Press

Greek debt crisis raises doubts about the European Union

07 May 2010
New York Times
But the problem is more fundamental, said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. "Most of the time, the gap between European rhetoric and reality is just an annoyance," he said. "But that gap is simply lethal when it comes to the euro." Instead of attacking markets and forming a new European agency, "the leaders need to focus on the issue that is driving the markets: the dire growth prospects for the southern rim" of the eurozone, meaning Greece, Portugal, Spain and even Italy.

Elections likely to make UK more eurosceptical

06 May 2010
NRC Handelsblad
"Cameron may be a eurosceptic, he is also a realist," said Simon Tilford of the CER. "He has already indicated he wants to let the European issue lie for the time being... Twenty years ago, a lot of prominent Tories were pro-European," Tilford recalled. "Now, to stand a living chance of being selected as a Conservative MP, you have to be eurosceptic."

Panic as the euro is rushed into intensive care

06 May 2010
Radio Netherlands
"Leaders must find a way of preventing the crisis in Greece spiralling out of control, prevent it from bankrupting Greece and prevent it from spreading to the other eurozone countries. Because if it does, it will quite possibly lead to the unravelling of the eurozone," says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER. "That would be terribly damaging for Europe, for the EU and the political fall-out would be enormous."

Europe eyeing Conservative performance in UK election

03 May 2010
Euronews
Charles Grant, with the Centre for European Reform, said: "He has said that he wants to build up credibility by showing that he's a constructive European leader in the early stage of his premiership, if he indeed does become prime minister. That's encouraging but still the worry remains that after a few years he implies that he will come back to this issue of trying to change the treaties and everybody in Europe has spent about 10 years negotiating the treaty change and they're fed up with it."

Deflation could stall efforts to revive Greece

Katinka Barysch
02 May 2010
New York Times
Katinka Barysch, of the CER, said that that realization had hit home in Germany. "It might be unpopular for the Germans and Europeans to bail out Greece, but it will be even more unpopular for them to bail out the banks that owned Greek bonds… If growth stays negative or low in Greece, the fiscal debt will continue to increase, whatever they do," Ms Barysch said, while difficult structural reforms to liberalise the economy will take time. The economists she speaks to "don't really see a solution for Greece in the longer run," she said. …Greece is functionally bankrupt, Ms Barysch said.

Europe's other crisis

30 April 2010
The Wall Street Journal
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, is a perennial fount of intelligently argued and realistic euro-optimism. "The EU is falling to pieces," he now says. "The long-term effects of this crisis will be with us for many years."

Searching for silver in Greece's storm clouds

29 April 2010
Reuters
As Hugo Brady, an analyst with the Centre for European Reform, said this week: "The EU tried for 10 years on the basis of peer review to make structural changes to the EU economy and no one really listened… Now that simple message might get through."

Greek rescue could shake banks across Europe

29 April 2010
The Times
By how much would debt have to be written down? "We're seeing numbers of 20 per cent to 25 per cent," said Simon Tilford, chief economist of the CER, "but it might well have to be more."

Greece's finance ministers are 'last to blame'

29 April 2010
Bloomberg Businessweek
Alogoskoufis and Papantoniou were joined in a panel discussion by Wim Koesters, a professor at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, and Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER. "The point really now is about the degree of default, not whether there is going to be one," Tilford said. In the long term, in the absence of a common euro-region budget policy, "then I think we will see ongoing crises and a managed dismantling of the eurozone."

Ash, Greek credit crises reveal a disunited Europe

29 April 2010
Associated Press
"What is exposed is the underlying lack of solidarity within the eurozone," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the CER in London. "It's basically exposed the fallacy of believing that it's possible to have a bunch of largely sovereign countries sharing a currency."

EU fumbling leaves eurozone seeking credibility

28 April 2010
Reuters
"The problem here is the recurring inability in the European project to say brutal truths honestly and clearly and act on them in a realistic manner," said Hugo Brady, a senior research fellow at the CER. "The markets aren't stupid. They aren't going to be fooled by elaborate peacocking displays. They can see when reactions are credible and when they are not. Anyone could see Greece was going to need bailing out in a matter of weeks, and so that dancing around just made it worse...

A bad deal for Ukraine and Yanukovich

Tomas Valasek
27 April 2010
Financial Times
The new Ukrainian president has got off to a bad start in foreign policy terms. Last week, Viktor Yanukovich signed a lease agreement with Moscow that will allow the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stay in Ukraine for at least another 32 years.

Greece's rescue package: Will the bailout work?

Philip Whyte
26 April 2010
Time
"A default of some sort — or debt restructuring — is highly likely and people holding government bonds will have to agree to a haircut," says Philip Whyte, senior research fellow at the CER. "But given the alternative, that would not be the worst possible outcome, which would be for Greece to leave the eurozone, and for Greece's problems to spread to other vulnerable countries, like Spain and Portugal."

Competition heats up over EU Southern gas corridor

Katinka Barysch
26 April 2010
EurActiv
"South Stream looks expensive, technologically complicated and unnecessary. Nabucco appears relatively realistic and it is further advanced in the planning process. The EU should call the Russians' bluff by asking Gazprom to use Nabucco to ship gas into South and Central Europe," wrote Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the CER, recently.

Le G20 a manqué une chance de réformer la finance

Katinka Barysch
24 April 2010
La Tribune
Vendredi après-midi, ministres des Finances et banquiers centraux des pays riches et émergents du G20 se sont réunis à Washington pour discuter des projets de régulation du secteur financier.

Entertaining British debate 'raises the chances' of minority government

Clara Marina O'Donnell
22 April 2010
The Gazette
Clara O'Donnell, an analyst for the London-based Centre for European Reform, said there was no clear winner — "but I think Gordon Brown lost it."

US urged to remove tactical nukes in Europe

Tomas Valasek
22 April 2010
Global Security Newswire
The Centre for European Reform's Tomas Valasek said that some NATO members in Central Europe could see the removal of the US gravity bombs as "a unilateral step taken by their big Western allies that puts Russia's concerns ahead of theirs ... so it will be a divisive question."

NATO to debate future of nuclear arms in Europe

Tomas Valasek
22 April 2010
Reuters
Tomas Valasek of the Centre for European Reform think tank said tactical nuclear weapons had little military rationale, especially as their readiness had been so reduced they would take months to deploy. …"Some Central European countries would view a withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons as a unilateral step taken by their big Western allies that puts Russia's concerns ahead of theirs ...

The smile on the face of the crocodile

21 April 2010
Mail Online
Today Hugo Brady, one of the senior researchers at the Centre for European Reform, a wildly pro-EU think tank in Brussels, put out a fantasy history 'published in 2070' of what a 2010 coalition government of Cameron-Clegg meant for Europe… Brady goes on with fantasies of closer British-French ties on defence and common rules across the EU on corporate taxation, then a new treaty to establish a centrally-managed euro zone treasure fund equal to 3 percent of EU GDP - and on it goes, though the list of all the powers of which eurocrats dream.

Candid British politician faces tougher scrutiny in next debate

Clara Marina O'Donnell
21 April 2010
The Vancouver Sun
"He has to keep the momentum from the last debate, but it's going to be a real challenge for him because he'll be under so much scrutiny," said Clara O'Donnell, an analyst for the London-based Centre for European Reform.