European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is likely to prep markets for an extension of a huge monetary stimulus programme later today (20 October) after investors were rattled by talk that massive bond purchases may be drying up.
EU institutions were roundly criticised over their handling of the recent economic crisis, so the European Commission’s decision to stop dithering and appoint a panel of experts to scrutinise budgetary performance is both timely and welcome, writes Michal Horvath.
As the EU prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the “ever closer union” principle that underpinned the European project is being put on hold as the bloc struggles to survive its annus horribilis.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz predicted in an interview on Wednesday (5 October) that Italy and other countries would leave the eurozone in coming years, and he blamed the euro and German austerity policies for Europe's economic problems.
A broad majority of MEPs spoke against freezing EU funds for Spain and Portugal at a European Parliament session late on Monday (3 October), saying such a decision would be “immoral”, “unfair”, “counterproductive” and even “illegal”.
The ECB issued a strong warning to the EU institutions on Friday (9 September) about the “long-term consequences” of poor implementation of the fiscal rules, in the aftermath of the partial pardons given to Spain and Portugal, after they missed their deficit targets.
The leaders of Italy, France and Germany insisted Monday (22 August) that Britain's shock decision to quit the European Union would not kill the bloc. Merkel suggested she could be flexible over EU budget rules, as Rome grapples to kickstart its stalling economy.
Spain's acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy, bidding to end an eight-month political stalemate, said yesterday (18 August) he was ready to face a confidence vote on forming a new government after agreeing terms for a pact with centrist rivals.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande on an Italian island on Monday (22 August) to discuss the EU's way forward after Britain's shock vote to quit the bloc.
The European Commission has said that stabilising the eurozone was "eminently a political issue" after an independent probe into the IMF's handing of sovereign bailouts found it was vulnerable to pressure from governments.
A strong group of commissioners was in favour on Wednesday (27 July) of imposing at least a symbolic fine on Spain and Portugal for breaching the Stability and Growth Pact, but Jean-Claude Juncker opted for a zero penalty - supported by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble.
The European Commission is expected to fine Spain on Wednesday (26 July), but it will give two extra years to Madrid to adjust its budget - while the commissioners pledge a solution for Italian banks that will protect small investors.