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  • Is Regling right to be concerned about Greek liquidity? | MacroPolis
    billion euros March interest obligations stand at 750 million bringing the total quarterly interest bill close to 2 5 billion euros Privately held debt is not problematic in the first quarter with only a bond issued in Yen maturing in February In total over the first quarter of the year the Greek government needs approximately 4 billion euros to meet all debt obligations The state budget foresees a primary surplus of just over 1 billion euros during the first quarter of 2016 Unless Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resorts to the option he chose last year of repos from state owned and related bodies it is not in anyone s interest to let the review slip well into spring You can follow Yiannis on Twitter YiannisMouzakis Send with e mail Print this page 1 Comments RSS 18 Jan 2016 11 25 Posted by Dean Plassaras At some point this disgusting display of how Greece has no longer an independent government and is ruled by an un elected Quadriga has to stop Regling means nothing to the average Greek voter and he can keep his opinions to himself Reply to this post Please Comment Name Organisation E mail will not be displayed Website Comment up to 2000 characters Entry Validation Please type the characters you see in the picture Type here If you cannot see the characters in the picture try refreshing the page press F5 Latest Comments 26 Apr 2016 Unfortunately Greece has no longer an elected government It makes no dif Dean Plassaras 22 Apr 2016 The biggest misconception about the IMF is that it s US controlled It s Dean Plassaras 14 Apr 2016 But Merkel and Schauble like Tsipras Why are you fighting it Dean Plassaras 6 Apr 2016 Bottom line Greece is part of an uber incompetent

    Original URL path: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.3545 (2016-04-27)
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  • Holding out for a (reformist) hero | MacroPolis
    Finance Ministry cleaners as well as the entry of university administrative staff and municipal police into a mobility scheme this seems a scant evidence on which to declare him capable of seeing through structural reforms Perhaps given more time he was in office for 19 months and more backing from his prime minister and colleagues he could have achieved more For now though there seems little basis for heaping praise on him and it would be best to reserve judgment History unfavourable Beyond Mitsotakis s record though there are several reasons to believe that those hoping for the emergence of an inspirational progressive figure will be disappointed Firstly recent history is against them Their hopes have been repeatedly dashed over the last few years largely due to a fundamental misunderstanding of Greek politics particularly the qualities needed to appeal to a range of constituents rather than the urban and business elite as well as the way in which the notion of reforms have become so intertwined with the politically poisonous process of fiscal adjustment Indeed the first task that Mitsotakis faces is to convince his own party that his belief in liberal economic reforms is the way forward New Democracy is a party of many factions and the liberal reformist wing is by no means the dominant one despite Mitsotakis s win on Sunday which was helped by a dollop of incompetence from those who opposed him Do we want a Margaret Thatcher style party obsessed with the euro or a New Democracy of radical liberalism with a social face that will not just represent the economic elite said veteran New Democracy MP Nikitas Kaklamanis recently of the choice between Mitsotakis and rival candidate Evangelos Meimarakis This is the kind of scepticism that the new conservative party leader whose candidacy had limited support from New Democracy lawmakers will have to overcome Mitsotakis also stands in a minority within his socially conservative party when it comes to non economic issues He was one of only 19 out of 75 New Democracy MPs to vote in December for a law allowing same sex civil partnerships Ensuring that liberal thought takes root within his party when it also has limited appeal among Greek voters the local political landscape is littered with liberal parties that have tried and failed will also be a big test It is also worth noting that a Mitsotakis led New Democracy will provide a much clearer ideological opponent to SYRIZA This could work to the new leader s advantage but it could also make it much easier for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to paint Mitsotakis the son of former party leader and ex prime minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis as representing the elites The former minister is likely to be particularly tested when it comes to the government s negotiations with Greece s lenders If he is seen taking positions that are more economically liberal than those advocated by the institutions Tsipras will use this against Mitsotakis as ardently as possible

    Original URL path: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.3533 (2016-04-27)
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  • Addressing some misconceptions about Greek budget revenues and unpaid taxes | MacroPolis
    since 2014 a large number of taxpayers pay income tax and ENFIA via credit cards in 6 12 monthly instalments However the state receives the whole tax upfront which explains the inflated revenue collection in the first payment month of both income tax and ENFIA SMP and ANFA Since tax revenues outperformed the targets why does the headline revenue figure show an underperformance The answer largely lies with a non recurring revenue item SMP and ANFA income which stood at just 291 million euros in the 11 month period versus target of 2 16 billion implying an underperformance by 1 87 billion It is noteworthy that the SMP ANFA income of 291 million euros was received in February and that was the first and last time Greece received this source of income in the course of 2015 Summing up recurring revenues primarily made up by direct and indirect taxes exceeded their targets while SMP and ANFA income the largest component of non recurring revenues was the key reason for the total revenue underperformance Tax arrears An important indicator related to revenue collection is the evolution of tax arrears Tax debt is created when a tax is not paid on time It corresponds to the unpaid tax plus any penalty and surcharges According Finance Ministry figures published last March the amount of total overdue taxes stood at 76 billion euros at that time Of this 46 6 billion or more than 60 percent had been created over the previous five years Based on the same figures more than 3 7 million taxpayers 3 33 million of which were individuals owed less than 5 000 euros each The cumulative outstanding overdue taxes of this category stood at 2 3 billion euros making up just 3 percent of the total amount On the other side 80 percent of the outstanding tax arrears amount was owed by 6 500 taxpayers that had unpaid tax obligations of 60 4 billion It should be highlighted that that tax arrears are created even if tax revenue collection is on track as revenue targets are usually based on a collectability rate on each specific tax due As an example the annual ENFIA target is set at 2 65 billion euros This corresponds to a collectability rate of around 80 percent of the total nominal ENFIA of 3 3 billion Thus even if the actual revenue collection from ENFIA reaches the targeted 2 65 billion tax arrears of 650 million would be created This corresponds to 20 percent of ENFIA that was due but not paid Effective new tax debt Since the beginning of 2015 the General Secretariat of Public Revenues GSPR has been disclosing the effective new tax debt which broadly relates to the part of overdue taxes that is theoretically collectable According to the GSPR methodology effective tax debt mainly excludes from the gross figure the unpaid taxes of public enterprises municipalities and defaulted companies The evolution of the effective tax arrears provides a better indication of

    Original URL path: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.3518 (2016-04-27)
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  • Greece stands on fault line between vicious and virtuous cycles for 2016 | MacroPolis
    of the review by the end of February quite ambitious even though no major deadline has been missed since July By February 1 st Greece will need to have paid the IMF marginally below 600 million euros The first installment of around 450 million euros is due in mid January March has the largest IMF installment of the year at 876 million which leads to a total figure of IMF obligations in the first quarter of close to 1 5 billion euros Next year s interest bill is highest in February standing at just under 1 6 billion euros inlcuding 138 million of GRA charges interest to the IMF The total figure for the first two months of the year is approximately 1 7 billion euros March interest obligations stand at 750 million bringing the total quarterly interest bill close to 2 5 billion euros Privately held debt is not problematic in the first quarter with only a bond issued in Yen maturing in February The state s budget foresees a primary surplus of over 1 billion euros during the first quarter of 2016 with monthly surplus figures of 307 758 and 30 million for each of the first three months In fact in January the entire budget is in a 197 million total surplus turning into a cumulative deficit of 1 3 billion euros up to March Cash balance state budget and Primary Cash balance state budget monthly cumulative In total over the first quarter of the year Tsipras needs approximately 4 billion euros to meet all debt obligations which factoring in the primary surplus leads to a net financing need of 3 billion The most probable source of funding while the review is ongoing is the same repos exercise which aside from the emergency nature so far is seen favourably by the quartet Greece s lenders had previously suggested the formation of a framework of central cash management that will include all state owned and associated enterprises As much as the numbers do not pose an immediate problem for the government at the beginning of the New Year it is highly probable that the first review will test Tsipras on the political front He will have to convince an already tired and battered party and a parliamentary group with a very thin majority to agree to further reducing the income of pensioners after eleven previous rounds of cuts agree further austerity measures in 2017 and possibly 2018 and place loans linked to primary residences as collateral under the control of distressed debt funds which only a year ago Tsipras himself was calling vultures What seems like a straightforward cash management exercise in the first quarter can quickly turn into a vicious cycle that will push any economic recovery further out of sight and inflict more damage on the already shaky relationship with creditors before a repeat of last year s crescendo when the ECB held bonds placed a hard stop in front of Tsipras and led to his

    Original URL path: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.3511 (2016-04-27)
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  • Will Tsipras ride the waves in 2016? | MacroPolis
    have to find answers to from January onwards are whether his MPs can stomach more measures especially such unpopular ones and whether his government can discover the technical capacity to implement the reforms the country needs European officials have been mostly positive about the level of cooperation with the government since the September 20 elections but there are doubts about whether it has the stamina the know how and the personnel to make the necessary moves in tax collection public administration healthcare education and the justice system to name a few The government gives the feeling that as far as the civil service is concerned it is content to replace key staff appointed by previous administrations with candidates of its own choice rather than those who are most skilled to do the job If this is the case the government s ability to drive change will be non existent It will also hamper Tsipras in his efforts to tackle day to day tasks such as responding to the changing nature of the refugee crisis which is the other major challenge that lies ahead So far Greece s task in addressing the huge influx of refugees and migrants more than 800 000 this year compared to 43 500 in 2014 according to the UNHCR has been focussed on the humanitarian aspect Rescuing sheltering feeding and providing medical assistance Gradually though the emphasis has shifted to the administrative Fingerprinting registering processing relocating and repatriating While the humanitarian effort has already placed a huge burden on Greece which it has only been able to lift with the help of NGOs and volunteer groups the administrative tasks are making different demands of the Greek government They require planning coordination and management all of which are skills that the current coalition and the Greek civil service are known to lack The tighter border controls north of Greece mean that many migrants cannot find a way through to central and northern Europe Greece is expected to detain them and send them home At the same time it has been asked to keep refugees at the so called hotspots on the Greek islands until they have been relocated This means finding places for thousands of people to stay in the country for several weeks at a time at least as the relocation process is moving at a snail s pace and the repatriation of migrants is a notoriously complex exercise This has already created problems for the government as it moves hundreds of migrants from one former 2004 Olympics Games stadium to another while it tries to find a more organised and permanent solution to a challenge that will only intensify in the months ahead It also means that a problem which until now had been limited to the islands and border areas is now starting to have an impact in the city which creates a different set of political complications Friction with mayors and residents as well as more opportunities on which extremists can capitalise Tsipras

    Original URL path: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.3502 (2016-04-27)
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  • The year that Greece (nearly) saw it all | MacroPolis
    we have strived to filter out the noise and give balanced insight Our growing number of readers and subscribers suggests that we are getting it right We would like to thank all of you for trusting MacroPolis as your source of analysis on Greece and hope that 2016 will prove a healthy and productive year for all In the meantime you will find below links to the three most popular articles we wrote this year in each section of the site starting with those in our free blog The Agora Happy reminiscing Best regards Nick Malkoutzis Editor The Agora You ve heard the Greek crisis myths now here are some truths Feb 20 Where did all the money go Jan 5 The Greeks deserved better than this Jun 27 Politics The main political scenarios ahead for Greece should it reach a deal with lenders Jun 21 Eurogroup leaves Tsipras with difficult but not impossible deal to sell at home Feb 21 This is the deal Greece will go in search of at Wednesday s sceptical Eurogroup Feb 7 Economy Greek pensions The thorniest issue in talks between Athens and lenders Apr 27 How big is the gap separating Greece and the institutions Jun 25 A breakdown of the fiscal and structural reforms Greece hopes will unlock funding Mar 30 Society Third of Greek households trapped in debt and poverty study suggests Jan 14 Unemployment cronyism and corruption fuel Greek brain drain Jun 19 Greece most socially unjust country in EU study finds Nov 2 Send with e mail Print this page 2 Comments RSS 30 Dec 2015 19 17 Posted by Mads Henrik Højgaard A treasure of facts and news analysis always with a balanced and independent approach rarely seen in the international media coverage of Greece Thank you Nick and the whole group of co contributors and a Happy and propsperous New Year to you as well as to the people of Greece Reply to this post 28 Dec 2015 23 40 Posted by Camilla Markvardsen DR Thank you Nick for the best English language source to background knowledge on Greece Happy New Year Reply to this post Please Comment Name Organisation E mail will not be displayed Website Comment up to 2000 characters Entry Validation Please type the characters you see in the picture Type here If you cannot see the characters in the picture try refreshing the page press F5 Latest Comments 26 Apr 2016 Unfortunately Greece has no longer an elected government It makes no dif Dean Plassaras 22 Apr 2016 The biggest misconception about the IMF is that it s US controlled It s Dean Plassaras 14 Apr 2016 But Merkel and Schauble like Tsipras Why are you fighting it Dean Plassaras 6 Apr 2016 Bottom line Greece is part of an uber incompetent Europe unable to solv Dean Plassaras 5 Apr 2016 Well Tsipras is Tsipras he was probably led on by someone to make a tan Stavros Delakezas Popular Posts 20 Nov 2013

    Original URL path: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.3500 (2016-04-27)
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  • Leaving Greece's annus horribilis behind | MacroPolis
    banks that are in a position to extend affordable credit to the real economy in particular to small and private companies While the recapitalization process of the four largest Greek banks has been successfully accomplished with the participation of international investors the restructuring process of the domestic lenders is far from complete Implementing sustainable solutions to the central liability problem on banks balance sheets namely non performing loans NPLs requires not only legal reform but equally a new institutional architecture This objective includes combating continuous strategic loan defaulting executing controversial new regulations on house repossessions as well as advancing out of court settlement procedures on these matters The asset quality of Greece s major banks portfolios remains shaky at best Credit risks on lenders balance sheets remain elevated But the recovery potential on the liability side is one of the key questions seeking positive answers in 2016 The outlook for 2016 is all the more challenging given that the emerging refugee and migration crises during 2015 have created new policy conditionalities for Greece and its relationship with its European neighbours and partners The country remains the most important entry point for all kinds of refugees and migrants from different parts of the world Equally Greece continues to be a way station for onward transit flows to neighbouring countries and cities further north As 2015 has shown migration to and through Greece cannot be viewed as a problem that can be solved by one country alone Rather it constitutes a recurring human reality and tragedy in Greece and beyond that will have to be managed in the course of 2016 Policing the borders with Turkey depends on whether the controversial issue of joint sea patrols with the eastern neighbour can be organized and agreed upon On a more positive note contrary to disturbing electoral developments in many other European Union countries Greek voters in 2015 did not reject an open door policy on refugees and migrants While the country s national identity has been profoundly challenged through six years of unrelenting economic and social crisis Greek citizens in their overwhelming majority have not turned against those in need and seeking refuge The magnitude of civil society responses and volunteerism towards refugees and migrants on the Aegean islands or at the Idomeni border crossing with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia FYROM has been unprecedented and speaks volumes about the social fabric of Greek society By contrast it is not at all reassuring that the Grexit discussions during the first half of 2015 have gradually been replaced by a new set of threats namely to suspend Greece s membership from the passport free travel area known as the Schengen zone Such new exit speculation can and must be averted For the state of play between Greece and its continental partners however it speaks volumes that exit threats of a different origin continue to arise on policymaking agendas in Europe In conclusion the jury is still out on the difficult events of 2015

    Original URL path: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.3498 (2016-04-27)
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