Monday, 12 August 2013

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German election update: Would the SPD rather stay in opposition than become Merkel's "lackeys" again?
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What would leaving the EU mean for the UK's services sector?
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Lib Dems set to officially endorse in/out referendum and Treaty change to secure single market safeguards
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Daily Press Summary

Der Spiegel: Bundesbank expects Greece to need further aid by start of 2014 at the latest
Der Spiegel reports that, according to a Bundesbank document seen by the paper, the German central bank expects Greece to need fresh financial aid by the start of 2014 at the latest. The document notes that risks to the bailout programme remain “exceptionally high” and labels the performance of the Greek government as “barely satisfactory”. Separately, Kathimerini reports that Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has said that talks on Greek debt relief should begin in November, provided that preliminary data show Greece on track to reach a primary surplus at the end of 2013.
Spiegel Guardian Kathimerini CityAM FAZ Süddeutsche Reuters Deutschland Welt Telegraph Kathimerini 2
In a speech later today, Labour shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant will argue that “It is unfair that unscrupulous employers... recruit workers in large numbers in low wage countries in the EU, bring them to the UK” and then not pay them the UK minimum wage. However, he has since backed away from allegations levelled against specific companies.
Open Europe research: Free Movement Telegraph Sunday Telegraph
According to research by RBS, European banks need to cut €661bn in assets and generate €47bn in capital over the next five years to meet the requirements of new banking regulations. Separately, City AM notes that banks across Europe shut 5,500 branches last year – 2.5% of the total.
FT Telegraph CityAM EUobserver
Data collated by the House of Commons library, at the request of the Labour party, showed that real average hourly wages in the UK have fallen by 5.5% since mid-2010 – the fourth largest decline in Europe after Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Independent on Sunday BBC
EUobserver reports that former Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen will today call for Danes to be given a vote on whether to give up two of the country’s opt-outs from the Maastricht Treaty – concerning EU crime and policing and EU defence co-operation - and also to approve its participation in the European patent court.
The FT reports that Brazil is set to push for its own free trade deal with the EU after negotiations over a wider agreement between the EU and the South-American trade bloc Mercosur have proved fruitless. Brazil’s rising prosperity means it will lose preferential EU treatment next year without a new trade deal.
Spain could take its dispute with the UK over Gibraltar to the UN with the support of Argentina, reports El Pais. The move would come as part of a new diplomatic "united front" between the two countries over Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.
Independent Guardian El Mundo El Pais
The Mail on Sunday reports that Spanish accident and emergency units are flouting the rules of the European Health Insurance scheme by forcing Britons to pay up front for treatment that they are entitled to receive for free.
Mail on Sunday
City firms will have to set out in writing next year how many men and women they are trying to appoint to boardroom positions following the introduction of new EU rules contained within the Capital Requirements Directive, intended to ensure more gender balance in the sector.
The Telegraph reports that MPs on the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee are demanding the right to have a say in the choice of the next UK envoy to the EU. The Foreign Office has refused to sanction the move so far.
No link
Sir Paul Ruddock, co-founder of the Lansdowne Partners hedge-fund, was cited by the Sunday Telegraph as saying that “I can understand the desire to take back some of those powers [from Brussels]… But I am absolutely in favour of staying part of an EU trade zone. It would be a disaster if we were to pull out of that.”
Sunday Telegraph
The SPD Chancellor candidate, Peer Steinbrück, told Süddeutsche “it is a scandal that [the current CDU/CSU and FDP coalition] continues to delay the financial transaction tax”, promising that he would push ahead with the FTT in case of election victory.
Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore has backed proposals for Ireland and the UK to run joint trade missions aimed at boosting trade with countries outside the EU, while still competing with Britain for inward investment, reports the Irish Independent.
Irish Independent
The Sunday Times reports that new market regulations being considered by the European Union would redefine the country of origin marker on products to their most expensive element, rather than where they were designed or produced, thereby endangering the ‘Made in Britain’ label.
Sunday Times Express

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