Greece

Greece's new prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, vowed Wednesday to make government more efficient and to legislate for tax cuts later this month despite concerns raised by the country's creditors over economic promises made during the election campaign, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. Although Greece no longer relies on funds from international bailouts, its economy is still under strict supervision and its partners in the 19-country eurozone have made clear that the fiscal goals agreed to by the previous government must be adhered to.

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Greece's bailout creditors on Monday bluntly rejected calls from the country's new conservative government to ease draconian budget conditions agreed as part of its rescue program, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. Conservative party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn in as Greece's new prime minister Monday, a day after his resounding election victory on campaign pledges to cut taxes and negotiate new terms with international lenders.

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As Greece prepares for its first post-bailout national election next month, whoever emerges as the country’s next prime minister will face an immediate challenge: how to deal with the European Commission’s warnings of backtracking on reforms, Bloomberg News reported. A package of relief measures adopted by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government in May will incur a cost of more than 1% of gross domestic product in 2019 and beyond, the Commission said in its post-bailout review for Greece on Wednesday.

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Piraeus Bank, the biggest Greek lender, has announced a partnership with Sweden’s Intrum group to reduce a €7bn pile of bad loans that has been holding back its capacity to finance companies that survived the country’s economic crisis, the Financial Times reported. The €410m deal will create a new Greek debt collection business 80 per cent owned by Intrum and 20 per cent by Piraeus. However, the bank’s non-performing debt, which amounts to almost half the loan book, will remain on its balance sheet.

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Greece’s National Bank (NBG) plans to securitise three billion euros of non-performing mortgage loans by 2022, its chief executive said on Friday, as the country’s lenders battle to deal with a legacy of bad debt, Reuters reported. Non-performing exposures in the Greek banking sector totalled 81.8 billion euros ($91.3 billion) in December, which at 46.7% of their loan books is the euro zone’s highest. The government and central bank have come up with more radical initiatives involving securitisations as the urgency for Greek banks to slash their soured loans rises.

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Greece’s central bank governor has warned that a package of pre-electoral handouts due to take effect next week could derail the country’s budget target agreed with its bailout creditors, the Financial Times reported. Yannis Stournaras’s warning came as parliament on Wednesday approved hastily prepared measures that the leftwing Syriza government hopes will boost its popularity ahead of EU parliament elections on May 26. The package of cuts in value added tax and a pension bonus would cost around €1bn, according to the finance ministry.

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By many measures Greece has turned a corner: Its stock benchmark has jumped 26 percent in 2019, set for its best first half in two decades, and trumping European shares’ 8.1 percent gain, Bloomberg News reported. Last year, the country recorded the strongest economic growth since 2007. Greece’s 10-year bonds yield 3.3 percent, a fraction of the 37 percent the country had to pay at the height of the financial crisis. For all that, many Greeks are still struggling to claw out from under mountains of debt after a decade during which the economy cratered, contracting by more than a quarter.

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Greece extended its budget surplus last year, reflecting the leftwing Syriza government’s expectations of a record-busting figure, in the latest sign of Athens pleasing investors after a decade-long debt crisis that took it to the brink of leaving the eurozone. One of the bloc’s poorest members showed a surplus of 1.1 per cent of gross domestic product for 2018, compared with a revised 0.7 per cent for the previous year, and a far cry from its 5.6 per cent deficit of 2015, its statistics office said on Tuesday. Figures published in December for the first 11 months of 2018 had shown that Gre

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Greek revival is an architectural style involving columns of marble. It’s also a good description of a ridiculed nation’s prestige among investors, involving columns of numbers measuring unexpected economic durability, a Bloomberg View reported. Global investors snapped up 2.5 billion euros worth of Greece’s 10-year bonds last month, the first such offering in nine years. That made the Hellenic Republic's debt the world’s most prized, buoyed by gross domestic product growth that’s outperforming Germany, France and the euro zone.

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Greek utility Public Power Corp (PPC) is considering the securitisation of part of its backlog of unpaid bills, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday, as repayment looms next month on an existing bond, Reuters reported. Chief Executive Manolis Panagiotakis said in January that declining profit was making it harder to issue debt, but was confident PPC would repay a 350 million euro ($394 million) bond due in May. In a brief statement following a report in Ta Nea newspaper, the company said it was examining all available financing options in order to deal with overdue receivables.

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