Correspondent, Brussels
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Oct 24, 2013

Merkel’s Europe – how her men run Brussels

BRUSSELS, Oct 24 (Reuters) – In Brussels, Germans have
shrugged off their postwar reserve and make no apology for
shaping Europe’s future, taking key posts in EU institutions and
pushing Berlin’s trade interests with vigour.

As Angela Merkel forms a new coalition government after a
third successive election triumph, the conservative chancellor
can build on efforts, in place since her first term in 2005,
that have increased not just the number of Germans in senior
jobs in Brussels but the extent to which they answer to Berlin.

Oct 21, 2013

Europe seeks back-up plan for troubled banks within weeks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European states need to spell out by late November how they will cope with recapitalizing troubled banks to pave the way for prompt health checks, EU leaders will pledge this week, according to a draft statement.

Such a commitment is designed to persuade investors that countries are ready to come clean on the banking problems that continue to dog the region after more than half a decade.

Oct 15, 2013

Germany digs in heels as Europe moves towards banking union

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – EU finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to give the European Central Bank sweeping supervisory powers in the euro zone but Germany dug in its heels on how to deal with failing banks, the second stage in building a banking union.

The European Union ministers gave their final approval for the ECB’s regulatory role nearly 1-1/2 years after the idea was first floated, with Britain dropping opposition to a plan it feared might threaten its control of London’s financial centre.

Oct 15, 2013

British blessing fails to break banking union impasse

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Britain dropped its
objections to granting the European Central Bank sweeping powers
of supervision in the euro zone, but EU governments remained
divided on Tuesday over how to deal with failing banks ahead of
a rapidly approaching December deadline.

Europe’s finance ministers are striving to agree the next
big step in European integration by setting up a banking
framework chiefly for the euro zone that would not only police
the bloc’s banks but find joint solutions to their problems.

Oct 14, 2013

Franco-German divisions cloud efforts to fix broken banks

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The euro zone debated on
Monday how to prop up banks likely to be declared unstable next
year, but France’s blunt criticism of Germany before the meeting
laid bare the tensions surrounding the far-reaching financial
reform.

Bank health checks by the European Central Bank are a
critical step in establishing a single banking framework for the
euro zone, giving credibility to ECB supervision and paving the
way for the bloc to cooperate on saving bust banks.

Oct 13, 2013

Europe prepares to come clean on hidden bank losses

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Euro zone countries will consider on Monday how to pay for the repair of their broken banks after health checks next year that are expected to uncover problems that have festered since the financial crisis.

Nobody knows the true scale of potential losses at Europe’s banks, but the International Monetary Fund hinted at the enormity of the problem this month, saying that Spanish and Italian banks face 230 billion euros ($310 billion) of losses alone on credit to companies in the next two years.

Oct 8, 2013

EU lawyers warn of limits in building banking union

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Oct 8 (Reuters) – European Union lawyers
have raised concerns about proposals for banking union, warning
that plans aimed at drawing a line under years of financial
crisis could fall foul of EU law.

In an opinion issued this week and seen by Reuters, the
legal service of the European Council said EU law would only
allow limited powers to be given to an agency to close or
salvage troubled banks, potentially undermining a central
element of the scheme.

Oct 8, 2013

Exclusive: EU lawyers warn of limits in building banking union

LONDON/ BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Parts of Europe’s proposals for a banking union may fall foul of European Union law, lawyers have said in a fresh setback to plans aimed at strengthening the financial system after the debt crisis.

The opinion from the European Council’s legal service is a blow to efforts to break the link between indebted European countries and their banks via the creation of a banking union that would jointly deal with stressed lenders.

Oct 7, 2013

Split on finance overshadows Europe-U.S. trade talks

BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Aqua or water? These words mean
the same thing, and yet illustrate a divide that European and
U.S. negotiators must bridge in free-trade talks to integrate
half the global economy.

From fragrances to finance, creating common rules is vital
for reaching a deal between the European Union and United States
that officials say can boost economic output by more than $100
billion a year on each side of the Atlantic.

Oct 6, 2013

Analysis: Canceled EU-U.S. talks complicate trade ambitions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Even before the cancelation of the latest round of EU-U.S. talks, negotiations to create the world’s largest free-trade deal were getting into difficulty territory.

France won a concession to leave European movies and entertainment out of the pact, to shield them from Hollywood and Silicon Valley, raising concerns Washington may pursue opt-outs for its shipping industry on security grounds.

    • 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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