Wait, no, Spain/Italy/France have a time limit. Sort of:
The Spanish ban will remain “until the market conditions allow it” to be lifted, the country’s financial regulator said in an e-mailed statement. Italy’s restriction, and another enacted by France in August, will both last until Nov. 11.
It's actually the Occupy Wall Street protesters who are holding out for a peaceful crumble, but they've been looking into this short sale ban thing too and they think it could work:
Michael Rodriguez, a 24-year-old from the Bronx, started a conversation with a reporter by asking: "Are you a naked short-seller?" He went on to explain his concerns about the practice, which involves an investor selling a stock short—betting its price will fall—without having borrowed the shares in advance. He had learned about the practice two days ago from a passerby and had been researching it since.
Sadly Mr. Rodriguez's concerns about the practice are not preserved for posterity, though to be fair Italy and Spain are pretty reticent about their reasons for the latest extensions. Bloomberg, meanwhile, has stopped even trying to find anyone to quote in favor of short sale bans and goes with this instead:
“The ban has only succeeded in drying up liquidity, increasing volatility and those stocks subject to it will be worse performers than the market,” said Simon Maughan, head of sales and distribution at MF Global Ltd. in London. “That is what this ban has achieved.”
Drying up trading and hurting bank stocks - that actually does sound like what the Occupy Wall Street wants to achieve. So, carry on then.
Spain, Italy Extend Bans on Shorting Bank Shares [Bloomberg]