GREECE-POLITICS/MARKET REACTION Greek markets buoyed by signs of govt. desire for cooperation
- Title: GREECE-POLITICS/MARKET REACTION Greek markets buoyed by signs of govt. desire for cooperation
- Date: 2nd February 2015
- Summary: NEWSPAPERS EDITORS NEWSPAPER (LEFT) HEADLINE, READING: "New Contract with Europe"
- Reuters ID: LVAD0RGTCJA41TXAU1R9BDUFOEGZ
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Duration: 00:00:09
- Topics: General
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: The Athens Stock Exchange noted gains of 5.6 percentage points on its general index shortly after opening on Monday (February 2) amid expectations that there will be no rupture between the government and lenders.
Some Greek bank stocks rebounded as much as 22 percent since Greece's leftist government began its drive to persuade a sceptical Europe to accept a new debt agreement.
Greece's new government on Sunday offered to produce proposals within a month for a revised debt agreement with its sceptical international partners, insisting it would not take on any more loan tranches in the meantime.
Feelings in Athens streets were mixed, with many Greeks being supportive and optimistic about Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leftist government's plans, some angry with the European lenders.
"I am pleased and, as I said before, we are waiting. This is what we must all do, show them trust. Something better will happen; we had reached the bottom, I believe we will start climbing up," said 58-year-old Georgia who could not find a job since she lost employment in 2010 and had to agree to an early retirement with substantial loss to her family budget.
Greeks have seen poverty and hardship reach levels unmatched anywhere else in western Europe and the new government has wasted little time in making clear it intends to respect its election promises to end years of harsh austerity.
"It is a fact that this is a style we haven't been used to until now. It is a dynamic style but we don't know where it might lead us. These are our reservations and, what else to say? I have started watching the news, before I never watched the news. I hope that this dynamic way will be to our benefit," said 64-year-old Athenian Markella Drouza.
After a turbulent first week in office, the new government has made clear it wants to end the existing arrangement with the European Union, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund "troika" when its aid deadline expires on Feb. 28.
Tsipras wants to agree a bridging deal with the troika to gain breathing space while a new deal is negotiated to reduce Greece's unmanageable public debt burden of more than 175 percent of its economic output, or 320 billion euros ($360 billion).
"Can he (Tsipras) get rid of them, make them leave Greece? What have the Europeans done for us? What did the Europeans do for us, starve us," said Ilias Mavrikakis who has been unemployed for over two years. His on his wife's small wage is the only means of existence for him and his children, also unemployed.
Asked if he was happy with the new government and Prime Minister Tsipras, Mavrikakis said: "A lot, very much, God bless him!"
The new government's moves dominated front pages of national newspapers.
"Towards Grexit of Troika," read the national The Ta Nea .
"New Contract with Europe," read the headline of The Editors.
"Meaningful Intervention from Obama," read The Ethnos referring to U.S. President's statement that he would look forward to working with Athens in its efforts to boost the country's economy.
Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis is engaged in a week of meetings with his European counterparts, paving the way to Tsipras to visit Rome and Paris, the two major capitals where his hopes for a sympathetic hearing are highest, given French and Italian calls for an easing in rigid euro zone budget austerity.
He is also due to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his deputy prime minister, Yannis Dragasakis, said that meeting could be crucial to laying the basis for a deal.
The Athens stock exchange general index was up 4.46 percentage points at 1236 GMT on Monday.
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- Embargoed:17th February 2015 12:00