The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General (on the right) and James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defense delivered a joint statement after a bilateral meeting, in the context of the regular gathering of NATO ministers of defense. Brussels, Belgium, 15-16 February 2017. (NATO photo gallery).

Four top ranking Washington bigwigs – who flew to Munich, Brussels and Bonn to mend fences with Europe, after Donald Trump termed NATO ‘obsolete’ and rejoiced the unraveling of the EU, left the Europeans bewildered with the dangerously diverging stories they had to narrate. Only the extreme right wing, Polish Defense Minister Anton Macierewicz seemed […]

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

Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Federal minister for Finance, addressing the Plenary of the Bundestag. City: Berlin. Country: Deutschland. Date taken: 17.02.2016. Photographer: Achim Melde. German Parliament work.

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 […]

Draghi repels Trump’s threats, rejects Schauble’s dictums

From left to right. Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of ECB, Mario Draghi, President of ECB, Christine Graeff, Director General Communications ECB. Draghi explained the Governing Council’s latest monetary policy decisions and answered questions from journalists at a press conference on 19 January 2017 in Frankfurt am Main. (ECB Audiovisual Services. Some rights reserved).

Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, is under mounting pressures both at home and abroad. From the other side of the Atlantic US President Donald Trump is overtly targeting a much cheaper dollar compared to euro, while at his inaugural speech he clearly praised trade protectionism by saying, “Protection will lead to […]

Germany and Europe prepare for Trump’s America

European Council - October 2016. The EU Heads of State or Government met on 20 October 2016 in Brussels. The leaders discussed relations with Russia and the situation in Syria. From left to right: Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Danish Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg Prime Minister. In the background Teresa May, Prime Minister of Britain is seen. Shoot location: Brussels – Belgium. Shoot date: 20/10/2016. Copyright: European Union.

Germany, and more generally the EU, is now preparing in earnest to confront the groundbreaking changes in their relations with Trump’s America. Last week, both the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Federal minister for Finance Wolfgang Schauble, made direct and indirect statements about the policies now needed for Germany and the European Union. On […]

Italian banks: It’s Rome’s turn to confront Berlin’s aggressiveness

Rome, Chigi Palace, Prime Minister’s residence. PM Paolo Gentiloni delivered the traditional end of year Press conference on 29/12/2016. (Italian government work, only some rights reserved. Foto: T. Barchielli).

Italy, after Greece, is now the next target of the archetypical Teutonic aggressiveness, aimed this time at making the life difficult for Paolo Gentiloni the new Prime Minister. The problems Rome has with the country’s banking system are being exaggerated and used by Berlin to either pave the road leading outside the euro area or […]

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

Davos, Switzerland, 20/1/2016 - Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and John Cryan, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank, captured during the session 'The Transformation of Finance' at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 20, 2016. IMF has labeled Deutsche Bank as a major risk to the global financial system. (WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/swiss-image.ch/Photo Remy Steinegger. No changes made. Only some rights reserved).

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 […]

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, Mario Draghi President of ECB and Christine Graeff, Director General Communications (from left to right). Draghi explained the Governing Council’s latest monetary policy decisions and answered questions from journalists at a press conference on 8 December 2016 in Frankfurt am Main. (ECB Audiovisual Services).

Last Thursday, 12 December, Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, was forced to compromise with the Germans during the Governing Council’s regular meeting. He accepted to reduce the monthly injections of cash into the economy (through asset purchases of mainly government bonds) from €80 billion to €60bn, along the lines of the nonstandard […]

After the Italian ‘no’ and the Brexit, Germans must decide which Europe they want

Questions and answers during the national briefing by Wolfgang Schauble, Federal Minister for Finance of Germany, following the ECOFIN Council on 6 December 2016, in Brussels. Snapshot from a video. (European Council - Council of the European Union, Audiovisual Services).

There is no doubt that Europe is in disarray. The long standing malaise of high unemployment and economic stagnation has already mutated into critical political problems. The mutations of the European political ecosystem take various, unseen before forms. In the northern EU countries they invariably appear as extreme right or even semi-fascist political parties, inflated […]

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

EU/China Summit, 12-13/07/2016. Handshake between Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, on the right, and Jean-Claude Juncker President of the Eueopean Commission. Date: 12/07/2016. Location: Beijing, China - Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. © European Union , 2016 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Olli Geibel.

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 […]

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

European Central Bank. Main building in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, illuminated. (Work of ECB Audiovisual Services).

More than one economic pundit felt relieved learning that Eurostat, the EU statistical service last Friday estimated the September CPI inflation in Eurozone at 0.4%, the highest level in two years. Understandably, they think that the stagnating and almost deflationary euro area is leaving behind its grim past, aided by ECB’s liquidity injections of €80 […]