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Morning briefing-ECB to begin buying sovereign bonds

The Corner | March 9, 2015 | The ECB will finally begin its purchasing of sovereign bonds today, but as ever, the Greek question continues to loom in the background. Greece will return to the forefront of events today at the meeting of the Eurogroup of finance ministers in Brussels. Weekend remarks from the Syriza led government seemed to spell out just how precarious the government’s financial situation now is. Yet once again, the country and its creditors appear polls apart on how best to proceed.


The unedifying row between Alexis Tsipras and Mariano Rajoy

MADRID | March 3, 2015 | By JP Marín-Arrese | Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has unwisely accused Spain and Portugal of intentionally trying to block a solution for his country’s troublesome discussions with the Euro group at a Syriza party meeting. The reaction has gone beyond any reasonable limit. The two targeted nations filed formal claims to the European Commission asking it to take action against Greece. One wonders why their Foreign Ministries did not warn of the utter ridicule such a step would precipitate. Worse still, the row between EU partners might leave longstanding scars. 

No Picture

Greek agreement does not dispel mistrust and acrimony

MADRID, February 23,2015 | By JP Marín Arrese The agreement reached on Friday averted a full-fledged crisis but did not dispel mutual mistrust and acrimony. EU partners remain far from convinced the Hellenic government will honour its commitments. Irritation accumulated in the days following the deal, which Mr Schäuble underlined with his the grossly impolite and scathing remarks that “ Greeks certainly will have a difficult time to explain the deal to their voters”. This acrimonious climate points to further clashes flaring in future.  The last-minute truce will not entail a stable peace. 

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“Grexit risk cut to 25%”

MADRID, February 23, 2015 | By Sean Duffy | Friday´s deal was a relief for all involved, yet it remains to be seen if a frantic weekend of number cruncing from Greek officials will meet the strict criteria outlined in the agreement. German bank Berenberg cut the chances of a Grexit to 25% from 35% on Monday.

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Greece granted bailout extension

By Alexandre Mato in BRUSSELS & Sean Duffy in MADRID | A day of hard negotiations finally produced a positive outcome.Greece will work throughout the weekend to ready proposals for Monday´s meeting, but politicans were visibly relieved after an arduous week.

No Picture

D-Day as Varoufakis lands in Germany

MADRID | By Sean Duffy | Today is a massive day for the euro zone. The outcome of negotiations between Greek politicans and  European bosses will be closely monitored by markets and euro zone partners alike. With Greek banks under pressure, a deal needs to be agreed soon.


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Brussels demands more austerity to Spain to meet deficit target, praises banks’ reform

MADRID | By The Corner | In its first surveillance report after the Spanish banking sector bailout, the EC believes that entities are stronger and cleaner. Even if NPLs ratio has not stabilized, banks “are shifting towards more stable funding, such as deposits, and are relying less on borrowing from the Eurosystem.” As market access conditions have greatly improved, Brussels Spain’s return to positive economic growth (using February data, when growth estimates for 2014 were 1% instead of 1.1%) and was positive about the labour market slight improvement, although it warned that jobless rate remains very high (26% 2Q13). Brussels considers that unless further austerity measures are adopted the crisis-battered country won’t meet its deficit goals.


A crack on the Troika’s surface

LONDON | By Victor Jimenez | A less credible Troika will spark even more investor distrust and bomb the one piece in the euro jigsaw that brings market confidence.