The downgrading of Portugal’s creditworthiness to junk status by the rating agency Moody’s on Wednesday prompted harsh criticism from European governments and the EU Commission. While some commentators accused the agencies of being irresponsible amid the euro crisis, others thought the EU’s reaction was hypocritical.
The US rating agency Standard & Poor’s threatened on Monday to rate the involvement of private investors in a second bailout package for Greece as a debt default for the country, a move that could lead to the collapse of the Greek economy. The euro countries should not put too much stock in the words of rating agencies, the press writes, and calls for weak states to be excluded from the Eurozone.
from Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament
Leading Euro MPs today voiced outrage at continuing attacks by ratings agencies on European economies.
The latest ? Moody’s reduction of Portuguese debt to junk status ? led to calls at the European Parliament in Strasbourg for the creation of an independent European ratings Agency and measures to regulate the activities of ratings agencies in general.
by Open Europe blog team
Fresh from having given the Commission credit for a sensible proposal, it’s a bit surprising (well, not really) to see that some Commission Communication-types continue to do their best to completely wreck the image of the EU institutions.
from Ideas on Europe by blog
German dominance over the European Central Bank (ECB) is nowhere more apparent than in the price stability goal of inflation at or below 2% enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty. A notable success in postwar Germany was the excellent record of the Bundesbank on maintaining price stability, which represented an important break with the hyperinflation that had characterised the Weimar Republic prior to WWII. For the German public to give up the Deutschmark, another potent symbol of post-war success, there had to be some guarantee that the single currency would be equally strong and stable. One answer to this was the price stability mandate of the ECB, a crucial element of Germany?s willingness to sign up to monetary union and a goal still deemed paramount in the execution of ECB monetary policy; both to German policy makers and the general public. However, just as this focus on price stability has been criticised in the past as being to the detriment of growth and jobs in Europe, it is the subject of much debate now, resulting from divergence in inflation trends between the core and periphery of the Eurozone . While the core, and in particular Germany, is experiencing strong growth and the risk of inflation increases, peripheral economies, such as Greece and Ireland have yet to resume growth since the onset of recession in late 2008.
from open Democracy News Analysis – by Antoaneta L. Dimitrova
The crisis in Greece can be seen as an illustration of a trade-off between sovereignty, democracy and globalization. While all three are important building blocks of a modern European state, lessons from Eastern Europe show how accepting outside guidance can put a country on a path towards a healthier economy and better institutions.
from Blogactiv by Protesilaos Stavrou
I have said in previous articles that the crisis in Greece is not ?Greek?, it is rather a ?European? issue, not only because it affects directly and indirectly all EU member-states, but mostly because it is the end-product of a serious structural flaw of the single European currency: That is the lack of wealth redistribution within the eurozone, through a coordinated fiscal policy.
from Blogactiv by ge_europe
I attended a roundtable dinner at the European Parliament hosted by Danuta Huebner, MEP and Chair of the Regional Development Committee and Laszlo Surjan, MEP on the topic of EU Regional Policy. The discussion was timely not only as we transition from the Hungarian to the Polish Presidencies but also in the context of the discussions which are taking place on the next EU Budget and Cohesion Policy.
from Blogactiv by David
Can a Parliament and any other allegedly ?democratic institution? ban the public and journalists from their meetings? Do they have the legal right? Once they have shut the doors, can they then make a deal to IMPOSE a budget on taxpayers who are not present? Is this secretive procedure LEGAL? If it is not, is the budget illegal, void and invalid?
from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Netherlands court rules the Dutch state was responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian Muslims in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
Despite criticism from Brussels and several EU states, Denmark intensified its border controls on Tuesday in a move by the liberal-conservative government to fight illegal immigration and organised crime. The press describes the additional controls as a symbolic gesture that contradicts the spirit of Europe.
The preceding blog posts, including the latest one ‘European Council documentation: Ecofin integrated guidelines’, left us wondering about the vanishing paper trail (accountability, transparency) and real scope of the endorsement from the European Council ?without any watering down?, as well as from the national leaders ?to do everything necessary?, with regard to Stability or Convergence Programmes and National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
from FP Passport by Robert Zeliger