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Latest update : 2016-09-12

EU economy: Is the north punishing the south?

The EU is sleepwalking towards a cliff - words of warning from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who says austerity rules are creating inequalities across the bloc. Greek national debt is set to reach over 180% of GDP and this week Tsipras rallied leaders of six southern EU countries to join him in a bid to form a united group: a front to fight for debt restructuring and act as a counterweight to the pressure of austerity measures prescribed by countries in the north.

Eight years after the start of the country's financial crisis, unemployment in Greece is still the highest in the EU and Athens is facing another standoff with creditors as complaints grow that it has implemented only two of 15 reforms required by its bailout deal.

But Greece is not alone in its economic woes: Italy's banks are close to breaking. Meanwhile, Germany recorded a larger than expected budget surplus and looks set to record its third year in the black in a row. Brussels is trying to push Berlin to spend more in order to stimulate the EU-wide economy.

So are northern EU states being too harsh on the south? And what might an "alliance of the south" achieve?

By Eve IRVINE

Archives

2018-07-30 Catherine NICHOLSON

What’s the future of forests in Corsica?

Wildfires that take lives, destroy ecosystems, and damage vast swathes of property and land have once again come to Europe's Mediterranean edge in the summer of 2018. In 2017,...

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2018-07-30 Catherine NICHOLSON

What's the future of forests in Sweden?

Recent forest fires in Sweden’s normally cool and damp lands have sparked alarm and brought new attention to the climate change that scientists say will make wildfires an...

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2018-07-23 Catherine NICHOLSON

'No evidence that refugee flows per se have brought insecurity', UNHCR says

We're now three years on from the peak of the crisis in Europe over an unprecedented influx of people seeking a new life in the EU. The numbers of arrivals are drastically down,...

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2018-07-23 Catherine NICHOLSON

Train tickets for young people: Building a new Europe, or simply free holidays?

Summer is here in Europe, and as thoughts turn to holidays and getaways, some 15,000 18-year-olds from all around the EU are getting some good news: they've been picked to...

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2018-07-16 Catherine NICHOLSON

Eurogroup chief Centeno: 'We need to put an end to what seems to be a trade war in the making'

This summer, there's big economic news for Europe: Greece is formally exiting its bailout programme, the ongoing trade war between the EU and the US, and plans to overhaul the...

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