POLITICS & POLICY
The development of the Greek economy remains one of the main concerns of European politicians and institutions. On Monday, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici visited Athens to assess the progress made by the Greek authorities in the frame of the country’s third bailout programme. Moscovici called for all stakeholders to reach an agreement over the second review by the end of this week.
Indeed, on Monday 5 the Eurogroup is expected to close the second review of the bailout programme and start talks about potential debt relief for Athens. As Ekathimerini reports, ECB Executive board member Benoit Coeure reminded all negotiating partners that there are serious concerns over the sustainability of Greece’s debt. Meanwhile, nine MEPs from the GUE/NGL, S&D and Green political groups wrote an open letter to the President of the Eurogroup, calling for the institutions not to hinder the conclusion of the second review and to support the progress made by the Greek economy over the past few months. However, disagreements among international creditors is expected to stay, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pressured Germany to request further austerity measures in the frame of the negotiations.
Brexit continues to make the headlines: on Monday, a secret memo revealed that the British government is considering to go for a sort of “Canada plus” trade deal in the frame of the negotiations with its EU partners, rather than remaining a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). On the occasion of a speech held before the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton warned that Brexit negotiations might end without an agreement by their deadline. He reminded his audience of the CETA trade deal with Canada, which risked to collapse in their final week, after years of negotiations.
On Monday, Matthew Elliot, the leader of the Vote Leave campaign, blasted Mark Carney, the Governor of the British Central Bank, for trying to delay the Brexit process. More precisely, Elliot argued that Carney would go “against the will of the British people”. Meanwhile, the Leave.EU campaign released a statement on Monday, announcing the cancellation of the pro-Brexit rally that was planned for the December 5. On Monday, the Supreme Court is expected to make a decision over the Government’s appeal against the High Court’s decision of last month, according to which Theresa May’s cannot trigger Article 50 without involving the UK Parliament.
Meanwhile, on Friday, former EU High Representative Javier Solana argued that Brexit could have a positive effect on EU integration in matters of common defence and security. On Monday, Theresa May met with her Polish counterpart, Beata Szydlo in London to discuss the prospects of Polish citizens living in the UK. May confirmed her willingness “to guarantee the rights of all Europeans currently living within UK borders, as long as the same applies to British citizens living abroad”. She, also reassured Szydlo about her commitment to maintain sanctions against Russia, in an effort to securitize the Eastern border of the EU.
“It is in our interest that Britain remain an EU state as long as possible and pay contributions as long as possible,”
Witold Waszczykowski, Polish Foreign Minister
Source: EurActiv, 29.11.2016
The percentage of German citizens who would like to hold a referendum over the Country’s stay in the European Union
Source: Die Zeit, 29.11.2016
Photo Credits CC Arbeitskreis Vorratsdaten
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