Correspondent, Brussels
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Feb 18, 2014

Germany and France move closer to deal on diluted transaction tax

BRUSSELS, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Ambitious proposals for a
pan-European financial transaction tax look almost certain to be
scaled back after Germany’s finance minister acknowledged that
the levy could be phased in slowly, starting with share trades.

The tax failed to gain widespread support when it was
proposed during the euro zone debt crisis but eventually won the
backing of an uneasy coalition of 11 states, led by Germany and
France.

Feb 18, 2014

EU ministers mull ideas to strengthen banks fund faster

BRUSSELS, Feb 18 (Reuters) – The European Union is
considering ways to ensure that a future euro zone fund to
finance bank closures will always have enough cash, including
the option of halving the time in which the fund would reach its
full size to five years.

Under a deal reached by euro zone governments last December,
the fund, financed by banks, is to reach 55 billion euros over
10 years as euro zone banks pay in 5.5 billion euros annually.

Feb 18, 2014

EU’s Reding warns Brexit would isolate City of London

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – London’s financial services centre would lose access to the wider European Union should Britain quit the bloc, the EU’s justice chief said on Monday, warning that such a move would reduce its status to that of an offshore centre.

Viviane Reding’s blunt comments come amid a heated debate in Britain over its future in the 28-country European Union and will reinforce fears in the City of London that a departure from the EU will hurt its position as a global financial capital.

Feb 17, 2014

EU’s Reding warns Brexit would isolate London’s City

BRUSSELS, Feb 17 (Reuters) – London’s financial services
centre would lose access to the wider European Union should
Britain quit the bloc, the EU’s justice chief said on Monday,
warning that such a move would reduce its status to that of an
offshore centre.

Viviane Reding’s blunt comments come amid a heated debate in
Britain over its future in the 28-country European Union and
will reinforce fears in the City of London that a departure from
the EU will hurt its position as a global financial capital.

Feb 12, 2014

EU Commission pushes to dilute U.S. Internet influence

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The European Commission called
on Wednesday for a dilution of U.S. influence over the
organisation of the Internet, a sign of tension following
snooping exposed by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward
Snowden.

The European Union’s executive arm stopped short of
demanding greater government control as some countries like
China and Russia have pushed for.

Feb 6, 2014

EU asks Britain to explain new ‘allowances’ in bankers’ pay

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has asked the Bank of England to explain how new allowances in British bankers’ pay comply with an EU bonus cap, an official at the bloc’s executive said, a new flashpoint of friction over the reach of financial control.

Under EU rules, from 2015 bonuses cannot be more than fixed salary, or double this amount with shareholder approval, and most of the bankers affected are based in London.

Feb 3, 2014

Corruption costs European economy 120 billion euros a year

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Corruption costs Europe 120 billion euros a year, or around one percent of economic output, according to the first ever report on graft in the 28-nation European Union by the executive European Commission.

The report published on Monday places the EU, often portrayed as one of the globe’s cleanest regions, in an unflattering light.

Feb 3, 2014

Almost half of European businesses say corruption a problem

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Corruption is a problem for almost half the companies doing business in Europe, a survey by the European Commission said on Monday, and an increasing number of European Union citizens think it is getting worse.

The report places the EU, often portrayed as one of the globe’s cleanest regions, in an unflattering light. Among businesses, belief is widespread that the only way to succeed is through political connections.

Jan 30, 2014

EU rejects German bid to scrutinize Telefonica/E-Plus merger

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has rejected Germany’s request to take the lead in regulatory scrutiny of Telefonica’s (TEF.MC: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) proposed 8.6 billion euro ($11.7 billion) bid for KPN’s (KPN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) German unit E-Plus, the watchdog said on Thursday.

Germany’s antitrust watchdog had on November 20 asked to be given the lead regulatory role in assessing a bid which will help shape its domestic telecoms sector.

Jan 29, 2014

Europe’s bid to reform mega-banks hits resistance in France

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe has unveiled a blueprint to isolate high-risk trading at big banks in a bid to challenge their dominance, provoking a hostile response in France amid fears it could benefit U.S. rivals exempted from the rules.

After the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, world leaders pledged to tackle banks that were “too big to fail”. Yet throughout the years of financial turmoil, many of Europe’s biggest banks continued to grow.

    • 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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