(CNN) - Back on track, the finance minister cried, giddy from all-night negotiations. Back on track they shrilled, grateful that they had got a deal to shovel another €130 billion into Greece to prevent a default… for now.
Wait a moment. From the second my Blackberry buzzed with economists’ analysis this morning, there has been an uneasy truth they may be “back on track” - but for how long?
It may be raining on the eurozone’s parade. There are a lot of private economists who basically say this deal is not good enough because no matter how much money is being shovelled into Greece, it still leaves the country with a debt-to-GDP ratio that is too high.
London (CNN) – It is official. The Greek economy has gone into meltdown.
The numbers released Tuesday show that during 2011 the economy contracted by 7%. Barclays estimates that much of that loss came in the last three months – when the economy dropped a whopping 5.1%.
A look at the IMF's World Economic Outlook puts it into context. In the darkest days of the recession no other developed country came close to suffering such a large loss (U.S. -2.4%; UK -4.9%; Eurozone -4.1).
It is now clear Greece's economy has fallen off a cliff. It has endured five years of grueling recession and every prospect of much more to come, as even the Greek prime minister warned that things would be tough for years to come.
London (CNN) – Greece is once again at risk of a potentially disastrous default on its bill payments.
The country, which has been embroiled in a debt crisis for almost two years, faces a bill payment of €14.5 billion ($19.1 billion) on March 20. It is in frantic negotiations with both its private sector creditors and international lenders to lighten its debt load and access more funds to pay its bills.
This week marks another crucial point in the battle to bring Greece’s finances under control. As a 48-hour strike called by trade union leaders marks its second day, focus is turning to parliamentary deliberations over the country’s stricken finances.
New York (CNN) – I love a New York breakfast. Eggs over easy, hash browns, whole wheat toast – and diner coffee, which seemingly may never have actually seen a coffee bean. Now I add to that mix a robust discussion about the Greece crises.
When I came to New York I had thought I might escape from the woes of Greece and the eurozone, if only for a weekend. I had not reckoned with the owner and manager of the local hotel diner, where I was staying – part of the large and ever-present Greek population in New York.
Some of them, like the manager, were born in Greece, and even though they haven't lived there for decades still have family there and visit once or twice a year. Others, like their sons and daughters, have an interest in the place, as if they had just got off the boat.
Forget the U.S. election – every one of them was obsessed with talking to me about what was going to happen to Greece and the battle of austerity over growth. FULL POST
Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – I have arrived in Davos, a few days ahead of the World Economic Forum. Getting here early before the hot air starts rising from the WEF gives me a chance to witness this elite mountain resort without the fuss and to think about what might happen at this year's junket. Writing this I can see the last straggler skiers enjoying this year's superb snow - the best in a decade - which frankly is more than can be said for the prospects for this year's forum. I think this will be one of the most complicated and will produce relatively little by way of initiative and solutions.
It will be "Davos do little."
(CNN) – With the flood of woeful financial news coming out of Greece and Italy, it’s easy to forget something Goldman Sach’s Jim O’Neill is quick to point out – the world doesn’t depend on Greece and Italy.
“This year the increase in China’s GDP will be the equivalent of creating three new Greek economies. The increase in the BRIC countries GDP’s –that’s China along Russia Brazil and India – will be close to the equivalent of creating another Italy,” said O’Neill, who coined the term BRIC to refer to the developing economic titans of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
“So yes, we’ve got enormous problems in the core of the developed world, but that isn’t the modern global economy. The world will probably grow by close to 4% next year despite the fact that the euro might be in recession.”
Athens, Greece - What a difference a day can make. It's saturday and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has survived the midnight confidence vote, seen President Karolos Papoulias and is now going about forming a coalition government with a few smaller parties.
Does it matter who forms a coalition government? Not really. The bottom line is that whoever is the next Prime Minister - and my money is on Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos – s/he will still have to cobble together a majority of the 300-member parliament to do one thing and one thing only: pass the massive austerity package agreed in Brussels on 27 October. It’s that simple.
The Greeks don’t like the pain and austerity that has been imposed on them by their own government in return for massive loans from the IMF and the European Union. But there is really no choice. Sure, the opposition party, New Democracy, has promised less pain - but don’t parties out of power always promise that? Anyway, the word on the street in Athens is that New Democracy will not be a part of any coalition government.
Athens (CNN) – Relax. The Greeks have it sorted and the euro will live to fight another day.
Editor's note: As world leaders gather in Cannes for the G-20 summit, CNN's Diana Magnay and Phil Han are traveling around Europe this week to talk to European youths about the economic crisis.
Marseille, France (CNN) – All week, Diana Magnay and I have been crisscrossing our way across parts of Europe to gauge how young people have been reacting to the eurozone crisis, but today, something quite unexpected happen.
We had driven some five and a half hours from Milan through torrential rain and high winds to finally make it to Marseille in the south of France for our next pit stop. All morning we were keeping on top of the latest coming out of Greece over rumors that the Prime Minister might call it quits, but nothing concrete had emerged.
Both us went ahead with the plan to hold our third social media town hall at the EuroMed Management campus with several young people who would share their frustrations, angst and anger. FULL POST
(CNN) - Have you ever been to an event where you felt out of place?
You toy with the option of going home. Cocoa and slippers suddenly regain their appeal.
Then again, you might get some benefit from staying: you might meet someone interesting – your knight in shining armor.
When you do finally head for the door it turns out to be locked and your only alternative is creeping out of the window (hopefully unnoticed).
That is the situation Greece is facing today. FULL POST
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