Friday

28th Apr 2017

Agenda

Merkel to visit Greece this WEEK

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Greece on Tuesday (9 October) to meet Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in her first visit to the debt-ridden country since the eurozone crisis began.

Announcing the visit, her spokesperson said that Samaras government has "increased reform efforts" and that Germany wants to show support.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But the visit comes as Greece's eurozone future remains uncertain.

The government is having trouble finding the billions of euros needed to make the further saving cuts demanded by creditors and Greeks themselves are tired of living through tax hikes and social spending cuts.

Germany, as the eurozone's biggest lender, has been at the forefront of those saying that Athens needs to do more, prompting charges from Greek politicians that the Germans do not appreciate the efforts that have already been made.

EU finance ministers meeting on Tuesday will be given an update on the difficult path to a financial transactions tax (FTT).

Having concluded that this is not politically possible among all 27 member states, efforts are now concentrating on a splinter group going ahead. But finding the minimum nine member states needed is also proving difficult.

So far, five - Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Portugal - have made it clear that they are willing to press ahead. The FTT issue affects wider EU budget talks as the money raised from the tax could feed into the budget or into the mooted eurozone-only budget increasingly being mentioned.

Eurozone ministers will meet on Monday amid a backdrop of mounting speculation about Spain asking for a full state bailout.

Madrid is already in line for a €100 billion loan for its banks but its poor economic situation has made increasingly likely that it will need more aid, something its PM Mariano Rajoy has been seeking to avoid.

Meanwhile, the boards of governors and directors of the permanent bailout fund, the €500 billion ESM, will have their inaugural meetings on 8 and 9 October following months of delay to the fund due to a legal challenge in Germany.

Enlargement will be on the agenda on Wednesday when the European Commission is to adopt an overall strategy paper on future expansion of the EU, as well as progress made by Western Balkan countries, Turkey and Iceland towards EU membership.

There will also be a paper on the feasibility of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo - an issue fraught with difficulty as a handful of EU member states do not recognise the break-away former Serb province as a country.

Economic and monetary union will be in the air in the European Parliament.

The presidents of the three main EU institutions as well as the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, will discuss the issue on Tuesday.

Draghi will also appear before MEPs separately the same day to discuss the eurozone bank's bond purchasing scheme as well as plans to create a single European banking supervisor.

The EU capital will also see about 6,000 regional experts and administrators descend for "open days" - an annual event celebrating all things regional and local.

This year's gathering comes as member states fight over how much to reduce the Cohesion Policy pot (a series of aid lines for regions) in the next longterm budget (2014-2020).

Hollande and Merkel in show of unity on Greece

The German and French leaders put on a careful display of unity on Greece on Thursday in Berlin, appearing briefly before press to urge Athens to continue reforms.

Eurozone gives Greece 10-day ultimatum

Eurozone ministers have given Greece 10 days to implement budget cuts in return for a bailout cash, as Germany Merkel braves protesters on a visit to Athens.

Brexit summit, Turkey and Hungary dominate EU This WEEK

European leaders will adopt their negotiating position on the Brexit summit on Saturday, whereas the situation of Hungary's democracy and post-referendum Turkey will be under scrutiny in the EU this week.

EPP group frustrated with Orban

Orban's ruling Fidesz party is getting too much to handle for the EPP group, as they are once again forced to defend the Hungarian premier's controversial actions.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  2. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  3. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  4. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  6. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  7. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  8. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  9. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  10. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  11. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?