BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders assessed the continent’s dramatically altered political landscape on Tuesday following European Parliament elections and sought a response to a rising tide of voter frustration.
With far-right, anti-EU parties sweeping to unprecedented victories in France, Britain and Denmark and populists gaining ground elsewhere, the 28 leaders faced tough questions about the future direction of European integration.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The battle for the presidency of the European Commission, arguably the most powerful job in Brussels, began in earnest on Monday after the centre-right secured a clear victory in European Parliament elections.
Former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the centre-right’s choice for Commission president, brushed off questions about his candidacy, saying the job was effectively his for the taking.
PORTO, Portugal, May 23 (Reuters) – Standing on stage before
a 1,000-strong crowd of cheering supporters last weekend, a look
of unease flashed across the face of Jean-Claude Juncker, the
former prime minister of Luxembourg now running for the top job
Accustomed to sober grey suits and backroom dealing, the
grey-haired 59-year-old, seemed unsure quite how to respond to
the throng of chanting Portuguese. Then, as an accomplished
politician, he found his groove.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday, waiting for updated forecasts from its staff in June before deciding whether to take fresh action to counter low inflation that ticked up last month.
The decision was widely expected and markets’ attention will now shift to ECB President Mario Draghi’s 8:30 am (1230 GMT) news conference, when investors will be listening for any indication the bank could act next month.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment deteriorated slightly in April, defying forecasts of further improvement, while inflation expectations continued to fall, European Commission data showed on Tuesday.
The monthly Commission survey showed that economic sentiment in the 18 countries sharing the euro eased to 102.0 in April from 102.5 in March, mainly because of a dip in confidence in the construction sector and in services.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union may ban transactions with financial institutions in Crimea as part of its response to the annexation of the peninsula by Russia last month, an EU document obtained by Reuters showed.
EU leaders consider the takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea by Moscow as illegal and have asked the EU executive arm, the European Commission, to propose economic, trade and financial restrictions on Crimea for rapid implementation.
BRUSSELS, April 24 (Reuters) – The European Union may ban
transactions with financial institutions in Crimea as part of
its response to the annexation of the peninsula by Russia last
month, an EU document obtained by Reuters showed.
EU leaders consider the takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea by
Moscow as illegal and have asked the EU executive arm, the
European Commission, to propose economic, trade and financial
restrictions on Crimea for rapid implementation.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union must create an energy union to secure its gas supply because the current dependence on Russian energy makes Europe weak, Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote in an article in the Financial Times.
Russia, which provides around one third of the EU’s oil and gas, sent shockwaves through the international community with its military intervention and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European Central Bank could not rely solely on purchases of asset-backed securities (ABS) if it resorts to unconventional steps to boost inflation, given the limited supply of the securities, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Saturday.
If the ECB starts injecting money into the economy using asset purchases, it is expected to choose a mix of government and private assets, including ABS, which collapsed during the financial crisis and are still recovering.
WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) – A further strengthening of
the euro would require more loosening in the European Central
Bank’s monetary policy to keep the current amount of monetary
stimulus in place, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Saturday.
Draghi made the strong comments as the issue of weak
eurozone inflation took center stage at a meeting of the
International Monetary Fund, whose steering committee urged the
ECB to consider acting if low inflation becomes persistent.