National politicians have left Brussels technocrats with the unenviable task of explaining austerity decisions taken at European level to their public opinion, undermining trust in the EU’s political system and democracy at large, according to Joaquín Almunia, the EU’s competition commissioner.
The eurozone’s financial markets end this year in a much better shape than they did last year, but this gain rests on the promise that real progress towards banking union will be achieved in the coming year, writes Daniel Gros.
The leaders of France, Germany, Spain and Italy will meet in Rome after the June Greek election to discuss the eurozone crisis, the Italian press reports, as talk of Greece leaving the single currency gain momentum.
25 European heads of state on Friday signed the new European Fiscal Treaty. Jose Manual Barroso said the signing of the treaty, "signals the irreversibility of the euro and a very important step forward in European integration".