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GREECE
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BornAgain2



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject: GREECE  Reply with quote




Greece starting BANK RUN?
Greek banks seek more aid as savers withdraw €10bn deposits
April 8 2010   By Kerin Hope in Athens
Greece's four biggest banks are seeking help from the government after savers took €10bn (£8.8bn) of deposits out of the nation's financial system.
The flight of money from domestic deposits reflects growing anxiety among wealthy Greeks about keeping their assets in the country as its debt crisis has escalated.

In the first two months of the year, local savers transferred out of Greece deposits equal to about 4.5 per cent of the total in the banking system, the central bank said.
George Papaconstantinou, finance minister, said that the banks had now asked for access to the remaining funds of a €28bn government support plan.

Greece's four biggest lenders - National Bank of Greece, EFG Eurobank, Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank - have requested access to about €14bn in loan guarantees and €3bn of special bonds that could be used as collateral to borrow from the European Central Bank.

The banks' request came as interest rate yields on 10-year government bonds rose to a fresh record.
Share prices of Greek banks on the Athens stock exchange fell by more than 4 per cent yesterday, following a 3 per cent decline on Tuesday. The decline was triggered by news that the banks had resorted to applying for the remainder of the state package, analysts said.

Many savers chose to move funds to their banks' subsidiaries outside Greece - including Cyprus and Luxembourg - rather than switch to foreign institutions, said one Athens-based private banker. Others transferred funds to local subsidiaries of foreign banks.

The transfers reflected "anxiety among wealthy Greeks about keeping assets here given the increasing uncertainty", said the banker. "We expect the funds to return swiftly once the crisis is resolved."

Another banker said sizeable deposit sums had been withdrawn to buy high-yielding Greek government debt and companies had used cash held on deposit to pay for imports. But several dismissed rumours of savers withdrawing cash in large-denomination notes to put in safe deposit boxes.

ECB funding for Greek banks rose from €40bn to €65bn in the first quarter, according to IOBE, an economic think-tank.
Have to register on this site, but someone posted the article in full on GLP, which is where I copied it from.   ft.com


Greek banks hit by wealthy citizens moving their money offshore
5 April 2010, by Harry Wilson (Telegraph.UK)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/w...-moving-their-money-offshore.html

GREECE earthquakes, volcano
http://cj.myfreeforum.org/about3134.html

EUROPE, Eurozone
http://cj.myfreeforum.org/about2319.html


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject: Greek banks seek more aid as savers withdraw deposits Reply with quote

Greek banks seek more aid as savers withdraw €10bn deposits

Greece's four biggest banks are seeking help from the government after savers took €10bn (£8.8bn) of deposits out of the nation's financial system.
The flight of money from domestic deposits reflects growing anxiety among wealthy Greeks about keeping their assets in the country as its debt crisis has escalated.

In the first two months of the year, local savers transferred out of Greece deposits equal to about 4.5 per cent of the total in the banking system, the central bank said.
George Papaconstantinou, finance minister, said yesterday that the banks had now asked for access to the remaining funds of a €28bn government support plan.

Greece's four biggest lenders - National Bank of Greece, EFG Eurobank, Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank - have requested access to about €14bn in loan guarantees and €3bn of special bonds that could be used as collateral to borrow from the European Central Bank.
The banks' request came as interest rate yields on 10-year government bonds rose to a fresh record.

Share prices of Greek banks on the Athens stock exchange fell by more than 4 per cent yesterday, following a 3 per cent decline on Tuesday. The decline was triggered by news that the banks had resorted to applying for the remainder of the state package, analysts said.

Many savers chose to move funds to their banks' subsidiaries outside Greece - including Cyprus and Luxembourg - rather than switch to foreign institutions, said one Athens-based private banker. Others transferred funds to local subsidiaries of foreign banks.

The transfers reflected "anxiety among wealthy Greeks about keeping assets here given the increasing uncertainty", said the banker. "We expect the funds to return swiftly once the crisis is resolved."

Another banker said sizeable deposit sums had been withdrawn to buy high-yielding Greek government debt and companies had used cash held on deposit to pay for imports. But several dismissed rumours of savers withdrawing cash in large-denomination notes to put in safe deposit boxes.
ECB funding for Greek banks rose from €40bn to €65bn in the first quarter, according to IOBE, an economic think-tank.  from   ft.com
http://bluelight.ru/vb/showthread.php?p=8266301

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: Greece asks EU-IMF for rescue loans Reply with quote

Greece asks EU-IMF for rescue loans

April 24,  2010

Greece has formally asked for the activation of an EU-IMF financial rescue package to help pull the debt-ridden economy out of its crisis.
It had hoped that just the promise of EU support, agreed last month, would have been be enough to reassure markets and help its recovery.
But Greece's problems have continued to hit investor confidence in the euro and other European economies.

Eurozone countries will now provide tens of billions of euros in loans.
On Friday evening, several thousand protesters took to the streets of Athens to demonstrate against further austerity measures.
Earlier this month, a deal was agreed under which eurozone nations would provide emergency loans of up to 30bn euros ($40bn; £26bn) in the first year, with a further 10bn euros coming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The European Commission and the IMF said they were optimistic that the exact details of a loan could be worked out quickly.

However, in Germany, where there has been public opposition to funding a bail-out, Chancellor Angela Merkel said any aid would come with "very strict conditions", including a credible savings plan.

A German finance ministry official, Joerg Asmussen, said his country was doing its bit. "The German side is ready to act with its part of the aid package. I cannot say anything about the time frame, but originally it should need some two weeks," he said.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, on a visit to the Aegean island of Kastellorizo, said the markets had not responded positively to the austerity measures designed to reduce the country's debts, as he had hoped.

Confidence in the Greece economy has continued to fall, pushing its cost of borrowing to record levels in recent days.
It was therefore now a "national and pressing necessity" to access the EU-IMF aid, he said, and he had asked Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou to make a formal request for the loan plan's activation.
"Our partners will decisively contribute to provide Greece the safe harbour that will allow us to rebuild our ship," added Mr Papandreou.

'Pressure on'
Greece has sent a letter to the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup representing other Eurozone countries "formally requesting the activation of the support mechanism".

For non-eurozone senior officials, the Greek problem looks manageable. They just wish everyone would get on and manage it

There are still some hurdles to clear though.
The German opposition SPD is demanding a full debate on their portion of the aid package which could delay any German contribution.

So the IMF may be called on to finance the first portion of the aid. The next immediate step will be for eurozone ministers to agree an interest rate for loans to Greece - which will be considerably lower than the 8% they are facing on the open market at the moment.

The BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders said for non-eurozone senior officials, the Greek problem looked manageable. They just wished everyone would get on and manage it.
She said the clock was now ticking and several countries needed to get parliamentary approval for the plan, which would take some weeks.
She added that delays had already pushed up the amount needed to support Greece, and further pain could be in store.

Uncertainty remains
The euro rallied in late Friday trade, ending in New York 0.6% higher at $1.33.8.
The yield, or interest rate, on Greek 10-year bonds, fell to as low as 7.99% after Mr Papandreou spoke, after rising to nearly 9% on Thursday - its highest level for more than 10 years. It then crept back up to 8.66%.

The fall is a sign of a slight increase in confidence in Greece's ability to pay back its loans. But analysts said there was still significant uncertainty ahead.
"The market's relatively modest reaction to the news that Greece was formally requesting aid from the EU and IMF was a clear sign that the market still believes that Greece will be forced to restructure its debt even with a bail-out," said BNY Mellon's Simon Derrick.
"These concerns were hardly soothed by a comment from the European Commission that it was neither for nor against a restructuring."

In addition, attention has also been turning to other eurozone countries with large deficits in recent days.
BNY Mellon pointed out that Portugal had come under pressure on the markets this week, with the cost of its borrowing rising.

It also remarked that some investors had begun to pull out of investing in Portuguese debt in recent days. "It seems clear which domino currently looks in danger of falling over on the European table," Mr Derrick said.

But one of the members of the European Central Bank Governing Committee, Ewald Nowotny, said Greece's problems should not unsettle other eurozone countries.

He said: "The fiscal situation of, let's say, Spain and Portugal, cannot be compared with the situation of Greece. It should be made very clear that there is no economic basis for negative news about these countries and it should also show very clearly that we do no want to give space for speculation."

The EU-IMF loans package has been put together to help pull Greece out of its debt crisis.
Greece is swamped by 300bn euros of debt and needs to borrow about 54bn euros this year alone.
In the middle of April finance ministers of the eurozone nations agreed to provide up to 30bn euros in emergency loans for debt-hit Greece should it ask for them.
At the time they offered a three-year financing programme at interest rates of about 5%, based on IMF formulas.
Meanwhile, spending cutbacks being introduced by Athens to restore its finances are being resisted.

On Friday, Greek riot police fired tear gas during unrest as about 2,500 people marched through the streets of central Athens in protest at the country's austerity measures in the latest display of public opposition.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8639440.stm

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:26 am    Post subject: Greece is NWO Test Ground Reply with quote

Greece is NWO Test Ground

February 11, 2010   henrymakow.com
"All men of power here, get their power from plundering the Greek people, or having connections with those that do it."
I am 26 years old and live in Greece. I am writing this letter in order to let you know about a new law in Greece announced yesterday.

The financial minister of Greece announced yesterday that from 1/1/2011 all financial transactions of sums above 1500 euros in cash, will be banned. For any transaction above 1500 euros, only credit cards and checks will be legal. The formal explanation for this law is it will combat those who do not pay taxes. But we all know this is not the case...

It seems the new world order wants to make Greece a testing ground for their new laws. For the past months, Greece have been attacked without mercy. We have been called liars, frauds, cheaters, thieves. They are threatening us constantly with banning from the euro zone and default. [These charges are] not true. ... The problem is, based on their accusations and (the virtual) bad situation of Greek finances, they will pass their experimental laws of their new world order.

The fairly new Government of the socialist party, elected 4 months ago, forgot all its promises, and is determined to pass laws giving citizenship to illegal immigrants after 5 years, without any trade-off. We are 10 million Greeks here, and almost 3 million mostly illegal immigrants, who will obtain Greek nationality and will gain the right to bring their families here too... In Pakistan there are even ads saying "for 5000 euros we get you to Greece, to study free, work, make families, and obtain EU passports"...

And now this... The previous government created a new ID card, to collect data from people since childbirth. This government will ban transactions in cash over 1500 euros, in order to make all of us have credit cards. The obvious first step is to ban all cash transactions, then merge this new ID card with the credit system, then, well.... insert this merged ID card into our bodies...

Our peoples' morale is low, society is disorganized because of immigration and propaganda, and we will not fight those laws. You people living in the Western World, be prepared because they are planning the same for you!

BACKGROUND
I will try to give you my personal view of the conditions in Greece.
First of all, there is no trust in politicians. Most people distrust them and know they are scum, but continue to vote for the same people in every election. This happens because they promise privileges in order to get votes. Most politicians are members of secret societies, and have close ties to USA and European elites. Our current prime minister is even an American citizen...

A young man living in Greece and having no connections, is hopeless. Without connections, he will have major difficulties if he wants to join a good University(or complete his studies without bribes), if he wants to find a job, or create his own. He will be forced to join the army while privileged young men with connections will illegally avoid it.

And there is no point discussing finding love... Of course pretty women will pick wealthier men, but in Greece even women of moderate appearance prefer men with deep pockets. They prefer sharing the top men than having a man only for themselves.

And the top men in Greece are all frauds. Greece, apart from some natural resources and its tourism industry, produces nothing of value. Corruption is so big, that all productive forces are drowned. So all men of power here, get their power from plundering the Greek people, or having connections with those that do it. Women (and their families) of course are not concerned about that. As long as someone is wealthy, he is desirable, and value as a person is irrelevant.

Despite poor economic condition (but not so desperate as to warrant dire measures), people in power take pleasure in attacking traditional customs, Orthodox Christianity, and traditional Greek patriots. They protect illegal immigrants, and silence their crimes. They attack Christianity, in the media, at schools etc. They are removing all Christian symbols from public places.

MEDIA
Greek media are a pile of garbage. For the biggest part of the day, most major TV networks will show shows discussing greek "vips" lifestyle, sexual relations etc. There are few "political" shows and news shows, all trying to cover the truth and turn the attention of the people at matters of trivial importance. Propaganda is blatant. The previous government was literally destroyed by TV networks. They promoted heavily the current government, so strongly that previous prime minister was forced to make new elections despite being only for 2 years in government.

Current prime minister made promises, NONE of which kept after being elected. Only a few days after election, he went on with the plans of New World Order. He created an artificially dire financial situation, in order to be able to pass whatever laws he wanted, plus giving his friends some money... He "cooked" our budget, by moving payments of 2010 in 2009 and incomes from 2009 to 2010, in order to both make our deficit bigger and be able to claim in 2010 that he "improved" our economy... This doesn't mean that our previous prime minister wasn't a puppet, just that he wasn't able to fulfill New World Order directions like the new government.

Huge economic scandals are discovered every day, and buried by Greek propaganda media. And most honest people are so concerned with working 2 and 3 jobs in order to feed their families, that cannot fight this corruption. Greek people work on average many more hours weekly than other EU countries, get much less pay, and pay more for the same products. And because of the traitors in government, EU newspapers and media call our people lazy. They say we need to work even more and receive even less... Of course this is not true. The plunder of Greek people has been made with their assistance. But this is a long subject and i wont go on with it.

CONCLUSION

In a few words... Life in Greece sucks. Since I am a computer programmer, i have many times thought about leaving for a better country and make my living there. But i do not want to abandon my home... yet. I would be willing to fight this system, but i see no point since the system is so well entrenched it cannot be tackled by a few men alone.

The reason i wrote you my previous letter is because this new law of banning cash transactions above 1500 euros is just another step towards cashless society, and is being implemented in Greece as a testing phase. I strongly believe it is a matter of time before most western nations see similar laws.

--
Greek Crisis is Coming to America

TIME FOR CHANGE

"The time has come for major changes, the country can't afford to wait any longer"

TAXATION
"From 1. Jan. 2011, every transaction above 1,500 euros between natural persons and businesses, or between businesses, will not be considered legal if it is done in cash.
Transactions will have to be done through debit or credit cards
With the new tax scale, there is a shift of the burden from low and middle income to high incomes.
There's tax relief for incomes up to 40,000 (euros)
Taxable income based on the new scales will include capital gains from the short-term trading of stocks"
http://tinyurl.com/nwogreek
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:56 am    Post subject: Greece hit by new riots as pressure grows to quit euro Reply with quote

Greece hit by new riots as pressure grows to quit euro
April 26, 2010
Support for the bail-out of debt-ridden Greece was in doubt last night, leaving the country on the brink of financial meltdown as top German politicians said it  should be forced to quit the euro.
Riots erupting during workers’ protests over planned public spending cuts, just hours after Greek Premier George Papandreou sought emergency £35billion of loans from eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

The Greek government was finally forced to ask for international help after the cost of its borrowing spiralled to a new high, making it prohibitively expensive to borrow money to service existing debts.
Leading members of Germany’s Christian Social Union, sister party in Bavaria to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said Greece should be forced out of the euro.
http://www.prisonplanet.com/greec...-pressure-grows-to-quit-euro.html


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:57 pm    Post subject: Europe debt crisis spreads to Portugal Reply with quote

Europe debt crisis spreads to Portugal
Greek debt downgraded to junk status, markets slide on fears of wider crisis


Tuesday April 27, 2010   ATHENS
The government debt crisis that has shaken Europe's shared currency widened and intensified Tuesday as Portugal saw its credit rating cut -- and Greece's was reduced to junk status.
Stocks slid worldwide on the news of the double blow that increased the likelihood of a continent-wide debt meltdown and more market turmoil.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's sent shock waves around the markets after it downgraded the debt of the two countries and warned that holders of Greek debt could take large losses in any restructuring.
That's not a huge surprise  the markets increasingly expect Greece's debt will be restructured at some stage even after a euro45 billion rescue package from its 15 partners in the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund.

The real worry is that Greece's debt crisis is mushrooming to other debt-laden members of the eurozone.
One bailout can be dealt with but two will be stretching it -- can Germany, Europe's effective paymaster, continue to bail out the weaker members of the eurozone?
The downgrade of Portugal brought those fears to the fore, after weeks of unsuccesful efforts by European leaders to calm markets.

The crisis threatens to undermine the euro and make it harder and more expensive for all governments to borrow money -- the euro slid over 1 percent following the downgrades to trade at $1.3240, not far off an eight month low.
It has also disrupted cooperation between euro zone governments, with Germany resisting the idea of bailing out Greece unless strict conditions are met.
Nevertheless, most investors think that Greece will have enough money to avoid default in the coming weeks. The future is cloudier.

Both Standard & Poor's and the Greek finance ministry insisted that the country will have enough money in its coffers to make the euro8.5 billion bond payments due on May 19.
Even if it gets it, Greece faces years of austerity with living standards sharply reduced -- Standard & Poor's warned that the Greek economy was unlikely to be as big as it was in 2008 for another decade.

With the economy nosediving, debt repayments accumulating and the society restive and fearful, it takes a brave soul to back the Greek government, led by Prime Minister George Papandreou, to pull through without changing the terms of the debt repayments.

"The latest developments mean that the chances of Greece solving this situation without restructuring its debts are now dim," said Diego Iscaro, senior economist at IHS Global Insight.
As in the financial crisis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, investors around the world are fearful about who holds what debt and how much.

Unsurprisingly, stocks tanked.

"We have the makings of a market crisis here," said Neil Mackinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed down 2.6 percent, Germany's DAX slid 2.7 percent and the French CAC-40 in France ended 3.8 percent lower. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down over 100 points in mid-afternoon trading, while the broader Standard & Poors' 500 index fell back below 1,200.

Greek and Portuguese shares were pounded, down 6.7 percent and 5.4 percent, while their market borrowing costs went through the roof -- the interest rate for Greek two-year bonds jumped to a massive 18 percent. That's hardly surprising when one of the world's agencies does not even attach an investment-grade rating on the country's bonds. Junk status means that Greece will have to pay higher costs to borrow if it taps debt markets again.

Meanwhile the interest rate gap, or spread, between Portuguese and benchmark German 10-year bonds -- a key indicator of market skepticism -- rose 57 basis points even before the downgrade to hit 5.86 percentage points. The higher the gap, the less confidence in Portugal -- and it was the widest gap since the shared euro currency, which Portugal and 15 other nations use, came into circulation.

Both governments have imposed budget cutbacks against political resistance from unions at home. Markets have been skeptical that they can push through enough cuts, given political resistance, to put their finances in order.
Both governments responded with alarm at the downgrades.

Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou siad the downgrade "does nor reflect the real state of our economy, nor the fiscal situation, nor the ongoing negotiations which has the very realistic propects that they will be completed successfully in the next few days."

Nevertheless, he said Greece would pull through.
"One wishes that Europe had acted a little differently. Three and four months ago we were saying that the mechnism must be ready and it must be detailed, that the markets must know what exactly is going. Unfortunately, for a series of political reasons, we are down to the wire," he said.

Meanwhile, Portugal's Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said the downgrade would only make things worse.
"This decision will not help markets to calm down, but will, on the contrary, contribute for their turbulence," Teixeira dos Santos said.

A further worry is that the crisis spreads to Spain, considered too big to be bailed out.
The crisis has also highlighted the inability of the rules set up to support the euro to keep governments from undermining the currency by running up big debts. Those rules limited deficits to 3 percent of grosse domestic product but have been widely flouted, and EU officials are talking about ways to strengthen them.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Eur...mp;pos=main&asset=&ccode=

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:21 pm    Post subject: What Henry Kissinger said about Greece in 1974 Reply with quote

The Greek people are anarchic and difficult to tame. For this reason we must strike deep into their cultural roots: Perhaps then we can force them to conform. I mean, of course, to strike at their language, their religion, their cultural and historical reserves, so that we can neutralize their ability to develop, to distinguish themselves, or to prevail; thereby removing them as an obstacle to our strategically vital plans in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

(As reported in the popular Greek magazine, Oikonomikos Tachydromos on 14 Aug. l997, Henry Kissinger, while addressing a group of Washington, D.C. businessmen in Sept.1974)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God's Solution to the Tower of Babel
April 2010  
I think that for too long Christians have held the simplistic view that the Babylonians are united and are all following a distinct agreed-upon plan of action. This is simply not so. And as financial pressures build in the final days of the Ponzi scheme, these disagreements are forced to the surface for all to see.

God is confounding their language once again, and the great Tower of Babel will again prove to be an unfinished building.  The four beast kingdoms in Daniel 7 are all fighting among each other today. Babylon is the overall "head," of course, but Persia (Iran) is in the fight, as is Greece and Rome. So we see Babylon disputing with Iran over nuclear rights. Greece is near bankruptcy, which threatens to pull down the whole tower. And Rome (Vatican) is under fire as well for its handling of pedophile priests.
It reminds me that when the Stone strikes the image on its feet (Dan. 2), the whole image crumbles into dust.

So when we see all four beasts snarling and chasing each other in a circle, I think we are nearing the collapse of all of them and the rise of the Kingdom of God, the Stone that is the fifth kingdom of Daniel 2. In symbolic terms, we have gone from gold, to silver, to bronze, to iron (and clay), to STONE.
http://www.gods-kingdom-ministrie.../weblog/WebPosting.cfm?LogID=2042
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:45 am    Post subject: Greek bonds rated junk by S & P Reply with quote

Greek bonds rated junk by S & P

Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Global stock markets tumbled after Greece's debt was downgraded to "junk" by rating agency Standard & Poor's over concerns that the country may default.
It makes the struggling nation the first eurozone member to have its debt downgraded to junk level.

Portugal's debt was also lowered on fears of "contagion", adding to the markets' rout and a fall in the euro.
Germany immediately said it would not "let Greece fall", and there were signs that an aid package could be increased.

Greece wants 40bn euros (£34bn) from eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to shore up its finances.
But there are fears it will not meet conditions needed to access the funds it needs to make looming debt repayments.

When ratings agencies downgrade the country's credit rating - it means they think it is now a riskier place to invest.
If it reaches junk status, a country loses its investment grade status. Some financial institutions have rules prohibiting them from investing in "junk" bonds.

Greece's 2-year government bond yield surged to almost 15% on Tuesday, making it highly expensive for the country to borrow from the debt market.
Greek 5-year yields hit 10.6%, higher than many emerging market economies, including Ecuador at 10.5% and Ukraine at 7.1%.
The 2-year Portuguese bond yield jumped to 5.23% from 4.16%.

S&P said it was lowering its rating on Greece's debt to BB+ from BBB-.
It also reducing Portugal's debt rating by two notches to A- as doubts intensified about countries with substantial debt relative to GDP.

Greece's finance ministry said in a statement that the downgrade "does not correspond with the real data of the Greek economy."
Portugal's finance minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, also hit back, denouncing an "attack from the markets".

In a statement he described the downgrade and reaction from the markets as "a decisive moment".
"We must remain calm and bring serenity back to the markets," he said. "As in the past, we will do what is necessary to reduce the deficit and promote the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy."

News of the downgrades rocked markets in Europe and the US.
In London, the FTSE 100 index closed down 2.6% with most of the losses following S&P's downgrade of Greece.
Germany's Dax index slid 2.7% and the French Cac-40 lost 3.8%.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index closed down 213 points, or 2% at 10,991.

Meanwhile shares in Greek banks slumped by more than 9%, the largest one-day fall in bank shares for 18 months.
Despite earlier hesitation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday pledged German support to a European financial aid package for Greece, provided "certain conditions" were met.

Germany could provide Greece with up to 8.4bn euros in loans this year. But German public opinion is deeply opposed to the bailout.
In an interview to be published on Wednesday in the business newspaper Handelsblatt, Germany's finance minister says his country will not abandon Greece.

Wolfgang Schaeuble said: "We now have to realise and implement the rescue plan... and thus send a clear signal that we will not let Greece fall.
"We are putting on pressure for quick decisions," he said.

Protestors in Greece
The unpopularity of austerity measures is worrying markets
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported that the International Monetary Fund is considering raising its contribution to the bail-out by 10bn euros to 25bn euros.

Greece needs to raise 9bn euros by 19 May, but has said it cannot go to the markets because of "prohibitive" interest rates.
The Greek government's cost of borrowing on the money markets has reached record levels in recent days amid investor concern over whether a 40bn euro bail-out package will be agreed.

Eurozone countries, together with the International Monetary Fund, have yet to agree details of the package.
Investors are also concerned that the Greek government's austerity measures - designed to cut domestic spending and reduce its ballooning budget deficit - will prove highly unpopular with the Greek public.

S&P warned holders of Greek debt that they only had an "average chance" of between 30% and 50% of getting their money back in the event of a debt restructuring or default.

It said its action to cut the rating resulted from its "updated assessment of the political, economic and budgetary challenges that the
Greek government faces in its efforts to put the public debt burden onto a sustained downward trajectory".
The agency added Greece's weak long-term growth prospects made it less credit-worthy.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8647441.stm
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