Here is an amusing set of back-to-back headlines regarding Spain.

Via Mish-modified Google translate from La Vanguardia Brussels Puts Spain Under Surveillance for Economic Imbalances

Spain will be placed under European supervision and its political leeway in deciding what reforms the economy agree will be reduced.

European monitoring will take place in the labor market and a review of the pension system and some economic reforms from now must be agreed with Brussels. Spain gets “two extra years to reduce the deficit to make reforms to improve the competitiveness of the economy” in exchange for increased reinsurance the sources said.

It will be the first time the EU put in place the new mechanism adopted following the outbreak of the crisis to allow Brussels to monitor the implementation of the reform agenda, make proposals and, above all, ensure that measures are taken According to the schedule.

This sort of preemptive rescue aims to give the impression to markets that are under control and problems being solved, which is crucial in the case of this country case to avoid asking the rescue.

Brussels Denies Spain Put Under Surveillance

Via Google translate from El Economista, Brussels Denies Spain Put Under Surveillance.

The European Commission (EC) has denied today that it has decided to put under surveillance to Spain for their excessive macroeconomic imbalances and restated preliminary analysis indicates reform plan that the country is broadly taking adequate steps to correct its problems.

“I’ve seen the press reports, speaking on decisions yet to be taken, based on anonymous sources who always suggests a dubious credibility,” said community spokesman Economic and Monetary Affairs, Simon O’Connor, in the daily briefing of the EC.

EU sources have stressed that the preliminary analysis of the national reforms of Spain “is very positive and nothing is going in that direction” of the country placed under surveillance, but recalled that this possibility exists in the excessive imbalances procedure, such and as agreed at the time.

The idea that anything positive is happening in Spain that would allow it to meet its budget targets is of course preposterous. Indeed, Spain was granted two more years because it could not possibly meet its targets.

Of course, Italy cannot meet its targets, France cannot meet its targets, Slovenia cannot meet its targets, and in fact no country in Europe is likely to meet its budget deficit target.

Should the denial be correct, it’s simply a sign that the larger countries are now so off-target on their own accord, they have granted kick-the-can extensions elsewhere.

However, I suspect the first headline is the accurate one and Brussels is simply looking for a word less harsh-sounding word than “surveillance”.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock