Thursday

30th Mar 2017

Bumpy ride for fiscal compact in Dublin, Prague, Helsinki

  • The Finnish government faces a vote of confidence on Wednesday (Photo: IaRRoVaWo)

The EU’s new fiscal compact is again getting a bumpy ride from a number of quarters in member states, with opposition parties in Ireland warning over loss of sovereignty and the leaders of the Czech Republic and Finland also underlining concerns.

In non-eurozone Prague on Tuesday, Prime Minister Petr Necas stressed to reporters that the government must wait for full details of the new agreement, which calls for tighter fiscal discipline and monitoring of budgets by the EU, before it can sign up to it.

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.

"Our position has been absolutely clear -- we won't pledge to join the deal unless its parameters are known," he said.

The leader added that the country’s central bank should not be the actor that takes the decision on whether to chip in to the planned €200 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund, which would then be loaned on to eurozone states.

"I personally think the Czech Republic should not take part" he added, although the governing coalition is to discuss the issue Wednesday.

In Finland on Tuesday, the prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, said that the government could not agree to a transfer of national budget sovereignty to the European Commission.

He also added that the country cannot sign off on majority-based decision making on the boards of the EU’s bail-out funds, the European Financial Stability Facility and the soon-to-be-established European Stability Mechanism.

The leader made the comments during a debate in the parliament where the head of the eurosceptic True Finns party, Timo Soini, attacked the fiscal compact as eroding Finnish budget sovereignty, according to a report from YLE.

A vote of confidence in the government is to be held on Wednesday.

In Ireland the same day, after Taoiseach Enda Kenny briefed opposition parties on the deal, both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein said that the new rules must be put to a referendum.

The government has said that it must consult its legal advisors before saying whether such a plebiscite should be held.

Fianna Fail chief Micheal Martin, whose party in government had signed up to EU-IMF imposed austerity in return for a bail-out, honed in on balanced budget rules that would limit deficits to just 0.5 percent of GDP, saying this would require the confidence of the people before going ahead.



"This will require a referendum from a political perspective, that people be consulted on the issue given that it seems to be the intention of the European leaders to write in to either constitutional law or its equivalent,” he said.



Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams for his part also attacked the 0.5 percent ceiling.



"The government has signed up to a new and draconian 0.5 percent of GDP deficit limit. They have done this without having conducted an assessment of the social or economic consequences of such a move,” he said.


Separately on Tuesday, the honeymoon period for the technocrat government of Mario Monti came to rapid end, with Italian unions launching a week of strikes against his €33 billion austerity package.

Rolling strikes in different sectors, which enjoy for the first time in six years joint co-ordination between the normally bitterly divided three main union centrals, will continue through 19 December.

EU leaders embrace 'fiscal compact' demanded by central bank

EU leaders have endorsed a series of rules tightening budget surveillance and institutionalising limits on public spending - the ‘fiscal compact’ that the ECB has demanded before it can more aggressively purchase Italian and Spanish debt.

Mixed centre-left response on need for EU referendums

Centre-left politicians in a number of key member states are of mixed opinions about what has been agreed at last week's EU summit, suggesting that endorsements by parliaments will not be an easy task

New EU deal faces multiple referendum threat

Within hours of arriving at a fragile treaty deal for the eurozone and nine other EU states, the agreement delivering deeper integration is already confronting the spectre of multiple referendums and a host of legal barriers.

Commission stops German-British stock merger

The decision to block the merger of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse was expected, as negotiations between the parties broke down a few weeks ago.

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

News in Brief

  1. UK delivered its Article 50 letter to the EU
  2. Support for Germany's anti-EU party fading
  3. Turkish intelligence not welcome in Germany
  4. US senate approves Montenegro’s Nato bid
  5. Scottish MPs give go ahead to seek referendum
  6. Uber pulls out of Denmark over new taxi-regulation
  7. EU court validates sanctions on Russia's Rosneft
  8. Luxembourg to team up with Ireland in Apple tax appeal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  2. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  3. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  4. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  5. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  6. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  7. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  8. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  9. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  10. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  12. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans