The unemployment rate across the Eurozone hit a new high in November 2012. According to the BBC it climbed to 11.8%.
In October it was 11.7% but although the rise is small in November it is bad news. Pre-Christmas employment figures are often boosted by seasonal jobs. The fact that across the 17 Eurozone member nations an increase was experienced, however small, is not good news. It is not bad news. It is terrible news
Spain which is in the economic doldrums reported a 26.6%.unemployment rate. The change of government, from left to right, has not had any positive impact. Youth unemployment is running high in the Eurozone.
Officially there are now 26 million people unemployed across the EU. Such figures though rarely take into account those in temporary work or who have for one reason or another opted not to register as unemployed. In the Eurozone as a whole the figure is 18.8 million. The BBC reported,
Greece had the second-highest unemployment rate in November, at 20%.
The youth unemployment rate was 24.4% in the eurozone, and 23.7% in the wider European Union. Youth unemployment - among people under 25 - was highest in Greece (57.6%), followed by Spain (56.5%).
Overall unemployment was lowest in Austria (4.5%), Luxembourg (5.1%) and Germany (5.4%).
As European countries trade with each other one man's high unemployment becomes another man's. It is like being in quicksand being puilled under to a certain death. The only unknown factor in the EU is when and how past death will come.Opinion:
The figures are not set to improve at any time in the near future. As countries such as the UK try to balance the books by hitting those on welfare, many people will be resigned to a life in poverty. If there are not enough jobs to go around unemployment is a fact of life.The obscene cost of the new ECB building, widely called the EU palace, in Germany, is one more slap in the face for citizens of Europe. The MEPs and bureautcrats continue to spned money as if it was going out of fsahion whils hitting the poorest in European countries and preaching austerity. By the time riots and revolution is on the streets of course that elusive 1% will be holed up somewhere, well out of reac,h counting their jewels and gold.
There is much to protest about these days and many people prepared to do so. Protesting can and does take many forms. The Vatican City home of the head of the Holy Roman Catholic Chrurch, the Pope, has experienced protesters in recent days. Today one protester has gone a step further.
A disgruntled Italian restauranteur, who has obviously had his fill of the continuing EU austerity measures, has scaled St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
49-year-old Marcello de Finizio from Trieste is no stranger to unusual protests. In July 2012 he managed to scale St Peter's and spent four hours in situ until police finally coaxed him down. His latest anti EU protest has lasted around 12 hours so far.
Marcello managed to access St Peter's by mingling with a group of tourists. He then jumped over railings so that he was on on outside ledge. There he has stayed. He has draped a banner stating his message. It reads, Help!!! Enough with [Prime Minister Mario Monti], Enough with Europe, Enough with multinationals. You are killing us all. Development?
It is easy to see where his sentiment is coming from and who it is aimed at. Mario Monti is yet one more bureaucrat expecting people to roll over and succumb to poverty. He is a non elected leader of Italy and as such has no right to rule as he does, in a so called democratic country. We are, it seems, quick to preach democracy in the Middle East but even quicker to forgoe it in the West.
The authorities are trying to persudae Mr Finizio to come down peacefully. He is high above the ground and his position is precarious. He must however feel that he has little to lose now.
EU appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has today, July 17, 2012, voiced concerns over Sicily. The Island off the coast of Italy is an autonomous region but most people in the EU will view it as part of Italy.
The latest is that Sicilian financial affairs are struggling. In fact they are at rock bottom. Monti has said that he expects the Governor of Sicily, Raffaele Lombardoto to resign. Monti has written to the Governor al but demanding that he resign by the end of the month.
According to Monti it would seem that Sicily looks set to default. Pundits are predicting that other Italian regions such as Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Lombardy, Umbria, Liguria, and Veneto will follow suit. This will mean resignations galore and worries over Italian bonds with no resolution in sight.
Fitch has however said that Monti has no idea what he is talking about and that Sicily is far from doomed as he claims. What on earth is going on?
Ongoing story with more to follow.......
Tags: Sicily, default, EU politics, Mario Monti, EU crisis
If chewing the fat could solve the economic woes of Europe we would be well on the way to financial recovery. As it is, one meeting after another seems a huge waste of money when in reality nothing changes for the better. Are these leaders simply aiming to justify their jobs?
Today June 22, 2012, there has been a meeting of EU leaders in Europe. Hosted by Germany's Angela Merkel, (Who died and made her Queen?) the outcome looks likely to warrant yet more money. If it was yourself managing such a failed budget by now you would have decided to call it a day rather than keep throwing good money after bad, wouldn't you?
These European meetings have something of the school yard about them as they often only involve two leaders, selected leaders or all leaders and involve false promises and Chinese whispers. Today's looks to have been no different. Of coure the UK is not in the Eurozone as such, wisely having clung on to its own currency. This however makes us a poor relation in negotiations, that is unless they want the UK to stump up more cash.
Today's talks in Rome involved, unelected Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. How four leaders can decide the fate of other countries without including them in the talks is beyond this blogger. Including a non elected leader is a disgrace when leaders continue to advocate democracy and free, fair elections in Middle Eastern countries.
The four leaders are said to be in charge of the top four economies in the Eurozone. As three of those economies are experiencing difficulties it shows what a joke the European Union is.
Mr Monti said that "The first objective we agree on is to relaunch growth, investments and to create jobs."
The measures that they agreed are needed will be worth around 130bn euro. As usual then, not chicken feed. He went on to say, "We want there to be a significant European growth package, that is worth about 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or 130bn euro."
Merkel's two-penneth was that "the lesson of this crisis is more Europe, not less Europe".
We think that many people will disagree with Ms Merkel on that score.
The divisions are there to be seen though even in this small minority meeting. Hollande for France wants countries to share financial burdens more whilst Merkel is pushing for a financial transaction tax which Cameron will not be in favour of. Of course the UK is not part of the Eurozone, but other countries who were not at this meeting are.Opinion:
What is it with all these little summits, meetings and tet a tetes?. Is it following the old adage of the bosses and the workers, that to divide is to conquer? How would you feel if you found out that an important meeting you attended had already run the week before without you. That is exactly how other Eurozone leaders will feel when they meet in Brussels next week. Of Course "Queen" Merkel will no doubt hold court first, with one or two leaders, but that is no way to do business. It smacks of dodgy dealings and underhand agreements. No wonder Europe is in such a mess.
Today's talks lasted less that two hours and the four did not agree wholeheartedly. Hollande wants assurances before sovereignty is surrendered to the EU whilst Merkel holds the opposite opinion. This is why many Europeans feel that Germany is once more attempting to rule Europe, this time by holding the purse strings.More Here
Not so long ago it was unthinkable that Greece could leave the Eurozone. Now it seems a distinct possibility. Today IMF chief Christine Legarde has finally voiced the big IF Greece leaves the EU.Whilst Legarde has continued to maintain that Greece will stay in the EU she has had to recognise that is by no means a certainty.
The Greek election gave no political party a clear mandate to rule and successive parties have found it impossible to form a coalition. It now appears that Greeks will go to the polls once more. Perhaps now the gravity of the situation is plain for all to see a higher turnout will follow.That said, it may not. So many Greeks obviously feel dispirited with the current political parties of Greece. Even more will be totally disillusioned about the EU and their country's membership.
Waiting in the wings of course is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Like an adept puppeteer she pulls the strings as around her European leaders fall and economies crumble.Christine Legarde, head of the IMF, today, May 15, 2012, has said that the Eurozone, IMF and Europe must make preparations for if Greece leaves the EU. If they do other countries are sure to follow.
As the latest talks to try and form a coalition government fail it has been announced that a new election will be held in June. More expense for the troubled Greek people. Instantly the Greek stock exchange took a tumble. European markets nose dived and the economy has flatlined in response. A caretaker government will now hold the reins of Greek government until
the expected election in June 2012. Greece
is not alone as a country in crisis.Tags:Greek election, Greek coalition, IMF, Christine Legarde, Greece may leave EU, Eurozone
Earlier this week credit rating agency Standard & Poor cut Greece's long-term credit rating to 'selective default'. Now credit rating agency Moody's has gone one step further. Today's downgrade has been widely reported.
According to AlJazeera
, "Ratings agency Moody's has downgraded Greece to the lowest rating on its bond scale, saying that risk of default remains high even if a bond-swap deal with banks and other private investors, due to be completed this month, is successful." " Moody's lowered Greece's local and foreign-currency bond ratings to C from Ca, the lowest possible.It would seem that Greece and its people are in a no win situation. Whatever means are taken to address their debt crisis will result in a negative impact in the short term and maybe even the long term. With high unemployment already it is very hard for the ordinary Greek people. The "fat cats" of Greece will no doubt still prosper. Many ordinary citizens though have lost their homes as well as their means of making a living. Unsurprisingly the barter system is continuing to grow in Greece. It is difficult to see what Greece can do. It is now governed by a non elected leader and nationwide elections are almost upon them. Having been mismanaged for years, by successive governments, who will want to take on the mantle, who will the Greek people choose of the Greek Parliament and who can make any real difference for the people.Whilst countries such as Germany and France who are heavily tied into Greece's debts want to protect their own interests , those of the Greek people are ignored. Shame on you all. Remember the human cost of this crisis. Is it time to let Greece go?
EU leaders met today, October 26, 2011, in an emergency summit held in Brussels, to thrash out a plan which will include a boost to banks. French leader Nicolas Sarkozy may have wanted to limit those involved in the debate to the Eurozone countries leaders but in the end all 27 EU countries had their say. The UK may not have the Euro but it stands to lose out big time if the EU goes under. That said so do many other countries. Linking all these countries in such a way may have seemed a good idea in those heady days of yesteryear, when the world was "booming", now that it is almost "bust" it is a different story.
The general idea seems to be that they will boost powers of the bank bailout fund 'several fold'. The draft statement said, "Further enhancements to the EFSF, European Financial Stability Facility, and its resources are possible through cooperation with the IMF."
Today's summit is to be followed by an evening working dinner but only the 17 nations who have the Euro as their currency will attend this. Wonder who is paying for all of this chit chat and fancy dining out? EU leaders have met 20 times already this year to try and thrash out a way forward from the current financial crisis.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has again reiterated that he was "glad" to attend the emergency summit. Again he has said that directly or not what happens in the Eurozone has a marked effect on the UK and its economy.
One cause for concern is an EU finance ministers meeting which has been cancelled. Sky News said, "The postponement of the EU Finance Ministers' meeting is being downplayed by governments. But it doesn't look good when you consider that it was the meeting intended to thrash out the detail to leave the leaders free to concentrate on the broader aspects." True it does not.
As Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron shift onto less amicable terms many in the UK will not be surprised. It was always felt that France kept the UK out of the EU, at a time when it would have been beneficial to join. By the time we signed up, the Common Market had already had its day.
France it seems is up to the same old tricks. When it suits it wants the UKs input. Other times it wants to keep us knocking at the back door.
The Eurozone looks set for more bad news today, September 15, 2011.
As the dream of a single European market gradually turns into a nightmare the Eurozone stumbles from one piece of bad news to another.
France and Germany have insisted that Greece is an "integral" part of the Eurozone, although this week many predicted Greece was about to jump ship. Today a leading European economics official, Olli Rehn, will make more gloomy predictions about Europes single currency. It is thought he will cut his forecasts for economic growth in the Eurozone.
He spoke to the Euorpean Parliament yesterday saying, "Let me say a word to those suggesting that Greece would be better off outside the euro. I very strongly disagree. Neither Greece nor the eurozone would be better off. Whatever way you look at it, it is absolutely certain that a default and/or exit of Greece from the eurozone would carry dramatic economic and social and political costs, not only for Greece but also for all other euro area member states and EU member states, as well as for our global partners."
Its obvious really when you think about it. Europe has thrown money at Greece as if it was going out of fashion. Such moves must surely demonstrate that Europe needs Greece. If it did not by now it would have cut its ties and stopped offering bail-outs.
The European marekt has left so many countries dependent on each other that splitting the EU up now is not an option. It may be that in time it will be. In time it may be the only way. For now a different solution is needed. Let's hope those in pwer find one soon.
While Rehin was addressing Parliament Angela Merkel for Germany, Nicolas Sarkizy for France and George Papandreou for Greece were holding a three-way phone conversation. After the call they issued a joint statement saying, "Putting into place commitments of the (bailout) programme is essential for the Greek economy to return to a path of lasting and balanced growth."
The latest from Athens Greece is that it will need 8 billion Euros to pay next months wages and so debt default is likely in the coming weeks.
Last night Rome was the scene of protests as Italy's government passed austerity measures to tackle that country's debts.
In true political hypocrisy President Obama has said that "the eurozone needs better fiscal coordination" Get your own house in order first springs to mind. The second thought is, stop dragging European countries into expensive Wars Mr President. We all seem to have enough money to destroy these days but little to spare for anything that is constructive.