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Eurozone outlines 38 measures to reform Greek economy under bailout package; A dozen German government MPs likely to vote against Greek bailout

24 Feb 2012
The FT has obtained the three separate memoranda documents which outline 38 different reforms which Greece must implement over the next two years to meet the conditions of its second bailout. The list includes huge changes such as overhauling judicial procedures, centralising health insurance and reforming the way tax is collected and measured. Ten of these ‘prior actions’ must be passed into law by the end of the month, while many need to be completed in the first half of the year. The Greek parliament yesterday approved the plan to implement the voluntary restructuring of Greek debt.

Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing criticised the Greek deal, saying the restructuring was “as voluntary as the Spanish Inquisition”, while questioning why the ECB was able to avoid taking similar write downs to private bond holders. NTV reports that resistance to the Greek bailout is growing among German coalition MPs, with CDU budget spokesman Norbert Barthle saying that a dozen CDU/CSU MPs have said they will vote against the package.

Süddeutsche reports that the Greek authorities have begun increasing pressure on wealthy Greek individuals with assets held in Swiss banks in effort to maximise tax revenues. Separately, the US, UK, China and Japan have all reiterated they will not increase their contributions to the IMF until the eurozone agrees to boost the size of its bailout funds.

In an interview with the WSJ, ECB President Mario Draghi said that “the European social model has already gone” due to the high levels of youth unemployment seen in some countries during the eurozone crisis.

Bailed out Franco-Belgian bank Dexia announced a loss of €11.6bn from last year and warned it could go out of business if the French and Belgian states do not fulfil their bailout promises quickly. Numerous other European banks announced large losses partly due to write-downs on holdings of Greek debt and exposure to the wider eurozone crisis. The WSJ reports that US money market funds increased their lending to the eurozone by 16% in January, the first increase since May last year.

Portuguese daily Diário Económico reports that the European Commission sees no reason to revise the budgetary targets attached to the Portuguese bailout, in spite of the worsened growth prospects disclosed yesterday.
FT CityAM WSJ BBC Irish Independent Kathimerini Les Echos FT 2 WSJ 2 FT 3 FT 4 Telegraph Irish Times WSJ 3 WSJ: Draghi interview CityAM 2 Telegraph FT 5 WSJ 4 WSJ 5 Irish Independent European Voice EurActiv Monde Tribune Tribune 2 Les Echos Les Echos 2 Les Echos 3 Welt Süddeutsche FAZ Süddeutsche 2 Welt FAZ Kathimerini FTD NTV Handelsblatt Reuters Reuters 2 Z24 FD FAZ 2 Monde Les Echos FT: Stephens CityAM: Sidwell Economist: Charlemagne Economist El País Cinco Días Diário Económico FT FT 2 WSJ

Beijing has announced it will provide financial assistance to the eurozone on the condition the EU suspend two anti-dumping inquiries into Chinese steel exports to Europe.  The Chinese Commerce Minister warned yesterday that “all countries should adopt a cooperative, open and tolerant attitude to overcome the financial crisis”.
Monde Tribune

European Voice
reports that the Danish Government is pushing to reach a deal on banking transparency which calls to share information on tax savings with countries outside the EU.
European Voice

Die Welt
reports that perennial EU membership candidate Turkey has announced it will not maintain any official relations with the rotating EU Presidency when it is taken over by Cyprus from 1 July.

Italy has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights over its policy of returning fleeing refugees intercepted in international waters back to Libya in 2009 without examining their cases. La Repubblica notes that Italy has been ordered to pay €15,000 compensation to each of the 22 appellants.
La Stampa Repubblica European Voice EUobserver

The Economist notes that “perceptions of hapless innocents plucked from home to defend themselves in costly and unfair foreign courts” as a result of the UK’s extradition agreements with the US and the EU is “a growing political issue”.
Open Europe research Economist

An EU committee of oil experts yesterday refused to label Canadian oil sourced from tar sands as more environmentally damaging than traditionally sourced oil. A final decision is expected in June.
EurActiv  European Voice

Six EU-Funded renewable energy projects in the West Bank have been scheduled for demolition, following a call by the EU for Israel to review its policy, EurActiv reports.

reveals that the Ambassador to Iceland is offering his country’s expertise to help reform the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has hit out at the “centralised micro-management” of fishing fleets by Brussels, calling for the UK Government to push for countries to have a greater say over fisheries in their own waters, PA reports.
No link

Leaders from Germany, France, Italy and Austria are supporting Serbia’s bid to be granted EU Candidate Status, which is set to be discussed at next week’s EU summit.
EurActiv EUobserver

In response to former Foreign Secretary’s Jack Straw’s calls for the abolition of the European Parliament and a return to an EU assembly composed of representatives from national parliaments, several former MEPs have defended the institution in a letter to the Guardian.
Guardian: Letters


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