Euro crisis: “Europe will be lucky if it ends up in stagnation like Japan for the next ten years”

Back in Limbo Greece, stage 2 in the 4-stage attempt to form a government with a parliamentary majority ends without agreement – as the BBC notes Mr Tsipras said he had failed to reach agreement with mainstream parties because of his insistence on rejecting austerity measures demanded by the EU and IMF as part of a bailout deal. He made the announcement after talks with the Pasok and New Democracy parties, which support the bailout. Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos is now …

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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 …

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Hollande wins in France…

According to reported early estimates Socialist Francois Hollande has been elected as France’s new president, early estimates say. He got about 52% of votes in Sunday’s run-off, according to projections based on partial results, against 48% for centre-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. The Guardian’s live-blog will have further updates. As for what it means for the fiscal pact, and the wider Euro crisis, I think the results in Greece may prove to be more significant. Exit polls in the Greek parliamentary election …

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Euro crisis: April is the cruellest month…

Apart from all the others…  And it doesn’t matter how big your umbrella is.  BBC Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, on springtime in Europe What is being exposed is a major flaw with Mrs Merkel’s fiscal pact. It is undemocratic. It ties the hands of future governments – and that, of course, was its intention but it doesn’t stop voters opposing further cuts. In the eurozone, deficits are being reduced. But debt – in many cases – is still growing. Growth …

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Euro crisis: “It is nice to have a big umbrella…”

The Guardian’s Economics blog starts with an interesting observation Those who watched Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund a year ago say he played a blinder. Although he was to leave Washington under a cloud shortly afterwards, DSK impressed with his no-nonsense approach to his fellow Europeans. The IMF‘s managing director asked Jean-Claude Trichet, then president of the European Central Bank (ECB), and Christine Lagarde, at the time France’s finance minister, who they thought they …

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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 …

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Euro crisis: “The worst, I fear, still lies ahead.”

In a recent column in the FT, Wolfgang Münchau asked an interesting question [free reg req] The markets have concluded that the eurozone crisis has ended. Several politicians said that they, too, believed that the worst was over. Complacency is back. I recall similar utterances in the past. Whenever there is some technical progress – an umbrella, a liquidity injection, a successful debt swap – optimism returns. If you think the European Central Bank’s policies have “bought time”, you should …

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Euro crisis: “by the fifth instalment producers have to ramp up the violence and special effects.”

There have been some choice quotes flying around as the Greek government neared the 8pm deadline for securing sufficient private sector creditor involvement in their bond swap deal [and convincing Frau Bundeskanzlerin – Ed].  Like this quote from the Guardian live-blog at 6.59pm “if it closes at more than 90% its a triumph,” one well-briefed government official said. “If it’s above 75% its relatively good, if it’s lower than that we’re fucked,” he added saying the effects on market psychology would …

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Euro crisis: “The expectation, however, must be for a fudge.”

When 25 of 27 EU leaders signed the “fiscal compact” [pdf file] designed to enforce budget discipline within the eurozone there was a rare, and unexpected, mood of optimism in the corridors of Frankfurt Brussels.  An enthusiastic editorial in the Irish Times today calls for widespread political debate about the required new economic and political architecture. …the euro zone will not be stabilised without putting some such new economic architecture in place. A new political structure will also be required to ensure …

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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 …

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Euro crisis: You have six days to comply…

That’s the message to Greece from Germany the EU finance ministers.  Despite initial reports, prompted by the Greeks themselves, what was agreed yesterday between the party leaders there fell short of what was required – by some €300-odd million.  From the Irish Times report The ministers imposed a six-day deadline on Greek authorities to comply with their wishes and said all three parties in its coalition must pledge to implement the austerity plan and continue to do so after a …

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Euro crisis: “We are not fully in control of the sequence of events…”

Having watched as yesterday’s ‘deadline’ went whooshing past their heads, Greek party leaders are due to meet later tonight to consider another draft bail-out deal – once it’s been translated into Greek…  You can follow events as they unfold at the Guardian’s live-blog. Meanwhile, as promised, Frau Bundeskanzlerin has joined Nicolas Sarkozy on the campaign trail in a joint television interview, following a joint French/German cabinet meeting – as the BBC reports Earlier the two leaders held a joint cabinet meeting, …

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Sarkozy: “I did not know she voted in France…”

At the Guardian’s Politics Blog, Michael White has some fun with reports that Nicolas Sarkozy has enlisted Frau Bundeskanzlerin in his French presidential re-election campaign.  Although this post’s title quote, from the Wall Street Journal blogs, suggests he may already be having second thoughts…  ANYhoo…  From Michael White’s post We can assume that pollsters have advised Sarko that the pluses of being identified positively with the much-admired German economy will outweigh the risks . Marine Le Pen, the National Front (NF) …

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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 …

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Euro crisis: “Anyone who claims to know what is about to happen to Europe is a fool.”

In the Guardian, Simon Jenkins identifies a key point missing from most analysis of the aftermath of the EU crisis summit.  From the Guardian article Anyone who claims to know what is about to happen to Europe is a fool. An unprecedented collapse in world credit has hit against years of reckless state borrowing to produce economic meltdown. Where there is economic meltdown, there is always a danger of political meltdown. While all other sciences have advanced over the ages, …

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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 …

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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 …

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Sarkozy: “We will fight to defend Europe and the euro”

With apologies to Moochin, here’s the real POTD [of the week? – Ed] when the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, had his card marked at Cannes by Frau Bundeskanzlerin.  Via Daniel Hannan at the Telegraph blog. Italy have called in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but no money has changed hands, according to Berlusconi… Answering questions at a press conference in Cannes this afternoon, Mr Berlusconi said he had no intention of resigning and did not believe his time in government was coming …

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Euro crisis: “The Greek government has become adept at playing Europe’s leaders…”

The Guardian’s Business blog team are live-blogging events following the ‘bolt from the blue’ that was the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou calling for a referendum on the ‘rescue package’.  And there’s an emergency Greek government cabinet meeting at 4pm [GMT]. BBC business editor, and still everyone’s hero, Robert Peston, looks at “the price of Greek democracy”. Opinion polls wouldn’t suggest there’s a high probability of Mr Papandreou winning the day. But views can change. What’s in it for the Greek people? Well, …

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Euro crisis: “And all bets are off if Europe does not start to grow again…”

At the Guardian’s business blog, Graeme Wearden is live-blogging the European debt crisis, as the “OECD predicts some negative growth in eurozone in 2012… and calls for “bold” action from the G20, Italian bond yields hit 6.13%, Markets fall as bailout deal euphoria peters out, [and the] Euro crisis drags MF Global to the brink“. Meanwhile BBC Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, considers “Europe after the euphoria” Maybe it was the lack of sleep, or that expectations had been exceeded, but there was a whiff …

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