Greece and its international creditors have reached a deal on the next stages of Athens’ €86bn bailout, removing the risk that it could default on over €7bn in debt repayments that fall due next month.
The deal ends months of uncertainty that have weighed on Greece’s recovery and spooked investors. But while shoring up the country’s immediate economic future, the agreement punts politically difficult discussions on debt relief into 2018.
People briefed on the talks said that the agreement would allow Athens to swiftly receive its next tranche of bailout aid, estimated at around €8.5bn euros.
The accord was struck at a meeting of euro area finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund in Luxembourg.
Euclid Tsakalotos, Greece’s finance minister, told the FT that the deal was a “big step forward” compared with previous plans put forward by Athens’ international creditors.
Marine Le Pen has repeatedly underscored her desire to mend fences with Russia so that Europe has a peaceful future ahead. She lashed out at the Western sanctions against Russia as “stupid” and recognizes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
She believes that France should maintain equally good relations with both the US and Russia, that it has no reasons for waging a cold war with Moscow and needs closer diplomatic, trade and strategic relations with Russia, which she calls “a great country.”
Emmanuel Macron also wants to rebuild relations with Russia and engage into intense and frank dialogue, even though Paris’ vision does not totally correspond with that of Moscow.
Unions and alliances
France’s possible exit from the European Union was the centerpiece of Le Pen’s agenda ahead of the first round vote in April. She has since softened her anti-EU rhetoric a bit and now says she wants to supplant the EU with a “European alliance of free and sovereign states.”
Marine Le Pen said her first order of business on setting foot in the Elysee Palace will be to propose negotiations to radically overhaul what she described as “a totalitarian union,” and announce referendums on EU membership and on withdrawing from the European Union.
The first round of the French presidential elections is scheduled for this Sunday, while the run-off is set for May 7.
“Marine Le Pen said that she wanted an exit of the European Union organized with our European partners and that this departure would be sanctioned by a referendum. [Which will be held] undoubtedly in the first half of 2018,” David Rachline said.
According to Le Pen’s campaign manager, she also wants to “drastically change economic policy, while putting an end to increasing financialization and globalization of the economy.”
“We were warned of a catastrophe with the Brexit vote, the facts, however, disagree with those merchants of fear who in reality do not want us to touch this system, which grants them numerous advantages!” Rachline pointed out.
The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election in 2016 were seen as big victories for the anti-establishment and anti-globalist movement. Le Pen’s approach seems in sync with the growing anti-globalism trend.
Nine months after it voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, the U.K. on Wednesday formally notified the EU that it is breaking away from the single market. Next up … at least two years of negotiations toward the exit.
A chief concern for Asian financial institutions is whether the U.K. can keep its “passporting” rights, which allow lenders, insurers and other providers to sell financial services across the EU.
A vocal presence in this respect has been HSBC, headquartered in London and jointly listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Chairman Douglas Flint in January told British lawmakers that his bank has a contingency to move thousands of jobs to France from London should those rights be revoked.
In a sign of the erosion of confidence in London as a European financial center, HSBC is aiming to boost its presence in Asia, which contributed 48.6% to the group’s 2016 revenue and hosts 53% of its workforce. While the bank is slashing as many as 25,000 jobs worldwide to achieve its cost savings target of $6 billion by the end of 2017, it is planning to add 1,000 employees at its Chinese retail and wealth management arm.
“We aim to grow our business in China’s Pearl River Delta and the ASEAN region, and we continue to strengthen our leadership position in the internationalization of China’s renminbi currency,” the bank said in its annual report.
KB Kookmin Bank, the flagship banking unit of South Korea’s KB Financial Group, is moving to downgrade its U.K. operations. The Seoul-based lender says there is little reason to keep its British outpost now that the U.K. is about to kick off Brexit negotiations. It has filed papers with the U.K. financial regulator to change the status of its business in the country and is awaiting a response.
1) PM May views the Brexit vote as a vote to restore parliamentary democracy and for Britain to become even more internationalist. “It was the moment we chose to build a truly global Britain”.
2) The first aim of the Brexit strategy is to provide certainty where we can.
3) The final Brexit deal will be put to a vote in both Houses of Parliament.
4) The government will ensure control of immigration to Britain after Brexit.
5) The government will pursue a bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the EU.
6) It can’t mean retaining membership of the single market.
7) The government will seek the greatest possible access to the EU which may take in some elements of the single market.
8) The UK will not be required to contribute “huge” sums to the EU budget, but we should make an appropriate contribution.
9) The UK must be free to strike trade deals with countries outside the EU.
10) The government does not want Britain to be part of the common commercial policy, but they do want to have a customs agreement with the EU. It could mean a customs agreement with the EU has to be new or for Britain to be signatory to the agreement.
11) The government wants Britain to be free to establish its own tariff schedules at the WTO, and remove as many tariff barriers to trade as possible.
12) The government will seek to avoid a disruptive Brexit cliff face adjustment and believes a transition will be in the interests of both Britain and the EU.
When will be know the results of the constitutional referendum?
Here is the quick answer: The voting takes place on Sunday but the polls don’t close until 11 pm local time (5 pm in New York).
After that, the counting will start.
So it won’t likely be until sometime early Monday morning in Italy that we know which side won. I suspect will start to get an idea around 3 hours after the end of voting but it could be significantly later, especially if it’s close.
What’s important to note is that markets will be open when the results hit and that could create a tremendous amount of volatility. Many forex brokers have cut leverage ahead of the result in anticipation of a big move in the euro.
The second event to watch after the results will be the speech from Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. He has said he will resign if he loses. If that takes place immediately after the vote, it willl add to the uncertainty and weigh on the euro.
Reuters reporting that the announcement will be made at 10.00 GMT Thursday
Further to my earlier post where reader Biscotti and FXL gave you the heads up that a ruling could be made tomorrow.
Reuters now reporting a tweet from a lawyer sitting on the case
London’s High Court will deliver its verdict on Thursday on whether British lawmakers, rather than the government, must trigger the formal process of leaving the European Union, lawyers involved in the case said.
The court heard a challenge last month from campaigners who argue Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers do not have the authority to invoke Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism by which a nation can leave the bloc, without the explicit backing of parliament.
Nicely timed to hit the markets before we get the latest BOE decision.
Bring it on!
Meanwhile GBPUSD has blown up through to 1.2328 helped by softer US ADP data. Offers up there and more into 1.2350 Large option interest at 1.2360
According to The Guardian, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Brexit negotiations would be “rough,” as May talked to EU leaders during the first day of a two-day European Council summit in Brussels.
French President Francois Hollande reportedly said that if May wanted “a hard Brexit,” the talks on the matter would be “hard” as well.
European Council President Donald Tusk said he would prefer the United Kingdom to remain part of the European Union but the decision of the British people to leave the bloc should be respected. On June 23, the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. On October 2, May said that the country would trigger Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty to initiate the procedure to leave the bloc by the end of March 2017. A Sky Data poll revealed on Friday that almost half of Brits (49 percent) feared the prime minister had no clear plan on what Brexit should mean for the country, but most people (46 percent) still trusted May to get the best possible deal.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that Britain could not get concessions on the freedom of movement while retaining full access to the European single market, or other countries would want the same.
Britain, which is leaving the European Union, faces the challenge of securing a new trading deal with the EU while also giving London more control over migration from the bloc, potentially falling foul of the EU’s freedom of movement principle that is key for accessing its single market.
“If I start making concessions on the freedom of movement, then another country will tomorrow come and say: ‘I don’t want so many Bulgarians and Romanian workers either’,” Merkel told a conference of the youth wing of her Christian Democrats (CDU).
“And then a third country will come and then the extreme forces from Europe will come and then we’ll soon all be closing our borders again and not having any freedom at all and then that’s no longer Europe,” she added.