Correspondent, Brussels
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Apr 23, 2014

In bid for top EU job, Juncker promises fair deal for Britain

BRUSSELS, April 23 (Reuters) – Britain should get a fair
hearing for its concerns about the European Union but must not
block extra powers for the euro zone, Jean-Claude Juncker, a
leading candidate to take one of the bloc’s top posts, said on
Wednesday.

The remarks, twinned with his pledge to halt expansion of
the 28-member union for five years, offers the prospect of a
face-saving compromise for British Prime Minister David Cameron
should Juncker become president of the European Commission.

Apr 21, 2014

Bankers win friends again in Europe with lure of easy money

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Jacques de Larosiere says he is an isolated and modest man. Yet the 84-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund is one of the most influential voices in European and global finance.

An eminence grise as respected among France’s political elite as in the heart of the law-drafting European Commission, de Larosiere finds himself at the nexus of finance and rulemaking, treading a fine line between lobbying and advice.

Apr 15, 2014

Europe reaches end of crisis-driven reform trail to banking union

STRASBOURG, April 15 (Reuters) – European lawmakers finally
signed off on Tuesday on new laws to make it easier to shut
problem banks after long wrangling over rules for an industry
blamed for triggering the worst economic slump in a generation.

The vote in the European Parliament, shortly before it
breaks up for May elections, gives the final stamp of approval
for an agency to shut weak lenders in the euro zone, the last in
a line of major reforms to create a banking union for the 18
countries sharing the euro.

Apr 2, 2014

Cheaper living in Athens shows peril of falling prices

ATHENS, April 2 (Reuters) – The falling price of living in
Athens presented the unmistakable spectre of deflation to
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi during his visit to
the Greek capital this week yet there is little he will do to
heal this pain.

Whatever course of action the ECB opts for to bolster the
euro zone’s economy, it will take a long time before it trickles
down in to Greece, where the prices of everyday purchases from
traditional souvlaki meals to frappé coffees have dived.

Apr 1, 2014

European ministers take sobering look at social impact of crisis

ATHENS, April 1 (Reuters) – The economic crisis in Europe
has put 6 million people out of work and driven others into
poverty, according to a think-tank study looking into the social
impact of the slump that was examined by EU finance ministers
for the first time on Tuesday.

As host, Greece, the first euro zone country to be bailed
out during the crisis, put it on the agenda of the regular
meeting of EU finance ministers that has more usually focused on
appeasing financial markets with tough spending reforms.

Apr 1, 2014

Low euro zone inflation a worry, but no clear deflation risk: ECB

ATHENS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank and euro zone finance ministers said they did not see a clear risk of deflation despite a sharp slowdown in price rises, but a longer period of low inflation could be a drag on the economy.

Euro zone inflation has been stuck in what the European Central Bank calls the “danger zone” below 1 percent since October, and it dropped further in March to its lowest level in more than four years, hitting 0.5 percent year-on-year.

Mar 27, 2014

Europe to loosen rules for banks repackaging debt

LONDON/ BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) – The European Union
will loosen rules on selling securitised debt, the bloc’s
regulatory chief said on Thursday, giving a second chance to
products that triggered the worst financial crisis in a
generation.

The capital rules that make it expensive for banks and
insurers to create and buy such debt will be eased, said Michel
Barnier, the European Commissioner in charge of regulation,
dismissing any threat that such concessions would risk another
“subprime disaster”.

Mar 25, 2014

Germany’s Bundesbank opens door to QE in Europe

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank could buy loans and other assets from banks to help support the euro zone economy, Germany’s Bundesbank said, marking a radical softening of its stance on the contested policy.

The ECB has cut interest rates to a record low and promised to keep them low for some time, having also flooded the banking system with cheap crisis loans. But the euro zone economy is still weak and inflation remains stuck well below the central bank’s target.

Mar 25, 2014

ECB’s Weidmann opens door to quantitative easing

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank could buy loans and other assets from banks to help support the euro zone economy, Germany’s Bundesbank has said, marking a radical softening of its stance on the contested policy.

The ECB has cut interest rates to a record low and promised to keep them low for some time, having also flooded the banking system with cheap crisis loans. But the euro zone economy is still weak and inflation remains stuck below the ECB’s target.

Mar 20, 2014

Europe strikes deal to complete banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European policymakers agreed on Thursday to complete a banking union with an agency to shut failing euro zone banks, but there will be no joint backstop for a fund to pay the costs of closures.

The breakthrough ends an impasse with the European Parliament, which persuaded euro zone countries to strengthen the scheme. It completes the second pillar of banking union, starting at the end of the year when the European Central Bank takes over as watchdog.

    • 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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