Sunday, November 17, 2013

Greece updates November 17 , 2013 - Chronicles of a European Winter ......... Greece news items of note.....


Chronicles of a European Winter: “There is a Difference Between Saying Greeks Should Live With Less and Saying Greeks Should Live With Nothing”

This is the first segment of an ongoing project, Eurowinter, to record the human toll of austerity policies in Europe. It focuses on the suffering Greece, as told by Greeks themselves.
The pace might strike some as languid, but if you stick with it, it makes sense. The filmmakers are acting as witnesses, giving their subjects, who are mainly men still trying to retain a sense of dignity, the space to describe how the devastation has affected them. The result is an elegy in the form of adocumentary.

Testing week lies ahead for government

A crucial week lies ahead for the government as it will continue its discussions with the troika, with pressure building for Athens to conclude the latest review of its adjustment program, ahead of the 2014 budget being submitted to Parliament on Thursday and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday.
Troika officials are due to resume talks with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras on Sunday with the aim of assessing whether Athens had completed the four “prior actions” needed to secure another 1 billion euros in bailout funding and to agree on a range of measures demanded by the country’s lenders as party of the current review.
With regard to the prior actions, Greece believes that three of the four – settling state debts to the Athens and Thessaloniki water companies, the public sector mobility scheme and the changes to the code for lawyers – have been carried out. The one remaining task is to settle the future of the Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS). Here, the two sides have yet to agree. The troika believes there is no future for the loss-making company and that it has to close. The Greek government wants to convince its lenders to give it 28 months to turn a profit before a final decision is taken.
“If Greece has not at least completed the prior actions for the loan tranche approved in July, then Yannis [Stournaras] will have a tough time,” an experienced Brussels technocrat told Kathimerini.
As for issues being discussed as part of the current review, the two sides are also at odds over the limit on home foreclosures. The troika wants the moratorium on foreclosures for homes worth less than 200,000 euros to end. The government does not want to do this. Then, the two sides also have to agree on the size of next year’s fiscal gap and what measures will be needed in 2014 and 2015. Finally, discussions will also focus on Greece’s privatization program and how to improve it.
The final version of the budget could help Greece’s position in relation to the negotiations on the fiscal gap as it forecasts a primary surplus of 780 million euros for next year, compared to 344 million in the draft version submitted last month.
The working week will end with Samaras’s second visit to Berlin in 15 months. The Greek prime minister is hoping that his discussion with Merkel will have positive implications for Greece’s plight. , Saturday November 16, 2013 (17:45) 

Security tight for march to US Embassy on November 17 commemoration

Streets leading from the city center to the US Embassy in Athens were closed on Sunday afternoon as a march is scheduled at 3 p.m. from the central Patission Street campus of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA, also known as Polytechnio) to the embassy on Vassilissis Sofias Avenue, as part of events marking the 40th anniversary of a student uprising against the military dictatorship.
Hundreds of people have been laying wreaths and flowers since Friday at a memorial in the historical building marking the revolt against the junta on November 17, 1973, in which 24 civilians were killed when military tanks rolled into the campus of then-Athens Polytechnic.
The police has deployed some 7,000 officers to guard the event, which has been marked by violence in the past.
As part of security measures, authorities have closed down the Panepistimio, Syntagma and Evangelismos metro stations, while the stations of Megaro Moussikis and Ambelokipi near the US Embassy are to be shut down from 2.30 p.m.
Streets along the route have been closed to traffic and will remain so until the end of the rally in the evening. , Sunday November 17, 2013 (13:58) 

Banks miss the target for SME funding

Credit to small and medium-sized enterprises via various funding tools missed the target set for October by 137 million euros, according to Development Ministry data.
It therefore appears extremely unlikely that banks will meet the 2-billion-euro target for credit given to SMEs by the end of the year, a goal now postponed to end-February 2014.
Last month banks issued funding of 713 million euros to SMEs against a target for 850 million, with National Bank being the only systemic lender to make its target. Banks attributed this to the climate of uncertainty last month as well as their workload in arranging their own affairs.
The issue was the focus of a meeting on Friday between minister Costis Hatzidakis and the board of the Hellenic Bank Association.
“I expect banks will do everything they can to make up for the lost ground in the following months,” Hatzidakis said after the meeting. , Friday November 15, 2013 (22:46) 


  1. Hi Fred,
    Nice to see the move Syria made to give the Kurds their own territory is causing the Turks some worry. They should have been nicer neighbors.
    Bitcoin moving on up to the east side :) Either heading to infinity or zero, not sure which. Have a great rest of the weekend.

  2. Morning Kev - Turkey having Kurdish heartburn ( notice how they have stepped back from actively backing the jihadist rebels lately ?)

    BitCoin regulation ( Hearing this week if I recall correctly ) , quite sure whatever rules are rolled out won't take anywhere as long as the BS investigation of silver manipulation