EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Oct 10, 2014

Top official floats Europe growth pact as recession fears gather

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top euro zone official proposed a new growth deal for Europe on Friday as fellow finance diplomats from around the globe sounded alarm over the continent’s faltering growth and pressed for action to ward off a recession.

The International Monetary Fund, which cut its global growth forecasts for the third time this year ahead of its fall meetings this week, said Europe’s weakness was a matter of particular concern, a sentiment echoed by many policymakers, private economists and investors.

Oct 10, 2014

Eurogroup head proposes new growth deal for Europe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of euro zone finance ministers proposed on Friday a new growth deal for Europe which would reward governments reforming their economies with cheap European funds for investment and leeway on budget consolidation targets.

The proposal comes at a time as Europe is on the brink of another recession and is desperate to boost economic growth to reduce almost record high unemployment and huge public debt.

Oct 10, 2014

Europe’s weakness in global focus as recession fears gather

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alarmed by faltering euro zone growth, top finance officials from around the globe on Friday were expected to press their European peers for action to avert a recession and ward off deflation.

The International Monetary Fund, which cut its global growth forecasts for the third time this year earlier this week, said Europe’s weakness was a matter of particular concern.

Oct 9, 2014

Euro zone core must focus on investment: new EU growth czar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Germany, France and Italy must focus on public investment to boost economic growth, the European Union’s incoming top official responsible for growth and jobs said on Thursday.

Jyrki Katainen, who will take over as the European Commission’s vice president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness on Nov. 1, told Reuters many countries have cut investment too much as part of efforts to consolidate budgets

Oct 8, 2014

EU’s incoming economic chief Moscovici ready to fine France if necessary

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France’s Pierre Moscovici, the EU commissioner-designate who will take charge of policing budget discipline in the euro zone, said he was ready to step up disciplinary action against Paris for not respecting its obligations under EU budget rules.

In written answers to the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee that must approve him for the job, the former finance minister said it was a matter of credibility for the Commission as the guardian of EU laws.

Oct 7, 2014

EU’s Juncker ready to switch team to win parliament backing: sources

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The incoming head of the EU executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, is under pressure to drop one of his team and reshuffle nominees in a deal with parliamentary leaders to get his line-up confirmed in office, sources in the EU legislature said on Tuesday.

The prime casualty, several sources said, could be former Slovenian prime minister Alenka Bratusek, who would be replaced by a compatriot. The deal may also see Tibor Navracsics of Hungary given a smaller portfolio after a parliamentary committee voted to reject him over his civil rights record.

Oct 6, 2014

EU likely to reject France’s 2015 budget, ask for tighter one

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is likely to reject France’s 2015 budget draft at the end of October and ask for a new one that would better reflect Paris’ deficit reduction obligations under European Union rules, several euro zone officials said.

It would be the first time the EU executive exercises its power to demand changes to a national budget draft under new prerogatives that EU countries granted the Commission in 2013.

Oct 3, 2014

Euro zone retail sales much stronger than expected in August

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone retail sales increased much more than expected in August, data showed on Friday, pointing to stronger demand from households that could help economic growth in the third quarter.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said retail sales in the 18 countries sharing the euro rose 1.2 percent month-on-month in August for a 1.9 percent year-on-year gain.

Oct 2, 2014

France’s Moscovici struggles to convince EU lawmakers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France’s Pierre Moscovici struggled to convince European Union lawmakers on Thursday that he could enforce budget rules that his own country has repeatedly breached, as the formation of a new European Commission turned into a bitter political battle.

The Socialist, who was finance minister in Paris until six months ago, promised to apply the bloc’s deficit rules equally to all euro zone states, including his own, if confirmed as economic and monetary affairs commissioner.

Sep 30, 2014

EU budget rules – how much wiggle room is there?

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Three years ago, hardening euro zone fiscal rules was all the rage. Today, the game is how to fully use their “flexibility”.

The change shows how far the euro zone has traveled from trying to win back the confidence of investors at the peak of the sovereign debt crisis to winning back voters as radical parties rise amid record unemployment and economic stagnation.

    • 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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