"Sovereign stress has moved from smaller economies to some of the larger countries," says Jean-Claude Trichet. Reuters
"Sovereign stress has moved from smaller economies to some of the larger countries," says Jean-Claude Trichet. Reuters

Debt stress in Europe worsening, says Trichet



Europe's debt crisis has taken on a systemic dimension, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) says, in one of the harshest official assessments yet of the continent's financial state.

"Sovereign stress has moved from smaller economies to some of the larger countries," Jean-Claude Trichet told a European Parliament committee yesterday. "The crisis is systemic and must be tackled decisively."

Mr Trichet's comments came as Slovakia's parliament prepared to vote yesterday evening on expanding the powers of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Slovakia is the last of the 17-member euro zone to act on the issue; all the other countries have approved the measure.

A more powerful EFSF is widely seen as critical to restoring calm in markets and easing concern that Greece and other financially strained countries in the euro zone will default on debt. It is also viewed as an important mechanism to block any spread of the sovereign debt crisis.

"[If] the reforms get passed positive market sentiment is likely to be reinforced by the news," Tim Fox, the chief economist at Emirates NBD, said in a note yesterday.

Stock markets across Europe fell ahead of Slovakia's vote. Germany's DAX index slid 0.7 per cent in afternoon trading, and France's CAC 40 dropped by 1.1 per cent on concern the country's contentious domestic politics could delay passage of the bill.

"The problem in Europe is really one of fundamentally, and maybe as it turns out fatally, flawed economic architecture," said Paul Sheard, the global chief economist at Nomura Securities, a Japanese investment bank.

"They've half-constructed something, but then they were confronted with the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 and for various reasons that crisis put the global spotlight and the market spotlight on this half-finished job and exposed it."

He agreed with Mr Trichet's assertion that a more decisive approach to the crisis was necessary as European countries drew nearer to fiscal integration. "Markets are ruthless when they sniff the blood of indecisiveness," he said.

The EFSF was created in the middle of last year and authorised to lend up to €440 billion (Dh2.19 trillion) to euro-zone countries in financial distress. The new powers, initially agreed to in July, will allow the fund to buy sovereign bonds to stabilise prices and keep countries' borrowing costs in check and act as a lender of last resort for banks.

Those tasks had previously been carried out by the ECB.

Yesterday, the IMF and EU said Greece was likely to receive a further €8bn in aid early next month as part of a €110bn package after auditors visited the country to ensure it was meeting fiscal targets.

The so-called troika of the IMF, EU and ECB found Greece made "important progress" in whittling down debts that total more than 150 per cent of its GDP. They said the aid would be "most likely" to come early next month once their review of its finances was finalised.

"What needs to be done on our side is to do what we said we will do by the end of October," Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister, said yesterday, according to a Bloomberg News report.

UAE v Gibraltar

What: International friendly

When: 7pm kick off

Where: Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

Admission: Free

Online: The match will be broadcast live on Dubai Exiles’ Facebook page

UAE squad: Lucas Waddington (Dubai Exiles), Gio Fourie (Exiles), Craig Nutt (Abu Dhabi Harlequins), Phil Brady (Harlequins), Daniel Perry (Dubai Hurricanes), Esekaia Dranibota (Harlequins), Matt Mills (Exiles), Jaen Botes (Exiles), Kristian Stinson (Exiles), Murray Reason (Abu Dhabi Saracens), Dave Knight (Hurricanes), Ross Samson (Jebel Ali Dragons), DuRandt Gerber (Exiles), Saki Naisau (Dragons), Andrew Powell (Hurricanes), Emosi Vacanau (Harlequins), Niko Volavola (Dragons), Matt Richards (Dragons), Luke Stevenson (Harlequins), Josh Ives (Dubai Sports City Eagles), Sean Stevens (Saracens), Thinus Steyn (Exiles)

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

If you go

  • The nearest international airport to the start of the Chuysky Trakt is in Novosibirsk. Emirates (www.emirates.com) offer codeshare flights with S7 Airlines (www.s7.ru) via Moscow for US$5,300 (Dh19,467) return including taxes. Cheaper flights are available on Flydubai and Air Astana or Aeroflot combination, flying via Astana in Kazakhstan or Moscow. Economy class tickets are available for US$650 (Dh2,400).
  • The Double Tree by Hilton in Novosibirsk (+7 383 2230100,) has double rooms from US$60 (Dh220). You can rent cabins at camp grounds or rooms in guesthouses in the towns for around US$25 (Dh90).
  • The transport Minibuses run along the Chuysky Trakt but if you want to stop for sightseeing, hire a taxi from Gorno-Altaisk for about US$100 (Dh360) a day. Take a Russian phrasebook or download a translation app. Tour companies such as Altair-Tour (+7 383 2125115 ) offer hiking and adventure packages.
Most polluted cities in the Middle East

1. Baghdad, Iraq
2. Manama, Bahrain
3. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
4. Kuwait City, Kuwait
5. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
6. Ash Shihaniyah, Qatar
7. Abu Dhabi, UAE
8. Cairo, Egypt
9. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
10. Dubai, UAE

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

MOST POLLUTED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

1. Chad
2. Iraq
3. Pakistan
4. Bahrain
5. Bangladesh
6. Burkina Faso
7. Kuwait
8. India
9. Egypt
10. Tajikistan

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report

The line up

Friday: Giggs, Sho Madjozi and Masego  

Saturday: Nas, Lion Bbae, Roxanne Shante and DaniLeigh  

Sole DXB runs from December 6 to 8 at Dubai Design District. Weekend pass is Dh295 while a one day pass is Dh195. Tickets are available from www.soledxb.com

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Brief scores:

Scotland 371-5, 50 overs (C MacLeod 140 no, K Coetzer 58, G Munsey 55)

England 365 all out, 48.5 overs (J Bairstow 105, A Hales 52; M Watt 3-55)

Result: Scotland won by six runs

The biog

Favourite food: Fish and seafood

Favourite hobby: Socialising with friends

Favourite quote: You only get out what you put in!

Favourite country to visit: Italy

Favourite film: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Family: We all have one!