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Euro stress-free area

By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | After so many fruitless meetings, conversations and rounds nobody expected that the European leaders would be able to reach a more than reasonable agreement for Europe, that tough Germany would relax its position towards its Southern partners, and Spain and Italy would resist before the steam engine of the euro zone. But it happened. Banks will be recapitalised directly with the European Stability Mechanism…


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The European Council has mainly disappointed expectations

In five out of nine times that the European Council has met since January 2011, market expectations have been missed. Analysts at BNP Paribas have done the research, which supports the heavy air of pessimism surrounding this Thursday's euro summit that is set to present some sort of action plan on Friday. “Although it is improbable that we get a final solution to the euro area crisis,” BNP Paribas said…


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This summit won’t force the ECB to intervene, the markets will

MADRID | Summits are meant to be the meeting place for those dwelling in the Olympus. Those struggling to survive on the Earth surface have more urgent concerns than discussing about the euro zone destiny, an angels'-gender dispute that fails soothing their daily toils. Spain undoubtedly ranks among the latter. It will attend today’s meeting with its mind focused on the bleak aftermath. Banking union might stand as a cornerstone…


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What can one do with €800 billion?

By Nuño Rodrigo | www.cincodias.es | While our European leaders battle with a crisis seemingly impossible to be resolved, while euro zone third and the fourth economies feel threatened by the danger of being rescued because they cannot afford to access the markets, and while for all of these reasons the world approaches a crisis relapse, the guardian of austerity secrets and price stability wakes up every day with a sack of almost…


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Fiscal compact is the key

MADRID | Germany will not move unless it firmly secures the fiscal compact goal. The growth strategy, the financial transactions tax and even banking union will only thrive so long discipline in public accounts is agreed. You can sulk at the stubborn obstinacy shown by Ms Merkel on this issue but trying to ignore it would not help Europe to overcome current problems. Brussels is proposing an enhanced budgetary control that…


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Rome mini-Summit delivers mini-results

MADRID | No one expected the Rome gathering to produce a comprehensive answer to the euro’s acute problems. Divergences still run high between Germany and France on the right approach to take. Avoiding the impression other partners might be faced with a ready cooked solution in the forthcoming Summit, also invited to adopt a self-restrained attitude. So leaders from the four leading economies in the euro area choose to come…


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What a kerfuffle over that €100-billion Spanish banks’ bailout

By Luis Arroyo, in Madrid | The results of those independent audits over the Spanish banking sector have come to be summarised in one line, that banks would need up to €62 billion if the economy took a turn for the worst. Now, the published opinion in the country is terribly divided, as it was expected between the optimists and pessimists. To some extent, we cannot exactly be hopeful. There…


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Los Cabos pledges will prove hard to deliver

MADRID | The relaxed atmosphere in a seaside resort has undoubtedly helped coming to terms with a number of common sense goals. But delivery might prove more gruelling than expected. You don’t need to cross the Atlantic and be lectured by President Obama to concede that unwinding the feedback between financial and sovereign risks stands as a key requirement. Or to accept that current Spanish and Italian risk premium should be…


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Italian banks face problematic funding for up to €42 billion in capital needs

By Tania Suárez, in Madrid | The Italian banking system is, too, in the spotlight. Experts at Morgan Stanley consider that the problems of the Italian banking sector are not comparable to the Spanish banking, although there are important risks to take into account. These analysts recommend taking a cautious stand if there isn’t a coordinated solution at European level. In that sense, they reduce to neutral their recommendation for…


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The European Central Bank is the Death Star of the euro

By Nuño Rodrigo | www.cincodias.com | It is remarkable the swiftness with which the markets have amortised the bailout plan for the Spanish banking sector. But it is no surprise; the markets have their own stimulus, reward and learning mechanisms, and when an event appears repeatedly, the process rolls out ever quicker. The Greek bailout anaesthetised the markets for some months; the Irish did the same for some weeks; the…