The Eurogroup agreed yesterday to give Spain an extra year to reduce its deficit to 3%, by 2014 instead of by 2013. In exchange, the eurozone’s finance ministers are demanding more cuts on public spending. The Spanish government is to raise VAT and public accounts will be controlled by the EU every 3 months. It was also agreed that 30 billion euros will be provided by the end of July to help the Spanish banks, which will have to reimburse the loans in twelve to fifteen years’ time.
More time but more VAT – Cinco Días
The Eurogroup has agreed to move forward with a mechanism to reduce spread, the gap between the German benchmark bund and the bonds of other EU countries. The European Central Bank is also to oversee a bailout fund to buy up the debt of member states in difficulty. “Monti’s line gets through”, writes La Repubblica, arguing that the Italian PM has won out against Northern European austerity “hawks”.
Anti-spread shield, hawks defeated – La Repubblica
The Agence France Trésor, which places French debt, has raised €7.7bn for 3 and 6 month bonds at an interest rate -0.005% and -0.006%. This means that investors are willing to lose money to lend to France, making it the "second best choice" behind Germany in the eurozone.
France debts at negative rates for first time – Les Echos
Despite the Euro 2012 football championship, huge infrastructure projects, high consumption and growth above the EU average, unemployment in Poland has reached 12.4% and may hit 14% by the end of the year. The Warsaw daily blames the uncertain economic situation in Europe as well as the government.
Less work, as government hesitates – Rzeczpospolita
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras endured a baptism of fire at his first Eurogroup meeting. His EU counterparts invited him to account for Greece's missed targets in structural and fiscal reforms.
First euro test for coalition – I Kathimerini
Failing to understand government directives, the Bundestag (German parliament) passed a law allowing local governments to sell personal data for commercial purposes. About thirty members were present during the vote on June 28, right in the middle of the Euro 2012 semi-final between Germany and Italy. The government has asked the members to amend their legislation to put a stop to the controversy.
Oops, we decided – Die Tageszeitung
According to a Ministry of Agriculture study, Portugal’s south-central Alentejo region has the largest area of GM crops in Portugal, with production almost doubling — 90% more than in 2010. Six member states (Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Poland) grew GM crops on 114,600 hectares in 2011, representing an increase of 20% compared to 2010.
GM maize crops grew 59% last year – Público
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