Global News Journal

Germany’s euro-zone bind

May 19, 2010

Whichever way you look at it, Germany is in a bit of a quandry.

For the past 11 years, since the launch of the euro single currency, Europe’s biggest economy has enjoyed steady current account surpluses as it has exported its manufactured goods around the world, while keeping labour costs down and productivity steady at home.

Who do you call to speak to Europe?

May 17, 2010
Obama on the phone

Obama on the phone

Who do you call when you want to speak to Europe? The question, long attributed to Henry Kissinger, has yet to be answered convincingly by the 27-country European Union.

Playing with inflated numbers

May 12, 2010

Most people would agree that the European Union and the euro single currency are part of a grand political and economic vision. But at times they are also a bit of a numbers game.

Managing in a crisis, EU style

May 11, 2010

EU cube

 

Never let it be said that the European Union doesn’t get things done.

It may have a slightly maddening way of going about it — last-minute, late-night summits, hours and hours of sweaty, closed-door negotiation, multiple conflicting plans put forward by the likes of the Finns, the Italians and, who knows, the Estonians – and then, hey presto, like the proverbial rabbit out of a hat, at 2 in the morning, a $1 trillion deal to haul the world back from the debt-crisis abyss. All in the name of European unity.

Deja vu? EU ministers meet on Greece

May 9, 2010
Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou kisses French counterpart Christine Lagarde

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou kisses French counterpart Christine Lagarde

Rating agencies warned to watch their step

April 29, 2010

Credit rating agencies cannot win.

They were blamed for carelessness before the crisis, handing out over-generous ratings on the packets of mortgage-backed securities that subsequently unravelled, sending the global economy into a spin and leading to Lehman Brothers collapse. Now they are being criticised again, this time for being too cautious, by dishing out rating downgrades to countries in Europe being sucked into Greece’s debt crisis.

Searching for silver in Greece’s storm clouds

April 29, 2010

Greece and the euro zone are still very much in the midst of a debt and deficit storm, with not just Athens but possibly Portugal and Spain at risk of being swept up in the maelstrom.

The quality of MEPs is sometimes strained

April 27, 2010

I am not a Eurosceptic, but you do sometimes question whether the billions of euros European taxpayers’ dole out each year to the European Union — and specifically the European Parliament – is always money well spent.

EU “maximises its bottom-up cohesion going forward”

April 26, 2010

All institutions have their gibberish and jargon, but the European Union really does take the biscuit sometimes.

Greece gets help, but debt quicksand is all around

April 23, 2010

After five months of struggling to stay afloat in the quicksand of a debt crisis, Greece has finally asked the European Union and the IMF to throw it a lifeline