Press

Merkel cedes ground in pact on debt rules

21 October 2010
The Wall Street Journal
"Germany has had to acknowledge political reality: There was no chance of getting what they wanted past France, Italy or Spain," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, a non-partisan think-tank in London.

Caution fights to be heard in German upswing

Philip Whyte
18 October 2010
New York Times
What basically explains the German recovery is contained in an observation in the contrarian manner by Philip Whyte, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, remarking that "Germany resembles a bungee jumper in the spring-back phase." The German economy fell more deeply than any other industrial nation in 2009 and has naturally rebounded faster than its peers, Mr Whyte wrote last month.

Germany eases stance on near-automatic penalties for overspenders after pressure from France

18 October 2010
Fox
"The eurozone is likely to be the loser in this," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. He says big Asian economies like China and South Korea will race to keep their own currencies stable against the dollar.

Eurozone and currency wars

15 October 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Separately, Simon Tilford at the Centre for European Reform published a piece today: "What currency wars mean for the eurozone." He points out that the eurozone's trade with the rest of the world is roughly in balance and that nobody could accuse the European Central Bank of launching policies to weaken the euro. Mr Tilford points out that Germany blocked discussion of imbalances at the recent Group of 20 meeting, arguing that it's for deficit countries to put their own houses in order.

Europe frets over foreign investments in the defence industry

Clara Marina O'Donnell
15 October 2010
Yale Global Online
A small number of sovereign investors, sometimes originating from non-democratic states, are buying shares in European aerospace and defense companies. Some EU governments have responded by calling for tougher controls on foreign investment in these industries.
But there is no need for alarm. The European defence sector is sufficiently protected by...

Germany demands NATO show greater commitment to nuclear disarmament

Tomas Valasek
14 October 2010
The Guardian
"France wants no language on nuclear disarmament," said Tomas Valasek, defence analyst at the Centre for European Reform. "France and Germany are very very far apart on this."

Wilders' impact felt as Dutch coalition sworn in

13 October 2010
Financial Times
"The Dutch used to be considered an 'old reliable' when it comes to funding the EU – that may now be changing," says Hugo Brady, researcher at the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank.

Turkey seeks support for EU bid, but France gives little

Katinka Barysch
13 October 2010
The Wall Street Journal
There is no sign of the EU moving to open up to Northern Cyprus, while Mr Erdogan is unlikely to risk losing face by moving to open Turkish ports ahead of elections next June, said Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think-tank, attending the seminar. "I don't see any way out," she said.

Turnout high for French protests against government

12 October 2010
Voice of America
Analysts like Simon Tilford, of the Centre for European Reform in London, say the reforms are crucial. "What we are seeing is essentially a very powerful group of special interests resisting reforms that would be in everyone's interest and which provide one of the least painful ways of reassuring investors about France's public finances," he said. Tilford believes European governments must take more painful measures than simply increasing retirement age.

Saving the euro: Tall ambition, flawed foundation

Katinka Barysch
11 October 2010
Financial Times
Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform think-tank, contends that the Germans are in no mood to compromise. "Perhaps for the first time since the second world war, they are allowing themselves to be defiant and proud. Their export-oriented, stability-obsessed economic model is not up for discussion."

Schwarzenegger to check out the Russian Silicon Valley

Katinka Barysch
10 October 2010
The Moscow News
"It depends how you define success," deputy director at the Centre for European Reform Katinka Barysch told The Moscow News. "If the government thinks it will create the physical infrastructure for international business then I think that yes, given how much money they have thrown at the project, it will be a success.

The EU leader who sees quietness as a strength

09 October 2010
The International Herald Tribune
"His overall approach is one of solid intellectual analysis and modesty about what he can achieve," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a research institute. "He has analysed where Europe is and where it needs to go. He doesn't always get his way, but he is respected by many heads of government."

Europe praises choice of Liu for Nobel

08 October 2010
Los Angeles Times
"Europe still wants a closer, tighter commercial relationship with China," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London. "The Chinese think we're obsessed with human rights when in fact we're not. Southern Europe — Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal — are not too concerned about pressing China on human rights." Even in Northern Europe, he said, "human rights is seen as something you mention occasionally but shouldn't let intrude in your commercial relationships."

Panel wants EU regional payouts centralised in Brussels

08 October 2010
EurActiv
Simon Tilford of the UK-based Centre for European Reform think-tank declared himself skeptical about better-off regions getting money, even if they are relatively poorer in their own countries. "National regional policies need to be rethought, ... I don't see the case for depriving poor countries of needed funds when rich nations have failed to redistribute wealth within their own territories."

NATO chief backs defence deal between Britain and France

Tomas Valasek
08 October 2010
The Guardian
"There's a pattern," said Tomas Valasek, a defence analyst at the Centre for European Reform. "France and the UK have the same problems, both with nuclear forces and the full spectrum of military capability. They face the dilemma of dramatic spending cuts while trying to retain European superpower status. If they don't want to reduce capabilities they need to seek savings through collaboration.

Bosnia and Herzegovina still divided 15 years after war

Tomas Valasek
07 October 2010
CNN
Tomas Valasek, of the London-based Centre for European Reform, said the war in Bosnia has continued by other means, such as politics. "When I return to Mostar I'm surprised by how little healing as taken place. Speaking to the locals you realise there is a great deal of animosity. For example in the Croat part of Mostar there is an unusually tall church tower and locals say it was built to compete with the minarets [on the mosques] in the Muslim side of the city," he told CNN.

EU risks making a bad situation worse

04 October 2010
New York Times
"Poor economic growth prospects, not high deficits, lie at the heart of the eurozone crisis," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform think tank. ... "The eurozone can only avoid permanent crisis by convincing investors that growth will be strong enough for the hard-hit members of the currency union to service their debts," Tilford wrote in an essay entitled 'How to save the euro.' "As things stand, it is hard to see how they can grow their way out of trouble."

Why Germany is now happy to punch its weight

Tomas Valasek
03 October 2010
BBC
Tomas Valasek, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, says in recent times Germany has often shocked its partners by forcefully pressing its demands, leading to all kinds of "recalculations" within both the EU and NATO.

NATO document addresses nuclear disarmament

Tomas Valasek
30 September 2010
New York Times
"NATO can hold on to nuclear weapons and at the same time support calls for disarmament," said Tomas Valasek, a security expert at the Centre for European Reform in London who was an adviser to Mrs Albright.

EU unveils deficit sanctions as unions protest

30 September 2010
Sydney Morning Herald
"Unless there is a rethink, the eurozone risks permanent crisis, with chronically weak economic growth across the region as a whole and politically destabilising deflation in the struggling member states," Simon Tilford, chief economist of the Centre for European Reform, said in an essay.