ST. PETERSBURG: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday evening in St. Petersburg but the question of Russian financial aid for Greece was not discussed, Putin’s spokesman said, the Associated Press wrote
Tsipras had traveled to Russia as his country struggles to reach a deal with its creditors for new loans it needs to avoid defaulting on debt payments at the end of the month. Without the bailout, Greece could be headed for bankruptcy or an exit from the 19-nation eurozone.
Tsipras’ visit gave rise to speculation that the Greeks may be seeking Russian loans – and ahead of the talks, Putin’s spokesman said Russia would consider a loan if the Greeks asked for one.
“We would do this because they are our partners and this is a normal practice between countries who are partners,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told The Associated Press.
But when Tsipras met with Putin, the possibility of a loan “wasn’t discussed,” Peskov told journalists. Instead, they spoke about “the necessity of developing investment cooperation.”
Putin, Tsipras laud BRICS cooperation
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, among the many speakers at a Russian economic summit on Friday, spoke about ways to boost international trade, bolster global economic growth and the strengthening of the BRICS bloc.The BRICS capitals share key economic interests and oppose what they claim to be a US-dominated world order.
Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras noted that “economic centers of the world are shifting”.
“The economic center of the planet has shifted. There are new emerging forces that are playing a more important role geopolitically and economically. International relations are more and more characterized by multi-polarity,” said Tsipras.
“Enhanced cooperation among the BRICS countries is another manifestation of the new world order at the moment,” he added.
PM Tsipras: The problem is not Greek but European
“We are in the middle of a storm, but we are people of the sea and we are not afraid of sailing in open seas and reaching safe ports,”
Russia willing to consider loans for Greece, officialy stated
Tsipras’s visit has given rise to speculation that the Greeks may be seeking Russian loans. He meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin later Friday.
“We will support any decision [on the Greek debt crisis] that is proposed by Greece and our European partners,” Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said in an interview on RT television, the Tass news agency reported.
“The most important things for us are investment projects and trade with Greece. If financial support is needed, we will consider this question,” he said.
Dvorkovich spoke after Russia and Greece signed a deal Friday to build an extension of a prospective gas pipeline that would carry Russian gas to Europe through Turkey.
Russia promised Greece hundreds of millions of dollars in transit payments yearly if it agreed to build the pipeline. Construction of the pipeline is expected to start next year and be completed in 2019.
Putin’s spokesman said it was too early to comment on possible loans.
“To consider such a question, you first have to hear some kind of proposals or initiatives from our Greek partners,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. “To discuss this abstractly, without having any appeals or proposals, would be shortsighted”
Russia Could Come to Greece’s Rescue. That’s Bad News for the United States and NATO, Foreign Policy wrote hours earlier
Ahead of the Friday meeting, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said he “cannot comment on specific decisions” when asked if Moscow would rescue Athens.
This puts German Chancellor Angela Merkel into a difficult spot. Her own conservative party, the German people, and bankers in Frankfurt have all made clear they don’t want to continue to pay for Greece if Athens doesn’t heed calls to reform. But she’s under pressure from Washington to maintain an alliance that won’t upset the apple cart when it comes to sanctions.
“She doesn’t love the idea that Putin would be presented with a gift if Greece is alienated from Western Europe,” Mallaby said
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Yianis Varoufakis launched on air today on his personal blog Greece’s official proposals to thte last Eurogroup, urging readers to judge themselves “whether the Greek government’s proposals constitute a basis for agreement”, and answering this way to the “malicious leaks” and misinformation as he said, by plain “transparency ” (and it was not the first time the minister hmself, had to write down the Greece’s truth, word by word)
According to Brussels’ sources, Lagarde introduced herself on the June 18 eurogroup meeting to Varoufakis saying: “the criminal in chief comes to say hello”, referring to Prime Minister’s speech in Parliament couple of days earlier.
To make the bitter moments Greece is going through on the last days, a bit juicier, enjoy the most juicy tweet posted on these 24h on Yianis-Chrisitne “love-or-hate affair”
The only antidote to propaganda and malicious ‘leaks’ is transparency. After so much disinformation on my presentation at the Eurogroup of the Greek government’s position, the only response is to post the precise words uttered within. Read them and judge for yourselves whether the Greek government’s proposals constitute a basis for agreement.
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THE ROAD TO SPARTA is a short film about four individuals, including the great Dean Karnazes, running the 2014 Spartathlon, a 246 kilometre ultra-marathon between Athens and Sparta.
It will not, however, be a straightforward sports documentary; it is more of an artumentary where sport meets history meets music, a film of brain, brawn and beauty.
Through Dean Karnazes, THE ROAD TO SPARTA will look at the history of the race which dates back to 490BC and the ancient Greek runner Pheidippides while the Greek band Old House Playground will be composing an original score for the film.
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“Our proposal is to link the payment of the loans’ interest rates with the growth of the Greek economy. If there is no growth, as is the case right now, Greece will not pay interest rates.
“I am neither a friend nor an opponent of Mr. Varoufakis. I am a friend of the good ideas that improve the situation and that is why I find the proposal correct because the Greek government assumes greater responsibility, the burden of Greece’s debt alleviates and is ensured that at some point in the distant future, when Greece recovers then it will be able to service its debt and interest, while the Greek people will be able to afford the burden of debt. I think that this is a good compromise,” he noted.
Moreover, he expressed the view that there will be a new haircut of the Greek debt. “Even if the issue of a haircut is considered a taboo at the moment in Europe and Germany, I am deeply convinced that there will be another cut. There is no alternative, if not immediately, probably later, when we find that the debt burden is simply too big. A part of the 240 billion euros was used to repay debt and interest rates. Yes, one can say that it did not remain in Greece … I do not know the exact figures, but certainly more than half the debt has been paid to lenders.”
He also estimated that the new government in Greece is an opportunity for a new start. Greece needs a political jolt, a political renewal. Nevertheless, I regret that it did not make good use of this chance … the Greek government rightly argues that we must deal with social injustices, to see how people will ensure minimum living conditions. Its failure is that it has not given a clear message that it wants to renew the country economically and politically. I
As the correspondent of Mega channel in Berlin revealed, the Mega reported, the dialogue of the two men, according to German sources was as follows:
Jack Lew: Greece has to be supported
Schäuble: Why not let YOU ( the US) pay 50 bln euros to be saved!
Jack Lew …On this point , of Ja ck Lews not-a-word for an answer, the German sources, the greek report said, have explained that“When Money quest comes at the table, Washington always sets back …”.
An impressive list of some of the world’s top economists and professors, even a Nobel Laureate included in the list, penned a letter to the Financial Times asking for economic sanity” and “humanity” from Europe, calling the programs the Eurozone is imposing on Greece “demonstrably failed.”
The complete text of the letter follows:
The future of the EU is at stake in the negotiations between Greece and its creditor institutions, now close to a climax. To avoid failure, concessions will be needed from both sides. From the EU, forbearance and finance to promote structural reform and economic recovery, and to preserve the integrity of the Eurozone. From Greece, credible commitment to show that, while it is against austerity, it is in favour of reform and wants to play a positive role in the EU.
In a letter to the FT in January, several of us said: “We believe it is important to distinguish austerity from reforms; to condemn austerity does not entail being anti-reform.” Six months on, we are dismayed that austerity is undermining Syriza’s key reforms, on which EU leaders should surely have been collaborating with the Greek government: most notably to overcome tax evasion and corruption. Austerity drastically reduces revenue from tax reform, and restricts the space for change to make public administration accountable and socially efficient. And the constant concessions required by the government mean that Syriza is in danger of losing political support and thus its ability to carry out a reform programme that will bring Greece out of the crisis. It is wrong to ask Greece to commit itself to an old programme that has demonstrably failed, been rejected by Greek voters, and which large numbers of economists (including ourselves) believe was misguided from the start.
Clearly a revised, longer-term agreement with the creditor institutions is necessary: otherwise default is inevitable, imposing great risks on the economies of Europe and the world, and even for the European project that the eurozone was supposed to strengthen.
Syriza is the only hope for legitimacy in Greece. Failure to reach a compromise would undermine democracy in and result in much more radical and dysfunctional challenges, fundamentally hostile to the EU.
Consider, on the other hand, a rapid move to a positive programme for recovery in Greece (and in the EU as a whole), using the massive financial strength of the Eurozone to promote investment, rescuing young Europeans from mass unemployment with measures that would increase employment today and growth in the future. This could both transform the economic performance of the EU and make it once more a source of pride for European citizens.
“How Greece is treated will send a message to all its eurozone partners. Like the Marshall plan, let it be one of hope not despair.”
Prof Joseph Stiglitz
Columbia University; Nobel Prize winner of Economics
Prof Thomas Piketty
Paris School of Economics
Former prime minister of Italy; president of FEPS (Foundation of European Progressive Studies)
Prof Stephany Griffith-Jones
IPD Columbia University
Prof Mary Kaldor
London School of Economics
Transnational Institute, Amsterdam
Prof Marcus Miller
Prof John Grahl
Middlesex University, London
Economists Against Austerity
Prof Panicos Demetriadis
University of Leicester
Prof Trevor Evans
Berlin School of Economics and Law
Prof Jamie Galbraith
Dept of Government, University of Texas
Prof Gustav A Horn
Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK)
Prof Andras Inotai
Emeritus and former Director, Institute for World Economics, Budapest
Sir Richard Jolly
Honorary Professor, IDS, Sussex University
Prof Inge Kaul
Adjunct professor, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
Prof Jacques Mazier
University of Paris
Dr Robin Murray
London School of Economics
Prof Jose Antonio Ocampo
Prof Dominique Plihon
University of Paris
Peterson Institute for International Economics
Prof Mario Pianta
University of Urbino
Shifting Wealth Consultancy
Dr Ernst Stetter
Secretary General, FEPS (Foundation fro European Progressive Studies)
Prof Simon Wren-Lewis
Merton College Oxford
“They believed that by cutting wages and accepting other austerity measures, Greek exports would increase and the economy would quickly return to growth,” Stiglitz said last week. “They also believed that the first restructuring would lead to debt sustainability. The troika’s forecasts have been wrong.”
The current proposals repeat the same mistake,
the Guardian article on June 7 underlined
Tsipras and his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, may specialise in needling their creditors, but the troika also need to take into account the fact that Syriza has formed a legitimate, democratically elected government and cannot be told that its electoral programme is irrelevant.
So Lagarde and European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker must be the ones to table further compromises.
Neither was in charge when the first Greek bailout set all sides on the current disastrous path, the gurdian underlined, concluding that
They should explain to Ireland and Portugal, also suffering austerity, that Greece is too weak to survive more bloodletting.
“I have to admit” said Alexis Tsipras briefing the Parliament on Friday 5, evening, “that the suggestion I recieved in Brussels from Jean Claude Juncker surprised me disobligingly. I could not have imagined, I confess, that after three months of step by step negotiations we would finally deliver a proposal that would have not taken into account the Brussels Group negotiations.
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Dijsselbloem: “Everytime I meet Juncker, he embraces me and I get wet kisses”
“In an interview with Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem speaks among other about his relation with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Dijsselbloem says that his relation to the former Eurogorup chief had really improved after he apologized twice for describing him as “a smoker and drinker.”
“We call almost weekly to match what we say about Greece. Every time I met him, he embraced me and I get wet kisses.”
Below an excerpt from the Dutch Magazine translated via automatic trasnlation
Last year Dijsselbloems frankness again led to an international row when he called Jean-Claude Juncker in the TV program Knevel & Van den Brink an “inveterate smoker and drinker.” The quote went all over the world. Juncker, who had just been nominated for the presidency of the European Commission, found itself forced to publicly declare that he had “no alcohol problem”.
The ill-advised Dijsselbloem could have even a cost for a possible position as Commissioner: when Juncker as chairman was appointed, went into the media the persistent rumor that he would block out of anger Dijsselbloem’s candidacy..
“I have confirmed several officials,” says Peter Spiegel, who is one of the best established correspondents in Brussels. “Juncker has an elephant’s memory. He forgets nothing. ”
Dijsselbloem himself believes that his statement did not permanently damage the relationship with Juncker. “It was an unfortunate joke, where Jean-Claude had a lot of trouble with. I twice apologized. First by telephone and later by a cup of coffee. It must also be done, you can stay busy. “
Meanwhile, Dijsselbloem says he has a” good relationship “with Juncker.
“We call almost weekly to match what we say about Greece. Every time I met him, he embraced me and I get wet kiss. “Grinning. ” He seems to do that to everybody. “ (full interview Vrij Nederland)