Michael Berendt's blog

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

It’s curious how centre-right governments have come to dominate the political scene as Europe faces its biggest economic crisis for a generation. Given the fierce pressures on public spending, the battle by public sector workers to protect their jobs and pensions, whittling down of welfare programmes and high levels of unemployment, especially among young people,… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The triumph of Libya’s National Transitional Council culminating in the death of Colonel Gaddafi owes everything to the support provided by NATO air operations under UN Resolution 1973, yet the UN involvement and the military action which followed would never have happened without the determination of President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron. Their… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt