EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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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.

Sep 30, 2014

Euro zone inflation slows in Sept, weakens euro vs dollar

BRUSSELS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation slowed
further in September on falling prices of unprocessed food and
energy, a first estimate showed on Tuesday, sending the euro
lower against the dollar on expectations of further European
Central Bank policy easing.

Eurostat said consumer prices in the 18 countries sharing
the euro rose 0.3 percent year-on-year, slowing from 0.4 percent
year-on-year increases in August and July. The September was in
line with market expectations, according to polling data.

Sep 30, 2014

Euro zone inflation slows in September as expected

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation slowed further as expected in September because of falling prices of unprocessed food and energy, a first estimate by the European Union’s statistics office showed on Tuesday.

Eurostat said consumer prices in the 18 countries sharing the euro rose 0.3 percent year-on-year, slowing from 0.4 percent year-on-year increases in August and July. The September was in line with market expectations, according to polling data.

Sep 29, 2014

Incoming EU economic affairs commissioner talks tough on budget discipline

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will not let EU budget discipline rules be flouted, incoming economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Monday, days after his former colleagues in the French government said Paris would again miss EU targets.

Last year, European Union finance ministers gave Paris an extra two years to bring its budget deficit below the EU ceiling of 3 percent of national output after France missed a 2013 deadline in what is called the ‘excessive deficit procedure’.

Sep 29, 2014

Incoming EU econ commissioner talks tough on budget discipline

BRUSSELS, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The European Commission will
not let EU budget discipline rules be flouted, incoming economic
affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Monday, days after
his former colleagues in the French government said Paris would
again miss EU targets.

Last year, European Union finance ministers gave Paris an
extra two years to bring its budget deficit below the EU ceiling
of 3 percent of national output after France missed a 2013
deadline in what is called the ‘excessive deficit procedure’.

Sep 18, 2014

Russia demands changes to Ukraine-EU trade deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia has demanded changes to a free-trade deal between Ukraine and the European Union, underlining that Moscow was not satisfied by a last-minute concession from the EU to delay implementing the pact at the heart of the conflict in Ukraine.

In a letter to the EU trade commissioner, seen by Reuters on Thursday, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Moscow wanted three-way negotiations to amend the EU’s treaty with Kiev, which Russia says will hurt its own economy.

Sep 14, 2014

EU seeks billions of euros to revive economy

MILAN Italy (Reuters) – The European Union sought ways on Saturday to marshal billions of euros into its sluggish economy without getting deeper into debt, considering options from a pan-European capital market to a huge investment fund.

With Europe’s economy struggling to recover from the worst financial crisis in a generation, EU finance ministers tasked the European Commission, the EU executive, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to draw up a list of projects that would create growth and decide how to finance them.

    • 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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