BRUSSELS, Oct 1 (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers
met on Friday in a fresh attempt to agree a common approach on
taxing banks as well as to grill credit rating agencies about
how they arrive at their ratings.
Three years since the onset of a banking and economic
crisis, European Union member states are still struggling to
agree on reforms to regain control over the financial sector.
The bloc recently created three new watchdogs to police the
industry, but its 27 member states remain at loggerheads over
how to charge banks an extra levy for the costs of crises.
BRUSSELS, Sept 27 (Reuters) – European Union ministers
backed tougher sanctions on Monday for euro zone budget
rule-breakers and disciplinary steps for countries running high
debts, but clashed over how automatic the penalties should be.
“The discussion today showed a very large degree of
convergence on important issues related to budgetary and
economic surveillance,” EU President Herman van Rompuy said
after chairing the finance ministers’ talks in Brussels.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers may struggle to agree on ways to toughen debt and deficit rules in talks on Monday aimed at regaining confidence in the euro zone.
Euro zone sources said there was broad agreement on the need to make the EU budget rules tougher, but a difficult discussion was likely over the details of the draft proposals.
BRUSSELS, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Divisions are likely to emerge
next week when European Union governments discuss sharpening the
rules on budget discipline and its executive makes proposals for
tougher sanctions on fiscal sinners.
The negotiations, launched after Greece’s profligacy brought
the euro zone to the brink of a sovereign debt crisis, could
herald a big shake-up of rules for the single currency 11 years
after its creation, European diplomats say.
BRUSSELS, Sept 7 (Reuters) – European Union finance
ministers agreed on Tuesday to submit budget plans for early
review by the European Commission and other EU governments as
part of moves to strengthen fiscal discipline in the bloc.
The process, called the European Semester, is to start from
2011. Governments in the 27-nation EU will send the main budget
outlines to the executive Commission by the end of April.
BRUSSELS, Sept 6 (Reuters) – European Union finance
ministers sought on Monday to make sanctions for EU budget rule
breakers more automatic, but put off potentially difficult talks
on a permanent mechanism to resolve euro zone crises.
The ministers from the 27-nation bloc met under the guise of
the Task Force established to discuss changes to EU budget
rules, the Stability and Growth Pact, to prevent another
sovereign debt crisis like the one triggered by Greece.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Farm aid should be reduced to about one third of the European Union’s budget and spending could be shifted towards research and innovation, the EU’s budget chief said on Monday.
Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said talks that are about to start on the EU budget, now worth about 130 billion euros (102 billion pounds) annually, could be the most difficult in the bloc’s history following the global economic crisis.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone retail sales increased for a third successive month in July, offering more signs that consumers are opening their wallets and boosting the chances of the economic recovery continuing.
Sales across the 16-nation currency bloc edged up 0.1 percent from June and rose by a faster-than-expected 1.1 percent year-on-year, the European Union statistical office Eurostat said on Friday.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski urged European Union governments Wednesday to preserve large EU funds for poor regions when the bloc overhauls its 130 billion euros ($164.3 billion) annual budget.
The EU’s 27 countries will launch negotiations next year on the shape of the 2014-2021 budget. Many politicians are calling for austerity following the global economic crisis, which has emptied government coffers and increased national debts.
BRUSSELS, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment
improved by more than expected in August and inflation
expectations were muted, data showed on Monday, auguring well
for continued economic recovery in the third quarter.
A monthly European Commission survey showed sentiment in the
16-country currency area inched up to 101.8 points from July’s
downwardly revised 101.1, the fifth improvement from a trough of
64.6 in March 2009. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an
increase in economic sentiment to 101.7 points.