First it was all this pressure on Greece for a euro exit. The last toothless idiot in rags sailing on a wrecked boat around a remote island felt obliged to say something on the issue. Greece became the global scapegoat, whether with or -even without left-wing SYRIZA government. Those Europeans who criticized PASOK and Nea Dimocratia for not implementing the Memorandum of Understanding and threatened to stop bailout tranches for exactly this reason, suddenly became font of the two pro-bailout parties, when Greek left emerged as second at the May 6 elections.
Disneyland at full speed: rigid acrobats and mourning clowns, burned fire spitters and cut sword swallowers, all together in an overcrowded looping train of horror. Barroso, van Rompuy, Merkel, Schaeuble, Meuble and their -euble parrots for journalists have been screaming in panic for the last three weeks “pull the plug, pull the plug”, let the Greek patient die. Meanwhile indeed, many Greek patients saw the death with their own eyes due to shortages in medicine and medical supplies. But I won’t elaborate on this issue here… Neither I would write about how much money left the Greek banks due to this frenzied, horror-spreading circus.
Spains’ Banking Crisis
Suddenly is quiet about Greece. Rather quiet, I should clarify, then nobody forgets Greece. Silence on the eastern Mediterranean front, turbulence on the west one. Spain is collapsing. Faster than one blinks with his eyes. Banking crisis. Property Bubble and price speculations in real estate.
Prices rose 201% from 1985 to 2007. In the second quarter of 2005, the total mortgage debt of Spanish families was € 651,168,000,000 with a continuing grow at 25% per year. Banks offered 40-year and even 50-year mortgages recently. Amid a Pan-European crisis.
Spanish banks collapse threatens the country’s finances and the ghost of euro exit now hanging over Madrid. Even before Greeks step out of their homes to cast their votes on June 17.
Despite PM Rajoy’s denials, it looks as if bailout countries would welcome a new member in their club, as soon as upcoming weekend.
Who is to blame for the Spanish collapse? “Greece”, of course, should one want to believe German Finance Minister.
The Schengen Option
Yes, it is rather quiet about Greece. The agenda of euro panic-makers made a turn towards the West. And yet. Pressure on Greece continue. As the euro member countries fall apart one after the other, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of “Europe of Two Speeds”.
And EU home affairs ministers unanimously vote yesterday Friday (June 7) to accept the re-introduction of internal border controls in the Schengen area, eyeing Greece and its difficulties to tame the influx of illegal immigrants coming from Turkey. No, dear, EU ministers are not worrying about the presence of estimated one million illegal immigrants in Greece. They worry, that they may flee to other European countries, should a euro exit, a civil war or some kind of Noah’s floods would sink the debt-ridden country.
EU Ministers Vote to Reintroduce Border Controls
EU home affairs ministers voted unanimously yesterday (7 June) for the re-introduction of internal border controls in the Schengen area, dwarfing the decision-making role of EU institutions in that policy area. The Commission regretted the decision and MEPs vowed to reject the draft legislation.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU home affairs ministers agreed on new rules that would allow countries to reintroduce border controls, if one state persistently fails to stop illegal migrants from entering Europe’s Schengen zone.
Such a decision would have to follow careful monitoring of the external borders, which reveals a “serious threat to public policy or internal security” in the EU.
Checks between the countries failing to meet standards and other EU states could be put in place for six months at a time, with possible extensions up to two years.
“There must be no weak links in the chain when it comes to illegal migration,” Danish Justice Minister Morten Bodskov told a news conference after the meeting. “Steps need to be taken quickly if Schengen cooperation is under threat.”
To ensure the EU’s external borders are well protected, the ministers also agreed to step up monitoring of how checks are conducted.
One country that could come under increased scrutiny is Greece which regularly faces criticism for failing to protect its border with Turkey (see background). (EurActiv)
PS I still vehemently try to resist to conspiracy theories….
I thought we had long gone past the theory bit of the conspiracy…
The ECB will lend the Spanish banks billions over the week-end, at 1% interest. The banks will then lend that money to the Spanish Government at an untennable 7% interest. But that is on condition that the Government uses the money to… indeed, bail out the banks (at no interest). And Spanish Joe Soap pays for the next 3 generations or so? Ring any bells? Like, Irish ones, Portuguese ones, Greek ones,… Meanwhile, Germany is awash with cash flowing in from Irish, Greek, protuguese and now Spanish banks, becasue it is perceived as a “safe Haven”. Conspiracy, what conspiracy?
conspirancy? no, paranoia…
We didn’t do anything to attract that money except to continue our normal course of stability and responsibility. At a time when so many other nations in the Eurozone seriously lack this, of course this is attractive for the investors. No conspiracy theory there, onnly common sense.
And the Spanish government should do the same as the German one did in the case of Depfa/HRE: Nationalize the bank when it asks for big money to avoid bankruptcy. No free lunch for the bankers. The Spaniards don’t evne have to use their own money for that, the European resuce fund stands ready to help out. So, there won’t be any spanish collapse soon. They gambled for getting better conditions, but are noticing now that everybody knows they only have losing cards in their hand. Well, nice bluff, and they’re still better players than the Greeks who don’t have any cards to show but still try to get the pot.
Quote from Bloomberg:
“As Europe’s sovereign debt crisis escalates, Germany is becoming a magnet for depositors keen to stow their savings in the euro area’s safest market.
Deposits in Germany rose 4.4 percent to 2.17 trillion euros ($2.73 trillion) as of April 30 from a year earlier, according to European Central Bank figures. Deposits in Spain, Greece and Ireland shrank 6.5 percent to 1.2 trillion euros in the same period, including a 16 percent drop for Greece, the data compiled by Bloomberg show.
As banks in Europe’s periphery fret over lost deposits, German lenders are awash in liquidity that comes on top of more than 1 trillion euros the ECB has made available in three-year loans to banks since December to ease the flow of credit. The prospect of Greece leaving the 17-nation euro region is fueling the capital flight as parties opposed to the terms of the country’s second bailout prepare for a new ballot on June 17 after winning most of the votes in elections last month.”
the full aricle is here: http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-07/capital-flight-leaves-banks-in-germany-awash-in-cheap-deposits?category=%2F
Note yet another dig at “the parties opposed to..” It simply doesn’t stop.
Is it our fault that we’re so boringly anti-rock-the-boat and thus looking like a safe heaven in the European maelstrom? Ok, maybe it is. Damn.
Btw, imho it’s W31RD to base a conspiracy theory on a BLOOMBERG report! What’s next, will you cite the Koch Brothers in order to make a point against Germany?
No conspiracy theory at all, but a clearly emerging pattern. Ireland’s banks go belly up–> bailout–> austerity–>poverty and unemployement–>more austerity–>economy in decline–> further bailout soon (their government is already priming them, after tricking them into giving away their voting rights!). Portugal? Very same pattern, same order. Portugal is already looking for a second bailout. Greece? Well, we all know, experience it every day. Spain, this is the beginning of it. The countries are being picked of, 1 by 1, like shooting fish in a barrel. Next will be Italy, they are already getting nervous, and the sharks are already sharpening the teeth. Belgium is in the sights as well? How long do you think this game can be played before people stand up and say enough? Not much longer my friend, and it doesn;t matter how much money you have in the banks, it’s not going to stop the inevitable falling apart of the EU/Eurozone, unless those trying to hold the status que in place stop doing so and start working towards a solution. Don’t get too smug about how good you guys are at not rocking the boat etc. The higher the ivory tower, the deeper the fall. and it’s not the falling that hurts, it’s the landing…
Let’s not forget that this is a bond and banking crisis in the first place. And that the major factor in this is investors not having enough confidence in the stability of those governments and financial institutes. Now, why are people so concerned? Very obviously because of the huge amount of negative news. And most of these come form Greece. Imho the other struggling nations would be much better off if the troublemaker Hellas would be forced out. Ireland, Portugal and Spain aren’t doing such a bad reform job, in comparison, and shouldn’t have to suffer under the negative headlines created in Athens every single day. There’s not a single reasonable reason to believe the situation in Greece will improve in the medium run, maybe not even long term, so led’s end this sharade now and draw the unavoidable consequences. Enough already.
A lot of people in Greece seem to think that there is a kind of pan-European movement going on with at it’s core sympathy and solidarity with them…
Alas, that’s a huge mistake. It’s a movement aimed at the right-leaning policies that dominated Europe for the last couple of years. And for most, Greece is a very bad distraction and obstacle in obtaining their goal.
So, and why is Hellas the “troublemaker”? Because they don’t want to lie down and play dead when told, but are looking for a fair deal instead? Whoever told you that Ireland isn’t doing such a bad job is lying to you my friend, badly. 450,000 unemployed and growing, very much the same problems as elsewhere, services needed by those hit hard are cut back if not discontinued, especially in the areas of health and social care, not the slightest bit of reform has happened Just look up the Croke park agreement, which was/is supposed to “reform the Irish civil service for the last 3or 4 years, and see what has been implemented. I’ll save you the bother, not an iota, nothing, zilch. What has been done is the debt caused by the “worst banking failure in history” has been shifted onto Joe Soap, crooked politicians walk free (look up Ivor Callely, he’s only one, but a very good example of one of the minor ones), the Irish government literally tricked the Irish people into giving up their voting rights, and bank managers will have their “bonus culture” reinstated. That’s about as far as it goes. Ditto in Portugal, and in Spain.
there is no reasonable reason to believe the situation will improve anywhere, in fact, it’s the opposite, and daily unfolding events show every time. Even without the dreaded Bloomberg repeating it 🙂
the only way something is going to change for the better is when the approach changes, and that is why e.g Tsipras and SYRIZA are dead right on insisting a renegotiation with a view to create growth instead of a programme that achieves one thing and one thing only, more poverty!
Greece is the troublemaker because its nomenklatura refuses to clear out its mess. To implement any measure that would give ordinary Greeks any room to breath. To stop wasting and stealing billions of euros. To stop lying and cheating at every corner to their European counterparts and therefor to the other European citizens. There has been no attempt to get a fair deal up till now. Just attempts to cheat and stall.
That is what makes Greece unique and a troublemaker that is hurting first Ireland and Portugal and now Spain.
I am not saying anything about the succesfullness or not of the policies in Ireland. I just repeat what some Irish who are well connected with the left told me about the mood about the Greek politicians, right AND left.
I agree with you on this: “Tsipras and SYRIZA are dead right on insisting a renegotiation with a view to create growth”. But Tsipras is also more and more giving big concessions to vested interests. Like his speech on the Public Sector School this week or at the shipyards. He is acting more and more in the only way he probably knows. Since he was born and raised in this corrupt system.
As the only party who has at least a couple of plans worked out, they should indeed been given the chance to rule if elected and getting all the support any elected government would get. And I really hope the Greek public will not vote for the clique that got them into this disaster.
It is a Greek problem that has to be solved by the Greeks themselves first before any outsider should step in to help. If any lesson is there to be learned from these disastrous couple of years it should be that.