EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
Jan's Feed
Mar 9, 2015

EU aides play down Greek reform plan, no early progress

AMSTERDAM/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone officials played down plans submitted by cash-strapped Greece to its international creditors in a bid to secure fresh funds, a day after Athens’ outspoken finance minister irked EU partners by raising the prospect of a referendum.

Speaking before finance ministers of the currency area meet in Brussels on Monday, Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said steps outlined by Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in a letter last week were serious but “far from complete”.

Mar 8, 2015

Euro zone says Greek reform outline helpful, but needs ‘troika’ scrutiny

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The reform outline sent by Greece to euro zone ministers to unblock loans is “helpful”, but needs to be scrutinized by representatives of the country’s creditors, according to the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, whose group meets on Monday to discuss Greece, was responding to a letter he received on Friday from the new left-wing government in Athens asking for an immediate resumption of talks with creditors.

Mar 6, 2015

Greece sends EU reform list, more hurdles before early cash

ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece sent its euro zone partners an augmented list of proposed reforms on Friday but EU officials said several more steps were required before any release of aid funds to a country that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says has a noose around its neck.

Struggling to scrape together cash and avoid possible default, Athens made a 310 million euro partial loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund, while Tsipras pleaded to be allowed to issue more short-term debt to plug a funding gap.

Mar 6, 2015

EU discontent over French budget deal’s ‘political bazaar’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France, Germany and the European Commission believe leaving Paris unpunished for persistently failing to curb its budget deficit was a wise compromise that bolsters the euro.

But it takes little effort to find EU officials who say it sends a signal to governments and investors that rules set to hold the common currency together are bankrupt. That, they fear, may make it harder for the euro to weather a future crisis.

Mar 6, 2015

Insight – EU discontent over French budget deal’s “political bazaar”

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France, Germany and the European Commission believe leaving Paris unpunished for persistently failing to curb its budget deficit was a wise compromise that bolsters the euro.

But it takes little effort to find EU officials who say it sends a signal to governments and investors that rules set to hold the common currency together are bankrupt. That, they fear, may make it harder for the euro to weather a future crisis.

Mar 2, 2015

Germany calls Greek conspiracy remarks ‘foul play’, Commission mediating

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said it was seeking to maintain EU unity after Greece accused Spain and Portugal of conspiring against it, triggering complaints from Madrid and Lisbon and a charge of “foul play” from Berlin.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused Spain and Portugal of leading a conservative conspiracy to topple his anti-austerity government because they feared the rise of the left in their own countries.

Mar 2, 2015

Euro zone Feb prices fall less than expected, unemployment down

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone consumer prices fell by less than expected in February while unemployment eased in January for the third month in a row, offering signs that the risks of economic stagnation and deflation in the bloc are falling.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat estimated on Monday that consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 0.3 percent year-on-year in February after a 0.6 percent annual drop in the previous month. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4 percent price decline.

Feb 27, 2015

Greece runs out of funding options despite euro zone reprieve

BRUSSELS/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece is running out of options to fund itself despite a four-month bailout extension, raising pressure on Athens to quickly implement reforms it has vocally opposed or default on debt repayments in a matter of weeks.

Eurozone and IMF creditors gave Greece extra time until the end of June to complete the bailout program and receive the remaining 7.2 billion euros but it will not be allowed any funds until it passes a review that could take weeks to negotiate.

Feb 25, 2015

EU gives France until 2017 to cut deficit; Italy, Belgium in clear

BRUSSELS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The European Commission gave
France until 2017 to get its budget deficit below an EU-imposed
limit, sparing Paris a fine and giving it a new two-year grace
period after it missed a second deadline to puts its finances in
order.

Co-creator of the euro and the EU’s second biggest economy,
France has repeatedly failed to meet pledges to cut its deficit,
arguing against a German push for austerity at a time of high
unemployment and struggling under Socialist President Francois
Hollande to reduce spending in the face of popular opposition.

Feb 24, 2015

Euro zone backs Greek aid extension, seeks clearer reforms

BRUSSELS/BERLIN, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Greece secured a
four-month extension of its financial rescue on Tuesday when its
euro zone partners approved a reform plan that backed down on
key leftist measures and promised that spending to alleviate
social distress would not derail its budget.

Finance ministers sealed the decision in a telephone
conference convened by Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem
after the new leftist-led Athens government sent him a detailed
list of reforms it plans to implement by the end of June.

    • 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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