Ca y est, la Crise Grecque est là !

Après une longue période d’incubation et de traitement placebo, la crise Grecque est enfin là… On a faillit rater cette occasion de faire trembler toute l’Union Monétaire ; mais heureusement, la procrastination, les déclarations timides et les conflits internes des dirigeants Européen ont permis de préparer le terrain pour une crise digne de ce nom…

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Week of April 24th, 2010

Still pretty busy for me, so short update this week again :

  • The euro economical situation is worsening as Greece asks Brussels to activate the rescue plan prepare about two weeks ago.
  • New Episode in the long running political series of clashes over languages in Belgium, prime minister Y Leterme (who took over after H. Von Rompuy left for the European Council presidency) presented his government resignation last week to the king. Belgium will hold the EU rotating presidency starting in July until the end of 2010.

Semaine du 17 Avril 2010 / Week of April 17th 2010

Due to my actual job overwhelmingly filling my schedule, this week’s summary will be extra-short.

Three things to remember this week :

  1. The Euro economy is getting worse : Greece might as for the activation of the rescue plan (*) soon, and in the mean time, the economy of Portugal is weaker and is closely watched by Brussels
  2. Poland has been mourning is president, Lech Kaczynski, and all the officials dead last week in a plane crash. The president is to be buried with his wife in Krakow Cathedral, a decision that has been criticized
  3. The United Kingdom entered in election campaign with the first live TV debates between the PM candidates.
  4. A gigantic cloud of volcanic ashes coming from Iceland, grounding flights all over Europe.

The European plan for Greece : 16 news articles to understand it…

The European plan for Greece : 16 news articles to understand it…

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


The EU rescue plan for Greece – What’s in there ?

The Europe & IMF plan to help Greece details have been released last weekend. It consist of a huge amount of money – from 30 to 45bn euros this year – that is ready to be loaned to Greece at an interest rate of 5%, well below the 7+% Greece is paying on the market. This massive intervention is however still not in action : Greek PM Mr Papandreou still claims that Greece can finance itself on the market and there is no need yet for a rescue plan.

These details have received a good welcome on the markets : the Euro regaining about 1% against the dollar on Monday ; and European stocks making good progress too.

Two questions remain :

Are the euro-zone countries paying for Greece ? Not exactly… These 30bn of euros are a loan, which Greece will have to pay back. The conditions of this loan (the 5% interest rate) are advantageous for Greece, but while countries like France and Germany are putting this money on the table, they hope to get it back.

What happens next ? Two possibilities : either the market calm down and investors continue to buy Greek bond with a high but reasonable interest rate : the y have all the reasons to prefer lending money to Greece at an interest rate just above 5% instead of watching Greece getting its money from Europe.

Or they continue to fuel the crisis, to push the interest rates higher , in order to get as much as possible before Greece goes to Europe… Because having a plan on the table and putting it into action are two completely different things.


Week of April 10th, 2010

Version en Français / French Version

Here is a summary of the European news this week.

Let’s start with economy: While Greece shows a cut in its deficit by 40% in respect to last year[*], and IMF agents are working on site to assist the Greek government [*], rumors fueled doubt and by the end of the week the interest rate for Greek Debt dramatically increased [*,*] and the Fitch agency downgraded the Greek Debt again [*]. It is now clear that Europe will need to act clearly and quickly to stabilize the economic situation in the Eurozone [*,*].

The European Commission suggested this week to implement a tax on risk-taking for the banks ; such a tax could raise up to 50 billions Euros a year [*,*].

On the international scene the MEPs went back on the SWIFT agreement (data sharing agreement with the US to fight terrorism). Following the rejection in February of a draft agreement, the Commission put forward a new version, which is still not satisfying the European Parliament. MEPs wants a sorting of the data before they are transferred outside the Union. [*,*,*]

The procedure to get a Schengen Visa has been updated this week, for short stays ; those new rules aim to make the procedure easier and reduce the waiting time. [*,*,*]

The disagreement between Macedonia and Greece, about the name of «Republic of Macedonia» used by the Balkan State, while Greece claims Macedonia is the name of one of its region, may get resolved, as some signs let think.[*,*,*]

The European Parliament met this weel in plenary session. MEPs listen to Herman Von Rompuy, who presented the results of the last summit of the European Council [*]. Some measures has been taken to increase the number of MEPs up to 751 as specify in the the Lisbon Treaty, without waiting for the end of the current legislature [*,*].

I advise you to read this interview of Herman Von Rompuy for the French newspaper Le Monde.

Finally, the week ended with a tragedy : the plane of Polish President Lech Kaczynski crashed in Russia while flying to Katyn. Several officials were traveling along and it all the polish state that lost its head. [*,*] European head of State and officials expressed their condolence  [*]

Note to the readers : My actual job is keeping me very busy for the next two weeks, the weekly update might not be available during that time.


Semaine du 10 Avril 2010

English Version / Version en Anglais

Voici le résumé de l’actualité Européenne de la semaine.

Commençons par l’économie : Alors que le déficit Grecque du premier trimestre a été réduit par 40% par rapport à l’année dernière [*], et tandis que des agents du FMI travaillent sur place pour assister le gouvernement [*], des rumeurs ont entretenues le doute et en fin de semaine les taux d’intérêts sur la dette grecque ont décollés [*,*] et l’agence Fitch a à nouveau dégradé la note de la dette Grecque [*]. Il est maintenant clair que l’Europe devra agir clairement et rapidement pour stabiliser la situation économique de la zone Euro[*,*].

La Commission Européenne a suggérée cette semaine la mise en place d’une taxe sur les prises de risque des banques ; une telle taxe pourrait rapporter jusque 50 milliards d’Euros par an [*,*].

Sur le plan international,les eurodéputés reviennent sur le dossier SWIFT (accord de transfert de données bancaires vers les USA à des fins de luttes contre le terrorisme). Suite au rejet en février d’un projet d’accord, la Commission avait proposé une nouvelle version, qui ne satisfait toujours pas le Parlement Européen. Ce dernier réclame un tri des données avant le transfert en dehors de l’Union. [*,*,*]

La procédure d’obtention des Visa Schengen pour des séjours cours est entrée en application ; ces nouvelles règles d’obtention devraient facilité les séjours cours et réduire les temps d’attente. [*,*,*]

Le conflit entre la Macédoine et la Grèce, portant précisément sur la désignation de «République de Macédoine» par l’état des Balkans alors que la Grèce revendique le nom de Macédoine pour une de ses régions. Certains signes laissent à penser que ce différend pourrait se résoudre. [*,*,*]

Le Parlement Européen s’est réunis en session plénière cette semaine. Les eurodéputés ont écouté Herman Von Rompuy qui a présenté les résultats du dernier sommet du Conseil Européen [*]. Des dispositions ont été prises pour augmenter le nombres d’eurodéputés jusqu’à 751 comme le prévoit le traité de Lisbonne, sans attendre la fin de la présente législature [*,*].

Je vous renvois également à une interview d’Herman Von Rompuy pour Le Monde.

Enfin, la semaine s’est terminée sur un drame : l’avion du président Polonais Lech Kaczynski s’est écrasé en Russie alors qu’il se rendaient à Katyn. De nombreux officiels se trouvaient avec lui et c’est toute la Pologne qui se retrouve décapitée.[*,*] Les personnalités Européennes ont exprimés leur condoléances [*]

Avis aux lecteurs : mon activités professionnelle me retiendra énormément dans les deux semaines à venir et les bulletins hebdomadaires ne seront peut être pas assurés.