Week of February 19, 2012 thru February 25, 2012

Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Package For 2nd Bailout


ATHENS (MNI) - As violent protests raged and buildings in central Athens burned, Greece's parliament late Sunday approved an extremely controversial package of extra austerity measures required by the country's official lenders as a condition of a new E130 billion bailout.

Despite a huge outpouring of public anger against the bill and the resignations of several mostly junior members of the government in the days leading up to the vote, Greek lawmakers approved the new measures by an overwhelming majority: 199 voted in favor of it, versus 74 who voted against it and 5 who cast "present votes."

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ECB Mersch: EMU Fiscal Union Would Need Its Own Institutions


BRUSSELS (MNI) - A fiscal union of Eurozone states would need its own institutions, European Central Bank Governing Council member Yves Mersch said on Sunday.

"If we deepen the European project in the direction of a budgetary union, that would imply transfers of sovereignty to the European level, a real European democratic control and community institutions clearly in charge -- not of a Europe of 27, but a Europe of the Euro," Mersch, who heads the Central Bank of Luxembourg, told Belgian daily La Libre Belgique.

"The evidence is more and more clear that the interest of the 27 is not always the same as that of the 17," he said.

China Economic Data Calendar


All figures year-over-year percent changes unless otherwise specified.

Date Time For Event Previous Local/GMT

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13-20 Feb -- / -- Feb Actural FDI ($ bln mth, % ytd y/y) +12.24/+9.7 17 Feb 0935/0135 Feb MNI China Business Sentiment Flash Survey+54.66 23 Feb 1030/0230 Feb Flash Purchasing Manager's Index (HSBC) +48.8 24 Feb 0935/0135 Feb MNI China Business Sentiment Survey +55.95 24 Feb 1000/0200 Jan Conf Brd China Leading Index 222.0 24 Feb 1000/0200 Jan Conf Brd China Coincident Index 215.4 01 Mar 0900/0100 Feb Purchasing Manager's Index (CFLP) +50.5 01 Mar 1030/0230 Feb Purchasing Manager's

Germany FinMin: Up To Greece If It Wants To Keep Euro: Press


BERLIN (MNI) - Germany wants to avoid an exit of Greece from the Eurozone but in the end it's up to the Greeks if they want to remain in the currency union, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said in a newspaper interview published Sunday.

"That is all in the hands of the Greeks themselves," Schaeuble told German weekly Welt am Sonntag (WamS). "But even in the event [of an exit from the Eurozone], which almost no one assumes [will happen], they will still remain part of Europe."

Schaeuble once again urged Greece to implement the reform steps set for the country under the bailout program.

White House's Lew: Admin Will Call For $3 Trln In Deficit Cuts


--White House Chief of Staff: Plan Part of $4 Trln Deficit Cut Effort
--Deficits Will Fall To Less Than 3% of GDP At End of Decade
--Congress Should Secure Agreement On Payroll Tax Cut Extension

WASHINGTON (MNI) - White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said Sunday President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget that will be formally unveiled Monday will outline $3 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years and is a continuation of last year's effort to secure $4 trillion in deficit savings over a decade.

Making the rounds of the Sunday morning shows hosted by FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS, Lew said the president's budget will strike the appropriate balance between long-term deficit reduction and short-term measures to sustain economic growth.

LatamWatch: Brazil Budget Cuts Expected, Rate Cuts Signaled


* Brazil Forex Traders Looking For Pattern in Cen Bank Interventions * Argentina Presses Oil Firms to Boost Output as Crop Estimates Shrink * Mexico Inflation Report to Inform Monetary Policy Expectations