Commentaries

A camel for EU president?

By Paul Taylor
November 12, 2009

camelsA camel, says an old Middle East joke, is a horse designed by a committee.

The European Union is in danger of getting camels for its two new leadership positions — president of the European Council and foreign policy High Representative — because of the dysfunctional appointment process created by the Lisbon Treaty.

Should he stay or should he go? Miliband ponders

By Paul Taylor
November 9, 2009

OUKTP-UK-IRAN-NUCLEAR-BRITAINShould he stay or should he go?

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband could be Europe’s first foreign minister in all but name, with one of the most influential jobs in shaping the place of the 27-nation bloc on the world stage, if he is willing to risk leaving British politics for the next five years. That’s a big if.

Lower Opel costs to help government aid

November 6, 2009

General Motors’ decision to scrap the sale of Opel rests on the carmaker’s calculation that the hole in its European unit’s finances is not as deep as previously feared.

Turkey’s EU bid fades with little drama

By Paul Taylor
October 15, 2009

turkarmeniaTurkey’s bid to join the European Union is fading away with surprisingly little drama because investors no longer see the prospect of accession as an essential policy anchor.

The EC bank smackdown

October 8, 2009

Dexia and ING’s recent decisions to call some of their subordinated debt has puzzled market observers, as they seem to fly in the face of the European Commission and its crusade on burden-sharing for banks that have received state aid.

The EC bank debt riddle

October 6, 2009

The European Commission seems to enjoy messing with bankers’ and investors’ heads in its crusade against subordinated bank debt.

Sarkozy looks to stash some cash under the mattress

By Paul Taylor
September 30, 2009

nainOn the face of it, France’s 2010 budget is just what the G20 doctor ordered. No early withdrawal of economic stimulus spending. Allowing the welfare system’s ”automatic stabilisers” to absorb the shock of the economic crisis. No raising of taxes or slashing of public spending until growth returns. A small shift away from tax on business towards taxation of carbon.

Germans vote for change; will they get it?

By Paul Taylor
September 27, 2009

angieGermans have voted for change. A centre-right government with a clear parliamentary majority will replace the ungainly grand coalition of conservatives and Social Democrats that ran Europe’s biggest economy for the last four years.

Germany will have to change Opel deal after election

By Paul Taylor
September 24, 2009

opelanerIt looks increasingly clear that Germany will have to change its deal to aid carmaker Opel once Sunday’s general election is out of the way.

Push comes to shove in EU-Dutch bank spat

By Paul Taylor
September 18, 2009

EU-INTEL/Push is coming to shove in a stand-off between the European Commission and the Dutch government over the future of state-rescued banks. The outcome has implications for the whole of Europe.