Friday, 16 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

UK to push EU reform agenda including rules on EU migrants’ access to welfare and the burden of EU regulations on business
The Times reports on its front page that the UK government is pushing ahead with changes aimed at restricting the eligibility of EU migrants to certain UK benefits, with support from Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. In addition, the new EU business taskforce appointed by the Prime Minister will present its proposals on how to lessen the burden of EU regulations ahead of October’s EU leaders’ summit. Open Europe’s Mats Persson is quoted as saying, “Mr Cameron has already built a powerful coalition in Europe, including Germany, in favour of revising rules [on EU migrants’ access to benefits]. The Prime Minister this autumn has a big opportunity to push various pro-competitiveness reforms, including scrapping growth-destroying EU regulations and going for more single market liberalisation.” Mats is also quoted in the Mail.

Following the news that the number of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants in the UK increased by 26% over the past three months, Open Europe’s Pawel Swidlicki appeared on BBC News discussing the issue of EU free movement. In a feature on the BBC website, Pawel is quoted as saying, “Free movement has been broadly beneficial for the UK but it needs to be delicately handled… The public need to be reassured not only that people who have not paid into the system are not abusing it, but also that this cannot happen.” Pawel was also quoted by Gazeta Prawna.
Open Europe research: Free Movement Open Europe research: EU regulation Times Mail Telegraph BBCGazeta Prawna

British media welcome UK-German alliance on EU reform
Following German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments that some EU powers could be returned to member states, FAZ quotes Open Europe’s Director Mats Persson noting that it was the first time Merkel has so explicitly floated the possibility of powers coming back from Brussels. The article also describes Mats as “one of the domestic architects of [Prime Minister David] Cameron’s EU policy”. Open Europe's Pieter Cleppe is quoted by Dutch magazine Elsevier claiming that Merkel’s comments “offer a good opportunity for the Dutch government to realise its own agenda [of EU reform]”. Pieter was also quoted by Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Meanwhile, the Times leader argues that “Today…relations between London and Berlin are often better than between Paris and Berlin. In the past 48 hours [Merkel] appears to have given approval to a modest renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU.” The Telegraph’s leader points out that “The campaign for a reformed EU is gaining momentum”, while the Mail’s leader claims that “In particular, [Merkel] is said to share Britain’s desire to cut EU bureaucracy, slash its grotesquely wasteful budget, and end abuse of the free movement directive”.
FAZ Elsevier Helsingin Sanomat Times: Leader Telegraph: Leader Mail: Leader

FAZ: German liability share of eurozone bailouts higher than suggested by Schäuble
FAZ reports that the figure of €95.3bn recently announced by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, which is supposed to reflect Germany’s liability share of eurozone bailouts, “does not show the full truth”. According to German Government sources, the figure totals €122bn as it should include Germany’s 20% share out of the €60bn provided from the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) in 2010 as well as bilateral credits to Greece provided via the German government-owned development bank KfW totalling €15.2bn.

FAZ Welt

Kathimerini reports that, with the September German elections in mind, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will focus his efforts over the next few months on meeting the latest round of troika targets, improving Greece’s international standing and reducing dissent within the coalition government.

The latest ARD-DeutschlandTrend poll shows that if the German Chancellor were directly elected, 55% would vote for Chancellor Angela Merkel (-5 points), while 22% would vote for Peer Steinbrück (-6 points). 17% said they would vote for neither candidate (+7 points).
ARD DeutschlandTrend Spiegel

El Pais reports that Spain’s opposition socialist party PSOE has proposed that Spain’s dispute with Gibraltar should be dealt within the EU framework.
El Pais ABC Express Gibraltar Chronicle

60% of top business people from around the world say that Angela Merkel’s re-election in Germany would make them more confident about the economic prospects of the eurozone, according to the latest FT/Economist Global Business Barometer survey. Only 16% said it would make them less confident – the rest were undecided.


Ceske Noviny reports that Czech President, Milos Zeman, is planning early elections for October 25 and 26 if the Czech Parliament is unable to break the current political deadlock when it meets on August 20.

HN Ceske Noviny Reuters Deutschland

Senior diplomats on the EU foreign affair’s Political and Security Committee will convene in Brussels on Monday to hold an emergency meeting on the deteriorating situation in Egypt. EU foreign ministers may also be called to Brussels for snap talks, reports EUobserver.

EUobserver Reuters Euractiv Telegraaf

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