Once again talks go on about the economic crisis in Greece. AS politicians debate what to do, nothing ever gets resolved. The downturn continues, the hope of a “fix” disappears and the people keep suffering. I do not understand why the Greeks do not cut themselves free from this situation.
What does Europe really do for them except grow the debt. The argument that Greece has to stay in the Euro does not wash with me. How can I say this..well I lived there for 12 years, pre Europe and until 2011.
I travelled all over Europe and as a “european”, I cannot think of any obvious benefit. Life years ago was better in Greece and I cannot remember the Greeks complaining that much about it then.
The last 5 years all I heard was complaints. Whilst borrowing money it was obviously a huge party in Greece as this pot of gold was never emptying. This is not the situation now and yes they should pay back what they owe but HOW????
Is Greece not better to cut free and suffer the consequences considering they are suffering anyway. Let them go through the pain and then come out of it. This to me is the shorter path .Both roads are difficult but this current path is not working and I cannot see it ever working.
NEWS FROM around the Globe on Greece…
(Reuters) - Greece‘s international lenders failed for the second week running to agree how to get the country’s debt down to a sustainable level and will have a third go at resolving their most intractable problem in six days’ time.
After nearly 12 hours of talks through the night during which myriad options were discussed, euro zone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank failed to reach a consensus, without which emergency aid cannot be disbursed to Athens.
A document prepared for the meeting and seen by Reuters declared that Greece’s debt cannot be cut to 120 percent of GDP by 2020, the level deemed sustainable by the IMF, unless euro zone member states write off a portion of their loans to Greece.
The 15-page document, circulated among ministers, set out in black-and-white how far off-track Greece is in reducing its debt to the IMF-imposed target, from a level of around 170 percent of GDP now.
The document set out various ways Greece’s debt could be reduced between now and 2020, but concluded they would not be enough without euro zone creditors taking a hit on their own holdings — something Germany and others have said would be illegal.
The document did say Greek debt could fall to 120 percent of GDP two years later — in 2022 — without having to impose any losses on euro zone member states or forcing through a buy-back of Greek debt from private-sector bondholders.
But International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde rejected such an extension at similar talks last week.
Without any corrective measures the document said Greek debt would be 144 percent in 2020 and 133 percent in 2022, figures first reported exclusively by Reuters last week.
The document appeared designed in part to convince the IMF that Greek debt could be made sustainable just two years behind schedule if only it would soften its stance.
It remains possible that Lagarde could provide further wiggle room, but she is believed to favour the idea of euro zone member states taking a writedown on some of the loans extended to Greece in order to stick to the 120 percent in 2020 goal.
Among the main measures under consideration to bring Greece’s debt burden down as rapidly as possible is a debt buy-back under which Greece would offer to purchase bonds from private investors at a discount to their nominal value.
Several options are under consideration, officials have said and the document makes clear, including using about 10 billion euros to buy back bonds at between 30 and 35 cents in the euro.
There are also proposals to reduce the interest rate on loans already extended by euro zone countries to Greece, to impose a moratorium on interest payments and lengthen the maturities on loans, all of which would cut the debt burden.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday said the lack of a debt deal between the country’s lenders over technical reasons did not justify holding up aid to Athens.
“Greece did what it had committed it would do. Our partners, together with the IMF, also have to do what they have taken on to do,” Samaras said in a statement.
“Any technical difficulties in finding a technical solution do not justify any negligence or delays.”
A senior lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s conservatives warned on Wednesday against any writedown of public holdings of Greek debt, saying it would send a fatal signal to other bailout countries and fail to address the roots of Greece‘s woes.
Greece’s international lenders, who met in Brussels late on Tuesday, failed for the second week running to agree how to get the country’s debt down to a sustainable level and will have a third go at resolving their most intractable problem in six days’ time.
Norbert Barthle, budget spokesman for Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), told German radio it was not surprising that no agreement had been reached given opposing views over how to plug Greece’s funding gap.