Bureau Chief, Brussels
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Mar 14, 2013

Austerity debate, social crisis dominate EU summit talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders gathered in Brussels on Thursday, for once under little financial market pressure, with differences over austerity and how best to tackle the social costs of the debt crisis set to dominate.

The two-day summit will give EU leaders a chance to discuss budget policies, with signs that France, Spain and Portugal could be given more time to meet their deficit goals as long as they maintain a debt-cutting trend.

Mar 13, 2013

Euro minister cautious on size of any Cyprus bailout

BRUSSELS/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Cyprus should get an international bailout closer to 10 billion euros than the bigger figures that have been widely reported, the leader of the euro finance ministers’ group said on Wednesday.

The 17 Eurogroup ministers will meet on Friday in Brussels after an EU leaders’ summit to discuss financial help for Cyprus, officials say.

Mar 13, 2013

EU leaders turn attention to joblessness, pain of austerity

BRUSSELS, March 13 (Reuters) – Soaring unemployment and
biting austerity will top the agenda at a summit of EU leaders
starting on Thursday, with the social consequences of the
region’s debt crisis now seen as the greatest threat to the
survival of the single currency.

The president of the European Parliament, the EU’s only
directly elected body, warned this week that a generation risked
losing faith in Europe unless rapid steps are taken to tackle
joblessness and recession.

Mar 13, 2013

Euro zone meets on Friday to try to seal Cyprus deal

BRUSSELS/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The euro zone’s 17 finance ministers will meet on Friday in Brussels after an EU leaders’ summit to discuss a financial bailout of Cyprus, officials said on Wednesday, signaling growing momentum for a deal.

The meeting, which follows a mission by the troika of international lenders to Cyprus, raises expectations that the euro zone is close to sealing a package of aid that the Mediterranean island asked for last June.

Mar 12, 2013

Analysis: EU sweats over how to bring Hungary into line

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Hungary’s decision to change its constitution and limit the power of its top court is a forthright challenge to the European Union, and the uncomfortable truth in Brussels is that little can be done to rein Budapest in quickly.

The Hungarian parliament, dominated by supporters of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has voted overwhelmingly for a set of constitutional amendments that opponents, including the EU, the U.S. government and human rights groups, fear will undermine the country’s 24-year-old democracy.

Mar 11, 2013

Banks saved, but Europe risks “losing a generation”

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe has spent hundreds of billions of euros rescuing its banks but may have lost an entire generation of young people in the process, the president of the European Parliament said.

Since the region’s debt crisis erupted in Greece in late 2009, the European Union has created complex rescue mechanisms to prop up distressed countries and their shaky banking sectors, setting aside a total of 700 billion euros.

Feb 28, 2013

Deepening social crisis threatens fabric of EU

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The worst of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis may be over in terms of financial turmoil but the region now faces a social crisis that has potential to tear the European Union and its single currency project apart.

Political and economic analysts speaking at the Reuters Euro Zone Summit said the decision last September by the European Central Bank to buy government bonds in unlimited amounts set a floor under one part of the crisis, but did nothing to prevent worsening social strife.

Feb 26, 2013

Don’t surrender to populism, EU’s Barroso tells leaders

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso appealed to EU leaders not to give in to populism on Tuesday after Italian voters roundly rejected the austerity policies pursued by outgoing prime minister Mario Monti.

Speaking at a Reuters summit on the future of the euro zone, Barroso said efforts to revive Europe’s economy would take time and required determination. The fact Italian voters had turned Monti out of office did not mean his policies, or those advocated by the European Union, were wrong.

Feb 26, 2013

Complacency will revive euro zone crisis-EU lawmaker

BRUSSELS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Italy’s fractured election
result may be a wake-up call to European politicians who have
slackened their reforms and in any case market pressure will
return to force euro zone integration, a prominent EU lawmaker
said.

The Italian stock market fell and the country’s borrowing
costs rose on Tuesday as investors took fright at a political
stalemate after elections that saw a protest party lead the poll
and left no group with a clear majority in parliament.

Feb 25, 2013

Euro zone at odds over “bail-in” of Cypriot depositors

BRUSSELS/NICOSIA, Feb 25 (Reuters) – European policymakers
are split over how to handle a bailout of Cyprus, with Germany
and some other countries pushing for bank depositors to bear
part of the cost and many other member states worried such a
move will cause a bank run.

Euro zone officials say momentum has built in recent days
behind the idea of “bailing-in” Cypriot bank shareholders and
depositors, although the specifics of how such an operation
would be carried out have not been pinned down.

    • About Luke

      "Luke is bureau chief for Reuters in Brussels. The 25-strong, multimedia bureau covers all European Union issues, from trade, energy and agriculture to foreign policy, competition, regulation and economic affairs. The bureau is also responsible for coverage of NATO and Belgian politics, economics and company news. In his beat, Luke covers foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Iran, and writes about EU economic policy. He was previously based in London, where he was defence correspondent, and before that had postings in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Rome and Johannesburg."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
      Languages:
      English, Italian, French, Spanish
    • More from Luke

      Publications:
      Under Fire: Untold Stories from the Front Line of the Iraq War
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