Malta and Poland on EU radar

(Reuters) - Today’s session of the European Parliament takes on two of the European Union’s problem children: Malta and Poland.
FILE PHOTO: People attend a ceremony as a coffin of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered in a car bomb attack, leaves the Rotunda Parish Church in Mosta, Malta, November 3, 2017
On the former, lawmakers hope to agree a toughly worded statement raising concern about money-laundering and tax practices on the Mediterranean island; it will also ask questions about the independence of its police and judiciary, whose investigation of the killing of a blogger known as a sharp critic of the country’s political elite is under international scrutiny. On Poland, the issue is the rule of law after its president and ruling party came up with a draft agreement on judicial reform that will put the country’s judges under more political control.
UK earnings figures out at 0930 GMT are expect to underline one of the deep-rooted problems of the British economy, with wages set once again to lag inflation - eroding consumers’ purchasing power, holding back overall economic growth and contributing to a public sense of discontent. Most of the Bank of England’s rate-setters think pay will start to grow more quickly soon, but they have been wrong with similar forecasts in recent years. The widening gap between pay and inflation will only add to the pressure on finance minister Philip Hammond to find ways to help voters in his Nov. 22 budget.
Law firm Gowling WLG has collated information from various official sources to show in a report that the world’s top 60 economies have adopted more than 7,000 protectionist trade measures on a net basis since the financial crisis. The United States and the EU were responsible for around 2,000 between them, but the report noted a generalised spreading of such barriers. Gowling said it was partly motivated to compile the report because of Brexit, with the UK seeking to become a more global trading power after it leaves the EU. “Leaving the EU is being presented as entering the land of milk and honey. But there is no such thing as free trade anywhere,” it concluded.
Malta and Poland on EU radar Malta and Poland on EU radar Reviewed by Alexander Von Stern on 00:51:00 Rating: 5