EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Feb 9, 2015

G20 must focus on productivity, competitiveness to boost growth: OECD

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The world’s 20 biggest economies must focus on higher labor productivity and become more competitive and innovative if they want to deliver on a pledge to boost economic growth, the OECD said on Monday ahead of a G20 meeting.

Leaders of the world’s top 20 economies (G20) agreed last year to launch new measures to raise their collective gross domestic product growth by an additional 2 percentage points over the next five years above the level projected in 2013.

Feb 8, 2015

G20 finance chiefs to focus on fewer growth priorities

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – World financial leaders are likely to agree on Tuesday to cut the number of actions they will take this year to boost growth to only 5-10 priorities per country to make it easier to check if they are being done, European officials said.

The world’s 20 biggest developing and developed economies (G20) are meeting in Istanbul.

Feb 6, 2015

Isolated Greece wants no more bailout money with strings

ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece’s new leftist-led government, isolated in the euro zone and under pressure from the European Central Bank, said on Friday it wanted no more bailout money with strings attached from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Instead, a government official said, it wanted authority from the euro zone to issue more short-term debt, and to receive profits that the European Central Bank and other central banks have gained from holding Greek bonds.

Feb 6, 2015

More time for deficit cuts if parliament approves reforms: Eurogroup head

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Euro zone countries that break the EU budget deficit limit should get more time to cut the gap only if their parliaments approve structural reforms, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Reuters on Friday.

The statement could spell trouble for France, which has repeatedly broken European Union budget deficit limits as well as its promises to bring the shortfall back in line.

Feb 6, 2015

Euro zone awaits Greek reform plan as bailout deadline looms

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers are waiting to hear on Feb. 11 how Greece wants to become financially independent as time runs out for the new government in Athens to sign up to agreed reforms, the chairman of the ministers said on Friday.

Greece has undergone painful changes over the last four years to put its bloated public finances back in order and regain the trust of financial markets. But euro zone officials say the work is not yet complete.

Feb 6, 2015

Isolated Greece rejects bailout extension

ATHENS/BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Greece’s new leftist-led
government, isolated in the euro zone and under pressure from
the European Central Bank, vowed on Friday not to accept any
deal in crunch talks next week that keeps its current
international bailout programme in place.

Instead, a government official said Finance Minister Yanis
Varoufakis would ask for a “bridge agreement” to keep state
finances running until Athens can present a new debt and reform
programme.

Feb 6, 2015

Greece isolated in euro zone, ministers to meet Feb. 11

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece’s new government was isolated at its first meeting with senior euro zone officials but will have a chance to put forward its plans at a special meeting of finance ministers of the currency bloc next week, EU officials said on Friday.

Eurogroup finance ministers will discuss how to proceed with financial support for Athens at a special session next Wednesday in preparation for talks among European Union leaders on the issue the following day.

Feb 5, 2015

EU executive sees French deficit little improved, calls for more

BRUSSELS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – France’s budget deficit this
year will be far above the EU limit and will not move in 2016
unless policies change, the European Commission forecast on
Thursday, stepping up pressure on Paris to act before an
evaluation later this month.

The Commission, which is the guardian of EU laws, said it
expected the French deficit to narrow only to 4.1 percent of GDP
this year from 4.3 percent last year, and stay at 4.1 percent in
2016 despite faster economic growth.

Feb 5, 2015

Euro zone growth prospects brighten slightly – EU Commission

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s economic prospects are brighter now than they were three months ago thanks to cheaper oil, a weaker euro and the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing, the European Commission said on Thursday.

The EU executive arm raised its forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP) expansion in the 19 countries sharing the euro to 1.3 percent this year from the 1.1 percent seen in November and to 1.9 percent in 2016 from an earlier 1.7 percent.

Feb 5, 2015

Greece needs bailout extension to negotiate reforms: EU

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece can choose how to make its public finances healthy and its economy grow, but it must extend its bailout program by a few months to gain time to negotiate those steps, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said.

Greece’s bailout from the euro zone runs out at the end of February. Unless it is formally extended, Athens will not receive a final aid tranche of 1.8 billion euros or be eligible to seek a further easing of euro zone loan conditions.

    • 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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