Investment strategy correspondent, London
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Jul 7, 2013

Greece, foreign lenders close in on deal to unlock aid

July 7 (Reuters) – Greece is likely to reach a deal with
foreign lenders on its latest bailout review before a meeting of
euro zone finance ministers on Monday to decide on further aid,
EU and Greek officials said on Sunday.

Athens has been in talks with inspectors from the European
Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund
“troika” for nearly a week to show it can deliver on its pledges
after failing to meet public sector reform targets.

Jul 7, 2013

ECB cannot solve euro zone crisis: Bundesbank chief

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) – The European Central Bank cannot solve the euro zone crisis, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann told economists on Sunday, pressing the bloc’s governments to get their economies in shape and tighten their fiscal rules.

Weidmann addressed an economists’ conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, only three days after the ECB broke with precedent by declaring that it intended to keep interest rates at record lows for an extended period and may yet cut further.

Jul 7, 2013

ECB cannot solve euro zone crisis, says Bundesbank chief

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, July 7 (Reuters) – The European
Central Bank cannot solve the euro zone crisis, Bundesbank chief
Jens Weidmann told economists on Sunday, pressing the bloc’s
governments to get their economies in shape and tighten their
fiscal rules.

Weidmann addressed an economists’ conference in
Aix-en-Provence, southern France, only three days after the ECB
broke with precedent by declaring that it intended to keep
interest rates at record lows for an extended period and may yet
cut further.

Jul 7, 2013

EU’s Rehn says close to deal on Greek aid

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) – International lenders are very close to wrapping up talks with Greece to unlock further aid though more efforts are required from Athens, the EU’s top economic official told Reuters a day before euro zone finance ministers meet to decide on the aid.

Athens has been in talks with inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund since Monday to settle issues in its bailout performance review after failing to deliver on public sector reforms.

Jul 6, 2013

ECB says forward guidance is shift in communication, not policy

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, July 6 (Reuters) – The European
Central Bank’s decision to break with tradition by declaring it
would keep interest rates at record lows for an extended period
is in line with its mandate, senior policymakers said on
Saturday, playing down the degree of shift in policy.

The ECB on Thursday responded to turbulence caused by the
U.S. Federal Reserve’s planned withdrawal of monetary stimulus
by abandoning its own insistence that it never offers forward
guidance on policy.

Jun 27, 2013

French morale hits record low, state coffers to suffer

PARIS (Reuters) – French consumer confidence has hit an all-time low just as the state auditor warned that a likely economic contraction would knock the government off-course from this year’s deficit reduction target.

June consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since records began in 1972 and households are more pessimistic than ever about their future living standards, according to an index released on Thursday by national statistics institute INSEE.

Jun 27, 2013

French consumer morale hits record low

PARIS, June 27 (Reuters) – French consumer confidence has
hit an all-time low, the latest survey showed on Thursday, just
as the state auditor warned that a likely economic contraction
would knock the government off course on this year’s deficit
reduction target.

The June consumer confidence index fell to the lowest level
since records began in 1972 and households are more pessimistic
than ever about their future living standards, data from the
national INSEE statistics institute showed.

Jun 27, 2013

Won’t move, can’t move: euro zone’s jobless sit tight

PARIS/ROME (Reuters) – The car plant where 46-year-old Agathe Martin works is shutting down, but when PSA Peugeot offered her a job in another factory elsewhere in the Paris region she said “Non”.

After 17 years working in the same plant, taking the job would have meant either a much longer commute or losing her cheap social housing and uprooting her two daughters in a move.

Jun 27, 2013

Won’t move, can’t move: euro zone’s jobless sit tight

PARIS/ROME, June 27 (Reuters) – The car plant where
46-year-old Agathe Martin works is shutting down, but when PSA
Peugeot offered her a job in another factory elsewhere in the
Paris region she said “Non”.

After 17 years working in the same plant, taking the job

would have meant either a much longer commute or
losing her cheap social housing and uprooting her two daughters
in a move.

Jun 26, 2013

Draghi says ECB policy exit distant, ready to act

PARIS (Reuters) – An exit from the European Central Bank’s exceptional monetary policy measures remains distant, ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated on Wednesday, soothing unnerved markets after the U.S. Federal Reserve laid out a plan to reel in stimulus.

Speaking to committees in the French lower house of parliament, Draghi said there were still downside risks to growth in the euro zone economy and the ECB was ready to take fresh action if needed.