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UK PM: Turkey’s Case For EU Membership Stronger Than Ever April 9, 2011

Posted by Yilan in England, EU, European Union, Turkey, UK.
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U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that the case for Turkey’s membership in the European Union was “clearer than ever.”

In a joint news conference at Downing Street with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cameron said he will continue to champion Turkey’s membership.

Cameron said Turkey’s entry into the EU would offer “increased economic prosperity, a bigger market for goods and services, more energy security, and real benefits for the EU’s long term stability.”

Turkey’s membership talks began in 2005.

-By Ainsley Thomson and Nicholas Winning, Dow Jones Newswires; 44 20 7842 9318; ainsley.thomson@dowjones.com

UK insists guarantor powers should meet for Cyprus March 3, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Cyprus, Turkey.
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The United Kingdom has put an old ball back into play by proposing a trilateral meeting on the Cyprus issue with Turkey and Greece. The three countries were granted guarantor power over the island by agreements that established the state of Cyprus in 1960.

The U.K. is reportedly concerned with a possible failure of the talks that are happening on the divided island between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities, the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review has learned from diplomatic sources.

Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have been negotiating for 17 months in the latest of many attempts to reunify the island. They are attempting to broker a power-sharing agreement for a future federation.

Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat will run for presidential elections, and opinion polls show he is likely to lose to a more hawkish name, especially if bi-communal talks do not end with a successful outcome before April.

In a recent telephone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğıan, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown reiterated the U.K.’s proposal for a trilateral meeting, first offered about a month ago to see in what ways the three countries could help the two leaders on the island reach a solution.

The U.K. has called on Turkey and Greece for the meeting but avoided the terminology of guarantor powers. Under current policy, Turkey should have responded positively to the proposal. “In the past, Greek Cyprus wanted to internationalize the problem as well as the peace talks, whereas Turkey would have tried to avoid outside intervention. Now this has reversed and we want international attention while the Greek Cypriots want to divert attention,” a senior official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said last week.

While Turkey has called on the international community to do more to encourage leaders on the island to reach a solution sooner rather than later, it has not yet responded positively to the U.K.’s proposal. “We are not categorically against it and we have not said ‘no’ so far,” a Turkish diplomat told the Daily News.

The Turkish government is convinced that Greek Cyprus has decided to stall the talks until the April elections. Following the possible ascent of a more hawkish name in Turkish Cyprus, Greek Cypriot leadership will blame the new Turkish Cypriot leader for failing to find a solution.

“The timing of the trilateral meeting is very important. Right now there are intensified talks on the island and we do not want to give the Greek Cypriot side any reason to divert their attention from the process,” said the Turkish diplomat talking on condition of anonymity.

Greece’s economy February 5, 2010

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Yunanistan.
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We are getting a sell-off every morning as Europe goes through the daily ritual of waking up and seeing the cost of default protection rise and rise. This morning Greece is with STUPID (Spain, Turkey, UK, Portugal, Italy and Dubai) as five-year sovereign credit default swap spreads were recently at 4.23 percentage points, compared with Wednesday’s closing level of 3.97 percentage points. That means the annual cost of insuring €10 million of Greek government debt against default for five years had risen €26,000 to €423,000. In a nutshell, that’s 4.23% annually to insure Greek bonds from default, so Greece needs to offer 4.23% more interest on their bonds than an Aaa nation to attract investors.

Of course, my new “I’m with STUPID” T-shirt franchise is going like gangbusters as we are getting orders from all over the US, especially California, as our own triple-A credit rating may not last the year. Japan is a strong customer (mostly in small and extra-small) and sales are strong in France and, of course, Mexico and all of South America.

Keeping up with the STUPIDs is no easy feat as Portugal’s CDS spreads jumped 15% overnight to an all-time high 2.26 while Spain gained 10% to 1.68%. (Have I mentioned I like TBT lately?) The moves followed news Wednesday that the European Commission had put Greece under more pressure to cut its deficit; that the Portuguese government sold only €300 million of treasury bills at an auction, compared with an indicative offer of €500 Million; and that the Spanish government had raised its budget deficit forecasts for 2010 through 2012.

As we expected in yesterday’s post, Greek workers were none too pleased with the EU’s budget plan for their country and are rejecting the idea of wage freezes on top of wage cuts. Greece’s biggest union is moving towards a mass strike and the public-employee union is planning a job action next week as well. Tax collectors are striking, customs workers are striking, which is screwing up the airports and shipyards and delaying commerce all over Europe – shades of things to come perhaps?

Napoleon said: “A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets” and John Kennedy said: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable” and what we are seeing here is backlash as workers of the world have been pushed to the brink for many years and now, as the governments are asking them to take that one final step into the abyss they are, not surprisingly, pushing back. That’s why my 2010 Outlook was titled “A Tale of Two Economies.”

As we expected, Jobless Claims were a disappointment this week with another 480,000 people involuntarily joining the revolutionary masses (and we will get one whopper of an adjustment tomorrow to the unemployed totals!). Also as we expected, productivity is up nicely – up a whopping 6.2% in Q4 as workers literally kill themselves to keep their jobs. The 138M remaining workers were rewarded with a 4.4% reduction in unit labor costs, which is how US corporations managed to put up those astounding cost savings in Q4 as that’s roughly $60Bn in additional profits wrung off the backs of workers in a single quarter. Go capitalism!

In Economic panics throughout history, the wiping out of the savings accounts of lower earners and the middle class has often led to social revolution, sometimes violent upheavals – Nick Clooney

Let the ruling classes tremble at the Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a World to win. Workingmen of all countries unite! – Karl Marx

I began a revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I would do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and a plan of action. – Fidel Castro

In just the past 30 years we’ve seen governments fall in Peru, Iran, Poland, Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Philippines, Africa (several and constant) and even Russia, yet somehow we run our governments as if “that would never happen here.” I’m telling you, my top 10% friends, that the people are as mad as hell and they are NOT going to take it any more. We cannot keep going down this path – it is simply not sustainable.

We went bearish yesterday and I’m feeling pretty good about that decision this morning but I am telling you (and then I’ll get on with my market overview) that this is just the tip of the iceberg. We can’t afford to have this government at a standstill – this government needs to be meeting with other World governments and we need to act in concert, the way we did to save the banks. But the banks have been saved and now there are no puppet-masters willing to pull the strings to draw our leaders back together on behalf of the people. This is why James MacGregor Burns said: “A revolution is an act of violence whereby one class shatters the authority of another.” Change is in the air but the separation between the upper and lower classes is so great that I don’t think most of the top 10% can even see it coming…

As we expected, Asia quickly gave back all of yesterday’s gains this morning, rejected at the same bounce levels we were. This was despite “good” news from Toyota (TM), who claim they will made a profit and project further profits despite the recalls but I’m still waiting to buy them at $65. Sony (SNE) did well with cost cutting and auto makers did well but that didn’t stop the markets from falling this morning with the Hang Seng and India both dropping over 1.5% while the Nikkei and Shanghai gave up about half a point.

Europe is down about 1.5% just ahead of the US open and our futures are off about half that much. We tested, but failed, our projected upside levels yesterday of Dow 10,300, S&P 1,105, Nasdaq 2,225, NYSE 7,100 and Russell 625, and today we test our downside target levels of Dow 10,165, S&P 1,088, Nas 2,200, NYSE 7,000 and RUT 620. Gold and the S&P have both held 1,088 like champs so they will be the first sign of a fatal breakdown toward our 10% levels, but copper seems to be leading the way as it looks to test $2.85, which would just be sad if they fail.

Oil is already below $76 so everything is going according to plan – forgive me if that doesn’t make me very happy, though…