Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Riskier and riskier

A very unhappy article in Der Spiegel points out,
While Europe is preoccupied with a possible restructuring of Greece's debt, huge risks lurk elsewhere -- in the balance sheet of the European Central Bank. The guardian of the single currency has taken on billions of euros worth of risky securities as collateral for loans to shore up the banks of struggling nations.
All a bit of a mess, really. The article is worth reading in full.

Oh and, by the way, 46 MPs voted for Mark Reckless's Amendment earlier today:
That this House notes with concern that UK taxpayers are potentially being made liable for bail-outs of Eurozone countries when the UK opted to remain outside the Euro and, despite agreement in May 2010 that the EU-wide European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) of €60 billion would represent only 12 per cent. of the non-IMF contribution with the remaining €440 billion being borne by the Eurozone through the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), that the EFSM for which the UK may be held liable is in fact being drawn upon to the same or a greater extent than the EFSF; further notes that the European Scrutiny Committee has stated its view that the EFSM is legally unsound; and requires the Government to place the EFSM on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement which relieves the UK of liability under the EFSM has by then been agreed.
The link is the temporary one and will be replaced by the permanent Hansard link tomorrow. The vote was somewhat more complicated because another Amendment was put down by Chris Heaton-Harris, the well-known "eurosceptic" ex-MEP, which watered the original down and which is generally assumed to have been inspired by the government whips. So, the NO votes are the important ones as they are voting against Mr Heaton-Harris's Amendment to the Amendment. Here is the list. More on all this tomorrow when Hansard will be available.

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