EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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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.

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.

    • 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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