Last TV debate over, election run-in begins

By Mike Peacock
May 1, 2015

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he delivers an election speech at an engineering factory in Birmingham

With most of Europe taking May Day off, the focus is firmly on pre-election Britain.

Russian rates to fall as rouble rallies

By Mike Peacock
April 30, 2015

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

Russia’s central bank is expected to cut interest rates today, following a sharp rally in the rouble in tandem with oil’s recovery.

No Greek deal in Riga but glimmers of convergence

By Mike Peacock
April 24, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis attends a parliamentary session in Athens

We’ve been saying it for a week or more and it’s now confirmed – the lack of an economic reform programme forthcoming from Athens means today’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Riga can achieve no breakthrough despite glimmers of the two sides moving closer.

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.

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.

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.