Daily Press Summary
SYRIZA hits out at Greek Finance Ministry intervention into election debate
Greece’s left-wing opposition party SYRIZA has said the Greek Finance Ministry has “no right to interfere in the elections”, following its warning against the party’s plans to issue more short-term debt. Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said the Eurozone will work with whoever is in the next Greek government, and added, “If the Greeks stick to their side of the deal...we are prepared to do more.” Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer told Handelsblatt that it would be right for Greece’s lenders to consider whether the current debt repayment schedule is “appropriate”.
Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who has recently founded a new political party, told Italian daily Corriere della Sera that if SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras “makes a spectacular U-turn and agrees to deal with the real problems, starting with public sector reform, one can discuss” a possible cooperation after the elections.
Kathimerini Kathimerini 2 FT Reuters Irish Times Times: Peston
German ‘Anti-Islamisation’ movement calls for end to “warmongering” against Russia
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and most of her cabinet will join a rally in Berlin this evening for an “open and tolerant Germany” after the latest ‘anti-Islamisation’ Pegida march in Dresden drew an estimated 25,000 people, surpassing the 18,000 turnout last Monday before the terrorist attacks in Paris. Meanwhile, Lutz Bachmann, a member of Pegida’s organising committee, presented a new six-point list of demands including tighter immigration controls, the insertion of a ‘duty of integration’ clause into the German Constitution, a re-entry ban for fighters returning from the Middle East, and an “end to warmongering, among other things against Russia”.
Open Europe Blog BBC Irish times WSJ Guardian WSJ 2 Times Times: Leader Welt
Renewed fighting in Ukraine despite calls for full implementation of ceasefire
Fighting intensified in Eastern Ukraine yesterday ahead of the meeting of the German, French, Ukrainian, and Russian foreign ministers in Berlin last night. The meeting failed to yield an agreement for a proposed summit between the four countries’ leaders on Thursday. The ministers said in a joint statement that “further work needs to be done” to fully implement the ceasefire agreement in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Interpol has issued a wanted notice for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich for the embezzlement and misappropriation of billions of dollars.
Reuters FT WSJ EurActiv
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander writes in the Evening Standard that “the EU has a big role to play in setting financial regulation, and that the City will only remain the EU’s global financial centre if we remain in the negotiating room, not in the waiting room, when crucial regulations are passed.”
Evening Standard: Alexander
Italian media report that President Giorgio Napolitano will step down tomorrow – a widely expected decision due to his old age. The two chambers of the Italian parliament will be convened to elect the new President within two weeks after the resignation.
Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer told Handelsblatt that, if the ECB were to buy government bonds, he would favour “a cap” in terms of percentage of the market which the ECB can buy.
Le Figaro reports that the European Commission will today unveil a communication detailing the “exceptional circumstances” under which Eurozone countries can be granted more flexibility on the achievement of their deficit and debt reduction targets.
EurActiv reports that the European Parliament’s Trade Committee is opposed to including the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause in TTIP, the EU-US free trade deal currently being negotiated.
FAZ reports that Germany achieved a balanced federal budget in 2014 for the first time in almost half a century, and did so one year ahead of schedule.
FAZ FAZ: Goebel Süddeutsche
Portugal is today set to auction its first 30-year bonds since it requested an EU/IMF bail-out in 2011, the WSJ reports.
Data from the Spanish national statistics institute INE show that property sales in Spain went up by 1.1% between January and November 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 – the first annual increase since 2010.
Reuters reports that the European Commission has urged the European Parliament to drop its objections to the Passenger Name Record (PNR) – a proposed system for exchanging airline passenger data among EU member states in order to tackle terrorism.
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