BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) – In the beginning, the European Union came up with two words: Banking Union. It sounded simple, solid, united, dependable.
But in the 18 months since the idea was put on paper, the phrase has come to mask a vastly complicated and not yet very united system that may fall short of resolving the problems afflicting Europe’s banks over the past five years.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European officials are in discussion with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other major financial institutions on ways to help Ukraine if it decides to sign a free-trade agreement with the European Union.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was quoted as saying on Wednesday he had asked the EU for 20 billion euros ($27 billion) in aid to offset the cost of signing the EU deal, which Kiev backed away from last month in favor of closer ties with Russia, sparking huge street protests and a financial crisis.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Thousands upon thousands of people, great and small, met Nelson Mandela, and as a correspondent in South Africa from 1997-2000, I was fortunate to be among them.
During his presidency and in the early years of his retirement from office, Mandela made a point of meeting as many of the people who beat a path to his door as possible.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Next May’s elections to the European Parliament promise to be among the most closely watched since the 1970s, with many in Europe expected to show their frustration with the economic crisis by voting for anti-EU or protest parties.
While that analysis has become the received wisdom, political experts are less convinced, suggesting that while there may be an increase in protest votes, it’s unlikely to be anywhere near as large as some have predicted.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – International inspectors from the EU and IMF have called off a planned visit to Greece next week, officials told Reuters on Friday, a move that marks a new low in relations between the parties and could delay aid payments to Athens.
The decision to postpone the visit may be an attempt by the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund – together known as the ‘troika’ – to bring Athens to heel as frustration grows over Greece’s failure to complete the reforms it has promised in return for aid.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders will come face-to-face with Viktor Yanukovich on Thursday for the first time since the Ukrainian president spurned their offer of a free-trade deal and decided to seek closer ties with Russia instead.
In a meeting that promises to be one of the frostier moments of political theatre this year, Yanukovich plans to attend a dinner in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to honor the Eastern Partnership, the EU’s four-year-old program of outreach to former Soviet states.
BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) – The European Union expressed strong disapproval on Monday over Russia’s pressure on Ukraine to reject an EU trade deal, while police fired tear gas at pro-Europe protesters in the former Soviet republic’s capital, Kiev.
Ukraine had been expected to sign a far-reaching trade and political association agreement with the EU at a summit in Vilnius on Friday. But it suddenly announced last week it had decided to seek closer trade relations with Moscow instead.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone states are considering cheap loans to member governments as an incentive to carry out economic reforms by sweetening the short-term pain, an EU document showed, introducing a discussion on fiscal transfers.
The proposal did not specify how exactly the loans could be financed, mentioning only a European Commission idea from March that it could be either through direct contributions from governments or through designating a new revenue source.
BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Euro zone states are
considering cheap loans to member governments as an incentive to
carry out economic reforms by sweetening the short-term pain, an
EU document showed, introducing a discussion on fiscal
The proposal did not specify how exactly the loans could be
financed, mentioning only a European Commission idea from March
that it could be either through direct contributions from
governments or through designating a new revenue source.
BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) – In post-Soviet Europe, Russia
looks to have won a decisive victory by convincing Ukraine to
reject a trade deal with the European Union and deepen ties with
But the EU has reason to breathe a sigh of relief, too.
Once any sense of rejection or thwarted ambition passes, the
reality remains that taking Ukraine under its wing, a highly
indebted country of 46 million people stricken by corruption and
unpredictable politics, could have proven a costly and difficult
burden for the EU, at least in the short-term.