Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Blogs : 19th November

Italy’s Unicredit Has Definitely NOT Made Losses On The Russian Interbank Market. Edward Hugh, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... The real roots of this problem are to be found in the fact that Unicredit has very substantial exposure to losses in a number of key Central and East European countries, and the Italian government, which already has a debt to GDP ratio of over 100%, is in no position - especially with an economy which looks set to shrink all the way through from here to 2011 - to offer much in the way of cash to support the bank. As I point out in this post, Austria (which is a much smaller country than Italy, but which has similar East European exposure) has already lined up an initial 100 billion euros to support its banks, while the Italian government has remained hesitant to be specific about anything, but seems to be talking about support which only amounts to something like 20 billion euros. So we are left with the rather undignifying spectacle of the leaders of the eurozone’s third largest economy having to rely on Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi and Vladimir Putin for vital support to keep one of Italy’s leading banks alive ..."

A cyclist city is a civilised city. A Certain Idea of Europe (en)
" ... THE popularity of bicycle-rental schemes across Europe, inspired by the "Vélib" programme in Paris, continues to spread. Instead of sitting in gridlocked traffic, a growing number of Europeans are picking up a bicycle in one corner of town, dropping it off in another, and doing the reverse on their way home at night. Barcelona, Amsterdam, Lyon and Rome are some other cities that have embraced the idea. Now Boris Johnson, the London mayor who is an avid cyclist himself, has given the go-ahead to the placement of 6,000 rental bikes at 400 stations around central London by May 2010 ..."I have long held the view that a cyclised city is a civilised city'' ..."

Heading north. A Certain Idea of Europe (en)
" ... NOT all of those Polish plumbers leaving Britain and Ireland as the economies slow are necessarily going straight home. Sweden has seen immigration surge to record levels this year ..."

Economic stupidity strengthens. Ironies Too (en)
" ... I have just returned from a few days in England. Incredibly there still seems no general understanding of the treachery of the nation's parliamentarians or understanding of the depths of the social and economic crisis now prevailing.The media in particular seem to be goading the brainless Brown and his Treasury team towards the almost certain national suicide of large unfunded tax cuts ..."

The power of the pen. Richard, EUReferendum (en)

Tracking: European Parliament elections 2009 (XXVI). Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... So yes, EP elections are often used to sanction national governments, an act which on the national level sometimes leads to far-right votes, but right now I don't see a great danger of a Euro-radicalisation on the right wing of the political spectrum ..."

Charming MEPs. Open Europe Blog (en)

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