EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom 08-05-2017

EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom 08-05-2017

Monday, May 8, 2017

IMF wants New Democracy to promise not to reverse the measures agreed

The European Commission will bring down its 2017 growth estimate for Greece next week, a eurozone official said on Friday, adding that the International Monetary Fund wants main opposition New Democracy to make a commitment not to reverse the reforms that the government has agreed to in the context of the bailout review should it come to power.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218186/article/ekathimerini/business/imf-wants-new-democracy-to-promise-not-to-reverse-the-measures-agreed

Μacron pledges to ‘lead’ efforts for Greek debt restructuring; says imperative for Athens

The “Greek program” briefly emerged on French presidential candidate trail a day before French citizens head to the ballot boxes, with one of two contenders, centrist Emmanuel Macron, expressing support for what he called “coordinated” restructuring of the Greek debt and even promising to “lead such an effort”.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1232143/macron-pledges-to-lead-efforts-for-greek-debt-restructuring-says-imperative-for-athens

Budget relies on taxes from 0.4 pct of firms

Just 914 enterprises, or 0.4 percent of the total of at least 220,000 companies in Greece, pay 40 percent of total corporate income tax in the country, official data show.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218210/article/ekathimerini/business/budget-relies-on-taxes-from-04-pct-of-firms

Traders worried by big decline in fuel sales turnover last month

Demand for fuel in the domestic market recorded an unexpected drop last month, led by diesel, which slumped 14 percent on an annual basis and 8.5 percent from March. Traders in the various forms of gasoline posted notable year-on-year losses ranging from 5 to 10 percent (depending on the fuel company) even though Easter was in April this year (in 2016 it was in May), leading to an increase in traffic on national and local roads.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218211/article/ekathimerini/business/traders-worried-by-big-decline-in-fuel-sales-turnover-last-month

Power theft costs PPC 170 mln euros per year

Electricity theft is costing Greece’s dominant power utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) about 170 million euros in lost income each year, it said on Friday, citing estimates by the Greek energy regulator.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218182/article/ekathimerini/business/power-theft-costs-ppc-170-mln-euros-per-year

TAIPED appoints new chairwoman

Greece’s privatization agency TAIPED has appointed executive director Lila Tsitsogiannopoulou as its new chair, it said on Friday.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218161/article/ekathimerini/business/taiped-appoints-new-chairwoman

Greek minister in Israel; MoC on telecoms signed

Greek Digital Policy & Telecoms Minister Nikos Pappas signed a bilateral memorandum of cooperation (MoC) in Israel on Sunday with his Israeli counterpart Tzachi Hanegbi, who holds the telecommunications portfolio in the current Netanyahu government.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1232387/greek-minister-in-israel-moc-on-telecoms-signed

Greek bonds are the last of the ECB free rides

Greek bonds are investors’ last chance to take a free ride courtesy of the European Central Bank. Athens could soon be eligible for the bank’s program of bond purchases, pushing up prices just as those of other eurozone bonds start going the other way.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/218166/article/ekathimerini/business/greek-bonds-are-the-last-of-the-ecb-free-rides

4.5 bln€ in profits at ASE over nine last sessions; progress with creditors cited

Nine bullish sessions at Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), ending on Friday, generated 4.5 billion euros of profits, pushing the bourse’s total capitalization to 51 billion euros.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1232223/45-bln-in-profits-at-ase-over-nine-last-sessions-progress-with-creditors-cited

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SUNDAY PAPERS

KATHIMERINI: Only 914 businesses pay 40% of taxes

TO VIMA: Exclusive interview with US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt: The USA praise Tsipras!

REAL NEWS: Behold the full plan regarding the real estate tax ENFIA

PROTO THEMA: Businessman Ivan Savvidis is going to attempt to get hold of MEGA TV channel

AVGI: Government to focus on tackling unemployment

RIZOSPASTIS: Massive response needed by workers and the Greek people against the new attack

MONDAY PAPERS

ETHNOS: Macron’s triumph offers hope to Greece

TA NEA: France has spoken. Macron Triumphs.

EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Vested interests play ball

KONTRA NEWS: Businessmen were buying villas and hotels abroad with uncovered loans they snatched from banks

DIMOKRATIA: Work for 150,000 unemployed persons

NAFTEMPORIKI: Out-of-court settlement model for debts owed to Social Security Funds

FOR MACRON, WINNING WAS THE EASY PART: Emmanuel Macron accepted the French presidency Sunday night looking somewhat shellshocked by his new burden. In the end, he secured a margin of victory — 66.1 percent to Marine Le Pen’s 33.9 — that can justifiably be called a landslide. Yet little in Macron’s speech suggested euphoria or complacency. Wisely so. Close to 12 percent of voters (over 4 million) spoiled their ballots. Le Pen scored close to 11 million votes and her supporters are, overall, more passionate than Macron’s.

Instead of rubbing salt into open wounds, Macron did something important: He reached out to Le Pen’s supporters, telling them he understood their anger and promising to prioritize security and social policy. “I know the divisions of our country that have driven some to the extreme. I respect them. I know the anger, anxiety, and doubts that many have expressed,” Macron said, vowing to look after the “most fragile” in society.

Macron also defended the EU, though less directly than some in Brussels may have wanted. He walked to the podium for his victory speech with the EU anthem, “Ode to Joy,” playing him in and said: “I’ll defend France, I’ll defend Europe, and will strengthen links between Europe and its people.”

Vote count at 5:30 a.m.: Macron had 20,703,694 total votes — 66.1 percent of the electorate. Le Pen had 10,637,120 votes, or 33.9 percent.

Here’s how supporters of the candidates defeated in the first round of the presidential election cast their ballots in the second round.

How it happened: Read our live blog, still running strong, here.

**A message from Google: What drives innovation at Škoda? Flexibility to create the best system for connected cars. That’s why Android is under the hood, because companies can customize it as much as they want. Vroom vroom.**

How Europe’s press reacted to Macron’s win.

5 ways the centrist’s victory affects France, Europe and the world. Pierre Briançon has five takeaways from the French presidential election. Highlights: The comprehensiveness of Macron’s win will go a long way to showing the EU, the euro currency and a liberal economy can be electoral dynamite, not kryptonite. Populism is alive and well: While Le Pen couldn’t seal the deal, her National Front party has made major gains since the 2012 presidential election. And the real battle is just beginning — Macron must now focus on securing an absolute majority in parliament in another two-round election on June 11 and 18.

MACRON-MANIA IN BRUSSELS AND BEYOND: Europe’s political center and its Europhile core offered more than a sigh of relief Sunday night. It was a champagne guzzling, tweet-happy party town. French voters in Brussels supported Macron by a margin of 94 percent to 6. Here are some of the more interesting reactions from EU figures collected in one place. The Guardian also has a round up here.

THE KEY QUESTION: WILL MACRON BE ABLE TO GOVERN? Macron’s movement, En Marche, has zero members of parliament. That will change come June’s parliamentary elections, but the question is by how much. His biggest group of supporters Sunday were people who chose him as the anti-Le Pen. Those people have other options when it comes to the June parliamentary elections.

Much will depend on how motivated En Marche activists remain and how authoritatively Macron begins his presidency. Without wanting to make too much of his age, for any 39-year-old it’s a daunting task. When you’ve never held elected office before and are one of the youngest elected national leaders ever, there are some things you just don’t know. Macron can’t afford for the messiness of that reality to spill into the open in the next four weeks. It will take all his political nous and all the muscle of the mighty French civil service to get a functioning government up and running. The real race starts now. More from Pierre Briançon here.

Parliamentary election: Contexte has a map of the 577 parliamentary constituencies and will update it in the coming days and weeks with new candidates and projections.

WINNERS FROM THE ELECTION INCLUDE: The political center, the EU, open-mindedness.

LOSERS: British PM Theresa May, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump, protectionism.

3 THINGS MACRON’S WIN TELLS US ABOUT EUROPEAN POLITICS: 1. The EU does not have to be an electoral liability. 2. Kicking establishment parties to the curb is now a reality, not a mere threat. 3. The least likely candidate can win.

REPORTERS BARRED FROM NATIONAL FRONT HQ: Several media outlets including POLITICO, Buzzfeed, Rue 89 and Le Quotidien were not accredited to join Le Pen’s election night party, with the campaign citing a lack of space. Libération and Le Monde boycotted the party in solidarity with the barred publications.

TOP COMMENTARY ON MACRON’S WIN …

National Front in search of a new name and strategy: Nicholas Vinocur on a defeated party that Marine Le Pen admits needs another transformation. The name has to go, and so does its deeper strategy.

6 ways Macron re-wrote European politics, by Alberto Nardelli for Buzzfeed.

No business as usual for EU: NYT’s Paul Krugman writes Macron’s victory is not a signal for EU leaders to continue business as usual.

Crisis, what crisis? Macron could become an extremely powerful president, rewriting convention and maybe the constitution as he goes. On the other hand, France’s political crisis might be just beginning, writes Uri Friedman. Angelique Chrisafis agrees the far right isn’t going anywhere.

Friday surprise without any consequence? Three hours before the end of the campaign, Macron’s camp confirmed it had been hacked. Some experts said Macron was not cautious enough in protecting his data; others suggested the campaign deliberately allowed decoy accounts to be hacked.

Hollande handover: President François Hollande told reporters he will leave the Elysée Palace on May 14, when he will also swap powers with Macron.

BACK TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION …

MARGARITIS SCHINAS ON TOUR: The Commission spokesperson will be talking about the “challenges and prospects of the EU” in Athens from 5 p.m. local time today.

COMMISSIONERS’ DIARIES: President Jean-Claude Juncker is in Berlin to meet Sigmar Gabriel. Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president for the euro, is in Latvia to meet Solvita Āboltiņa, chairman of the parliament’s national security committee. Cecilia Malmström, trade commissioner, is in Mexico to discuss free trade with the country’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal and Luis Videgaray Caso, the secretary for foreign relations. Corina Creţu, regional policy commissioner, is in Romania to meet His Beatitude Daniel, patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and Sevil Shhaideh, vice prime minister and regional development minister.

DROLL COMMISSIONER: Věra Jourová, the EU’s justice and citizenship commissioner, was in fine form at the European University Institute’s State of the Union conference on Friday in Florence. Joking about a huge photo of herself projected behind her, she said: “My media adviser said I’d be twice as big on stage. She will be happy.”

EU — MIDDLE EAST FORUM: The meeting will have the highest participation from Europe ever, including EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, Neighborhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides. Also in attendance will be German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the king of Spain, and foreign ministers from Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Kosovo and Switzerland.

PARLIAMENT — BREXODUS BRINGS A HEADACHE FOR IMCO COMMITTEE: Vicky Ford is very likely to win a seat in Britain’s general election June 8. With the departure from European Parliament of one of the most high-profile British lawmakers since the Brexit vote, the stage would be set for a battle over who will take over as chairperson of the IMCO committee, and the position of British MEPs in Parliament in general — and it might get ugly.

POLAND — 90,000 PROTEST GOVERNMENT SATURDAY: The protest was organized by the Civic Platform, the party pf Council President Donald Tusk.

GERMANY — REGIONAL ELECTION BOOSTS MERKEL: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) won 33 percent of the votes in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s northernmost state, beating the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), headed by former European Parliament President Martin Schulz, which secured 26.2 percent, according to exit polls by Infratest dimap.

ITALY — RENZI FORMALIZES POLITICAL RETURN: The former Italian PM was officially re-appointed as leader of the Italian Democratic Party on Sunday.

GREECE — WHAT GREEKS BELIEVE IN 2017: When asked whether they think Greece’s membership of the EU is a positive thing, 53.5 percent of the overall population said yes, down from 59.9 percent in November 2015 and 69 percent in April 2015.

CROATIA — GOVERNMENT REMAINS IN PLACE: The HDZ, Croatia’s ruling party, showed it had enough support to govern after Gordan Jandroković won by a significant margin the race to become parliament’s speaker.

CZECH REPUBLIC — SOBOTKA STEPS BACK FROM THE BRINK: Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka changed his mind about resigning and asked President Miloš Zeman to instead fire Finance Minister Andrej Babiš. Unfortunately for Sobotka, Zeman is off to China early this week so the country will have to wait to find out what’s happening next.

MALTA — ISLAND NATION’S 50-YEAR-OLD CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS: “A democracy requires institutional separation of powers, the rule of law, proper judicial control, the equality of citizens before the law and before the public administration. In Malta we have none of those things,” according to Ken Mifsud Bonnici, a member of the European Commission’s legal service, writing an op-ed in his personal capacity.

UK — CLIENTEARTH NOTCHES UP BIG WIN: Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May caved to a demand by NGO ClientEarth, agreeing to publish a strategy to combat air pollution despite moves to delay it thanks to the country’s June 8 snap election. May’s administration was not the only European government fending off challenges from the legal NGO. ClientEarth’s approach is the brainchild of James Thornton, a Yale University educated former Wall Street lawyer bringing an American-style approach to legal activism to Europe. Harry Cooper and Marion Solletty speak with Thornton

BREXIT CORNER …

Banksy does Brexit.

Quote du jour: “We’ve got 27 countries lined up against us. Some of them appear to think that for the EU to survive Britain must fail,” said U.K. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

Biggest Leave donor urges proactive guarantees for EU citizens in the U.K.

Michel Barnier called for a Brexit reset Friday: He wants a new tone to discussions after last week’s all-round dinner leaks debacle. Playbook’s European Commission sources remained unapologetic about the leaks on Friday — they really think May needed the wake-up call — though several acknowledged the issue had gotten out of hand.

The Brexit Reader on defense and security: A must-read blog for those with a particular interest. h/t Daniel Keohane

REAL EUROPE …

Europe has a growing cohort of Euroskeptic youth. In fact, the 18-24-year-old demographic was Marine Le Pen’s strongest.

From refugees to workers: A study by the European University Institute’s Migration Policy Centre published by the Bertelsman Foundation.

The impact of foreign labor in France and Germany: Movinga, a removals company, mapped GDP growth and unemployment against people moves over 10 years.

The Nazi death camp on an English channel island.

BRUSSELS CORNER …

Europe’s most innovative university in 2017 is KU Leuven in Belgium.

The Queen Elisabeth music competition starts today. This year’s instrument is the cello.

British newspapers keep falling in love with Brussels. Their travel sections, not the news pages: 13 reasons why Brussels is Europe’s most underrated city break.

APPOINTED: Eva Schulz-Kamm has assumed global responsibility for government affairs at Siemens. She joins from NXP Semiconductors in Hamburg