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Greek column © Thinkstock.com Finance ministers approve disbursement of next tranche of Greek loans
- Andorra soon to use own euro coins as its official currency
- Economic sentiment down in both the EU and the euro area
- Commission President Barroso congratulates Christine Lagarde on her appointment as Head of the International Monetary Fund
- EU and Romania sign MoU on EUR 1.4 billion pre-cautionary balance-of-payments assistance
- “And the winner is”: new coin design to mark 10 years of euro cash
- DG ECFIN informs public about the euro and EMU at Open Days of the National Bank of Poland
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Greek column © Thinkstock.com Finance ministers approve disbursement of next tranche of Greek loans

Based on the Commission assessment of 1 July, euro-area finance ministers on 2 July held a telephone conference and welcomed the progress made by the Greek authorities in implementing the fiscal adjustment plan and growth-enhancing structural reform agenda agreed upon with the European Commission, in liaison with the ECB, and the IMF. They expressed particular satisfaction regarding the adoption of key measures by the Greek Parliament, namely the medium-term fiscal strategy and the privatisation plans. The finance ministers therefore endorsed the Commission's Compliance Report and the signing of the updated Memorandum of Understanding. This clears the way for disbursement of the fifth tranche of the current Greek Loan Facility by 15 July, following approval by the IMF Board in their meeting scheduled for 8 July.

Viewpoint
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We reiterate Europe's unwavering support and solidarity for the Greek people, in whose future we are confident. In view of the hard work that still lies ahead, we repeat our call for all political parties to work together to take to their country forward.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and European Council President Van Rompuy
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End of the signature ceremony of the monetary agreement on Andorra: handshake between Antonio Marti, on the left, and Olli Rehn © European Commission, 2011
Andorra soon to use own euro coins as its official currency

The European Union on 30 June 2011 signed a monetary agreement with the Principality of Andorra, enabling Andorra to use the euro as its official currency. In return for being allowed to issue its own euro coins in limited quantities and grant legal tender status to euro banknotes, Andorra has committed to adopting and implementing all appropriate measures for the application of relevant EU banking and financial legislation, including the prevention of money laundering, fraud and counterfeiting. The Agreement marks a historic moment in Andorra's relations with the EU and will come into effect upon ratification by the Andorran Parliament.

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Construction worker © Digital vision
Economic sentiment down in both the EU and the euro area

In June, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) declined by 1.0 point to 104.4 in the EU and by 0.4 points to 105.1 in the euro area. The overall decline in the EU resulted from weakening confidence in industry and services, while sentiment among consumers, in retail trade, and construction remained broadly stable. In the euro area, a worsening of sentiment in industry was partly compensated for by gains in services and construction, while confidence in retail trade and among consumers was broadly unchanged. Among the largest Member States, the Netherlands (-3.8 points), the UK (-2.2), Poland (-1.0), France (-0.9) and Germany (-0.6) reported decreases, while the ESI improved in Spain (+2.6) and Italy (+1.8). The ESI remains above its long-term average in Germany and France.

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Ms Christine LAGARDE, French Minister for Economic Affairs © The Council of the European Union
Commission President Barroso congratulates Christine Lagarde on her appointment as Head of the International Monetary Fund

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, lauded Lagarde for the decisive role she has played in economic and monetary affairs over the course of the past five years. He also paid tribute to the quality of Lagarde’s presidency of the G20 finance ministers. In his message of congratulations, Barroso also said: “Your commitment to Europe and your determination to advance European integration have been evident throughout and have contributed to providing Europe with a strengthened economic governance, allowing it to face up to the challenges confronting the euro area.” Barroso indicated that he would like to consolidate the “close and solid” working relationships and partnership between the IMF and the Commission during Lagarde’s mandate at the IMF. Lagarde, the first woman appointed as President of the IMF, officially took office on 5 July.

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Romania flag © Thinkstock
EU and Romania sign MoU on EUR 1.4 billion pre-cautionary balance-of-payments assistance

The European Commission and Romania concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 29 June that will make available precautionary EU Balance of Payments (BoP) assistance of up to EUR 1.4 billion to support the re-launch of economic growth. Precautionary assistance is assistance which is only made available upon a request for activation, in case of an unforeseen and marked deterioration in a country’s economic and/or financial situation due to factors beyond the control of the authorities. The MoU was concluded following a request in February 2011 by the Romanian authorities for a support programme continuing the previous BoP facility of 5 billion. The assistance complements an IMF Stand-By Agreement of SDR 3.09 billion (around EUR 3.5 billion, 300% of Romania's quota), which the authorities also treat as precautionary.

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Euro coin competition © European Commission
“And the winner is”: new coin design to mark 10 years of euro cash

Close to 35,000 euro-area citizens and residents voted in an online competition to select the winning design of a new euro coin. The coin will be issued by all euro-area countries next January to commemorate 10 years of euro banknotes and coins. People chose from among five entries, which had been pre-selected by a professional jury following a design competition among citizens from the whole euro area. The winning design symbolises the way in which the euro has become a true global player in the last ten years and its importance in ordinary people's lives, trade, industry and energy. The design was created by Helmut Andexlinger who is a professional designer at the Austrian Mint. It is estimated that some 90 million of the coins will be put into circulation.

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Openday poland © European-Commission,2011 G20 leaders in Seoul 2010 © G20 Seoul Summit - All rights reserved
DG ECFIN informs public about the euro and EMU at Open Days of the National Bank of Poland

DG ECFIN participated in the increasingly popular event in Warsaw, attended from 12 to 13 June by more than 14 000 visitors. In addition to explaining the role and functioning of a central bank, the event informed citizens about the euro and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). A special “Euro-corner” with stands was set up for DG ECFIN, the European Central Bank, and the National Bank of Poland (NBP) department on euro communication. NBP promoted its euro website (www.nbp.pl/euro) and Polish preparations for the euro change-over. DG ECFIN staff informed visitors about developments in European economic governance, organised quizzes, showed recent videos and distributed ECFIN publications targeting the general public. ECFIN's participation proved particularly beneficial this year in the context of Poland's EU presidency.

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Publications
The Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece. Fourth Review - Spring 2011. Occasional Paper 82

The Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece. Fourth Review - Spring 2011. Occasional Paper 82
A joint Commission / ECB / IMF mission met with the Greek authorities in Athens from 3 May to 2 June, and 21 to 23 June 2011. The mission assessed compliance with the terms and conditions of the Fourth Review under the Economic Adjustment Programme. The report, including three updated Memoranda, finds that full, strict and timely implementation of the agreed comprehensive policy package should ensure further progress by Greece towards fiscal consolidation, financial stability and improved competitiveness. However, significant implementation risks persist and Greek political and social consensus remains a prerequisite for success. The report expresses the need for a reinvigorated economic adjustment programme with scaled up financial assistance. It recommends disbursement of the next tranche of the Greek loan and establishment of the main parameters for a new financing programme.


2011 Pre-accession Economic Programmes of candidate countries: EU Commission assessments, Occasional Paper 80
The Economic Adjustment for Portugal, Occasional Paper 79
European business cycle indicators
Upcoming: Product market review
Upcoming: Labour market review 2010
Upcoming: Reforming the international monetary system: options and implications, Economic Paper
Upcoming: Quarterly report on the euro area
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Agenda Calls
11-12 July
Brussels
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
15 September
Interim economic forecasts
16 - 17 September
Wroclaw, Poland
Informal Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
26 – 29 September
European Parliament Plenary
3 - 4 October
Luxembourg
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
17 - 18 October
Brussels
European Council
7 – 8 November
Brussels
Eurogroup/ECOFIN meetings
21 November
Brussels
DG ECFIN. Annual Research Conference 2011 - New growth models for Europe
Internal Market. Public consultation "The EU corporate governance framework" (deadline 22 July)
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