EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Oct 15, 2014

France tests EU rules with 2015 budget, Italy also may fall short

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s budget rules faced their biggest test in over a decade on Wednesday after France presented a draft 2015 budget breaking commitments to rein its deficit to within EU limits, and officials said Italy was likely to fall short too.

This year, for the second time, the European Commission will scrutinize draft euro zone budgets to ensure they are in line with EU rules after governments granted it such powers in 2013 in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis.

Oct 15, 2014

Euro partners see Greece softening line on ending support

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece’s partners in the euro believe Athens is changing its mind about giving up on their financial help next year and might ask for a credit line to replace funds from the IMF.

Euro zone officials told Reuters that Greece seemed to be having second thoughts about a return to purely market funding after pressure from EU powers – and from investors who sold off Greek bonds this week. They also said Europeans were resisting a push by Athens to end borrowing from the IMF, which is unpopular in Greece and causing political problems.

Oct 14, 2014

Euro zone industrial output falls; ministers debate weak economy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone industrial production fell more than expected in August, reflecting a slump in the output of capital goods used for investment and raising concern that the economy is weaker than previously thought.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday that production in the 18 countries sharing the euro fell 1.8 percent in August from July for a 1.9 percent year-on-year decline.

Oct 11, 2014

Europe growth pact floated as euro zone recession fears mount

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Heeding global calls for action to shore up Europe’s sagging economy, euro zone’s top finance official proposed a new growth pact on Friday to break a policy logjam and spur reforms by rewarding countries with cheap funds and leeway on budget targets.

The International Monetary Fund, which cut its global growth forecasts for the third time this year this week, flagged Europe’s weakness as the top concern, a sentiment echoed by many policymakers, economists and investors.

Oct 10, 2014

Top official floats Europe growth pact as recession fears gather

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top euro zone official proposed a new growth deal for Europe on Friday as fellow finance diplomats from around the globe sounded alarm over the continent’s faltering growth and pressed for action to ward off a recession.

The International Monetary Fund, which cut its global growth forecasts for the third time this year ahead of its fall meetings this week, said Europe’s weakness was a matter of particular concern, a sentiment echoed by many policymakers, private economists and investors.

Oct 10, 2014

Eurogroup head proposes new growth deal for Europe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of euro zone finance ministers proposed on Friday a new growth deal for Europe which would reward governments reforming their economies with cheap European funds for investment and leeway on budget consolidation targets.

The proposal comes at a time as Europe is on the brink of another recession and is desperate to boost economic growth to reduce almost record high unemployment and huge public debt.

Oct 10, 2014

Europe’s weakness in global focus as recession fears gather

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alarmed by faltering euro zone growth, top finance officials from around the globe on Friday were expected to press their European peers for action to avert a recession and ward off deflation.

The International Monetary Fund, which cut its global growth forecasts for the third time this year earlier this week, said Europe’s weakness was a matter of particular concern.

Oct 9, 2014

Euro zone core must focus on investment: new EU growth czar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Germany, France and Italy must focus on public investment to boost economic growth, the European Union’s incoming top official responsible for growth and jobs said on Thursday.

Jyrki Katainen, who will take over as the European Commission’s vice president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness on Nov. 1, told Reuters many countries have cut investment too much as part of efforts to consolidate budgets

Oct 8, 2014

EU’s incoming economic chief Moscovici ready to fine France if necessary

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France’s Pierre Moscovici, the EU commissioner-designate who will take charge of policing budget discipline in the euro zone, said he was ready to step up disciplinary action against Paris for not respecting its obligations under EU budget rules.

In written answers to the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee that must approve him for the job, the former finance minister said it was a matter of credibility for the Commission as the guardian of EU laws.

Oct 7, 2014

EU’s Juncker ready to switch team to win parliament backing: sources

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The incoming head of the EU executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, is under pressure to drop one of his team and reshuffle nominees in a deal with parliamentary leaders to get his line-up confirmed in office, sources in the EU legislature said on Tuesday.

The prime casualty, several sources said, could be former Slovenian prime minister Alenka Bratusek, who would be replaced by a compatriot. The deal may also see Tibor Navracsics of Hungary given a smaller portfolio after a parliamentary committee voted to reject him over his civil rights record.

    • 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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