Michael Berendt's blog

Archives for Economy & Euro

At last the sun is shining, after months of rain. London gears up for the Olympics and is thronged with visitors. Brussels is quiet, Paris is empty. The roads to the south are crowded. The mountains and the beaches beckon. It must be the summer holidays. But not for those politicians and officials across Europe… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

It seems that a European Banking Union has become the magic solution to the eurozone debt crisis. This week’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels confirmed that European funds will provide direct support to Spanish banks, to the tune of €100bn in loans from the European Financial Stability Facility and subsequently the European Stability… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The European Commission is struggling to justify an increase of nearly 7 per cent in the EU payments budget for 2013. The timing could hardly be worse, with national budgets feeling the full force of austerity, governments facing fierce opposition to spending cuts at home, and the Dutch being forced into new elections as coalition… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

A compromise may be in sight to defuse the conflict over a proposed EU turnover tax for all financial transactions. It seems that finance ministers are looking at stamp duty on share deals as an alternative way of taxing the financial sector, perhaps marking a calmer phase in the evolution of European financial services legislation.… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

It’s no surprise that the “disciplinary” elements of this week’s Greek bail-out deal have been badly received by many in Greece. Strengthening of the Commission Task Force in Athens to provide an “enhanced and permanent presence” to oversee Greek government measures, and deposit of quarterly debt repayment funds in an escrow account to ensure their… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

Devaluation was invariably the path to survival for weaker European economies in the days before the euro. But when devaluation is no longer an option, there is evidently no choice for failing economies but to squeeze public spending and slash labour costs in the hope of paying off debt and restoring competitiveness. A striking aspect… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The European institutions have rarely faced a sterner test than in their dealings with Hungary. As defender of the European treaties the Commission must do all in its power to protect the fundamental principles that underpin liberal democracy in the EU, yet any decision to block an EU-IMF aid package until Hungary’s authoritarian measures have… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt