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Grexit: Greece preparing last-minute debt proposal

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Athens: The Greek government was preparing a last minute proposal for a debt repayment deal with international creditors to avert a countdown to default which may start on Tuesday evening, media reported.

Government sources said solutions were still being sought as the country was heading to a referendum on July 5 over the proposal tabled by lenders last week, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Athens is said to have received a message from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday night to accept the creditors’ draft.

The Leftist government is believed to have rejected once again the lenders’ draft as a basis for further discussion, but was preparing a new agreement proposal to submit to the other side before calling for a Eurogroup meeting as early as Tuesday evening, television channel Mega reported, citing sources.

According to other media reports, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was under pressure by a group of his close aides, ruling party radical left SYRIZA lawmakers and ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragassakis, into seizing the opportunity for last minute negotiations.

According to the reports, the government’s General Secretary Spyros Sagias has threatened to resign, while the country’s economy minister has expressed strong doubts over the referendum idea that triggered a series of developments over the past weekend after Tsipras’s announcement on Saturday.

With banks closed and capital controls imposed since Monday, the clock was ticking against Greece and the eurozone, Xinhua news agency reported.

By the evening, Greece needed to repay about 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion) in loan installments to the International Monetary Fund.

Failure to meet its obligations for a second time in a month could set in motion the procedures for default in coming weeks.

Scenarios that Greece was already on the way to the return to its own currency drachma circulated in Athens. Haris Theocharis, a former general secretary at the ministry of finance and current member of parliament with the centrist River (Potami) party, claimed that the government was making preparations for the transition.

The prime minister’s office dismissed the allegation as an “irresponsible science fiction scenario”.

(IANS)

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Greeks vote in second general election

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thebalticbriefing.com

Athens: On Sunday, Greeks voted in the second general election this year to elect a new government that will implement the three year bailout agreed in the summer with international creditors.

About 9.8 million citizens of 18 years and above were registered to vote in 19,457 polling stations nationwide. The number of new voters is 108,464.

The two front-runners are former prime minister and leader of the radical-left SYRIZA party Alexis Tsipras and Evangelos Meimarakis of the conservative New Democracy party.

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Tsipras asked weary Greek voters to deliver a “fighting government” capable of “moving forward with difficult reforms” as he cast his ballot in the country’s closely-fought election, the fifth in six years.

“The Greek people will take their future into their own hands… and seal the transition to a new era,” Tsipras said in the working-class Athens district Kypseli. “I’m confident.”

Meimarakis after casting his ballot: “I believe we will have a better future for all Greeks regardless of which party they vote for.

“I hope the result will vindicate Greek people’s sacrifices,” President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said.

Stavros Theodorakis, head of the centrist small Potami party, and Fofi Gennimata, leader of the PASOK socialist party, stressed the need for consensus after the elections.

(IANS)

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Greek bailout tranche disbursed on time

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Athens: The first tranche of Greece’s new bailout programme — the third in five years — was disbursed on Thursday on time allowing Athens to repay its maturing debts to its international creditors, the finance ministry announced.

The announcement came as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was holding a meeting with his close aides and advisors to examine the prospect of calling snap general elections in later this year, government sources said.

2015-08-20_1840Following the ratification of the new 86 billion euros ($96 billion), three-year bailout by the European Support Mechanism (ESM) on Wednesday evening, the first loan installment of 26 billion euros was paid out, Xinhua reported citing Greek news agency AMNA.

About 13 billion euros was allocated to a special account at the Bank of Greece to automatically repay a 3.4-billion euro debt to the European Central Bank (ECB) due on Thursday, a 2.2 billion euro debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the rest to pay off the 7 billion euro bridging loan ESM granted to the country in July.

Furthermore, 10 billion euros in the form of European Financial Stability Facility bonds will be used to recapitalise Greek banks, while one billion euros will be used for the payment of overdue obligations of the Greek government to the private sector.

The development clears the way for the Tsipras to decide his next moves in the domestic political scene, analysts in Athens noted.

According to the analysts, Tsipras was considering a new confidence vote in his government soon and, in case of failure to win back his party’s “rebels”, will call for snap elections in September or October.

With dissidents within the ruling Syriza party openly blasting the government of making a U-turn on the anti-austerity platform that brought the party to power last January, early polls seem almost inevitable.

Tsipras was thinking about calling the polls as early as September 13, officials said.

The second idea is to hold the elections later in October so that the government passes some bailout policies through the parliament first, on time for the first assessment by creditors that will pave the way for the discussion on the Greek debt relief.

In order to ensure that the measures will be ratified by the assembly with no problems from Syriza MPs , the premier could close the plenary so that the draft bills are put to vote in reduced summer parliamentary sessions where he can control the appointment of Syriza deputies.

(IANS)

One response to “Greek bailout tranche disbursed on time”

  1. Note the 96 Billion $ of so called bail out money, that came from the bank, is being made available to repay- meaning- return the money to the bank. Nothing is left for investment in sectors that is likely to generate wealth that will help the nation to repay their debt. On top of this- Greece will have to privatize many of the services like healthcare, social security, etc. But the exchange between Greece and Euro is being publicized as “AID” or “HELP” which in fact is the aid and help to Bankers.

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EU negotiators arrive in Athens for bailout talks

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

European Union (EU) negotiators arrived in Athens on Friday to begin discussions on a third Greek bailout.

Greek government officials are expected to hold talks during the first high-level negotiations in the Greek capital since leftist Alexis Tsipras became prime minister in January, BBC reported.

The negotiators comprise representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – the eurozone’s main bailout fund.

The move comes after Greek MPs approved tough new conditions set by the EU lenders last week.

The new conditions included an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) and pushing back the retirement age. On Wednesday, the ECB increased its cash lifeline to Greek banks by 900 million euros (about $980 million).

The IMF confirmed on Monday that Greece had cleared its overdue debt repayments of 2.05 billion euros ($2.24 billion) and was no longer in arrears.

Greece’s next major deadline is August 20, when it must pay 3.2 billion euros ($3.5 billion) owed to the ECB, followed by a payment of 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) to the IMF in September.

(With inputs from IANS)