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90 seconds at 9 am: Germany rejects Greek request for more time to meet austerity targets; Bundesbank says ECB money printing 'like a drug'; NZ$ at 81 USc
Here's my summary of the key news over the weekend in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news Germany has again rejected a request by Greece for more time to achieve its austerity targets.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would support Greece's continued presence in the Euro-zone, but again rejected a plea in weekend meetings with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaris for more 'breathing space' for Greece to sell more assets and return its budget to surplus.
Greece's economy has contracted more than 20% in the last two years and it remains in a death spiral as private sector develeraging is being accelerated by cutbacks in government spending and new taxes.
However, Merkel was careful to warn colleagues in Germany not to speculate on Greece's exit from the Euro-zone. See more here from Bloomberg.
Reuters reported French President Francois Hollande saying Europe will have to decide on Greece's fate after a donors' report due in October.
Meanwhile, Bundesbank President Jens Weidemann, a former close adviser to Merkel, said in a front page article in Der Spiegel that renewed purchases of government bonds by the European Central Bank would not solve the Euro-zone crisis.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the danger that central bank financing can become addictive like a drug,” Weidmann said in an interview with Der Spiegel. “Such policy is too close to state financing via the money press for me.” See more here in Bloomberg.
Weidemann's predecessor, Axel Weber, quit the ECB last year in protest at the ECB's now dormant bond-buying programme. Political opposition to the ECB's apparent 'Big Bazooka' plan is growing inside Germany.
The New Zealand dollar begins the week solidly around 81 USc.