Tuesday

13th Nov 2018

Agenda

Greece and eurozone recovery top the bill this WEEK

  • Back in Brussels. Yanis Varoufakis will present his government's reform programme on Monday. (Photo: Council of European Union)

The future of Greece's bailout and ways to inject energy into the eurozone economy will again dominate the agenda of EU politicians this week.

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis will set out his government’s economic reform plan at Monday’s (9 March) Eurogroup meeting, warning that rejection could prompt fresh elections, less than two months after his left-wing Syriza party took power.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Ministers agreed to give Greece four months to renegotiate its bailout programme provided that the new government sticks to pre-existing economic targets and does not change its overall budget position.

Syriza’s new proposal includes new curbs on tax avoidance and levies on wealthy Greeks alongside an increased minimum wage.

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Varoufakis have come under pressure from factions within their party, amid criticism that they agreed to keep most of the austerity measures in the €240 billion bailout deal, despite having been elected to free Greece from bailouts and a crippling debt burden.

On Tuesday, the EU’s 28 finance ministers will gather for their monthly meeting with the European Commission’s €315 billion investment programme set to be the main item of discussion.

In Frankfurt, meanwhile, the European Central Bank begins a €1.14 trillion bond-buying programme on Monday as it seeks to speed up the eurozone’s stalling economic recovery.

The Frankfurt-based bank announced in January that it would purchase €60 billion of bonds per month, with the programme set to run at least until September 2016, in a bid to increase demand in the economy and drag the eurozone away from deflation.

For their part, MEPs will journey to Strasbourg for their monthly plenary session with a relatively quiet agenda.

On Monday evening the Parliament’s committee of inquiry into the Lux-leaks corporate tax scandal will hold its first hearing.

The main legislative activity will be a vote on laws capping the credit card fees that banks charge retailers for processing shoppers' payments.

Fees will capped at 0.2 percent of the transaction value for debit cards and 0.3 percent for credit cards. The cap will lead to estimated savings of €6 billion for retailers and consumers.

On Wednesday, deputies are expected to endorse the commission’s plans for the Economic Semester and the progress towards EU accession made by the bloc’s candidate countries in the Balkans.

Merkel downplays speculation on third Greek bailout

German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday downplayed talk of a third bailout package for Greece and said that an EU-US trade deal can still be completed this year if there is enough political will.

Merkel and Brexit in spotlight This WEEK

The now-outgoing German chancellor will outline her vision for Europe in the EU parliament, as political parties gear up for the election next May. Brexit will also dominate, even though talks have yet to yield a breakthrough.

EU elections and Italy's finances are in focus This WEEK

A debate among would-be EPP 'Spizenkandidat' candidates next week in Helsinki will be the first of many clashes of ideas ahead of European elections next May. The liberals are also holding their own congress.

News in Brief

  1. Draft Brexit deal on London cabinet agenda on Wednesday
  2. EU proposes no visa for UK citizens after Brexit
  3. EU parliament 'deeply concerned' on Romania judiciary
  4. Macedonia's ex-PM flees to Hungary, seeks asylum
  5. Cyprus opens first new border crossings in eight years
  6. Putin's Austrian dance partner cancels Moscow visit
  7. Political deadlock over Sweden Democrat influence
  8. Court: Catalan referendum organisers must repay costs

Opinion

EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name

Sergei Magnitsky gave his life to fighting corruption. The least we can do is to honour his sacrifice in the name of the legislation that his heroism inspired.

Opinion

All Quiet on the Eastern Front?

Russia is trying to foment a clash between Hungary and Ukraine over the territory of Zakarpattia in a potential crisis overlooked by EU leaders.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army
  2. Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline
  3. EU action on Hungary and Poland drowns in procedure
  4. EU unable to fully trace €1bn spent on refugees in Turkey
  5. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  6. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press
  7. EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name
  8. Fear of nationalist surge marks European memorials

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us