BRUSSELS, May 8 (Reuters) – In June last year, European
Union leaders made a great fanfare of committing to ‘banking
union’, a three-step plan to shore up the region’s 8,000 banks
and prevent a repeat of the debt and financial crisis.
Eleven months on, deep cracks have emerged in the visions
member states have of the scheme, with Germany in particular
raising doubts about its overall feasibility although both it
and France have promised progress by the end of next month.
BRUSSELS, April 29 (Reuters) – Depositors should be the very
last to suffer losses when a bank collapses, according to a
proposal being discussed by European Union countries and seen by
Reuters, which would shield savers from the kind of losses they
face in Cyprus.
The idea comes as member countries finalise a new draft law
for the European Union that could make losses for larger savers
a permanent feature of future banking crises. EU officials,
however, are nervous that such a regime will panic savers,
prompting them to withdraw money.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. And the place you’re most likely to pay big taxes is northern Europe.
In its 2011 tax report released on Monday, Europe’s statistics agency identified Denmark as having the highest tax burden in the European Union, with income equivalent to 47.7 percent of the country’s annual output.
BRUSSELS, April 26 (Reuters) – There are no calls for
celebration, no desire to relax in the corridors of Brussels but
some officials believe the euro zone has turned a corner,
sharpening the focus on longer-term reforms and structures.
Despite a messy bailout of Cyprus, markets are calm,
Ireland’s rescue programme is on track and Greece and Portugal,
while still in recession, hope for a slow recovery next year.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Divisions have emerged within a group of European countries planning to set a tax on financial transactions, an EU document showed, and doubts over central aspects of the levy are threatening to delay or water down the scheme.
The idea has already opened a rift in Europe after Britain last week mounted a legal challenge to the plan, which would hit trades involving banks in London even though Britain has no intention of signing up to the scheme.
DUBLIN, April 13 (Reuters) – Germany said European banking
union will require changes to EU law, in a call that could slow
completion of the plan designed to underpin the euro currency.
Speaking after a meeting of European Union finance ministers
on Saturday, Germany Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said
the EU’s Lisbon treaty had to be changed to allow common rules
on shutting troubled banks – a central element of the union.
DUBLIN, April 13 (Reuters) – Austria defied growing pressure
to follow Luxembourg in ending bank secrecy, after a group led
by Europe’s six biggest countries pledged to work together to
tackle tax havens.
Late on Friday, the finance ministers of Germany, France,
Britain, Italy, Spain and Poland announced their desire to
jointly push for more bank transparency, a message they will
take to the meeting of the Group of 20 top global economies in
Washington next week.
DUBLIN (Reuters) – The European Union’s six biggest countries agreed on Friday to cooperate in the fight against tax havens, piling pressure on Austria to follow Luxembourg in ending bank secrecy.
The finance ministers of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain and Poland announced their plans to push for more bank transparency within Europe and beyond.
DUBLIN, April 12 (Reuters) – Austria dismissed calls on
Friday to follow Luxembourg in ending bank secrecy but pressure
grew as a group of Europe’s biggest countries prepared to
outline plans to tackle tax evasion.
It is said to deprives EU governments of 1 trillion euros
In blunt remarks on the sidelines of a meeting of European
ministers, Austria’s finance minister described any exchange of
information about account holders as an invasion of privacy and
criticised other countries for failing to tackle what she called
the real “hot spots” of money laundering.
DUBLIN, April 12 (Reuters) – Austria vowed on Friday to
stick to its bank secrecy laws, defying renewed pressure to
follow Luxembourg in revealing information on European Union
depositors with governments to clamp down on tax evasion.
The issue of tax havens and bank secrecy was a last-minute
addition to the agenda of informal talks of European Union
finance ministers in Dublin. Cyprus’s bailout and extending loan
repayments for Portugal and Ireland are also under discussion.