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Tsipras marks year in office with vow to implement pension reform

Greek premier Alexis Tsipras has marked one year in office by telling supporters that his pension reform bill must go ahead. Rural waverers among his leftists are threatening to erode his coalition's three-seat majority. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told 4,000 supporters in Athens on Sunday that he was determined to make a pitch for pension reform, despite opposition from farmers, the self-employed and small firm proprietor who will be hit by higher contributions. The reform "must go ahead, it's necessary," said Tsipras, who intends to put the bill to parliament early next month. Tspiras' remarks came on the eve of Monday's one-year anniversary of the election victory of his leftist Syriza party, a year marked by dramatic negotiations with Brussels over Greece's future in the eurozone and unprecedented arrivals of refugees, mainly from war-torn Syria, headed for Western Europe. Pension reform sought by bailout lenders The pension bill is designed to save 1.8 billion euros ($1.7 billion) this year, and is crucial for the first review of Greece's EU-led bailout by international lenders, who have also pressed for tax overhauls. Tsipras has vowed, however, not to trim pensions from current levels, saying they had "already been cut by 40 percent" by previous Greek governments under pressure from key lenders such as the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Farmers, who three years ago hailed Tsipras as an opposition politician, are now widely critical because their payments into Greece's insurance scheme could triple. "He lied, he imposed more taxes than all the others put together," Yiorgos Kostakiopoulos, a wheat and cotton grower, told Reuters on Saturday. "He was here with us, told us that he would fight with us for a dignified income for us and our children," said the father of three. Greece's Labor Ministry recently claimed that many farmers were under-declaring their incomes, leaving the state to top up their pensions by up to 90 percent. Already, as part of broader reforms, fuel subsidies have been slashed and taxes on fertilizer and animal feed increased. Political analyst George Sefertzis told AFP that Tsipras was now facing an uncertain negotiating outcome - exactly what happened to his conservative predecessor Antonis Samaras in his final six months of power in 2014. Dramatic year Tspiras's emerged as Syriza's stalwart in January 2015, vowing a debt revolution. Months of dramatic negotiations with Brussels were followed by re-election in September, again as head of a coalition with the nationalist Independent Greeks (ANEL) party, but minus radical Syriza dissenters. In those months, Greece was nearly evicted from the eurozone. The latest surveys show Greece's right-wing opposition resurging in voter support. Tsipras has 153 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament, but Syriza waverers have threatened to erode that three-seat lead to press the views of small-scale farmers. Europe transformed: Tspiras On Sunday, Tspiras claimed that his government's struggle with Brussels had brought long-lasting change to the EU. "Europe is no longer the same," he said, referring to recent anti-austerity swings in electoral sentiment in Spain, Italy and Portugal. At the height of last year's highly public Greece-EU row, Tspiras argued that debt-swamped Greece would never recover if bailout lenders forced it to just make spending cuts and hike taxes, without investments. In July, Tsipras ousted his outspoken Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and signed another rescue package worth 86 billion euros coupled with spending cuts. On Friday, Standard and Poor's raised its credit rating for Greek debt by one notch - up to B- from CCC+, removing Greece from default vulnerability.

Greek premier Alexis Tsipras has marked one year in office by telling supporters that his pension reform bill must go ahead. Rural waverers among his leftists are threatening to erode his coalition’s three-seat majority. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told 4,000 supporters in Athens on Sunday that he was determined to make a pitch for pension reform, despite opposition from ... Read More »

Alexis Tsipras sworn in as Greek prime minister

Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras has been sworn in as Greece's prime minister for the second time in nine months. His anti-austerity Syriza party won the parliamentary vote, albeit without securing a majority. Tsipras took a civil oath on Monday, pledging to "uphold the constitution and laws" of the southern European country, struggling with a protracted debt crisis. Syriza received 35.5 percent of the votes in the snap elections, whereas the conservative New Democracy party got 28. Only 57 percent of the electorate cast votes - the lowest turnout in recent Greek history. To achieve the absolute majority necessary to govern - having fallen six seats short at 145 spots - Tsipras plans to form a coalition government with the small right-wing Independent Greeks party, which polled less than 4 percent of the vote. Tsipras is expected to name his cabinet ministers on Wednesday. Merkel's phone call to Tsipras German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned the Greek leader on Monday to congratulate him on his victory. "The Chancellor and Alexis Tsipras exchanged views on the forthcoming special meeting of the European Council on Wednesday and on the bilateral issues to be discussed … and agreed on cooperating closely on the European policy issues," read a statement released by the German government. Earlier on Monday, the European Union also congratulated Tsipras on winning the elections, but said Greece should waste no time in implementing economic reforms attached to its international bailout. "The Commission congratulates Alexis Tsipras for his victory," European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters in Brussels. "The new government will now have the mandate to carry out those reforms ... There is a lot of work ahead and no time to lose." Tsipras on migrants The Greek leader criticized the European Union's handling of the ongoing refugee crisis after taking his oath of office and urged all member states to share the responsibility. "Greece is a first reception country, and Europe has unfortunately not taken steps to protect reception countries from a [migration] wave which has taken on uncontrolled dimensions," he said. "There is a need ...that Europe deal with a global, a European problem and share the responsibility among all member states." Thousands of people are fleeing a civil war in Syria and heading to Europe via the Mediterranean. The arrival of these refugees has sparked major upheaval in Europe, with many governments imposing strict border checks to impede and manage the overflow of migrants. EU leaders were due to discuss the crisis at an extraordinary summit on Wednesday.

Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras has been sworn in as Greece’s prime minister for the second time in nine months. His anti-austerity Syriza party won the parliamentary vote, albeit without securing a majority. Tsipras took a civil oath on Monday, pledging to “uphold the constitution and laws” of the southern European country, struggling with a protracted debt crisis. Syriza received 35.5 ... Read More »

Polls closing as Greeks look ahead to election results

یونان میں عام انتخابات کا انعقاد آج اتوار کے روز کیا جا رہا ہے۔ یہ اِس سال میں ہونے والے دوسرے الیکشن ہیں۔ بائیں بازو کی سیریزا اور قدامت پسند نیو ڈیموکریسی پارٹیوں کے درمیان سخت مقابلے کی توقع کی جا رہی ہے۔ مالی مشکلات کے شکار یورپی ملک یونان میں عوام ایک مرتبہ پھر پولنگ اسٹیشنوں کا رخ کر رہے ہیں۔ اتوار کی علی الصبح سے پولنگ بوتھ ووٹرز کا انتظار کر رہے ہیں۔ اِس مرتبہ ٹرن آؤٹ کم رہنے کا اندازہ لگایا گیا ہے۔ مبصرین کا خیال ہے کہ معاشی مشکلات کے حل کی خاطر بار بار الیکشن کروائے جا رہے ہیں اور ہر مرتبہ عوام کو مہنگائی کے علاوہ کچھ بھی حاصل نہیں ہو رہا۔ سابق یونانی وزیراعظم الیکسِس سِپراس کے ساتھی اور سابق وزیر خزانہ یوکلید ٹسلکالوٹوس کا کہنا ہے کہ انتخابات کا کاروباری پہلو یونان کے لیے نقصان دہ ہو سکتا ہے۔ یونانی الیکشن میں نو پارٹیاں عوامی تائید حاصل کرنے کی خواہش رکھتی ہیں۔ تین فیصد کے مطلوبہ ووٹ حاصل کرنے کے بعد ہی کوئی پارٹی پارلیمنٹ میں نشستیں حاصل کرنے کی پوزیشن میں ہوتی ہے۔ اتوار کی پولنگ یونان کے مقامی وقت کے مطابق صبح چھ بجے شروع ہوئی اور ٹھیک بارہ گھنٹے کے بعد شام چھ بجے بند ہو گی۔ پولنگ اسٹیشنز بغیر کسی وقفے کے ووٹرز کے لیے کھلے رہیں گے۔ یونان میں رجسٹرڈ ووٹرز کی تعداد اٹھانوے لاکھ ہے۔ ان میں ایک لاکھ دس ہزار نوجوان ووٹرز بھی شامل ہیں۔ یہ طے ہے کہ پہلی اور دوسری پوزیشن سیریزا اور نیو ڈیموکریسی پارٹیوں کو حاصل ہو گی۔ تیسری پوزیشن پر ماضی کی مشہور جماعت سوشلسٹ پاسوک پارٹی اور انتہائی دائیں بازو کی ایک نئی جماعت گولڈن ڈان کے درمیان سخت مقابلہ ہے۔ بائیں بازو کی سیریزا پارٹی کو رواں برس کے اوائل میں عوام کی حمایت سے بھرپور کامیابی ملی لیکن اِس پارٹی کے جھنڈے تلے بننے والی حکومت بھی بیل آؤٹ پیکج کے سامنے جھک گئی۔ حالیہ ایام میں کئی انٹرویوز میں سیریزا پارٹی کے لیڈر سِپراس نے بیل آؤٹ پیکج کو قبول کرنے کے فیصلے کی حمایت کی ہے۔ سپراس کا کہنا ہے کہ انہوں نے ملک کے مستقبل کو اپنی سیاسی پارٹی پر فوقیت دیتے ہوئے فیصلے کیے ہیں۔ یہ امر اہم ہے کہ الیکسِس سِپراس نے انتخابات میں بیل آؤٹ پیکج اور بچتی پالیسیوں کی مخالفت کے عزم کے ساتھ عوامی ووٹ حاصل کیے تھے۔ نیو ڈیموکریسی پارٹی کے سربراہ وینجیلِس میمارکِیس نے بائیں بازو کی سیریزا پارٹی پر الزام لگایا ہے کہ وہ ملکی معیشت کو مفلوج کرنے میں کامیاب رہی ہے۔ میمارکِیس نے بائیں بازو کی سات ماہ تک چلنے والی حکومت کو ایک تجرباتی حکومت قرار دیتے ہوئے کہا کہ یہ ملک کے لیے انتہائی مشکلات کا باعث بنی۔ دائیں بازو کے قدامت پسند رہنما نے یونانی عوام کو خبر دار کیا ہے کہ وہ اگر دوبارہ تجرباتی حکومت قائم کرنے والے لیڈر کو منتخب کریں گے تو یہ ایک بھاری غلطی ہو گی اور ملک کو کئی اقتصادی پیچیدگیوں کا سامنا ہو سکتا ہے۔

A month after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned, voters in Greece cast their ballots for the new government. Opinion polls indicate a close run contest for the fifth election in six years. Former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is looking for a fresh mandate to push through the reforms agreed under the terms of the new 86-billion-euro ($97-billion) international rescue deal ... Read More »

Greece: Far-left lawmakers defect from Tsipras’ Syriza party ahead of possible polls

A group of 25 members of Greece's governing Syriza party have broken off to form their own group in parliament. The lawmakers had defied a call by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to back Greece's third financial bailout. With its 25 seats, the new parliamentary group, to be called "Popular Unity," is the third largest in the Greek parliament, after Syriza with 124 seats and the conservative New Democracy party, with 76 in the 300-seat legislature. The new parliamentary group, made up of far-left former members of the already far-left Syriza party, is to be led by the former energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis (pictured above). The 25 lawmakers announced the move in a letter to parliament on Friday, a day after Alexis Tsipras used a televised address to announce that he was stepping down as prime minister. "I wish to be fully frank with you. We did not achieve the agreement that we were hoping for before the January elections," Tsipras said, referring to Greece's third international bailout worth 86 billlion euros ($96 billion). "But ... (the agreement we have) was the best anyone could have achieved. We are obliged to observe this agreement, but at the same time we will do our utmost to minimize its negative consequences," he said. Tsipras' resignation, coupled with the defection of a large chunk of his parliamentary group, meant that Greece appeared set to head into its fifth general election in the space of six years. However, in a bid to avoid early polls, the country's president, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, on Friday asked the leader of the second party, Evangelos Meimarakis to try to put together a coalition government. Recent opinion polls indicate that if the president does wind up calling a fresh election, Tsipras and Syriza are likely to win again, although not with the majority that they took in the January polls, when they ran on a platform of rejecting the sort of austerity measures that they wound up agreeing to in Greece's third bailout.

A group of 25 members of Greece’s governing Syriza party have broken off to form their own group in parliament. The lawmakers had defied a call by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to back Greece’s third financial bailout. With its 25 seats, the new parliamentary group, to be called “Popular Unity,” is the third largest in the Greek parliament, after Syriza ... Read More »

Greece poised to ratify accord with creditors

The Greek parliament is expected to take up a draft agreement with creditors. A vote has been scheduled for Thursday over country's third bailout deal. Greece's government and its creditors found common ground on a third bailout agreement late Tuesday ahead of a scheduled Thursday vote by parliament. The deal was the product of 23 hours of marathon talks and must be also ratified by some eurozone countries. Greece and its creditors - the EU, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund - are under pressure to finalize the deal by Aug. 20 when a 3.4 billion euro ($3.76 billion) payment to the ECB is due. Syriza to face backlash The deal has caused a rebellion within Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's left-wing Syriza party, forcing him to rely on opposition votes. A Greek Finance Ministry official said the pact would be worth up to 85 billion euros in fresh loans over three years with Greek banks receiving 10 billion euros immediately. But doubts remain about whether the leftist Syriza government, elected on a pledge to reverse austerity, can implement the punishing terms of this latest deal that critics say compromises the party's principles and platform. That's because the proposed bailout would be in exchange for imposing fiscal and other policy measures including a gas market overhaul, the removal of most early retirement schemes, the elimination of fuel price benefits for farmers and an increase in some taxes, none of which will be popular with voters. The government insists it has also gained concessions including greater control over labor reforms, avoiding a mass sell-off state assets and softer deficit targets. "It is a very tough deal. The left had to either escape or take huge responsibilities and prove it can help society," Health Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis told local radio, saying it will be up to Greek voters to weigh in. "After this deal the prime minister should call for elections, so that the Greek people can vote on whether they approve the program or want something else." Austerity drives unemployment The austerity programs imposed by previous governments to satisfy creditors have reigned in public spending. But the measures also compounded a deep recession and pushed unemployment to a record high. Figures next week are expected to confirm that Greece's recession deepened in the second quarter. Though the Syriza government was elected on a staunchly anti-austerity platform in January, it was forced to retreat from this stance after bailout talks came close to collapse last month. Greece has relied on bailouts worth a total 240 billion euros from eurozone members states and the International Monetary Fund since concern over its high debts locked it out of bond markets in 2010. To secure the loans, successive governments have had to implement austerity measures through spending cuts, tax hikes and other neoliberal reforms.

The Greek parliament is expected to take up a draft agreement with creditors. A vote has been scheduled for Thursday over country’s third bailout deal. Greece’s government and its creditors found common ground on a third bailout agreement late Tuesday ahead of a scheduled Thursday vote by parliament. The deal was the product of 23 hours of marathon talks and ... Read More »

Tsipras proposes referendum to heal Syriza rift over Greece bailout terms

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for his divided Syriza party to hold a snap referendum to overcome the divisions. Ructions appeared within the party following Greece's agreement with creditors this month. Addressing Syriza's central committee on Thursday, Tsipras called for Syriza to hold an emergency congress next month, adding, however, that a referendum as soon as Sunday would be acceptable if leftist dissenters demanded a quicker solution. "I propose to the central committee to hold an emergency congress to discuss being in power as leftists, our strategy in the face of bailout conditions," he told the 200-strong decision-making Syriza committee. "But there is another view, which is respected, that doesn't accept the government's analysis and believes there was an alternative available in the early morning hours of July 13," the Greek prime minister said, referring to the day he accepted the bailout agreement to avoid a Greek eurozone exit. Tsipras is believed, however, to be in favor of an emergency congress, as this would enable him to bring in new Syriza members and take advantage of the wider public support he has achieved over the past two years. Far-left revolt Tsipras' proposals on Thursday came amid mounting rebellion among Syriza's far-left lawmakers. They accuse the party of betraying its anti-austerity roots by agreeing to the conditions of the country's 86 billion euro ($94 billion) bailout deal. Earlier this month, over 30 Syriza lawmakers refused to vote for reforms which are necessary for Greece to receive the financial aid. Included in the tough measures are wide-ranging market reforms, numerous spending cuts and tax increases. Tsipras defended the government's decision to agree to the creditors' conditions, however, saying that a "Grexit would have forced Greece into devaluation and returning to [the] IMF for support." "We were forced to compromise and accept a recessionary program that was not our choice," he added.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called for his divided Syriza party to hold a snap referendum to overcome the divisions. Ructions appeared within the party following Greece’s agreement with creditors this month. Addressing Syriza’s central committee on Thursday, Tsipras called for Syriza to hold an emergency congress next month, adding, however, that a referendum as soon as Sunday would ... Read More »

Greek government submits second bill on bailout measures to parliament

The Greek government has submitted a second wave of creditor-demanded reforms to its parliament for approval. The first batch of measures linked to a huge rescue package sparked a mutiny within the ruling Syriza party. Greek lawmakers have until Wednesday night to adopt the bill which must be passed before talks can begin on a crucial bailout for the cash-strapped country. The first tranche of sweeping reforms - which included unpopular changes to Greece's taxes, pensions and labor rules - caused a mutiny within Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' left-wing Syriza party. The measures were only pushed through thanks to support from pro-European Union opposition parties. The prime minister was forced to reshuffle his cabinet on Friday after sacking three rebels who voted against the package. The second bailout bill isn't expected to be as controversial as the first round of reforms, but the government will likely have to rely on votes from the opposition again. Tuesday's legislation includes changes to the civil code aimed at streamlining legal proceedings and new EU rules on propping up failed banks, decreed after the 2008 financial crisis. Lawmakers will only have to vote on thornier issues, such as scrapping earlier retirement and tax hikes affecting farmers, at a later stage, government officials said. Tsipras has 162 seats in the 300-seat parliament, together with his coalition partners from the right-wing Independent Greeks party. Last week's rebellion cut his support to just 123 votes. On Monday, Greece reopened its banks for the first time in three weeks, although strict limits on cash withdrawals remain in place. The country was also able to repay billions of euros it owed to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank after receiving a three-month loan from the European Union. This week also saw the introduction of widespread tax increases - a step taken after Athens struck a deal with the eurozone to implement tough austerity reforms in exchange for negotiations on a new bailout deal worth 86 billion euros ($93 billion). Greece has already received 240 billion euros in two previous bailouts in the last five years.

The Greek government has submitted a second wave of creditor-demanded reforms to its parliament for approval. The first batch of measures linked to a huge rescue package sparked a mutiny within the ruling Syriza party. Greek lawmakers have until Wednesday night to adopt the bill which must be passed before talks can begin on a crucial bailout for the cash-strapped ... Read More »

Merkel facing ‘stark choice’ about Greece’s eurozone fate: Varoufakis

Greece's finance minister has said that it will be Chancellor Angela Merkel who will decide his country's eurozone fate. The comments come ahead of an emergency EU summit to discuss Greece's financial crisis. In a column to be published in Sunday's edition of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine" newspaper, Varoufakis wrote that the onus will be on Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the leader of Europe's biggest economy, to save Greece from going into default. "On Monday, [when EU leaders gather for an emergency summit in Brussels], the German chancellor will face a stark choice," Varoufakis wrote. "Enter into an honorable agreement with a government that opposed the 'bailouts' and which seeks a negotiated solution that ends the Greek crisis once and for all. Or ... heed the sirens from within the [German] federal government encouraging her to jettison the only Greek government that is principled and which can carry the Greek people along the path of genuine reform," he argued. "The choice, I am very much afraid, is hers," he concluded. At the same time Varoufakis raised the prospect of new concessions from Athens aimed at convincing its European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors that Greece's left-wing government is serious about combating its massive public debt. 'Determination to compromise' "Our side will arrive in Brussels with the determination to compromise further as long as we are not asked to do what previous governments did: to accept new loan tranches under conditions that offer little hope that Greece can repay its debts," he wrote, without providing any detail about what concrete measures Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government was prepared to take. After months of wrangling over what budget cuts or other economic reforms the left-wing Syriza government would be willing to implement in return for the release of the final 7.2-billion-euro ($8.1 billion) tranche of Greece's international bailout, there have been indications that patience among the country's eurozone partners is wearing thin. On Friday, Merkel said at an event in Berlin that unless a compromise acceptable to Greece's creditors had been reached ahead of the emergency summit in Brussels, no decision could be taken on Monday. There were reports that Tsipras may be planning to contact European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker by telephone over the course of the weekend in an effort to break the deadlock. However, by late Saturday, it wasn't clear whether there had been any discussions or if any progress had been made. Also speaking with the "Frankfurter Allgemeine," European Parliament President Martin Schulz warned the Greek government of the possible consequences of exiting the eurozone. "What doesn't work: leaving the euro, not paying back your debts but expecting funds to keep flowing merrily from the EU budget," he said. Greece is facing a June 30 deadline to meet a 1.6-billion-euro loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund. Should it fail to do so, as is expected to be the case if the bailout funds are not released, it would go into default, possibly triggering a scenario popularly dubbed a "Grexit." This would see Greece leave the eurozone and possibly even cease to be a member of the European Union.

Greece’s finance minister has said that it will be Chancellor Angela Merkel who will decide his country’s eurozone fate. The comments come ahead of an emergency EU summit to discuss Greece’s financial crisis. In a column to be published in Sunday’s edition of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine” newspaper, Varoufakis wrote that the onus will be on Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the ... Read More »

Grexit would be ‘start of the end for the eurozone,’ says Tsipras

مالی مشکلات کے حامل یورپی ملک یونان نے مالی مذاکرات کے سلسلے میں اپنا نیا اصلاحاتی اقتصادی منصوبہ یورپی یونین کو جمع کروا دیا ہے۔ یہ اصلاحاتی پلان ایتھنز حکومت کی جانب سےمنگل کو پیش کیا گیا۔ یونان میں بائیں بازو کی حکومت اِس وقت دیوالیے پن کے قریب پہنچ چکی ہے۔ تیس جون تک اُسے 8.1 بلین ڈالر کیش کی صورت میں درکار ہیں۔ اگر یہ پیکج منظور نہیں ہوتا تو پہلے سے فراہم کردہ امدادی پیکج کی مدت ختم ہو جائے گی۔ اِس سے قبل یورپی کمیشن کے سربراہ ژاں کلُوڈ ینکر کی جانب سے پیش کردہ اقتصادی پلان کو یونانی وزیراعظم الیکسِس سپراس نے یہ کہہ کر مسترد کر دیا تھا کہ اِس کی سخت شرائط کا بوجھ وہ اپنی عوام پر ڈالنے کے لیے تیار نہیں ہیں۔ اپنے تازہ بیان میں سپراس نے یورپی یونین کو متنبہ کیا ہے کہ مالیاتی ڈیل نہ ہونے کی صورت میں یورو زون کو ناقابلِ تلافی نقصان پہنچے گا اور اِس انہدام کا خطرہ پیدا ہو جائے گا۔ یونان کے نمائندے قرض دینے والے بین الاقوامی اداروں کے ساتھ مزید مذاکرات کے لیے گزشتہ روز برسلز پہنچے تھے۔ ایتھنز حکومت کے ترجمان گیبریل ساکیلاریدیس کے مطابق برسلز میں ہونے والے مذاکرات کے اِس دور میں اختلافی معاملات کے دائرے کو کم کرنے کی کوشش کی جائے گی۔ بات چیت کا عمل گزشتہ ہفتے کے دوران تعطلی کا شکار ہو گیا تھا جب یونانی وزیراعظم الیکسِس سپراس نے نئی تجاویز کو ناقابلِ قبول قرار دے دیا تھا۔ نئی صورت حال کے تناظر میں یونانی وزیراعظم نے جرمن چانسلر انگیلا میرکل سے اور فرانسیسی صدر فرانسوا اولانڈ کے ساتھ خصوصی ملاقات کی درخواست کی ہے۔ وہ یہ ملاقات کل بدھ کے روز کرنا چاہتے ہیں۔ یونانی حکومت مالی امداد کے مذاکرات یورپی مرکزی بینک، انٹرنیشنل مانیٹری فنڈ اور یورپی کمیشن سے جاری رکھے ہوئے ہے۔ یورپی کمیشن کی ترجمان مارگاریٹس شنہاس کا کہنا ہے کہ قرض دینے والے تینوں ادارے اِس وقت یونان کی جانب سے فراہم کردہ تجاوز کا جائزہ لینے میں مصروف ہیں اور اُن کا جائزہ مکمل ہونے کی بعد ہی اِس بابت کچھ کہا جا سکتا ہے۔ تیس جون تک یونانی حکومت کو مذاکرات میں کامیابی ضروری ہے بصورتِ دیگر اس کے دیوالیہ ہونے کا خدشہ بڑھ جائے گا۔ یونانی وزیراعظم کا ایک انٹرویومنگل کے روز معتبر اطالوی روزنامے کوریئر ڈیلا سیرا میں شائع ہوا ہے اور اُس میں ان کا کہنا ہے کہ ڈیل کی ناکامی کی صورت میں انیس رکنی یورو زون تباہ کن صورت حال کا سامنا ہو سکتا ہے۔ الیکسِس سپراس نے واضح طور پر کہا کہ ایسی صورت میں یہ یورو زون کے مکمل انہدام کی ابتداء ہو گی۔ سپراس رواں برس جنوری میں الیکشن جیتنے کے بعد منصبِ وزارت عظمیٰ پر بیٹھے تھے۔ انہوں نے انتخابی مہم میں کفایت شعاری اور بچتی پالیسیوں کے یونانی عوام پر المناک اثرات کو ختم کرنے کا وعدہ دیا تھا۔

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has warned in an interview of the costs to EU taxpayers if his country left the eurozone. Athens has meanwhile finally submitted a promised reform plan to its creditors. In the interview in the Tuesday edition of Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Tsipras said that if Greece were forced out of the eurozone after failing to make ... Read More »

Greece warns it has ‘no money’ to make IMF debt repayments

Greece says it cannot make debt repayments to the IMF due next month without more aid from its foreign lenders. Athens defaulting on its debt could mean a Greek exit from the single currency eurozone. Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said Sunday Athens could not afford the next four installments it's supposed to pay to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from June 5. "The four installments for the IMF in June are 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion). This money will not be given and is not there to be given," Voutsis told Greek channel Mega TV. "This is a known fact." Greece's leftist Syriza government has been locked in talks with its creditors - the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF - for the past four months, seeking a deal that could release 7.2 billion euros in remaining aid. In exchange for unlocking the funds, the lenders are demanding Athens accept tough reforms and implement further spending cuts. Voutsis said the government was determined to fight against the lenders' strategy of "asphyxiation." "This policy of extreme austerity and unemployment in Greece must be hit," he said. "We will not escape from this fight." Greece is already struggling to pay wages, pensions and meet its debt obligations. Failure to make the series of IMF payments in June could see cash-strapped Athens default on its debt, raising the possibility of its exit from the eurozone. Deal not far off Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Sunday Greece had made "enormous strides" at reaching an agreement with its lenders to avert bankruptcy, but it was now up to the institutions to do their bit. "We have met them three quarters of the way, they need to meet us one quarter of the way," he told Britain's BBC on Sunday. Varoufakis added that his country had managed to pay public sector wages, pensions and payments to the IMF by extracting 14 percent of national output in the past few months. "At some point we will not be able to do it and at some point we are going obviously to have to make this choice that no minister of finance should ever have to make," he said. Greece has received about 240 billion euros in bailout funds from its international creditors since 2010.

Greece says it cannot make debt repayments to the IMF due next month without more aid from its foreign lenders. Athens defaulting on its debt could mean a Greek exit from the single currency eurozone. Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis said Sunday Athens could not afford the next four installments it’s supposed to pay to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ... Read More »

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