BRUSSELS, Jan 22 (Reuters) – European officials are
examining ways they can lower the financial burden on Ireland
and Portugal to help them return to international bond markets
later this year, including giving them longer to pay back
The European Commission is drawing up options for both
countries to see how investor confidence can best be
strengthened and improve conditions for Dublin and Lisbon, which
have been shut out of markets for two years.
BRUSSELS, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The euro zone bailout fund
should be allowed to buy stakes in banks in the region that are
still viable but need an injection of government money, Irish
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.
Euro zone finance ministers will discuss at a meeting in
Brussels on Monday evening which financial institutions should
be eligible for direct recapitalisation with euro zone funds,
but no decisions will be taken.
BRUSSELS, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers
will discuss on Monday which banks could be given direct aid
from the bloc’s bailout fund, embarking on a divisive debate
that includes doubts about whether such a step should be taken.
Direct bank recapitalisation is meant to break the vicious
circle between highly indebted governments that borrow more to
recapitalise their banks which need support because they own
bonds of those states. But the Eurogroup of euro zone ministers
will confront deep divisions on the issue.
BRUSSELS, Jan 15 (Reuters) – The European Commission will
propose a euro zone mechanism for winding up failed banks by the
middle of this year, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
said on Tuesday, a move EU officials see as the first step
towards a fiscal union.
The so-called resolution mechanism will take the euro zone
close to completing the banking union needed to address some of
the causes of its sovereign debt crisis and help improve lending
by banks to the real economy to support growth.
BRUSSELS, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The worst of the euro zone debt
crisis may be over, but governments must not let up on reforms
or budget cuts if they want to put the turmoil firmly behind
them, the EU’s top economic official said on Friday.
In a speech to diplomats and industry officials, EU Economic
and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn called for
prioritising investment, fighting youth unemployment, continued
reduction of budget deficits and tighter economic integration of
the 17-member single currency area.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – With the pressure off after finance ministers clinched a significant agreement on a single banking supervisor, European Union leaders differed widely at a summit on Thursday over the next steps for their troubled currency union.
Before tucking into marinated salmon with fromage blanc and pan-fried turbot with boiled pumpkin, the 27 leaders argued along well-worn lines over banking resolution, deficit reduction and a common euro zone budget, making little headway.
ATHENS/BRUSSELS, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Greece extended its
offer to buy back debt until Tuesday, seeking more bids from
bondholders after falling short of a target to retire bonds
worth 30 billion euros at a cost of just 10 billion euros.
The buyback is designed to provide for about half of a
40-billion euro debt relief package for Athens agreed last month
by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France’s Pierre Moscovici emerged as a candidate to become the new chairman of euro zone finance ministers on Tuesday, as policymakers scrambled to fill a power vacuum left by Jean-Claude Juncker’s planned year-end departure.
Juncker’s announcement that he would no longer preside over the Eurogroup, the influential monthly council of finance ministers, after year-end or early 2013 has given policymakers just four weeks to agree on a successor to head one of the most powerful committees in the EU.
BRUSSELS, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers
will discuss on Monday the terms of the Greek debt buy-back
which will be announced on the same day and discuss a Cypriot
bailout, but no decision on Cyprus will be taken, a senior EU
official said on Friday.
The Greek buy-back is a key part of a debt reduction plan
agreed by international institutional lenders to cut Greek debt
to 124 percent of GDP in 2020 from close to 190 percent seen
next year to make the debt sustainable.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone central banks might roll over their Greek debt holdings to cut by 5.6 billion euros the amount governments will have to provide Athens by 2016, according to a document that emerged from this week’s euro zone finance minister’s meeting.
Such a move would cut the amount required to just 2 billion euros from 7.6 billion, the document showed, which should increase the likelihood that the Greek deal will be accepted by bailout-weary national euro zone parliaments.