Neil Unmack is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist based in London. He covers credit markets, hedge funds, and Italy. Previously he was a corporate finance reporter at Bloomberg News in London. He started his career as a financial journalist in 2001 at Euromoney Institutional Investor, where he covered structured finance for EuroWeek magazine. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, graduating with a first class degree in modern languages. Follow Neil on Twitter @unmack1
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Europe could split off payments owed to Greece from its second bailout, according to reports. The move could break an impasse over reform talks and avoid a messy default. Yet Europe would have less leverage over the Syriza-led government and the Greek economy would suffer.
The prime minister has found a clever way to blunt a constitutional court ruling on pensions that threatened to blow a hole in Italy’s budget. That avoids a conflict with Brussels. But he hasn’t bitten the bullet on the bigger pension issue: bloated spending that stifles growth.
Athens’ borrowing from the European Central Bank has Germany’s Jens Weidmann fretting over euro zone rules that prohibit monetary financing. The ECB’s guilt depends on the severity of its judge. In the real world, its pragmatic approach looks defensible and effective.
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