Political Briefing #2/2016


Greece – Tax Evasion: Deal with Germany

Following the protests against pension reforms, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decided to fortify Greece’s relation with Germany by sharing information regarding tax collection and consequently be as transparent and collaborative as possible. The two countries have signed an agreement foreseeing that fifty Greek tax officials will receive training by German officials. In exchange, Germany is allowed to control the implementation of particular actions in Greece. Tracking evaders could importantly increase Greece’s potential tax revenues.

Source:  Ekathimerini, 16/01/2016

EU – Refugee crisis: More taxes?

According to German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, in order to manage the refugee crisis and strengthen European borders, an extra tax on petrol should be implemented throughout the European Union. The adoption should be voluntary and, while Finland’s finance minister Alexander Stubb believes the proposal is worth considering, Timo Soini, the foreign minister and leader of the Finns Party, believes this would be a EU-dictated tax. According to Soini, the problem should be solved instead with an internal transfer of EU funds along the lines of the existing Cohesion fund.

Source: Yle, 17/01/2016

Bulgaria – Borders: Greek protests

According to Vladimir Pisanchev, Bulgaria’s Consul General to Thessaloniki and former head of the national security agency DANS, the Greek farmers’protests against pension cuts could cause the blockade of border crossing with Bulgaria. Kulata-Promachonas, for instance, is an important checkpoint between Bulgaria and Greece. Nonetheless, travellers would still have other options if they would like to cross the borders.

Source: Novinite, 15/01/2016


“He said women coming to the UK on a spouse visa could lose their right to stay in the country if they did not improve their English. New rules would come into force from October, he said, and these would involve people with poor English having their language ability tested after two and a half years. If they were not improving, there would be no guarantee of their staying, he said”.

Polly Toynbee reporting Cameron’s words in today’s live interview

Source: The Guardian, 18/01/2016


€11 billion

The amount by which the cost of Britain’s imports would increase should the UK leave the EU, according to the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign.

Source: The Guardian, 17/01/2016


The percentage of British people who are in favour of leaving the EU, according to polls.

Source: The Guardian, 17/01/2016

Photo credits CC: Conservatives

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