Bureau Chief, Brussels
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May 22, 2013

EU leaders shine spotlight on Amazon, Google over tax policy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders will discuss how to combat aggressive tax avoidance by major companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple at a summit on Wednesday, and cut the estimated 1 trillion euros a year the EU loses to tax evasion or avoidance.

The four-hour summit was originally called to discuss energy policy, but investigations in Britain, France and the United States exposing how little tax major international companies have been paying by carefully structuring their European operations has forced the issue to the top of the agenda.

May 21, 2013

EU leaders look to end Apple-style tax avoidance schemes

BRUSSELS/PARIS, May 21 (Reuters) – Growing concern in
European capitals about aggressive tax avoidance by high-profile
corporations such as Amazon, Google and Apple looks set to steal
the agenda of a European Union summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

The summit was originally called to discuss energy policy
and tax coordination, but press reports in Britain, France and
the United States exposing how little tax major international
companies have been paying by carefully structuring their
European operations has forced the issue up the agenda.

May 17, 2013

Brussels, Berlin lukewarm on Hollande’s euro zone vision

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European officials gave a lukewarm response to French President Francois Hollande’s sweeping proposals for deeper euro zone integration on Friday, noting that many of his ideas were already in circulation.

In a 2-1/2-hour news conference at the Elysee Palace on Thursday, Hollande set out plans for an “economic government” for the 17 euro zone countries, including its own budget and a full-time president.

May 13, 2013

Europeans losing faith in EU, French disillusioned – survey

BRUSSELS, May 13 (Reuters) – Europe’s debt crisis has
shattered its citizens’ faith in the European Union and
increased distrust between core nations, although support for
the euro currency remains solid, according to a widely watched
study released on Monday.

In a survey of 7,600 people in eight EU member states, Pew
Research Center found rapidly declining confidence in the
European project and growing disagreements over key parts of it
between Germany, France, Britain and other major nations, a
dangerous combination that could splinter European unity.

May 8, 2013

Britain launches new drive to lift EU arms ban on Syria

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The government has launched a push to have the European Union’s arms embargo on Syrian rebels lifted, saying doing so would strengthen the moderate opposition and ensure the EU could respond to any chemical weapons attack.

EU member states are sharply divided over easing the embargo for the rebels. Negotiations over whether to take such a bold step are expected to run until close to June 1, the expiry date of the existing sanctions against Syria. EU foreign ministers will meet to discuss the issue on May 27.

Apr 29, 2013

The maze behind EU “treaty change”

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – If there are two words that tense the jaws of European policymakers and prompt a concerned sucking of teeth, they are treaty change.

Like a nervous driver being told mid-route that he needs a different map if he’s going to get where he’s going, no one is sure whether the outcome will be road rage, a car crash or a smoother, if longer, journey.

Apr 29, 2013

Analysis: The maze behind EU “treaty change”

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – If there are two words that tense the jaws of European policymakers and prompt a concerned sucking of teeth, they are treaty change.

Like a nervous driver being told mid-route that he needs a different map if he’s going to get where he’s going, no one is sure whether the outcome will be road rage, a car crash or a smoother, if longer, journey.

Apr 24, 2013

Insight: What ever happened to France’s voice in Europe?

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – A few hours after midnight one Sunday last month, as negotiations over a rescue for Cyprus dragged into a second day, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici fell asleep.

Most euro zone ministers in Brussels that night failed to notice, continuing to pore over the details of the multi-billion-euro deal. It fell to Christine Lagarde, French director of the International Monetary Fund, to approach Moscovici and nudge him awake, according to witnesses at the March 24 talks.

Apr 24, 2013

What ever happened to France’s voice in Europe?

BRUSSELS/PARIS, April 24 (Reuters) – A few hours after
midnight one Sunday last month, as negotiations over a rescue
for Cyprus dragged into a second day, French Finance Minister
Pierre Moscovici fell asleep.

Most euro zone ministers in Brussels that night failed to
notice, continuing to pore over the details of the
multi-billion-euro deal. It fell to Christine Lagarde, French
director of the International Monetary Fund, to approach
Moscovici and nudge him awake, according to witnesses at the
March 24 talks.

Apr 15, 2013

Greece set to win more bailout aid, may seek debt relief

BRUSSELS/ATHENS, April 15 (Reuters) – Greece received a
clean bill of health from its international creditors on Monday,
securing more rescue aid and prompting its finance minister to
say he would ask for much more debt relief if Athens keeps
meeting its bailout targets.

Athens is on course to contain its debt and pull itself out
of a crippling recession next year, the creditors said, adding
that the next disbursement of aid to the country, of at least
2.8 billion euros ($3.7 billion), should be approved soon.

    • 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
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