Varoufakis enters the lion’s den

By Mike Peacock
February 11, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis holds his speech notes before a vote of confidence at the parliament in Athens

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis enters the lion’s den today, attending his first meeting of euro zone finance ministers where he will spell out his plan to drop his country’s bailout and end austerity.

G20 treads familiar ground

By Mike Peacock
February 10, 2015

OECD Secretary General Gurria casts his shadow on the podium as he speaks during a news conference in the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Istanbul

G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Istanbul will pledge to act decisively on monetary and fiscal policy if needed to combat the risk of  stagnation, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters last night. As has been customary at these summits, a lot of the discussion implicitly centres on Germany.

Tsipras not for turning

By Mike Peacock
February 9, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras delivers his first major speech in parliament in Athens

Alexis Tsipras is not for turning, not yet anyway.

Speaking in parliament on Sunday night the new Greek premier said he would not accept an extension to Greece’s current bailout, something the euro zone is urging him to do, and stuck with austerity-ending pledges such as giving free food and electricity to those who need it, reinstating civil servants who had been fired as part of bailout conditions and raising the minimum wage. Privatisations have already been halted.

Last-ditch Ukraine truce bid

By Mike Peacock
February 6, 2015

Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic gather near a building destroyed during battles with the Ukrainian armed forces in Vuhlehirsk

After flying to Kiev to present a new peace plan, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande will be in Moscow today for talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Another reverse for Greece with Berlin yet to come

By Mike Peacock
February 5, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis answers journlists questions at restaurant in Frankfurt

Last night, after Greece’s new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return for funding, shifting the burden onto Greece’s central bank to finance its lenders, the latest reverse for the country’s new government.

Greeks on tour

By Mike Peacock
February 4, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras gestures during a news conference with his Italian counterpart Renzi at Chigi palace in Rome

The Greek roadshow continues with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. After that, he will head to Paris to see French President Francois Hollande.

Greece – a deal to be done?

By Mike Peacock
February 3, 2015

Greek PM Tsipras attends a memorial ceremony at the Imprisoned Graves in Nicosia

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Rome for talks with Italy’s Matteo Renzi and will be met there by his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who has already been to London and Paris to try the scope for a new debt deal for Greece and reassure investors that there won’t be a default.

Greek roadshow

By Mike Peacock
February 2, 2015

French Finance Minister Sapin and Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis pose before a meeting in Paris

A week into government, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will be in London today for talks with investors and his British counterpart George Osborne. He will then fly to Rome where he will be joined by his prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, on Tuesday.

Rampant inflation to keep Russian central bank tight

By Mike Peacock
January 30, 2015

Russian roubles are seen in this illustration picture taken in Moscow

Russia’s central bank meets having shoved interest rates up to an eye-watering 17 percent late last year.
The central bank has said rates can only come down if inflation was trending lower. It was running above 11 percent last month and the government expects it to peak at 17 percent.

EU ponders another round of Russia sanctions

By Mike Peacock
January 29, 2015

Ukrainian servicemen sit atop an armored personnel carrier as they patrol Orekhovo village in Luhansk

EU foreign ministers hold an extraordinary meeting today after their leaders have asked them to consider possible new sanctions on Russia. A final decision to impose them is likely to be left to their bosses who meet in next month and again in March.