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Jun 3, 2010

European unions warn of growing anger over austerity

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European governments will face “a hot autumn” of strikes and other protests unless governments undo some of their spending cuts and agree recovery programmes with trade unions, a union leader said on Thursday.

John Monks, head of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), said workers had so far reacted relatively calmly to financial austerity programmes announced by many governments to reassure investors worried over mounting public debt.

Jun 3, 2010

Hungary govt sees deficit overshoot, EU warns

BUDAPEST, June 3 (Reuters) – The European Commission on
Thursday urged Hungary to cut its budget deficit faster, even as
government officials reiterated the 2010 fiscal gap may reach
almost twice the target agreed with lenders including the EU.

The new centre-right government, which had promised tax cuts
to boost growth, has warned in the past few weeks that the
deficit could be much higher than the agreed target of 3.8
percent of GDP, blaming “fiscal skeletons” left by the previous
Socialist administration.

May 21, 2010

EU finmins want more sanctions for budget rule breakers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers looked set on Friday to support a German proposal for tougher sanctions against EU budget rule breakers, a move to shore up the euro and guard against a debt meltdown.

The ministers are meeting for the first time to discuss changes to the way the 27-nation bloc manages public finances and its coordination of economic policy as investors flee the euro, pushing the common currency down 6 percent this month.

May 19, 2010

Poland says still committed to euro despite Greece

WARSAW/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Poland remains committed to adopting the euro and could join as early as 2014, two ministers said on Tuesday, despite the debt crisis engulfing Greece and threatening some other EU member states.

Last week, Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said the euro zone needed time to “refurbish” due to the debt crisis and that Warsaw was in no rush to join, but he signalled on Tuesday that Poland was keeping its options open.

May 17, 2010

Euro zone ministers seek debt control strategy

BRUSSELS, May 17 (Reuters) – Shaken by a debt crisis that is
hurting their currency, euro zone finance ministers met on
Monday to discuss more effective fiscal discipline for now and
the longer term.

The talks were the first since euro zone governments hatched
a $1 trillion plan a week ago in a bid to stabilise nervous
financial markets and limit contagion risks after the financial
rescue of Greece, the first in 11 years of monetary union.

May 12, 2010
via Global News Journal

Playing with inflated numbers


Most people would agree that the European Union and the euro single currency are part of a grand political and economic vision. But at times they are also a bit of a numbers game.

As Greece has shown with its less-than-reliable economic statistics, numbers can be fiddled to get budget deficits and debts down and meet the criteria to join the euro.

Apr 27, 2010

Bigger 2011 EU budget proposed, focus on recovery

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union executive proposed a bigger 2011 budget for the EU on Tuesday, saying the package aims to help the bloc recover from economic crisis although farming will receive the lion’s share.

The European Commission’s draft budget sets spending at 131.1 billion euros ($174.6 billion), some 5.9 percent more than in 2010.

Apr 27, 2010
via Global News Journal

The quality of MEPs is sometimes strained


I am not a Eurosceptic, but you do sometimes question whether the billions of euros European taxpayers’ dole out each year to the European Union — and specifically the European Parliament — is always money well spent.

Those doubts came freshly to mind on Tuesday during the presentation of the European Central Bank’s annual report to the parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Apr 16, 2010
via Global News Journal

Europeans discuss Greek aid, PM says pain not over

MADRID/ATHENS (Reuters) – European finance ministers discussed Greece’s debt difficulties on Friday but said Athens was for now seeking to remove any obstacles to the rollout of emergency aid if needed, rather than requesting it officially.

As they did so, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told parliament his government was imposing a painful austerity plan to prevent the country sinking and that any request to activate the outside aid would be “based on the country’s interest.”

Apr 14, 2010
via Global News Journal

Portuguese bonds sell, Brussels okays debt plan

LISBON/BRUSSELS, April 14 (Reuters) – Portugal successfully
sold 2 billion euros ($2.73 billion) of two- and 10-year bonds
on Wednesday and won qualified support from the European
Commission for its plans to cut the budget deficit.

But while the country saw strong demand for its bonds,
investors priced in higher risk for the longer-dated issue and
spreads rose in the secondary market following other peripheral
euro zone countries.

    • About Marcin

      "Based in Brussels, I cover macroeconomy, EU budget, issues related to central and eastern Europe. I previously worked in Warsaw as deputy bureau chief"
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