Ireland – Brexit: Minimum wage

According to Ibec, the Irish employers group, Brexit could increase the gap between the Irish and UK minimum wage. At the beginning of January, Ireland’s minimum wage increased by 50% to reach €9.15 (even though Irish minimum wage was already 7% higher than in the UK). According to Maeve McElwee, Ibec director of employer relations, “the focus must be on maintaining competitiveness and creating jobs”. The UK referendum is already influencing exchange rates and therefore excessive pay rises may weaken competitiveness in a moment of global uncertainty.

Source: The Irish Times, 14/03/2016

Greece – Economic crisis: Quality of life

According to the first Europe-wide Index of Intergenerational Fairness created by the Intergenerational Foundation (IF), a UK-based think tank, Greece is the least desirable country for the young to live in. Ageing population, youth unemployment and old-age dependency are, among others, the reasons for such a poor performance. For this reason, Angus Hanton, IF’s co-founder has strongly advised to prioritize investments on the young.

Source: Ekathimerini, 11/03/2016

Belgium – EU budget: Refugee crisis

It appears that European governments will be able to leave out the extra costs provoked by the asylum crisis from the budget that they have to present to the European Commission for approval. The Belgian federal government needs to find around €3.2 billion by 2018 to balance its budget. Nonetheless, according to Marianne Thyssen, the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, there is the possibility that the €650 million spent by the country for the refugee cause can be separated from the budget.

Source: Flanders news, 14/03/2016


“Any effort to think critically about the future shape of the EU and Britain’s relationships within it runs the risk of being regarded as simply another exercise in euro-scepticism (…) while it is acceptable to indulge in colourful rhetoric offering visions for the future, there is very little space for asking critical questions about specific changes that might be made to improve the functioning of EU institutions and the effectiveness of its policy implementation”.

Nevil Johnson, for the Centre for Policy Studies

Source: Times of Malta, 14/03/2016



The percentage by which domestic sales dropped in January in Hungary.

Source: Bbj, 13/03/2016



The numbers of migrants that have been repatriated thanks to the European Return Fund between 2013-2016.

Source: Times of Malta, 14/03/2016

Photo Credits CC: epp group

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