Week of July 3rdPosted: July 3, 2010
Here is a summary of the European news this week:
First, some news from the euro-webo-sphere with the departing of two important bloggers of the European world : Julien Frisch – who wrote the superb guide 10 steps to becoming a Euroblogger – and Charlemagne are moving on to new activities. They will never be thanked enough for their work. The Euro-bloggosphere is reduced, but you can take over and may be become the next influencial blogger.
However, and hopefully, the European Internet is welcoming this week @JohnnyErasmus and his blog «Ohh, Brussels !». Also, the European commissioner for digital agenda and commission vice-president Neelie Kroes is now on Twitter : @NeelieKroesEU.
For the rest of the news: at the end of last week The G20 was meeting in Toronto and concluded with nonbinding declaration and not a particularly audacious neither.
On July 1st, Belgium took over the Union presidency [*]; the media remind us that Belgium is looking for a government, however, the Lisbon Treaty is making things easier on that aspect . [*,*] Belgium wants to move on with the enlargement to candidate countries [*], and hope to progress on a European patent. It’s also the time to assess on the success of the Spanish presidency, considered as satisfying, but not extraordinary.
Speaking of presidency: Germany was electing (thru indirect elections) its president this week, following the resignation of H. Köhler in May. This vote, normally of low importance, was critical for chancellor A Merkel ; her candidate, C Wulff was elected, but arduously, which politically weakens Mrs. Merkel and her governing coalition. The new president was sworn in on Friday.
In the European news also, a new episode on the topic of food labeling rules[*] with a false rumor pretending that the new rules would ban selling eggs by the dozen, that is of course not true and has been completely over covered by the British news in particular[*].
Other rules, this time, true ones, coming into effect: the new cap on phone price (for calls, texts, and data roaming) inside the EU is now applying – The citizen of Europe won’t face any bad surprise when discovering their bill upon coming back from vacations. [*,*,*,*]
A compromise has been reached on the regulation of bonuses – variable part of salary – in banks; those bonuses will be more linked to long term results of the bank, in order to limit risk taking [*,*]
Since we are talking about banks, let’s move to the SWIFT agreement, on bank data transfer to the US to fight terrorist financing : a new version of the agreement might soon get the go from the parliament in a vote [*,*,*,*].
The WTO judged that certain subsidies from the EU to Airbus are illegal, following a plaint by the American society Boeing[*,*,*] the two companies are in competition to build a tanker aircraft for the US Army.
Let’s move now to our recurring segment of European economy: bad indicators in the US in conjunction with a low demand on short term loan to European banks [*] boost the Euro which climbed to its highest level for a month[*]. Greeks are protesting against austerity measures put in place by the government to resolve the crisis [*,*] Spain is facing difficulties: the notation agency Moody’s downgraded five Spanish regions [*,*,*] – Spain could face a crisis[*].
Finally, elections are held in Poland this Sunday for second round of the presidential elections.
In South Africa, for the Soccer world cup, European teams are doing good with Netherlands and Germany in the semi-finals and Spain in line for a quarter final against Paraguay on Saturday evening .[*]
Next week, the European Parliament is meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg.