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Mar 25, 2013

Interview: After Cyprus, eurozone faces tough bank regime: Eurogroup head

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A rescue programme agreed for Cyprus on Monday represents a new template for resolving euro zone banking problems and other countries may have to restructure their banking sectors, the head of the region’s finance ministers said.

“What we’ve done last night is what I call pushing back the risks,” Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, told Reuters and the Financial Times hours after the Cyprus deal was struck.

Mar 25, 2013

After Cyprus, euro zone faces tough bank regime: Eurogroup head

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A rescue program agreed for Cyprus on Monday represents a new template for resolving euro zone banking problems and other countries may have to restructure their banking sectors, the head of the region’s finance ministers said.

“What we’ve done last night is what I call pushing back the risks,” Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, told Reuters and the Financial Times hours after the Cyprus deal was struck.

Mar 22, 2013

EU rescue may tilt Cyprus from Moscow in regional power shift

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – On a hot morning in July last year, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias sat with a group of journalists on the stage of the sleekly modern National Theatre in Nicosia and beamed as he talked about his warm ties with Russia.

The communist party leader, who met his wife and earned his doctorate in Moscow, told the Brussels-based reporters that Cyprus could easily overcome its financial troubles with help from both Russia and the European Union.

Mar 21, 2013

Cypriot banks facing winding-up if no levy agreed -senior official

BRUSSELS, March 21 (Reuters) – If Cyprus cannot agree on a
levy on deposits it faces having its biggest banks wound down,
which would wipe out uninsured depositors, or could be forced to
leave the euro zone, a senior European Union official said on
Thursday.

“At the end of the day it is their own choice,” said the
official, who has direct knowledge of the negotiations between
the euro zone, the International Monetary Fund and Cyprus.

Mar 15, 2013

Exclusive: Draghi lectures euro zone leaders about labor costs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi gave EU leaders a crash course in macroeconomics late on Thursday, emphasizing his concerns about low productivity and high labor costs hurting the euro zone’s prospects, officials said.

In a two-hour session with the euro zone’s 17 heads of state and government, Draghi, a former professor of economics and political science, took his audience through a range of slides and charts depicting the region’s divergences.

Mar 15, 2013

EU finance experts seeking ways to get Cyprus bailout deal

BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – EU officials worked on a
rescue package for Cyprus on Friday, hoping to get approval from
the IMF and euro zone finance ministers later in the day.

Senior sources involved in the negotiations said the package
is expected to contain a mixture of tax increases, one-off
revenue raising measures, plans for privatisations and the
overhaul of Cyprus’s banking sector to ensure that funding for
the bailout is sustainable.

Mar 15, 2013

France, Italy see leeway on budget rules at EU summit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France and Italy won support for a slightly more growth-friendly interpretation of European Union budget rules at a summit on Thursday after French President Francois Hollande challenged German-driven fiscal austerity.

The 27 EU leaders agreed, after debating how to overcome mass unemployment and recession unleashed by three years of the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis, to allow greater leeway for public investment when reducing government deficits.

Mar 15, 2013

EU finance experts burn midnight oil over Cyprus deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU and IMF officials planned to work on a rescue package for Cyprus through the night in Brussels with the aim of presenting the outline of a bailout program to euro zone finance experts on Friday morning, sources said.

The package is expected to contain a mixture of tax increases, one-off revenue raising measures, plans for privatizations and the overhaul of Cyprus’s banking sector to ensure that funding for the bailout is sustainable.

Mar 14, 2013

Constitution changes no threat to democracy, says Hungary PM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A defiant Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban dismissed criticism that changes his government has made to the constitution are anti-democratic, saying there was no evidence of any breach of European Union rules.

The EU, the United States and human rights organizations have accused Orban of using constitutional amendments to limit the powers of Hungary’s top court and undermine democracy in the former Soviet satellite. The move follows steps last year to change Hungary’s media laws and the retirement ages of judges.

Mar 14, 2013

France raises concerns about budget rules at EU summit

BRUSSELS, March 14 (Reuters) – French President Francois
Hollande raised the prospect of a showdown with Germany at a
European summit on Thursday, calling for more room in budgets to
help stimulate growth, a challenge to Berlin’s faith in tight
fiscal controls.

Arriving at the two-day meeting, where discussion will focus
on economic policy and the social fallout from three years of
debt crisis, Hollande said it was essential that governments had
enough budget flexibility to kick-start growth with spending.

    • 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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