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Daily digest: Does nearly €500 billion change anything?

So, yesterday the European Central Bank decided to give cheap loans to european banks. A widely popular decision among the banks. The offer ended up in loans for nearly half a trillion – to be exact 489,2 billion euros. While some think this is a long-awaited move from the ECB, analysts are very sceptical to wether the loans will provide the long-lasting boost to confidence that markets have been looking for.

The new Spanish government has been sworn into office, and the new conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy has named Luis de Guindos as his economic minister. Luis de Guindos is a former Lehman Brothers – the investment bank that cracked an caused a whole economic crisis itself – executive.

The European Court of Justice ruled yesterday that asylum seekers may not be sent back to the first EU member state that they arrived at, if they risk to be maltreated there. This has been the case especially around Greece, where they has been disputed due to poor treatment of migrants.

While the spanish people has just elected their new prime minister, there is no democratic chosen government in Italy, where Mario Monti has taken over after Silvio Berlusconi resigned after heady pressure. Now the chairman of the car company Ferrari has announced he will run for president in 2013. “There is no way that the Italians want to see the same old faces, the politicians who have allowed the situation to become the way it is. It is an absolute priority for Italy to change its political leaders,” Luca di Montezemolo announced in a letter.

In Finland they’ve located around 160 tones of explosives at a danish-owned ship, departed form German port Emden and headed for Chinese port of Shanghai.

Daily digest: Cameron spots a chance

David Cameron and Wing Commander David Manning

David Cameron sees an opportunity to refashion the way EU works today. (Photo by The Prime Minister's Office, on Flickr)

He’s kind of the guy out of three friends in the schoolyard, the others don’t listen to. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have been ruling the show called the European Union for a long time, but now David Cameron, the british prime minister, sees his chance to get back in the control room. In a speech in London, he said: “Change brings opportunities. An opportunity to begin to refashion the EU so it better serves this nation’s interests and the interests of its other 26 nations.”

Mario Monti, Italy’s new prime minister had his first real working day yesterday. And he has announced, that he will “act with urgency”. While a widespread sigh of relief spread as Silvio Berlusconi announced his resignation as prime minister, Mario Monti is still faced with great challenges. Yesterday investors showed their doubts on the markets, while Mario Monti told he intends to stay as prime minister until 2013.

Bulgaria and Romania’s acces to the border-free Schengen area was vetoed by the Netherlands and Finland, but the nordic country has now dropped their veto. This happens after a talk between the Romanian foreign minister, and his finnish counterpart in Brussels yesterday.

Within the next month or two 18 new members will arrive in the European Parliament. This comes after a two-and-half-year long process with ratifications in national parliaments that could expand the number of members of the European Parliament after the massive enlargement of 2005 and 2007. One of the coming members, a maltese politician Joseph Cuschieri, criticizes the delay: “I think it is anti-democratic. We have been elected and it is unfair with regard to the people who have voted for us.”

Belgian commissioner Karel De Gucht worries that Belgium will be the next in line of the European debt crisis. He think his home country can be the new Greece, as he told national tv on Sunday. Belgium haven’t got a government for 518 days, and their debt-to-GDP ratio is close to 100 percent, which is the third largest in Europe after Greece and Italy.

Daily digest: British prime minister calls EU legislation “pointless”

“Almost every day, I see pointless new regulation coming our way,” british prime minister David Cameron said during his speech at the Conservative Party conference, and continued: “The EU is the biggest single market in the world – but it’s not working properly.”

Barroso answering questions on Youtube.

This morning José Manuel Barroso is answering public questions on YouTube, on their channel called “Worldview”. So far the questions are primarily regarding creating jobs, and what he is doing to save the economy. He started out with condoling the loss of Apple founder Steve Jobs. You can catch the replay on Youtube.

As we have reported in the latest couple of daily digest’s the Franco-Belgian bank Dexia is on the brink, and this have made all Europe nervous for a European bank crisis. have made this digest from the editorials around the newspapers.

The European stocks opened slightly higher again this morning, as they did yesterday, but this mornings gain have to be seen in light of strong gains in both U.S. and Asia.

Germany will work for an Schengen enlargement on the EU summit in Brussels on 17. and 18. October, despite the resistance from both Finland and Netherlands. On September the 22nd the enlargement with Bulgaria and Rumania was dropped, which lead to huge disappointment for the Polish presidency.

Daily digest: Greek prime minister close to give up


Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, considers to take a step down. (by AZINLIKCA, on Flickr)

He has one of the most demanding political jobs that you can imagine right now, and now it might be enough for the Greek prime minister George Papandreou. Two times within the last three weeks he has spoken to colleagues about stepping down from his post. “Greece no longer takes decisions itself,” he has said according to an insider. Who can blame him.

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy will once again prepare each other for a EU summit. This time they will meet in Berlin on Sunday. Sarkozy have said he would meet with Merkel “to discuss ways and means to accelerate the economic integration of the eurozone economy,” after he made promises on this to the Greek prime minister George Papandreou.

While we’re at the Greek crisis, the Franco-Belgian bank Dexia has announced that it might “restructure” it’s operations in response to the exposure of Greek debt. Moody’s yesterday  warned that they are getting ready to downgrade Dexia, and these factors makes the bank close to be the first victim in the EU banking sector caused by the Greek crisis. This morning Dexia’s shares fell more than 20%.

Finland finally got collateral in return for its participation in the latest bailout of Greece. A “complex” agreement has accordingly been worked out and approved by the eurozone’s finance ministers in a seven-hour long meeting yesterday night.

British prime minister David Cameron is being pushed to debate the EU membership in concern of his re-election strategy. This might end in an in-or-out referendum, and according to Philip Stephens at Financial Times this might be the best way to handle the eurosceptics in Britain.

Daily digest: All eyes are on Germany

German Parliament

The German parliament are voting on the expansion of the EFSF rescue fund., by Yvonne IA, on Flickr.

Just around now there is a crucial vote in Germany for the expansion of the EFSF rescue fund. The Guardian’s journalists are live-blogging from the vote, that is a major test for the German chancellor Angela Merkel’s authority especially inside her own party.

Yesterday Finland’s parliament approved the EFSF boost in their vote. Out of the 200-seat parliament 103 voted in favor for the boost, while 66 voted against and 31 were absent or abstaining. Finland is the ninth member of the eurozone to approve the expansion, while Germany will be the tenth. Slovakia haven’t yet decided even when they will vote. Austria will vote on Friday. Here’s an overview of the voting dates.

Yesterday the EU parliament also approved the “six-pack” – a package of laws radically centralizing economic decision-making in the European Union. The six-pack gives the EU Commission new powers to fine countries ignoring EU rules on public debt and deficits.

Today in Warsaw there is a EU summit, and on beforehand the british deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, have warned of what he will say. “We cannot accept arrangements that would privilege the eurozone as a decision-making body over the European council. That is the surest way to rupture our union, undermining the huge strides that have been taken to secure cooperation between us, allowing walls to spring up even though we spent years knocking them down,” he is according to the Guardian supposed to say.

After Iceland’s economy crashed three years ago it’s starting to grow again. This makes the little country in doubt if it should join the EU after all. One of the reasons is Iceland advantage in the sea, and an EU membership can cost less fishing in Iceland – their biggest industry. BBC has made this report.