Yannis Palaiologos

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

Recent Articles

European Debt Crisis Part XXIII

The austerity diet is not working.

(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert) European Union Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Ollie Rehn
On Monday, Ollie Rehn, the dough-faced Finn who serves as the European Union economic and monetary affairs commissioner, briefed the European Parliament on the latest bad news about Europe's economy. Second-quarter growth fell to 0.2 percent in the Eurozone as a whole (compared to 0.8 percent in the first quarter). German quarter-to-quarter growth tumbled down from 1.3 percent to 0.1 percent. France's fell to zero. Eurozone manufacturing output contracted in August. Rehn also admitted that a further slowdown is expected because of "higher oil prices in the first half of the year, and more recently, a less supportive external environment and - yes - the impact of the financial market turmoil." Curiously missing from this list is any mention of the true culprit: the insistence on stringent programs of fiscal austerity across the continent. Germany, for instance, continues to assert that countries' fiscal irresponsibility led to the euro crisis. At a panel discussion in Frankfurt...

Don't Got Your Back

Guaranteeing bonds for EU member nations could put a swift stop to the European debt crisis, but don't expect this to happen anytime soon.

(Flickr/Andrea Guerra)
Last week, amid continuing turbulence in European bond markets, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met in Paris in the latest attempt to bring the nearly two-year-old euro crisis under control. As was expected, the results were dismal. The best the conservative leaders of the two most important countries in the Eurozone could muster was a proposal that would enshrine balanced-budget rules in the national constitutions of member states and a typically vague pledge to move toward a common "economic government," giving Brussels greater powers of intervention in national budgets. Most disappointingly, they both ruled out issuing a common eurobond to cover the borrowing needs of fiscally vulnerable countries, a measure that economists and policy-makers have been touting with growing urgency as the only way to lift the threat of default. Sarkozy's explanation was particularly troubling for those who worry about the leadership deficit in Europe. "Maybe...

A Day Late, a Euro Short

Will this week's European Union plan finally solve the Eurozone's debt crisis?

In dealing with the European debt crisis, this week's European Union (EU) summit attempted the quantum leap forward called for a few months ago by the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet. Following days of intense negotiations, European leaders agreed on a new, 109 billion euro loan package for Greece and a set of supporting measures aimed at laying to rest bond market worries about the credibility of the Euro in a grueling session that started at 2 in the afternoon and ended not long before midnight. In the next few days and weeks, as details of the agreement are fleshed out, it will become clear whether Europe has finally managed to get a grip on the crisis. Meanwhile, it is worth examining the main features of the new package, the things it leaves unsaid and the winners and losers that emerge from it. The new package is made up of three parts: a loan from the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), a new contribution by the International Monetary Fund (...

All Roads Lead to Crisis

Looming economic troubles in Italy and Spain are the true danger.

(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
Giulio Tremonti is obviously a man who thinks highly of himself. This weekend, Italy's embattled minister of finance confided to the Corriere de la Sera newspaper that a political attack which resulted in his resignation "could bring down the euro." The interview came after a difficult few days for Tremonti. In comments published Friday by La Repubblica , a center-left newspaper, his boss, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, criticized Tremonti publicly and fiercely for his handling a major four-year austerity package that is tortuously making its way to the statute book (Berlusconi later claimed that the paper took "a friendly conversation and turned it into a formal interview.") On Thursday, magistrates called for the arrest on charges of corruption of a parliamentarian who was a close advisor to Tremonti and who was providing him with free, luxury accommodations in Milan. In truth, Berlusconi's main contribution to Tremonti's 40 billion euro austerity package -- aimed at convincing...

Greece's 12 Labors

The path forward for the debt-ridden country

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) An elderly man watches the smoke of tear gas during clashes at the Athens' main Syntagma square.
Eurozone leaders and bankers sighed with relief and Greeks on the street groaned in disgust as debt-saddled Greece approved a new round of austerity measures Wednesday. Including 28 billion euros in spending cuts and tax increases through 2015, the concessions were a necessary condition for receiving the fifth tranche -- about 12 billion euros -- of last year's 110 billion euro loan from emergency lenders. Without it, the country would probably have defaulted in July. The Greek government's renewed commitment to austerity also opens the way for a major new loan agreement with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund. Expected to be finalized by September, the loan will likely equal or exceed the amount of the first, covering Greece's lending needs through 2014 and giving it time to achieve a primary -- that is, before interest payments -- budget surplus. If by then Europe's politicians and bankers realize that Greece is still not...