Correspondent, Brussels
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Feb 25, 2014

Italy and France to lag Germany in euro zone recovery

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany is set to accelerate away from France and Italy in 2014 as the fragmented euro zone economy gradually recovers from its worst crisis, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

In a departure from the gloom of recent years, Brussels slightly increased its growth prediction for the bloc’s 9-trillion-euro economy to 1.2 percent in 2014 from an earlier 1.1 percent.

Feb 25, 2014

Germany leaves Italy and France behind in euro zone recovery

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany is set to accelerate away from France and Italy in 2014 as the fragmented euro zone gradually recovers from its worst crisis, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

In a departure from the gloom of the crisis years, Brussels slightly increased its growth prediction for the bloc’s 9-trillion-euro economy to 1.2 percent in 2014 from an earlier 1.1 percent forecast.

Feb 24, 2014

Colonial ghosts haunt Belgium as Africa museum eyes change

BRUSSELS, Feb 24 (Reuters) – At the entrance to Belgium’s
Museum for Central Africa stands a giant golden statue of a
European missionary with an African boy clutching his robes,
along with a plaque that reads: “Belgium brings civilisation to
Congo”.

The statue and some of the exhibits inside anger many
visitors for the way they portray African people and Belgium’s
brutal colonial past.

Feb 19, 2014

EU bank reformer Barnier warns against Brussels red tape

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Michel Barnier, who led an unprecedented overhaul of European banks after the financial crisis, has declared his reform drive complete and pledged less red tape if he wins the post of European Commission president.

Barnier, the European Union’s financial services chief, has introduced as many as 28 different laws to make banks less risky, from caps on bankers’ bonuses to minimum capital cushions against high-risk loans.

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.

    • 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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