EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Feb 28, 2014

Germany, Finland fear EU going soft on budget rules

BRUSSELS, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Germany and Finland say changes
in the way the European Commission assesses an EU member’s
adherence to budget rules could weaken the bloc’s pact on fiscal
discipline, a document showed on Friday.

The 8-page document, obtained by Reuters, also called for
independent monitoring of the EU executive’s decisions.

Feb 28, 2014

EU team to visit Ukraine to examine financial needs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A small team of financial experts from the European Commission will travel to Ukraine on Monday to assess exactly how much financial assistance it needs, EU officials said on Friday.

The team from the Commission’s directorate-general for economic and financial affairs is expected to meet Ukrainian finance ministry and central bank officials to determine what the country’s budget shortfall and capital needs are.

Feb 28, 2014

Euro zone inflation stabilizes in ‘danger zone’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation stabilized in the European Central Bank’s “danger zone” in February but did not fall as expected, making it less likely the ECB will loosen monetary policy further at its monthly meeting next week.

European Union statistics office Eurostat estimated on Friday that consumer prices in the 18 countries sharing the euro rose an annual 0.8 percent this month. That was the same rate as in January and December, after readings of 0.9 percent in November and 0.7 percent in October.

Feb 28, 2014

Euro zone inflation stabilises in “danger zone”, unemployment stays high

BRUSSELS, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation stabilised
in the European Central Bank’s “danger zone” in February but did
not fall as expected, making it less likely the ECB will loosen
monetary policy further at its monthly meeting next week.

European Union statistics office Eurostat estimated on
Friday that consumer prices in the 18 countries sharing the euro
rose an annual 0.8 percent this month. That was the same rate as
in January and December, after readings of 0.9 percent in
November and 0.7 percent in October.

Feb 27, 2014

Euro zone sentiment improves, inflation expectations fall

BRUSSELS, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment
improved more than expected in February, data showed on
Thursday, but falling inflation expectations among consumer and
producers underlined deflation risks.

A monthly European Commission survey showed economic
sentiment in the 18 countries now sharing the euro rose to 101.2
points this month from an upwardly revised 101.0 in January,
above the long-term average of 100 for the third month in a row.

Feb 23, 2014

G20 aspires to faster economic growth, roadmap sketchy

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The world’s top economies have embraced a goal of generating more than $2 trillion in additional output over five years while creating tens of million of new jobs, signaling optimism that the worst of crisis-era austerity was behind them.

The final communique from the two-day meeting of Group 20 finance ministers and central bankers in Sydney said they would take concrete action to increase investment and employment, among other reforms. The group accounts for around 85 percent of the global economy.

Feb 22, 2014

EU to back G20 growth target if accompanied by reforms

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Europe is in favor of setting an economic growth target for the world’s 20 biggest developing and advanced economies (G20), but only if they agree on bold reforms, the European Union’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.

G20 finance ministers and central bank governors are meeting in Australia on Saturday and Sunday to find ways to boost global economic growth by focusing on investment, competitiveness, trade and employment.

Feb 18, 2014

EU ministers to consider faster sharing of bank closure costs

BRUSSELS, Feb 18 (Reuters) – European Union finance
ministers will discuss on Tuesday whether to fully share the
costs of closing down problem banks within five years rather
than 10, a step towards mutualising euro zone risk that has
always been sensitive for Germany.

The discussions are part of efforts to agree the details of
a single bank-resolution mechanism for the euro zone, so
legislation can go to the European Parliament by mid-April,
before European elections are held in late May.

Feb 14, 2014

Euro zone integration at a limit, more with next crisis: Bruegel head

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone economic integration may have reached its limits for now even though the 18-country monetary union needs a treasury to make it work better, the head of the influential Bruegel think-tank said on Friday.

Speaking at the Reuters Euro Zone Summit, Guntram Wolff said policymakers have used the sovereign debt crisis of the last three years to shore up the euro zone, but not impregnably.

Feb 13, 2014

Italy needs reforms instead of political instability: Eurogroup head

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Italy, beset by yet another government crisis, cannot afford political instability at a time when it needs to make its economy more competitive, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers said on Thursday.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a Reuters Euro Zone Summit that political turmoil could hamper the single currency area’s recovery by paralyzing decision-making and freezing structural economic reform in Rome.

    • 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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