Bulgaria

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Fearing Greek Fallout, ECB Extends "Secret" Credit Lines To Balkans





"The European Central Bank has introduced secret credit lines to Bulgaria and Romania as part of a broader effort to convince foreign regulators not to pull the plug on the local subsidiaries of Greek banks," FT reports.

 
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The Depressing Similarity Between The US and Iran





The share of Americans living on more than $50-a-day dropped from 58% in 2001 to just 56% in Pew Research Center's latest report. The dubious disctinction of this depressing reality is 'exceptional' America is the only developed nation to see its standard of living drop... a narrative not even Greece suffered (but Iran did!!)

 
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"Greece Is No One's Hostage": Leftist Energy Minister Lays Out €2 Billion Russian Gas Project





Greece's outspoken Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis laid out the details for the country's pipeline project with Russia on Thursday and went out of his way to let PM Alexis Tsipras know that the referendum "no" vote is "not going to become a humiliating 'yes'".

 
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Why Grexit Is The Most Likely Outcome





1. Greece is already in default to the IMF
2. Greece and the rest of the Eurozone are further apart than ever
3. Capital controls are notoriously hard to unwind
4. The “no” vote protects the Eurozone’s politicians from looking like they pushed Greece out

 
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"Prove You're Not A False Prophet!"; Tsipras Lambasted At Fire And Brimstone European Parliament Session





Facing a new “deadline” to submit a viable proposal to EU creditors and keep Greece in the eurozone, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras faced friends and enemies at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, where there was no shortage of fireworks from both sides of the Grexit debate. 

 
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Trillion-Dollar Asset Managers Warn On Greece Fallout: "No Blueprint" Means "All Kinds Of Uncertainty"





“If all of a sudden one member leaves, it creates a precedent, and maybe suddenly casts some doubt on the long-term future of the monetary union.”

“There is no blueprint for how a country exits the euro and redenominates [and] that’s going to create all kinds of uncertainty in Europe.”

 

 
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Fearing Spillover, ECB Moves To Shield Neighboring Banks From Greek Meltdown





The ECB is moving to backstop Bulgaria's banking sector in an effort to get ahead of a Greek contagion."The ECB would provide access to its refinancing operations, offering euros to the banking system against eligible collateral," Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources. 

 
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Chinese Stocks Plummet Despite Government Threats To Shorts, Europe Lower, US Closed





The Greece impasse set to culminate on Sunday continues to have a massive impact on at least one stock market, unfortunately it is the wrong one, located on a continent which is mostly irrelevant to the future of the Greek people (unless that whole AIIB bailout does take place of course). We are, of course, talking about China which as noted earlier, started off horribly, plunging over 7% with over 1000 stocks hitting 10% limit down, then in the afternoon session mysteriously recovering all losses and even trading slightly higher on the day, before the late selling returned once more, and the Shanghai Composite plunged to close down 5.8%: an unimaginable 20% total roundtrip move!

 
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Don't Blame Austerity: Five "Dastardly" Ways Italy Burned Through Taxpayer Money





What has really been going on in Europe over the past 5 years, if the debt load kept creeping higher, and yet little money was actually making its way to the broader population? The answer is simple: abuse of taxpayer funding, also known as fraud and corruption. As Italy's TheLocal reports, the EU anti-fraud office, Italy currently has 61 open investigations into fraud involving EU funds. This means Italy has the second highest number of investigations in the EU, ranking just below Greece's neighbor to the north, Bulgaria.

 
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Beggar Thy Neighbor? Greece's Battered Banks Beget Balkan Jitters





"Millions of people in ex-Communist Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Romania have deposits in banks owned by Greek lenders, putting this corner of south-eastern Europe in the frontline if there is contagion from the Greek crisis."

 
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The NATO Buildup On Russia's Border - Groundless Pretext For Cold War Revival





Have you picked up on the new trope du jour? We are all encouraged to bask in our innocence as we lament the advent of a new Cold War. The thought has been in the wind for more than a year, of course, at least among some of us. But we witness a significant turn, and I hope this same some of us are paying attention. As of this week, leaders who know nothing about leading, thinkers who do not think and opinion-shaping poseurs such as Tom Friedman are confident enough in their case to sally forth with it: The Cold War returns, the Russians have restarted it and we must do the right thing - the right thing being to bring NATO troops and materiel up to Russia’s borders, pandering to the paranoia of the former Soviet satellites as if they alone have access to some truth not available to the rest of us.

 
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The Pentagon Goes Nuclear On Russia





MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – is way over. It kept a somewhat uneasy peace during seven decades of Cold War. Cold War 2.0 is as hardcore as it gets. And with all those Breedhate Strangeloves on the loose, nuclear madness is now at five seconds to midnight.

 
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Putin Strikes Back: Cuts Ukraine Gas Discount





We had wondered at the relative lack of response by Russia to extended sanctions and asset freezes in Europe and now we see the first major move. Having confirmed new counter-sanctions this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin just threw The IMF (US taxpayers), and Ukraine's 'American' finance minister under the bus... "Moscow can no longer give Ukraine gas discounts due to the current drop in oil prices." The price must be on level of other countries like Poland, he added.

 
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Russia Fed Up With US "Lecturing" As Pentagon Deploys 250 Tanks To Eastern Europe





"If they want to lecture us on democracy building, let them lecture students at some American university," Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said Tuesday, regarding the collapse of a bilateral arrangement struck in 2009 between Moscow and Washington. Fortunately for Dolgov, it doesn't appear as though he, or any other Russian diplomats for that matter, will be forced to endure a "lecture" on democracy from the US anytime soon because as the positioning of 250 Bradleys and self-propelled howitzers, and associated armored brigade combat team equipment" in Eastern Europe makes clear, the time for dialogue of any kind has long since passed.

 
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