Along with last week’s news of Germany’s record trade surplus, the opening of an EU investigation into Germany’s growing surpluses, and Europe’s other recent remarkable socioeconomic achievements, Angela Merkel urged the CDU to compromise on an across-the-board 8.50 euro German minimum wage. It’s great news because wage deflation is still part of the EU’s long-term agenda.
With last week’s blizzard of Snowden leaks on NSA spying in the EU hitting the news, the EU parliament overwhelmingly passed a draft set of new EU data privacy rules with a fast-tracked time frame of implementation by mid April 2014. But, in a surprising twist, the David Cameron just managed to do away with the fast tracking, arguing that the proposed rules would be an onerous burden on businesses. So the new EU data privacy rules are still coming, but not for at least another year and presumably with a lot of changes. Those aren’t the only changes that may be coming to the internet.
The eurozone troika recently eased market worries a bit by renegotiating part of Ireland’s massive bailout. But the public still wants answers on why the 2010 bailout happened in the first place and those answers could reignite the crisis. It isn’t easy being the ECB. Or the EU. Or the IMF.
Vague plans involving loss of sovereignty isn’t just for the eurozone anymore. That’s not the kind of bold leadership that will calm the markets and diffuse the financial crisis. No, it’s going to make a much bigger crisis to fix this mess.
Following last weekend’s announced $125 billion bank bailout in Spain, the ever present question of “what’s next” has been looming larger than usual this past week. So has the past. As we all know, the past is indeed prologue. Especially the parts involving mind numbing stupidity.
This is one of those posts that has an “‘End Game” feel to it. Angela Merkel is now demanding that eurozone nations agree to a “fiscal union” far more “sovereignty-free” than earlier proposals, and that’s a precondition for further consideration of alternative/additional financial aid options. And on top of all that, the latest bailout fund comes with strings attached. Golden Strings. It’s getting ugly in the EU.
Supporters of Berlin’s austerity drive across the eurozone were relieved by Ireland’s approval of the ‘Fiscal Compact’ on Thursday. But this ‘good news’ coincides with a growing backlash by key leaders an officials against the endless calls for austerity without a ‘pro-growth’ component. Except, as usual, not really.