3 July: Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda
- Chancellor Angela Merkel said time is pressing for European Union member states to reach an agreement on an economic recovery plan, Bloomberg reports. “The path is a rocky one and will require much willingness and readiness to compromise from all sides,” Merkel told delegates in Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, as the country begins its six-month presidency of the European Union. “Considering the current state of the economy, time is pressing and every day counts,” and the goal is reach a deal before the summer break. The bloc’s member states are negotiating a 750 billion-euro ($843 billion) fund, drawn partly from joint borrowing, to pull the 27-member bloc out of economic peril.
- The coronavirus crisis has caused a dramatic deterioration in the European public perception of the US, extensive new polling reveals, according to The Guardian. More than 60% of respondents in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal said they had lost trust in the United States as a global leader. A report based on the survey’s findings argues that the shock of the pandemic has “traumatised” European citizens, leaving them feeling “alone and vulnerable”.
- The plunge in euro zone business activity caused by lockdowns imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus eased sharply last month as more businesses reopened and people ventured out, a survey showed on Friday, reports CNBC. IHS Markit’s final Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), seen as a good gauge of economic health, bounced to 48.5 in June from May’s 31.9. That was better than a 47.5 preliminary reading and close to the 50-mark separating growth from contraction.
- While Greece is willing to enter into discussions with Turkey on a range of bilateral issues, the government in Athens says it will do whatever it takes to protect its sovereignty, according to Bloomberg. Relations between Greece and its eastern neighbor have been tense in recent months after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a maritime agreement in November with Libya. That prompted Turkey to claim maritime rights in some zones Athens says are Greek under international law. “If the only difference we have is on the proclamation of an exclusive economic zone, then we are ready to negotiate and sit at the table with Turkey and discuss the issue,” Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs Miltiades Varvitsiotis said in an interview in Athens. Greece is also willing to discuss bilateral issues such as the economy, tourism, Covid-19 and migratory flows, he said.