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Complex path to Greek bailout agreement


Complex path to Greek bailout agreement


For Greece to avoid a so-called uncontrolled default on its debts a massively complicated web of agreements still has to come together.

They involve the Greek government and opposition parties, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the investors who have bought government bonds from Athens, eurozone finance ministers and parliamentary committees in Germany and Finland.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned: “The costs of a default by Greece and the costs of Greece possibly leaving the euro would be much greater than the costs of continuing to support Greece. Greece must also agree to undertake — in a clear way, without ambiguity — to make the necessary changes, which I accept are hard, but which will bear fruit in the medium term.”

Among the sticking points to agreement are the demands that in return for another bailout Greeks must accept further cuts to the state-run pension system to make it financially viable as well as more layoffs of government employees and slashing the minimum wage by 20 percent to make Greece more competitive.

Another problem is that the country’s banks bought a lot of Greek government bonds.

Because they will lose so much money on those the banks will need to be propped up with public money, which Athens does not have and which to Brussels and the IMF smacks of nationalisation.

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