The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to help Ukraine's interim government, following Ukraine's recent political agreement with the European Union and an outline agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on emergency funding. Under the IMF deal, struck on 27 March, if Ukraine carries out reforms, it could receive $14 billion-$18bn (€10.2bn-€13.1bn), although the agreement still needs the support of the IMF's board. The EU has promised to contribute €1.61bn to the package, €100m of which has already been approved and could be disbursed in late April. Read more >>
In Chappatte's cartoon from the International New York Times, Ukraine is portrayed as a man dressed in old clothes wearing a fur hat and begging for help from a nameless EU official and IMF director Christine Lagarde. He's holding a sign which reads, "Bankrupt and threatened by Russia." The EU official comments, "I miss the Greek crisis."
In response to the Greek government-debt crisis in May 2010, the Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on a €110 billion bailout loan for Greece. Due to a worsened recession and the fact that Greece had worked slower than expected to reform its economy, a second €130 billion bailout loan was agreed by Eurozone leaders in October 2011. Although the loans were (so far) much greater in the Greek crisis, the situation in Ukraine threatens to get a lot worse before it gets better, and there's an added geo-political dimension which was not present in the Greek crisis. This is why the EU official says he 'misses' the Greek crisis.
A country or state that is bankrupt owes more money than it can ever pay back. • Years of mismanagement had left the region virtually bankrupt.