BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Slovakia wants the European Union to drop a proposal to distribute asylum seekers and start working on an alternative plan, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Friday, repeating his view that a permanent quota system was politically dead.
The EU executive proposed in May to reform the so-called Dublin system of EU asylum rules based on a “fairness mechanism” under which each member state would be assigned a percentage quota of all asylum seekers in the bloc, aiming to ease the load on states like Greece and Italy. Continue reading »
BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Quotas for distributing asylum seekers among European Union member states are “politically finished”, Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said on Monday.
Eastern Europe’s ex-communist states have strongly opposed the policy adopted a year ago to tackle the migration crisis that would require all EU countries to take in some of the hundreds of thousands of people seeking asylum in the bloc. Slovakia and Hungary have both challenged quotas at the European Court of Justice. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“It may be the title of the latest Hollywood frightened series, but it is also an appropriate title for the pandemic hitting Europe…….CONTAGION…..”
It appears, just as we warned, that Brexit was indeed the first of many dominoes. Even before the Brexit result, a poll by Ipsos Mori showed that the majority of people in France and Italy want to at least have a referendum on leaving:
Meanwhile, over 40% of Swedes, Poles, and Belgians are in the same boat.
But now, as Martin Armstrong notes, Brussels simply went too far. They cross the line moving from an economic union to a political subordination of Europe. Now eight more countries want to hold referendums to exit the EU – France, Holland, Italy, Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovakia all could leave.
– “Anti-Putin” Alliance Fraying: Germany, Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic Urge End To Russian Sanctions (ZeroHedge, Aug 16, 2014):
Last week Germany reported that in the second quarter, its GDP declined by 0.2%, worse than Wall Street consensus. This happened a few shorts days after Italy reported a second consecutive decline in its own GDP, becoming the first Europen country to enter a triple-dip recession. What’s worse, Europe’s slowdown took place before the brunt of Russian sanctions hit. Surely in the third quarter the GDP of Germany, a nation whose exports accounts for 41% of GDP, will be even worse, with whisper numbers of -1% being thrown casually around, but one thing is certain: Europe is about to enter its third recession since the Lehman collapse just as we forecast at the end of 2013, a “triple-dip” which may become an outright depression unless Draghi injects a few trillion in credit money (which will do nothing but delay the inevitable and make it that much worse once the can can no longer be kicked), and unless normal trade ties with Russia are restored. Continue reading »
– Moody’s warns may cut AAA-rating for UK and France (Reuters, Feb. 14, 2012):
Rating agency Moody’s warned it may cut the triple-A ratings of France, Britain and Austria and it downgraded six other European nations including Italy, Spain and Portugal, citing growing risks from Europe’s debt crisis.
– Moody’s cuts ratings on Italy, Portugal and Spain (Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2012):
NEW YORK — Ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service on Monday downgraded its credit ratings on Italy, Portugal and Spain, while France, Britain and Austria kept their top ratings but had their outlooks dropped to “negative” from “stable.”
Moody’s also cut its ratings on the smaller nations of Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta. All nine countries are members of the European Union.
London, 13 February 2012 — As anticipated in November 2011, Moody’s Investors Service has today adjusted the sovereign debt ratings of selected EU countries in order to reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks emanating from the euro area crisis and how these risks exacerbate the affected countries’ own specific challenges.
– Rating Action: Moody’s adjusts ratings of 9 European sovereigns to capture downside risks (Moody’s, Feb. 13, 2012):
Moody’s actions can be summarised as follows:
– Austria: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative
– France: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative
– Italy: downgraded to A3 from A2, negative outlook
– Malta: downgraded to A3 from A2, negative outlook
– Portugal: downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2, negative outlook
– Slovakia: downgraded to A2 from A1, negative outlook
– Slovenia: downgraded to A2 from A1, negative outlook
– Spain: downgraded to A3 from A1, negative outlook
– United Kingdom: outlook on Aaa rating changed to negative
–163 dead as cold snap grips Europe (AFP, Feb. 2, 2012):
WARSAW — A cold snap kept Europe in its icy grip Thursday, pushing the death toll to 163 as countries from Ukraine to Italy struggled with temperatures that plunged to record lows in some places.
Entire villages were cut off in parts of eastern Europe, trapping thousands, while road, air and rail links were severed and gas consumption shot up during what has been the severest winter in decades in some regions.
In Ukraine, tens of thousands headed to shelters to escape the freeze that emergencies services said has killed 63 people — most of them frozen to death in the streets, some succumbing to the hypothermia later in hospitals.
… the majority of European nations deserve a CCC rating …
– France’s credit rating downgraded in latest blow to euro zone (The Globe and Mail, Jan. 13, 2012):
The euro zone’s worst-case scenario of recession and default is looming larger after a mass debt downgrade of France and several other countries, and stalled Greek debt restructuring talks.
Standard & Poor’s stripped France of its prized triple-A rating and slashed the ratings of Italy, Spain and six other European countries Friday, continuing a disturbing pattern of the feared becoming reality in Europe’s smouldering debt crisis.
The move Friday crushed nascent hope that the region’s debt woes might finally be easing after successful bond auctions by Spain and Italy earlier in the week.
The most immediate problem for the euro zone is that France – its second largest economy – will now face significantly higher borrowing costs just as the region slides into recession.
Equally important, the downgrade makes it more expensive for the European Financial Stability Fund to raise cash because France is the fund’s No. 2 backer behind Germany. The EFSF, set up in 2010, is due to raise money in the markets on Tuesday.
British citizens could be convicted in their absence by foreign courts for traffic, credit card or other criminal offences under plans approved in principle by the European Parliament.
The proposals would allow citizens to be extradited automatically under fast-track procedures at the request of another European Union country on the basis of a decision by the foreign court.
The overwhelming adoption by the Parliament of the proposals, which now go to the Council of Ministers, was condemned yesterday as “throwing habeas corpus out of the window”.
Philip Bradbourn, the Conservative justice and home affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, said: “This initiative would enable courts to pass judgments in absentia. It goes against one of the most fundamental corner-stones of British justice – that the accused has a right to defend himself at trial. If other EU countries want to go ahead with this proposal that’s their choice, but the British Government should have no part [of it].”