Correspondent, Brussels
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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.

Oct 6, 2013

Cancelled EU-U.S. talks complicate trade ambitions

BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Even before the cancellation 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.

Oct 2, 2013

Brussels to pare back EU regulation to quell criticism

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will review EU laws and be careful when writing new ones, the EU’s executive said on Wednesday, in an effort to answer intensifying criticism of what many in member states see as overregulation by Brussels.

In countries such as Britain critics have pilloried the Commission for European Union rules such as one preventing drinkmakers from claiming that water can treat dehydration.

    • 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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