Press

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."

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."

Panic as the euro is rushed into intensive care

06 May 2010
Radio Netherlands
"Leaders must find a way of preventing the crisis in Greece spiralling out of control, prevent it from bankrupting Greece and prevent it from spreading to the other eurozone countries. Because if it does, it will quite possibly lead to the unravelling of the eurozone," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER. "That would be terribly damaging for Europe, for the EU and the political fall-out would be enormous."

Europe eyeing Conservative performance in UK election

03 May 2010
Euronews
Charles Grant, with the Centre for European Reform, said: "He has said that he wants to build up credibility by showing that he's a constructive European leader in the early stage of his premiership, if he indeed does become prime minister. That's encouraging but still the worry remains that after a few years he implies that he will come back to this issue of trying to change the treaties and everybody in Europe has spent about 10 years negotiating the treaty change and they're fed up with it."

Deflation could stall efforts to revive Greece

Katinka Barysch
02 May 2010
New York Times
Katinka Barysch, of the CER, said that that realization had hit home in Germany. "It might be unpopular for the Germans and Europeans to bail out Greece, but it will be even more unpopular for them to bail out the banks that owned Greek bonds… If growth stays negative or low in Greece, the fiscal debt will continue to increase, whatever they do," Ms Barysch said, while difficult structural reforms to liberalise the economy will take time. The economists she speaks to "don't really see a solution for Greece in the longer run," she said. …Greece is functionally bankrupt, Ms Barysch said.

Europe's other crisis

30 April 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, is a perennial fount of intelligently argued and realistic euro-optimism. "The EU is falling to pieces," he now says. "The long-term effects of this crisis will be with us for many years."

Searching for silver in Greece's storm clouds

29 April 2010
Reuters
As Hugo Brady, an analyst with the Centre for European Reform, said this week: "The EU tried for 10 years on the basis of peer review to make structural changes to the EU economy and no one really listened… Now that simple message might get through."

Greek rescue could shake banks across Europe

29 April 2010
The Times
By how much would debt have to be written down? "We're seeing numbers of 20 per cent to 25 per cent," said Simon Tilford, chief economist of the CER, "but it might well have to be more."

Greece's finance ministers are 'last to blame'

29 April 2010
Bloomberg Businessweek
Alogoskoufis and Papantoniou were joined in a panel discussion by Wim Koesters, a professor at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, and Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER. "The point really now is about the degree of default, not whether there is going to be one," Tilford said. In the long term, in the absence of a common euro-region budget policy, "then I think we will see ongoing crises and a managed dismantling of the eurozone."

Ash, Greek credit crises reveal a disunited Europe

29 April 2010
Associated Press
"What is exposed is the underlying lack of solidarity within the eurozone," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER in London. "It's basically exposed the fallacy of believing that it's possible to have a bunch of largely sovereign countries sharing a currency."

EU fumbling leaves eurozone seeking credibility

28 April 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, a senior research fellow at the CER. "The markets aren't stupid. They aren't going to be fooled by elaborate peacocking displays. They can see when reactions are credible and when they are not. Anyone could see Greece was going to need bailing out in a matter of weeks, and so that dancing around just made it worse...

A bad deal for Ukraine and Yanukovich

Tomas Valasek
27 April 2010
Financial Times
The new Ukrainian president has got off to a bad start in foreign policy terms. Last week, Viktor Yanukovich signed a lease agreement with Moscow that will allow the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stay in Ukraine for at least another 32 years.

Greece's rescue package: Will the bailout work?

Philip Whyte
26 April 2010
Time
"A default of some sort — or debt restructuring — is highly likely and people holding government bonds will have to agree to a haircut," says Philip Whyte, senior research fellow at the CER. "But given the alternative, that would not be the worst possible outcome, which would be for Greece to leave the eurozone, and for Greece's problems to spread to other vulnerable countries, like Spain and Portugal."

Competition heats up over EU Southern gas corridor

Katinka Barysch
26 April 2010
EurActiv
"South Stream looks expensive, technologically complicated and unnecessary. Nabucco appears relatively realistic and it is further advanced in the planning process. The EU should call the Russians' bluff by asking Gazprom to use Nabucco to ship gas into South and Central Europe," wrote Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the CER, recently.

Le G20 a manqué une chance de réformer la finance

Katinka Barysch
24 April 2010
La Tribune
Vendredi après-midi, ministres des Finances et banquiers centraux des pays riches et émergents du G20 se sont réunis à Washington pour discuter des projets de régulation du secteur financier.

NATO to debate future of nuclear arms in Europe

Tomas Valasek
22 April 2010
Reuters
Tomas Valasek of the Centre for European Reform think tank said tactical nuclear weapons had little military rationale, especially as their readiness had been so reduced they would take months to deploy. …"Some Central European countries would view a withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons as a unilateral step taken by their big Western allies that puts Russia's concerns ahead of theirs ...