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Greek bank boost ahead of key vote

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 01:36

Two of Greece's four big banks will plug their capital holes without state aid after investors showed strong interest in their share sales. As Sonia Legg reports it's a sign of confidence Greece can turn the corner and start growing again.

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The agriculture sector in Greece was the latest to complain about reforms. Protests turning ugly as farmers clashed with police over tax increases and the loss of subsidies. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) FARMER FROM CRETE ISLAND, ANTONIS BITSAKIS, SAYING: "We are going to fight until the end....we are not lazy, we are used to working hard, we just need the government to help us out a little, not to destroy us." Just a day after the protest outside parliament lawmakers gathered inside to debate a whole new set of reforms - including reduced mortgage protection and higher taxes on wine. Greece's government must approve them - and hope they're ratified by EU ministers - before it gets the next tranche of aid. It's been a tough process for a left-wing government voted in on an anti-austerity promise. So tough - Gabriel Sakellaridis, who took part in the third bailout talks - resigned because he could no longer support it. Panmure Gordon's David Buik isn't surprised, saying Greece remains a "hot potato." (SOUNDBITE( (English) DAVID BUIK, MARKET COMMENTATOR, PANMURE GORDON, SAYING: "Greece has got 11 million people - it has virtually no industry, business or commerce. It has been ripped to pieces in terms of social care and the chances of them delivering sustained growth, I am sure the next set of figures will improve a fair bit from where we are, but it can't be done." There was some good news for the lawmakers though. Two of Greece's four main banks say they can plug their capital holes without state aid thanks to strong interest in their share sales. As a result the ECB was able to lower its cap on the emergency liquidity assistance it offers them.

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Greek bank boost ahead of key vote

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 01:36