You will not see an objective report about the Euro anywhere in Europe. The prospect of the Euro finally hitting the destruct button is too awful to contemplate for all governments, so the inevitable result of the looming crisis cannot be described in the media. The bail-out ”fund” was called ”shock & awe”, and was said to be worth 1 Trillion Dollars, but after a further period of time for the countries who must pay the money to think what they could afford, they reduced its size to 440 billion Euros. That is the current amount available to save the Euro, and yet even that doesn’t yet exist as a fund. It is merely a promise to borrow the money by the other countries of the eurozone on the bond markets, if and when a crisis strikes.
Yet even that sum is already depleting with over 200 billion Euros promised to Ireland and Greece.
Those sums are, in any case, nowhere near enough to stop the draining away of government finances in those two countries. Ireland’s debts include those of her banks which carry potentially hugely greater losses. And Greece’s accounts are hardly transparent with endemic corruption removing funds, and spending hard to prove. Government revenues continue to fall.
That’s just the financial story. In both countries the governments imposing the EU-required bail-out austerity programmes are facing imminent elections, and both look increasingly vulnerable. In Greece regional elections might prompt the Prime Minister to call a general election, if he does badly. In Ireland the coalition has already fractured and elections are due in January. The governments that win these electoral contests might well decide to abandon the austerity programmes, and seek other solutions, like default and the relaunch of their own currencies.
The bottom line is that the situation is hopeless.
And that’s before we see the next candidate for bond market attention, Portugal, or Spain, starting to struggle. Spain could need ten times more to bail out than either Greece of Ireland. And then there could be others.
This report from Canada gives a more accurate assessment than all the wishful thinking and denial you read and hear in Europe. Mind you, they’ve got distance to the problem.
Conservative home – comment – Ken Clarke was blustering earlier to Andrew Neil that Ireland’s problems had nothing to do with the Euro. No fool like an old fool.
The normally intelligent Financial Times has also got its head right up its arse. Stephens writes –
As it happens, Ireland’s property-boom-turned-banking-bust had little to do with its membership of the single currency. Ireland is not Greece. The closer parallels are with Iceland and, dare one say it, Britain. Gordon Brown got precious few things right as prime minister, but his bank rescue package probably saved Britain from Ireland’s fate.
Come on, Philip. The world and his dog knows that Ireland’s property boom/bust was the Euro’s work, with impossibly low interest rates sending property prices into the stratosphere, from where they crashed. It’s not much good for the credibility of ”great” newspapers to be trying to argue this one away. These folks just can’t face it. The Euro was a mistake and it’s going to collapse. Get your heads around that, and stop writing bollocks.
The normally pro-EU Independent newspaper seems to be nearer the mark –
“Of course if Spain does get caught in the crosshairs, it’s going to be an absolute nightmare for Europe because it just can’t bail it out. It hasn’t got the facilities,” David Morrison, market strategist at GFT Global, said.