Παρασκευή, 22 Ιουνίου 2012

marilena: INCOME INEQUALITY IN AMERICA Worsening wealth ineq...

marilena: INCOME INEQUALITY IN AMERICA Worsening wealth ineq...: The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap, and race is a major factor. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- White Americans have 22 times m...

INCOME INEQUALITY IN AMERICA Worsening wealth inequality by race By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney June 21, 2012: 1:09 PM ET

The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap, and race is a major factor.

The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap, and race is a major factor.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacks -- a gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession.
The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.
The difference is similarly notable when it comes to Hispanics, who had a median household net worth of $7,424. The ratio between white and Hispanic wealth expanded to 15 to 1.
The gap between the races widened considerably during the recent economic downturn, which whites weathered better than blacks, Hispanics and Asians.
The latter three groups saw their median household net worth fall by roughly 60% between 2005 and 2010, while the median net worth for white households slipped only 23%.
This allowed whites to leap ahead of Asians as the race with the highest median household net worth.
The racial wealth divide is nothing new. Black and Hispanic Americans have historically had lower incomes, higher unemployment and less education.
That makes it more difficult for these groups to save money and put their capital to work building wealth, said Tatjana Meschede, research director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University.
The Great Recession exacerbated the problem. In 2005, the net worth difference wasn't quite as stark. Whites had 12 times more wealth than blacks and 8 times more than Hispanics.
The main reason blacks and Hispanics did not fare as well during the economic downturn is that home equity makes up more of their wealth than it does for whites. The housing bubble that preceded the collapse pushed up homeownership rates among blacks and Hispanics, who relied more heavily on high-cost subprime loans to finance their purchases.
As a result, the implosion of the real estate market had a more devastating impact on black and Hispanic communities.
Asians, meanwhile, are more concentrated on the West Coast, which was hit harder by the mortgage meltdown. And the arrival of new Asian immigrants in the last decade contributed to the decline in overall wealth, according to Rakesh Kochhar, co-author of the Pew Research Center report on wealth.
Pew found that in 2005, home equity made up nearly two-thirds of the net worth of Hispanics and 59% of blacks, but only 44% of whites.
Blacks and Hispanics are also less likely to have assets in the financial system, such as savings accounts or stocks, Kochhar said.
And these groups also suffer from far higher unemployment rates than whites, whose unemployment rate is 7.4%, below the national average. Blacks, on the other hand, have a 13.6% unemployment rate and Hispanics, 11%.

The widened wealth chasm could have major ramifications going forward, experts said.
Having less wealth and home equity means it will be more difficult for blacks and Hispanics to send their children to college, which gives them a leg up on landing good jobs, said Roderick Harrison, senior research scientist at Howard University. That will further extend the wealth gap.
"The implications will be with us into the next generation, which will have greater difficulty in getting the kinds of jobs needed to start saving and building wealth," Harrison said. To top of page

marilena: Twitter crashes hard, Internet freaks out By Julia...

marilena: Twitter crashes hard, Internet freaks out By Julia...: Twitter crashed so hard on June 21 that the site didn't even display the famous "Fail Whale." Instead, it simply timed out. NEW YO...

Twitter crashes hard, Internet freaks out By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech June 21, 2012: 3:34 PM ET

twitter down

Twitter crashed so hard on June 21 that the site didn't even display the famous "Fail Whale." Instead, it simply timed out.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Cue the collective Internet freakout! Twitter went down for several hours on Thursday afternoon, depriving users of a place to complain that Twitter was down.
The Twitter outage began at 11:59 a.m. ET, according to Twitter's page on tracking site Pingdom. Service returned intermittently around 1 p.m., but less than an hour later, Twitter crashed again.
"Engineers are currently working to resolve the issue," a Twitter spokeswoman told CNNMoney.
Twitter updated its status blog at 1:42 saying "the issue has been resolved and all services are currently operational" -- but at 2:16, another update from Twitter backtracked and said "the issue is on-going."
An hour later, Twitter seemed to be working for most users. Shortly after 3 p.m. ET, Twitter's PR account tweeted that the issue was caused by "a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components."
That explanation came after a hacker group, UGNazi, claimed to several media outlets that it had taken Twitter down in a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
The June 21 Twitter outage was the longest service disruption since an hour-long episode on October 7, which came during a month filled with hundreds of very brief outages, according to Pingdom's data.
Downtime is a common problem for websites, though Twitter has been far better lately than it was a few years ago, when the site became notorious for its extensive outages.
Thursday's crash was extensive enough that Twitter didn't even display its famous "Fail Whale" error message. Instead, the site simply timed out.
Twitter's temporary demise sent users to other social networks, including the blogging site Tumblr. As one commenter put it on CNNMoney's own Tech Tumblr: "I enjoy the fact that when Twitter goes down, my Tumblr explodes. :)"
Others confirmed the crash by checking sites like outage trackerdownforeveryoneorjustme.com -- which, coincidentally, is the brainchild of a Twitter engineer.
Alex Payne wrote about his creation in a 2008 blog post, which also chronicled Twitter's growing pains at the time: "Of late, I've tried as much as possible to focus my time at Twitter on building a new system that works at scale and does so predictably and measurably. That's not easy when the current system is still on fire."
Compared to those problems, Thursday's outage appears to be just a tiny little brush fire. To top of page

marilena: 06/21/2012 Attack on Chancellor Merkel, British ...

marilena: 06/21/2012 Attack on Chancellor Merkel, British ...: Merkel, plus the same Merkelnator Terminator: According to this account seems to have made a British weekly magazine's title.  The text ...

06/21/2012 Attack on Chancellor Merkel, British Journal compares with Hitler and the Terminator

English magazine cover: "Europe's most dangerous leader"

Merkel, plus the same Merkelnator Terminator: According to this account seems to have made a British weekly magazine's title. The text has to be in there as well. The Chancellor is the most dangerous woman in the world - and must be stopped.

London - "They must be stopped" - closes with these words, the British magazine "New Statesman" his article on Angela Merkel . The text is quite something, as well as the cover of the weekly booklet. Merkel in a photomontage of the Terminator compensates for the same Hollywood movies. In leather jacket and with a fixed gaze, she looks from the title, a face is marred by metal parts.

"Europe's most dangerous leader" was the headline the magazine , then draws the circle in the text but still a little further. Author Mehdi Hasan may well be confidently classified as anti-Merkel fan. This is even more dangerous than Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Un in North Korea - and anyway most dangerous power in Germany since Adolf Hitler

What makes the chancellor, according to "New Statesman" world to such a risk factor? Their intransigence in the euro-crisis, their adherence to the strict austerity for Greece and its "deficit fetishism". Merkel to play the violin, while Athens, Rome and Madrid were on fire, writes the left-leaning paper.
By manic insist on economy ("Austerity about everything"), Merkel destroy not only the European project, ruining the neighborhood and finally solve all alone in a global financial crisis.
And therefore, concludes Hasan's statement, it must be stopped now really.


marilena: Germany v Greece: fans and players try to put poli...

marilena: Germany v Greece: fans and players try to put poli...: Greek fans at Euro 2012. 'We’re playing for the country, for 11 million people waiting for a smile,' said the Greek striker Georgios S...

Germany v Greece: fans and players try to put politics aside in Euro 2012 clash Angela Merkel can expect a noisy reception in Gdansk but both sides want to forget the eurozone crisis and focus on football

Greek fans at Euro 2012

Greek fans at Euro 2012. 'We’re playing for the country, for 11 million people waiting for a smile,' said the Greek striker Georgios Samaras. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
Football is no stranger to face-offs that reach beyond the pitch. England v Argentina in the post-Falklands 1986 World Cup was one, Iran v "the Great Satan" USA in 1998 another. West Germany v East Germany in 1974 was fun at the time.
And on Friday at Euro 2012 comes debt-crippled Greece, in its fifth year of recession and with a third of the population living below the poverty line, against the mighty Germany, its biggest creditor and the country many Greeks blame for the severity of the austerity measures they are now enduring.
At such times there may not be too many on the streets of Athens going so far as to echo Bill Shankly's legendary words: "Football's not a matter of life and death … it's more important than that." But for some the encounter in Gdansk has been elevated to a level above mere sport since the moment the teams booked their quarter-final places.
The Greek media have been in overdrive. The Sports Day newspaper urged "Bring it on"; a sports website declared "Greece will never exit the Euro" (pun intended); another howled "Get us Merkel now". They will have that wish, after the German chancellor announced she would attend the match. "It will be a good sporting event, and I hope that it will be a very fair sporting event," she told reporters in Berlin.
The 20,000 German fans expected to make the trip to Poland will give her a warm welcome.
The Greeks, however, will prepare a rather different reception. It was reported that the Greek tourist board had asked TV networks to keep the crowd volume low amid fears Greek fans in the stadium would drown out the German national anthem with jeers.
"Greeks want revenge," Berliner Morgenpost said. "Friday's match is more than a game for them. They want a night when big Germany will suffer." Germany's bestselling paper, Bild, which has handed out drachmas in Athens and urged Greece to sell an island to help pay off its debt, trumpeted: "For 90 minutes it will be about more than just football. The euro crisis will be playing too. Rejoice, dear Greeks, defeat will be for free on Friday! No bailout will help you against [the German team's coach] Joachim Löw!"
Otto Rehhagel, the German coach who led the Greek side to a surprise victory at Euro 2004 and says "part of my heart is still Greek", added to the piquancy by declaring that when "Greeks have faith, they fear no one. Success is good for the Greek soul."
The Greek team, lampooned in cartoons in the foreign press including one showing them in a kit sporting a German eagle, as if sponsored by Germany, were more circumspect. The striker Georgios Samaras (unrelated to the new prime minister, Antonis) said people "cannot mix football and politics, simple as that. It's a game. We'll play."
But they acknowledge its special context. "We're playing for the country, for 11 million people waiting for a smile," Samaras said. The midfielder Giannis Maniatis said the objective was to "give some happiness to the Greek people, make them celebrate in the street, given everything that's going on".
Germany's squad diplomatically stuck to football. "We won't underestimate them," the goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said. "The Greeks could hurt us too." Löw hailed the Greek team – can there be higher praise from a German? – as "masters of efficiency".
Perhaps surprisingly, many fans are reluctant to make more of this than a contest for a semi-final place. There will almost certainly be some chanting in the stadium, and perhaps a pointed banner or two. But most supporters seem reasonable.
"It's not rocket science," said Christos Pitenis, a civil engineer from Thessaloniki. "We play football, the Greeks win, the Germans drink beer. Or, we play football, the Germans win, we drink beer. Do I resent them for what's happening? Look, I worked with Germans for three years. They were excellent at what they did. Why would I resent them?"
Efthimia Efthimiou, a young Athenian, said it would be no different from playing Spain or Italy: "It's important because we love football; when we beat Russia [in the Greeks' previous match], the whole cafe I was in erupted on to the street. In fact, we love football too much to mix it with politics. We have enough politics here; for two hours, let's just have football."
In Berlin, Achim Fersen said he thought Germany would "probably win, but let's let football be football and politics be politics". Paulin Pintsch said he feared there would be "a few angry Greeks, and some Germans who think the Greeks don't pay their taxes and we're paying for it. So I can imagine there will be tensions." But he doubted there would be serious problems.
One man with a deeper understanding of the match's import is Akrivos Tsolakis, 81, a retired pilot and passionate Greek football fan whose mother was German. "From time to time," he confessed, "I do feel a little bit German. But on this occasion, I'm 100% Greek."
Alas, said Tsolakis: "The Germans are the Germans. A strong, disciplined team. It's hard to believe we'll beat them, but miracles do happen. There's no personal resentment; Greeks aren't like that. We can be angry, then set it aside. But a single football match can truly make a whole country happy, so it would be nice if we beat them. We haven't had a lot to smile about lately."

Τετάρτη, 20 Ιουνίου 2012

marilena: Greek debt crisis: the agony of Athens What is lif...

marilena: Greek debt crisis: the agony of Athens What is lif...: I have been in Greece talking to real people this week . It's better that way; trying to write about " Greece " or "the Greeks" or "t...

Greek debt crisis: the agony of Athens What is life really like for Greeks as they face the crisis gripping their country? Four ordinary people tell their stories

I have been in Greece talking to real people this week. It's better that way; trying to write about "Greece" or "the Greeks" or "the crisis" does you no good after a while, because there are so many different realities.
Some people don't seem affected at all. Walk down Ermou Street in central Athens, heaving with shoppers; try finding a table on a crowded terrace off Monastiraki Square; drive through the cosseted suburbs of Kifissia, and you'd never guess there was anything wrong.
But spot a young, cleanly dressed family sitting on the steps of a bank on Stadiou Street, father holding out both hands for money; visit Kyada, a municipal soup kitchen that feeds 1,500 a day; stray beyond where the tourists go, as far as the boarded-up shops and graffiti that says "Greece for the Greeks", and there is another reality.
And beneath it is a deeper, but palpable reality: that far larger forces are playing out here, life-changing decisions being made in distant places. Plus the reality that for a lot of the world, "the Greeks", basically, brought it on themselves.
So it is complicated. You get pushed into narratives that cannot be complete, or even necessarily true. My idea was just to let some Greeks speak for themselves; recount their personal realities.

The single mother: Eleni Trivoulidou, 45, Athens

I'm divorced with four children: a student daughter of 25; a son of 24; and a boy and girl in their teens. They're all still at home. I worked for a while when I was much younger, but I got married at 19 and had my first baby a year later. Then I looked after my children until the youngest left primary school. At first I found temporary jobs no problem, in hotels, a cafe. But for the past two years, there has been nothing.
I get €180 (£145) every two months from the government, because of the kids still at home. My parents give me a bit when I go to see them, but that's not easy now because my father isn't well; we think it's Alzheimer's disease. And anyway, his pension has been cut.
My ex-husband sends me €400 (£320) a month; it pays for the kids' food. And he helps out from time to time with their clothes and a few bills. But we are five almost-grown adults living on €700 (£565) a month. Thank heavens my ex finished paying for the house or we'd all be homeless by now.
It has been so long since I had money I don't know what I'd do if I got some. I'd like to go out sometimes and have coffee with a friend, not just in each other's houses. Or take the children to a cafe. My best friend has a cosmetics shop and lets me pay for what I need, nail varnish, a bit of lipstick, when I can afford to. It would be nice not to make her wait.
I did get a job a while back in an old people's home. They said I was good with old people, but they couldn't keep me. They had to get rid of people; lots of families are taking their elderly back because they can't afford retirement homes any more. I got €150 for the week.
I made one mistake: I should have gone back to work earlier, when my youngest was two or three and the economy was OK. Got a secure job. But my husband didn't want me to, and I didn't push it. Now I'm taking evening classes for my school leaving certificate; I left school at 16. And an accountancy qualification. The trouble is, I'll cost more than someone in their 20s, because my youngest isn't 18 yet. My daughter's generation, they're working for €300 (£240) a month. How are you supposed to build something, start a family, on that?
I could go to Australia: when I was little, we lived in Melbourne; my dad worked in the General Motors factory. I have the passport and a sister, aunts. But the children don't want to. And I feel I'd be giving up. Why should I leave just because politicians have brought the country to its knees? I want to stay and work.

The finance director: Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, Athens

I work for my uncle's firm, a big name in jewellery and duty-free. I've just set up this scheme, Gineagrotis – "Become a farmer". It's not complicated: city-dwellers rent a patch of land from a farmer, tell him what they want him to grow on it, and get their own fresh vegetables delivered to them weekly.
It's about creating a direct connection between the consumer and the producer. The farmer's happy because he knows in advance what and how much he has to plant, and he sells all he grows. It's a regular, guaranteed, stable income; customers commit for a year. And the consumer gets fresh veg for 70% less than at the supermarket or greengrocer's.
You go online, opt for one of three plot sizes from 50 sq m to 100 sq m, and choose from 10 summer and 10 winter vegetables. It costs from €14.20, to feed two people, to €20.90 a week for five or more. The veg are delivered within 24 hours of being picked, and if you are away or on holiday, you can ask for them to go to a soup kitchen in Athens. From September, you can donate some vegetables weekly.
It's really, really taken off. Amazing. The site has been up two months and we've had more than 5,000 accounts created, and 900 farmers sign up. Last week, we started deliveries to the first 100 families from the first four farms. In September, we plan to offer olive oil, eggs, even your own sheep or goat; you just need a big freezer, or lots of friends.
I'm working 18-hour days and spending half my time on this, with friends. I've put in about €40,000 (£32,000) of my own money, and I'm 100% confident in the business plan. For farmers, it's all they ever wanted. For consumers, it's quality fresh food, cheaper. We're fulfilling real social and economic needs. Greece is full of initiatives such as this now; people are starting to realise we can and must do things ourselves – change from the bottom up.

The businessman: George Efstratiadis, 38, Patras

My grandfather came here with his family from Turkey in 1922. He made a living hawking sewing needles and cloth around the villages, and selling olive oil and eggs back in town. My dad was an electrician in the factories that existed then in Patras. In 1968, he started his own company. My brother, my sister and I took over in 2000. We specialise in water pumps, for all sorts of uses, from big waste-water and irrigation projects to swimming pools and homes. We sell to contractors, municipalities and utility companies. In 2009, we turned over €8.8m (£7m) and had 67 employees. By last year, our sales had halved, and this year we expect €2.5m (£2m): back where we started.
The transition from plenty to hardship has been fast. Every three months I make tough decisions, and every three months they're never enough. The first sign was when Athens didn't put 400 planned waste-water projects out to tender. Then private contractors started delaying payments; I have maybe half a million euros in unpaid bills. Then the public-sector customers just stopped paying altogether.
We had to cut costs. I shacked advertising to zero. I slashed travel. I rolled over loans, halved our repayments. I reduced the office space, renegotiated rents. But the biggest expense is wages. We're a family firm; we're extremely sensitive. In all our history, we had never fired a single person. But I had to start letting people go; two or three a month – the law doesn't allow more than that. I've had to fire 39 people.
Last year, every time I went up to a colleague, they would look at me in fear. I've cried tears with my employees, we've hugged each other. A few got angry. But most understood this was not my choice; we could just no longer afford their salaries. And behind each of them is a family.
This year I have cut working hours, to six or four hours a day, to avoid more job losses. It's been the worst experience of my life. Devastating. I've worked here – sweeping flooors, running errands, doing filing – since I was six. But without the cuts, we'd have been bankrupt by early last summer.
I don't think there's a politician alive who can solve Greece's problems at this moment. Attitudes to easy money have to change here, and that'll take an earthquake. But we can't keep squeezing people, increasing taxes, piling on the pressure. The election result was a victory for the austerity terrorists. I expect harder strikes, bigger riots and an unstable future.

The civil servant: Dominique Vitzileou, 39, Athens

I work for the organisation that gives Greek farmers their EU subsidies. I have been there 10 years. My pay's been cut 30%. I can't go on holiday. But then I'm not even sure I'll have a job in three months' time, or that the state will be able to pay me.
I am anxious. I do worry. The fear comes slowly; it kind of crawls into your mind. You think, what's my future going to be? But you can't let it rule you.
When the government introduced this new house tax – €5 for every square metre of your apartment in my part of town – and included it in the electricity bills so that people's power would be cut off if they didn't pay, I couldn't accept it. Not for me, for the old people, unemployed people with children. I helped organise a neighbourhood protest.
I really don't know how this will end. It's going to get more painful, certainly. It's really unbelievable what's happening. I can't believe I'm caught up in something so exceptional that I've become someone worth interviewing. But every day, there's something new. Recently it was the phone company. They want to put some of their staff on two-hour working days, and pay them €140 (£113) a month. With no health insurance, nothing. Can you believe this?
And out at Lavrion, the refugee centre outside town, there are 85 children not being fed. Immigrants get stabbed in the metro by neo-fascists, and no one is arrested. My neighbours, with two children, live on €350 (£280) a month unemployment benefit. Medicine is in short supply. What do [IMF managing director] Christine Lagarde and the others want: people crawling, dying in the streets? Jumping off balconies?
I'm not sure this new austerity coalition will last long when people take to the streets. If the troika doesn't change its approach to the so-called "Greek problem" things will end very badly. There'll be new elections in the autumn. The worst is yet to come.
You know, I gave food for the asylum for people with terminal illnesses in Kypseli yesterday. The staff haven't been paid since February, and 260 patients haven't got enough food. Our crisis is this: the old is dying, but the new cannot be born.A family living in a pickup truck in Athens, June 2012
A family living in the back of a pickup truck in Athens. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

marilena: Greece Set For Bailout Reward As EU Sees Tweaked A...

marilena: Greece Set For Bailout Reward As EU Sees Tweaked A...: Greek voters are likely to get a reward for backing pro-euro parties, with European creditors set to ease bailout terms on the debt-swamp...

Greece Set For Bailout Reward As EU Sees Tweaked Aid Terms

Greek voters are likely to get a reward for backing pro-euro parties, with European creditors set to ease bailout terms on the debt-swamped country mired in the fifth year of recession.
A first step will be when Greece’s still to-be-formed government requests modifications to the 240 billion-euro ($304 billion) rescue programs, leading to a revision of Greece’s economic-performance targets sometime before September, a European official told reporters in Brussels today.
Europe floated the relief as the victor in the June 17 Greek election, Antonis Samaras of the New Democracy party, accelerated preparations for a coalition government including his historic Socialist rivals with a mandate to loosen the bailout constraints while keeping Greece in the euro
“Agreement on a policy road map is the definitive point to form a government,” Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left, the third part of the planned coalition, said in Athens today. “The process is speeding up. It is possible that in the next few hours, or within the day, a government can be decided.”
European officials shrouded possible tweaks to the program in ambiguous terms, fearful of alienating the public in creditor countries such as Germany and the Netherlands where resistance is high to letting Greece -- the origin of the crisis that has brought the 17-nation euro to the brink of breakup -- off lightly.

Merkel’s Line

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to damp speculation that the terms of Greece’s bailout might be relaxed.
“We should very tightly keep to the rules and it’s obvious that the reforms that were agreed in the past were the right thing and have to be implemented,” Merkel told reporters today at a summit of world leaders in Mexico.
A number of finance ministers oppose giving Greece more time to meet targets for deficit reduction, structural reforms or the selloff of state assets, the euro-area official said at the Brussels briefing on condition of anonymity. Still, Greece’s deteriorating economy makes it delusional to hew to the current conditions, the official added.
Greece’s Democratic Left set seven conditions for joining the government, including extending the deficit-cutting timeline to 2017 from 2014 and reversing structural overhauls such as cuts to the minimum wage and pensions. The Pasok Socialist party broadly agreed with those demands.
“Forming a government is tied to the need to form a national negotiating team to ensure the unfavorable terms of the bailout are revised, the terms that were imposed on us, against our will at many points in the first phase of negotiations,” saidEvangelos Venizelos of Pasok, who as finance minister from June 2011 to March 2012 negotiated the second aid package.
Venizelos told reporters today he would agree to join a coalition with New Democracy and Democratic Left and that the government should be formed no later than midday tomorrow..
To contact the reporter on this story: James G. Neuger in Brussels at jneuger@bloomberg.net

Τρίτη, 19 Ιουνίου 2012




marilena: Greece survived to fail another day, say economis...

Greece survived to fail another day, say economis...
: Greece survived to fail another day, say economists at  Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc  and Citigroup Inc. (C) An election result yes...

Greece survived to fail another day, say economists at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc andCitigroup Inc. (C)
An election result yesterday that defused expectations of an imminent euro exit by Greece left the threat hanging over the global economy and put European leaders under pressure to speed efforts to protect the rest of the region. Spanish 10-year bond yields soared above 7 percent for the first time in the euro era, showing investor concern of the relentless financial turmoil.
“The election has solved little and in our view is actually just another iteration towards the risks of a euro exit,” saidHarvinder Sian, senior rates strategist at RBS in London. ‘The adjustment path is likely to remain too much for Greece to bear.”
Greece, dependent since 2010 on emergency loans from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, has to meet the creditors’ conditions to keep the aid flowing. The route to continued support involves axing 11.5 billion euros ($14.5 billion) from the budget and 150,000 civil service jobs, said Sian, leaving him holding fast to his pre-election view of a 90 percent chance Greece quits the euro within two years.
To form a parliamentary majority, Greece’s two traditional political rivals, New Democracy, led by Antonis Samaras, and the Socialist Pasok party, led by Evangelos Venizelos, must form a coalition.

‘Very Tense’

That politicking still makes for “very tense days in Greece,” saidHolger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London.
Schmieding still said the probability Greece is in the euro by the end of 2012 is now 75 percent.Fitch Ratings said the election results meant “the near-term risk of a Greek disorderly debt default and exit from the euro has fallen” as it announced it would not put all euro-area countries on watch for a downgrade.
Even if Samaras wins enough allies, the country is left prone to shocks given the anti-bailout Syriza party’s second- place finish and ability to organize protests, said Juergen Michels, an economist at Citigroup in London. Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras refused to join a unity government and will remain in opposition.
Greece, mired in a fifth year of recession, has been ordered by Europe’s governments to enact promised spending cuts in return for 240 billion euros in rescue packages since 2010. While its 2009 budget deficit topped 15 percent, the European Commission estimates it still faces a cumulative fiscal gap in 2013-2014 of 5.5 percent of GDP and has failed to meet targets for tax collection, state asset-sales and public procurement.

‘No Loosening’

Failure to mollify donors that they can deliver leaves the country at risk of a suspension of bailout payments. Syriza says Greece risked running out of cash in mid-July.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that the new Greek government must stick with the rescue commitments and that “there can be no loosening on the reform steps.”
Even as European officials have signaled a willingness to relent on some austerity measures, that may still not be enough to save Greece, said Morgan Stanley (MS) economists including Daniele Antonucci. A revised program is likely to entail an average annual reduction of 5 billion euros in interest payments, a longer time frame for repayment and more loans from theEuropean Investment Bank, they said in a report today.

Not Enough

Those sops will nevertheless fail to return the country to solvency soon enough, they said. Their estimates show that while the bailout program targets debt at 120 percent of GDP by 2020, that is still north of the 90 percent level they deem sustainable and is more likely to be 140 percent.
The economy also remains unlikely to generate new budget revenue, said Huw Pill, chief European economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) in London. The recession and unemployment above 20 percent are draining confidence, undermining credit growth and decimating investment, he said.
That all makes it likely that even if Greece can do what it takes to secure another round of funding, subsequent quarterly reviews of the aid program are likely to be “nerve-wracking” and the debt it owes to other governments will need to be restructured at some point, said David Bloom, chief currency strategist at HSBC Holdings Plc.
The threat from Athens leads Nick Kounis, head of macro research at ABN Amro Bank NV, to say the rest of Europe must accelerate efforts to protect Spain and Italy. Greece’s repeated failure to regain control of its fiscal accounts has been matched by Europe’s inability to contain the crisis.

G-20 Talks

Much of Europe’s high command headed by Merkel meets counterparts from the Group of 20 in Mexico today before ministerial meetings this week and then a June 28-29 Brussels summit.
The challenge for the month-end talks is whether governments can rally around a plan to embrace a fuller union through fiscal integration and stronger banking ties. Leaders will pledge “to mobilize all levers and instruments” to ensure financial stability and tackle the crisis, according to June 15 draft conclusions prepared for the summit and obtained by Bloomberg News.
The Brussels meeting “will be a litmus test of the political will to take a major leap forward,” said Kounis. “Major challenges remain ahead for both Greece and the euro zone.”


marilena: GREECE DECIDES MARKETS TO GO "hmmmm": Posted by:  CNN World Business Today Anchor ,  Nina dos Santos Athens (CNN) -  Greece has voted. New Democracy, its pro-bailout p...


Athens (CNN) - Greece has voted. New Democracy, its pro-bailout party, prevailed in Sunday’s election and still market reaction has been decidedly muted. Much like last week’s market performance following Spain’s aid request, the euphoria fizzled quickly as traders focused instead on the considerable unknowns looming in the distance.
Among the unanswered questions: Will Greece’s New Democracy party be able to form a government? And how much leeway will it have to soften the terms of its Troika-prescribed austerity package?
Writing to clients today, HSBC economists David Bloom and Janet Henry said Greece’s result may offer temporary relief but warned that “major challenges remain.”
“While a coalition of pro-bailout parties would put the idea of a Greek euro exit on the back burner for now, it would not alter the underlying problems in the euro zone itself,” they added.
More worryingly, they went on to say that “a temporary halt to Troika funding cannot be ruled out.”
Stuck in their fifth year of recession, Greek voters went to the polls for the second time in six weeks after a first round in May proved inconclusive.
Antonis Samaras, center-right leader of New Democracy, hailed his party’s near-30% score as “a victory for all of Europe” and promised to honor Greece’s commitments - but begged for breathing space.
Since being granted its first bailout two years ago, austerity has hit Greece hard, and indeed the argument for restraint is gaining pace. During the IMF-backed programme, Greek debt as a percentage of GDP has skyrocketed to 165%, unemployment has doubled and the yields on Greek bonds have soared from high single-digits before the bailout to a whopping 35% after investors were forced to take a haircut.
Which all begs the question: Are such severe cuts killing the patient?
Speaking before the election results, Bob Parker, adviser to Credit Suisse Asset Management, said policymakers should rethink their strategy somewhat. “You have to ask yourself whether there’s a tipping point when austerity becomes not so much the answer but more the problem,” he said “At this point I think you could argue we have reached that point.”
But even if Greece does manage to form a government, that does not detract from the lack of leadership present among Europe’s political chiefs today.
Simon Denham, chief executive of spread betting firm London Capital Group, is among a number of City veterans who are skeptical about whether the Greek vote will ease eurozone jitters.
“Fundamentally there’s a lack of confidence and a belief that neither central bankers nor politicians have a solution,” he said. “It’s like the snake biting its tail. The leaders are fearful of the markets instead of it being the other way around.”
In their weekly note to investors, Mark Wall and Gilles Moec of Deutsche Bank went one step further, likening those with the power to stem Europe’s crisis to two travelers “driving without a map” and lost among a myriad of unfortunate outcomes. “Bold action by the ECB is needed, but this is predicated on a credible road-map by the European Council,” they explained.
Unfortunately, they went on to say, “there is no consensus at this stage on such a road map.”
And fanning the flames for financial markets Monday: the yield on Spain’s 10-year bond rose again above 7%, a level which previously priced other euro zone countries out of the open, capital markets and into the hands of the Troika.
So while leaders rejoice at Greece’s pro-Europe choice, the markets are already focussing on the region’s next potential victim. This time though, there’s even more at stake.





Antonis Samaras of New Democracy.  The Conservatives are the winner of ...

Δευτέρα, 18 Ιουνίου 2012









Κυριακή, 17 Ιουνίου 2012

marilena: GREEKS VOTE..... PHOTOS

marilena: GREEKS VOTE..... PHOTOS


Greek elections: A woman holds her child as she casts her ballot

Greek elections: A Greek Orthodox priest waits to vote in Athens

Greek elections: A girl goes to vote with her mother in a polling station in Athens

Greek elections: A man walks to cast his ballot in a polling station in Athens

Greek elections: A man looks at electoral boards before casting his vote

Greek elections: Father Christos holds his ballot paper as he exits the voting booth


marilena: GREEKS VOTE...IN PICTURES: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18476269 Voting has begun in Greece for crucial elections which could determine the country's f...



Greek football fans in helmets, Warsaw (16 June)

Voting has begun in Greece for crucial elections which could determine the country's future in the eurozone.





marilena: ΕΚΛΟΓΕΣ .... Τιμής ένεκεν......GOOGLE


ΕΚΛΟΓΕΣ .... Τιμής ένεκεν......GOOGLE



Η Περιφέρεια Αττικής εξέδωσε οδηγίες και χρήσιμες πληροφορίες σχετικά την εκλογική διαδικασία για το πώς, που και πότε ψηφίζουμε.
Επίσης, παρά το γεγονός ότι παραμένει σε ισχύ ότι ίσχυσε στις 6 Μαΐου ενημερώνει και για τα εκλογικά τμήματα των ετεροδημοτών.
Πώς, που και πότε ψηφίζουμε:
Την Κυριακή 17 Ιουνίου 2012, από τις 07.00 το πρωί έως τις 19.00 το απόγευμα ψηφίζουμε για τις Βουλευτικές Εκλογές
• Ψηφίζουμε όλοι οι Έλληνες πολίτες που είμαστε εγγεγραμμένοι στους εκλογικούς καταλόγους και δεν έχουμε στερηθεί το δικαίωμα του εκλέγειν
• Ψηφίζουμε επίσης, όσοι έχουμε γεννηθεί το 1994, ακόμα κι αν δεν έχουμε συμπληρώσει το 18ο έτος της ηλικίας μας
• Η άσκηση του εκλογικού δικαιώματος είναι υποχρεωτική
• Για να ψηφίσουμε, χρειαζόμαστε είτε την αστυνομική μας ταυτότητα, είτε το διαβατήριο, είτε την άδεια οδήγησης, είτε το βιβλιάριο υγείας
• Όσοι είμαστε Ετεροδημότες και έχουμε γραφτεί στους ειδικούς εκλογικούς καταλόγους ετεροδημοτών έως 29/02/2012 , ψηφίζουμε ΜΟΝΟ στα ειδικά εκλογικά τμήματα ετεροδημοτών
• Όσοι, εκ παραδρομής, ΔΕΝ συμπεριλαμβανόμαστε στους εκλογικούς καταλόγους, μπορούμε να ψηφίσουμε σε οποιοδήποτε εκλογικό τμήμα του Δήμου στον οποίο είμαστε εγγεγραμμένοι, αρκεί να πάρουμε την ημέρα των εκλογών από το Δήμο που είμαστε εγγεγραμμένοι πιστοποιητικό εγγραφής στα Δημοτολόγια ή τα Μητρώα Αρρένων με την ένδειξη «ΕΚΔΙΔΕΤΑΙ ΑΠΟΚΛΕΙΣΤΙΚΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΙΣ ΕΚΛΟΓΕΣ ΤΗΣ 17ης Ιουνίου 2012»
• Σύμφωνα με τον εκλογικό νόμο οι εκλογές της 17ης Ιουνίου γίνονται με λίστα. Οι ψηφοφόροι θα επιλέξουν μόνο το ψηφοδέλτιο με το κόμμα που επιθυμούν να ψηφίσουν, χωρίς να βάλουν σταυρούς προτίμησης υπέρ των υποψηφίων βουλευτών
• Την ημέρα των εκλογών, από την έναρξη της ψηφοφορίας μέχρι και τη λήξη, η Περιφέρεια Αττικής θα διαθέσει δωρεάν μεταφορικό μέσο για τα άτομα με αναπηρία. Μπορούν να επικοινωνούν στο τηλέφωνο 210 69 14 145