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Merkel and Sarkozy have spoken! Forget about euro-bonds. Forget about increasing the emergency funding launched last May. Europe’s leaders, when they meet in Brussels next Thursday, will face a stark reality: the limits of eurozone support have been determined, at least for now, following the Franco-German summit in Freiburg. Economic growth combined with budget restraint… » read more

Storm clouds loom once again over the eurozone. Interest rates on Portuguese, Irish and Greek government bonds are continuing to rise. Ten-year bond yields for Ireland reached a record 7.75 per cent on Monday, while for Portugal they were 6.67 per cent. The ECB started buying bonds again after several weeks’ abstention. There was some… » read more

The cost of living

An interesting article on Spanish website Citzalia.It looks at recent Eurostat data, which shows that, since the euro came into force, Spain and Greece have seen the highest increases in the cost of living throughout the EU. In comparison to the rest o…

The Same Old Story?

The eurozone is experiencing some economic growth again. Data published the other day by Eurostat shows that eurozone GDP expanded by 1% in the second quarter of 2010 from the first quarter, and by a flattering 1.7% in comparison with the second quarte…

Sticking to your guns

The new Slovakian government is not bowing to pressure over its refusal to sign off on the eurozone bailout package. After a meeting with European Union Council President Herman van Rompuy tonight, Slovakian Prime Minister Iveta Radicova said, when ask…

Go Team Eurozone!

Relief for the recent debt troubles of the eurozone has come in unexpected form this week, with three of the countries using the single currency making it to the World Cup semi-finals – and both finalists being eurozone members (Spain and the Netherl…

A first attempt (to our knowledge at least) at quantifying the cost of a possible break-up of the eurozone has been made by Dutch bank ING. The report carries the title “Quantifying the Unthinkable”. A break-up of the eurozone, it says, “would h…

cart before horse?

The front page of today’s FT sported the headline, “Markets plunge on ECB loan fears”, with €442bn worth of European Central Bank emergency one-year loans to the eurozone’s ailing banking sector expiring today.Only a thought, but wouldn’t it have bee…

It has always seemed a curious paradox that the major policy-making institutions of the European Union should have settled in Belgium, a country with a political system in a permanent state of turmoil, deeply divided on political and linguistic grounds, yet somehow able to keep functioning as coalitions come and go and politicians struggle with… » read more

It was evident from the beginning of the eurozone crisis that the only way to discipline recalcitrant member states in the face of enormous budget deficits was to involve the International Monetary Fund, an independent, external organization which was definitely not part of the family, a body which could lay down tough conditions for winning… » read more

Against the backdrop of a European economic crisis of monumental proportions, the creation of the UK’s coalition government must seem like “noises off” to the rest of the European audience. But at least the deal reached between Conservative leader David Cameron and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats could provide political stability in Britain for… » read more

The markets have been bowled over by the scale of the eurozone bail-out package announced this morning, after agreement by G-7 finance ministers, the European Commission, the 16 eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund. An emergency funding facility of up to €720 billion is designed to protect weaker eurozone members and save the integrity… » read more

It should be a time for celebration. The Lisbon Treaty has come into force, a new European Commission has been convincingly approved by the Parliament, the European Council has a permanent president and a European foreign policy structure has been created. Yet it feels as if Europe’s clock has been turned back ten years, to… » read more

We’ve heard a lot about banks that are “too big to fail”. Perhaps a more immediate question is whether the sovereign nation of Greece is too big to fail. The risk of default and the threat of Greece quitting the eurozone would have profound implications for Europe’s monetary union, for other European countries wrestling with… » read more

In his first major initiative since taking up his new role on January 1 2010, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has convened a summit for February 11 to prepare for the 2020 Strategy, a ten year programme for creating a more competitive Europe. But can these plans really achieve anything? Only if they lay… » read more

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