After months of fractious debate, the 16 countries that use the euro agreed on a financial safety net for Greece, combining bilateral loans from those European nations with cash from the International Monetary Fund.
The proposal, brokered by France and Germany and then approved by European leaders on Thursday, would take effect if the Greek government were unable to borrow in the commercial markets. Under the deal, loans would be provided at market rates and offered only with the agreement of all the nations that use the euro currency.(...)The agreement said the euro zone countries would be expected to contribute based on the amount each makes available to the European Central Bank’s capital reserves.(...)
The deal emerged as the European Central Bank said on Thursday that it would hold off tightening lending rules until 2011, a move that appeared to be intended to help Greek banks in particular. Mr. Trichet told the European Parliament that the central bank would keep the credit ratings at an exceptionally low level for longer than planned on the collateral that its accepts from banks in return for short-term loans.
Previously, the central bank had said that it would raise the threshold for collateral at the end of 2010. It had been lowered as an extraordinary measure to help banks in the euro zone weather the global credit crisis.(...)
The bank’s decision should have “positive implications” not only for Greece, they said, but also for other countries under pressure along Europe’s periphery, like Portugal, which was downgraded on Wednesday by Fitch Ratings.
More details of the changes will be announced at the central bank’s next council meeting on April 8. Greece’s long-term foreign currency rating is A2 from Moody’s and BBB+ from Standard & Poor’s. For its operations, the European Central Bank had until now said that the current minimum credit threshold of BBB- would revert to A- at the end of 2010.
Now, for Greek government bonds to be excluded from European Central Bank operations, they would have to be downgraded five times by Moody’s and three times by Fitch and S.& P., analysts said.
“No doubt the worries about Greek government bonds remaining eligible at the E.C.B. beyond the end of 2010 have played a role in accelerating the decision to modify the framework, which in itself is not surprising,” Laurent Fransolet, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London, wrote in a note to clients.
Secondo l'Economist si tratta pero' di una goccia destinata a perdersi nel mare del debito greco, utile soprattutto a guadagnare tempo:
(...) That may be enough to calm markets and enable Greece to roll over its debts. But it will be only a temporary fix. It will take years to repair Greece’s public finances, which means a much larger rescue fund will be needed if it is to avoid default. The Greek government has somehow to keep its economy on an even keel while pushing through a huge fiscal tightening. Countries that seek IMF help generally have to endure brutal cuts in public spending, which deepen recessions. To counter that effect, the IMF typically counsels a weaker currency. Sadly, this is not an option for Greece. Stuck in the euro, its exchange rate with its main trading partners is fixed. Greece cannot devalue, so it needs more time to adjust than the three years it has agreed with its EU partners—and a bigger safety net while it does.
Just how big? Analysis by The Economist suggests a figure of €75 billion rather than €25 billion. Greece is likely to need five years to get its deficit down below 3% of GDP (see table). On our projections interest payments will rise from 5% of GDP to 8.4% in that time, to reflect the higher cost of issuing new debts and of refinancing old ones. Other budgetary cuts will be needed to offset this. By our reckoning the Greek government will have to increase the “primary” budget balance (ie, excluding interest payments) by 13.5 percentage points of GDP to cap its debt burden. That is bound to have an effect on growth. Our projections assume that nominal GDP will be 5% lower by 2014.
Qui trovate una tabellina con le proiezioni dal 2009 al 2014.
Sempre su l'Economist trovate un aggiornamento sulla crisi del Dubai. Inoltre fino a domenica potete partecipare al
dibattito dell'Economist sul ruolo dei governi nel promuovere l'innovazione: al momento l'esito e' assolutamente incerto ed equilibrato.
Ecco l'aggiornamento al 26 marzo.