Political Briefing #17/2016

POLITICS & POLICY

Greece – Pension reforms: Farmers’ protest

On Thursday, Alexis Tsipras met with roadblocks’ representatives after having already visited 52 roadside pickets on Monday. The Greek Prime Minister reiterated what he had stated at the beginning of the week, that is reassuring that people working in the agricultural sector, who earn low incomes, will not be forced to pay higher taxes and contributions. More precisely, the proposal states that people earning less than 20,000 euros per year in the agricultural sector will not pay more in tax and social security contributions.

Source: Ekathimerini, 25/02/2016

Czech Republic – EU: Czexit?

According to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, the word ‘Czexit’has never been pronounced. However, it is true that Sobotka spoke about the important consequences that Brexit would have on Europe, and about a hypothetical Czech Republic’s departure from the EU and possible return to the Russian sphere of influence. Even though the above vision was discussed as a mere supposition, The French newspaper Les Echos presented it as government’s official policy.

Source: Ceskenoviny, 26/02/2016

Greece – Foreign Relations:

Austria Greece has rejected Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner’s visit request. This follows Austria’s decision to leave Athens out of a meeting on migration in the Balkans. Indeed, at a EU meeting this week, Mikl-Leitner questioned Greece’s place in the passport-free Schengen zone. Greece assumes that Austria has supported border restrictions by Balkan states, which in turn has caused a congestion on Greek borders that is ever harder to manage.

Source: The local, 26/02/2016


THE STATEMENT

“We are a great country, we are the fifth largest economy in the world. Everybody wants access to our market. We won’t be supplicants. We will have a sensible agreement with the EU which would give their countries access to our market and would give us access to theirs”.

Michael Howard, Former leader of the Uk Conservative party

Source: The Guardian, 26/02/2016


NUMBERS

2.9%

The percentage by which Slovenia’s economy has expanded in 2015

Source: Sta, 26/02/2016

1.2%

The percentage by which the unemployment dropped between November 2015 and January 2016 in Hungary.

Source: Bbj, 26/02/2016


Photo Credits CC: altogetherfool


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