Merkel supports Luis de Guindos to be the next President of the Eurogroup

MADRID |The Corner | After a meeting between Mariano Rajoy and Angela Merkel in Santiago de Compostela, the German chancellor gave her support to the candidature of the Spanish Economy Minister, Luis de Guindos, to succeed Jeroen Dijsselbloem as President of the Eurogroup. As Barclays analysts comment, “with Italy’s and France’s leftwing governments and UK in or out of the EU, Spain is now a more attractive partner.” Regarding Germany, Angela Merkel recognised that the crisis in Ukraine is damaging the German economy. Nevertheless, Merkel affirmed that she forecasts a good annual growth if nothing dramatic happens.

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Brussels demands more austerity to Spain to meet deficit target, praises banks’ reform

MADRID | By The Corner | In its first surveillance report after the Spanish banking sector bailout, the EC believes that entities are stronger and cleaner. Even if NPLs ratio has not stabilized, banks “are shifting towards more stable funding, such as deposits, and are relying less on borrowing from the Eurosystem.” As market access conditions have greatly improved, Brussels Spain’s return to positive economic growth (using February data, when growth estimates for 2014 were 1% instead of 1.1%) and was positive about the labour market slight improvement, although it warned that jobless rate remains very high (26% 2Q13). Brussels considers that unless further austerity measures are adopted the crisis-battered country won’t meet its deficit goals.

EU faces its ‘second Refoundation’

MADRID | By Claudi Pérez at El País via Presseurop | After five long years, the economic crisis has left a deep imprint in the EU, increasing mistrust between member states, but also cementing the belief in a common destiny. It’s time to bring renewed political leadership.

Brussels budget scrutiny in the Eurozone

MADRID | By JP Marin Arrese | The European Commission has undertaken a thorough review of national budgets following the sweeping powers conferred to it to ensure consistency across the Eurozone. When enacted, this move was heralded as breaking into new territory. Yet the opinions now delivered flatly fail to meet its ambitious goal.

Brussels fiscal advices miss the target

MADRID | By JP Marín Arrese | So long Germany maintains a staunchly depressed environment, Brussels fiscal advices with no plan to boost employment and growth will soon run out of steam.

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Barcelona challenges Madrid

The Catalonian regional government has filed a request for help warning Madrid it will not accept any condition linked to such rescue. For a Cabinet…