It’s funny how history repeats itself. The inconclusive general election in 2010 took place when the economy appeared to be on the mend and against the backdrop of a crisis in the eurozone prompted by Greece. As things stand, we could be in for a repeat performance in May 2015.
Be in no doubt, what’s happening in Europe matters to Britain. The eurozone is perhaps one crisis and one deep recession away from splintering. The more TV pictures of rioting on the streets of Athens or general strikes in Italy between now and the election, the better support for Nigel Farage’s UK Independence party will hold up.
In the end the central theme of most articles reporting on EU events, is that all roads end up leading back to Berlin, the powerhouse of Europe.
And who knows, perhaps Mario Draghi’s upcoming resignation and a possible wish to be the next Italian president is a sign that he wants to go back and save Italy from the wrath that Greece has suffered: Complete capitulation to Germany in exchange to economically stay afloat and keep from descending into social chaos as a result.
Italy is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations. The ruins of the Roman Empire, in particular, the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, the Pantheon and the Forum, are major attractions. New ruins are now being created to mark the political decay at work at the heart of Italy’s democracy and economic policymaking. These new ruins could well include the country’s central bank and parliament as well as the Eurozone as the stage is set for Europe’s next big economic debt crisis.
At the center of the brewing storm is the issue of confidence. When investors trust sovereign debtors, governments have access to credit markets. When investors lose confidence in a country’s ability to pay, they head for the door. The cost of borrowing goes up and at some point it hits a level where it becomes unaffordable to raise money.
Such a loss of confidence afflicted Cyprus, Ireland, Greece and Portugal between 2010 and 2012, shutting them out of public borrowing, creating the European debt crisis and forcing them to seek financial assistance from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Italy barely avoided that embarrassment. Continue reading
Europe is already a lost continent if you’ve learned that socialism is a bridge to communism. Now all Putin’s doing is reigning it in.
German intelligence sources claim the country’s only mildly-eurosceptic party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), is being wooed by Russian agents as part of the campaign “to construct a network of right-wing populism in western Europe.”
According to BILD, Moscow’s Centre for Strategic Communications has drafted the blueprint for the covert operation under the title: “Putin: the new leader of international conservatism”.
Part of the Kremlin strategy includes acquiring gold dealerships through front companies to support parties friendly to it.
As with the previous rare occasions where a full article was posted due to its importance, this will remain no exception. Please see the source website for more similar articles.
What happens after a globe-shaking financial crisis? We are stumbling through one right now, and we all want to know what we are in for next. Fortunately—and unfortunately—this situation is precedented.
Early last century, the globe’s First World War extinguished lives, torched economies and left Europe smoldering with grievances. Afterward, the world was rocked by the most violent financial earthquake in modern times—the Great Depression.
The nations were churning: brutal dictators were rising, anti-Semitism was becoming mainstream, civil war erupted in Spain, Japan invaded Manchuria, Italy invaded Ethiopia. But instead of facing the challenges, Britain and America turned increasingly inward, focusing on their own wounded economies, slashing their militaries and pointedly ignoring the world outside.
Decades after World War III, will historians be writing something similar? The nations were churning. Radical dictators were rising, anti-Semitism was becoming mainstream, Germany conquered the Balkans, Russia invaded Georgia, civil wars erupted in the Middle East, China built a military powerhouse, a new strongman arose in Russia, a crafty emperor arose in Europe. But instead of facing the challenges, Britain and America turned increasingly inward, focusing on their wounded economies, slashing their militaries and pointedly ignoring the world outside.
On Thursday, NATO fighter jets diverted a Russian IL-20 surveillance plane over the Baltic Sea near Latvia. Latvia’s army confirmed the incident on their Twitter account. Two Canadian RCAF CF-18 Hornets intercepted another IL-20 near Lithuania on Saturday.
NATO said these Russian planes do not use on-board transponders used for surveillance. The organization said the plans “pose a potential risk to civil aviation as civilian air traffic control cannot detect these aircraft or ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.” Continue reading
NATO commander: Deployment of western “rotational forces” needed in Poland, Romania, the Baltics
Russia is sending additional military forces toward the border with eastern Ukraine, including units equipped with ballistic missiles, as part of Moscow’s ongoing destabilization effort in support of pro-Russian rebels.
U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports said one Russian military unit equipped with short-range ballistic missiles was detected this week near eastern Ukraine, where Russia has launched a destabilization program following its military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in March.
The military movements coincided with the an unusual number of flights last week by Russian strategic nuclear bombers and aircraft along Europe’s northern coasts in a what NATO’s military commander called strategic “messaging” toward the West. Continue reading
- 26 Russian aircraft ran ‘military manoeuvres’ in 24 hours including two Bear bombers followed by RAF fighters
- Nato steps up its defences as it says two planes near Britain did not file flight plans or contact controllers
- Alliance reported ‘unusual’ activity after intercepting 100 Russian planes in 2014 – triple the number in 2013
Nato has sounded a warning after 26 Russian bombers, tankers and fighter jets on military exercises were intercepted around Europe in just 24 hours.
Jets were scrambled by the RAF and allies in Germany, Portugal and Turkey after the ‘unusual’ spike in activity, which saw two giant Tu-95 Bear H bombers fly close to Britain yesterday.
The alliance said Russia had conducted ‘significant military manoeuvres in European airspace’ – though it then added none of the planes had strayed into any specific country’s territory.
The two Bear bombers had been part of an eight-plane formation which was first intercepted by Norwegian F-16s over at 2am yesterday. Continue reading
MOSCOW — NATO said Wednesday that it had intercepted a large number of Russian aircraft flying close to European airspace in the past two days, in an “unusual” series of incidents that brought Russian bombers as far afield as Portugal.
The aircraft — at least 19 in all — offered reminders of Russian air power at a time of the worst relations between the West and Russia since the Cold War. Russian military aircraft have significantly increased their activity in Europe since the conflict in Ukraine began earlier this year, with NATO scrambling to intercept aircraft more than 100 times in 2014. But a NATO official said the scale of the latest incidents was the most provocative this year.
Over the Atlantic Ocean and the North, Black and Baltic seas, Russian bombers, fighter jets and tanker aircraft were detected flying in international airspace, NATO said. There were no incursions into national airspace, a violation of sovereignty that would have significantly amplified the seriousness of the four incidents, three of which took place on Wednesday.
“We’re raising it as an unusual level of activity,” said Lt. Col. Jay Janzen, a spokesman for NATO’s military command in Mons, Belgium. “The flights we’ve seen in the last 24 hours, the size of those flights and some of the flight plans are definitely unusual.”
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A group of 25 banks have failed European health checks, while up to 10 of those continue to have a capital shortfall, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, providing a snapshot of the health of the region’s lenders.
The health checks, led by the European Central Bank, found that banks in countries including Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and Portugal had fallen short of a minimum capital benchmark at the end of last year and that up to 10 remained in difficulty now, the sources said.
Banks in Spain and France had fared, by and large, better than expected. Continue reading
‘The forces of monetary deflation are gathering. Global liquidity is declining and central banks are not doing enough, either in the West or the East to offset the decline,’ warns CrossBorderCapital
Eurozone fears have returned with a vengeance as deepening deflation across Southern Europe and fresh turmoil in Greece set off wild moves on the European bond markets.
Yields on 10-year German Bund plummeted to an all-time low on 0.72pc on flight to safety, touching levels never seen before in any major European country in recorded history. “This is not going to stop until the European Central Bank steps up to the plate. If it does not act in the next few days, this could snowball,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS.
Calls for action came as James Bullard, the once hawkish head of St Louis Federal Reserve, said the Fed may have to back-track on bond tapering in the US, hinting at yet further QE to fight deflationary pressures and shore up defences against a eurozone relapse.
Markets are realising that the five-and-a-half year recovery since the financial crisis may already be over, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Combined tightening by the United States and China has done its worst. Global liquidity is evaporating.
What looked liked a gentle tap on the brakes by the two monetary superpowers has proved too much for a fragile world economy, still locked in “secular stagnation”. The latest investor survey by Bank of America shows that fund managers no longer believe the European Central Bank will step into the breach with quantitative easing of its own, at least on a worthwhile scale.
Markets are suddenly prey to the disturbing thought that the five-and-a-half year expansion since the Lehman crisis may already be over, before Europe has regained its prior level of output. That is the chief reason why the price of Brent crude has crashed by 25pc since June. It is why yields on 10-year US Treasuries have fallen to 1.96pc, and why German Bunds are pricing in perma-slump at historic lows of 0.81pc this week.
We will find out soon whether or not this a replay of 1937 when the authorities drained stimulus too early, and set off the second leg of the Great Depression.
Radical Muslims in Spain have launched a social media campaign aimed at generating support for the jihadist group Islamic State [IS].
The campaign involves posters that include images of famous Spanish landmarks and monuments emblazoned with Arabic slogans such as, “We are all the Islamic State” and “Long Live the Islamic State.”
One poster includes an image of the medieval Islamic Aljafería Palace in the Spanish city of Zaragoza and the black flag associated with the IS. Another uses an image of the famous La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Yet another includes an image of the statue of Jesus Christ on Monte Urgull in San Sebastián, with the Arabic words “Al-Andalus Country” instead of “Basque Country.”
Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. As the Basque Country is surrounded by mountains, however, the Moors never succeeded in occupying it.
The poster campaign comes after IS jihadists produced a video in which they vow to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate.
The video shows a jihadist speaking in Spanish with a heavy North African accent. He says:
“I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic flag, the Islamic caliphate. We will die for it until we liberate those occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia. And I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.“
Data from Germany, Italy and Portugal put pressure on ECB to act
Portugal has crashed into deep deflation and Italy’s inflation rate has fallen to zero as the eurozone flirts with recession, automatically pushing these countries further towards a debt compound spiral.
The slide comes amid signs of a deepening slowdown in the eurozone core, with even Germany flirting with possible recession. Germany’s ZEW index of investor confidence plunged from 27.1 to 8.6 in July, the sharpest fall since June 2012, during the European sovereign debt crisis. “The European Central Bank has to act now,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS. Continue reading
Head of German Institute for Economic Research demands €60bn of bond purchases each month to halt contraction of credit and avert Japanese-style trap
A leading German institute has called for full-blown quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) to head off a deflation spiral, marking a radical shift in thinking among the German policy elites.
Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, demanded €60bn (£50bn) of bond purchases each month to halt the contraction of credit and avert a Japanese-style trap. Continue reading