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The EU's negotiations with the U.K. over Brexit are off to a bad start. The position in Brussels is that negotiations on a new relationship can't begin before the bill on the U.K.'s existing membership is settled. But this has been met with resistance by Westminster; the U.K. does not recognise the condition of an upfront payment to leave.
Both the E.U. and the U.K. government have been keen to emphasise, since the Withdrawal Agreement was provisionally signed off, that March 29 is a hard deadline for Brexit.
Judging by the media coverage of the Europe's "migrant crisis", you would think that the number of North African asylum seekers arriving at EU's southern borders is soaring.
On a headline level, last week's European Parliament elections were an excellent occasion for the EU.
We sympathise if readers are sceptical of our opening gambit in this Monitor.
Yesterday's ECB meeting left investors with a lot of thinking to do. The central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged, but extended and tweaked its asset purchase program. QE was extended until December 2017, but the monthly pace of purchases will be reduced by €20B per month to €60B starting April next year.
EU negotiations tend to go down to the wire; and last week's summit in Salzburg, and Theresa May's statement on Friday, suggest that the Brexit negotiations will do just that.
Europe's political leaders finally made a breakthrough this week in nominating candidates for the top jobs in the EU.
The Chancellor probably can't believe his luck. Public borrowing has continued to fall this year at a much faster rate than anticipated by the OBR, despite the sluggish economy.
Italy is edging closer to a coalition government with the Five-Star Movement, the Northern League, and Forza Italia at the helm.
The 16-page document--see here--detailing the agreement allowing the EU and the U.K. to move forward in the Brexit negotiations is predictably tedious.
Italy's political leadership faces its first biggest test in autumn, when it has to deliver its first budget.
A bad year is threatening to become a catastrophic one for Eurozone equity investors.
The sovereign debt crisis in the euro area was a macroeconomic horror story
The EU has had a better start to the Brexit negotiations than its counterpart across the Channel. The risk of disagreement within the EU on the details with of the U.K.'s exit is high, but the Continent has presented a united front so far, mainly because Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel agree on the broad objectives. They have no interest in punishing the U.K., but they are also keen to show that exiting the EU has costs for a country which leaves.
Speaking in Brussels earlier this week, Mr. Draghi noted that the ECB is encouraged by signs that private investment is finally turning up, to complement strong consumption. It is too early to make that assumption, we think, but we agree with the president that the trend is moving slowly in the right direction.
Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Greece
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