EU elections: The iron rule of economic growth and popular support

WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | In 2007, 70 percent of Spanish citizens had a favorable opinion on the EU. After seven years of recession, banking collapses and sovereign debt crisis, support is now at just 50%, two points below the United Kingdom’s. This is not the only area where Euro-skepticism has taken hold in the Spanish public opinion. Only 38 percent of Spaniards believe now that “the [European] economic integration has strengthened the economy.” In Britain, the proportion is 41 percent.


Luis Solana

Luis Solana: “Finance and energy sectors need to be closely monitored” (I)

MADRID | By Fernando Barciela | As the election day approaches, we bring you a series of special interviews focused on economic perspectives for the EU citizens and companies. Today we focus on the telecom sector, which is experiencing a deep transformation in the continent. Former chairman of Spanish Telefonica Luis Solana, currently responsible for the company’s entrepreneurship activities, comments on the main challenges ahead, as well as the need of surveillancance over the EU banking and energy sectors, and the inevitable downsizing of the welfare state in the region. Nonetheless, he was a socialist elected MP in Spain for five years during the transition period.

EU rules against Google in ‘right to be forgotten’ case

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | The EU highest court backing the right to be forgotten has taken Google by surprise. The Internet giant cannot longer refuse to erase personal information of citizens who request it. The sentence, which is setting a crucial precedent in the history of the Web, has raised an intense debate about censorship and the boundaries of tech giants. From now on, no matter how powerful online providers are, in EU soil they will need to comply with European law unless they have “legitimate” reason to do otherwise.


EU nearer to become a one-voice block

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | For the first time European citizens will elect the successor of the European Commision’s president Jose Manuel Durão Barroso. The upcoming elections of May 25 will have two candidates, one for the socialist party, Martin Schulz, and another for the conservatives, Jean-Claude Juncker. This change of direction is not the result of a reform or a pact in the back room but of a consensus decision. Hopefully, the US could no longer say they don’t have a European direct interlocutor.

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The withered EU recovery

BRUSSELS | By Jacobo de Regoyos | The euro zone’s GDP is to grow by 1.2% in 2014 and by 1.7% in 2015, the European Commission forecasts, while the whole of the EU will do by 1.6% and 2%, respectively. Even if Brussels rather thinks recovery is firmly rooted and it must protect it from gloomy predictions, the truth is that last data are showing an economy that is not really taking-off. 

Angela' s lies

Angela’s little lies

BARCELONA | By Vinçent Navarro | Germany is not only about minijobs. Although Southern European economies are debating about this measure that Berlin took under Schröder’s government in order to tackle unemployment, much less is said about the German model or ‘Rhineland capitalism’, essentially based on works councils and co-management.

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ECB: April inflation screening mode

LONDON | By François Cabau at Barclays Capital| The ECB stayed on hold this month. Keeping its easing bias, the Governing Council had a “very rich” and “ample” discussion on possible further easing measures. In our view, if expectations of a rebound in April HICP are not met, affecting the medium-term price outlook, the ECB may need to ease further.

EU gives us a gift before summit

EU gives us a gift before summit

RIGA | By Virginia Dumitraş at Adevărul Moldova via Presseurop | On the eve of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius the European Commission has proposed to abolish visa requirements for Moldovan holders of biometric passports.