By Juergen Baetz, AP, Jul 14, 2014
BRUSSELS (AP)—The incoming leader of Europe’s most powerful bureaucracy is a master of the backroom deal—and an outspoken and witty career politician who once advocated the right to lie in times of crisis.
Jean-Claude Juncker, who was prime minister of…
"Amid the chaos of two Greek elections that nearly led to “Grexit” and new fears about Spain’s banks, panic returned to bond markets in May. Bankia – created by merging Spanish savings banks brought low by the bursting of the housing bubble – went bust itself, requiring partial nationalisation. Concern spread to the health of all European banks.
Mr Draghi knew the ECB had to do more. By early June, he began discussing with a small circle of confidants, including Mr Asmussen and Mr Cœuré, the need for a new crisis-fighting programme, officials say.
….Two years on, it is clear the frantic, improvised actions of the final year of the crisis saved the euro. Yet the eurozone is far from full health. Debt levels in Europe’s south are extreme. Unemployment remains near historic highs, a side effect of the bitter medicine imposed by the crisis-fighters. Anti-EU parties may be the beneficiary of the fallout in next week’s European elections. But the 15-year-old currency union passed its most important test: in its darkest hour, its leaders did whatever it took to hold it together. And no one mattered more than Angela Merkel, raised in east Germany, chancellor of a united Germany and, thanks in part to the crisis, Europe’s most powerful leader.
“I have chosen for Europe and the euro, and thus for Greece,” Ms Merkel said near the end of the crisis. “If the euro falls, then Europe falls.”
This map shows values of the Regional Competitiveness Index in 2013 for subnational areas in the EU (more specifically, EU NUTS2 regions). The index, developed under the European Commission, incorporates a broad range of indicators including infrastructure, innovation, institutions, and human capital.
How Europe wants tobecome a superpower once.
2013 IMF world GDP growth forecast
The crisis in Europe still goes on and on and on…
Europe rises up: Day of anti-austerity rage grips the continent
November 14, 2012
Flights and trains were canceled across Europe on Wednesday as thousands of workers took to the streets to protest austerity measures aimed at reducing massive government deficits and boosting shaky economies.
“We all know that reforms, layoffs and cuts will continue but maybe we manage to get them cut (more slowly),” said Francisco Vallejo, 41, an administrative assistant in Madrid. “The only strike that is useless is the one we don’t follow.”
Unions had called for strikes across Europe to protest the trimming of government-funded salaries and pension benefits, which had risen dramatically over the years and led to significant debt problems in some countries.
The call to strike was heeded by many in Italy and Spain; but union workers in Britain, Germany and Denmark held rallies instead of walking off the job. Transport hubs were at standstill across southern Europe and in Brussels as airports and train stations shut down.
In Portugal, all trains and subways shut down and about 200 flights to and from the country were canceled. Hospitals operated on a skeleton staff while thousands of government workers including most in the justice system and trash collectors failed to go to work.
In Spain, some television channels went off the air and assembly lines at the big union-dominated factories shut down. Spanish unions claimed that 9 million Spaniards stayed at home, or 77% of the workforce.
Much of Spain’s school system was closed and more than half of its hospital employees went on strike.
In Barcelona, high-end stores such as Gucci and Chanel on the Paseo de Gracia closed for the day. In the neighborhoods, only a few bakeries and grocery shores dared to open, intermittently closing when they saw trouble.
In Greece, the strike shut down the subway system for part of the day. About 5,000 Greeks protested in Athens. Port workers blocked the entrance to the Ministry of Defense demanding back wages, they said.
In Italy, about 60,000 turned out in Rome. The president of Rome province, Nicola Zingaretti, condemned “groups of rioters” among peaceful protesters. Zingaretti said a climate of “aggressiveness and intolerance” risked sullying Rome’s image abroad following reports of protesters yelling anti-Semitic slogans outside a Rome synagogue.
The so-called austerity measures comprise spending cuts, tax hikes and changes to labor laws to allow businesses to better adjust to shaky economies. But several governments and many workers worry that the measures may worsen economies by driving down individual incomes.
The protests Wednesday brought out people who blame the economic system as a whole.
“They’ve only just started cuts but they are pretty draconian already,” said Andrew Burgin, European officer for the Coalition of Resistance in London, which organized a rally outside the European Commission offices there. “I think this is the beginning of a new movement. It will be a day remembers in history as the beginning of a pan-European movement, possibly an international movement, against capitalism.”
But European leaders, such as Angela Merkel of Germany, says the problem is the massive debts piled up by individual nations, many of which like Greece and Portugal spent beyond revenues on public projects, expanding welfare and government jobs, and generous public benefits.
Greece and Spain, which have been hit hardest by an economic slowdown and debt crisis that has swept up several nations across the continent, are experiencing unemployment rates of more than 25%. Both countries passed measures recently to change labor laws that protected employees from layoffs and that businesses say prevented them from hiring or innovating.
The austerity measures are supposed to improve the economy over time but in the short-term people in Greece and Spain especially are experiencing curtailment of government health care, reductions in their pensions and salaries and higher taxes.
European Ghost Towns
Real estate crashes in Spain and Ireland have led to towns that were supposed to be vibrant suburban paradises for young people becoming one of the most obvious testaments to the countries’ boom gone bust. Such modern-day ghost towns have become…
The IMF has warned that despite the havoc the eurozone crisis has already wreaked, the worst is yet to come.
A big shock in the region would cost the eurozone more than 5% of economic output. The UK would suffer almost as badly, the US could lose 2% of output, while Japan’s economy could shrink by more than 1%. Given the slow growth in these economies, that would plunge most of them back into recession.
What does the IMF think could trigger such a shock? A jump in sovereign and private bond yields across the eurozone, a drop in consumer demand, and shifting asset prices, which all sounds worryingly familiar. (The Spanish 10-year is now at 7.37%).
Having set out this doom-laden scenario, the IMF said not enough had been done to solve the eurozone crisis.
they caused it, they’re profiting from it, and they’re telling you that they’re not done yet.
where you gonna be in october?
the Guardian changed this original headline, but I prefered it.