EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Sep 3, 2014

Europe seeks accord on Russian capital markets embargo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Envoys of European Union governments held further discussions on Wednesday on widening a ban on Russian state-owned firms raising capital in the bloc among a range of other sanctions, diplomats and officials said.

Following a decision by EU leaders at a weekend summit to prepare heavier penalties unless Moscow pulls forces from Ukraine, the European Commission, the EU executive, said it had completed proposals for what measures should be taken.

Sep 1, 2014

Ban on buying Russian bonds eyed as EU envoys meet-sources

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europeans could be barred from buying new Russian government bonds under a package of extra sanctions over Moscow’s military role in Ukraine that European Union ambassadors were to start discussing on Monday, three EU sources said.

EU leaders decided at a summit on Saturday that the direct engagement of Russian troops in the war in eastern and southern Ukraine – still denied by Moscow – called for a stepping up of sanctions imposed so far unless Russia pulled its soldiers back.

Aug 31, 2014

EU names Tusk, Mogherini to top jobs, ready Russian sanctions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders on Saturday chose Poland Prime Minister Donald Tusk to chair their Council and named Italian Federica Mogherini to run the bloc’s foreign relations, as the EU prepared to threaten Russia with new sanctions over Ukraine.

A summit in Brussels shared the two coveted EU posts between a Kremlin critic from ex-communist Eastern Europe and the foreign minister of one of Moscow’s biggest customers for gas. EU officials gave Ukraine’s embattled President Petro Poroshenko a warm welcome and assurances of further support.

Aug 31, 2014

UK’s Cameron ‘delighted’ with new EU chief’s reform pledge

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “delighted” with a promise from Polish premier Donald Tusk, newly elected to a top European Union post, to address his demands for reforming the EU to keep Britain in the bloc.

Two months after suffering a severe and very public setback when he failed to block the appointment of another EU leader whom he judged hostile to his reform drive, Cameron was upbeat about the choice of the Polish center-right leader as head of the European Council, the body representing the 28 EU governments.

Aug 30, 2014

EU leaders to threaten extra Russia sanctions, agree new team

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will threaten Russia with new sanctions over Ukraine on Saturday but, fearful of a new Cold War and self-inflicted harm to their own economies, should give Moscow another chance to make peace.

At a summit in Brussels that handed one of the Union’s top jobs to Poland’s premier and gives hawkish Kremlin critics in Eastern Europe new influence in the bloc, EU officials gave Ukraine’s embattled President Petro Poroshenko a warm welcome and assurances of further economic and other support.

Jul 17, 2014

Don’t risk market confidence by bending budget rules: EU economy czar

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone countries must beware of bending budget rules in the quest for economic growth, the EU’s new economics czar said on Thursday, suggesting some proposals from France and Italy sought too much leeway.

Former Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, to be formally confirmed by the European Parliament later on Thursday as economic and monetary affairs commissioner until November, told Reuters that tumbling government borrowing costs could spike again if investors felt structural reforms were faltering or fiscal discipline was fading.

Jul 17, 2014

EU leaders fail to agree on top jobs, to decide end-August

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders failed to agree at a summit on Wednesday on sharing out a package of top jobs in the 28-nation bloc, including a new foreign policy chief, and postponed the decision until late August.

The talks foundered over opposition to Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini’s candidacy for the foreign policy role and demands by central and east European leaders that the job should go to someone from their region, diplomats said.

Jul 16, 2014

EU leaders fail to agree on top jobs, to try again end August

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders failed to agree at a summit on Wednesday on sharing out a package of top jobs in the bloc, including a new foreign policy chief, and postponed the decision until late August, diplomats said.

The talks foundered over opposition to Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini’s candidacy for the foreign policy role and demands by central and east European leaders that the job should go to someone from their region, the diplomats said.

Jun 27, 2014

EU leaders signal shift from austerity of euro crisis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – In the latest shift away from the austerity of the euro zone crisis, European Union leaders signaled at a summit that they were ready to give member states extra time to consolidate their budgets as long as they pressed ahead with economic reforms.

Under pressure from Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the leaders adopted a text which pledged to make “best use” of the flexibility built into the bloc’s fiscal rule book – the so-called Stability and Growth Pact.

Jun 27, 2014

EU leaders link slower fiscal consolidation to reforms

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders agreed on Friday that growth-boosting structural reforms should be rewarded with more time to improve public finances under existing EU budget rules in response to pressure from Italy to shift emphasis from austerity to growth.

After four years of a sovereign debt crisis, when reducing deficits was key for the euro zone to regain market confidence, the biggest headaches for most governments now are record high unemployment, moribund growth and high debt.

    • 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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