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2013: Neue Herausforderungen für den Euroraum

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2013: Neue Herausforderungen für den Euroraum

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Ein schwieriges Jahr ist für die Eurozone zu Ende gegangen – ein Jahr, in dem sich auch politisch so manches verändert hat. Seit Anfang 2011 haben mehr als die Hälfte der Regierungen im Euroraum gewechselt, aber die Krise blieb bestehen, und 2012 rutschte die Währungsgemeinschaft in die Rezession.

Und wie sieht es 2013 aus? Laut der OECD dürften Deutschland und Frankreich zumindest ein klein wenig wachsen – aber in den südeuropäischen Schuldenstaaten wie Italien oder Spanien geht die Konjunktur voraussichtlich weiter zurück. Die deutsche Kanzlerin Angela Merkel warnte in ihrer Neujahrsansprache vor der schwierigen Wirtschaftslage und Experten wie Oliver Roth erwarten wenig Änderungen: “Wir werden weiterhin den schwachen Eurostaaten finanziell helfen müssen, daher denke ich, dass sich an der derzeitigen Politik nicht viel ändern wird.”

Die Börsen sind für das Neue Jahr durchwegs optimistisch. Zwar werden die flaue Konjunkturlage und die anhaltende Euro-Krise den Märkten wohl weiterhin zu schaffen machen, generell aber geht man in Asien, Europa und den USA das Jahr 2013 mit Zuversicht an.

SOUNDBITE: Alan Clarke, European Economist, Scotia Capital, saying (English):
“We’ve made good progress under Mario Monti and since the OMTs were announced the spread between Italian 10-year bond yields and Bunds has pretty much halved. Now we’re starting to have second thoughts, if Berlusconi comes back and we undo some of that.”
In the past two years, over half of the euro zone’s 17 member states have waved goodbye to their governments.
But the new leaders have also been criticised for kicking the crisis can down the road.
In 2012 the bloc returned to recession, unemployment increased and the outlook darkened.
So where will the spotlight shine in 2013?
SOUNDBITE: Alpesh Patel, Founding Principal, Praefinium Partners, saying (English):
“France, because their recent treatment of Lakshmi Mittal makes me think that they are actually going to be anti-investor in their approach and actually they need foreign investment.”
SOUNDBITE: Bob Parker, Credit Suisse, saying (English):
“Spain is very much the focus of all investor attention in the euro zone at the moment.”
SOUNDBITE: David Jones, Chief Market Strategist, IG, saying (English):
“We’ve seen other countries that haven’t been affected, like for example the Netherlands, start to slow down as well so I think that’s probably the immediate concern, is just further contraction.”
They do agree the German federal elections in the second half of the year will mark a turning point.
Chancellor Angela Merkel remains extremely popular – her ratings hover around 70 percent and she was re-elected leader of her Christian Democrats party with 98 percent support.
Former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck will try to unseat her, but few expect a change.
Oliver Roth is a Frankfurt trader.
SOUNDBITE: Oliver Roth, Close Brothers Seydler, saying (English):
“Giving money to the countries they need in the euro zone will be continuously going on, so therefore I think at the end of the road the policy will not change.”
But recent data shows Germany is no longer insulated from what’s going on in the rest of the bloc.
And Justin Urquhart-Stewart from Seven Investment Management believes this may spur Merkel to action.
SOUNDBITE: Justin Urquhart-Stewart, Seven Investment Management, saying (English):
“She’s actually going to have to go back to the electorate with some form of policy saying the economy’s going to grow. If the Germans have a growth policy that will change the mood music in the rest of the euro zone as well and start moving the policy away from one of just austerity into some growth. That will be a very significant change.”
That growth is proving hard to cultivate.
Greece and Spain’s unemployment rate hit 25 percent in 2012.
And Madrid continues to keep the markets guessing over when – or even whether – it will ask for a sovereign bailout.
But some suggest Italy’s political troubles will push up Spain’s borrowing costs too.
And that can only turn the heat on Europe’s leaders even higher.