Monday, August 10, 2015
ATHENS IN INTENSE TALKS TO AVOID ANOTHER LOAN DEFAULT.
GREECE AUSTERITY SITUATION
Greece hopes to conclude bailout talks by Aug. 11-Reuters-AUG 9,15-YAHOONEWS
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece hopes to conclude negotiations with international creditors by early Tuesday at the latest, a Greek official said as talks continued in Athens on a new multi-billion euro bailout.Greece's finance and economy ministers were locked in negotiations with representatives of creditors on Sunday. Greek officials have previously said they expect the bailout accord to go to the country's parliament for approval by Aug. 18."Efforts are being made to conclude the negotiations, the horizon is by Monday night or early Tuesday," said a Greek official who declined to be named."When the new bailout comes to parliament for a vote it will be one bill with two articles - one article will be the loan agreement and the MoU (memorandum of understanding) and the second article will be the prior actions," the official said, referring to measures Greece needs to take for the bailout accord to take effect.The negotiations began on July 20. A senior Greek finance official told Reuters the aim was for a meeting of euro zone finance ministers to review the accord on Friday, Aug. 14.Athens is negotiating with European Union institutions and the International Monetary Fund for up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) in fresh loans to stave off economic collapse and stay in the euro zone. The bailout must be in place by Aug. 20, when Greece has a repayment falling due to the European Central Bank.(Reporting By George Georgiopoulos; Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Digby Lidstone)
Danish government plans referendums on EU defence opt-outs-By EUOBSERVER
6. Aug, 10:39-Denmark plans to hold a referendum on ending its opt-out from the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy, new liberal defence minister Carl Holst said in an interview with Information daily. A referendum on ending Denmark's exemption from EU justice rules is expected before the end of 2015.
Council signs regulation to exempt non-euro states from euro loan risks-By EUOBSERVER
6. Aug, 16:28-The EU Council Tuesday amended by written procedure the EFSM regulation to protect non-euro member states from risks arising from financial assistance given via the EU budget to a euro area country. This principle was endorsed on 17 July when Greece was granted a €7.16bn EFSM loan.
Athens in ‘intense’ talks to avoid another loan default-Talks over $94 billion bailout enter final stretch as deadline looms for next debt payment by cash-strapped Greece-By AFP August 9, 2015, 2:52 am-the times of israel
BRUSSELS, Belgium — Greece and its creditors were involved in “intense talks” over the weekend to agree on a new bailout before the debt-ridden country must repay 3.4 billion euros ($3.7 billion) to the European Central Bank (ECB) on August 20.European officials said sticking points still remain despite the progress being made, with a “generally positive reception…towards Greek readiness to vote on reforms this week.“It is ambitious but feasible to come to an agreement in the coming days, preferably by 20 August,” an EU diplomat said Saturday.Greece has been in discussions with officials from the ECB, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Stability Mechanism for the past week over further reforms they are demanding in return for a third bailout for up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion).With its lenders insisting on “very good co-operation” from Athens, both sides were “working flat out on a draft memorandum of understanding” and “intense talks with Greece will continue over the weekend,” another EU source said.The ECB deadline means an agreement will have to be reached by next Monday to prevent Greece having to ask for a bridging loan to stop it defaulting on another repayment.Cash-strapped Greece already missed two key payments to the IMF that were due on June 30 and July 13, but the repayments — amounting to around two billion euros — were later made possible with a short-term EU loan.Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Thursday that the talks for a new bailout were in the “final stretch.”Tsipras is under pressure from a sizable minority in his radical-left Syriza party who say the rescue package he agreed to in July piles further austerity on a weakened economy and goes against the government’s campaign pledges.But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was optimistic a further crisis could be averted. “All the reports that reach me leave me to believe that an agreement will be possible in August,” he told AFP.Berlin, whose stance forced Greece to cave in and accept further austerity measures, did not hide its doubts, however. Officials made clear earlier this week that there were “still a number of points to clear up.”According to the Sunday edition of the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a 27-page draft memorandum of reform commitments must be signed by the Greek government this weekend to allow the new bailout to go through before the August 20 repayment falls due.
Berlin doubts Greek bailout deal will be reached on time By Lisbeth Kirk-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, 6. Aug, 10:19-Germany does not believe that a deal on a third bailout for Greece can reached on time for Athens to make its next repayment to the European Central Bank (ECB).A report in the Bild newspaper on Thursday (6 August) refers to a senior government official as doubting whether an agreement can be reached, and then approved on time by parliaments, including the Greek and German ones, by 20 August.The official suggest that there might have to be a second bridging loan, similar to the €7.2bn bridging loan that saved Greece from official default on 20 July. This allowed the country to pay back loans to the ECB and the International Monetary Fund.Greece is due another repayment, of €3.4bn, to the ECB on 20 August. Negotiators have been using this is natural deadline to a wrap up talks on the bailout, worth up to €86bn.Discussions between Greece and representatives from the European Commission, the ECB, the IMF and the eurozone's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, started in the last week of July.Both Greece and the European Commission have cast the state of the talks in a positive light.“We are in the final stretch. Despite the difficulties we are facing, we hope this agreement can end uncertainty on the future of Greece,” Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday.“All the reports I am getting suggest an accord this month, preferably before the 20th,” commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told AFP.But there are several other issues that might derail the process. One concerns the IMF. It is taking part in bailout negotiations but has indicated it won’t participate in the actual bailout until Greece gets some debt relief.This could make it difficult for the German parliament to pass the deal – as Berlin neither favours debt relief or a bailout without the IMF.Prime minister Tsipras will also likely have to fight hard to get the deal though the Greek parliament with many members of his left-wing Syriza party opposed the further austerity measures that will come with the deal.Meanwhile Greece is kept afloat by ECB's emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) programme, which is legally depending on Greek banks being deemed solid.But Greek bank shares plunged for a third day on Wednesday, after the end of a five-week shutdown sparked the biggest stock market drop on record.The European Central Bank is to carry out a comprehensive assessment of Greek banks, it said in a letter sent to the European Parliament and released on Wednesday.ELA is run through Greece’s central bank but subject to approval by the ECB’s governing council. In a conference call on Wednesday the bank governors decided to keep the cap of emergency lending to Greek banks at €90.4bn for the next two weeks.
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