ROME must hand Italy’s oldest lender Monte die Paschi di Siena (MPS) a controversial bailout or face a financial crisis that could destroy its economy and the eurozone.
The troubled bank is teetering on the edge of a full-scale meltdown after failing to raise £4.2billion from private investors in a last-ditch effort to survive without state intervention.
To stop panic ripping through Italy’s banking system, the government is now set to inject €20bn (£17bn) into the most vulnerable lenders. Continue reading
Greek finance minister says the country has a six-month stock of oil and four months of pharmaceuticals
Greece has stockpiled enough reserves of fuel and pharmaceutical supplies to withstand a long siege, and has set aside emergency funding to cover all the country’s vitally-needed food imports.
Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, said the left-Wing Syriza government is still working on the assumption that Europe’s creditor powers will return to the negotiating table if the Greek people don’t agree to their austerity demands in a referendum on Sunday, but it stands ready to fight unless it secures major debt relief.
“Luckily we have six months stocks of oil and four months stocks of pharmaceuticals,” he told The Telegraph.
Earlier today, following weeks of speculation, Greece finally launched the first shot across the bow of capital controls, when it decreed that due to an “extremely urgent and unforeseen need” (ironically the need was quite foreseen since about 2010, but that is a different story), it would be “obliged” to transfer – as in confiscate – “idle cash reserves” located across the country’s local governments (i.e., various cities and municipalities) to the Greek central bank.
Several hours later the decree which was posted in the government gazette has finally percolated among the population, and the response to what even ordinary Greeks realize is now the endgame, is less than exuberant. Continue reading
Surely, if this escalates into another war, the propaganda masters behind the last Russian-Georgian war will effectively paint tiny Georgia as the aggressor. The previous, long-planned and pre-determined 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, that is. The next invasion would likely permanently take away the energy corridor from the Caspian Sea to Europe planned under the Bush/Cheney administration to bring independence. This is also why you see Europe frantically scrambling to find alternatives to Russian resources.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it was never about an aggressive rogue military in a nation barely larger than Israel. But that’s what the masses believe and it goes to show how effective the propaganda is. You can read more about Georgia under its respective category HERE.
While Moscow continues to be hammered by low oil prices and western-led sanctions, it is doubling down on hard-edged political and financial retribution: Russia is preparing to absorb a province of neighboring Georgia, and delivering an ultimatum to Europe that it could lose much of the Russian gas on which it relies.
Ten months after annexing Crimea and igniting his current standoff with the west, Russian president Vladimir Putin will as early as this week take control of South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia, with which he has a long, sour relationship. He is to sign a little-publicized accord that will hand over foreign policy, border control, and security to Moscow. Continue reading