Friday, April 01, 2005

EUrope is getting into another fine mess.

This Blog is under construction, and may well always be so, however at present it is more than a little embryonic. In the meantime here is something to start it off.

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Unemployment is a disaster in the EU but there are others. No, not simply that the EU25 and Eurozone trade surplus has turned into deficit.

The European Commission press bureau reports that: Following a significant decline in February, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area fell again considerably in March. The indicator now stands at a value of -0.08, down from 0.20. As in February, all components of the BCI went down in March. The biggest fall in industry managers’ opinions was observed for the production trend observed in the recent past. The assessments concerning the export order books, the total order books and the stocks of finished products declined significantly, too. Finally, the remaining component, production expectations, decreased more moderately.
See - Eurozone expectations decline again

But that’s not all. The EU is gearing up for trade sanctions against the USA. The Commission took this latest step in the dispute over the Byrd Amendment in light of the continuing failure of the United States to bring its legislation in conformity with its international obligations. The Commission proposes that an additional duty of 15% applies as of 1 May 2005 on a range of products which include paper, agricultural, textile and machinery products. See - EU proposes trade sanctions against USA

And, in another move it looks as if the US is unlikely to extend the deadline for the introduction of biometric passports. This latter has the potential to escalate into something far more serious for EU / US trade than any trade sanctions the EU might impose. See the FT - Warning to EU on passport deadline

The indications are that the Eurozone may yet be heading for economic catastrophe, and that social unrest and political extremism are likely to grip many EU states. Not to mention the impact of rejection of the EU Constitution ........

Note to readers - FT links are subject to disappearing under subscription. I support Open Access , but understand that the FT prefers to put a value on its material.