Week of January 22ndPosted: January 22, 2011
Here is a summary of the European news this week.
On the economy: the European Commission is preparing new stress tests for European banks, this time, focusing on exposition to public debts [*,*]. Last year, the stress tests were mostly successful, but have been criticized for being too easy to pass [*]. In the eurozone, rumors on debt restructuring for Greece or the need for Portugal to ask the help of the EU, continue to run [*,*,*]. The euro went this week (+2.5% in 5 days) and finishes the week at its highest level since November 2010 [*,*,*].
The MEPs were seating in plenary session in Strasbourg this week [*,*]. The parliament voted a directive on the refund of cross borders healthcare, to ensure a better health coverage of citizen traveling in the EU [*,*]. The Hungary prime minister V Orbam was in Strasbourg to present the program of the Hungarian presidency of the European Council for the next 6 months ; he met strong opposition from MEPs protesting the Hungarian media law [*,*,*,*] – Commissioner N Kroes in charge of the digital media declared this week that the law is not satisfactory [*].
In the rest of the union: in Italy, Premier Berlusconi continues to face accusation of prostitution on minors. His position as head of the Italian government is weakening [*,*,*]. In Ireland, PM B Cowen announced early elections for March 11th. At the end of the week, he resigned as head of the party Fianna Fail, but he is staying as PM. [*,*,*]. In Portugal, elections are being held this Sunday to elect the country’s president [*].