Week of November 13thPosted: November 13, 2010
Here is a summary of the European news this week:
First, the economy: The euro had a big fall this week, starting at $1.395 and sliding down to $1.362 on Friday[*]. This fall has been fueled by worries over the Irish economy. While helping its banks, Ireland also inflated its deficit up to 32% (!) If the Irish economy worries investor less than Greece’s, these record number made the interest rates jump. It is estimated that Ireland will need at least about 50 billion euros for 2011 ; a sum the European Fund for financial stability – put together for Greece – might be about to bring forward. [*,*,*,*] On its side, Greece will probably not meet it’s target of a 8% deficit and will have to go with 9.3% – not that bad when you compare to last year 13.8%. Spain’s growth – another country in economical worries – seems to have stalled during the summer[*].
On the neighborhood front, the Union lifted this week the mandatory tour sit visa for citizens of Bosnia and Albania [*]. The Commission also released its annual report on the progress made by candidate and potential candidate countries: Things look good for Croatia which is in the last miles to membership, Turkey is making slow progress and has some points to fix (for example, Cyprus), Iceland is starting well but the Commission reminds that public support is important for membership, Macedonia must before all resolve its conflict with Greece over its name, other Balkans countries are progressing or still have progress to make to be recognize as candidates [*,*,*,*,*]
The leaders of the G20 countries were meeting in Seoul at the end of the week. Europe has been significantly out of the headlines, the debates focusing on the opposition between China and the USA over money devaluation and trade balance.
That talks over the EU budget for 2011 between the member states and the European Parliament broke out this week. The parliament was asking a 6% increase of the budget to account for the new competence that came with the Lisbon treaty, while member states won’t accept anything more than 2.9%. The parliament is ready to accept the 2.9% figure at the condition to be part of future negotiations over the way to finance the Union [*,*,*]