Bank Holiday that is. They're still out of other peoples' money: Greece Closes Banks in Crisis
It was first announced that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras debt-ridden left-wing government would close banks Monday, but now they’ve decided the banks will remain closed all week:
Greek banks are to remain closed and capital controls will be imposed, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says.
(More at Memeorandum.) Notice how Tsipras suggests that the creditors are being undemocratic, rather than admitting that Greece has been irresponsible? Tsipras obviously believes Greeks have a right to other people’s money, and that it is wrong for European creditors to expect them to pay back what they borrowed.
Speaking after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was not increasing emergency funding to Greek banks, Mr Tsipras said Greek deposits were safe.
Greece is due to make a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday – the same day that its current bailout expires.
. . .Greek banks are expected to stay shut until 7 July, two days after Greece’s planned referendum on the terms it had been offered by international creditors for receiving fresh bailout money. . . .
Eurozone finance ministers blamed Greece for breaking off the talks, and the European Commission took the unusual step on Sunday ofpublishing proposals by European creditors that it said were on the table at the time.
But Greece described creditors’ terms as “not viable”, and asked for an extension of its current deal until after the vote was completed.
“[Rejection] of the Greek government’s request for a short extension of the programme was an unprecedented act by European standards, questioning the right of a sovereign people to decide,” Mr Tsipras on Sunday said in a televised address.
“This decision led the ECB today to limit the liquidity available to Greek banks and forced the Greek central bank to suggest a bank holiday and restrictions on bank withdrawals.” . . .
The temporary closure of banks in Greece, and the introduction of capital controls, is very bad news for Greece. Greek people will have less money to spend and business less to invest; so an already weak economy will probably return to deep recession.
And this interesting news item, a bit closer to home:
Oh, by the way: Puerto Rico can’t pay its debts, either.
Puerto Rico’s governor, saying he needs to pull the island out of a “death spiral,” has concluded that the commonwealth cannot pay its roughly $72 billion in debts, an admission that will probably have wide-reaching financial repercussions.
The governor, Alejandro García Padilla, and senior members of his staff said in an interview last week that they would probably seek significant concessions from as many as all of the island’s creditors, which could include deferring some debt payments for as long as five years or extending the timetable for repayment.
“The debt is not payable,” Mr. García Padilla said. “There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math.”
Time for the Jubilee
The Jubilee (Hebrew yovel יובל) year is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years), and according toBiblical regulations had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel; there is some debate whether it was the 49th year (the last year of seven sabbatical cycles, referred to as the Sabbath's Sabbath), or whether it was the following (50th) year. Jubilee deals largely with land, property, and property rights. According to Leviticus, slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.
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