LUXEMBOURG, June 19 (Reuters) – The European Union could be
flexible about the time members need to fix their budgets if
they reform to boost growth, but it must first have proof such
efforts are taking place, EU policymakers said on Thursday.
Euro zone finance ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, agreed
the Stability and Growth Pact need not be changed to allow for
such flexibility of the EU’s fiscal rules.
LUXEMBOURG, June 19 (Reuters) – The European Union fiscal
rules can accommodate efforts to stimulate economic growth, so
there is no need to change them, EU finance ministers and
policymakers said on Thursday.
The ministers laid out their positions as they gathered for
their monthly meeting, addressing a subject Italy had brought to
the fore when it said earlier this year it wanted EU policies to
better support growth.
PARIS (Reuters) – It’s not a good sign when the leader of a G7 nation feels the need to state his country still matters.
That is precisely what French President Francois Hollande did at a meeting of European Union leaders last month after his Socialist party’s humiliating defeat by the hard right National Front in European Parliament elections.
PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A 29-year-old Frenchman believed to have returned recently from fighting with Islamist militant rebels in Syria has been arrested for the killing of three people at Brussels’ Jewish Museum last month, prosecutors said on Sunday.
Mehdi Nemmouche was detained on Friday after a random check at a bus terminal in the French city of Marseille showed he was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle, another gun and ammunition similar to those used in the shooting last weekend, French and Belgian prosecutors said.
PARIS (Reuters) – Sunday’s European election rout will make it even harder for Francois Hollande to reform the French economy but his weakness at home could prove to be a bargaining chip in building support for an EU growth drive.
While Hollande reacted to defeat in March’s town hall elections by bringing in a new prime minister and promising to speed up reform of France’s complex local government, faced with the rise of the far-right he has this week merely reiterated his call for Europe to re-focus on economic growth and investment.
PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande pledged on Monday to press ahead with reforms at home whilst pushing for the EU to change tack, saying the triumph of the French far right in European elections showed voters felt Europe was not protecting them.
In a televised address to the nation a day after the anti-immigrant, anti-EU National Front party won its first-ever nationwide poll, Hollande said this had been “a vote of mistrust towards Europe.”
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – Germany posted strong growth in the first quarter of the year in stark contrast with France: the euro zone’s second largest economy failed to expand at all and Italy, the third largest, went into reverse.
German quarterly growth of 0.8 percent marginally exceeded forecasts and was double the pace at the end of 2013. France was expected to pale in comparison but had still been forecast to grow by 0.2 percent.
PARIS (Reuters) – Weak consumer spending and business investment brought the French economy to a standstill in the first quarter of the year, casting doubt on the government’s annual growth forecast and its pledges to meet EU deficit targets.
The flat reading missed analyst expectations and highlighted the diverging paths of the euro zone’s two largest economies as European powerhouse economy Germany on Thursday posted 0.8 percent growth in the first quarter.
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – Germany posted strong growth in the first quarter of the year and the contrast with France could not have been starker: the euro zone’s second largest economy failed to expand at all.
German quarterly growth of 0.8 percent marginally exceeded forecasts and was double the pace at the end of 2013. France was expected to pale in comparison but had still been forecast to expand by 0.2 percent.
PARIS (Reuters) – Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg stepped up France’s push for a weaker euro on Wednesday, saying political leaders had the right to assess the right level for the currency in a position completely at odds with Germany’s.
French politicians and businesses have become increasingly vocal about calling for steps to curb the growing strength of the euro, with complaints growing as first-quarter corporate earnings are often dragged down by exchange rates.