POLITICS AND POLICY
Italy – Economic crisis: Bad loans deal
Italy’s Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan announced on Wednesday that an agreement between Italy and the European Union has been reached in order to help Italian banks get rid of nonperforming loans, which are estimated to amount around €200 billion. A guarantee mechanism at market prices will be put into place, which will not be considered a case of state aid.
Source: The local, 27/01/2016
Hungary – Taxes: Retail taxes
According to government commissioner Magyar Idők, following the Polish model (which still needs to be approved by Brussels), Hungary is planning to levy a tax on big retailers in order to disperse the public burden more evenly among businesses. The finance minister is thinking of introducing a progressive tax that reach sales of more than PLN 1.5 million a month. Still, the government is waiting for EU’s reaction after having been rolled back for implementing the supermarket oversight fee.
Source: bbj, 27/01/2016
Greece – Debt crisis: ESM decisions
The head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) denied a Greek debt cut but declared that extending debt maturities and delaying interest are solutions that officials could adopt in order to make Greece’s debt more manageable. The ESM expects Greece to complete the first review on structural reforms’ progress before deciding how to manage its sovereign debt restructuring. It is important to add that the ESM own 45% of Greek debt.
Source: Times of Malta, 27/01/2016
“An acceleration of developments surrounding the EU referendum and increased news coverage has brought the UK’s EU referendum into the market’s focus. GBP is no longer trading largely on expectations for when the Bank of England will raise interest rates. The complete uncertainty over the EU referendum is one reason behind the GBP’s recent slide. GBP will likely only be able to recover its losses on a ‘stay’referendum outcome”.
Eimear Daly, FX strategist at Standard Chartered bank
Source: The guardian, 27/01/2016
The number of individuals who benefitted from the reduction of the maximum income tax rate of 32 per cent to 29 per cent in 2014 in Malta
Source: Times of Malta, 26/01/2016
The number of homes that were provided last year for social housing in Ireland
Source: Irish times, 27/01/2016
Photo Credits: Lisbon Council