Articles by Alexandre Mato

About the Author

Alexandre Mato
Alexandre Mato covers European affairs from Brussels. Former Editor in-chief of Cierre de Mercados, he was the first ever editor on Spanish TV appointed under the age of 30. He has a degree in Journalism and a postgraduate in International Relations, both from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
A hand shake

Europe’s barren landscape forces banks to make radical changes

BRUSSELS | May 7, 2015 | By Alexandre MatoPlans 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.


Red gloves

The European banking sector fight behind DTAs

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.

Juncker and Rajoy

OECD: “There are risks of persistent stagnation over the Eurozone”

BRUSSELS | March 5, 2015 | By Alexandre MatoWhen 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.

greek bonds

All smiles and handshakes for Tsipras’ EC visit (before ECB tightened the rope)

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.


Lithuania’s central bank governor: “There’s no reason to doubt euro area future”

STRASBOURG | By Alexandre MatoAfter 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.

No Picture

Juncker wins fiscal flexibility for his investment plan

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.

digital tech

Why the EU is not leading the digital-tech race

BRUSSELS | By Alexandre MatoLast year, the EU spent €275 billion on Research & Development, nearly 2% of its GDP. This is undoubtedly a huge amount of money, but not enough to compete with the United States, South Korea or Japan. Furthermore, a brief glance at the main tech and computer companies shows that the European horizon looks somewhat bleak.

No Picture

Daniele Nouy: “We are ready to assume EU banking supervision”

BRUSSELS | By Alexandre Mato | The head of the ECB’s financial watchdog, Daniele Nouy, asserted her belief before EU legislators that entities will arise stronger in the near future. Moreover, on the eve of the Single Supervisory Mechanism taking control of financial supervision, the French official expects that most of the capital shortfall will be filled by an influx of fresh private money.