Correspondent, Brussels
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Dec 6, 2013

Europe struggles to agree plan to close sick banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European ministers make a fresh attempt next week to agree a blueprint to close failing banks but progress is uncertain as the fundamental questions of who gets the power to close a bank and how to pay the bill remain open.

As the dust settles from a financial storm that toppled banks and dragged down states from Ireland to Spain, the question of what to do when a bank fails remains controversial.

Nov 29, 2013

IMF postpone visit to Athens in dispute over reform

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – International inspectors from the EU and IMF have called off a planned visit to Greece next week, officials told Reuters on Friday, a move that marks a new low in relations between the parties and could delay aid payments to Athens.

The decision to postpone the visit may be an attempt by the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund – together known as the ‘troika’ – to bring Athens to heel as frustration grows over Greece’s failure to complete the reforms it has promised in return for aid.

Nov 29, 2013

Jobs and price growth offer hope for euro zone

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The first fall in euro zone unemployment in almost three years coupled with rising prices gave fresh momentum to an economic recovery, but a growing rift between the bloc’s haves and have-nots continued to widen.

The improvement is a welcome sign that the euro zone’s rebound is picking up steam, more than five years after a financial crisis erupted that forced five countries, from Cyprus to Spain, to seek emergency aid from their neighbors.

Nov 28, 2013

Europe’s top court strikes down sanctions on Iranian company

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s highest court struck down EU sanctions against an Iranian power company on Thursday, the latest legal ruling against measures that the European Union has imposed over Iran’s nuclear program.

While sanctions are set to be relaxed under a deal last week in which Tehran promised to limit parts of its nuclear work, the EU is still keen to have the option to impose trade restrictions in the future should Iran waver.

Nov 27, 2013

ECB supervisor promises to come clean on banks’ health

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s future bank supervisor on Wednesday promised a warts-and-all probe into the bloc’s still fragile financial system, conceding that she and other supervisors had made mistakes in the past.

Seeking the backing of the European Parliament to become the supervisor for euro zone banks, Daniele Nouy listed sovereign debt among the banks’ potentially riskiest assets as she laid down her ambitions for testing the health of lenders.

Nov 27, 2013

EU says won’t suspend data sharing accords with U.S.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union backed down on Wednesday from threats to suspend agreements granting the United States access to European data, rejecting calls for a tougher stance over alleged U.S. spying.

The move marks an abrupt about-turn for the European Commission, the EU executive, after warnings it issued in July to U.S. officials following revelations that Washington had spied on European citizens and EU institutions.

Nov 26, 2013

EU demands protection against U.S. data surveillance

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission called on Tuesday for new protection for Europeans under United States’ law against misuse of personal data, in an attempt to keep in check the U.S. surveillance revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said she wanted Washington to follow through on its promise to give all EU citizens the right to sue in the United States if their data is misused. “I have … made clear that Europe expects to see the necessary legislative change in the U.S. sooner rather than later, and in any case before summer 2014,” she said.

Nov 20, 2013

EU lawmakers back watered-down rules to help women into top jobs

BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers have
backed rules that would give women preference for non-executive
posts at companies, after plans for a mandatory quota to get
women into top jobs were scrapped.

The rules demand that companies give non-executive
directorships to women, where there is no male candidate who is
better qualified, until they reach a target of four in ten.

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.

    • 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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