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EU Business Risk Analysis
EU Business Risk Analysis

Spain and Italy are two particularly weak countries economically compared to northern members of European Union EU. Without the pandemic it is questionable that the northern EU countries would have helped out Spain and Italy with billions of euros in grants to dig themselves out of a hole they were already in prepandemic. Many investors would not have lent money to Spain and Italy so cheaply.

Effectively the EU and the ECB will in 2021 pump money into southern EU countries that may help them recover not just from the coronavirus but from poor economic performance in comparison to likes of Germany.

21st July 2020 After Extended EU Leader Talks European Countries Finally Agree The Format Of 750 Billion Euro Coronavirus Recovery Fund

Half of the fund will be distributed in non repayable grants. The other half will be repayable loans. A compromise has been reached on the biggest crisis in EU history.

Merkel and Macron finally got their wish on the coronavirus recovery fund. Prior to the talks they wanted 500 billion euros worth of the 750 billion to be in non repayable grants. The percentage split on the agreed deal is different but Merkel and Macron really succeeded in general aim for recovery fund. 360 billion euros worth will be in loans and 390 billion euros will be non repayable grants. The majority will be on joint debt to finance European Union recovery from coronavirus pandemic.

The EU coronavirus recovery fund will be available for drawdown from January 2021. Where loans are taken the loans will not have to be paid back to EU until 2058.

EU leaders also signed off on 7 year budget for the European Union of over 1 trillion euros.

19th July 2020 Talks On Whether To Make European Coronavirus Recovery Fund Grant Based Vs Loan Based Have Moved Into Unscheduled Third Day

It has been reported that Germany and France leaders Merkel and Macron left in unscheduled grumpy break from talks frustrated that northern countries continue to resist distributing recover fund via grants.

The Netherlands and other northern countries want southern countries to pay for their own economic recovery not the whole EU.

Day Of Reckoning For European Union
Day Of Reckoning For European Union?

Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The European Union Or Is It The Next Step On Ever Closer Financial Union?

EU leaders meeting in Brussels are trying to thrash out a deal essentially between the north and south of the EU. A three quarters of a trillion euro pandemic economic recovery fund will either be lent out to member countries who will have to pay that money back to EU or grants will become available for member countries to apply for that will be paid for by all members but not paid back by member country that received grant.

If a grant system is adopted then the whole will pay for the recovery of the whole EU. If a loan system is adopted then each country is on their own when it comes to economic recovery financing. The latter may well lead to the break up of the EU. The former will send the EU further down the track to financial federal union of member countries with joint taxation single budgetary union and more.

Apple Takes Bite Out Of European Union’s Attempt To Squash EU Sweetheart Tax Deal With Ireland

Apple Ireland Tax Case

Alleged Apple Ireland tax avoidance has rumbled on for four years. Initially Apple tax avoidance was alleged in sweetheart tax deal with Ireland so that Ireland could attract thousands of tech jobs to Ireland. The EU won the previous alleged Apple tax scandal but even the Irish government did not want Apple to pay any more tax. Apple was instructed to pay Ireland 13 billion euros in taxes. The European Commission said Apple benefited from illegal state aid via two Irish tax rulings that artificially reduced Apple tax burden for over two decades to as low as 0.005 percent in 2014.

The Irish government at that time backed the Apple tax case appeal and Apple have now won. Europe’s second highest court has now rejected an EU order for Apple to pay 13 billion euros. The EU can appeal the decision if it wants to to the EU Court of Justice which is the highest court in the European Union.

7th July 2020 Europe In Recession Until End Of 2020 At Earliest Due To Cornavirus Pandemic

The European Commission EC official forecast is that the European Union will be in recession until end of 2020. It will contract 8.3 percent in 2020. The worsening Europe economic outlook is based on increasing economic activity a massive injection of money by the European Central Bank ECB moving towards a trillion euros and no second wave of the virus.

4th June 2020 ECB Increasing Money Supply To Fight Economic Impact Of Coronavirus Pandemic On The Eurozone

The European Central Bank is increasing bond buying programme by 600 billion euros by end of June 2021. The ECB is buying 1.35 trillion euros worth of bonds in total. The ECB is facilitating Eurozone governments financial stimulus to get out of economic hole caused by coronavirus pandemic.

The ECBs monetary expansion is in addition to each countries own fiscal spending expansion.

  • The ECB forecasting Eurozone will be in recession this year and the Eurozone economy will contract by 12 percent.
  • The expanded programme means that European banks and global banking system moves further away from systemic collapse.

20th May 2020 Mutualisation Of Debt Across The European Union EU Will Push Europe Ever Closer Faster Or Force It Apart

Merkel and Macron want to push forward with new monetary solution for the coronavirus pandemic that will mean northern parts of Europe will have to pay for debt used by southern European countries. This is the way the EU should work but will it?

Countries like Denmark Sweden and the Netherlands may resist this new approach. They may not find the idea of the EU giving non refundable monetary grants to southern European countries that come from northern European countries.

If it is acceptable it will mean a quick hop skip and a jump to closer monetary European Union in near future. If it is not acceptable it mean mean political collapse as southern European countries fail to climb out of the deep coronavirus pandemic economic hole.

6th May 2020 Two Speed European Union Threatens Survival Of EU Post Pandemic

The EU was already a two speed project. The economic gap between the north and south has been widened by the coronavirus pandemic.

The human cost of the pandemic in Europe has been two speed with Italy and Spain suffering more loss of life individually than most countries except Belgium and UK.

The economic cost is going to be even starker. The human cost suffered by Italy already threatens the desire of Italians to remain within EU. The economic cost of the pandemic to Italy could be the wedge that splits Italy from EU. Southern EU countries may no longer want to be part of the EU and northern countries like may not want southern countries to be in EU. You want to go then go they may say!

Italian public debt is forecast by EU executive to rise to nearly 160 percent of gross domestic product in 2020. The European Central Bank ECB is trying to prop up the Italian economy to stop Italians from wanting to leave and prevent collapse of Italian banks. If the collapse of Italian banks was not a real possibility Italy may be left to wither on the vine like the EU did to Greece.

Germans who are starting to pull their economy out from the economic meltdown caused by the pandemic will not want to pay Italians the money they need to recover from the economic pandemic. Sentiment in Netherlands and other northern European countries is not for solidarity at all costs. A two speed EU has never been more likely. A break up of EU entirely would be more likely though it is debatable whether Italians Greeks and Spanish can afford to leave the EU.

Italian debt is at its highest level since World War II.

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Italy debt ratio is second only to that of Greece. Greece debt is forecast to jump to nearly 200 percent in 2020. If Greece cannot open its tourism industry this summer it may go beyond that.

All 19 countries of the euro zone will greatly breach the 3 percent deficit limit in 2020 according to the European Commission EC. On average eurozone countries will have 8.5 percent deficit. Italy will have more like 11.5 percent. The EC thinks Italy will suffer a recession in the order of a 9.5 percent economic contraction in 2020.

If the EU can nurse Italy economically into 2021 then the EU might survive in its current form. If Italians do not forgive the rest of the EU then the EU may not get a chance to show Italians they are loved.

16th April 2020 When You Really Need The Support Of The Strength Of the EU It Breaks Into Its Nationalistic Parts

There is a false sense of security being a member of the EU. When push comes to shove each member looks after itself.

The President of the European Commission EC has offered an apology to Italy over its actions or rather lack of action when the coronavirus pandemic hit Italy. Both France and Germany restricted Italy access to face masks when neither France nor Germany were at that time in March suffering badly from the virus.

12th April 2020 European Member States Have Acted To Protect Own Nations Not European Union Citizens As A Whole Unit

It is clear that when push comes to shove each EU member state acts for itself not the Union. This exposure demonstrates the inability for the EU to work for the best interests of all citizens not just own country citizens.

The last financial crisis demonstrates this trait for the first time. The statest that needed help the most were helped but not helped enough to recover jobs and economic growth for all.

The current health and financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus has forced open wider divisions between especially the north and south of the European Union. The Netherlands were at best reluctant to come to the economic aid of Italy and at worst abandoned Italy.

6th April 2020 Europe Faces Biggest Economic Challenge It Ever Has From Coronavirus Pandemic

According to Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany the European Union faces its greatest challenge yet.

It could be V shaped economic impact though people who have died will obviously not come back. Economically the European economy could potentially bounce back as if the pandemic never happened. However it looks worse than global financial crisis in 2008.

If trade does bounce back and recovers lost revenue across the economies of Europe then economically Europe may well recover economic growth by end of year. However the economic impact is more likely to continue not just for 2020 but several years.

Not all industries will be affected badly. Indeed some sectors will benefit from coronavirus pandemic. Overall there could be a net benefit though some businesses will never recover from the pandemic.

25th March 2020 European Union States Only Able To Meet 10 Percent Of The Demand For Personal Protective Equipment PPE and Other Medical Devices According To Inernal EU Document

EU states have limited stockpiles of medical devices and limited capacity to scale up production of much needed supplies.

In Spain 14 percent of all the people in Spain who contract the virus work in the medical profession.

19th March 2020 EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier Contracted Coronavirus COVID19

18th March 2020 Eurovision Song Contest 2020 Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

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Understand the impact of risk on your business objectives. Find risk management experts to help you solve business problems more cost effectively to make your business more successful and more sustainable regardless of the threats. What are the top 10 business risks to trading in Europe:

  1. Supply Chain Disruption
  2. Political Risks
  3. Globalisation / Protectionism
  4. Cyber Risks
  5. Natural Disasters including earthquakes, flooding, storm damage
  6. Ever Closer Union / Break Up Of Eurozone
  7. Corruption and Bribery
  8. Inequality between countries and within countries
  9. Systemic Banking Collapse
  10. Poor Growth

Top 10 risks can occur at the same time to create “end of Europe” scenarios.   Lesser risks can also combine to set up the environment from which the top 10 can bring down the whole pack of cards e.g. pandemic virus spreading across Europe.

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