Brussels Edition: A different Europe

Brussels Edition
Bloomberg

Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg's daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.

Post-pandemic Europe is going to look very different. Aside from the EU's unprecedented economic recovery effort and Europe's fiscal and monetary titans uniting behind stimulus, the crisis has triggered unexpected political and social change. Take the Netherlands where, after one of the softest lockdowns, hairdressers and dentists  but not prostitutes  are back in business. And Ireland, where the ghosts of 2008 are now haunting empty offices. Over to the east, in Romania, the government's problems are not all down to Covid-19, but Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has a difficult balancing act with a ballooning deficit and elections later this year. And in neighboring Bulgaria, the economy is veering back to state control.

— Ian Wishart

What's Happening

More, Please | The European Central Bank's increase in its emergency bond-buying program to the tune of 600 billion euros buoyed the euro and sent Italian bonds rallying. But hours later, economists and strategists were already clamoring for more.

On and On | When the EU and the U.K. wrap up their latest round of their future-relationship talks today, it looks like there may be only one thing they definitely agree on: the end is not in sight. While serious fear of "no deal" might be a touch premature, officials are increasingly thinking it may be October before they can conclude negotiations.

Virus Latest | Spain said its land borders are likely to stay shut until July 1, while France announced it will beef up incentives for apprenticeships and support businesses that keep staff on payroll during a prolonged economic downturn.

Travel Talk | EU home-affairs ministers may signal the fate of a ban on non-essential travel into the bloc in a video conference today, with one option under discussion being a two-week extension until July 1. We take a look at the plans of European airlines, with some planning to build up capacity far faster than others as they bet on a rapid revival in demand.

In Case You Missed It

Delivery Threat | Denmark plans to block the websites of Amazon.com and other online retailers if they don't do more to stop the sale of dangerous products on their platforms. The parliament in Copenhagen passed legislation on Thursday making it possible to lock out retailers if they fail to abide by product safety rules in the EU.

Trying Again | Tesla will rework plans for its factory near Berlin to appease environmental concerns and ensure its first European outpost can start producing cars in about a year. After criticism from local citizens, the electric-car pioneer is preparing blueprints with proposals to reduce the amount of fresh water required and waste water created.

Mink Link | The latest victims of the coronavirus crisis: Dutch mink. Infected mink don't necessarily develop signs of disease, making them potential silent sources of the virus. The Netherlands has ordered a mass cull, starting today.

China Fight | The U.K. is heading for a damaging showdown with China as it takes on Beijing over Hong Kong and Huawei. Read Alan Crawford's analysis on the impact of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government criticizing Beijing's planned imposition of a security law on the former British territory and ideas to exclude Huawei from its fifth-generation mobile networks.

Chart of the Day

Europe's restaurants and bars are reopening as the region's coronavirus-induced lockdowns lift. But demand is expected to be weaker for a while and social-distancing will crimp revenues. That's bad news for  Spain  and Greece, where restaurants and bars account for a bigger share of employment than anywhere else in the EU.

Today's Agenda

All times CET.

  • 10 a.m. Video conference of EU home-affairs ministers on travel restrictions 
  • 10 a.m. Video conference of EU telecoms ministers 
  • 11:20 a.m. Eurogroup President Mario Centeno, EU's financial services chief Valdis Dombrovskis, Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras speak at Economist virtual event
  • Press conference by EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier following this week's round of negotiations with the U.K

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