Correspondent, Brussels
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Mar 5, 2015

Bailed-out Cyprus eyes return to normal borrowing this year

NICOSIA, March 5 (Reuters) – Cyprus hopes to borrow on
financial markets this year, its finance minister told Reuters
on Thursday, saying the island’s economy had more in common with
bailout turnaround Ireland than Greece.

Harris Georgiades said Ireland, which reformed after near
bankruptcy, was a role model as Cyprus climbs out of recession
and prepares to borrow on markets ahead of the end of its
reform-for-aid programme in the middle of next year.

Mar 5, 2015

Upbeat ECB ready to start printing money next week

NICOSIA/FRANKFURT, March 5 (Reuters) – The European Central
Bank said it will start printing money to buy bonds next Monday
and delivered a robust economic outlook that will make it hard
to extend the plan beyond its envisaged Sept. 2016 end-date.

The ECB is embarking on the programme of quantitative easing
(QE) with a view to raising euro zone inflation from below zero
back towards its goal of just under 2 percent, and to helping
buoy economies across the 19-country bloc.

Mar 5, 2015

Draghi ties ECB’s Greek funding to bailout compliance

NICOSIA/ATHENS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will resume normal lending to Greek banks only when it sees Athens is complying with its bailout program and is on track to receive a favorable review, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

He also made clear the euro zone bank would not raise a limit on Athens’ issuance of short-term debt to help leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras avert a funding crunch, since the EU treaty barred monetary financing of governments.

Mar 5, 2015

ECB to raise growth forecasts, flesh out bond-buying plan

NICOSIA/FRANKFURT, March 5 (Reuters) – Keen to keep a low
profile over the Greek crisis, the European Central Bank will
focus on improved growth prospects on Thursday and unveil some
but not all the details of its 1 trillion euros-plus bond buying

The ECB, meeting in Cyprus, will keep rates on hold and
probably lift growth forecasts to reflect a string of positive
data surprises, But it could cut inflation projections as it
incorporates the full effect of a dramatic oil price fall,
backing its case to buy 60 billion euros worth of bonds a month
from March to spur inflation.

Mar 4, 2015

Cypriot president bids to take part in ECB’s QE programme

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus will stick to its reform pledges, the country’s president told the head of the European Central Bank on Wednesday, promising to implement insolvency laws that he hopes will allow the island to benefit from a trillion-euro-plus programme to buy sovereign bonds.

At a meeting on the Mediterranean island, Nicos Anastasiades personally made the case to ECB President Mario Draghi for Cyprus to take part in the ECB’s quantitative easing programme, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Mar 4, 2015

Cypriot President tells ECB chief country committed to reforms

NICOSIA, March 4 (Reuters) – Cyprus is committed to the
terms of its bailout programme, its president said on Wednesday,
stating the island would recover economically this year and post
modest growth in 2016.

In remarks to an audience including members of the European
Central Bank’s decision-making Governing Council and President
Mario Draghi, Nicos Anastasiades said the island was already
showing ‘tangible’ results in its reform programme.

Mar 2, 2015

ECB uncomfortable with leading role in Greek funding drama

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers decamp to Cyprus on Wednesday wrestling with the uncomfortable fact that they may hold the keys to Greece’s continued membership of the euro.

With no political appetite for a ‘transfer union’ that could see wealthier countries subsidize Greece, the central bank figures prominently among the main options for staving off an impending funding crunch in Athens.

Feb 26, 2015

Euro zone lending shows sign of turnaround as morale improves

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bank lending in the euro zone fell slightly in January but at a slower pace than a month earlier, suggesting the economy may be turning a corner as consumer morale picks up in the bloc’s largest economies.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said late on Wednesday that “all in all, the outlook is more positive than it was a few months ago” in the 19-country euro zone, which has been blighted by recession in the south and falling prices.

Feb 25, 2015

Bank regulation takes back seat to kick-starting economy

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – As the banking crisis fades in memory, only to be replaced by a lingering economic slowdown, governments are losing interest in financial reform despite warnings that dangers still lurk.

The shift could mark the beginning of an era reminiscent of the more hands-off approach to regulation preceding the 2008 financial crash, albeit one that follows a raft of reforms – from capping bonuses to boosting capital – that have curbed banks’ freedom to take risks.

Feb 24, 2015

ECB’s Draghi gives guarded welcome to Greek reforms

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The head of the European Central Bank welcomed Greece’s reform plans on Tuesday but said he would keep a close watch on ideas that depart from previous pledges, underlining the need for Greece to stick to its commitments.

In a letter to the chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Mario Draghi said that although some reforms proposed by Athens needed fleshing out, they were enough to justify continuing aid to Greece.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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