Why the Finnish elections matter for Europe
The Finnish elections on Sunday are unlikely to lead to a radical change in the country’s Eurozone policy – however, they will still have relevance for the rest of Europe. Mats Persson investigates.
Athens has asked the IMF for a deferral of further loan repayments, according to media reports. IMF head Christine Lagarde rejected the request as “unsatisfactory” on Thursday, at the start of the spring meeting with the World Bank in Washington. If the debt conflict leads to a Grexit it will mean the end of the EU, some commentators warn. Others see a radical restructuring of the Eurozone as Europe’s last chance.
The European Commission threatened the Russian company Gazprom with a multi-billion euro fine on Wednesday. In ongoing anti-trust proceedings it has accused the gas giant of abusing its dominant market position regarding supplies to several EU member states. The EU will provoke further conflict with Russia, some commentators fear. For others, the defence of the common market warrants such disputes with foreign companies and governments.
The EU heads of state and government agreed on Thursday to triple the funds for search and rescue operations to nine million euros per month, and to crack down on human smugglers in the Mediterranean. The traffickers are in for hard times, some commentators note. But if refugees drown it’s not the fault of smugglers but of the EU’s isolationist policy, others argue.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi was the target of an epic confetti-bomb during a press conference on Wednesday.