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Brussels Update

“Brussels Update” contains Briefing Notes on important meetings of the European institutions, as well as post-meeting reports which evaluate the results of these meetings. These texts correspond to the period from March 2013 until June 2016. The editor of this section was originally Nikos Chrysoloras; afterwards Christina Vassilakis took over.

Nikos Chrysoloras: June’s EU Summit: “Hey, What did you expect?”

The most important decisions of the EU Summit held in Brussels in June 27-28th were the opening of accession negotiations with Serbia and the confirmation that Latvia will join the euro next January. We have almost forgotten just a few years ago the Balkans were at war. The prospect of EU membership, realized just today for Croatia, has been a major driving force behind democratic consolidation and political stabilization. The …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: Towards a Third Program of Financial Assistance for Greece

The Greek program is faced with a new stalemate, as recorded officially by the Eurogroup held in Luxemburg, on June 20. The reason is twofold: first, all evidence suggests that the Greek side has declared inability to fulfill its obligations relating to mobility in the public sector by the end of June, so that the ongoing evaluation of the Troika can be completed successfully. Given the delay caused by the …Read More

Interview of Ms Niki Tzavela, Member of the European Parliament, to Nikos Chrysoloras

“Our country’s energy deposits should not lead us to overestimations, nor make us complacent with regard to our financial problems,” said Ms Niki Tzavela, Member of the European Parliament and one of the most respected “voices” in Brussels on energy issues, in an interview with the Crisis Observatory. Ms. Tzavela, also known as “Ms Shale” among the European institutions, added that “the mining and exploitation process of any deposit will …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: Progress on Tax Evasion – Concern about Energy

Direct reference to the need for exploitation of “endogenous” energy sources is probably the most significant benefit that our country obtained from the Summit of May 22 in Brussels. Moreover, on a second level, Greece anticipates benefits from the combat against tax-evasion, which seems to be gaining new dynamics Europe-wide; it is estimated that substantial funds of Greek citizens are to be found in countries of the Eurozone, although these …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: Eurozone enters a new phase

The Banking Union and taxation policy will be Eurozone’s next big bets at least for the following 9 months, as it emerged from the meeting of the Eurogoup and ECOFIN on the 13 and 14 of May. The other two “open fronts”- the debt crisis in the region and the rate of fiscal adjustment – seem to enter, at least for the time being, in a “recession period”. Cyprus More …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: Eurozone is lost in econometrics

According to the final figures released by Eurostat, public debt in the Eurozone reached 90,6% of GDP in 2012. On the other hand, the Commissions’ winter economic report anticipates that the GDP of the Eurozone will shrink approximately by 0,3% this year. Incidentally, this picture is totally in accordance with an academic study by professors Carmen Reinhart (University of Maryland) and Kenneth Rogoff (Harvard University), namely “Growth in a Time …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: Evaluation, but not without Asterisks

The mission of the Troika in Athens concluded its review of the Greek adjustment programme on Monday, April 15. However, this development does not necessarily secure the disbursement of the sub-tranche of March, worth 2,8 billion, given that the necessary “milestone” has not been fulfilled yet; namely, the drafting of organisation charts by every ministry, where clearly defined quarterly goals will be set for the mandatory exit of civil servants …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: Europe risks losing an entire generation

Unemployment in the Eurozone remained at the alarming level of 12% throughout February, thus remaining stable compared to the previous month, which however, was higher by 1.1% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. In EU-27, unemployment rose to 10.9% in February, i.e. an increase of 0.1% compared to the previous month and 0.7% compared to February 2012. The above data were published by Eurostat on Tuesday, April …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: “Bailout” Comes at a Heavy Toll for Cyprus

Despite the fact that the agreement in the Eurogroup of March 25 prevented an immediate and disorderly bankruptcy of Cyprus, there is no doubt that the coming months are going to be really difficult -even dramatic- for its citizens. At a press conference after the marathon meeting of the finance ministers of the Eurozone, early in the morning of Monday, the vice president of the Commission, Olli Rehn, implicitly likened …Read More

Nikos Chrysoloras: Why we should be cautious about cheering on Cyprus’ no vote

“A version of this article was published in the Guardian today” Just when observers were starting to get bored, the Eurozone debt crisis took a dramatic twist again, and everyone is back on the edge of their seats, waiting to see if the Continent will eventually die of its self-inflicted wounds. The unfolding drama could not have been more surrealist: on the one hand, the far left and the Eurosceptic …Read More