The Council unblocks all EU budgets

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the European Union (COREPER) approved yesterday an increase of the 2013 EU budget by €3.9 billion in order to cover outstanding payment needs. This amount complements the €7.3bn of the draft amending budget no. 2 approved by the Council on 9 July. The Council’s position on this draft amending budget […]

IMF to teach Germany a Greek lesson

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, in a Press conference held yesterday in Washington, ahead of the 2013 annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF set to take place this weekend, chose to directly confront Germany over the Greek Gordian knot. She repeated three times that the Greece’s Eurozone partners have reiterated on […]

Eurogroup: IMF proposes Germany disposes

In yesterday’s Eurogroup, Eurozone’s policy setting council, the 17 ministers of Finance had two important items on their agenda; IMF’s recommendations for the European economy under Article IV Consultation with the Euro Area, and the approval of the next loan trance to Greece. On both accounts the opinion of Germany weighed a lot. In this […]

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 […]

Eurogroup asked to reduce public debts of its member states

Eurogroup President and minister for Finance of Holland, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, in an unexpected move this week sent his peers a letter to invite them to their 20 June meeting in Luxembourg, asking them to think about taking a decision on a possible  recapitalisation of Eurozone banks directly from the European Stability Mechanism, with retroactive enforcement. […]

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

IMF’s country report on Greece which was published yesterday, recognises that the Fund’s initial programme underestimated by almost 11% of GDP the impact of the draconian austerity measures imposed on the country. As a result recession proved much greater than expected reaching 22% of the GDP. The relevant part of the report says that, “Fiscal […]

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

The two days of unofficial meetings of the Ecofin and the Eurogroup councils staged in the historic scenery of the Dublin Castle completely missed their targets. For one thing today’s main story, by Suzan A. Kane, on the European Sting proves that the much-advertised target to arrest the €1 trillion tax evasion in the EU […]

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

The informal Ecofin and Eurogroup councils that took place in the Dublin Castle this weekend had only one victim; the bank depositors. Tax evaders got away, with Algirdas Šemeta the EU Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Anti-Fraud, running after them brandishing only his “appetite for progress and action”.  In reality no real progress or action […]

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

The informal Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings in Dublin today and tomorrow will discuss but are not expected to come up with decisions on two burning and closely interrelated financial issues. It is about the relaxation of bank secrecy legislation in certain EU member states like Austria and Luxembourg and the procedures to be followed from […]

EU Directive makes haircut on uncovered deposits a standard in bank bail-ins

What happened in Cyprus was neither improvised nor exceptional. Peoples’ bank deposits above the secured benchmark of €100.000 were confiscated according to a very important proposal for a Directive which was forwarded from the Commission to the European Council and the European Parliament last June under the name of “Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE […]

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

The Eurogroup, the crucial European decision-making body, regrouping the 17 EU ministers of Finance of the countries using the euro, which has led the south of Europe to the worst economic recession after WWII and introduced the haircut on bank deposits, the until this week most secure financial asset, is an informal forum, who’s decisions […]

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 […]

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 […]

Cyprus tragedy reveals Eurozone’s arbitrary functioning

Monday’s night statement by the Eurogroup President, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, on Cyprus was the perfect field for a full PhD research, on the way decisions are made in the European Union. The problem is that until some years ago this kind of decision-making when wrong, and it usually was, had negative consequences only on subsidies paid […]

Eurozone officials play with people’s deposits and minds

It seems that, some only theoretically serious decision-making political bodies, like the Eurogroup, collectively believe they can play with a haircut on bank deposits, as if it was a trivial matter. Unfortunately there is no other explanation. Institutions like the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and of course the German […]

The Eurogroup has set Cyprus on fire

Eurogroup’s decision to impose a haircut on all bank accounts held in Cypriot banks, even on balances bellow the until today “theoretically” guaranteed benchmark of €100,000, may become a boomerang for the entire Eurozone and will certainly set the island once more on fire. Who is to say that this will not have a devastating […]

The EU Spring Summit set to challenge austerity

The “Spring Summit” of the 27 EU leaders on 14-15 March unfolding currently amidst the Brussels winter scenery, will be forced to challenge the presently followed economic policy orientation of austerity, under the pressure of major developments. Obviously the Italian elections results and the ensuing political stalemate, set a new background for every political economy exercise […]

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

Eurozone’s support to Cyprus is not on the agenda of todays’ Eurogroup, the council of the 17 Eurozone ministers of Finance, nor will this issue be discussed in tomorrows’ Ecofin, the council of the 27 EU economic ministers. This is a clear sign that there will not be any decision on this problem until the […]

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

According to an official announcement of the Council of the European Union, on 21 January, the Eurogroup, the council of the 17 Eurozone ministers of Finance appointed its new president, the Dutch Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem.  Dijsselbloem takes over from Jean-Claude Juncker,  minister of Finance and Prime Minister of Luxembourg, and will hold the […]