The Corner | March 9, 2015 | The ECB will finally begin its purchasing of sovereign bonds today, but as ever, the Greek question continues to loom in the background. Greece will return to the forefront of events today at the meeting of the Eurogroup of finance ministers in Brussels. Weekend remarks from the Syriza led government seemed to spell out just how precarious the government’s financial situation now is. Yet once again, the country and its creditors appear polls apart on how best to proceed.
LONDON | Sigrún Davíðsdóttir | Forget economics, politics is key to understanding the Eurozone. The cries of “Grexit” lately have mostly been a repetition of an earlier discourse: in February 2012 Citi’s economists Willem Buiters and Ebrahim Rahbari coined the term “Grexit,” by July 2012 estimating its likelihood to 90%. Cheered on by the media, economists have taken over the debate of the Eurozone which is why much of it has been such a futile exercise: it is not economics, which ties the Eurozone together but the political determination of its leaders to make the euro work. With political will likelihood of any exit is 0. Ergo, Grexit is as unlikely now as it has always been in spite of the EU brinkmanship. One route Greece seems to be exploring is a tried and tested one: the “bisque clause” from 1946.
MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Despite British PM David Cameron’s intense campaign against him, Jean-Claude Juncker was chosen as European Commission new president on Friday with 26 out of 28 heads of states’ votes. Candidate of the centre right European People’s party, the largest group in the parliament, and a veteran EU deal-broker, Luxembourg’s former PM vows for increasing the power of Brussels and reducing the voice of nation states. He’ll be officially appointed on July 16 with the strong opposition of the EU’s financial centre.
MADRID | By Álex García
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.
LUXEMBURGO | By Fernand Morbach at Luxemburger Wort via Presseurop | The Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) of former prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker who resigned in July came first in general elections held on October 20, with 33.6 per cent of the vote and 23 seats (out of a total of 60) in Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies. This is down from 26 seats in the previous administration.