Thursday, April 5, 2012

Back to Greece and Exit from the Euro Zone -- When there is simply no more money!

Everyone is now focusing on Spain and/or Portugal now as the "next domino" to fall, but in fact the "solved problem" that is Greece keeps on rearing its ugly little head. Last week the European commission published a 195 page paper detailing most of these facts (the second economic adjustment programme for Greece, march 2012).  Pay special attention to page 55 (where most of the juice lay).

In mid March the Greek government was so broke that it raided the bank account of the 6 largest Greek University, a public utility and other government controlled entities; the result now the six universities have to close because they cheques (like salaries) have begun to bounce -- the accounts were emptied to the tune of Euro 1.7 billion, so that the Greek government could make whole a sovereign owned bond payment.   

The reason is that although Greece was scheduled to receive Euro 74 billion on March 20th it only got Euro 7.5 billion.  Not entirely clear why this occurred, but one thing for sure, there will be no further payment til June (when the next instalment is due).  BTW the bulk of the Euro 7.5 billion it did get went to pay of ECB loans (in full).

Easter is on our doorstep, Greek universities are having (over the last few days) extraordinary meeting to decided if they will shut down (I don't see any other solution).  We have an automatic four day holiday in Greece, add a day or two and Greece could be out of the Euro by April 9th.  Sure I could be exaggerating, but it remains that when the government raids the cash accounts of universities to pay of bond holders they've got to be close to the end.  There is simply no more cash available...


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