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Running out of cash and time…EU offers $2 billion in unused funds to Greece

Running out time and cash, the European Commission has decided to make $2 billion of unused funds available to Greece to help the country avert a financial meltdown, EC head Jean-Claude Juncker says.

Alex Christoforou

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European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EC has just made $2 billion of unused funds available to Greece to help the country avert a cash crunch.

Rumors were abound that Greek state coffers ran out of money…TODAY. As with all things in Greece, it came down to the very last day, minute, and second.

Zerohedge reports…

Moments ago, the German DAX roared gingerly back over 12,000 dragging US equity futures alongside it, with the catalyst cited as the somewhat optimistic tone following the three hours of talks held late last night to try to break an impasse that risks sending Athens stumbling of the euro zone. As a result, a smiling if only through his teeth, Tsipras said Greece was “moving swiftly to meet creditors’ demands for a detailed economic reform plan” and assured euro zone leaders his leftist-led coalition would speed up work to avert bankruptcy.

Still, nothing that happened last night actually unlocks any new money. Reuters reports that “while a joint statement by the EU institutions spoke of a “spirit of mutual trust” and Tsipras said he left feeling more optimistic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed no money would be released before Athens implements budget measures and other reforms that it has so far been reluctant to accept.”

The risk of a continued standoff, exactly a month after Greece secured a last-gasp four-month extension of an EU/IMF bailout, was highlighted by different descriptions by Tsipras and Merkel about what reforms Athens would need to launch.

“It is clear that Greece is not obliged to implement recessionary measures,” the 40-year-old leftist premier told reporters, referring to previously agreed reforms. “Greece will submit its own structural reforms, which it will implement.”

But Merkel, facing mounting resistance in Europe’s richest state to continued lending to keep an erratic partner in the common currency area, insisted that only the full completion of already approved measures would satisfy the creditors.

“The reference point is the agreement of Feb. 20,” she said. “We have not changed one iota. You may have heard some of this before. But then not much has happened in the last few weeks.”

So once again, the market looks forward, this time to Monday when Tsipras will make a much anticipated visit to Merkel in Berlin, and where EU officials said that if Greece did come up with a convincing plan to get its debts under control, “euro zone finance ministers could meet soon to release at least some funds to help it meet pressing commitments in the coming weeks.”

In Athens on Friday, government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said: “Once the reforms are submitted, and in a detailed manner, to the Euro Group when that happens … then the funding will be unlocked towards the Greek economy.”

In other words, “this time the Greek promises of reforms are different” at least as far as the algos are concerned, even if we have all seen the same song and dance countless times before:

But just to sweeten the pot and make sure those OTM calls the “unnamed official” had on the Dax lead to generous profits, moments ago Bloomberg also noted, the following:

  • EUROGROUP COULD MEET AS EARLY AS MARCH 27 ON GREECE: OFFICIAL
  • EUROGROUP COULD GIVE GREECE EU1.9B SMP PROFITS: OFFICIAL
  • EUROGROUP COULD APPROVE GREEK AID PAYMENT IF MEASURES APPROVED

Which is of course ironic because earlier today Greece was said to have made the latest €350MM payment to the IMF, so what the Troika continues to do is merely agree to lend money to Greece so that Greece can repay the Troika almost immediately.

And meanwhile, the hole gets deeper and deeper, and here is the actual math from Bloomberg:

With Greece’s coffers emptying and payments looming, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government is coming ever closer to a financial day of reckoning.  

While Tsipras may have bought some time after yesterday’s European Union summit in Brussels, he still isn’t saying what’s left in the bank and acknowledges Greece is facing “liquidity pressure.” The country’s cash shortfall is projected to hit 3.5 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in March, according to Bloomberg calculations based on 2015 budget figures.

Even assuming a €1.9 billion payment is made to Greece on the condition that Greece proposes and implements, and this means sending in the “hated” Troika to supervise, Greece will still have nearly a €2 billion shortfall all else equal.

In other words, the Dax may be soaring on Greek optimism, but the money has run out, and for Greece, so has time.

At this point the only thing remaining is admitting it.

References:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-20/german-dax-surges-over-12000-greek-optimism-money-has-run-out

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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