Vladimir Putin will discuss energy cooperation as he continues his two-day visit to Greece, his first trip to a European Union country this year.
Greece’s parliament has passed the austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors, despite a significant level of dissent from the governing left-wing Syriza party.
Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is facing a battle to cling on to his government’s majority after he was forced to shred election promises and introduce punishing austerity measures in exchange for a bailout deal with the country’s European creditors. With members of his own party openly condemning the preliminary rescue deal, Mr Tsipras, who flew home from gruelling night-long negotiations with European leaders, will chair an executive meeting of his Syriza party before MPs begin a two-day debate on the deal, which will heap more tax rises and spending cuts on a nation already suffering through six years of recession. The deal ensures that Greece avoids an imminent financial catastrophe and an exit from the eurozone, but Panos Kammenos, leader of the junior partner in Mr Tsipras’ coalition government, called the bailout plan a German-led “coup”.
Oil and gas experts expect European crude demand to grow as a result of the economic agreement struck between the EU and Greece yesterday. The deal has reduced the prospect of a so-called Grexit from the eurozone. In its latest review of the market, Scottish consultancy Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) said: “If Greece remains in the eurozone and the current crisis is contained, the outlook for Europe's oil demand is much improved over the decline seen in 2014.
Greece has pledged to reform its gas market in a 13-page set of proposals handed over to its European creditors. The country also said it would open restricted professions including engineers, notaries and court bailiffs. Yesterday, Greece revealed plans for a £2billion gas project with Russia.
Greece’s debt talks and ongoing Chinese market unrest led the price of oil to slip by almost 6% yesterday, although Brent Crude steadied at $56.98 a barrel today.
Brent slid below $60 a barrel for the first time since April amid speculation Greece’s rejection of austerity measures will prompt its exit from the euro area. Futures dropped as much as 1.6 percent in London, falling for a second day. Sixty-one percent of voters backed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s rejection of further spending cuts and tax increases. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tempered expectations that a nuclear deal with Iran is imminent as diplomats meeting in Vienna work toward a Tuesday deadline. Oil last week slumped the most since March amid speculation the Greek crisis threatens Europe’s economic stability and growth, prompting investors to eschew riskier assets. Iran, the fourth-largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has estimated it could double crude exports from about 1 million barrels a day within six months of sanctions being lifted. “We’ve seen a bit of a capitulation in oil,” Ric Spooner, a chief analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “The situation in Greece has a confidence impact on demand. A nuclear agreement with Iran represents a negative risk event for oil in terms of the possible significant increase in supply.”
Fighter jets dispatched by Libya’s internationally recognised government bombed a Greek-owned tanker ship at an eastern city controlled by Islamist extremists, killing two crew members and wounding two, Libyan and Greek officials said. The bombing highlights the chaos that has gripped Libya since its 2011 civil war that deposed and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Libyan officials apologised for the bombing as the Greek foreign ministry demanded compensation for the victims’ families and punishment for those behind the attack.
The London market’s festive rally came to an abrupt halt today amid lower oil prices and fresh uncertainty over Greece’s future in the euro. With the FTSE 100 Index 57.6 points lower at 6575.9, the top flight is on course to complete its first negative session since December 15. Commodity firms dominated the fallers board after the price of Brent crude oil dived to a five-and-a-half year low of near to 57 US dollars a barrel.