Today the EU finance ministers meet in Copenhagen to discuss especially one thing. As described earlier this week, Angela Merkel made a huge turnaround on a European firewall, and opens for the finance ministers to discuss the amount of the bailout fund. They’ll need to agree on a size of the coming bailout fund big enough to send a signal to the rest of the world, that they can take care of a potential coming crisis in one of the fragile states in the southern Europe.
The finance ministers was expected to discuss the financial transaction tax as well, but since the German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble also made a turnaround on this subject earlier this week, the issue is off the agenda, when finance ministers meet today. The German government has so far been very much in favor of the tax, but are under pressure from their coalition parties that does not accept the tax. Also the centre-left opposition in Germany is now demanding new measures from the government to stimulate eurozone growth as the price of their support for the fiscal compact.
Yesterday Spain had huge protests against the governments labor reforms and austerity measures. The protest forced the police to act and they fired rubber bullets disperse a crowd in Barcelona. Today the Spanish government will unveil what is expected to be one of the toughest budgets in its recent history.
Also Italy are going through tough austerity reforms from the Mario Monti government, and the last week the country has been chocked by two cases of men setting themselves on fire in protest at their financial hardship. A 58-year-ole builder, and a 27-year-old Moroccan are now being treated in hospital.
The finance minister meeting in Copenhagen today will also deal with the forthcoming EU budget for 2014-2020. In a debate of the administrative budget for 2013 members of the European Parliament from across the political spectrum have repeated calls for the European Parliament to have just one location instead of continuing being seated in both Brussels and Strasbourg as the case is today.