Archive for June 15th, 2010

King Otto: is he dropping the Crown?

June 15, 2010

  Griechen-Trainer Otto Rehagel.

2004 coach “King” Otto was the hero of millions of Greeks. He had just  led the Greek National Team to win Euro 2004, the European Championship title.

 After the ugly defeat 0-2 from South Korea last Saturday King Otto began to feel his throne trembling and his crown shaking.

Then it was Otto Rehhagel, who gathered all the fire and criticism of angry Greek fans and dissapointed media, who accused him of grave mistakes and  wrong choices. 

 The truth is that in a soccer game while only 22 players run behind the ball, there are some millions of fans coaching them. But a fan is a fan and he deserves to see his team play decently. Not to forget the national pride, of course.

I saw the Saturday game on TV. I watched the Greek players losing one opportunity after the other; I watched them in fact not to create any opportunity at all. They left it up to South Koreans to do the game. Since the camera was focusing on their faces I could clearly see the sweat of failure and despair. With such a team, you can’t win!

I have got the impression that the King has grown older. Can a 72 years old adapt himself to new circumstances and tactics, apply radical but essential changes? Can players with average age of 29, successfully compete?

Unfortunately as we grow older, we can be proud of the experience we have gathered but at the same time we are stuck to the past, to the past where we got our experience from.

I used to and still  admire Otto Rehhagel . When I was living in Germany I watched him coaching a weak Werder Bremen to a full- power football team, establishing it to main teams of Bundesliga.

To say it simple: I always preferred King Otto to Emperor Franz (Beckenbauer).

Sad to see King go

Anyway, after the 2 South Korean goals rumors started that Otto Rehhagel is quitting the Greeks if not in the middle of World Cup 2010, at least very soon after. Normally resignation occur upon arrival…

The German coach speaking yesterday to the players opened – at least verbally the door of his exit.

 “It is possible that a defeat spoils the mood. We had lots of experiences together. We had many fine moments. In the coming days we may not be together. But the good spirit that always existed in the national should remain” Otto Rehhagel said.

Today, player Kostas Katsouranis, 31, in an effort to refute the scenarios having Rehhagel dropping the bench of the National Team, said in a press conference ahead of the match with Nigeria.

“There is no issue about the staying of Otto Rehhagel. We talked and he didn’t let it be known that he intends to leave. Right now all he wants is that we give our best to the matches with Nigeria and Argentina.”

I consider Thursday’s match against Nigeria to be very crucial for Otto and the Greek National Team. Another defeat will ruin them psychologically. It will be extremely difficult then to play against Mundial favorite Argentina.

 I do  hope for the best.

But the time for changes has come. The question is When?


ASE ingores Moody’s moody move – Rehn’s Attack

June 15, 2010


Athens Stock Exchange seems to ignore Moody’s downgrade of Greece’s credit rating to Junk status.  Greek Stock Market opened low this morning – even losing 2% at some point – but quickly managed to recover.

Currently (14:00 local time)  the General Index advances 0.57% at 1,549,3 on a total turnover of EUR 58,51 mil.

UPDATE: ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSED AT 1,530,04 , losing 0,69 % trading EUR 111,15 Million

Yesterday Moody’s Investors Service cut Greek government debt by four notches from A3 to Ba1. Controversially enough and ignoring  Greece’s support by EU/IMF/ECB  Mood’ys gives Greece a ‘stable outlook’ for the next 12 – 18 months

Greece reacts

Moody’s moody move caught many by surprise in Greece.
The Finance Ministry in a statement stated that the downgrade does not reflect the true progress.
Uni sono in the news politicians, journalists, experts and non-experts speak of  Moody’s “unjustifiable and unfortunate” move.
Investors speaking to economy website  said that  “ Th e four notch credit rating downgrade of Greece by Moody’s yesterday afternoon under normal circumstances could have had a highly negative effect in Athex course. However, given the support offered to Greece from IMF/ECB/EU and the diminished credibility of credit rating agencies lately the result may not be negative,” so ATE Securities.
“Moody΄s unexpected, in terms of aggressiveness, downgrade of Greece by four notches is expected to assert significant pressures on the Athenian bourse, with the banking sector being on the spotlight. Portfolio managers are expected to reduce their positioning on both Greek Government Bonds (GGBs) and equities, possibly creating opportunities for buyers that missed out the chance of increasing their position in the Greek market at the 1,380 – 1,420 units levels,” Pegasus Securities said.
Olli Rehn  Attacks Moody’s
Meanwhile, Olli Rehn, European Economic & Monetary Affairs Commissioner attacked Moody’s. The timing of Moody’s decision to downgrade Greek sovereign debt was “astonishing and unfortunate”, said Rehn and added that Moody’s downgrade had not taken into account latest developments in the country and once again raised questions about the ratings agencies.

“I have discussed with Michelle Barnier [Commissioner internal market] and President Barroso … the timing of the decline is surprising and unfortunate, as it comes shortly after the agreement [between Greece and the Troika] for macroeconomic consolidation,” said Olli Rehn Speaking in Eurpean Parliament in Strasbourg.

He said the measures taken by the Greek government show its commitment towards fiscal consolidation and marked Moody’s  move «inconsistent” with the return of Greek bonds and the prices of CDS in the country .

“This raises questions about the role of  rating agencies  in the financial system” Olli Rehn said, and pledged that the European Commission in the near future will address these issues.

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