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Europe and the markets say TGIF!!

Greeks have a new government, Berlusconi is expected to go this weekend ... but the euro zone crisis is far from over
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Mario Monti, probable replacement for Silvio Berlusconi as Italian Prime Minister, arrives for Friday's vote in the italian Senate on an austerity package. (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

At the end of the worst week for Europe politically and economically since the fall of the Berlin Wall here's where we are:

Greece's new Prime Minister Loukas Papademos was sworn in and the new PM pledged Greece would do everything required to stay within the euro

Italy's Senate voted through a package of austerity measures the first step in paving the way for Silvio Berlusconi to resign.


ILO annual report: jobs recession will deepen; rising unemployment and social unrest likely in 2012

Annual World of Work study expects Europe to have a 50% percent shortfall in job creation over next two years. ILO calls on G-20 to do something.
Economies may avoid recession, but working people won't, says the ILO's annual survey of the World of Work.

More down and up economic indicators in Europe and other stuff

Spanish debt downgraded amid hope that France and Germany have finally reached agreement on euro bailout. Plus other happenings around the continent
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Spain's Finance Minister Elena Salgado Mendez - is she praying for the ratings' agencies to understand her country's difficult debt situation? (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Pulling string around the continent:


Degradation:  Spanish debt was was downgraded two notches to A1 by Moody's yesterday. This makes it a hat trick of downgrades, as Fitch and Standard & Poor's had already done the dirty to Spain. (more here for those who read Spanish)

Today's French papers are full of speculation that France's debt will be next. Moody's has put France "under surveillance." 


Occupy Wall Street style protests growing in Europe

The indignados of Spain inspired the Occupy Wall Street folks and now the protests have hit Rome. Next stop?
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Italian protesters take a clue from Occupy Wall street and get ready for a long stay on the Via nazionale outside italy's central bank. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

Like the return of some oscillating wave, the idea of street protests has come back to the Mediterranean.

The wave began early in the year on the southern shore of what the Romans called "our sea," as Arabs took to the streets ... and eventually to the battlefield to challenge and overthrow the political establishment.

It stopped to pick up momentum in Spain with the indignados occupying the center of Madrid

It reached the shores of North America last month in the form of the Occupy Wall Street encampment.

Now it has returned to the Med.


Europe: A very bad day all around

Around the continent bad news keeps knocking markets and people who work for governments
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Visitors look at screens in Madrid's Stock Exchange on Aug. 4, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images)

Bad things come in threes, my mother always said. Here are three from yesterday:

1. Italy

The country had its credit rating downgraded by Moodys three notches with a negative outlook for the future. For all the complaints about the agencies and their criteria for these pronouncements they can still shape perception about a nation's creditworthiness. The fear has to be that interest rates on Italian bonds will continue to rise, although Moody's report indicates that Italy in likely to default.

According to La Repubblica the downgrade comes "in part from risk derived from economic and political uncertainty." The focus on Italy's political uncertainty is a reminder that the bunga-bunga parties of Silvio Berlusconi are more than tabloid entertainment ... they have an effect on Italy's global economic position.

The BBC quoted Emma Marcegaglia, the head of Italy's leading industrial association, Confindustria, on the matter of Berlusconi and the ratings downgrade

"We are a serious country and we are fed up at becoming the laughing stock of the world."

When Italy has to start paying interest rates over 6% (nudging in that direction since last week) on its bonds it won't be very funny.


Man arrested over plot to murder king of Spain

Gogeaskoetxea is suspected of belonging to a cell that plotted to kill King Juan Carlos in Bilbao in October 1997, during the opening of the Guggenheim Museum.
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