EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Nov 28, 2014

EU puts off French and Italian budget rulings until March

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission postponed until March its decisions on whether the 2015 budgets of France, Italy and Belgium break EU rules, saying it needed more information to be sure.

Available data indicates that the Commission could slap a fine of up to 4.2 billion euros ($5.2 billion) on France for falling well short of its deficit-cutting obligations and put Italy and Belgium under a disciplinary process over their debt.

Nov 28, 2014

France, Italy, Belgium promise reform in letters to EU: Dombrovskis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France, Italy and Belgium have sent letters to the European Commission pledging structural reforms and possible extra fiscal steps to win more time before a ruling on whether their budget policies break EU rules, the EU’s top euro official said.

France, which is already under an EU disciplinary procedure for running a budget deficit that is way above the EU ceiling of 3 percent of GDP, is facing a fine of up to 4.2 billion euros if by March the Commission decides that it has not taken steps agreed with EU finance ministers to consolidate its finances.

Nov 28, 2014

EU plans to streamline but not change key budget rules

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission wants to streamline the European Union’s complex rules governing economic policy-making, but won’t change the two key laws that sharpened budget policy control during the debt crisis, a top official responsible for the euro zone said.

Over the past four years the EU has come up with new ways to coordinate fiscal policy, set limits on borrowing and push for structural reforms to prevent another debt crisis and limit the chances of economic crises originating in Europe in general.

Nov 26, 2014

Juncker unveils investment plan to kick start EU growth

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented a plan on Wednesday to leverage some 300 billion euros ($375 billion) of largely private new investment in the European Union, saying it was time to kick-start growth without adding to public debt.

Underlining the need to maintain efforts at structural reforms of aging economies and pare back debt and deficits run up during the financial crisis, the EU’s new chief executive told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that his plan would be the third leg of a strategy to get Europeans back to work.

Nov 25, 2014

EU agrees investment fund, hoping to create a million jobs

BRUSSELS/STRASOURG (Reuters) – The European Commission agreed on Tuesday to set up a new fund with 21 billion euros ($26 billion) of capital that it hopes can unlock some 300 billion euros of largely private investment over three years to create a million jobs.

The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) will be presented to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who pledged before taking office this month to drive 300 billion euros into infrastructure projects to revive growth.

Nov 21, 2014

EU investment plan to take shape next week

BRUSSELS, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Jean-Claude Juncker will unveil
a much anticipated 300-billion-euro ($370 billion) investment
plan on Wednesday that is meant to trigger economic growth in
the European Union.

With Europe’s economy barely growing and disenchanted voters
turning increasingly to anti-EU radicals, the European
Commission president pledged the money in July and promised to
act when he took office three weeks ago.

Nov 20, 2014

Truckmakers face fines as EU steps up cartel investigation

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has stepped up a wide-ranging cartel investigation that could lead to heavy fines for some of the world’s biggest truckmakers.

The Commission announced on Thursday that it had sent formal charge sheets to several manufacturers it suspected of price fixing, marking the next phase of a complex investigation that began with raids on a number of companies’ headquarters in January 2011.

Nov 20, 2014

EU steps up truck cartel investigation

BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – The European Commission stepped
up a wide-ranging cartel investigation of truck manufacturers on
Thursday, saying it had formally notified unnamed makers of
heavy and medium-duty vehicles they were under suspicion.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager declined to
name any of what she said was a large number of companies being
looked into. MAN of Germany and Scania of Sweden have previously
said they were raided by EU inspectors in 2011. Sweden’s Volvo
said on Thursday it was cooperating with the probe and had
already told shareholders its profits could be hurt by it.

Nov 19, 2014

EU still considering fining France over budget rules

BRUSSELS, Nov 19 (Reuters) – EU officials are considering
fining France for failing to cut its budget deficit, although
the euro zone’s second biggest economy, a driving force in the
creation of the shared currency, could yet be spared the
unprecedented punishment.

Just three weeks ago, Paris appeared to be virtually off the
hook when the European Commission passed up the opportunity to
demand immediate changes in its 2015 budget after France, like
Italy, made some tweaks to an initial draft.

Nov 16, 2014

The $375 billion Europe wants to invest but doesn’t have

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – New European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is preparing a 300 billion euro ($375 billion) investment plan he will present as a cornerstone of efforts to revive an ailing economy.

But history suggests the program risks becoming an exercise in financial engineering rather than a conduit for the new money the region needs to help boost output and create jobs.

    • About Jan

      "Based in Brussels since 2005, I cover economic policy news from the European Commission, EU and euro zone economic data, monthly meetings of EU/euro zone finance ministers as well as G7/8/20 meetings. Before Brussels I was a correspondent in Stockholm for five years, covering technology stocks and the Swedish central bank. I was earlier a correspondent in Poland for seven years, covering macroeconomic policy, bond, forex and money markets, the central bank and politics."
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