Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain ban short selling in their stock markets

The measure may bring some badly needed stability to the markets as early as today.  French banks are the largest creditors of Greece and that exposes them in case Greece fails.

The situation in France is complicated by the fact that the country is due for presidential elections in 2012.

President Sarkozy faces the daunting task of convincing voters to accept austerity measures while rescuing some French financial institutions whose short term loans to countries such as Greece are due in 2 years.

The total debt held by European banks amounts to €4.7 trillion ($6.7 trillion), slightly above 1/2 of the total GDP of the 17 euro zone countries combined.

France intends to bring its deficit down to 5.7% of its GDP this year.

Unlike the United States, where the right intransigently refuses to raise any taxes on the rich, president Sarkozy and his center- conservative UMP will most likely raise taxes on the wealthy only, accompanied by budget cuts which will affect almost everyone else.

That is the balanced approach decried by the tea party-led republican party here in the U.S..

European regulators are contemplating to extend the short-sell ban through the entire €-zone.