Monex Europe | The euro found support in anonymous reports this morning that the frugal four countries are now satisfied with €390bn of the fund coming in the form of grants. The initial proposal included a total of €500bn to be allocated in grants, but the leaders failed to find a compromise on the overall size over the weekend. The talks will resume at 4pm CEST today.
Intermoney | The European justice ruled last week in favour of Apple over Ireland’s advantageous tax treatment. In 2016, the Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager considered that Ireland’s tax treatment applied to Apple was irregular and distorting competition in the single market. Now, in an appealable judgment to the EU Court of Justice, Brussels is considered as not having been able to properly argue that reasoning.
European News | All of a sudden, a raft of new sensational stories emerged: 5G is responsible for causing COVID-19; 5G is spreading the virus at lightning speeds; 5G is a front for a global ploy to inject us all with a “vaccine” designed to track our movements. Such speculation borders on the absurd, but its consequences are no laughing matter. Since January, there have been over 140 attacks on telecoms infrastructure across 10 European countries, with 87 incidents taking place in the UK alone.
On 8th July, the EU announced its hydrogen strategy as a priority within the Green Recovery Plan. Clean hydrogen will be a key tool for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in sectors that are highly dependent on fossil fuels. The European Commission aims to achieve 40GW of renewable hydrogen capacity by 2030, which is an ambitious target as it represents 2.7 times the estimated global capacity in that period. Even so, it is only 5% of the global capacity that would be needed to achieve the Paris agreement objectives.
Joan Tapia (Barcelona) | Spain has lost out in the Eurogroup, but only by 10 to 9 and with the vote in favour of the powerful Franco-German axis. It is an honourable defeat that indicates our limitations. Some claim that the result is due to the fact Spain has a government with communist participation, something anomalous in Europe. I think that it is a warning from the medium-sized countries to the Franco-German axis to take them more into account. Spain is not gaining influence in Europe, but it will have little impact on economic policy.
Morgan Stanley | For the time being, the Fund is still only a proposal and there remains a wide divergence of views about the amount, duration, allocation, grants/loans etc. We assume that the final outcome will be in line with the Commission’s proposal: €750 Bn in joint issuance (500 Bn in grants and 250 Bn in loans). As regards to the use of the funds, the optimal scenario would be one where spending is applied via investment since it has a higher fiscal multiplier (vs for example a corporate tax cut or transfers).
David Kohl (Chief Economist Germany, Julius Baer) | Lower new infection rates in Europe and a swifter recovery of activity are valid reasons to scale back some pessimism regarding the eurozone growth outlook. The eurozone has ramped up its fiscal response to the corona pandemic. We feel comfortable in expecting for the region a more moderate contraction of -7.2% in 2020.
Peter Allen Goves (MFS Investment Management) | The overall macro picture has not changed significantly since the June meeting. The economy continues to recover and the inflation outlook is muted. We still see enough flexibility in the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) to combat any unwarranted tightening in financial conditions. The June targeted longer-term refinancing operation (TLTRO) was a successful exercise and the extra liquidity added (around €550bn) is seen as enough to support the private sector into the recovery phase (or at least reduce liquidity crisis). Overall, we do not believe there is a strong need for further action from the European Central Bank (ECB) at the current juncture. If anything, the ECB communication will be closely watched.
Industrial production in the euro area chalked up a record rise of 12.4% in May, after falls of 18.2% in April and 11.8% in March. However, the figure was still 20.9% below the level recorded in May 2019, according to data published by the EU’s statistics office Eurostat. In the case of Spain, industrial production rebounded 15.1% in May after declines of 22.8% in April and 13.5% in March. The figure was still 24.9% lower than in May 2019.
Lidia Conde (Frankfurt) | Germany takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union Council from July. The other member states’ expectations are high. All the dimensions of the health, social and economic impact of the coronavirus are still unknown. But we know that the consequences could be immense. All together to relaunch Europe” is the German Presidency’s motto and one which is not just words. Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel are committed to it.