A new ray of hope for Athens
A new ray of hope for Athens
Cerstin Gammelin, Brussels, and Claus Hulverscheidt

BERLIN - The euro zone has granted Athens two more years to rein in its debt, Süddeutsche Zeitung has learned.

Euro zone leaders have agreed to give Greece until 2016 instead of 2014 to push deficits down under to 3% of GDP. Deadlines for the implementation of employment and energy reforms and the selling of state-run companies and state-owned property have also been extended.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras can now count on his euro zone partners to free shortly the urgently needed next tranche of aid worth 32 billion euros.

Athens is projecting a sum of 8.8 billion euros (instead of the estimated 19 billion euros) from privatization income by the end of 2015, according to the draft of a Memorandum of Understanding that the Greeks hammered out with their international creditors.

On Tuesday it was still unclear, however, how the holes in the 2013 and 2014 budgets that the concessions bring with them are supposed to be closed. An additional 15-18 billion euros are now needed. The question of how Greece is supposed to finance itself after 2014 also remains open.

The reason for the concessions lies not only with the fact that Greece is courageously implementing reforms, but that new financial problems are due less to a lack of political will than to the deep recession Greece now finds itself in – something that the other states had not expected. Additionally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU heads of government believe it is too risky economically to throw Greece out of the euro zone.

Unless Greece receives the next tranche of aid, it will not be solvent by the end of November. Before the money is transferred, however, the EU Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika’s complete report about Greece’s situation must be available and the Memorandum of Understanding signed.

To deal with the extra 18 billion euros, Brussels is considering giving Athens additional funds to buy old government bonds that are being traded way under value. An indirect debt cut whereby the interest rate for already extended credit would be lowered is also under discussion.

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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