Serb government tightens grip on central bank despite EU, IMF warning

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s Socialist-led government stepped up control over the central bank in the struggling ex-Yugoslav republic on Saturday, ignoring IMF criticism and a warning that the move would hurt its bid to join the European Union. Parliament adopted amendments to the law on the National Bank of Serbia, as the government seeks to … Continue reading

ECB Plans to Set Yield Targets for Bond Purchases

Interest rates on Spanish sovereign bonds have been rising to dangerous levels in recent weeks. Now, SPIEGEL has learned that the European Central Bank plans to use a new instrument to stop the trend: The bank is considering setting yield targets on the bonds of euro-zone countries. Should interest rates exceed those levels, the ECB … Continue reading

ECB warns Greece as ministers plan softer bailout bid

By Harry Papachristou and George Georgiopoulos (Reuters) – The European Central Bank told Greeceon Monday not to waste time trying to renegotiate its international bailout as government ministers hashed out a plan for easing its punishing terms before a review by the country’s lenders. Echoing Greece’s euro zone partners, ECB policymaker Joerg Asmussen signalled that Prime Minister Antonis … Continue reading

One more summit: The crisis rolls on

by Charles Wyplosz The EU summit produced a vaguely worded agreement that can and has been read in different ways in different nations. This column provides a quick reaction to what was and was not decided. It concludes that useful progress was made, but this was far from the decisive turn-around that many had hoped … Continue reading

Angela Merkel, swimming instructor

WHEN warnings sound that the end of the euro is nigh, all eyes turn to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Germany must “assume its part” in saving the currency, says Spain’s economy minister, Luis de Guindos. If there is rescuing to be done, Germany is the obvious rescuer. Yet rather than toss out the lifebelt, … Continue reading

Stop Believing What These ‘Experts’ Say About Greece

Three months ago I made fun of an ABC News report about the stock market. The occasion back then was the rise in the Dow Jones above 13,000. ABC has a panel of thirteen “experts.” All thirteen were in agreement; this time the move in stocks was the real deal. All thirteen experts were convinced that stocks had no … Continue reading

Save us from the saviours: Slavoj Žižek on Europe and the Greeks

Imagine a scene from a dystopian movie that depicts our society in the near future. Uniformed guards patrol half-empty downtown streets at night, on the prowl for immigrants, criminals and vagrants. Those they find are brutalised. What seems like a fanciful Hollywood image is a reality in today’s Greece. At night, black-shirted vigilantes from the … Continue reading

Most Aid to Athens Circles Back to Europe

PARIS — Its membership in the euro currency union hanging in the balance, Greece continues to receive billions of euros in emergency assistance from a so-called troika of lenders overseeing its bailout. But almost none of the money is going to the Greek government to pay for vital public services. Instead, it is flowing directly back into the troika’s … Continue reading

Insight: Europe treads a thin line on Greece

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Two weeks ago, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Union’s top two officials, met for lunch in Van Rompuy’s offices to discuss the deteriorating situation in Greece. Their immediate concern was an uncompromising letter. On May 10, Alexis Tsipras, the 37-year-old leader of Greece’s far-left SYRIZA coalition, had written … Continue reading

Greek election: Syriza ‘to tear up EU austerity deal’

The leader of Greece’s left-wing Syriza bloc has said he will try to form a coalition based on tearing up the terms of the EU/IMF bailout deal. Alexis Tsipras, whose bloc came second in Sunday’s vote, said Greek voters had “clearly nullified the loan agreement”. He has three days to reach a coalition deal and … Continue reading