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Athens stock market

January 28, 2015

The stock market in Athens fell over 9 percent on Wednesday, the same day as new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras presented his new cabinet. Greek stocks have been falling steadily since the start of December.

Griechenland erste Sitzung des neuen Kabinetts 28.01.2015
Image: Reuters/M. Djurica

Greece's financial markets appeared to be running scared on Wednesday, with bank stocks plunging more than 22 percent, taking their cumulative losses since the January 25 election to 40 percent.

Meanwhile Greek five-year government bond yields hit around 13.5 percent, their highest level since a 2012 restructuring which wrote off a large proportion of Greek debt held by private investors.

The Athens stock market has lost a total of 31 percent since December 8, when the new parliamentary election was called.

Tsipras announced on Wednesday that he was stopping the privatization of the ports at Thessaloniki and Piraeus, one of the conditions imposed by Greece's international creditors.

New Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he would meet the finance ministers of France and Italy - both countries which have pressed for a change of course in Europe from rigid budget orthodoxy - in the coming days.

France has ruled out straight cancellation of Greece's debt, about 80 percent of which is held by other eurozone governments and multinational organizations such as the IMF. However, Paris has said it would be open to talks on making Greece's debt burden more sustainable, and Tsipras is expected to meet President Francois Hollande before an EU summit on Feb. 12.

bk/hg (AFP, Reuters)