Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Euro nations split on how to help Greece cut debt

BRUSSELS — Greece’s international creditors are proposing giving the country two more years to reform its economy, but European finance ministers were split Monday over how to put together a comprehensive deal to help Athens dig out of its mountain of debt.

A draft report on Greece’s progress from the so-called troika of creditors — the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund —recommends giving Athens until 2016 to implement the reforms necessary to restart growth and bring its debts down to a sustainable level. The document was obtained by The Associated Press.

Ahead of Monday’s meeting of the 17 eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the extension would mean €31 billion to €32 billion ($39.48 billion-$40.75 billion) in extra financing.

The troika has pledged €240 billion ($305 billion) in bailout loans to keep Greece afloat while it implements economic reforms and austerity measures to get its finances in order. The country has received around €150 billion of those loans so far.

Greece is waiting for the next €31.5 billion ($40 billion) installment of its bailout loan before it faces a bond repayment Friday that it may not be able to afford otherwise. It has passed a series of spending cuts and reforms in the past few days to meet the conditions of the loan. But in recent months, it has become clear that the country’s bailout program is way off track, and deep disagreements persist among its creditors on how to right it.

The main aim of the bailout program is to get Greece back to a point where it no longer relies on international aid and can raise money on the debt markets. But the Greek government has been asking its creditors for more time to reach that goal— hoping that a slower pace will release the stranglehold the cuts have on the economy.

The country is heading into the sixth year of a deep recession, with more than a quarter of Greeks unemployed. Without growth, Greece has no possibility of collecting enough in taxes to put a dent in its debts. In fact, current projections suggest the country has no hope of reaching the program’s goal of bringing its debts down to 120 percent of GDP by 2020 — a level generally considered sustainable.

“The two-year extension of the adjustment period will mitigate the impact on the economy, while securing a sustainable fiscal position,” the draft document, obtained by The Associated Press, stated.

Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the group of finance ministers from the 17 euro countries, said the troika had prepared a “positive” report assessing Greece’s progress.

But Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said Greece can’t receive the next installment of its bailout loan until the question of the country’s debt sustainability is solved.

“We first have to see if Greece has delivered,” he said, as he headed into the meeting Monday. “I have not seen this.”

The issue of Greece’s debt is a divisive and important one. If Greece’s debts can’t be reduced to a level where the country can reliably pay them down, then the billions of euros in bailout loans already agreed for Greece will have been wasted. But easing up on the timeline will cost more money, and politicians in other countries are nervous they won’t be able to sell that to voters. Some countries are also irritated that Greece has consistently missed the deadlines set for it.

The draft troika report is short on details, but a eurozone diplomat said that, if the timeline for Greece’s program is extended, the country will need an extra €15 billion through 2014 and another €17.6 billion between 2014 and 2016. Those figures are similar to the total Finance Minister Noonan gave.

Many economists are also suggesting that Greece will never reduce its debts to a manageable level unless its eurozone creditors agree to take losses on some of their loans. Private creditors have already wiped out more than €100 billion of Greek debt.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the ministers had to reach some sort of over-arching agreement on how to move forward on Greece.

“I hope tonight we can find a political agreement in order to say we can go on with the Greek program, let’s put the problems behind us and let’s rebuild confidence in the eurozone,” he said.

He added that the ministers couldn’t ignore the tremendous sacrifices Greece had made in recent days, approving a raft of reform measures and an austerity budget for next year.

“There were these votes, they were courageous,” Moscovici said. “We shouldn’t turn a deaf ear.”

Christine Lagarde, president of the International Monetary Fund, sounded a similar note. “Greece has done an awful lot of work, and now it is time for the creditors to do the same,” she said. What the country needs, she said, was “not a quick fix but a real fix.”

Whatever the outcome of Monday’s meeting, no decision on giving Greece the €31.5 billion loan will be made because some eurozone parliaments must approve the deal first.

Lawmakers in Germany said a vote could be held next week.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates vary on Plan Bay Area

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

 
Earth Day means cleanup Day for Suisun City

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Hop to it: Couple lights up home, yard for Easter

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

 
Bay Area makes growth plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Ranking the best Bay Area athletes

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
The Edge hosts Easter egg hunt

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield author to speak at women’s expo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

The resurrection has changed the lives of Christians

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Piano scholarship competition set in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Understanding your health insurance

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: D4, 1 Comment

 
Armijo graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Record Store Day a commercial hit

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Easter egg hunt brings out the smiles

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. joins Fairfield coffee corridor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7, 4 Comments | Gallery

City sets plan to dispose of property assets

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Counties tell Brown they need money for his law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Exhibit recreates Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair mural

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Documents detail another delayed GM recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Costa Rican a celebrity after certified miracle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Neighborhood speeders don’t get it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Why would a person do this?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Sound off for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Government … for the government?

By Bill James | From Page: A8, 9 Comments

 
Jeb Bush, love, and today’s GOP

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Book details lives of cloistered nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 4 Comments

Horoscopes for April 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
Pete spends weekends at my house but he never invites me to his

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

.

Entertainment

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Tartt, Goodwin finalists for Carnegie medals

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

A’s score 3 in 9th, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stults, Padres hand Giants third straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raptors GM Ujiri uses profanity about Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federer beats injured Djokovic to reach final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Travis Bowl Highlights

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Rapids, Earthquakes play to scoreless tie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Jimenez leads Langer by 1 shot in Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Indians set two new school records for track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Award-winning archery champ shoots with his teeth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

US delays review of contentious Keystone pipeline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Subscription sample boxes shake up beauty routines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Girls from modest families get lift in technology

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Haunted house part of San Antonio apartment lofts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
Recalls this week: lanterns, exercise devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

Review: Siri-like Cortana fills Windows phone gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Obituaries

Lloyd G. Hoffmeister

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Ramon Isidro

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Rogelio Tinoco-Zamudio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
James Leroy Barbour

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

William Paul Wehrly

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Margaret Elizabeth Silva

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics