Some progress cited in Greek talks, but not enough

By Mike Peacock
April 22, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis walks past  Eurogroup Chairman Dijsselbloem at a euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Euro zone finance deputies are due to hold talks today on how to rescue Greece but appear to have little concrete to work on with Athens yet to produce a new economic reform programme after the first one was declared full of holes.

Hopes of Greek Riga deal fade

By Mike Peacock
April 21, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras leave after addressing news conference in Berlin

It wasn’t long ago that both Greece and the euro zone declared a reforms-for-funds deal had to be struck at a euro zone ministerial meeting in Riga on Friday to avert disaster.

EU forced to confront Med migrant crisis

By Mike Peacock
April 20, 2015

A rescue vessel is seen during the search and rescue operation underway after a boat carrying migrants capsized overnight, with up to 700 feared dead, in this still image taken from video

EU foreign ministers will discuss action on migration across the Mediterranean at a meeting in Luxembourg today. As many as 700 people are feared dead after a fishing boat packed with migrants capsized off the Libyan coast over the weekend.

Huge gaps to bridge in Greek negotiations

By Mike Peacock
April 17, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis speaks at the Brookings Institution in Washington

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters on Thursday he was “firmly optimistic” of reaching an agreement with Greece’s creditors. But he acknowledged that the two sides disagreed on four major issues: labour rules, pension reform, a hike in value-added taxes and privatisations.

Greek drama shifts to Washington

By Mike Peacock
April 16, 2015

German Finance Minister Schaeuble attends news conference in Berlin

Much of the action switches to Washington where G20 finance ministers and central bankers are gathering for the IMF’s spring conference.

Looking for Greek hints from ECB

By Mike Peacock
April 15, 2015

European Central Bank President Draghi and Vice President Constancio leave after addressing an ECB news conferenc in FrankfurtIt’s European Central Bank day and with quantitative easing now well underway any morsels it hands out on its approach to Greece are likely to capture the headlines.

Greek rumour mill in overdrive

By Mike Peacock
April 14, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras leave after addressing news conference in Berlin

Greece returns from its Easter break with only a few days to improve on a package of reforms that the euro zone is insisting on in return for fresh bailout money.

Will manifestos move the UK election dial?

By Mike Peacock
April 13, 2015

Labour leader Miliband speaks at a joint news conference in Edinburgh

Britain’s main political parties will publish their election manifestos this week after what seems likes weeks of campaigning already, none of which has significantly shifted the polls putting the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour party neck-and-neck.
Labour will launch its manifesto today with the Conservatives following on Tuesday.

Greeks seeking Russian gifts?

By Mike Peacock
April 8, 2015

Greece's PM Tsipras addresses a news conference after an EU leaders summit in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in Moscow.

There has been talk from some in his Syriza party that Russia could be a substitute for EU support. Western sanctions over Ukraine leave it in no position to give Greece funding though the agriculture minister said Moscow could consider removing Greece, Hungary and Cyprus from its ban on most Western food imports, imposed in response to sanctions imposed by the EU and United States.

Completing the Q1 euro zone picture

By Mike Peacock
April 7, 2015

Shoppers look for goods in a Karstadt hot deal department store in  in Frankfurt/Oder

Service sector PMI surveys for euro zone members, Britain and others in March will complete a first quarter picture which has generally shown the currency bloc outperforming the United States and China.