BRUSSELS, June 12 (Reuters) – The European Union may
guarantee the repayment of bank loans made to companies in an
effort to improve firms’ access to credit, especially in
southern Europe, European Commission President Jose Manuel
Barroso said on Wednesday.
Easier access to credit is critical to getting Europe’s
economy growing again, with even record-low interest rates
failing to translate into an increase in lending.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission clashed with the International Monetary Fund on Thursday over their handling of the first Greek bailout, which the IMF said had pushed an extra burden on euro zone taxpayers by letting Athens delay restructuring its debts.
The Commission, together with the IMF and the European Central Bank, forms the so-called Troika that prepared financial assistance programs for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus in the three years since the euro zone sovereign debt crisis started.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s ESM bailout fund is likely to set a cap on the amount of money it can use for direct bank recapitalization at between 50 and 70 billion euros, a euro zone document showed on Wednesday.
Euro zone leaders decided in June 2012 that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which has a lending capacity of 500 billion euros, should be able to directly recapitalize banks if a government is unable to raise sufficient funds on its own because market borrowing could endanger the sustainability of its public debt.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The pace of the euro zone’s economic contraction slowed quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of this year, EU statistics showed on Wednesday, but retail sales in April pointed to continued weakness in household demand.
The European Union’s statistics office confirmed its earlier estimates that gross domestic product in the 17 countries using the euro fell 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in the January-March period, for a 1.1 percent year-on-year contraction.
BRUSSELS, June 5 (Reuters) – The pace of the euro zone’s
economic contraction slowed quarter-on-quarter in the first
three months of this year, EU statistics showed on Wednesday,
but retail sales in April pointed to continued weakness in
The European Union’s statistics office confirmed its earlier
estimates that gross domestic product in the 17 countries using
the euro fell 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in the
January-March period, for a 1.1 percent year-on-year
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will give Latvia on Wednesday the go-ahead to become the 18th member of the euro zone from the start of next year, European Union officials said on Monday.
The EU executive will publish a report on whether the small Baltic state meets all the criteria for membership of the single currency, which include low inflation and long-term interest rates, a stable exchange rate and low public debt and deficit.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italy may get to deduct some investment spending from deficit calculations under guidelines drafted by the European Commission, but the deduction is likely to be smaller than Rome had hoped for.
The Commission asked EU finance ministers this week to release Italy from the EU’s budget blacklist, called the excessive deficit procedure (EDP), after the country brought down its shortfall to within the EU limits, despite a recession.
BRUSSELS, May 29 (Reuters) – After three years of deep
spending cuts, the European Union confirmed a shift in policy on
Wednesday, telling countries they must focus on structural
economic reforms to boost growth, while not abandoning budget
In a long-flagged move reflecting growing frustration among
euro zone governments and voters over the hardships of
austerity, the European Commission announced that several
countries would have more time to meet deficit targets.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone countries must focus on reforming their labor and services markets and can slow the pace of debt-cutting, the European Commission said on Wednesday, marking a shift away from austerity.
The change of emphasis comes as the euro zone struggles to escape a second consecutive year of recession and record high unemployment brought on by the collapse of investor confidence during three years of debt crisis.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will further shift the EU’s policy focus from austerity to structural reforms to revive growth when it presents economic recommendations for each member state on Wednesday, officials said.
In its annual assessment as guardian of the EU’s budget rules, the Commission will say that while fiscal consolidation should continue, its pace can be slower now that a degree of investor confidence in the euro has been restored.