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live Greek political leaders do not agree to the suggestions of the Troika

29 January 2012 / 13:01:06  GRReporter
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Political leaders in Greece do not agree with the conditions which the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union have laid down for signing the contract for the new financial assistance package of 130 billion euro. Without this aid Greece will not be able to fulfill its obligations to creditors and will officially go bankrupt. On 20th of March, bonds worth 14.4 billion euro are maturing and the national Treasury simply does not have enough money. Today at 13.00 at the residence of the Prime Minister Lucas Papadimos the leaders of the three parties that support the government will gather, in order to find a way out of the difficult position. George Papandreou on behalf of PASOK, Antonis Samaras on behalf of New Democracy and George Karadzeferis from Laos will have to say "yes" or "no" to the new financial aid with all the ensuing consequences for the country.
    "Whoever makes the people face the dilemma between economic assistance or national dignity ignores the basic lessons of history," said the Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos. These words are quite indicative of the mood that prevails not only among politicians but also among ordinary citizens of Greece. "Greece is the one that has the responsibility and also has the reasons to implement the program. Greek people realize the amount of aid they receive from its institutional partners in Europe and through the sacrifices they make they will meet their historical obligation to take the country out of the deep economic and social crisis", he said.

    Meanwhile it became clear that the Greek government has hired foreign and Greek law firms to develop the legal basis for the partial collapse of the country. It is preparing to take unilateral change (unilateral action) of the conditions under which bonds have been issued with a maturity date 20th of March. Instead of paying this 14.4 billion euro it is preparing to issue new bonds with later maturity. The decision will be voted by parliament. Thus Greece will not be pressed by the date 20th of March in order to introduce the necessary reforms requested by the Troika, but it will be able to hold elections even after 20th of March, in which citizens would be able to clearly state whether they want these reforms or not. The vote will show clearly whether the Greeks want to stay in the euro area, and most of all whether they are ready to stay there.

In the event of a unilateral action Greece will also renounce the PSI, regardless of whether it will come to some agreement with the private creditors. Whatever debt cut will be made, the country will have to pay in cash 15 percent of its obligations to creditors, or this is 30 billion euro. This money also can not come from the empty state Treasury, but must be derived from the rescue package of 130 billion euro. In an official release of the Institute of International Finance it was stated that Greece and its private creditors are about to finalize the agreement for the Greek debt cut, which is expected to happen over the next week. "It will be done within the conditions announced officially by the President of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker". This was noted at the statement of Charles Dallara, managing director of the institute. Observers, who know the nature of the negotiations, explain that this means that private creditors have agreed to an interest rate lower than 4 per cent.

It is worth noting that the bonds which mature on 20th of March are part of the government securities issued during the first six months of 2009. At that time Costas Karamanlis was the Prime Minister of Greece, and Yiannis Papathanassiou was the Minister of Finance. Then, in four months they managed to take as much loans as the government has managed to take for a whole year. Only during this period of time, Greece took 42.5 billion euro through bonds with 3 -, 5 - and 10-year maturity period. The interest rate on three-year bonds is 4.3 per cent – i.e. about 1% -1.5% higher than the interest rate in previous years. In 2009 elections were held twice in the country – for local authorities and for the Parliament.
    During the last day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Nobel Prize winner Nouriel Roubini estimated that Greece will leave the eurozone within the next 12 months. Portugal will follow it, but not immediately. According to the economist there is a 50 percent chance for the eurozone to collapse within the next three to five years.


Tags: Greek debt bonds political leaders bankruptcy euro area private lenders supervisory Troika
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