Correspondent, Brussels
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Feb 15, 2015

ECB has track record with funding stick it holds over Greece

FRANKFURT, Feb 15 (Reuters) – With its power over emergency
funding for banks, the European Central Bank wields a big stick
that it has past form in waving to badger countries into the
kind of aid-and-reform programme that Greece is desperate to
escape.

The ECB is loath to pull the plug on Greece’s banks, a
scenario that would almost certainly lead to the country’s exit
from the euro zone, but if authorities in Athens refuse to
extend the existing programme or sign up to a new one it may
have little choice.

Feb 12, 2015

ECB approves extra finance for Greek banks as clock ticks for Athens

ATHENS/FRANKFURT, Feb 12 (Reuters) – European Central Bank
policymakers approved extra emergency finance for Greek banks
on Thursday, as a funding pinch tightened before a crunch euro
zone meeting about the country’s future.

The unexpected move by policymakers from across the euro
zone highlighted how ebbing confidence in Greece’s new
government, which all but tore up a reform-for-aid programme, is
sapping banks’ sources of finance, such as deposits.

Feb 12, 2015

ECB raises pressure on Greece as Tsipras meets EU peers

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank raised pressure on Greece on Thursday to extend a bailout deal with its international creditors as new leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras told EU leaders austerity is killing his economy and they must find an alternative.

After euro zone finance ministers failed to agree on a joint statement on the way forward on Greece’s debt crisis, the ECB’s Governing Council held a short-notice teleconference to discuss how long it could continue to keep Greek banks afloat.

Feb 12, 2015

Exclusive: ECB policymakers hold teleconference on financing Greek banks – sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers held a telephone conference on Thursday on providing finance to Greek banks, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, before a crunch meeting of finance ministers about the country’s future.

The discussion among the policymakers comes as concern grows about the financing of Greek banks after the country all but tore up a reform-for-aid programme.

Feb 4, 2015

ECB cancels soft treatment of Greek debt in warning to Athens

FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – The European Central
Bank abruptly cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return
for funding on Wednesday, shifting the burden onto Athens’
central bank to finance its lenders and isolating Greece unless
it strikes a new reform deal.

The move, which means the Greek central bank will have to
provide its banks with tens of billions of euros of additional
emergency liquidity in the coming weeks, was a response to what
many in Frankfurt see as the Greek government’s abandoning of
its aid-for-reform programme.

Feb 4, 2015

Greece seeks ECB funds, Germany rejects austerity roll-back

FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Greece’s new leftist
government appealed to the European Central Bank on Wednesday to
keep its banks afloat as it seeks to negotiate debt relief with
its euro zone partners, but Germany rejected any roll-back of
agreed austerity policies.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said after meeting ECB
President Mario Draghi in Frankfurt he believed Athens could
count on central bank support during the short period it would
take to conclude talks with international lenders.

Feb 4, 2015

Greece seeks ECB bridging funds, vows to respect EU rules

FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece’s new leftist government appealed to the European Central Bank on Wednesday to keep its banks afloat and vowed to respect European Union rules as it seeks a negotiated solution with euro zone partners to reduce its debt burden.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said after meeting ECB President Mario Draghi in Frankfurt he believed Athens could count on central bank support during the short period it would take to conclude talks with international lenders.

Jan 30, 2015

European investment fund set for September start

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A fund to bolster investment in Europe should be up and running by September, an EU official said on Friday, outlining the timetable for a highly leveraged scheme to bolster growth in a moribund EU economy.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments, which can invest in projects from infrastructure building to expansion of small businesses, is the European Union’s flagship scheme to help address slack growth.

Jan 29, 2015

ECB warns banks to keep dividends tight

FRANKFURT, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
warned banks across the euro zone to curb payouts to
shareholders, also pledging to probe how much they are paying in
bonuses as the rest of the bloc’s economy suffers.

In its boldest public order to the industry since health
checks last year uncovered problems chiefly in Italy, the
European Central Bank said banks should be setting aside more
money for rainy days ahead.

Jan 23, 2015

ECB’s trillion-euro move offers short-term boost, but at a cost

FRANKFURT, Jan 23 (Reuters) – ECB chief Mario Draghi’s 1
trillion euros of fresh money could prove the masterstroke that
saves the euro zone for now, but it breaks the principle that
the bloc acts as one, a move that could ultimately undermine the
currency he is trying to save.

In monthly 60 billion-euro instalments from March, the
European Central Bank will buy chiefly government debt at least
until September of next year, or as long as is needed to revive
inflation, which recently swung into reverse.

    • 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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