GUIDEPOST LOVES GOOD NEWS: The EU Approves its Own Marshall Plan* Following the Devastating Corona Pandemic! »
European Commission President Charles Michel: “This is a good deal. This is a strong deal. And most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe. We negotiated about money. But, of course, it is about a lot more than money. It is about workers and families, their jobs, their health and their well-being. I believe this agreement will be seen as a pivotal moment in Europe’s journey, but it will also launch us into the future. That is the magic of the European project”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez: The Agreement in Brussels of the Coronavirus Recovery Plan marks “one of the most brilliant pages ever written in EU history.” It is “a historic agreement for the economic recovery of our country [i.e., Spain], not only in offering a response to the COVID-19 crisis, but also to the transformations needed.” The Agreement is 95% satisfactory for Spain and 100% for the whole of the EU.
The EU economy will experience a deep recession this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Summer 2020 Economic Forecast projects that the euro area economy will contract by 8.7% in 2020 and grow by 6.1% in 2021. The EU economy is forecast to contract by 8.3% in 2020 and grow by 5.8% in 2021. Early data for May and June suggest that the worst may have passed. The recovery is expected to gain traction in the second half of the year, albeit remaining incomplete and uneven across Member States.
At a minimum, there seems to be a willingness among business and labor to work together in order to overcome the extreme social and economic difficulties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic in Spain and in the Eropean Union.
BREXIT SERIES: (2) “A New Dawn for Europe,” Joint op-ed by President von der Leyen, President Michel and President Sassoli »
As the night draws in this evening, the sun will set on more than 45 years of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. For us, as Presidents of the three main EU institutions, today will inevitably be a day of reflection and mixed emotions – as it will for so many people. Our thoughts are with all of those who have helped to make the European Union what it is today. Those who are concerned about their future or disappointed to see the UK leave. We will think of the UK and its people, their creativity, ingenuity, culture, and traditions, that have been a vital part of our Union’s tapestry.
The European integration, as we know it today – i.e., the EU – is responsible for the unprecedented economic prosperity in Europe. Moreover, during all this time no European major power has gone and waged a war, giving rise to the longest reign of peace in over 2000 years of European history. Perversely, as if to reward the Brits for Brexit, US President Donald Trump has dangled a “massive” trade deal in front of them.
The Acting Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, held several working meetings in London to evaluate and strengthen the contingency plans of the Government of Spain in the event of a no-deal withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. “Strengthening contingency plans before Brexit is a government priority,” she says.
Given that a ‘no-deal’ scenario remains a possible outcome, the Commission strongly encourages all stakeholders to use the extra time provided by the extension of the Article 50 period (till 31 October 2019) to ensure that they have taken all necessary measures to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
One of the very first things Madrid's new rightwing government has done was to impose a moratorium on the fines on unauthorized vehicles that enter Madrid Central, thereby allowing that low-emissions area to revert to the free-for-all area it used to be. Fortunately, last week the court stepped in and suspended the moratorium as a precautionary measure. The court ruling will remain in force until a new decision is made. What will the fate of Madrid Central be?
Somehow I always felt that "Europe" began at the Pyrenees, leaving Spain as a magic island of cultural heritage. What has the EU really done to improve the life of the average Spaniard except complicate the panorama a bit more? Perhaps there has been a forward-looking push from up North that has subtlely changed the traditional Spanish attitude of xenophobia. Perhaps some modernization has occurred and the economy is more robust than before. But Madrid is not Paris, and Barcelona is not Berlin, and Rome will always be Rome. If the British can say "no" to the Continent then others may follow suit.