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Everything you need to know about this unfolding Greek tragedy #greekcrisis #ECB #IMF

Written by Jason Karaian  wlo is Senior Europe Correspondent for Quartz, based in London.  Before moving to London he was a macroeconomic analyst in Chicago, where he developed an affinity for data and statistics that he now uses to enrich—and demystify—stories about the business world. 

Democracy is messy. The Greeks know this better than most, having essentially invented the concept. 

But by unexpectedly calling for a public vote on its latest bailout proposal, the Greek government—in the name of democracy— has triggered a highly uncertain sequence of events that it seems ill-equipped to manage. The latest brinksmanship led Greeks to empty their bank accounts over the weekend, fearing for the stability of the country’s teetering financial system.

To stem the tide, banks will be closed on Monday (June 29), with withdrawals at cash machines likely limited to just €60 per day when they do reopen. These drastic restrictions are necessary to keep the banks afloat, and more importantly, to keep Greece in the euro zone. The euro itself took a bit of a beating in early Asian trading.

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Greek crisis: as bailout deadline nears, is anyone in control?

Greeks are experts in drama but amid uncertainty over a deal between debt-stricken country and its creditors, Graccident could be the act no one foresaw

helenaBy Helena Smith who is the Guardian’s correspondent in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus


This article is posted in the British newspaper Guardian. Go to


Thirteen days before its access to vital bailout funds end, Greece is in a defiant mood.

In the corridors of parliament this morning – where the debt truth committee will announce its findings in the presence of the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras – almost everyone agrees: a deal to keep Athens solvent and in the eurozone has never been “as near or as far away”.

It is there, almost within reach – and behind all the bluster a deal is certainly what Tsipras and most of his radical left Syriza party wants – and yet one day before eurozone finance ministers gather for what may well be their most crucial meeting since the crisis erupted five years ago, it is still far from being sealed.

Greeks are experts in drama, and in their modern incarnation tragedy in particular. What seems like insanity abroad – the tactics of a suicide bomber on a grand scale – are being brushed off here as the crescendoing of a drama now reaching its climax.

“I would say that now the real negotiation is beginning,” Tsipras told Syriza MPs on Tuesday. The anti-austerity government is drawing a line in the sand not because it believes it has nothing to lose but, say insiders, because it believes it has everything to gain.

On Wednesday morning, the tone is conciliatory – with the minister in charge of revenues, Dimitris Mardas, saying Greece will do its best to meet its debt obligations, starting with the €1.6bn (£1.1bn) it owes at the end of the month to the IMF (a far cry from what Tsipras had insinuated on Tuesday).

But later in the afternoon, it could well turn ugly again. Brinkmanship has no rules. It’s very hot in Athens . Out on the streets people walk around semi-dazed and in slow motion – partly to conserve their energy in this, the summer’s first mini heatwave.

The government’s negotiating tactics are playing well: thousands will descend on squares around the country in a display of support tonight. Those who gather in Syntagma Square, outside the Greek parliament, at 7.30pm will do so under the banner “We take negotiations in our hands – we demolish austerity”. And those who gather, a little later at 8pm, will do so under the slogan “We are staying in Europe”. Both will take place against a backdrop of fears that Grexit could come by Graccident – an act in the drama that no one has foreseen. Is anyone in control? No one, not even the protagonists, really know.

Greece brands creditor demands unacceptable as endgame nears

The Telegraph

Greece vows never to ‘surrender’ to creditors as talks between Athens and Brussels fail to break impasse

szu-headshot_1950373jBy  who is a Business reporter. She writes about economics and helps to edit the Finance channel.

Greece has described demands from its creditors to reach a debt deal as unacceptable, as late night talks in Brussels failed to break the deadlock between the two sides.

Athens vowed on Thursday never to “surrender” to its European creditors. Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, told reporters that Greece’s plan formed the only “realistic proposals on the table’.

According to reports in the Greek media, the demands by the EU, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund that were presented by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to Mr Tsipras in a late night meeting included:

  • Achieve a primary surplus of 1pc this year, 2pc in 2016, 3pc in 2017 and 3.5pc in 2018
  • VAT increases of €1.8bn (£1.3bn) in 2015
  • Double the lowest rate on VAT to 11pc, which currently applies to medicines and energy bills
  • Implement pension cuts worth 0.5pc of GDP (or around €900m) for 2015 and 1pc in 2016
  • Abolish a benefit given to anyone over 60 and earning less than €8,500 per year

“The realistic proposals on the table are the proposals of the Greek government,” Mr Tsipras told reporters early on Thursday. He said the Syriza-led coalition would not “make the same mistakes, the mistakes of the past”.
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