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Meeting On Greek Reforms Postponed

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(RFE/RL) — A meeting of Greece’s coalition party leaders has been postponed by a day as maneuvering continues between Athens and the international community to help the Greek government avoid default.

The talks on austerity measures were originally scheduled for February 7 and had already been postponed several times, but will now be held on February 8.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was to meet instead with representatives of the European Union, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) later on February 7 to finalize the terms of a new bailout program.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on February 6 said the negotiations with international lenders were “so tough that as soon as one chapter closes another opens.”

The EU, European Central Bank, and IMF have made new austerity measures a condition of granting a second bailout worth 130 billion euros ($170 billion) that Greece needs to avoid default on its debts in March.

As part of the deal, private sector lenders are negotiating with Greece to write off up to 70 percent of the value of the money that the Greek government currently owes them.

Outside Greece, pressure has been rising on Greece’s national unity government to agree tough reforms.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told public radio that a Greek exit from the eurozone now would be less risky than if it had happened in 2010 when the Greek debt crisis first broke.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes told a newspaper that there would be no disaster if Greece left the euro.

The remarks prompted a response from European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who warned that the cost of a Greek exit from the eurozone would be “higher than the cost of continuing to support Greece.”

The Greek government’s proposed austerity measures, including new salary cuts, job losses, and tax rises, brought the country to a standstill on February 7.

The country’s public transport and ports ground to a halt as members of two of the largest Greek public sector unions went on a 24-hour strike.

In Athens, police used tear gas to prevent protesters from breaking a cordon around the parliament building.

The Greek economy, which has already shrunk 12 percent since 2008, is expected to suffer a fifth consecutive year of recession this year.

RFE RL

RFE RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

One thought on “Meeting On Greek Reforms Postponed

  • Avatar
    February 9, 2012 at 11:41 am
    Permalink

    NO bank or any corporate entity should be deemed “to big to fail”!

    World wide through various devices and tricks, thw international “financial services” industry has inflated the prices and amounts on various books, public and private to some 20-50 times the GROSS WORLD product which is esimated to be about $75TRILLION.

    To sense the ABSURDITY of this situation, one only has to imagine what would be the reaction of your friendly personal banker if you went to him with a request for a loan or line of crdit 20 times your collateral net worth?

    In a word the so called “assets” involved in this scenario are what Marx correctly sited as “FICTICIOUS CAPITAL”; in other words they simply represent paper (or electronic) documentation with NO REAL VALUE!

    In the 19th century such was the loans and deficits run up by governments and Gentry to finance wars and otherwise living beyond ones means; at that time these might amount to 10-15% of a country’s gross annual product.
    In a cyclical economic system during ‘Boom’ times little heed was paid to the debtors abilty to pay, but when the crisis of over production hit the bill collectors cometh. Accounts were then settled; some were handled honestly, others not so honestly, but when all was said and done the stage was set for the next round.

    Today though after some 100 years of Keynesian ‘grow-grow’ economic policies on a small planet of finite resources, when accounts have NOT been periodically settled the situation is radically different.
    Now through various schemes some involving defacto frauds, the whole bag is if the bankers have their way to be downloaded onto the populace in the form of “bailouts” of “sovereign debts”; supposedly these rediculous sums will be paid by taxation on those who had no hand in creating these “debts”.

    “Austerity” it is dubbed when medical care, education, infrastructure and pensions are attacked and future fruits of enterpreneur led LABOUR (the ONLY source of REAL value) are appropriated in the greatest swindle the wotld has ever witnessed.

    Reply

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