Greece struggles under weight of debt

By June 2, 2011

Greece (MNN) — Greece is risking default on its debt, the
International Monetary Fund is considering a bailout, investors are demanding
austerity, and thousands of demonstrators are defying the suggested measures.

A year into its bailout, the government's failure to execute
promised reforms is costing it in fiscal credibility. The
IMF is expected to announce its final decision on another bailout loan on June 20.  

meanwhile, is scrambling to develop a response that will show they mean
business. Government officials remodeled
a privatization program, put shares of some ports and telecommunications up for
sale, froze pensions, salaries, and cut benefits. The package should allow Greece to reduce its
budget deficit by 7.5%.

Not everyone approves of the new measures. Hundreds of thousands of protestors camped
out in the main city center in response. Paul Jenks with AMG International
says it quickly became obvious that the first bailout loan wasn't big enough.
Now, bankers are looking at approving another hundred million Euros to keep
Greece afloat until 2015. Jenks adds,
"That means every man woman and child in Greece, with these two loans, have
taken on an indebtedness of $25,000." 

The measures the government is taking may not be
enough. "How Greece will be able to pay
this back is a huge question mark." Jenks
shares his concerns about how the privatizing could impact AMG International in
Thessalonica. "Two huge areas of the
economy are healthcare and education, which are primary funding targets for the

Already difficult budget cuts will become worse. Jenks says,
"Because the healthcare is a public funded program and the government doesn't
have ready cash, many times the claims are not being paid on a timely basis." The crisis has already hit hard at St. Luke's.
"We're not being paid for the services
that we're doing by the Greek government, and we need God to intervene in

state-of-the-art facility is facing the most critical financial crisis in its
35-year history. Lenders want to see three to six million Euros added to
the coffers, which is a bigger task than AMG can handle without God
intervening. Jenks explains that "bridge
loans need to be renegotiated in August. That's the precise issue of prayer:
that we'll be able to find a way to assure the banks that we as an agency
here in the U.S. are fully committed to the long-term viability of the

Luke's is
a 270-bed medical facility whose staff of 500 serves more than 2,000 patients
each month. 90% of patients are physician referrals. The
hospital hosts nearly 80 surgical procedures each day, and 80 to 100 heart
surgeries each month.

Without their work, patients are left with the alternative
of government-run hospitals. Jenks notes that's why it's
critical to keep the doors open. More
than that, "We at AMG first and foremost are a mission agency.  hospital was firmly established to give
hope and the good news of Jesus Christ. That will not be compromised." However, he says,  "On the more practical side, obviously we're
going to have to tighten our belt and make sure that we stretch the resources
that we do have even further." 

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