Week of December 18thPosted: December 18, 2010
Here is a summary of the european new this week.
Let’ start with the economic topic: Notation agency are still active in the euro-crisis events[*]: Moody’s is considering downgrading Spain’s debt[*] and downgraded the Irish rating by 5 (!) steps not far from ‘junk’ status [*], even as the Irish parliament approved the IMF/EU rescue plan[*]. The Portuguese government is trying all it can to avoid facing further troubles[*]. EU leaders try to be reassuring [*,*], but not everybody share their optimism [*], and the number of voices is confusing [*]. The euro had its ups and down this week, ending below $1.32 [*].
The proposal, from eurogroupe president J-C Juncker, to create euro-bonds, aiming at mutualizing the euro countries debt has been rejected by the Commission and some member states, in particular Germany [*,*,*,*].
After long negotiations, the Union finally gets a budget for 2011. The Parliament accepted the limited increase of 2.9%. Despite the large support from the MEPs (508 in favor, 141 against) many are disappointed that the parliament folded in front of the council, getting however a perspective of talks on proper resources for the EU [*,*,*]. Strengthen by that, British PM D. Cameron decided to go further and, during the European Council meeting at the end of the week, got the backing of France and Germany to ask for a freeze of the EU budget for the rest of the decade [*,*,*,*,*]
Still during the council summit, the state and government leaders decided to modify the EU treaties to make the Financial Stabilization Fund permanent. It is a first step toward a solidarity between eurozone members. [*,*,*,*,*]
At the beginning of the week, the European Parliament was in session in Strasbourg[*], MEPs accepted the budget compromise and also voted and accepted the practical details on the Citizen initiative procedure, introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon [*]
The Parliament also awarded to the Cuban dissident G. Farinas the Sakharov prize for the freedom of thought. The receiver was not authorized to travel to Strasbourg and was symbolized by and empty chair. [*,*]
On December 16th, across Europe, were set manifestation to protest against the Belarus regime, last dictatorship in Europe, before new elections this weekend that are already heavily criticized. [*,*]
This blog is now going to sleep for a few weeks of vacation (if the weather allows me to get back in Paris). Have nice and happy holidays !