BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) – European Union leaders asked
their foreign ministers on Tuesday to consider possible new
sanctions on Russia in response to a rebel offensive in eastern
Ukraine, but a final decision to impose them is likely to be
left to a summit next month.
Foreign ministers have called an extraordinary meeting for
Thursday after Kiev said 30 civilians were killed in shelling of
the government-held port of Mariupol by pro-Russian rebels on
Saturday, shattering a five-month ceasefire.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone officials discussed on Thursday extending Greece’s bailout program by up to six months more to allow time for talks with any new government in Athens on closing the current bailout and on what should replace it.
The current bailout, which has already been extended by two months, runs out at the end of February. Athens had hoped to replace it with an Enhanced Conditions Credit Line (ECCL) from the euro zone bailout fund that it would never have to use.
BRUSSELS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Syriza will have to honour all
Greek debts and continue reforms if it takes power but the euro
zone might agree to wait longer to be repaid, officials in
The left-wing party led by Alexis Tsipras, which heads
opinion polls nine days before elections, is pledging to
negotiate a debt reduction and an end to budget austerity but
says it is committed to keeping Greece in the euro zone.
BRUSSELS, Jan 14 (Reuters) – European Union foreign policy
chief Federica Mogherini has suggested EU states could re-engage
with Russia on global diplomacy, trade and other issues in
return for gradual steps to defuse the crisis over Ukraine.
A discussion paper seen by Reuters that was distributed to
governments ahead of a meeting of the 28 EU foreign ministers in
Brussels next Monday said the bloc might consider reviving joint
efforts with Moscow in tackling problems with Syria and Iraq,
Libya, Iran, North Korea as well as Ebola and the Palestinian
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Tuesday that public investment and structural reforms could win some leeway for countries breaking EU budget rules, reducing the likelihood of tough penalties on France or Italy.
The Commission’s interpretation of the rules is a balancing act between retaining the confidence of financial markets and responding to EU leaders who want to use whatever flexibility there is in the rules to help boost meager economic growth.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation turned negative in December for the first time since 2009, with cheap oil driving a bigger than expected decline that may prompt the European Central Bank to start printing money.
The European statistics office said in a first estimate on Wednesday that prices in the 18 countries using the euro in December were 0.2 percent lower than a year before, after rising 0.3 percent in November. The last time euro zone inflation was negative was in October 2009, when it was -0.1 percent.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders warned Moscow they are ready to flex their combined muscle and “stay the course” in a long confrontation with Russia if President Vladimir Putin refuses to pull back from Ukraine.
“We must go beyond being reactive and defensive. As Europeans we must regain our self-confidence and realize our own strengths,” said Donald Tusk, the former Polish premier who chaired a brief EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments can safely buy into an EU investment fund without risking punishment for raising their public debt or deficit under the bloc’s fiscal rules, a top European Commission official said on Thursday.
The EU wants to launch a highly leveraged investment fund — the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) — next year to help kick-start economic growth. It has urged member states to contribute capital to increase its effectiveness.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments have agreed to cap the fees retailers pay to process debit and credit card transactions in a move the EU parliament said should bring down costs for customers.
Negotiators from European governments and the economic committee of the EU parliament agreed late on Wednesday to cap charges across the 28 countries in the union following a long battle over charges with payments groups, including Visa (V.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and MasterCard [MCRCT.UL].
BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – European Union leaders will
agree on Thursday to set up a highly leveraged investment fund
they hope can kick-start the bloc’s economy and reduce high
unemployment and public debt.
The plan, presented by the executive European Commission
last month and set to be endorsed by the 28 national leaders at
a Brussels summit, is to use 21 billion euros of EU funds to
attract 15 times more private investment in infrastructure,
energy projects, research and education.