mardi 30 août 2011

Mauvaise nouvelle pour Athènes : des compagnies turque et allemande coopèrent pour vendre des sous-marins à l'Indonésie

Turkey, Germany seek submarine sale of $1 bln
Font Size: Larger|Smaller
Friday, August 26, 2011
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
A joint group of Turkish and German companies are competing with a South Korean attempt to sell two HDW-class 209-type diesel submarines to Indonesia

A team of Turkish and German companies, as well as Turkey’s procurement office, are jointly looking to sell two HDW-class 209-type diesel submarines to Indonesia in a $1 billion deal, a senior Turkish procurement official said Friday.
“Our package is excellent. We are hopeful and waiting for Indonesia’s decision,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The only competitor for the German-Turkish partnership is South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine, which emerged as the favorite after French and Russian bidders for the Indonesian Navy’s tender fell off.

Daewoo was expected to bid together with Germany’s Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, or HDW, but later decided to join the competition on its own.

Facing the threat of being left out of the deal, HDW, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, then approached the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, or SSM, Turkey’s defense procurement agency, to seek the Indonesian contract jointly; at the same time, President Abdullah Gül was paying an official visit to Indonesia in April during which the two countries signed a comprehensive defense industry cooperation agreement. Both Muslim nations, Turkey and Indonesia share close political and cultural ties and are developing their industrial relations.

HDW is also co-manufacturing six modern U 214-type diesel submarines with Turkey for the country’s Navy. Turkey earlier built 14 U 209-type submarines with the German company that Indonesia now wants to buy.

In June HDW sent a letter to SSM, confirming that “SSM is entitled to market and sell HDW class U 209 1,400-tonne submarines to be built in Turkey for the Project of Procurement of Diesel Electric Submarines by the Indonesian Navy.”

A decision on the bid is expected either late this year or in early 2012.

A 2-billion-euro submarine deal between SSM and HDW for the joint manufacture of six U 214 platforms for the Turkish Navy formally took effect July 1.

]Sweetening the deal

In an effort to win the bid over their Korean rivals, SSM is reported to be offering sweeteners. In a letter sent to Indonesian Adm. Soeparno, who uses one name like many Indonesians, SSM chief Murad Bayar said, “Our offer includes one or two 209-class submarine leases to the Indonesian Navy as a ‘gap-filler’ solution until your submarines have been built.”

Bayar also pledged a maximum work share for Indonesian defense companies, including the Indonesian national shipyard PT-PAL, in emphasizing HDW’s full support for the Turkish bid.

“A very attractive and advantageous financial package will be included as well,” Bayar said.

“Our Navy and defense companies shall provide full support to your Navy and defense companies for operational and maintenance training, as well as military exercises in the shallow waters of your country,” he said.

“As a well-known worldwide brand and proven technology, 209-Class submarines will increase your country’s industrial capabilities and will bring us a chance to share our knowledge to provide regional peace and stability,” Bayar said.

In a letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in late July, Gül confirmed and reiterated Turkey’s sweeteners and stated his desire for increased defense industry cooperation.

If the Turkish bid is chosen, the two Class-209 submarines will be built at Turkey’s Gölcük naval shipyard in the northwestern province of Kocaeli by the Turkish company STM under license from HDW.

South Korea optimistic

Despite Turkey’s hard push for the deal, many in the South Korean press are convinced that their country will win the bid. The Korea Times quoted a South Korean industry source as saying that “Indonesia will likely pick Korea as the preferred bidder for its submarine acquisition program, worth $1.08 billion.”

One South Korean official said he was aware of his country’s rivalry in the project with Turkey, but did not comment further.

Despite competing against each other this time, Turkey and South Korea are very close allies, particularly in terms of the defense industry. Turkey is building howitzers under a South Korean license and the two countries are jointly producing basic aircraft trainers for the Turkish Air Force. South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries is among the strongest candidates in a bid being offered by Turkey to design, develop and manufacture a fighter aircraft by 2020.
Source :

dimanche 28 août 2011

Encore une mauvaise nouvelle pour Athènes : une deuxième statue du Macédonien Alexandre le Grand à Skopje

New Statue of Alexander the Great at the Airport of Skopje

Posted on 23 August 2011 by Anastasia Chaini

A statue of Alexander the Great, 1.5 meter high, was placed at the new airport building in Skopje, that since late 2006 has been renamed “Alexander the Great” airport. The new airport building in Skopje will be inaugurated on September 8, the independence day of FYROM.

The head of the Turkish company TAV in FYROM Murat Ornekol said that the placement of the statue of Alexander has been agreed upon by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of FYROM. ”The Ministry of Transport has chosen and agreed on the placement of the new statue, which is the gift of our company to the new airport,” said Ornekol.

As of last year, TAV company the airport of Skopje. One more statue of Alexander the Great of huge dimensions, has been placed since last June in the central square of Skopje.

The statue in the square, which is officially called “the statue of mounted warriors” by the FYROM authorities, will be accompanied by ancient Macedonian soldiers in order of phalanx and lions.

The whole construction will be completed in the coming days, while according to the media in Skopje, the unveiling of the statue in the square of the capital of Macedonia, will be made by the Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski on September 8, in honor of the 20 years since the independence of Macedonia.

The government is planning many festivities.
Source :

Pour rappel : Mauvaise nouvelle pour Athènes : une statue monumentale du Macédonien Alexandre le Grand à Skopje

samedi 27 août 2011

La Grèce est-elle si importante que cela ? Une économie qui importe 64 milliards de dollars et en exporte 21 milliards, avec une dette de 500 milliards

Why is Greece so important?
Chandni Burman | Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why is the entire world afraid of Greece going bust? Greece is one of the smaller economies in the euro zone whose primary export is olives. The major reason is that the country has gone on a borrowing spree and their current government debt to gross domestic product ratio stands at 160%. In absolute terms, it works out to around $500 billion.

But the hugeness of this number is just a part of the problem. So why is Greece so important? As John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper write in Endgame - The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything “Because so much of their debt is on the books of European banks. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth… Bond markets require confidence above all else. If Greece defaults, how far away is Spain or Japan? What makes the US so different…The global financial system is all connected. Tiny Greece can make a difference in places far removed from Europe, just like subprime debt created a crisis all over the world.”

The authors feel that even bailouts won’t work. “Today, there is some kind of bailout for Greece. But that is just a Band-Aid. The crisis will not go away. It will come back, unless the Greeks willingly go into their own Great Depression by slashing their spending and raising taxes…What is being demanded of them is really bad for them, but they did it to themselves.”

What also does not help is the fact that Greece faces huge rollover risk on its debt. As the authors write, “By this, we mean that when a bond becomes due, you have to roll over the bond into another bond. If the party that bought the original bond wants cash to invest in something else or just does not want your bond risk anymore, you have to find someone to buy the new bond. Greece has a large number of bonds coming due soon. It is not just the new debt; they have to find someone to buy the old debt. And that is why they need so much money.”

Typically, countries which are in the situation that Greece is in, devalue their currency and export their way out of trouble. Greece uses euro as its currency, which is used as a currency by other countries in the EU. So Greece cannot devalue the euro.

As far as productivity goes, Greece has one of the worst productivity parameters in Europe. As the authors write, “barring some new productivity boost in olive oil…production, there is no easy way. Since the beginning of the euro in 1999, Germany has become some 30% more productive than Greece. Very roughly, that means it costs 30% more to produce the same amount of goods in Greece than in Germany. That is why Greece imports $64 billion and exports only $21billion…What needs to happen for Greece to become competitive! Labour costs fall by a lot, and not by just 10 or 15%... In short, Greece lifestyles are on the line. They are going to fall. They have no choice. They are going to willingly have to put them into a severe recession or, more realistically, a depression.”

But the chances of labour costs coming down are rather low. Greece categorises certain jobs as arduous. For such jobs the retirement age is 55 for men and 50 for women.

“As this is also the moment when the state begins to shovel out generous pensions, more than 600 Greek professions somehow managed to get themselves classified as arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, musicians…” write Mauldin and Tepper in Endgame. What also does not help is the fact that the average government job pays three times the average private sector job.

“The national railroad has annual revenues of €100 million against an annual wage bill of €400 million, plus €300 million in other expenses. The average state railroad employee earns €65,000 a year. Twenty years ago, a successful businessman turned finance minister Stefanos Manos pointed out that it would be cheaper to put all Greece’s rail passengers into taxicabs,” write the authors.

And it doesn’t end with this. “The Greek public-school system is the site of breath taking inefficiency: one of the lowest-ranked systems in Europe, it nonetheless employs four times as many teachers per pupil as the highest ranked, Finland’s.” The worst thing of course is that the Greeks never learnt to pay their taxes because no one is ever punished.

All these reasons ensure that the chances of Greece coming out of the huge mess they have built for themselves are very low.

The writer can be reached at
 Source :

Sachant à quoi s'en tenir, les compagnies grecques préfèrent investir en Bulgarie que dans leur propre pays

Greek Malaise Means Gain for Bulgaria as Firms Seek Refuge

By Elizabeth Konstantinova and Agnes Lovasz - Aug 26, 2011 8:26 AM GMT+0200

Bulgaria is the European Union’s poorest country. For Iosif Komninakidis, it is a haven from the debt crisis in his native Greece that has cost his jeans factory 30 percent of its business.

Staff Jeans & Co.’s Intex has a sewing plant in Rakovski, Bulgaria, about 180 kilometers (111 miles) north of the border. It is one of more than 2,000 Greek companies operating in the former communist country, 40 percent of whom were registered this year, the National Revenue Agency in Sofia said.

“The Bulgarian operation costs much less than it would cost in Greece” because of lower taxes and wages, said Komninakidis, who is Intex’s chief executive officer. “Tax laws in Bulgaria are much simpler, clearer and more predictable.”

Bulgaria is attracting companies from Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. SA to Hellenic Petroleum SA (ELPE) as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s is cutting spending and raising taxes, deepening a recession at home. Greece passed a record 78 billion-euro ($112.6 billion) austerity package to secure a second bailout from its international creditors as it struggles to cut the biggest debt burden in the euro region’s history.
Greece’s government debt may peak at 161 percent of gross domestic product next year and GDP may shrink more than 3.8 percent this year, the third year of contraction, after a 4.4 percent drop last year, according to the European Commission.

Unemployment was at a record 15.9 percent in the first quarter, while the jobless rate in the border area of eastern Macedonia and Thrace soared to 20.2 percent in May.
Loss of Confidence

Companies in Greece have little prospects to expand their business and sales after consumers lost confidence in an exit from the crisis, the Athens-based Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research said on Aug. 4. Eighty-percent of people in the foundation’s survey forecast a worsening of their personal financial situation in the next year, up from 76 percent in June, the survey showed.

The Bulgarian economy has a lot going for it. The corporate and personal income tax rates are at 10 percent, the lowest in the EU. Government debt is 18 percent of gross domestic product this year, the third lowest in the 27-nation bloc after Estonia and Luxembourg, compared with 158 percent for Greece, according to the European Commission.

Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest country as measured by per- capita GDP, ranks 51st among 183 economies on the Ease of Doing Business list compiled by the World Bank and the International Finance Corp., the same as last year. Greece slipped 12 places to 109th.
‘Overvalued’ Euro

“Greece is uncompetitive within the euro zone and it’s evident that Greek companies are moving into Bulgaria to escape that overvalued currency and to seek lower costs,” said Stuart Thomson, a fund manager at Glasgow-based Ignis Asset Management, which oversees $120 billion.

Papandreou is planning levies ranging from 1 percent to 5 percent on wages, higher taxes on restaurants and bars, heating- oil taxes and a lower tax-free threshold on the income tax to help shrink the budget deficit. Greece’s ASE Index plunged 34 percent this year, the third-worst performance in the world behind the Cypriot and Egyptian stock markets, as Bulgaria’s Sofix rose 1.3 percent.
Greeks in Bulgaria

Greek companies that operate in Bulgaria also include Fourlis Holdings SA, which holds the IKEA franchise for the region, and builders Ellaktor SA (ELLAKTOR) and Terna SA. Jumbo SA, Greece’s biggest toy retailer, opened four stores in Bulgaria. About 800 Greek companies registered in Bulgaria this year, according to the National Revenue Agency, most of them in Blagoevgrad, 70 kilometers from the Greek border.

“Most of the companies registered in Bulgaria this year did that to take advantage of lower taxes or just to buy a cheaper car or real estate,”
said Panagiotis Koutsikos, chairman of the Athens-based Greek-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce.

Greece’s investment in Bulgaria amounted to 7.63 billion euros between 2000 and 2009, about 5 percent of Greece’s total investment abroad for the nine years, according to Eurostat. Greece invested 160 million euros in Bulgaria in 2010, according to the central bank in the capital Sofia.

Bulgaria remains at risk because the euro region’s financial instability may scuttle its economic recovery, analysts say. Almost a third of the country’s banks are owned by Greek parents such as Piraeus Bank SA (TPEIR) and Alpha Bank SA.

Bulgarian growth slowed to 1.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier from 3.4 percent in the previous three months. The government’s estimate for this year is for growth of 3.6 percent and 4.1 percent for 2012.
Eastern Europe at Risk

Net foreign investment plummeted in the first half to 8 million euros from 532 million euros a year earlier as the Bulgarian units of international companies repaid loans to their parent companies abroad, according to the central bank.

Eastern Europe remains at “serious risk” from the financial instability in the euro region and the contagion risk is the highest in Greece’s Balkan neighbors, such as Bulgaria, the EBRD said in a report on July 22.

Intex’s Komniakidis, who employs 1,000 people at five Bulgarian plans, says it’s a risk worth taking while Staff Jeans is struggling to cope with 2 million euros of unpaid orders by bankrupt Greek clients.

“We try to keep afloat by cutting costs here,” Komniakidis said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elizabeth Konstantinova at; Agnes Lovasz in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at; Balazs Penz at
Source :

La Grèce déçoit encore les Européens : elle risque de rater ses objectifs budgétaires en 2011

Grèce/déficit: objectifs menacés
Avec Reuters Mis à jour le 26/08/2011 à 17:06 | publié le 26/08/2011 à 17:06

La Grèce risque de manquer ses objectifs budgétaires en 2011 et doit s'attendre à des discussions tendues avec les représentants de ses bailleurs de fonds internationaux lors de la mission d'inspection prévue la semaine prochaine, a rapporté vendredi une source proche des inspecteurs.
La mission de l'Union européenne (UE), du Fonds monétaire international (FMI) et de la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) doit débuter lundi à Athènes afin de déterminer si la Grèce pourra recevoir une sixième tranche d'aide dans le cadre du plan de sauvetage international.

"Les objectifs sont menacés, les Grecs disent que c'est à cause de la récession. Nous avons quelques doutes sur le fait que cela soit entièrement dû à la récession", a dit à Reuters cette source.

"Des objectifs non atteints provoqueront des négociations difficiles", précise la source. "Cela ne va pas être facile la semaine prochaine."

Selon les termes du plan de sauvetage, la Grèce doit réduire son déficit budgétaire à 7,6% du produit intérieur brut cette année contre 10,5% en 2010.
Source :

vendredi 26 août 2011

La Grèce, un pays embourbé dans la fraude et l'escroquerie

Greece: It’s the corruption, stupid!
Beneath the desperate debt crisis headlines, Jeff Randall finds a country mired in fraud and fiddling – and discovers its authorities are powerless to stop the rot.

By Jeff Randall

10:41PM BST 21 Aug 2011

Tavros is a scruffy suburb in the south-western part of Athens, about three miles from the city centre. It is home to the kind of utilitarian office blocks that 1960s town planners thought were a good idea. Many of the buildings are scarred by graffiti and the side streets are strewn with litter.

On a stiflingly hot day, I come here to interview Petros Themelis, a finance ministry official, who runs a call centre that’s part of the Greek government’s battle against tax evaders. The idea is that public-spirited citizens ring up and snitch on those they suspect of tax dodging. This is the human factor in a much bigger war: Greece’s life‑or-death struggle with the Debt Beast.

The state’s accumulated borrowings are equal to about 160 per cent of national output. Greece cannot afford to service the interest, much less repay the capital. The country is, in effect, insolvent. Without the largesse of outsiders – many billions in bail-outs from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union – it would already have collapsed into bankruptcy.

In a last-ditch effort to stave off such an outcome, the Greek government is trying something new – well, new for Greece. It’s treating tax collection as a process that requires more rigour than passing round a church plate. There is much to shoot for: about €30 billion (£26.2 billion), or 12 per cent of GDP, are lost to tax cheats every year.

Mr Themelis’s team consists of three middle-aged men in casual shirts and chinos, manning phones and scribbling callers’ details into log books. The operation resembles a provincial bookmaker’s credit betting office – before computers.

“Is this it?” I ask. “Where is everybody?”

The boss explains that cutbacks have diminished his resources. Some staff are on holiday, others have retired. As we chat, a tip-off is recorded about a supplier who did €700-worth of work but gave no receipt. At this rate of tax recovery, Greece’s voyage to viability will make the Odyssey seem like a stroll across Syntagma Square.

I’m told by Mr Themelis that Greeks are “addicted” to tax evasion. The system is riddled with wheezes and loopholes. Yet this is only part of the story of how dreams of “new horizons” when Greece entered the euro 10 years ago turned into a national nightmare. Tax dodging is merely one strand of aberrance that is woven into the fabric of contemporary Greece. And everybody here knows it.

Business leaders, a church representative, a retired finance minister, a distinguished academic, an economist, a wealthy writer, a shipping tycoon, protesters on the streets and impoverished folk queueing for free meals all give the same answer to my question, “what has gone wrong?” It’s the corruption, stupid!

Jason Manolopoulos, author of Greece’s 'Odious’ Debt, says the state has become a hydra with seven heads: cronyism, statism, nepotism, clientelism, corruption, closed shops and waste. Kleptocrats have been running the show and their predilection for thieving and bribery has poisoned the nation.

When I mention that we in Britain have similar issues with dissolute politicians – MPs who fiddle expenses – Greeks, rich and poor, laugh in my face. To them, a few thousand pounds here and there for duck houses and dodgy mortgages are barely worth an inquiry. The problem in Greece is of a completely different magnitude.

Pillaging at the top by politicians, doctors, lawyers and even tax investigators gives those further down the ladder a justification for what some call “tax resistance” and others “tax protection”. The result, according to the World Bank, is that the black market now makes up nearly a third of Greece’s economy, compared with 27 per cent in Italy, the EU’s flagship of undeclared earnings.

A sideshow to the epidemic of dishonesty is an explosion of what a local English-language newspaper calls “rubber checks” (nothing to do with tyre testing). In the seven months to July, there was a 43 per cent increase in the value of bounced cheques to €1.38 billion. A survey of Greek small businesses shows that nearly half the companies that accept cheques are in possession of duds.

Listening to the accounts of fraud, seeing how the books were cooked, observing at first hand the chronic inefficiencies of an economy underpinned by fairy tales, one begins to wonder what EU chiefs were thinking of when they welcomed Greece into the single currency. What was their motive for allowing a barely developed weakling to play expensive games with the big boys in Berlin?

Did they really believe that by letting Greece join the eurozone, it would start behaving responsibly? How could anyone in Brussels with even a bluffer’s knowledge of budgets have been fooled by Greece’s numbers racket?

Inviting a country with Greek productivity (soft) to function with a German currency (hard) is not common sense. So why do it? Was faith in “political will” so blind that even the EU’s elite expected financial gravity to be defied indefinitely?

The scale of delusion was such that its cost now threatens to sink the entire euro project. Greece is sucking up emergency funds faster than the European Central Bank can produce them. A brace of €100 billion-plus “rescue packages” has failed to deliver salvation. Yanis Varoufakis, professor of political economy at Athens University, explains: “Greece was not bailed out, it was given an expensive credit card with which to pay off the mortgage, having lost its job.”

The money has gone, but the myths remain. In order to make financial aid for Athens appear more palatable than just tipping taxpayers’ funds into a bottomless pit, the IMF and EU conjured up projections for Greece’s economy. It was supposed to shrink by 3.8 per cent this year, but show a modest growth of 0.8 per cent in 2012.

These “forecasts” formed the basis for prime minister George Papandreou’s revised fiscal policy, the austerity measures that include a 20 per cent cut in public-sector jobs, wage reductions of up to 30 per cent, and a rise in VAT to 23 per cent.

It’s difficult to tell if the IMF-EU calculations were naively optimistic or coldly cynical, but they are already way off target. Greece’s minister of finance Evangelos Venizelos admits that the economy will probably shrink by up to 5 per cent this year, and Citigroup expects an additional contraction of 2.7 per cent in 2012. If that proves correct, Greece will have endured four consecutive years in recession.

Greece’s roof has fallen in. It faces what economic historian Niall Ferguson calls the “metrics of doom”. The country needs growth of about 4 per cent a year just to prevent its debt pile, €350 billion, becoming bigger. Hopes that privatisations can raise €50 billion to close the gap are risible; the programme is behind schedule and bogged down in red tape.

Left to its own devices, Greece will be forced to borrow ever greater amounts of money to service existing debts, which it could not afford in the first place. On current form, by 2040 Athens will be burning 20 per cent of GDP on interest payments. This is not going to happen; the stitching will split long before then.

In the absence of a new eurozone bond, debt issued jointly by all member countries, to which Germany is implacably opposed, the conclusion is unavoidable: Greece is heading for a pyrotechnic default and an ignominious exit from a currency union that it should never have joined. I suspect that Petros Themelis knew that all along.

Jeff Randall’s documentary 'Greek Myths: Birth of a Crisis’ will be broadcast on Sky News on Friday August 26 at 7.30pm
Source :

mercredi 24 août 2011

Selon l'ancien président de la Réserve fédérale américaine Alan Greenspan, l'euro se décompose à cause de la Grèce imprévoyante et improductive

Former US finance chief says euro is 'breaking down'

Today @ 09:23

By Andrew Rettman

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US federal reserve, has said the eurozone is breaking apart due to variations between economies in the north and south of Europe.

Speaking during a question-and-answer session at the Innovation Nation Forum in Washington on Tuesday (23 August), the 85-year-old economist said: "The euro is breaking down and the process of its breaking down is creating very considerable difficulties in the European banking system."

He added: "That stuff [eurozone country bonds held by banks] has always been thought of as the ideal collateral and now it’s getting highly questionable."

Greenspan explained that northern countries, such as Germany and Finland, have a culture of budgetary discipline while southern nations, such as Greece, historically consume more than they produce and build up debt.

"The problem is that there is a growing cleavage in the economic and analytical and banking circles as to whether the euro, which is the crucial issue here, should be 17 countries with very significantly different cultures ... That cannot go on," he said. "The general feeling out there is of a lull before the storm."

Greenspan's remarks - widely reported by financial newswires - saw the euro dip against the dollar and the cost of German goverment bonds, viewed as a safe haven, tick upward.

His comments came out the same day as Spain moved a step closer to the northern model.

Opposition leader Mariano Rajoy told MPs at an emergency meeting of the Spanish parliament on Tuesday that his Popular Party will back government proposals to insert borrowing limits into the country's constitution. "My parliamentary group is ready to support the initiative and facilitate its implementation," he said. MPs also voted through €5 billion of extra savings by - amid other measures - switching to generic drugs in the health service.

The constitution move follows a similar pledge by Italy after Madrid and Rome's cost of borrowing shot up last month.

Eurozone leaders in July agreed a second bailout package for Greece and new bond-buying powers for its crisis-fund, the EFSF, in a bid to calm markets. But the deal - which allows lending countries to ask Greece for collateral "where appropriate" - is proving hard to implement.

Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen at a party conference in Tampere on Tuesday said he is willing to modify his request for Greece to put up to €600 million in an escrow account as a guarantee.

But he refused to drop the plan despite criticism from Austria and the Netherlands. "Our responsibility is to seek a solution which will be acceptable and tolerable to other eurozone nations," he said.

Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter on Tuesday indicated that Vienna will block the Finnish deal because it increases costs for fellow lenders. "Many countries reject the solution that Finland negotiated for itself to the disadvantage of all others ... If there is collateral for one country, then all others must be treated the same way too," she told press in the Austrian capital.

Germany has also being dragged into the collateral dispute after a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party said Berlin should seek guarantees.

"Several states are making big efforts to service their debt. This must be honored. But to keep up those efforts in the long term, collateral is needed," labour minister and CDU deputy chairman Ursula von der Leyen said on German TV.

Eurozone capitals are currently in talks on collateral at "expert level" amid speculation that leaders will need to call another summit to reach agreement.
Source :

La chancelière allemande Angela Merkel mécontente les Grecs en prononçant le mot "Macédoine" pour nommer... la Macédoine

Greece Unhappy with Merkel over Macedonia
Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Greek media attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a speech in Zagreb for Croatia's state TV (HRT) in which she called Macedonia --> Macedonia.

"It is important for Serbia to cooperate with Kosovo, Bosnia needs a stable Government, while Macedonia should work on solving their problem with Greece", stated Merkel in the interview for HRT.

Greece's media is angry and disappointed with Merkel's statement, numerous printed dailies in Athens vetted their anger...

"While the name conflict remains unsolved, certain people do not miss the opportunity to remind us that they have already chosen a side. In a period when Greece is not popular in german, German Chancellor Merkel caleld Skopje, Macedonia."

"At a time when Germany is working on solving the Greek debt crisis and its Chancellor portrays herself as a Greek friend, Madame Angela Merkel does not miss a chance to remind us that after all she is a German" says a Greek daily.

The Greek media is rather harsh towards a country that has sustained Greece's standard of living since the 1800's.

Another German daily says that this is not the first mistake by Merkel, "she has been calling 'them' Macedonia since 2007".

It's not clear how will Chancellor Merkel continue living her life now that the Greek media is upset with her.
 Source :

Grèce : un pope grec a appelé à attaquer une station de radio macédonienne

Greek Priest Calls for Attack on Macedonian Radio Station
Friday, 19 August 2011

Greek Priest Anthimos as a "true Christian" has asked for 40-50 Greeks to board buses, go to Lerin and break and burn the Macedonian radio station because, according to him the Macedonians would air propaganda.

Anthimos' statement was issued after the announcement of Pande Ashlakov, the head of Ovcarani (Lerin) who said that "Vinozito" had received a license for a Macedonian language radio station that would be broadcasting program from Lerin to Solun.

Ashlakov at the Ilinden celebration said the radio will start working at the end of the year and as part of its program will have live shows and news.

Anthimos was seething, claiming the damned people will probably name their radio "Macedonian radio".

- How is this possible? Are we the Greeks allowed to have a radio station anywhere in the Balkans? asked Anthimos.

The Greek priest shouldn't be worried, for example the Macedonian State Radio (paid for by taxpayers money) has broadcasted programs in every Balkan language, including Greek for more than a decade. 

Greek media reported the Solun priest was asking for 40-50 volunteers to board buses head to Lerin and attack the radio station.

With losing his "What Would Jesus Do" bracelet, priest Anthimos seems to have lost his way.
Source :

Contrairement aux sarkozystes, les Finlandais refusent de s'aplatir devant les Grecs : ils leur imposent des garanties

24/08 | 07:00 | Massimo Prandi
Grèce : Helsinki déclenche un nouveau différend
Un nouvel élément de dissension au sein de la zone euro apparaît en ce qui concerne le prochain programme d'aide internationale à la Grèce. La Finlande impose à Athènes de lui apporter des garanties pour son prochain prêt.

Evangelos Venizelos, le ministre grec des Finances, et Jutta Urpilainen, son homologue finlandaise, appartiennent tous deux au Parti socialiste européen. Mais leurs intérêts nationaux respectifs ont prévalu le 16 août quand ils ont scellé un accord octroyant à la Finlande des garanties en échange de sa participation au prochain plan de sauvetage de la Grèce.

Les termes de l'accord sont simples : Athènes va financer en cash un fonds finlandais investi en obligations très bien notées qui servira de garantie (de collatéral, en langage financier) face à un éventuel défaut de remboursement du prêt consenti à Athènes par Helsinki. La Finlande s'engagera à hauteur d'environ 1 milliard d'euros dans le deuxième plan de 109 milliards d'euro de financements internationaux à la Grèce, estiment les experts chez Barclays Capital.

La ministre autrichienne des Finances, Maria Fekter, a révélé vendredi que la Grèce alimenterait le fonds norvégien avec des liquidités à hauteur de 20 % du milliard d'euros que la Finlande lui apportera, soit quelque 200 millions d'euros. Le gouvernement finlandais de large coalition exige absolument la mise en place d'un filet de protection pour son prêt.
« Un contrat de garantie »

En Finlande, le camp des eurosceptiques ne cesse de croître. Un sondage réalisé entre le 5 juillet et le 10 août place le parti d'extrême droite et anti-européen des Finlandais (nouvel intitulé des Vrais Finlandais de Timo Soini) en tête avec 22 % intentions de vote. Cette formation politique avait obtenu 19 % lors des élections législatives d'avril, devenant le troisième parti le plus représenté au Parlement du pays.

Sous la pression de sa propre opinion publique, le nouveau Premier ministre finlandais, Jyrki Katainen, était parvenu à faire inscrire dans le communiqué officiel du sommet des chefs d'Etat de la zone euro du 21 juillet que, «  le cas échéant, un contrat de garantie sera mis en place de façon à couvrir le risque résultant, pour les Etats membres de la zone euro, des garanties qu'ils auront fournies au FESF (Fonds européen de stabilité financière, NDLR) ». Fort de ce feu vert, il a imposé à la Grèce l'accord du 16 août.

Problème : tout en se déclarant opposés à l'arrangement intervenu entre Athènes et Helsinki, quatre autres pays de la zone euro, les « Triple A » Pays-Bas et Autriche, la Slovénie et la Slovaquie, veulent bénéficier des termes de cet accord si celui-ci était entériné par l'Eurogroupe. En conséquence, explique Ben May, économiste chez Capital Economics, la Grèce devrait immobiliser en garanties jus-qu'à 13 milliards d'euros sur les 109 milliards qui lui seront prêtés dans le cadre du prochain programme d'aide.
Divisions au sein de la zone euro

L'entêtement de Helsinki a suscité une levée de boucliers à Bruxelles. Toutefois, Berlin, sensible à la fois aux arguments des Finlandais et à une opinion publique de plus en plus hostile à d'autres plans de sauvetage, appelle désormais à un débat général dans la zone euro sur le sujet. La ministre allemande du Travail, Ursula von der Leyden (CDU), a déclaré hier que des garanties associées aux prochains programmes européens de soutien sont «  nécessaires ». Ce nouveau différend accentue les divisions au sein de la zone euro. L'agence de notation financière Moody's redoute que le débat sur le collatéral retarde le versement de la tranche de septembre du paquet d'aide à la Grèce décidée en mai 2010. Au risque de provoquer un défaut de paiement, alerte l'agence Moody's.
Source :

Le ministre des Finances grec Evangelos Venizelos l'avoue : le PIB grec chutera plus que prévu malgré tout l'argent européen déjà gaspillé

More bad news for Greece
Finance minister: Economy to shrink more than expected

By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS The Associated Press
Tue, Aug 23 - 4:54 AM

ATHENS — Greece’s finance minister said Monday that the crisis-afflicted economy will shrink more than expected this year, putting further pressure on the country’s ambitious deficit-cutting effort.

Evangelos Venizelos said the ministry forecasts annual output to shrink in 2011 between 4.5 per cent and 5.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

Venizelos had previously admitted that the recession might be over last year’s 4.5 per cent, a whole percentage point worse than initially estimated. The government has forecast a timid return to growth in 2012, but that now seems very unrealistic.

"All the measures we are taking ... are aimed to stem the recession," Venizelos said.

After living above its means for years until punishing interest rates forced it out of bond markets, Greece is now only kept solvent by a double rescue loan deal worth 220 billion euros ($317 billion) from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund.

In return, the Socialist government has promised to reduce a bloated budget deficit, sell 50 billion euros worth of state assets by 2015 and strictly abide by a highly unpopular austerity program that already has eaten deep into wages and pensions.

EU and IMF officials will be in Athens later this week to monitor progress — on which continued disbursement of the rescue loans depends.

"We (are approaching) the last quarter, the budget must be executed, we must achieve our fiscal targets — and this has become very difficult due to the deeper recession," Venizelos told a news conference.

"There is undoubtedly a vicious cycle. We have been obliged over the past two years and in the coming three to implement a gigantic fiscal adjustment ... which has a negative impact on the real economy. But these are the terms under which we receive our loans and rescue packages."

Venizelos said he will discuss the matter with the visiting European Union, European Central Bank and IMF representatives, also known as the "troika." He stressed, however, that the previous recession estimates had been worked out in co-operation with troika officials.

The government has committed to cutting budget overspending from 10.5 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 7.5 per cent this year.

"We will see how the deeper recession affects the fiscal result," Venizelos said. "If all the measures already voted through parliament are implemented, we will be within our targets — or at least extremely close to our targets. And this is the basic issue we will discuss with the troika."

Venizelos said Greece’s borrowing needs for September — when the next batch of international loans must be released — have been secured.

The year-and-a-half old austerity program, accompanied by unemployment approaching 17 per cent and repeated tax hikes, has angered ordinary Greeks and unions, which have staged a series of general strikes.

Asked Monday whether Greek society could take new austerity measures, Venizelos said: "No, obviously."

He also conceded by assuming the finance portfolio at the height of the crisis "I have most likely sacrificed whatever political prospects I had."
Source :

La police grecque l'admet : au moins six touristes britanniques ont été violées cet été à Corfou

Six Britons raped on Corfu this summer

by PAUL ANAST, Daily Mail

At least six British women have been raped on Corfu this summer, Greek police admitted yesterday.

They believe the true figure is probably a lot higher, but say many victims fail to report sex attacks.

Sources on the island in the Ionian Sea, highly popular with British holidaymakers and the birthplace of the Duke of Edinburgh, say the authorities have tried to keep the statistics secret to protect its image as a tourist destination.

The attitude has been very different on the resort island of Rhodes, where several British women holidaymakers have been raped this year.

There, the arrest and punishment of rapists has been widely publicised as a deterrent and in an effort to assure law-abiding tourists they are safe.

The Corfu sex assaults were revealed after one of the victims tipped off a local journalist.

In confirming the six rapes, police said they believed the true figure was much higher but that many women preferred not to report an attack or pursue it through the Greek courts.

In some cases the alleged attackers were local men. But in others they were British tourists.

'In most cases the girls back down and prefer not to proceed with legal action, even when we capture the alleged culprit and bring him before them for identification,' said Corfu police chief Colonel George Kavathias. 'We are anxious to stamp out the problem but we're not getting enough help from the women themselves.'

The six rapes occurred between the end of May and mid-August. One victim was 28, while the other five were between 18 and 21.

In the eight years since 1994, a total of 44 British women have been victims of rape on Corfu.

On Rhodes, the total number of British rape victims so far this year is four.
Two of the culprits have been arrested and one of them, a Briton, is in jail awaiting trial.

The victims included two holiday company reps and a woman who was attacked in her own home.

Two years ago a British girl was also raped and murdered on Rhodes. An immigrant from eastern Europe is serving life for that attack.

The Greek authorities say they have increased patrols in all tourist areas in a bid to restore confidence.

Colonel Kavathias said: 'We appeal to all such women to find the strength to proceed with prosecution and to help Greek police authorities as much as they can, as we intend to stamp out this scourge.'
Source :

Voir également : La Grèce, une destination dangereuse pour les femmes britanniques : les viols de touristes

Viols de touristes en Grèce : graves accusations d'un diplomate grec contre les Suédoises

lundi 22 août 2011

Un cauchemar devenu réalité pour les Grecs de Chypre : une vague d'arrivées touristiques exceptionnelle dans la partie Nord de l'île

Tourism arrivals to the north ‘break all records’

Published on August 14, 2011

TOURIST ARRIVALS broke all records for the breakaway state in the north this year, the north’s ‘tourism minister’ Unal Ustel was quoted saying.

According to Cyprus News Agency, Ustel said the north saw more visitors in 2011 than any other year since 1974.

Ustel noted the significant increase in tourist arrivals between January and July this year compared to the previous period in 2010 while hotel capacity reached 62 per cent last month.

Between January and July last year, the number of tourists had reached 112,949, with 76,714 staying overnight in the north, said Ustel. In total for 2010, 319,000 tourists stayed in the north, with 1,165,970 overnight stays recorded.

This year, July alone saw a 47 per cent increase in tourist arrivals compared to last year, with 26,645 arrivals last month, compared to 18,090 in July 2010. The figures were higher in July 2009 however, with 22,192 arrivals while July 2008 saw 20,237 arrivals.

He highlighted the fact that 2011 was declared the “year of North Cyprus tourism’ in Turkey, a campaign which will come to an end in November.

According to Ustel, tourists from 13 destinations arrived by charter flights to the north, despite efforts by Greek Cypriots to prevent them coming.
The flights, which will continue until October, stop off in Turkey before reaching the north.

Tourism revenues are expected to reach between $430m and $460m this year, compared to $360m-$370m the year before, he said.

Charter flights have been coming via Turkey from the Netherlands, Poland, Azerbaijan and Iran, while efforts are being made to begin charter flights from southern Europe and Russia, noted Ustel.
Source :

lundi 15 août 2011

Grave humiliation pour les Grecs : même le gouvernement turc fait un geste de "bonne volonté" pour eux

Turkey postpones pursuit of Greek debt in good will gesture
14 August 2011, Sunday / TODAY'S ZAMAN, ANKARA

Ankara has postponed the pursuit of a Greek debt of around $300 million arising from a natural gas purchase from Turkey, as Turkey ruled out the suggestion that payment of the debt may be in the form of real estate as inappropriate.

Energy Minister Taner Yıldız stated that Turkey was not going to exercise its right to arbitration and will postpone recovery of the Greek debt until Greece gains financial stability, according to a report in the Vatan newspaper on Sunday. The minister ruled out the suggestion by international institutions that Greece could pay off its debt in the form of real estate, meaning the sale of Greek islands in the Aegean. Yıldız said such a move “would be taking advantage of a country, particularly a neighboring one, at a very difficult time.”

Yıldız suggested that relations between Turkey and Greece are beyond financial concern. He considered the Turkish move “an opportunity to erase the negative chapters in the history of relations between the two countries” and expressed the belief that both sides would make good use of the chance presented by Turkey.

Greece is reported to be in contact with Turkey's state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) to make an arrangement for payment of the debt, which has been outstanding for 10 months now. The Turkish government waived its right to be compensated for the Greek debt in order not to further damage the neighboring country's economy, which is already strained with international loans. Greece is expected to outline a plan for payment and issue a statement of intention saying the country will make the payment in the future.
Source :

dimanche 14 août 2011

Coup dur pour la Grèce : même le milliardaire-philanthrope George Soros veut que ce pays quitte l'UE

14/08 | 13:02
La Grèce et le Portugal devraient sortir de l'euro et de l'UE, selon Soros

George Soros, le spéculateur américain devenu milliardaire philanthrope, estime que la Grèce et le Portugal devraient sortir de l'Union européenne et de la zone euro en raison de la crise de leur dette.
"Le problème grec a été traité tellement mal que la meilleure chose à faire maintenant (pour la Grèce) pourrait être de sortir dans l'ordre" de l'UE et de l'euro, a-t-il déclaré dans une interview publiée dimanche par le magazine allemand Der Spiegel.
Il a suggéré que le Portugal fasse de même.
"L'UE et l'euro y survivraient", a-t-il ajouté.
George Soros a également jugé qu'il était temps pour les membres de la zone euro d'accepter l'émission d'obligations européennes ("eurobonds"), à laquelle l'Allemagne est opposée.
"Qu'on le veuille ou non, l'euro existe. Et pour qu'il puisse fonctionner correctement, les pays de la zone euro doivent être capables de refinancer une grande partie de leur dette dans les mêmes conditions".
George Soros, qui avait gagné plus d'un milliard de dollars en pariant contre la livre britannique en 1992, a souligné qu'il n'avait pas l'intention de spéculer contre l'euro.
"Je n'ai certainement pas l'intention de parier contre l'euro. Parce que les Chinois sont très intéressés par une alternative au dollar, et feront tout leur possible pour aider les Européens à le sauver", a-t-il déclaré.
Source :

samedi 13 août 2011

Gabegie grecque ordinaire : 1,8 million d'euros dépensés pour les retraites... des morts

Grèce: des retraites pour les morts
AFP Mis à jour le 12/08/2011 à 07:50 | publié le 12/08/2011 à 07:50  
La principale caisse de retraite grecque du privé (Ika) a dépensé 1,8 million d'euros en paiement de retraites à 1.400 personnes décédées depuis des années, a-t-on appris hier auprès du ministère de l'Emploi et de la Sécurité sociale.

L'Ika a découvert que ces retraites ont été versées à des personnes nées avant 1920 et décédées, a précisé l'Agence de presse grecque (Ana, semi-officielle). Outre son engagement à mettre à jour les listes des retraités, l'Ika va lancer une enquête afin de récupérer les sommes versées, selon la même source.

L'enquête vise soit des familles qui n'avaient pas déclaré les décès aux services sociaux pour toucher les retraites soit des comptes bancaires sur lesquels ces sommes avaient été versées mais jamais retirées.

Ce nouvel épisode illustrant le gaspillage d'argent, dû surtout à une comptabilité laxiste, intervient dix jours après la révélation d'un nombre étrangement élevé d'aveugles, plusieurs centaines, qui touchaient des aides publiques sur une île grecque.

Le vice-ministre de la Santé Markos Bolaris a alors ordonné une enquête sur plus de 600 habitants de cette île, dont le nom n'a pas été précisé, qui sont soupçonnés d'empocher des aides pour ce handicap.

Il y a un an, le ministère avait révélé que des millions d'euros avaient été versés chaque année pour des retraites destinées à des personnes décédées depuis longtemps.

Soumise à un plan de rigueur draconien depuis 2010 par ses créanciers, l'Union européenne et du Fonds monétaire international, la Grèce un pays qui croule sous une dette publique énorme, ne cesse de tenter de limiter les dépenses sociales.
Source :

mercredi 10 août 2011

Le sarkozyste Baroin veut aider les Grecs avec l'argent du contribuable français

Baroin: "il faut aider la Grèce" Mis à jour le 08/08/2011 à 19:52 | publié le 08/08/2011 à 19:52 Réactions (14)

Invité au journal télévisé de TF1 ce lundi soir, le ministre de l'Économie et des Finances François Baroin, estime qu'il y a des problèmes de gouvernance au sein de la zone euro, et assure qu'il faudra faire dse propositions pour faire mieux.

"Il est normal d'aider des pays en difficulté (la Grèce, NDLR) pour protéger notre monnaie, l'euro", a-t-il précisé..
Source :

Des élus de l'UMP veulent accélérer le vol de l'argent des travailleurs français pour perfuser les Grecs

Des élus UMP veulent accélérer l'aide à la Grèce

Par Solenn de Royer, Jean-Baptiste Garat

Publié le 08/08/2011 à 20:33

L'exécutif redoutait une forte mobilisation de l'opposition en cas de session avancée.

Faut-il faire fi de la trêve estivale pour adopter au plus vite le plan d'aide à la Grèce ? Les députés de la majorité sont nombreux à penser qu'une convocation du Parlement dès le mois d'août est nécessaire pour entériner l'accord européen du 27 juillet. Nicolas Sarkozy a décidé de programmer une session extraordinaire début septembre. Un peu tard, estiment certains députés, alors que le risque d'une contagion de la crise de la dette se fait plus pressant.

«Tout ce qui peut apaiser les marchés doit être fait le plus vite possible, estime le député UMP de l'Oise Édouard Courtial, qui se dit prêt à rentrer à Paris immédiatement. Cette session ne durera que deux jours. On pourrait s'y coller dès maintenant.» «Le pays est paralysé pendant les vacances, c'est grotesque, tonne-t-il. Pendant ce temps, les marchés, eux, ne sont pas morts. Il faut adapter le timing politique à la situation.» Même empressement du côté d'Étienne Pinte (Yvelines) : «Il aurait fallu convoquer tout de suite l'Assemblée et le Sénat, afin de démontrer la volonté politique de la France. Je crains qu'en traînant comme on le fait, cela laisse perdurer les craintes et les peurs…»

D'autres, comme le sarkozyste Alain Gest, sont plus prudents : «Inutile de dramatiser à outrance, argue le député de la Somme. Ne soyons pas anxiogènes, la situation l'est suffisamment.» Le rapporteur du budget Gilles Carrez estime, quant à lui, que la France est le pays qui a réagi avec le plus de célérité depuis le sommet de Bruxelles : «On ne peut pas nous reprocher d'être trop lents, défend-il. Le texte sera examiné en commission dès le 31 août. Le Bundestag, lui, ne doit se réunir que mi-septembre. Et il faut l'intervention de l'ensemble des pays de la zone euro.» Le président de la commission des affaires sociales à l'Assemblée, Pierre Méhaignerie, considère également que «c'est le bon calendrier puisque le Conseil des ministres en a décidé ainsi». «Cela nous laisse le temps de parvenir à un accord avec l'opposition», espère l'élu d'Ille-et-Vilaine, désireux d'éviter une querelle comme celle des républicains et des démocrates aux États-Unis.
Colère du président

Selon nos informations, l'hypothèse d'une convocation du Parlement en urgence, fin juillet ou début août, a été étudiée. Mais la Commission de Bruxelles et Bercy n'étaient pas prêts : «Les documents financiers nécessaires à la discussion sont en préparation, explique une source gouvernementale. Ils ont assuré qu'ils n'y arriveraient pas avant début octobre. Il a fallu que le président se fâche pour que Bercy accepte d'accélérer le tempo.» Le gouvernement redoutait aussi que les députés et sénateurs de la majorité soient mis en minorité. «Les socialistes sont en pleine primaire, ils sont plus mobilisés que nous», observe un ministre.

La plupart des députés de la majorité appellent la gauche à la responsabilité, faisant valoir que cette crise révélera «les qualités d'homme d'État» du président. «La situation fera comprendre aux Français à quel point la dette pèse sur nos épaules, assure Édouard Courtial. Cela discrédite les vieilles lunes de la gauche : emploi-jeunes ou augmentation du budget de la culture…» Même sentiment chez Éric Ciotti (Alpes-Maritimes) : «La crise légitime qu'on ait un président fort, et surtout pas “normal” [comme le revendique François Hollande, NDLR]. Un président exigeant avec les équilibres budgétaires, et qui tienne le cap dans la tempête. Où en serions-nous si les socialistes avaient été à la barre ? Dans la situation de la Grèce… !»

Alain Gest est plus prudent : «Les Français peuvent se dire que Sarkozy tient bon la barre. Mais ceux qui souffriront le plus de la crise peuvent se laisser séduire par la démagogie et estimer qu'il faut changer de politique. C'est aléatoire.» Un quitte ou double, en quelque sorte.
Source :

dimanche 7 août 2011

Le journal grec To Vima : "si seulement nous avions nous aussi un Erdogan"

Greek newspaper praises Turkish PM
To Vima posted an op-ed on its web-page regarding Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A Greek weekly newspaper eulogized on Friday the Turkish prime minister.
To Vima posted an op-ed on its web-page regarding Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and entitled the article as "only if we also had an Erdogan."

The paper wrote that Erdogan took over Turkey when Turkey was about to bankrupt, and defined the prime minister as a historic leader who had made Turkey a country that could not be shared among biggest powers in the world.
Erdogan has done more in Turkey than Caramanlis and Papandreou families, that ruled Greece for two generations, did for Greece, the Greek paper wrote.
To Vima said Erdogan saved a majority of Turkish population from poverty, drew foreign investors to Turkey, and achieved an amazing development rate.
The paper wrote Erdogan had a significant international political and economic role, and even U.S. President Barack Obama put to implementation giant energy projects and other agreements Erdogan signed with Russia, and made his first visit to Europe to Turkey.
Erdogan had launched a struggle to change Turkey's old order and chaired the Supreme Military Council (YAS) on his own for the first time in years, the newspaper wrote.
The Greek newspaper also defined Erdogan as a historic international leader.
Erdogan's Justice & Development (AK) Party won 50 percent of votes in June 12th general elections, and Erdogan formed the 61st government of Turkey in July.
Source :

Le système de santé de la Grèce est au bord de la catastrophe

Greece's healthcare system is on the brink of catastrophe

Patients who cannot afford treatment and hospitals without critical supplies are among victims of the financial meltdown

    Peter Beaumont in Perama, Friday 5 August 2011 22.00 BST

The accident and emergency ward at a hospital in Athens – hospitals here face regular shortages of materials and equipment. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian

Adonis Kostakos is unemployed and diabetic. Aged 50, he last worked regularly four years ago in the port of Piraeus. Back then he used Greece's public hospital system to have his blood sugar checked and get his medication.

These days, receiving no unemployment benefit, he cannot afford to pay for his drugs or the new €5 hospital fee introduced as part of Greece's austerity measures.

So today Kostakos has come to a free clinic in the shipbuilding town of Perama, where he lives, to pick up his medication. The drop-in surgery run by the global charity Médecins du Monde was originally set up to cater for illegal immigrants. But today, there are only native Greeks.

Posters on the wall show war and famine, but the solitary doctor, George Padakis, 30, is dealing with a different kind of catastrophe – victims of the financial meltdown, which has pushed Greece's health system to the brink.

"I have no insurance and I'm unemployed," says Kostakos. "I heard about this clinic from a friend. I was going to the public hospital, but nowadays I can't afford to do even that. I know lots of people in this town who are in the same situation as me, 10 of them personally."

Next in line is Nikos Famalis. He is 72 and has multiple health problems.

"I've been coming here since it opened," he says, when he emerges clutching a handful of boxes of medicine. "I used to have insurance when I was younger, but I don't have the right papers now. I'm trying to get papers for free treatment in the public hospital but it takes time."

The Greek system is a bureaucratic nightmare, with endless paperwork to fill in and hoops to jump through. Those without resources of any kind can qualify for free healthcare, but even then the state will only pay for some medicines.

And even those entitled to reduced or free medication often cannot find pharmacists to provide them and are instead asked to pay the cost up front and seek reimbursement. Others come into the clinic. A middle-aged man with swollen legs from heart disease needs diuretics; a younger man, who once worked in the nearby shipyards, comes in to be treated for high blood pressure.

"When I came here," says Padakis, "I didn't expect to be treating Greeks. I had no idea so many Greeks had these problems. I thought I would be working with illegal immigrants.

On a typical day the clinic sees around 20 people. "The problems are never simple. Sometimes people don't have the correct insurance or it takes time for the right papers to come through. Sometimes it is as simple as the fact that they don't have a few euros for the bus to go to the hospital for an appointment, so they come here.

"These people are often new poor [created by the financial crisis] and an additional problem is that the hospitals are now charging each time someone visits. The Greek heath system is just getting worse and worse," he adds sadly. "A health system that was not the best is becoming worse and worse."

"The people who can afford it can get immediate treatment. But what is happening in areas like this with high unemployment is that people with health issues are not getting checked up or, perhaps, like one patient – a 42-year-old man with diabetes – have not been taking medication when they should because they can't afford it, so what should be a manageable health problem turns into a crisis.

"He said to me: 'Look, I have four children and I only worked three days last month."'

If the clinic in Perama is an example of how bad things have got for those at the bottom of Greece's ruined economy, elsewhere doctors and patients have their own horror stories to tell in a corrupt health system where paying bribes to doctors is commonplace.

As a result of the crisis, doctors' wages in the public system have been cut in line with other government workers, while hospitals fear being merged and face regular shortages of materials.

Most damaging is how an already unequal health system has become more unequal still – a three-tier affair that discriminates systematically against those most vulnerable and least able to afford health care, marginalising them still further in society.

Even the private hospitals have not been immune to the crisis. In the Iasso maternity hospital Jenny and Pantedis Ioannidis, two young registrars, are celebrating the birth of their first child.

A bright, busy and modern place which handles 16,500 deliveries a year, the hospital has had to cut its fees by 35% in response to the crisis to ensure the flow of patients through its doors continues.

The man who performed the operation is sitting with them, Anastasios Pachydakis, 38, who trained for a while at London's Homerton hospital in Hackney. Pachydakis has performed two operations this year for free for some long-term patients whose business he hopes to keep in the future, because they did not have the money to pay him.

"Most colleagues working in private hospitals have had to cut their fees," says Pantedis Ioannidis.

Working in public hospitals – Jenny as a radiologist and Pantedis as an ophthalmologist – they have seen where the impact of the crisis has hit most acutely.

It is a crisis whose consequences will be inherited by their newborn son, not least the €35,000 of debt now owed by every new child born in Greece.

For the two doctors so far one of the biggest impacts has been on their income in a country where the salaries of public servants, including doctors, had traditionally been bumped up by bonuses at Christmas and for the Easter and summer holidays, amounting to an extra two months' earnings. Those "presents", as they are known, have been abolished as part of the Greek government's austerity programme.

"It is not just the bonuses," says Pantedis, "they have cut other allowances as well including an allowance for expensive medical text books."

Then there are the problems confronted by the hospitals. In one busy Athens accident and emergency department the ambulance drivers complain they are not always sure if they will be paid, while many hospitals have periodic shortages of equipment.

"I work in Athens's biggest hospital," says Jenny, "and there have been times this year when we've been missing a lot of important stuff. Because the hospital owed suppliers money, we had no stents. Then there were two weeks when we had none of the paper towels we use for wiping gel off patients. We were using toilet paper and kitchen towels. That was six months ago."

Pantedis's story is more shocking. A says a shortage in interocular lenses for cataract operations earlier this year at hospitals in Athens meant a run on his own hospital, which was still well stocked, forcing his hospital to refuse new patients needing the procedure.

The Nikaia public hospital is very different to the modern Iasso. It is clean but old with gloomy corridors, the rooms bare and functional. Outside one of its buildings a dog suns itself where the ambulances drop off their patients.

Dr Olga Kosmopoulou, a specialist in infectious diseases including HIV, is wearing a badge on her coat. She explains it marks a six-year-old campaign to eradicate corruption by doctors and others in Greece's health system. It is a campaign, she explains ruefully, that was "completely unsuccessful".

"We have a private sector that has been highly profitable and we have had a public sector that has delivered good results," she says. "But the fact is it is not working now and it is not because doctors have had their wages cut.

"The problems are the shortages of materials that are essential in the public system and the fact that I don't feel I really work in public medicine any more because people have to pay at so many points," she adds.

"I chose to work in the public sector," she says with emphasis. "I had plenty of offers to work in the private sector, but I chose to work for people who could not pay."

Defiantly, she says she has only charged one of her patients the new €5 fee. The rest were simply too poor, so she refused to charge them. She is aware her stand against the new rule could get her into trouble, but says she is not scared"I have a patient who is HIV positive," says Kosmopoulou. "He was a journalist who worked on a little paper in Piraeus. He wasn't working and he owed his insurance company money and now he is uninsured. He has cancer. He can stay in the hospital and not pay. He can get his HIV medication and not pay. But I have a huge problem trying to get his chemotherapy paid for."

She returns to the same story I have heard from Jenny Ioannidis and other doctors – about endemic shortages.

Kosmopoulou reaches into her pocket and pulls out a needle required for affixing an IV line. "I always keep one in my pocket because the right size is so difficult to find."

She says bleakly: "We can't survive this crisis," and adds that she is afraid there is a plan to destroy Greece's public health system. In some respects, it is already in ruins.
Source :

Grèce : pourquoi le plan de sauvetage européen n'est pas la panacée

Les sept plaies de la Grèce
Le deuxième plan de sauvetage de la Grèce soulagera le pays d’une partie du fardeau de la dette mais ne résoudra pas ses problèmes structurels.

Le deuxième plan de sauvetage de la Grèce soulagera le pays d’une partie du fardeau de la dette mais ne résoudra pas ses problèmes structurels. Ceux-ci ne relèvent pas de la comptabilité nationale. Ils sont le résultat de l’Histoire, relativement courte, de la Grèce moderne. L’Etat indépendant existe depuis moins de 200 ans et les brassages de l’empire ottoman qui ont mélangé les populations des Balkans. Les Grecs d’aujourd’hui, quoiqu’ils affirment, ne sont que des lointains descendants des Grecs de l’Antiquité.

Pour l’avoir rappelé peu de temps avant sa mort en 2007, l’écrivain Jacques Lacarrière, grand voyageur et grand admirateur de la Grèce, s’est brouillé avec ses meilleurs amis. Les problèmes structurels sont aussi la conséquence des expériences d’après la deuxième guerre mondiale, la guerre civile, la dictature des colonels de 1967 à 1974, puis du retour à la démocratie. Comme l’Egypte de la Bible, la Grèce souffre de sept plaies.
Un Etat hypertrophié et inefficace

1 Depuis l’indépendance en 1821, l’Etat est la principale source de revenu des dirigeants et des élites.
Dès la fin du XIXe siècle, la bureaucratie grecque était, relativement, la plus nombreuse des Etats d’Europe. Elle compte aujourd’hui «environ» un million de fonctionnaires pour 11 millions d’habitants, soit un salarié sur quatre actifs (1 pour 5 en France). «Environ», parce que le gouvernement lui-même ne sait pas précisément le nombre de ses employés.

Le gouvernement de George Papandréou a lancé une enquête peu de temps après son arrivée au pouvoir à l’automne 2009 pour recenser les fonctionnaires, priés de se faire connaître. La masse salariale de la fonction publique a été multiplié par deux en dix ans. Elle représentait 85% du budget de l’Etat avant les dernières mesures d’austérité.

Mais l’Etat est moins là pour gérer des services publics souvent vétustes ou déficients – avec quelques exceptions comme le métro d’Athènes, développé au moment des Jeux olympiques de 2004 – que pour assurer des sinécures, accorder des privilèges à quelques groupes professionnels ou verser des rentes aux autres. La Grèce ne compte pas moins de 136 professions «protégées», des chauffeurs de poids lourds, aux coiffeurs, boulangers, pharmaciens, masseurs, avocats, etc. Les licences sont distribuées au compte goutte selon des critères assouplis par l’appartenance politique et/ou un coup de pouce sonnant et trébuchant.
Un clientélisme généralisé

2 Les partis politiques, y compris ceux qui proposent un programme très «idéologique», sont d’abord et avant tout des machines à distribuer des faveurs contre un bulletin de vote.
C’était déjà le cas avant la période des colonels où la vie politique était dominée par deux grandes forces, centre et droite (la gauche, assimilée au communisme, était marginalisée). Les partis étaient des associations de notables locaux, réunis au niveau national autour de quelques personnalités.

Avec la modernisation de la société, l’apparition d’une classe moyenne nouvelle, ces stéréotypes se sont peu à peu transformés. Les affiliations politiques traditionnelles tendent à laisser place à une mobilité électorale plus grande, caractéristique des démocraties occidentales. Toutefois, la coexistence d’un Etat distributeur de prébendes et d’un système politique fondé encore largement sur un échange de services rendus, renforce ce clientélisme.
La domination des grandes familles

3 La vie politique grecque est dominée depuis des décennies par trois grandes familles dont les rejetons se succèdent au pouvoir, mises à part quelques périodes exceptionnelles.
Au centre et à gauche, la famille Papandréou: le patriarche, George, était le chef de l’Union du centre avant la dictature. Son fils, Andréas, a repris le flambeau après 1974, en créant le Pasok, le parti socialiste panhellénique, après des années d’exil. Le petit fils, dit Giorgaki – le petit Georges —, est l’actuel Premier ministre. Né et grandi aux Etats-Unis, sa première langue est l’anglais, alors qu’il parle grec avec un accent étranger. Sa vocation première n’était pas la politique mais sa mère, une Américaine, l’a poussé à poursuivre la tradition familiale.

A droite, les Karamanlis et les Mitsotakis. Constantin Karamanlis, le premier chef du gouvernement après la chute des colonels et le président de la République pendant dix ans (1980-1985 puis 1990-1995), a été ministre dès 1947. Il a ensuite cumulé les postes gouvernementaux, déjà comme premier ministre de 1955 à 1963. Son amitié avec Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, nouée alors qu’il était en exil à Paris, a permis à la Grèce d’entrer dans le Marché commun en 1981, malgré des performances économiques et sociales insuffisantes. Son neveu, Costas Karamanlis, a été aussi chef du gouvernement grec de 2004 à 2009.

Quant à Constantin Mitsotakis, Premier ministre de 1990 à 1993, il est le neveu du grand dirigeant grec de l’entre deux guerres, Elefteros Venizelos (l’actuel ministre des finances, Evangelos Venizelos, n’a aucun lien de parente avec lui). Sa fille, Dora Bakoyannis, a été ministre des affaires étrangères dans le cabinet de Costas Karamanlis. A la faveur de la crise financière, elle a quitté la Nouvelle Démocratie, pour fonder son propre parti.
L’évasion fiscale

4 Considérée comme un sport national, elle est difficilement chiffrable. Les évaluations varient entre 15 et 40 milliards d’euros pour des recettes fiscales de quelque 50 milliards. Elle concerne tout le monde, les petits comme les gros contribuables, les premiers ne comprenant pourquoi ils devraient payer à la place de ceux qui ont des facilités ou des connivences pour échapper à l’impôt.
Elle est aussi favorisée par un système de perception vétuste – les premiers ordinateurs permettant de centraliser les données viennent de faire leur apparition dans l’administration fiscale – et par le peu d’empressement des fonctionnaires des impôts, mal payés, à faire leur travail. Ils arrondissent d’ailleurs souvent leur salaire en conseillant les contribuables sur le meilleur moyen de frauder le fisc.

Résultat, les professions libérales déclarent moins de revenus que les ouvriers. Quant aux armateurs, ils sont exemptés d’impôts, sauf pour leurs activités locales, officiellement à cause de la «contribution» qu’ils apportent à l’économie globale du pays (7% du PIB). Sans doute les professionnels du tourisme pourraient en dire autant, mais contrairement aux armateurs, ils ne peuvent pas menacer l’Etat de délocaliser leurs activités et de se présenter sous des pavillons de complaisance.
La corruption

5 Selon Transparence International, la Grèce se classe au 74e rang sur 180 pays considérés, au voisinage de la Jordanie, de la Corée du sud et du Costa Rica, pour le niveau de corruption. En Europe, elle est pratiquement au dernier rang, en compagnie de la Roumanie et de la Bulgarie.
Les sommes versées en pots de vin sont évaluées à plus de 700 millions d’euros par an, dont un tiers dans les hôpitaux. Dans le système de santé, la pratique des «fakelaki», les petites enveloppes, distribuées aux médecins, est, si l’on ose dire, monnaie courante. C’est une garantie de qualité des soins.

La corruption explique en partie pourquoi la Grèce n’a pas profité, comme elle l’aurait pu, des aides versées depuis trente ans par les communautés européennes. L’équivalent de 240 milliards d’euros ont été dévolus à la Grèce, soit l’équivalent d’un an de son PIB. C’est la plus forte moyenne par habitant dans un «ancien» membre de l’Union européenne. Ces fonds ont servi à améliorer les infrastructures et à financer un Etat-providence généreux mais aussi à enrichir quelques intermédiaires.
Un patrimoine foncier mal connu

6 La Grèce était encore récemment le seul pays européen avec l’Albanie à ne pas avoir de cadastre.
L’occupation ottomane, des catastrophes naturelles, comme des incendies ou des tremblements de terre, avaient détruit les quelques données foncières existantes. Depuis les années 1990, une administration cadastrale se met péniblement en place, avec l’aide de l’Union européenne. Trois milliards d’euros de fonds communautaires devaient être consacrés à cette tâche entre 2000 et 2015, soit le coût de la construction du nouvel aéroport d’Athènes avant les Jeux olympiques. L’entreprise est gigantesque, étant donné le nombre de parcelles dans tout le pays (évalué à 15 millions).

Et là encore, le soutien européen a été détourné de ses objectifs. La Grèce a dû rembourser 60 millions d’euros d’aide à cause des «dysfonctionnements» constatés dans l’établissement du cadastre, un euphémisme pour détournements de fonds. Le coût de l’opération sera deux fois élevé pour une couverture cadastrale trois moins étendue que prévue, ont constaté les fonctionnaires de Bruxelles.

L’absence de cadastre favorise évidemment la corruption et l’évasion fiscale, voire la criminalité. Comment contrôler et taxer un patrimoine foncier inconnu de l’administration? Exemple, les incendies qui ravagent la Grèce presque tous les étés. Tous ne sont certes pas d’origine criminelle. Mais les soupçons sont renforcés quand les incendies touchent des terrains non constructibles qui le deviennent après que la forêt a été détruite.

Autre exemple: la vente en cascade de terrains à la propriété douteuse. Il suffit que le premier vendeur d’un terrain qui n’«appartient à personne» le cède, moyennant la complicité intéressée de l’administration concernée, à un intermédiaire qui lui-même le revendra à un acheteur de bonne foi pour que le dit terrain devienne «légalement» constructible avec la plus-value afférente.
L’exception orthodoxe

7 L’Eglise orthodoxe est un des fondements de l’identité grecque. Son rôle est ancré dans la Constitution de la République. Ce facteur identitaire a une conséquence patrimoniale et économique. L’Eglise est le premier propriétaire foncier et immobilier de la Grèce, avec environ 10% du patrimoine national. Pourtant elle ne payait pratiquement pas d’impôts. C’est un privilège qui remontait au milieu du XIXe siècle.

L’Eglise avait été amenée alors à céder des terres distribuées à des paysans pauvres. En contrepartie, elle avait été exemptée d’impôts. Cette situation a duré jusqu’en 1945. L’Eglise a alors été taxée, faiblement, sur ses revenus. Comme ceux-ci étaient difficilement contrôlables, l’impôt était devenu si dérisoire que le gouvernement socialiste de Costas Simitis l’a supprimé au tournant des années 2000. Il couvrait à peine 5% des 300 millions d’euros que l’Etat verse chaque année à l’Eglise orthodoxe pour le salaire des prêtres.

Victime elle aussi de la crise, l’Eglise orthodoxe a été priée par le gouvernement Papandréou de s’acquitter d’un impôt de 20% sur ses revenus. Elle proteste en menaçant de couper dans ses œuvres caritatives. Les moines du mont Athos qui jouissent d’un statut spécial ne sont pas touchés par la nouvelle législation.

Exemptions, corruption, clientélisme, hypertrophie et inefficacité bureaucratiques, tout se conjugue pour entraver une modernisation équilibrée de la Grèce. Cependant, les raisons d’optimisme ne manquent pas. Si au lieu de multiplier les obstacles à l’initiative individuelle, l’Etat encourageait l’esprit d’entreprise, beaucoup de Grecs sont prêts à relever le défi et à s’engager pour une transformation économique et sociale. La diaspora a montré que les Grecs ne manquaient pas de dynamisme quand les conditions de leur épanouissement étaient réunies.

Daniel Vernet
Source :

jeudi 4 août 2011

Etonnant ? La Chypre grecque est elle aussi au bord de l'effondrement économique

Greek debt crisis and power plant explosion leave Cyprus on 'verge of economic collapse'

Island may need bailout following exposure to Greek banks and an explosion that hit the island's finance and tourism sector

    Helena Smith, Friday 29 July 2011 19.53 BST
    Article history

Europe's debt drama has rippled across the Mediterranean to Cyprus. The country's beleaguered leader was scrambling today to form a government amid speculation that the island's ailing economy may soon need to be rescued by the EU.
Barely a week after EU leaders attempted to contain the crisis by agreeing to a new aid package for Greece, Cyprus has begun to show all the signs of fiscal contagion, with rising borrowing costs and an economy that has seen its credit rating downgraded.

"We are on the verge of economic collapse," said Ioannis Kasoulides, the island's former foreign minister and current MEP. "Unless serious structural reforms are implemented, we will face bankruptcy and need [a bailout] too."

Hopes of the crisis being nipped in the bud were crushed yesterday as President Demetris Christofias struggled to appoint a new administration.

Christofias' refusal to confront the island's tough trade unionists – widely blamed for its profligate public sector – appeared to be a major obstacle.

Until recently Cyprus was considered an "economic miracle". But the global financial crisis and a series of misfortunes have added to its woes. An explosion at a naval base on the island earlier this month left 13 dead and knocked out its main power plant, triggering daily blackouts that have severely affected the financial and tourism sectors on which it depends. Damage from the blast is estimated at €1bn-€3bn (£878m-£2.6bn) and as much as 20% of gross domestic product.

With 19 months left in office, Christofias has come under heavy attack for the accident. The disaster occurred after a cache of explosives confiscated from a Syrian-bound Iranian ship were left out in high temperatures close to the power plant.

Downgrading the economy by two notches last week, Moody's said the blast caused "material damage" to the country's mid-term prospects. The agency said its growth would stagnate and cut its growth forecast to zero from 1.8%.

But it is the island's exposure to Greek banks that have generated the economic morass in which it now finds itself.

Citing the island's "increasingly fractious domestic political climate", Moody's also raised concerns over the disproportionately big role banks play in the island's economy. As an offshore haven, Cyprus has become the preferred destination for Russian oligarchs, in particular, to transfer huge amounts of wealth, with bank assets accounting for about 600% of GDP.

Cypriot banks are among the largest holders of Greek debt in Europe and Moody's has predicted that the country's capital, Nicosia, would be particularly exposed to a possible sovereign default in Athens.

Without a political resolution, Cyprus would not be able to push ahead with the urgent reforms it now needs, the agency added. "This adverse development increases risk to the government's plans, many of which will require not just cross-party support but also acceptance by trade unions," Moody's said.
Source :

lundi 1 août 2011

La Grèce va coûter 850 millions d'euros au Crédit agricole

La Grèce va coûter 850 millions au Crédit agricole

Par Pierre Manière
Publié le 28/07/2011 à 23:05

Malgré cette perte au titre du deuxième trimestre, la banque mise toujours sur un bénéfice net «positif».

Le Crédit agricole a tenu à prévenir les investisseurs ce jeudi. Dans un communiqué, l'établissement -qui est la banque étrangère la plus exposée à la Grèce en raison de sa filiale locale Emporiki-, a estimé que la crise que traverse la Grèce pourrait lui coûter 850 millions d'euros dans ses comptes du deuxième trimestre.

Dans le détail, la banque française indique qu'elle passera dans ses comptes du deuxième trimestre une nouvelle dépréciation de 359 millions d'euros sur Emporiki et que le nouveau plan d'aide à la Grèce, auquel le secteur financier va participer, devrait lui coûter environ 150 millions d'euros. De plus, elle s'attend aussi à ce que sa filiale grecque affiche une perte nette de 451 millions d'euros sur la période.
Des analystes sur le qui-vive

Avant cette annonce, les analystes sondés par Thomson Reuters tablaient sur un résultat net de 861,67 millions d'euros au deuxième trimestre. Pour sa part, Crédit Agricole mise toujours sur un bénéfice «positif» pour cette même période, sans en dire plus. Guère surpris par cette annonce, un analyste financier basé à Londres précise que «la banque avait implicitement fait passer le message que de nouvelles dépréciations seraient passées sur la Grèce». Toutefois, il ajoute que «cela donne l'impression que la direction ne maîtrisait pas la situation en Grèce».

Et pour cause: début juillet, l'annonce du départ de Bertrand Badré, directeur financier de la banque avait étonné plusieurs analystes et alimenté des spéculations sur une dégradation de la situation en Grèce d'Emporiki. «Quand le directeur financier est parti, de nombreuses personnes s'attendaient à ce que ce départ soit lié à Emporiki», abonde Alain Tchibozo, analyste chez Mediobanca. Nul doute que les prochaines annonces seront scrutées à la loupe.

A la Bourse de Paris, avant ces annonces, l'action Crédit agricole a clôturé en hausse de 1,45% à 8,8260 euros. Elle a perdu 11,5% depuis le début de l'année face à un indice des valeurs bancaires européennes en repli de 11% depuis le 1er janvier.
Source :

Inefficience grecque : la mauvaise note de Standard & Poor's

La Grèce encore enfoncée par Standard & Poor's

Par Guillaume Guichard
Publié le 27/07/2011 à 19:44

Après le coup de massue de Moody's, l'agence de notation a placé la note du pays à deux crans du défaut de paiement. Le plan européen «n'est pas favorable aux investisseurs», selon elle.

Après sa consœur Moody's, l'agence de notation Standard & Poor's sanctionne la Grèce. Elle a annoncé ce mercredi l'abaissement de la note du pays à «CC», avec une perspective négative. Athènes se retrouve à deux crans du défaut de paiement. Le plan d'aide présenté jeudi dernier par les dirigeants européens placera de facto la Grèce en situation de «défaut sélectif», argumente l'agence.

Le plan, qui prévoit une perte de 20% pour les investisseurs volontaires détenant des titres de dette grec, «n'est pas favorable aux investisseurs», souligne Standard & Poor's (S&P). «Même si aucune date n'a été donnée pour le lancement de ce plan, nous comprenons qu'il ne se déroulera pas avant septembre au plus tôt. Lorsqu'il sera annoncé, une dégradation de la note au rang de «défaut sélectif» (SD) devrait survenir», prévient S&P.

D'autre part, Standard & Poor's estime que si le Fonds européen de stabilité financière (FESF) rachète à grande échelle des titres de dette sur le marché à des prix rabotés, le pays sera également en situation de défaut sélectif. La note de la Grèce sera relevée lorsque les opérations de rachat de dette et de restructuration seront accomplies.

Mais S&P reste prudent. Après ce premier défaut, le risque que le pays face à nouveau défaut «reste élevé». Le patron de la notation pays de l'agence a lancé des déclarations en ce sens mardi matin. «Nous prévoyons d'accorder à la Grèce une note basse dans la catégorie spéculative», c'est-à-dire à haut risque, prévient-il. La dette devrait toujours représenter plus de 130% du produit intérieur brut à la fin 2011 et les perspectives de croissance, observe S&P, restent incertaines.

Le président de la Banque centrale européenne a pris la défense de la Grèce, peu avant l'annonce de S&P. Spéculer sur une faillite de la Grèce, selon lui, «serait le plus sûr moyen de perdre de l'argent après les décisions de jeudi dernier» accordant une nouvelle aide au pays.
Source :

Grâce aux sarkozystes, la France va encore perdre 15 milliards d'euros pour les "beaux yeux" des Grecs

L'aide à la Grèce coûtera 15 milliards d'euros à la France
Publié le 22/07/2011 à 12:58

Le nouveau plan de sauvetage de la Grèce aura comme «conséquence indirecte» pour la France une augmentation de son endettement d'environ 15 milliards d'euros d'ici 2014, selon François Fillon.

L'endettement français sera accru d'environ 15 milliards d'euros d'ici à 2014 en raison de la mise en oeuvre du plan d'aide à la Grèce conclu jeudi soir, a déclaré vendredi François Fillon. Ces décisions n'ont pas de coût direct pour nos finances publiques», a assuré le premier ministre, à l'issue d'une réunion à Matignon avec les principaux responsables du Parlement sur les suites du sommet de la zone euro tenu jeudi à Bruxelles. Et d'ajouter : «Elles ont un coût indirect puisque nous allons participer à travers des garanties apportées sur les prêts qui seront consentis par le fonds de stabilité européen à la Grèce».

Le premier ministre a qualifié en outre l'accord des dirigeants européens sur un plan de sauvetage de la Grèce d'étape absolument décisive pour la zone euro.

Cet accroissement de l'endettement pourrait mettre à mal l'objectif du gouvernement de commencer à faire baisser le ratio de dette publique de la France à partir de 2013. La dette publique de la France s'élevait à la fin du premier trimestre (dernier chiffre disponible) à 1646,1 milliards d'euros, soit 84,5% du Produit intérieur brut (PIB).

L'accord de Bruxelles, qui doit beaucoup aux efforts du couple franco-allemand, pemettra d'éviter une faillite de certains pays de la zone euro, a déclaré le premier ministre après avoir expliqué les décisions prises jeudi aux parlementaires français à Matignon.

La «règle d'or» qui inscrirait la nécessité de réduire les déficits dans la Constitution française est plus que jamais d'actualité, a encore dit le chef du gouvernement. L'objectif de la France de ramener son déficit public en dessous de 3% du Produit intérieur brut (PIB) en 2013 «doit être atteint», a également indiqué le premier ministre. «Les engagements que nous avons pris doivent être respectés», a-t-il ajouté.

(avec AFP et Reuters)
Source :