Connect with us
Advertisement

Greece debt crisis: Eurozone summit strikes deal

Greeks had an anxious wait as talks in Brussels dragged on

Eurozone leaders have agreed to offer Greece a third bailout, after marathon talks in Brussels.

Amid one of the worst crises in the EU's history, the head of the European Commission said the risk of Greece leaving the eurozone had been averted.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that after a "tough battle", Greece had secured debt restructuring and a "growth package".

The bailout is conditional on Greece passing agreed reforms by Wednesday.

These include measures to streamline pensions, raise tax revenue and liberalise the labour market.

An EU statement spoke of up to €86bn (£61bn) of financing for Greece over three years.

Though it included an offer to reschedule Greek debt repayments "if necessary", there was no provision for the reduction in Greek debt – or so-called "haircut" – that the Greek government had sought.

Parliaments in several eurozone states also have to approve any new bailout.

"There will not be a 'Grexit'," said European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, referring to the fear that if there had been no deal, Greece could have crashed out of the euro.

Mr Tsipras also said he had the "belief and the hope that… the possibility of 'Grexit' is in the past".

"The deal is difficult but we averted the pursuit to move state assets abroad," he said. "We averted the plan for a financial strangulation and for the collapse of the banking system."

The Greek PM returned to Athens after the talks and went straight into a meeting with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and other party officials.

Mr Tsipras must get several unpopular measures through the Greek parliament in the next two days, including sales tax increases and pension reforms, to continue the third bailout process.

Athens has been offered a third bailout. Bankruptcy – the spectre of a failed state – has been avoided, and Greece will stay inside the euro. But the deal has left many Greeks humiliated. It is not just the ranks of the left that are using the word "surrender".

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have to rush key measures on pension reforms, tax increases and a debt repayment fund through parliament. It will be a bruising process. Only then will bridging loans be released that will enable Greece to meet a payment to the European Central Bank next Monday.

As it is, the deal will almost certainly lead to snap elections. Mr Tsipras will reshuffle his cabinet and discard those cabinet ministers who opposed his latest proposal.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the eurozone group of finance ministers, said the agreement included a €50bn Greece-based fund that will privatise or manage Greek assets. Out of that €50bn, €25bn would be used to recapitalise Greek banks, he said.

Greek banks have been closed for two weeks, with withdrawals at cash machines limited to €60 per day. The economy has been put under increasing strain, with some businesses closing and others struggling to pay suppliers.

Monday saw the European Central Bank maintain its cap on emergency funds being provided to Greek banks, meaning they will stay shut for now to prevent them running out of funds.

Eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels have discussed providing "bridge financing" that would cover Greece's short-term needs, but have made no final decisions.

"The road will be long, and judging by the negotiations tonight, difficult," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday morning.

French President Francois Hollande said the agreement had allowed Europe to "preserve integrity and solidarity".

"We also had to show that Europe is capable of solving a crisis that has menaced the eurozone for several years," he said.

Mr Juncker said: "In this compromise, there are no winners and no losers.

"I don't think the Greek people have been humiliated, nor that the other Europeans have lost face. It is a typical European arrangement."

However, many Greeks and others who thought that unduly harsh terms were being imposed on Greece have expressed their widespread anger online using the hashtag #ThisIsACoup.

Mr Tsipras came to power after his left-wing Syriza party won elections in January on a promise to end austerity. Greece has already received two bailouts totalling €240bn since 2010.

Continue Reading

News

Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

Continue Reading

News

TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

Continue Reading