Sakset/Fra hofta

Hellas har en av de høyeste offentlige underskudd i verden. De pengene som mange kommentatorer etterlyser, er for lengst brukt opp. EUs monetære union kan sprekke i Hellas, advarer Adams Evan-Pritchard i Telegraph.

Evan-Pritchard mener det man ser er de første utslag av at folk er fed up med EU: de føler de ikke har noen påvirkningskraft. Han tror vi vil få se lignende opptøyer i Spania og Italia, som også er medlem av EMU, men ikke Storbrtannia.

Det står dårlig til i Hellas, men det finnes ikke penger til å rette opp noe som helst.

Hellas skulle aldri sluppet inn i EMU. Det slapp inn av politiske grunner. Det straffer seg nå.

In the case of Greece, of course, Athens was found guilty by Eurostat of committing «statistical achemy» to get into the system – ie, they lied about their deficits.

Be that as it may. Greece’s euro membership has now led to a warped economy. The current account deficit is 15pc of GDP, the eurozone’s highest by far. Indeed, the deficit ($53bn) is the sixth biggest in the world in absolute terms — quite a feat for a country of 11m people.

Year after year of high inflation has eroded the competitive base of the economy. This is an insidious and slow effect, and very hard to reverse. Tourists are slipping away to Turkey, or Croatia. It will take a long time to lure them back.

The underlying rot was disguised by the global credit bubble, and by the Greek property boom. It is now being laid bare.

Greece has a public debt of 93 per cent of GDP, well above the Maastricht limit. This did not matter in 2007 when bond spreads over German Bunds were around 26 basis points, meaning that investors were willing to treat all eurozone debt as more or less equivalent.

It matters now. The credit default swaps on Greek sovereign debt were trading around 250 today (compared to 52 for Germany, 62 for the US, 120 for the UK, and 178 for Italy). It has moved into a class of its own.

This is potentially dangerous because Greece needs to tap the capital markets for 40bn euros next year to roll over debt and fund the budget deficit, as well as 15bn euros or so in bond issuance by banks under the state’s new guarantee. This is a lot of money.

Hellas må låne, men hvem vil låne til et land hvor mobben herjer i gatene?
Folk vil ikke bli mer fornøyd når de forstår at regjeringen må føre et meget stramt regnskap. Det er ikke penger til noe som helst.

Dette kan bare være begynnelsen. Andre land vil følge etter og landene med store innvandringspopulasjoner ligger særlig utsatt til.

am a little surpised that the riot phase of this long politico-economic drama known as EMU has kicked off so soon, and that it has done so first in Greece where the post-bubble hangover has barely begun.

The crisis is much further advanced in Spain, which is a year or two ahead of Greece in the crisis cycle.

My old job as Europe correspondent based in Brussels led me to spend a lot of time in cities that struck me as powder kegs – and indeed became powder kegs in the case of Rotterdam following the murder of Pim Fortyn, and Antwerp following the Muslim street riots (both of which I covered as a journalist). Lille, Strasbourg, Marseilles, Amsterdam, Brussels, all seemed inherently unstable, and I do not get the impression that the big cities of Spain and Italy are taking kindly to new immigrants.

The picture is going to get very ugly as Europe slides deeper into recession next year. The IMF expects Spain’s unemployment to reach 15pc. Immigrants are already being paid to leave the country. There will be riots in Spain too (there have been street skirmishes in Barcelona).

Hedge funds, bond vigilantes, and FX traders will be watching closely. In the end, a currency union is no stronger than the political will of the constituent states.


Greek fighting: the eurozone’s weakest link start to crack