Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Last week the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, son of King Salman placed the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Al-Hariri under house arrest in Riyadh and forced him to resign his premiership. The Sunni Lebanese premier has a double citizenship, Lebanese and Saudi Arabian. His family has extended business interests and wealth […]

Refugee crisis: Commission proposes a new plan urging EU countries to help Italy

The EU interior ministers gathered last Thursday in Tallinn to discuss Italy’s problem to deal with migration crisis together with the new Action Plan proposed by the European Commission to support Italy and increase solidarity in the EU. The refugee crisis continues plaguing Europe in 2017 as 101.266 migrants have entered the bloc by sea […]

The West castigates Turkey’s Erdogan for the ruthless political cleansing

Last week, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defied his western allies, who have called for restrain and the rule of law in the wide ranging purge of the country after the failed coup. With the basic human rights hindered, his ruthless cleansing of the military, the judiciary, the public administration, the education system and […]

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

Early in the morning of 7th March, ahead of the first meeting in the series of the latest traumatic gatherings of the 28 EU leaders with the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, this newspaper argued that the EU had to prove on that day it could remain in one piece. This didn’t happen then. Last […]

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

Everyone in Europe is putting all his money for the migration crisis ‘gamble’ on the EU-Turkey summit taking place this week on March 17-18 in Brussels. The 28 EU leaders had a bit more than a week now since the last summit to evaluate the proposals of the Turkish side and return to the table of negotiations in order to make a […]

Why impoverishment and social exclusion grow in the EU; the affluent north also suffers

The European Union which mobilizes its warships to keep the flows of poor and destitute refugees and immigrants out of its supposedly prosperous interior, at the same is impotent to offer to its own citizens not a prosperous life but not even a secure economic and social environment. According to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, […]

A new crop of EU ‘Boards’ override the democratic accountability and undermine the EU project

Last Wednesday 16 September the European Economic and Social Committee, an authentic representative of the European organized civil society, adopted an opinion aimed at improving the democratic function and the accountability of the EU decision-making bodies. The EESC acted at the request of the European Parliament. Actually, the Lisbon Treaty contains untapped potential to bring […]

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

It has been one long month since the Greek deal on the Eurogroup of 20 February where Greece and the rest of the Eurozone agreed to give to the former a four-month extension of the loan agreement. However, the Greek government does not seem to cooperate with the three institutions (ECB, IMF, EU) to actively and urgently […]

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

The European Parliament once more confirmed its reputation as the authentic channel transiting the social and the economic realities the European people have to endure to decision makers. Yesterday, the MEPs disagreed with the Commission President Manuel Barroso and Dimitrios Kourkoulas, the Greek deputy Foreign Minister speaking for the Council Presidency, that economic recovery was […]

The European giant tourism sector in constant growth

The tourism industry is undoubtedly a flourishing sector of the EU economy. However it suffers of an increased sensitivity to events like the 11 September 2001 catastrophe, which can harm its potential on a global scale. Even an airplane accident can undermine its activities for a long time. That’s why it is considered as a […]

Eurozone: Sovereign debt decreases for the first time since 2007

During the third quarter of 2013 euro area government debt decreased in absolute terms for the first time since the end of 2007. According to Eurostat, the EU statistical service, at the of the third quarter of 2013, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area also decreased to 92.7%, compared with 93.4% […]

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

Yesterday, Klaus Regling, the Chief Executive Officer of the European Financial Stability Facility and Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism, went to the European Parliament and was questioned by MEPs, about the anti-crisis role and operations of the ‘Troika’, a construction made up by the EU Commission, the European Central Bank and the International […]

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

The European Parliament launched an investigation on the functioning and the legitimisation of the troika, made up by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The three institutions between them undertook to bail out, guide and audit the economies of four Eurozone member states which reached a point of no […]

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

When the ‘troika’, made up by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund was atypically formed first in spring of 2010 to bail out and audit Greece, its widely advertised purpose was to inflict an internal devaluation on this country. Later on the troika undertook to perform the same task […]

The financial crisis always prefers the south of Eurozone

It’s very interesting to study how incomes and consumption in the worst hit countries coped with the financial crisis and the concomitant severe austerity measures imposed by the ‘troika’ of auditors/lenders. The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund formed this ‘troika’ in 2010, to deal with the risk of insolvency […]

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

It is very interesting to note how the various sides reported on the workings of the first meetings of ECOFIN and Eurogroup councils after the summer break. Seemingly the 28 ministers of Finance and the 17 of them making up respectively the two bodies discussed all the burning economic and financial issues, from the disbursement […]

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

The crucial character of this Friday’s Ecofin Council can be seen in the size of the Commission’s preparative memo. More than 3,000 words were needed for it. The text of yesterday’s Press release contains everything, from the specific economic policy recommendations to countries with excessive deficits, the entry of Croatia, the €10 billion capital increase […]

Eurozone: How safe are our deposits? Which banks will survive?

The Ecofin Council, the EU body that regroups the 27 Ministers of Finance, probably the most powerful institution of the European Union, is to conduct its regular meeting this Monday and Tuesday 13 and 14 May. On its agenda the main item will be a Commission’s proposal for a crucial Directive, establishing a framework for […]

Berlin and Paris pursue the financial fragmentation of Eurozone

The three EU independent authorities which supervise the financial sector of the Union, namely the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), collectively known as the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), issued yesterday their first joint report ringing the bell of Eurozone […]

Draghi reveals how failing banks will be dealt, may cut interest rates soon

The governor of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, speaking yesterday in his regular monthly Press conference after the Governing Council meeting, was rather straight forward on two crucial fronts. First, he left to be clearly understood that if the now prevailing unfavourable economic conditions in the Eurozone continue, with recession dragging on and the […]

Berlin favours economic and social disintegration in certain Eurozone countries

In the fourth year of the ongoing financial and real economy crisis in Europe, the deterioration of the employment and social situation was an easily predictable prospect. However the increasing pace of this worsening and the widening divergence between member states, as monitored by the EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review for March 2013, […]

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

Even if last weekend’s negotiations over the Cyprus problem were so demanding and exhausting for Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch minister of Finance and President of Eurogroup is not excused for having said that the solution agreed for Cyprus will be from now on the standard arrangement for any future financial bailout or rather bail-in in […]

Why and how Germany had it again its own way in Cyprus

The final agreement reached between the Eurogroup and the Cypriot authorities contains two pivotal elements. The first is a draconian downsizing of the tiny country’s overgrown banking system. The second and less important element is “an independent evaluation of the implementation of the anti-money laundering framework in Cypriot financial institutions, involving Moneyval alongside a private […]

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Amidst the Cyprus banking crisis there was no room in the first page of mainstream media, to analyse and comment on the decision of the Spanish government to impose a haircut (tax), albeit small, on the country’s bank deposits to the tune of €3 to every thousand. In the face of it, the Madrid exchequer […]

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

The latest and most important rhapsody in the Cyprus tragedy was performed yesterday morning by the twenty-three members of the European Central Bank’s governing council. The text issued by them was very brief and went like this: “The Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided to maintain the current level of Emergency Liquidity Assistance […]

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

There was no better opportunity than now, to observe how unfounded and shallow the institutional structure of Eurozone was, probably for the big guys to do whatever they liked. At a time when the Cyprus banking sector threatens to drive the whole island to a shipwreck, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission are […]

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

One after the other Eurozone’s major players draw their red lines towards Cyprus, after the country’s Parliament rejected unanimously the agreement struck between the Nicosia government and the Eurogroup in the early hours of Saturday morning 16 March. The agreement was supposed to provide the Cypriot authorities with €5.8 billion from a haircut of 6.75% […]

Eurozone in trouble after Nicosia’s ‘no’

  The comparison of repercussions from the Greek ‘yes’ and the Cyprus ‘no’, to the troika of EU-ECB-IMF proposals, concerning the bailouts of the corresponding economies, may produce political and financial implications for many Eurozone governments, the EU Commission and the International Monetary Fund. The Greek ‘yes’ is presenting very difficult problems in the longer […]

Cyprus Parliament says no to blackmail

Not one Cypriot Parliamentarian voted yes for the draft bill proposal, providing for a haircut on all deposits in Cypriot banks. As a result the island’s financial system will remain shut down until Thursday, in the hope that a solution to the stalemate will be found. It was quite a spectacle to see all the […]