Griekenland Pours $22.6 Miljard in vier grootste banken

Greece handed 18 een miljard euro ($22.6 miljard) to its four biggest banks on Monday, zei een ambtenaar, allowing the stricken lenders to regain access to European Central Bank funding.

Greek Parliament

The long-awaited injection—via bonds from the European Financial Stability Facility rescue fund—will boost the nearly depleted capital base of National Bank, Alpha , Eurobank and Piraeus Bank.

The funds have been disbursed,” an official at the Hellenic Financial Stability Facility, die weigerde te worden genoemd, vertelde Reuters.

The HFSF was set up to funnel funds from Greece’s bailout programme to recapitalise its tottering banks. The HFSF allocated 6.9 billion euros to National Bank, 1.9 billion to Alpha, 4.2 billion to Eurobank and 5 billion to Piraeus.

All four are scheduled to report first-quarter earnings this week.

The news came as two government officials told Reuters that near-bankrupt Greece could access 3 een miljard euro, left from its first bailout programme, to cover basic state payments if efforts to revive falling tax revenue fail.

Our finance ministry efforts at this time are focused on boosting revenue,” one official told Reuters. But he added that if these efforts failed they wouldexamine all alternatives, inclusief 3 billion euros from the first bailout.

Greek state coffers are on track for a more than 10 percent fall in revenue this month, a senior finance ministry official said last week. Officials had warned the state could run out of cash to pay pensions and salaries by end-June.

De 3 billion euros is held in an intermediate HFSF account.

Greece has been struggling through a fifth year of recession and political turmoil, triggered by an inconclusive vote this month that has fanned fears the country could be forced to leave the euro zone.

The country’s struggling banks have been among those hit hardest by the uncertainty, with a rise in deposit outflows.

Huge writedowns from a landmark restructuring to cut Greece’s debt nearly erased the capital base of its biggest four banks, which rely on the ECB and the Bank of Greece to meet their liquidity needs, after savers began pulling their cash out on fears that Greece could go bankrupt and out of the euro zone.

Last week the ECB stopped providing liquidity to some Greek banks because their capital base was depleted.

With access to wholesale funding markets shut on sovereign debt concerns, Greek banks have been borrowing from the ECB against collateral, and from the Greek central bank’s more expensive emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) facility.

Bleeding deposits, the country’s lenders have borrowed 73.4 billion euros from the ECB and 54 billion from the Bank of Greece via the ELA as of end-January.

Samen, the sums translate to about 77 percent of the banking system’s household and business deposits, which stood at about 165 billion euros at the end of March.

Funded by the euro zone and the IMF, the HFSF is due to inject up to 50 billion euros into the country’s banks in return for shares which it hopes to sell some day.

The funds are part of a second, 130-billion euro bailout Greece agreed this year with its euro zone partners and the IMF to stave off bankruptcy.

So far the HFSF has received 25 billion euros under the scheme and the 18 billion euros it disbursed on Monday is its largest payout to banks.

Key details of the recapitalisation plan for Greece’s battered banking sector, including the mix of new shares and convertible bonds to be issued, and whether call options will be included as incentives, remain unclear.

That framework is expected to be finalised after a government is formed, following a June 17 verkiezing.

Griekenland gewaardeerde toeristen thuisblijven in drommen

FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Duitse taxichauffeur Rudolf Kugel, who says he’s visited Greece more times than he can count, won’t be going again anytime soon to the Mediterranean sunspot because he’s concerned about the reaction of the local people.

They hold Germans responsible for all their misery,” zei de 62-jarige uit de buurt van Stuttgart. “You want to go on holiday to have a comfortable break, not to be lynched.

It’s thinking such as Kugel’s that has contributed to declines of as much as a third in bookings from Germans planning their summer break in Greece, according to Air Berlin and TUI, die Europa's grootste reisorganisatie bezit. Their avoidance is further exacerbating Greece’s economic woes.

Tourism is Greece’s largest industry, goed voor bijna 16 percent of the gross domestic product in 2011, and almost one in five jobs, volgens de in Londen gevestigde World Council Reizen en Toerisme. De 2.2 million Germans who visited Greece last year represented the biggest national group at 13.6 procent van de totale, volgens de Helleense Statistische Autoriteit, voorsprong op de Britten bij 10.7 procent.

Germany has increasingly become a target of criticism in Greece, which is struggling to enact mandated structural changes as part of an international bailout and pull itself out of a recession. Het land bereidt zich voor juni 17 elections after an inconclusive May 6 ballot left parties unable to form a government.

Some Greek politicians have evoked memories of the country’s Nazi occupation during World War II after Germany’s insistence that Greece adhere to the austere terms of the bailout agreement. The turmoil in Greece has led to speculation that it may abandon the euro.

‘You’re our big brothers

The leader of Greece’s Syriza Party, Alexis Tsipras, urged Germans during a visit to Berlin last week to show their solidarity by picking his country for their summer vacation. Tsipras has pledged to rip up the terms of Greece’s rescue and halt the austerity measures already agreed upon with creditors.

You’ll experience hospitality that is always warm-hearted, to Germans certainly,” said Tsipras, whose party led a recent poll of voting intentions for June 17 verkiezingen. “We believe our country is part of a great familyand you’re our big brothers.

The Germans need encouragement. Revenue from German tourists declined 61 percent in February, the most recent month for which data are available, while there were 12.7 percent fewer arrivals from Europe’s biggest economy compared with the previous year, the Bank of Greece said April 25.

At the moment I would not go on holidays to Greece,” Gerda Lambert, 62, said in Frankfurt. “I want to relax on my holidays, and due to the political tensions in Greece right now, it is not certain that I could do that.

The downward trend in bookings has resumed after a slight resurgence in March, according to Anja Braun, a Hanover, Germany-based spokeswoman for TUI.

Ever since the discussions about an exit from the eurozone started and the election at the start of May, bookings to Greece have slowed down again,” zei ze.

De dalingen zijn weerklank bij Air Berlin, Europe’s third-largest discount carrier, die gedragen 30 percent fewer passengers to Greece this year from Germany, CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said.

Worries only grew after news reports that a 78-year-old Dutchman was hospitalized after an attack by two men in southern Greece who mistook him for a German.

I don’t think that Greeks want to attack Germans,” said 53-year-old Kostas Dimitrokalis, who owns five hotels in Santorini, een eiland gevormd uit de restanten van een caldera 125 mijl ten zuidoosten van het Griekse vasteland.

It is all just words in the newspapers, niets ernstigs. Greeks don’t hate Germans.