[Marxism] Greek gov'ts financial crunch

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 00:24:08 MDT 2015

Greece scrapes bottom of barrel in hunt for cash to stay afloat
by Lefteris Papadimas and Deepa Babington
Reuters, April 17

Greece will need to tap all the remaining cash reserves across its
public sector -- a total of 2 billion euros ($2.16 billion) -- to pay
civil service wages and pensions at the end of the month, according to
finance ministry officials.
. . .

Greece Promises 'Compromise' With Creditors, But Markets, Political
Leaders Fear Default
by Mark Hanrahan
International Business Times, April 17

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Thursday that Syriza-led
government was willing to compromise in order to reach a deal with
international creditors, but warned that his country's financial
situation was increasingly perilous.

"Liquidity is drying up in Greece," Varoufakis said in remarks at the
Brookings Institution in Washington. He added that Athens is "not
going to sign up to targets we know our economy cannot meet." He said
Greece will "compromise for a speedy agreement, but will not be
compromised," Dow Jones reported.

He added that the government of which he is a member was elected to
“challenge the logic of a program that has clearly failed.”

His comments come amid increasing concern in the markets and in
European political circles that a Greek default appears increasingly

“Greece is moving ever closer to the abyss,” Slovakia’s Finance
Minister Peter Kazimir said this week, and European Union spokesman
Margaritis Schinas reiterated that the bloc was "not satisfied with
the level of progress made so far."

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, also speaking at the
Brookings institution, did not back away from the tough line his
country has pushed on Greek reforms.

He also dismissed the possibility of Greece resolving its problems by
borrowing from Russia or China, suggesting that it would be difficult
in the current climate for the country to find willing lenders, the
BBC reported.

Furthermore, yields on Greece’s three-year bonds shot up to nearly 28
percent on Thursday, as investors priced in a high chance of default,
according to the Wall Street Journal.

Confidence was not buoyed by reports that emerged Thursday, that
Greece had made an informal approach to the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), one of its major creditors, to ask for a delay in a
payment of €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) it owes [that] body, due in May
and June.

The IMF flatly rejected Greece's proposal, with Managing Director
Christine Lagarde telling the World Bank's spring meeting in
Washington: “Payment delays had not been granted by the board of the
IMF in the last 30 years. … It's clearly not a course of action that
would actually fit or be recommendable in the current situation."

An analysis from the Economist magazine suggested that the request to
the IMF showed that Greece itself was not confident that it would be
able to agree a package of reforms with its creditors, needed to
unlock international funds it needs to stave off default.

On Wednesday this week, ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded
Greece's credit rating.

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