Italian PM Mario Monti had a busy meeting agenda on Thursday, first speaking in Brussels with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, then flying to Berlin where he appeared at a press conference together with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In Germany Monti commented on the next EU long-term budget saying that it shouldn’t focus solely on austerity but rather on “boosting growth, jobs and social cohesion in Europe.”
He also added that Italy’s contribution, the largest of all EU countries in 2011, is disproportional relative to the country’s wealth and that budget rebates should be reassessed to be more “transparent and fair.”
European officials will begin negotiations on the 2014-2020 EU budget on 7-8 February.
Greek default still a possibility
A Greek credit default should not be discarded, Moody's rating agency stated on a report published Wednesday. With regards to the state of the Greek economy, projections are for the country to contract around 5% in 2013, differing by 0.5 bp from government expectations of 4.5%. The rating agency expects the contraction to run into 2014.
As ekathimerini notes: "In its analysis on Greece issued on Wednesday, Moody’s argues that the risks that could sink the country’s economy and therefore its credit rating are still existent. These include the risks in the implementation of the second bailout program, exceptionally uncertain growth prospects, the political and social challenges the Greek economy is facing and the fact that the country’s debt is still considered unsustainable.