Tag Archives: Italy

Fatal Shooting At Palace Of Justice In Milan, Italy – 9 April 2015

RT logoAt least three people have been killed, including a judge, and two wounded after a gunman opened fire in Milan’s Palace of Justice, officials said. The suspect was arrested after a standoff with police.

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4.7 Earthquake In Slovenia, Italy, Near Nuclear Plant – 22 April 2014

RT logoA 4.7-magnitude earthquake has struck Slovenia southwest of the country’s capital, Ljubljana, at a depth of 2 kilometers.

The earthquake took place about 200 kilometers from a nuclear power plant at Krško, a town in eastern Slovenia. The plant is co-owned by Slovakia and Croatia.

The quake struck at about 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

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Solar Energy Now Same Price As Conventional Power In Germany, Italy, Spain – Report – 25 March 2014

RT logoSolar energy now costs the same as conventionally generated electricity in Germany, Italy and Spain, a report has revealed. The research has warned, however, that high installation costs are impeding other countries from achieving grid parity.

An analysis by consulting firm Eclareon, carried out on behalf of an international group of sustainable energy interests has revealed the extent to which solar energy has integrated into the energy market. Gone are the days when electricity produced through solar panels cost significantly more that conventionally-generated power, as Italy, Spain and Germany have reached energy parity.

However, the study’s analysts said that poor regulation in Spain could hinder further progress. Madrid recently introduced regulations that make it illegal for people to consume the electricity they produce through their own solar panels.
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Mish/ Mike Shedlock – Spain Raids Social Security Reserve Fund To Meet Deficit Targets; New Rules Compound Deficit Woes For Spain, Italy – 6 December 2013

MishMikeShedlockMonetary magic of borrowing money from trust funds allegedly helps Spain come closer to meeting its budget deficit targets reports Eurointelligence.

Please consider The raiding of Spain’s “pensions piggybank”

Spain drew €5bn from the Social Security reserve fund on Monday, reported Europa Press, and will draw an additional €428M on account of income tax before the end of the month. Presumably this is to help attain the year’s deficit target.

Commentators present this as “raiding the piggybank” of the pension system. Europa Press writes that, in 2012-2013, €23.6bn will have been drawn from the fund, bringing it down to €53.7bn. The original €77bn had been gradually accumulated over the previous decade. For comparison, Spain’s pension outlays are slightly over €100bn a year or roughly 10% of GDP, so the pension [reserve] fund even at its peak was only enough to cover about 9 months’ worth of pensions.

Another source of public consternation has been the fact that 97% of the reserve fund is invested in Spanish public debt, up from 55% in 2008, as described by Expansión earlier this year. Before the crisis sovereign spreads were minimal and the fund was diversified among various Eurozone member states, but in 2009 the government of PM Zapatero started trading higher-rated debt for Spanish debt and the process of rebalancing into Spanish debt was nearly complete by the end of 2012.

Spain Budget Allegedly on TrackOn October 29, the Wall Street Journal reported Spain In Line to Meet 2013 Deficit Target
Spain’s Budget Ministry Tuesday said the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy is in line to meet its 2013 deficit target, after the preliminary government budget deficit stood at 4.8% of gross domestic product between January and August.

Spain is seeking to cut its budget deficit to 6.5% of GDP this year from 6.8% of GDP last year, excluding the impact of the banking bailout.

“Our budget targets are perfectly compatible with economic recovery,” said deputy Budget Minister Marta Fernández-Currás.

Spain’s government didn’t provide budget deficit numbers for the first eight months of 2012. Ms. Fernández Currás said this is because recent changes in accounting methods so Spain complies with EU practices make last year’s data non-comparable.

EU Probes Spanish Officials as Concerns Rise Over Budget DataIt seems EU officials (with good reason) are highly skeptical of official pronouncements. After all, and in spite of the fact that Spain’s deficit targets were reduced at least three times in three years, Spain has not yet met a single target.

On November 5, Bloomberg reported EU Probes Spanish Officials as Concerns on Budget Data Escalate
European Union officials made an extraordinary visit to Spain in September that signals escalating concern about the reliability of the country’s budget data.

EU statisticians ordered a so-called ad-hoc visit, a procedure reserved for urgent issues, to assess whether regional officials are complying with recommendations after failing to report all the unpaid bills they had accumulated in 2011, Tim Allen, a Luxembourg-based press officer for the statistics agency Eurostat, said in an e-mail. The visit included meetings with officials from Valencia and Madrid regions.

Eurostat raised concerns about Spanish data in April following at least two “upstream dialog visits,” the second of four levels of checks the agency has on member states’ statistical reporting.

September’s visit signaled a shift in gear to the second-most serious intervention. Ad-hoc visits are triggered by urgent issues regarding the quality or the methods used to produce the data, which only can be resolved with a face-to-face meeting, according to the agency Web site.

Deficit Revisions

Valencia posted a budget deficit equivalent to 5 percent of GDP in 2011 after initially reporting a shortfall of 3.68 percent, according to the Budget Ministry. Madrid’s deficit was 1.96 percent compared with 1.13 percent initially reported. That helped to push the country’s public sector deficit that year to 8.9 percent, the Budget Ministry said in a May 2012 statement. The final figure was revised later to 9.6 percent.

Eurostat officials checked the early warning systems being used by the Madrid region to avoid any future deficit deviations, a spokesman for Madrid’s regional budget and economy department said in an e-mailed statement.

Spain, Italy Warned About New Budget RulesOn November 15, the BBC reported EU warns Spain and Italy over their budget plans
The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, has warned Spain and Italy that their draft budgets for 2014 may not comply with new debt and deficit rules.

It also said French and Dutch plans only just passed muster.

Non-complying countries may have to revise their tax and spending plans before re-submitting them to national parliaments. It is the first time the Commission has done this.

Budgetary surveillance

Spain’s draft 2014 spending plans were “at risk of non-compliance”, said the Commission, as the country does not envisage returning to EU financial norms until 2016 at the earliest.

Other countries at risk of breaking EU finance rules included Finland, Luxembourg and Malta.

Heavily indebted countries that received EU bail-outs at the height of the financial crisis – Ireland, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece – were not included in the review.

If Spain meets it budget deficit target this year, it will likely do so by some sort of accounting gimmickry or purposeful under-reporting of regional debt.Expect the same thing multiple times in 2014, because Spain will have to not only catch up with its 2013 revised deficit shortfalls, but also comply with new rules that likely take away some sleight of hand budget gimmickry.

By the way, it’s important to note that 97% of what’s left of the reserve fund is invested in Spanish government debt. Think that investment won’t ever take a haircut?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
www.globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/ link to original article

John Ward – On The Other Hand – 5 November 2013

JohnWHumorous fiction outclassed by hysterical HS2 fact

HSBC reported a 10 percent rise in third quarter profits on Monday to $5.1bn, benefitting from a sharp unpturn in the Hopelessness Index, as a consequence of which Colombian drug sales grew by 18%. The bank confirmed it was being investigated as part of a global probe into currency market trading manipulation. Continue reading

Mish/ Mike Shedlock – No One Happy Except Stock Market; Discord Emerges In Spain, Italy, Germany To ECB Announcement – 9 September 2012

Discord Emerges

It’s not just Germany expressing reservations about the ECB’s plan to “Save the Euro”. Spain, Italy, and Germany all have concerns about the plan launched last week by ECB president Mario Draghi. Continue reading

Mish /Mike Shedlock – Italy’s Prime Minister Blames Finland and Netherlands For Spike In Yields – 9 July 2012

Like a drunk blaming a pebble in the road for causing his fall, Italy’s Prime Minister Blames Finland and Netherlands for Spike in Yields.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti denounced unnamed “northern” EU states on Sunday for taking positions that contributed to spikes in borrowing costs for Italy and Spain. Continue reading