European leaders (read banker-types) insist on austerity (read lower real wages and services for middle and lower classes) in the midst of 10% and rising unemployment. Dangerous mix. The one good sign is that the ECB is actually buying govt bonds, including Greek bonds, despite it’s public hard-line position. From Calculated Risk:
Europe Update: Strikes in Spain, UK Austerity, ECB Bond Purchases
Form the NY Times: Spain Hit by Strike Over Austerity Measures
Spanish public workers went on strike on Tuesday against a cut in their wages in what could be the first of several union-led protests against the government’s latest austerity measures.
From The Times: Osborne’s four-year austerity programme
George Osborne braced the country for cuts in government spending of up to 20 per cent as he laid the ground for an austerity programme to last the whole parliament.
From Der Spiegel (a week ago): ECB Buying Up Greek Bonds (ht Chris)
Bonds worth about €3 billion are now being purchased on every trading day, with €2 billion of the bonds coming from Athens.
From Bloomberg: Greek Default Seen by Almost 75% in Poll Doubtful About Trichet
Global investors have little confidence in Europe’s efforts to contain its debt crisis or in European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, with 73 percent calling a default by Greece likely.
From the NY Times: E.U. Finance Ministers Agree on Tighter Oversight
Despite continuing tensions over economic policy, European Union finance ministers agreed Tuesday on far-reaching steps to tighten oversight of national governments’ budgets and crack down on falsification of economic data, in a concerted effort to avert a further loss of confidence in the euro.