EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Apr 25, 2015

EU ministers give strong support to capital markets union idea

RIGA, April 25 (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers
gave strong support on Saturday to the European Commission’s
proposal of a capital markets union, which would boost economic
growth by giving companies wider access to capital across the
28-nation bloc.

Unlike in the United States, where companies rely mainly on
shares or bonds to raise money for development, in Europe small
and medium-sized firms go primarily to banks to borrow money and
do so within national borders.

Apr 24, 2015

Swiss expect deal with EU over clearing house

RIGA/LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – The European Union is
expected to give a green light for the Swiss securities clearing
house to keep handling trades involving parties based in the EU,
a senior Swiss markets official said.

Clearing houses, vital parts of the electronic plumbing
which helps markets run, stand between two sides of a trade to
guarantee its completion even if one side goes bust.

Apr 24, 2015

European governments have largely failed to reform -EU document

RIGA, April 24 (Reuters) – European governments have failed
to implement most of the reforms that could help bring down the
EU’s chronic unemployment problem and are doing less as the euro
zone crisis ebbs, according to an EU document presented to
finance ministers.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Greece, the European
economy looks to be growing again but policymakers worry that
the region may be trapped in a period of low growth, unable to
tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.

Apr 24, 2015

Greece offers some concessions as ‘tired’ creditors urge progress

RIGA, April 24 (Reuters) – Greece offered some concessions
on Friday on reforms demanded by international lenders in return
for new funding before Athens runs out of money, but euro zone
creditors said negotiations needed to speed up to get a deal by
June.

After talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday
in Brussels, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he wanted
a deal by the end of this month. Merkel, in a comment seen as
underlining the determination of Europe’s main paymaster to keep
Greece in the euro zone, said “everything must be undertaken to
prevent” Athens running out of cash.

Apr 24, 2015

Greece offers concessions in talks with creditors

RIGA (Reuters) – Greece offered concessions on Friday on some key reforms demanded by international lenders in exchange for new funding for the country as Athens quickly runs out of money.

In a blog published on the day when euro zone finance ministers meet in Riga to assess progress on a comprehensive package of reforms, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis agreed to some of the creditors’ conditions.

Apr 22, 2015

Greek cash seen lasting into June, no EU deal imminent

ATHENS/BRUSSELS, April 22 (Reuters) – Greece can scrape
together enough cash to meet its payment obligations until June,
euro zone and Greek officials said on Wednesday, playing down
fears of an imminent default as hopes receded of a deal with its
creditors to release fresh aid.

Sources familiar with European Central Bank policy meanwhile
denied a report that the ECB had tightened the screws on Greek
banks by slashing the value of the collateral they present to
receive emergency funding to keep themselves afloat.

Apr 21, 2015

Wary of brinkmanship, euro zone steers away from new deadlines for Greece, official says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers will not set any deadline for Greece to come up with reforms to get more funding because such time limits lead to brinkmanship in negotiations, a senior euro zone official said on Tuesday.

Greece, which is quickly running out of cash, pledged to its euro zone partners in February that by the end of April it would agree with creditors on a comprehensive list of reforms to get 7.2 billion euros remaining from its bailout.

Apr 18, 2015

French deficit plan poses legal problem, but nominal targets key: Moscovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – France’s challenge of structural deficit targets set by European Union finance ministers is a legal problem, but economic growth and nominal deficit goals are more important in the end, EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.

His remarks in an interview with Reuters signal a willingness to accommodate France’s new deficit reduction plan, even if it does not fully comply with the recommendations of EU finance ministers, as long as the headline deficit number is in line with EU laws.

Apr 17, 2015

Eurogroup head warns against a game of chicken with Greece

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Greece and the euro zone should not play a game of chicken to see who can hold out longer in negotiations about more lending to Athens in exchange for reforms, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund meetings, Dijsselbloem said representatives of Greece’s creditors would not be able to produce a deal for the approval of euro zone finance ministers on April 24th as hoped, because progress on agreeing reforms was painfully slow.

Apr 17, 2015

No cash for Greece until reforms agreed: Dombrovskis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite tightening liquidity, Greece is unlikely to get any money from euro zone finance ministers at an April 24 meeting because it is dragging its feet on reforms, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday.

Greece is quickly running out of cash and in the next few weeks may face a choice of either paying salaries and pensions or paying back loans from the International Monetary Fund.

    • 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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