Greek debt crisis: A country on the brink

  • 28 June 2015
  • From the section Europe
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looks at his watch as he delivers a speech during a parliamentary session in Athens on 28 June 2015
Time is ticking for Greek PM Alexis Tsipras

The eurozone is facing its gravest crisis in its 16-year history. Greece is on the verge of defaulting.

Almost certainly it will fail to repay a loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday. The risk of Greece leaving the eurozone has increased significantly. Both Europe and Greece have entered a period of turbulence with neither side in control of events.

Neither the government in Athens nor Europe's leaders are in a position of their choosing. The past few weeks and months are a story of stubbornness and grandstanding. Above all it has been a failure to reconcile two narratives.

After the election in January which brought the radical left party Syriza to power, Europe's leaders were determined that the new Greek government should live up to the commitments agreed by the previous administration.

Europe wanted to send a message that the eurozone could not be buffeted by elections and the popular vote. They also were worried that populist parties elsewhere in Europe could demand an easing of austerity and the eurozone's rules.

Read full article Greek debt crisis: A country on the brink

Greece and Germany and the weight of history

  • 21 June 2015
  • From the section Europe
Greek flag and protesters

In the film The Godfather Michael Corleone is asked about Sicily: "Why is such a beautiful country so violent?"

"History," he replies simply.

Read full article Greece and Germany and the weight of history

Greek stand-off could slide out of control

  • 3 June 2015
  • From the section Europe
A lottery ticket seller rests at a bus-stop in Athens
Greek lottery: one way to beat austerity in Athens

After four months of brinkmanship, Greece faces days full of risk. A deadline approaches.

On Friday, Athens is due to make a repayment of 300m euros (£218m) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Read full article Greek stand-off could slide out of control

Election 2015: Voters' trust remains elusive

Question Time audience
Were the audience at Question Time convinced?

Rarely has such political energy been expended to such little effect. Or so it seems.

Five and a half weeks of sound bites and fury have signified little.

Read full article Election 2015: Voters' trust remains elusive

Election 2015: The Cameron dilemma

David Cameron arriving to deliver a speech at Fujitsu in Solihull
David Cameron announced a "jobs miracle" in his speech at Fujitsu

Last Friday, surrounded by Fujitsu workers in Solihull, David Cameron's voice was impassioned as if finally he had a piece of news that could not be challenged and would shake up the campaign.

"We are," he said, "the jobs factory of Europe."

Read full article Election 2015: The Cameron dilemma

Election 2015: Fear dominating election campaign

David Cameron
David Cameron focusing on the economy

In the early 1960s, before the birth of smartphones, before the retreat from privacy, the US historian Daniel Boorstin wrote a groundbreaking book called The Image.

Boorstin was troubled by the emergence of what he called "pseudo" events, increasingly presented as news.

Read full article Election 2015: Fear dominating election campaign

Election 2015: Parties play up the tribal rhetoric

David Cameron
David Cameron at the election rally in the Wiltshire town of Chippenham

There are still tribes in British politics.

They may have weakened as voters increasingly act like consumers, happy to switch brands.

Read full article Election 2015: Parties play up the tribal rhetoric

Greek crisis deepens amid EU tensions

  • 19 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
A man walks next to graffiti depicting a clown with a euro sign popping from his eye, in Athens 19 February 2015
If there is no deal soon Greece could run out of money

After hours of fast-moving developments, a deal to settle the Greek bailout crisis hangs in the balance.

This morning Greece confirmed that it was sending a letter to the head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. It was a formal request to extend the loan agreement by six months.

Read full article Greek crisis deepens amid EU tensions

Greek bailout talks: The Dangerous Game

  • 17 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomes Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem (not pictured) during their meeting in Athens on 30 January 2015
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will need greater eurozone support if he is to secure a better bailout deal

Neither Athens nor its European partners want Greece to leave the eurozone, but the risk of a miscalculation is growing.

On both sides there is suspicion and a degree of resentment.

Read full article Greek bailout talks: The Dangerous Game

Greece bailout plans: Talks in a tangle

  • 12 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attends an emergency Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the European Council in Brussels on February 11, 2015.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has insisted Greece must stick to the existing terms of its bailout

Brussels is the capital of late night compromises. But this time it was different.

The post-midnight faces of three European officials and the head of the IMF looked weary.

Read full article Greece bailout plans: Talks in a tangle