July 3, 2011

Greece sovereignty massively limited by EU following bailout

The 5th bailout tranche to Greece, has now been approved.

From Reuters:

"Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Saturday to disburse a further 12 billion euros to Greece and said the details of a second aid package for Athens would be finalised by mid-September. After a conference call, the 17 euro zone ministers agreed that the fifth tranche of the 110-billion-euro bailout agreed with Greece in May 2010 would be paid by July 15, as long as the IMF's board signs off on the disbursement. The IMF is expected to meet on July 8 to approve it. The payment will allow Greece to avoid the immediate threat of default, but the country still needs a second rescue package, which is also expected to total around 110 billion euros and which will now likely only be finalised in September. Between now and then, finance ministers will work on the "precise modalities and scale" of the private sector's involvement in the second aid package, which Germany hopes will eventually total around 30 billion euros. Greece said it expected a final decision on a second bailout programme by mid-September to keep the country financed.


The question is how long will the money last, 1-2-3 months at best and then we are back again to square one.
Greece has 18.2 bn in debt payments in August, 12 billion clearly are not enough to cover the shortfall, where will they get the rest?


As if it was not enough 1 hour ago a new warning has been issued by the Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker. He warned Greeks that help from the EU and International Monetary Fund would have unpleasant consequences.


"The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited," he told Germany's Focus magazine in the interview released on Sunday, adding that teams of experts from around the euro zone would be heading to Athens.
"One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the euro zone," Juncker said.
Juncker also said Greece must privatize on a scale similar to the sell off of East German firms in the 1990s.
"For the forthcoming wave of privatizations they will need, for example, a solution based on a model of Germany's 'Treuhand agency'," Juncker said, referring to the privatization agency that sold off 14,000 East German firms between 1990 and 1994.
Athens must sell off 5 billion euros in state assets this year alone or risk missing targets set under its EU/IMF program, which could cut off its funding needed to keep the government running and avoid a debt default.
"The current package of measures, which Athens has agreed to, will bring a solution to the Greek question," said Juncker. However, he added that the Greek tax collection system was "not fully functional."
Financial markets still see an 81 percent chance that Greece will eventually default, and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Der Spiegel in an interview that Berlin was making preparations for such an event -- even though it does not expect it to happen.
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