The drama of Ukraine and Greece has left old-fashioned economic data in the shade so far this year but, quietly, there are some signs of improvement for the moribund euro zone economy.
A Greek deal has been pulled from the fire at the last moment. The country’s bailout programme will be extended for four months averting a potential cash crunch in March that could have forced the country out of the currency area.
The Greek standoff is coming to a head.
A day after euro zone finance ministers couldn’t “even agree to disagree” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, attending his first EU summit, agreed that Greek officials would meet representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF today.
A long night of talks in Brussels and Minsk.
Despite going into the early hours of the morning, euro zone finance ministers failed to reach agreement on a way forward with their Greek counterpart and will try again on Monday.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Rome for talks with Italy’s Matteo Renzi and will be met there by his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who has already been to London and Paris to try the scope for a new debt deal for Greece and reassure investors that there won’t be a default.
A week into government, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will be in London today for talks with investors and his British counterpart George Osborne. He will then fly to Rome where he will be joined by his prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, on Tuesday.
Russia’s central bank meets having shoved interest rates up to an eye-watering 17 percent late last year.
The central bank has said rates can only come down if inflation was trending lower. It was running above 11 percent last month and the government expects it to peak at 17 percent.