Greece yesterday requested the opening of talks on activation of a financial safety net created at its behest last month by eurozone partners in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund. The move came after a dramatic rise in Greek bond spreads that peaked at 426 basis points, coming dangerously close to the historic high of more than 450 points reached on April 6. Greece had evidently hoped that the very existence of the safety net would guarantee it against default on existing loans, and encourage markets to refinance its debt at viable rates. But upward market pressure continued even after eurozone partners and the IMF announced specific pledges to the plan amounting to 45 billion euros this year.
Greek request: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b75c2950-489e-11df-9a5d-00144feab49a.html
Bond plunge: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/726d25d0-4851-11df-9a5d-00144feab49a.html
Pledges on April 11: http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15892064&source=most_commented
Social security cuts imminent
A Greek government plan will cut top ups to pensions over 1,400 euros as soon as this November, and limit basic pensions to under 360 euros a month by 2018, reveals a Greek newspaper today.
In other details leaked by Kathimerini, which is in apparent possession of a version of a bill to be presented to European finance ministers on April 26, top pensions may come down by as much as 20 percent.
Police deal blow to terrorists
Greek police may have dealt a death blow to the group Revolutionary Struggle, beginning with the arrest of six suspected members several days ago. This week they recovered what they believe to be the organisation's main computer, detailing 13 operations involving high explosive, targets that include politicians, journalists and businesspeople, and a vehicle belonging to one of the six. Police also recovered more than 100,000 euros in cash, two pistols and fake identity cards.