Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

November 26, 2012

Euro officials seek way to unlock Greek crisis


Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said action needed to be taken.

"Greece has fully delivered its part to the agreement, so we expect our partners to deliver their part, too, and I am sure we will find a mutually beneficial solution," he said.

But the prospect of yet another batch of bailout money left some ordinary Greeks unimpressed.

"Did we get anything from any of the previous loan installments?" asked Eleni Myronidou, a retiree in Athens. "Did the people get anything? The banks did. It's all about the banks. Nothing for the people. They should be ashamed of themselves. They should be ashamed."

Greece is unlikely to complete its program of budget cuts and reforms by 2014. For this reason, it is likely to be given an additional two years by the troika. But that extension will cost several billion more, and it is disagreements over how to fund this that have stopped Greece from getting its money.

Several proposals have been floated as ways to plug the financial hole. These include reducing the interest rate Greece pays on its loans from euro partners, lenders such as the ECB giving up interest or profit on their loans, a debt buyback that would reduce the country's burden in the long term, and debt forgiveness by some other countries in the eurozone.

But most of those solutions involved dipping once again into the pockets of taxpayers — something that has become increasingly unpalatable politically.

"There have been disputes in recent weeks among the members of the troika," said Craig Erlam, an analyst at Alpari. "However these are expected to be resolved today, meaning Greece will finally receive the next bailout payment. If not, Greece could run out of money in the coming days, the consequences of which could be disastrous for the eurozone."

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