Here are four steps SMEs can take for long-term success

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum. Author: C. Keith Cargill, President and CEO, Texas Capital Bancshares There are benefits to looking beyond the traditional one-size-fits-all approach, in business and elsewhere. Recent technological innovations have made it more possible than ever before to offer clients the […]

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Next year’s EU budget should focus on young people, say MEPs, in a resolution voted on Thursday. Other priorities are growth, security, fighting climate change and migration. The resolution, which sets out principles for MEPs to follow in 2019 budget negotiations with the Council, […]

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development. There’s never been a more relevant time to look at what role the private sector has to play in development. What are the challenges, and what can it help to deliver? The current world situation leaves us […]

Environmental labelling, information and management schemes are central to the circular economy

Eco-innovation, as well as environmental labels, information and management schemes are essential to get Europe on the path to a circular economy. This was the primary conclusion of the 18th European Forum on Eco-innovation held in Barcelona, on 20-21 May. Over 300 stakeholders from across Europe came together to make recommendations on what the European […]

Can ECB’s €60 billion a month save Eurozone?

The European Central Bank as from this March will start pumping into the Eurozone economy extra liquidity of €60 billion a month of freshly printed money. The details of this extraordinary policy measure will be revealed tomorrow Thursday by Mario Draghi the President of ECB, in his regular Press conference after the Governing Council meeting […]

Eurozone: GDP development heads to naught; the expensive euro serves only Germany

A new Eurostat wave of data statistically confirmed that Eurozone is utterly moored in economic stagnation, with disturbing signs that this might even turn to recession. Most significantly, last week the EU statistical service issued an estimate that the euro area GDP idled with a zero growth rate during the second quarter. The same source […]

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

Last Monday, Eurostat, the EU statistical service issued data on June industrial price developments (0.1% month to month), actually showing stagnation in relation to May. It is more alarming to observe though that all along the first five months of 2014, from January to May on a month to month basis, industrial prices had been […]

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

Indisputably, one of the most crucial barriers to economic growth is the lack of adequate financing for SMEs, across the European Union. Indeed, the problem is more acute in the hardest hit by the financial crisis countries like Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland. In some other member states this setback is chronic. The SMEs […]

Regional competitiveness and growth: a Gordian knot for Europe

A week has passed since the European Business Summit (EBS) 2014 where the European Sting was official media partner. On 14 May, one of the first sessions that took place at the library of Edmond Palace had the title “How do European regions contribute to competitiveness?”. European Sting was there to report this vital issue for Europe. The […]

European Business Summit 2014: Sting Report, Day I

It was only last week and the time for the annual most important ‘appointment’ of the European industry had come. The rendez-vous was given at the same place as every year; the 12th European Business Summit that took place this year at the prestigious venue of the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels. The European Sting was Media Partner of the […]

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 […]

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

Mario Draghi, the ECB President, was more than explicit last week, that the European Central Bank will live up to its duty and do in June whatever it takes to help the Eurozone economy grow again and push inflation a bit upwards, back in line with the institutional target, which is below but close to […]

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 […]

The ECB will do whatever it takes to set the Eurozone economy again in motion

Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, speaking at the high-level conference on “Monetary Policy in the New Normal” organised by the IMF in Washington D.C., on 13 April 2014, described in detail the unconventional monetary policy tools the Eurozone’s central bank is about to use, in order to affect (reduce) interest […]

ECB: A revolutionary idea to revitalize the European economy with cheap loans to SMEs

IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings in Washington DC last weekend gave the opportunity to the European Central Bank (ECB), supported by the Bank of England (BoE), to launch a new monetary policy ‘offensive’ in order to revive the stagnant European economy. Mario Draghi, President of ECB clearly stated that the Eurozone’s central bank will […]

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

The European Central Bank is deeply worried about the ability of Eurozone’s SMEs to access bank financing at a reasonable cost and under competitive terms. The present business loan stalemate has already bitten into the growth prospects of the euro area, mirrored in the dangerous fall of inflation rate towards the deflation zone and the […]

EU Commission: The banks are not obliged to finance the real economy

At a time when the Eurozone banks have received for free €4.5 trillion of taxpayers’ money and at least another €3 trillion from the ECB at close to zero interest rates, the Commission dares to ask the pension funds and the Internet to replace the banks in financing economic growth in the crisis stricken and […]

ECB tied in the anti-monetary German ideology

The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi had a very difficult job yesterday in bridging the Germanic insistence for monetary austerity with the need of supportive measures for the Eurozone real economy to grow. After yesterday’s meeting, the Governing Council of the central bank left the basic interest rate unchanged at 0.25% but it was […]

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

As they say better late than never. The EU Commission decided to relax the rules regulating the granting of state aid to SMEs and midcaps. This initiative relates to easing the terms of high risk equity financing of companies with perceived high-growth potential during their early growth stages. In normal financial circumstances high risk capital […]

Predicting two more years of economic stagnation

Yesterday, as expected, the European Central Bank kept its basic interest rate unchanged at 0.25%. As usually, the decision was taken in the meeting of the bank’s Governing Council, the first of 2014. At this almost zero interest rate cost commercial banks get ample liquidity from the ECB and then lend this money to the […]

The financial sector cripples Eurozone growth prospects

According to a European Central Bank Press release published on 3 January 2014, Eurozone banks further reduced their overall outstanding balance of loans to the private sector during November 2013. Given that industrial multinationals and big services firms do not rely on bank loans for their financing, it’s mainly the SMEs that have been deprived […]

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

Rules for state aid covering research, development and innovation investments (R&D&I) are already relaxed in the European Union, in order to facilitate growth and job creation. Mind you that in this case the bending of competition rules is not confined to very small businesses, the SMEs and mid cups, but covers the entire constellation of […]

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Only 0.2% of the non-financial companies are large (more than 249 employees), the rest are either micro firms (up to 10 employees, 92.5%) or small and medium enterprises (10 to 249 employees, 7.3%). Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union, regularly publishes data on enterprises broken down by size classes, which provide information on […]

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 […]

Financiers can turn the world into a dirty and dangerous place

Despite the fact that the civil society is fed up with the absolute indifference of the financial sector about what happens in the real economy, the western political elites continue to nurture the insatiable appetite of the banking system for more book profits. In view of that, the European Economic and Social Committee issued yesterday […]

ECB should offer more and cheaper liquidity if Eurozone is to avoid recession

The fact that monetary policy is the only common policy applied invariably in the 18 still widely diverging Eurozone economies, means that the European Central Bank is the unique euro area institution, which thinks and acts on a really European level. In this respect, the latest statements by its President, Mario Draghi, are quite pertinent. […]

The Ecofin deceives the SMEs with the EIB €10bn capital increase

Shakespeare’s comedy play title “Much Ado About Nothing” best describes the 28 Ecofin ministers for Finance discussion on the EU Commission and European Investment Bank initiative, wishfully aimed at facilitating the access to finance for SMEs. The programme extends over the next few years and foresees an increase of EIB’s capital by €10 billion. This […]

More capital and liquidity for the banks

Benoît Cœuré, a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, after taking care of banks’ recapitalisation needs last week using taxpayers money, embarked yesterday in a new adventure to convince us all, that central banks with their unlimited liquidity supply to banks, do not help them exploit hard-working labourers and small and […]

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

While the political scenery in Italy and Greece – the two key countries in Eurozone’s fight against sovereign excessive debt – could be termed as critical, their economic prospects do not seem discouraging at all. In this respect Italy gained a positive assessment from the IMF last week. The Fund’s report points to the zeroing […]

Why European manufacturing SMEs in the South face fatal dangers

During this week in Brussels there was a lot of talk about Europe’s industrial competitiveness. The Competitiveness Council, part of the Council of the European Union, is currently meeting in Brussels, on September 26-27, for the first time formally under the Lithuanian Presidency. This Council brings together the EU ministers responsible for the single market, […]