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International Monetary Fund insists on additional measures for 24 billion euro by 2030

17 April 2012 / 20:04:15  GRReporter
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Quarterly Greek government bonds were sold this week at a record low interest rate compared to the levels of last year. The decrease compared with the February auction of this type of securities was 41 basis points and the interest reached 4.20%. Financial analysts comment that this development had been expected since Greece has completed the reduction of privately held debt (PSI) and the second bailout is in the process of realization. A similar positive trend was observed in the interest rates of semi-annual bonds that were traded on Tuesday at an interest rate of 4.55% or 31 basis points less.

Greece raised 1.6 billion euro from the quarterly bond auction. According to the announcement of the Public Debt Management Agency, the Ministry of Finance accepted bids for 1.25 billion euro at an interest rate of 4.2%. Total bids amounted to 3.08 billion euro and the amount required was covered 2.46 times. The Ministry of Finance has announced that it will accept non-competitive bids up to 375 million euro, which must be submitted by Friday, 20 April 2012.

Interest rates on short-term lending to Greece may begin falling gradually, but the country is not yet out of danger. This is the opinion of the International Monetary Fund, which stated that the crisis was at its peak last summer, when the negotiations about the Greek PSI were held. Although the risks of the crisis are significantly reduced as part of Greece's progress, the problems in the country remain as well as in many other countries in the European periphery and they will last for a long time, states the report. It urges Greece to make additional cuts of 24 billion euros by 2030.

The annual report of the International Monetary Fund also states that the euro area will be facing slower growth than what was planned. The Fund estimated that the efforts of the European Central Bank in conjunction with the decisions to strengthen the protection of the euro area have stabilized the markets and reduced uncertainty. Promotion of fiscal measures in Member States and structural changes have been added to the positive activities. However, the recovery process in countries like Greece and Portugal is slowing down, whereas countries such as Spain and Italy have to borrow at higher interest rates. The report of the International Monetary Fund contains an entire chapter on "What went wrong in the euro area", which states that the main drawback was the inability to forecast and prevent inefficient fiscal policies pursued by some Member States.

Meanwhile, revenue in the Greek treasury is slowing down. For the first quarter, the hole in the revenue was 357 million euro before the return of taxes under the corporate law. Neither high taxes on property, nor other high fees have helped the Greek government to achieve the set goals and the supervisory Troika calls for actions that are more effective and for expanding the scope of taxation. By March, Greece had to raise 12.3 billion euro but the report shows that not more than 11.95 billion euro were collected.

The Troika’s technical team that came to Athens last week will stay in the Greek capital to help in the process of bank recapitalization. The first tranche of the second bailout will be 25 billion euro in the form of bonds guaranteed by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). It must be repaid by the end of the week and the last step is for the Greek state to adopt the decision on the tranche, which will be voted by the Council of Ministers on 20 April 2012.


Tags: EconomyMarketsQuarterly bondsGreeceInterest ratesFinancial aid
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