Bureau Chief, Greece & Cyprus
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Jan 14, 2012

Mass S&P downgrade as Greek debt impasse hit euro zone

BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit ratings of nine euro- zone countries, stripping France and Austria of their coveted triple-A status but not EU paymaster Germany, in a Black Friday the 13th for the troubled single currency area.

“Today’s rating actions are primarily driven by our assessment that the policy initiatives that have been taken by European policymakers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the eurozone,” the U.S.-based ratings agency said in a statement.

Jan 14, 2012

S&P downgrades nine euro zone countries

BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit ratings of nine euro- zone countries, stripping France and Austria of their coveted triple-A status but not EU paymaster Germany, in a Black Friday the 13th for the troubled single currency area.

“Today’s rating actions are primarily driven by our assessment that the policy initiatives that have been taken by European policymakers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the eurozone,” the U.S.-based ratings agency said in a statement.

Jan 13, 2012

Looming S&P downgrade hits euro zone markets

BERLIN/ATHENS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s
was poised to downgrade the credit ratings of several euro zone
countries on Friday, including France and Austria but not
Germany or the Netherlands, rattling markets in the first blow
of the new year for the troubled single currency.

In another potential setback, talks on a debt swap by
private creditors seen as key to averting a Greek default that
would rock Europe and the world economy broke up without
agreement in Athens, although officials said more talks are
likely next week.

Jan 13, 2012

Debt talks stumble, Greeks warn of disaster

ATHENS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Talks between Greece and
its creditor banks aimed at avoiding a disorderly default broke
down on Friday, with Greeks warning of disastrous results if a
bond swap deal is not reached soon.

Athens needs an agreement, effectively seeing creditors
voluntarily giving up a lot of their promised returns, to slash
its debt to more sustainable levels and convince the European
Union and International Monetary Fund to keep lending it cash.

Nov 28, 2011

Greek statistics chief to testify in criminal probe

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s statistics chief will testify next month in a criminal investigation into allegations that his office falsified the budget deficit to make the country’s financial crisis look worse, court officials said Monday.

The head of the newly independent statistics service ELSTAT, Andreas Georgiou, denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any offence in the investigation, stemming from allegations made by a former ELSTAT board member.

Nov 23, 2011

Greek party leader offers bailout pledge, doubts remain

ATHENS, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Conservative leader Antonis
Samaras offered a written pledge to the EU and IMF on Wednesday
backing Greece’s bailout deal, but whether his letter was enough
to satisfy the exasperated lenders and unblock funds to stave
off bankruptcy remained unclear.

A vital sixth tranche of aid for the debt-choked country has
been held up by his refusal to comply with a European Union
demand for the written commitment supporting the bailout beyond
the life of the current interim coalition government.

Nov 23, 2011

Greek opposition leader offers pledge, doubts remain

ATHENS, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Opposition leader Antonis
Samaras on Wednesday sent a letter to Greece’s lenders pledging
support for a bailout deal, but it remained unclear whether this
would be enough to unblock funds the country needs to avoid
bankruptcy.

A vital sixth tranche of aid for the debt-choked country has
been held up by Samaras’ refusal to comply with a European Union
demand to provide a written pledge backing a bailout deal beyond
the 90-day coalition government’s agreed mandate.

Nov 10, 2011

Greek government born of five days of torment

ATHENS (Reuters) – For five tormented days, Greece’s search for a prime minister swung between comedy and tragedy, back-office deals struck then abandoned, names floated then denied, screaming in corridors; all while the country drifted toward economic disaster.

“If I were a foreigner watching it, I would say let them all go to hell,” one socialist deputy was overheard telling a colleague at the parliament coffee shop.

Nov 9, 2011

Deal on Greek premier collapses, Papademos re-emerges

Nov 9 (Reuters) – A deal on forming a Greek national unity
government collapsed as the country headed towards an economic
abyss and revived early on Thursday the chances of former
European Central Bank vice president Lucas Papademos heading the
coalition.

Prime Minister George Papandreou said he was handing over to
a coalition that does not exist and then failed to install an
old-style politician and personal ally as premier.

Nov 9, 2011

Greek parties agree speaker as new PM, barring snags

ATHENS, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister George
Papandreou said he was stepping down on Wednesday without
saying who would succeed him as the nation heads towards an
economic precipice, but party sources said political leaders had
agreed it would be the speaker of parliament.

Parties from left and right settled on veteran socialist
Filippos Petsalnikos, barring-last minute snags, the sources
said, turning to their own political class after ditching a plan
to recruit a former top European Central Bank official.

    • About Dina

      "Based in Athens, in charge of text, pictures and TV teams covering Greece and Cyprus since 2005. Previously based in Bucharest, in charge of Romania and Bulgaria."
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