Situation in Slovakia still uncertain ahead of today’s EFSF vote;
Slovakian Prime Minister to face vote of no confidence
The situation in Slovakia is uncertain ahead of today’s vote on the expansion of the EFSF, currently the session has been paused and is due to re-start at 2pm CET. At a press conference this morning, Slovakian Prime Minister Iveta RadiÄ ová announced that Richard Sulík’s Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party had rejected a final compromise offer, leading the Prime Minister to link the vote on the EFSF with a no-confidence vote on the government, Slovak Spectator reports. Furthermore, Pravda and Sme report that Sulik said that his party will abstain from voting even if the vote were tied to the vote of confidence, and that he did not agree with combining the two as it would bring the opposition back to the government, adding “SaS is behind the Premier, we have not plotted against her.” The opposition Smer party’s spokesman Erik Tomas said regarding the vote: “We will represent ourselves, but not vote for the EFSF.” RadiÄ ová also said that she had spoken with Slovakia’s president about who will decide about the next steps in the event the government falls today. In case the government falls, President Ivan Gasparovic, will be charged with forming a new cabinet, who might then vote again on the EFSF. Meanwhile the Maltese parliament voted to approve the EFSF expansion last night.
NRSR Slovak Spectator Pravda Sme Sme 2 Hospodarske Noviny Reuters Reuters 2 Guardian Euobserver BBC Les Echos City A.M. Welt FTD
EU summit delayed over disagreements on bank recapitalisation;
Barroso: “I wish all countries would contribute towards Greek bailout”
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy announced yesterday that the next EU summit will be moved to the 23 October, to allow European leaders time to finalise their “comprehensive strategy” for solving the eurozone crisis. The main reasons behind the delay are thought to be that the EU/IMF/ECB report on the current review mission to Greece, due to finish today, will not be completed until the middle of next week, and continuing disagreements over bank recapitalisation. FTD reports that Eurogroup President, Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview with ORF yesterday that the eurozone is considering a debt restructuring of “more than” 50% in Greece, although a spokesperson for Juncker said today that there had been a miscommunication.
In a speech to the House of Commons yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne again suggested that the eurozone should move towards fiscal union. When questioned over what type of fiscal union he envisaged, Osborne hinted that it may involve some form of Eurobond and eurozone members having vetoes over each other’s national budgets.
In an interview with Bild, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has encouraged the UK to participate in any future eurozone bailouts, saying he wishes “that all countries that are financially able to do so show support,” since a Greek default would negatively impact all EU countries.
Il Corriere della Sera reports that yesterday Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini criticised the Franco-German bilateral meetings on the eurozone crisis, saying, “We think that a global issue cannot be solved by bilateral axes…Frankly, we didn’t quite get the gist of [Sunday’s] meeting – there was no declared agenda, we don’t even know if there was a concrete agenda.”
Meanwhile, ECB bond purchases dropped to €2.3bn last week, while overnight deposits and borrowing from the overnight lending facility at the ECB, both seen as measures of market stress, reached their highest levels for the past year.
FT CityAM WSJ EurActiv European Voice Times Le Monde EUobserver BBC El País Guardian Irish Times Irish Times 2 Telegraph Telegraph 2 FTD Reuters Handelsblatt IHT FT 2 FT 3 FT 4 Bild: Barroso La Stampa Corriere della Sera Irish Times Editorial Times 3 Le Figaro FTD 2 Le Point RTVE Le Figaro 2 FT 5 FT 6 CityAM 2 WSJ 2 CityAM 3 CityAM 4 WSJ 3 Times 2 CityAM 5 WSJ 4 Guardian 2 Irish Times 3 Irish Times 4
Raoul Ruparel: ECB’s independence is key to euro survival
On the FT’s A-list blog, Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel argues, “The loser from the ‘muddling through’ approach employed by EU leaders over the past year has been the ECB. It has seen its credibility drained and its independence compromised (for example through its U-turns on accepting junk bonds as collateral). In fact, an important component of finding a long-lasting solution to this crisis is that any financial backstop for the eurozone is established at the intergovernmental level, not through the ECB.” He goes on to argue, “That the eurozone lacks a lender of last resort, is a structural flaw in its fabric which has been sorely exposed by the current crisis. However, papering over it with unlimited liquidity in the near term will not solve the problem. And perhaps most importantly, forcing the ECB into the role of lender of last resort could seriously jeopardise German support for the entire euro project.”
In an op-ed in the FT, former Foreign Secretary Lord Owen and co-chairman of the OMFIF think-tank David Marsh argue, “Given the great uncertainties facing the eurozone, it is time for Britain, Poland, Sweden and the other EMU non-adherents to formalise their position by establishing the ‘Non-Eurogroup’ (NEG) as a central, constructive element of the EU…Setting up the NEG would establish rights and responsibilities for non-eurozone members, ending the long-held European position that non-membership of the euro represents a form of second-class EU citizenship. It would protect these countries from political and economic discrimination. It would allow a formal mechanism for countries to move between the two groups, calling a halt to the absurd interpretation of many eurozone governments that if a country such as Greece were to leave the euro, it would have to quit the EU altogether.”
Speaking to Die Welt, Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group Volker Kauder argued that “Europe must be a Europe of parliaments… Parliaments must always have the final say in decisions with budgetary implications. This is what we have already laid down with the EFSF bailout mechanism and there is no turning back from this”. He added that if there are to be any changes to the EU Treaties, the Bundestag and the other national parliaments should be involved in shaping any reforms from the very beginning.
FT: Ruparel FT: O’Neill FT: Einhorn FT: Nielsen WSJ: Lannoo CityAM: Samuel City AM: Lilico FT: Owen & Marsh Telegraph: Evans-Pritchard Welt
German bankers lobby Berlin not to recapitalise them
FTD reports German banks fear that they will be forced to recapitalise because of the bad shape French and Italian banks are in, “We hope to convince the government that not all banks need fresh capital”, an unnamed German top banker told the paper. German Finance State Secretary Jörg Asmussen told the European parliament yesterday that the recapitalisation should take place in all 27 EU states and “it would be best to do the same for all systemically important banks.”
The European Parliament’s Budget Committee is today expected to vote in favour of a 5.23% increase in payments for the EU’s 2012 annual budget. The full Parliament will then vote on its position at a 26 October plenary session.
EP press release
FAZ‘s Poland correspondent Konrad Schuller describes the result of the Polish elections on Sunday, in which Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform was elected to serve a second term, as an example of the success of EU enlargement towards the east.
Handelsblatt reports that the German Industry Federation has criticised the Commission’s proposal for an optional system of common contract law for all EU member states, stating that “such an instrument is unnecessary and seems to have been considered from a political rather than legal perspective”.
Handelsblatt Welt: Reding and Lehne
Elsevier reports that Greece will not after all accept 400 tanks free of charge from the US, as the Greek government deemed the transport costs to be prohibitively expensive.
François Hollande and Martine Aubry (former European Commission President Jacques Delors’ daughter) have gone forward to the second round of a primary election to nominate the Socialist candidate for next year’s presidential elections in France.
Le Figaro Le Monde AFP Telegraph: Dan Hannan
The creation of the opposition Syrian National Council has been welcomed by EU leaders. Although they stopped short of recognising the SNC officially, they stated that the creation of a unified opposition to President Assad was a positive step.