18th Mar 2018


EU economic forecasts out next WEEK

  • Europe keeps sinking deeper into recession, amid bold moves to cut national debt (Photo: Images_of_Money)

The European Commission will next Friday (3 May) unveil its latest forecast for economic growth and employment in EU countries.

A number of member states - chief among them France and Spain - are struggling to live up to EU obligations to cut debt as their economies tank.

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The commission figures will underpin its country-specific financial recommendations due at the end of May.

Earlier in the week on Monday, the commission's "task force" on Greece - a group of 50-or-so experts based in Brussels and Athens, advising the Greek government how to get their country back on its feet - will file their quarterly report.

On Thursday, commission officials will meet with business leaders and trade union representatives - "social partners" - to get feedback on policy from the real world.

Officials in the European External Action Service will on Monday hold a meeting with private security firms to try to fix a mess on who is to guard diplomats in Kabul.

In what amounts to a quiet week in the EU capital, EU officials are on holiday on 1 May, Labour Day.

MEPs are away all week, catching up with domestic constituents.

Outside Brussels, the Icelandic government, newly-elected over the weekend, will be expected to make clear whether the island state still plans to join the Union.

EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton is making her first-ever visit trip to Mongolia on Monday to sign an association-type treaty.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will the same day brave potential anti-austerity protests on a visit to Granada, one of Spain's worst-hit regions in terms of unemployment.

Meanwhile, EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele goes to Baku on Thursday.

The authoritarian country is gearing up for presidential elections in October. The EU wants its gas as an alternative to Russian supplies. But some commissioners have in the past complained about its human rights record despite energy interests.

Tax evasion on the agenda this WEEK

Tax havens and banking transparency top this week’s agenda as EU finance ministers meet to discuss the issue on Tuesday.

Brexit and trade will top This WEEK

A crucial EU summit will decide whether to give a green light to the Brexit transition period, while the EU is also fighting to get exemptions from the new US steel and aluminium tariffs.

Evacuated women from Libya arrive newly-pregnant

Niger has temporarily stopped all evacuations from Libya detention centres under an EU funded programme because so few are being resettled to Europe. Many of those that have been evacuated are pregnant, with some asking for HIV testing.

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