Abbott has given up on debt and deficit reduction, but few have noticed |

TheAbbottgovernmenthasabjectlyfailedtoactonitspre-electionconcernstoreducethesizeofadebtproblemthat,inreality,wasnon-existent

Inlessthantwoyearsinoffice,theAbbottgovernmenthasaddedalmost$100bntothelevelofCommonwealthgovernmentdebt.Thisisa35%increasefromthe$273bnlevelofgrossgovernmentdebtatthetimeoftheSeptember2013election.ThisincreasefliesinthefaceoftheCoalition’spledgepriortotheelection–andoccasionallysince–ofreducingdebtandatsomestage,payingitoff.

Bythetimethenextelectionisheld,mostlikelyinthelatterpartof2016,theBudgetpapersindicatetheAbbottgovernmentwillhaveincreasedgovernmentdebtbyaround$150bninitsthreeyearsinpowerandthreeyearsofimplementingitseconomicpolicyobjectives.

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Greek crisis: Weekend drama looms as talks fail again – as it happened

Eurozone finance ministers have failed to break the long-running deadlock between Greece and its creditors

Summary: No deal, but talks continueDonald Tusk is optimistic
Greeks fear impact of tax risesPhotos: Finance ministers meet againCreditors Greek proposal has leaked

11.29pm BST

Back in Brussels, our Europe editor Ian Traynor reports that the Greek PM got a harsh reception when he asked fellow leaders for support in the ongoing debt talks:

#euco @atsipras try to discuss went badly.merkel+several others shut him up.holland’s rutte said if eurozone summit,only on plan B, not deal

#euco cameron had to wait till almost midnight for his spiel. it was short. sounds perfunctory

Apparently EU summit dinner has now returned to argument about Med migrants after brief palate cleanser from Cameron on UK negotiation #euco

9.58pm BST

Greece makes the front pages again:

Όμορφα… pic.twitter.com/ndlOT0IeJo

9.54pm BST

9.19pm BST

Another sign of optimism:

Alexis Papachelas, probably Greece’s best informed political analyst, has told SKAI News that he thinks “an agreement is very close, very near.”

“We are beginning to see that differences are bridgeable, that an agreement will be reached.”

8.50pm BST

A spot of optimism:

#Greece aid deal on Saturday is ‘quite possible’, Greek Official says acc to BBG.

8.47pm BST

Over in Athens, Greeks who are far to the left of the ruling Syriza party, have pledged to step up protests against the government over concessions it appears willing to make to cut a deal.

Some of the thousands who marched through the streets of Athens tonight belong to the ultra radical anti-capitalist Antarsia group, a collection of far far left groups that make Syriza look centrist. Holding banners demanding that Greece leaves the European Union and writes off its monument debt, protestors gathered at Athens university campus before marching on parliament.

“If it is not passed and the country goes bust, we will also stage protests and strikes to ensure that capitalists don’t start closing enterprises and laying off people. There is going to be unrest.”

8.14pm BST

More on that Tsipras-Tusk clash:

Greek gov source: @eucopresident told @tsipras_eu ‘game over’ + Tsipras said not to underestimate the point nation can reach when humiliated

7.55pm BST

Some intriguing reports coming out of Brussels, where leaders have discussed Greece’s bailout.

According to a Greek official, Tsipras told leaders they must respect January’s election result….. And was then challenged by Donald Tusk:

Greek official says Tusk told Tsipras at EU summit ‘game over’ –BBG

“No #eurozone summit today, no eurozone summit tomorrow,” says rather definitive #EU official. #Greece

7.33pm BST

Costas Lapavitsas, a Syriza MP, has made a new call for Greece to break away from the Eurozone, following the rejection of Athens’ compromise proposal.

Writing in the Guardian, Lapavistas said an influential group of Syriza’s MPs would soon make an “intervention”:

#Greece Lapavitsas: “a significant intervention by the Left Platform expected” on €xit http://t.co/uXxxhctXFS pic.twitter.com/IQowskfPl7

6.31pm BST

Thursday night in Athens. pic.twitter.com/eomUST7pW3

6.28pm BST

Could be another lively evening in Athens too:

Riot police, Communists and breakdancers: all within yards of each other on Syntagma Sq Athens #Greece pic.twitter.com/vXb4jeYIIY

6.21pm BST

So, where do we stand in the Greek crisis?

Leaked creditors’ bail-out plan for Greece – not quite take it or leave it but close #Grexit http://t.co/g2Eud9fepF http://t.co/eCiHsdhQQj

Still talk of a #eurozone leaders summit tonite. @atsipras wants it discussed at heads, official tells me. #Greece

So after the comprehensive Greek proposals, I am confident that we will reach a compromise that will help the eurozone and Greece to overcome the crisis.

The last hours have been really critical, but I have a good hunch that unlike in Sophocles’ tragedies, this Greek story will have a happy ending.

The Eurogroup has finished.

The institutions informed us about their intensive negotiations with the Greek government. We agreed that they will do an assessment of the last Greek proposals, because they came in very late today, just before the Eurogroup meeting.

“The #Eurogroup will PROBABLY reconvene on Saturday to take stock of the situation.” Most downbeat sentence ever? http://t.co/poq9at3PSo

.@J_Dijsselbloem: The door is still open for the Greek authorities to accept proposals tabled by institutions (meaning: that

Credit rating agencies are miscalculating risks of climate change

A new report argues that credit agencies’ failure to properly account for climate risks could lead to the next global financial crisis

Credit rating agencies such as Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s are miscalculating the risks of climate change, which could lead to the next big financial crisis, a new report claims.

The paper, released on Wednesday by the Center for International Environmental Law (Ciel), an advocacy group in Washington DC, claims that much like the 2008 housing crisis, when banks overvalued so-called “subprime mortgages”, credit rating agencies are doing the same thing with fossil fuels like coal and oil.

Related: Investors need to get off the fence on climate change

Related: Coal crash: how pension funds face huge risk from climate change

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Weekend deadline for Greece after negotiations draw blank

Finance ministers will meet on Saturday to attempt to thrash out a deal before Monday’s markets open

Greece’s creditors have set the country a weekend deadline to avoid default and stay in the eurozone, after more than 24 hours of non-stop Brussels negotiations at the highest level resulted in stalemate.

After talks between Athens and its creditors failed to reach an agreement on Thursday, a further meeting of eurozone finance ministers will be held on Saturday in a bid to achieve a breakthrough. With the German chancellor Angela Merkel insisting that a deal must be reached before markets open on Monday morning, Greece is now running out of time to secure an accord and make a €1.6bn payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday.

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