Daily Archives: 21 May, 2015

By Clément Fontan

One month ago, the Bruegel institute, a respected and influential EU think-thank, published an opinion piece by former IMF staff member Ashoka Mody. In his excellent analysis, Mody relies on leaked insider information and IMF self-criticism to condemn the Fund’s role in the Greek bailout process from 2010 to the present. In short, he reminds us that the lack of debt restructuring during the 2010 bailout was primarily aimed at protecting the holders of Greek bonds, e.g. the major French and German banks, despite its unsustainability. Then, he underlines that the structural reforms and the budget cuts worsened the economic and social conditions in Greece to such an extent that a second bailout was needed in 2012.

On Monday, 18 May, the EU Foreign and Defense Ministers agreed to establish a naval force, EUNAVFOR Med, to combat human smugglers operating off the coast of Libya. The force is part of the European Union’s response to the increasing number of irregular migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in hope of finding a safe haven in one of the Union’s member states. It is expected to become operational next month and will be comprised of three stages, beginning with intelligence gathering, followed by “inspection and detection” and finally “neutralizing” traffickers’ facilities

On 18 March 2015 the European Central Bank inaugurated its new, glittering headquarters building in Frankfurt, at a cost of €1.3 billion. Taking issue with this significant expense at a time of austerity policies around Europe, and the fact that the original budget for the building had been set at €500 million, a Member of the European Parliament submitted a question to the ECB President, who responded acknowledging significant deviations from the original budget. What would the institutions formerly known as Troika have said if any of these countries had inaugurated premises of such standards recently? Well, in fact this is exactly what has happened.

        Question on the cost of the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) submitted by Portuguese MEP Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL) and response by ECB President Mario Draghi.       Do as I say, not as I do… On 18 March 2015 the European Central Bank inaugurated its new, glittering…

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