EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Jan 28, 2015

EU mulls capital markets restrictions among new Russia sanctions

BRUSSELS, Jan 28 (Reuters) – New European Union sanctions
against Russia could include further capital markets
restrictions, making it harder for Russian companies to
refinance themselves and possibly affecting Russian sovereign
bonds and access to advanced technology for the oil and gas
sectors, EU officials said on Wednesday.

EU foreign ministers are set to ask the executive European
Commission on Thursday to prepare a new round of sanctions over
Moscow’s role in eastern Ukraine, however officials said the
measures may not be adopted by EU leaders until late March.

Jan 27, 2015

EU leaders likely to decide on new Russia sanctions

BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) – European Union leaders asked
their foreign ministers on Tuesday to consider possible new
sanctions on Russia in response to a rebel offensive in eastern
Ukraine, but a final decision to impose them is likely to be
left to a summit next month.

Foreign ministers have called an extraordinary meeting for
Thursday after Kiev said 30 civilians were killed in shelling of
the government-held port of Mariupol by pro-Russian rebels on
Saturday, shattering a five-month ceasefire.

Jan 16, 2015

Euro zone ponders up to six-month Greek program extension, third bailout

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone officials discussed on Thursday extending Greece’s bailout program by up to six months more to allow time for talks with any new government in Athens on closing the current bailout and on what should replace it.

The current bailout, which has already been extended by two months, runs out at the end of February. Athens had hoped to replace it with an Enhanced Conditions Credit Line (ECCL) from the euro zone bailout fund that it would never have to use.

Jan 16, 2015

More time to repay debt seen best euro zone can offer Greece

BRUSSELS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Syriza will have to honour all
Greek debts and continue reforms if it takes power but the euro
zone might agree to wait longer to be repaid, officials in
Brussels say.

The left-wing party led by Alexis Tsipras, which heads
opinion polls nine days before elections, is pledging to
negotiate a debt reduction and an end to budget austerity but
says it is committed to keeping Greece in the euro zone.

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

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].

    • 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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