Lots of meetings going on, but we focus on two — one done and one coming. Then there’s the Spailout, with the formal plea now scheduled for Monday, and more new from Greece, including more on the memorandum, health afflictions of the new cabinet [and its peculiar configuration], power shutoffs, jobless lawyers, and more.
We’ve got Qataris buying up France, a death knell for the Tobin Tax, the EU’s reluctance to introduce democratic reforms, and an eagerness to shill for Uncle Sam’s spies.
But we’ll open with the meetings.
Hollande prepares to huddle with Lagarde
François Hollande’s sitting on the political equivalent of a full house, with the National Assembly and Senate now controlled by his own Socialist [sic] party.
But the ersatz socialist is paying court to the embodiment of finance capital, the International Monetary Fund, the architects of austerity.
From Nadya Masidlover of Dow Jones Newswires:
French President Francois Hollande is set to meet European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Monday in Paris, days before the EU summit to be held on June 28 and 29, amidst the ongoing euro-zone crisis.
Earlier this week, Mr. Hollande said at a press conference in Los Cabos, Mexico, that talks would be held with the ECB, “in complete respect of its independence”, and underlined that the ECB could continue to play a part in the resolution of the euro-zone crisis.
The meeting between the French head of state and the ECB president will intervene days after leaders of the euro zone’s four biggest economies renewed calls for firmer political collaboration, as they met for a presummit meeting in Rome on Friday.
Merkel’s adamant: No cash without discipline
She’s even earned an Italian nickname, Mrs. No.
And only virtue will bring rewards.
From Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shot down calls for full mobilisation of the eurozone’s bail-out funds to halt the raging bond crisis in Spain and Italy, ignoring unprecedented pleas for action from the International Monetary Fund.
“Each country wants to help but if I am going to call on taxpayers in Germany, I must have guarantees that all is under control. Responsibility and control go hand in hand,” she said after a crucial summit of the eurozone’s Big Four powers in Rome.
Mrs Merkel – or La Signora No in Italy – doused hopes of a break-through on proposals by the “Latin Bloc” leaders of Italy, France, and Spain to deploy the funds (EFSF and ESM) to cap the bond yields of “virtuous” countries vulnerable to contagion, or to recapitalize banks directly to take the strain off sovereign states.
“If I give money straight to Spanish banks, I can’t control what they do. That is how the treaties are written,” she said, before racing off to Danzig to tonight for Euro 2012 quarter final between Greece and German.
Read the rest.
The Iron Chancellor repeats her mantra
While Merkel’s saying Nein! Nein! Nein! To pouring more cash onto the Southern fire, she’s still issuing her usual clarion call for less national sovereignty and all power to Brussels.
And she’s getting a bit perturbed with that French fellow.
From Deutsche Welle:
Speaking after the 100-minute talks in the Villa Madama overlooking the Italian capital, German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed the growth packet, calling it “the right signal.”
“The lesson of this crisis is more Europe, not less Europe,” Merkel said.
“We need to work closer together politically, especially in the eurozone. Whoever has a common currency must also have coherent policies. That is also a lesson from the last two years,” Merkel went on.
Merkel has insisted that members of the 17-nation currency union must transfer control over national budget and economic policies to Brussels before Germany would consider common debt issuance.
In an apparent challenge to the chancellor, however, [French President François] Hollande said: “I consider eurobonds to be an option … but not in 10 years. There can be no transfer of sovereignty if there is not an improvement in solidarity.”
Read the rest.
Reminds us of the punchline to that old joke: “We’ve established what you are, just not your price.”
The Spailout request is on its way
Yet another confirmation that the inevitable is imminent.
The Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos confirmed on Friday that Spain will formally request aid for its banks on Monday. Speaking at a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg, de Guindos said that the conditions attached to the request, which will take place in a letter just two paragraphs long, would be ready by July 9. Late Thursday, an independent audit of Spain’s banking sector concluded that, under a worse-case scenario, Spain could need as much as $80 billion to recapitalize its banks.
Do Greeks believe in omens these days?
Because if they do, things aren’t looking too good for the coalition.
No sooner does New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras achieve the prime ministerial post than he winds up in the hospital.
And then he’s followed by his all-important finance minister, even before the poor schlub could take the oath of office.
Maybe it’s time for trip to the Oracle of Delphi? Once he’s discharged, that is.
From Keep Talking Greece:
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras successfully underwent an eye operation on Saturday morning in Athens. Ophthalmology surgeons at public hospital Attikon repaired the retinal detachment problem in an operation that lasted about two hours.
A statement by the surgeons said that Samaras’s eye problem was serious and that he has to be under medical surveillance and a regular measurement of his right eye blood pressure for some time.
Samaras is expected ot stay in the hospital at least until Sunday.
Read the rest.
More on the second patient, Finance Minister Vassilis Rapanos, from Athens News:
The incoming finance minister was rushed to hospital on Friday Continue reading