Stability and Growth Pact
The Stability and Growth Pact is an agreement, among the 28 member states of the European Union, to facilitate and maintain the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union. Based on Articles 121 and 126 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, it consists of fiscal monitoring of members by the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, the issuing of a yearly recommendation for policy actions to ensure a full compliance with the SGP in the medium-term. If a Member State breaches the SGP's outlined maximum limit for government deficit and debt, the surveillance and request for corrective action will intensify through the declaration of an Excessive Deficit Procedure; the pact was outlined by a resolution and two council regulations in July 1997. The first regulation "on the strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions and the surveillance and coordination of economic policies", known as the "preventive arm", entered into force 1 July 1998; the second regulation "on speeding up and clarifying the implementation of the excessive deficit procedure", known as the "dissuasive arm", entered into force 1 January 1999.
The purpose of the pact was to ensure that fiscal discipline would be maintained and enforced in the EMU. All EU member states are automatically members of both the EMU and the SGP, as this is defined by paragraphs in the EU Treaty itself; the fiscal discipline is ensured by the SGP by requiring each Member State, to implement a fiscal policy aiming for the country to stay within the limits on government deficit and debt. As outlined by the "preventive arm" regulation, all EU member states are each year obliged to submit a SGP compliance report for the scrutiny and evaluation of the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, that will present the country's expected fiscal development for the current and subsequent three years; these reports are called "stability programmes" for eurozone Member States and "convergence programmes" for non-eurozone Member States, but despite having different titles they are identical in regards of the content. After the reform of the SGP in 2005, these programmes have included the Medium-Term budgetary Objectives, being individually calculated for each Member State as the medium-term sustainable average-limit for the country's structural deficit, the Member State is obliged to outline the measures it intends to implement to attain its MTO.
If the EU Member State does not comply with both the deficit limit and the debt limit, a so-called "Excessive Deficit Procedure" is initiated along with a deadline to comply, which includes and outlines an "adjustment path towards reaching the MTO". This procedure is outlined by the "dissuasive arm" regulation; the SGP was proposed by German finance minister Theo Waigel in the mid-1990s. Germany had long maintained a low-inflation policy, an important part of the German economy's strong performance since the 1950s; the German government hoped to ensure the continuation of that policy through the SGP, which would ensure the prevalence of fiscal responsibility, limit the ability of governments to exert inflationary pressures on the European economy. As such, it was described to be a key tool for the Member States adopting the euro, to ensure that they did not only meet the Maastricht convergence criteria at the time of adopting the euro, but kept on to comply with the fiscal criteria for the following years.
The Pact has been criticised by some as being insufficiently flexible and needing to be applied over the economic cycle rather than in any one year. They fear that by limiting governments' abilities to spend during economic slumps it may hamper growth. In contrast, other critics think; this is amply evidenced by the “creative accounting” gimmickry used by many countries to achieve the required deficit to GDP ratio of 3 percent, by the immediate abandonment of fiscal prudence by some countries as soon as they were included in the euro club. The Stability Pact has been watered down at the request of Germany and France."Some remark that it has been applied inconsistently: the Council of Ministers failed to apply sanctions against France and Germany, while punitive proceedings were started when dealing with Portugal and Greece. In 2002 the European Commission President Romano Prodi described it as "stupid", but was still required by the Treaty to seek to apply its provisions; the Pact has proved to be unenforceable against big countries such as France and Germany, which were its strongest promoters when it was created.
These countries have run "excessive" deficits under the Pact definition for some years. The reasons that larger countries have not been punished include their influence and large number of votes on the Council of Ministers, which must approve sanctions; the Pact was further weakened in 2005 to waive Germany's violations. In March 2005
The Euro summit is the meeting of the heads of state or government of the member states of the eurozone. It is distinct from the EU summit held by the European Council, the meeting of all EU leaders; the Euro summit began as an offshoot of the Euro Group, the meeting of the eurozone member's finance ministers. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for the Euro summit to replace the Euro Group as a "clearly identified economic government" for the eurozone, stating it was not possible for the eurozone to continue without it; the eurozone economic government would discuss issues with the European Central Bank, which would remain independent. Sarkozy stated that "only heads of state and government have the necessary democratic legitimacy" for the role; this idea was based on the meeting of eurozone leaders in 2008 who met to agree a co-ordinated eurozone response to the banking crisis. They first met in response to the debt crisis. Subsequent meetings took place in March 2010, May 2010, March 2011, July 2011 and October 2011.
In the October 2011 meeting, it was agreed to formalise the Euro summit, as at least twice yearly meeting. This change was formalised in the 2012 Treaty on Stability and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. Since this formalisation, Heads of State or Government have failed to meet this target of twice yearly meetings in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. A Euro summit President, separate from the Euro Group President, would be elected at the same time as the President of the European Council and under the same rules; until such an election takes place, the European Council President fulfils that role. In October 2011, the Eurozone head of states agreed to meet at least twice per year, as part of measures to improve governance of the Eurozone. Meetings were chaired by president Herman Van Rompuy from March 2010 to November 2014. Donald Tusk has been the Euro Summit president since December 1, 2014, ends his term on May 31, 2017; the table below lists the summary reports of all previous Euro Summits.
New procedure rules for Euro summits were adopted on 14 March 2013, regulating the Euro Summit shall meet at least twice a year, convened by its President on preferably one of the same dates as the EU summits. However, for unknown reasons, only one Euro Summit meeting per year took place in 2013 and 2014, none took place in 2016. In its informal capacity, the de facto summit President has been the European Council President, meaning that Herman Van Rompuy chaired all meetings since March 2010 to December 2014; the proposals for formalisation of the summit include electing a President along the same lines as the European Council President, until Van Rompuy continues to chair the summit. On 1 March 2012, he was formally elected as President of the Euro Summit for the term 1 June 2012 to 30 November 2014. New president for the term 1 December 2014 until 31 May 2017, is the former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Notes Presidents of other EU institutions, such as the President of the European Commission and the European Central Bank President attend.
Presidents of the Euro Group and of the European Parliament may be invited and the President of the Euro Summit shall present a report to the European Parliament after each of the meetings of the Euro Summit. Heads of state or government of non-eurozone signatories to the European Fiscal Compact treaty participate, at least once a year, for those policies of the treaty that apply to them. In some summits, other leaders might attend discussions, for example the British Prime Minister attending the 2008 summit. European Fiscal Compact European sovereign debt crisis Euro Group
Portugal the Portuguese Republic, is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, its territory includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled and fought over since prehistoric times; the pre-Celtic people, Celts and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. Portugal as a country was established during the Christian Reconquista against the Moors who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128; the Kingdom of Portugal was proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India and the European discovery of Brazil. During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil, a late industrialization compared to other European powers, erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime.
Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its overseas territories; the handover of Macau to China in 1999 marked the end of what can be considered the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe, a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, many Portuguese-based creoles, it is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is placed in rankings of moral freedom, democracy, press freedom, social progress, LGBT rights. A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the word Portugal derives from the Roman-Celtic place name Portus Cale. Portus, the Latin word for port or harbour, Cala or Cailleach was the name of a Celtic goddess – in Scotland she is known as Beira – and the name of an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal.
At the time the land of a specific people was named after its deity. Those names are the origins of the - gal in Galicia. Incidentally, the meaning of Cale or Calle is a derivation of the Celtic word for port which would confirm old links to pre-Roman, Celtic languages which compare to today's Irish caladh or Scottish cala, both meaning port; some French scholars believe it may have come from ` Portus Gallus', the port of the Celts. Around 200 BC, the Romans took the Iberian Peninsula from the Carthaginians during the Second Punic War, in the process conquered Cale and renamed it Portus Cale incorporating it to the province of Gaellicia with capital in Bracara Augusta. During the Middle Ages, the region around Portus Cale became known by the Suebi and Visigoths as Portucale; the name Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, by the 9th century, that term was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho. By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugallia or Portvgalliae was referred to as Portugal.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe. The name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale; the region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia, after 45 BC until 298 AD. The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula; these were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing, it is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Celts invaded Portugal from Central Europe and inter-married with the local populations, forming differe
A euro calculator is a popular type of calculator in European countries that adopted the euro as their official monetary unit. It functions like any other normal calculator, but it includes a special function which allows one to convert a value expressed in the official unit to the new value in euros, or vice versa, its use became popular within the population and commerce of these countries during the first few months after adopting the euro. As so many were produced, they are found outside the eurozone to help staff with conversions at airports or railway stations where the euro has a strong presence
In the Middle Ages, the term bezant was used in Western Europe to describe several gold coins of the east, all derived from the Roman solidus. The word itself comes from the Greek Byzantion, ancient name of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire; the original "bezants" were the gold coins produced by the government of the Byzantine Empire, first the nomisma and from the 11th century the hyperpyron. The term was used to cover the gold dinars produced by Islamic governments. In turn, the gold coins minted in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and County of Tripoli were termed "Saracen bezants", since they were modelled on the gold dinar. A different electrum coin based on Byzantine trachea was minted in the Kingdom of Cyprus and called the "white bezant"; the term "bezant" in reference to coins is common in sources from the 10th through 13th centuries. Thereafter, it is employed as a money of account and in literary and heraldic contexts. Gold coins were minted in early medieval Western Europe, up until the 13th century.
Gold coins were continually produced by the Byzantines and medieval Arabs. These circulated in Western European trade in smallish numbers, originating from the coinage mints of the Eastern Mediterranean. In Western Europe, the gold coins of Byzantine currency were prized; these gold coins were called bezants. The first "bezants" were the Byzantine solidi coins; the name hyperpyron was used by the late medieval Greeks, while the name bezant was used by the late medieval Latin merchants for the same coin. The Italians used the name perpero or pipero for the same coin. Medievally from the 12th century onward, the Western European term bezant meant the gold dinar coins minted by Islamic governments; the Islamic coins were modelled on the Byzantine solidus during the early years after the onset of Islam. The term bezant was used in the late medieval Republic of Venice to refer to the Egyptian gold dinar. Marco Polo used the term bezant in the account of his travels to East Asia when describing the currencies of the Yuan Empire around the year 1300.
An Italian merchant's handbook dated about 1340, Pratica della mercatura by Pegolotti, used the term bisant for coins of North Africa, Cyprus and Tabriz, whereas it used the term perpero / pipero for the Byzantine bizant. Although the medieval "bezant" was a gold coin, medieval Latin texts have silver coin bezants; the silver bezants were called "white bezants". In Latin they were called "miliaresion bezants" / "miliarense bezants". Like the gold bezants, the silver bezants by definition were issuances by the Byzantine government or by an Arabic government, not by a Latin government, the usage of the term was confined to the Latin West. In heraldry, a roundel of a gold colour is referred to in reference to the coin. Like many heraldic charges, the bezant originated during the crusading era, when Western European knights first came into contact with Byzantine gold coins, were struck with their fine quality and purity. During the Fourth Crusade the city of Constantinople was sacked by Western forces.
During this sacking of the richest city of Europe, the gold bezant would have been much in evidence, many of the knights no doubt having helped themselves liberally to the booty. This event took place at the dawn of the widespread adoption of arms by the knightly class, thus it may have been an obvious symbol for many returned crusaders to use in their new arms; when arms are strewn with bezants, the term bezantée or bezanty is used
The euro sign is the currency sign used for the euro, the official currency of the European Union and some non-EU countries. The design was presented to the public by the European Commission on 12 December 1996, it consists of a stylized letter E, crossed by two lines instead of one. The character is encoded in Unicode at U+20AC € EURO SIGN. In English, the sign precedes the value. In some style guides, the euro sign is not spaced; the euro currency sign was designed to be similar in structure to the old sign for the European Currency Unit. There were 32 proposals; these ten were put to a public survey. After the survey had narrowed the original ten proposals down to two, it was up to the European Commission to choose the final design; the other designs that were considered are not available for the public to view, nor is any information regarding the designers available for public query. The European Commission considers the process of designing to have been internal and keeps these records secret.
The eventual winner was a design created by a team of four experts whose identities have not been revealed. It is assumed that the Belgian graphic designer Alain Billiet was the winner and thus the designer of the euro sign. Inspiration for the € symbol itself came from the Greek epsilon – a reference to the cradle of European civilization – and the first letter of the word Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to ‘certify’ the stability of the euro; the official story of the design history of the euro sign is disputed by Arthur Eisenmenger, a former chief graphic designer for the European Economic Community, who claims he had the idea prior to the European Commission. The European Commission specified a euro logo with exact proportions and colours, for use in public-relations material related to the euro introduction. While the Commission intended the logo to be a prescribed glyph shape, type designers made it clear that they intended to design their own variants instead. Generating the euro sign using a computer depends on the operating system and national conventions.
Some mobile phone companies issued an interim software update for their special SMS character set, replacing the less-frequent Japanese yen sign with the euro sign. Mobile phones have both currency signs; the euro is represented in the Unicode character set with the character name EURO SIGN and the code position U+20AC as well as in updated versions of the traditional Latin character set encodings. In HTML, the &euro. An implicit character encoding, along with the fact that the code position of the euro sign is different in common encoding schemes, led to many problems displaying the euro sign in computer applications. While displaying the euro sign is no problem as long as only one system is used, mixed setups produced errors. One example is a content management system where articles are stored in a database using a different character set than the editor's computer. Another is legacy software which could only handle older encodings such as ISO 8859-1 that contained no euro sign at all. In such situations, character set conversions had to be made introducing conversion errors such as a question mark being displayed instead of a euro sign.
Care has been taken to avoid replacing an existing obsolete currency sign with the euro sign. That could create different currency signs for sender and receiver in e-mails or web sites, with confusions about business agreements as a result. Depending on keyboard layout and the operating system, the symbol can be entered as: AltGr+4 AltGr+5 AltGr+E AltGr+U Ctrl+Alt+4 Ctrl+Alt+5 Ctrl+Alt+e in Microsoft Word in United States layout Alt+0128 in Microsoft Windows Ctrl+⇧ Shift+u followed by 20ac in Chrome OS, in other operating systems using IBus. Ctrl+k followed by =e in the Vim text editor On the macOS operating system, a variety of key combinations are used depending on the keyboard layout, for example: ⌥ Option+2 in British layout ⌥ Option+⇧ Shift+2 in United States layout ⌥ Option+⇧ Shift+5 in Slovenian layout ⌥ Option+$ in French layout ⌥ Option+E in German and Italian layout ⇧ Shift+4 in Swedish layoutThe Compose key sequence for the euro sign is =E. Placement of the sign varies. Countries have sustained those of their former currencies.
For example, in Ireland and the Netherlands, where previous currency signs were placed before the figure, the euro sign is universally placed in the same position. In many other countries, including France, Germany, Spain and Lithuania, an amount such as €3.50 is written as 3,50 € instead in accordance with conventions for previous currencies. The European Union did indeed usher a guideline on the use of the euro sign, stating it should be placed in front of the amount without any space in English, but after the amount in most other languages. In English, the euro sign—like the dollar sign and the pound sign —is placed before the figure, unspaced, as used by publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist; when written out, "euro" is placed after the value in lower case. No official recommendation is made with regard to the use of a cent sign, usage differs between and within m