Monday, 26 January 2015

'Hospitals with No Medicines, Graduates with No Jobs, Children with No Hope'

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Nick Squires witnesses unheard-of poverty and long-gone diseases return to Greece, the birthplace of the European ideal

On a dusty street corner in a grimy port on the outskirts of Athens, a public health crisis that has no precedent in Europe is unfolding.

After five years of unrelenting austerity, doctors working in a charity-run clinic are witnessing daily what they never thought they would see in their entire careers - children and adults suffering from malnutrition.

In Perama, one of the poorest parts of Athens, unemployment has reached 60 per cent and many families do not have enough money to put food on the table.

The town once prospered on the back of building and repairing ships but it has been hammered first by a drastic contraction of the sector and then by the unremitting tax rises, pension cuts and other austerity measures introduced by the government at the behest of its international creditors.

The health clinic was originally set up to provide free health care and medicines to the growing number of poor, but now it hands out emergency boxes of food as well. » | Nick Squires, Perama | Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Greeks Hand Stunning Victory to Anti-austerity Syriza

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Greece on collision course with rest of Europe after handing general election victory to far-left party that has vowed to reject austerity

Greece set itself on a collision course with the rest of Europe on Sunday night after handing a stunning general election victory to a far-Left party that has pledged to reject austerity and cancel the country’s billions of pounds in debt.

In a resounding rebuff to the country’s loss of financial sovereignty, Greeks gave Syriza 36.5 per cent of the vote, according to the first official projections.

It means they will be able to send between 149 and 151 MPs to the 300-seat parliament, putting them tantalisingly close to an outright majority.

The final result was too close to call - if they win 150 seats or fewer, they will have to form a coalition with one of several minor parties. » | Nick Squires, Athens | Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Greek Election: Rena Dourou of Syriza Poised to Sweep Away Austerity

Newly[-]elected governor of the wider Athens region
Rena Dourou, who was backed by leftist Syriza party,
waves to supporters in front of the University of Athens
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Is it really right for thousands of people to commit suicide because of austerity policies?" asks Syriza's most senior politician ahead of Sunday's general election

After her mother’s pension was cut over 30 times, Rena Dourou knew that Greece could no longer cope with austerity.

Now, as Syriza, her political party, leads the polls ahead of the country’s general election on Sunday, she stands ready to reverse the five years of pain imposed by the European Union.

“Since the beginning of the implementation of the austerity policies, many people have had the experience of becoming second-class citizens, with no access to health care or education,” she said.

“We want to create a shield of protection for the most vulnerable.”

Ms Dourou, 40, is the only member of Syriza, a radical left-wing coalition, to hold high office. Since she was elected as governor of Attica, the vital region that surrounds Athens, last May she has increased the state’s budget for social welfare more than six-fold, from a mere Eu1.9 million (£1.46 million) to Eu13 million. It is a premonition of the huge spending splurge that Syriza has promised if it is elected nationally. » | Nick Squires, and Menelaos Tzafalias in Athens | Thursday, January 22, 2015

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Entscheidung der Schweizer Notenbank: Was Sie über die Franken-Aufwertung wissen müssen

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Der Mindestkurs von 1,20 Franken je Euro ist Vergangenheit. Warum hat die Schweizer Notenbank so entschieden, was bedeutet das für die Schweizer Wirtschaft, und welche Folgen hat das für die Eurozone? Die Antworten im Überblick.

Zürich/Hamburg - Mehr als drei Jahre lang hielt die Schweizerische Nationalbank (SNB) den Franken mit Euro-Käufen künstlich billig. Seit Donnerstag ist das vorbei, völlig überraschend gab die SNB ihre Politik des Mindestkurses auf - mit erheblichen Auswirkungen auf Finanzmärkte und Realwirtschaft.

Wer profitiert, wer verliert, und was hat die Notenbank konkret beschlossen? Antworten auf die wichtigsten Fragen: » | fdi/dpa | Freitag, 16. Januar 2015

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Out with the Litas and In with the Euro in Lithuania

Read the Euronews article here | Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vœux du président François Hollande aux Français pour l'année 2015

Retrouvez les vœux du président François Hollande aux Français pour l'année 2015.

Happy New Year! Bonne année ! Gutes Neues Jahr! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Felice Anno Nuovo! Felix sit annus novus! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! ! سنة سعيدة L'Shannah Tovah!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my visitors, followers, and Twitter followers a wonderful, healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. May 2015 be your year! Thanking you all for your continued and loyal support. – © Mark

Friday, 26 December 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Russia Risks Soviet-style Collapse as Rouble Defence Fails

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: 'What is happening is a nightmare that we could not even have imagined a year ago,' says Russia's central bank

Russia has lost control of its economy and may be forced to impose Soviet-style exchange controls after "shock and awe" action by the central bank failed to stem the collapse of the rouble.

“The situation is critical,” said the central bank’s vice-chairman, Sergei Shvetsov. “What is happening is a nightmare that we could not even have imagined a year ago."

The currency crashed to 100 against the euro in the biggest one-day drop since the default crisis in 1998 as capital flight gathered pace, despite a drastic rise in interest rates to 17pc intended to crush speculators and show resolve.

Yields on two-year Russian bonds spiralled to 15.36pc, while credit default swaps are pricing in a one-third chance of a sovereign default. The shares of Russia’s biggest lender, Sberbank, fell 18pc.

Neil Shearing, from Capital Economics, said the spectacular failure of the rate shock may bring matters to a head. “If a rise of 650 basis points won’t do the job, we are near the end. That means stringent capital controls,” he said. » | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor | Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Russia Raises Key Interest Rate to 17% amid Rouble Decline

BBC: The Russian central bank has announced it is hiking its key interest rate to 17% from 10.5%.

The bank said the move was to try to ease the rouble's recent descent in value.

The Russian rouble has dropped to a new low against the US dollar, as falling oil prices and Western sanctions continue to weigh on the country's economy.

It snapped back to 60 roubles per dollar from a low of 67 earlier.

The 60 mark is considered a "psychological barrier" for Russia's national currency, says the BBC's Moscow correspondent, Steve Rosenberg. » | Monday, December 15, 2014

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wie Reiche immer reicher werden

SCHWEIZER RADIO UND FERNSEHEN: Die 300 Reichsten der Schweiz sind so reich wie noch nie – nicht nur in Milliarden, sondern auch im Verhältnis zum Durchschnitt. Ihr Vermögen wächst deutlich schneller als die gesamte Volkswirtschaft. Was ist das Geheimnis? Und: Wie funktioniert Reichtum?

Das Vermögen der Superreichen in der Schweiz wächst deutlich schneller als die gesamte Volkswirtschaft. Nur wer bereits Kapital hat, hat auch die Möglichkeit, gewinnbringend zu investieren.

Wer hat, dem wird gegeben – das ist nicht etwa ein Prinzip der Wirtschaftslehre, sondern ein Zitat aus der Bibel. So kann es denn nicht Unrecht sein, wenn die Allerreichsten in der Schweiz noch einmal reicher geworden sind. Häufig haben sie ihre Millionen oder gar Milliarden in Firmen investiert, halten also Aktien. Läuft es an der Börse gut, so wie dieses Jahr, verdienen sie kräftig mit. » | Donnerstag, 27. November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all my visitors, followers, and Twitter followers a VERY HAPPPY AND BLESSED THANKSGIVING

Monday, 17 November 2014

Cameron: World Facing Second Economic Crash

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: The Prime Minister has warned that a second global crash could be looming

David Cameron has said that “red warning lights are flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” and a second global crash could be looming.

In a bleak assessment as the G20 summit draws to a close, the Prime Minister said there were early signs similar to those seen before the global recession six years ago.

There is a “dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty” with diplomatic, humanitarian and economic problems across the world, he warned, which potentially endanger Britain’s recovery.

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, said hedge funds, private equity firms and other parts of the unregulated “shadow banking” world will face increased scrutiny over the possible risks that they pose to financial stability. » | Telegraph Reporter | Sunday, November 16, 2014

THE GUARDIAN: David Cameron: Red lights are flashing on the global economy: The G20 meeting in Brisbane made it clearer than ever to me that we in Britain must stick to our long-term economic plan » | David Cameron | Monday, November 17, 2014

Friday, 14 November 2014

Islamischer Staat schafft sein eigenes Geld

TAGES ANZEIGER: Die Terrorgruppe IS macht mit einer eigenen Währung einen weiteren Schritt in Richtung Staatlichkeit. Anführer al-Bagdadi wolle damit das «tyrannische Geldsystem» ändern.

Die sunnitische Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat arbeitet offenbar an einer eigenen Währung. Ihr Anführer Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi habe angeordnet, mit der Prägung von Münzen zu beginnen, berichtete eine der Extremistengruppe nahestehende Webseite am Donnerstagabend. Mit dem Schritt solle «das tyrannische Geldsystem» geändert werden, das westliche Wirtschaften zum Vorbild habe, die «Muslime versklavten», hiess es. » | Freitag, 14. November 2014

Italy Protests Erupt Across the Country

A protester throws a smoke flare during the protest in Rome
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Italy hit by strikes and violent demonstrations as anger towards soaring unemployment and economic crisis boils over onto the streets

Italy was hit by strikes, violent demonstrations and protests against refugees on Friday as anger and frustration towards soaring unemployment and the enduring economic crisis exploded onto the streets.

Riot police clashed with protesters, students and unionists in Milan and Padua, in the north of the country, while in Rome a group of demonstrators scaled the Colosseum to protest against the labour reforms proposed by the government of Matteo Renzi, the 39-year-old prime minister.

Eggs and fire crackers were hurled at the economy ministry.

On the gritty, long-neglected outskirts of Rome there was continuing tension outside a centre for refugees, which was repeatedly attacked by local residents during the week. » | Nick Squires, Rome | Friday, November 14, 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

Britain Will Not Remain in Europe 'Come What May', David Cameron Says

Prime Minister says Europe must listen to concerns of British public in speech at Confederation of British Industry

Read the Telegraph article here | Monday, November 10, 2014