Correspondent, Brussels
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Sep 17, 2013

EU softens new rules on benchmark rigging

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) – EU regulators will abandon
earlier plans to place commodity and financial benchmarks under
the sole watch of a Paris-based regulator when they announce a
legal framework to prevent price rigging on Wednesday.

The draft law, to be presented by the European Union’s
regulation chief Michel Barnier, is a central plank of the
bloc’s response to the rigging of the London Interbank Offered
Rate (Libor) – a benchmark used to price products from home
loans to credit cards worth $300 trillion.

Sep 16, 2013

Analysis : German plan may weaken European banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A German plan to scale back a major element of European banking union may reinvigorate the ambitious project, but also threatens to compromise its ability to prevent future crises.

If Berlin’s idea prevails, the resulting banking union would fall well short of what European leaders originally envisaged as their response to the 2008 financial crisis, leaving small but risky banks outside the scheme.

Sep 16, 2013

German plan may weaken European banking union

BRUSSELS, Sept 16 (Reuters) – A German plan to scale back a
major element of European banking union may reinvigorate the
ambitious project, but also threatens to compromise its ability
to prevent future crises.

If Berlin’s idea prevails, the resulting banking union would
fall well short of what European leaders originally envisaged as
their response to the 2008 financial crisis, leaving small but
risky banks outside the scheme.

Sep 10, 2013

ECB’s Asmussen sees risk of large spillovers from Fed tightening

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The impact of the U.S. central bank unwinding its policy stimulus risks being greater now than in 1994, when it started a tightening cycle and bond markets crashed, a European Central Bank policymaker said on Tuesday.

ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said the 1994 episode highlighted the importance of central banks clearly communicating exit strategies from their expansionary policies.

Sep 5, 2013

EU’s Reding warns Croatia of action in ‘days’ in extradition row

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has warned Croatia it may face legal action soon if it does not quickly change a law that clashes with EU extradition rules.

Last July, the small Adriatic state became the 28th member of the European Union, marking a recovery from years of war after Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s.

Sep 4, 2013

European Union launches clampdown on shadow banking

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Special funds used by
big companies to park billions of euros of cash face stricter
rules to make them safer, the European Commission said on
Wednesday, taking a first step to reform unregulated finance
known as shadow banking.

The draft law will regulate money market funds, demanding
some set aside cash buffers to avoid a panic should many
investors withdraw their money at once.

Aug 30, 2013

Euro zone morale climbs in shadow of record unemployment

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Optimism in the euro zone’s economy improved sharply in August but stubbornly high unemployment, in particular in the bloc’s weaker countries, highlighted the fissure separating the recovering north from the struggling south.

The confidence of business managers polled by the European Commission rose for its fourth successive month in the euro zone, the EU executive said on Friday. The positive trend was particularly strong in Germany and the Netherlands but was also seen in Italy, France and Spain.

Aug 21, 2013

Europe shies away from cutting aid for Egypt

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union stopped short of agreeing immediate cuts in financial or military assistance to Cairo on Wednesday, as the bloc’s foreign ministers held emergency talks to find ways to help bring an end to violence in Egypt.

The decision acknowledges Europe’s limited economic muscle in forcing Egypt’s army-backed rulers and the Muslim Brotherhood supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi into a peaceful compromise.

Aug 21, 2013

EU foreign ministers weigh Egypt aid, policy at emergency talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union was expected on Wednesday to shy away from making immediate cuts in financial aid to Egypt but several EU governments pushed for the withdrawal of military support from Europe for Cairo’s army-backed rulers.

At an emergency meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers debated how to use their economic muscle to force the government to end a crackdown on deposed President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and resume talks over a peaceful compromise.

Jul 24, 2013

Europe to clamp down on charges for paying with plastic

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Banks will have to limit the fees they charge on card payments under proposals from the European Commission on Wednesday that would also scrap surcharges on shoppers paying with plastic.

The draft law would squeeze an important source of income for banks but should bring lower prices for consumers.

    • 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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