Germany’s director at the European Central Bank has thrown his weight behind mass purchases of Spanish and Italian debt to prevent the disintegration of the euro, marking a crucial turning point in the eurozone debt crisis.
European finance ministers meeting Sunday in Luxembourg moved toward approving a fresh quarterly installment of Greece's €110 billion ($157 billion) bailout loan, but they remained divided over the details of a far harder task—extending Greece a giant new package that would support it for years to come.
Athenians used to stop off at Syntagma Square for the shopping, the shiny rows of upmarket boutiques. Now they arrive in their tens of thousands to protest. Swarming out of the metro station, they emerge into a village of tents, pamphleteers and a booming public address system.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2389:]]By John Mauldin
I am attending the Global Interdependence Center's latest conference here in Philadelphia, writing you from the Admiral's Club on my way to Boston. The chatter last night at dinner and between sessions was focused on the risks in Europe. I did an interview with Aaron Task on Yahoo's Daily Ticker, where I noted that European leaders are starting to use the word contained when they talk about Greece. Shades of Bernanke and subprime. This too will not be contained.
We've been talking about protests and rising yields in Spain ahead of this weekend's regional elections.
Political leaders in Europe have spent the last few days telling everyone who will listen that the credit crisis here is over.
Moody's has cut its rating on Portuguese sovereign debt by a notch – warning the country's next government will need to seek support from the European Union as a matter of urgency.
Euro zone inflation defied expectations of a small decline and surged higher in March, an early estimate showed on Thursday, a week before the European Central Bank is expected to raise interest rates to stem price growth.
Portuguese government bonds declined amid speculation the Iberian nation will soon need financial assistance.
The Iron Chancellor of Germany could not have been clearer. “Whoever wants credit must fulfill our conditions“.