Tsipras warns Greek uncertainty ‘not smart’

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks during a press conference after his talks with his French counterpart in Athens, in this March 3, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 05 March 2017
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Tsipras warns Greek uncertainty ‘not smart’

ATHENS: Drawing out Greece’s troubled fiscal talks and creating uncertainty amid tough times for Europe is not a smart choice, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned on Sunday.
Greece’s creditors — the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and EU — have been locked for months in a standoff over debt relief for Greece and budget targets demanded from Athens.
The IMF believes demands on Greece sought by the Europeans are too ambitious. But if the euro zone is going to stick with its plans, then the IMF wants the necessary tax hikes and pension cuts to meet them before it will lend further to Athens.
“Returning to uncertainty is not the smartest choice, especially while Europe is facing major challenges,” Tsipras told the Greek weekly Documento.
With the EU already reeling from Brexit, Tsipras argued that Greece’s current rescue program — its third since 2010 — would collapse if his government were to fall.
His leftist-led coalition government has just 153 MPs in the 300-seat Parliament, and it is unlikely that even the charismatic Tsipras could push through another package of painful austerity reforms.
“A breakdown in talks in order to lead the country to elections would cause a de facto collapse in the (bailout),” the PM claimed.
He added that creditors had “no choice” but to trust his leftist government to take the country out of an economic crisis continuing for an eighth year.
“Either this government succeeds or the rescue programs will fail,” Tsipras said.
Following a long standoff between the EU and the IMF over debt relief and budget targets, talks between Greek officials and representatives from its creditors aimed at freeing up fresh funds resumed in Athens this week.
Athens has agreed to discuss additional tax and pension reforms and labor market regulation.
Athens needs the latest tranche of bailout cash to meet €7 billion ($7.4 billion) of new debt payments in July or risk defaulting on its loans.


Twitter triples first-quarter profit to $191 million

Updated 18 min 35 sec ago
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Twitter triples first-quarter profit to $191 million

  • Profits in the first quarter hit $191 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier
  • The longstanding metric of monthly active users was 330 million in the January-March period

WASHINGTON: Twitter said Tuesday its profits tripled in the past quarter even as it ramped up efforts to root out abuse and misconduct on its short messaging platform.
Profits in the first quarter hit $191 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier, while revenues increased 18 percent to $787 million.
Twitter’s global user base appeared to show modest growth even as the company transitions to a different way of measuring it.
The longstanding metric of monthly active users was 330 million in the January-March period, an increase of nine million from the past quarter but down slightly from a year ago.
But Twitter no longer will use that measure, switching instead to “monetizable” daily active users — 134 million in the past quarter, up from 120 million last year.
Chief executive Jack Dorsey said Twitter is benefiting from its moves to root out abusive and inauthentic content that had hurt Twitter’s reputation.
“We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter,” said Dorsey.
“We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported.”
He added that Twitter aims to become “more conversational” and has launched a prototype for a new app called “twttr,” with the goal of “making conversation on Twitter feel faster, more fluid and more fun.”