Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February

On 16 February talks in the Eurogroup failed after Greece rejected a draft statement and received an ultimatum to ask for an extension of the current program before 20 February. Greece sent the letter and the Eurogroup reassembled on 20 February, agreeing on a Statement on Greece. It is very instructive to see what changed between the rejected statement and the one finally agreed. (What Schäuble gained by holding out after 11 February is examined in a companion piece.)

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The Economic Consequences of Pacta Sunt Servanda

In der erhitzten Debatte in Deutschland über die Forderung der neuen griechischen Regierung, das angebliche Hilfsprogramm für Griechenland neu zu verhandeln kein deutscher Politiker und kaum jemand in den Medien überhaupt auf die Frage eingeht, ob das Programm, so wie es ist, funktioniert, ob es den Griechen zumutbar ist, und ob es den Interessen der Gläubiger dient. Beides ist offenkundig nicht der Fall. Warum aber dann so hartnäckig daran festhalten. Professor Thiess Büttner, den Schäuble

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Investor Protection in CETA and TTIP Leaves a Lot of Room for Improvement Say Legal Experts in Parliamentary Hearing

27 January 2015 | Professor Steffen Hindelang of the Free University Berlin, a renowned expert for international trade law has today presented at a joint hearing of the EU-Parliament committees on law and on international trade the findings of three studies, comissioned by parliament.

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QE and the nature of the standoff between the ECB and Syriza

On Thursday the ECB’s Governing Council will decide on whether to start a large bond buying program. I am afraid the decision is clear, though not for economic reasons. A few days later, the Greek will probably vote for a left leaning government under the Syriza-party, which wants to renegotiate the terms of the huge government debt, and is opposed to the EU-imposed austerity program which impoverished the country. There will be a standoff, a game of chicken, in which Brussels, Frankfort (the ECB) and Berlin

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Shadow ECB Council is sceptical on size and structure of the ECB’s package

At the meeting of the Shadow ECB Council on 26 September, 2014, there was a strong consensus that strong disinflation and weak economic prospects warranted ECB action. At the same time, there was near consensus that the package of measures announced by the central bank in early September would not be sufficient and there was disagreement on their appropriateness. Many members suggested large scale

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Shadow ECB Council calls ECB’s package step in the right direction

At the meeting of the Shadow ECB Council on 26 June, 2014, there was a strong consensus that the measures decided by the ECB Governing Council in early June against the credit crunch and below target inflation were going in the right direction, but only modestly effective and insufficient. Almost all members believed that additional measure were needed now or in the near future. The Targeted Long Term Refinancing Operations (TLTRO) were almost unanimously considered the most important part of

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Shadow ECB Council criticises neglect of deflation danger

The Shadow ECB Council held a conference-call on 27 March, 2014 to discuss whether and which monetary policy measure would be appropriate to deal with the continued inflation undershoot and to counter the threat of deflation.  There was broad consensus that the low and declining inflation rate in the euro area as a whole and negative rates in some individual countries pose a serious problem; more serious than ECB representatives

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