24th Mar 2018


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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.

Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK

The EU will maintain pressure on the US to resolve a tariff dispute. On Monday, European Commission president Juncker, along council president Tusk, will discuss relations with Turkey's president Erdogan. Additional national measures against Russia are also expected.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Nordic states discuss targeted Russia sanctions
  2. Commission sticks to its line on Barroso case
  3. Germany and France promise new Russia sanctions
  4. EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'
  5. Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK
  6. EU leaders roll over Brexit talks amid Trump and Russia fears
  7. Europe needs corporate tax reform - a digital tax isn't it
  8. EU data chiefs rally behind UK over Cambridge Analytica