On Wednesday (27th May) the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, was asked during the (virtual) meeting of Parliament’s EU Scrutiny Committee whether there was a chance of agreeing a deal if his opposite number, Michel Barnier, continued to insist on maintaining Common Fisheries Policy rules and quotas. He replied, “We find it a bit … More Hypocrisy

Courting Disaster

On 5 May the German Constitutional Court issued a judgement stating that the Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) should stop buying government bonds under the European Central Bank’s stimulus programme. The judges set a condition that the ECB should prove that it has acted properly, in terms of EU law. This presents a challenge to the … More Courting Disaster

A Proper Gander

Sorry for our title but Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s apology to Italy for the EU’s collective response to the country’s covid-19 suffering is a far worse joke. This is what she told the EU Parliament on Thursday [1]: “It is true that no one was really ready for this. It is also true … More A Proper Gander

What A Pantomime

They’re behind you! Oh no they’re not! Although Italy’s Finance Minister agreed the bailout [1] President Conte has not. “We will fight for eurobonds”, he said, “The ESM is a totally inadequate and improper instrument for the emergency we are facing.” What he means is that although the terms for some of the €500 billion … More What A Pantomime

Eurozone Bail-out Agreed

They’ve done it! Eurozone Council ministers have agreed a covid-19 bailout fund. Perhaps remembering that its title represents ‘the dismal science’, the EU’s weekly fanzine*, The Economist, reflected on what has just been agreed (through videoconference): “The euro zone has since [its sovereign debt crisis] had a chance to pass deep reforms in order to … More Eurozone Bail-out Agreed