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PARIS The euro zone is in the recovery room now the danger of a Greek default has been averted for a couple of years, but it is not yet safe from a Japanese-style “lost decade”. The currency area’s escape route hinges more on the pace of expansion in the United States and China, lifting the world economy, than on the policy mix in Europe, which will continue to favor austerity over growth in 2013. At best, Ireland and Portugal could emerge slimmed down from their bailout programmes and regain capital market access by the end of the year, demonstrating that […]

BERLIN German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that Greece’s creditors may look at writing down more of its debt but not before the current bailout program has run its course. Last Tuesday Euro zone finance ministers and the IMF approved a package of measures including interest rate reductions and an extension of repayment periods aimed at cutting Greece’s public debt to 124 percent of national output by 2020. Germany insists a writedown of Greek debt held by euro zone governments would be illegal, though Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has also recently signaled that some kind of debt ‘haircut’ for […]

ATHENS Greek pension funds will not take part in a debt buy-back that is a key part of the country’s international bailout, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a newspaper interview. Greece must conduct the deal by December 13, before it receives more than 30 billion euros ($ 39 billion) in bailout payments from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund. Athens has said it is vital the buy-back is successful, but it must attract enough interest from bondholders, who need to decide whether to participate in the process, to ensure the country’s debt is deemed viable in […]

ATHENS Greek pension funds will not take part in a debt buy-back that is a key part of the country’s international bailout, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a newspaper interview. “The debt buy-back does not concern the pension funds,” Samaras was quoted as saying in an interview with Sunday’s Proto Thema newspaper. Greek pension funds hold more than 8 billion euros out of a total 63 billion euros of Greek bonds held by private investors. Greece must conduct the deal by December 13, before it receives more than 30 billion euros in withheld bailout payments from the euro […]

BERLIN Germany’s lower house of parliament will approve a fresh bailout for Greece on Friday in a vote seen as a test of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s authority over her centre-right coalition less than a year before federal elections. The outcome of Friday’s vote in the Bundestag is not in doubt but unease over the costs of the euro zone debt crisis and over talk of another write-down of Greek debt means the number of coalition lawmakers voting against will be keenly watched. The package of measures to be approved is aimed at reducing Greece’s debt load to 124 percent of […]

Demonstrators stand in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens on November 7.Eurozone governments could be forced to accept losses on their rescue loans to Greece Monday’s deal to overhaul its bailout failed to agree how to reach new debt targetsDocuments reviewed by FT show debt targets fall 2.7% above announced targets(Financial Times) — Eurozone governments could be forced to accept losses on their rescue loans to Greece after Monday’s late-night deal to overhaul its bailout failed to agree how to reach new debt targets for the struggling country, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.After three gatherings in […]

SYDNEY Euro-zone finance ministers, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund agreed early Tuesday on a plan to cut Greece’s government debt to 124% of gross domestic product by 2020 and to less than 110% of GDP by 2022, paving the way for the country to receive its next tranche of financial aid. At a news conference in Brussels, European Commissioner for Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said that “Greece has shown that it is serious about reform,” and has kept to its commitments. The euro moved higher after the news, trading just below $ 1.2996, up from $ 1.2961 ahead of the announcement.

SYDNEY Greece’s international creditors have agreed to a new Greek government debt target of 124% of gross domestic product by 2020, according to reports out late Monday. Euro-zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund have agreed on measures that will see Greece’s debt cut by 20% of GDP, according to the reports. Talks between the euro-zone finance ministers, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund took place in Brussels late Monday, and a press conference is set to be held after the talks.

The Hellinikon airport site could bolster Greek GDP by 0.3% over 10 years, according to a fund spokesmanGreece is selling off assets from gas reserves to sewage works as it seeks to contain its debt woesThe fund has projected a redevelopment of the site will bolster Greece’s gross domestic productHellinikon airport was once Greece’s flagship terminal and hub for international travel Greece is hoping a derelict airport on the outskirts of Athens — one which has sparked a keen contest among international investors — will help solve its debt woes.Hellinikon airport, the sale of which initially piqued the interest of […]

BERLIN European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen said on Sunday the euro zone should agree next week on two years of funding for Greece and leave further help to be decided later, a view likely to irk the IMF, which wants a permanent solution. “We should next week settle the financing for the years 2013 and 2014, but you have to be honest and say we do not really expect the country to have access to markets in 2015 and 2016; that means a follow-up programme would be necessary,” Asmussen told German broadcaster ZDF. A two-year deal would postpone a […]

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