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Eurozone Feb 2012

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Is it just me or is everyone confused by the Eurozone crisis? One day the end of the Euro is nigh; the next its future is secure despite being riddled with debt. Is Greece in or out? What does France’s loss of the triple A credit rating really mean? The Euro has dominated the political news front for months and it doesn’t seem to be subsiding, so what is so captivating about the Euro zone? It is Britain’s eagerness to watch the Euro crash and burn? Or are we really interested to see how the Euro’s potential demise will affect not only our economy but the affect on the people of the Eurozone’s too?

 

France’s loss of its AAA credit rating caused shock waves throughout the economic and political worlds. Yet it was not just France which lost its prestige in the world’s economic markets. The degrading of a credit rating has a severe effect on the stock markets, as it highlights how reliable a country is in relation to lending and returning money. Italy, Austria, Cyprus and Portugal all saw their credit rating fall, with Portugal slipping into ‘junk’ territory, with only a BB- rating. Germany, however, stands alone, as not only has it managed to retain its AAA credit rating, but has been given a stable outlook. Yet Standard and Poor, who dished out the reviewed credit ratings blame the other Euro countries lack of competition for its downgrade. Its announcement included the damaging statement that “Today’s rating actions are primarily driven by our assessment that the policy initiatives that have been taken by European policymakers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the euro zone,” which only amplifies the doubt in business and market minds that the Euro zone is failing to conquer its debt problems. Yet Britain is hardly sitting pretty. Many say that the only reason the Britain has retained its own AAA rating is that it still has the ability to print more if it needs – a position France and Austria are not in due to the ties of the Euro. Due to Britain’s retention of its own monetary policy, it has kept the prestigious triple AAA rating. Let us hope it stays that way!

 

This worry about the solution to the euro zone crisis has only been amplified by Greece’s worrying problems. Talks have only just resumed about Greece’s austerity measures. They are being forced to cut so dramatically in order to receive a £108 billion bailout from the EU and IMF which they need by March in order to stop defaulting!!

 

There is so much going on in the world of the Euro and the crisis which has been following it around for so long. Will it ever be rid of the thunder cloud reigning over it? Well, with a recent 16 month currency low against the dollar of $1.263 and only 82.9p against the pound it won’t be any time soon.

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