Correspondent, Brussels
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Mar 6, 2014

Juncker promises to build bridges in bid for top EU job

DUBLIN, March 7 (Reuters) – Veteran Brussels politician
Jean-Claude Juncker sought the backing of Europe’s centre-right
on Friday in the race to become European Commission president,
pledging to build bridges in a region he said was increasingly
divided.

The former Luxembourg prime minister is expected to win
against French rival Michel Barnier, the EU’s regulation chief,
when the European People’s Party (EPP) chooses its lead
candidate ahead of European Parliament elections in May.

Feb 27, 2014

EU veteran Juncker enters race to become Commission president

BRUSSELS, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Veteran Luxembourg politician
Jean-Claude Juncker has won the backing of Germany’s major
conservative party in the race to become European Commission
president, as he officially submitted his bid to become the
centre-right candidate.

The move, which had been expected, puts one of the European
Union’s most experienced deal brokers in contention for arguably
its most influential job, although Juncker, who once told a
conference he sometimes lied and favoured “secret, dark
debates”, has alienated some by his frankness.

Feb 26, 2014

EU shelves plan to shine light on tax paid by multinationals

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Plans to make companies reveal how much tax they pay country by country were abandoned on Wednesday, knocking back the efforts of lawmakers who had pushed to curb tax avoidance by multinational businesses.

Schemes used by Starbucks (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Amazon (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and other corporations operating within the law to minimise their tax burden prompted heated public debate last year and a pledge by British Prime Minister David Cameron and others to tackle the issue.

Feb 25, 2014

EU lawmakers and member states agree bonus curbs for fund managers

BRUSSELS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – EU lawmakers and member states
agreed curbs on fund managers’ pay similar to new rules for
bankers on Tuesday, including a three-year deferral of 40
percent of bonuses, legislation that could be in place next
year.

The rules also stipulate that half of any cash bonus be
spent on a stake in the fund manager’s investment fund.

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.

    • 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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