- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
Finance ministers to mull Greek future
BRUSSELS — Greece’s international creditors appeared split Monday on whether they are ready to take decisive action to help Greece dig out of its mountain of debt and get back on the path to growth.
Greece is waiting for the next $40 billion installment of its bailout loan before it faces a bond repayment Friday that it may not be able to afford without the tranche, and it has passed a series of reforms this week to meet the conditions of the loan.
But in recent months, it has become clear that the country’s bailout program is way off track, and deep disagreements persist among its creditors on how to right it. Those disputes have been partly responsible for holding up the disbursement of the latest batch of loans.
Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the group of finance ministers from the 17 euro countries, said Monday that Greece’s international creditors have prepared a “positive” report assessing Greece’s progress — but it is not complete. It doesn’t address the crucial question of debt sustainability.
He spoke as he headed into a meeting of the finance ministers expected to tussle with that question. Current projections suggest Greece won’t make the 2020 deadline for slashing its debt to 120 percent of its gross domestic product.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece can’t receive the next installment of its bailout loan until that problem is solved.
“We first have to see if Greece has delivered,” he said, as he headed into the meeting Monday. “I have not seen this.”
Still, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the ministers had to reach some sort of overarching agreement on how to move forward on Greece.
“I hope tonight we can find a political agreement in order to say we can go on with the Greek program, let’s put the problems behind us and let’s rebuild confidence in the eurozone,” he said.
He added that the ministers couldn’t ignore the tremendous sacrifices Greece had made in recent days, approving a raft of reform measures and an austerity budget for next year.
“There were these votes, they were courageous,” Mr. Moscovici said. “We shouldn’t turn a deaf ear.”
Christine Lagarde, president of the International Monetary Fund, sounded a similar note.
“Greece has done an awful lot of work, and now it is time for the creditors to do the same,” she said. What the country needs, she said, is “not a quick fix but a real fix.”
The issue of Greece’s debt is a divisive and important one. If Greece’s debts can’t be reduced to a level where the country no longer relies on further international bailouts, then the $305 billion in bailout loans already agreed for Greece will have been wasted.
Current projections suggest Greece is far from reaching its 2020 debt-to-GDP deadline.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow