News / Economy

Greece Seeking New Terms for EU Bailout

Greece Seeking New Terms for EU Bailouti
|| 0:00:00
X
June 20, 2012 1:00 AM
Rival Greek party leaders are still locked in talks to form a new coalition government - one able to address the country's crippling debt. Despite gaining a slightly larger share of the electorate, Greece's pro-bailout parties did not win enough votes in Sunday's election to form a governing majority. But even as Greek politicians attempt to deal with the second inconclusive election in six weeks, there are growing calls to renegotiate the tough bailout conditions imposed by the European Union. Mil Arcega has more.

Greece Seeking New Terms for EU Bailout

Rival Greek party leaders are still locked in talks to form a new coalition government - one able to address the country's crippling debt.  Despite gaining a slightly larger share of the electorate, Greece's pro-bailout parties did not win enough votes in Sunday's election to form a governing majority.  But even as Greek politicians attempt to deal with the second inconclusive election in six weeks, there are growing calls to renegotiate the tough bailout conditions imposed by the European Union.

Greek politicians are confident a power-sharing agreement is close - with discussions now shifting toward steps needed to stabilize the country's economy.  

Greek lawmaker Olga Kefalogianni says there is general consensus among the various parties that the conditions for Greece's $168 billion rescue may have been too harsh.

"Our partners must understand that they need to give us some breathing space, that reforms are necessary, but we can't work with this austerity package, which actually is keeping us in a vicious cycle of recession," said Kefalogianni.

Greece is now in the fifth year of a recession - a situation some say is tantamount to a full blown depression.  

Economist Yanis Varoufakis says it's clear that austerity measures demanded by the IMF and the European Union in exchange for two bailouts have hindered, rather than helped the Greek economy.  

"The current bailout terms and conditions have already been bypassed by economic reality, so every prediction and every hypothesis on which they were founded, those conditions have completely gone to the dogs [deteriorated]," said Varoufakis.

Despite a series of expensive bailouts to four eurozone countries, borrowing costs have risen to unsustainable levels in high debt countries such as Italy and Spain.  

Varoufakis says, without a unified and growth-centered approach to the region's debt crisis, a Greek exit from the eurozone may be just the beginning.

"Unless we do those things, there will be no eurozone to speak of," he said.

Privately, some EU officials have expressed similar concerns, one tweeting anonymously that "it would be stupid" to enforce existing bailout terms.
 
But investment manager Justin Urquhart Stewart says Greece's new government will have limited room to negotiate.

"The Greek government has to be seen to be carrying out re-negotiations of the deal, it cannot not do so," he said. 'However, there's only a limited amount they can really do.  Are they going to be able to adjust any of the core elements of the bailout package?  The answer is no."

Much will depend on Germany.  The bloc's biggest economy has already opened up the possibility of extending some payment deadlines, but at the G-2- Summit in Mexico, Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her belief that the basic conditions of the deal -- essentially a sharp and timely reduction of Greece's debt to GDP ratio - is not negotiable.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.