Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Angela Merkel is pushing Greece beyond the pain threshold | Kevin Featherstone | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Excellent, sober analysis of the Greek (Eurozone) crisis by Kevin Featherstone

Angela Merkel is pushing Greece beyond the pain threshold

This is a crisis made in Athens, but it is in no one's interest to drive Greece into political chaos

Kevin Featherstone
guardian.co.uk, Friday 30 April 2010 13.00 BST

This week Greece and the eurozone entered an unknown time zone, of uncertainty and failure. The international financial markets are increasingly convinced that Greece will default on its debt. In the City, analysts estimate Greece will need aid of about €70bn (£60.6bn) this year, €60bn next year and €56bn in 2012. In "hedge fund" offices, the task for the Greek government appears overwhelming: its no longer if, but when it will default. But no one knows whether a default by Greece would require its exit from the eurozone.
In effect, Greece already defaulted this week. As soon as its bonds were declared to be "junk" – with no one wanting to buy them – Greece was excluded from the markets. The seven-year €5bn note that Greece issued just a few weeks ago is already trading at a 22% loss. The talk is of "haircuts": cutting losses in the expectation that the markets will get worse.

Read more in the Guardian Comment is Free

An Insightful interview with Ayhan Aktar

An extensive interview that covers virtually all one would like to know about today's Turkey by one of the best Turkish social scientists.

Sociologist Ayhan Aktar: Polarization is among elite, not men in street

Sociologist Ayhan Aktar says the division in Turkish politics is mostly in regards to the elite, not ordinary people, considering the tension in society in recent years when the country’s agenda has been full of weighty issues such as an ongoing investigation into a clandestine organization known as Ergenekon, the government’s efforts to settle the Kurdish issue and a hotly debated constitutional amendment package.

Read more in Today's Zaman (3 May 2010)