• By the end of 2009, as a result of a combination of international (financial crisis) and local (uncontrolled spending prior to the October 2009 national elections)factors, the Greek economy faced its most severe crisis after 1993, with the highest budget deficits well as the second highest debt to GDP ratio in the EU. The 2009 budget deficit stood at 12.7% ofGDP. This, and rising debt levels (113% of GDP in 2009) lead to rising borrowing costs, resulting in a severe economic crisis. Greece tried to cover up the extent of its massive budget deficit in thewake of global financial crisis.
• In the first weeks of 2010, renewed anxiety about the excessive levels of debt in Greece.
• Greece has ordered major spending cuts and an overhaul of the taxsystem, promising to slash its budget deficit from an estimated 12.7 percent of economic output in 2009 to 8.7 percent in 2010. The measures have led to strikes and protests.
• Analysts saidGreece will need to borrow about 50 billion euros (nearly $70 billion) to pay off debts that are coming due this year, a requirement that may require a solution involving both the EU and the IMF.
•Germany has so far blocked efforts by European nations to come up with a bailout program, saying Greece isn't asking for help, isn't on the verge of bankruptcy and should turn to the IMF if it reachesa point that it can't borrow from markets. France and some EU officials had been opposed to IMF involvement.
• This crisis will be discussed during the Brussels summit on March 25th.
• China is facing intense international pressure to let its artificially undervalued yuan to appreciate. Its current status is seen by experts as giving the country an unfairadvantage. A lower yuan allows China to run huge trade surpluses by making its exports cheaper.
• China is fighting to prevent the U.S. Treasury Department from designating it as a currency...