With Loan Deadline Looming, Europe Offers Greece a Last-Minute Deal

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP News in Brief at 7:58 p.m. EDT.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Anxious pensioners swarmed closed bank branches Monday and long lines snaked outside ATMs as Greeks endured the first day of serious controls on their daily economic lives ahead of a referendum that could determine whether the country has to ditch the euro currency and return to the drachma.ATHENS — As Friday night became Saturday morning, with sidewalk cafes still bustling in central Athens, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras abruptly appeared on national television. Tsipras called the referendum over the weekend, arguing that demands for tougher austerity measures could not be accepted after six years of recession.

At that time there were Greeks who enjoyed the idea that they had pulled a fast one, gaining entry into an exclusive club called the “Eurozone” that marked their coming of age as an advanced democracy. Out of money, cut off by its creditors, its banks shut, the struggling country will vote Sunday on whether to accept painful cutbacks in return for desperately needed financing. Between now and then Greece remains suspended between collapse and an uncertain rescue, between membership in the 19-member euro club and the possibility of a humiliating exit. Greeks gave up their national currency in exchange for a common currency with many EU member states including France, Germany and the rich Benelux countries.

But they imposed very harsh conditions of austerity including cuts in government spending and tax hikes, apart from opening up the country to easier international business. WASHINGTON (AP) — Trading sharp words, a deeply divided Supreme Court upheld the use of a controversial drug in lethal-injection executions Monday, even as two dissenting justices said for the first time they think it’s “highly likely” the death penalty itself is unconstitutional. On their last day together until the fall, the justices voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Tsipras announced a national referendum on July 5, so voters could decide for themselves. “We should respond to authoritarianism and harsh austerity with democracy, calmly and decisively,” Mr. The court also divided 5-4 in cases upholding congressional districts drawn by independent commissions and calling into question first-ever limits on mercury emissions from power plants. Tsipras said. “Greece, the birthplace of democracy, should send a resounding democratic message to the European and global community.” Stunned, his fellow European leaders shut down negotiations, capped the lifeline they had been providing Greece’s banks, angrily denounced him as irresponsible and dishonest with his own people, and not so subtly suggested that Greece needed a new government if it wanted to continue drawing economic help. In addition, the justices also agreed to hear an important affirmative action case in the fall and acted to keep Texas abortion clinics open amid a legal fight that threatens to close most of them.

The former European Central Bank Chief Economist, Otmar Issing, has said “Greece cheated to get in.” At the time Greece entered the Eurozone it had a reported a budget deficit of about 1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), which was well inside the acceptable limit of 3 per cent. Reports by the European powers that oversee budgets now say that Greece’s deficit wasn’t inside the 3 per cent% limit when it joined, nor any year since.

The first thing they did was to throw out the corrupt and inept government and elect the leftist coalition called Syriza led by Alexis Tsipras in 2012. But simultaneously, Syriza also assured the people that it would not leave the Eurozone which would become necessary if they refuse to pay back the debt. Law enforcement experts say this shooting was clear-cut. “There cannot be any cleaner situation than this one,” said Maria Haberfeld, head of the law and police science department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “You cannot shoot any fleeing felon, but certainly you can shoot the one who poses a real threat. But there was also a case to be made that, by accident or design, he had actually succeeded in intensifying the crisis in a way that could provide him with additional leverage should negotiations get back on track, as the United States and some European leaders urged on Monday.

Deadlines of the lenders including the IMF are drawing near and if Greece doesn’t pay up, it has only two options: either accept even more harsh conditions or quit the Eurozone. Jay Cook, a 21-year veteran who was part of the huge manhunt for the two convicted murderers, who had used power tools to break out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate Dannemora on June 6.

Tsipras’s tactic remains, if nothing else, an audacious maneuver, defining him as a rare unpredictable force among European Union leaders, while also focusing new attention on Europe’s austerity policies and highlighting the failings in the long-running Greece negotiations. “That’s really the tragedy of all this,” said Nick Malkoutzis, a political analyst in Athens, pointing out the shortcomings among all negotiators. “There has been a massive, collective failure.” Barely five months ago, Mr. Germany and France even joined Greece in thumbing their nose at the European Commission—essentially the Ministry of Finance for the Eurozone—when they and other member states approved an easing of the EU anti-debt rules. Sweat had been serving life without parole in the killing of a sheriff’s deputy, and Matt had been serving 25 years to life for the killing of his former boss. Tsipras stood in front of Athens University before thousands of cheering supporters, newly elected as prime minister, as he vowed to remake the European political order. CAIRO (AP) — A car bomb killed Egypt’s chief prosecutor Monday in the country’s first assassination of a senior official in 25 years, marking what could be an escalation in a campaign by Islamic militants toward targeting leaders of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hisham Barakat led the prosecution of members of the Brotherhood and other Islamists, including former President Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown by the military in July 2013. Monday’s assassination of the 65-year-old Barakat came on the eve of the second anniversary of the mass demonstrations against Morsi that led to his ouster. Sure, the plumber may ask for cash for a small job, but in Greece I was routinely asked to pay for basic services, even medical appointments, up front and in cash with no receipts.

A car laden with explosives was detonated by remote control around 10 a.m. as Barakat’s motorcade left his home in the eastern district of Heliopolis, police said. Tsipras interpreted Syriza’s election victory as a democratic mandate to roll back austerity and negotiate new terms to the country’s bailout. “He had delusions about how the European creditors would treat him,” said Stavros Lygeros, a political commentator in Athens, with ties to Mr. Tsipras. “He thought they would respect the Greek vote and try to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.” Any honeymoon with Europe was short-lived.

They even invented Uber before there was an app – ride-sharing has long been common in Athens (something I only discovered on my first trip when additional passengers jumped in to the car, after loud haggling with the driver). An Egyptian militant group calling itself “Popular Resistance in Giza” claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement, with photographs from the site of the bombing. The new Syriza government’s objective was a comprehensive new agreement, including debt relief, and the flexibility to run the economy as the government saw fit. NEW YORK (AP) — NBC said Monday that it is ending its business relationship with mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump because of comments he made about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his campaign.

Varoufakis and other Syriza officials described the agreement’s language as “creative ambiguity,” suggesting that it gave the government license to begin putting its own policies into effect. Unlocking that money became the focus of negotiations going forward, especially as Greece was rapidly going broke and staring at debt payments on the horizon. Trump has also been a fixture on NBC as host of “The Apprentice” and its celebrity offshoot, and an agreement that he would no longer be on the show predated the current controversy.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland. The suit by the American Federation of Government Employees names the Office of Personnel Management, its director, Katherine Archuleta, and its chief information officer, Donna Seymour. Tsipras was unflappable, contemporaries recalled. “We were embarrassed,” said Andreas Karitzis, laughing, a college friend during that era who is now a member of Syriza’s central committee. “He was so polite and diplomatic.

Hackers suspected of working for the Chinese government are believed to have stolen records for as many as 18 million current and former federal employees and contractors last year. Ireland got back on solid footing thanks, in large part, to foreign investment due to low taxes and an English-speaking population able to take on service jobs for multi-national corporations. The agency’s inspector general told Congress he had been warning for years that the agency’s information security was inadequate but those warnings went largely unheeded.

He is able to handle it, putting aside the emotional side, the fear.” European leaders and negotiators in Brussels bore their own pressures, as they faced voter anger over shipping billions of euros in loans to Greece. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s governor said Monday night he will form a financial team to negotiate with bondholders on delaying debt payments and then restructuring $72 billion in public debt that he says the U.S. island can’t repay. Alejandro Garcia Padilla made the announcement just hours after international economists released a gloomy report on Puerto Rico’s economy in another jolt to the recession-gripped U.S. island as well as a world financial system trying to avoid a collapse in Greece’s finances. “Even if we increase revenues and cut costs, the magnitude of the problem is such that we would not resolve anything given the weight of the debt we’re dragging,” he said. “The only way we’ll get out of this hole is to join forces and agree, including bondholders, to assume some of the sacrifices.” When Susannah Mushatt Jones and Emma Morano were born in 1899, there was not yet world war or penicillin, and electricity was still considered a marvel. They thought he was willing to do whatever that was needed to stay in power.” For weeks, speculation has circulated in Athens that the mounting pressure might have taken a toll on Mr. Jones, who lives in Brooklyn, currently tops a list of supercentenarians, or people who have lived past 110, which is maintained by Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group.

Recent experiences, such as Latvia’s from the USSR and the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, show that recovery after a currency break-up is hard, but possible. Many Syriza members are loath to sign any agreement that would break their strict anti-austerity election pledge and believe European leaders are trying to force them to succumb to break them politically. “What they want is to engulf the left wing in these policies,” said Despoina Charalampidou, a Syriza lawmaker. “This is something we will not allow.” But on June 21, Mr. For others, including Italy, a Greek default would cause their national debt to soar in to difficult territory and could cause their own debt markets to freeze up. He forwarded a proposal that included pensions changes, increases in value-added taxes and other measures intended to raise revenues. “When the Greek government got this, they were horrified,” said Mr.

Malkoutzis, the political consultant. “It quickly became apparent to Tsipras that he had little chance of convincing his party to support this.” Some analysts speculate that Mr. Tsipras could be pushed only so far. “For better or worse, the things he was saying when he got elected were things he genuinely believed in,” Mr.

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