No more tax havens

June 3rd, 2009

In the wake of the global financial meltdown the whole EU is trying to put a clamp down on tax havens around Europe. There is a demand for more information to be shared when one country suspects someone or some company of tax evasion. Traditional tax haven countries like Austria, Luxembourg and Belgium are putting up a fight against more openness. They all believe in secrecy since that is where alot of their money comes from. They have long been safe guarding the money of those that don’t want it to be found.

East could topple whole EU

May 27th, 2009

With the looming risk that one of the Eastern European countries that got hit real bad in the crisis could go bankrupt there is speculation that it could bring down the whole EU with it. Should one in the east fall it would mean that some country in the west would take a huge hit in owed debt. That could be the start of a whole EU break up as nations try to figure out how to deal with all the bad debt. That would cause an instability in the Euro which would further hinder many nations that would already be suffering.

Bulgaria open to more EU Control

May 20th, 2009

In past years Bulgaria has accused the EU of being unfair and prejudice with its money. Claiming that with holding EU money was done for political reasons of control. Now the Bulgarian leaders themselves are asking the EU to help them run their country better. Prime minister, Sergei Stanishev, wants to create a commission where EU members would get power to intervene where “weaknesses may be qualified as structural and persistent and…cannot be resolved by the Bulgarian government alone”

Netherlands undecided on stimulus packages

May 13th, 2009

Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, recently said that EU governments were under “intense pressure to use scarce tax revenues mainly for our own countries”. Netherlands is one of many European countries not keen to dish out tax money for a stimulus package that may or may not work. The government leaders seem to be in disagreement on if and how to make a workable financial package. They are trying to keep all wages in tact and taxes coming in while maintaining all their social programs.

Czech government collapses

May 6th, 2009

The French feared what would happen when the Czech Republic took over as EU President. Everyone else wished them well since their small country was a shining success story of Eastern Europe. The economy was booming, currency getting stronger. When it took control of the EU the government in the Czech Republic started to fall apart. On March 24th, the government lost a confidence vote in the Czech parliament when opposition leaders united. The Czechs are now trying to rebuild their own government.

France trying to win over USA

May 6th, 2009

During the Iraq war the French and USA had huge disagreements on how to proceed. In the USA saying the word France or French was like swearing in church. Now with a new president in both countries they are trying to rebuild their ties. French president Mr. Sarkozy is saying all the right things to Mr. Obama. While it seems to be working as they have been seen standing next to each other during vital speeches. However the two sides still remain in disagreement over troops in Afghanistan.

Could a full time EU President save Europe

May 6th, 2009

The EU has a rotating presidency of 6 month terms and is currently lead by the Czech Prime Minister Mr. Topolanek. There is lots of talk of having a full time EU President to avoid embarrassments like the ones in recent months. Topolanek is the leader of a small country with little economic weight and his own government was recently toppled. During Obama’s visit to Europe Topolanek called his economic plans a “way to hell”. Some think that leadership of the EU should be left to the real economic powers.

Europe fears Asia

May 6th, 2009

While Europe is trying to gain ground as a global economic power house there is one country that has paid little attention to them. China has yet to see value in the European Union and instead continues its most lucrative trades talks with the United States. China has made it very difficult for Europe to do business in their country. Europe as a whole has a €170 billion trade deficit with China. EU leaders are left scratching their heads on what to do to turn the tide and open up more trade.

EU Fishing Rights Problems

May 6th, 2009

Much is being made of fishing rights around the EU. As long as fishing rights have been around there have been squabbles over those rights. Its not just local fishermen fighting over the best spot but nations fighting over fishing quotas set by the EU. Fishermen from many countries say that national fishing limits are too small while other countries think everything is just fine. European waters are heavily over fished and over 90% of all Cod is fished before they have a chance to breed.

Portugal feeling Glum

May 6th, 2009

Studies show that the Portuguese are a depressed people. A recent survey showed that 92% of all residents thought their country was in a poor economic state and a whopping 95% felt they couldn’t find a better job if they wanted to. Shockingly over 50% of Portuguese are not happy with their lives. Oddly enough Portugal is one of the countries that has handled the global crisis with minimal disruption. Banks were wise enough not to rush into wild lending and the real estate market is stable.