Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

The way Wallonia, Belgium’s French speaking region approved CETA – the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between the EU and Canada – is a rather dark landmark. In the future, Europe’s trade and otherwise relations with foreign countries will be rather shaky. This was also true in the past, but now became evident for everybody […]

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

Last Thursday 13 October, the European Court of Auditors, the institution which carries out the audit of European Union finances, published its report on the implementation of the 2015 EU budget. In the chapter of revenue transactions the ECA found no errors. As expected though, the picture changed drastically when the Court audited the expenditure […]

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

One of the most direct and important consequences of the Brexit vote is the uncertainty it casts on the merger of Europe’s largest stock exchanges and clearing houses, the London Stock Exchange and the German bourse in Frankfurt, the Deutsche Börse. The two mammoth institutions, the double sun of Europe’s financial universe, last March agreed […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Commission sees ‘moderate recovery’ but prospects deteriorate

The European Commission released last week its “Autumn 2015 Economic Forecast”, advertising ‘moderate recovery’ for the European Union and the euro area. Understandably, the Commission wouldn’t dig deeper in the economy, to highlight the negative aspects of the present status and the subdued prospects for next year. For a number of important reasons the executive […]

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

The European Parliament once more honored its role as the authentic exponent of the will of the European citizens. Last Tuesday it dismissed as a “missed opportunity” the EU Council’s decision to water down the mandatory exchange of the ‘tax rulings’ between member states. A ‘tax ruling’ is a special taxation arrangement accorded to a […]

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 […]

Why is the EU launching a doomed policy in stopping immigrant waves? What are the real targets?

For what it’s worth, the Libyan government, the one recognized by Europe and the West, rejected the EU plan to carry out military operations in the country’s territorial waters and soil against the traffickers of immigrants. This reaction by the one of the two Libyan governments is quite understandable, because it’s practically impossible to distinguish […]

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

Tomorrow Tuesday, 5th April, the European Commission will present its ‘Spring European Economic Forecast’ including assessments and predictions about GDP, inflation, employment and government finance for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Good providence made sure that last Thursday Eurostat released its flash estimate of April inflation standing at the edge of zero percent, up by an […]

Can the national and age groups pockets of unemployment cause irreparable damages to Eurozone?

It’s a bit awkward to consider a drop of the unemployment rate by one decimal point of a percentage unit as economic growth, and call it a reversal to the positive region, as some Brussels dignitaries and bureaucrats do. Incidentally, the euro area unemployment rate fell to 11.3% in February, down from 11.4% in January […]

The 28 EU leaders care more about fiscal orthodoxy than effectively fighting youth unemployment

Last week the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a report on the “risks to the successful implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee”. The ECA review, while noting that according to the Commission the available funding for this much advertised EU project is estimated at €16.7 billion for the 2014-2020 period including national resources, it […]

Can Greece’s democratic institutions keep it in Eurozone?

Paris, Washington and Brussels categorically reject the idea of a Grexit, while Berlin is still loudly insisting that the Eurozone can weather at a cost Greece’s secession. Behind closed doors though, the German decision makers are also not at all sure about that. Greece’s exit from Eurozone has lately become the talk of the town […]

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, […]

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

Last Friday 28 November Eurostat did it again. Almost simultaneously with the presentation of Commission’s “Annual Growth Survey 2015”, disingenuously entitled “A new Momentum for Jobs, Growth and Investment”, the EU statistical service published its frustrating flash estimate of November inflation rate down to a mere 0.3%. Positively this new dive of inflation closer to […]

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

The EU Commission has correctly translated the ideas emanated from the Brussels’ European Council of 23-24 October and accordingly adjourned confrontation with France and Italy over budgetary deficits and extra investment spending for 2015. European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen responsible for financial affairs and the euro seems to have read very carefully the Conclusions […]

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

The Russian convoy of 280 lorries loaded with humanitarian aid (food, water, electricity generators, etc.) crossed the borders without Kiev’s permission last week and delivered on Friday 22 August its cargo to Luhansk, a key position in the warfare between the government special forces and the pro-Russian separatist rebels who still hold the city. The […]

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

Last week the European Commission ruthlessly wrote the last chapter of the Slovenian financial tragedy. In it, this nation of only two million people was forced by Brussels to save with around €7 billion of taxpayers’ money (a bit less than one tenth of GDP) the overgrown, reckless, aggressive even fraudulent banking system of this […]

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

Jean-Claude Juncker’s was confirmed last Tuesday as President of the European Commission for the next five years. In a secret ballot 422 MEPs who voted for him and 250 against. This goes beyond what David Cameron had imagined, when he decided to fervently oppose this appointment for the top EU job. To be reminded, that […]

Russia and the EU ‘trade’ natural gas supplies and commercial concessions in and out of Ukraine

Despite the willingness of the West (EU and US) to gradually cut off Russia from the western and central European economic volume, the gas pipelines are always there, supplying the rest of Europe with Russian combustible materials and reminding everybody that the Old Continent is still dependent on Russian fossil fuels. The ‘Euro-Mediterranean Platform on […]

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 […]

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Today, Monday 26 May, the morrow of the EU elections, Eurosceptic and extremist newcomers in the European Parliament finally won’t be able to turn the European Union into a different and worse place. At the time when those lines were being typed, reliable result albeit partial, had already confirmed that Eurosceptic and extreme right parties […]

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 […]

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the infamous ‘Troika’, officially declared that Portugal has successfully completed the assistance program and now as a financially self-sustainable country she can address herself to the markets, whatever this last term means. Towards the end of April, Portugal sold a €750 million bond […]

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

The 2008-2012 financial aka banking crisis and its devastating repercussions on the European Union, with deep recession and skyrocketing unemployment, are the main reasons why the EU political and economic establishment shivers ahead of the 22-25 May elections fearing a possible disastrous result. Eurosceptic extremists, nationalists and harlequins may occupy an increased part of the […]

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

All mainstream political leaders of Europe in the socialist camp, the liberals and the center-right parties, invariably exorcise nationalism and populism, as the gravest threats to the EU project. They are quite right to do so. It’s not only the future of the EU which is at stake. Nationalism and populism already threaten the very […]

Can the banking union help Eurozone counter its imminent threats?

The completion of European Banking Union project last month, the most important undertaking of the EU after the introduction of the common euro currency, is undoubtedly the result of a long negotiated compromise, and as such it has many drawbacks. Firstly, it doesn’t recognize the fact that Eurozone’s mega-banks were the main culpable party for […]

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

An avalanche of disappointing statistics on Eurozone was released during the last two days, supporting the view that the single money zone is stuck in economic stagnation. The Business Climate Indicator (BCI), Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), the annual inflation and a euro area bank lending survey, all those statistics for April show that the euro […]

How the EU crisis hit countries saved the German and French mega-banks from bankruptcy and still pay the costs

The European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor, speaking in a Conference on working conditions yesterday in Brussels, revealed that during the past few years the working conditions in the EU have greatly deteriorated, despite the ambitious targets set for the 2020 EU Strategy. According to Eurostat data: *Around 60% of temporary […]