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.

Differing accounts after late-night Greek talks

March 20, 2015

Hollande, Merkel, Dijsselbloem, Juncker, Tsipras, Tusk and officials during an EU leaders summit in Brussel

After late-night talks in Brussels with key EU leaders and institutional chiefs, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras assured his creditors that he would soon present a full set of economic reforms in order to unlock cash to stave off bankruptcy.

Tsipras’ High Noon

By Mike Peacock
March 19, 2015


EU leaders gather for a two-day summit with Greece and Ukraine eclipsing the official economic and energy policy agenda.

Merkel, seeking firm line with Russia, meets Poroshenko

By Mike Peacock
March 16, 2015

Ukraine's President Poroshenko addresses the commemoration for people killed in anti-government protests in 2014 in Kiev

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin.

Another Russian rate cut?

By Mike Peacock
March 13, 2015

A cashier takes a 500-rouble banknote from a cash register as she serves a customer at the Vinoteka specialised wine and vodka store in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

Russia’s central bank meets having unexpectedly cut its key policy rate in January by 200 basis points to 15 percent, raising a question mark over its independence from political pressure, given inflation rose to a 13-year high of 16.7 percent in February.

Ukraine to get serious money

By Mike Peacock
March 12, 2015

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Lagarde speaks about the situation in Ukraine at a news conference in Brussels

The International Monetary Fund surprised on the upside with its programme for Ukraine last night, agreeing $17.5 billion in loans as expected but agreeing to pump $10 billion of that into the near bankrupt country over the next year and handing over $5 billion imminently.