Europeans broadly satisfied with their lives, but survey highlights concerns over the future of the economic and social situation
From press release:
Europeans are on average broadly satisfied with their personal situation, but less satisfied when it comes to the economy, public services and social policies in their country, according to an opinion survey released today. The Eurobarometer on the social climate in the EU also found large differences between countries, with people in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands generally most satisfied with their personal situation. The survey forms part of the European Commission?s Social Situation Report, also released today, which examines social trends in Europe, this year focusing on housing?.
The comment pages of today and the weekend’s papers were understandably filled with reflections on a potential Greek bailout and the wider implications for the euro and the EU as a whole. We argued in our recent briefing that a bailout would have far-reaching negative implications for the eurozone, establishing a precedent for rescuing profligate states that fails to address the inherent problems of a monetary union between the eurozone’s differing economies without the harmonisation of fiscal policies, for which there is no public support.
The Commission aims to ensure that a truly efficient and proportionate system of enforcement of intellectual property rights exists, both within and outside the internal market, said the press release of 14 December 2009 (IP/09/1919).
?If you don?t fully understand an instrument, don?t buy it,?
Emilio Botín, Executive Chairman of Spain?s Grupo Santander
To the above advice from Emilio Botín I would simply add one small rider, don?t sell it either, especially if you are a national government trying to structure your country?s debt.
Well, I may say there were no surprises, but in fact the Greek economy contracted more than many observers expected in the fourth quarter, while downward revisions to the rest of 2009 converted the present recession into the country?s worst since 1987. Evidently the latest numbers offer the first warning that all may not be as simple as it looks on paper for the Greek government?s plan to set their finances straight. As far as I am concerned the latest numbers simply confirm what should already have been abundantly evident – correcting the fiscal deficit without straightening out the rest of the economic distortions is going to make economic growth something which is very hard to come by.
So, here goes with the first in my series of posts on the UK?s strategic defence review as a blog.
Here are what the MoD thinks are the major forces that will determine the political environment:
The National Security Strategy sets out the key threats to the UK?s security and the underlying drivers of those threats. It makes clear that while there is no external direct threat to the territorial integrity of the UK, there are a variety of evolving threats for which we must be prepared, and different environments and domains in which we must be prepared to act, from counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency to maritime security, cyber warfare and capacity-building in fragile states.
European Central Bank council member Mario Draghi said the euro remained ?sound? after the European Union pledged to support Greece in a bid to ease investor concern that the country may default.
Draghi said that the euro countries? pledge on Feb. 11 to take action to ensure financial stability if necessary was ?important,? according to the text of a speech he delivered today in Naples to foreign-currency traders in Italy. He urged Greece to make ?determined? budget cuts and said Europe?s central bank will monitor the country?s progress.
In 1870, the French novelist Victor Hugo had a vision. Planting an oak tree in his yard, he predicted that by the time it matured, a ?United States of Europe? would have sprung up, strengthened by a common currency that would one day make the Continent a force to be reckoned with.
The EU has imposed huge spending cuts on Greece in a bid to reduce its state budget deficit. Athens thus loses its financial autonomy, the European press comments, and holds Brussels partially responsible for Greece’s plight.
“Two weeks ago the European Commission gave the green light to Greek measures [to recover its deficits] and just a few days ago, Greece announced new measures,” George Papaconstantinou said, defending his government’s position three hours before facing 15 other finance ministers from the euro zone.
by Clara Marina O’Donnell
With its public finances under growing strain, Britain may soon be forced to look at saving defence costs by pooling its military assets with those of its allies. The decision will not be taken until after the next general election (which will probably be held in May 2010). In the meantime, however, the issues at stake have been set out in a report published by the ministry of defence on February 3rd.