24-05-2017 | EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom

EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom 24-05-2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Greece shrugs off debt relief delay, seems confident of deal

The Greek government on Tuesday appeared calm after its lenders failed to agree on debt relief for the crisis-hit nation, saying it was confident a deal could be brokered in the next three weeks.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eurozone-greece-spokesman-idUKKBN18J1EQ?il=0

IMF needs more realism in eurozone assumptions on Greece

The International Monetary Fund needs to see more realistic eurozone assumptions about Greece’s economy and more detail on planned debt relief measures to join a bailout, IMF’s European Department head Poul Thomsen said.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218640/article/ekathimerini/business/imf-needs-more-realism-in-eurozone-assumptions-on-greece 

German Finance Minister sees deal for Greece in three weeks ‘if all goes well’

Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble expressed some confidence on Tuesday that Greece’s international creditors would overcome their differences and agree in three weeks on a deal that would release more loans to Athens.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218643/article/ekathimerini/business/german-finance-minister-sees-deal-for-greece-in-three-weeks-if-all-goes-well

Cosco’s ambitious plans for Piraeus Port

Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) is not only planning to create four new mooring slots for cruise ships at the southern side of the port that will be able to receive vessels of up to 390 meters in length, but in the medium term it is also preparing the creation of a luxurious hotel and shopping center, as well as entertainment and food service spots.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218666/article/ekathimerini/business/coscos-ambitious-plans-for-piraeus-port

PPC gets shareholder approval for grid spin-off

Greece’s main power utility Public Power Corporation secured shareholders’ approval on Tuesday to sell part of its grid operator to the state, a final step in concluding the spin-off of the grid next month.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218662/article/ekathimerini/business/ppc-gets-shareholder-approval-for-grid-spin-off

Aegean Air sees losses grow

Greece’s largest carrier Aegean Airlines posted a net loss of 35.8 million euros for the first quarter on Tuesday, up from 21.5 million euros in the same period a year ago.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218663/article/ekathimerini/business/aegean-air-sees-losses-grow

ATHEX: Bourse index succumbs to pressure

It was down, then up and then back down again for the benchmark of the Greek bourse on Tuesday, as the inconclusive Eurogroup on Monday night and the terrorist attack in Manchester took their toll on the Greek market.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218651/article/ekathimerini/business/athex-bourse-index-succumbs-to-pressure

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KATHIMERINI: Vertigo in Athens after the shipwreck [at Monday’s Eurogroup]

ETHNOS: The limit for auctions is set at 300,000 Euros

TA NEA: The remains of a defeat

EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Ears wide shut

AVGI: Highly confidential sale of Dunant hospital

RIZOSPASTIS: The escalation of anti-popular measures is a prerequisite for the debt’s regulation

KONTRA NEWS: ISIS declares war on Europe

DIMOKRATIA: Tayip [Erdogan] the Barbarian!

NAFTEMPORIKI: What’s dividing  the IMF and Berlin

IMERISIA: Chinese Water Torture by German FinMin Schaeuble

MANCHESTER ATTACK LATEST … 

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced armed soldiers will be deployed on Britain’s streets and raised the nation’s threat level to critical, the highest possible, as authorities are yet to confirm whether the attacker acted alone.

Fear factor enters the UK election: The major parties suspended their election campaigns but the Manchester attack will cast a pall when they hit the trail again, not least because it will feature in discussions at this week’s NATO and G7 summits. “The meeting will give May a platform to swing in behind Trump to demand more coordinated action to tackle global terrorism,” write Tom McTague and Charlie Cooper. “She is likely to receive a sympathetic hearing.”

Attacker identified: Several sources told POLITICO that Salman Abedi, a British man, carried out the suicide bombing. British police later confirmed the attacker’s identity.

Were girls the target? ISIS said the concert arena hit by the bombing was “shameful” in a statement Tuesday, though it didn’t say whether young girls specifically were the attacker’s target. But it is hard to ignore the fact Ariana Grande appeals directly to young women, who turned up to see “a concert meant to celebrate female empowerment,” writes James McAuley.

Brexit and security: Whether Abedi has links with other EU states or not, intelligence sharing between countries will be a sticking point for upcoming Brexit talks.

**A message from IbecIrish business: The Emerald Isle’s landscape is certainly green and its economic success is turning observers green with envy. One natural asset is the plentiful supply of quality grass. This nutrient is driving the agri-food renaissance. Ireland supplies 20 percent of all global infant milk formula. Learn more.**

EUROGROUP — EUROZONE FINANCE MINISTERS CONFRONT THEIR OWN DEFICIT: Eurogroup members and the European Court of Justice say the body is merely a discussion forum. Participants say it’s the informality that makes it work. But Playbook and Bjarke Smith-Meyer examine claims the Eurogroup is a secret club that can sink banks and political careers while itself facing neither rules nor accountability. We take you inside the meeting room to learn who talks and who doesn’t and reveal (somewhat unsurprisingly) that Germany is the key source of pressure on the group’s members.

The Eurogroup is like a wartime ministry that never adjusted to a peacetime setting; but with calls for eurozone reform coming from multiple sources — France, Germany, the European Commission and NGOs — the trajectory towards transparency is set to continue.

WATCH: Wolfgang Schäuble interview (in German with Dutch subtitles) with VRT during his Brussels visit.

COMMISSION — MOGHERINI DINNER WITH WESTERN BALKAN LEADERS: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini today hosts the leaders of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia in a bid to tone down the tension in the region.

COMMISSION — COLLEGE MEETING: European commissioners are holding a session on the future of EU defense and Günther Oettinger will present an update on the 2018 budget. Commissioners will also receive a briefing on Greek debt. Mogherini and Commission VP Jyrki Katainen will speak to reporters after the meeting.

**You’re invited: Join us on June 15  in Brussels for POLITICO’s “Outside, In: Putting Value at the Heart of Health Care” event. Presented by Philips, the event will discuss how to ensure European health systems leverage a holistic approach to improve patient outcomes while maintaining — or even decreasing — costs. The panel debate will feature speakers including Andrzej Rys, Director for Health Systems, Medical Products and Innovation, DG SANTE, European Commission, Wim Goettsch, Director of the EUnetHTA JA3 Directorate and Yves Verboven, Director, Market Access & Economic Policies, MedTech Europe. Find out more about the event and the speakers here**

HURRICANE TRUMP ARRIVES IN TOWN TODAY …

Tara Palmeri is in Brussels with the Trump train and will be joining today’s Facebook Live video chat at 12:30 p.m. Brussels time — watch here.

Climate push: The EU continues to push the Trump administration to commit to staying in the Paris climate agreement. The latest volley: agreeing on a trilateral climate conference with China and Canada in September.

NATO, no longer obsolete, braces for Trump: NATO’s tight embrace of the U.S. president is working, for now. The problem is allies know he is still on a warpath and unlikely to stick to the sort of highly choreographed scripts NATO is used to. “I don’t know anyone who knows exactly what Trump is going to say … we don’t want improvisation at the table, we want carefully considered, thought-through decisions,” said a senior NATO official. David Herszenhorn and Tara Palmeri have more.

NATO summit must read: If you read only one article about what the EU and U.S. can do to make NATO work into the future, read this piece by Slovakia’s former NATO Ambassador Tomáš Valášek for Carnegie Europe. Valášek argues Europe may need to start planning to defend the Continent without the U.S., but must first do its utmost to prevent Trump from turning his back on NATO.

EU’S 15 minutes of fame: The Belgian government is wooing the Trumps with its palaces; the EU has a much tougher job. Instead of tapping emotion by taking Trump to a battlefield or war monument (to remind the president of why the EU exists) or stroking his ego with an easy win, it’s selling itself to Trump in one of its soulless meeting rooms.

It’s easy to imagine Trump getting along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on a social level, and Playbook can picture the two Donalds, Trump and Tusk, doing no-nonsense deals. But it’s not easy to imagine either of them defusing Nigel Farage’s Euroskeptic bombs in the mere 15 minutes scheduled for their face-to-face meeting.

Malloch charm offensive: The man who is happy to be touted as Trump’s potential ambassador to the EU, Ted Malloch, on Tuesday told an audience at an event hosted by the Open Europe think tank that a failing EU is not in America’s interests. He also noted the EU doesn’t get enough credit for stabilizing Eastern Europe after 1990.

Motorcade bill: Olivier Maingain, the mayor of Brussels neighborhood Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, told RTBF that U.S. security services screened all the residences on Trump’s motorcade route.

NATO — BY THE NUMBERS: NATO’s image is improving, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Poles and Dutch are the most supportive, Spaniards least.

EU AGENCY RELOCATION: Countries bidding to host the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority have until July 31 to submit their entries, according to a European Commission document obtained by POLITICO and others.

COUNCIL — PORTUGAL THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR REFORM: Twelve months ago it was all so different. Portugal was on the verge of EU economic sanctions and the success of its new left-wing coalition government was far from assured. Today it is no longer in breach of EU budget rules and expects to hand back €10 billion to the IMF. Playbook hears German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble on Tuesday called Mário Centeno “the Ronaldo of the ECOFIN” group of finance ministers. According to Playbook’s Portuguese source, such progress is like winning Eurovision for policy wonks.

WHO — WORLD HEALTH CHIEF NAMED: Ethiopia’s former health and foreign affairs minister, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will be the first African to lead the body.

GERMANY — A HACKED-OFF COUNTRY HACKS BACK: Janosch Delcker writes that Berlin has revamped its tools for cyber counterstrikes. Its army is hiring 13,500 cyber soldiers and contractors and the interior ministry has opened a 400-person strong unit in Munich to develop cyberstrike tools. But the country’s legislation has not caught up with its capabilities.

FRANCE — MACRON PUSHES FOR WORKPLACE BARGAINING: The mere fact France is having this debate will sound strange to many outside the country, which still operates under widespread collective bargaining agreements. Macron wants to bring more flexibility to the workplace negotiating level, but he’ll need to be creative to succeed. Those who have tried before have failed. Step one is endless meetings with union and employer bodies; step two is fast-tracking employment legislation, reports Pierre Briançon.

BRUSSELS CORNER …

EUROPEAN MANSPLAINING SUMMIT: The annual European Business Summit finished Tuesday and may have set new record for the number of all-male panels at a major EU policy event. Don’t get Playbook wrong, many of the discussions were interesting. But the imbalance had conference attendees grumbling. Some stats: All four “networking moments” had men-only speaker line-ups, nine of the 10 small “agora” format session were all-male, 37 of the top 40 speakers advertised on the summit website were men and of the 16 plenary session panelists, 15 were men.

The good news: Organizers acknowledged the issue to Playbook and committed to work with specialist organizations to address the imbalance for the 2018 summit.

SPOTTED: Commissioners Margrethe Vestager and Christos Stylianides eating at the Arion Café near Place Stéphanie. “They did not eat together but they greeted each other in a very friendly way,” according to Playbook’s source.

MERGED: Teneo, the New York-headquartered consultancy with a small office of six in Brussels, has bought Cabinet DN, one of the larger independent lobbying outfits in the city. The new firm will have a headcount of around 44, making it one of the five biggest consultancies in town.

PROGRAMMING: The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham EU) has created a television program with the U.K.’s ITN productions and former BBC journalist Natasha Kaplinsky called “The Future of the Single Market.” WATCH.

TWEET DU JOUR: Theresa May as Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.

APPOINTED: CNN has brought Tara Palmeri on as a political analyst alongside her POLITICO work. Former spokesman at the French permanent representation Gaël Veyssière becomes the director of French Minister for European Affairs Marielle de Sarnez’s private office.