Thursday, 15 August 2013

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German growth leads the eurozone out of recession but can it really lead the eurozone out of its crisis?
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Boom! Merkel opens up for the return of powers from Brussels 
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See you in Court? UK-Spanish dispute over Gibraltar rumbles on
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Daily Press Summary

Merkel’s intervention on returning powers from Brussels comes after meeting with reform minded Tory MPs;
Mats Persson: Merkel sees the UK as key to ensuring EU really works for trade and entrepreneurship

Following German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments that “we can also consider whether we can give [some competences] back” to member states from the EU, the Independent notes that her intervention comes after a trip to Berlin by the pro-reform Fresh Start group of Conservative MPs where they “received a sympathetic hearing” according to the paper. A senior member of the group is quoted as saying, “We were given the explicit message that Ms Merkel had seen what we were proposing and could support it”.

Open Europe Director Mats Persson is quoted in the Times as saying “With the German elections out of the way and the euro no longer fighting for survival, Cameron will this autumn have the first real opportunity to make a bold move on European reform. Otherwise, he runs the risk of others setting the agenda for him.” Mats is also quoted by the Telegraph and the Sun, while Open Europe’s Pawel Swidlicki is quoted by EUobserver. On his Telegraph blog, Mats argues that, “We constantly hear from Berlin that Merkel sees Cameron as one of the few EU leaders who genuinely understands the need for Europe up its game in the global market place. So Merkel may try to use her next mandate to kill two birds with one stone – keep the UK in the EU, and achieve pro-competitiveness reforms.”
Telegraph blogs: Persson Times Independent Telegraph Sun EUobserver Mail Express DWN N24 ORF KroneAFP Guardian: Kettle
German Vice Chancellor sees “beginning of the end of the crisis” after eurozone exits recession;
Ruparel: “This remains a crisis of divergence”, any recovery remains fragile

Following data showing that the eurozone exited recession in the second quarter of this year, growing 0.3%, EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn praised the result saying it “supports…the fundamentals of our crisis response”. Rehn added a cautious note, warning that, “the tentative signs of growth are still fragile…there is still a very long way to go”. German Vice Chancellor Philip Rösler said in an interview with radio station SWR2 this morning, “It is clear, even if this is not the end of the crisis, it’s a good beginning of the end of the crisis.”

Writing in City AM, Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel argues, “This remains a crisis of divergence, and Germany is, for the most part, increasing the gap… Differing needs will inevitably transform into political and social divisions if they continue unchecked.” Raoul concludes, “As one of the first pieces of positive hard data out of the Eurozone in some time, the end to the recession should not be dismissed out of hand. However, the Eurozone states should not rest easy, but push on with reforming their economies and governance structures, to ensure growth can firmly take hold and become sustainable.” Raoul was also quoted by the Telegraph discussing the issue.
FT FT 2 FT 3 CityAM WSJ WSJ 2 WSJ 3 Telegraph Rehn statement Reuters EUobserver GuardianIndependent Times: Leader Reuters Deutschland CityAM: Ruparel
According to new figures from the Office of National Statistics, the number of Bulgarians and Romanians working in the UK between April and June rose to 141,000 compared with 112,000 in the previous three months – an increase of 26%.
Open Europe research: Free Movement Telegraph Mail BBC Express

The head of the German Industry Association (BDI) Markus Kerber suggests turning the ESM into a form of ‘Euro Treasury’, implying that the ESM would be able to take over part of a country’s debt in return for national property. Transferring such competences to the ESM would very likely require changing the EU Treaties.
Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete, said his government is “going to modify [its] environmental legislation” to sanction Gibraltar-based companies that offer at-sea refuelling in ‘Spanish protected waters’.
FAZ FAZ: Frankenberger EUobserver Deia
Cinco Días reports that Spanish banks have reduced their borrowing from the ECB by 34% over the past year.
Cinco Días
The European Commission confirmed via its spokesman Jonathan Todd that “it has temporarily put on hold certain payments to Hungary from EU structural funds” after it found alleged irregularities in the way development subsidies have been managed by Budapest.
The Irish Times reports that better eurozone growth prospects will place pressure on the Irish Coalition government to pull back from its planned €3.1bn of cuts and taxes.
Irish Independent
The Irish Times reports that Germany’s anti-euro party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), launched its election campaign by suggesting that France should leave the euro and that Ireland was bullied into accepting a bailout.
Irish Times
A survey among German Chambers of Foreign Trade concludes that “Germany will lose shares of world trade” next year as they anticipate that German exports will increase by 2% and 4% in 2013 and 2014 respectively, while world trade will grow by 3.8% and 6% in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Reuters Deutschland
EUobserver reports that the EU's special envoy to the Middle East, Bernardino Leon, said the Egyptian army rejected an EU-US brokered deal with the Muslim Brotherhood a few hours before the latest surge of violence in Cairo began. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has condemned the clashes.
Reuters EUobserver Open Europe research: EU neighbourhood policy

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