Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα banks. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα banks. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Κυριακή, Φεβρουαρίου 01, 2015

Greece offers olive branch as search for allies begins

Greece sought to repair relations with its international creditors on Saturday (Jan 31) as the new anti-austerity government began a charm offensive in European capitals, even as Germany insisted it would not support any debt relief...

Just hours before Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis headed to Paris to seek support for a renegotiation Greece's massive loans, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he believed a deal could be reached with the European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"No side is seeking conflict and it has never been our intention to act unilaterally on Greek debt," Tsipras said in a statement issued to the Bloomberg news agency.

In its first meeting with creditors since it took office, the Greek government clashed with the head of the Eurozone finance ministers on Friday over its plans to rethink its rescue package and to halve Greece's debt.

Tsipras, who will himself visit Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and French President Francois Hollande next week, said Greece had no intention of reneging on its commitments to the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

"My obligation to respect the clear mandate of the Greek people with respect to ending the policies of austerity and returning to a growth agenda, in no way entails that we will not fulfil our loan obligations to the ECB (European Central Bank) or the IMF," he said. "On the contrary, it means that we need time to breathe and create our own medium-term recovery programme."

This includes aiming to balance the budget - excluding debt repayments - and clamping down on tax evasion, corruption and policies which favour only a wealthy few, he said.

"I am absolutely confident that we will soon manage to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, both for Greece and for Europe as a whole," Tsipras said.

GERMANY HOLDS FIRM

Varoufakis was to leave for Paris on Saturday night with talks scheduled with French finance minister Michel Sapin and economy minister Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. Neither he nor Tsipras are intending to visit Germany, which has shouldered the bulk of Greece's loans and which strongly objects to Athens' plans.

Merkel on Saturday ruled out fresh debt relief for Greece, telling the Hamburger Abendblatt daily: "There has already been voluntary debt forgiveness by private creditors, banks have already slashed billions from Greece's debt."

"I do not envisage fresh debt cancellation," she said, as a new poll for broadcaster ZDF found 76 per cent of Germans oppose any reduction in debt.

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho also opposes any renegotiation of Greece's debt, saying it would "go against the interests of Portugal and the Portugese people".

Despite a restructuring in 2012, Greece is still lumbered with a debt pile of more than 315 billion euros, upwards of 175 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) - an EU record.

But in its first week in power, the government scrapped the privatisation of Greece's two main ports and the state power company and announced a major raise in the minimum wage.

Varoufakis also raised the stakes by saying that Greece wanted direct access to its EU-IMF creditors and would no longer work with their widely hated fiscal audit staff team, known as the "troika".

Martin Schulz, the German head of the European Parliament, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine on Saturday that this position was "irresponsible".

GREEK BANK FEARS

Varoufakis's comments followed a strained meeting on Friday with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who represents finance ministers from the 19-nation Eurozone. Dijsselbloem warned Athens that "taking unilateral steps or ignoring previous arrangements is not the way forward".

Greece has been promised another 7.2 billion euros (US$8.1 billion, S$10.9 billion) in funds from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank (ECB), but this is dependent on the completion of a review of reforms at the end of February.

  • Varoufakis has said his government does not want the loans, but there are concerns Greece cannot survive without them. These concerns are focused on Greece's banks, which are helping the state stay afloat by purchasing its treasury bills - and which are being supported by the ECB.
  • "If the ECB turns the tap off, it's over," Alexandre Delaigue, economics professor at the elite French military academy Saint-Cyr, told AFP.
The stunning success of Syriza in last Sunday's polls sent shockwaves through Europe and gave encouragement to other anti-austerity parties.

Tens of thousands of people, meanwhile, took to the streets of Madrid on Saturday in support of the Spanish party Podemos, which has been surging in polls ahead of elections later this year. Like Syriza, Podemos has found popular support by targeting corruption and rejecting austerity programmes aimed at lifting the countries out of deep economic crisis.

- AFP/fl

[channelnewsasia.com]
31/1/15 --1/2/15

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Σάββατο, Ιουνίου 28, 2014

Bulgarian authorities see illegal attempts to destabilize banking system

Bulgarian authorities on Friday saw illegal attempts to destabilize country's banking system amid queues of people trying to withdraw their money from cash desks....

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev told reporters that there has been an attack through the Internet and text messages via mobile phones to massively disturb people.

"We have found malicious and deliberate attempts to destabilize the banking system, and an investigation has been carried out in this direction since yesterday," Yovchev said.


This is an extremely serious crime and people who engage in such activity will suffer severe punishment, he added.

Meanwhile, Ivan Iskrov, governor of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) said in a statement that Bulgarian banking system has a good performance and is functioning smoothly, but in the last days an attempt is made to destabilize the country through organized attack on Bulgarian banks without any reason.

"Such criminal acts are directly directed against the savings of every Bulgarian citizen and against financial stability as an essential element of national security," he said.

BNB explicitly states that it will use all its means and resources to ensure people's savings, Iskrov said.

In turn, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev "strongly condemned sustained efforts to destabilize the banking system" and urged citizens "not to succumb to rumors and speculation."

"Bulgarian banking system is well capitalized and regulated and enjoys the trust of international markets," he said according to a press release sent by his press office.

Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
28/6/14
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Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 14, 2014

Banking union made easy: a five-minute guide to the EU's new rules


A banking union is being set up by the EU to help keep Europe's financial system stable and prevent another crisis from taking place. It requires finding a fast and efficient way to deal with failing banks while ensuring that taxpayers are spared from paying for bankers' mistakes. As MEPs prepare to vote on 15 April on an agreement with the Council on how to deal with failing banks, we take a closer look at the issues involved. Read on for an overview of how banking in Europe is about to change.


The key ingredients for a banking union

An efficient banking union requires legislation on how to deal with failing banks, protect small depositors and better supervise banks.

Why states keep bailing out failing banks...

Because banks are at the heart of the economy, drawing in deposits, savings and financing investments, their health is of paramount importance. If they get into serious trouble, governments usually opt to bail them out with taxpayers’ money, even if that means a sharp increase in public debt, rather than risk economic meltdown in the wake of bank failures.

...And how to prevent this from happening again

Banking legislation is being reformed in order to prevent countries from using taxpayers' money to shore up failing banks. On 15 April MEPs vote on a deal that would enable authorities to quickly deal with failing banks. For this they would be able to rely on a €55 billion bank-financed fund rather than resorting to taxpayers' money.  Most importantly, bank losses will have to be borne mostly by shareholders and bondholders, giving them more incentive to  protect taxpayers and control bankers' risk taking..

Protecting people's savings

In order to safeguard people’s savings, MEPs will also vote on 15 April on an update of the deposit guarantee scheme directive, which introduces national bank-financed guarantees for savings up to €100,000.

Deposit guarantee schemes are being managed at the national level instead of at the European level.

Better supervision of banks

The Parliament  already supported the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism back in September 2013. This gives the European central bank (ECB) the responsibility to supervise the euro zone’s biggest banks. This will help to identify problems sooner and take care of them efficiently.

Other improvements

The EU also adopted legislation to limit banker bonuses in order to discourage them from taking excessive risks that could take down a bank.

Banks are now also required to hold sufficient capital in order to weather financial difficulties.
 [europarl.europa.eu]
14/4/14

Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 02, 2014

Europe’s economic and financial outlook and its social impact, growth and banking sector issues on the agenda of the Informal ECOFIN meeting

The two-day informal meeting of the ECOFIN, as well as the 13. Joint ECOFIN / FEMIP Ministerial Meeting, organized by the Geek Presidency in Athens on 1-2 April had a full agenda and Ministers were able to exchange views on a number of key issues affecting Europe’s economy and financial situation.
In particular, Europe’s social problems and their implications for economic growth were discussed, based on a research and policy paper presented by Bruegel, which confirms the link between poverty and unemployment on the one hand and economic growth on the other. There was a fruitful discussion on how fiscal sustainability is negatively affected by social problems, as well as on concrete measures to be taken to address persistent unemployment and social insecurity, which constitute a major problem for the EU.

In conjunction with Central Bank Governors of Member States, Ministers discussed the economic outlook, growth prospects and financial stability in the EU. The discussions highlighted that the macro-economic situation is improving, but that complacency should be avoided. Sustainable growth, growth that tackles unemployment and social challenges will continue to depend on growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and structural reforms.
Furthermore, a very fruitful and constructive discussion and exchange of views took place based on the Commission Communication on long term financing of the economy (adopted on 27 March) and on the High-Level Experts Group (HLEG) Report on SME and Infrastructure financing of 11 December 2013. In this context, Ministers took stock of public and private initiatives at national level to improve access to capital markets, in light of the HLEG final recommendations and examined outstanding issues and public responses both at EU and national levels.
As far as the Preparation of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings and the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting on 10-11 April in Washington is concerned, the EU Terms of Reference were endorsed along with the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) Statement, which focuses on the economic situation and outlook, policy challenges to strengthening economic recovery in the European Union, progress in financial regulation, and specifically IMF policy issues.
On the issue of banking structural reform, Ministers had the opportunity to hear a comprehensive presentation by the Commission on its proposal on banking structural measures improving the resilience of EU credit institutions. This was the first opportunity for Ministers to listen to the Commission, as well as to the Chair of the High-level Expert Group on Bank Structural Reform, Erkki Liikanen. Before kick-starting the regular legislative work, the Presidency deemed it useful to have an exchange of information and views on this very innovative legislative proposal. A close examination of the legislative initiative will be starting under the Greek Presidency, with meetings planned at working party level, but the work will definitely go well beyond the current semester.
There was also an exchange of views about the state of play on the implementation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, on the basis of an update by the Chair of the ECB's Supervisory Board, Ms Danièle Nouy. The ECB is now steering Phase II of the Asset Quality Review. This AQR exercise will be crucial to deliver a thorough assessment of the degree of soundness of our banking system, especially within the SSM. For that purpose, stress tests will be an essential complement to the AQR. The detailed methodology for the stress tests will be published only later this month.
All in all, there was a good exchange on the SSM implementation, and there was a strong interest in following-up on this exchange when we may take stock of further major developments later in the year.
Ministers had a sort of “stock-taking” exchange on the EU’s Banking Union and on the Single Resolution Mechanism in particular, mainly on the way forward following the agreement reached by the Greek Presidency on this key file.
Moreover, interesting and fruitful discussions took place at the 13th Joint ECOFIN / FEMIP Ministerial Meeting, co-chaired by ECOFIN President, Yannis Stournaras, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, in presence of EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive. Discussions focused on the challenges and levers for sustainable growth and the new strategy of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the Mediterranean: “Roadmap 2020”. Fostering growth and job creation, especially for young people, was a key aspect.
At the press conference, following the conclusion of the two days’ sessions, ECOFIN President Yannis Stournaras highlighted also recent provisional political agreements reached by the Greek Presidency on the Payments Account Directive (PAD) and on the Regulation on Key Information Documents - Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (KID - PRIIPs):
“The agreement on Payments Account Directive (PAD) is an important milestone for the deepening of the internal market and the reinforcement of competition in the financial services to the benefit of consumers”, he said.
On the KID - PRIIPs agreement, Minister Stournaras noted that it enhances investor confidence and protection: “We expect that this new approach of consumer-friendly rules on standards for information about these products will contribute to restoring confidence of investors in the markets, which we consider essential for ensuring sustainable economic growth in the coming years”.

In his overall assessment of the Informal Eurogroup and ECOFIN Meetings in Athens, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras stated:
“I am very pleased. We had very interesting discussions on the economic and financial situation, as well as on the financing of the SMEs”, the backbone of the European economy.
[gr2014.eu]
2/4/14

Τρίτη, Ιουλίου 23, 2013

Spain’s solar industry to collapse as govt introduces draconian profit caps

One of the main producers of renewable energy in Europe, Spain’s solar industry, is edging toward bankruptcy. Producers say they’ll be unable to repay credits after the government’s decision to cut subsidies. Banks will suffer and jobs will be lost.
Energy Minister José Manuel Soria has introduced a new compensation plan for calculating levels of "reasonable profitability" for renewable-energy production, distribution and transportation. It will reduce payments to companies serving the nation's electrical system by up to 2.7 billion euro annually. It’s hoped the move could help cope with the electricity system deficit that has been growing since 2005 and now exceeds 25 billion euro.

To sap the annual deficit, which has been estimated by the government at 4.5 billion euro this year, Spain is set to raise consumers' electric bills by about 3.2 percent starting from August, contributing about 400 million euro in extra revenue for the system this year and 900 million euro next year, the Wall Street Journal reports.



Experts are warning that with the increased levies on self-consumed solar energy so high many households will have to pay more for the electricity they generate themselves than they would for regular grid power. 

The main trade association for Spain's electric utilities which distribute most the country's electricity said "the cuts will compel our member companies to undertake a drastic reduction in jobs and review their investments in Spain," Asociación Española de la Industria Eléctrica (Unesa) warned.

Spain has over 4GW of installed capacity. For several years the government reportedly pushed electricity retailers to pay above-market, unaffordable prices to renewable-power producers.


This handout picture released by Gemasolar shows the Torresol Energy Gemasolar thermasolar plant in Fuentes de Andalucia near Sevilla, southern Spain. (AFP Photo/Gemasolar)
This handout picture released by Gemasolar shows the Torresol Energy Gemasolar thermasolar plant in Fuentes de Andalucia near Sevilla, southern Spain. (AFP Photo/Gemasolar)

Big subsidies triggered a boom in solar-power installations that, according to the Wall Street Journal, far exceeded official government targets. Between 2006 and 2012, when renewable-energy output doubled, Spain boasted the fourth-largest such industry in the world, according to the Economist.

In 2012 clean energy subsidies in Spain hit 8.6 billion euro, nearly 1 percent of GDP. To fund the expansion, Spanish banks lent the solar-energy companies nearly 30 billion euro. Potential loan defaults could worsen the already heavy burden on Spanish banks. The government is said to be in talks with banks to forestall bankruptcies, with five of the biggest utilities saying the new reforms will jointly cost them 1 billion euro a year.

With the new plan brought into action, the government has capped profits for the solar energy sector at 7.5 percent before tax to 5.5 percent after tax. Spanish trade associations have been shocked by the decision saying the new rate is less than the rate that industry insiders are able to borrow at, leading many to “bankruptcy because they won't be able to repay the credit that financed them.”

According to the energy minister, "this reform is not wedded to any part of the electric sector."

"We did what we had to do," Soria said. 

http://rt.com/business
23/7/13

Δευτέρα, Μαρτίου 25, 2013

La posibilidad de que el Eurogrupo repita la vía chipriota asusta a los mercados......

1. Dijsselbloem deja abierta la opción de dejar caer a la banca en futuros rescates
2. El Ibex 35 se desploma un 2,27% arrastrado por la banca tras abrir la jornada en verde
3. La prima de riesgo española sube hasta superar los 360 puntos básicos y el euro cae



Los mercados han recibido el acuerdo entre Chipre y el Eurogrupo con una fugaz bienvenida y han llegado a cotizar en verde durante buena parte de la mañana pero han acabado el día con importantes caídas. La jornada empezó con cierto optimismo, pero las ganancias duraron poco y las primeras dudas aparecieron antes incluso de la pausa para comer.

Sobre este terreno resbaladizo, el detonante de las ventas fueron las declaraciones del presidente del Eurogrupo, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, que se ha atrevido a apuntar que la opción elegida para Chipre, donde se ha dejado caer al segundo banco del país, podría extenderse a otros socios con problemas en su sector financiero.

Así, poco antes de las 17.00 (hora peninsular española), el Ibex ha llegado a ceder un 2,6%, aunque tras este momento de alarma ha moderado el batacazo y ha acabado cerrando con un recorte del 2,20%, con lo que mañana abrirá en 8.140 puntos. Madrid ha sido junto a Milán, que ha bajado un 2,5%, la plaza que más ha sufrido tras las palabras de Dijsselbloem por el peso que tiene en ellos la banca.

En la deuda, el quinto rescate que sufre la Eurozona tampoco ha servido de análgesico. Por la tarde, la prima de riesgo española, que es el sobreprecio exigido a sus bonos a 10 años frente a los alemanes, ha subido hasta superar los 360 (3,60 puntos porcentuales).

"Lo mejor que se puede decir del acuerdo es que al final han logrado llegar a un acuerdo", pero poco más, ya que "es malo para Chipre y sus ciudadanos", ha resumido Raoul Ruparel, economista del centro de análisis Open Europe desde Londres. A cambio de mantener a este diminuto país en el euro, continúa, se le condena a renunciar al crecimiento y a automutilar su sistema financiera, lo que hasta ahora era su principal industrial. Asimismo, con la austeridad que tendrá que imponer para afrontar una deuda pública en niveles insostenibles, el futuro que le espera es de "un aumento del paro y la tensión social", opina.

http://economia.elpais.com/economia/2013/03/25/actualidad/1364199932_869904.html
25/3/13

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  • Βουτιά στα ευρωπαϊκά χρηματιστήρια λόγω Ντάισελμπλουμ.....

Βουτιά στα ευρωπαϊκά και όχι μόνο χρηματιστήρια προκάλεσαν οι δηλώσεις του προέδρου του Eurogroup, Γερούν Ντάιλεμπλουμ ότι το πρόγραμμα διάσωσης που συμφωνήθηκε για την Κύπρο συνιστά ένα νέο πρότυπο για την επίλυση τραπεζικών προβλημάτων στην ευρωζώνη, επισημαίνοντας πως και άλλες χώρες μπορεί να χρειαστεί να αναδιαρθρώσουν τους τραπεζικούς τομείς τους.

Μεγαλύτερη πτώση παρατηρείται στα χρηματιστήρια της Ιταλίας, της Ισπανίας, της Γαλλίας και της Αυστρίας.

Στις 7:15, ώρα Κύπρου, το χρηματιστήριο της Ιταλίας σημείωνε πτώση της τάξης του 2,50%, της Ισπανίας 2,27%, της Γαλλίας 1,12%, της Αυστρίας 1,73%, της Πορτογαλίας 1,19%. Μικρότερη πτώση σημειώθηκε σε όλα σχεδόν τα ευρωπαϊκά χρηματιστήρια, ακόμα και σ’ αυτό της Φραγκφούρτης,ο δείχτης του οποίου έπεσε κατά 0,51%, ενώ ο δείκτης Euro Stoxx 50 σημείωσε μείωση 1,21%.

Μείωση της τάξης του 1,69% και για τον δείκτη Nikkei.

http://www.sigmalive.com/news/international/37040
25/3/13
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  • Chypre sauvée, la fin de la crise en zone euro?.....

Ce matin, les marchés ont accueilli avec un « ouf » de soulagement l’accord sauvant Chypre de la faillite. Malgré un essoufflement des Bourses dans l’après-midi, certains experts parient sur une accalmie dans la zone euro.

C’est avec un « ouf » de soulagement que les experts ont accueilli l’accord sauvant Chypre de la faillite, trouvé in extremis dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi.

Pour rappel : les créanciers de la première banque de Chypre subiront de lourdes pertes et la deuxième banque du pays sera fermée. Par contre, les dépôts de moins de 100.000 euros ne sont pas touchés.

Chypre, cinquième pays de la zone euro à bénéficier d’un plan d’aide international – après la Grèce, l’Espagne, l’Irlande et le Portugal –, sera-t-il aussi le dernier ? Certains, dont l’économiste Bruno Wattenbergh, parient sur une accalmie. « Les plans internationaux fonctionnent relativement bien (comme en Irlande, ou en Espagne dans une moindre mesure). Ces pays-là ne seront pas victimes de « contagion » par la situation à Chypre ». Interrogé par RTL, l’économiste pointe malgré tout la situation de l’Italie « où certaines banques sont fragiles et pourraient avoir peur du scénario chypriote dans lequel on a voulu ponctionner les comptes épargne ».
Les Bourses passent dans le rouge

Pourtant, après une ouverture en hausse, les principales Bourses d’Europe, ainsi que Wall Street, peinaient à se maintenir dans le vert lundi à la mi-journée, malgré un certain soulagement des investisseurs. « Dans l’ensemble, cet accord de dernière minute conclu lundi permet d’éviter le pire des scénarios, un défaut de paiement des banques du pays et la sortie de Chypre de la zone euro », observaient, par exemple, les analystes de Barclays. Peu avant 17h, Paris, Francfort, Londres et Bruxelles naviguaient entre -0,5 et -1 %, tandis que Wall Street hésitait entre le rouge et le vert. Les pertes étaient par contre plus sévères à Lisbonne, Milan et Madrid.

http://www.lesoir.be/214220/article/economie/2013-03-25/chypre-sauvee-fin-crise-en-zone-euro
25/3/13
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  • Το Twtter πήρε φωτιά από τις δηλώσεις Ντάισελμπλουμ.....it's a real feat to give an interview causing this amount of needless panic .....

Το Twtter πήρε φωτιά από τις δηλώσεις Ντάισελμπλουμ ότι το πρόγραμμα διάσωσης που συμφωνήθηκε σήμερα για την Κύπρο συνιστά ένα νέο πρότυπο για την επίλυση τραπεζικών προβλημάτων στην ευρωζώνη και άλλες χώρες μπορεί να χρειαστεί να αναδιαρθρώσουν τους τραπεζικούς τομείς τους, δήλωσε σήμερα ο επικεφαλής του Eurogroup (σχετικό άρθρο εδώ):

Διαβάστε πιο κάτω μερικά από τα Twits οικονομολόγων, επιχειρηματικών στελεχών και δημοσιογράφων :

@Pawelmorski 2 groups in markets right now: people waiting for Dijsselbloom to get adult supervision and people selling everything.

@Kaletsky Remember Dim Wim Duisenberg? Now Diesel-Bum. Both same problem: Dutch idea of economic policy is sit by phone and wait for call from Berlin.

@LorcanRK @J_Dijsselbloem Any reason anyone should leave more than €100k in a euro area bank after your comments? Any at all?


@Yiannis Mouzakis Some people have been saying for thee years that we are dealing with fanatics but no one wanted to listen

@OpenEurope RANsquawk: Dijsselbloem - if bail-in works, direct recap of banks by ESM may not be needed - surely this week proves exactly why it is...

@SonyKapoor Reaction 2 #Cyprus deal is sound of penny dropping...Nothing much unexpected or new has happened. #Eurocrisis as I insisted, never went away


@kaletsky #Dijsselbloem tells depositors to start bank runs. uk.reuters.com/article/2013...EU must choose: fire this idiot and U-turn on Cyprus or end euro

@profsufi Mass hysteria on imminently sensible #Dijsselbloem remarks is so telling. How DARE YOU suggest bank creditors should bear risk!!

@PeterBoKiaer #Dijsselbloem: empty your acc before your neighbor. We could see collapse of sound banks. #stocks

@Tiefseher After Cyprus, Eurozone faces tough bank regime - Birth of the #Dijsselbloem-Schaeuble-doctrine

@auaurelija as Einstein said.."Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity...and I'm not sure about the universe."

@JonnyMedland Even by standards of European finance ministers, it's a real feat to give an interview causing this amount of needless panic #Dijsselbloem

http://www.sigmalive.com/news/international/37029
25/3/13

Σάββατο, Μαρτίου 23, 2013

Cyprus to face savage cuts and economic dictatorship....

By Jordan Shilton and Chris Marsden(wsws.org)
23 March 2013
Cyprus’ fate illustrates how the European Union imposes the dictatorship of the global speculators, banks and corporations on the working class. The EU yesterday continued to demand massive austerity in Cyprus to raise €6 billion ($7.8 billion) in return for a €10 billion bank bailout.
The island country has been the centre of an escalating financial crisis, with its parliament voting Wednesday to reject proposals to raise the necessary funds by taking money from anyone with deposits in Cypriot banks. 

A new vote on whether to impose a “haircut” on depositors was delayed until today. The EU and European Central Bank (ECB) dismissed proposals by Cypriot politicians—themselves wholly reactionary—to create a “solidarity fund” to raise the six billion demanded.

Cyprus’s aim was to preserve its financial relations with Russia and force workers to pay the price by nationalising pension funds to pay the debts of the super-rich. Other proposals included seeking contributions from the church and selling gold reserves—all in order to avoid levying a significant one-off levy on major depositors.
However, the EU bluntly dismissed these measures as insufficient. German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared baldly after a parliamentary meeting of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), “We want Cyprus to remain in the euro zone”, but insisted that its “current business model is dead.”
The ECB has insisted that the levy on investors should be re-imposed—this time with a widely-anticipated penalty of 15 percent on depositors with balances over €100,000, as initially rejected by Nicosia. If not, it was made clear that proposals had been discussed to prepare for and limit the impact of a Cypriot exit from the euro zone.
With Cyprus unable to offer Moscow any guarantees in return for an appeal for additional funds towards the bailout shortfall, the island’s ruling elite has been thrown back on the tender mercies of the EU. After travelling to Moscow Tuesday, Finance Minister Michalis Sarris left on Thursday without any further funding from Russia and only an agreement to extend terms on the €2.5 billion loan first agreed in 2011 and due for repayment in 2016.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said “the door had not been closed” to possible future support, after the EU and Cyprus had concluded an agreement. But the EU has done all it can to slam the door on Russia. In the process it intends to seal the fate of Cyprus’s inflated banking sector to the benefit of Europe’s major banks.
The troika—the EU, ECB and the International Monetary Fund—are determined to put Cyprus on rations, demanding savage cuts. On Thursday, reports had already begun to emerge of the crippling impact of the shutdown of the country’s financial sector. Medication was beginning to run out in hospitals, and many businesses were demanding payment in cash for fear that credit cards would never be charged, should the banks fail to re-open.
To enforce what amounts to social warfare against the island’s inhabitants, the Cypriot government is to impose draconian powers over the running of the economy.
Primarily, the Central Bank of Cyprus will be granted powers to determine whether or not transfers outside of Cyprus will be allowed. This measure is necessary from the point of view of Europe’s ruling class to protect against contagion from the crisis in Cyprus, which could trigger massive losses on the markets globally and the outflow of capital from other crisis-ridden countries of the euro zone.
While power over the flow of money in and out of the island is formally held by Cyprus, Germany’s leading financial publication Handelsblatt noted that, in reality, the ECB will exercise control. This will include controlling the payment of pensions and other state benefits. Handelsblatt remarked chillingly that Cypriot citizens would “receive the necessary funds to live.”
Other proposals for Cyprus’ banks are targeted against the country’s own citizens. They include restrictions on daily withdrawals, a ban on premature termination and compulsory renewal of all time savings deposits upon maturity, the conversion of current accounts to time deposits and restrictions on use of debit, credit or prepaid debit cards and on cashing in checks.
In addition, the legislation provides for the implementation of any other measure which the Finance Minister or the Governor of Cyprus Central Bank see necessary “for reasons of public order and safety.”
This is a recipe for a de facto financial dictatorship. And this must find its corollary in repressive police measures to quell social and political opposition in the working class.
The focus may now be on Cyprus, but working people across Europe confront similar prospects: an ever escalating and devastating decline in living standards, attacks on basic services, and the creation of mass poverty. In threatening the nuclear option of provoking state bankruptcy and being thrown out of the euro zone, the EU and ECB are putting Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland on notice that their economies, too, will face destruction if there is any let up in the imposition of austerity.
On Thursday, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned the European Parliament that the Cyprus debt crisis posed a “systemic risk” to the euro zone. Even the strongest economy, Germany, is not immune. A poll published by Der Spiegel on Friday showed that one in two Germans feared for their bank savings and a survey of business confidence showed an unexpected fall after four months of growth, with industrial orders to German firms declining in January by 1.9 percent, mainly due to a drop in orders from Europe’s crisis-hit periphery.
The spur for the downfall of Cyprus came initially from the collapse of Greece. The Greek-Cypriot-controlled south lost more than €4 billion when President Demetris Christofias agreed to a “haircut” of Greek sovereign bondholders without exempting Cyprus—increasing debts by 25 percent at a stroke.
No compromise is possible with the dictates of either the EU or the governments in its member states that act as nothing more than glorified enforcers of the rapacious demands of the super-rich. Whatever promises are made that austerity will restore the economy are lies.
The working class must instead strike out on an independent course. It must counter the offensive of the national and European bourgeoisie with its own offensive, based on a continent-wide struggle for workers’ governments and the United Socialist States of Europe.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/23/cypr-m23.html
23/3/13
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Related:
"Die Troika hinterlässt in Irland nur Ruinen"

Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 12, 2013

Was the euro ever "about to collapse"?

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Less than six months ago, eurozone watchers had been predicting the breakup of the 17-member bloc of nations as the euro plunged to a 25-month low against the U.S. dollar last July.
Even as recently as November, Warren Buffett, the famed CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said of the eurozone's future that "it's hard to tell exactly how it comes out."
But since then, the euro has appreciated nearly 11% as its member countries battled to contain sovereign debt crises, rising unemployment and social unrest. The euro now stands at a 13-month high against the greenback.

And flying in the face of last year's critics, former European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet told CNN's Nina dos Santos that the euro "was never about to collapse" and that its viability as a currency is solid.
"The euro as a currency has never been put in question," asserted Trichet, while at the same time admitting the euro area's financial stability and credit worthiness had been tested.
As for the euro, he said it "is certainly reliable and credible."
Yet, the euro's gains over the past seven months is a mixed blessing. Arguments have long-existed for and against a stronger currency. Appreciation means investors are more confident in the euro but eurozone exports become more expensive when sold overseas; devaluation makes the bloc's exports more competitive globally, which many eurozone officials would prefer.
But if the world's major economies devalued their currencies to make exports more competitive and to spur their economies to growth again, it would be chaos, says Trichet.
"If the reasoning is the same in all constituencies you have nothing but...a 'beggar-thy-neighbor' policy which is a recipe for catastrophe."
That catastrophe could take the form of an all-out currency war. And this week, the world's leading banks called on the G20 group of richest nations to avoid such an outcome.
"We believe major central banks should focus on enhancing their cooperation...to guide market expectations and thus help avoid a disorderly interest rate adjustment process and undue exchange rate volatility," the Institute of International Finance wrote in a letter to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who is chairing the G20 finance minister's meeting later this week.
But with the eurozone in recession for the second time in four years, the desire to devalue the euro may be strong. The European Central Bank in December cut its 2013 growth forecast, with a best-case growth rate scenario of only 0.3%.
"It is no time for complacency," warned Trichet who added that the central banks of the United States, Japan and Europe as well as their private sectors should get their "house(s) in order."
12/2/13

Σάββατο, Δεκεμβρίου 22, 2012

Leading Greek banks in the doldrums and need over $17bn to recapitalize

The two largest banks in crisis-stricken Greece need a total of €13bn ($17.2bn) to recapitalize, as they took huge losses in the country’s debt restructuring.
Greece’s second largest bank by assets, Eurobank, needs €5.8bn, with the fourth largest lender Piraeus Bank being short of €7.3bn, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the first 9 months of the year the two banks reported combined losses of €1.7bn, with a huge part of that due the banks’ participation in the country’s debt restructuring programme.
The four biggest banks in Greece were left technically insolvent, after they joined the €200bn debt restructuring programme. It left them dependent on extremely expensive loans from euro zone member states and the International Monetary Fund.

In the framework of Greece’s second bailout package the country reserved about €50bn to recapitalize its troubled banks. €18bn of that was provided to lenders in May through bonds issued by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) – Europe's temporary bailout fund.
Bridge financing will be another way to support Greek banks until they complete a formal recapitalization early next year. The Greek bank rescue fund will act as an underwriter as the lenders boost capital and are set to take up about 90% of the new stock issued. This would practically mean nationalization of Greece’s banking system.
Bridge financing is a way of financing, aimed at maintaining liquidity while waiting for an anticipated and reasonably expected inflow of cash.
There have also been bank mergers in Greece to make them more efficient and attractive to potential investors. Among the most recent cases are Eurobank that’s set to team up with National Bank of Greece.Alpha Bank SA also said it would acquire the Greek unit of French lenders Crédit Agricole, with Piraeus Bank saying it’ll acquire the local unit of Société Générale. Piraeus has also acquired the healthy assets of state-owned farm lender ATE Bank.
 http://rt.com
21/12/12

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...