Correspondent, Brussels
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Nov 16, 2013

Reluctant Germany casts cloud over Europe’s bank revamp

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European countries pledged on Friday to stand by banks found to be struggling after health checks next year as Germany pushed for investors to bear the brunt of repairing lenders to spare the use of euro zone funds.

In a statement designed to underscore Europe’s readiness to act following the checks, ministers spelt out how they would have funds in place to help, overcoming German objections to eventually allow euro zone funds be used as a last resort.

Nov 15, 2013

Germany challenges European blueprint for banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s attempts to complete a banking union encountered opposition on Friday from Germany, which demanded that countries and investors bear the brunt of repairing stricken lenders to spare the use of euro zone funds.

Berlin’s objections to using euro zone money, backed only by Finland and opposed by France and Spain, threaten to undermine Europe’s attempt to tackle troubled banks and spoil tests next year intended to make a clean sweep of their problems.

Nov 15, 2013

Cyprus to fully lift capital controls within months

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Cyprus is likely to completely lift state controls on capital movement within months, the country’s finance minister Harris Georgiades told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Cyprus introduced controls on the movement of capital in March to prevent huge capital outflows after the small Mediterranean island was forced to close down one of its two biggest banks and restructure the other.

Nov 14, 2013

Germany challenges use of euro zone cash to repair banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany challenged a central plank of plans to forge a banking union in the euro zone on Thursday, arguing against the use of the currency bloc’s funds to help lenders exposed as dangerously weak by health checks next year.

As finance ministers gathered in Brussels to outline plans to deal with banks still in difficulty, Germany’s finance minister hardened his stance on the use of the bloc’s emergency fund, according to people close to the talks.

Nov 14, 2013

Europe seeks united front to back troubled banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European finance ministers will pledge on Friday to stand by any banks that are exposed as dangerously weak by health checks next year, but Germany does not want euro zone money to be used for the clean-up.

Ministers will make their joint statement to reassure investors following a meeting in Brussels, taking Europe a step closer to coming clean on the banking problems that have dogged it for more than half a decade.

Nov 14, 2013

EU set to tell markets it will stand by weak banks

BRUSSELS, Nov 14 (Reuters) – European Union finance
ministers will pledge on Friday to stand by their banks if
health checks next year reveal they need to bolster their
capital, according to a draft statement obtained by Reuters.

The Eurogroup of ministers from the 17 countries that share
the euro were due to discuss the backstop arrangement for banks
on Thursday, but more serious talks will only take place when
finance ministers of all 28 EU member states meet on Friday.

Nov 13, 2013

Plan to raid bank creditors could shatter Europe’s calm

BRUSSELS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Market euphoria and soaring
demand for European bank debt could be brought back down to
earth if the European Union pushes ahead with the early
introduction of rules allowing Cyprus-style raids on bank
creditors and big depositors

Following demands from Germany, the European Union law to
raid the bondholders and savers of failing banks could take
effect as soon as January 2015, three years earlier than planned
and in time to hit banks exposed by European Central Bank tests
next year.

Nov 7, 2013

Germany demands prompt losses for bank creditors

BRUSSELS, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Germany is demanding that the
euro zone force losses on big depositors and bondholders of
failing banks from 2015 in return for giving its blessing for a
reform to police euro zone banks.

As EU ministers prepare to meet next week in Brussels to
discuss building the second pillar of banking union, namely a
scheme to close or salvage troubled banks, an EU report prepared
for diplomats spelt out Germany’s wishes.

Oct 25, 2013

Germany, France demand ‘no-spy’ agreement with U.S.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded on Thursday that the United States strike a “no-spying” agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year, saying alleged espionage against two of Washington’s closest EU allies had to be stopped.

Speaking after talks with EU leaders that were dominated by allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency had accessed tens of thousands of French phone records and monitored Merkel’s private mobile phone, the chancellor said she wanted action from President Barack Obama, not just apologetic words.

Oct 24, 2013

Insight: Merkel’s Europe – how her men run Brussels

BRUSSELS (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 vigor.

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.

    • 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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