Showing posts with label euro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label euro. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Relatives of the 12 people killed in December when a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin have expressed their dismay at the negligent way they say they have been treated by German authorities. About 50 people who lost loved ones in the Islamic State-claimed terrorist attack reportedly told a private meeting called by Germany’s outgoing president, Joachim Gauck, and the interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, they felt abandoned at a deeply upsetting time.   Relatives said the first official communication they had with authorities was a bill sent to them by the coroner’s office. The letter reportedly included a warning that if the bill was not paid within a certain timeframe, the recipients would face legal action.  One relative told Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt newspapers that when she received the letter she had thought at the very least it would be a letter of condolence from Berlin’s mayor.  Those who were certain that their family members were among the dead said they were prevented by security personnel from entering the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church on Breitscheidplatz for a religious service held the day after the attack on 19 December. The reason they were given was that high-ranking German politicians – including Gauck – were among the guests. According to the papers, which reported on the four-hour meeting at Gauck’s Bellevue Palace, the president told the relatives he was distressed to hear they had been unable to enter the church and that he had not known about it at the time.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

“The markets have drawn comfort” from the Fed, said Mr Lewis after officials at the central bank said they believed economic developments would “warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate”.  However, Mr Lewis said further rises presented “a major uncertainty” hanging over both the Fed and markets.  “All territory is now uncharted”, he argued, as the US central bank attempts to raise rates from historically low levels, while the banking system is flush with cash.
He added: “The Fed and other major central banks have maintained emergency policy-settings for so long that the global economy cannot be presumed to react in standard fashion to a rise in interest rates, however small that might be.”  The central bank, led by chairman Janet Yellen, plans to keep increasing rates by quarter-point increments after raising rates by a quarter of a percentage point from their 0pc to 0.25pc range last month. Stephen Lewis, chief economist at ADM ISI, said that Fed policymakers would regard “the mildness of the response to their action as a tribute to their success”. While the main US index, the S&P 500, closed lower in 2015 as a whole – its first annual loss since the financial crisis – economists have not attributed this to the Fed’s move. Annual wage growth is expected to have picked up from 2.3pc to 2.8pc in December, generating inflationary pressures. Central bank watchers will also pay close attention to the minutes of the Fed’s December meeting, being released on Wednesday. These will show how confident policymakers are in returning inflation to target. The Fed has a mandate to promote full employment and to steer inflation towards 2pc. The inflation measure tracked by US policymakers stood at just 0.4pc in the year to November. Analysts at Barclays said that they expected to see “disparate views on the current state of inflation” and they would “be attentive” to how this impacts on “different views on the most likely path of monetary policy in 2016”.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Eurozone has no fire-power to strengthen. QE has failed because they are already mired deep in a Japanese style deflation trap to which there is no easy escape. Draghi's peashooter has allowed them to standstill for a few months and nothing more.  The only thing to be done now is to forcibly devalue the currency and drive it through dollar parity as policy. This is what is necessary to re-establish inflation and growth on the continent.  This would be European style economics but may be the only way to save the euro. It must be done now though. The alternative is a slow death and definitely lose the euro.  My bet is that the Europhiles cannot face up to what they have done and will therefore opt to do nothing. So it will be the slow death then...the Central Banks are in trouble...and relying on Draghi's monthly or quarterly QE payroll. It's as simple as that. Deflation will hit their books hard. Notice the pressure on Banks to impose charges, more now than ever before. As for Deutsche Bank; it's all their satellites that will feel the pinch....something that Merkel has overlooked at her peril....There is no money. Nobody can buy anything so nobody can sell anything so there is no growth and all kinds of social bills still to be paid through more borrowing along with all the previous debt service costs. Reciprocal debt forgiveness: for some nations temporary retreat from an utterly inappropriate €conomic instrument used as a political weapon that has failed on both battlefields: sustainable, as equable as possible, benefit reduction and an opening of the democracy door to all of the peoples with the same voting weight at all levels are the only answers now. But I think the burden is too great and it is too late, especially with the utterly divisive irritant of the imperial court's decrees on immigration to add to the stew....The ECB printing up more trillions of fiat currency to lavish on their .1% cronies in the financial sector "to combat deflation" (and buy up the distressed assets of the increasingly pauperized middle and working classes at fire sale prices) - my, how groundbreaking.  Remind me again of the clinical definition of insanity.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Greece's finance minister spoke to ECB chief Mario Draghi in Frankfurt (Source: Getty)
In return, Mr Varoufakis assured German voters his government would seek to dismantle the "cronyism and corruption" that has held back the country for decades.
"Germans have to understand that it doesn’t mean we’re turning away from the reform path if we give an additional €300 a year to a pensioner living on €300 a month. When we talk about reforms, we should talk about cartels, about rich Greeks who hardly pay any taxes."
The finance minister ruled out any plea for financial aid from Russia, and called on the German Chancellor to put forward a "Merkel Plan" based on the post-war Marshall loans granted by the United States to rehabilitate Germany after the war.
"I believe the EU would benefit if Germany conceived of itself as a hegemon," said Mr Varoufakis. "But a hegemon must shoulder responsibility for others.
"Germany would use its power to unite Europe. That would be a wonderful legacy for Germany’s federal chancellor."
Who owns Greek debt?

(Source: Open Europe)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $17.1bn (£10.1bn) bailout for Ukraine to help the country's beleaguered economy. The loan comes amid heightened military and political tension between Ukraine and neighbouring Russia.
The loan is dependent on strict economic reforms, including raising taxes and energy prices.
The money will be released over two years, with the first instalment of $3.2bn available immediately.
The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said the IMF would check regularly to ensure the Ukrainian government followed through on its commitments.
In March Ukraine put up gas prices by 50% in an effort to secure the bailout.
The government has also agreed to freeze the minimum wage.
The bailout had to be approved by the IMF's 24-member board, which includes a Russian representative.
The IMF loan will also unlock further funds worth $15bn from other donors, including the World Bank, EU, Canada and Japan.
Russian recession

In December last year, Ukraine agreed a $15bn bailout from Russia, but this was cancelled after protests forced out pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych....
The IMF bailout will also make available $1bn in loan guarantees from the US, which was recently approved by Congress.

"Today's final approval for the $17bn IMF programme marks a crucial milestone for Ukraine," said US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in a statement.
He added that the bailout will "enable Ukraine to build on the progress already achieved to overcome deep-seated economic challenges and help the country return to a path of economic stability and growth".
Earlier on Wednesday, an international conference in London ended with a commitment to help Ukraine recover tens of billions of dollars worth of assets which were allegedly stolen by the ousted President Yanukovych and his allies.

The IMF warned that Russia was "experiencing recession" because of damage caused by the Ukraine crisis.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The slump in business lending has deepened, it has emerged, further sharpening the contrast with a surging mortgage market.
Companies took £4.7bn less in loans in November, the biggest drop in more than two years and nearly five times the recent average monthly decline of £1bn, according to figures from the Bank of England. The slide was due to a fall in lending to large businesses, as loans to small and medium-sized companies actually edged up slightly.
Economists are split over whether the decline is due to weak demand for bank finance or lenders’ reluctance to grant loans to business.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS, said the data suggested that banks “have yet to become markedly more prepared to lend to businesses amid the improved economic situation and outlook”. But Blerina Uruçi, economist at Barclays, believes businesses are unlikely to be held back by weak bank finance as the corporate sector has amassed a large cash surplus in recent years. Businesses are also increasingly turning to the bond market as a cheaper alternative.
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has redoubled efforts to boost business lending by making it the sole beneficiary of the Funding for Lending Scheme, which allows lenders to borrow at rock-bottom rates in exchange for providing loans. Previously, the scheme applied to all loans.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stupid is what Stupid does ...judge for yourself !

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's incited the ire of European Union officials on Friday when it snatched away the region's top AAA rating, citing tensions between member states and a deterioration in their overall financial health.
Downgrading the EU to AA+, the agency said the 28 countries' combined creditworthiness had declined – but officials and leaders shot back with an assertion that the region had barely any outstanding debt relative to GDP.
EU rules say that countries using the euro are not allowed to have an annual deficit of more than 3% of GDP, but several countries have failed to keep to that rule in recent years.
Note that Germany, Italy and France were all among the first countries to break the Maastricht rule during the last decade, while Spain and the Republic of Ireland ran surpluses before the 2008 crisis. Since 2008, peripheral economies such as Spain, Greece and Portugal have run big deficits, because their economies have slumped, generating less tax revenues and requiring more unemployment benefit payments.
Ireland experienced an exceptionally enormous deficit of 31% of its GDP in 2010, largely due to the cost of rescuing its banks.
Italy, however, has faired surprisingly well. In fact, if you exclude the cost of interest payments on its enormous debts (which the graph does not), the Italian government has consistently run budget surpluses.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Britain will give an extra £10bn to the European Union because of the weakness of struggling eurozone economies, it has emerged. The British contribution to the EU will rise dramatically from £30bn to £40bn over the next five years, the Office for Budget Responsibility said. It includes a surprise £2.2bn jump in funding to £8.7bn this year.  EU contributions are calculated in part according to each state’s national income.   The growth forecasts across Europe have been cut as eurozone economies, particularly Greece, France and Italy, struggle under a debt crisis, leaving Britain to make up the shortfall – costing the taxpayer an extra £1bn a year. How much longer are the taxpayers of this once great country going to tolerate the increasing financial support of this failing, tyrannical dictatorship, especially while our own public services are declining?
Are our fools and cretins of politicians, who are mostly in favor of this abomination waiting to be physically removed from Parliament?
The entire lib/lab/con are hell bent on keeping Britain in the EU, so it's time they were all removed from government!...If you take into account, the money Britain will have to spend to "welcome" the people from Bulgaria and Romania heading towards what they think is an Eldorado, it is much more than £10 billions. Thank you very much, anyway, as a French, I rather see them coming in the UK and as you are explained day after day by people living in huge houses in Surrey, with private medical care and with their children privately educated that it is for your benefit, you should call yourselves lucky....  "It includes a surprise £2.2bn jump in funding to £8.7bn this year."  This wasn't a surprise, the EU came begging for a bail out, what was surprising, was the little press it received?
This is why we are needed in the EU, to pay for all the little countries they admit, even when their finances don't meet the criteria!  From next June, we will be powerless in our decision making, the EU / US FTA is due to be signed then, this deal, gives companies complete control over us, even now, Tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing Australia for billions of dollars in lost profits because the government took action to reduce teenage smoking. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is suing Canada for $500 million, just because Canada has laws to keep essential drugs affordable and the Nuclear industry is suing the German government. This is all happening in International courts, out of the public eye, via other TTiP deals. Lets get together and stop this one!  
The chancellor warned Britain is “too dependent” on weak European markets and must look to the Far East for growth.
The Euro area is forecast to shrink by 0.4 per cent this year and instability in the region is the first threat to Britain’s recovery, Mr Osborne said.
He has doubled the export finance capacity to £50bn to support British businesses that want to trade in new markets.
“The Prime Minister’s visit to China this week is the latest step in this Government’s determined plan to increase British exports to the faster growing emerging markets – something our country should have done many years ago,” Mr Osborne said.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hopefully, in their blind obedience to Merkel and co, the amazingly stupid and corrupt EU Commission will have gone yet another step too far. IF You are Italian or Spanish and you read the headline in your local paper that the EU wants to make you poorer and take more power to themselves from your Government...I think ropes and lamposts are in order for the EU Commissioners if they go much further.

Germany's status as Europe’s industrial powerhouse could be damaging the single-currency bloc, the European Commission has said, as it launched a probe into whether the country’s large trade surplus was hindering Europe’s recovery.  Europe’s biggest economy was one of three countries singled out for an “in-depth review” by the EC’s Alert Mechanism Report on Wednesday.  The Commission said Germany’s large current account surplus, which accounts for most of the eurozone’s positive balance, “may put pressure on the euro to appreciate vis-à-vis other currencies.  “In case such pressures materialise, this would make it more difficult for the peripheral countries to recover competitiveness through internal depreciation,” it said. However, Brussels insisted it was not criticising Germany’s economic success. “The issue is whether Germany ... could do more to help rebalance the European economy,” said Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the EC. Olli Rehn, commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, added: “Let’s be clear, we are not criticising Germany’s external economic competitiveness or its success in global markets, in fact that is what we want from all EU member states,” However, Mr Rehn said Germany’s “persistent high surplus also means that Germans are persistently investing a large part of their savings abroad. The question is whether this is efficient, even from the German perspective.” The EC also fired a warning shot at Britain, and said rising house prices would restrain households’ ability to cut debt. The Commission highlighted Britain’s unbalanced recovery. According to Eurostat, Britain’s share of world exports declined by 19pc between 2007 and 2012. The EC said levels of Government debt in UK remained a concern, while the “ongoing balance sheet repair of the financial sector and the persistent scarcity of credit for smaller firms may continue to hold back economic growth.” EC data last week predicted Britain’s commercial deficit will be the highest in a quarter century next year, at 4.4pc of GDP. Meanwhile, low-tax, banking-rich Luxembourg, and Croatia, which accepted a bailout this year, were also added to the EC’s watch list.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The European Union wasted almost £6 billion last year on fraudulent, illegal or ineligible spending projects, official auditors have found.
At a time of unprecedented European-wide austerity, the EU mis-spent almost 5 per cent of its budget in 2012 on projects that should never have received any of its money.
This so-called ‘error rate’ in Brussels spending was up from 3.9 per cent the previous year, according to the auditors. It meant that for the 19th year in a row, they refused to give the EU’s accounts a clean bill of health.
EU bureaucrats were accused of “shambolic” mismanagement yesterday in the wake of the report, with Conservative MEPs suggesting it appeared as though Brussels simply had a licence to Carry on Squandering’.
The European Court Auditors (ECA) found that 4.8 per cent of the EU’s £117 billion budget in 2012 - £5.7 billion - was spent in “error”, on projects that were either tainted by fraud or ineligible for grants under Brussels’ rules. This meant British taxpayers saw up to £832 million of their contributions to the EU wasted at a time of deep public spending cuts domestically. The EU spending watchdog found that supervision and control of Brussels spending was only “partially effective in ensuring the legality and regularity of payments underlying the accounts”. 
“All policy groups covering operational expenditure are materially affected by error,” the auditors concluded.
“For these reasons it is the ECA’s opinion that payments underlying the accounts are materially affected by error.”
A British Government spokesman yesterday described the findings as “unacceptable and undermining the credibility of EU spending”.
“When countries across Europe are taking difficult decisions to tackle their deficits, Europe’s taxpayers need to have confidence that every effort is being made to improve the way EU spending is managed,” she said.
Included among the “errors” discovered by the auditors was a Polish landowner paid almost £80,000 a year to maintain 350 acres of grassland to help preserve uncut grassland for the protection of endangered bird species. In fact, the farmer had only met the agreed funding requirements for 14 per cent of the land and the payments.
“Similar cases of non-compliance with agri-environment requirements were detected in the Czech Republic, Germany , Greece, France and the United Kingdom,” found the auditors.
The EU’s regional policy spending had an error rate of 6.8 per cent, or £2.4 billion, of the £34 billionn spent in 2012. Most ineligible funding followed a failure to follow EU laws on public procurement and issuing of contracts.
The error rate in “external relations, aid and enlargement” spending overseen by Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign minister, totalled 3.3 per cent, or £169 million of £5 billion in spending.
In one case, the European Commission paid £14 million for a programme to support female teachers in rural Bangladesh but over half the money was given with “no documentation”.
Philip Bradbourn MEP, the Conservative spokesman on EU budgetary control, described the latest audit as “another year, another story of lax monitoring and shambolic control”.
“If you found misappropriation and misspending on this scale in a commercial business — or in a properly-accountable public administration — there would be sackings all round. In Brussels, it’s ’Carry on Squandering’,” he said.
Vitor Caldeira, the president of the EU auditors, warned that poor financial planning by the European Commission for “will put added pressure on EU cash flows and may increase the risk of error over the next few years”.
“Europe’s citizens have a right to know what their money is being spent on and whether it is being used properly,” he said.
Meanwhile, EU funds worth £418 million intended to help rebuild the Italian city of L’Aquila and the Abruzzo region after an 2009 earthquake have been mired in suspected corruption, a separate European Parliament report has found.
Serious allegations have surfaced that part of the money spent on building new accommodation for the earthquake’s victims was paid to companies with “direct or indirect ties” to organised crime because it was paid in breach of public procurement rules.

Monday, October 28, 2013

FRANKFURT--The European Central Bank will force the euro zone's largest banks to set aside 8% of their risk-adjusted assets as a capital buffer, which will form one plank of the ECB's assessment of bank balance sheets next year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Euro-zone banks, which will be supervised by the ECB starting at the end of next year, will be required to hold a 7% capital buffer. The region's most significant banks will have to hold an additional percentage point, the person said. The buffers protect banks against losses they may take on loans and other assets. An ECB spokesman declined to comment.
The target of 7% is in line with what a bank has to achieve under the new "Basel III" rules on capital in order to pay its dividends and bonuses without restrictions. However, it's lower than the 9% required by the capital exercise that the European Banking Authority carried out over 2011-2012. Theoretically, the new Basel standards don't come into force until 2018, but pressure from both regulators and financial markets has led most banks to report under the new standards already. The one percentage point surcharge for 'significant' banks echoes the Financial Stability Board's intention to impose a capital surcharge of up to 3.5 percentage points for Systemically Important Financial Institutions--also known as banks that are 'too big to fail.' The FSB will phase in these surcharges between 2016-2019. According to its latest assessments, Deutsche Bank AG (DBK.XE) would be liable to a surcharge of 2.5 percentage points, with a dozen other EU banks being subject to surcharges of between one and two percentage points. However, it isn't clear how the ECB will define its list of significant banks.
The ECB will release additional details on how it will handle its asset quality review at a press conference Wednesday. Europe's central bank will conduct the review in the first half of next year, before it takes on the role of bank supervisor. Currently, banks across the 17-member currency bloc are overseen by national regulators. The review is seen by most analysts as a critical part of efforts by European officials to address capital needs of banks, particularly in southern Europe, and to spur new lending to the private sector.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Much more dangerous is the €-exposure that France, answering the exposure question in France that the ECB demanded, reduced it, and kept investor confidence, by transferring exposure to French banks outside France whilst strictly speaking answering the ECB honestly.
SocGen - St. Pierre et Miquelon and Débit Agricole Genève are 2 examples... In any case the big European lenders felt unease with the initial Bernake’s comments about restrictive monetary policy. The European financial system is currently oiled well with plenty of American dollars. If they are to be withdrawn there has to be a replacement. So Eurozone’s lenders asked and the ECB quickly responded with a completely new policy principle, the main characteristic of which will be plenty and zero cost euros for the ‘guys’.----- This decision was taken unanimously in ECB’s Governing Council last week with Germany not hesitating this time to support such a generous policy.----- The key to this Teutonic alignment with the rest of Eurozone member states is that the German banks are the first to need this ECB money bonanza. Many lenders in this country are dangerously undercapitalized and need badly this zero cost liquidity from the ECB.  All in all, either way western banks are now reassured that nothing will be done without their consent. The American Fed will continue to replenish their coffers with $85bn a month, and if the time comes for a change in the American generosity to banks, ---- the ECB is ready to take over.--"
There is a cultural problem in Portugal that makes this crisis worse. It has nothing to do with "laziness", "sunbathing culture" or other silly stereotypes often posted in these forum. The problem is a deep immersion in what I would call a "leftist cultural mindset" in a broad sense. Most people are not exactly communist, but they don't think good on entrepreneurs, they do not trust capitalists. In a conflict between a landlord and the home occupier they take position against the former, as if to be a landlord was a sinister capitalist exploitation. This makes any reforms towards a more market-driven economy much more difficult, specially so because even Constitutional Court justices fall into this leftist mindset.  Most people misunderstand this austerity measures. They blame the government, they blame the troika, they blame sometimes the Germans, and so on, as if this austerity was not necessary, as if it was a mischievous act. It's a silly thing, but unfortunately most Portuguese, not only low class, but even the middle class, feel a deep sense of entitlement and for them a wage cut or worse a job dismissal, is morally akin to a evil act. This explains the political manifestations against the troika and against austerity. Because of ignorance, people feels this austerity is an evil act designed to increase capitalist exploitation, and to line the pockets of the rich (how silly!). Then, their protest is self-righteous. Mind you, they are NOT exactly just defending selfishly their interests. They are more idealistic than that. They feel they occupy a moral highground and that the architects of austerity are wrong or even evil. Unfortunately, some writings by Ambrose suggest that he blames austerity almost as intensely, thus joining forces with the ignorant Greek and Portuguese masses, which criticize austerity without understanding the gravity of this situation.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Reuters has got hold of a draft copy of the Troika's latest assessment of Greece, following their recent visit.
No major shocks... international lenders concluded that Greece is on track to hit its targets this year and in 2014, but warns it will struggle to fully return to the financial markets after that date.
The Troika also chides Athens for being too slow to privatize state assets....Here's Reuters' early take: Greece is set to meet its budget targets this year and next but must step up privatizations and public sector reform, the country's international lenders said in a draft report obtained by Reuters on Monday.  The report by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund assessing the country's progress in meeting its bailout goals, said the country's privatization revenue target had been lowered for 2013 to €2bn ($2.59 billion) from €2.6bn euros.  "While progress has been made in preparing assets for privatization, the overall speed of the privatization process remains unsatisfactory," said the report.  The document adds to evidence that the debt-laden country still faces big hurdles to standing on its own feet, despite the fiscal progress made by its coalition government and about 200 billion euros in rescue loans it has obtained from the EU/IMF since mid-2010.  Even though Athens' overall debt outlook remains unchanged as it overachieves on budget cuts, Greece would take several years to fully return to capital markets once funding from the bailout program ends in 2014, the report said....But where are the hundreds of thousands of Greeks, Spanish, Cypriots .. in the streets demanding immediate exit from the euro?   Even in strike-happy Greece, SYRIZA (and far left too -- apparently), the country's second party in popularity, says that Greece's place is in the euro!  And you're complaining, are you, about the Greek/Spanish/Cypriot...-bashing when in each and every of these countries there simply are no popular parties demanding immediate exit from the common currency. I'd say, either Greeks, Spanish, Cypriots...are into masochism or the press is terribly out of tune with what these countries' peoples really want. Each of those countries that you say are bashed would still need to auction their sov. bonds, even if tomorrow they were back to their original currencies. I am certain the bashing would not stop with their their old currencies reinstated.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Enough - UE has to be dismentled ASAP !!!

SOFIA, Bulgaria—Mass protests in Bulgaria against austerity measures and energy costs forced out the government in February. Elections set for Sunday could lead to more political turmoil.
Recent public-opinion surveys indicate that the conservative party that led the previous administration and its main, left-leaning challenger are running neck-and-neck, complicating prospects for the formation of a governing coalition.
Unhappiness with low living standards and perceived corruption in the European Union's poorest member state boiled over this past winter, leading to nationwide demonstrations, initially over rising electricity prices....Elsewhere in Europe :  Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday endorsed legislation putting the ECB in charge of supervising eurozone banks. But Berlin is hostile to further moves that would share risk and liability across the eurozone banking sector, such as pooled funds for winding up failed banks and spreading responsibility for guaranteeing savers' deposits. The latter is viewed as a no-go area in Germany while Berlin takes the view that a bank resolution system should be essentially national rather than European. The German finance ministry has been arguing for the past fortnight that a full eurozone banking union would need a renegotiation of EU treaties, an arduous and lengthy process. The eurozone agreed in June last year to create the banking union and to use bailout funds to recapitalize weak banks directly without adding to governments' debt levels. But the Germans then delayed and diluted the policy which is to be revisited at an EU summit next month. Washington voiced exasperation. "It is important to move forward with full banking union. Last year, European leaders vowed to break the feedback loop between banks and sovereigns, but momentum has waned," said the senior official.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Who do you think you are kidding Mrs Merkel?

Following German Unification, the Euro was another cunning plan to make Germany the, albeit financial, master race in Europe. Now it's all going awry for the Germans who, yet again, have overstretched their capabilities and their current lords and masters are seemingly living in denial protected by their own economic bubble, or bunker, while the German Euro master plan crashes in financial flames all around them. Meanwhile, past members of the hierarchy try to broker some kind of financial peace treaty while Britain remains steadfast protecting it's financial beach heads and the USA does its utmost to keep out of the, albeit financial, fighting while protecting it's worldwide financial interests. The appropriate words are all in Lafontaine's statements. "The Germans have not yet realized that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later".  Chancellor Angela Merkel will "awake from her self-righteous slumber" once the countries in trouble unite to force a change in crisis policy at Germany's expense. "Hopes that the creation of the euro would force rational economic behavior on all sides were in vain" adding that the policy of forcing Spain, Portugal, and Greece to carry out internal devaluations was a "catastrophe". I love the way the German refers to "rational economic behavior" by which I assume he means "Germany's economic interests"! "They don't like it up 'em!" do they?  As before, methinks this could end up costing Germany dear in what can only be described as reparations for their ill fated financial master plan which caused so much suffering and misery across Europe and is likely to take several years to return to business as usual.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The number of unemployed people in France rose to a fresh high last month, official data shows. There are now some 3.2 million people seeking work in France, 11.5% more than a year ago and 1.2% more than in February, the labor ministry said.   The number of job seekers is the highest since records began in January 1996.  The ministry does not express the job seeker figure as a percentage of the work force, as done by the International Labor Organization.   Speaking earlier during a state visit to China, French President Francois Hollande said the government's priority was tackling France's rising unemployment.  "Everything the government does, in every ministry, must be to continue to strengthen the battle for jobs," he told a news conference.  "I want all the French people to unite behind this one national priority."  He has promised to reverse the rise in unemployment before the end of the year.  The figures underlie the grave economic problems still haunting eurozone economies, after Spain earlier reported record unemployment amid its continuing recession. Speculation is again rife that Greece may soon leave the eurozone.
Greece's parliament is voting on painful budget cuts and labor market reforms that must be passed in order for Greece to receive its latest round of bailout money. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has warned that if the vote fails, the government will run out of money by 15 November and be forced out of the single currency. Even if the vote passes, the government still needs to implement the reforms - something the previous Greek government noticeably failed to do. Tax rates were raised, but the taxes were not collected. Promised privatizations were not carried out. Civil servants were suspended but not dismissed.  If Greece once again fails to deliver, and if it were forced out of the euro, what is the worst that could happen? Click on the graphic to find out.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Heil ....

Merkel disapproves of the Cypriot proposal, which involves bundling state assets into a "Solidarity Fund" that includes the country's retirement fund to back bond issues. According to reports on Friday, she is not alone. The troika, made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, agrees with her assessment.
What happens next? "I hope that it doesn't result in a crash," Merkel told FDP parliamentarians according to a meeting participant. Merkel has long warned of a potential domino effect should a euro-zone member state enter insolvency. But now, her government is no longer excluding the possibility.
The chancellor is particularly frustrated by the lack of communication with Cypriot leaders even as the situation worsens dramatically. Some in her party have even used the word "autistic" to describe Nicosia's apparent unwillingness to communicate with Berlin. "What we have never experienced before is that, over a period of days, there has been no contact with the EU or with the troika," Merkel reportedly told the parliamentarians. Merkel, for her part, managed to force herself on Friday to return to the moderate words for which she has become famous. She insisted she will try to "be emotionally wise." On this particular Friday, it wasn't easy.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Italian caretaker Prime Minister, Mario Monti, has promised to cut labour taxes in an interview seen as the launch of his election campaign. Mr Monti, who leads a centrist coalition while not standing as a candidate himself, also attacked conservative rival Silvio Berlusconi. In office he vowed to restore market confidence in Italy's finances. Wednesday saw him achieve his aim of halving the difference between Italy's and Germany's bond yields.
These indicate a country's cost of borrowing and reflect how nervous investors feel about lending to them. Germany is used as a benchmark as it is considered the safest bet in the eurozone.
The difference between Italy and Germany's yields dipped below 2.87 percentage points on Wednesday.
When Mr Monti took office as head of a technocratic government in November 2011, the spread had stood at 5.74 percentage points.
Mr Monti's centrist allies are in a three-way race with Mr Berlusconi's People of Freedom party on the right and the Democratic Party on the left. Speaking on radio, Mr Monti pledged to take measures to redistribute wealth in the country.  "We need to reduce taxes on the labour force, both on workers and companies, by cutting spending," he said. He defended his administration's record, saying that the "light at the end of the tunnel" was "much nearer".
Since withdrawing his party's support for the government in December, Mr Berlusconi has repeatedly launched attacks against the former European commissioner. "Berlusconi has made improper attacks against me - on areas like family values," Mr Monti said on Wednesday.
"I think I need make no further comment," he added, in an apparent reference to the string of sex scandals involving the veteran billionaire politician.  Mr Monti, a former economics professor, was chosen to impose financial rigour on the economy, after Mr Berlusconi quit the prime minister's job.  In power, Mr Monti made some progress early on, including raising the retirement age and structural reforms. However ordinary Italians have been hard hit by the combination of tax rises and spending cuts he imposed to repair Italy's public finances. Italians are due to go to the polls over the weekend of 24-25 February....
The Euro will survive even if the ECB has to kill Europeans and recycle them into Euro notes, bit like Soylent Green only bank notes instead of food. Interesting fact on the EU today, they have ordered all the cash machines in the Vatican City to be turned off because the Vatican has failed to comply with anti money laundering regulations. Is this the shape of things to come.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

As there will now be another meeting of the eurozone finance ministers next Monday (November 26), the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has postponed a visit to the wealthy Gulf state of Qatar, which was due to happen next week. "The prime minister will stay in Athens to coordinate things," spokesman Simos Kedikoglou told Reuters. Samaras was due to meet Qatar's emir and prime minister as well as top officials from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund to discuss investment in the country's recession-mired economy.  The German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also spoke after the meeting. He told lawmakers at a closed-door session that Greece's lenders remained divided over how to fill a €14bn hole in the country's finances through 2014 and how to define debt sustainability for the eurozone's weakest link, participants told Reuters. Schaeuble met members of parliament on Wednesday morning to explain the failure of the negotiations. One participant said Schaeuble had told members of his conservative party that lenders had failed to resolve the issue of whether 2020 or 2022 would be used as a benchmark for Greek debt sustainability. The source said Schaeuble had explained that the ECB believed Greece could raise €9bn itself by issuing short-term debt. Another Christian Democrat lawmaker said the minister had told participants that a debt buyback could be part of the solution.