Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Also notice that, according to Eurostat, Italy's debt to GDP ratio, at 115.8%, is higher than Greece's (115.1%)

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Apr 29th, 2010 at 02:47:13 AM EST
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See Eurostat's Provision of deficit and debt data for 2009 - first notification [PDF] (April 22, 2010)
Euro area and EU27 government deficit at 6.3% and 6.8% of GDP respectively

Government debt at 78.7% and 73.6%


Twelve Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP in 2009: Italy (115.8%), Greece (115.1%), Belgium (96.7%), Hungary (78.3%), France (77.6%), Portugal (76.8%), Germany (73.2%), Malta (69.1%), the United Kingdom (68.1%), Austria (66.5%), Ireland (64.0%) and the Netherlands (60.9%).


Greece: Eurostat is expressing a reservation on the quality of the data reported by Greece, due to uncertainties on the surplus of social security funds for 2009, on the classification of some public entities and on the recording of off-market swaps. Following completion of the investigations that Eurostat is undertaking on these issues in cooperation with the Greek Statistical Authorities, this could lead to a revision for the year 2009 of the order of 0.3 to 0.5 percentage points of GDP for the deficit and 5 to 7 percentage points of GDP for the debt.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 29th, 2010 at 04:03:30 AM EST
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Beppe Grillo's Blog
"We have to have fiscal federalism or else Italy will go the same way as Greece, it is absolutely essential." Bossi said this without adding that with fiscal federalism, the cost of which no one has bothered to work out, we will go the same way as Argentina. It's hard to choose whether to declare bankruptcy immediately or to delay? The rating agencies downgraded the Greek government bonds to the status of trash. There is no longer a market for Greece's debt and the Country's bonds are completely unsaleable. The only ones buying them are the Greek banks, ordered to do so by the central Government.
Without access to debt, Greece can only plead for charity from other Countries in order to avoid bankruptcy and default on its public debt repayments, with its subsequent exit from the Euro.
This charity, which is inadequate in any event, has been slow in coming, and the aid required in order to avoid immediate bankruptcy is estimated to be 45 billion Euro. Greece needs to find 160 billion Euro over the next three years just to fund the interest payments on its maturing government bonds and its annual deficit between income and expenditure. The 45 billion Euro loan will be partly funded by the International Monetary Fund, to the tune of 10/15 billion, and the remainder by a number of European Countries, amongst them Germany with 8.4 billion and Italy with 5.5 billion (almost triple the amount contributed by Holland and more than Spain's 3.7 billion).
86% of all Germans are against the loan. They don't want to pay the price for other Countries' free spending. Tremorti, instead, is very enthusiastic, but the opinion of the Italians is unknown, mainly because no one has even bothered to ask them what they think. Before handing over any of the German people's money to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Ms. Merkel is demanding some sort of assurance that Greece will balance its books. Instead, Tremorti is in a hurry to hand out the loan for fear that the fire will spread. Indeed, Greece is very close by. Our public debt currently stands at approximately 1,800 billion and during the first few months of 2010 it increased by more than 30 billion, while Italy's unemployment rate is comparable to that of Greece. Our import/export balance for 2009 stood at minus 280 million Euro, while in 2008 it was plus 10 billion. Our tax revenues are declining month after month, our public debt is increasing continuously and our debt to GDP ratio is the worst it has been in the past ten years at 52.3%.
The Greek and Italian figures are very similar indeed. In some areas theirs are worse and in other areas ours are worse. If Greece eventually fails, the Euro will totter. If Italy eventually fails, the Euro will sink altogether, together with all our creditors. For the time being, our huge public debt is also our saving grace.
In 2010, Tremorti will have to move 450 billion Euro worth of government bonds and pay out 70/80 billion in interest (equivalent to 4/5 annual budgets) on the bonds already issued. The Greeks are absolute amateurs by comparison.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 29th, 2010 at 05:46:17 PM EST
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