BRUSSELS, Oct 15 (Reuters) – The European Union and South
Korea initialled a free trade deal on Thursday despite protests
from EU car makers which fear Asian competition.
The long-awaited trade pact, which scraps nearly all import
tariffs, is potentially worth 100 billion euros ($149 billion)
to both economies and its advocates say it will help both sides
fight the worst financial crisis in decades.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – China will carry on with its fiscal stimulus and loose monetary policy as the country’s economic recovery is not yet on a solid footing, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said on Friday.
Speaking at a seminar during a visit to Belgium, Xi forecast that a return to growth across the world would be slow and gradual. He vowed to stick to an agreement on overhauling the world’s economy reached at a recent summit of the G20 countries.
GOTHENBURG, Sweden (Reuters) – The European Union increased pressure on the United States on Friday to do more to secure a global deal on fighting climate change this year as talks have stalled.
The EU’s 27 finance ministers, meeting in Sweden, believe President Barack Obama’s administration should show more leadership to convince poor countries to sign up to climate agreement that would replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.
GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Denmark’s finance minister voiced optimism on Friday that a summit in Copenhagen this year will clinch a deal on fighting climate change, but some of his counterparts clashed over how to fund this.
European Union finance ministers were discussing some key elements of a possible deal at their informal meeting in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, including plans for rich countries to pay poor ones so they cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
Finance has emerged as the main stumbling block to a global climate agreement that would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Denmark, which will host the talks in December, remains optimistic.
"You can’t be certain, but we are hopeful that we will find an agreement and we think that it moves in the right direction now," Denmark Finance Minister Claus Hjort Fredriksen told reporters.
"I think we have seen some good moves lately, the Chinese moved, the Japanese moved, so we are quite confident that it’s within reach, getting an agreement in Copenhagen," he added.
But despite pressure from other ministers, Poland stuck to its guns in opposing current proposals to help financially poor countries to cut emissions.
Poland is worried the EU’s contribution could be based on member states’ CO2 emission levels, which could prove costly for the country that depends heavily on coal for power generation.
"From our point of view it is totally unacceptable that the poor countries of Europe should help the rich countries of Europe to help the poor countries in the rest of the world," Polish Finance Minister Jan Rostowski told reporters.
"So we will not agree to a mechanism that would lead to such a complete unjust proposal."
The ministers were trying to bridge their differences ahead of a possible final debate that will take place at their next meeting in Luxembourg on Oct. 19-20.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has proposed that the 27-nation bloc pay poor countries up to 15 billion euros ($21.8 billion) a year by 2020 to persuade them to help battle climate change.
But Poland opposes naming any concrete figure, saying a financing mechanism must first be developed.
Some EU countries are impatient with Poland, fearing the bloc’s lack of resolution undermined its position in global negotiations, some diplomats say.
"Europe must take a leading role to make Copenhagen a success," said Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos. (Additional reporting by Mia Shanley and Niklas Pollard; editing by James Jukwey)
GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Unemployment in the
16-country euro zone rose to a more than 10-year high of 9.6
percent in August and economists warned it will likely worsen
further, hurting the prospects for a strong economic recovery.
The European Union statistics office said on Thursday the
number of people without work had risen by 165,000 from July to
15.17 million as firms closed factories and laid off workers in
the worst economic crisis since World War Two. [ID:nBRQ007544]