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[文篇赏析] Greece is slipping on reforms, IMF warns

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发表于 2011-12-14 08:59 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
By Howard Schneider, Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 6:02 AM

Greece’s international rescue program continues to slip as the nation’s leaders shirk promised changes, investors flee a beleaguered banking system and concern that Europe will fall into recession adds to the pressure, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday in its latest report on the country.

Even as European leaders cope with a broader set of financial and political problems within the region, the IMF report highlighted how issues at the epicenter of the crisis are unresolved more than 18 months into a Greek rescue program that by now was supposed to be making some headway.

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Instead, IMF Greece mission chief Poul Thomsen said that the Greek economy will shrink by about 6 percent this year — more than twice the rate expected when the three-year bailout was approved in May 2010 — and will continue contracting through 2012. When the initial $140 billion bailout was adopted, the IMF predicted that Greece would return to growth in 2012.

Thomsen cast the blame squarely on Greek officials’ slowness in carrying out their pledges to reform economic policy and government spending. Those politically painful steps involve selling off state enterprises, firing tens of thousands of politically connected state employees and removing jealously guarded protections that limit competition in dozens of professions.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stepped down last month in deference to a new unity government that IMF officials feel needs more time to prove it is prepared to follow through on the bailout’s requirements. But the state of the country’s finances are as precarious as ever — and likely to spur further turmoil in European markets and politics.

An E.U. summit in Brussels last week made progress on long-term issues, as most members of the European Union — with the notable exception of Britain — agreed to forge a plan to strictly limit government spending and borrowing in order to save the euro. But the immediate need for a short-term fix has left markets on edge — reacting sharply to each national bond sale or bit of news — with little confidence that the euro zone’s most heavily indebted governments will be able to pay their bills. Greece has been at the forefront of the crisis since officials conceded in October 2009 that the country’s public debts were far greater than they had previously reported.

Negotiations are underway with banks and other private investors for a voluntary 50 percent reduction in Greece’s outstanding bonds. While the debt restructuring is considered crucial to stabilizing the country financially, it could prompt credit-rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s to declare Greece in default, leaving uncertain consequences for other countries seen as potentially in need of debt relief.

A failure in the talks, however, could be worse if Greece deliberately withholds bond payments and forces losses on its debtors — or decides to quit the euro zone to escape its massive obligations.

The IMF said there was a “real risk” that a voluntary debt restructuring won’t contribute enough savings to sustain Greece financially. That would leave E.U. members with the prospect of lending the country more money and the IMF with the difficult choice of whether to remain involved in a program that can’t stay on track.

“Reforms have fallen short. They are well behind schedule. They are well away from the critical mass that would make people conclude Greece is doing business in a fundamentally different way, and that is the main reason the bottoming out of the recession has not happened,” Thomsen said in a conference call from Athens. “It does not mean we are not making progress, and it is not a reason to give up.”

Talks between private investors and Greek, European and IMF officials are underway in Athens and Paris. The hope is for “substantial progress” toward finishing the private debt restructuring, said an official at the Institute of International Finance, a trade group that is leading the talks for private bondholders.

The goal is to cut about $100 billion from the face value of Greece’s outstanding bonds, greatly easing the amount of cash the country will need in coming years to meet interest payments and retire maturing debt.

Success would pave the way for renewing the three-year bailout program with additional funding from Europe and presumably from the IMF.

But a breakdown in the private talks could leave the Greek rescue program in tatters — and the country making a disorderly exit from the euro zone.

The IMF said it is willing to remain engaged and recently approved the latest payment under the existing bailout.

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 楼主| 发表于 2011-12-14 09:00 | 显示全部楼层
这个标题好难翻啊
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 楼主| 发表于 2011-12-14 09:05 | 显示全部楼层
希腊在逃避改革?
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 楼主| 发表于 2011-12-14 09:12 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 shandecheng 于 2011-12-14 10:03 编辑

Greece’s international rescue program continues to slip as the nation’s leaders shirk promised changes, investors flee a beleaguered banking system and concern that Europe will fall into recession adds to the pressure, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday in its latest report on the country.
国际货币基金组织周二在有关希腊的最新报告中提到,随着该国领导人回避承诺过的改革,投资者逃离深陷麻烦的银行系统以及人们普遍担心欧洲会陷入衰退的压力的增加,希腊的国际救援计划在持续失去动力。
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 楼主| 发表于 2011-12-14 09:13 | 显示全部楼层
谁来和我一起翻?
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 楼主| 发表于 2011-12-14 09:38 | 显示全部楼层
Even as European leaders cope with a broader set of financial and political problems within the region, the IMF report highlighted how issues at the epicenter of the crisis are unresolved more than 18 months into a Greek rescue program that by now was supposed to be making some headway.
尽管欧洲领导人致力于解决本地区(欧元区)的一系列范围广泛的金融和政治问题,国际货币基金组织的这份报告着重强调了在救援希腊计划已经进行了18个月后这一危机的中心地带的问题仍未得到解决,而照理,这一计划本该取得一些进展了。
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 楼主| 发表于 2011-12-14 13:21 | 显示全部楼层
Negotiations are underway with banks and other private investors for a voluntary 50 percent reduction in Greece’s outstanding bonds. While the debt restructuring is considered crucial to stabilizing the country financially, it could prompt credit-rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s to declare Greece in default, leaving uncertain consequences for other countries seen as potentially in need of debt relief.
目前正在和银行以及其它私人投资者的谈判,希望自愿消减50%的流通中的希腊债券。债务重组被认为是稳定该国金融的至关重要的手段,但是,这样也会促使评级机构如标普宣布希腊违约,对可能需要债务救援的其它国家带来难以预估的后果。
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