Yannis Palaiologos

Yannis Palaiologos is a features reporter for the Kathimerini newspaper in Athens, Greece.

Recent Articles

L'État Ce N'est Pas Sarkozy

Things look grim for the incumbent after a second-place finish in the first round of France's presidential elections.

(AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
(AP Photo/Michel Spingler) French Socialist party candidate Francois Hollande, center, arrives at his campaign headquarters on the morning after the first round of the French presidential elections in Paris, France, Monday, April 23, 2012. Hollande has taken his plodding, undynamic campaign to become France's next president to within spitting distance of victory over the "hyper-president" Nicolas Sarkozy, finishing first in Sunday's initial round of voting. Two things stand out about the results of the first round of France’s presidential election, which was held yesterday: One is socialist candidate François Hollande’s narrow victory over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, which solidifies his position as the favorite to win the May 6 runoff election; the other is the robust performance by the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who came in third with a percentage of the vote surpassing even that achieved by her father in 2002—an outcome that shocked France because it placed him second ahead...

Spain's Fiscal Fanaticism

The country's newly elected conservative government is pursuing austerity with zeal.

(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) Spain's Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro speaks during a press conference following the conservative government's weekly Cabinet meeting at the Moncloa Palace, in Madrid, Friday, March 30, 2012. Spain's government unveiled on Friday a euro 27 billion ($36 billion) deficit-reduction package including spending cuts and tax hikes on large companies, as it scrambles to convince the EU and investors that it won't need a bailout. It is a well-known maxim that to keep repeating the same action and expect a different result is a symptom of madness. It is hard to find a different way to account for the persistence of Eurozone leaders in inflicting punishing austerity on countries belonging to the common currency, a strategy that has proved both fiscally ineffective and socially destructive. In recent days, the focus of the crisis has returned to Spain, and for good reason. The country suffers from the highest unemployment rate in Europe: 24 percent, and it’s...

The Other Big Presidential Election

The race to head the French government is heating up.

(AP Photo/ Yoan Valat)
The French presidential election, the first round of which will be held on April 22, is crucial for the future of the country and the wider European project. Nicolas Sarkozy, who won the presidency handily five years ago promising a “rupture” with France’s statist, dirigiste economic model, is fighting for his political life. Odds are he will lose it. The French electoral system involves two rounds of voting: a first round to winnow the field and a second runoff election between the two leading candidates. All the latest polls give Sarkozy’s main rival, the Socialist Francois Hollande, a comfortable 7-10 percent margin of victory in the runoff election, to be held on May 6. Earlier polls also indicated Sarkozy would trail Hollande in the first round. But in the aftermath of Mohammed Merah’s murderous attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse and his subsequent killing by the police—which played to Sarkozy’s strengths on issues of security, allowing him to assume the role of unifier of a...

Fingers Crossed for Greece

The second Greek bailout gets the green light, but the country isn't out of the woods.

AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis
The successful conclusion last Friday of the PSI (Private Sector Involvement), the bond exchange process for Greece’s private creditors, was good news—both for the country and for the eurozone. Voluntary participation in the deal reached 85.8 percent (out of a total of 206 billion euros in Greek government bonds which were up for exchange). The level of participation reached 95.7 percent with the decision to activate the Collective Action Clauses (CAC) recently added to the legal contracts governing 177 billion euros of bonds under Greek law, forcing recalcitrant creditors to participate in the process. This means a 105 billion euro gross reduction in Greek debt—out of a total of 368 billion. This number, which makes Greece’s sovereign debt restructuring the largest in history, should rise further once the process for the holders of Greek government bonds under foreign law is concluded. The government bondholders represent about 10 percent of the 206 billion euro total, and almost 70...

Greece's Pieces

The country's eurozone partners finally come to an agreement on a new loan, but it comes at a high cost.

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
After nearly four months of negotiations, near misses, bouts of despair, and growing acrimony, the eurozone finally gave its blessing to Greece’s second bailout. It is a huge 130 billion euro package, accompanied by a debt writedown and strict austerity requirements. In a 13-hour-long meeting yesterday, under intense pressure from Germany and the Netherlands, Greece’s private bondholders were forced to take a larger haircut than originally planned—53.5 percent rather than 50 percent. This, according to the International Monetary Fund, will bring Greece’s debt down to 120.5 percent of GDP by 2020. A confidential debt analysis distributed to officials last week found that with a 50 percent haircut, Greek debt would only fall to 129 per cent by 2020, and the package would cost official creditors 136 billion euros—hence the further arm-twisting of banks to take deeper losses. A great deal remains to be done before March 20, the deadline for a 14.5 billion euro Greek bond. National...

Pages