Thursday, March 4, 2010

Greek Bailout News $NBG

·         Greece – the country is in the market w/a debt sale today; according to wire reports, Greece is looking to price EU5B worth of 10yr paper at swaps + 3.00; apparently the book already has commitments north of EU10B.  DJ/Reuters. 

·         Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas called on Thursday for Germany and its EU partners to send a clear message of confidence in Athens to financial markets, allowing Greece to borrow more cheaply – Reuters/CNBC  

·         Greece/Germany meeting to take place Fri Mar 5 - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will argue that Greece has done its part when it comes to trimming its budget and its now up to the EU to take more action.  However, Germany’s Merkel sees less urgency, and is only starting to prepare German lawmakers and public opinion for the possibility that Germany might have to risk taxpayers' money to save Greece.  Germany is hoping the markets have a similar reaction to the Greek cuts that they did to Ireland when that country unveiled austerity measures (Irish cuts calmed market worries).  Germany and France are still prepared to rescue Greece, although only as a last ditch effort.  The planned meeting of the two countries' leaders "is not about aid measures for Greece ... but about good relations between Germany and Greece," Ms. Merkel said on Wednesday.  WSJ     

·         Greece - It will revise the 0.3% decline in GDP forecast for this year to at least a drop of 1.5% but it could be worse; The government also expects unemployment to hit 11% this year from an estimated 9.9% in 2009 – DJ

·         Greece – German parliament members suggest that Greece consider selling some of its islands as an option to reduce debt – Reuters

·         Greece - Greek demonstrators took over the Finance Ministry building in central Athens and blocked streets in the city center as union groups stepped up protests – Bloomberg

·         European sovereigns - Blueprint to help Greece and to protect the “financial stability of the euro area as a whole” will be discussed in the run up to a meeting of EU finance ministers on March 16 and is expected to be agreed before an economic summit of Europe’s leaders 10 days later – London Telegraph.    

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