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Posts Tagged ‘Greek Debt Crisis’

Not so noble: EU’s Peace Prize win sparks debate over legitimacy

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2012

The European Union’s presidents have received this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the 27-member group. However, growing numbers of critics have pointed to the EU’s economic and foreign policy failures, arguing the prize is undeserved.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz have accepted the 930,000-euro ($1.2 million) award on behalf of the EU.

In his acceptance speech, Van Rompuy praised postwar leaders in France and Germany who created the EU by uniting their economic interests: “The EU’s secret weapon – an unrivalled way of binding our interests so tightly that war becomes impossible.”

The French and German representatives at the ceremony – President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel, respectively – greeted the award with standing ovations.

But critics argued the award was an inappropriate honor. Six EU leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, did not attend the event. The initial news that the European Union won the 2012 Peace Prize sparked heated debate over whether the award was being discredited, a debate that also raged after US President Barack Obama’s win in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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Greece’s Exit From The Euro Zone Approaches, While Europe Fiddles

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 25, 2012

By Mark Gonglof

Greek Exit Euro Zone
A Greek flag flies next to a statue of ancient Greek philosopher Socrates in the center of Athens on 23 May, 2012. European leaders are considering the repercussions of Greece leaving the euro zone.

Europe and Greece are at the stage in their stormy marriage where they are consulting with divorce lawyers. And we may all feel the pain of their breakup.

On Thursday a Markit Economics indextracking European service-sector and factory activity in May tumbled to its lowest level since June 2009, suggesting a deeper economic contraction. A separate Markit index of German factory activity also tumbled, as did an Ifo Institute index of German corporate confidence, both suggesting the core of the European economy is suffering, too.

Meanwhile, new public polling in Greece showed the anti-austerity Syriza partygaining more support than ever ahead of elections scheduled for June 17 — even as 85 percent of Greeks polled said they wanted the country to stay in the euro zone.

A formal European summit is scheduled for the end of June, several days after the Greek election. Many observers fear that, by then, it will be too late for decisive action to keep Greece in the euro zone.

The euro fell on Thursday to $1.253, its lowest level in nearly two years. But European stocks rallied, in part on a hope that the European Central Bank will come to the rescue with rate cuts and fresh support for struggling sovereign debt. Germany’s DAX index edged up by about 0.5 percent, while France’s CAC 40 rose 1.2 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Eurozone Debt Crisis: European Leaders Reach Agreement Over Greek Debt

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 27, 2011

 
One step (agreement­) to sort out the Euro debt crisis appeared, however; another and more important step (implement­ation of the agreement) to be faced:

European leaders have reached a three-pronged agreement to resolve the eurozone debt crisis, including a deal that will halve Greek debt.

World stocks and the euro rose to their highest levels in nearly two months after the announcement of the deal on Thursday morning.

Banks were major gainers as European stock markets rose to hit three month highs on Thursday. The Dow Jones Stoxx Banks index, which aggregates the performance of European banks, was up nearly 5% in early trade. The German Dax and French CAC40 rose by 3.8% and 3.6% respectively.

Athens will also receive another bailout of around €100bn, scheduled to be released in early 2012, while the overall bailout fund will be increased to €1tn (£872bn).

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Why Europe Slept

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 12, 2011

They will ask why Europe slept as an undercapitalized banking system floundered, unemployment remained unacceptably high, and the continent’s growth and competitiveness plummeted.

Worse still, if a reconstruction plan does not come soon, Europe’s leaders will be charged with “the decline of the West” and then face accusations for being, in the words of Churchill about the 1930s, “resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity and all-powerful for impotence.”

By Gordon Brown, Former prime Minister of the United Kingdom

When the history of the 21st century is written, people will rightly ask why it was that Europe was found wanting during its most intractable economic crisis.

They will ask why Europe slept as an undercapitalized banking system floundered, unemployment remained unacceptably high, and the continent’s growth and competitiveness plummeted.

Worse still, if a reconstruction plan does not come soon, Europe’s leaders will be charged with “the decline of the West” and then face accusations for being, in the words of Churchill about the 1930s, “resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity and all-powerful for impotence.”

There is, of course, no shortage of European meetings. Hardly a day goes by without a summit of European leaders discussing the latest crisis facing a member state. But each time they talk as though they are dealing with a calamity confined to the nation in the headlines — the Greek problem, or the Irish problem, sometimes the Portuguese or the Spanish problem — without an agreement on the true nature of the emergency, which is pan-European. By wrongly analyzing Europe’s woes, they end up implementing the wrong remedies too. For Europe’s deficit crisis is a real concern but just one of its concerns.

Europe has in fact three deep-rooted problems, each of which is entwined with the other, and each of which reaches systemically into every corner of the continent. Alongside the deficit problem is also a banking problem — not confined to a handful of banks or countries — and a chronic growth problem.

First, banks: I was present in Paris in October 2008 at the first meeting ever held of the euro zone heads of government. The diagnosis of the banks I presented was of problems of liquidity but also of structure. But most in Europe at the time believed they were dealing only with the indirect consequences, the fallout, from an Anglo-Saxon financial crisis, and of course thought that a wayward Britain had allowed itself to be locked into the American financial boom. They did not then know that HALF the sub-prime assets had been bought by banks across Europe. No one had yet fully appreciated the depth of the entanglements between European banks and other global financial institutions, or how big the banks’ exposure to falling property markets was. I remember the shocked looks which passed along the table when I argued that European banks were even more vulnerable than American banks because they were far more highly leveraged — and indeed still are. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Europe Slept

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 12, 2011

Yes Mr. Brown, we are not making history. To be more precise we are not maintainin­g previous history. There are lots of reasons behind this. And we are not being honest to accept our own mistakes and weaknesses­. Our way of thinking is not so broad to sort out problems in real. Without crossing this boarder solving problems and maintainin­g history could not be possible.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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