Opinion

Paul Taylor

Q&A-What next after Cyprus bailout?

Paul Taylor
Mar 26, 2013 17:12 UTC

BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) – In bailing out Cyprus and
taking funds from savers instead of taxpayers, the euro zone has
crossed a Rubicon with implications for future banking rescues
in other countries despite assertions that the crisis in the
island nation is unique.

CYPRUS: ONE-OFF OR TEMPLATE?

Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem caused uproar in
financial markets by saying in an interview with Reuters and the
Financial Times that the Cyprus solution gave a flavour of how
Europe would handle future bank crises, by making banks solve
their own problems rather than using European taxpayers’ money.

Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen supported him, saying
that “bail-in” thinking should guide a planned European banking
union, but clarified that he did not necessarily mean depositors
should be hit in future.

ECB policymakers sought to calm the ensuing storm and
reassure savers throughout Europe by pointing out that Cyprus
was unique in that its banks were largely funded by deposits
rather than by issuing bonds and shares.

The European Commission said it might be possible for large
uninsured depositors to be “bailed-in” as part of the future
resolution of a bank under a new draft EU law, but savers with
less than 100,000 euros ($128,600) would not be hit.

Analysis: “Lex Cyprus” will set precedents for closer EU union

Paul Taylor
Mar 23, 2013 17:37 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Lawyers have a saying that hard cases make bad law.

Whatever happens this weekend on a bailout for Cyprus will set precedents for the euro zone’s future banking union, investor confidence in the single currency area and political relations among European states.

Europe’s political leaders, and their finance ministers, are having to decide in practice at breakneck speed on issues on which they have not yet agreed in theory.

Among those issues is whether euro membership is really irreversible for all member states, or only for countries deemed systemic, and what the true meaning is of the European Union’s agreed guarantee of 100,000 euros in bank deposits.

“Lex Cyprus” will set precedents for closer EU union

Paul Taylor
Mar 23, 2013 17:30 UTC

BRUSSELS, March 23 (Reuters) – Lawyers have a saying that
hard cases make bad law.

Whatever happens this weekend on a bailout for Cyprus will
set precedents for the euro zone’s future banking union,
investor confidence in the single currency area and political
relations among European states.

Europe’s political leaders, and their finance ministers, are
having to decide in practice at breakneck speed on issues on
which they have not yet agreed in theory.

Europe’s social shock-absorbers show crisis strain

Paul Taylor
Mar 18, 2013 20:39 UTC

PARIS (Reuters) – Grigoris Lemonis, a 73-year-old Athens pensioner, uses his 580 euro monthly state pension to support his wife and the family of his son, an unemployed cook with two small children and a wife who works occasionally as a cleaner.

Three-generation families surviving on a single income are increasingly common across southern Europe as mass unemployment tears at the fabric of closely knit societies.

The continent’s social shock-absorbers are creaking under the strain of a prolonged economic crisis that began in 2008 and engulfed the euro zone in a sovereign debt crisis from 2010.

Analysis: Europe’s social shock-absorbers show crisis strain

Paul Taylor
Mar 18, 2013 06:59 UTC

PARIS (Reuters) – Grigoris Lemonis, a 73-year-old Athens pensioner, uses his 580 euro ($760) monthly state pension to support his wife and the family of his son, an unemployed cook with two small children and a wife who works occasionally as a cleaner.

Three-generation families surviving on a single income are increasingly common across southern Europe as mass unemployment tears at the fabric of closely knit societies.

The continent’s social shock-absorbers are creaking under the strain of a prolonged economic crisis that began in 2008 and engulfed the euro zone in a sovereign debt crisis from 2010.

Analysis: Italy’s Grillo blazes trail for Europe’s populists

Paul Taylor
Mar 8, 2013 13:09 UTC

PARIS (Reuters) – Italian comic-turned-activist Beppe Grillo has blazed a trail for populist political movements around Europe by taking his Five Star Movement (M5S) from obscurity to become Italy’s largest party in its first general election campaign.

Grillo’s stunning success in turning a fringe protest group into a national force while refusing to be interviewed on television or debate with mainstream politicians may be studied by political scientists and campaign operatives for years.

Populists hostile to the euro or to immigration have ridden a wave of anger over austerity, recession and unemployment to make inroads from the Netherlands to France, Finland and Greece since the financial crisis began in 2008.

EU needs ‘who lost Italy’ debate on austerity

Paul Taylor
Mar 4, 2013 10:16 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European policymakers should be asking themselves “who lost Italy” after a grassroots revolt against austerity, unemployment and the political elite caused an electoral earthquake in the euro zone’s number three economy.

Instead, most are insisting that their policy mix to fight the currency area’s debt crisis is right, even though the latest EU forecasts have pushed any prospect of meaningful economic recovery in southern Europe back into the middle distance.

A surge in support for anti-euro populist Beppe Grillo and the surprise resurrection of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on an anti-austerity platform in last week’s election have plunged Rome into political deadlock.

Analysis: EU needs “who lost Italy” debate on austerity

Paul Taylor
Mar 4, 2013 06:56 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European policymakers should be asking themselves “who lost Italy” after a grassroots revolt against austerity, unemployment and the political elite caused an electoral earthquake in the euro zone’s number three economy.

Instead, most are insisting that their policy mix to fight the currency area’s debt crisis is right, even though the latest EU forecasts have pushed any prospect of meaningful economic recovery in southern Europe back into the middle distance.

A surge in support for anti-euro populist Beppe Grillo and the surprise resurrection of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on an anti-austerity platform in last week’s election have plunged Rome into political deadlock.

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