Debt crisis in Greece
Under the blazing summer sun rubbish is piling up all over Greece. For more than a week public sector workers who collect rubbish have been on strike. They want thousands of municipal workers on short-term contracts to be given permanent contracts. Politicians are discussing whether rubbish collection shouldn't be privatised nationwide, as has already been done in some cities. Commentators also say this wouldn't be the worst option.
The Eurogroup ministers have agreed to give Greece further loans to the tune of 8.5 billion euros but failed to reach a consensus on another topic: contrary to the wishes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) they won't make a decision on debt relief until 2018. For Europe's commentators the outcome of the negotiations is anything but a happy end.
Athens has agreed to a new austerity package in return for further bailout loans. The 3.6 billion euros in austerity measures include pension cuts of up to 18 percent and a lower tax-exempt amount. Greece is due to repay over seven billion euros in loans in July. Is the agreement a sensible compromise or a pact with a destructive impact?
The Greek parliament approved a new austerity plan on Thursday evening. The package is based on a
At a meeting in Malta Athens and its
Athens and the Eurogroup ministers have agreed that delegates of the creditors will travel to Athens to reassess the stipulated reforms in a new move aimed at resolving the row over Greek debt. At the same time Athens has consented to carry out further reforms that were a prerequisite for new bailout loans. Observers don't expect the situation in Greece to improve and look back on how the crisis has evolved.
The row over financial aid for Greece is once again heating up. The Euro Group is set to endorse the payment of the next credit tranche on February 20. However, the creditors are still at odds over
For people in Greece the new year has begun with various tax hikes. Coffee, cigarettes, fuel and other products have become more expensive. The state is hoping to raise an additional 2.45 billion euros per year with the new tax measures. Greek journalists see the people at the mercy of the creditors and doubt that the economy will recover.
The Greek parliament will vote today on a Christmas bonus for poor pensioners. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to use around 617 million euros of the primary surplus to give roughly 1.6 million Greeks with pensions of less than 850 euros a month a thirteenth monthly payment. Is this an urgent measure to help struggling pensioners or the start of the next election campaign?
The Eurozone finance ministers agreed on Monday to certain measures that will give Greece a little more time to repay its debts. At the same time they insisted that Athens must negotiate further austerity measures. This latest agreement is only seemingly good news for the country, commentators conclude.
The row over debt relief for Greece has once again flared up among the country's creditors in the run-up to the next meeting of the Euro Group on December 5. EU Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici held out the prospect of debt relief in view of the reforms that have already been carried out. Speaking at a bank congress German Finance Minister Schäuble, by contrast, accused the country of lacking the will to push through necessary measures. Are the Greeks suffering from too many or too few reforms?
The Greek parliament has approved a series of cutbacks and tax hikes in order to secure the
The decision to give Greece new bailout loans is based on a compromise: the debt relief on which the IMF has made its continued participation in the bailout programme contingent but which Germany rejects won't be decided until 2018. The next crisis has simply been postponed, commentators object, speculating that the upcoming elections in Germany are the reason for this delay.
The finance ministers of the Eurozone have decided to release just part of the agreed next instalment of the bailout loan to Greece. Athens will receive 1.1 billion euros now, while the remaining 1.7 billion could be paid out by the end of October. Commentators call for a final decision in the row over Greece's debt.
Alexis Tsipras was re-elected by a large majority as the president of Syriza at the party's conference in Athens. He adopted an aggressive tone in his speech and criticised the
The IMF has presented a new set of proposals in the dispute over the participation of the International Monetary Fund in a
The parliament in Athens approved on Wednesday night the austerity measures agreed to in Brussels - albeit without a government majority. In the meantime the IMF has demanded debt relief for Greece. Billions in new debts won't help get the country out of its crisis, some commentators write. Others praise the parliament's decision and urge Athens to use the time gained to implement reforms.
Resistance to the austerity plans is growing in Greece after the agreement with the Euro Group. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will presumably need votes from the opposition to push the agreement through parliament. The creditors are humiliating Greece and stipulating unreasonable demands, some commentators write. Others praise the agreement as a chance to get Greece back on the road to recovery.
Athens formally requested a new bailout from the ESM fund on Wednesday. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also announced that he would present new reform proposals this Thursday. Some commentators appeal to Merkel and some to Renzi to finally force a solution to the Greek crisis. Others point out that the national parliaments will prevent another bailout programme for Athens.
The Greek voters gave a clear no to the creditors' austerity demands in the referendum on Sunday. Some commentators believe it's time for a Grexit, and that this is not the worst solution. Others still want a deal and call for a Marshall Plan and a debt conference as alternative solutions in the debt dispute.
Greece has failed to make a 1.55 billion euro payment to the IMF that was due at the end of June. Prior to this the Eurozone finance ministers rejected an appeal to extend the country's bailout programme by a few days. The Eurozone has committed an inexcusable mistake by driving the country into insolvency, some commentators write. Others call for an end to indulgence for the debt-ridden country.