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Press summary: Greece edges closer to a disorderly default as politicians refuse to back more austerity

06 Feb 2012

Greece edges closer to a disorderly default as politicians refuse to back more austerity;
Bild am Sonntag: 53% of Germans want Greece to leave the eurozone
Greece took a step closer to default over the weekend as talks between the Greek unity government and the EU/IMF/ECB troika broke down. The troika continues to demand greater austerity, with a focus on cuts to the minimum wage and greater public sector job reductions. However, all three of the political parties which currently back the ‘technocratic’ Greek government refused to support such measures, although they did back a further €3.3bn in cuts this year. But the troika and the stronger eurozone member states have made it clear that the voluntary restructuring will not be finalised and the second bailout will not be dispersed until there is some political consensus backing their demands in Greece.  

Reports suggested the Greek government initially had a deadline of noon today to find an agreement. However, Greek officials have refuted that this morning, suggesting a deal must only be instituted before the next meeting of eurozone finance ministers, which Handelsblatt suggests has been moved to Wednesday. It is widely accepted that an agreement must be found this week in order for there to be enough time to institute the voluntary restructuring and stop Greece defaulting on a large debt repayment on 20 March.  

Speaking to Der Spiegel, Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said that if Greece failed to implement the necessary reforms, it could “not expect others to demonstrate solidarity…If we should find that everything goes wrong in Greece, there will be no new programme, meaning that a statement of default will follow in March.” Jürgen Trittin, chairman of the Greens’ faction in the Bundestag called for the ECB to take losses on its holdings of Greek debt, while a poll conducted for Bild am Sonntag found that 53% of respondents wanted to see Greece leave the eurozone.  

German business weekly Wirtschafswoche runs with the headline, “The euro conspiracy. How Germany is being squeezed out.” The article criticises the ECB for giving in and pumping huge amounts of money into the eurozone. Open Europe’s commentary on the state of Greek banks was featured on Zerohedge.
FT Reuters BBC CityAM WSJ Il Sole 24 Ore Expansión Telegraph Spiegel Welt Bild am Sonntag Independent IHT Le Monde Le Point Les Echos Les Echos 2 Corriere della Sera FT Weekend EUobserver Saturday’s Telegraph Sunday Telegraph FT Weekend 2 FT Weekend 3 WSJ 2 WSJ 3 Irish Times ORF DW Kathimerini Reuters FTD Handelsblatt Handelsblatt: Henkel Handelsblatt 2 Handelsblatt 3 Wirtschafswoche Wirtschafswoche 2 Süddeutsche FAZ FAZ 2 Spiegel Welt Welt: Hildebrandt Irish Times Irish Independent Welt FT: Munchau FT: Chancellor  WSJ: Sargent WSJ: Nixon BBC: Hewitt Times: Emmott

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