The negotiations of the EU top jobs started in Brussels

The EU leaders meeting in Brussels today was the start of the new leaders discussions in the EU. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Emmanuel Macron expressed their different views of the new leader candidate for the EU Commission.

Manfred Weber has been the lead candidate for the EPP (centre-right), but President Macron was mentioning other candidates  for this position. This was the first time the EU leaders met after the EU elections last Sunday. Luxembourg´s Jean-Claude Juncker in stepping down on October 31st.

There are also other leading positions open to fulfil like European Council President (now Donald Tusk), the head of European Central Bank ECB (now Mario Draghi) and the EU representative for Foreign Affairs (now Federica Mogherini).

The EU elections last weekend put the seats in the EU Parliament to new order. Here are the main representatives for the 751 seats in the EU Parliament:

  • socialists & democrats (146)
  • greens (69)
  • liberals (109)
  • centre-rights (180)
  • conservatives (59)
  • populists (54)
  • right-wing nationalists (58)
  • left (39)

The timetable for the new leaders is somewhat open, others expect the names to be ready by July and others expect them during the autumn time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business

Brexit: What next – stocks closed up

The yesterday announcement by the UK Prime Minister Theresa May that she will step down from the Party leader position on June 7 has left some questions how to proceed after this? Mrs May, who is highly respected by her counterparts, will stay as Prime Minister until the new leader is chosen- maybe in July.

The UK decision was not a surprise for the EU leaders. In fact, they were asking swift process in order to avoid possible bottlenecks between the countries business and economic transition process. For example the French President Emmanuel Macron said that he would like more clarification about the situation while “EU cannot remain indefinitely uncertain on Brexit”. According to him, France is ready to work with the new British Prime Minister on all issues.

The German chancellor’s Angela Merkel´s spokesperson said that Germany is ready to continue the work with Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor for an “orderly exit”.

And several other EU leaders have had same kind of message as well. They want to conclude the work and the agreement agreed with the EU and Mrs May. The message is still the same: the legal text of the withdrawal agreement will not be open.

This case has also raised the possibility of the no-deal Brexit after the Mrs May decision to leave. This is a major concern for the British Industry and the City as well. The Bank of England has made also several economic estimates which show that the no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the UK economy and for example housing prises.

The UK and EU have extended the Brexit deadline for several times and now the deadline is at the end of October, 31st. So, the UK Parliament has this timeframe in order to decide how to proceed. There is not that much time left, while it is assumed that the new UK Prime Minister might start his/her duties July/August time. As Prime Minister Theresa May said in her speech on Friday, the new leader will have to find a compromise in the Parliament in oder to get on with the Brexit.

On the other hand, it might also be possible, that the new Party leader is not willing to make a deal, so the no-deal Brexit might increase its appearance. According to Bloomberg News, two-thirds of Conservative members want a no-deal Brexit.

But the Labour Party in the UK Parliament is against no-deal scenario, which makes this approach uncertain. And the third option is also a new referendum or general elections, which would have to be before the end of October.

Now, in the middle of EU elections, the UK Conservative party is expected to face losses and this might have also its impact for the future of the UK and the Brexit process. The results of the EU elections are to be published on Sunday evening.

The UK stock markets closed Friday slightly up and the FTSE 100 -index ended +0,65 % to 7277 points. During one year time, the yield has been -1,68%. The pound was at 1,27 US-dollars, up 0,45 % on Friday. During a five year period the pound has fallen from the 1,7 US-dollars levels.

Business Finance

Macron says Notre Dame will be rebuild in five years 

The French President Emmanuel Macron said today that the Paris cathedral Notre Dame will be rebuild within five years. He was speaking to the nation about the situation on Tuesday evening. On Monday vast part of the church was destroyed by a fire.

During the day there have been several annoucements about donations to the reconstruction of the cathedral. The sum is now more than 700 million euros. The first big donations were published by the leading luxury brands.

– Yes, we will build the cathedral of Notre Dame even more beautiful than it was. But this must be done in five years. We can do that, he said.

The fire lasted about 12 hours and according to Bloomberg, some of the major treasures were removed to City Hall, like the Crown of Thorns and Louis IX tunic and some others to Louvre. According to the Culture Minister Franck Riester it seems that the rose windows were not damaged. The cathedral is a 850 years old Gothic style Unesco heritage site.

The Paris stock markets closed up today, the CAC 40 up 0,36 % to 5528 points. The German DAX index closed also up, 0,67% to 12101 points. And London FTSE closed up 0,46% to 4092 points.

Business Design

Brexit: Delay to the year end?

The European Council President Donald Tusk has said today that the short extension of the deal would not be enough. He is then favour of  a longer Brexit, maybe up to a year or beyond.

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has today met several EU leaders. She was in Germany and met the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which pointed that the extension might be long enough, but also so that the option of leaving earlier is possible if the deal is reached. PM May is having a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron tonight.

The EU leaders are having their summit tomorrow on Wednesday in Brussels and for example the Belgium has invited the country leaders, which border the North Sea, according to Bloomberg News. The fishering polices and the use of the natural resources in the future if no-deal is agreed means that more work is ahead.

The UK Parliament is also discussing tonight how long the delay would be for Theresa May to put forward. On Monday the Parliament decided that extension is ok. This was backed by the UK Parliament by votes 420-110.

PM Theresa May sent last week a letter to Mr Tusk and asked for the extension until June 30.  The UK is leaving the EU on next Friday the 12th April, if no deal is reached.

The UK Goverment has said that it will continue the talks with Labour Party after the summit on Thursday. The talks were halted because the parties said that there were not enough compromise.

Business Finance

Brexit: EU offering 2 months delay (corrected)

The EU is offering UK a 2 months delay to the Brexit deal. This would mean that the deadline would be May 22.(*)

The EU leaders were having meeting today and according to news wires, the proposal woud mean that the UK Parliament would have to accept the deal next week. Otherwise there would be no deal, according to France President Emmanuel Macron.

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to have a press conference in the evening.

*corrected right month, May 22

Business Finance

Brexit: UK Goverment accepted citizen rights – Merkel and Macron in Paris

The UK Goverment has accepted the citizen rights in the Brexit depate in the Parliament today evening. According to Reuters, UK will turn to European Union to try to secure citizen´s rights if there will be no-deal Brexit.

“I’m happy to confirm … that we will write to the EU institutions and that this will be done in the coming days,” Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said according to Reuters.

The question of delaying the Brexit has got support from Germany and France. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Emmanuel Macron commented the Brexit-situation in Paris today.

Both countries would give more time if needed, but the message from President Macron was that there need to be choices taken in order to extend the timeframe.

The German and France leaders were having trade talks in Paris and the countries agreed to present  Bryssels a new industrialstrategy with China. They also talked about the EU army, which the countries have different approaches at the moment.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out, that the EU countries must have a clear and unite exports strategy regarding the army products, while at the moment they have different views for example regarding Saudi Arabia.

Business Finance