Wednesday 24 January 2018

Europe must stop kicking the can

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, welcomes the €100bn EU-IMF bailout of his country's banks as a victory for Spain and the eurozone. The US treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, calls the move important for the health of the eurozone and a step on the path to European financial union.

Much as one might sympathise with a struggling premier putting a brave face on a U-turn, and welcome a friendly comment from the other side of the Atlantic, these optimistic comments give a most misleading view of the true situation.

Madrid's bailout differs, or appears to differ, in a radical way from the help extended in the past to other countries, including Ireland. It applies directly to the banks devastated by the bursting of the Spanish property bubble.

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