Negative inflation hits Eurozone, ECB to print and distribute one trillion euro earlier than expected

This week more indications emerged pointing to the possibility that the European Central Bank is to announce a government bond purchases programme sooner than expected. Negative inflation of -0.2% (deflation) in Eurozone during December (announced yesterday by Eurostat), brings this prospect much nearer. The latest information related to the government bond purchases by the ECB […]

Germany rules the banking industry of Eurozone

Last Tuesday the European Parliament approved the appointment of the Single Resolution Board members. European Sting readers may recall that some months ago this Board emerged as the most powerful institution in Eurozone’s banking sector. Its powers were established by the final agreement between the European Parliament, the European Council and the Commission which instituted […]

How much more political is the new EU leadership? Does this include personal bend?

Judging from their first days in office, the new leadership of the European Union appears functioning on a much more ‘political’ platform than their Barroso-Rompuy predecessors. Actually Jean-Claude Juncker the one month old President of the European Commission had cautioned us all about that in his inaugural speech. Nevertheless, nobody had thought that Donald Tusk, […]

Draghi: printing a full extra trillion non negotiable to help all borrow cheaply

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaking at the economic and monetary affairs Committee of the European Parliament last Monday, made at least two direct references to additional monetary measures, to confront the anaemic economic conditions in Eurozone, “if warranted to achieve price stability over the medium term”. He referred to this prospect once while […]

Is the ECB ready to flood Eurozone with freshly printed money?

The insatiable appetite of the global financial system for more free cash from central banks has now reached the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. After the American central bank, the Fed, announced last month that it discontinues its quantitative easing policy, under which it has supplied the US banks with around $ 4 […]

ECB to buy corporate bonds: Will government financing be the next step?

Last Monday, the European Central Bank initiated its covered bank bonds buying programme. But it wasn’t until the major international news agencies started reporting information early on Tuesday from ECB unidentified sources about its plans for corporate bond purchases too, and only then the central bank policies had an immediate and conspicuous effect on real […]

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

Everybody agreed that what the European Central Bank decided last week (to lower its basic interest rate to 0.05% and purchase asset backed securities and covered bonds) came as a surprise. As a result, stock and bond markets throughout Europe celebrated this additional almost zero cost liquidity, which Mario Draghi, ECB’s President, is ready to […]

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

The bellicose attitude of the Atlantic powers – mainly the US with the resolute support and active engagement of Britain and France – has dramatically changed the horizon of international relations. Everything started with the US and British intervention in Iraq. Then came the destruction of the totalitarian and brutal Gaddafi regime in Libya and […]

ECB’s unconventional monetary measures give first tangible results

A strong statement was delivered last week by Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. He ascertained that the monetary measures already taken unanimously by the central bank’s Governing Council, “will enhance our accommodative monetary policy stance”. Those measures have led to an easing of the euro/dollar parity favouring a cheaper single money, a […]

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

Indisputably, one of the most crucial barriers to economic growth is the lack of adequate financing for SMEs, across the European Union. Indeed, the problem is more acute in the hardest hit by the financial crisis countries like Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland. In some other member states this setback is chronic. The SMEs […]

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

The Governing Council of European Central Bank decided last week to hand out to Eurozone banks additional liquidity of up to €1 trillion at almost zero cost, under its new targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs). At the same time it also decided to “intensify preparatory work related to outright purchases in the Asset Backed Securities […]

Unemployment and stagnation can tear Eurozone apart if austere policies persist

László Andor, Member of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, gave a press conference to present a new Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014 – 2020 (on the right) and Jonathan Todd, Spokesperson of László Andor. (EC Audiovisual Services, 06/06/2014).

How Cameron unwillingly helped Eurozone reunite; the long-term repercussions of two European Council decisions

Last week’s European Council, bringing together the 28 EU leaders, adopted two groundbreaking decisions. The first one, to propose Jean-Claude Juncker as next Commission President with a 26 to 2 vote was largely expected, and the European Parliament will predictably endorse him. The other Council verdict, to relax the strict application of the Stability and […]

Is deflation a real danger for Eurozone?

There are rare times in the economic chronicle, and here they are now, when the merry going economies like Austria and Luxembourg have decent inflation rates around 1.5%, while the unlucky and miserable ones like Greece, Bulgaria and Portugal are being haunted by negative inflation records of up to -2.1%. Let’s get the full and […]

The EU Commission openly repudiates the austere economic policies

László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion while delivering the opening address at the conference on Social policy innovation yesterday in Brussels, must have known that Eurostat, the EU statistical service, was to announce almost simultaneously that the rate of employment of people aged 20-64 fell to 68.3% in 2013, for a fifth […]

The ECB will do whatever it takes to set the Eurozone economy again in motion

Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, speaking at the high-level conference on “Monetary Policy in the New Normal” organised by the IMF in Washington D.C., on 13 April 2014, described in detail the unconventional monetary policy tools the Eurozone’s central bank is about to use, in order to affect (reduce) interest […]

ECB: A revolutionary idea to revitalize the European economy with cheap loans to SMEs

IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings in Washington DC last weekend gave the opportunity to the European Central Bank (ECB), supported by the Bank of England (BoE), to launch a new monetary policy ‘offensive’ in order to revive the stagnant European economy. Mario Draghi, President of ECB clearly stated that the Eurozone’s central bank will […]

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Last Friday the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a public hearing on the implementation of European Union policies to counter youth employment. EESC is a consultative body made up by representatives of Europe’s socio-occupational interest groups and others (employers, workers and various interest groups). It gives its members a platform to express their […]

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

Finally, the European Central Bank’s Governing Council unanimously agreed yesterday to use extraordinary monetary measures to support growth in Eurozone and to counter a possible further fall of inflation rate towards the negative deflation region. To this effect, the ECB stopped just one step short from taking unconventional monetary measures, but the fact that its […]

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

  The social situation in the European Union keeps degrading and in many countries it has compromised the social cohesion. Yesterday the EU Commission published its quarterly review on “Employment and Social Situation”, with the unbelievable conclusion that, “The recent economic recovery has not yet been able to create new jobs and the social situation […]

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

It has become a bad joke to hear the European Central Bank’s Governing Council repeating monotonously that the inflation target for the euro area is below, but close to 2%. Most of the time, the same or the next day the EU’s statistical service (Eurostat) releases data confirming that Eurozone’s inflation is below 1% and […]

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

Yesterday the European Parliament rejected by 650 votes to 15 the new Regulation on seeds for sowing. The draft law was introduced in the legislative by EU Commissioner Dacian Cioloș. Undeniably, the extent of the negative vote is an indication that ‘something is rotten in the state’ of Berlaymont. The Romanian Commissioner even refused to […]

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

In a courageous decision, Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman, condemned the decision of the European Central Bank not to disclose a letter the central bank’s then President, Jean-Claude Trichet, wrote to the Irish Finance Minister in November 2010. O’Reilly stated: “I regret that the Governing Council of the ECB has wasted an opportunity to apply […]

Parliament: Last compromise on bank single resolution mechanism

Undeniably, the European Banking Union’s prime target is to definitely cut the umbilical cord between banks and sovereigns, through the creation of a uniform supervision and insolvency dealing environment for all Eurozone lenders. Yet, Germany and France insist that the final decision for the resolution of a failing bank must be taken by member state […]

Ukraine’s new political order not accepted in Crimea

With the blessed by the West Julia Tymoshenko’s men in control of Kiev’s political scenery, and Russian army units or paramilitary units of Crimean Russians in control of the Black Sea southern peninsula, the Ukrainian division seems to consolidate. The EU and the US have practically recognized the new political order which is now established […]

How to test if Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ was an authentic revolt or a well-planned operation

The difficulties to formulate a new government in Ukraine are obviously related to the country’s economic stalemate, the deepening east-west division and the inextricable situation in the energy sector with only supplier, the Gazprom Russian monopoly. All that may be very real and difficult to solve equations. However, there is an additional factor, the importance […]

Desires for national independence in Europe bound by economic realities

After the fall of communism in Europe, secession became the name of the game all over the Old Continent. It started with the ‘velvet divorce’ of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993, which produced the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Then followed the bloody dismembering of Yugoslavia, where a handful of new nations appeared. Now Scotland and […]

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

Somebody must stop this person heading Europe’s diplomacy in the External Action service. Yesterday Catherine Ashton broke all limits in two successive statements, one for Libya and another for Ukraine. Even if she doesn’t mind her own credibility and political correctness, her bosses in, London, Berlin and Paris have to think again if she adds […]

EU-US trade deal: Europe to Americanize its social model?

It can’t be both. Either the EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht hadn’t recovered from the transatlantic trip hangover, while speaking in Washington on Tuesday, or he thinks we are all morons. He said: “I invite all Europeans to also discuss their concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (free trade deal)… Because […]

EU tourism industry expects a new record year in 2014

According to a Eurobarometer survey published earlier today, the prospects of the European tourism industry for the 2014 season are ‘robust and resilient’. More people than in 2013 choose to spend holidays outside of their own country but within the EU. Only 11% of Europeans will not go away for a holiday this year. More […]

EU labour mobility: Inconvenient truths for everybody

With a memorable lecture at the University of Bristol, entitled “Labour Mobility in the European Union – The Inconvenient Truth”, the European Commissioner László Andor, overturned all and every argument raised by Europe’s xenophobic vote mongers who oppose the internal labour mobility in the EU. Speaking in Britain though, he proved that immigrant workers in […]

The historic accomplishment of a seamless EU patent and intellectual property space

The last building block was laid to its place yesterday, accomplishing the construction of the seamless EU commercial patent and intellectual property protection space and the function of the Unified Court. The relevant regulations will be in force as from 15 January 2015. It has to be reminded that in December 2012, an agreement was […]