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“That’s the only cut this year!” quipped a council member when European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet took the knife to the ECB’s birthday cake in Frankfurt on June 2. The occasion was the tenth anniversary of the Bank’s establishment. Apparently the mood in Frankfurt was of genuine celebration tempered by concern at the conflicting […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Elation in Brussels at the unexpected success of Boris Tadic’s pro-European Democratic Party in Serbia’s general election has quickly turned to frustration as the Socialist Party, with 20 seats in the new parliament, decides whether to throw in its lot with the nationalist Radicals led by Vojislav Kostunica. Tadic’s party won the most seats, but… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

Alarm bells have been ringing in certain European ministries. Proposals now under discussion would bring defence-related trade under the auspices of the single market and diplomats are worried. I gather that France is calling for a legal opinion on whether European single market legislation can apply to defence-related products – just a few weeks before […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

According to latest reports, the likelihood of former British prime minister Tony Blair taking over as EU President in 2009 seems to be fading. The Independent newspaper reports a “secret” agreement between the big three, Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel, not to support any candidate for the job who does not have wholehearted approval of the […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

I see that the corporate status of Volkswagen is in the spotlight again. Last year the European Court ruled that limitations on voting rights in VW’s statutes infringed EU rules on freedom of capital movement, so the German government has now notified Brussels of proposed legislative changes to satisfy the Court judgment.
For Commissioner Charlie McCreevy […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

It seems so different from the old days, when the Franco–German alliance was the central core of European integration. With new leaders come new perspectives. President Sarkozy used his March visit to London to woo the British, with a speech to the British Parliament where he paid unheard-of tributes to Britain’s qualities and set out […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Europe’s tax havens are feeling nervous, now that national tax authorities are in the market for stolen data.
The Germans paid €5 million for a disk detailing trust accounts which had been lifted six years ago from Lichtenstein’s LGT bank. Former head of Deutsche Post Klaus Zumwinkel is having to pay the price (about €1 […]

Posted by Michael Berendt