Episode 17 of POLITICO's EU Confidential podcast features back-to-back interviews with Karl-Heinz Lambertz, president of the European Committee of the Regions, and George Kaminis, the center-left mayor Athens.
Theresa May — Not dead yet: We start by getting out of the Brexit weeds in a conversation with Paul Taylor, POLITICO's Europe-at-large columnist. Taylor takes us through the debate in London following Theresa May's refusal to say whether she would vote for Brexit today, and argues that the British prime minister is weakened, but not going anywhere. Next up, says Taylor: a Cabinet reshuffle, followed by strategically timed concessions to the EU.
Grassroots Europe: Karl-Heinz Lambertz, head of the EU's Committee of the Regions — one of its newer and lesser-known institutions — talks to us about what he thinks needs to happen with the €350 billion the EU spends on regional subsidies in its current long-term budget. Lambertz, who this week hosted Donald Tusk's keynote speech on Brexit and Catalonia, and for years headed Belgium's German-speaking region, explains what it takes to negotiate a settlement between a national government and its restless regions.
Athens on a collision course with left-wing Greek government: Mayor George Kaminis explains why he finds it hard to work with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and why his version of economic reform is a "fairytale." Kaminis pitches himself as a reformer who can be better trusted with EU money and Greek tax money than Greece's left-wing government. "Cities have performed much better than governments" on asylum and other migration issues, said Kaminis, who wants to be the center-left candidate for prime minister in elections expected in 2018 or 2019.
For our EU WTF moments of the week, we head to Romania and Austria ...
What came first, the chicken or the tax?: Varujan Vosganian, a former Romanian finance minister, argued that Romania will never have a strong welfare so long as poor Romanians keep denying the state high tax revenue by keeping their own chickens and making their own jam instead of buying such products from stores and paying value-added tax.
Austria's burqa ban ensnared a shark and bicyclists: Our panelists Lina Aburous and Harry Cooper discuss how to cope with the unintended effects of lawmaking.
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