Sunday 18 February 2018

Brussels sprouts problems

ENDA Kenny flies to Brussels today for another two-day summit. Most of the attention here will be on a possible deal on Irish bank debt but the rest of Europe is having a very different conversation.

Various European leaders will be busy pushing for a fully fledged fiscal union for the eurozone with all sorts of bells and whistles such as a separate eurozone budget, binding budget contracts for eurozone member states, and some form of jointly backed borrowing to finance a eurozone treasury.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made it clear earlier this week that he wants some sort of convention early next year to discuss further treaty change and an even more powerful agency to veto profligate national budgets. With decisions unlikely this week, a summit planned for December will probably come up with the goods.

Mr Kenny had better be paying close attention; he will be the rotating head of the European Union when much of this comes up for discussion early next year.

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