Euro zone data starting to surprise on the upside

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2015

A truck passes through an electronic toll gate on the A10 highway south of Berlin

A day before the European Central Bank’s monthly meeting, service sector PMI surveys for euro zone countries will be scrutinized to see if they add to a developing trend of above-forecast economic data.

Greeks on tour

By Mike Peacock
February 4, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras gestures during a news conference with his Italian counterpart Renzi at Chigi palace in Rome

The Greek roadshow continues with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Brussels to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. After that, he will head to Paris to see French President Francois Hollande.

Russia invites new sanctions

By Mike Peacock
January 28, 2015

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a street near the burning building after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian separatists said they had pushed government troops out of two districts on the outskirts of their main stronghold Donetsk and their aim was to expand control to the entire eastern region.

Crunch time

By Mike Peacock
January 22, 2015

ECB President Draghi addresses during ECB news conference in Frankfurt

The biggest policy decision of the year? The first U.S. interest rate rise may trump it whenever it comes and the Swiss National Bank has set the bar pretty high but an awful lot hangs on what the European Central Bank comes up with today.

Ripples from ECB even before it acts

By Mike Peacock
January 20, 2015

Draghi.jpg

The prospect of dramatic European Central Bank action – coupled with the deflationary threat posed by a plunge in the price of oil and the pain it inflicts on oil producing countries – is putting the financial system under growing stress.

Italian and Greek confidence votes

By Mike Peacock
October 8, 2014

Greece's PM Samaras addresses the audience during the Economist Conference on "The big rethink for Europe, the big turning point for Greece" in Athens

You wait ages for a no-confidence vote then two come along on the same day. Neither are expected to cause governments to topple.

Over to Obama

By Mike Peacock
September 3, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One before departing for Estonia while at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington

Barack Obama is in Estonia before the NATO summit in Wales intending to pressure Vladimir Putin to back off in Ukraine. The rhetoric will be strong – not least about protecting the Baltics under NATO’s umbrella.

A dissenting voice

By Mike Peacock
July 23, 2014

A train carrying the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 arrives in Kharkiv

Interesting intervention from former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin late yesterday who warned that Russia risked isolation and having its efforts to modernize derailed.

Renzi and Schaeuble: Compare and contrast

By Mike Peacock
July 2, 2014

renzi2.jpgItalian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will spell out to the European Parliament his priorities for Italy’s six-month tenure of the EU presidency.
Emboldened by a strong showing in May’s EU elections, Renzi is pressing for a focus on growth rather than austerity and has even managed to get Germany to talk the talk.

Common cause for Washington and Tehran in Iraq?

By Mike Peacock
June 16, 2014

Iraq is going up in flames and there appears to be no question of the West putting boots back on the ground in contrast to 2003 when the United States and Britain invaded to topple Saddam Hussein and set in train a decade of chaos that has now exploded again.