Greece present, Tsipras absent

The Greek crisis was one of the main topics of discussion during the second, pan-European debate between candidates Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Schulz, Guy Verhofstadt and Ska Keller. For the second time, absent from the televised debate for the presidency of the European Commission was SYRIZA leader, Alexis Tsipras who is also a candidate.




A minority party to run alone in European elections

Golden Dawn, [the related] National Dawn, but also the Party of Equality Peace and Friendship (DEP) of Ali Tsaous Mustapha – that is the party representing the muslim minority of Thrace, are among the fifteen parties which had until yesterday submitted applications to the Supreme Court in order to take part in the European elections. 


Mass layoffs and a return of ‘lock-outs’

The government ‘celebrates’ May 1st with its new memorandum-based attack

The government is reopening the issue of mass layoffs as well as lock-outs of employees, one day before the symbolic celebration of International Workers’ Day on May 1st. The leadership of the Labour Ministry has a timetable prepared for its implementation of proposed changes beginning this coming June for the aforementioned issues which will give provide the final blow to whatever remains of the unionisation movement and the historic law 1264/82 of Apostolos Kaklamanis, down to the last bastion that – under the troika – remains standing: the prohibition of mass layoffs. The Deputy Labour Minister, speaking yesterday to Alpha 9,89 left open the possibility of specific changes, stressing that there is a requirement according to the agreements for some issues to be re-examined in the second half of the year and to see them in relation to the situation in the rest of Europe. 


Moody’s upgrades ratings for Greek banks

Bond issuances restore liquidity

A steady return to profitability is expected from next year

Moody’s has upgraded its ratings over the prospects of Greek banks from negative to stable, assessing the potential for a return of the local economy to growth in 2014-15 following six years of recession. The gradual recovery, in combination with the successful recapitalization of Greek banks and their return to interbank lending and the international markets is expected to ease financing pressures and lead to a steady rise in profitability in 2015. Moody’s expects Greece’s GDP to increase by 0.3% this year and 1.2% in 2015, a growth rate which will create opportunities for the banks which, thanks to economies of scale created by the consolidation of the sector, are becoming more efficient. The ratings house also notes the banks’ increasing independence from the eurosystem thanks to access to interbank lending and the recent issuance of bonds by the banks.




State funding of political parties provocatively favours PASOK

An amendment by G. Mihelakis will mean that the levels of state funding received by political parties will be determined based on the percentages received by the parties during the European elections of 2009. As such, PASOK will receive 1.5 million euros, while SYRIZA will receive just 370,000. Officials from the latter spoke of an ‘act of desperation by the coalition government’.