BRUSSELS | July 22, 2015 | By Alexandre Mato | Since the transfer of a €7 billion bridge loan, Greece has started negotiations with its international lenders and euro partners to complete a third rescue programme lead by the ESM. To repay its external obligations in August, the country will need a further multi-billion euro support from the EU.
Articles by Alexandre Mato
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BRUSSELS | July 7, 2015 | By Alexandre Mato | When euro leaders and their finance ministers meet with the Greek government later today for a fresh round of negotiations to agree on a new economic assistance programme, the debt issue will still be the mother of all battles. Over the last few days, some economists in Brussels have gathered together ideas for putting Hellenic public finances in order.
BRUSSELS | June 23, 2015 | By Alexandre Mato | Tax hikes and pension system cuts were the main measures offered by Athens to European Institutions and the IMF in order to reach an agreement over the second rescue programme. The €8 billion in savings and new revenues over the next two years were described as important or broad steps. But the proposals are bittersweet.
BRUSSELS | May 7, 2015 | By Alexandre Mato | Plans to spin off Deutsche Bank’s retail business is the latest rumour to emerge from a changing European banking sector eagerly looking for ways to be more profitable under Basel III regulations. Too big to fail institutions are worried about a decline in their margins because of the low interest rates outlook. For these lenders, breaking up their investment and commercial business, as well as going on a shopping spree within the sector, seem to be solutions for growth.
BRUSSELS | April 17, 2015 | By Alexandre Mato | Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece are under the European watchdog scrutiny because of the fiscal rules applied to the current Deferred Tax Assets (DTAs) framework. If proven illegal state aids used to bolster capital ratios, banks would suffer a big bite (4-5%) on their capital levels. However, legislators and the Economic Committee Secretary have admitted to The Corner that they doubt the DTAs investigation was launched due to MEP concerns.
BRUSSELS | March 5, 2015 | By Alexandre Mato | When presenting its annual report, ‘Going for growth’ in Brussels, the Paris-based institution raised some doubts about the ongoing recovery in Europe. Structural, long-term unemployment and low productivity in some Member States are becoming the main economic issues of concern, with neither investment nor fiscal adjustments seen as the antidote.
BRUSSELS | By Alexandre Mato | The leader of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, offered a friendly welcome to the Greek Prime Minister at the Commission entrance on Wednesday. There were no speeches, nor questions from journalists. After posing in front of the cameras, Juncker took Tsipras’ hand, the two leaving the photo-call as ‘lovers’. And some hours later, in a not that surprising move, Draghi banned the use of the Greek debt as collateral for the European Central Bank’s. The euro continued falling versus the U.S. dollar after the news: it hit $1.1304 — close to its 11-year low — before stabilizing at $1.1354 around 0540 GMT.
STRASBOURG | By Alexandre Mato | After adopting the single currency on 1 January 2015, the transition period of dual circulation has finished for Lithuania, the country thus becoming the 19th euro area member. Vitas Vasiliauskas, the Governor of The Bank of Lithuania, spoke to The Corner in an exclusive interview before the ECB’s crucial meeting on 22 January, when QE could be launched.
BRUSSELS | By Alexandre Mato | Having failed to secure sufficient funding from Member States at the last EU Summit, this could be the first real economic victory in the months since the new Commission was formed. Flexibility is the new buzzword in Brussels, with calls growing for a “smarter application of the Stability and Growth Pact, Commissioner Moscovici announced.