Senior Correspondent, Greece
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Jul 8, 2012

Greek govt wins confidence vote, bigger battles loom

ATHENS, July 9 (Reuters) – Greece’s new conservative-led
government won parliamentary approval on Monday, but faced the
much tougher task of convincing European partners and the IMF to
give it more time to meet the terms of its bailout.

There had been little doubt the government would sail
through the confidence vote after a heated three-day debate in
which it pledged to win back the trust of foreign lenders.

Jul 3, 2012

Greece eyes revival without jeopardizing bailout targets

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s new government will focus on reviving its recession-hit economy without missing targets under a foreign bailout, a deputy finance minister said on Tuesday, in a bid to assuage concerns it would renege on commitments to its lenders.

Athens wants to take advantage of a shift in Europe towards more growth-oriented measures by tweaking the mix of measures in the 130-billion-euro rescue, but would not try to change overall fiscal targets in the plan, Christos Staikouras said.

Jul 2, 2012

ECB warns Greece as ministers plan softer bailout bid

ATHENS, July 2 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank told
Greece on Monday not to waste time trying to renegotiate its
international bailout as government ministers hashed out a plan
for easing its punishing terms before a review by the country’s
lenders.

Echoing Greece’s euro zone partners, ECB policymaker Joerg
Asmussen signalled that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was
unlikely to win much leeway in imposing austerity measures
demanded by the European Union and IMF under its bailout
programme.

Jul 2, 2012

ECB’s Asmussen urges Greece to focus on reforms

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece should not lose time trying to renegotiate its international bailout but focus instead on getting its reform program on track, European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen said, adding that it was risky to delay adjustments.

Greece’s incoming coalition government under conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said it wants to soften the terms of the bailout, mainly by extending it by two years, to enable the country to recover from a five-year-long recession.

Jun 26, 2012

“Mr Euro” named Greek finance minister

ATHENS, June 26 (Reuters) – Respected economist Yannis
Stournaras, who was part of a team that negotiated Greece’s
entry to the euro, has been appointed as new finance minister,
the government announced on Tuesday.

Greece’s new conservative-led government scrambled to make a
quick decision on the post after their first choice, banker
Vassilis Rapanos, quit on Monday on the advice of doctors after
spending four days in hospital suffering dizziness and abdominal
pains.

Jun 26, 2012

Greece to choose new finance minister to tackle debt

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek coalition leaders aim to agree on a new finance minister on Tuesday after their first choice deepened the chaos surrounding the country’s debt crisis by resigning over ill health a few days after being named.

Vassilis Rapanos quit on Monday less than a week after the conservative-led government took office with the huge task of trying to persuade foreign lenders to soften the terms of an international bailout that has enraged Greeks.

Jun 26, 2012

Greece to choose new finmin to tackle debt

ATHENS, June 26 (Reuters) – Greek coalition leaders aim to
agree on a new finance minister on Tuesday after their first
choice deepened the chaos surrounding the country’s debt crisis
by resigning over ill health a few days after being named.

Vassilis Rapanos quit on Monday less than a week after the
conservative-led government took office with the huge task of
trying to persuade foreign lenders to soften the terms of an
international bailout that has enraged Greeks.

Jun 24, 2012

Greek PM to miss EU summit, “troika” postpones trip

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s new prime minister and incoming finance minister, who have been ill, will miss this week’s EU summit when Athens will propose easing the terms of its bailout and international lenders have had to postpone a first meeting with the team.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras underwent eye surgery on Saturday and Vassilis Rapanos is in hospital after suffering from nausea, intense abdominal pains and dizziness on Friday before he could be sworn in as finance minister.

Jun 21, 2012

Greek banker once jailed by junta takes on new fight

ATHENS, June 21 (Reuters) – As a young student, banker
Vassilis Rapanos was jailed in one of Greece’s most infamous
prisons for fighting a military dictatorship.

Four decades later he is facing what may be an even bigger
battle as Greece’s new finance minister, charged with
negotiating with foreign powers exasperated by the near-bankrupt
country’s repeated failure to keep reform pledges.

Jun 17, 2012

Greek far-right defies predictions with vote success

ATHENS (Reuters) – The leader of Greece’s ultra-right Golden Dawn party savored unexpected success in Sunday’s election by taunting journalists and defiantly appearing on camera alongside a party official who went on the run for assaulting a leftist rival.

Hundreds of cheering supporters thronged the party’s headquarters in Athens and officials threw ballot papers as confetti from windows after the group defied predictions to once again emerge as among the winners of the night.