EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
Jan's Feed
May 23, 2014

Luxembourg’s Juncker blinks in unaccustomed EU election spotlight

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
in Europe.

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.

May 8, 2014

ECB holds rates, markets watch Draghi for any hints of June action

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.

Apr 29, 2014

Euro zone sentiment, inflation expectations dip in April

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.

Apr 24, 2014

Exclusive: EU considers ban on deals with banks in Crimea

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.

Apr 24, 2014

EU considers ban on deals with banks in Crimea

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.

Apr 21, 2014

Polish PM calls for EU energy union to end dependence on Russian gas

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.

Apr 12, 2014

ECB would need to go beyond ABS market for potential QE: Draghi

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.

Apr 12, 2014

Draghi says a stronger euro would trigger looser ECB policy

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.

Apr 11, 2014

Portugal’s clean bailout exit more likely after Greek bond success: Eurogroup head

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Greece’s success in tapping markets on Thursday raise the chances that Portugal will not need a precautionary credit line when it exits the euro zone bailout in mid-May, the head of euro zone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said on Friday.

Athens, which had been locked out of capital markets for four years and was bailed out with 240 billion euros ($333 billion) as its economy faltered, issued a bond on Thursday and received bids seven times the amount on offer.

Apr 11, 2014

France, Italy not in same boat by EU budget rules: Eurogroup head

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – France and Italy will get different treatment under European Union budget rules, because the situation of their public finances is different, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said on Friday.

Under EU rules, governments must keep budget deficits below 3 percent of gross domestic product and reduce public debt below 60 percent of GDP or face disciplinary action.

    • 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."
    • Follow Jan