Greece ‘in a corner’ as Europe blocks payment

As oft stated here, Greece will not leave the union and it’s all leading back to Berlin, the world’s next superpower, who runs the show on the continent. Worst case scenario: There could be a compromise entailing a two tier currency system that allows regional states to retain their economic sovereignty to some degree — or at least they would think.

Such an idea already has backing from Angela Merkel and if the crisis deepens — because it’s not going to magically go away — look for ideas like these to gain even more traction and possibly become reality. ‘Eurobonds‘ were also another scenario.

For further info on a plausible two tier currency system, please see the following posts:

The new Great Game: Europe looks within for roots of renewal

European Commission Plans for Greater Integration

France Is Heading For The Biggest Economic Train Wreck In Europe

Is Germany Already Signaling The Complete (Economic) Collapse Of The European Union?

 

Greece’s last-ditch attempt to get desperately-needed funds from its euro zone neighbors failed on Wednesday, but the country appears eternally optimistic that a list of reforms — as yet to materialize — will unlock vital aid.

Greece appealed for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to return 1.2 billion euros ($1.32 billion) it said it had overpaid when it transferred bonds intended for bank recapitalization back to the fund this month, Reuters reported Wednesday.

However, euro zone officials ruled that Greece was not legally entitled to the money, the news wire said. Continue reading

Fitch downgrades European rescue fund EFSF

Fitch Ratings has cut its credit grade for the European fund that provides rescue loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

The agency says it lowered the rating for the European Financial Stability Facility – or EFSF- by one notch from AAA to AA+ as a result of its downgrade of France last week. The EFSF’s creditworthiness depends on that of the countries that provide its financing, which includes France. Continue reading

Spain faces ‘total emergency’ as fear grips markets

More evidence of Germany playing an influential role through the crisis.

“We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through” said ex-premier Felipe Gonzalez, the country’s elder statesman.

The ECB is pushing Spain to accept a loan package from the EU bail-out fund (EFSF), the proper body for fiscal rescues. Mr Rajoy has refused vehemently. Any recourse to the EFSF is viewed with horror in Madrid, entailing an unacceptable loss of sovereignty.

The result is paralysis as both sides refuse to shift ground. Mr Rajoy is clinging to hope that the EU will take care of Spain’s banks through an EMU-wide recapitalization plan. This would avoid stigma and draconian conditions.

Brussels floated the idea on Wednesday for a eurozone “bank union” and use of the European Stability Mechanism — which has not yet been ratified by most states — to rescue banks and sever the dangerous nexus between crippled lenders and crippled states.

The proposals were shot down instantly by Berlin. Such plans amount to debt-mutualization, a form of back-door eurobonds. German opposition is “well known”, said the Kanzleramt.

Sources in Berlin say Germany wants Spain to tap the International Monetary Fund — as well as the EU — to spread the rescue burden to the US, China, Japan, Britain and others.

Full article: Spain faces ‘total emergency’ as fear grips markets (The Telegraph)