EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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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.

Apr 8, 2014

EU court rejects requirement to keep data of telecom users

BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Union’s highest court on Tuesday overthrew a rule that required telecoms companies to store the communications data of EU citizens for up to two years, on the grounds that it infringed on basic rights.

Brussels introduced the data-retention directive in March 2006 after bombings on public transport in Madrid and London. The aim was to give the authorities better tools to investigate and prosecute organized crime and terrorism.

Apr 8, 2014

G20 final document unlikely to address Ukraine crisis

MOSCOW/ BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The world’s financial leaders are likely to discuss possible risks to Europe’s economy from the crisis in Ukraine, but there are no plans to mention it in the final document from their Washington meeting, two G20 officials said.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 developed and emerging economies will treat Ukraine at their two-day meeting later this week the same way as they have talked about past crises, a Russian G20 official said.

Apr 7, 2014

G20 to agree this week on more ambitious reforms to boost growth

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The world’s financial leaders will agree this week to be more ambitious with structural reforms to boost global growth after draft plans showed them falling short, an official involved in preparations for a G20 meeting said.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s 20 biggest economies (G20) will meet on Thursday in Washington to review progress on a deal to raise the world’s economic growth through reforms of labor markets, trade, investment and making industry more competitive.

Apr 5, 2014

EU must refocus on energy, industry after debt crisis – Rehn

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – After dealing with the sovereign debt crisis, the euro zone must now focus on how to win more business for its manufacturing and services industries and make sure its energy supply is secure, the EU’s top economic official said on Saturday.

The euro zone economy is set to start growing again this year after four years of crisis which kept policy-makers busy with unprecedented institutional reform of the single currency area.

Apr 5, 2014

No reason to again give France more time to cut deficit: Rehn

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – There is no reason to further extend a European Union deadline for France to cut its budget deficit, the EU’s top economic official said on Saturday, adding policy-makers should have learnt the lessons of the debt crisis and stuck to agreed rules.

In June last year Paris got two more years, until 2015, to bring its budget shortfall below the EU ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from a 4 percent gap the European Commission expects it to have this year.

Apr 5, 2014

No reason to again give France more time to cut deficit – Rehn

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – There is no reason to further extend a European Union deadline for France to cut its budget deficit, the EU’s top economic official said on Saturday, adding policy-makers should have learnt the lessons of the debt crisis and stuck to agreed rules.

In June last year Paris got two more years, until 2015, to bring its budget shortfall below the EU ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from a 4 percent gap the European Commission expects it to have this year.

Apr 1, 2014

Greece wants no 3rd bailout, euro zone hopeful but cautious

April 1 (Reuters) – Greece, fully funded for the next 12
months, hopes to finance itself on the market afterwards, but
its euro zone peers say success depends on whether Athens
delivers on the reforms it has promised so far.

Greece was cut off from markets in 2010 as the true scale of
its debt burden became apparent. But after four years of painful
measures to contain debt, two bailouts worth 240 billion euros
($330 billion) and a hit on private bondholders, the Greek
economy is expected to return to modest growth this year.

Mar 27, 2014

Euro zone not preparing third Greek bailout so far: official

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone is not making any preparations for a third bailout for Greece and will consider it only if expressly asked by Athens, which has not happened so far, a senior euro zone official said on Thursday.

Instead, the euro zone is now focusing on the timing and size of disbursements of badly delayed tranches of loans that have already been promised under the first two rescue packages, the official, directly involved in the Greek bailouts said.

Mar 25, 2014

EU to press Obama at summit for aid in cutting Russian gas imports

BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) – The European Union will press
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday to help reduce Europe’s
reliance on Russian energy by exporting U.S. natural gas, at a
time of chill in relations with Moscow over its intervention in
Ukraine.

After a visit to a World War One battlefield, Obama will
have just 75 minutes over lunch with the EU’s top officials to
tackle issues ranging from energy to climate change, in a
meeting that will be dominated by the Ukraine crisis.

    • 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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