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Will Greek reform plan secure lifeline?

Monday, February 23, 2015 - 02:08

Greece's government prepares reform measures to secure a financial lifeline from the euro zone. There were signs of market relief over the deal reached late on Friday but as Sonia Legg reports the euro dipped against the dollar on caution over conditions attached to the agreement.

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It's a public holiday in Greece to mark Orthodox Lent. But there's little appetite for celebration after the country's run-in with its lenders. Over the weekend the new Prime Minister was putting a positive spin on a four month bailout extension. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "Yesterday we won a battle, but not the war." system.scripts. But it wasn't much of a victory, Greece has had to draw up a new list of reforms and stick to many of the original agreements. Even one of Tsipras own party collegaues said all they had done was "rename fish as meat". BGC market commentator Mike Ingram. (SOUNDBITE): Mike Ingram, BGC Partners, saying (English): "As far as I can see Greece has a little bit more consultation in terms of the conditions attached to its loans. They are going to go easy on the required primary surplus of 3 percent this year though I think it is still going to end up ramping up to about 4.5 percent from next year onwards. IMF is still in Greece and it looks as though they are not going to be able to enact a lot of these spending pledges which Greece had insisted upon not that long ago." European markets showed some signs of relief, hitting a seven year high. But many in Germany - the biggest contributor to Greece's two bailouts - remain concerned. Gerda Hasselfeldt is the parliamentary leader of the co-governing Christian Social Union party. (SOUNDBITE) (German) PARLIAMENTARY LEADER OF GERMANY'S CO-GOVERNING CHRISTIAN SOCIAL UNION (CSU), GERDA HASSELFELDT, SAYING: "Some of the remarks made by the Greek Prime Minister saying that austerity measures are now behind them are cause for me to hear alarm bells go off. Great caution is now of utmost importance." Athens stock exchange was closed. But banks remain a big worry. (SOUNDBITE): Mike Ingram, BGC Partners, saying (English): "Deposit outflow has totalled something like 23 billion euros, it accelerated to I think a billion euros just on Friday last alone. I think it is very unlikely that we will see a cessation in deposit outflows." JP Morgan estimates around 3 billion euros left Greek banks last week - 50% more than the previous week. At that rate Greek banks will run out of collateral for new loans in 8 weeks instead of 14 weeks and that's not long enough to see out the new bailout extension.

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Will Greek reform plan secure lifeline?

Monday, February 23, 2015 - 02:08