Tag Archives: Brussels

John Ward – UK Recession : Gipsy Merv Foresees A Recovery…. But Next Week Sees The Spanish Bailout – 21 September 2012

See Mervyn stare at glass globe. Hear Mervyn say things are recovering. And adding “albeit very slowly”. See Mervyn use the eurozone as a caveat. He should wear a tie like normal people. See a black cloud hanging over Merv’s parade. Continue reading


John Ward – Euroblown : In Brussels, The Mentally Ill Are In Charge. In Greece, They Are Starving. – 8 June 2012

A few weeks back, the EU’s Olli Rehn meandered down Manjana Way, and told the media that but a few tweeks here and there would see Spain emerging victorious from its austere cleansing. It was the signal the markets had been waiting for: no sooner had he stepped onto the plane home than Spanish bond yields began to spike.

That market reaction has since been vindicated and strengthened by the usual series of obdurate ‘Neins’ from Berlin. So now the task has fallen to Onanista in Chief, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Junker, to reshape the squidgy reality balloon into a harmless little puppy.

“Spain’s macro-economic and budgetary policy is going in the right direction, and if and when Spain asks us to help its banking sector, it will obviously be done,” said Jean-Claude.

Fitch’s downgrade of Spain’s sovereign debt to Triple B status the night before gave an entirely different impression, but Juncker ignored all that, acting instead as if the Spanish request for emergency banking action wasn’t already a done deal.

One enormous clue to the truth of that lies in the Spanish government’s appointment of yet another technocrat parachutist to the governorship of the central bank. Luis Maria Linde was appointed the the Bank of Spain board only two weeks ago. He previously handled the commercial department at Spain’s Embassy to the Soviet Union, and is thus guaranteed to have all the necessary features to scare the crap out of the markets.

Equally loony was the decision by David Cameron to promise himself as the UK’s protector against “a giant superstate in Europe”. Based on Scameron’s track record with the EU, I’d rather be protected against pillaging Vikings by Graham Norton, but further still down the EU foodchain, the mentally deranged are running very little. In Greece, they are mainly starving.

On the island of Leros, the  State Infirmary of Leroshas announced that it cannot meet its most basic remit, to keep the patients reasonably well fed. According to deputy governor of the institution, John Antiartis, the 350 mentally ill patients in residence there have become
malnourished in recent days, because the hospital has had to deal with critical food shortages .

An urgent letter sent two days ago (Wednesday) to the Greek Health Ministry and the president of the 2nd Health Region, Christina
Papanikolaou, informed the recipients that the hospital is no longer able to feed its mentally ill patients. “Pension funds owe us huge amounts, making the State Infirmary of Leros unable to pay its debts,” Antiartis explained, as he called on those responsible to address the issue immediately.

My corresondent on this issue adds, “The idea that Greece is being made a basket case as a special punishment seems to be gaining ground. Not too big to fail, but rather too small to make a fuss that matters. Anger is building here, as it is strongly suspected that whether a country gets ‘punished’ is about political size not debt size.”

http://www.hat4uk.wordpress.com link to original article

John Ward – Crash 2 : Berlin Reverses Its Millimetre Of Movement On Eurobonds – 6 June 2012

The Earth may be turning, but the economy is at Dead Stop

‘Germany has not moved one inch towards fiscal union of any kind’ writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in today’s Telegraph.

And I’m afraid he’s right. Merkel is a crafty minx, and no mistake: she appeared to have buckled yesterday, but now she’s upped and said “Oooo nein, you misunderstood me”. This isn’t playing well in either Washington (where Geithner is tearing his hair out by the roots) and back in Bankfurt, where – I’m told – even Draghi looked exasperated after taking a phone-call from the Ostikanzler yesterday late afternoon. Continue reading

John Ward – Greek Scare-Tactics Continue As Berlin Remorselessly Plans A Future Fiscal Union Dominated By Wolfgang Schäuble – 31 May 2012

Schäuble’s outline plan for FU is a totalitarian accident waiting to happen

One man’s poison….

There was more Domesday scariness from the National Bank of Greece on Tuesday. If Greece exits the euro, its latest report suggested, the events would lead to a devaluation of the new currency by 65%,  a GDP nosediving by 22%, 34% unemployment, and income per capita nearly halving to 55%. Continue reading

John Ward – Greece Breaking : Athens Caretaker Government Forced To Raid Recapitalisation Budget To Keep Going – 25 May 2012

The Slog has learned that Greece’s Accounting Office produced an internal briefing paper this week warning that tax revenues are likely to miss hoped-for targets by some €1.35 billion. While some of what follows has been reported in the newspaper Kathimerini, the real rate of decline in tax receipts has been understated. Continue reading

John Ward – Euroblown : Why I’m Betting That Germany Will Leave Before Greece – 25 May 2012

Yesterday in Brussels, Herman Van Rompuy opened the anarchic proceedings by saying he sensed “a strong will to compromise”. Something of a surreal soundbite and, as usual with the Nipponese Bard, completely wrong.

The popular maverick site Zero Hedge referred to this week’s Euro-bunfight as ‘yesterday’s dismally predictable non-event summit’  last night.  They’re right on the money about it being just as unproductive as advertised – but actually I think it was highly significant for any number of reasons. Continue reading

John Ward – Euroblown : Greece : How We All Paid €220bn To Get Deeper In Debt – How To Spend €220bn And Wind Up €20bn Worse Off – 24 May 2012

Another little dose of Greek reality. In Crete as of yesterday afternoon, prescriptions have been refused at all pharmacies unless customers pay the full price. It’s obvious really: if you raid the hospital bank accounts to pay off the bondholders, the hospitals don’t pay the pharmacies, and so the chemist charges full wack. I think under Friedmanite economics that would be called the market deciding. Continue reading

John Ward – Euroblown : Merkel “Fears Greek Distractions Will Torpedo Currency Union” – Summint Signposts : Hollande’s Eurobond, And Greece’s Banks – 23 May 2012

Can Hollande offer what Merkel wants?

The poker game that is non-negotiable bailout terms v Greek exit threat continues, but most of the propaganda is now coming from Berlin-am-Brussels. A German source suggested last night that Merkel is adamant that Greece must not derail the dash to Fiscal Union. If Francois Hollande gets his way, however, the Greeks will not be required to call the EU’s bluff – or vice versa. Continue reading

John Ward – Exclusive : Euro Banknotes Update : Berlin Printing New Euronotes (X) En Masse, ECB Withdrawing Greek Notes (Y) – 18 May 2012

ImageSlog’s Brussels mole clears up the riddle

“must mean Greek euroexit now seen as near-certainty”

Following this morning’s Slogpost about the dearth of Greek-origin euronotes (Y) and the torrent of new German versions (X) across the EU at the moment, I have been in contact with my regular Brussels informant. Since appearing, the piece that went up this morning has evoked a mass of emails to my Slog address, all of which have enabled further quantification of the fact that German notes are dominating supplies at the minute, while Greek versions are disappearing fast. Continue reading

John Ward – Euroblown : Troika Cancels Athens Visit As Greece Heads For Second Election – 9 May 2012

Shrewd Tsipras builds bridges as Venizelos refuses Mandate, talks behind scenes to Troika.

In a first for Greek politics, Evangelo Venizelos (left) the leader of Greece’s PASOK Party refused to accept the President’s mandate before he’d been offered it. This breaks the record set by Antonis Samaras last Monday, in giving up on the task after 210 minutes. Continue reading