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Extraordinary Eurogroup Meeting on Greece via Teleconference, No 24/2012

The finance minister of the eurozone countries are to meet at 5 p.m. today Saturday and hold an extraordinary session to discuss the next bailout tranche for Greece. The meeting will take place in the form of a video conference. Today’s meeting aims to settle a number of issues related to the Greek bailout like the sustainability of Greek debt, the possibility for Greece to buy its own bonds from the foreign investors. The Eurogroup is to meet again on  Monday, November 26th 2012, for the final decision. On Wednesday, a Eurogroup meeting failed to reach an agreement.

On the table is a mammoth loan tranche of total 44 billion euro consisting of three tranches that were supposed to be given to Greece in 2012 and were delayed for severla reasons, including the two rounds of elections. Athens anticipates the 31.5 billion euro due in 2Q 2012 to recapitalize its banks and pay outstanding debts to private suppliers. Leakages to the press claimed that the 31.5 billion euro would be given to Greece early December and the rest beginning of January 2013.

Greece but also its EU partners (Merkel, Jucker) are confident on the loan tranche disbursement.

While in Brussels in the context of EU Summit, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told journalists he felt encouraged by the discussions he had in Brussels at the sidelines of the budget talks. “We have stopped hearing people saying it is just Greece’s fault,” he said. “We now have some strong supporters. The talks will go on right up to the last minute.”

Kathimerini has seen the data that eurozone finance ministers were studying during their meeting earlier this week and it suggests that regardless of any debt restructuring, Greece will continue to need 8.4 billion euros to cover its financing needs until 2016. It also pinpoints that there is a need to find another 10 billion euros in order to ensure Greek debt is at 124 percent of GDP in 2020 rather than 144 percent if no action at all is taken.

There are several proposals on the table in order to reduce Greece’s debt by 40 to 45 billion euros by 2020. The key element to this is a bond buyback scheme, whereby Athens will be lent about 9 billion euros to repurchase its own notes at an estimated 35 percent of their nominal value. This would lead to a debt reduction of about 18 billion euros.

A reduction of 0.9 percent on the interest rate on 53 billion euros in bilateral loans made to Greece as part of the first bailout would reduce the country’s debt by about 4 billion euros. The European Central Bank returning the gains it has made from buying Greek bonds on the secondary market would save about 5 billion euros. Another billion could be saved by the European Financial Stability Facility waving its fee on loans to Greece. (ekathimerini)

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  1. robert beckman lapré

    I have been following the “Greek Tragedy”for some years now, and (starting with the excellent “paper”of the Greek economist Taris Fotopoulos in 1992 ,must assume at least someof you DID read it) and all(?)available information to us(presumably to the politicians and economits too),it seems highly (underscored)this country can be saved within ten(10)years.

  2. It looks like they’ll keep talking till all Greek perish, then come in and salvage whatever’s left of greece.

    If they want to help, then do the following:

    – Cut the rents/prices of apartments, housing, property taxes,foods, electricity, health care, medicine, bus service down to at least 50% of the current levels for at least 10 years.

    This is the only way to save Greece!

    • they do it exactly the other way around: they cut incomes to levels of 10 years ago while the rest remains at 2012.

      • incomes to levels of 10 years ago while the rest remains at 2012.

        Yes, only half of the plan is executed. Would that have something to do with the fact that the Greek rulers are also just implementing half what was agreed? (Tax-hikes and cutbacks, but no real reforms) Just wondering…

      • K says: “they do it exactly the other way around: they cut incomes to levels of 10 years ago while the rest remains at 2012”.

        >> Well, if that’s the case, then it isn’t ‘government’ thing anymore! Rather, it is exploitation, isn’t it?

        And as long as this regime is still in power, Greek people will suffer even more. Sorry, but it appears to me that way. SIGH!!!

        It also make me wonder how long a blog like this one is going to last, if next year, all of a sudden, they decide to issue a law to charge more tax on those blogs that attract many visitors? SIGH!

        • taxing writing: they are insane but not of this level. not yet.
          once the tranche is given there’ll be some gov’ changes. from what i heard last night, there will be some austerity progrma hole sin 2014, that will need at least 2 billion euro new measures (taxes or new wages/pensions cuts most possible). that will be the end of the government.

          • they are insane but not of this level. not yet.
            Don’t bet on it…
            Isn’t that why the”exceptional powers” have been introduced, so that parliament and the people can just be put before a “fait accompli” with no way to undo whatever madness they may decide on? Doesn’t it strike you as strange that immediately after the introduction of these “exceptional powers” it is made public that there is a potential need for another 10 billion. and maybe another 2 billion next year, and possibly another…
            You will be bled dry, unless you stop the madmen now.

  3. I don’t know what or if Greek people still think about economic growth. But to me, economic growth like it has happened in the 70s, 80, and early 90s is basically over, no more! due to deminishing cheap oil /cheap energy resources.

    To cope with hard times like this, if people still have some money left, they should buy arable land and/or ranch to grow food and raise poultry and try to live off (from) it.

    For those who can’t afford to buy a small piece of land/ranch, they should try to find like-minded people in the family, relatives, or close friends and pool the money together to buy one.

    That is the long-term security, real asset security; unlike those paper “securities”, namely bond, which can be ‘vaporized’ instantly.

    Those austerity measures imposed on Greece so far are, I think, are first steps of colonization of Greece. Those aristocrats are gradually turning Greece into a sweat-shops nation like China in the 80s, 90s, and present days. First will be Greece, then Portual, then Spain, and so on. The return of the old slavery era of the ancient seems not that far in the future.

    A picture of a sovereign nation (Greece) has go to bankers to beg for money is something I consider VERY abnormal/unusual. Look back into the past, in the ancient times, there were no banks, and nations were still able to thrive. People did well in the past.

    If a nation can have its own constitution, can have its own government, then it can and should have it own national bank to help keep the wealthes of its own people. If some of its citizens need money to do business or something, its national bank can loan out those money and collect the interests. With this scheme, people can enrich their own country, and can be self-sufficient. Of course, there is always corruption issue; but that is the role of education, from kindergarten through unversity, and later in every life. It should be a goal, a part of the meaningful life as a human being; Otherwise,…what do you think…?

  4. economic growth like it has happened in the 70s, 80, and early 90s is basically over

    You got it in one. What we (all of us, not just Greece) need to do is change from a profit based economy to a needs based economy. As we all know at this stage, the profit based model serves the few while punishing the many. And you know what the real sickener is? While we have very worth while UN motions on childrens rights, women’s rights, freedom charters etc, the most basic needs that every human being has (housing, food, clothing, energy) are governed by profit instead of rights charters. They are the 4 most profitable sectors of any economy, meaning they cost a lot. They are also the 4 things that poor people are always in very short supply of. In 2011 Goldman Sachs,made a profit of over 1 billion on speculating on the price of staple foods like rice, grains, etc. Barclay Capital “earned” over 5000 million in the smae game. Half of their combined profit would solve the world’s food problems. It would of course also cost them their profit, so guess what happens…

    • Let me guess and correct me if I’m wrong: I think the real sickeners are the owners of the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) in the US and their cousin in Europe -the ECB; Whereas the IMF is part of the FRB.

      as for the profit-base economy, as it has happened since Henry Ford set up the first assembly line in the US in 1913, in essence, is a debt-base economy through materialism consumption: First, loan money to people and encourage them to buy and consumpt, and pay small amount monthly later. This scheme is widely used to build up debt quickly to maximize interests, for interest is debt multiplied by interest. And interest is the profit they are seeking. Under this scheme, any person who do not have a debt, is considered “don’t have credit” –essentially saying “you’re ‘bad'”, “you must pay more for the same amount of loan”.

      Once the rope of debt are put onto the necks of the mass population, they (bankers) can sit back and collect interests till eternity! And once someone, voluntarily or unvoluntarily, is sunk into certain level of debts, it becomes very hard to get out; he/she has turned into a ‘dairy’ cow to be milked till his/her last breath of life.

      Privatization is the most profitable, the fastest scheme to ‘milk’ the mass population. But, it also is the most brutal scheme for the population. No tolerance here; if you pay your bill late, you have to pay heavy late fee, or worse they can shut off your water, or electricity. To reopen, you must pay a big lump sum. The government is not on your side now. Want to sue? the poor man can’t fight against mountains of money and army of lawyers working under them. Therefore, NO PRIVATIZATION at any cost.

      Now, let go back to the food/profit thing. Since it appears that petrolium gets harder to find everyday, and it costs a lot more to refine those sour/thich/heavy oil, which means not much profit at the end of the day, they seemed setting their eyes on arable lands, wherever they can get it (AgriBusinesses), because:

      land = food + automobile fuel (corn ethanol, soybean ethanol)

      By controlling the land, they can have control on human polulation via food production.

      In short, housing, food, water, healthcare, energy are neccessities that are even more important than human rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of press, etc…, and thus, should be incorporated in the nation’s constitution.

      • At the moment, war is being waged with money as the weapon of mass destruction. The ultimate weapon of mass destruction however is indeed food. Millions of people all over the world prove, on a daily basis, that you can survive without money. Whether you can call it a life is a different argument, but having no money does not necessarily kill you. Having no food does, as millions of people all over the world equally so prove every day.
        Instead of thinking in terms of “Special Economic Zones” Greece would indeed do well to think in terms of “Special Agricultural Zones” and ensure it becomes food-independent very soon. Every acre of land sold under the EU imposed privatization schemes is an acre of land that will not feed people when needed. If you want to see just how destructive land and food policies can be, look at Irish history from roughly 1845-1849. Roughly 1 million people starved to death, again 1 million emigrated to find work as cheap labourers in England, Scotland and North America. The desperate situation was used by those in power to initiate a massive land-grab, a pre-cursor of privatization is you want to. History is indeed something we do not want to see happening again…

        • The German’s 6th Army was defeated to surrender in the battle of Stalingrad by hunger/starvation/lack of food, NOT by lack of courage or bravery. I read a diary of a German solder who died of starvation right inside the city of Stalingrad; his last entry says he wished he could eat a small cat (before he died).

          By rationing food, North Korea dictators have been succesfull in controlling the population from revolt. It works very well in communist china and North VN, too.

          You can’t go out and protest if your stomach is empty!

          Also, you can’t (or very hard to) sleep with an empty stomach, either.

          and if you are allowed to eat only a half or a third of what you normally eat for just couple of weeks, you will be like a drug addict, keep dreaming of food all day and night. Now, even dog food will taste delicious to you!

          Now, for Greece, people should learn the experience from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 90s. The Russian was lucky in a sense that most, if not all, of them lived in public housing that have running water (and electricity?); the Russian people had some place to stay at night or when cold weather came. All they need to do to surve is to find something to fill their stomach in this hard-time. So, they grew their own food on every space they can find around their apartment, or at streets’ corners. That was what the Russian did 20 years ago.

          For Greece, Greece’s situation is different. I heard only 70% of Greek people own their houses; so that means the other 30% are on rent or move back in their parents/relatives. Greek have to pay for water and electricity, righ? If yes, then it means the problem becomes tougher for the Greek. Now, it costs to grow some vegetable pots. And I heard there are family of several members, none has a job! SIGH.

          Nevertheless, I think, very soon, we will see street gardens (and roof-top gardens) springing up all over Athens. I could be wrong, but time will tell.