Daily Archives: May 12, 2012
The President of the European Parliament (EP), the German Social Democrat Martin Schulz, has called for more investment in Greece despite the current political instability in the country by the difficulties in forming a stable government.
On the occasion of his visit to Athens on Sunday, where talks with political leaders from various formations, Schulz said that “we want to stabilize the country with aid and avoid a domino collapse of which is unknown” in statements published today by the newspaper “Hamburger Abendblatt”.
EP President recognizes that now seems impossible to form a government in the Hellenic country and political fragmentation attributed to the “expression of a deep psychological crisis,” but not a rejection of the European Union (EU).
In the event that the political parties newly elected Parliament are unable to form a government, Schulz considered “better vote again and bring to the polls 40% of abstainers.”
“We do not carry 130,000 million euros to Greece to torture people,” said Social Democratic politician, who is disappointed because the aid approved “despite many obstacles” are covered “by some in Athens as a dictate of Brussels” .
It also stressed that Greece’s bankruptcy can be avoided if the country fulfills its commitments and calls for saving efforts required of Greek citizens are compensated with growth impulses.
In this regard stresses that “Greece is an ideal country for solar power” and proposes to develop distribution networks for energy export, even to Germany, also addressing young people in infrastructure projects and environmental protection.
The European Commission (EC) has decided to open an investigation into the changes in the restructuring plan of the Dutch bank ING, after the EU General Court annulled a decision by the EU executive on additional state aid to the entity.
The Commission has re-authorize the restructuring plan launched in 2009 “to clarify the legal situation after the partial annulment of the original decision” in November of that year, as announced in a statement.
Moreover, the EC has decided to open an investigation on changes in the project by ING and the Dutch state.
These two decisions “establish a framework which would address the problems still to be resolved and a final decision on the restructuring of ING,” said the Commission also announced that it will appeal the judgment of the European Court.
On 2 March, the EU General Court annulled in part the decision of the European Commission (EC) declaring that the Netherlands had granted additional aid totaling 2,000 million euros at ING bank, not to succumb to the crisis financial initiated in 2008.
The Luxembourg court held that the Commission had not demonstrated that the modification of the terms of repayment of the capital injection granted implied “benefits” that a private investor under the same conditions, there would be awarded.
The Dutch state gave ING since November 2008 three aid packages so that he could maintain the continuity of the payments system and interbank market in the Netherlands.
Following this judgment, “it was essential to make a decision quickly agreed stating that the aid was compatible with the single market, for reasons of legal clarity,” said in a statement the EC vice president responsible for Competition, Joaquin Almunia.
The commissioner said that “no need to change fundamentally the initial decision” in which the Court criticized the approach of the EC.
Since that decision, “the plan has met some implementation problems that must be analyzed in a complementary and in depth,” has said Almunia, who has been “convinced” that these points “may be arranged with the Dutch authorities” .
In particular, the EC will investigate the contribution of public capital in the amount of 10,000 million euros “for which ING has not provided adequate remuneration in 2010 and 2011.”
The Commission will also consider the decision of ING and Dutch State not to sell the bank Westland Utrecht because of the current market situation, an operation that was intended to “end the competition in Holland,” the EU executive.
German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, has warned that European Union aid to Greece could be suspended in the event that the country stop the reform process and complying with the commitments.
“If a new government (Greek) unilaterally suspended the agreements can not continue giving new aid,” said Westerwelle in statements published today by the newspaper “Die Welt”, which, nevertheless, expected to reach pro-European parties eventually a coalition agreement in Athens.
The German foreign minister said that “we want Greece to get it.’s Why we help. But the Greeks must in turn fulfill their commitments to reform.”
Are expressed in similar terms other prominent German politicians and the parliamentary leader of Christian Democrat (CDU), Volker Kauder, who also warns that “the conditions for further help are clear and not negotiable” in an interview with the weekly “Focus”.
In the same journal, the president of the Confederation of German Banks, Andreas Schmitz, shown, however, contrary to Greece leave the euro zone as required by some politicians if Athens does not resolve the institutional crisis.
Although “Greece is an exceptional case,” leaving the euro would bring with it the danger that investors fear the contagion to other countries and make up sprees interest on loans, says Schmitz.
It is doubtful that “the international financial markets know enough to assess the situation differently in the case of a departure from Greece’s euro,” said the head of the German banking employers.
The president of the Bundesbank, the German central bank, Jens Weidmann, has criticized the initiative of the French incoming president, François Hollande, to change the statutes of the European Central Bank (ECB) and directly involve the institution in the politics of growth and creation of jobs.
“A change of the statutes would be dangerous. Jobs and growth are created by the business. The issuing bank makes its best contribution worrying that the money is stable,” Weidmann said in remarks published today by the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” .
Like the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Weidmann rejects the possibility to modify or renegotiate the fiscal pact signed by 27 of the 25 countries of the European Union (EU) and stressed that “Europe is a good habit to respect agreements signed “.
The criticism of the Bundesbank president just days before Hollande trip to Berlin to meet with Merkel in what will be the first interview between the two since the socialist politician won the presidential election in France.
Hollande had stated during the election campaign, despite “knowing the German reserves,” was in favor of reforming the statutes of the ECB and its powers are not limited to fighting inflation, but also to promote job creation and growth economical.
Also threatened that France finally rejected ratification of the fiscal pact for strict budgetary policy if this is not completed with measures to promote growth.
The meeting between Merkel and Hollande will be held at the Federal Foreign Office late on Tuesday evening next, although Steffen Seibert, government spokesman Germanic, as reported yesterday that it expected to make decisions but will serve primarily to both politicians “to know”.
The Minister of Development, Ana Pastor, today stressed the need to “flex” the rental market, as only 15 percent of homes have this system, and promote the rehabilitation of housing, both of which Spain is well below the European average.
This was said today in a ceremony held in Melilla, where the Minister has attended the presentation of the project to build 60 housing projects in the autonomous city.
Pastor has defended the draft law easing measures and promotion of the rental market, which today has led the Council of Ministers in order to give impetus to this sector.
He pointed out that the agreed measures will improve the conditions of the contracts, changing deadlines, as it moves from a forced extension of five years to three and a tacit renewal automatic three years to one.
The changes involve the power of the tenant to terminate the contract if you have trouble dealing with payments one month notice or the landlord’s ability to recover when you need housing for residence, for a first degree or for the spouse in divorce.
For Shepherd, this means that it will provide greater security, agility and especially balance in the relationship between the tenant and the landlord.
“Do not give more rights to some than to others, but must seek a balance between landlord and tenant so you can have more homes for rent,” he argued.
The minister said the housing policy is “fundamental” to ensure social cohesion, competitiveness and sustainability, to make people equal opportunities, so that each performance is done in this area is a social policy ” first division. ”
It has also highlighted that job creation is linked to the housing market, either through construction or rehabilitation, something that has wagered and on what the Ministry is working.
According to the minister, in Spain there are 25 million homes, of which half has over thirty years, and about six million, more than fifty.
“The ability to generate employment rehabilitation is the most important,” he argued Pastor, who has said that the actual weight of rehabilitation in Spain is 29 percent, that is, 13 points below the European average.
For this reason, today announced that rehabilitation will be an area in which the Ministry of Development is to “dump” in the coming months.
The State is obliged by law to dispose of its stake in the matrix of Bankia, BFA, which has been nationalized this week, within three years, and will do through a competitive auction, said sources from the Economy.
The presence of Bank Restructuring Fund (FROB) in the capital of Bank Savings Financial (BFA) will therefore be temporary and must be disposed within three years, mid 2015, as established by royal decree to reform the financial system approved last February.
The first decision taken by the new group’s president, Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, after taking possession in the position to replace Rodrigo Rato, this week, was submitted to the board the conversion into shares of 4.465 million loan he gave the FROB in 2010.
This action is in practice the nationalization of the financial group, as the FROB will have nearly 100 percent of the capital of BFA and therefore control 45% of Bankia, which now faces a restructuring process.
However, the State shall sell such participation in a competitive process similar to that developed in the auction of the Mediterranean Savings Bank, which won the Banco Sabadell, in the case of Unnim, which has fallen into the hands of BBVA.
It will, therefore, a process that will enable the Spanish banks bid on one of the great institutions of the country, the fourth volume of assets but one of the first for mortgage lending.
From now on, the entity faces a restructuring process that could lead Goirigolzarri and divestiture transactions go through and probably for the request for aid.
Sources of Finance have expressed confidence in the new management team Bankia, who shall take appropriate decisions on the restructuring of its “supervisory bodies and management structure and size.”
Ruled that the entity is doomed to the “liquidation” because it is a “good franchise, and with a size and an appropriate network,” but acknowledged that he had “a problem of capital, and lack of time to fix it.”
In Spain in 2013 will be only five or six major private banks and many other medium-sized financial institutions, predicted the president of BBVA, Francisco Gonzalez, in an interview published today by the Turkish newspaper Habertürk.
According to this method, the banker explained that the Spanish bank financial institutions in Spain are largely devoted to the provision of mortgages will have problems next year.
Gonzalez, who has participated in the Seventh Istanbul Investment Advisory Council, said, however, that neither Spain nor Portugal and Ireland have to leave the European Union.
“In 2013 there are elections in Italy, and in two or three months, Spain and Italy and will make the task very correct steps, will be the positive side in Europe,” predicted the banker.
“We will do our homework and change the point of view of Germany, let them see the German authorities that not everything is black and white, but there are gray areas. And besides, as Germany is not left behind: your Product GNP will fall by 10% due to the decline in growth in the region “, he said.
The chairman of BBVA, which owns 25% of Garanti Bank, one of the largest Turkish banks, said the Eurasian country holds “great potential” for your business.
“But please do not make the same mistakes that Spain, like the deficit,” said Gonzalez, adding that Turkey could soon be among the ten “eagles” economy in the world.
“Within three years, ten countries will share the 50% economic growth in the world, we call these” eagles emerging “and among them will be Turkey,” Gonzalez predicted.
“It is in these countries where BBVA seeks to have activities,” the Spanish businessman.
Managing Director International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, praised today the financial reform adopted by the Spanish Government as “an effective response to the vulnerabilities of the banking system” of Spain.
“The full implementation of these measures will help to build confidence and support the revival of economic growth,” Lagarde said in a statement, in which he expressed his “deep appreciation for the broad set of measures announced today by the Spanish authorities” .
The top IMF official stressed that the financial reform raises “considerably” provisions as a means of protection against possible future losses and provides for government support for institutions that require more time to sanitize.
He also stressed that the measures of the Spanish restructure and solve the state’s participation in banks, in addition to “implement a diagnostic test independent of the assets of all banks to adequately define future steps.”
For Lagarde, the amendment passed today by the Government gives “greater transparency” to the Spanish banking system and mark the different needs that different financial institutions in the country.
The IMF director also said that government decisions are “consistent” with the recommendations set forth by the mission of the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) in his recent visit to Spain.
Also, Lagarde said they are “consistent with international best practices and highlight the authorities’ determination to ensure the stability of the banking system.”
The new financial reform approved today by the Executive Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the second in three months, looking to clean up the Spanish bank assets tied to real estate to dispel doubts about their solvency and restore market confidence.
To achieve this, the Council of Ministers adopted new provisions to 30,000 million euros, which banks should support healthy real estate loans, according encrypted the Economy Minister Luis de Guindos.
Luso Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, the Portuguese today urged not to consider “negative” unemployment, which has soared in the country by the economic crisis, and seeing it as “an opportunity to change their lives.”
Speaking at an event on innovation and entrepreneurship, the Conservative leader of Portugal, in power since a year ago, praised the “risk culture” and criticized that his country has an aversion to it, and young graduates prefer to be employed that employed entrepreneurs.
Portugal, who asked a year ago the bailout and lives under the harsh austerity measures demanded by international aid, has an unemployment rate of around 15 per cent, which has doubled in just over three years and in the case of Young double that percentage.
But Passos Coelho said that “being unemployed can not be, for many people, as is still in Portugal, a negative sign, resign or be fired not have to be a stigma, it must also be an opportunity to change their lives.”
The Prime Minister urged his countrymen to adopt “a more dynamic and a culture of risk and more responsibility, both to young people and the population at large.”
He noted that “it is better to have work, though not much, not having it, and work more, not work.”
The head of the Portuguese has taken over the last year tough austerity measures, including elimination of the two extra paid staff and a reduction in holidays and vacations with higher taxes to pay for all workers.
In addition to the serious financial problems besetting the economy Lisbon, the reduction of public expenditure has complicated the recession in the country whose gross domestic product will fall this year, according to official estimates, 3.3 percent.
The Italian government today approved the second phase of its “Plan of Action-Cohesion”, with which reprograms the use of European structural funds for southern Italy and which will invest 1.498 million euros to economic growth.
The Italian technocrat Executive, chaired by Mario Monti, estimated at more than 2,300 million euros the total value of European funds this plan now redeployed for other uses in the less developed regions of the south: Campania, Calabria, Apulia and Sicily, for which also has been allocated 167 million euros of Italian for social measures.
“Much of these funds come from Europe, which need not be seen as the guardian of rigor,” Monti said in a press conference after the Council of Ministers on Friday, which added that “rigor is the method , but growth, employment and inclusion, purposes. ”
This second phase of the “Cohesion Action Plan,” which follows the first on education, digital calendar and railways passed in December, provides for the reallocation of European funds considered “underutilized or ineffective interventions or designated obsolete,” according Executive explains in a note.
Of the more than 2,300 million Europeans, 1,498 million is for economic growth through youth initiatives, to promote business development and research, promoting innovation and attractive areas to revalue cultural and time savings of Justice.
These measures for the younger southern Italy with a high youth unemployment rate (35.9% in March), especially in that part of the country, provide for the promotion of projects undertaken by this sector of the population, self-employment, and training contracts and reducing the phenomenon “ni-ni” (neither in school nor working).
To work experiences of “ni-ni”, the plan envisages an investment of 10 million euros, while 40 million will be for the promotion of working practices and the craft sector for young people with incentives to procurement by firms.
In addition, the plan includes 740.7 million euros in investment promotion and enterprise development and research, and 168 million in energy efficiency schemes in urban and natural.
“The rigor Europe asks us, but also pursue our interest. We have done dose abundant in these months. We are aware that weighs rigor and involves sacrifices,” said the premier.
“But we also work to grow in Italy a social market economy highly competitive. Rigor, of course, not over, but we want to break the sense of a social and civil,” he added.
Monti, who approved a plan last December fiscal adjustment of over 30,000 million euros, is in fact one of the hardest working European leaders that are adopted at Community level measures that promote economic growth, at a time Italy is in recession.