How Greece can turn vice to virtue

By Hugo Dixon
April 14, 2014

Most Greeks know the expression vicious cycle – or favlos kyklos. But when you ask them the Greek for virtuous cycle, they often struggle to find the term, or even deny it exists.

Greek rebound is astonishing

By Hugo Dixon
April 8, 2014

Greece is undergoing an astonishing financial rebound. Two years ago, the country looked like it was set for a messy default and exit from the euro. Now it is on the verge of returning to the bond market with the issue of 2 billion euros of five-year paper.

Spain’s recovery clouded by politics

By Hugo Dixon
April 7, 2014

Spain’s recovery is clouded by politics. Mariano Rajoy has achieved a lot in the two years that he has been prime minister. Growth has finally returned; even unemployment is falling. But as Spain enters a new electoral cycle, the appetite for reform is waning. What’s more, there is a big question mark about what will happen after the next election, which has to be held by March 2016.

Don’t bet on EU treaty change

By Hugo Dixon
March 31, 2014

Both continental European euro-enthusiasts and British Conservatives received a boost last week when the German and UK finance ministers called for a rewrite of the European Union’s treaties. The goal, outlined by Wolfgang Schaeuble and George Osborne, is to kill two birds with one stone: shore up the euro zone and keep Britain in the EU.

How EU can wean itself off Russian gas

By Hugo Dixon
March 24, 2014

European Union leaders at the summit last week made a commitment to cut their dependency on Russian gas. The Ukraine crisis has highlighted the issue: about 30 percent of the gas the EU consumes comes from Russia.

Cameron lowers Brexit risk

By Hugo Dixon
March 17, 2014

Angela Merkel’s visit to the UK last month seems to have worked wonders. Within three weeks of the German chancellor’s speech to the House of Commons and her private meetings with political leaders, the two most risky “Brexit” scenarios are now less likely.

Europe should give Cyprus a hand

By Hugo Dixon
March 17, 2014

Sunday marked the anniversary of Cyprus’ shock plan to raid the tiny island’s bank deposits. The envisaged tax, backed by the euro zone, covered all banks and all deposits, whether insured or not.

Labour has just shrunk Brexit risks

By Hugo Dixon
March 12, 2014

The risks of a Brexit have just shrunk a lot. Ed Miliband, the UK’s leader of the opposition, has virtually ruled out a referendum on Britain’s European Union membership if he becomes prime minister in 2015. David Cameron’s Conservatives will need to win an overall majority in the next general election and then lose an In/Out vote to allow the UK to quit before 2020.

EU’s half-baked bank union could work

By Hugo Dixon
March 10, 2014

The European Union’s half-baked banking union could be made to work – even though it wasn’t strictly needed to solve the euro zone’s problems and what has been agreed isn’t what the designers wanted.

How Britain could win EU reform

By Hugo Dixon
March 3, 2014

Angela Merkel’s visit to London last week has been viewed by many as a snub to David Cameron’s aim to reform the European Union. But it all depends on what one means by reform.