EU recovery fund should reach 1.5 trillion euros, Gentiloni believes

EU recovery fund should reach 1.5 trillion euros, Gentiloni believes

The European Union’s proposed coronavirus recovery fund to help repair the massive economic damage caused should total around €1.5 trillion, EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said Wednesday (29 April). “We need a fund worth about 10% of our GDP, that is about 1.5 trillion euros,” Gentiloni told Les Echos daily in an interview. EU leaders agreed last week that the European Commission should draw up plans for a fund to pay for reconstruction after the coronavirus crisis is over on top of the EU’s multi-year 2021-2027 budget. The accord…

Read More

Fair increase in tax collection: how poor countries can deal with the coronavirus crisis

Fair increase in tax collection: how poor countries can deal with the coronavirus crisis

Governments need billions, if not trillions, of euros to tackle the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Many poor countries lack that money, and they need support in collecting more tax, and do so fairly, write Chiara Putaturo and Lis Cunha. Chiara Putaturo is EU Inequality and Tax Policy Advisor at Oxfam; Lis Cunha is EU policy officer at ActionAid International The coronavirus crisis is affecting us all, and it preys most on the vulnerable – on people in poverty, at home and around our world. Beyond the immediate health impact,…

Read More

Commission experts call for code of conduct for saving migrants from the sea

Commission experts call for code of conduct for saving migrants from the sea

The EU should stop channelling funds to Libya to manage migration and train its coastguard as it is not a “safe country” for disembarkation of people rescued at sea, MEPs in the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee heard on Monday (27 April). Ahead of a videoconference of EU home affairs ministers on Tuesday, EU lawmakers met with the Commission, EU border agency Frontex, UNHCR, the Council of Europe and NGOs to discuss the migration situation in Libya and on the Central Mediterranean route. In the hearing, EU lawmakers discussed the situation…

Read More

Questions remain on green aspects of EU recovery plan

Questions remain on green aspects of EU recovery plan

EU leaders on Thursday (23 April) tasked the European Commission with drafting a trillion-euro “recovery fund” linked to the EU budget but didn’t specify how it will support the green transition they claim to be committed to. Last month, they urged the Commission to promote “the green transition and the digital transformation” as part of the post-pandemic recovery plan. The priority is “first to repair crisis damage,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a press conference after the summit. “And then generate recovery, build resilience and guide our…

Read More

Hungary and China signed a loan agreement for a closed railway line Budapest-Belgrade construction project

Hungary and China signed a loan agreement for a closed railway line Budapest-Belgrade construction project

Hungary and China have signed a loan agreement to finance the construction of a railway link between Budapest and Belgrade, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga announced on Friday (24 April), kickstarting a project that has been stalled for years. The venture, part of Beijing’s One Belt, One Road initiative intended to open new foreign trade links for Chinese firms, would be the first major Chinese infrastructure project inside the European Union. Its aim is to help ship Chinese goods from Greece to western Europe, but key sections in the Balkans are…

Read More

Germany agrees to more cash to shield workers, companies from coronavirus hit

Germany agrees to more cash to shield workers, companies from coronavirus hit

Germany’s coalition parties on Thursday (23 April) agreed to further measures worth some €10 billion to shield workers and companies from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The aid package includes higher state transfers for people in short-time work schemes, according to a document agreed by senior members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition. The parties agreed to temporarily lower the tax burden for the catering industry through a reduced VAT rate of 7% for food and to give tax relief for small companies by simplifying loss carry forward. The…

Read More

Daniyar Abulgazin: the perfect accomplice and mastermind for Timur Kulibaev’s oil schemes

Daniyar Abulgazin: the perfect accomplice and mastermind for Timur Kulibaev’s oil schemes

With the oil demand historically low we don’t have to round the corners about our dearest oil suppliers. It is obvious that the once precious liquid is available in abundance and Europe has a wide choice of flavours. Thus we have a chance not to buy blindly our oil and gas from the shadowy corrupted regimes and ideological enemies. Let’s take a look at Kazakhstan. Majority of oil trade is in the hands of notorious ex-president son-in-law, Timur Kulibayev. But he never could accomplish it by himself. Nazarbayev is only…

Read More

UN head warns against repressive measures in the context of the coronavirus crisis

UN head warns against repressive measures in the context of the coronavirus crisis

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday (23 April) the coronavirus could give some countries an excuse to adopt repressive measures for reasons unrelated to the pandemic as he warned that the outbreak risks becoming a human rights crisis. Guterres released a UN report highlighting how human rights should guide the response and recovery to the health, social and economic crisis gripping the world. He added that while the virus does not discriminate, its impacts do. The new coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, has so far infected some…

Read More

Only through historical transformation can global tourism defeat COVID-19

Only through historical transformation can global tourism defeat COVID-19

In recent years, a growing number of countries have been busy scaling up tourism’s place in their economic agendas. Yet tourism is probably the single biggest economic casualty of COVID-19, writes Zurab Pololikashvili. Zurab Pololikashvili has been the secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) since January 2018. Globally, the sector is amongst the world’s top employers. International tourism represents 7% of total exports and is the world’s third-largest export category by earnings, after chemicals and fuels. In Europe alone, tourism generated almost $410 billion in revenues in…

Read More

European citizens are demanding an effective common EU response

European citizens are demanding an effective common EU response

Amid the range of appeals and open letters on the policy-changes need to combat the coronavirus, one constant is that all are demanding an effective common EU response to the pandemic, writes Roberto Castaldi. Professor Roberto Castaldi is the research director of the International Centre for European and global governance. This letter was also signed by Alberto Alemanno, Jacques Bourgeois, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Paola Concia, Pompeo Della Posta, Alexandra Geese, Costanza Hermanin, and Mario Telo In the last month, many Appeals and Open letters from academics, intellectuals, economists, civil society, economic…

Read More