Greek banks may soon breathe sigh of relief on capital needs

Greek banks are always at the forefront of domestic market developments. Despite the strong rebound of 6.4 percent on Friday, their shares still recorded cumulative losses of 7.8 percent last week and 23.9 percent over the past three months. Concerns about the outcome of the upcoming comprehensive assessment European Central Bank are one of the key factors weighing on investors’ minds.

Apart from increasing political risk and the market’s negative reaction to the government’s initial plan for an early bailout exit, the single most important short-term risk lies with banks’ potential additional capital shortfall.

During the summer, market rumours indicated that additional capital needs could reach 5-6 billion euros. Since then, there have been a number of positive developments, most markedly the legislation on the conversion of the banks’ deferred tax asset (DTA) to tax credit. This could trim their capital shortfall by more than 2 billion euros.

Citing banking sources, Ta Nea daily indicated on Saturday, October 18 that Greek banks capital needs could reach 1.5 billion euros. Moreover, the report noted that for two banks the capital shortfall could be zero or in the order of a few million euros.

An urgent call for more realism!

"…This means the creation of a mechanism similar to that of the well known Memorandums (the obligation to sign a memorandum of macro-economic adaptation, the monitoring of the fiscal situation through evaluations every four months, the commitment to impose new ‘measures’ if they are deemed necessary by the evaluation etc.

Fundamental realism dictates that this constantly deteriorating framework is incompatible with the aim of reaching basic social targets - as the ones outlined by the president of Syriza at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair. Conflict is therefore unavoidable. This was demonstrated by the way in which the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was dismissed when he went to Berlin to ‘negotiate’ the impossible task of reducing budget deficits to 3% of GDP. And this happened despite the unprecedented cuts programme which his government had just imposed and the firing of his finance minister, who had dared to dispute austerity and German dominance within the EU.

Realism here, means that Greek society and tomorrow’s leadership must calmly, but also resolutely, prepare in a multifaceted way for a relentless stand-off with the dominant powers in Europe. A contest which undoubtedly will have the backing of the progressive countries in Europe and future imitators.”

Ioutro
Photo by Sieta Pomper 

Ioutro

Photo by Sieta Pomper 

Youth vote for Golden Dawn for racist/supremacist reasons, study finds

Young people who voted for Golden Dawn in 2012 did so out of ideological conviction and not for reasons stemming from the economic crisis, a new study from a leading Athens university shows.

Conducted by researchers at the Panteion University, the study also found that the level of identification among Golden Dawn’s young voters with its aims was higher than for youth who backed other parties. These voters generally view Golden Dawn as a “nationalist party”, rejecting as “despicable” its description as “fascist” or “neonazi” even though they recognise that there are ideological affinities between it and fascism.

For them, Golden Dawn is a “patriotic-nationalist” party, which “puts the Greeks above everything else”. The almost total identification with the party’s “nationalist” ideology, expressed through the pride these young voters feel as Greeks pride, stems from the belief that Greeks are superior to other people historically and culturally.

Karpathos

Karpathos

Mykonos 1965 

Evia. Nea Artaki 

Photo by Anna Maniata

Evia. Nea Artaki

Photo by Anna Maniata

Greek bakers encircle monument with ring bread

Greek bakers in the northern city of Thessaloniki have made a giant “koulouri,” a ring bread similar to a bagel, around the city’s most visible monument, the medieval White Tower.

The bread, 165 meters (540 feet) in diameter, weighed 1.35 tons before baking.

A “koulouri” is a staple snack, sold mostly by street vendors. Of Turkish provenance, it can be found throughout the Balkans under different names.

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