Opinion

Paul Taylor

Conflicting statements cast doubt on euro zone deal

Paul Taylor
Jul 27, 2011 11:27 UTC

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) – Contrasting statements by euro
zone politicians to domestic audiences have underlined the
fragility of last week’s deal to rescue Greece and unsettled
financial markets already on edge because of the U.S. debt
impasse.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told lawmakers from
his Pasok socialist party on Wednesday that debt-stricken Athens
will effectively receive the first joint eurobonds in the form
of loans at close to cost price from the euro zone’s rescue
fund.

“The decision of our European partners to lend us at 3.5
percent, an interest rate just above the one at which Germany
itself is borrowing, is in essence tantamount to introducing a
European bond, regardless of the fact that this system has not
been completed yet,” he said.

His comments may inflame critics of euro zone bailouts in
Germany and other northern European countries, who vehemently
oppose any mutualisation of fiscal risk in the 17-nation single
currency area. The remarks may also irk Spain and Italy,
indebted economies that are paying high yields on their bonds.

Germany, which previously insisted on charging an interest
rate premium on “deficit sinners” to deter moral hazard,
relented at last week’s summit and accepted that the high
borrowing rate was counter-productive for countries mired in
recession.

Analysis: Pact puts eurozone on bumpy road to fiscal union

Paul Taylor
Jul 23, 2011 00:33 UTC

PARIS, Jul (Reuters) – Angela Merkel will deny it, but Thursday’s euro zone deal to rescue Greece again from the brink of bankruptcy puts Europe on the bumpy road to a fiscal union.

By giving their bailout fund new scope to help countries before they are shut out of credit markets, recapitalize banks and buy bonds in the secondary market, leaders of the 17-nation currency area laid the foundations of a European Monetary Fund.

They also made clear this was not the final stage in fiscal integration, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy promising new Franco-German proposals on economic governance by September.

Analysis: Euro zone on bumpy road to fiscal union

Paul Taylor
Jul 22, 2011 14:50 UTC

PARIS, Jul (Reuters) – Angela Merkel will deny it, but Thursday’s euro zone deal to rescue Greece again from the brink of bankruptcy puts Europe on the bumpy road to a fiscal union.

By giving their bailout fund new scope to help countries before they are shut out of credit markets, recapitalize banks and buy bonds in the secondary market, leaders of the 17-nation currency area laid the foundations of a European Monetary Fund.

They also made clear this was not the final stage in fiscal integration, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy promising new Franco-German proposals on economic governance by September.

Analysis:Summit pact puts eurozone on bumpy road to fiscal union

Paul Taylor
Jul 22, 2011 14:48 UTC

PARIS, Jul (Reuters) – Angela Merkel will deny it, but Thursday’s euro zone deal to rescue Greece again from the brink of bankruptcy puts Europe on the bumpy road to a fiscal union.

By giving their bailout fund new scope to help countries before they are shut out of credit markets, recapitalize banks and buy bonds in the secondary market, leaders of the 17-nation currency area laid the foundations of a European Monetary Fund.

They also made clear this was not the final stage in fiscal integration, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy promising new Franco-German proposals on economic governance by September.

No consensus as Europe limps toward Greece summit

Paul Taylor
Jul 18, 2011 16:38 UTC

BRUSSELS/PARIS, July 18 (Reuters) – European government
officials and commercial bankers struggled to reconcile
competing proposals for a second bailout of Greece on Monday,
just three days before a summit meeting called to prevent the
crisis from spreading through the region.

French government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse said she
believed the summit of the euro zone’s 17 national leaders
scheduled for Thursday in Brussels would agree on a rescue of
Greece, supplementing a 110 billion euro ($154 billion) bailout
launched in May last year.

But after three weeks of preparatory talks, it was unclear
how a consensus could be reached on a way for private owners of
Greek government bonds — banks, insurers and other investors –
to contribute to the bailout by taking cuts in the face value of
their holdings.

Crisis taxes Greek Church-state ties

Paul Taylor
Jul 16, 2011 22:37 UTC

ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek Orthodox Church owns more land than anyone except the state, employs thousands on the public payroll, has a stake in the nation’s biggest bank, but campaigners say its tax payments are derisory.

The Church vehemently denies accusations it is one of Greece’s biggest tax dodgers and says it is playing a vital social, economic and spiritual role in this time of hardship..

With the third year of recession tormenting Greece’s 11 million people, the Church has provided solace, comfort and nourishment but activists say it’s now time to dig deep into its coffers to help with the bailout.

Athens debt crisis taxes cosy ties between state and Greek Orthodox Church

Paul Taylor
Jul 15, 2011 19:37 UTC

(Greek orthodox priests hold a Greek flag in a protest in front of the parliament house during a rally in Athens, February 6, 2011/John Kolesidis )

The Greek Orthodox Church owns more land than anyone except the state, employs thousands on the public payroll, has a stake in the nation’s biggest bank, but campaigners say its tax payments are derisory. The Church vehemently denies accusations it is one of Greece’s biggest tax dodgers and says it is playing a vital social, economic and spiritual role in this time of hardship.

With the third year of recession tormenting Greece’s 11 million people, the Church has provided solace, comfort and nourishment but activists say it’s now time to dig deep into its coffers to help with the bailout.

Debt crisis taxes cozy Greek Church-state ties

Paul Taylor
Jul 15, 2011 14:01 UTC

ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek Orthodox Church owns more land than anyone except the state, employs thousands on the public payroll, has a stake in the nation’s biggest bank, but campaigners say its tax payments are derisory.

The Church vehemently denies accusations it is one of Greece’s biggest tax dodgers and says it is playing a vital social, economic and spiritual role in this time of hardship.

With the third year of recession tormenting Greece’s 11 million people, the Church has provided solace, comfort and nourishment but activists say it’s now time to dig deep into its coffers to help with the bailout.

Analysis: Euro zone crisis enters dangerous new phase with Italy

Paul Taylor
Jul 12, 2011 13:03 UTC

ATHENS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s debt crisis has taken a dangerous turn. Contagion is singeing the currency bloc’s third biggest economy Italy, which would be too big to save with existing EU financial fire-fighting tools.

The cheapest way for Europe to build a firewall to shield Italy would be to take decisive action this month on a second bailout for Greece, market participants and EU officials say.

The longer a decision is delayed, the greater the risk of events getting out of hand in Greece or on capital markets, forcing core nations to take more radical and politically difficult measures to hold the 17-nation currency zone together.

Euro zone crisis enters dangerous new phase with Italy

Paul Taylor
Jul 12, 2011 13:02 UTC

ATHENS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s debt crisis has taken a dangerous turn. Contagion is singeing the currency bloc’s third biggest economy Italy, which would be too big to save with existing EU financial fire-fighting tools.

The cheapest way for Europe to build a firewall to shield Italy would be to take decisive action this month on a second bailout for Greece, market participants and EU officials say.

The longer a decision is delayed, the greater the risk of events getting out of hand in Greece or on capital markets, forcing core nations to take more radical and politically difficult measures to hold the 17-nation currency zone together.

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