Deputy Bureau Chief, Brussels
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Oct 21, 2015

EU proposes improvements to euro zone economic governance

BRUSSELS, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The European Commission
proposed on Wednesday near-term improvements to the way the euro
zone runs its economy as part of a broader plan to more deeply
integrate the single currency area and avoid future crises.

The euro zone can only function well if the economies of its
members do not widely differ from each other in terms of
competitiveness and performance, because with 19 countries
sharing one currency competitive devaluation is not possible.

Oct 20, 2015

EU executive to float ideas on deeper euro zone integration

BRUSSELS, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The European Commission will
present ideas on Wednesday on how to help countries sharing the
euro to integrate more effectively over the next two years,
including the way they manage banks and budgets.

Proposals for a deposit guarantee scheme and bodies to
monitor economic competitiveness and fiscal performance are part
of a broader scheme to complete the Economic and Monetary Union
(EMU) under which 19 of the European Union’s 28 countries
already share a currency, a central bank and budget rules.

Oct 15, 2015

Turkey presents EU with wish list to help it stem migration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Turkey asked the European Union for 3 billion euros on Thursday, easier travel to the EU for its citizens and diplomatic favors in exchange for helping stem the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe, EU officials and diplomats said after talks in Ankara.

Faced with their worst migration crisis since World War Two, European countries need the support of Turkey from where most of migrants and asylum seekers transit to reach Europe.

Oct 14, 2015

EU leaders postpone talks on euro zone future until December

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders have postponed a deeper discussion of the future of the euro zone until December because of divergent views in the biggest countries and because of the more pressing migration issue, diplomats said.

EU leaders, who meet on Thursday in Brussels, were to talk about fleshing out a report on the future of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) prepared by the 28-nation bloc’s top five officials in June — the so-called five presidents’ report — as the Greek debt crisis was shaking the euro zone’s foundations.

Oct 9, 2015

Greece may return to economic growth in the middle of 2016: EU

LIMA (Reuters) – Greece is likely to return to economic growth around the middle of next year if the government makes a serious effort to regain financial stability, European Vice President for the euro Valdis Dombrovskis said.

After years of recession, Greece’s economy started growing again by 0.8 percent in 2014 and the European Commission expected it to expand by 2.5 percent this year, but a rejection of agreed reforms by the left-wing government of Alexis Tsipras plunged the country back into recession.

Oct 8, 2015

Euro zone aims to cap Greek debt servicing at 15 percent of GDP

LIMA (Reuters) – Euro-zone governments, Greece’s biggest creditors, agree that debt relief for Athens should be accomplished by capping its debt servicing costs at 15 percent of gross domestic annually, the chairman of the euro zone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said on Thursday.

But discussions on whether the relief should be granted up front, over time as some conditions are met, or as a mix of the two, would only start later this year, after Greece successfully passes the first assessment by the creditors of its bailout reforms, he said.

Oct 2, 2015

Greece likely to meet deadline for bank money release: euro zone officials

BRUSSELS, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Greece is likely to qualify for
recapitalisation funds for its banks by a Nov. 15 deadline
because the payment depends mainly on financial sector reforms
that it can implement by then, euro zone officials said on

The euro zone bailout fund has up to 25 billion euros ($28
billion) earmarked for the recapitalisation of the Greek banking
sector under Athens’ third bailout.

Sep 30, 2015

Euro zone inflation turns negative, putting pressure on ECB

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation
turned negative again in September as oil prices tumbled,
raising pressure on the European Central Bank to beef up its
asset purchases to kick start anaemic price growth.

Prices fell by 0.1 percent on an annual basis, the first
time inflation has dipped below zero since March, missing
analyst expectations for a zero reading after August’s 0.1
percent increase.

Sep 22, 2015

EU backs refugee-sharing plan, exposing east-west rift

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union approved a plan on Tuesday to share out 120,000 refugees across its 28 states, overriding vehement opposition from four ex-communist eastern nations.

The European Commission, the EU executive, had proposed the scheme with the backing of Germany and other big powers in order to tackle the continent’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two.

Sep 17, 2015

Exclusive: Euro zone mulls capping Greek debt servicing cost at 15 percent/GDP

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone governments, Greece’s biggest creditors, are ready to cap the country’s debt servicing costs at 15 percent of GDP annually over the long-term as part of the promised debt relief to help the economy grow, euro zone officials have told Reuters.

It would mean the nominal payment would be lower if the Greek economy were struggling, higher if it was more robust.

    • 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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