in cash, plus euro70 billion in new bonds. The cash would come from the euro130 billion package from Europe and the IMF. The new bonds would have a lower average interest rate and a longer term of maturity.

The combination of less principal to repay when the bonds mature and less interest to pay every year until then means Greece would spend about 70 percent less than it would have without a deal.

The debt held by the European Central Bank and other public institutions accounts for one third of Greece's national debt and is not part of this tentative deal. However, ECB President Mario Draghi said Thursday that the bank could forego profits it stands to make on Greek bonds, leaving open the door to some additional debt relief for Greece.

If Greece were to default, investors would become reluctant to lend to other heavily indebted European countries for fear they would not get their money back, pushing their borrowing costs even higher than they are now.

Those other countries include Italy, which has an economy six times the size of Greece's. Most analysts say Italy is too big to bail out.

The specter of default has hung over world financial markets for more than two years. Whenever there has been progress — and, indeed, U.S. stock indexes have doubled from the lows they reached in March 2009 — Greece has always stood in the way of more.

And while the immediate danger appears to have passed, it is far from clear whether Greece has won enough debt relief to fix its finances for good
.

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« Reply #118 on: February 09, 2012, 10:14:04 pm »

Didn't the MSM say during the day that Greece has finally clinched a deal? WHOOPS...

2/9/12

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-deal-fails-convince-eu-demands-more-000157119.html

BRUSSELS/ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek political leaders said they had clinched a deal on economic reforms needed to secure a second EU bailout, but euro zone finance ministers demanded more steps and a parliamentary seal of approval before providing the aid.
 
The EU and the International Monetary Fund are exasperated by a string of broken promises by Athens and weeks of disagreement over the terms of a 130 billion euro ($172 billion) bailout, with time running out to avoid a default.
 
Finance ministers of the 17-nation euro zone meeting in Brussels warned there would be no immediate approval for the rescue package and said Athens must prove itself first.
 
Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup, set three conditions, saying the Greek parliament must ratify the package when it meets on Sunday and a further 325 million euros of spending reductions needed to be identified by next Wednesday, after which euro zone finance ministers would meet again.
 
"Thirdly, we would need to obtain strong political assurances from the leaders of the coalition parties on the implementation of the program," Juncker told a news conference after six hours of talks in Brussels. "Those elements needs to be in place before we can take decisions."

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« Reply #119 on: February 09, 2012, 10:19:34 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/greek-leaders-reach-agreement-austerity-deal-135117275.html

2/9/12

Eurozone gives Greece ultimatum for new bailout

Eurozone finance ministers put off a decision Thursday on a new bailout to save Greece from bankruptcy, giving Athens less than a week to meet three conditions in return for the aid.
 
The demands were set during talks between Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and his 16 eurozone counterparts in Brussels, hours after rival Greek politicians struck a deal on austerity measures demanded by foreign lenders.
 
"Despite the important progress achieved over the last days, we did not have yet all necessary elements on the table to take decisions today," Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference.
 
The eurozone will hold a new meeting next Wednesday if all conditions are met, said Juncker, Luxembourg's prime minister.

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