Huge gaps to bridge in Greek negotiations

By Mike Peacock
April 17, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis speaks at the Brookings Institution in Washington

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters on Thursday he was “firmly optimistic” of reaching an agreement with Greece’s creditors. But he acknowledged that the two sides disagreed on four major issues: labour rules, pension reform, a hike in value-added taxes and privatisations.

Greek drama shifts to Washington

By Mike Peacock
April 16, 2015

German Finance Minister Schaeuble attends news conference in Berlin

Much of the action switches to Washington where G20 finance ministers and central bankers are gathering for the IMF’s spring conference.

Greeks seeking Russian gifts?

By Mike Peacock
April 8, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras addresses a news conference after an EU leaders summit in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in Moscow.

There has been talk from some in his Syriza party that Russia could be a substitute for EU support. Western sanctions over Ukraine leave it in no position to give Greece funding though the agriculture minister said Moscow could consider removing Greece, Hungary and Cyprus from its ban on most Western food imports, imposed in response to sanctions imposed by the EU and United States.

Greek plan – a detailed programme or vague list of ideas?

By Mike Peacock
March 30, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras leave after addressing news conference in Berlin

The Greek government has sent a reform package to its EU and International Monetary Fund creditors, hoping it will unlock desperately needed funds to stave off bankruptcy.

Another Russian rate cut?

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2015

A cashier takes a 500-rouble banknote from a cash register as she serves a customer at the Vinoteka specialised wine and vodka store in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

Russia’s central bank meets having unexpectedly cut its key policy rate in January by 200 basis points to 15 percent, raising a question mark over its independence from political pressure, given inflation rose to a 13-year high of 16.7 percent in February.

Ukraine to get serious money

By Mike Peacock
March 12, 2015

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Lagarde speaks about the situation in Ukraine at a news conference in Brussels

The International Monetary Fund surprised on the upside with its programme for Ukraine last night, agreeing $17.5 billion in loans as expected but agreeing to pump $10 billion of that into the near bankrupt country over the next year and handing over $5 billion imminently.

Talking Turkey

By Mike Peacock
March 11, 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara

Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci will brief President Tayyip Erdogan today about sharp falls in the lira of about 12 percent versus the dollar this year which have not been helped by Erdogan’s criticism of monetary policy.

Impatient euro zone tells Greece to get on with it

By Mike Peacock
March 10, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis walks past  Eurogroup Chairman Dijsselbloem at a euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

The head of euro zone finance ministers urged Greece on Monday to “stop wasting time” and buckle down to serious talks on implementing a reform programme to secure urgently needed funds from its international creditors.

Whisper it, is the euro zone perking up?

By Mike Peacock
February 26, 2015

People walk into the the Mall of Berlin shopping centre in Berlin

The drama of Ukraine and Greece has left old-fashioned economic data in the shade so far this year but, quietly, there are some signs of improvement for the moribund euro zone economy.

The Greek plan is in, breath bated

By Mike Peacock
February 24, 2015

Varoufakis arrives at a news conference after an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Greece sent an economic reform plan to its EU and IMF creditors overnight, according to an EU source, and euro zone finance ministers will this morning see the list which is a condition for extending the country’s bailout programme by four months.