Week of January 8th, 2011Posted: January 8, 2011
After a couple of weeks away, the weekly round-up is back.
Let’s start with the beginning, that is, the new year: Happy new year and all my best European wishes to all readers.
To start 2011, the eurozone expanded by one member: Estonia adopted the EU currency on January 1st 2011 (actually, on December 31st 2010, 11pm in Brussels time zone). Estonia fiances are in good shape with deficit and debt below the criteria of the stability pact. The transition went smoothly and the only regret one can have is the lack of publicity and celebration this expansion created. [*]
Still with 2011, the Belgium presidency of the Council ended (on a good record, especially considering the semester was taken care by a resigning government) and Hungary is taking over. The start of the Hungarian presidency has been darken by a new law establishing a strict control on the media [*,*,*,*]. (the text has been published in English: *,*) The Hungarian president said he is ready to modify the law, but continues to reject any critics on it [*,*]
To ended on the economic front, Greece ensures that it wont have to restructure its debt [*]. 2011 will be the year for the Union to solve the Euro crisis [*]. So far, inflation is up to 2.2% for 2010, above the ECB target number [*,*,*]. Unemployment in Europe is at 9.6% in November 2010 (10.1% in the eurozone) [*]. The european currency started the year going down [*]