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Greece will call national elections with Syriza and as one of the favourites forces

MADRID | The Corner | Greece’s prime minister failed to get his presidential candidate confirmed, which will lead to an early parliamentary election that could end the nation’s international lifeline. It was important that the Greek government reached an agreement to appoint a  new PM. However, the third and decisive time only gave 168 votes to Antonis Samaras, the same as in the previous round. This means that there will be early elections and the possibility of Syriza reaching the government is even closer.

Greece: The one question Syriza needs to answer

ATHENS | By Yiannis Mouzakis via  MacroPolisWith the coalition in Greece getting only 160 votes for its presidential candidate in the first ballot, falling short even of the most conservative estimate, based on the currently available information it seems that the number of deputies that will vote in favour in the third round on December 29th will not reach the minimum 180 required.

Greece: Where did it all go wrong?

ATHENS | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolisWhen Greece returned to international bond markets in April this year after a four-year exile, it was trumpeted by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as another step towards the crisis exit door. “Confidence in our country was confirmed by the most objective judge – the markets,” he said after investors snapped up three billion euros of five-year bonds with a coupon of 4.75 percent. Exactly seven months later, though, the yield on those bonds shot up to almost 10 percent. Suddenly, the markets do not seem so confident. So, what went wrong? 

Waiting for Godot in Greece

ATHENS | By Jens Bastian via MacroPolisAccording to its Wikipedia article, Waiting for Godot by Irish writer Samuel Beckett is an absurdist play, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot. The current situation in Athens has remarkable similarities with this classic piece of European literature. 

The politics of debt dynamics in Greece

ATHENS |  By Jens Bastian via MacroPolisThe reprofiling of Greece’s sovereign obligations makes any future debt restructuring an exercise that would almost entirely impact the official sector of Greece’s international creditors. Among these creditors, European institutions such as the ECB, the EFSF and eurozone member states would be affected most prominently.


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Greece: ‘We’re dying to pay our taxes’

ATHENS | By Damian Mac Con Uladh at The AgoraLike thousands of citizens, Nikolas Elliniadis had left it to deadline day to go to his bank, in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, to pay the first of six instalments of Greece’s new property tax, the latest levy to hit a population beleaguered after five years of austerity.

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Change of pace in Europe: Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Belgium will lead growth between 2015 and 2016

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | ECB’s Mario Draghi brought put the bleak panorama that the Eurozone’s economy is facing on the table, and we saw it again reflected in the not-so-promising September manufacturing PMI. The index came in at 50.5 compared to 50.7 in the prior month, whereas EZ Services PMI accelerated at 52.8 for September versus 53.1 in August. Even the composite index plummeted to its lowest fee in the last nine months and reached 52.3. In Germany, both manufacturing and services indexes have also decreased; while in France only manufacturing improved, although it is still contracting.

Run this way: The recurring pattern of Greek leaders

ATHENS | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolisAs the Greek general elections of May (and then June) 2012 approached, every poor unfortunate European politician attempted to grab a moment in the spotlight by pontificating on whether Greece should or should not be in the single currency. While the euro vultures picked at Greece’s carcass, thousands of fear-stricken Greeks withdrew their money from local banks. Who knows, maybe in our strange world of acute fiscal adjustment and extreme political polarisation it is a sign of progress that Greece no longer needs foreigners to encourage a bank run. Local politicians can do the jobs themselves.


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Greece: Survey finds 2013 household budgets devastated, inequality persists

ATHENS | By MacroPolis | The impact of austerity measures on Greek citizens has been devastating, according to the last official dataThe average monthly expenditure of households dropped 7.8 percent year on year (YoY) to 1,509.39 euros in 2013, according to the 2013 Household Budget Survey published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

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Tsipras starts to flesh out SYRIZA’s economic policy but questions remain

ATHENS | Via Macropolis | In a much-anticipated speech, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras unveiled the main pillars of his party’s economic policy platform on Saturday, focusing on debt relief from the eurozone, the use of European Union funds to boost employment, a reduction in taxes and an increase of wages and pensions.