EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Feb 13, 2015

Greece promises to do ‘whatever we can’ as debt talks cheer markets

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Greek government promised to do “whatever we can” to secure a deal with its international creditors next week, cheering investors as experts from both sides began technical talks on Friday to lay the ground for an accord.

Fears of financial chaos have seen savers taking their cash out of Greek banks – a movement banking sources said had been the reason for the European Central Bank offering more emergency funding for Greek banks on Thursday until after crunch talks among euro zone finance ministers on Monday.

Feb 12, 2015

No negotiations on Greece at EU summit, officials to meet Friday

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – European Union leaders did not
enter into any negotiations on Greece’s economic problems on
Thursday, leaving the talks to officials who are to meet on
Friday, the chairman of the EU summit Donald Tusk said.

“The leaders did not enter into a negotiation on Greece,”
Tusk told a news conference after Thursday’s Brussels summit.

Feb 12, 2015

Greece, euro zone fail to agree on debt, to try again on Monday

BRUSSELS, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Greece’s new leftist government
and its international creditors failed to agree on a way forward
on the country’s unpopular bailout and will try again on Monday,
with time running out for a financing deal.

In seven hours of crisis talks in Brussels that ended after
midnight, euro zone finance ministers were unable to agree even
a joint statement on the next procedural steps. Both sides
played down the setback, insisting there had been no rupture.

Feb 10, 2015

No plan for Greece ready, Athens must extend bailout: Moscovici

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Greece will have to ask for an extension of its current bailout to give itself and the euro zone time to hammer out a new agreement, as there is no specific plan for Athens now, the EU’s economics commissioner said on Tuesday.

Pierre Moscovici said euro zone ministers would listen to Greece’s views at a meeting on Wednesday and tell Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis what they thought of them. But a deal to extend the bailout would have to be reached by Feb. 16 if talks were to continue.

Feb 9, 2015

Europe and Greece want to solve differences – French finance minister

ISTANBUL, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Greece must respect European
Union rules as it seeks an alternative to an extension of an
EU/IMF bailout and Europe must recognise Greek voters’ ardent
hopes for a change from austerity policies, French Finance
Minister Michel Sapin said on Monday.

“We have to respect the vote of the Greek people and we have
to respect European rules. I think everybody can understand the
other side,” Sapin told Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street
Journal in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of G20
finance ministers and central bankers in Istanbul.

Feb 9, 2015

G20 must focus on productivity, competitiveness to boost growth: OECD

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The world’s 20 biggest economies must focus on higher labor productivity and become more competitive and innovative if they want to deliver on a pledge to boost economic growth, the OECD said on Monday ahead of a G20 meeting.

Leaders of the world’s top 20 economies (G20) agreed last year to launch new measures to raise their collective gross domestic product growth by an additional 2 percentage points over the next five years above the level projected in 2013.

Feb 8, 2015

G20 finance chiefs to focus on fewer growth priorities

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – World financial leaders are likely to agree on Tuesday to cut the number of actions they will take this year to boost growth to only 5-10 priorities per country to make it easier to check if they are being done, European officials said.

The world’s 20 biggest developing and developed economies (G20) are meeting in Istanbul.

Feb 6, 2015

Isolated Greece wants no more bailout money with strings

ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece’s new leftist-led government, isolated in the euro zone and under pressure from the European Central Bank, said on Friday it wanted no more bailout money with strings attached from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Instead, a government official said, it wanted authority from the euro zone to issue more short-term debt, and to receive profits that the European Central Bank and other central banks have gained from holding Greek bonds.

Feb 6, 2015

More time for deficit cuts if parliament approves reforms: Eurogroup head

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Euro zone countries that break the EU budget deficit limit should get more time to cut the gap only if their parliaments approve structural reforms, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Reuters on Friday.

The statement could spell trouble for France, which has repeatedly broken European Union budget deficit limits as well as its promises to bring the shortfall back in line.

Feb 6, 2015

Euro zone awaits Greek reform plan as bailout deadline looms

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers are waiting to hear on Feb. 11 how Greece wants to become financially independent as time runs out for the new government in Athens to sign up to agreed reforms, the chairman of the ministers said on Friday.

Greece has undergone painful changes over the last four years to put its bloated public finances back in order and regain the trust of financial markets. But euro zone officials say the work is not yet complete.

    • 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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