Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, went to Rome where he met with Giorgio Napolitano, President of Italy. (EC Audiovisual Library).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, went to Rome where he met with Giorgio Napolitano, President of Italy. (EC Audiovisual Library).

Three countries losing more economic grounds and one new prime minister was last week’s stock taking in Eurozone. Meanwhile the real economy and more so the Small and Medium Enterprises in the south of Eurozone were found in a much worse position during the last six months ( Oct 2012- Mar 2013), in relation to the previous period. According to a European Central Bank study about the “Financial Situation of the SMEs in the Euro Area”, the net percentage of SMEs reporting a decline in turnover increased to – 11% (October 2012 to March 2013), compared with -10% in the previous survey period (April-September 2012). Let’s follow the facts.

Three countries

Starting with Spain, Mariano Rajoy’s government revised down to – 1.3% the prediction for this year’s recession and announced two new programmes to stabilise and reform the economy. It is not yet clear if the two programmes will get the Brussels’s blessing. Spain’s unemployment skyrocketed at 27.2% in the first quarter of 2013. In the same line of events the French statistical service said that unemployment in this country reached 11.5%, up by 1.2 percentage units in February. Such an increase in two months is a very negative omen for the immediate future.

Last but not least business confidence in Germany plummeted for a second month, according to the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. The think tank said its business climate index further fell to 104.4 in April, down from 106.7 in March. This is the second month in a row that Ifo business confidence index drops. Independent commentators say that this is due to falling demand from the rest of the Eurozone, a possibility that German officials don’t seem to accept. If they did, they should have questioned at the same time Berlin’s austerity policies imposed all over Eurozone.
New Italian PM

In view of all those the only positive development in Eurozone this past week was the appointment of a new Prime Minister in Italy. Enrico Letta’s government was sworn in yesterday by the veteran President of the country, Giorgio Napolitano. Reportedly many ministers went to the Presidential palace to take the oath on foot or by a taxi, in order to convey a message for low tones, low expenditure and hard work.

Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council, congratulated Prime Minister Letta on Saturday 28 April. It was a bit awkward however that Rompuy devoted a rather large part of his message to thank the until last week care taker PM Mario Monti, who was not honoured by the Italian people in the last election. Rompuy also committed another surely intentional error in the same message by saying, “I look forward to welcoming Letta at the next European Council in May, where I am sure that he will continue Italy’s role and contribution to our European project”.
The President of the European Council though must had been informed that Letta’s government was not yet approved by Italian legislators on Saturday. Consequently, Rompuy’s statement that, “I look forward to welcoming him at the next European Council in May”, could be assessed as a direct pressure by Brussels on the two Italian legislative bodies. In any case Letta’s government is expected to appear and be approved today by both Italian legislatives, the Parliament and the Senate.

European SMEs

Going back to Eurozone’s business backbone, the SMEs, which offer more than 80% of employment, the study by the ECB on their financial situation during the past six months, produced some completely disappointing results. The most important findings are presented here below.

“Developments across countries were diverse. Besides SMEs in Germany, where a net 22% (down from 27% in the previous survey period) reported an increase in turnover, SMEs in Belgium, Ireland, Austria and Finland also reported a net increase. By contrast, SMEs in Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal reported, in net terms, the largest decrease in turnover. In line with the reported weakness in economic activity, SMEs in most euro area reported a further decline in profits, with the exception of SMEs in Germany and Austria, where profits were reported to have remained broadly unchanged (at 0% and 1% respectively, in net terms). The reported decline in profits was most prevalent for SMEs in Greece (a net 77% of respondents), Spain (60%), Italy (58%) and Portugal (64%)”.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

93 million children with disabilities ‘among the most likely to be left behind’: UN rights chief

Accelerating a more sustainable industrial revolution with digital manufacturing

Trust links up supply chains. How do you establish it in the digital era?

We need to talk about failure in the social sector

Israel is joining forces with Arab states to save coral from climate change destruction

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: the final sprint of the Final Agreement Negotiations

Ambassador Zhang Ming: “Work Together for a Better Globalization”

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

What does global health translate into?

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

The global suicide rate is growing – what can we do?

‘Continuing absence’ of political solution to Israel-Palestine conflict ‘undermines and compounds’ UN efforts to end wholesale crisis

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Can we balance conservation and development? Science says yes

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

Mechanism to protect democracy in the EU needed more than ever, says the EP

Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

Monsoon rains turn millions of children’s lives ‘upside down’ across South Asia

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Brexit: Britain and the Continent fighting the battle of Waterloo again

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

Towards seamless patent registration and protection in 25 EU countries

This new form of currency could transform the way we see money

EU-China relations under investigation?

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

Scale of displacement across Myanmar ‘very difficult to gauge’, says UN refugee agency

Why Microsoft is a regular to Almunia’s

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

Britain in chaos: May stays as Tory leader and PM but none can defuse the Brexit time bomb

“We need to accelerate our negotiation on the China-EU Investment Treaty”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlights from the 21st EU-China summit in Brussels

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

Schools in Florida now have to teach mental and emotional health

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn readies to change Brexit political backdrop

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

The glimmers of hope in the latest dire climate report

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Large parts of the world are growing more fragile. Here are 5 steps to reverse course

These are the world’s most positive countries

This Japanese company pays its employees to get a good night’s sleep

COP24: Huge untapped potential in greener construction, says UN environment agency

Sweden is a top performer on well-being. Here’s why

Could play be a game-changer for the world’s forests?

UN affirms ‘historic’ global compact to support world’s refugees

Eurozone banks are unable to support real economy’s dawning growth

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s