The Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) meets on the upcoming Thursday. Despite explicit criticism especially from Germany, no one should expect higher interest rates in the medium term.
A few weeks ago, the Fed expressed no intention to increase interest rates, but the will to maintain the current ones of 0 to 0.25%. The problem is that cheap money does not only indicate the prevailing economic problems, but imply long-term negative impact on both savers and economy.
Competitiveness of Europe is lagging, pension systems keep ignoring the demographic trend, relative price of energy for industrial consumers is growing, there are popular jokes about labor markets in France or Italy, starting a business and tax compliance is still extremely demanding tasks in many of the member countries.
Extraneous people (politicians, bureaucrats) decide about extraneous money (taxes) which is, as Milton Friedman concluded from his decision-making matrix, the most inefficient situation we can imagine.
The Commission has published the first assessment of the national budgets for 2014. Only Germany and Estonia made the budget prospects flawless and deserve praise. Slovakia ended up in the third group.