In an emergency weekend ministerial meeting, the EU launched “the mother of all rescue” plans in an effort to save itself from global lenders’ doubts about the unity and financial credibility of the eurozone. A package worth nearly a trillion dollars was announced as markets opened Monday in Asia. Unprecedented in its scale and scope, the EU action impressed analysts as a response to the international dimensions of the crisis, providing a sweeping solution of the sort that has eluded the EU leaders at every previous stage in the crisis. Announced after 11 hours of negotiations Sunday, the rescue seemed to rise to the challenge explained in this blog last Friday: “Euro’s Fate at Stake in Emergency Talks This Weekend.” By Friday, the market onslaught seemed almost overwhelming: market players said that the number and amounts of sums invested to “short” the euro had reached new records.

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Orbán Is Moderate Nationalist, But Far-right Also Making Gains

Fidesz, the center-right party led by former Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, seems set to sweep Hungary’s elections, perhaps with a two-thirds majority in parliament, returning to power after nearly a decade. But the results of the first round of voting worries some people because of the winner in third place: Jobbik.  It is part of a troubling trend in Europe in recent elections amid the economic meltdown.

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On February 23, 2010, The European Institute held a special breakfast meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Financial and Monetary Affairs with His Excellency Vassilis Kaskarelis, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, who spoke about the implications of Greece’s financial crisis.

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Convened on the eve of the IMF and World Bank Spring meetings, this seminar gathered U.S. and European policy-makers to discuss the role of transatlantic cooperation in turning the crisis into an opportunity for better global financial governance. The need for closer regulatory coordination between the United States and the European Union emerged as a widely-shared conclusion among the participants, including The Honorable Paul Kanjorski, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises and Stefano Manservisi, Director General, DG Development, The European Commission. Willy Kiekens, Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund, and Elizabeth Jacobs, Deputy Director, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission outlined the priorities of their respective organization. The Honorable Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Central Bank Governing Council and Governor of the Bank of Finland echoes this call for increased coordination between the US and Europe, as well as among European States. The Honorable Luc Frieden, Minister of the Treasury for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg offered the luncheon keynote address. The meeting was moderated by Daniel Duncan, Senior Director of Government Affairs, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

This meeting hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, addressed trade issues in light of the current economic crisis and declining trade. Speakers included: Mauro Petriccione, European Commission's DG Trade Director for bilateral relations including the United States and China; Dr. Tihomir Stoytchev, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Republic of Bulgaria; and William “Bill” Craft, Jr., Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Programs at the U.S. Department of State.  All of the panelists agreed that despite the economic crisis, it is vital to avoid protectionism policies and that transatlantic cooperation is needed to keep world trade markets open.