Saturday, April 24, 2010

Euro down the drain, caught in a Greece trap

Moody's Lowers Greece Ratings On Nation's Continued Woes
Moody's Investors Service lowered its ratings on Greece, and warned further downgrades were possible, as the ratings agency noted significant risk that debt may only stabilize at a higher and more costly level than previously estimated.

Following the news, the euro dropped to an 11-month low, as fresh worries over Greece's fiscal position led investors to flee riskier assets for the safety of the dollar.
Greece activates aid plan
Greece on Friday triggered an emergency aid plan to draw cash from other countries that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund and ease a debt crisis that has weighed on the shared currency.

The package has enough money to keep Greece from defaulting on its massive debts any time soon. But Greece faces years of painful cutbacks, and its long-term finances -- as well as whether its troubles will infect other indebted EU members and further harm the euro currency -- are still being questioned.

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Euro Recovers From Lows On Greek Aid Request
The euro rebounded sharply off a one-year low Friday after Greece formally asked for a financial aid package and euro- zone lynchpin Germany said it was prepared to help.

But with uncertainties still enveloping the aid process for Greece and debt issues casting a shadow over other euro-zone countries, the common currency is likely to come under renewed pressure. Structural issues--such as low-growth prospects and profligate spending--could lead to further declines in the euro.
Greek workers strike, warn of social explosion
Nurses, teachers, tax officials and dockers stopped work during the 24-hour strike, which paralyzed public services, while EU and IMF officials met in Athens for talks that could lead to a financial bailout for Greece.

"People are asking for blood," said ALCO pollster Costas Panagopoulos. "They need someone to be punished for what is happening. They want the government to put all those who did not pay their taxes in prison."
Greek sailors to strike over market liberalisation
Greek seamen on Thursday called a strike next week after the government said it would lift restrictions on foreign cruise ships in a first step towards liberalising the country's labour market.

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