China’s growth: the glass half full or half empty?

China’s growth for 2012 was released by mid-January: an overall growth of a 7.8% with a slight increase of 0.1 points for the last quarter, topping a 7.9%. The widely expected figure was the lowest since 1999. But is this a negative or a positive sign?


Mario Monti cannot hide forever

LONDON/MADRID | Finance-wise, Italy is unnerving some of its neighbours in the periphery of the euro zone. Particularly in Spain, government officials wonder aloud about the unfairness of the whole situation: while yields of the Spanish 10-year sovereign bonds time and again cross the 7 percent frightening barrier, Italy managed last week to sell €5.25 billion in debt of various maturities at much lower interest rates in most of the…


President Rajoy made his point, but acted as an accountant

MADRID |Fernando G. Urbaneja| Premier Mariano Rajoy did not expect the economic picture to be that overwhelming, although it was predictable, nor former premier Mr Zapatero could believe in May 2010, that he was meant to play the role he so reluctantly played. Both of their reactions are part of Spain's problem: government leaders, alleged leaders dragged from the events who have to act against their beliefs. Ms Rosa Diez (former…

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Time to slash regions’ spending in Spain

MADRID | The Spanish government has adamantly refused to accept any macro conditioning that might portrait it as falling under a full-fledged intervention. Markets hold a different view witnessing how recommendations advanced by the Brussels bureaucracy are taken to the line. VAT increase stands as the paramount example of an ill-judged proposal Spain is implementing under euro-pressure. Wasn’t the party now in power forcefully opposed to a similar measure not so…


Everyone has forgotten the European Bank of Investment

By former director of the Catalan Institute for Finance, Ernest Sena | As if nothing had happened in Europe and the world over the past five years, the European Investment Bank continues working in the same line as it did fifty years ago. One must add that the EIB does very well what it does, nevertheless. The EIB is a key part of the European institutional framework. It was created in 1957 by…

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European Commissioner Viviane Reding: “We’ll fight for our social welfare state”

She is the most experienced member of the European Commission and it shows. In her third term at the European institution, Viviane Reding does not shy away from discussing almost any subject, not even the poor economic situation of Spain, which she addressed in detail during an exclusive interview with Cinco Días. Reding is travelling on Thursday to Madrid, to meet with several members The official thesis in Brussels finds…

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Pharmaceutical co-payment: Spanish pensioners charged 10%

By Tania Suárez, in Madrid | One more twist in the reform plans introduced by the Spanish government: time is up for the public health system… again. The vice-president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said in March that “the matter of the [sanitary] co-payment is not on the table of the Cabinet; it is as simple and crystal clear as that.” In Spain, the pensioners did not have to pay for…

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Morgan Stanley: “In the medium-term we are optimistic about Spain and Italy”

MADRID | In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley analysts let go a few words from the bright side of their view on some of the euro zone countries that have endured the worst part of an altogether bumpy week. And here at The Corner, we cannot help but spread the love. Experts at Morgan Stanley maintain their estimates for the general GDP of the European Union, which points at…