Monday, 26 March 2012

The euro in "calm waters" according to van Rompuy - but is it?

EU "president" van Rompuy is optimistic about the euro:

EU council president Herman Van Rompuy sees the eurozone in "calmer waters" as market and consumer confidence return, marking "the end of the sequence of 'summits of truth'," which have been held almost monthly. "The European Council, as the Union’s 'crisis body' takes a moment to rest," he said.

It appears that the renowned haiku poet is not aware of what a wise person said already in 1576:

"Calm continueth not long without a storm."

Financial Times´s Wolfgang Munchau welcomes van Rompuy back to reality:
Welcome back to the crisis. And it’s set to get worse once the markets discover that the eurozone is about to fudge the increase in the European rescue umbrella. The argument I am hearing is a wonderful example of circular logic: we don’t need a bigger umbrella because market pressure has eased.
Well, the market pressure has gone up again recently. Investors are concerned about Spain.
It took the markets several weeks to understand the significance of the recent political and economic developments in Spain. It may take some more until Germany’s stance on the ESM is understood.
But it is only if you consider the two together that the real significance becomes clear.
The current ESM is big enough to handle small countries, but not Spain. I expect Madrid eventually to apply for a program, specifically to deal with the debt overhang of the Spanish financial sector. But even a minimally enlarged version of the ESM will not be big enough.

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