Archive for January, 2012

A little less bombast and a little more humility, Mr Cameron (ft.com)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Sometimes humility does not go amiss. Britain’s politicians once understood the worth of self-deprecation. This thought came to mind the other day when David Cameron tipped up in Davos to tell Angela Merkel how to run her economy. Did Mr Cameron really imagine that the German chancellor was ready to be lectured by a British prime minister? A smidgen of self-awareness might have suggested otherwise. Britain’s politicians – Tory and Labour alike – are fond of reminding the world how clever they were to stay out of the single currency. The implication is that Britain boasts an economic performance to put the eurozone to shame.

Well, not quite. Mr Cameron presides over a budget deficit to rival that of Greece, a fast-rising debt burden and an inflation rate double the European average. Living standards are falling, growth has stalled and unemployment is rising. There is no one old enough in Whitehall to recall the last time Britain ran a current account surplus.

A little less bombast and a little more humility, Mr Cameron (ft.com)

La Unión Europea decidió combatir el desempleo (eltiempo.com.ve)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Los líderes del viejo continente reconocieron que la estrategia de austeridad hasta ahora defendida por la UE “no es en sí misma suficiente” para revitalizar la economía.

Los líderes de la Unión Europea (UE) se comprometieron a elaborar planes nacionales de creación de empleo, con especial énfasis en el juvenil, iniciativas que serán financiadas con fondos comunitarios no asignados y que, en el caso de España, deberá diseñarse en colaboración entre el Gobierno y los agentes sociales.

En una declaración acordada en la cumbre extraordinaria celebrada ayer en Bruselas -la primera dedicada en exclusiva al crecimiento y al empleo-, los líderes europeos reconocieron que la estrategia de austeridad hasta ahora defendida por la UE “no es en sí misma suficiente” para revitalizar la economía y los mercados laborales.

La Unión Europea decidió combatir el desempleo (eltiempo.com.ve)

Arrogant David Cameron still blaming everyone else for double dip UK economic crisis (www.mirror.co.uk)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

He’s blamed everything from heavy snow to the eurozone crisis for the economic woes gripping Britain. Advertisement >> And yesterday, David Cameron was at it again, arrogantly refusing to accept as Britain careers headlong into a double-dip ­recession that shrinking growth and soaring unemployment has anything to do with his crippling austerity plan. Financial experts warned the PM and stubborn Chancellor George Osborne were killing off any hope of recovery with their slash and burn policy of deep, fast cuts to public services. Growth shrank by 0.2% in the three months to December. The dismal figures were worse than expected and left Britain staring at its first double-dip recession since the mid-70s. Britain’s national debt has rocketed to £1trillion for the first time and ­unemployment had reached a 17-year high of 2.58 million. Yet faced with a mountain of evidence that slowing down the cuts could help, Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne again passed the buck to the eurozone…

Arrogant David Cameron still blaming everyone else for double dip UK economic crisis (www.mirror.co.uk)

A ‘New Deal’ for the euro: Escaping Europe’s Catch 22 (ekathimerini)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The situation in early 2012 looks better than it has for a while. The European Central Bank’s (ECB) intervention in the banking sector and positive developments in Italy have increased confidence in the markets that the EU might eventually be able to overcome the crisis. But while Italy and Spain are raising additional money at much more favorable rates, the downgrading of eurozone economies continues nonetheless. The situation remains very fragile and the future looks worrying, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently warning of a potentially disastrous economic downturn in the eurozone.

Europeans are increasingly wondering what more they can do. So much has already been implemented: enhanced governance in the eurozone, an increasingly interventionist ECB, austerity and reform programs across the EU, significant support from stronger economies and the IMF to the weaker ones, repeated support to prop up Europe’s banking sector, and political change in most crisis countries. But nothing has proven to be enough to stop the crisis from resurfacing again and again.

There are more attempts to stop the crisis in the pipeline, including a permanent larger crisis mechanism earlier than previously scheduled, higher firepower for the IMF, negotiations for a deal with the private sector to reduce Greek debt, and a new fiscal compact enshrined in an intergovernmental treaty to enforce fiscal discipline, preparing the political ground for Germany to support additional efforts to overcome the crisis. Implementing all this will prove to be difficult, but even once all this is in place, will it be enough? … What is needed is a ‘New Deal’ for the euro…

Escaping Europe’s Catch 22 (ekathimerini) 

Sweden gets a seat at the eurozone table (thelocal.se)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

He was also pleased that Sweden’s right to decide if the euro will be introduced should be clearly stated in the pact and that Sweden will be guaranteed the right to attend summit meetings of eurozone countries. Apart form Sweden’s guaranteed summit participation, non-eurozone countries will also be allowed to join the discussion on competitiveness, on changes in the global structure of the eurozone, and on the fundamental regulations of the monetary union.

Sweden gets a seat at the eurozone table (thelocal.se) 

Discipline budgétaire : 25 pays de l’UE adoptent un nouveau traité (lemonde)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Pour la première fois depuis longtemps, le sommet de lundi ne se tenait pas dans une atmosphère d’urgence absolue autour de l’euro. “L’Europe n’est plus au bord du gouffre”, avait estimé dimanche soir le président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, selon qui “la crise s’apaise”. Malgré tout, la Grèce, enfant malade de la zone euro, continue à inquiéter sérieusement.

Les pays de l’Union européenne, à l’exception de la Grande-Bretagne et de la République tchèque, ont adopté, lundi 30 janvier au soir, un nouveau traité renforçant leur discipline budgétaire, avec l’introduction prévue partout de “règles d’or” sur l’équilibre, a annoncé le président de l’UE, Herman van Rompuy, sur son compte Twitter. Ce nouveau pacte budgétaire doit permettre de contrôler plus étroitement les finances publiques de la plupart des membres du bloc communautaire.

Ce pacte répond à une exigence de la chancelière allemande, Angela Merkel, qui l’a posé comme condition en échange de la solidarité financière de son pays avec les Etats en difficulté de la zone euro. L’accord de principe trouvé lors d’un sommet des dirigeants européens à Bruxelles a été rendu possible suite à un compromis trouvé sur un sujet annexe : les formats des sommets de la zone euro. La Pologne, bien que n’ayant pas encore adopté la monnaie commune, militait pour avoir un siège à toutes les réunions. Paris refusait que les pays non encore membres aient droit systématiquement à un siège.

Discipline budgétaire : 25 pays de l’UE adoptent un nouveau traité (lemonde)

Ireland has ‘absolutely no fear’ for referendum (irishtimes)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Leaders from 25 EU member states have agreed a new treaty to reinforce the single currency by toughening Europe’s budget rules. Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 countries have signed up to the new treaty involving tighter fiscal rules, with only Britain and the Czech Republic opposed, EU officials said today.

There was unanimous agreeement that the permanent rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, will come into force in July, some 12 months ahead of schedule. Officially, the half-day summit focused on a strategy to revive growth and create jobs at a time when governments across Europe are having to cut public spending and raise taxes to tackle mountains of debt.

Czechs and UK to remain outside EU fiscal treaty, Ireland has ‘absolutely no fear’ for referendum (irishtimes)

Czechs abandon EU fiscal pact, for now (euobserver)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The new EU treaty on fiscal discipline will be signed by 25 instead of 26 member states after the Czech Republic on Monday (30 January) joined the UK in staying out of the pact. Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas told journalists at a summit in Brussels that his country might join in future.

non-euro-using signatories will participate at least once a year and will take part in all summits which discuss competitiveness or changes to the “architecture” of the eurozone.

Czechs abandon EU fiscal pact, for now (euobserver)

EU-Gipfel beschließt Meilensteine: Fiskalpakt und ESM (oe1.orf.at)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Der EU-Gipfel in Brüssel hat am Abend zwei wichtige Schritte auf dem Weg zur Krisenbewältigung getan: 25 von 27 EU-Staaten haben sich auf einen Fiskalpakt geeinigt. Dafür können sie Hilfe vom neuen ständigen Rettungsfonds ESM erwarten, der ab Juli in Kraft sein soll.

EU-Gipfel beschließt Meilensteine: Fiskalpakt und ESM (oe1.orf.at) 

Der Euroraum erhält neue haushaltspolitische Regeln: EU-Gipfel beschließt Fiskalpakt und ESM-Vertrag (faz.net)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Der Euroraum erhält neue haushaltspolitische Regeln. Die EU-Staats- und Regierungschefs haben auf ihrem Gipfeltreffen in Brüssel nach längeren Diskussionen den neuen EU-Fiskalpakt beschlossen, an dem sich über einen völkerrechtlichen Vertrag voraussichtlich 25 EU-Staaten (außer Großbritannien und die Tschechische Republik) beteiligen werden. Das teilte EU-Ratspräsidenten Herman Van Rompuy am späten Montagabend mit. Zugleich billigten die Staats- und Regierungschefs endgültig den neuen Vertrag über den permanenten Krisenfonds ESM, der nun am 1. Juli in Kraft treten soll. In dem Pakt verpflichten sich die Staaten zu einer dauerhaft soliden Haushaltspolitik, die sich unter anderem in nationalen Schuldenbremsen niederschlagen soll. Bundeskanzlerin Merkel nannte es eine „Meisterleistung“, dass der Pakt nach so kurzer Zeit beschlossen wurde. Die EU sei ein „kleines, aber feines Stück“ weiter auf dem langen Weg, der erforderlich sei, damit Europa wieder Vertrauen gewinne.

EU-Gipfel beschließt Fiskalpakt und ESM-Vertrag (faz.net)