Populist Eurosceptics helped by Trumpists seriously threaten the EU edifice

The confrontation between the populist Italian government and the European Union’s leadership has already left a clear trail on the European ground that permits us to project the itinerary of this conflict in the future. The Italian government is an unorthodox coalition of the extreme right wing party Lega, under its rebellious leader Matteo Salvini […]

Greece leaves EU aid program, gets last 15 billion euro

This story is brought to you in association with the European Council – Eurogroup Completion of the fourth and final review and growth strategy The Eurogroup commends the Greek authorities for the completion of all the agreed prior actions of the final review of the ESM programme. We congratulate the Greek authorities and Greek people […]

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

the next Italian election is, very probably, to take place within the next few months or even weeks. Then, Berlin, the rest of Eurozone capitals and probably the entire western financial world will learn, if it’s still politically possible to ask just one country’s taxpayers to save an obviously faltering global financial system. The test […]

‘Safe Eurobonds’: a new trick to betray the south euro area countries

All along the years after the 2008-2010 financial crisis, which in the European Union took the form banking/government debt breakdowns starting with Greece, there were cries for the creation of a solid Eurozone. In every respect, these calls amounted to demands that super prosperous Germany accepts some degree of risk-sharing with the rest of the […]

The ECB again takes care of the bankers not the people

Last week the European Central Bank surprised everybody by letting it be known that interest rates will “remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of our net asset purchases”. To be noted, presently, the main refinancing operations interest rate is zero. Of course, the markets […]

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

The next few weeks may indelibly stain the future of Europe. There are three issues which can irreparably hurt the Old Continent. Starting from Britain in the extreme northwest, this week the country showed that she risks plummeting into a jingoistic abyss. A confrontation with Spain about the Gibraltar Rock has provoked a wave of […]

Chatterbox Rome Declaration cannot save the EU; Germany has to pay more to do that

Last Saturday, the phantom of Wolfgang Schaeuble, the hawkish German minister of Finance, overshadowed the gathering of the 27 EU leaders in the Italian capital, without him having left Berlin. The heads of EU states or governments, at the exception of British MP Theresa May, went there to celebrate the 60th anniversary after the signing […]

Why is Grexit again in the news? Who is to pay for Eurozone’s banking problems?

Grexit, Greece’s exit from the euro area, is back in the news – for the wrong reasons. During this past week, the country’s creditors, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund, finally agreed amongst themselves to set even tougher conditions in order to continue refinancing the […]

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

The US Department of Justice settled its claims against Deutsche Bank, the biggest German lender, for packaging and selling toxic mortgage securities to uninformed customers prior to the 2008-2010 financial crisis. Initially, the Justice Department had asked for $14 billion, but it seems it settled for a fine of $7.2bn. However, this is not the […]

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

From Beijing and Tehran to Brussels and London, and further away to Mexico City and Caracas the night of 8 November will create a landmark in contemporary world history. The results of the US election and the new occupant of the White House in Washington D.C will certainly affect the way the world turns around. […]

EU-Turkey deal on migrants kicked off but to who’s interest?

Last Monday, 4 April, Greece and Turkey kicked off the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement. For migrants and refugees alike it foresees deportation from the Greek islands to Turkey, just some dangerous miles eastwards, over rough sea straights at times. Ankara is to receive from Brussels € 3+3 billion for that. During the past twelve […]

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

The year that just ended was rather nasty to the European Union and the New Year 2016 won’t be any better. The economic, financial and political problems culminated to the migration crisis in the second half of 2015, with Greece implicated in more than one of the abovementioned predicaments. The lagged reaction of Brussels to […]

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

During 2015, the year that now ends, the European Union has brought its well-known inability to manage the egocentric and centrifugal action of its major three nations (Britain, France and Germany) to new highs, a practice that has lately led to ineffectiveness and Euroscepticism. The EU cooperated this year with Britain, France and of course […]

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

The poor results of last week’s meeting of the 28 EU leaders are reflected in the triviality of the remarks by the Council President Donald Tusk, in summarizing the outcome of the 17 – 18 December gathering in Brussels. His most vivid comment was about the “hard work done and the extreme efficiency of the […]

EU to manage external borders against the will of member states; Greece to be the first target

Last Tuesday 15 December the European Commission adopted a groundbreaking proposal for the establishment of a powerful European Border and Coast Guard to ensure strong management of the Schengen area external borders and better administration of immigration flows. According to the Commission, this Guard should be able to intervene with or without the consent of […]

Unemployment and immigrants haunt the EU; who can offer relief?

On Tuesday 1st December, Eurostat the EU statistical service reminded us all that in the euro area the October unemployment rate still remained in the double digit region with 10.7%. Understandably, this is the official percentage of people without a job, while the real unemployment rate may be double that, as this newspaper has proved, […]

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

Last Tuesday the European Commission aired a groundbreaking proposal, about the creation of a euro-area wide insurance scheme for bank deposits. In this way the European Banking Union will start having a meaning for the average European. It’s a plan for a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) which is meant to complete the Banking Union […]

EU responds to terror fallout by eroding borderless Europe and molesting the refugees

The very title of the Press release which the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union issued after its 20 November meeting, is quite indicative of the multiple fractures that the Union suffers after the terrorist attacks, which took place in Paris on 13 November 2015. The title reads as follows: “Conclusions […]

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

The more action clauses a document of a Western Balkans-EU agreement contains, meant to “improve cooperation and step up consultation between the countries along the migration route”, the less cooperation there will be. That was the case last Sunday 25 October when 11 leaders of Balkan and EU countries met in Brussels. They knew very […]

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

Last Sunday the Greek voters, at least those who went to the polls, gave to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras not only a second chance to continue in the premiership, but voted also for Panos Kamenos a nationalist right winger, the junior partner of the governing SYRIZA-ANEL coalition. And this as if nothing had happened in […]

Germany loves a strong euro; the new Fiscal Councils can deliver despite the Greek chaos and a wider questioning of austerity

Last Saturday, 12 September, Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis made some remarks after the informal meeting of ECOFIN (the EU ministers of Finance Council) in Luxembourg. The main item on the agenda was about completing the European Monetary Union. EMU is the most important EU project after the introduction of the single euro currency. He […]

How close is Eurozone to a new recession which may trigger formidable developments?

According to the latest statistics published in August by Eurostat, the EU statistical service, the euro area economy grew by a meager 0.3% during the second quarter of this year. Despite the fact that the mere three decimal points of more gross product typically illustrate a positive development for the Eurozone economy, there are other […]

The new general election will secure Greece’s position in Eurozone; at least for some time

The very next day that the Greek government signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a new stability support program of €86 billion with the European Commission, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras triggered an early legislative election. To do this he had to resign and according to the constitution, the President of the Republic […]

Is the ECB enforcing the will of the big Eurozone member states on the small? Can the euro area live with that?

Reviewing the political or economic events in retrospect always gives the observer a privileged position. This is the point where Benoît Cœuré – a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank – found himself at an interview last Monday. At some point he was asked if the ECB had suffocated Greece’s commercial […]

Is Europe ready to cooperate with the rest of the world? Can Germany change its selfish policies?

For a long time now the European Union is accused by the rest of the world for the severe austerity and recessionary economic policies it follows, also imposing them on crisis stricken euro area member states like Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal. This is so despite the fact that the Eurozone economy as a whole […]

Does the Greek deal strengthen the Eurozone? Markets react cautiously

Is Eurozone strengthened after the Greek deal? At first reading the answer is a straightforward ‘yes’ because the other option, the Grexit, the exit of the country from the euro area, would have reversed the theoretically irreversible participation in the monetary zone. According to the Treaties, on which the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) of […]

Tsipras imposes more austerity on insolvent Greece; plans to win new early election soon

On 9 July this newspaper predicted that the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was adamant about keeping his country in the Eurozone. In order to do this the Sting foresaw that he was prepared not only to pay a dear price for a third bailout scheme (April 2010, June 2012 and July 2015) financed by […]

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

The Greek indecisiveness and procrastination and the deep division of the euro area countries, with Germany upholding an intransigent position have led to the humiliation of Athens, during the Saturday and Sunday late night meetings of the Eurogroup (the council of the 19 ministers of Eurozone) and the Eurosummit (the 19 heads of Eurozone state […]

Greece’s future solely in the hands of Tsipras; he can direct the poor country any way he likes

Greece is obliged by today or the latest tomorrow Friday morning to submit to its Eurozone partners a new program with more severe austerity and deeper reforms, if the country wants to stay in the Eurozone. Alas, this is exactly the program the Greeks rejected last Sunday in a referendum. In case the Athens proposal […]