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Politics

ECB Takes Hardline on Greek Debt - 05 Feb 2015
The European Central Bank abruptly canceled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return for funding on Wednesday, shifting the burden onto Athens' central bank to finance its lenders and isolating Greece unless it strikes a new reform deal.

The move, which means the Greek central bank will have to provide its banks with tens of billions of euros of additional emergency liquidity in the coming weeks, was a response to what many in Frankfurt see as the Greek government's abandoning of its aid-for-reform program.

The decision came just hours after Greece's new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis emerged from a meeting with ECB President Mario Draghi to claim that the ECB would do "whatever it takes" to support member states such as Greece.

In stark contrast, the ECB move, which required the support of a majority of central bank chiefs across the euro zone, shows widespread dismay with the new Greek government's plans not only in Frankfurt but across the 19-country bloc.

The ECB announced its decision, which will take effect from Feb. 11, after those governors met in Frankfurt on Wednesday.

It means that the tens of billions of euros of Greek government bonds as well as bank bonds guaranteed by Athens will no longer qualify as security in return for ECB funding to those banks.
EUROPE-GREECE/
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February 04, 2015
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (R) welcomes Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L)...
Brussels, Belgium
European Commission President Juncker welcomes Greek Prime Minister Tsipras ahead of a meeting at the...
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (R) welcomes Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L) ahead of a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
EUROPE-GREECE/
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February 04, 2015
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is welcomed by European Council President Donald Tusk (R) ahead of...
Brussels, Belgium
Greek PM Tsipras is welcomed by EU Council President Tusk in Brussels
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is welcomed by European Council President Donald Tusk (R) ahead of a meeting at the EU Council in Brussels February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
EUROPE-GREECE/
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February 04, 2015
A man adjusts a Greek flag ahead of the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the European...
Brussels, Belgium
A man adjusts a Greek flag ahead of the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the European...
A man adjusts a Greek flag ahead of the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS)
EUROZONE-GREECE/ECONOMY-GERMANY
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February 04, 2015
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (C) leaves the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt February...
Frankfurt, Germany
Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis leaves European Central Bank in Frankfurt
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (C) leaves the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt February 4, 2015. Varoufakis promised in an interview with a German newspaper that his country will "never again" have a budget deficit and tried to reassure Germany that Athens' new policies did not mean it was turning its back on reform. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
EUROZONE-GREECE/FINMIN (INTERVIEW)
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February 04, 2015
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis answers a journalist's questions in a restaurant behind the new...
Frankfurt, Germany
Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis answers journlist's questions at restaurant in Frankfurt
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis answers a journalist's questions in a restaurant behind the new European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt February 4, 2015. Greece can conclude discussions with its international lenders in a short space of time, Varoufakis said on Wednesday, adding he believed Athens could count on the support of the European Central Bank. After meeting ECB President Mario Draghi in Frankfurt, Varoufakis told Reuters: "The ECB is the central bank of Greece ... The ECB will do whatever it takes to support the member states in the euro zone." REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
EUROPE-GREECE/
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February 04, 2015
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses a news conference after meeting European Parliament President...
Brussels, Belgium
Greek PM Tsipras addresses a news conference at the EU Parliament in Brussels
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses a news conference after meeting European Parliament President Martin Schulz (not pictured) at the EU Parliament in Brussels February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)
EUROZONE-GREECE/FRANCE
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February 04, 2015
French President Francois Hollande (R) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leave a joint statement...
Paris, France
French President Hollande and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras leave a joint statement at the Elysee Palace...
French President Francois Hollande (R) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leave a joint statement after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, February 4, 2015. French President said during a visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday that European Union rules and debt commitments must apply to all. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
EUROZONE-GREECE/FRANCE
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February 04, 2015
Paris city mayor Anne Hidalgo (L) walks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Hotel de Ville,...
Paris, France
Paris city mayor Hidalgo walks with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras at the Hotel de Ville, city hall, in...
Paris city mayor Anne Hidalgo (L) walks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Hotel de Ville, city hall, in Paris, February 4, 2015. Tsipras earlier met with France's President and after talking for more than an hour and a half both agreed that the European Union must change tack to focus more on growth and jobs and called for dialogue on the Greek debt crisis. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS)
EUROZONE-GREECE/ITALY-TSIPRAS
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February 03, 2015
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (R) shakes hands with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras during...
Rome, Italy
Matteo Renzi smiles next to Alexis Tsipras at Chigi palace in Rome
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (R) shakes hands with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras during a news conference at Chigi palace in Rome February 3, 2015. Tsipras sought to reassure international partners on Tuesday that Athens did not want to create division in Europe with its call for a new debt accord and said he was open to listening to alternative proposals. In Rome for talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Tsipras said the austerity policies imposed under Greece's bailout accord with the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund troika had failed. REUTERS/Remo Casilli (ITALY - Tags: POLITICS)
GREECE-POLITICS/
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February 02, 2015
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is guided at the Imprisoned Graves in Nicosia, February 2, 2015....
Nicosia, Cyprus
Greek PM Tsipras is guided at the Imprisoned Graves in Nicosia
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is guided at the Imprisoned Graves in Nicosia, February 2, 2015. Tsipras on Monday said his left-wing government would make full use of a mandate for negotiations with European partners and ruled out seeking aid from Russia. Speaking in Nicosia during his first foreign trip as prime minister, Tsipras said he discussed with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades the need for a coordinated stance for a "bridge of peace and cooperation between Europe and Russia." The Imprisoned Graves is a small cemetery situated in the Central Jail of Nicosia, where the remains of 13 EOKA fighters who fought during Cyprus' independence from Britain in 1955-1959 were interred. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou (CYPRUS - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
GREECE-POLITICS/BRITAIN
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February 02, 2015
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (L) and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne,...
London, United Kingdom
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, speak...
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (L) and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, speak during their meeting at Downing Street in London February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Matt Dunham/pool (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
GREECE-POLITICS/BRITAIN
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February 02, 2015
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (L) shakes hands with Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer,...
London, United Kingdom
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis shakes hands with Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George...
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (L) shakes hands with Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, as he leaves after their meeting at Downing Street in London February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
GREECE-BANKS/
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February 02, 2015
A pedestrian walks by a poster that reads "No to Euro" in central Athens, February 2, 2015. Greece's...
Athens, Greece
A pedestrian walks by an anti-Euro poster in Athens
A pedestrian walks by a poster that reads "No to Euro" in central Athens, February 2, 2015. Greece's new left-wing government will not take any actions that would hurt the share values of the country's banks and does not plan to appoint party officials at key management posts, the government's spokesman said on Monday. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (GREECE - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
GREECE-POLITICS/
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January 29, 2015
European Parliament President Martin Schulz (L) shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras...
Athens, Greece
European Parliament President Schulz shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras outside the Prime...
European Parliament President Martin Schulz (L) shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras outside the Prime Minister's office in Athens January 29, 2015. Schulz warned leftist Tsipras on Wednesday against diverging from the European Union's stance towards Russia in the Ukraine crisis. Schulz, a member of Germany's co-governing Social Democrats, met Tsipras on Thursday in Athens to discuss the agenda of his new anti-bailout government and how Greece wants to solve its debt problems. REUTERS/Kostas Tsironis (GREECE - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
GREECE-EUROGROUP/DIJSSELBLOEM
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January 30, 2015
Jeroen Dijsselbloem (L), head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, sits with Greece's Prime Minister...
Athens, Greece
Dijsselbloem, head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, sits with Greece's Prime Minister Tsipras...
Jeroen Dijsselbloem (L), head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, sits with Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as he is welcomed to his office in Athens, January 30, 2015. Dijsselbloem said on Thursday the new Greek government led by the left-wing, anti-bailout Syriza party, could derail reforms and economic recovery if it sticks to its election campaign promises. REUTERS/Petros Giannakouris/Pool (GREECE - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
GREECE-POLITICS/
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January 30, 2015
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, (L) head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis...
Athens, Greece
Dijsselbloem, head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, and Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis shake...
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, (L) head of the euro zone finance ministers' group, and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis shake hands after their common press conference at the ministry in Athens January 30, 2015. Greece's government will not cooperate with the EU and IMF mission bankrolling the country and will not seek an extension to the bailout programme, its finance minister said on Friday. REUTERS/Kostas Tsironis (GREECE - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
GREECE-MARKETS/
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February 03, 2015
A stock ticker shows stock options making major gains, inside the Athens stock exchange building February...
Athens, Greece
A stock ticker shows stock options making major gains, inside the Athens stock exchange
A stock ticker shows stock options making major gains, inside the Athens stock exchange building February 3, 2015. European shares rose to near a seven-year high on Tuesday, and Greek banking stocks soared, on hopes a standoff over the country's debt would be resolved after its new government softened calls for a writedown. Athens' benchmark index ATG jumped 10.9 percent. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (GREECE - Tags: BUSINESS)
GREECE-BANKS/
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February 02, 2015
A Greek flag flutters above the statue of Greek philosopher Plato outside the Athens Academy, February...
Athens, Greece
A statue of Greek philosopher Plato is seen in central Athens
A Greek flag flutters above the statue of Greek philosopher Plato outside the Athens Academy, February 2, 2015. Greece's new left-wing government will not take any actions that would hurt the share values of the country's banks and does not plan to appoint party officials at key management posts, the government's spokesman said on Monday. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (GREECE - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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