The next few weeks will decide the fate of the Greek bailout and determine the future of the eurozone as an economic and monetary union.With a few crucial votes still left to take place on expanding the powers of the European Financial Stability Fund and a collateral deal still up in the air, “particularly high uncertainty” pervades the euro area.
Even Greece’s participation in the bailout is uncertain. It has not received the 90% private sector participation it demanded to go through with a pivotal bond swap and unhappy Greeks are ramping up anti-austerity protests across the country.
While there’s a limit to how far we can predict, here are 10 of the next big events you can look forward to in the euro zone.
In Germany, the Budget Committee in the Lower House of Parliament will debate the EFSF expansion and Greek bailout. Their decisions and commentary should provide some indication of the likelihood a vote to expand the EFSF will pass in the Parliament 10 days later.
The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund will hold their annual meetings in Washington, D.C. We'll be looking to see if those rumours that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will bail out Europe are more than just speculation, or even if EM countries can convince a larger group of countries to join in the effort.
Greek PM George Papandreou will stop by the German parliament just days before they vote on EFSF measures. If Merkel has not already gotten her ducks in line, his appeal could prove crucial to the vote's passage.
Source: Bloomberg (via ForexLive)
The German parliament will vote on the EFSF bailout package on September 29.
This date has already been pushed back once, while Chancellor Angela Merkel struggled to maintain her coalition. If the German Bundestag votes no, it will likely stop the bailout in its tracks.
The Eurogroup will meet in Luxembourg ahead of a summit of European finance ministers. The meeting's agenda will depend heavily on the progress made on passing the Greek bailout and EFSF measures proposed on July 21.
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) will meet to discuss the latest eurozone disagreements. In their last meeting they discussed collateral, EFSF expansion, and met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. As with the Eurogroup meeting, the next meeting's agenda will depend heavily on the progress made on passing the Greek bailout and EFSF measures proposed on July 21.
The European Central Bank announces a new policy rate decision after meeting in Berlin. They left rates unchanged in August and September, after a series of controversial rate hikes earlier this year. Some chatter about quantitative easing has ensued, and could escalate ahead of the meeting.
The European Council will meet October 17-18 in Brussels.
Honestly, no one knows what the EU leaders will talk about there. By October, the bailout may have already passed and been implemented. If the bailout fails, however, then this meeting could shape the fate of the euro.
The ECB will publish a bank lending survey. This should provide some insight into the kind of fiscal tightening faced by European banks in the third quarter. rumours are swirling about a credit crunch gradually infecting banks across Europe.
French Jean-Claude Trichet will step down as President of the ECB and Italian Mario Draghi will assume the post. This transition could mark a shift from the more conservative Franco-German leadership to a more activist -- and more desperate -- southern European leadership. Italy would likely be the first big euro economy to default if sovereign debt contagion spread across Europe.
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