Greece is in trouble, and tomorrow is the day were many things can happen. The media has talked about the debt in Greece for a long time now, and the media tells you that Greece has a $339 million payment due to the IMF tomorrow.
But what if they don`t have money?
The Finance Minister in Greece, Yanis Varoufakis has pointed out that they will not pay if a restructured deal can`t be reached with their creditors. What is this Greek debt drama compared to a San Andreas earthquake disaster movie? Have a look at the film below. It is the European Debt crisis visualized.
The Greek civilization is considered by historians as the first one in the history of mankind. It was a highly developed community, and their lifestyle and inventions indicated a high sense of order and aesthetics.
The ancient Greeks were very keen on sports. The great athletic contest called the Olympic games (OL) began in 776 BC, which marked the beginning of the rise of the Greek civilization. The government was usually unstable due to the tyranny of the aristocrats.
I have been in Greece once and it is a beautiful country. The ancient age of Greek civilization saw the birth of great philosophers like Pluto, Socrates, and the great emperor, Alexander. War with other civilizations began in 490 BC, and now they are in trouble again. Money trouble. They have a huge debt, and need to pay their lenders.
If they pay, they will not be in heaven for a long time, because this will be followed by another 1,2 billion euro debt payment over the next two weeks. In addition; Greek finance ministers have already said that they will not pay these payment without restructuring its debt either.
But it will not stop here. The final Greek drama will probably play out until July, so don`t open your champagne yet. More drama is yet to come.
Greece`s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said early this morning after late-night talks with senior EU Official that they were close to a deal with their creditors and that Athens would make a payment due to IMF tomorrow.
Some have said creditors and left-wing Greek government had drafted their own, different, version of a possible accord. Facing bankruptcy, Tsipras` government has been resisting creditors` demand for bigger cuts in pension payments and bigger sales tax increases to generate higher budget surpluses before interest payments that would let it to pay off debts.
I`m not so worried about IMF, because missing a payment is not a big deal in global financial circles. Many creditors have waited with their payments to IMF like Cuba, Honduras and Sudan to name a few.
But if they don`t pay to the ECB later on this summer, then you have to wake up! Central bankers can be very unfriendly if they don`t pay their 3,5 billion euro debt payment it owes the European Central Bank. Watch out for that.
In addition; ECB will stop its emergency lending to Greek banks, and that is a $88 billion dollar lifeline that is keeping them alive right now. People know all that, and that`s why they pulled 800 million euro out of Greek banks a few days ago.
Government debt as a percent of GDP is used by investors to measure a country’s ability to make future payments on its debt, thus affecting the country borrowing costs and government bond yields. Greece recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 177,10 percent in 2014, and that`s all time high.
To put this in perspective: Japan`s debt to GDP is 227,20. USA; 101,53. Euro Area; 91,90. Spain; 97,7. Italy; 132,10. UK; 89,4. Cyprus; 107,5. Ireland; 109,7. Portugal; 130,2. Singapore; 105,5. Lebanon; 145,9.
I`m not worried about Greece in the short term because they have a lot of values in their balance sheet, which means it will take some time before the real big test is coming. The debt is sustainable, because their debt cost is estimated to 2,6% of GDP, so what is the justification for writing down Greece`s debt? The problem is not the debt, but the Eurozone`s bailout condition. Money is almost free and the (nominal) interest rates are low, and no principal is due until 2022.
EU`s fiscal compact, which requires governments with debts of more than 60% of GDP to reduce the excess by one twentieth a year makes it more difficult, and that`s a tall order with Greece`s debt wich is 177,10% of GDP. What they need is less restrictive bailout conditions and relaxation of the fiscal compact rules.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wrote an open letter to the German people, published in Handelsblatt on January 13, 2015;
In 2010, the Greek state ceased to be able to service its debt. Unfortunately, European officials decided to pretend that this problem could be overcome by means of the largest loan in history on condition of fiscal austerity that would, with mathematical precision, shrink the national income from which both new and old loans must be paid. An insolvency problem was thus dealt with as if it were a case of illiquidity.
In other words, Europe adopted the tactics of the least reputable bankers who refuse to acknowledge bad loans, preferring to grant new ones to the insolvent entity so as to pretend that the original loan is performing while extending the bankruptcy into the future. Nothing more than common sense was required to see that the application of the ‘extend and pretend’ tactic would lead my country to a tragic state. That instead of Greece’s stabilization, Europe was creating the circumstances for a self-reinforcing crisis that undermines the foundations of Europe itself.
My party, and I personally, disagreed fiercely with the May 2010 loan agreement not because you, the citizens of Germany, did not give us enough money but because you gave us much, much more than you should have and our government accepted far, far more than it had a right to. Money that would, in any case, neither help the people of Greece (as it was being thrown into the black hole of an unsustainable debt) nor prevent the ballooning of Greek government debt, at great expense to the Greek and German taxpayer.
You can wrap $1 bills around the earth 1,471 times with Greece`s debt amount. The unempoyment rate is still high at 25,6%, and the depression will continue.
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