EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Jan 14, 2015

EU’s Mogherini suggests better Russia ties to push Ukraine peace

BRUSSELS, Jan 14 (Reuters) – European Union foreign policy
chief Federica Mogherini has suggested EU states could re-engage
with Russia on global diplomacy, trade and other issues in
return for gradual steps to defuse the crisis over Ukraine.

A discussion paper seen by Reuters that was distributed to
governments ahead of a meeting of the 28 EU foreign ministers in
Brussels next Monday said the bloc might consider reviving joint
efforts with Moscow in tackling problems with Syria and Iraq,
Libya, Iran, North Korea as well as Ebola and the Palestinian
issue.

Jan 13, 2015

EU signals flexibility on budgets, aiding France, Italy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Tuesday that public investment and structural reforms could win some leeway for countries breaking EU budget rules, reducing the likelihood of tough penalties on France or Italy.

The Commission’s interpretation of the rules is a balancing act between retaining the confidence of financial markets and responding to EU leaders who want to use whatever flexibility there is in the rules to help boost meager economic growth.

Jan 7, 2015

Euro zone’s lurch into deflation seen spurring ECB bond-buying

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation turned negative in December for the first time since 2009, with cheap oil driving a bigger than expected decline that may prompt the European Central Bank to start printing money.

The European statistics office said in a first estimate on Wednesday that prices in the 18 countries using the euro in December were 0.2 percent lower than a year before, after rising 0.3 percent in November. The last time euro zone inflation was negative was in October 2009, when it was -0.1 percent.

Dec 19, 2014

EU leaders prepare for long confrontation with Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders warned Moscow they are ready to flex their combined muscle and “stay the course” in a long confrontation with Russia if President Vladimir Putin refuses to pull back from Ukraine.

“We must go beyond being reactive and defensive. As Europeans we must regain our self-confidence and realize our own strengths,” said Donald Tusk, the former Polish premier who chaired a brief EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Dec 18, 2014

Top EU official says investment fund stakes won’t hit deficits

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments can safely buy into an EU investment fund without risking punishment for raising their public debt or deficit under the bloc’s fiscal rules, a top European Commission official said on Thursday.

The EU wants to launch a highly leveraged investment fund — the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) — next year to help kick-start economic growth. It has urged member states to contribute capital to increase its effectiveness.

Dec 18, 2014

EU agrees deal to cap bank card payment fees

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments have agreed to cap the fees retailers pay to process debit and credit card transactions in a move the EU parliament said should bring down costs for customers.

Negotiators from European governments and the economic committee of the EU parliament agreed late on Wednesday to cap charges across the 28 countries in the union following a long battle over charges with payments groups, including Visa (V.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and MasterCard [MCRCT.UL].

Dec 17, 2014

EU leaders to endorse investment plan in search for growth

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – European Union leaders will
agree on Thursday to set up a highly leveraged investment fund
they hope can kick-start the bloc’s economy and reduce high
unemployment and public debt.

The plan, presented by the executive European Commission
last month and set to be endorsed by the 28 national leaders at
a Brussels summit, is to use 21 billion euros of EU funds to
attract 15 times more private investment in infrastructure,
energy projects, research and education.

Dec 17, 2014

Analysis – Greek political fallout a worry, but financial contagion seen limited

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Five years after Greece sparked a sovereign debt crisis that threatened the euro’s survival, the country again has the potential to rattle its currency partners if Greeks have to elect a new government next month.

But this time any fallout for the euro zone could be more political than financial. It would be seen in rising support for militant political parties rather than rising borrowing costs.

Dec 17, 2014

Greek political fallout a worry, but financial contagion seen limited

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Five years after Greece sparked a sovereign debt crisis that threatened the euro’s survival, the country again has the potential to rattle its currency partners if Greeks have to elect a new government next month.

But this time any fallout for the euro zone could be more political than financial. It would be seen in rising support for militant political parties rather than rising borrowing costs.

Dec 11, 2014

EU says outcome of French reforms uncertain, more needed

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France’s efforts to improve its competitiveness and reduce its public debt may not be effective and it needs to press ahead with further reforms, the European Commission said in a report on Thursday.

The report reviews progress made by Paris to tackle its economic imbalances under a European Union procedure to prevent problems in some sectors of an EU country’s economy from becoming a full blown crisis that affects the whole bloc.

    • 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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