With default avoided, Greece looks to new elections

The Greek bond fiasco is now in the past - clipped investors licking their wounds while the government awaits the first installment of the $170 billion bailout. But just as importantly for the country going forward will be elections - now anticipated sometime in April - that will tell the tale whether the Greeks will stick to the stiff austerity program imposed upon it by the EU, or whether they will risk a total default and reject the pain. Reuters: Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos formally submitted his candidacy to lead the Socialist PASOK party on Saturday, as the focus in Athens shifted to elections expected once an international bailout deal is cleared. Greece averted the immediate threat of an uncontrolled default on Thursday when it successfully concluded a bond swap deal under which private sector creditors agreed to accept deep cuts in the value of their holdings. "There is now more than just recession, budget cuts and tax increases ... there's the hope to turn...(Read Full Post)