Press

Tory Euroscepticism is being sidelined

14 May 2010
The Guardian
For those of us who hope Britain will engage constructively with the EU, the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition is good news.

Europa und Großbritannien: "Wie soll das funktionieren?"

Katinka Barysch
13 May 2010
Die Presse.com
Nirgendwo klaffen die Positionen zwischen den britischen Konservativen und Liberaldemokraten weiter auseinander als in der Europapolitik. In der Koalitionsvereinbarung ist dem Thema ein eigenes Kapital gewidmet.

Political shift in Britain reflects Europe's rightward tilt

Clara Marina O'Donnell
13 May 2010
Los Angeles Times
"In many European countries, people believe that parties on the centre-right are more capable of dealing with the economy than the centre-left," said Clara O'Donnell, a research fellow at the Centre for European Reform in London. "They basically seem to believe that the centre-right is more capable of getting through the economic crisis."… "The centre-left has found it very difficult to find a narrative to attract voters," said O'Donnell, the London researcher. "In a lot of countries, the centre-left is in disarray."

Estonian euro may trigger upgrade, Moody’s, Fitch say

Katinka Barysch
13 May 2010
Bloomberg Businessweek
New euro states are likely to be less generous in accepting fiscal indiscretions from the bloc's older members, such as Greece, as they demand that the same stringent budget policies that they pushed through in order to join be enforced across the region, according to Katinka Barysch, chief economist at the London-based Centre for European Reform. "As more of these new member states join the single currency they will be very strict on the old member states," Barysch said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today.

EU hopes British Lib Dems will rein in Tory europhobes

12 May 2010
EUbusiness
"It's the best possible result for the EU because Cameron doesn't have his hands tied by the hardline eurosceptics in his own party, it was a great result for the status quo," said Hugo Brady, analyst at the Centre for European Reform.

Sarkozy emerges buoyed from euro rescue effort

12 May 2010
Mercury News
Simon Tilford, chief economist at the European Centre for Reform, noted that the plan for the euro included "some elements of the French model" such as a greater need for intervention and regulation…. The French "were very quick to recognize how serious the situation was and that does contrast with one or two other governments, notably Germany." But he added, "I find the rhetoric coming out of France, with its attack on the markets as the reason behind the downfall of the eurozone, quite problematic.

Europe shows Britain coalitions can work

12 May 2010
Reuters
Hugo Brady, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform, said coalitions could be short-lived because they were often formed to get a country through periods of instability but pointed out that was not always the case. "With the right leader they can be very stable creations once they get over an 18-month to two-year period in which all their frailties are exposed," Brady said. "Power becomes addictive, the partners become hooked on it, and they stay on."

Tories set for clash with EU on banking laws

Philip Whyte
12 May 2010
EurActiv
"In this whole area of financial services, UK-EU relations could blow up," according to Philip Whyte, a UK-based analyst from the Centre for European reform. … "The Lib Dems will likely try to reign in Euroscepticism coming from their Conservative partners but they will not be shaping the UK's EU policy." Whyte also points out that the Tory electorate is still smarting from the fact that they did not have a referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty last year, serving to fuel their hostility to the bloc even more.

German EU-weariness weighs on Merkel

Katinka Barysch
11 May 2010
Wtop
"The country's political elite is still wedded to the European project even though Germany is no longer willing to pay over the odds to make European compromises possible," said Katinka Barysch, an analyst at the London-based Centre for European Reform think tank, in a research note. "The risk is that the Greek crisis brings a latent sense of frustration and disillusionment with the EU to the boil", she said. "It is hard to see how the EU could make progress on anything ...

Backlash over UK stance on euro bail-out

11 May 2010
Financial Times
But Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said there was increasing anti-British feeling across the EU, fuelled by the belief that Britain had allowed its currency to depreciate to gain a competitive advantage. "People are fed up with the British; we are deeply unpopular," Mr Grant said, warning that it would not be easy for the UK to find allies to help it on issues such as trying to revise an EU directive on hedge funds. "Nobody will owe us any favours," he said.

Managing in a crisis, EU style

11 May 2010
Reuters
"The problem here is the recurring inability in the European project to say brutal truths honestly and clearly and act on them in a realistic manner," said Hugo Brady, an analyst at the Centre for European Reform, referring to a previous last-minute summit. "Doing just enough to survive the political day is a habit born of EU leaders involved in summitry," he said, adding: "Eventually the EU is going to hit a crisis that it can't get over."

EU bailout sparks new challenge: Enforcing fiscal rigor in eurozone

10 May 2010
The Wall Street Journal
But putting changes into effect that would give the European Commission or other governments real control over national budgets is easier said than done, says Simon Tilford of the Centre for European Reform in London. Governments "are going to say all the right things." … "This isn't an issue that's going to be resolved by one or two governments getting tough on public spending," he says.

Debt crisis: £645bn rescue package for euro reassures markets … for now

10 May 2010
The Guardian
"Trichet is a diminished figure," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform think tank…. Grant said the decisions did nothing to resolve the economic fundamentals of European weakness and imbalance. "Southern Europe will be stuck in a vicious circle of deflation and recession for many years."

Markets rally runs out of steam

10 May 2010
Financial Times
"It does not address the underlying issue – the terrible economic growth prospects of the southern eurozone countries and Ireland," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform think tank. "Unless these economies can avoid deflation and get their economies growing, they have no future in the eurozone."

Euro strikes back with biggest gamble in its 11 year history

10 May 2010
The Guardian
"It shows that they're serious, despite all the squabbling," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform...."All this has highlighted the strains between Berlin and Paris," said Grant. "The big loser is the Franco-German relationship."

Merkel away when crises came calling

Katinka Barysch
10 May 2010
New York Times
Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform, an independent research organisation in London, said this partly explained why Mrs Merkel had taken such a very tough stance against bailing out Greece. "Merkel felt that her hands were tied by very real and immediate constraints," Ms Barysch said. "But her cautious and delayed reaction is also in line with a deeper shift in Germany's European policies. In a European Union of 27, Germans no longer automatically assume that their national interest coincides with that of the Union."

After crisis fund, EU faces long-term battles

10 May 2010
Reuters
"There are going to be many years of pain in southern Europe, this is just the beginning," said Charles Grant, the director of the Centre for European Reform in London. "The underlying cause of the crisis, which is the lack of competitiveness in the southern European economies, has not gone away. It's very hard to see how the crisis will lift for up to five years because the competitiveness issue is so serious."

EU learnt from Greek experience

09 May 2010
Financial Times
Sir, Lex on the Portuguese bail-out (May 4) implies that the International Monetary Fund would have imposed more rigorous criteria on the crisis-hit country than the “soft-touch” European Union.

Greek debt crisis raises doubts about the European Union

07 May 2010
New York Times
But the problem is more fundamental, said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. "Most of the time, the gap between European rhetoric and reality is just an annoyance," he said. "But that gap is simply lethal when it comes to the euro." Instead of attacking markets and forming a new European agency, "the leaders need to focus on the issue that is driving the markets: the dire growth prospects for the southern rim" of the eurozone, meaning Greece, Portugal, Spain and even Italy.

Elections likely to make UK more eurosceptical

06 May 2010
NRC Handelsblad
"Cameron may be a eurosceptic, he is also a realist," said Simon Tilford of the CER. "He has already indicated he wants to let the European issue lie for the time being... Twenty years ago, a lot of prominent Tories were pro-European," Tilford recalled. "Now, to stand a living chance of being selected as a Conservative MP, you have to be eurosceptic."