Lost among the other overnight news, was the launch of “a new chapter” for the EU as termed by Germany’s troubled chancellor Merkel. After her meeting with French President Macron on Tuesday, Merkel said Germany and France have agreed to cooperate to reform the EU’s asylum system as both “understand the topic of migration is a joint task” and “our goal remains a European answer to the challenge.” What she really meant is that if her government is toppled by the collapse of the CSU-CDU coalition – recall Merkel has a 2 week ultimatum to reach a solution on Germany’s treatment of refugees by July 1 – the rest of Europe gets it too, and the grand experiment is over.
Aside from immigration, the two leaders agreed to an in principle plan to strengthen the Euro area, including setting up a euro-area budget and a crisis backstop under the ESM (European stability mechanism), although they postponed decisions on some elements which could prove consequential. Chief among them: specifics on the size and conditions of the euro-area budget. Continue reading
For years there has been a struggle in the Eurozone between those that want to transform it into a transfer union and those that who want a Europe of independent and cooperating countries. The latter including Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Germany want strict limits for deficits and debt brakes as envisioned in the Fiscal Stability Treaty. Some, such as the European Constitutional Group, even demand a mechanism for an orderly break-up of the Eurozone. The former including Mediterranean member states led by France, do not openly call their objective a fiscal union or the creation of a “European Super State” but prefer to talk about a “deepening of the European project.” The reason for this division is straightforward: The central and northern European countries would be the contributors to a transfer union while the club Med would be on the receiving side. Continue reading
As mentioned several times in the past, Germany is running the European Union and Europe once again. This time around the conquest is via subjugation of national sovereignty and economic warfare. They have their key politicians in key positions across the European board. The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary fund (the Troika) are all but one example. Regardless of how everything on the EU landscape currently looks, further federalization/integration is the only solution they keep proposing to their problems, and this is ultimately leading to a United States of Europe with its own European Army, which is already beginning to supplant NATO. The Fourth Reich has landed and if you’re looking for Nazis, you’re 70 years too late.
BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – The EU finance ministers’ decision to appoint the Spaniard Luis de Guindos to be vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), will boost the chances of German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann to become its next president. Berlin has welcomed the decision for Spain’s current Minister of the Economy Guindos, considered to be one of the fathers of the Spanish real estate bubble. Subsequent to his designation as vice-president, a northern European is expected to be given the post of ECB president, due to the EU’s proportional regional representation. According to observers, a conceivable deal may be reached with Germany’s Weidmann at the helm of the ECB and the post of EU Commission President going to France. The current German Bundesbank president is unpopular in Southern Europe because he has been systematically trying to prevent current ECB President Mario Draghi’s bond buying programs, considered to be vital for the crisis stricken countries. With Weidmann as ECB president, Germany would further tighten its grip on the euro zone’s financial institutions.
GREEK politicians are being told to go after the country’s already squeezed pensioners as it faces yet more austerity measures.
Germany and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have failed to make an agreement over the conditions of a new bail out package.
GREECE may never recover from its deep recession and financial crisis thanks to the brutal austerity measures demanded by its European creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.
The debt-laden country has been set ambitious economic targets by the European Commission and countries such as Germany, which are not “credible” and will hamper growth, according to the Washington-based organisation.
Only through a “Herculean effort” will Athens be able to meet the demands of its creditors, and through slashing spending in vital services that will derail Greece’s long-term prospects, said the fund. Continue reading
Greece has become deadlocked with its international creditors just days before a potential default as its leaders were accused of “playing with the future of the country”.
Meanwhile Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said that Greece was not to blame for the lack of a deal. In an op-ed in French paper Le Monde this weekend, he blamed “the obsession of some institutional representatives who insist on unreasonable solutions and are being indifferent to the democratic result of recent Greek elections”.
The debt-laden nation must pay back €304m (£218m) in loans due to the International Monetary Fund on Friday, but is struggling to reach a deal with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF needed to unlock €7.2bn in vital funds due under its second bailout in 2012. Continue reading
(Reuters) – The German government believes that the euro zone would now be able to cope with a Greece exit if that proved to be necessary, Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Saturday, citing unnamed government sources.
Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble believe the euro zone has implemented enough reforms since the height of the regional crisis in 2012 to make a potential Greece exit manageable, Der Spiegel reported. Continue reading
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
The European Union will seek on Friday to forge rules to force losses on large savers when banks fail, a sensitive reform that could shape how the euro zone deals with its sickly banks.
Finance ministers in Luxembourg will try to resolve one of the most difficult questions posed by Europe’s banking crisis – how to shut failed banks without sowing panic or burdening taxpayers. Continue reading
The markets are now in the early stage of panic transactions. In the end, people will see that Europe’s loss is Germany’s gain.
Banks, companies and investors are preparing themselves for a collapse of the euro. Cross-border bank lending is falling, asset managers are shunning Europe and money is flowing into German real estate and bonds. The euro remains stable against the dollar because America has debt problems too. But unlike the euro, the dollar’s structure isn’t in doubt.
Banks, investors and companies are bracing themselves for the possibility that the euro will break up — and are thus increasing the likelihood that precisely this will happen.
There is increasing anxiety, particularly because politicians have not managed to solve the problems. Despite all their efforts, the situation in Greece appears hopeless. Spain is in trouble and, to make matters worse, Germany’s Constitutional Court will decide in September whether the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is even compatible with the German constitution.
There’s a growing sense of resentment in both lending and borrowing countries — and in the nations that could soon join their ranks. German politicians such as Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) are openly calling for Greece to be thrown out of the euro zone. Meanwhile the the leader of Germany’s opposition center-left Social Democrats (SPD), Sigmar Gabriel, is urging the euro countries to share liability for the debts.
Banks are particularly worried. “Banks and companies are starting to finance their operations locally,” says Thomas Mayer who until recently was the chief economist at Deutsche Bank, which, along with other financial institutions, has been reducing its risks in crisis-ridden countries for months now. The flow of money across borders has dried up because the banks are afraid of suffering losses.
According to the ECB, cross-border lending among euro-zone banks is steadily declining, especially since the summer of 2011. In June, these interbank transactions reached their lowest level since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2007.
The fear of a collapse is not limited to banks. Early last week, Shell startled the markets. “There’s been a shift in our willingness to take credit risk in Europe,” said CFO Simon Henry.
He said that the oil giant, which has cash reserves of over $17 billion (€13.8 billion), would rather invest this money in US government bonds or deposit it on US bank accounts than risk it in Europe. “Many companies are now taking the route that US money market funds already took a year ago: They are no longer so willing to park their reserves in European banks,” says Uwe Burkert, head of credit analysis at the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, a publicly-owned regional bank based in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg.
One person who has long expected the euro to break up is Philipp Vorndran, 50, chief strategist at Flossbach von Storch, a company that deals in asset management. Vorndran’s signature mustache may be somewhat out of step with the times, but his views aren’t. “On the financial markets, the euro experiment is increasingly viewed as a failure,” says the investment strategist, who once studied under euro architect Issing and now shares his skepticism. For the past three years, Vorndran has been preparing his clients for major changes in the composition of the monetary union.
They are now primarily investing their money in tangible assets such as real estate. The stock market rally of the past weeks can also be explained by this flight of capital into real assets. After a long decline in the number of private investors, the German Equities Institute (DAI) has registered a significant rise in the number of shareholders in Germany.
Particularly large amounts of money have recently flowed into German sovereign bonds, although with short maturity periods they now generate no interest whatsoever. “The low interest rates for German government bonds reflect the fear that the euro will break apart,” says interest-rate expert Burkert. Investors are searching for a safe haven. “At the same time, they are speculating that these bonds would gain value if the euro were actually to break apart.”
Indeed, investors are increasingly speculating directly against the euro. The amount of open financial betting against the common currency — known as short positioning — has rapidly risen over the past 12 months. When ECB President Mario Draghi said three weeks ago that there was no point in wagering against the euro, anti-euro warriors grew a bit more anxious.
Full article: Investors Prepare for Euro Collapse (Spiegel Online)
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)
HONG KONG — Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said Thursday that China was considering whether to work with the International Monetary Fund to play a greater role in financing Europe’s efforts to end a sovereign debt crisis, but he left it unclear whether China was willing to drop conditions that would make its help unappealing for European countries.
Mr. Wen, speaking at a press conference in Beijing after a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on the first day of her three-day visit to China, said that officials were studying whether China should be “involving itself more” in Europe’s debt troubles through investments in the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism. This could be done through the I.M.F., he said.
One idea under consideration by China in recent months is whether it could lend money to the I.M.F., which would then lend it to Europe. This would transfer the risk of a European default to the I.M.F.
Russia embraced this approach in December, but was willing to lend only $20 billion. China had $3.18 trillion in foreign exchange reserves at the end of December, dwarfing the reserves of every other country and potentially giving it the financial power to make a much bigger contribution.
Mrs. Merkel is the first of several European leaders scheduled to visit China this month, the latest in a series of signs that China’s huge foreign exchange reserves have begun to give it financial influence to rival Washington’s.
Full article: China Considers Offering Aid in Europe’s Debt Crisis (New York Times)