Category Archives: Banking

Treatment of Greece and the future of the European project | Letters

Rafael Behr is right that Greece’s tragedy does not invalidate the case for the EU (The EU is not a conspiracy against democracy, 1 July). But he is too kind to Europe’s leaders, who display precious little humility or respect for national feeling. As well as demanding payments that Greece cannot possibly make and seeking remedies that will further weaken its economy, they are causing huge suffering to many of their fellow Europeans.

Their behaviour is not only stupid, it is also immoral. So there is a morality tale here, and you do not have to be either a Ukip supporter or a member of the “hard left” to feel distaste for the bullying, supercilious approach of Jean-Claude Juncker et al. The yes campaign in Britain’s EU referendum may well achieve a reluctant acceptance that staying in is better than getting out. But after the EU’s desperate mishandling of the Greek crisis, it is very hard to feel much enthusiasm for what used to be called the European project.
Shaun Spiers
Labour and Co-operative MEP 1994-99

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Posted in Banking, Business, Economics, Euro, Europe, European banks, European monetary union, European Union, eurozone, Eurozone crisis, Financial crisis, Financial sector, Greece, World news | Comments Off

Fear-mongering is the enemy of democracy – from Greece to Cameron’s EU referendum | Suzanne Moore

The Tories always use Project Fear to get their way at the ballot box, and the same tactic is used when the Greek people are asked to choose between the hell they know and one they can only imagine

Project Fear stalks Europe. In suits and ties and chaffeur-driven cars, in hurried meetings, in corridors blaring with strip lights, around the cabinet tables, in meetings where strategy is scrawled on whiteboards, in advertising agencies where earnest young people compete to unsettle us in the most effective ways.

Perhaps I am too old and dreamy to think that politics was ever about anything other than fear; that hope is a necessity not a luxury. Surely I know, really, that when you want someone to vote a certain way you have to frighten them into thinking that any alternative is worse. We may not know what we like, but we sure as hell as know what we don’t like.

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Posted in Banking, Business, Economics, Euro, Europe, European banks, European monetary union, European Union, Eurozone crisis, Financial crisis, Financial sector, Greece, World news | Comments Off

Greece debt crisis: Alexis Tsipras reportedly backs down – live

Creditors to discuss new Greek proposals as ECB considers whether to continue help for country’s banks

12.49pm BST

Meanwhile bookmaker Paddy Power has paid out a five figure sum to those who bet Greece would vote yes in Sunday’s referendum. It said:

At the time of paying out, the bookie was offering odds of 2/7 that the Greeks would pass the referendum.

Since the market opened on Monday the bookie has seen one way traffic in the betting with over 85% of all money staked in favour that the result would pass.

12.42pm BST

Gysi to Schäuble: I get it – you don’t want to do a deal w/ lefties in #Greece bc then you’d also have to do a deal w/Spain & Portugal.

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Posted in alexis tsipras, Banking, Economics, European Central Bank, European monetary union, eurozone, Eurozone crisis, Financial crisis, Greece, World news, Yanis Varoufakis | Comments Off

Greece debt crisis: Athens fails to repay IMF as bailout runs out – live updates

Greece has become the first advanced economy to fall in arrears to the IMF as its second bailout expires

Earlier:

12.16am BST

Analysts at SocGen agree that any new bailout would take time, which has implications for the ECB in terms of getting its own repayments due in July from Greece.

“Our view is that agreeing on a third bailout will be a lengthy process, which suggests that Greece will miss the ECB payment on 20 July.”

12.13am BST

Greece now joins Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe in arrears at the IMF tonight.

Here’s who else is in arrears right now (missed payments to IMF) as of end of May pic.twitter.com/waP6hNRf4I

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Where did the Greek bailout money go?

Less than 10% of the money was used by the government for reforming its economy and safeguarding weaker members of society

Only a small fraction of the €240bn total bailout money Greece received in 2010 and 2012 found its way into the government’s coffers to soften the blow of the 2008 financial crash and fund reform programmes.

Most of the money went to the banks that lent Greece funds before the crash.

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US stocks tumble as market reacts to Greek crisis with biggest fall in two years

Dow, Nasdaq and S&P suffer heavy losses and follows even bigger falls across Europe as debt drama intensifies

US stock markets on Monday suffered their biggest fall in two years as fears that Greece could drop out of the eurozone spread across the world.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 2% to 17,597 points – the biggest one-day fall since June 2013 and wiping out all of the gains made so far in 2015. The Nasdaq andS&P 500 also suffered heavy losses, closing down 2.4% and 2.1%, respectively. Financial and consumer-focused businesses suffered the largest losses.

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Greece debt crisis: Thousands of no supporters protest, as EC urges yes vote – live

Governments of France, Germany and Italy all warn that Greeks are voting on their eurozone membership on Sunday, as banks remain shut

10.29pm BST

The ratings agencies are busy tonight – Fitch has just downgraded Greece’s major banks to ‘restricted default’.

It took the move following the imposition of capital controls – had that not happened, Fitch says, they would not have survived long:

The downgrade of NBG’s, Piraeus’, Eurobank’s and Alpha’s VR to ‘f’ from ‘ccc’ reflects Fitch’s view that these banks have failed and would have defaulted had capital controls not been imposed, given the high rates of ongoing deposit withdrawal and the ECB’s decision on 28 June 2015 not to raise the Bank of Greece’s Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) ceiling.

10.21pm BST

The Guardian’s Jon Henley is in Syntagma Square tonight, and reports that No protesters are united behind one cause – bringing Greece’s dignity back:

“I want freedom for my country and dignity for its people, because right now my country does not have its freedom and its people do not have their dignity. It might be very hard work after Sunday, but freedom needs hard work.”

“But it will be worth if if that is what it takes to recover our dignity. We’re here because we’re fed up with being treated as if we were ignorant. We’re well educated, we’re civilised, we’ve been around and we’re being being treated like so much less.”

Related: ‘It’s a question of dignity’: Syriza rally demands end to ‘economic asphyxia’

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Steve Bell on the Greece and EU standoff – cartoon

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Italy will not follow Greek downturn, promises finance minister

Pier Carlo Padoan assures nation they are in a stronger position than their eurozone counterparts thanks to their ‘huge but sustainable public debt’

Italy’s finance minister sought on Monday to reassure Italians that they would not be following in Greece’s footsteps, saying that the European Central Bank (ECB) would stop any contagion in its tracks.

“Let me remind you that we are not in 2011 anymore,” said Pier Carlo Padoan, in an interview in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest daily newspaper.

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Greek debt crisis: the key points of Athens bank controls

All banks closed for at least a week, cash withdrawals capped at €60 a day and foreign money transfers banned ahead of referendum on bailout terms

Early on Monday morning, the Greek prime minister, Alex Tsipras, published a decree in the official government gazette setting out the capital controls to be imposed on the country.

The decree – entitled ‘Bank Holiday break’ – was signed by Tsipras and president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

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