Daily digest: Bulgaria strikes back

Nikolay Mladenov to the UNESCO conference on democracy in the Arab world

Nikolay Mladenov at a UNESCO conference, by MFA_BULGARIA, on Flickr

After Finland and the Netherlands blocked Bulgaria’s entry to the Schengen-area foreign minister in Bulgaria Nikolay Mladenov on Saturday threatened to stop cooperating with EU. “Bulgaria is … a member state of the European Union. We have a stance on every subject discussed in the European Council and there are many policies which cannot be implemented without our cooperation,” he said.

This weekend the International Monetary Fund meeting was held in Washington. It dealt with the eurozone crisis, and the outline of a large and ambitious eurozone rescue plan is taking shape. It is expected to involve a 50% write-down of Greece’s debt, and an increase in the size of the eurozone bailout fund to €2 trillion.

Nearly one year ago Brussels lifted visa requirements from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but after large increases in asylum-seekers in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Luxemborg, EU commissioner of Home Affaris, Cecilia Malmström, are now considering to re-introduce visas for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government has lost its majority in the Senate for the first time in recent French history. This happens just seven months before the presidential election in April.

Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble hopes that the downgrading of Italy’s debt will speed up their austerity measures. “The leaders in Italy – and in all the other countries – must know that it is problematic to announce measures or to take on commitments and then not to follow through on them. That’s how one loses the markets’ confidence,” he stated.

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