Daily Press Summary
New poll: 73% of Five-Star Movement voters want to stay in the euro
According to a new ISPO poll published by Il Corriere della Sera yesterday, 69% of Italians think a referendum on Italy’s euro membership would be “a negative thing”. The poll also shows that, if the referendum were to take place, 74% of Italians would vote to stay in the euro – including 73% of Five-Star Movement voters – with only 16% in favour of leaving the euro. Meanwhile, Beppe Grillo has threatened to retire from politics if the party’s parliamentary representatives support a government led by any other political party.
New figures published by Italy’s statistics office ISTAT this morning have confirmed that Italy’s GDP shrank by 2.4% last year. Separately, the interest rate on Italy’s and Spain’s ten-year bonds is almost even this morning following the downgrade of Italy’s credit rating by Fitch on Friday.
ISPO poll Wall Street Italia Il Sole 24 Ore Il Sole 24 Ore 2 La Stampa Corriere della Sera FT FT: Munchau
Open Europe Berlin Director Michael Wohlgemuth is quoted in the Telegraph as saying that the new anti-euro ‘Alternative for Germany’ party lacks the organisation for a quick breakthrough, but its moment could come in next year’s elections to the European Parliament as "By then the real costs of the bail-outs for German taxpayers will be clearer. People sense that a crisis is looming, but they have not yet felt it”.
Lagarde calls for more ECB action to aid eurozone recovery
IMF Head Christine Lagarde said on Friday that there is “some limited room for the ECB to cut rates further”, adding that “Restoring a sense of balance…might mean allowing somewhat higher inflation and wage growth in countries like Germany. This too is an aspect of pan-European solidarity.” However, FDP leader Phillip Rösler warned that “We believe that trying to exert political pressure on the European Central Bank is disastrous.”
WSJ FT Weekend DPA
Head of Greek privatisation fund resigns
Chairman of the Greek Privatisation fund Takis Athanasopoulos resigned on Saturday after Greek prosecutors filed charges of dereliction of duty against him in regards to his previous role on the board of the Greek state owned power company. Separately, Kathimerini reports that the Greek government will proceed with a cabinet reshuffle to incorporate members of Pasok, after the party leadership decided it was willing to have members serve as ministers in the coalition government. The government denied a reshuffle was on the cards last week.
Kathimerini FT WSJ WSJ 2 Kathimerini 2
The FT reports that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has indicated he will place blocking David Cameron’s promised EU referendum high on his list of priorities in any negotiations over renewing the coalition after 2015, describing the idea as “madness”.
FT FT 2 Irish Independent
In an interview with Welt am Sonntag, CSU general secretary Alexander Dobrindt said that “if Greece is not capable or willing to achieve financial stability, then there must be a way outside the eurozone. The European Commission should finally establish a legal framework for an orderly state insolvency and for the exit of a country from the currency union.”
Welt am Sonntag
Handelsblatt reports that the German government is investigating ways to avoid holding a vote in the Bundestag over the proposal to ease the terms of the bailout loans given the Ireland and Portugal. The article notes that loans given from the EFSM, the EU wide bailout fund, can be adjusted without such a vote.
At the FDP’s party conference this weekend, Rainer Brüderle was confirmed as the party’s lead candidate in the upcoming election campaign, while Phillip Rösler’s chairmanship was also endorsed by 86% of delegates. The party leaders presented the FDP as the final bulwark against a “debt union” and an unstable euro, warning that it would not accept a loosening of budgetary discipline across the eurozone.
FAZ Süddeutsche Welt Irish Times
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte may need to make concessions to the Dutch opposition parties on immigration and education spending in order to gain enough support to pass a new €4.3bn austerity package.
New Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will ask Greece to handover €2bn from its bank recapitalisation fund to aid the bailout of Cypriot banks, since Cypriot banks sustained heavy losses from the Greek debt restructuring.
Europe’s repo market, the main source of short term funding for banks, shrank 12% last year suggesting banks are become more reliant on central bank funding.
The FT reports that banks across Europe are racing to re-draft executive remuneration deals by the end of the month in order to comply with the new EU rules which cap bankers’ bonuses, and to secure shareholder approval at upcoming annual meetings.
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