December 19, 2012 |
ATHENS, Greece - The Standard & Poor's ratings agency on Tuesday upgraded Greece's credit grade by six notches, yanking the debt-heavy country out of default but keeping its devalued bonds in junk status. The agency said the upgrade to B-minus - the highest grade it has given Greece since June 2011 - reflected its view that the 16 other European Union countries using the euro are determined to keep Greece inside the currency union. It also gave Greece a stable outlook, meaning it is less likely to change its rating again soon.
November 29, 2012 |
ATHENS, Greece - European and global financial leaders have agreed to release 44 billion euros ($57 billion) in critical loans to Greece and provide billions in additional debt relief in order to help the country stabilize its ailing economy. After three weeks of negotiations, Greece's euro partners and the International Monetary Fund agreed early Tuesday morning to release the loans in four installments beginning next month. The leaders also settled on a raft of measures - including a debt buyback program and an interest-rate cut on loans - that will reduce the country's debts by about 40 billion euros.
November 21, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco lawmakers have narrowly approved a proposal to ban public nakedness. The 11-member Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 Tuesday on an ordinance that prohibits anyone from ambling about with exposed genitals in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit. A first offense carries a maximum penalty of a $100 fine, but prosecutors have the authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and a year in jail.
November 18, 2012 |
ATHENS, Greece - Greeks took to the streets by the tens of thousands on Saturday to commemorate the 39th anniversary of a deadly student uprising against the country's former dictatorship. While the marches went on peacefully, clashes between anarchists and police erupted briefly in the capital, Athens and Greece's second-largest city of Thessaloniki, in both cases far from where the marches took place. Police announced they detained 70 people in Athens and 19 in Thessaloniki. With more than 6,000 police deployed in the city center, protesters marched from the National Technical University of Athens, where the 1973 uprising kicked off, to the U.S. Embassy.
November 15, 2012 |
ATHENS - A wave of labor unrest swept across Europe on Wednesday, with workers coordinating across borders in hard-hit countries to protest years of narrowing prospects, shrinking wages, and sky-high unemployment. In what appeared to be the most coordinated pan-continental labor disruption since the euro crisis began more than three years ago, Spanish and Portuguese workers went on a general strike, while Italian and Greek unions held part-day work stoppages. There was a limited strike in Belgium and small protests in richer nations across Europe.
November 14, 2012 |
U.S. stocks closed lower after uneven trading Tuesday as fears about the fiscal cliff and Greece tipped major indexes between gains and losses. A surge in Home Depot's stock prevented a steeper drop for the Dow Jones industrial average. The Dow closed down closed down 58.90 points, or 0.5 percent, at 12,756.18. It would have been lower without support from Home Depot, whose stock jumped 3.6 percent after the big-box retailer beat expectations for its fiscal third-quarter earnings. Home Depot is benefiting from the gradual housing recovery and rebuilding efforts after Sandy.
November 9, 2012 |
ATHENS, Greece - Greece's parliament narrowly passed a crucial austerity bill early Thursday, in a vote that left the coalition government reeling from dissent as it struggles to secure vital bailout funds. The bill, which will further slash pensions and salaries, passed 153-128 in the 300-member parliament. It came hours after rioters rampaged outside the parliament during an 80,000-strong anti-austerity demonstration, clashing with riot police who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon.
November 9, 2012 |
ATHENS, Greece - Greece's euro partners won't be able to release the country's next batch of bailout cash next week, even though the Greek Parliament narrowly backed more unpopular austerity measures Thursday. Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said the 17-country eurozone is not yet in a position to make a decision on releasing the funds, as many in Athens may have hoped. As anticipated, the cash-strapped country still has to pass its budget for 2013, while lawmakers in some countries, including Germany, have to authorize the release of funds.
November 7, 2012 |
ATHENS, GREECE - Greece's coalition government faces a crucial test in Parliament as unions on Monday launched three days of escalating strikes against austerity proposals that must win lawmakers' support if the debt-crippled country is to get more aid and stave off bankruptcy. The conservative-led coalition that has governed Greece since June on Monday presented the country's fourth austerity package in more than two years to Parliament. The drastic spending cuts and tax hikes demanded by the country's bailout creditors aim to save some $17.3 billion in 2013-14.
October 24, 2012 |
Greece is spiraling into the kind of decline that the United States and Germany endured during the Great Depression, showing the scale of the challenge involved in attempting to regain competitiveness through austerity. The economy shrank 18.4 percent in the last four years and the International Monetary Fund forecasts that it will contract 4 percent more in 2013 as Greece struggles to reduce debt in exchange for its $300 billion rescue programs. That's the biggest cumulative loss of output of a developed-country economy in at least three decades, coming within spitting distance of the 27 percent drop in the U.S. economy between 1929 and 1933, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington.