Europe Politics: Clashes on Greece's border add to list of problems for EU leaders
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“This is one of those situations where everyone should, and has to, hope that creativity, energy, and solidarity will rise to match the occasion,” Erik Jones, professor of European studies at Johns Hopkins University, told CNBC Monday.
Leaders of the top three European institutions are headed to Greece Tuesday to visit the border with Turkey, where migrants have been arriving since Friday in the hope they will be able to cross into EU territory. On Saturday, Greek police fired
The tensions at the border come after Turkey decided to end a previous agreement with European countries and allow refugees fleeing war to try to reach Europe. Turkey has argued it has reached
The issue is highly sensitive in Europe and brings back memories of 2015, when more than 1 million people arrived in Greece. At the time, some EU countries were reluctant to accept a redistribution of migrants and the topic was heavily used by anti-EU and anti-immigration parties across the region.
“The risk of a partial replay of the migrant crisis of 2015/2016 will ring alarm bells across the EU,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg bank, said Monday in a note to clients. “A major new tide of migrants, which we consider unlikely at this stage, could again boost support for
Matteo Salvini, one of the most well-known anti-immigration politicians in Europe, has commented on the latest episodes at the Greek border, saying via a translation: “A serious European Union would preside over (guard) its borders, we risk a catastrophe.”
‘Lack of EU leadership’
In the meantime, European leaders are still at odds over how to fund and spend the next EU budget — a common basket that is aimed at financing projects across the 27 countries. Some analysts have told CNBC that if leaders mishandled these negotiations, this could also boost anti-EU sentiment in various European states.
“The hope there is that Europe and the West come to Turkey’s rescue, but I would not bet on that given the lack of leadership at present in Europe, focus on Brexit and the EU budget debate and the fact that (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan now has few allies in Europe,” Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management, said in a note Friday.
At the same time, the EU has seen more confirmed cases of the new
Amid the spread of the virus, Berenberg bank said in a note Monday that “for companies that need a full year of revenues to make profit or break even, the prospect of more than a month of lost revenue while they continue to pay out wages and other such costs is a serious problem.”
The added pressure on the European economy comes at a time when there were already concerns about the pace of growth in the region, namely in Germany — its largest economy. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) downgraded its growth forecasts for the euro zone to 0.8% from 1.1% in 2020 on Monday.