Daily Press Summary
Former German Justice Minister to launch legal challenge against both ‘fiscal treaty’ and permanent eurozone bailout fund
Der Spiegel reports that former German Justice Minister Herta Däubler-Gmelin (SPD) has announced that she will launch a legal challenge at the German Constitutional Court on behalf of the ‘More Democracy’ campaign against both the ‘fiscal treaty’ on eurozone budgetary discipline and the ESM treaty establishing the permanent bailout fund. Däubler-Gmelin argued that the EU plans “cross a red line” by transferring too much power away from national parliaments to the EU level, and that "I'm all for Europe, but not for a Europe that is determined only by the governing elites”.
Spanish PM hits out at European leaders for publicly criticising Spain;
ECB member hints at possible renewal of bond purchases
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy yesterday lamented negative “statements from some European leaders” on Spain and warned them to “be cautious in what they say” – remarks which are widely thought to be aimed at French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, after both leaders publicly criticised the Spanish government. Following a steep rise, Spanish borrowing costs settled yesterday, although markets remain cautious over the prospects of a Spanish bailout.
Benoît Coeuré, ECB executive board member, hinted yesterday that the ECB could renew its purchases of eurozone government bonds if fears over Spain continue to spread, although Jorg Asmussen, another member of the ECB’s executive board, insisted that the ECB “has done its part”, following its unlimited long term lending operations. Meanwhile, a leader in Wirtschaftswoche argues that Germany is facing inflation as a result of the ECB's actions, concluding that "Germany will bleed for the euro".
The Greek government confirmed yesterday that the Greek general election will be held on 6 May, with the new parliament expected to convene on the 17 May. Kathimerini reports that the latest Public Issue opinion poll for Skai TV shows that New Democracy support has fallen to 19% from 30% in February, with parties such as the right-wing Independent Greeks almost doubling in support to 11% over a similar period.
Former Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos was arrested yesterday on charges of money laundering relating to the €2.5bn purchase of submarines from Germany in 2000, when he is alleged to have accepted €8m in bribes to secure the deal.
Johan Van Overtveldt, the editor-in-chief of Belgian magazines Knack and Trends, argues that "Belgian public debt is uncontrollable" and that the country is no longer solvent, adding that correcting this problem will be difficult within the flawed structures of the eurozone.
FT CityAM Telegraph Irish Times FT 2 CityAM 2 WSJ Irish Independent Independent Guardian BBC: Today Mail NYT Telegraph 2 Irish Independent 2 FT 3 FT 4 FT 5 WSJ 2 Times BBC EurActiv European Voice NYT 2 FT 6 Kathimerini Euractiv.de CityAM 3 Irish Independent 3 Telegraph 3 Le Monde Les Echos Figaro BBC: Flanders WSJ: Stephens Wirtschaftswoche Knack: Van Overtveldt FTD: Gros FT: Soros Süddeutsche Welt EurActiv
Open Europe's Pieter Cleppe participated in a panel debate on EU regional spending with UK Labour MEP Derek Vaughan, for the ‘Europe and You’ programme. Pieter highlighted the findings from Open Europe's recent report, which showed that by limiting the EU’s structural funds to the least wealthy member states would save the vast majority of member states a significant amount on their contribution to the EU budget, with the UK saving around £4bn over seven years.
Europe and You Open Europe Research: Off Target
Barnier: We will not make EU regulations for hedge funds more burdensome;
London hedge fund firm relocates to Monaco in response to looming EU rules
Writing in City AM, EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier argues that, when implementing the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), the European Commission will not “call into question or alter the substance of the political agreement” reached between MEPs and ministers two years ago. There are industry fears that the Commission could impose additional requirements through so-called ‘implementing measures’.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that London hedge fund firm Tyrus Capital has moved the bulk of its operations to Monaco. A source said, “I think it's driven by the EU regulation that's just coming through, which they see as onerous and unnecessary.”
Separately, Andrea Enria, Chairman of the EU’s European Banking Authority, yesterday hit out at industry claims that tough new capital requirements for the bloc’s big banks are constricting lending and economic growth, the FT reports.
City AM: Barnier FT Reuters
Sarkozy warns of economic crisis if Socialists elected;
Hollande refuses to give way to markets
At a campaign rally yesterday, Nicolas Sarkozy warned voters that Socialist candidate Francois Hollande’s economic policies would provoke a “massive crisis of confidence” which could plunge France into an economic crisis comparable to that of Spain. Hollande rejected claims that his economic programme would cause market havoc, and criticised Sarkozy’s poor reaction to the eurocrisis, “over the past two years and a half, no solutions have been offered, and speculation and instability remain”.
Independent Times Times: Leader FT: Carnegy Figaro Figaro 2 Monde Monde 2 Monde 3 Monde 4 Les Echos
The FT reports that oil and mining companies have gained the support of EU member states in their efforts to water down proposed EU Commission anti-corruption rules that would require them to publish what they pay state authorities for individual projects.
Following India’s official refusal yesterday to participate in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan warned that the law is a “deal-breaker” for global climate talks.