Greek deal: This Is NOT a Coup

Whether the Syriza-led government of Greece survives its own domestic democratic pressures remains to be seen following the deal struck at the Eurozone summit yesterday – in the end the 28 EU leaders didn’t have to meet…  The Guardian live-blog on the Greek crisis notes one possible scenario Analysts at Eurasia Group suspect Greece could soon head towards a national unity government, if many government MPs refuse to back the bailout deal on Wednesday night. If Tsipras loses his majority and potentially even … Read more

“For those who can’t read Greekdebtspeak, well, you’re on your own”

With European leaders, including Syriza’s erstwhile ally the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning Greek voters that they will be, effectively, deciding whether or not they want to stay in the eurozone, the BBC takes a side-ways look at the wording of the controversial 5 July referendum the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras suddenly announced at the weekend.  From the BBC article Voters go to the polls for the Greek referendum. — Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) June 29, 2015 Here’s the … Read more

More Greek gamesmanship…

With the Greek Parliament, and Greece’s creditors in Europe and elsewhere, discussing the latest sudden manoeuvre by the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, via the Guardian’s live-blog, here’s a reminder of Alexis Tspiras’ criticism of ex-PM George Papandreou’s, failed, attempt to hold a similar referendum in 2011. @graemewearden A transcript of @atsipras‘s scathing criticism of the 2011 proposed referendum, with compliments. — Finisterre67 (@Finisterre67) June 27, 2015 With the new manoeuvre almost certainly designed to short-circuit the … Read more

“…the platform on which Syriza won the recent general election has been significantly reconstructed.”

What now for “the Syriza experiment“?  The Irish Times reports that the Eurogroup of finance ministers have deemed the Greek government’s list of proposed reforms to be “sufficiently comprehensive” for a four-month extension of the Greek bailout programme which was due to expire on Saturday. In an official statement released after today’s conference call between euro zone finance ministers, the euro group said that the proposal was “sufficiently comprehensive” to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of … Read more

Cyprus: So what happens next?

The Guardian’s still live-blogging, for now, in the aftermath of Cyprus’ parliament’s rejection of an, albeit amended, EU/IMF cunning plan bail-out which included the public seizure levying of €5.8billion from private depositors in Cypriot banks – 36 votes against, 19 abstentions, none in favour.  The paper’s economics editor, Larry Elliot, answers the title question …there are really only two plausible scenarios: somebody – be it Europe or the IMF – gives Cyprus more money, in which case there is a chance that the crisis … Read more

Euro crisis: “With that we buried the Maastricht Treaty, the legal basis for currency union”

A couple of interesting reports in the Irish Times with relevance to the ongoing euro crisis.  First, from Derek Scally in Berlin …Mr Asmussen, a member of the ECB governing council, said growth measures – agreed without reopening the fiscal treaty – could help drive European integration. “The benefits of a currency union are so outstanding that they should be stabilised by deepening, which means a fiscal union and banking union as well as a democratic legitimised political union,” said … Read more

Euro crisis: “Hollande is man of the moment, but Europe’s gaze is firmly fixed on Athens”

As the Irish Times’ Arthur Beesley notes All of this puts Hollande’s push to renegotiate the treaty in the shade. German chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to rebut her new French partner yesterday, but that can be read as the opening gambit. Her staunch ally Nicolas Sarkozy has been deposed. She has no choice but to work with the new tenant. The Merkozy days are over. In Brussels, the expectation remains that some form of an amendment will be conjured … Read more

Euro Crisis: “Germany is not pursuing these manoeuvres out of malice…”

As Pete noted yesterday, things are never quite as they seem with the Eurozone. Paul Krugman writing in today’s New York Times bemoans the shortsightedness of Europe’s politician, but in it he makes an important category error when he describes the ECB as the European equivalent of the Fed… But he does suggest what has previously been thought unthinkable: “…in the 1930s — an era that modern Europe is starting to replicate in ever more faithful detail — the essential … Read more

Euro crisis: “Barroso absolutely confident that Spain can meet its economic challenges.”

With Spain probably in recession, again, and the cost of its government borrowing topping 6%, again, European Commission president José Manuel Barroso is being ridiculed for his optimistic futuring.  As the Guardian’s Eurozone crisis live-blog notes European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has just been quizzed about the eurozone crisis, at a summit on sustainable energy. Barroso attempted to calm fears, telling his audience that he is “absolutely confident that Spain can meet its econonic challenges”. Alas, Barroso didn’t explain … Read more

ECB self censoring its own comms with an (overly?) sensitive Irish marketplace?

In the digital age, edits get noticed. Clearly there are some details about the ECB’s bail out for banks that it didn’t want too widely publicised in Ireland… Jörg Asmussen, a German member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, where he has responsibility for international and European relations… Perhaps Mr Asmussen has inherited the Danish penchant for speaking plainly from his Flensburg home but on Friday in a speech to the IEA in Dublin, he said: “…the … Read more

Euro crisis: “It might be something which would allow Greece also to at least, to some extent, get a new start.”

Have the Greek coalition partners in Government, led by the technocratic former Greek and European central banker, Lucas Papademos, done enough to meet the demands of Germany their eurozone partners?  Maybe… and maybe not.  As the Guardian’s live-blog noted today Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also prime minister of Luxembourg, says the Eurogroup was still missing information from Athens on how it plans to save promised €325 million. He says he also did not receive assurances from the leaders of the two main … Read more

Euro Crisis: Cold morning after a hot night in Athens…

Twitter was burning with indignation last night (as it often is) that the MSM did not throw any attention on the crisis in Athens as the Greek Parliament acted upon the German ultimatum to impose an austerity package that may see the new government washed away in the upcoming general election in April. I suppose that takes care of whether Greece defaults in the near term or not. As Pete has pointed out, the package is not enough to prevent … Read more

Ireland and the Anglo debt: “Would the ECB like to have even one success?”

Extract from Vincent Browne putting the ECB under some pressure. He asks a simple question to a European central banker who has just finished praising the Irish public’s understanding of the economic crisis. Browne pays him the compliment of asking him one of the more awkward questions in the current playbook: ie, why are Irish taxpayers paying off the debt of a bank (Anglo Irish) that is effectively bust? Klaus Masuch answers it by saying (but not saying) that it … Read more

Mario Draghi: “no doubt whatever about the strength of the euro, its permanence, its irreversibility…”

The Guardian reports the comments by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi that he has “no doubt whatever about the strength of the euro, its permanence, its irreversibility”.  But then, he would say that, wouldn’t he? Meanwhile, some European countries have agreed to provide €150billion to the International Monetary Fund to cover eurozone countries’ debt – short of the €200billion they were aiming for.  The UK declined an invitation to contribute.  The Daily Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard lists 6 good reasons why. And as … Read more

Thoughts from Brussels on the euro crisis

I have been prodded – both by being on a radio panel discussion today and by the awesome Catie – to assemble some thoughts on the euro crisis and what it means for both parts of Ireland. There is a certain air of pessimism at present, driven largely by recent pieces in the Financial Times and the Economist predicting that the end is nigh and that the single currency is on the verge of breaking up. I must say that … Read more

Euro crisis: “Ireland sees the same information from the troika about Greece”

The answer to John’s title question is, again, NO!  As the respective spokesmen for European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, Olli Rehn, and the German finance ministry explain in this Irish Times report “On behalf of the commission, the leaks are regrettable,” said Amadeu Altafaj Tardio. “We insist that this is a draft and that we have a legal obligation to share the information that we receive from the authorities in Dublin with the member states. This is actually our … Read more

Euro crisis: “it is time to send for the Borg…”

You can follow the latest developments in the eurozone crisis at the Guardian’s live-Business blog as pressure mounts on Italian Prime Minister designate, Mario Monti – who was nominated to replace Silvio Berlusconi three days after the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, appointed Monti a Lifetime Senator.  From his Wikipedia entry In 2007, Monti was one of the first supporters of the first European civic forum, Etats Généraux de l’Europe, initiated by European think tank EuropaNova and European Movement. In December 2009, he … Read more

Euro crisis: “It is easy sometimes to exaggerate the impact of street protests.”

With the G20 finance ministers meeting in Paris to ponder the eurozone debt crisis, time for a quick look at how the PIIGS are doing…  Now that Slovakia has, finally, acquiesced to the inadequate European financial stability facility…  At the cost to the Slovakian government of a general election in March 2012… In Portugal the government is seeking to tighten the austerity belt further, and the international rating agencies cut Spain’s credit rating.  The Guardian’s Jon Henley is on a “Europe on the breadline” … Read more

Taoiseach on euro crisis: “I think we have to get on with what we have now…”

Oh dear…  RTÉ reports Taoiseach Enda Kenny sticking his head in the sand insisting that the status quo is perfectly adequate to deal with the eurozone crisis. Speaking in Warsaw, Mr Kenny admitted there had been a lot of discussion among eurozone leaders about where the crisis was headed, and that there would be a good deal more discussion before heads of government meet in mid October. When asked if he supports Treaty change in order to facilitate a deeper … Read more

Euro crisis: As seen by…

I’m not sure where he found it, but Philip Lane has posted this amusing graphic at the Irish Economy blog as the EU’s existential crisis continues.  Heh. Pete Baker