Greek News Update

A Greek news website.

Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the outlook of the EU

The international rating agency has downgraded the outlook of the Union’s economy from “stable” to negative.

According to Standard & Poor’s the negative evaluation of the Union’s economic outlook reflects the existence of an already negative outlook for countries like Britain and France(nations that contribute the most, after Germany, to EU budget), as well as the repeated use, by the EU of its balance sheet for financing high-risk members, such as Greece.

The rating agency estimates that the probability of degradation of the EU creditworthiness over the next two years is greater than 1 in 3.

The rating agency has maintained the EU’s credit rating at AA +.


The Conspiracy of Cells of Fire threatens with new armed attacks

A new letter was published online by members of the organization Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, threatening with armed attacks, bombs, and sabotage.

“We want, with our activity, armed attacks, executions, bombs, fires, sabotage to spread disorder and short-circuit the system” mentions the letter, suggesting, in fact, the formation of “small, flexible cells of direct action, that will map the metropolis, devise plans, choose goals and attack”.

The “Cells” say they want to become a chaotic variable and an agent of destabilization of the system.

Moreover, they advocate the formation of “small, flexible core direct action, mapping the metropolis, devise plans, choose goals and attack.”

The lengthy letter, which also says that “Greece is a defective gear of the economic engine and that the fall will be violent and abrupt”, was published on the website

The creditors demand the application of 16 measures by the Greek government

A list of I6 measures was put up for discussion, by the representatives of Greece’s creditors, during the negotiations with Ministers of Finance and Economy Euclid Tsakalotos and George Stathakis,that took place on Friday.

The measures which owe to be accomplished within three months (September-November-October) include, among others, the change of SYRIZA laws for reposition in the public sector and hospitals, the law for large debt settlements (over 100,000 euro), and even the subsidies to the Greek Sugar Industry.

Other measures Greece has to implement in order to receive new funding include the elimination of tax exemptions to farmers, increased taxation to shipowners, limiting early retirements, reduction of the cost of heating allowances and even the reduction of the limit of inseizability of salaries and pensions for all those who owe money to the State and the banks.

Recapitalization of the Greek banks by the end of the year

The recapitalization of the banks was one of the main issues discussed during the negotiations with the institutions at the meeting of the Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos with John Stournaras, and the Governor of the Bank of Greece with representatives of the creditors.

By October the simulation exercises in extreme situations (stress tests) of Greek banks will be completed and the recapitalization will arrive by the end of 2015.

At that point, there are two different options relative to the recapitalization.

The first way, is for the recapitalization to be funded by the Financial Stability Fund (the cost being added to public debt) and not directly by the ESM.

In the second scenario the recapitalization with be funded with direct resources of the European Stability Mechanism accompanied by the risk of “haircut” of deposits. The Regulation of the ESM provides that for in case of direct recapitalization an 8% haircut in shares, bonds and deposits over 100,000 euro is required.

The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises records unbearable conditions for the Greek enterprises due to the capital controls

Businesses in Greece are experiencing unbearable conditions according to the monthly economic activity sheet of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises due to tight liquidity in the banking system and restrictions on capital movement which are imposed since 29.6.2015.

Economic activity has declined sharply, while significant shortcomings being observed in the availability and the imports of products and raw materials.

That decline has a catalytic effect throughout the supply chain and involves plummeting of business turnover, reduced production, canceled orders and exports, major delays in domestic payments and stopping cross-border payments or application of very adverse conditions (ex. pre-payments to 100%). These conditions are not yet fully reflected in official data released last month, but negative changes are already being recorded in several indicators:

The economic sentiment indicator presents an image of collapse in July 2015 (at 81.3 points from 90.7 the previous month), with business forecasts for new orders and exports being particularly pessimistic. A similar picture emerges in relation to consumer confidence, households’ expectations for unemployment and expectations of business other than retail, on the future of employment.

The damaging effects of the political uncertainty are also reflected in the outflow of deposits recorded in June 2015 (a total of € 7,7 billion), bringing total deposits to € 122,2 billion, ie the levels of the last months of 2003.

Unemployment, despite the marginal improvement in April 2015, remains very high (25.6%).

Tsipras admits ordering Plan B, denies planning Grexit

“Of course I personally gave order to the ex Finance Minister to group up a team to devise an emergency and defense plan for the country” said Alexis Tsipras on the Parliament about Yanis Varoufakis’s Plan B  responding to a question posed by the President of PASOK Fofi Gennimata. ‘If I haven’t done so I would be politically naïve’ he added, denying though that his government was planning a grexit.

“If our European partners and creditors were preparing a grexit plan, shouldn’t we design our defenses, in case of realization of the threats;” wondered Mr Tsipras and referring to the accusations that his government was planning a grexit he added; “If we wanted to take the country out of the euro and we were conducting secret plans then, after taking 63% (in the June referendum) why didn’t we took the country out of euro;” asked Mr Tsipras

Then Mr Tsipras accused the President of PASOK saying: “The next time you search for scandals and illegal actions search your party, not the government Syriza-ANEL, not Yanis Varoufakis”.

By a recent decision a Supreme Court prosecutor, enabled the opening of an investigation which could lead for criminal charges to be brought against Gianis Varoufakis, following his admission of a plan to hack Greece’s tax service to set up a parallel payment system.

Mr Varoufakis and his team could face multiple charges ranging from dereliction of duty to overseeing the formation of a criminal gang.

In a recent article Nobel Laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman expressed his view that for the greek government to prepare a Plan B in case of a euro exit was only natural. “II mean, really: it would have been shocking if there weren’t contingency plans,” Krugman writes. “Preparing for something you know might happen doesn’t show that you want it to happen.”

Refugee Crisis in Greece: the government plans the creation of a First Reception Centre in Athens

The creation of a First Reception Centre for immigrants launches the Greek government in order to respond to the Refugee crisis within the country.

Speaking on the Parliament Alexis Tsipras described the situation of the immigrants living to Areos Park in Athens as “critical” and noted that immediate action must be taken.

During Parliamentary control The Prime Minister said that “there is no issue of public safety or hygiene -the KEELPNO is already there-and the issue is being addressed in order to find an immediate solution”.

Mr. Tsipras assured that finding a proper space for their transfer is only a matter of a few days if not hours.

refugee crisis greece

Most of the immigrants residing in Areos Park are coming from Afghanistan and they arrived to Athens mainly through the island of Lesvos.

Mr. Tsipras informed the other MPs that the personnel handling the situation is enforced with municipal policemen and confirmed the launch of a First Reception Centre in Lesvos. He noted though, that in order for the issue to be addressed effectively, action must be taken too by the European Union.

According to the most recent figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, of the more than 77,000 arrivals in Greece since the beginning of the year, 85% are refugees.

More than 60% of these are fleeing the conflict in Syria, with others escaping continued violence in Afghanistan.

With more than1,000 refugees arriving each day on the Greek island of Lesvos, the lack of basic assistance such as food, water and healthcare is a serious concern, says the International Rescue Committee.

The Central Committee of Syriza voted for an emergency congress on September

Alexis Tsipras

The proposition of Aleksis Tsipras on holding an emergency congress on September was accepted by Syriza’s Central Committee, a few minutes after midnight, while the proposition on a snap party referendum was quickly rejected and it was not even put on a vote. The option of a permanent congress in August was withdrawn too.

After the vote, the Left Platform, which firmly opposes Tsipra’s political actions, released an announcement where it comments: “The convening of an emergency congress in Fall, after the vote on the Parliament of the memorandum agreement that will bind the country, has absolutely no meaning, as the delegates will be asked afterwards to ratify decisions already taken and highly damaging for the country”.

The Central Committee has also adopted a resolution against the targeting of Syriza’s members by the Greek media and what they called as “phenomena of cannibalism that are taking place the last few days in the TV stations’.

At his opening speech Tsipras pointed the finger to the dissenters within his party saying: “”We are telling the Greek people loud and clear and with no remorse that this is the deal we managed to bring to them and if there is someone who thinks that they could have achieved a better deal, let them come out and say that”.

Syriza MPs and outspoken opponents of the recent agreement with troika, Panagiotis Lafazanis and Zoi Konstantopoulou took the stage to attack the government’s choices.

Panagiotis Lafazanis said that there is no democracy in Greece anymore but a dictatorship of the euro and stressed the need for an alternative option to the “one-way option of euro”. Zoi Konstantopoulou mentioned that Syriza has no popular mandate to bind the country with a Memorandum.

The Athens Stock Exchange to reopen on Monday


The reopening of the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE)  market is postponed for next Monday but not without restrictions for Greek investors.

While the transactions with foreign investors will be totally unrestricted, the Greek investors won’t be able to buy shares using “old money” in fear of further capital outflow. They will be able, though, to make purchases using money from abroad as well as the existing capitals available as balances in trading companies.

In order for the stock market to reopen a ministerial decision is required. The computer systems of the banks will have to adapt to the new restricting situation for local investors.

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) has been shut since June 29 when the Greek government decided to close banks and to limit the withdrawals and foreign transfers.

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