Correspondent, Brussels
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Jul 16, 2015

Greek banks to get brief reprieve before overhaul

FRANKFURT/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek banks face deep surgery including closures or mergers after a bailout but they are seen getting a brief reprieve with a capital injection before the painful overhaul begins.

As part of a deal to secure new funding, Athens had to surrender much autonomy over its economy and this will include handing over more power to European institutions to decide the fate of its sick banks.

Jul 16, 2015

Immediate ECB funding boost to Greece uncertain as Europe mulls bridge loan

FRANKFURT, July 16 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
could be forced by time constraints to delay a funding boost for
Greek lenders, a key step towards their reopening, as it waits
for Europe to agree a financial backstop that ensures Athens can
repay its debts.

The bank had been ready to increase Emergency Liquidity
Assistance (ELA) after Greece approved the bailout deal. But it
wants first to ensure that temporary financing for the Greek
budget is in place and Greece is able to repay a big debt to the
ECB on July 20.

Jul 16, 2015

ECB to weigh funding boost for Greece

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Greece’s approval of a bailout deal overnight could persuade the European Central Bank to ease its funding squeeze on Athens as soon as Thursday, the first step in reopening banks and returning some normality to its stricken economy.

Making a symbolic gesture, the bank could increase Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) when its Governing Council meets, helping to restore confidence after Greece was nearly forced from the euro — a debate that challenged ECB President Mario Draghi’s pledge that the currency was irreversible.

Jul 14, 2015

Reforms, debt repayment could pave way for ECB to help Greece

FRANKFURT/ATHENS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank could ease a funding squeeze on Greece this week, but it would first need Greek lawmakers to sign off on reforms and to be assured that payment due soon from Athens will be made, people familiar with the matter have said.

The hurdles are significant but with Greece’s leftist government likely to harness cross party support for reforms, marking a u-turn after a ‘no’ vote to austerity, there is a prospect of gentler ECB treatment to inject fresh cash and let shuttered banks open.

Jul 13, 2015

ECB’s Greek bank support buys lawmakers short time on aid deal

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s decision to support Greece’s shuttered banks by keeping its emergency funding line open gives the country’s lawmakers a few days to seal reforms for an aid deal to keep it in the euro.

However, the lawmakers are under pressure to act fast as the ECB, facing resistance from Germany, would be unlikely to extend the funding line next week if Greece misses a debt repayment due to the ECB on July 20.

Jul 10, 2015

Greece sends reform plan to EU promising new tax hikes

ATHENS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The Greek government sent a package of reform proposals to its euro zone creditors on Thursday in a race to win new funds to avert bankruptcy and will seek a parliamentary vote on Friday to endorse immediate actions.

In the latest proposals, Greece has asked for 53.5 billion euros ($59 billion) to help cover its debts until 2018, a review of primary surplus targets and “reprofiling” the country’s long-term debt.

Jul 10, 2015

Greece sends reform plan to EU, sets parliament vote

ATHENS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The Greek government sent a package of reform proposals to its euro zone creditors on Thursday in a race to win new funds to avert bankruptcy and will seek a parliamentary vote on Friday to endorse immediate actions.

The chairman of Eurogroup finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, confirmed receiving the documents and said through a spokesman that he would not comment until they had been assessed by experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Jul 9, 2015

Greece needs debt haircut but we can’t help: Germany’s Schaeuble

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s finance minister conceded for the first time on Thursday that a write-off of some of Europe’s loans to Greece might be needed to get the country’s debt to a manageable level, but in the same breath ruled out such a step.

Presenting a paradox that is set to bog down last-ditch efforts to bail out Greece, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that European rules meant that writing off some loans to Greece was not doable, however desirable it might be for Athens’ finances.

Jul 9, 2015

Germany’s Schaeuble: Greece needs debt haircut but we can’t help

FRANKFURT, July 9 (Reuters) – Germany’s finance minister
conceded for the first time on Thursday that a write-off of some
of Europe’s loans to Greece might be needed to get the country’s
debt to a manageable level, but in the same breath ruled out
such a step.

Presenting a paradox that is set to bog down last-ditch
efforts to bail out Greece, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that
European rules meant that writing off some loans to Greece was
not doable, however desirable it might be for Athens’ finances.

Jul 9, 2015

Draghi said to doubt Greek solution as Tsipras reforms awaited

FRANKFURT/ATHENS (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has voiced unprecedented doubts about the chances of rescuing Greece from bankruptcy as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was due to put forward last-ditch reform proposals on Thursday.

Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore quoted the ECB chief, under growing fire in Germany for keeping Greek banks afloat, as saying he was not sure a solution would be found for Greece and he did not believe Russia would come to Athens’ rescue.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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