Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Golden Dawn crackdown: Greece jails 9th far-right lawmaker

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Greek Court Detains of Far Right Politician

A Greek court ordered the detention of another politician from Greece's far right party Golden Dawn, raising the number of party representatives in pretrial detention to seven.


Luxury villas in Greece villas in villas in Greece. Fabulous Greek island and seaside villas, all with availability over the current summer holidays. the best luxury villas in greece. Built this year, Assimi stands on a hillside in Zakynthos – a vantage point that provides it ...


Greek Privatization of Key Sectors Meets Strong Opposition

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Inside Greece's ghost airport

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Greece to privatise biggest power producer

Athens - Greece approved a reform bill on Wednesday that paves the way for the sale of nearly a third of its biggest power producer, in a move protested by workers and the main opposition, who want the Public Power Corp to remain in state hands. The plan ...


Portuguese worries hit demand at Greek debt sale, bruise periphery

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Greek Court Orders Detention of Far Right Golden Dawn Politician

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Greek Heart Surgeon Arrested on Bribery Charges

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Can a huge Athens seaside resort help rebuild Greece's economy?

euronewsCan a huge Athens seaside resort help rebuild Greece's economy?euronewsGreece is hoping the transformation of a vast site where Athens airport once was can help kick-start the moribund economy. It is an area larger than the principality of Monaco, more than six million square metres, and about to become Europe's biggest ...


European stock markets hit by Portuguese bank fears -- business live

Rolling business and financial news through the day, as concerns over Portugal's largest bank send shares down across Europe

Fears over Espirito Santo International <- new readers start hereBanco Espirito Santo shares suspended after tumblePortugal's bond yields jumpAnalyst: it's not a new eurocrisisBut crisis could hit confidence in Portugal

3.47pm BST

Today's selloff is a blow to anyone who took part in Banco Espirito Santo's recent rights issue.

It raised funds by selling new shares at 0.65 each. Today's 17% tumble sent them down to just 0.51 before trading was suspended.

That resounding doh! echoing around Europe is BES investors who supported June rights issue at 0.65. Price now 0.51.

3.42pm BST

Banco Espirito Santo's problems come at a tricky time for the banking sector, points out Jasper Lawler of CMC Markets:

Banks in particular are under massive scrutiny with European banks being targeted by the US regulators while banks in the US and Europe face tougher capital requirements as part of bank stress tests.

With tougher capital requirements, it means banks need to keep more money in reserve and cant lend it out and make returns. This problem is exacerbated in Europe where weak economies are not generating demand for banks loans in the first place.

3.34pm BST

We're not free of World Cup analogies yet....

Oh how quickly the tide has turned...not so long ago, we hailed Portugal as a #WorldCup savior for US & now it's to blame to stock drop...

3.24pm BST

2.55pm BST

Worries over the health of one of Portugal's largest financial groups hit the country's stock market hard on Thursday and pushed up its borrowing rates.

2.38pm BST

Europe's stock markets remain deep in the red too, led by Portugal's PSI index

Espirito Santo -17,4% UBI Banca -5,3% Unicredit -4,3% BBVA -4% Commerzbank -3,9% Soc Gen -3,7% Credit Agricole -3,7% Barclays -3,4%

2.36pm BST

Wall Street has just opened, and the main share indices have promptly dropped as US investors react to the selloff in Europe.

2.24pm BST

There's no suggestion that Banco Espirito Santo customers are panicking, by the way, despite concerns over the health of its parent company. This photo of a branch in Lisbon shows a definite absence of queues....

2.16pm BST

Stock futures fall sharply on Europe worries:

2.15pm BST

The Wall Street Journal has pulled together more analyst reaction to the situation at Espírito Santo International (ESI) after it suspended some bond repayments on certain short-term bonds yesterday, and the knock-on impact on Portuguese lender Banco Espirito Santo (BES).

Analysts at the Royal Bank of Canada highlighted that the problems relating to ESI could have a much wider impact on the country's economy if they persist.

"While the aforementioned case is likely to be an isolated one it clearly highlights the problems of early bailout exits whilst the economy, the banking system and the public finances are still in a shaky state," they wrote in a note.

2.07pm BST

Here's a useful chart explaining how Banco Espirito Santo fits into the Espirito Santo Group structure.

Espirito Santo Group structure (may come in handy) ...

2.05pm BST

Shares on Wall Street are also expected to fall when trading begins in around 30 minutes:

S&P expected to fall 1 pct at open on fears over Portugal's Espirito Santo

2.01pm BST

Another reason not to panic too much -- as Aurelija Augulyte of Nordea Markets points out, Portuguese government bond yields are still near their lowest point in four years:

yeah European crisis is baaaaack

1.44pm BST

Here's an interesting chart - it shows how the cost of insuring Portuguese bank debt, using a credit default swap, has risen in the last month.

Risk-aversion is rising in Europe RT @M_McDonough: Average European Bank 5Y CDS:

1.43pm BST

So, do the problems in Portugal mean the eurozone crisis has reared back into life?

I don't think so. We've not suddenly been transported to the mad days of 2011 and 2012 again.

Portugal won't spark the reemergence of crisis in EZ. Only big countries (ahem Italy, France) could shift the crisis from chronic to acute.

@vittoriodarold Some things have changed since Greece!

1.34pm BST

Concerns over Espírito Santo have also been building for a while. Last December, the Wall Street Journal flagged up that the company raised funds during 2011 by selling debt to its own investment fund.

The money was repaid, but the deal shows the potential clashes of interest that can arise with a major conglomerate.

This story by @kowsmann started the Espirito Santo mess.

1.27pm BST

Portuguese government debt has also fallen in value today, driving up the yield on its 10-year bonds to around 4%, from 3.8% yesterday. That's a three-month high.

1.25pm BST

The Portuguese worries flared up yesterday afternoon, when it emerged that conglomerate Espírito Santo International was looking to restructure some of its debt.

That sparked fears over the health of its businesses, triggering the 17% tumble in Banco Espirito Santo's shares today.

1.00pm BST

European stock markets are in retreat today, with losses across the board sparked by fears over Portugal's largest bank.

The main Portuguese stock market, the PSI 20, has tumbled by 4.5% so far today, driven down by their biggest bank, Banco Espirito Santo (BES).


Euro zone banking stocks -15% in the last month. Bear market territory beckons:

12.51pm BST

Allie Renison, head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, reckons we shouldn't panic about Britain's widening trade gap.

While first impressions are indeed worrying, it should be pointed out that that the widening gap is down to a rise in imports, which grew by 1.7% and are a sign of robust domestic demand.

Contrary to expectations that the appreciation in sterling would lead to a reduction in the export of goods, there has been an increase of 0.6%. Indeed, when compared with the previous three months, export prices decreased by 0.8% for the three months ending in May.

12.35pm BST

The Bank of England was right to leave interest rate unchanged today, reckons Dr Gerard Lyons, economic advisor to London mayor Boris Johnson.

#Bank of England unchanged rate decision makes sense, given need to assess impact of macro prudential measures & mortgage market review.

It is about 6 years since I wrote/said Mervyn King would not raise rates in 2nd term just before his reappointment. Now tightening is near.

Assuming recent improvement in economy continues, a small tweak up in UK rates by 0.125% later this year may now make sense. Slow & gradual.

12.12pm BST

Investors are a little edgier about Greece today, after a much-anticipated bond sale drew modest demand.

The interest rate, or yield, on Greek 10-year bonds has jumped to 6.3%, from 6.1% last night. That's quite a hefty move, but it still leaves yields away from the 'danger zone' of 7%.

Order books for the bond have topped 3 billion euros, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters service. When Greece sold a five-year bond back in April orders reached over 20 billion euros.

Bailed-out Greece is aiming to raise up to 3 billion euros from the new bond, its second bond sale after it defaulted in 2012.

Greece 3yr bond size set at EUR 1.5bln and yield 3.5% despite reports that yield was to be below 3.0%

12.03pm BST

Monetary Policy Committee Announcement July 2014

12.01pm BST

The Bank of England has also made no change to its quantitative easing programme, and there's no accompanying statement.

12.00pm BST

To no-one's surprise, the Bank of England has left UK interest rates unchanged at 0.5%.

11.49am BST

M&S has confirmed Alan Stewart's exit as CFO - not surprisingly given where he's going, he has "already left the building", I'm told.

11.48am BST

It's official. M&S's finance chief is off to Tesco.

Here's the statement:

Marks and Spencer Group plc today announces the departure of Alan Stewart, Chief Finance Officer.

Alan has stepped down from Board and will leave M&S on a date and on terms to be agreed. The search for his successor is already underway.

11.24am BST

Marks & Spencer's troubles continue.... the word in the City is that Tesco has just poached M&S's finance director, Alan Stewart.


M&S FD Alan Stewart moving to Tesco is huge news. Embarrassing for M&S as comes just 2 weeks after Stewart given more responsibilities

11.20am BST

Britain's widening trade deficit is a concern, says the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Chief economist David Kern is worried that the progress made narrowing the deficit earlier this year has halted:

Todays figures confirm that the pace of the UKs rebalancing towards net exports is far too slow, and if this continues we risk missing out on the Prime Ministers target of increasing exports to £1tn by 2020.

Therefore narrowing the trade deficit by providing additional support to UK exporters must remain a national priority for both the government and the MPC. On its part, the MPC must restore clarity to its forward guidance and resist calls for premature interest rate rises.

11.00am BST

UK exports to the EU have fallen by 0.9% in the last three months (if you strip out erratic items), but are up by 4.6% to the rest of the world.

That's via Christian Schulz, economist at Berenberg, who explains:

Trade growth has been more buoyant vis-à-vis the rest of the world than with Britains EU partners.

British exports are relatively price insensitive, sterling is still below pre-crisis levels vis-à-vis major trading partners currencies and global demand growth matters more than the exchange rate.

10.53am BST

Britain's widening trade gap illustrates how the UK's recovery has been driven by the domestic economy, rather than strong global demand.

And with Europe's economy still weak, it's hard to see that changing quickly.

The shortfall of exports relative to imports is the largest since January. Exports picked up slightly in the month, while imports rose at their fastest pace for almost a year.

Looking forward, we doubt that the export picture will brighten significantly, at least in the near-term. The recovery in the Eurozone economy, the UKs largest single export market, is running at only a very modest pace.

10.15am BST

And here's another chart showing how Britain's trade gap with Germany, the Netherlands and China widened in May:

10.10am BST

Britain's trade gap with the rest of the world has swelled in May, as the UK was hit by weak demand from Europe.

UK trade deficit widens to -2.418 bln pounds in May from revised -2.052 bln pounds in April

UK trade deficit Y/Y change in May EU: +£600m Non EU: -£100m

In the three months ending May 2014, exports of goods increased by 0.1% to £72.6 billion and imports of goods increased by 0.5% to £98.9 billion....The export of goods excluding oil and erratics increased by 0.9% to £60.6 billion; reflecting a £0.4 billion increase in exports of cars.

Imports of goods excluding oil and erratics increased by 0.2% to £83.8 billion for the same period.

9.36am BST

Wham! Two more European countries have reported that their industrial output fell in May, adding to worries about the European economy sparked by France this morning.

Italian industrial output slid by 1.2% during the month, the steepest monthly fall since November 2012. That's much worse than expected -- economists had predicted a rise of 0.2%.

What happened in May - did everyone go on holiday? German numbers bad, French numbers bad, Italy bad.

#Euro pressured by weak data. After disappointing French figs, #Italy misses as well. May Ind Output -1.2% MoM;-1.8% On Yr ~@Schuldensuehner

9.19am BST

More worrying signs for France -- its annual inflation rate has dropped to just 0.6% (on a harmonised basis)

INSEE reported that food prices were down 1.4% year-on-year, and manufactured products down 1.2%, underlining the weakness of parts of the French economy. Inflation in the service sector, though, was up 1.8%.

9.12am BST

In other corporate news, Mothercare's interim CEO has been given the job fulltime.

Mark Newton-Jones, who was parachuted into the company in March, is quite a retail veteran -- at just 25, he was a regional manager at Next covering 100+ stores, and he ran Shop Direct (including, for nearly 10 years.

8.53am BST

The upturn in Britain's property sector has boosted housebuilder Barratt Developments. It posted a 8.6% jump in sales this morning, and have shareholders the welcome news that profits will hit the top end of expectations.

8.50am BST

Burberry isn't the only company fretting about the strong pound.

Associated British Foods (owner of Primark), has warned that sterling's strength will have "a negative impact" on its sales and profits from overseas businesses, particularly in Grocery and Ingredients.

8.45am BST

Shares in UK fashion chain Burberry jumped 4% in early trading, despite warning that the strong pound is still eating into its profits.

Burberry is topping the FTSE 100 after reporting a 12% surge in comparable sales in the last three months.

...demonstrates our teams' success in unlocking the benefits of these investments, as we continue to concentrate on the things we can control in an uncertain external environment.

8.19am BST

France's economy has taken another blow - with manufacturing output slumping by an alarming 2.3% in May.

Statistics body INSEE said manufacturing output fell "dramatically" during the month.

7.58am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial markets, the economy, eurozone and business.

A number of them thought [the spare capacity] was greater than measured by the official unemployment rate....citing, in particular, the still-high level of workers employed part time for economic reasons or the depressed labour force participation rate.

The market seems to have been positioned for a hawkish shift in sentiment. In fact, the minutes showed the Fed continues to show concern about growth rather than inflation.

#BOE rate decision at midday, expecting no change in rates at record low 0.5%...economists expect last time all 9 MPC all vote for no change

Continue reading...


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Greek Bond Orders Hit $3.5 Billion

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EU28 population 507.4 million at 1 January 2014


On 1 January 2014, the population of the EU28 was estimated at 507.4 million, compared with 505.7 million on 1 January 2013. The population increase is due to a natural increase of 80 000 and a net migration of 700 000, while the remainder is due to statistical adjustments.

As a long-term trend, the population of the countries making up the EU28 has increased by around 100 million since 1960 (from 407 million to 507 million).

These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Highest birth rates in Ireland, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Luxembourg

In 2013, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU28. The crude birth rate was 10.0 per 1 000 inhabitants, down from 10.4‰ in 2012. The highest birth rates were recorded in Ireland (15.0‰), France (12.3‰), the United Kingdom (12.2‰), Sweden (11.8‰) and Luxembourg (11.3‰), and the lowest in Portugal (7.9‰), Germany, Greece and Italy (all 8.5‰) and Romania (8.8‰).

There were 5.0 million deaths registered in the EU28 in 2013. The crude death rate was 9.9 per 1 000 inhabitants, stable compared with 2012. The highest death rates were observed in Bulgaria (14.4‰), Latvia (14.3‰), Lithuania (14.0‰), Hungary (12.8‰) and Romania (12.4‰), and the lowest in Cyprus (6.0‰), Ireland (6.5‰), Luxembourg (7.0‰), Malta (7.6‰) and Spain (8.3‰).

Consequently, the highest positive natural change of the population (the difference between live births and deaths expressed per 1 000 inhabitants) was registered in Ireland (+8.5‰), well ahead of Cyprus (+4.7‰), Luxembourg (+4.2‰), France (+3.6‰) and the United Kingdom (+3.2‰). Thirteen Member States had negative natural change, with the largest in Bulgaria (-5.2‰), Latvia (-4.0‰), Lithuania (-3.9‰), Hungary (-3.6‰), Romania (-3.5‰) and Germany (-2.6‰).

Population increase in fifteen Member States

In 2013, Luxembourg (+19.0‰), Malta (+7.6‰), Sweden (+6.8‰) and Austria (+6.5‰) recorded the highest positive net migration in relative terms, while Cyprus (-13.9‰), Latvia (-7.1‰), Lithuania (-5.7‰), Ireland (-5.6‰), Spain (-5.5‰) and Greece (-4.7‰) recorded the highest negative net migration.

To conclude, in 2013, the population increased in fifteen Member States and decreased in thirteen. The largest increases due to natural change and net migration were observed in Luxembourg (natural change +4.2‰ and net migration +19.0‰), Malta (+1.9‰ and +7.6‰), Sweden (+2.4‰ and +6.8‰), Austria (0.0‰ and +6.5‰), the United Kingdom (+3.2‰ and +3.3‰) and Denmark (+0.6‰ and +5.3‰), and the largest decreases in Latvia (-4.0‰ and -7.1‰), Lithuania (-3.9‰ and -5.7‰), Cyprus (+4.7 and -13.9‰), Greece (-1.6‰ and -4.7‰), Portugal (-2.3‰ and -3.5‰), Bulgaria (-5.2‰ and -0.2‰) and Spain (+0.8‰ and -5.5‰).


Safeguarding tourism

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Reports of 'abandoned' reptile send Greek officials into panicked search but social media chatter and inflatable croc sales soar

The surprise appearance of a 6ft long crocodile on Crete is sending ripples through Greece and the social media world beyond.

The reptile, believed to have been abandoned, became an overnight sensation after being spotted last week basking in the sun near an artificial lake south of the island's resort town of Rethymnon.

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