Tag Archives: Eurogroup

Lack of Trust in the European Commission

In the FT, Henry Foy reports about critical comments by Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The chair of the Eurogroup has argued that the Euro area needs an independent fiscal oversight body to disperse fears of “politicised” European Commission decisions when it comes to evaluating national budgets.

Naturally, lack of trust in the Commission is widespread. But now it seems to have reached the higher echelons of EU institutions themselves.

In the meantime, Tony Barber writes (also in the FT) that “The eurozone’s fiscally lax nations are at it again”.

Eurozone Finance Ministers Approve Third Greek Bailout

In the FT, Duncan Robinson and Christian Oliver report about Eurozone finance ministers’ approval of the third bailout for Greece, amounting to 86 billion Euros.

Contrary to Germany’s recent demands, the approval came in spite of the fact that the IMF has not committed to participate in the new program. In fact, the IMF has committed not to participate unless Greece’s debt burden is further reduced. Finance ministers effectively promised such further cuts in the future.

The deal falls short of what the German government had hoped to secure (see also this previous blog post).

 

The Greek Bank Holiday and Capital Controls

Saturday, 27 June 2015 and earlier:

  • In a Medium blog post, Karl Whelan provides an excellent discussion of the policy mistakes that worsened the Greek debt crisis.
  • Hans-Werner Sinn’s “The Greek Tragedy.”
  • Alex Barker discusses in the FT the options for Greece’s banking system.

Sunday, 28 June:

  • Christian Rickens comments in Der Spiegel that the upcoming Greek referendum is the price to pay for five years of cowardice, both on the part of the Greek government and its European partners.
  • The FT summarizes the main policy decisions during the last days that led the Greek economy to “hit a roadblock.”
  • The Economist writes that “[I]n these circumstances a cap on ELA must mean tough restrictions on deposit withdrawals both in cash and through transfers abroad.” It draws parallels to Cyprus in March 2013 where banks closed for two weeks and where capital controls were recently lifted.
  • Ekathimerini reports about the decision to close the banks and instate capital controls. It quotes the Greek prime minister as saying that “[Rejection] of the Greek government’s request for a short extension of the program was an unprecedented act by European standards, questioning the right of a sovereign people to decide. … This decision led the ECB today to limit the liquidity available to Greek banks and forced the Greek central bank to suggest a bank holiday and restrictions on bank withdrawals. … One thing is clear: the refusal of a short extension, and the attempt to nullify a democratic procedure is an act deeply offensive and shameful for the democratic traditions of Europe.”

Monday–Tuesday, 29–30 June:

  • Claire Phipps summarizes in The Guardian the main elements of the ‘Bank Holiday break’ decree that the Greek prime minister and president enacted during the night, in response to “the extremely urgent and unforeseen need to protect the Greek financial system and the Greek economy due to the lack of liquidity caused by the Eurogroup’s decision on June 27 to refuse the extension of the loan agreement with Greece”.
  • Philip Stafford and Roger Blitz speculate in the FT about the implications of Grexit. (See also the earlier post on Lex Monetae.)
  • The FT’s liveblog.
  • In the FT, Martin Sandbu convincingly addresses questions on the bigger picture, including political aspects of the crisis.
  • Anil Kashyap has published “A Primer on the Greek Crisis.”
  • In the FT, Shawn Donnan discusses the consequences of a Greek default against the IMF.
  • Der Spiegel reviews how the international press assigns responsibility for the crisis.

Wednesday, 1 July:

  • In the FT, Peter Spiegel outlines the way forward to a new “Greek” bailout.
  • The Economist’s Free Exchange blogger on the limited experience with capital controls (Iceland, Cyprus, now Greece).

Note: This post has been updated repeatedly.