Greeks Go off the Dole and Back to the Farm and Grow Food for the Germans
The Denmark model will work for the Greeks. They will work a lot harder on their own land then on the government employee plantation.
Americans are kind of the opposite of the Greeks. All the American kids who worked on the farm, complained after getting a couple of engineering degrees that the oldest son got the farm and they did not like working in cities or for someone else.
Greeks have poor Character, much like today’s youth of the USA and Canada. The Church should work on that. All the hard working Greeks like hardworking Danes , at least the men, come to the USA to get away from the socialist hell, which is good for me as I like Greek food.
Strike threatens to derail crucial Greek election
China Limits Access to Company Filings After Short-Sell Bids
China has begun limiting access to corporate filings after short-sellers used them to highlight accounting discrepancies that led to stock plunges and regulatory investigations over domestic companies listed abroad.
“In recent months, the Industry & Commerce Administrations in many key cities and provinces around China have implemented measures restricting access to the AIC files of Chinese companies,” said Nathan Bush, a Beijing-based partner at the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP.
Tighter rules may restrict the ability of short-sellers including Carson Block’s Muddy Waters LLC to use the filings to glean detailed financial information on companies. The Communist Party, which begins a leadership transition this year, also faces slowing growth and a 33 percent drop in the Shanghai Composite Index in 2010 through 2011.
“It may be that short sellers had been using these filings too much and it’s been hurting Chinese companies,” said Fredrik Oqvist, a Beijing-based independent consultant and analyst. “I’ve also heard that some higher-up officials have been burned in some of these short cases where they found information through SAIC filings.”
While the State Administration for Industry and Commerce has made no public announcement, lawyers and short sellers said getting the documents has become more difficult in some cities. Other lawyers reported no greater difficulty in obtaining files…
Merkel says EU ready to act as Spain downgraded
(Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe was ready to act to ensure stability in the euro zone as Spain’s credit rating was cut by three notches on Thursday amid expectations it may soon seek EU help for banks beset by bad debts.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he would wait for the results of independent audits of the banking system before talking with Europe about how to recapitalize troubled lenders.
An International Monetary Fund report due out next Monday is expected to show Spanish banks need at least 40 billion euros ($50 billion), financial sector sources said.
Without waiting for a widely expected EU rescue, credit ratings agency Fitch cut Spain’s sovereign rating to BBB from A with a negative outlook, saying Madrid was especially vulnerable to a worsening of the euro zone debt crisis.
Fitch estimated Spanish lenders need 50 to 60 billion euros in capital under their updated base case. However, the total fiscal cost to underpin the banks could rise as high as 100 billion euros or 9 percent of gross domestic product in a more extreme scenario similar to Ireland’s bank meltdown, it said.
Speaking after talks in Berlin with British Prime Minister David Cameron – who called for “urgent action” to tackle the debt crisis – Merkel said Germany stood ready, alongside the other 16 euro zone countries, to do whatever was necessary.
“It is important to stress again that we have created the instruments for support in the euro zone and that Germany is ready to use these instruments whenever it may prove necessary,” she said, referring to the euro zone’s temporary bailout fund, the EFSF, and to its permanent successor, the ESM.
If Spain does decide to seek help with recapitalizing its banks, laden with bad property debts and other underperforming loans, it is expected to ask for funds from the 440 billion euro EFSF or the 500 billion euro ESM, due to be operational in July.
Despite the pressure, Spain demonstrated it could still tap credit markets, raising all the money it required, although at a higher cost. Madrid sold 2.1 billion euros of government bonds, paying just over 6 percent for 10-year debt – up from 5.74 percent last month and the highest at auction since 1998.
The sale laid to rest – at least for now – fears raised by Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro on Tuesday that Spain was being shut out of credit markets.
In the midst of the storm, Spain nominated a new central bank governor, Luis Maria Linde, aiming to restore the Bank of Spain’s credibility, battered by its handling of the banking crisis. He was preferred to outgoing European Central Bank executive board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo….
French Business Confidence, Italian Output Fall
Spain poised to request EU bank aid on Saturday
(Reuters) – Spain is expected to ask the euro zone for help with recapitalizing its banks at the weekend, sources in Brussels and Berlin said on Friday, becoming the fourth country to seek assistance since Europe’s debt crisis began.
Five senior EU and German officials said deputy finance ministers from the single currency area would hold a conference call on Saturday morning to discuss a Spanish request for aid, although no figure for the assistance has yet been fixed.
Later the Eurogroup, which consists of the euro zone’s 17 finance ministers, will hold a separate call to discuss approving the request, the sources said.
“The announcement is expected for Saturday afternoon,” one of the EU officials said.
The dramatic move comes after Fitch Ratings cut Madrid’s sovereign credit rating by three notches to BBB on Thursday, highlighting the Spanish banking sector’s exposure to bad property loans and to contagion from Greece’s debt crisis.
“The government of Spain has realized the seriousness of their problem,” a senior German official said.
He added that an agreement needed to be reached before a Greek election on June 17 which could cause market panic and increase the possibility of Athens leaving the euro zone if left-wing parties opposed to Greece’s EU/IMF bailout win.
The EU and German sources spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The European Commission’s spokesman on economic affairs said Spain had made no request for aid and he would not confirm that a conference call was planned. But he added that if Spain did make a request, the euro zone was ready to help.
“If such a request were to be made, the instruments are there, ready to be used, in agreement with the guidelines agreed in the past,” Amadeu Altafaj said. “We are not at that point.”
Speaking in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was not pressing any country to take a bailout, saying it was up to Spain to decide what it wanted to do: “It’s down to the individual countries to turn to us,” she said.
“That has not happened so far, and therefore (we) will not exert any pressure.”
In Madrid, where the Spanish cabinet held a weekly meeting, a government spokeswoman said she was not aware of any pending announcement on a bank rescue. She recalled that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Thursday he would await the outcome of two external audits due later this month before considering how to recapitalize troubled lenders.
Spain is expected to request aid from the euro zone’s 440 billion euro bailout mechanism, known as the European Financial Stability Facility. The amount will depends on the results of audits being conducted by the International Monetary Fund and two independent assessors.
Financial industry sources told Reuters on Thursday that a report by the IMF, to be handed to Spain on Friday and expected to be made public on Monday, had estimated Spanish banks’ minimum capital needs at 40 billion euros ($50.25 billion), rising to 90 billion euros for a fuller recapitalization.
A separate independent audit of the banking sector, commissioned from consultants Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger, which the government has flagged as crucial, is due on June 21.
Officials in Spain said the parameters for the IMF and the private-sector audits were effectively the same, meaning Spain could make the request for aid on the basis of the IMF figures rather than having to wait for the other audit to be finished.
The euro zone has been under strong pressure from the United States, China, Canada and other major partners to take swift, decisive action to prevent the debt crisis spreading and causing greater damage to the world economy.
Fitch said the cost to the Spanish state of recapitalizing banks stricken by the bursting of a real estate bubble, recession and mass unemployment could be between 60-100 billion euros ($75-$125 billion) – or 6 to 9 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product. The higher figure would be in a stress scenario equivalent to Ireland’s bank crash.
European shares and the euro fell amid mounting concern over Spain following the Fitch downgrade. Spanish bond yields rose after the steep credit rating cut.
While Spain would join Greece, Ireland and Portugal in receiving a European financial rescue, officials said the aid would be focused only on its banking sector, without taking the Spanish state out of credit markets.
That would be crucial to avoid overstraining the euro zone’s rescue funds, which would struggle to cover Spanish government borrowing needs for the next three years plus possible additional assistance for Portugal and Ireland.
“I think they’re trying to get a lighter support package, where the money is headed to the banks and not for financing the fiscal deficit,” said Vincent Chaigneau, head of rates strategy at Societe Generale. “But you need to know the details, the size of the program and who participates.”
While funds would be paid to Spain from the EFSF, it remains unclear whether they will go directly to the Spanish state or to the government’s bank assistance fund known as the FROB. Either way, analysts say the aid will accrue to Spain’s budget deficit.
The sudden escalation of the Spanish banking crisis, dramatized by last month’s hasty nationalization of troubled lender Bankia, has contributed to raising Italy’s borrowing costs towards danger levels as well as Spain’s..
The deputy governor of the Bank of Spain told parliamentarians on Thursday that 9 billion euros would also be needed to cover additional losses at nationalized banks CatalunyaCaixa and NovaGalicia, according to one source.
The aim of a rescue package would be to relieve pressure on the state while enabling it to keep borrowing on markets.
A “bailout lite” would also help salve Spanish pride. Spain is the world’s 12th largest economy and No. 4 in the euro zone. EU and German officials have cited prickly national pride as a barrier to requesting a full assistance program.
Any political conditions would be light, related to the banks and would probably not add to the austerity measures and structural economic reforms which Rajoy’s government has already put in place, EU and German sources said.
The European Commission and Germany both agreed in principle last week that Spain should be given an extra year to bring its budget deficit down below the EU limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product because of a deep recession.
European Stocks Decline as Fitch Downgrades Spain Rating
Syria Could Unite Russia and China Against the U.S.
German Exports Tank in April
German export figures which show that sales abroad fell 1.7pc in April having risen 0.8pc in March. This sharp reverse is the first fall in German exports this year reflecting just how acute the Europe’s economic problems are.
France Falls into the Red
Banque de France has revised down its Q2 GDP figure from zero percent to minus 0.1pc which is the first quarterly decline since 2009 when the country pulled out of its last official recession.