Greek shares fall for third day as euro exit fears grow


16th June, 2015 07:41:41 printer

Greek shares fall for third day as euro exit fears grow

ATHENS: Greek shares have fallen for a third day as fears it could leave the euro grew, while the government in Athens reaffirmed its anti-austerity stance.


Shares on the Athens ATG stock exchange were down 3.67% in midday trade. That followed the two previous days' falls of 4.7% and 5.9%.


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said there had been an attempt to "humiliate" his government.


And he said demands by its lenders for more cuts were politically motivated.


'Spread burden'

He said he wanted a deal that would end talk of a Greek eurozone exit, but that "the mandate we have got from the Greek people is to end austerity policy".


"In order to achieve that, we have to seek a deal which will spread the burden evenly and which will not hurt wage earners and pensioners," he added.


Tsipras had earlier said the main factor blocking a deal was a difference between its European and International Monetary Fund (IMF) creditors over debt restructuring.


"The big contradiction is the IMF's presence, which wants measures and a restructuring, (whereas) the others want measures but no restructuring. They want an a-la-carte IMF."


Meanwhile, Greek 10-year bond yields also rose 20 basis points to 12.97%, as fears of a wider eurozone crisis loomed.


Greek bank stocks were hit hardest. The Greek FTSE bank index fell 4.68% on Tuesday, after falling 12% on Monday.


Elsewhere in Europe, the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.43% to 6,681.46, while the Dax in Frankfurt lost 0.53% and the Cac 40 in Paris shed 0.42%.


'State of denial'

Meanwhile, a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat (CDU) party said on Tuesday that a Greek exit from the eurozone would have to be accepted if Athens failed to present a convincing economic reform package.


Michael Grosse-Broemer, the CDU's deputy floor leader in parliament, said: "In the event a solid reform package is not presented, then a 'Grexit' would have to be accepted if necessary."


Grosse-Broemer added it was up to Greece to give up its "state of denial" and move towards more reforms that creditors are seeking to unlock aid.


"I'm not so sure anymore if the Greek government is really interested in averting damage for the people of Greece," he said.


In another development on Tuesday, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled the European Central Bank (ECB) had not acted unlawfully in 2012 when it said it stood ready to buy government bonds.


Germany objected to the ECB's announcement of a bond-buying programme, despite the fact it was never used, saying it contravened EU law.


The action of the ECB at the time helped to calm markets which, at the time, were being buffeted by one crisis after another.


'Significant gaps'

Talks with Greek and EU officials in Brussels on Sunday failed to reach an agreement that would release bailout funds to Greece.


A European Commission spokesman said while progress was made at Sunday's talks, "significant gaps" remained.


Eurozone finance ministers will meet on Thursday, but Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he did not plan to present new proposals at the meeting.


"The Eurogroup [of eurozone finance ministers] is not the right place to present proposals which haven't been discussed and negotiated on a lower level before," he told German newspaper Bild.


Europe wants Greece to make spending cuts worth €2bn (£1.44bn) to secure a deal that will unlock bailout funds.


Greece must also repay a €1.5bn in loans to the IMF and a further €5.2bn in short term loans by the end of the month amid a growing sense that the country has simply run out of cash altogether.


But disagreements over further economic reforms have led to delays in the government receiving €7.2bn of bailout funds.