That Brussels slows down during August is well known. Though European Commission spokespeople repeatedly stress that the EU’s executive arm remains hard at work – especially this year – anyone strolling through the corridors of its Berlaymont headquarters can see there are more than a few people out of the office.
Now in the age of social media, it might be a bit easier to establish who is working and when. To wit: of the eight EU commissioners who regularly use Twitter, four of them have gone completely quiet for the whole month of August, with another commissioner managing only one entry.
All told, the group have tweeted 23 times in as many days. That’s less than a tenth of the usual Twitter activity. In June, for instance, the eight tweeters managed 270 messages, including retweets, between them.
A breakdown of Twitter summer stats after the jump. Read more
Finland's prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, arriving at last month's emergency eurozone summit.
UPDATE: Thanks largely to uncertainty caused by the Greco-Finnish deal, Greek 10-year bonds dropped preciptiously Wednesday, with yields again close to 18 per cent — right where they were before July’s bail-out agreement.
The ongoing dispute between Finland and other eurozone members over the side deal Heslinki struck with Greece as part of Athens’ new €109bn is beginning to make market analysts jittery.
For those unfamiliar with the controversy, Finland has insisted that it get collateral from Greece to guarantee its portion of the new bail-out, and last week struck a deal which would have Athens putting an estimated €500m into a Finnish escrow account. Other countries have begun to cry foul, however, asking why Finland should get special treatment. Talks between eurozone finance ministry officials are expected to resume via teleconference on Friday.
As we reported earlier this week, the Moody’s rating agency has already weighed in with its concerns, saying the Finnish deal could not only delay the Greek bail-out but calls into question eurozone support for all future bail-outs. But other market watchers are beginning to raise similar alarms. Here is a quick cross-section of views that we’ve seen in recent days. Read more