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The European Central Bank (ECB) published its Convergence Report(2012), in which it evaluates the progress of the members states that have committed themselves to joining the euro by following the convergence criteria, better known as the “Maastricht” criteria. At this point in time, Bulgaria has passed the requirements for deficit, debt, inflation and long-term interest rates, but this does not mean automatically that the road to the euro is open. What is more important, the…

photo: MFA/Jindřich Rambousek

Two years ago, here in Wrocław [at Wrocław Global Forum], you called United States and Europe “G2 of the world” and today you referred to them as “catamaran on stormy waters”, so I was wondering if you think that we can observe serious, permanent shift of power in contemporary world or just this storm that is going to pass? Well, I hope it’s a storm that is going to pass and I hope that we…

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Greek run continues – sPain or sPanic? Fiscal rules will be strict. Right after exemptions for Spain, Italy…Will Spiderman save the banks? Can somebody who doesn’t pay taxes criticize others for not paying taxes? Who works the hardest in the EU? Will Greeks unveil the European bluff? Jogging on banks in peripheries continues. EUR 31 billion (1.9%) were withdrawn from Spain in April. Portuguese central bank also warns against possible withdrawal of the deposits from…

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On April 16th 2012 the Institute for Market Economics (IME) released a report, analyzing the current regulatory framework and policies for the integration of people with disabilities. The report also proposes positive reform measures that, we believe, will better serve the purpose of full-fledged inclusion of such individuals. The full text (in Bulgarian) is available here. According to the National Social Security Institute (NSSI), annual expenditure on disability pensions financed by the National Social Security…

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In response to the on-going financial crisis in the euro zone, LFMI, a leading economic policy think-tank in Lithuania, has worked out and submitted to responsible institutions a plan which would help countries exiting the euro zone to build stable and sound money. LFMI‘s proposal can be also used by the euro zone when attempting to strengthen the euro and to restore people‘s confidence in the single currency. The persisting crisis of euro zone state…

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An answer to this rather broad question is one of the issues that formed the subject of Alexander Fink´s presentation during the discussion forum on the topic of “East German Transformation and German Public Finance” organised by Liberalni Institut on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.  Before we are able to even tackle this question, it is necessary to put it in to proper context. The first issue that Mr. Fink discussed was the method of evaluation…

picture: Jean-Marc Ayrault

Will Germany open its arms to the call from new French leader Francois Hollande for growth supporting measures instead of pure austerity imposed by the Sarkozy-Merkel duo? That was the key question at the European Union summit held in Brussels last week. Taking a decisive step in ramping up the European effort for containing for the ongoing debt crisis could not be expected. The issue of European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the €700 billion rescue fund…

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The Euro Bill is project run by Slovak think tank INESS, which tracks all guarantees and expenses related to euro zone rescue efforts. The May update includes several changes, related mainly to the spring default of Greece. Paradoxically, the overall sum of guarantees dropped slightly to EUR 1860 per capita (in Slovakia). This is due to casino online “accounting” changes. The buy cheap cialis online old IMF program, which granted Greece EUR 30 billion together…