31 January 2012

Nos moutons

Oh well, if we absolutely must discuss yesterday's EU Summit ...  Helpfully, The Guardian has a summary of the main conclusions:
25 countries endorsed the fiscal pact. They agreed to enshrine balanced budget legislation into their national law, with annual structural deficits capped at 0.5% of GDP. Transgressors face penalties of 0.1% of GDP, with fines being added to Europe's bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The UK and the Czech Republic declined to sign.
The new Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (SCG) will come into force once it has been passed by the parliaments of at least 12 countries that use the euro.
• Euro area leaders confirmed that they will reassess whether the ESM, and its forerunner the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), have sufficient resource. They still plan to bring the ESM into force in July 2012.
EU leaders agreed to a new drive to stimulate growth and create employment across the region, particularly for young people. Unused development funds will be used to create jobs. They also vowed to help small and medium enterprises to get access to credit, and to use the Single Market as a key driver for Europe's economic growth.
• Leaders also opposed the suggestion that a 'commissioner' should be installed in Greece to ovesee its budget decisions. French president Nicolas Sarkozy warned that this would be undemocratic, as "the recovery process in Greece can only be enacted by the Greeks themselves."
All a bit vague.  As usual, the details will be sorted out (or not) later.  No real sign of addressing the competitiveness issue.  Nor of what will happen when the troika report that Greece has only made limited progress towards the required austerity regime.

The only other point concerns Dave Cameron's acquiescence to the use of ECJ being used to assess which euro member states have been naughty boys when it comes to the observance of the new treaty.  Which rather invalidates the point of last month's veto.

This is going to drag on and on and on ...

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