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Is Greece ready to go it alone?

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 - 02:09

Greece's central bank chief has come up with a way his country can exit it's bailout and still have a credit line. But is the rest of the euro zone ready to trust Greece to go it alone. Melanie Ralph reports

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Greece's struggling economy is edging its way back into the headlines. An angry public is fed up with being dictated to by outside bureaucrats. Under the current bailout plan all they see is more poverty and long-term unemployment. As a result the popularity of anti-bailout political parties is growing. Greek officials see an exit as the solution. But while Greek debt yields are much lower than at the height of the crisis, BNP's Philippe Gijsels says markets remain wary. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BNP PARIBAS, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER, PHILILPPE GIJSELS SAYING: "If you look at the total debt, that has not been reduced, it's still there, so they live a bit by the low interest rate environment generally, they have of course a big spread on that still and that is helping them, but I still think there is a lot more work to be done." I think that Italy and Spain have made very clear progress. Greece, in my mind, remains more or less a question mark." Greece's central bank has come up with a plan. It wants to use the 11.5 billion euros remaining in its bank rescue fund as a back-up credit line. Recent ECB stress tests showed that Greek banks don't need all the funds. Nothing is agreed yet but Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis says things will change next year. (SOUNDBITE)(English) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER GIKAS HARDOUVELIS ON POST EU/IMF BAILOUT RELATIONSHIP SAYING: "I do anticipate a fundamental change in the relationship, there will no longer be micro management of the Greek economy and the reform process that we know during the last four years. We will have some benchmarks to accomplish, we want them, they will be consistent with our own growth model." and its going to be a relationship that can only help, its going to be a win win situation I believe." But Delta Economic's CEO Rebecca Harding says the country's not ready. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DELTA ECONOMICS, CEO, REBECCA HARDING SAYING: "The political situation in Greece is relatively unstable and markets are likely to feel that Greece still needs support of a wider euro zone in order to be able to address some of the structural problems that it faces." The bailout deal with the EU runs out at the end of the year - funding from the IMF lasts until 2016. Finance ministers will discuss the issue later this week. But pressure in Greece to let the country go it alone is clearly mounting.

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Is Greece ready to go it alone?

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 - 02:09