The favored Brussels buzzword these days is “relative calm.”And yes nobody is currently engulfed, but the act of the credit ratings agency Moody's of downgrading Greece to B1 may well put paid to the sanguinity of the EU's financial gnomes.
As in, “there is relative calm in financial markets, so let’s just take a few deep breaths on all this sovereign-debt-crisis stuff.” In this context, “relative calm” means “no one is, at this precise moment, engulfed in flames.”
Charels Forelle points out that the Greek huffing and pufing about this downgrade can be countered quite simply by a reading of the EU's own paper on the subject, Occasional Paper No. 77.
He pulls out some details, such as.
Once Greece is weaned off the EU-IMF bailout in 2013, it will be walloped with a big “hump” of repayments; it’ll need to borrow a staggering €81 billion in 2014, the commission calculates. Last year, the EU agreed–at least in principle–to give Greece more time to repay the loans. That, if it’s adopted, will help. But only some: Greece will still need to borrow about €55 billion in 2014, the commission figures show.Ouch. No doubt there will be even greater calls for the EU to set up its own ratings agency, in an attempt to stop their ears against the cries of reality.