EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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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.

Dec 10, 2014

EU investment plan risks crowding out private sector -Polish finmin

BRUSSELS, Dec 10 (Reuters) – The relatively small amount of
public money in the European Union’s flagship investment plan
risks crowding out the private sector, Polish Finance Minister
Mateusz Szczurek said on Wednesday.

The European Commission has proposed a plan in which 5
billion euros ($6.2 billion) in cash from the government-owned
European Investment Bank and 16 billion euros of EU guarantees
would be used to attract 15 times more private money.

Dec 4, 2014

Euro zone mulls extending Greek bailout by 6 months, Athens refuses

ATHENS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Euro zone ministers are
considering extending Greece’s bailout by six months to
mid-2015, according to a document obtained by Reuters, but
Athens said it was only willing to consider an extension of a
few weeks to the unpopular programme.

Extending the programme beyond a few weeks into the new year
would complicate Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ efforts to
secure victory for his preferred candidate in a presidential
vote in February. He had depended on exiting the EU/IMF bailout
by the end of the year, when funding from the EU is due to end.

Dec 4, 2014

Exclusive: Euro zone mulls extending Greek bailout until mid-2015

ATHENS (Reuters) – Euro zone ministers are considering extending the Greek bailout, due to end this year, by six months to the middle of 2015, to allow Athens more time to comply with the conditions for the disbursement of the remaining money, a document showed.

But extending the program beyond a few weeks into the new year would complicate Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ efforts to secure victory for his preferred candidate in a presidential vote in February since he has staked his chances on exiting the EU/IMF bailout by the end of the year, when funding from the EU is due to end.

Dec 4, 2014

Euro zone mulls extending Greek bailout until mid-2015

ATHENS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Euro zone ministers are
considering extending the Greek bailout, due to end this year,
by six months to the middle of 2015, to allow Athens more time
to comply with the conditions for the disbursement of the
remaining money, a document showed.

But extending the programme beyond a few weeks into the new
year would complicate Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ efforts to
secure victory for his preferred candidate in a presidential
vote in February since he has staked his chances on exiting the
EU/IMF bailout by the end of the year, when funding from the EU
is due to end.

Nov 28, 2014

EU puts off French and Italian budget rulings until March

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission postponed until March its decisions on whether the 2015 budgets of France, Italy and Belgium break EU rules, saying it needed more information to be sure.

Available data indicates that the Commission could slap a fine of up to 4.2 billion euros ($5.2 billion) on France for falling well short of its deficit-cutting obligations and put Italy and Belgium under a disciplinary process over their debt.

Nov 28, 2014

France, Italy, Belgium promise reform in letters to EU: Dombrovskis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France, Italy and Belgium have sent letters to the European Commission pledging structural reforms and possible extra fiscal steps to win more time before a ruling on whether their budget policies break EU rules, the EU’s top euro official said.

France, which is already under an EU disciplinary procedure for running a budget deficit that is way above the EU ceiling of 3 percent of GDP, is facing a fine of up to 4.2 billion euros if by March the Commission decides that it has not taken steps agreed with EU finance ministers to consolidate its finances.

Nov 28, 2014

EU plans to streamline but not change key budget rules

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission wants to streamline the European Union’s complex rules governing economic policy-making, but won’t change the two key laws that sharpened budget policy control during the debt crisis, a top official responsible for the euro zone said.

Over the past four years the EU has come up with new ways to coordinate fiscal policy, set limits on borrowing and push for structural reforms to prevent another debt crisis and limit the chances of economic crises originating in Europe in general.

Nov 26, 2014

Juncker unveils investment plan to kick start EU growth

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented a plan on Wednesday to leverage some 300 billion euros ($375 billion) of largely private new investment in the European Union, saying it was time to kick-start growth without adding to public debt.

Underlining the need to maintain efforts at structural reforms of aging economies and pare back debt and deficits run up during the financial crisis, the EU’s new chief executive told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that his plan would be the third leg of a strategy to get Europeans back to work.

Nov 25, 2014

EU agrees investment fund, hoping to create a million jobs

BRUSSELS/STRASOURG (Reuters) – The European Commission agreed on Tuesday to set up a new fund with 21 billion euros ($26 billion) of capital that it hopes can unlock some 300 billion euros of largely private investment over three years to create a million jobs.

The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) will be presented to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who pledged before taking office this month to drive 300 billion euros into infrastructure projects to revive growth.

    • 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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