Political Briefing #11/2016

POLITICS & POLICY

Greece – Pension reforms: Protests

The Protest against pension reforms became extremely violent today in Athens when farmers started throwing stones at the Agricultural Ministry building, and police tried to stop them with tear gas. Around eight hundred farmers from Crete tried to enter the building despite police guarding the entrance. Media suggest that farmers will try to block Syntagma square, in downtown Athens, with their tractors.

Source: Novinite, 12/02/2016

Italy – Economic trends: Stagnation

It appears that Italy’s recovery from recession came to a standstill at the end of 2015. According to ISTAT, the state statistical institute, Italian GDP increased by only 0.1% from the third to fourth quarter of 2015, which translates into an annualised rate of 1% in the last three months of 2015. These rates are below most analysts’ predictions and could complicate Italian efforts in reducing its public debt. Slower than anticipated growth could also complicate Rome’s relations with Brussels and intensify tensions between the two capitals.

Source: The local, 12/02/2016


THE STATEMENT

“The countries that have had growth in Europe have achieved it only because they broke the deficit rules (…) In economic terms, the United States is better off than eight years ago. Europe is worse off. To reduce it to a newspaper headline, or a Tweet if you prefer: Obama did well, (former European Commission President) Barroso did not”.

Matteo Renzi, PM of Italy

Source: The local, 11/02/2016


NUMBERS

3.1%

The percentage by which Bulgarian GDP increased in the last quarter of 2015.

Source: Novinite, 12/02/2016

3.6%

The percentage by which Portuguese exports grew in 2016.

Source: Portugal Resident, 10/02/2016


Photo credits CC: Francesco Pierantoni


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