Political Briefing #8/2016

POLITICS & POLICY

Greece – Debt crisis: Taxes

In order to reach the targets set as part of its bailout, Greece has proposed to its lenders to increase its top rate of personal income tax from 42 to 50 percent. According to the government, this could raise around 300 million annually. However, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism believe that such an increase could harm the competitiveness of the Greek economy.

Source: Ekathimerini, 2/02/2016

EU – Tax policies: No harmonisation

According to Alfred Sant, the former Prime Minister of Malta, it would be unfair to implement tax harmonisation among EU countries, since such a move would be to the advantage of members enjoying better economic support. Sant argues that a corporate tax package would be desirable only as long as it introduced more transparency in European Union tax matters. However, smaller economies need flexibility in tax policies.

Source: Times of Malta, 3/02/2016

UK – Brexit: Tusk’s proposals

David Cameron seems to agree with Donald Tusk’s plans for a new deal between the EU and Britain, arguing that they show “real progress”. These agreements foresee a four-year brake for EU migrant workers’ welfare payments, protection for non-euro economies, and also a ‘red card’ system granting more powers to national parliaments in the area of EU legislation. According to Jean-Claude Juncker, the proposal meets the requests of a different kind of integration by the UK.

Source: The Local, 3/02/2016


THE STATEMENT

“The settlement proposed by president Tusk recognises that not all member states participate in all areas of the EU policy. The UK benefits from more protocols and opt-outs than any other member state. This is why, as a matter of law and a matter of fact, the concept of ever closer union has already assumed a different meaning in its case. (…) The settlement recognises this; it recognises that if the UK considered that it is now at the limits of its level of integration then that is fine. At the same time it makes clear that other member states can move towards a deeper degree of integration as they see fit”.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

Source: The Guardian, 3/02/2016


 

NUMBERS

35

The million euros that will be provided for loans to innovative companies in Bulgaria over the next two years by the European Investment Fund and Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria

Source: Novinite, 3/02/2016

€100,000

The sum spent by the Bank of Portugal for a research that analyses the pros and cons of monetary union

Source: Portugalresident, 3/02/2016


Photo credits CC: Friends of Europe


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