Investment strategy correspondent, London
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May 28, 2013

Germany fears revolution if Europe scraps welfare model

PARIS (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that failure to win the battle against youth unemployment could tear Europe apart, and dropping the continent’s welfare model in favour of tougher U.S. standards would spark a revolution.

Germany, along with France, Spain and Italy, backed urgent action to rescue a generation of young Europeans who fear they will not find jobs, with youth unemployment in the EU standing at nearly one in four, more than twice the adult rate.

May 28, 2013

Germany sees “revolution” if welfare model scrapped

PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that failure to win the battle
against youth unemployment could tear Europe apart, while
abandoning the continent’s welfare model in favour of tougher
U.S. standards would cause “revolution”.

Germany, along with France and Italy, backed urgent action
to rescue a generation of young Europeans who fear they will not
find jobs, with youth unemployment in the EU standing at nearly
one in four, more than twice the adult rate.

May 28, 2013

Germany, France and Italy urge youth jobs plan

PARIS (Reuters) – Europe must urgently tackle youth unemployment, the French, German and Italian governments said on Tuesday, urging action to rescue an entire generation who fear they will not find jobs.

Ministers called for a mixture of measures including helping small companies and boosting apprenticeships.

May 27, 2013

S&P says France must deliver promised budget cuts to protect rating

PARIS (Reuters) – France needs to deliver promised budget cuts if it wants to avoid a further credit rating downgrade, Standard & Poor’s lead analyst for France told Reuters on Monday.

S&P, which stripped France of its coveted AAA rating in January 2012, could confirm the current AA+ rating if the public debt ratio looked set to stabilize, but analyst Marko Mrsnik says it remains to be seen if France can achieve that in 2015.

May 23, 2013

ECB can’t solve euro zone crisis alone: Weidmann

PARIS (Reuters) – Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Thursday it was not up to the European Central Bank to solve the euro zone crisis, resisting pressure from other ECB policymakers for the bank to widen its range of policy tools.

Speaking in Paris, Weidmann declined to comment on U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s remarks that the U.S. central bank may start to trim its bond purchases at one of its next policy meetings.

May 17, 2013

ECB to keep monetary policy loose for as long as needed

ORLEANS, France (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will keep its loose and growth-supportive monetary policy stance in place for “quite a long time”, ECB executive board members said on Friday.

With the euro zone economy stuck in recession, the ECB cut its main refinancing rate to a record low of 0.5 percent and extended its provision of unlimited funds to banks by a year at its May policy meeting,

May 16, 2013

France’s Hollande urges euro zone government

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande called on Thursday for an economic government for the euro zone with its own budget, the right to borrow, a harmonized tax system and a full-time president.

At a 150-minute news conference marking his first year in office, a day after economic data showed France had slipped into recession, the Socialist leader defended his record on economic reform and budget discipline and told the French people they would have to work “a bit longer” for a full pension in future.

May 15, 2013

France must present credible reform plan: EU’s Barroso

PARIS (Reuters) – European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday France needed to present a credible program of structural economic reforms if the EU is to grant it two more years to bring its budget deficit down as promised.

Barroso, who was due to meet French President Francois Hollande in Brussels later in the day, was speaking as new data showed Europe’s second largest economy slipped into a shallow recession.

May 15, 2013

Germany ekes out growth, France slides into recession

BERLIN/PARIS, May 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s economy crept
back into growth in the first quarter of the year, after a sharp
contraction at the end of 2012, while France slipped into
recession, data showed on Wednesday.

Germany grew by just 0.1 percent on the quarter, weaker than
expected as a harsh winter prevented a stronger rebound.

May 14, 2013

Divisions hamper Europe’s plans to tackle failing banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank clashed with Germany on Tuesday over how quickly the euro zone should complete a system to deal with failing banks.

A separate rift also emerged at a European Union finance ministers meeting over whether or when big depositors should suffer losses, as they did in Cyprus’s bailout.