Press

The eurozone expands despite doubts

31 May 2010
Newsweek
Some candidates "would be better members than many of the existing ones," says Simon Tilford of the CER. "But the spectre of Greece means there is very little stomach for taking on new members."

Hurdles remain for non-Russian gas pipeline

30 May 2010
The Daily Telegraph
Katinka Barysch, of the CER, believes the pipeline is still crucial. In a discussion paper published this month, she points out "Energy forecasters say that the global gas glut is temporary.Between 2015 and 2020 global markets will tighten. All of Nabucco's problems – lack of demand, finance and supplies – have a plausible solution. Even if it is further delayed and not ready for gas shipments in 2014, it still makes sense to build it, both commercially and politically."

Humbled by crisis, Russia and the EU eye summit reset

Katinka Barysch
29 May 2010
CNBC
But a better atmosphere will not necessarily translate into an ambitious summit agreement, said Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the CER. "The relationship looks better, feels better, smells better," said Barysch. "Whether that can be translated into concrete achievements remains to be seen."

La dolce vita sours in Europe

Philip Whyte
29 May 2010
Montreal Gazette
Philip Whyte, an economic analyst with the CER, said the spending cuts and tax increases could push parts of Europe into a prolonged slump. He also said the kind of unrest this month in Greece, when protesters firebombed police and set fire to a bank that left three dead, could spread. "Greece is the thin edge of the wedge, and not just in southern Europe.

EU struggles to convince markets in euro crisis

28 May 2010
Reuters
"This is the worst possible message they [Germany] could be sending the markets because it suggests they are still not acknowledging what the underlying problem here is," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER. "Far from reassuring the market and stabilizing market sentiment, this will further undermine confidence in the ability of eurozone governments and policymakers to get on top of the crisis. It will aggravate the situation further."

Euro exit is no soft option

26 May 2010
Daily Mail
Experts, including Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, do not exclude the possibility of Greece exiting down the road. But the rest are likely to 'muddle through,' he argues. "There is a lot of hot air about the eurozone breaking up," says Grant. "'But don't underestimate the political will there is to keep it together."

Can the European Union survive the debt crisis?

26 May 2010
The Christian Science Monitor
"Essentially, you can't have a single currency without a single economy," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform. "For it to work, there needs to be much greater political and economic integration."

Merkel faces loss of political clout

24 May 2010
The Wall Street Journal
"Other euro members won't be able to put their public finances on a sustainable footing if their economies cannot return to economic growth," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform. "It's all very well to talk about the need for greater fiscal discipline - that's only one element of the problem, which is why Germany's strategy lacks any real credibility with the markets or with its European partners.

The European disunion - will the euro survive?

23 May 2010
The Telegraph
Part of the reason why southern European nations like Spain and Greece are currently in so much debt is that the northern European nations were prepared to lend to them the cash in the first place, explains Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform. The construction boom in Spain, for example, wasn't financed out of nowhere: it was fuelled by enormous sums of cheap cash borrowed at very low rates.

Germany tries to save the euro - all by itself

21 May 2010
Time
"The Germans are no closer to understanding that the markets are not the problem," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER. "The markets are right to be uncertain about the sustainability of the euro zone in its current form."

EU faces battle over closer economic union

21 May 2010
Reuters
"The problem is that when countries signed up to the single currency they were not made aware that it would require such integration. Political elites need to start explaining why it does," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London.

British PM to visit Paris and Berlin

20 May 2010
The Hindu
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform (CER), said that - now in government - the Conservative leader was likely to come across as being "much less eurosceptic than people feared." The timing of the visits was especially interesting. "The euro crisis is prising apart Franco-German relations. It is a great opportunity for Britain to lead in Europe, if it has the ideas and a constructive attitude," Mr Grant told the BBC on Thursday.

Berlin makes shock move without allies

Katinka Barysch
19 May 2010
Financial Times
"Germany feels isolated and misunderstood," said Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform think tank. "The rift, if badly handled, could make Germany's stance towards the EU more hard-nosed and inward-looking."

Against a great wall

Katinka Barysch
19 May 2010
Hindustan Times
"EU diplomats exude optimism when asked about China," wrote Katinka Barysch of the Centre of European Reform. "Chinese leaders, unlike most Russians and Americans, like and respect the European Union." … "Wishful thinking," was how European analyst Charles Grant termed Europe's China fixation. … Grant says "We have suffered more from yuan manipulation than the US."… the EU "should abandon the fiction of a 'strategic partnership' which cannot be meaningful when the values of the two sides are so different."

Germany's eurozone bind

19 May 2010
Reuters
As Simon Tilford, the chief economist of the Centre for European Reform think tank points out, if every economy in the eurozone looked like Germany they would all be expected to run trade surpluses, all have minimal labour cost inflation and all have low domestic consumption. "It's a beggar-thy-neighbour strategy," he said. "If everyone is called upon to cut costs and boost export income, then there's massive depreciation pressure and a eurozone wide slump. It would mean big trouble.

Euroland lesson for a stand alone nation state

19 May 2010
The Australian
Centre for European Reform chief economist Simon Tilford says: "Unfortunately, the eurozone fulfils few, if any, of the criteria for a successful currency union. The participating economies can hardly be described as fully integrated."

German trading ban exacerbates EU political divisions

19 May 2010
Reuters
"This sends a very unfortunate message," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think tank. "It again suggests that the Germans are no closer to understanding that the markets are not the problem here. The markets are right to be uncertain about the sustainability of the eurozone in its current form. … What is specific to Germany is a readiness to make unilateral announcements on things that would only be doable if they were done collectively," said Tilford. "It's pretty populist stuff.

Europe 2020

18 May 2010
Newsweek
By 2020, argues Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London, the southern European tier could become Europe's most competitive and dynamic region provided it finally moves ahead with reforms that limit government spending, cut inflated public payrolls, and open up overregulated labour, product, and service markets that have stifled growth, productivity, and competitiveness in these economies.

The death of the European dream

18 May 2010
Financial Times
While the EU's foreign admirers are on the defensive, international eurosceptics are in the ascendancy. Charles Grant, head of the Centre for European Reform, a pro-EU think tank, says he has been struck on his recent travels by the growing disdain for Europe in Delhi, Beijing and Washington. "We're seen as locked into permanent economic and demographic decline, and our pretensions to hard power are treated with contempt," he laments.

NATO urged to look beyond borders

Tomas Valasek
17 May 2010
New York Times
A separate report, published this month by the Centre for European Reform in London, says NATO needs to address the security concerns of newer members in central and eastern Europe. … "Some of the allies worry that NATO would not be able to come to their defence in a crisis," said Tomas Valasek, one of the authors of the London report, who also was a civilian adviser to Ms Albright's group.