MADRID (Reuters) – Spain is praying a restructuring of its weaker banks, an austere 2011 budget and progress on deficit cuts will help it stave off an Irish- or Greek-style debt meltdown, though mounting market pressure will test its resolve.
Euro zone policymakers are keeping their fingers crossed too, as a call for outside help from the region’s fourth largest economy would come close to extinguishing the huge reserves of capital they and the International Monetary Fund have set aside to contain the fiscal crisis, leaving the single currency area facing a bleak future.
Cost to the taxpayer seems to be the latest target for protesters when Pope Benedict comes to town. After a lively debate about the price the public had to pay for his visit to Britain in September, Spanish protesters have picked up the torch with complaints about the estimated 3.7 million to 5 million euros the state will spend on logistics and security for the pope. And this at a time when Spain is burdened with 20 percent unemployment and is struggling to emerge from recession and austerity measures that have slashed public sector wages.
“I think it’s bad, I mean really bad, to spend so much money on a guy who comes, gives a speech, stays an hour and leaves,” said Pedro Barral Gonzalez, 18, in Santiago de Compostela, the city in northwestern Spain that the pope visited on Saturday.
MADRID, Oct 3 (Reuters) – A Spanish Socialist party rebel
won Madrid’s regional government primary election on Sunday, in
a race seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Jose Luis
Tomas Gomez’s victory in the voting by 18,000 Madrid region
Socialist party members challenges Zapatero’s party leadership
since the prime minister had backed another candidate, his
health minister, Trinidad Jimenez.
LONDON/MADRID (Reuters) – Just seven European banks failed a health check and were ordered to raise their capital by 3.5 billion euros ($4.5 billion), much less than expected, confirming fears the continent’s long-awaited stress test was too soft.
Results of the test of how 91 banks in 20 countries would cope with another recession was released on Friday in a bid to restore investor confidence after the Greek debt crisis spooked markets earlier this year. But it fell on deaf ears.
LONDON/MADRID, July 23 (Reuters) – Just seven European banks
failed a health check and were ordered to raise their capital by
3.5 billion euros ($4.5 billion), much less than expected,
confirming fears the continent’s long-awaited stress test was too
Results of the test of how 91 banks in 20 countries would cope
with another recession was released on Friday in a bid to restore
investor confidence after the Greek debt crisis spooked markets
earlier this year. But it fell on deaf ears.
Spain’s Queen Sofia visited the locker room after the national team beat Germany 1-0 in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday. Most of the players got a heads up and scrambled into their clothes.
But no one warned Carles Puyol, hero of the moment, who emerged from treatment on his knee, wearing only a towel. Discomfitted, the Barcelona defender blushed and scurried to hide behind his teammates.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Soaring labor and equipment costs and fierce price competition from Spain and Australia are challenging Argentine winemakers, but one of the country’s biggest producers, Casa Bianchi, sees revenue up this year after a major expansion.
Argentina is the world’s fifth-largest wine producer and family-owned Bianchi is Argentina’s sixth-largest winemaker in terms of local market share. The country exported $770 million worth of wine last year.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina’s bad image with investors clashes with its strong economic fundamentals, but the president of Pegasus private equity fund said the country is poised to close its credibility gap and attract investment.
Pegasus is a 10-year-old Argentine private equity firm with $500 million invested, half in real estate and the other half in retailers such as Musimundo entertainment retailer, Freddo ice cream parlors and Farmacity pharmacy chain.
BUENOS AIRES/TOKYO, April 30 (Reuters) – Argentina on
Friday launched an offer to exchange new bonds and cash for
$18.3 billion in defaulted debt and said it would issue a new
$1 billion, seven-year global bond.
The swap of bonds left over from Argentina’s historic 2002
default is a bid to clear up the country’s reputation with
investors so it can raise new debt at a time of tight
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – A ferocious two-year battle between Argentina’s president and the country’s leading media empire has gone beyond tax raids and soccer broadcast squabbles to dredging up mud from the country’s dark past.
Government officials say the owner of Grupo Clarin may have adopted two babies stolen from murdered political prisoners during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, and President Cristina Fernandez has urged courts to investigate.