Eurozone

Greek Default: A game of Euro-Chicken?

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Grekk riot police covered in red paint - photo By endiaferon on flckrThe big bad ECB wolf is a-huffing and a-puffing but the first of the three little pigs is showing no signs of surrendering just yet. And behind the spectacle of the Greek populace standing up against its government and the core EU powers, lurks a recent historical shadow - a spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Yugoslavia.

Today Greece is the target of pressure and brinkmanship by the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund who are holding back the next installment in the so-called "bailout" agreed last year. The payment of €12 billion was originally scheduled for this month and without it Greece will default on repaying its existing bonds due for redemption on Jul 15.

And Portugal Makes Three - looks for ECB\IMF bailout

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Yesterday the acting prime minister of Portugal finally threw in the towel and declared the need for an ECB\IMF rescue of the kind that Greece and Ireland already succumbed to last year. So Portugal becomes the third Eurozone country to be press-ganged into the Bailout Brigade.

At the time of Ireland's fall into the clutches of direct rule from Frankfurt, the common consensus was that Portugal would follow not long after. That it has taken until the beginning of April for the inevitable to happen is testament to the desperate struggle of the then Prime Minister José Sócrates to stave off this fate.

70 Billion Bank Bailout Most Expensive April Fool in History

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On the 1st of April 2011 the government got in on the April Fool's game early, by announcing yet another visit to the trough for the endless bailing out of the country's basket case banks to the tune of 70 billion euros. Anyone remember when Brian Lenihan swore on his life that 40 billion was definitely the last of it? My how we laughed...

This is not an IMF bailout but end to ECB life support

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Why is the director of the IMF complaining that the rate of progress of the IMF negotiations in Dublin is going too slowly? What's wrong with this picture? The answer is nothing, so long as you understand that the IMF are not the driving force in these negotiations.

Despite the newpaper headlines, what is happening is not an IMF bailout. This is a European debt restructuring process in which the IMF are playing a merely supportive role as consultants. This is a Eurozone process and although the political masters of the Eurozone, through their EU Commissioners, have the final say on passing or vetoing the final agreement, the true driving force behind this process is the ECB.

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