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Greece told to "stop wasting time"

Monday, March 09, 2015 - 02:18

Greece has been urged to ''stop wasting time'' and buckle down to serious talks and implementation of a reform programme to secure urgently needed fresh funds from its international creditors. As Sonia Legg reports some of their plans so far have left many perplexed.

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Turning tourists into tax inspectors - just one of the ideas from the new Greek government meant to convince the euro zone Athens is serious about reform. Six other measures were on the initial document submitted for discussion by finance ministers. But it was the wiring up of non-professionals with audio and video surveillance equipment to catch those not issuing a receipt which attracted the most headlines. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) TAVERN OWNER, SPYROS BAIRAKTARIS, SAYING: "I can't imagine such a thing, a person who has absolutely nothing to do with this going into a business, into a hotel, into a taverna to make checks. What kind of checks could this person possibly make? What do they know about this?" Talk of a referendum or even a new election if Greece's debt and growth plans were rejected also irked some in the euro zone ahead of the key meeting. Admiral Markets Darren Sinden says Germany won't be giving in easily. (SOUNDBITE) English) DARREN SINDEN, MARKETS COMMENTATOR, ADMIRAL MARKETS, SAYING: "It is a question of who blinks first - perhaps the euro zone has a slightly stronger hand this time and the Greeks a slightly weaker one but I don't think there is any clear cut winner at the moment." One senior German politician has said Greece would be better off outside the 19-nation euro zone, suggesting perhaps that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble privately shared that view too. Baader Bank's Robert Halver certainly does. (SOUNDBITE) (German) CAPITAL MARKET ANALYST FROM BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "The solution for the Greeks is for them to leave the euro zone for 10 years. They can then devalue their currency and get their economy back on its feet. Second, and this is very important, we need to cut their debt. If this happens, the Greek economy will pick up again in the long term." We've been here before - Greece faced a euro exit in 2010 and 2012 - each time the political will confounded those who saw a Grexit as inevitable. But could a left-wing government make this time different. (SOUNDBITE) English) DARREN SINDEN, MARKETS COMMENTATOR, ADMIRAL MARKETS, SAYING: "I wonder now if there is that much resolve among the leaders in the EU and they may just feel that Greece is a bridge too far and the problems are too big to resolve and the Greeks too intransigent to allow them to be resolved. If I had to put a price on it I think there is a 70% likelihood of a deal being done and still a 30% chance that Greece could leave." Merkel and Schaeuble have both said publicly they want to keep Greece in the currency area. And a new survey suggests more than two thirds of Greeks want that too. But Athens may need to come up with more financial details on their reform plan first.

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Greece told to "stop wasting time"

Monday, March 09, 2015 - 02:18