ECB’s Asmussen Pushes Greek Reforms

Jorg-Asmussen European Central Bank board member Jorg Asmussen, in Athens to assess progress on delayed reforms needed for release of more rescue loans, said has said that Greece must step up its pace and that the banking system will be fine once it’s recapitalized with 50 billion euros ($65 billion) from the government.

Despite an announcement from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that Greece will need a third bailout, Asmussen said he saw signs of the economy stabilizing, although he didn’t say what they were.

He said the record unemployment level of 27.4 percent, created largely by austerity measures demanded by international lenders in return for $325 billion in two bailouts, was unacceptable but he didn’t offer any solutions to reduce it.

He also said any notion of debt relief for Greece would depend on whether a primary surplus – excluding interest on debt, municipal budgets and the social security system which would otherwise create a deficit – is obtained by Spring of 2014. He said there’s been no talk yet of a third bailout after the first two have failed to put the economy on a course for recovery.

The ECB, along with the European Union and International Monetary Fund, make up the Troika putting up the rescue packages of loans for Greece, which has a still staggering $390 billion debt created largely by alternating administrations of New Democracy Conservative and PASOK Socialist governments packing public payrolls with hundreds of thousands of needless workers in return for votes.

While blamed for causing the crisis, they are in a coalition government being backed by voters who oppose the austerity measures it is imposing on them.

  • Dean Plassaras

    Asmussen is a Merkel’s man. He is not interested in Greece. He is interested in keeping up appearances for the German elections.

  • Dean Plassaras

    BTW, it’s pure populism to say that 2 alternating ND and PASOK governments have created the debt.

    Most of the uncontrollable debt was created post 2008 and under specific German instructions which saw the debt to GDP explode to unsustainable levels (and all of this under the German plan of action).

    Greece at the time the crisis erupted had a debt to GDP of 117% while Japan had in excess of 200%. Today Greece (and after the bank recap) will have at the end of the day close to a 190% debt to GDP ratio all thanks to some European ignoramuses bent on moralizing instead of understanding modern finance and economics:

  • Tony Belluci

    I agree. I simply cannot understand how Karamanlis has gotten away with the mess he created. No one it seems has even publicly blamed him. Its as he’s vanished from the face of the earth and enjoying his stress free private life.. But this is Greece and Nepotism prevails. The Karamanlis, Papandreou & Mistotakis families all enjoy immunity and special status from the political system in Greece.

  • Dean Plassaras

    What is he going to say? It’s a very awkward subject. He’ll probably say that the Olympic Games came in at 3 times the original estimate and that he was a victim of global cheap credit. And he will say – as all politicians do – that the previous administration started it and he had to go along with it.

  • Yes Man

    What is sad is that Greece has so much to offer and so much potential..
    The worst part is that the people who work in the public sector treat Greeks who live abroad as foreigners and rip them off and fail to assist them.. and then they wonder why no one want to assist them..
    The europeans will let them down as they do not keep their end of the deal..
    One day permanent employment will be abolished in Greece and people with the relevant qualifications will get positions based on merit not because they know someone.. Foreign companies may return and offer employment…and a future to our youth..and the next generation will have a better future and something to look forward to..Not the mess Greece is in at the moment…

  • worldarts

    If Greece needs more cash???… Then why isn’t ECB’s big Mr. Asmussen asking where 250 million Euros went that PASOK & ND Parties took out in “phony” bank loans from their Banker cronies, and never even paid a cent back after 10 years?

    Is that a show of their good Governance and Gov’t Management skills? Whose greedy dirty pockets did the millions of Euros go into?

    Why isn’t the Greek Justice System & Press asking any questions? Could it be they are all in the same rotten bed together..?

    No worry, come Fall there will be a “million man” Greek march on Parliament who will RISE UP and throw these slimy Politicians out on their sorry butts!

  • worldarts