EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom 11-04-2017

EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom 11-04-2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tsipras govt again maintains: Austerity measures will be implemented only with prior mid-term debt relief

The increasingly beleaguered Greek government on Monday afternoon again maintained, albeit in an unofficial manner, that it will take new austerity measures “only after the implementation of medium-term debt relief”, more-or-less echoing the most recent statements by both the prime minister and finance minister.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1223686/tsipras-govt-again-maintains-austerity-measures-will-be-implemented-only-with-prior-mid-term-debt-relief

Handelsblatt: Greece will need a 4th bailout memorandum

The German financial daily Handelsblatt on Monday offered up a pessimistic view of the current economic situation in Greece, saying the country will need a fourth bailout program.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1223735/handelsblatt-greece-will-need-a-4th-bailout-memorandum

Top WB official: Athens needs deal with creditors before we can discuss lending

The Greek government’s efforts boost employment in the recession-battered EU and Eurozone member-state country have reportedly included the possibility of securing World Bank lending in order to continue and expand training programs that will improve employment opportunities.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1223768/top-wb-official-athens-needs-deal-with-creditors-before-we-can-discuss-lending

ND consolidates double-digit lead over ruling party in latest opinion poll

Greece’s main opposition party continued to field a double-digit lead over the ruling leftist party in the latest opinion poll, which was aired on Monday evening.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1223734/nd-consolidates-double-digit-lead-over-ruling-party-in-latest-opinion-poll

13 ruling party cadres, MPs request snap election, as latest austerity appears on horizon

Thirteen top cadres and deputies of ruling SYRIZA party on Sunday requested snap elections, amid a pending agreement that envisions more austerity measures in 2019 and 2020 — mainly pension cuts and higher income tax contributions from low wage-earners.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1223557/13-ruling-party-cadres-mps-request-snap-election-as-latest-austerity-appears-on-horizon

State finally hands over control of 14 regional airports to Fraport

The management and operation of 14 regional Greek airports will be handed over to Fraport Greece on Tuesday, when the German-Greek consortium will also make a one-off payment of 1.2 billion euros to state sell-off fund TAIPED.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/217603/article/ekathimerini/business/state-finally-hands-over-control-of-14-regional-airports-to-fraport

TAIPED sets out to sell stake in Hellenic Petroleum

State sell-off fund TAIPED is moving ahead with the appointment of a consultant for the sale of a 35.5 percent stake in Hellenic Petroleum.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/217602/article/ekathimerini/business/taiped-sets-out-to-sell-stake-in-hellenic-petroleum

ATHEX: PPC, National, mid-caps buoy benchmark to small rise

After remaining in negative territory for most of Monday’s session, the benchmark of the Greek bourse broke out of the red toward the end of trading and posted a small rise, helped mainly by mid-caps, which posted respectable gains of 1.76 percent.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/217599/article/ekathimerini/business/athex-ppc-national-mid-caps-buoy-benchmark-to-small-rise

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KATHIMERINI: Landmines in the bill regarding out-of-court settlements

ETHNOS: 50,000 out-of-court notifications for red loans

TA NEA: Schulz snipped the hopes of Tsipras – The last self-delusion

EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: Haircut of debts

AVGI: The South shows its solidarity

RIZOSPASTIS: Fake dilemmas and fairy-tale stories in order to get the people to accept the measures

KONTRA NEWS: Schaeuble’s new tricks will not have any effect

DIMOKRATIA: Record high costliness after seven years of crisis

NAFTEMPORIKI: World Bank: The conversation on a new loan is premature

IMERISIA: Arrhythmia regarding the solution for debts

BERLUSCONI URGES VEGGIE EASTER: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was recently filmed cuddling and kissing a lamb and urging his compatriots to drop their tradition of eating meat on Easter Sunday. “Defend life, choose a vegetarian Easter,” urged a voiceover in the video.

NATO — STOLTENBERG HEADED TO WASHINGTON; JOINT DONALD TRUMP PRESS CONFERENCE WEDNESDAY: The world’s favorite frenemies are holding a joint press conference Wednesday as part of a two-day U.S. tour by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. Expect the pair to violently agree with each other on the need for more European defense spending and for Trump to thank Stoltenberg for his support of Friday’s Syria missile strike.

Trump sidebar: Don’t be surprised if Trump makes Martin Schulz his new punching bag after the candidate for German chancellor said he favored disarmament over increased defense spending.

How NATO’s top mission is preparing for TrumpWednesday’s Trump-Stoltenberg tête-à-tête is a high-stakes rehearsal for the American president’s visit to the alliance headquarters in Brussels next month, reports David Herszenhorn. NATO officials aren’t taking any chances when it comes to planning the meeting. “To minimize the risk of testing Trump’s patience, officials are planning to confine the discussion among NATO leaders to a single dinner … the program will cater to two Trump interests: money and buildings.”

PARLIAMENT — WHAT TO DO WITH 73 EMPTY SEATS? Members of the constitutional affairs committee are discussing electoral reforms, including hearings on the creation of a pan-European list of candidates for the 2019 elections.

PARLIAMENT — BOSNIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS MEPs: The Committee on Foreign Affairs will discuss the political situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina with Igor Crnadak, the country’s foreign minister, and Valentin Inzko, the U.N.’s Bosnia high representative.

COMMISSION — OETTINGER’S ALPINE LOBBYFEST: Budget and Human Resources Commissioner Günther Oettinger is still running his annual Europa Forum Lech in Austria, and the guest list shows who’s in and who’s out (first link for POLITICO Pro Technology subscribers). Looking at the invitees for “Günther’s mini-Davos” April 19-21, it’s clear the commissioner hasn’t let go of his digital mission since he changed jobs in January.

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Around the table will be representatives from Uber (which hasn’t been invited before, but perhaps it’s no coincidence it has secured a seat after recently hiring Christopher Burghardt, who is German), Google, SAP, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco and Facebook. Return guests include Klaus Mangold, chairman of the supervisory board of Rothschild Bank in Germany. Oettinger hitched a ride on Mangold’s private plane to Budapest last spring, raising questions about a potential breach of Commission ethics standards.

COMMISSION — TIMMERMANS TO MEET HUNGARIAN EDUCATION MINISTER AS ANTI-CEU LAW PASSES LAST HURDLE: European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and Education Commissioner Tibor Navracsics will today meet László Palkovics, Hungary’s higher education minister. The meeting follows the news that Hungary’s President János Áder, an ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, signed into law Monday night a controversial law that could in effect lead to the closure of the Central European University, an institution founded by U.S. financier George Soros.

Mall Hellam, who has served as Hungarian honorary consul in Estonia since 1994, has resigned in light of growing concerns over the Hungarian government’s policies, most recently the law targeting the CEU. Réka Szemerkényi, Hungary’s ambassador to the United States, has been recalled to Budapest.

COMMISSION — JUSTICE SCOREBOARD: Commissioner Věra Jourová presented the Commission’s annual justice scoreboard, which benchmarks EU countries on issues such as access to justice and independence of the judiciary. Read it here.

COMMISSION— MERCOSUR TRADE TALKS PROGRESS: As part of the Commission’s commitment to transparency in trade talks, it published a five-page note describing the last round of talks on a trade deal with the Mercosur trade bloc in Buenos Aires.

MIGRATION — ASYLUM APPLICATIONS DROP IN GERMANY: Around 60,000 people applied for asylum in Germany between January and March this year, down two-thirds from the same period in 2016.

TAX — MOSCOVICI TO HAMMER MINISTERS ON TAX-DODGING: Le Soir reports Pierre Moscovici is pushing EU countries to continue to work on tax-dodging regulation, as some economy and finance ministers argue that the EU tax rule push is endangering the “fiscal certainty” of their economies.

G7 — FOREIGN MINISTERS HARDEN LINE AGAINST ASSAD: Ministers piled pressure on Russia to distance itself from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. U.S. Foreign Secretary Rex Tillerson will visit Moscow today to meet his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. After weekend reports that a meeting between Tillerson and Russian President Vladimir Putin had been canceled, both sides insisted Monday that the meeting had never been confirmed.

G7 — NO CONSENSUS ON CLIMATE ACTION: G7 energy ministers failed to agree on a joint statement after the U.S. energy secretary Rick Perry attempted to erase a reference to the Paris climate agreement, reports Kalina Oroschakoff for POLITICO Pro Energy subscribers. According to Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, Perry said the reason for the move was because “the U.S. is currently reviewing its energy and climate policies.” Still, the Spanish commissioner was happy EU leaders stuck together and resisted watering down their own climate action commitments.

THE INSIDE JUICE AT THE G7: According to Playbook’s source at the G7 meeting, the U.S. found itself isolated after it could not accept a joint statement supported by the other six countries and the European Commission. Expect the battle to simply transfer now to the G7 leaders meeting next month in Sicily.

POLAND — HOW THE FAILED BID TO DESTROY TUSK GAVE POLISH OPPOSITION ITS MOJO BACK: Jarosław Kaczyński, head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) and the country’s de facto leader, has learned it’s dangerous to try to kill off your enemies, but fail, writes Jan Cienski. In attempting to dislodge his arch rival and former Polish PM Donald Tusk from his presidency of the European Council, Kaczyński turned Tusk into the main political threat to the country’s right-wing government.

GERMANY — MERKEL CHIEF GETS PARTY CAMPAIGN ROLE: Peter Altmaier will work alongside Peter Tauber, general secretary of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, to plan the party’s campaign and proposed governing platform. Altmaier tweeted that this was not a downgrade for Tauber.

FRENCH ELECTION CORNER …

Le Pen clarifies Holocaust stance: Marine Le Pen said she considered France’s government to be in London during World War II, not in Vichy, to justify her view that the French state has no responsibility for the rounding up of Jews during the war. Several of France’s leaders and the national train company SNCF have previously accepted that the French state does bear responsibility for Holocaust deaths. In the case of SNCF, the relatives of 74,000 Jews killed after being transported on French trains were entitled to claim compensation from a $60-million reimbursement fund set up by the company. POLITICO Europe’s Nicholas Vinocur has more.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, times 6: The radical left candidate is tomorrow organizing six rallies in Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes and on Réunion Island in the Indian ocean. How can he be in six places at the same time? Thank his famous holograms. Mélenchon’s activists have also launched “Fiscal Kombat,” a video game in which their presidential hopeful fights the rich, Christine Lagarde and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Penelopegate might be older than we thought: Médiapart reports François Fillon originally hired his wife as an MP assistant in 1982 and not in 1986 as he claimed in February when he published his wife’s bills and paychecks on his website.

How foreign residents in France plan to vote for president: Le Monde reports an activist group called Alter-votants is connecting abstainers with foreign residents in France to allow the foreigners to have their voices heard.

FRANCE — FIRE DESTROYS MIGRANT CAMP: A fire destroyed the Grande-Synthe migrant camp, which houses roughly 1,500 people, outside the northern French city of Dunkirk overnight.

BREXIT CORNER …

EU Brexit sherpas meet today to discuss the EU’s negotiating guidelines.

Scarred by history, Flemish rally to avoid a hard Brexit. Belgium’s biggest region knows how much damage trade problems with Britain can cause. Since the Middle Ages, Flanders has gotten rich from its close links with Britain, and faced problems including rebellion and a devastating 19th-century outbreak of cholera and typhus when those ties are threatened. Laurens Cerulus has the details.

Catch up on European commissioners talking Brexit negotiations: The Commission’s March 22 College meeting minutes include six pages of notes on Michel Barnier’s Article 50 briefing, including a discussion on the EU’s red lines. From pages 16 to 22.

Playbook hears: U.K. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox’s staff continue to pump guests at meetings for suggestions about who they could hire as trade negotiators. The guests are not impressed.

Spying on trade talks: London is not amused by the European Commission’s suggestion British trade experts should no longer sit on the Council’s trade committees.

Good luck with that India deal: In a sign that post-Brexit trade deals aren’t going to be fun and games for either side, a series of 23 bilateral investment treaties India has with EU countries (including the U.K.) will be void this month after India unilaterally canceled them. More for POLITICO Trade pros here.

‘Don’t know’ beats Jeremy Corbyn as preferred PM: These Lord Ashcroft polls were supposed to be about a range of other interesting Brexit-related questions. Playbook’s jaw is still on the floor from the Corbyn numbers.

Post-Brexit European Parliament: According to a Vote Watch study, the Parliament minus 73 British MEPs will likely create greater banking supervision and tax evasion reforms, and less nuclear and shale gas support.

RUSSIA — MOSCOW’S LATEST VICTIM IN UKRAINE: REFORM. In her latest piece for POLITICO, Molly McKew writes that Kiev’s post-revolutionary order is at risk. As ordinary Ukrainians absorb the cost of the country’s reforms and debt restructuring efforts, its oligarchy is thriving. “This misalignment, if left unaddressed, it could lead to unrest that would threaten not only the reforms themselves — but also the post-revolutionary order that the West is keen to keep in place.”

IN TRUMP WORLD …

Conservative faction takes back Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch officially joined the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday afternoon.

Interview du jour: Veteran foreign affairs reporter Andrea Mitchell talked to POLITICO’s Susan Glasser on media and the Trump administration.

EU ELECTION WATCH …

5 days … until the Turkish constitutional referendum on April 16, 2017.
12 days … until the first round of the French presidential election on April 23, 2017.
23 days … until the U.K. local election on May 4, 2017.
26 days  … until the second round of the French presidential election on May 7, 2017
61 days … until the first round of the French legislative election on June 11, 2017.
68 days … until the Albanian parliamentary election on June 18, 2017.
153 days … until the Norwegian parliamentary election on September 11, 2017.
166 days … until German federal election on September 24, 2017.