- - Sunday, June 19, 2011


Eurozone delays decision on new Greek loans

LUXEMBOURG — Hours of talks between eurozone finance ministers on the imploding finances of Greece broke up early Monday morning without the ministers signing off on a vital installment of rescue loans needed to avoid bankruptcy next month.

Greece will get the next 12 billion euros of its existing 110 billion bailout euro package in early July, but only if it manages to approve 28 billion euros in new spending cuts and economic reforms by the end of the month, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said.

“We have to, of course, await this vote” by the Greek parliament, Mr. Juncker said as he left the meeting.
However, Mr. Juncker said that as long as the parliament supported the new measures, he was certain that Greece would also get a second bailout — on top of the existing one — that will keep it afloat in the coming years as it works to restore its struggling economy.

In a statement, the ministers said private-sector banks and other private creditors will be asked to buy up new Greek bonds as old ones mature, thereby reducing the amount of money other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund will have to provide.

“No pressure may be exerted on the private sector,” Mr. Juncker stressed, since any sign of coercion could force rating agencies to consider the bond-rollover as a partial default.


Oil company sued over chronic California spills

SAN FRANCISCO — Government regulators sued an oil company Friday for 21 spills of crude oil and other harmful pollutants in Santa Barbara County waterways.

The complaint says Greka Oil & Gas Co., now known as HVI Cat Canyon Inc., failed to adopt adequate plans for spill prevention and response as required by the Clean Water Act at 12 facilities, resulting in chronic spills between 2005 and 2010.

The spills resulted from facility mismanagement that led to corroded pipelines and ruptured storage tanks, according to the lawsuit that seeks tens of millions of dollars in penalties, including cleanup costs.

A company spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The U.S. Department of Justice, along with state and federal environmental and wildlife regulatory agencies, filed the complaint in federal court.


Survey: Most Americans lack financial cushions

CHICAGO — Even after the jolt of the Great Recession, a new study finds that most Americans are not financially prepared for an emergency.

A survey released Monday by financial data publisher Bankrate.com found that only 24 percent of consumers have the recommended cushion of at least six months’ expenses set aside. The majority aren’t ready for contingencies; another 24 percent don’t have any emergency savings at all.

With 6.2 million people out of work for half a year or longer, the results underscore just how unprepared many are at a time when both job security and the economy pose concerns.

“The majority of Americans still have much work to do in building an adequate emergency savings cushion,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.


United, US Airways back from computer woes

United Airlines and US Airways said Sunday that they were resuming normal operations after computer outages delayed flights over the weekend.

Charles Hobart, a spokesman for Chicago-based United, said that hackers were not involved in a five-hour computer outage that virtually shut down United Airlines on Friday night and early Saturday. He said United had to cancel 16 flights Friday and about 25 on Saturday because of the computer outage that also delayed about 100 flights worldwide.

US Airways officials said flights at its Charlotte, N.C., hub were back to normal Sunday afternoon after a computer outage that began at 7:50 a.m. Sunday. The US Airways computer problems were not resolved for about 3½ hours. Officials of the Tempe, Ariz., air carrier said their problems did not cause any flights to be canceled.

From wire dispatches and staff reports