Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras hit dramatic tunes about the state finances and the social situation of the country. Speaking to German daily Handelsblatt, Samaras stressed the necessity of the 31-billion-euro bailout tranche saying that Greece has money until the end of November. “Then the cash box is empty,” Samaras said.
“Antonis Samaras told a German paper in an interview published on Friday his country could not manage beyond November without the next tranche of international aid and suggested the ECB could help by easing the terms of its Greek debt holdings.
“The key is liquidity. That is why the next credit tranche is so important for us,” Samaras told the business daily Handelsblatt. Asked how long Greece could manage without it, he said: “Until the end of November. Then the cash box is empty.”
The European Central Bank could help by accepting lower interest rates on its existing Greek debt holdings “or it could approve a rollover when these bonds mature”, he said.
“I could also imagine the recapitalization of Greek banks as is being considered for Spain, which would be not accounted for on its state debts but carried out directly via the ESM. That would be a significant relief,” said Samaras.” (Reuters)
As for the political and social situation in Greece, Samaras warned of the high unemployment and the rise of neo fascist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) as “destabilizing”factors.
Samaras described Golden Dawn as “extreme-right, one could say fascist, neo-Nazi party.”
“Greek democracy is perhaps facing its biggest challenge,» he said and warned that if the coalition government fails in its task, “chaos awaits” the country, the Greek PM said. “The cohesion of society is at risk, should the reforms fail.”
Due to austerity measures and the dire economic situation, the Greeks “lost more than one third of their living standards within five years, Samaras told Handelsblatt, adding:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit the right tune, when she mentioned that her heart bleeds in the face of such hardships,” Samaras said and spoke out an unofficial invitation to Merkel to visit Athens:
“She is welcome anytime.”
PS Merkel in Athens? This I want to see…
UPDATE 40 minutes later: I wish I had wished something like 5 million euro… Angela Merkel will visit Athens next week, on October 9th 2012.