(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)
The 10 EU news and developments from April 17, 2019, that matter the most. (An experimental piece.)
Following are the top news stories from April 17, 2019, concerning the European Union and its member states, with ranking and commentary by European Views journalist Ivan Dikov.
1. Greece Demands World War II Reparations from Germany
Greece’s Parliament has voted to given Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a mandate to start talks with Germany for seeking World War II reparations over the killing of some 300,000 Greeks and a forced loan from the Bank of Greece. No figure was mentioned now but in 2016 a Greek parliamentary committee came up with an estimate of EUR 300 billion, more than Greece’s annual GDP.
Despite Tsipras’s denial, the issue seems clearly connected with the Greeks’ resent of Germany for the austerity policies Greece has had to adhere to as part of its EU debt crisis bailout in the past decade.
While many Greeks are convinced that Germany owes them a fortune, Germany says the matter was settled in 1960. It doesn’t seem likely that Athens will get very far in World War II reparation talks with Berlin – but the formalization of the claims will surely uplift the Greek – German relations to a new level of enmity and mutual resent.
2. EU Considers Imposing USD 20 billion in Tariffs on US Goods over Boeing Aircraft Subsidies
The EU is mulling slapping USD 20 billion worth of tariffs on imports from the US after the World Trade Organization ruled earlier this month that the US authorities had been subsidizing aircraft manufacturer Boeing unfairly.
Regardless of that, the US recently said it was considering USD 11 billion worth of tariffs on EU products in response to subsidies for European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Earlier this week, the EU approved plans for trade talks with the United States to avoid a trade war and reduce trade barriers.
The EU mulling tariffs over Boeing subsidies is another step raising the stakes in the EU – US trade relations. With the seeming brinkmanship willingness of the Trump Administration, it is far from certain the talks will have a positive outcome – although last July Trump did stand with “Jean-Claude”, EC chief Juncker, for a news conference that “avoided a trade war”, he has kept on lashing out against the EU on trade ever since…
Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here
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