Tag Archives: Greece

Eurozone Summit Reaches Deal On Greek Bailout

Eurozone creditors reached a deal with Greece on Monday, to avoid the country’s exit from the Euro, and to “resolve Greece’s debt crisis,” in exchange for stricter austerity measures.

The deal, which is Greece’s third bailout package in the last five years, is awaiting the approval of Greece’s parliament, and sharply contrasts last week’s referendum, where Greek citizens voted to reject any bailout deal that would require further austerity.

While Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to reject further austerity when he came to power in January, the new bailout package will leave Greeks faced with even more rigorous measures than before.

The Guardian reported that after “31 hours of acrimonious discussions spread over one tense weekend,” the 19 leaders of the Eurozone came to an agreement that would require Greece to introduce “controversial economic reforms” and to sell off 50 billion Euros worth of state assets, “with the proceeds earmarked for a trust fund supervised by its creditors.”

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, took to Twitter to write that summit leaders had reached a unanimous agreement, which would require  “serious reforms” in exchange for “financial support.

The New York Times reported that when speaking to reporters following the announcement of the deal on Monday, Tsipras “tried to put a positive spin on what might be seen as an almost total capitulation by Athens to creditors’ demands for tough austerity,” and said that the Greek government “assumed the responsibility of averting the extremist ambitions of the most conservative circles in Europe.”

“We gave a tough battle for six months and fought until the end in order to achieve the best we could, a deal that would allow Greece to stand on its feet,” Tsipras said. “We faced hard decisions, tough dilemmas.”

While French President Francois Hollande said that losing Greece from the Eurozone would be like losing “the heart of our civilization,” the president of the Eurozone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said that the Greeks “have to show they’re credible, show that they mean it.”

The Associated Press reported that before Greece can receive 85 billion Euros, or $95.07 billion in bailout funds, the Greek government “will have to pass a raft of austerity measures that include sales tax increases, reforms to pensions, and labor market reforms.”

While Greek banks are expected to remain closed this week, requiring emergency loans in order to reopen, the New York Times noted that the European Central Bank is “unlikely to provide additional emergency cash,” until the Greek Parliament agrees to the bailout package.

The Guardian reported that the European commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank asked Greece to come up with a “plan to ‘de-politicize’ its civil service by next Monday,” and that the country could be forced to reverse any measures deemed “counter to the bailout philosophy” which could leading to the firing of the “government cleaners that Syriza rehired with such fanfare.”

The Associated Press noted that while Greece has received two previous bailouts, totaling 240 billion Euros, or $268 billion, “in return for deep spending cuts, tax increases and reforms from successive governments,” Greece’s debt has continued to increase, “as the economy has shrunk by a quarter.”

Exclusive: Anthem Blanchard Talks Greece, Cryptocurrency And More


Anthem Vault President/CEO/Director Anthem Blanchard sat down with Truth in Media’s Ben Swann to discuss the financial disaster in Greece and how his Bitcoin-gold hybrid, Hayek, will change how people treat currency.

Greece was basically borrowing money to pay pensioners; there is no more money to borrow and there is a run on the banks.

Blanchard speculated on how Greece will solve its problems: “I think what you’re going to see happen actually is that you’ll see Greece in some sort of IOU Euro currency,” he said.

“I think this is a narrative that you’re going to see spread. It’s basically a form of capital control.”

Greece’s potential fix is referred to as a “haircut.”

“Anything over $10,000 will receive a haircut of 30 percent,” explained Blanchard. “You lose 30 percent of your money over $10,000, basically. The small business owner that keeps more than $9,000 in any account- that’s a 30 percent loss right there.”

And that solution could encourage other countries to follow Greece. If Spain decided to overspend on social programs, for example, there is now the idea that the debt could receive a haircut. “So, it sets a precedent. And that’s really the danger in the real sticky situation that the Euro bank and the Euro government heads really have this conundrum on their hands,” he added.

And when it comes down to it, Greece’s middle class will be affected the most. The wealthy have already removed their money from Greece’s banks.

Blanchard said that we should look at Greece’s bigger picture. “There is all of this light shining on this issue right now. We have to point to silver linings here and solutions instead of getting too caught up in what ultimately is an unwinnable and unsavable situation long term.”

Blanchard explained that a situation like Greece is plausible in all countries who use currency not backed by anything.

“Ultimately having the printing press in the hands of the government is a very dangerous thing. That’s specifically why the founders of the U.S. specifically put into the Constitution about being able to identify gold and silver as being coinable money by the states. They recognized that it’s very dangerous for there to be a fiat money, a dictate money, a currency that the government demands that is has to be paid for all debts to a government or its government or its court system fines. It creates artificial demand and abuse, and you see the fallout right in front of our eyes,” explained Blanchard.

And having currency backed by something is why Blanchard is so excited about Hayek. “It’s a marriage between gold and Bitcoin. It’s payable gold. It is completely free of the systemic risk that exists in the existing centralized global banking structure, so just by nature that’s the way that this system works, so the beautiful thing is that even if there is any kind of fallout or any kind of ‘haircut.’”

“We can spend your gold anywhere. Anywhere that has an internet connection,” he added. “And that’s the power of what our team is building.”

This transforms the idea of buying gold, which is typically purchased to hold onto, not to spend. Blanchard’s view is that you’re still buying gold, but you can spend it using this cryptocurrency.

“The process is quite easy, and it’s getting even easier,” he said. “We’re making that gold more liquid.”

Blanchard is changing gold, and also changing Bitcoin.

“We give Bitcoin the stability and trust of a thousand years of gold.”

Click here to listen to Ben Swann’s complete interview with Anthem Blanchard, who talks more about the U.S. banking system and the future of currency.

Greece Rejects Further Austerity Measures

In a landmark referendum, Greek voters rejected a bailout deal on Sunday that was proposed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund and would have required greater austerity measures in exchange for emergency funds.

The vote signals a victory for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who promised to reject further austerity when he came to power in January. Although there were rumors from opposition parties that Greece was voting on whether to remain a part of Europe’s joint currency, Tsipras said that the vote was not requiring a “rupture” with Europe.

Following the vote in which over 61 percent of voters favored rejecting a bailout that would lead to greater austerity in the country, Tsipras called the results a “victory of democracy,” and said the country has “proved even in the most difficult circumstances that democracy won’t be blackmailed.”

The New York Times noted that despite several stories from the country’s media- which is “dominated by Greek oligarchs”- about citizens not having access to deposits and losing gasoline and medicine after the European Central Bank severely limited financial assistance to Greek banks a week before the referendum, many voters were “tired of more than five years of soaring unemployment and a collapsing economy,” and did not want to accept the EU’s bailout offer because it would impose even more “pension cuts and tax increases, without debt relief.”

Despite the country’s vote to reject the EU’s bailout, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned on Monday under pressure from European leaders after he infuriated them when he “compared Greece’s creditors to terrorists,” according to The Guardian.

Varoufakis announced his resignation in a blog post, writing that he will considers it his duty to “help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum,” and that he will “wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.”

“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings,” Varoufakis wrote. “An idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.”

Varoufakis, who said that Tsipras thought his absence from Eurogroup meetings could be helpful in “reaching an agreement,” will be replaced by Euclid Tsakalotos, Greece’s deputy foreign minister for international economic affairs.

The Guardian reported that in speculating a further deal, “European leaders are calling on Athens to make the first move,” and while French finance minister Michel Sapin said it was up to the Greek government, Finland’s finance minister Alexander Stubb said talks could only restart when Greece agrees to “necessary reforms,” German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will begin talks with French president François Hollande on Monday evening.

All 19 Eurozone leaders are expected to gather on Tuesday for an emergency summit to discuss possible reform proposals from the Greek authorities.

Historical Victory by Syriza Party in Greece Sparks Bailout Negotiations with Europe

Greece’s radical left-wing Syriza party took control following a historical election on Sunday, which sparked negotiations about the future of Greece as a member of the European Union, amid the new prime minister’s demands for a debt write-down.

According to The Guardian, for the first time since the “euro crisis” began in Greece in October 2009, Greek voters have “roundly rejected the savage spending cuts and tax rises imposed by Europe,” which reduced the country to poverty.

During his victory speech, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Syriza party, described the win as hope having made history in Greece.

The sovereign Greek people today have given a clear, strong, indisputable mandate, ” Tsipras said. “Greece is leaving behind the destructive austerity, fear and authoritarianism. It is leaving behind five years of humiliation and pain.

The New York Times reported that “eurzone finance ministers” met in Brussels on Monday to “begin negotiations with the Greek government on the terms of financial support,” with the warning that the “talks would be arduous.

According to Bloomberg, while the finance ministers from the 19 nations in the area “signaled their willingness to do a deal with Tsipras,” they would only agree to one if the new Greek prime minister “drops his demand for a debt write-down.”

BBC News reported that there was a lot of concern in the financial market, due to the fact that on Monday, the euro “briefly touched an 11-year low against the dollar, before recovering to trade almost 0.7% higher against the US currency.”

During a news conference on Sunday, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who led the conservative New Democracy party, acknowledged that the Greek people have spoken.

“My conscience is clear. I received a country which was almost destroyed and I was asked to hold a hot potato and I did that,” Samaras said. “We managed to take the country out of deficit, out of recession.”

The Guardian reported that the new party in power is seeking to “redraw the political map of Europe,” by forming a coalition “united only by their desire to defy the European financial establishment and shrug off the constraints of austerity.

BBC News noted that although the Syriza party wants to renegotiate Greece’s €240bn, or $270bn bailout by international lenders, EU leaders “have warned the new Greek government that it must live up to its commitments to the creditors.”