Daily Archives: November 17, 2010

It has not been easy for the last year to find someone in Brussels willing to say something nice about Greece - the country that fiddled with its financial figures for years, forced European leaders to underwrite a hugely unpopular bailout, and whose hairdressers have apparently been retiring (unbeknownst to German autoworkers) at age 50 and with full benefits.

But Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs – who has lost several weekends to emergency discussions over Greece – offered some rare kind words today. Mr Rehn noted that for the first time, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, was able to certify the government’s books “without any reservations.”

“This is a major achievement, and I want to congratulate the Greek authorities,” the commissioner said. Read more

After days of internecine sniping between leaders of the 16 eurozone countries over Ireland’s debt crisis, officials involved in Tuesday night’s marathon meeting of finance ministers from the euro group say that their session was free of the kind of drama that many had feared heading into the summit.

Jyrki Katainen, the Finnish finance minister who is also the chief economic spokesman for the centre-right caucus of European political parties, called the discussion “pragmatic” and said it focused on the Irish banking sector and how any aid would help restructure it in a way that could stop the bleeding. Read more