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Cameron: Europe “is an issue to deal with in the next parliament, under a majority Conservative government”

16 Jul 2012

Writing in the Sunday Times, David Cameron argued in favour of continuing the Coalition but noted that there are “profound areas of disagreement”. “On Europe, for instance, we British need a fresh settlement — and a fresh mandate. Work on that can begin now but it is an issue to deal with in the next parliament, under a majority Conservative government,” he wrote. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, former Defence Secretary Liam Fox said that the “aiming point” of a renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership should be “as loose a union as we can possibly get.”

Canadian news magazine MacLeans quotes Open Europe Director Mats Persson as saying that the eurozone is looking to integrate further at “exactly the same point that the UK public is growing increasingly sceptical of EU membership.” The UK, he argues, should therefore seek a new relationship with the EU that preserves the single market but returns powers to Britain. Dutch magazine Trouw quotes Mats as saying that seeking a Norway-style deal with the EU would mean that the UK would have to accept just as much regulation in areas like employment law but without the ability to influence or vote on EU legislation. Meanwhile, talking to Le Figaro, Mats welcomed the Government’s planned audit of EU powers.
Open Europe research Sunday Times: Cameron Sunday Telegraph: Fox  Le Figaro MacLeans Trouw

According to a new MRB poll published by Greek newspaper Real News yesterday, 73.9% of Greeks want their government to re-negotiate the terms of the EU-IMF bailout, even if this puts Greece’s euro membership at risk.
Kathimerini Kathimerini 2 Real News

The German Constitutional Court has announced that it will announce its verdict on the constitutionality of the ESM and the fiscal treaty on 12 September.
Welt Süddeutsche FAZ Spiegel

Merkel to rely on opposition to pass Spanish bailout in Bundestag
German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday said she was confident of obtaining a majority in the Bundesatg in Thursday’s vote on ratifying the Spanish bailout, although due to dissent in the ranks of her coalition, she will need to rely on support from the opposition.

Separately, Spanish daily ABC reports that the Spanish bank bailout loans will have an interest rate of 2.5%, but fails to mention any sources for the information. Open Europe’s blog post analysing a confidential EFSF briefing laying down a proposed timeline for the Spanish bank bailout was quoted by Saturday’s Telegraph.
ABC El País El País 2 Expansión FT CityAM Euractiv Saturday’s Telegraph Open Europe blog

WSJ: ECB performs U-turn on imposing losses on senior bank bondholders
The WSJ reports that the ECB has shifted its stance on imposing losses on senior bank bondholders, with it now supporting such action in the case of bank wind downs. The new position was reportedly presented by ECB President Mario Draghi to eurozone finance ministers at their meeting on the 9 July, but was roundly rejected because it would require a complex re-negotiation of the Irish bailout. Another article in the WSJ notes that ECB lending to Spanish banks reached a record high of €365bn in June.
WSJ WSJ 2 FT CityAM YLE FT: Munchau WSJ Review & Outlook WSJ: Nixon Telegraph: Bootle

Open Europe’s roundtable discussion with Professor Hans-Olaf Henkel, focusing on Germany’s future in the eurozone, is cited by Spanish daily ABC. Writing in Handelsblatt, Professor Henkel comments that the questions put to him at the event by the audience of “politicians, journalists, business leaders, economists and British citizens” offered a different perspective on the eurozone crisis than in the German media.
Open Europe events ABC Handelsblatt: Henkel

In an interview with Bild, Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said, “We are critical of a policy of excessive [budgetary] rigour because we consider it to place too strong a brake on [economic] development. We would like to see a more European Germany rather than a more German Europe.” Berlusconi added that his personal relationship with Merkel is “very cordial”.
Bild: Berlusconi

Speaking in an interview with the FT, Andrea Enria, chairman of the European Banking Authority (EBA), has suggested that he wishes to make the temporary 9% capital ratio which European banks have to hit in to a permanent target.
FT FT 2

In an interview with ZDF, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that she will stand for re-election in 2013, and that “Next year's vote will also be about the situation in Europe and what expectations we have for Europe”.
Zeit EUobserver

The European Commission will use all its powers to make sure that Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta rescinds controversial emergency legislation and ensures that a referendum on removing President Traian Basescu from office is conducted properly, according to a senior EU official.
FT European Voice Euractiv

Elsevier reports that a new Maurice de Hond opinion poll in the Netherlands shows that the left-liberal D66 and GreenLeft, which both support the eurozone bailouts and giving more powers to the EU, have lost support over the past couple if weeks, although D66 is still set to win more parliamentary seats then it has at present.
Elsevier Poll de Hond

Elsevier reports that the Dutch Lower House is planning to oppose plans by the European Commission to impose the same strict Solvency II capital for pension funds as the ones proposed for insurers.
Elsevier

In an interview with Il Corriere della Sera, Italian Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli said that “a feasible way” to reduce Italy’s public debt would be “to guarantee, via a multi-annual plan, the sale of state assets worth €15-20bn a year, equivalent to 1% [of Italy’s] GDP.” Grilli said this could help cutting public debt by up to 20% over five years.
Corriere della Sera: Grilli

The Sunday Times reported that EU Commissioner Michel Barnier – a former French agriculture minister – has vetoed Commission plans to phase out deep-sea bottom trawling and bottom gill-net fishing in European waters, due to concerns over the economic and social impact of the ban on French fisheries. The article notes that the two techniques are considered the main culprits for the destruction of sea life in the waters around the British Isles.
Sunday Times

The Independent on Sunday reported that the Government is being sued for failing to enforce EU air pollution limits. Separately the Sunday Times reported that the EU has received complaints about the monitoring of London’s air quality concerning the deployment of ‘dust buster’ trucks close to air monitoring stations.
Sunday Times Independent

Reporting on the EU common patent, the Irish Times quotes Vicki Salmon, a UK patent attorney, as saying that questions remain as to the details of its implementation including that “The costs of validating a unitary patent may be more than the costs which a business currently pays for validation in selected European countries.”
Irish Times: Lynch Open Europe blog

EurActiv reports that Baden-Württemberg has taken over the presidency of the ‘four motors’ of Europe - a group of wealthy European regions also including Rhône-Alpes in France, Catalonia in Spain and Lombardy in Italy – in order to lobby for a greater share of EU funding for research and innovation policies.
EurActiv Open Europe Research: EU Regional Policy

Writing in Saturday’s Guardian, Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis described the EU’s visa regime for Turkish citizens as “archaic and discriminatory”.
Saturday's Guardian: Bagis

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