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

Ireland has missed a glorious chance on Greece

As the Greek tragedy rumbles on France has said it will keep up efforts to reach a deal. France has also maintained that the biggest critics of Greece are the other smaller countries. This brings Ireland into the spotlight. Has the government really been politically clever in how it has handled the Greek crisis? Ireland has a strong reputation in Europe. At several junctures in the history of the EU it is Ireland that has helped to bring people around … 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

IMF to Tsipras: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

After more of the familiar lies and misdirection yesterday, there were some optimistic noises from Brussels last night as the leaders of Germany, France and Greece met on the side-lines of the EU-Latin America summit.  They were short-lived. Having tried to play the International Monetary Fund, and its managing director, Christine Lagarde, last week, the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government are being treated to a practical lesson in hard-ball negotiations by the IMF.  As the Guardian’s Larry Elliott … Read more

“Greece is joining a fairly exclusive club…”

Which ‘club’, exactly, remains to be seen…  If you’ve been having trouble following the twists and turns and lies and misdirection of the on-going Greek financial crisis [Join the club! – Ed] *ahem*  Perhaps some notes on Greece’s Syriza-led Government’s latest reverse-ferret decision to delay Friday’s €300m (£216m) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund, and bundle all four of its June payments together in one easy €1.5billion payment by 30 June might help.  30 June, according to the BBC report, is 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: “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: “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 … 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

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

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

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

Berlusconi to resign [once key economic reforms have been approved]

As I mentioned here, Italy have called in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but no money has changed hands, according to Berlusconi…  Tonight, following a technical vote which saw Silvio Berlusconi lose his parliamentary majority, and with rising yields on Italy’s 10-year benchmark bonds, the Italian Prime Minster has “confirmed he intends to resign after key economic reforms have been approved.” Speaking on TV, the [Italian] prime minister said he would have preferred to call early elections but the final decision rested … 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

Euro crisis: “even though we know how difficult a treaty change will be”

Whilst the Eurogroup continues working “on a proposal”, there are some other snippets to note. The IMF has announced it is releasing almost €1.5billion to Ireland as part of the EU-IMF financial aid package for the country.  Apparently the Irish government has maintained “resolute implementation” of the economic restructuring programme, and is “ahead of schedule in some areas”. Not so Greece.  The Irish Times’ Arthur Beesley informs us that the EU-IMF inspectors have “unexpectedly left Greece yesterday after the emergence of divisions … Read more

ESRI urges Noonan to put more money aside against coming economic Winter..

The ESRI, one of the most authoritative think tanks in the Republic, recommends in its Quartely Report that the Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan should frontload more than the €3.6bn recommended by the EU/ECB/IMF plan in the next budget, by up to €400ml. One objective seems to be encouraging investor interest, which has been cautiously improving this year at a time when both the US and UK economies are weakening by, as Joe Durkan said on Morning Ireland this morning, … Read more

Prosecutors ask for Dominique Strauss-Kahn case to be dismissed.

The BBC are reporting that New York prosecutors have asked for the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn to be dropped. Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers have maintained throughout that any sexual encounter was consensual: “We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr Strauss-Kahn’s accuser was not credible…. Mr Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the district attorney’s office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further.” Ms Diallo’s lawyer Kenneth Thompson … Read more