Greece’s last Eurogroup or the beginning of a new solid European Union?

Today everyone’s eyes are fixed on the extraordinary Eurogroup meeting which is taking place in Brussels. This is simply put one of the most important gatherings in the Union’s history because one of its member states is under the “dilemma” of staying within the Eurozone by signing an extension agreement or exit and face imminent bankruptcy. […]

EU Summit’s major takeaway: a handkerchief cannot save Greece from austerity

After Wednesday’s Eurogroup where Greece’s Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis, “agreed to disagree” with his European counterparts, Grexit enthusiasts had a reason to celebrate in the evening. However, they did not count for the modern Hercules, Alexis Tsipras, who came tieless to his first EU Summit yesterday in Brussels but with plenty and trendy new […]

German and French bankers looted the Irish and Spanish unemployed

According to a Commission‘s new ‘on-line state aid to banks benchmarking tool’ published on 20 December, between October 2008 and December 2012 the EU member states provided €591.9 billion (4.6 % of EU 2012 GDP) of capital support (recapitalisation and asset relief measures) to the financial sector (banks). It was not only that. The same […]

Tiny Iceland teaches the West how to treat bankers

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the Prime Minister of Iceland, hardened by adverse weather and isolation as all his compatriots, when in Brussels last summer, delivered two lessons to EU bureaucrats and dignitaries, softened by indoor life. He taught them how to treat fraudulent bankers and who to fish mackerel. Yesterday tiny Iceland accomplished its teaching course […]

Schaeuble wants IMF out and bailouts ‘a la carte’ with Germany only to gain

Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German Minister of Finance issued an appeal yesterday to European partners to do together whatever it takes, in order to push the International Monetary Fund out of the European Union. Four years ago it was again Schaeuble and Germany the ones who demanded the cooperation of IMF in the first bailout of […]

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

The informal Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings in Dublin today and tomorrow will discuss but are not expected to come up with decisions on two burning and closely interrelated financial issues. It is about the relaxation of bank secrecy legislation in certain EU member states like Austria and Luxembourg and the procedures to be followed from […]

Eurozone bank rescues ‘a la carte’ until 2015 then only bail-ins

The fact that the Eurozone does not have a standard procedure to deal with failing or about to fail banks and the national bankruptcy laws of the 17 member states are far from offering a relevant solution, has prompted the two most competent persons in the Union to describe the way such dealings will be […]

Draghi reveals how failing banks will be dealt, may cut interest rates soon

The governor of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, speaking yesterday in his regular monthly Press conference after the Governing Council meeting, was rather straight forward on two crucial fronts. First, he left to be clearly understood that if the now prevailing unfavourable economic conditions in the Eurozone continue, with recession dragging on and the […]

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

Even if last weekend’s negotiations over the Cyprus problem were so demanding and exhausting for Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch minister of Finance and President of Eurogroup is not excused for having said that the solution agreed for Cyprus will be from now on the standard arrangement for any future financial bailout or rather bail-in in […]

Why and how Germany had it again its own way in Cyprus

The final agreement reached between the Eurogroup and the Cypriot authorities contains two pivotal elements. The first is a draconian downsizing of the tiny country’s overgrown banking system. The second and less important element is “an independent evaluation of the implementation of the anti-money laundering framework in Cypriot financial institutions, involving Moneyval alongside a private […]

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

The latest and most important rhapsody in the Cyprus tragedy was performed yesterday morning by the twenty-three members of the European Central Bank’s governing council. The text issued by them was very brief and went like this: “The Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided to maintain the current level of Emergency Liquidity Assistance […]

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

There was no better opportunity than now, to observe how unfounded and shallow the institutional structure of Eurozone was, probably for the big guys to do whatever they liked. At a time when the Cyprus banking sector threatens to drive the whole island to a shipwreck, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission are […]

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

One after the other Eurozone’s major players draw their red lines towards Cyprus, after the country’s Parliament rejected unanimously the agreement struck between the Nicosia government and the Eurogroup in the early hours of Saturday morning 16 March. The agreement was supposed to provide the Cypriot authorities with €5.8 billion from a haircut of 6.75% […]

Eurozone in trouble after Nicosia’s ‘no’

  The comparison of repercussions from the Greek ‘yes’ and the Cyprus ‘no’, to the troika of EU-ECB-IMF proposals, concerning the bailouts of the corresponding economies, may produce political and financial implications for many Eurozone governments, the EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund. The Greek ‘yes’ is presenting very difficult problems in the longer […]

The Eurogroup has set Cyprus on fire

Eurogroup’s decision to impose a haircut on all bank accounts held in Cypriot banks, even on balances bellow the until today “theoretically” guaranteed benchmark of €100,000, may become a boomerang for the entire Eurozone and will certainly set the island once more on fire. Who is to say that this will not have a devastating […]

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

According to Eurostat, the EU statistical service, tax payments in absolute terms, kept rising in the Eurozone after 2009 and surpassed the pre-crisis levels in 2011. Given that all along this period most of the euro area member states applied austerity measures, by cutting social spending, it is common knowledge by now that the extra […]