Saturday

24th Feb 2024

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

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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's €723bn Covid recovery fund saw growth, but doubts remain

The €723bn Covid-19 recovery fund, launched three years ago, has been a success, according to a mid-term internal review — but less effective than initially predicted. And according to one NGO, the commission painted an "overly positive picture".

France's Le Maire 'goes German' with austerity budget

The French government announced €10bn in further spending cuts. However, defence spending is set to increase significantly, up to €413bn from €295bn, while €400m was cut from a fund meant for renovating schools, carpooling infrastructure, and other environmental projects.

Online platforms must be liable for payment scams, say MEPs

MEPs have agreed on new rules to level the playing field between banks and non-banks, and to make payments more user-friendly, cheaper and safer — including measures to make online platforms liable for payment fraud that occurs through their services.

Opinion

After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports

Two years of tragedies, with well over 100,000 Russian war crimes now registered, underscore the urgent need to stop international LNG investments in Russia that continue to fund Vladimir Putin's war chest.

Opinion

Blackmailing the Global South on EU carbon border tax won't work

According to the European Commission, CBAM is supposed to prevent "carbon leakage". In other words, it seeks to prevent European industries relocating to jurisdictions with less stringent environmental policies, while also incentivising carbon pricing and industrial decarbonisation abroad.

Latest News

  1. EU rewards Tusk's Poland on rule of law with €137bn
  2. UK-EU relations defrosting ahead of near-certain Labour win
  3. EU paid Russia €420-per-capita for fossil fuels since war began
  4. After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports
  5. Creating the conditions for just peace in Ukraine
  6. Energy and minerals disputes overshadow new EU-ACP pact
  7. Germany speeds up Georgia and Morocco asylum returns
  8. How Amazon lobbyists could be banned from EU Parliament

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us