Daily Archives: 5 March, 2015

Starting from the recent Tsipras – Rajoy war of words, on who sabotages whom at the Eurogroup and in electoral politics, I attempt to put together evidence that shows a major shift in European politics. Building also on an increasing number of satirical videos about European politics, and from my personal experience, I reach an anecdotal, not so scientific but most probably correct conclusion: We are getting a European demos, in which we all feel comfortable enough and are knowledgeable enough about each other to be able to make jokes, break the ice, get on each other’s nerves occasionally, but basically express what we increasingly realize that we are: a diverse, noisy, funny, stubborn, intrusive and generous section of humanity that one could call “the Europeans”.

The ECB enters a new era in monetary policy

The European Central Bank (ECB) is to start buying up sovereign bonds from 9 March. Its president, Mario Draghi, believes that the programme of unprecedented monetary stimulus in the Eurozone will succeed in stemming the threat of deflation in the region. Next week will see an enormous machinery set in motion for the purchase of public debt on a mass scale from the 19 countries in the monetary union. Known as quantitative easing (QE), this has now been renamed by the ECB as the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP) and will consist of bond purchases up to €60bn per month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a one-day visit to Brussels on 4 March, and met with the European Commission President and the entire College of Commissioners. One wonders whether that would have happened if any of the other 27 EU member state leaders had been visiting. Of course, nobody doubts the prominence that Ms. Merkel has, because of the special weight that Germany carries in the European economy and politics, but also because of her own personality and leadership skills.

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