Merkel raps Italy, France over budgets

By Mike Peacock
December 8, 2014

France's President Hollande talks with Italy's Prime Minister Renzi during the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan

Euro zone finance ministers meet in Brussels to discuss member states’ 2015 budget plans. We know the European Commission thinks France, Italy and Belgium are breaking EU deficit rules but will defer decisions on any action until March. At that point, France could face a multi-billion euro fine and Italy and Belgium be put on a disciplinary programme.

Eyes on Weidmann for Draghi pushback

By Mike Peacock
December 5, 2014

Deutsche Bundesbank President Weidmann arrives for the annual news conference in Frankfurt

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his Italian counterpart, Pier Carlo Padoan, all speak at a conference in Frankfurt today.

To spend or save?

By Mike Peacock
December 2, 2014

French Economy Minister Macron and Germany's Economy Minister Gabriel arrive to attend a news conference to present the Franco-German report on economic reforms and investment in Paris

Germany’s finance and economy ministers and central bank chiefs meet in Berlin with plenty to discuss.

Euro zone litmus tests

By Mike Peacock
November 27, 2014

RTR3OB5X.jpg

Two vital gauges of euro zone progress, or lack of it, today.

German inflation for November is forecast to slip to 0.6 percent and will cue up the euro zone figure on Friday, which is predicted to come in at just 0.3 percent. Spanish inflation, due earlier, is forecast to come in at -0.3 percent.

EU investment plan; game changer or empty vessel?

By Mike Peacock
November 26, 2014

European Central Bank President Draghi and Eurogroup President -Juncker talk during a news conference in Nicosia, Cyprus

New European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will unveil his investment plan for the bloc to the European Parliament today which aims to generate 315 billion euros of investment and lift growth onto a higher plane. The details were put out last night and there’s no new money in it. Instead, 21 billion euros of funding is expected to leverage private investment of a whopping 15 times that amount.

Greek bailout pressure rising

By Mike Peacock
November 25, 2014

A Greek and an EU flag flutter in front of the temple of the Parthenon during the takeover ceremony of the six-month rotation of Greece's EU Presidency in Athens

Greece’s government will resume stalled talks with EU/IMF lenders in Paris today as Athens pushes to make an early exit from an unpopular bailout programme.

Iran talks stumble on

By Mike Peacock
November 24, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Iranian FM Zarif before their meeting in Vienna

Officials say it will not be possible to reach a comprehensive deal between Iran and six world powers aimed at resolving the stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions by today’s deadline.

UK politics thrown up in the air

By Mike Peacock
November 21, 2014

Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, cheers as it is announced that UKIP candidate Mark Reckless won the by-election at Medway Park in Gillingham

As predicted, Britain’s surging anti-EU party UKIP snatched a second parliamentary seat from the ruling Conservatives overnight.

UKIP looking for next advance

By Mike Peacock
November 20, 2014

United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage reacts duing a photocall outside the party campaign office in Rochester southeast England

Never heard of Rochester and Strood? You might have by tomorrow. The southern England constituency votes today following the defection of its Conservative parliamentarian to anti-EU UKIP.

EU uneasy about Hungary’s closeness to Russia

By Mike Peacock
November 19, 2014

Hungary's PM Orban arrives at an EU leaders summit in Brussels

After Germany’s foreign minister saw “no reason for optimism” after talks in Moscow on Tuesday, today Hungary’s Peter Szijjarto meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Violence is on the rise again in eastern Ukraine and tougher sanctions against Russia remain a live possibility although EU foreign ministers limited themselves to targeting a few more Ukrainian separatists earlier this week.