Political Briefing #9/2016

POLITICS & POLICY

EU – Economic growth: Slowing down

The European Commission has reconsidered its 2016 growth projections and stated that eurozone’s economy is more and more at risk. The Commission declared that the economy would grow by 1.7% this year, a bit slower compared to the 1.8% predicted three months ago. Migration, security threats and uncertainty related to new implemented economy’s growth could eventually stagnate.

Source: Times of Malta, 7/02/2016

Greece – Pension reforms: Reconsiderations

In order to satisfy lenders’ requests, the government has accepted to review the pension reforms and to lower social security contributions from 1.5 to 1 percentage points. With regards to tax reforms, lenders have argued that 50% of taxes for earnings above 60,000 euros is too high and that self-employed and salaried professionals should not fit into the same tax bracket. Moreover, it appears that political challenges have led the government propose a change to electoral law. The latter foresees that the winning party obtains only 30 seat bonus (instead of 50) and that this will also apply to the parties that, before the vote, have declared they are prepared to cooperate.

Source: Novinite, 8/02/2016

Bulgaria – Political novelties: New movement

In order to satisfy lenders’ requests, the government has accepted to review the pension reforms and to lower social security contributions from 1.5 to 1 percentage points. With regards to tax reforms, lenders have argued that 50% of taxes for earnings above 60,000 euros is too high and that self-employed and salaried professionals should not fit into the same tax bracket. Moreover, it appears that political challenges have led the government propose a change to electoral law. The latter foresees that the winning party obtains only 30 seat bonus (instead of 50) and that this will also apply to the parties that, before the vote, have declared they are prepared to cooperate.

Source: Novinite, 6/02/2016


THE STATEMENT

“I’m afraid that the European Union is gradually, slowly weakening, and that instead of a united Europe you’ll get many different Europes, going at different speeds that will weaken the West and partly deny the United States having a strong ally in Europe. So I hope the European leaders can maneuver through this crisis and find various solutions along the way, I’m just not confident that they can do it”.

Robert Kaplan, U.S. analyst

Source: Agerpres, 8/02/2016


 

NUMBERS

7,3%

The percentage by which Hungarian exports have grown in the last year.

Source: bbj, 8/02/2016

600

The number of millions that Austria asks to the EU for the extra-care provided to asylum seekers last year.

Source: Novinite, 8/02/2016


Photo credits CC: Australian Strategic Policy Institute


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