a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Greece, your rescue package is almost ready

Posted on the February 28th, 2010

The financial leaders of the European Union are almost ready with a rescue package for the being-pushed-downhill-fast Greece, according to an article last week in Spiegel Online International (“PIIGS to the Slaughter/Can the Euro Zone Cope with a National Bankruptcy?” Feb 22, 2010). Officials have been ordered to keep everything hush-hush for now, according to the article, but it offers a glimpse at some of the details.

The bones of the rescue package were put together by the combined efforts of German and French officials, the article states, who then brought the rest of the 16-country Euro zone financial members into the loop.  Excerpt:

The German Finance Ministry expects support for Greece to amount to between €20 billion and €25 billion. All the members of the euro group are expected to participate, including those, like Spain and Portugal, who also might find themselves needing help soon.

In coming together and drafting the rescue package for Greece, the Eurozone countries had no choice but to do so, according to the article. The speculators attacks on the euro and on Greece reportedly are showing no letup. Europe is under threat of member-country bankruptcies, the writers say in the article’s opening lines:

The consequences would be dramatic for the whole of the continent, especially German banks, which are highly exposed to risky debt. EU politicians are willing to pay almost any price to help the beleaguered countries.

I would say this article is a must read for those of us standing on the sidelines trying for a glimmer of understanding of what’s happening in Europe now. The Spiegel article lays out a detailed and comprehensible chronology of how this potential crisis has been created, and what may or may not happen in the future.

It’s also stomach-churning reading, if you don’t share the to-hell-with-everybody-but-me profiteering views of speculators and bankers gone bonkers.

A little further reading: (Why?)

“This Crisis Won’t Stop Moving” by Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times, Feb 6, 2010

“Just a few lessons” (editorial by Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Feb 10, 2010)

“Rescuing Greece. Economic union. Two different things” by Charlemagne, The Economist, Feb 12, 2010

“Greece turns on EU criticsFinancial Times, Feb 12, 2010

“Eurozone overhaul” by Mark Schieritz, presseurop, Feb 12, 2010

“Greece Derails: Is Europe Far Behind?” by Simon Johnson, Huffington Post, Feb 12, 2010

“Wall St. Helped Greece to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis” New York Times, Feb 13, 2010

“The Greek Tragedy That Changed Europe” Wall Street Journal, Feb 13, 2010

“Goldman Goes Rogue – Special European Audit To Follow” by Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario, Feb 14, 2010

Portugal – “Slow progress to avoid decline” by Guido Rampoldi, presseurop, Feb 15, 2010

“Senior Goldman Adviser Criticizes Greece – Without Disclosing His Goldman Affiliation” by Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario, Feb 15, 2010

“The evolution of Greece’s financial woes” by Stamatis Assimenios, Deutsche Welle, Feb 16, 2010

“Euro flounders amid Greek woes” by Siva Sithraputhran, FRANCE 24, Feb 16, 2010

“The Dutch Join the Germans in Rejecting Bailout of Greece” by Edward Harrison, Roubini Global Economics, Feb 16, 2010

“A reminder for the EU: America did not create federalism to back the dollar” by Charlemagne, The Economist, Feb 17, 2010

“Feldstein’s Euro Holiday” Paul Krugman blog, New York Times, Feb 17, 2010

“Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle” by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine, Feb 17, 2010

“Fear of Mediterranean Contagion Grows” by Julio Godoy, IPS, Feb 18, 2010

Crash of the titans” Commentary, Kathimerini English edition, Feb 19, 2010

“Greece Asks for Details on EU Aid Plan” Spiegel Online International, Feb 19, 2010

“Greece not looking for EU handouts with debt crisis, says Papandreou” by Zoe Wood, Guardian, Feb 21, 2010

“Prospects For Financial Reform” by Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario, Feb 23, 2010

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