EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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May 29, 2013

EU shifts focus to economic reforms in quest for growth

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.

May 27, 2013

EU to move spotlight from austerity to reforms on Wednesday

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.

May 27, 2013

EU exec to move spotlight from austerity to reforms on Wed

BRUSSELS, May 27 (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.

May 14, 2013

ECB clashes with Germany over euro zone bank resolution

BRUSSELS, May 14 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
clashed with Germany on Tuesday over how quickly the euro zone
should set up a full banking union, calling for it to be ready
by mid-2014 after Berlin declared it wanted a slower pace.

European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels on
Tuesday are due to discuss plans for the banking union, which
could help the currency bloc deal with failing banks.

May 3, 2013

France to get more time to cut deficit as euro zone recession bites

BRUSSELS, May 3 (Reuters) – France will get two more years
to meet its budget deficit target because of the country’s poor
economic outlook within a recession-hit euro zone, the European
Commission said on Friday.

Presenting economic forecasts for the next two years, Olli
Rehn, the European monetary affairs commissioner, also confirmed
earlier statements that Spain would get the same leeway.

May 3, 2013

EU sees deeper euro zone recession in 2013, slower deficit cuts

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone economy will contract by more than expected this year and budget deficits will decline more slowly, the European Commission said on Friday as it set out forecasts for the next two years.

France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands – four of the five largest euro zone economies – will be in recession through 2013, the Commission’s forecasts showed, with only Germany, the largest euro zone economy, managing to eke out growth.

May 2, 2013

Analysis: What taxpayer bailouts? Euro crisis saves Germany money

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Throughout Europe’s debt crisis, northern European leaders have often said they will not stand for taxpayers having to fork out for other countries’ problems, and the notion of “taxpayer-funded bailouts” has taken root.

Yet despite three-and-a-half years of debt and banking turmoil, with bailouts totaling more than 400 billion euros, northern euro zone taxpayers have not actually lost a cent.

May 2, 2013

What taxpayer bailouts? Euro crisis saves Germany money

BRUSSELS, May 2 (Reuters) – Throughout Europe’s debt crisis,
northern European leaders have often said they will not stand
for taxpayers having to fork out for other countries’ problems,
and the notion of “taxpayer-funded bailouts” has taken root.

Yet despite three-and-a-half years of debt and banking
turmoil, with bailouts totalling more than 400 billion euros,
northern euro zone taxpayers have not actually lost a cent.

Apr 20, 2013

Most EU bank union work can be done without law change-Eurogroup head

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) – The euro zone’s top project
to boost economic growth – banking union – will not be delayed
for now by a row over whether it needs EU law changed because
most of the work can be done before this is settled, a senior
euro zone official said on Saturday.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs
the monthly meetings of his euro zone colleagues, said the
dispute on the legal requirements of the banking union can go in
parallel with more technical work on how it would function.

Apr 19, 2013

G20 urges EU to complete banking union fast, Germany digs in heels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World financial leaders urged the European Union on Friday to quickly complete its banking union to help growth, but Germany stood firm that the next step toward such a union be through a lengthy and risky process – a change of EU law.

The banking union is one of the key projects to improve the economy of the 17 countries sharing the euro. It would help eliminate many of the problems that now hold back the flow of credit needed to finance a euro zone economic recovery.

    • 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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