Correspondent, Brussels
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May 28, 2014

ECB says investors’ gamble for profit could backfire

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank said on Wednesday that investors’ pursuit of higher profits could be generating new price bubbles, sounding the alarm as financial markets chase quick gains.

In a strongly-worded message that underscored concerns in Frankfurt about the downside to runaway market enthusiasm, the ECB cautioned that the dash for higher returns could suddenly unravel, sending the investor herd charging in the opposite direction.

May 27, 2014

ECB goes on 300 mln euro spending spree for bank watchdog

FRANKFURT, May 27 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will
spend 300 million euros ($410 million) this year and next in
building an elite group to monitor top banks, with the lion’s
share spent on generous pay for many of its staff.

While the new watchdog is funded by a levy on the banks
rather than by taxpayers, the wage bill could reignite a debate
about salaries for European Union officials after protest
parties triumphed in elections to the European Parliament in
France, Britain and elsewhere.

May 15, 2014

Europe’s anti-EU protest vote leaves business cold

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Industry lobbyists fear the rise of protest parties and anti-EU rebels in European elections threatens to leave them, and the businesses they represent, out in the cold.

Europeans frustrated by economic hardship are likely to vote to give one in four of the European Parliament’s 751 seats to eurosceptics and protest parties of both left and right.

May 11, 2014

Ukraine casts shadow as investors take pulse of fragile economy

BRUSSELS, May 11 (Reuters) – U.S. and euro zone data will
help investors take the pulse of the global economy this week,
but the crisis in Ukraine threatens to spoil any improvement.

Steady prices and good retail sales are expected to show the
U.S. economy in a more flattering light this week, in
encouraging news for the Federal Reserve as it pares back the
stimulus that has buoyed financial markets for the last few

May 8, 2014

Draghi, worried by strong euro, says ECB poised to act as soon as June

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is ready to take action next month to boost the euro zone economy if updated inflation forecasts merit it, its president said on Thursday, warning outsiders not to pressure the bank into action.

Stressing that the euro’s strength was “a serious concern”, ECB chief Mario Draghi said the exchange rate would have to be addressed, adding that the bank’s policymakers held a discussion about “all instruments” at their meeting in Brussels.

Apr 29, 2014

Ukraine separatists seize second provincial capital, fire on police

LUHANSK, Ukraine, (Reuters) – Hundreds of pro-Russian separatists stormed government buildings across one of Ukraine’s provincial capitals on Tuesday and opened fire on police holed up in a regional headquarters, a major escalation of the rebellion in defiance of new Western sanctions.

Meanwhile Russian share prices rose in relief at the mildness of the newly announced U.S. and European sanctions over Moscow’s involvement in the crisis, which amounted mainly to adding a small number of names to existing blacklists while putting off threats to take more serious measures.

Apr 29, 2014

EU imposes more sanctions on Russia over Ukraine crisis

BRUSSELS/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The European Union announced asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, but the measures were seen as less aggressive than sanctions imposed this week by the United States.

The EU list published on Tuesday included senior Russian politicians but did not extend to companies, several of which were singled out by Washington when it extended its sanctions list on Monday.

Apr 29, 2014

European Union moves to end smartphone patent wars

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission moved on Tuesday to stem aggressive patent lawsuits by smartphone and tablet makers against rivals, ruling that Motorola Mobility had broken EU law by taking such action against Apple.

In a dual ruling, the European Union’s anti-trust enforcer said that it had also accepted a pledge by Samsung Electronics not to seek injunctions against rivals if they had signed up to a licensing agreement for smartphones or tablets.

Apr 29, 2014

EU sanctions 15 politicians and military leaders over Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians, including a Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Nikolayevich Kozak, over Moscow’s action in Ukraine, but steered clear of any sanctions on business leaders.

The latest list included Ludmila Ivanovna Shvetsova, a deputy chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov, chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces, as well as separatist leaders in Ukraine.

Apr 28, 2014

Salmond says Scotland would be better EU member than Britain

BRUGES, Belgium, April 28 (Reuters) – An independent
Scotland would be a more constructive member of the European
Union than a reluctant Britain, Scottish first minister Alex
Salmond said on Monday.

He believed EU members would welcome an “enthusiastic”
Scotland into the bloc should it vote to end the 307-year-old
union with England in a referendum on Sept. 18, he said.

    • 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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