Tagged bailout

Citizen Correspondent

Much has been debated about the Plan B that would lead Greece into previously uncharted waters of a so called ‘Grexit’. The Alexis Tsipras-headed government had the very same scenario prepared, according to the ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, who led the negotiations with the Eurozone leaders and the “Institutions”. Varoufakis, in a teleconference call on July 16, alleged that his boss had given him the go-ahead to create a parallel banking system.

In a bid to boost morale and ease the financial squeeze on Greek citizens, banks reopened on Monday, 20 July, after being closed for 3 weeks. Though banks are fully operational, withdrawals will still be capped at €60 per day, but now with the possibility to withdraw a whole week’s worth in one go. Restrictions on overseas payments remain in place. Also, trading on the Athens Stock Exchange is still frozen, along with clearing services and cash settlements for Greek securities.

Citizen Correspondent

By Deniz Torcu

As of July the 13th, following tense negotiations, Eurozone leaders have reached an agreement for the new Greek bailout. A few days ago, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed an austerity plan which was nearly identical to the very one that the Greek people vetoed in the July 5th referendum. The Greek proposal includes strict measures like a unified VAT rate of 23%, elimination of discounts on islands, incrementation and/or adjustment of corporate income and property tax rates, abolition of subsidies for farmers, introduction of penalties for early retirement, privatization of state-owned companies, etc.

Citizen Correspondent

By Deniz Torcu

The image that has started to go viral in social media amongst Greek users is simple, yet strong enough to explain the stand of the majority. It says a clear “NO”, however the rejection is composed of the sentence “YES TO THE EURO”. My recent trip to Athens was a clear depiction of how devastated the country really is. The once busy neighbourhoods filled with restaurants, cafés and shops are now being replaced by two yellow signs that mark the desperation of the people: “for rent” and “for sale”, appearing side by side.

By Clément Fontan

One month ago, the Bruegel institute, a respected and influential EU think-thank, published an opinion piece by former IMF staff member Ashoka Mody. In his excellent analysis, Mody relies on leaked insider information and IMF self-criticism to condemn the Fund’s role in the Greek bailout process from 2010 to the present. In short, he reminds us that the lack of debt restructuring during the 2010 bailout was primarily aimed at protecting the holders of Greek bonds, e.g. the major French and German banks, despite its unsustainability. Then, he underlines that the structural reforms and the budget cuts worsened the economic and social conditions in Greece to such an extent that a second bailout was needed in 2012.

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