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Germany’s continued dependence on the Eurozone’s stragglers

Germany’s continued dependence on the Eurozone’s stragglers | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

There is a growing consensus among commentators that Germany is de-coupling from France and from the rest of the Eurozone’s deficit regions. That German industry is turning instead to Asia and the rest of the world (even to Britain) for sources of demand for its net exports. However, the data suggests otherwise. Germany remains perfectly dependent on the Eurozone’s deficit member-states for the purposes of financing its net trade deficit with key non-Eurozone countries.

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A good short piece on how eurozone countries are paying for the trade deficits Germany has with Asian nations.

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European Political Economy
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Portugal to unwind TAP Air privatisation - FT.com

Portugal’s Socialist government has reached an agreement with investors to unwind the privatisation of TAP Air Portugal in a deal that leaves the country’s struggling flag carrier under private management but gives the state a veto over strategic
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Portugal’s recovery stymied by debt - FT.com

Portugal’s recovery stymied by debt - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
More than four years after the EU and IMF rescued Portugal from imminent bankruptcy, debt continues to gnaw at the economy. The combined total of public, corporate and household debt represents more than 370 per cent of GDP, one of the heaviest debt
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Euclid Tsakalotos: Greek finance minister on the hard path of post-bailout reform

Euclid Tsakalotos: Greek finance minister on the hard path of post-bailout reform | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Syriza’s economist talks about the drawbacks of Grexit, the need for debt relief and the task of pursuing the elite for unpaid taxes
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Fighting for Public Water in Europe: The ECI Water is a Human Right.

Fighting for Public Water in Europe: The ECI Water is a Human Right. | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), has written regular updates (see 1, 2 and 3) on where the European Citizens' Initiative  (ECI) Right2Water fits in the broader struggles of the European Water Movement and how it links with the struggle for Another Europe. In this latest guest post, he gives an update following the European Parliament vote on the ECI report.

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Government ‘in talks’ on reversing airline privatisation – minister

Portugal’s Socialist government has begun talks with the consortium that recently bought 61% of TAP, the national airline, with a view to these investors ending up with a minority stake, and the state recovering its majority in the company, the minister for planning and infrastructure said on Wednesday.

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Portugal’s recovery stymied by debt - FT.com

Portugal’s recovery stymied by debt - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

“Companies have been focused almost exclusively on paying down debt for the past five years,” says Pedro Siza Vieira, head of the Lisbon office of Linklaters, the law firm. “Every increase in revenue and cost-cutting gain has been used to pay off loans, not to invest. The same holds true for families, who have cut their spending, and the government.”

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Portugal: from seafaring to start-up nation - FT.com

Portugal: from seafaring to start-up nation - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Wandering through the charming streets of Lisbon, enjoying a delicious pastel de nata, or sipping a glass of full-bodied red wine by the Douro river in Porto, are some of the long-lasting memories that tourists take home from Portugal. Tourism is booming and the history, cuisine, good weather, great nightlife and easy-going nature of the people attract attention from international media. But the sun and sand country, Europe’s west coast, is much more than just that.

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Some nice comments here from a business leader that discuss the restructuring taking place to Portugal's political economy.

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Chinese enterprises pump billions into Portuguese companies - FT.com

Chinese enterprises pump billions into Portuguese companies - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Portugal accounts for just 1.3 per cent of the EU economy yet has in recent years received more Chinese investment than any member state except the UK, Germany and France.

Before 2011, nine countries — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK — attracted 77 per cent of Chinese investment in the EU. Since then there has been a sea change, according to a recent report by law firm Baker & McKenzie, using data compiled by researchers the Rhodium Group.

 
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Privatisation of power transmission firm ADMIE a key challenge among prior actions | MacroPolis

Privatisation of power transmission firm ADMIE a key challenge among prior actions | MacroPolis | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The privatisation of the electricity transmission company (ADMIE) is one of the thirteen prior actions Greece has to implement by December 11 to unlock the next sub-tranche of 1 billion.

According to the third memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with eurozone partners in mid-August, the Greek authorities should take irreversible steps to privatise ADMIE, unless an alternative scheme is provided by the government with equivalent results in terms of competition and prospects for investment. This alternative proposal would be in line with the best European practices and provide full ownership unbundling from the Public Power Corporation (PPC).

ADMIE is fully owned by PPC

- See more at: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.economy.3214#sthash.w1GGuUwH.dpuf

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German wage moderation and the EZ Crisis | VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal

The EZ ‘consensus narrative’ argues the Crisis should not be thought of as a government debt crisis in its origin. Instead it regards large intra-EZ capital flows that emerged in the decade before the Crisis as the real culprit. This column argues that while the narrative is correct, it is also incomplete. With its focus on the deficit countries, it neglects the role of Germany, by far the largest member state, and its contribution to the imbalances in the years preceding the Crisis. A narrative that does not account for the effects of the German wage moderation is incomplete. 

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Socialist party leader appointed as Portuguese PM - FT.com

Socialist party leader appointed as Portuguese PM - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Portugal’s president has appointed António Costa, the leader of the country’s Socialist party (PS), as prime minister with a mandate to form an “anti-austerity” government supported by the radical left and hardline communists. The decision ends
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Clashes break out as Greek general strike brings Athens to a halt

Clashes break out as Greek general strike brings Athens to a halt | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Petrol bombs thrown at police in first strike against bailout-related tax increases and spending cuts since Syriza-led government came to power
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Greece vs. the Eurozone | OUPblog by Costas Simitis

Greece vs. the Eurozone | OUPblog by Costas Simitis | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The new Greek government that took office in January 2015 made a commitment during the election campaign that Greece would stay in the Eurozone. At the same time, it also declared that Greece’s relations with its European partners would be put on a new footing. This did not materialize. The Greek government accepted the continuation of the existing agreement with its lenders, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank. This was the only way of ensurin
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More than half of Greek households rely mainly on pensions

More than half of Greek households rely mainly on pensions | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
The main source of income for just over half of Greek households is still a pension, while just over 37 percent mainly rely on wages, the annual survey on income and household expenditure f...
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Piraeus Bank names new directors in wake of CEO’s sacking - FT.com

Piraeus Bank names new directors in wake of CEO’s sacking - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greece’s largest lender, Piraeus Bank, has named three representatives of foreign shareholders to its board for the first time as a drive to improve governance of the country’s recession-hit banking sector gets under way. The move by Piraeus
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Greece Renews Challenge to Creditors’ Austerity Policies

Greece Renews Challenge to Creditors’ Austerity Policies | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greece renewed its challenge to its creditors’ austerity demands on Tuesday, with a key minister in the government calling on Europe to let Greece meet its fiscal targets mainly via economic growth, not belt-tightening.
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Tsipras expecting protest after Greece paves way for further privatisations

Tsipras expecting protest after Greece paves way for further privatisations | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Greek government agrees deal to reform energy sector and facilitate raft of state sell-offs to meet conditions for €1bn in loans
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Portugal PM says will be responsible EU partner, to seek growth, jobs | Reuters

Portugal PM says will be responsible EU partner, to seek growth, jobs | Reuters | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Portugal's socialist prime minister on Wednesday promised the European Union that his government would be a responsible partner and meet EU budget goals, but the bloc would have to trust him as he seeks to end years of painful austerity.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa, in parliament, spelled out the broad guidelines of a program "to turn the page on austerity", with an eye to a potentially uneasy relationship with far-left parties which support his minority government and may push for more radical policies.

"We have a clear priority this year - to create a new impulse for convergence with Europe for more growth, more jobs, more equality," he said.

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Profits beckon for Portugal’s banks - FT.com

Profits beckon for Portugal’s banks - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

Nuno Amado, chief executive of Millennium BCP, Portugal’s largest listed bank, had a noticeable spring in his step when he strode out to deliver the lender’s latest results in November. After posting four consecutive full-year losses, he announced the bank’s third straight quarterly gain.

BCP registered a €264.5m net profit for the first nine months of 2015, compared with a €109.5m loss for the same period last year. Domestic operations were no longer cancelling out the performance of more dynamic overseas markets such as oil-rich Angola.

 
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Portugal: backlash against austerity unites divided left - FT.com

Portugal: backlash against austerity unites divided left - FT.com | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

In Portugal’s biggest political upheaval for a generation, moderate Socialists and hardline Communists agreed this autumn to bridge an ideological divide that had kept them apart for more than 40 years.

Accompanied by the radical Bloco de Esquerda (BE), the thaw in relations has brought the left together as never before in a pact designed to overturn austerity.

 
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Some good stuff in here on the post-election scenario.

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Mood sours as focus switches to next set of prior actions | MacroPolis

Mood sours as focus switches to next set of prior actions | MacroPolis | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

The 2016 budget was passed relatively comfortably on Saturday, with all 153 coalition MPs voting for the economic plan, but attention is quickly shifting to the next set of prior actions that Greece has to pass before Christmas.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is due to brief his counterparts on the situation in Greece, including the bank recapitalisation, at Monday’s Eurogroup, while the representatives of the country’s lenders are due back in Athens on Tuesday.

They are only expected to stay until Friday so the two sides can discuss the content of the upcoming legislation for the 13 prior actions, before returning at some point in January for the start of the third programme’s first review.

- See more at: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.politics.3218#sthash.HazctBWc.dpuf

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BoG report highlights need for programme implementation, political consensus | MacroPolis

BoG report highlights need for programme implementation, political consensus | MacroPolis | European Political Economy | Scoop.it

In its interim Monetary Policy report published on Friday, the Bank of Greece (BoG) urged Parliament to pass and the government to implement the legislation linked to Greece’s third bailout so the country to return to normality and sustainable growth. - See more at: http://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.economy.3210#sthash.9cnhnhYs.dpuf

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Portugal’s new social and political context

The elections on 4 October 2015 ushered in a changed parliamentary scenario which seems to herald a major political shift. After four years of austerity, which have affected every aspect of Portuguese life but particularly labour, the election outcome proved contradictory right from the start. The victory of the right-wing alliance between the Social Democratic Party, the PSD, and the Social Democratic Centre, the CDS, opened up the possibility for an alliance of the left. 

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Greece misses bailout deadline as talks with creditors drag on

Greece misses bailout deadline as talks with creditors drag on | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
Talks continue on repossession legislation the Syriza government says would push austerity-hit Greeks over the edge
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Greece told to do more on reforms before it gets next bailout payment

Greece told to do more on reforms before it gets next bailout payment | European Political Economy | Scoop.it
European leaders are at odds with Athens over protection for families at risk of losing their homes because of mortgage defaults
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