Eurozone Cuts Growth Forecast, Germany Facing “Big Deterioration”

The European Commission has cut its growth forecast for the Eurozone this year, after admitting the sclerotic German economy is “significantly weaker” than previously thought – they expect it to shrink by 0.4% this year – and its “big deterioration” will be a drag anchor on Europe. Output across the Eurozone is now predicted to rise by 0.8% this year, with an earlier projection expecting 1.1% growth.  Next year’s growth outlook was cut to 1.3%…

The growth forecasts for the top 6 European economies are:

Spain 2.2%
France 1.0%
Italy 0.9%
Netherlands 0.5%
Poland 0.5%
Germany -0.4%

Germany have at least announced a €32 billion tax-cutting growth plan to fix this. No such luck on our own shores: Jeremy Hunt has just told Bloomberg he doesn’t have much headroom in the Autumn Statement…

mdi-timer 11 September 2023 @ 13:22 11 Sep 2023 @ 13:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Commission Puts Yousaf’s European Charm Offensive On Ice

Humza Yousaf has had his independence plans roundly rebuffed by the EU, with the Commission refusing to take part in separation talks. A source, quoted today in The Times, said “The EU as such deals only with the official governments of third countries”. Scotland is considered a third country “region”.

The move is a big blow for Yousaf, who told party members on Saturday that he would send an envoy to “prepare the ground” for an independent Scotland’s entry to the EU. Instead, his agenda has been burned to the ground…

Humza will still meet Commission vice-president Marcos Sefcovic on Wednesday. However, on the orders of James Cleverly, he will be babysat by the UK’s EU ambassador. Bon voyage!

mdi-timer 27 June 2023 @ 10:26 27 Jun 2023 @ 10:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jean-Claude Juncker: European Commission “Will Have More Authority Than it Seems” in Rishi’s Deal

Before ruminating on the “lies” and “propaganda” of the Brexit campaign, Jean-Claude Juncker heartily endorsed Rishi Sunak’s Northern Ireland deal. Speaking to Andrew Marr for LBC, he called the deal a “real breakthrough”, saying he was “quite happy” with what he described as “diplomacy at its best”. Jean-Claude then gave further insight into why he was so keen on the deal:

“I think that the European Commission will have more authority than it seems. And as the European Court of Justice has been reconfirmed in its role as arbiter, when it comes to internal market questions concerning Northern Ireland. So, I think that although the deal is giving response to the major British concerns, there is a part of European Union in the deal some in Britain is trying to hide.”

Rishi will not be grateful for this lavish endorsement. Boris might be onto something here…

mdi-timer 3 March 2023 @ 09:59 3 Mar 2023 @ 09:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Von Der Leyen Calls For New Ethics Watchdog After Massive EU Corruption Claims

Ursula von der Leyen has insisted the arrests at the top of the European Parliament are of the “utmost concern“.

This afternoon von der Leyen called on Brussels to immediately establish a new ethics watchdog after investigations uncovered jaw-dropping evidence of bribery and corruption from its lawmakers.

According to reports, four EU officials – including European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili – have been charged with “participation in a criminal organisation” after accepting life-changing bribes from the Qatari government. Belgian police have seized cash worth €600,000 from the politicians’ apartments…

Reacting to the news that four of her EU colleagues had been coining it with the Qataris, von der Leyen said:

“The allegations are of utmost concern, very serious […] It is a question of confidence of people into our institutions and this confidence of trust into institutions needs the highest standards of independence and integrity…”

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock added that “the credibility of Europe” is at stake. That’s putting it mildly… 

mdi-timer 12 December 2022 @ 16:08 12 Dec 2022 @ 16:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Virtually No Guests at European Commission’s €400,000 Metaverse Party

Seeking to maintain its relevance in an ever-changing world, the European Union is leading the way in technological innovation. It’s a shame nobody wants to follow them.

The Commission’s aid department recently spent €387,000 on a metaverse platform to promote its Global Gateway initiative. The project culminated with the Global Gateway Gala, a virtual Beach Party – surely the social event of the year for any Eurocrats wanting to escape winter in Brussels. Alas, nobody turned up…

Journalist Vince Chadwick was in attendance at the event and, after a brief chat with one other plugged-in partygoer, ended up as the only person there. The EU were hoping to raise awareness of their work amongst 18-35-year-olds “primarily on TikTok and Instagram” who were “neutral about the EU”. After nigh-on half a million euros of taxpayers’ money, their youthful neutrality remains blissfully undisturbed…

Co-conspirators can catch a glimpse of the Commission’s virtual platform, without having to enter the matrix, through this trailer they posted to Twitter:

Guido is at a loss to explain how it didn’t catch on…

mdi-timer 1 December 2022 @ 16:52 1 Dec 2022 @ 16:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Commission Shows Solidarity by Softening Sanctions on Russian Coal

The European Commission on Wednesday allowed for the transfer of Russian coal to ease “energy insecurity around the world”. A positive development for the Kremlin’s coffers, this softened the prior sanctions package, which had prohibited EU actors from transferring or providing services for Russian supplies. This comes at a time when the EU is supposed to be phasing out coal use in pursuit of net zero targets. The decision was pushed through despite reported opposition from member states, including Poland and the Baltics. It also comes as Russia gears up for an escalation. They certainly picked their moment…

What makes this policy shift the more bemusing is the gulf between supranational word and deed. The move follows von der Leyen’s State of the Union address, where she promised an “unshakeable” solidarity with Ukraine, whilst committing to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Barely a week has passed and already two of her priorities have been dealt a self-inflicted hammer blow.

mdi-timer 23 September 2022 @ 08:45 23 Sep 2022 @ 08:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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