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  • Author: Daniel Gros, Thomas Mayer
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the new permanent European rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), should be provided with a liquidity backstop by having it registered as a bank – and be treated as such by the European Central Bank. If the crisis were to become acute again, the ESM would stand ready to intervene in secondary markets, potentially with almost unlimited amounts of funding. Access to central bank financing will be crucial in a future crisis, because in such a crisis risk aversion is likely to be extreme, and even the ESM might not be able to raise at very short notice the huge sums that might be required to prevent a breakdown of the financial system. Hundreds of billions of euro might be needed just to top up the programmes for Greece, Ireland and Portugal – and Spain and Italy may require more than a thousand billion euro. Sums of this order of magnitude cannot be raised quickly by a new institution. Simply increasing the headline size of the ESM might thus be of little use.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Paul De Grauwe
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: One of the major problems of the eurozone is the divergence of the competitive positions that have built up since the early 2000s. This divergence has led to major imbalances in the eurozone where the countries that have seen their competitive positions deteriorate (mainly the so - called ' PIIGS ' – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain ) have accumulated large current account deficits and thus external indebtedness, matched by current account surpluses of the countries that have improved their competitive positions (mainly Germany).
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Regional Cooperation, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Spain faces high unemployment and slow growth. This paper focuses on an important source of those problems, namely its housing market. While some adjustment has occurred since Spain's housing bubble burst in 2008, the authors find that house prices and construction need to decrease more to slow Spain's unsustainable accumulation of foreign debt.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Stefano Micossi
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Once again the European Council will meet in an emergency session at the end of June, with the eurozone economy in recession and actually plummeting in its Southern periphery. Further doubts are also growing on the sustainability of sovereign debts due to the vicious spiral of deteriorating bank balance sheets, ballooning potential liabilities from banking rescues and widening spreads on government borrowings. The sovereign debt crisis in the periphery has now turned into a fully fledged banking crisis that threatens to spread from Greece to Spain and tomorrow, who knows, to Italy, France and even Germany itself.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Regional Cooperation, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The sentiment that the euro is now in real danger is based in large part on the widespread conviction that interest rates of 6-7% are simply unsustainable for both Italy and Spain., After taking a closer look at the fundamentals, however, Daniel Gros concludes in this new Policy Brief that both countries should be able to live with this level of interest rates for quite some time, but only if they mobilize domestic savings, which remain strong in both countries. For Spain, some debt/equity swaps are also needed.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Italy
  • Author: José M. Abad, Javier Hernández Galante
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On September 7th, five weeks after the European Central Bank (ECB) started buying Spanish bonds as part of its Securities Market Programme, and four weeks since Merkel and Sarkozy announced their proposal of writing debt limits into national laws, the Spanish Parliament has approved a constitutional reform that, by constraining the general government's spending and borrowing capacity, aims to mitigate concerns over public finances. This reform, the second since the current Constitution was enacted by referendum in 1978, has been made possible by an agreement between the ruling socialists (PSOE) and the main opposition party (conservative PP).
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Is a high level of public debt inherently more dangerous within a monetary union? During the 1990s it was often argued that only by entering the EMU could Italy (or Spain) protect itself from the high interest rates it had to pay on its large public debt. The argument was that by joining the single currency, Italy could convince financial markets that it would not inflate away the value of its debt and hence benefit from lower risk premia.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: resident Sarkozy's proposed Union for the Mediterranean (or UMed) has so far been poorly conceived and, to say the least, awkwardly presented politically. However this does not mean that nothing good can come of it. The Barcelona process and its confusing combination with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) have neither been a disaster nor a brilliant success. There is a case for streamlining a single European Mediterranean policy, rationalising and properly integrating Barcelona, the ENP and new ideas that the UMed initiative may produce. Both Italy and Spain as well as the South Mediterranean states themselves appear concerned not to undermine the existing structures (Barcelona and ENP). Steps could be made to lighten the overweight participation of the EU and all its 27 member states in too many meetings with too many participants and too few results, drawing on models that have emerged in the EU's Northern maritime regions. However, the EU as a whole will not agree to delegate the essential initiative on strategic matters to just its Southern coastal states – as has been made clear in recent exchanges between President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel. In addition the EU will also want to maintain a balance between its Northern and Southern priorities, and if the UMed becomes a new impetus for the South, an equivalent but different policy move can be contemplated for the EU's East European neighbours
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain, Italy, Barcelona
  • Author: Irene Blanco, Arancha Simó, Consuelo Varela-Ortega
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the comparative analysis and evaluation of the impact of multifunctionality on the agricultural sector for different scenarios that take into account the protection of the environment and natural resources as well as the international trade agreements in the context of the EU agricultural sector. The research focuses on two different regions in Spain that represent the continental agriculture of the region of Castilla-Leon in the northern central plateau and the Mediterranean fertile agriculture of Andalusia in the south. The analysis has been carried out based on mathematical programming models that simulate farmers' behaviour and their response to the different policy scenarios that correspond to the EU agricultural policies (CAP programmes) and water policies (Water Framework Directive) currently in place. Specifically, these scenarios are: full and partial decoupling, subsidy modulation, crop prices reduction, cross-compliance measures and water pricing policies. Results indicate that the new decoupled CAP will not lead to drastic changes in land use in the two regions studied but will have negative repercussions on farmers' income. Moreover, the introduction of additional measures, such as cross-compliance, will contribute substantially to improving and protecting the environment even though they amount to an additional cost for farmers. Reduction in crop prices will have significant effects on international trade and is likely to produce a reduction in farm intensification and hence a beneficial effect on the environment but will involve negative socio-economic impacts in marginal rain-fed farms. As regards the integration of agricultural and water conservation policies, the application of the EU Water Framework Directive in conjunction with the new CAP reform would produce different regionspecific effects and might question the viability of a number of irrigated farms in Spain.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In terms of meeting the fiscal Maastricht criteria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are better placed today than were some of the current euro area members from the “Club Med” (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) at a comparable point in time leading up to their joining EMU. The CEE-3 should thus be able to qualify for full membership by early 2006, following a decision by the EU as early as 2005.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Portugal