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Greece sells port, remains in debt storm

Friday, May 15, 2015 - 02:01

Greece tries to appease its creditors by pushing ahead with a plan to privatise its biggest port. But it hasn't stopped Germany from criticising the ECB for helping to keep Greece's finances afloat. Kirsty Basset reports.

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Greece's largest port, Piraeus, is up for sale. China's Cosco and two other investors have been invited to submit bids for a 51 per cent stake. The move - seen as a concession to international lenders - is sure to please the EU and IMF who've demanded Athens reform its economy. But the funds raised will be a drop in the ocean compared to Greece's debts. And it may be a case of too little, too late, according to Commerzbank's Peter Dixon. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) GLOBAL ECONOMIST AT COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON SAYING: "I think it's now scraping the bottom of the barrel. I think it's going to be very difficult for Greece to find the funds that it needs to meet its commitments over the course of the coming weeks and months." With Greece quickly running out of money, there are hopes of a breakthrough with creditors at a summit next week in Riga. And plenty of warnings of what may happen if a deal isn't reached soon. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) GLOBAL ECONOMIST AT COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON SAYING: "If we take a risk and don't provide Greece with the kind of aid that it needs, you could end up triggering the kind of shock which we saw in 2008 following the collapse of Lehmans and as a consequence you could have massive implications for the global financial system." It comes as the head of Germany's central bank, Jens Weidmann, criticises the emergency funding which has indirectly helped keep Greece afloat. He's told German newspaper Handelsblatt the ECB emergency funding breaks the taboo of financing governments. But Dixon says if Greece is to remain in the euro zone, it should be given the support it needs. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) GLOBAL ECONOMIST AT COMMERZBANK, PETER DIXON SAYING: "Mr Weidmann has generally been very critical of the support measures implemented by the ECB over the course of the last few years. And I think he's wrong. But again I think I'm coming at it from the perspective that I'd like to see the euro zone hold together." Weidmann also said he believes it shouldn't be up to central banks to determine who is or isn't in the euro zone.

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Greece sells port, remains in debt storm

Friday, May 15, 2015 - 02:01