Central banks from Tokyo to London checked their ammunition on Friday in preparation for any turmoil from Greece’s election, with the European Central Bank hinting at an interest rate cut and Britain set to open its coffers. – Reuters
ALL EYES ON GREECE tomorrow for what could evolve into a game-changing world event vote. Will the anti-austerity wave hitting the eurozone continue?
After you’ve read the Reuters article above [h/t CNBC's Becky Quick], here’s a report from the BBC:
Yet until last month most people outside the country – and some within it – had never heard of Syriza. For years they struggled to win more than 5% of the vote, but in the first round of the general election, this anti-austerity party rocketed from nowhere to second place with more than 17%.
Such is the demand for Syriza officials from news broadcasters, that several offices in party HQ have been emptied and turned into studios.
It really all begins with answering the question who is Alexis Tsipras, besides charismatic, young and handsome.
“On Sunday, the old world will die,” Tsipras said at an Athens rally Thursday, his brow knitted and sweaty on a sultry Greek night. Invoking what has become Greece’s modern version of a mythic beast — the “memorandum” that lays out the strict conditions for the country’s bailout loans — he made clear what will happen if his Syriza party wins enough parliamentary seats to form a government. – Greek election: Candidate Alexis Tsipris hopes an earthquake will shake the euro zone Sunday
Or better yet, what does he plan to do? From Bloomberg:
The following are the main pledges and economic policy of Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras for the Greek national election on June 17.
– Cancel Greece ’s bailout and implementation laws and replace them with a national recovery plan
– Reduce the number of ministers and government advisers
– Renegotiate the country’s loan agreement and seek a European solution to the Greek debt crisis
– Restore Feb. 28 wage reductions, special bonus cuts and labor collective agreements; minimum wage of 751 euros
– Restore unemployment benefit of 461.5 euros and extend payment to two years from one
– No special taxes for the unemployed, people on low incomes and pensioners
– Set a primary spending plan of as much as 43 percent of Greek GDP instead of 36 percent
– Increase the country’s revenue by taxing higher incomes to reach a European level of 4 percent of GDP
– Halt implementation of cuts in wages, social spending and pensions
– Implement and extend public spending control using technology
– Implement a Greek citizens’ property registration system
– Gradually reduce sales taxes, minimize them for basic food products
– Modernize and staff tax offices, enhance information technology
– Sign a special national agreement with shipowners, cancel 58 tax reductions
– Help return bank deposits to Greece, stabilize the Greek banking system
– Nationalize, socialize banks
– Redesign management of European funds
– Write down loans for heavily indebted businesses and households
– Freeze program of privatizing state-run companies and gradually bring strategically significant companies back to state control (OTE, PPC, Hellenic Postbank, Athens Water)
– Restructure the public sector and administration
– Amend constitutional law on ministers’ responsibilies
– Declare a Greek exclusive economic zone
– Find a mutually acceptable solution of the dispute over the name “Macedonia” in the United Nations . Greece, the northern third of which consists of the region of Macedonia, objects to use of the name by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The New Democracy party, led by Antonis Samaras, believes a Tsipras win would force Angela Merkel to make an example of Greece by forcing them out of the euro-zone.
As Becky Quick of CNBC noted with Chuck Todd on Friday, the European Central Banks are not sitting idle and don’t seem at all ready to let the world financial markets begin a contagion that could roil the world.