Friday, March 11, 2011

P.I.G. Countries Plead for Help

Portugal, Ireland, Greece are pleading for more help in their sovereign debt crisis. Considering that Japan is in no shape after the devastating earthquake to make good on their promise to buy euro bonds, I guess they're on their own, at the mercy of Angela Merkl..

From AP (3/11/2011):

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The eurozone's weakest states on Friday pleaded for more help from their richer neighbors at a summit in Brussels, where leaders worked to thrash out a "comprehensive response" to the crippling debt crisis by the end of the month.

Markets remain unconvinced that countries like Greece, the crisis' first victim, will become financially self-sufficient anytime soon, despite a long series of brutal austerity measures.

"We are on track with our program, we have taken the pain to make our economy more viable," said George Papandreou, the prime minister of Greece, as he arrived in Brussels. "But now we need European decisions, strong European decisions to calm the market."

In his call for more assistance and understanding Papandreou was joined by newly elected Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. "I've come here with two days in government with a very strong mandate from the Irish people for an improvement in the terms of the EU-IMF deal," Kenny told journalists, referring to the country's euro67.5 billion ($93 billion) bailout funded by the International Monetary Fund and other EU countries.

Meanwhile, Portugal -- seen by many as the next most likely candidate for an international rescue -- announced additional tax increases and moneysaving measures to convince other eurozone states that it is doing its part to survive the crisis.

The pleas by now have a familiar ring. More than a year into the debt crisis, Europe still faces much the same problems as a year ago -- except that after endless promises, negotiations, and two bailouts, jittery markets now appear at the end of their tether.

They'd better hope China will come through with their promise..


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