FRANKFURT/ ATHENS (Reuters) – Brussels is considering scrapping the troika that supervises Greek reforms to allow Athens to pursue its own plan to bolster the economy in return for a drip-feed of debt relief, European officials say.
The discussion, still in its early stages, will gather pace as Greece and its euro zone backers chart a new course for the country with its second European bailout program due to end later in 2014.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone banks have loosened their lending terms for businesses for the first time since the start of the financial crisis, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday, reducing one of the chief obstacles to an economic rebound.
Since the start of a banking collapse, which struck Germany in 2007 with the near failure of small-business lender IKB, banks in Europe have remained reluctant to lend even as the clouds of crisis gradually lift.
BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The knock to confidence from harsher European sanctions on Russia could spoil the euro zone’s budding economic recovery even if it shrugs off the fallout on trade.
Following months of hesitation, the European Union will seek on Tuesday to seal the first broad economic sanctions on Russia – its third-biggest trading partner – following the downing of a Malaysian airliner over territory controlled by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – With the prospect of stiffer sanctions against Russia rattling confidence in Europe, investors will be looking to the United States and China to underpin the global economy.
Wednesday’s U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) reading and jobs data on Friday will help markets to judge the strength of the economy’s rebound and the likely speed of the Federal Reserve’s return to more conventional monetary policy. The Fed meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
BRUSSELS, July 16 (Reuters) – European Union leaders on
Wednesday were seeking agreement on a package of top jobs for
the bloc in hopes of signing them off at a summit later in the
day, including the appointment of a new foreign policy chief.
The 28 leaders were also set to step up sanctions against
Moscow over separatist violence in eastern Ukraine, according to
a draft statement seen by Reuters.
BRUSSELS, July 16 (Reuters) – European Union leaders meet on
Wednesday to pick the bloc’s new foreign policy chief after
choosing Jean-Claude Juncker to head the executive European
Commission, but it may take some weeks before other top EU jobs
are finally carved up.
The nominations, including other Commission posts as well as
the president of the European Council of EU leaders, will shape
Europe’s response to challenges from the crisis in Ukraine to a
stagnant economy and Britain’s wavering membership of the bloc.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Jean-Claude Juncker denied on Tuesday that he favoured a federal European superstate as he sought the support of British Conservatives and other eurosceptics for his presidency of the European Commission, but his assurances drew a cool response.
The designated head of EU executive delivered his message to the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament 10 days after British Prime Minister David Cameron failed to block his path to Brussels’ top job.
BRUSSELS, July 8 (Reuters) – Italy and its allies will
receive no special treatment when EU budget rules are enforced,
the influential chairman of euro zone finance ministers said on
Tuesday, drawing battle lines as Rome embarks on the bloc’s
Italy, leading a drive for greater flexibility in the way
the rules are applied to encourage growth and investment, has
the second-highest public debt in the euro zone as a proportion
of national output, after Greece.
LUXEMBOURG, July 7 (Reuters) – A former top European
official challenged EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
in court on Monday, declaring he was unfairly forced out of his
job and maintaining his innocence in a graft scandal.
John Dalli was forced to quit as EU health commissioner last
October after his associate was accused of asking for 60 million
euros ($83 million) from a tobacco firm in return for Dalli’s
help in influencing EU tobacco law.
LUXEMBOURG/BRUSSELS, July 4 (Reuters) – The European
Commission is widening its probe into how multinationals use
countries such as Luxembourg to cut their tax bill, an official
with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
Last month, the Commission warned Ireland, another EU
country that offers companies offshore tax status, that it could
investigate more companies beyond Apple Inc as part of
its probe into European tax practices.