Greek bailout pressure rising

November 25, 2014

A Greek and an EU flag flutter in front of the temple of the Parthenon during the takeover ceremony of the six-month rotation of Greece's EU Presidency in Athens

Greece’s government will resume stalled talks with EU/IMF lenders in Paris today as Athens pushes to make an early exit from an unpopular bailout programme.

Greece has set a Dec. 8 deadline to complete the review but talks hit an impasse a projected budget gap for next year, putting a question mark over the coalition government’s timetable.

Athens has so far resisted changes demanded by the inspectors, submitting its 2015 budget to parliament last week without the approval of lenders. But Prime Minister Antonis Samaras needs a deal.

He must push through his candidate in a presidential vote in February to avoid being forced to call early elections and is hoping exiting the bailout will help win him enough support to survive the vote.

Detailed German GDP figures, just out, showed a sharp rise in private consumption helped the German economy post anaemic growth in the third quarter and avoid recession.

The OECD will put its twice-annual outlook with new forecasts for the world’s major economies. It put out a report earlier this month for a meeting of G20 leaders in Australia which predicted the United States will grow by a robust 3.1 percent in 2015, while the euro zone would manage only 1.1 percent. It urged the European Central Bank to actively consider a move to full quantitative easing.

We’re getting more details of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s 300 billion euro investment programme and it appears to include little or no new money.

To be unveiled on Wednesday, the scheme will not raise new funding from member states but will use some of the EU’s existing budget to spend less on simple grants and put more money into special funds designed to provide capital for infrastructure projects that can then attract private financing.

The question is whether the private sector will be attracted. Some of the leverage estimates look dizzying.
While the ECB tries to ward off deflation, a lack of inflation and wage pressure in the United States and Britain is pushing back the timing of first interest rate rises there.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and a clutch of his colleagues testify to a parliamentary committee today on the Bank’s latest inflation report.

Nigeria’s central bank meets after the naira hit a record low versus the dollar despite heavy intervention. It is not expected to move its 12 percent main rate yet but increases are likely next year. Political tensions ahead of elections in February and a violent insurgency by the Islamist group Boko Haram have contributed to concerns about stability in Africa’s biggest economy.

Hungary is expected to keep interest rates on hold at 2.1 percent today. The consensus forecast is for no move until the second half of next year.

Egypt also has a monetary policy meeting. Its central bank held interest rates last month. A recent Reuters poll forecast growth could reach 3.3 percent this fiscal year as Cairo pushes ahead with big projects such as a Suez Canal expansion.

Ukraine will take the first steps this week towards forming a new government, President Petro Poroshenko said, seeking to assuage concern that the delay is holding up reform and imperilling Western assistance.

Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukaev travels to the heart of German industry in Stuttgart and will give a speech on German-Russian economic ties.

Iran and six powers failed to resolve a stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and gave themselves seven more months to clinch a deal with a view to agreeing broad outlines by March. From an oil point of view, that removes for now the prospect of yet more supply coming onto the market, pushing prices further south.


No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see