It’s now not over until the ECB writes the check, the whole check, and nothing but the check.
Monti under fire as crisis deepens
(FT) — “We are not standing down,” said Susanna Camusso, leader of the leftwing CGIL. Workers are to down tools next Friday over pension reforms passed in December and will strike again when parliament debates Mario Monti’s controversial labour reform legislation. Rather than feeling mollified by concessions made by Mr Monti over changes to rules on the firing of workers for economic reasons, Ms Camusso made it clear the union felt emboldened by its mobilisation. “The text is very bad,” Emma Marcegaglia, head of Confindustria, told the Financial Times, saying it would be better to scrap the entire labour reform legislation if it were not amended in parliament. A senate committee will start examining the bill on Wednesday.
Shaken Spain seeks to restore confidence
(FT) — Luis de Guindos, the economy minister, has said in interviews with local and foreign media that Spain does not need a bailout of the kind provided to Greece, Ireland and Portugal by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Mr de Guindos told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the government’s next step would be a reform of the health and education systems “that is, a rationalisation of spending in the autonomous regions”. Spain needs to cut more than 3 percentage points of gross domestic product from its public sector deficit, reducing it from 8.5 per cent of GDP in 2011 to 5.3 per cent this year in line with EU targets. In 2013, the deficit is supposed to fall further to 3 per cent of GDP.
Spain Economy to Start Growing From 2013, de Guindos Tells Ser
(Bloomberg) — Spain’s economy will start growing next year, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says in interview with Cadena Ser radio station today.
Labor situation to stabilize from final quarter of this year, de Guindos says.
Italy Fights Spain for Investors as ECB Boost Fades: Euro Credit
(Bloomberg) — Competition between Italy and Spain for international investors’ funds will heat up this quarter as domestic buying stoked by the European Central Bank fades.
Italian and Spanish bonds slumped last week after demand dropped at a Spanish bond sale and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his country is in “extreme difficulty.” The decline reversed a first-quarter rally sparked by more than 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) of ECB loans to the region’s banks via its longer-term refinancing operation. Spain’s 10-year yield spread to German bunds widened to the most in four months, while Italy’s reached a six-week high.
“Spain and Italy are coming back down to earth after an incredible first quarter,” said Luca Jellinek, head of European interest-rate strategy at Credit Agricole SA in London. “The LTRO bought some time, but not a massive amount of time. Now the second quarter will be harder than the first unless policy moves convince foreign investors to come back in.”
Italian 10-year bonds fell for a fourth week, with the yield advancing 40 basis points to 5.51 percent. The yield difference over bunds widened to 378 basis points, compared with an average of 381 basis points in the first quarter. Spain’s 10- year yield spread to Germany reached 410 basis points last week after averaging 333 basis points in the first three months.