POLITICS & POLICY
Bulgaria – Business indicators: Improvements
According to the latest figures, Bulgaria’s “Business climate indicator” has increased by 1.6% in March. This indicator summarizes the opinions of managers in various industries. A business climate survey released by the National Statistical Institute says that low domestic demand and an unstable economic environment remain the principal causes of concern for new operations. Nevertheless, all sectors have experienced an improvement apart from services, for which the indicator has fallen by 1.3%.
Source: Novinite, 29/03/2016
Hungary – European funds: Irregularities
The European Commision has decided to halt payments for projects implemented in Hungary during the 2007-2013 financing period. The halt, which came temporarily in September 2015, is now official. The European Commission has declared that it is willing to restore payments if Hungary rectifies irregularities flagged by the Commission, and accept to pay a fine. Meanwhile, €700 mln originally allocated to Hungary have been cancelled or suspended.
Source: Bbj, 30/03/2016
UK – Pay rise: Unequal distribution
According to a specialised think tank that monitors people’s living standards, up to a third of workers will benefit from a new living wage introduced by George Osborne this week. It is calculated that at least 30% of workers will benefit from the new hourly pay of £7.20, applicable to employees over 25 years of age. However, it appears that there are some marked differences between “hotspots” and some London boroughs, where in some cases less than one in ten employees will receive a pay rise.
Source: The Guardian, 30/03/2016
“What we’re seeing is a growing fragmentation of the vote, on the left and on the right (…) The mainstream parties of the centre-left and centre-right that could once rely on 40% of the vote are now reduced to 20 or 25%. It’s happening everywhere, and it can be massively problematic (…) I see two possible scenarios (…) Either Europe’s mainstream parties get used to this new world and start thinking seriously about ways to build entirely new kinds of broad-based coalitions. Or they don’t, in which case the outcome could be real political crisis, and even ungovernability”
Simon Hix, professor of European and comparative politics at LSE,
Source: The Guardian, 21/12/2015
The number of homeless children in Dublin, according to the latest figures (the number has doubled in the past year).
Source: Irish Times, 29/03/2016
The number of people that depend on social benefits for their livelihood in Malta (the number has decreased by 30% since 2014).
Source: Times of Malta, 29/03/2016
Photo Credits CC: Europe Decides