Weekly Wrap Up:
Obama, budget and Greece

President Obama's Election Night Rally

Obama is elected for another term as the president of the United States of America. (Photo by WCHI News, on flickr)

Obama is elected for another term as the president of the United States. What does that mean for Europe?

In Greece the parliament will vote on new austerity measures. At the same time worker unions have arranged massive protests. But is there anyway around these austerity measures?

Finally, Angela Merkel and David Cameron is meeting today in London in order to agree on… well, just anything… before the EU budget summit later this month. Will there be a deal?

Here’s what you need to know in European politics this week boiled into Beyondbrussels.com’s Weekly Wrap Up.

Obama
Obama was elected during the night for another term as the president of the United States of America.

“Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come,” Barack Obama began his speech after the victory. You can read the full transcript of the speech here.

The reelection of Barack Obama woke joy in the EU headquarters. In a tweet in Dutch, the president of the EU council wrote: “Very happy about reelection of President Obama”.

Later on a more official statement on the election came from Rompuy and president of the EU Commission, José Manuel Barroso, in a press-release.

“We have the pleasure of extending our warm congratulations to President Obama on his
re-election as President of the United States of America. The United States is a key
strategic partner of the European Union and we look forward to continuing the close
cooperation established with President Obama over these last four years, to further
strengthening our bilateral ties and to jointly addressing global challenges, including in the
fields of security and economy.”

The two EU leaders mentions that they’ll look forward to work on the creation of more jobs and growth by unlocking potential of the transatlantic market, and to continue working with their common values on foreign policy issues.

According to the statement the two leaders will meet Obama in the nearest future.

Merkel and Cameron

Another couple of leaders to meet is the German chancellor Angela Merkel and British prime minister David Cameron.

Angela Merkel is expected to meet David Cameron Wednesday night in London after she has paid a visit to the EU parliament in Brussels.

They’ll discuss the EU budget that will be up for an intense debate later this month, when the 27 EU leaders meet in Brussels for a two-day summit from October 22.

One of the more interesting countries in this discussion is Poland, which haven’t been so loud in the budget-discussion so far.

But the foreign minister from Poland, Radoslaw Sikorski, warned last month Cameron from dragging the UK to far away from the EU, in a speech held in Britain.

“Since I first came to these shores over 30 years ago, Britain has become much more European. You’ve built the Channel tunnel, you got used to mixer taps, duvets and double glazing. Even your cooking has improved. Yet your public opinion and politics is more eurosceptic than ever,” he said according to the Financial Times.

In the speech he comes with a brief suggestion to the British people looking for an exit from the EU: “Don’t do it,” he said.

On this blog we wrote an analysis on the budget meeting earlier. Read it here.

Greece

It’s rather crucial what’s going on in Greece today. Prime minister Antonis Samaras is expected to win narrowly support for the budget cuts, tax hikes and labour reforms that will be voted upon in the Greek parliament later today.

Tens of thousands of protesters in Greece hold their second day of protests against the plans, which leave most of the public transport to a halt, shut schools, banks and government offices and caused garbage to pile up on streets.

“If lawmakers vote in favour of the measures… they will have committed the biggest ever political and social crime against the country and the people,» said Nikos Kioutsoukis, secretary general of the private umbrella union GSEE, according to the Greek daily, Ekathimerini.

The measures up for vote in parliament are required to unlock the tranche of €31 billion from the International Monetary Fund and EU’s bailout fund. Without these money Greece is running out of money by the end of this month.

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