Tuesday

18th Jun 2019

Greece wants EU to use old Latvia fund for bail-out

Greek leader George Papandreou and Socialist parties across Europe have called on the EU to re-deploy for Greece an existing European bail-out fund originally established to rescue Latvia, Hungary and Romania.

The Party of European Socialists, representing social-democrats from the continent, issued the fresh bail-out proposal at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday (25 March).

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

  • European Socialists have rallied behind Greece (Photo: John D. Carnessiotis, Athens, Greece)

The scheme involves tweaking the rules on use of a €50 billion pool of cash set up in 2008 at the height of the economic crisis and intended to help non-eurozone EU countries.

Under the fund, termed the "Balance of Payments Assistance" mechanism, the European Commission borrows money on bond markets at lower rates than the individual countries are able to. This cash is then leant on to the recipient countries.

Mr Papandreou said he would put the proposal "on the table" at the two-day EU spring summit, which also began in the EU capital on Thursday.

"It's a clear and simple solution. It shows that where there's a will, there's a way," he said.

The Danish chief of the PES, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, said that no EU treaty change would be needed, with the existing EU agreement forbidding a bail-out of a euro-area country by its peers.

All that is needed to use the community facility is to alter its guidelines so that eurozone and non-eurozone countries can equally benefit from the fund.

"I can tell all German taxpayers, this will not cost you one euro," he said, amid popular resentment in Germany at the thought of Berlin shifting money from its budget to help Greece.

The Dane also took a swipe at Germany's leader, Angela Merkel, who has until recently ruled out a eurozone bail-out of Greece:

"This [the community facility solution] could have been realised earlier, but because of Berlin, we have lost two months."

Latvia aiming to join eurozone in 2014

After being one of the first EU countries in need for a bail-out in 2008, Latvia is slowly recovering and aiming to join the eurozone on 1 January 2014, the country's newly elected president told this website.

EU top court backs Canada trade deal in ruling

The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that the EU-Canada free trade agreement, and its controversial dispute settlement mechanism, is in line with the bloc's rules.

EU and Japan in delicate trade talks

The Japanese PM comes to Brussels to discuss the first results of the new EU-Japan free trade deal, plus WTO reform - a sensitive topic before he moves onto Washington to face Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. Romanian ex-PM frontrunner to head new liberal group
  2. France, Germany and Spain in fighter jet deal
  3. Tusk grilled in Poland over role as PM
  4. Italy is 'most credible' US partner in EU, says Salvini
  5. EU blames Sudan junta for killings and rapes
  6. Report: EU may suspend Turkey customs union talks
  7. Swiss stock exchange could lose EU access in July
  8. Austria's Strache will not take up EU parliament seat

Feature

Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all

The visit of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to the White House on Wednesday showed that the current rift in transatlantic relations is deepening by the day.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  3. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  5. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  6. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  7. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  8. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody

Latest News

  1. Commission goes easy on scant national climate plans
  2. Macron and Mogherini decline to back US accusation on Iran
  3. EU summit must give effective answer on migration
  4. Spain's Garcia set to be next Socialist leader in parliament
  5. Erdogan mocks Macron amid EU sanctions threat
  6. The most dangerous pesticide you've never heard of
  7. 'Russian sources' targeted EU elections with disinformation
  8. Top EU jobs summit dominates This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us