In Europe


Who cares Greece might be spinning out of control?

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | Europe seems to witness with sheer indifference the Greek slide into utter ruin. Not so long ago Ms Merkel used to stress her unshakeable resolve not to let down any euro country. But the German finance Minister is currently pushing the Hellenic government towards the exit door. What has happened for such a U-turn? To begin with, fears about financial system contagion…


Who will untie the knot of the Quantitative Easing cash line?

LONDON | Even those who in principle appear at ease before the Bank of England’s new printing money operation have had but an apathetic attitude. The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee voted this week to increase the size of its asset purchase programme, financed via issuance of central bank reserves, by £50 billion –to a grand yet still temporary total of £325 billion– and friends, and foes, saw it coming without quite seeing…

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Greek crisis: no tsunami at bay

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | When it comes to conditions imposed on Greece, they are not so fierce as usually depicted. Axing 25% of minimum wages might seem a harsh therapy. But salaries pegged to this standard would still be 15% higher than in Portugal. As to supplementary pension schemes and holidays bonuses, ask the Portuguese how they feel on that. Closure of more than 100 state-controlled entities…

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British SMEs feel down: they might be right

LONDON | Sentiment among the UK’s small and medium-sized manufacturers fell for the third quarter running in the three months to January, as output stagnated and orders decreased against a backdrop of heightened economic and political uncertainty, the CBI said. Of the 350 respondents to the CBI’s latest quarterly SME Trends Survey published on Monday, 26% said output rose while 25% said that it fell, and the resulting balance of +1%…


A Europe dependant on Spanish renewables: plausible or dream?

By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | The Spanish subsidiary of Siemens wants to transform Spain into the renewable energy provider for Central Europe. Spain is the European leader in green energy, specifically the number one in wind energy. In Europe, several countries have turned their back on nuclear energy, among them Germany, and are going to close their plants, and geopolitical instability due to the war for oil is already a…


Crisis hit UK families’ savings rate harder than in Germany, China

LONDON | Lloyds TSB, the 40pc taxpayer-owned British bank, wondered how much savings UK families have and how this compare to Germany and China. Its researchers came up with some answers: the British household savings ratio (saving proportion of a consumer’s disposable income) has seen a steep downward trend over the past decade, in contrast with the other two countries. The results from Lloyds new survey were set alongside numbers…

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The EZ to grow by 0,2% in 2012 against the IMF’s forecast of -0,5%

By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | The eventual coming out of green shoots within the dark scenery outlined by the world economy is well worth a mention. The analysts at the City of Madrid emphasise three good macroeconomic figures. Particularly, Santander refers in their analysis to Europe’s PMIs, which even in recessive zone at 48.8, compared to previous 46.9 of December, are standing at their highest mark in the last five…

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Euroland should be run by Anglosaxons

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | Economics is not a science but rather a common sense attitude. An open mind approach is vital to grasp its core meaning. Policing it shouldn’t be handed over to people too fond of rigid rules. Let the Germans have a go at it and you’ll end up with a neutral fiscal and monetary stance all year around. No policy at all, in fact….

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Merkel wants to poach Greece’s sovereignity

By Tania Suárez, in Madrid | “Greece must make up its mind”, warns the federal minister of Finance in Germany, Wolfgang Schäuble, from an interview for The Wall Street Journal. Schäuble states that the euro zone could refuse to grant Greece a new bailout and, if it did so, it would be pushing the Greeks to a default. Schäuble has decided to demand the permanent presence of a EU Commissioner…

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UK household debt surges in the last year

LONDON | The average family debt in the UK, excluding mortages, has increased by 48% in the past 12 months despite improvements in general levels of income. The latest report from Aviva, an in-depth study into the financial needs of the 84% of the British population who live as part of a modern family, shows a worrying portrait of a middle classes’ lifestyle deeply affected by the current economic climate. Aviva’s…