Monday, May 21, 2012

Europe items of interest - the Telegraph liveblog

12.55 The Bank of Greece "adamantly refutes a press report in a Sunday newspaper referring to alleged plans to restrict deposit withdrawals and impose capital controls".
The denial comes after rumours the debt-stricken country will be forced to introduce such measures to prevent capital flight and a banking collapse.
12.06 The Telegraph's Bruno Waterfield, in Brussels:
Meanwhile, the EU has said it is not aware of talks over ESM directly recapitalizing banks.
11.55 EU says Eurostat experts to seek clarification on Spanish deficit.
11.53 French President François Hollande:
QuoteIt would most probably be desirable to have a recapitalisation [of Spanish banks], and it would most probably be necessary that this recapitalisation takes place through mechanisms of European solidarity.
Time for Europe to dip into its pockets again? Maybe not, as Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy hit back:
QuoteIf he said that, it must be because Mr Hollande has information that we don't have. Therefore, I don’t think Mr Hollande said that because, logically, he doesn’t know how the Spanish banks are.
11.47 I've stumbled across the website of the "Banknote Printing Works of the Bank of Greece". Could come in handy for the country soon.
11.37 Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos has forecast a further contraction of 0.3pc in GDP between April and June.
11.04 Reuters has reported that the failed talks to form a coalition inGreece on May 17 were "a complete madhouse".
"Gentlemen, we are finished," said the patrician President, calling an abrupt halt to two hours of baiting and cat-calling between furious Greekpoliticians. "I'm starting to get upset myself now. We are finished."
"It was a complete madhouse," a source at the socialist PASOK party told Reuters after their leader, Evangelos Venizelos, returned from the May 17 showdown. "The discussion was unbelievable."
10.49 Spanish Treasury minister Inigo Fernandez de Mesa believes there is no other way forward for his country but to cut its deficit; whileGermany has again rejected the idea of eurobonds.
10.25 What is giving markets a lift this morning? Good news from China it seems.
Over the weekend, Premier Wen Jiabao called for for additional efforts to support growth in China.
QuoteWe should continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy while giving more priority to maintaining growth.
09.25 An intriguing and complex option for Greece has been suggested by bankers at Deutsche Bank - the 'geuro'. Faisal Islam, economics editor of Channel 4 News, explains it:
08.55 The slow-burning crisis in Greek banks is continuing with wary customers still withdrawing cash, in what some have dubbed a "bank jog"rather than a run.
Damien McElroy reports from Athens:
Retired Athens hospital worker Giorgos Vassilakis will today make the same journey to his bank in central Athens to make a withdrawal.
The 65-year-old has been doing the same thing daily, steadily depleting his own savings pile since the country’s cataclysmic May 6 general election. He is busy building up a reserve of cash at home to protect himself should the worst happens and the country falls out of the euro.
“It’s a bit to hold in my home just to be sure I’m okay,” he said. “Since I heard the rumours after the election I have been withdrawing money to have a €3,000 to €5,000 a small stash at home to keep safe.”
Economists have dubbed the collected effect of worried Greeks taking money out of savings accounts a “bank jog,” not quite a run but still a deliberate trend in the same direction.
Bank branches have remained relatively calm and surprisingly empty despite headlines that hundreds of millions were being pulled out each day. But savers are factoring in some form of collapse and that affects how much cash they hold.