Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

With a brief report, an Expert Group formed by the EU Commission and mandated to study the issue of “a debt redemption fund and eurobills”, undermined the prospect of a Eurobond issuance, by refusing to formulate a policy proposal. This is the story of the long time debated subject of the issuance of common and […]

Eurozone hasn’t escaped the deflation danger

Eurostat, the EU statistical service, confirmed its own inflation rate estimate for November at 0.9% in the Eurozone; that is two decimal points higher than in October. However, this doesn’t mean that inflation took the upward path neither does it indicate that growth has already started pressing consumer prices to higher levels. It must be […]

Draghi will not hesitate to zero ECB’s basic interest rate

Combining what Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, said yesterday about low inflation projections and the Governing Council’s forward guidance of the economy, the conclusion one can draw is that, the ECB’s basic interest rate will remain at its present (0.25%) or lower levels for the next two years, at least well […]

Rehn very reserved about growth in Eurozone

  Yesterday, Olli Rehn, the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro delivered a speech in the European Parliament, entitled “The recovery of the European economy”. In doing that, he couldn’t resist the temptation to reveal the truth that the recovery of the European economy which timidly appeared […]

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Last week in Brussels, an unseen before procedure took place, during last Friday’s Eurogroup of the 17 euro area member states council of Finance ministers. The 17 politicians assessed the Commission‘s opinions on member states’ draft budgets, ahead of those draft budgetary exercises been discussed in national Parliaments. This is the EU’s ‘brave’ new economic […]

Forget about growth without a level playing field for all SMEs

Less than 24 hours after a widely advertised Press conference held by Barroso, Rehn and Andor, where all of them were talking about “strengthening the recovery”, recovery in Eurozone was reported as fading away, being one decimal point away from total freezing that is zero, or numerical death. It is as if reality wanted to […]

Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

Yesterday, the European Commission in Brussels announced that euro area growth prospects are sluggish, and downgraded the projected rate of GDP increase for 2014, from 1.2% to 1%. Also yesterday President Manuel Barroso, while speaking in Saint Paul’s Church in Frankfurt, where the first democratically elected Parliament of Germany was convened, called on this country […]

EU economic governance: More exploitation for the weaker countries

Last Tuesday 15 October was the last day the 28 EU member states, and more so the 18 Eurozone countries, had to submit to the Commission for approval their draft budgets for 2014. It is the first time that the European Union member states and more particularly the euro area countries, before presenting their state […]

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 […]

Eurozone’s north-south growth gap to become structural

Early last Wednesday European Sting writer Elias Lacon stressed that “Eurozone banks are unable to support real economy’s dawning growth”. Hours later on the same day Eurostat, the EU statistical service, announced its flash estimate for the second quarter of 2013 euro area and EU27 growth and informed us that both those economic volumes recorded […]

Commission to decide on bank resolution issues

The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are planning to challenge once more the supremacy of Germany in the Ecofin Council and bring back the issue of the single bank resolution authority. The clash over the character of this cornerstone building-block of the European Banking Union is some weeks old […]

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 […]

Europe rethinking its severe austerity policies

  During the past few weeks there is a noticeable change of climate in Brussels towards a more relaxed attitude over economic policies. On Monday the President of Eurogroup and minister for Finance of Holland, Jeroen Dijsselbloem asked in a letter his 16 colleagues in view of their Luxembourg meeting, to reduce the sovereign debt […]

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

The European Commission at the Semester Press Conference in Brussels yesterday confirmed in the most official way, what was already known. Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal, are getting an extension of the deadline to correct their fiscal deficits by one year and France, Poland, Slovenia and Spain by two years. This Semester conference comes in […]

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

European Commission vice President, Ollie Rehn, responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, delivered a speech in the European Parliament on the “Social pillar of the European Monetary Union-EMU”, which was very ill-received by the legislators. The Parliamentarians yesterday went as far as to comment bitterly in a resolution they issued afterwards, saying […]

A new arrangement between Eurozone’s haves and have-nots

The next European Council which is to take place in Brussels on Wednesday 22 May will be pivotal for the European Monetary Union (EMU), that is the Eurozone. Despite the fact that according to high-ranking Council officials there won’t be any decision on the EMU this month, there is evidence that the 17 Eurozone leaders […]

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

  The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, released yesterday its spring forecast for the economic prospects of the Union in 2013-2014. There are three issues to watch in the released text and also in what Olli Rehn, Commission Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs had to say in a press conference in Brussels. Firstly […]

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

After Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, questioned loudly last Monday the one-sided character of the severe austerity policies currently applied in a number of Eurozone countries, yesterday it was the turn of Commission’s vice President Ollie Rehn, directly responsible for this tough strategy, to argue openly and clearly in favour of a relaxation. […]

Eurozone bank rescues ‘a la carte’ until 2015 then only bail-ins

The fact that the Eurozone does not have a standard procedure to deal with failing or about to fail banks and the national bankruptcy laws of the 17 member states are far from offering a relevant solution, has prompted the two most competent persons in the Union to describe the way such dealings will be […]

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 […]

Eurozone examines the prospect of issuing debt paper jointly

Yesterday, Eurostat, the EU statistical service, confirmed with its usual second estimate that Eurozone’s economy contracted by 0.6% during the last quarter of 2012. This is not at all a small figure. Given that the Gross Domestic Product in the 17 euro area of 17 countries is close to €10 trillion annually, a 0.6% loss […]

Rehn ready to sacrifice part of the real economy

Last week, Ollie Rehn, the EU Commissioner responsible for the Economy, while presenting his “winter forecast 2012-14” for the Union, appeared not to bother with the prospects of the rising unemployment and the collapsing prospects for the young. Otherwise it cannot be explained why he said that, “The ongoing rebalancing of the European economy is […]