BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – The European Commission will
tell Britain to do more to cut its ballooning budget deficit in
the medium term, saying the country’s fiscal programme lacks
ambition, a draft from the EU executive showed on Monday.
The draft, obtained by Reuters two days before publication,
said the programme failed to guarantee Britain would meet a
European Union deadline of 2014-15 for cutting the deficit to
below the bloc’s cap of 3 percent of economic output.
BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – The euro zone lost 347,000
jobs in the last quarter of 2009, data showed on Monday, as the
16-country area’s economic recovery remained beset by fragility.
The number of employed fell 0.2 percent in the final three
months of the year against the previous quarter to 144.3
million, pulled down by job losses in the industrial sector,
European Union statistics office Eurostat said. [ID:nBRQ009767]
BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – Carmakers in the European
Union will face falling sales this year after their output
dropped 17 percent in 2009 due to the economic crisis, an auto
association said on Thursday.
Forecasts remain difficult to make but 2010 will be
challenging as the economy has yet to recover, the European
Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said in an annual report.
It said passenger car sales should decline, especially in
countries where fleet renewal schemes have ended, while
commercial vehicle registrations were expected to be flat.
BRUSSELS, March 9 (Reuters) – European Union finance
ministers will agree next week to phase out aid measures for
banks, industries and the labour market that were introduced to
fight the economic crisis, a draft statement showed on Tuesday.
“If left in place too long these measures could hinder
adjustment processes within and across sectors by distorting
price and cost signals and by introducing wrong incentives,”
said the draft copy of the statement, obtained by Reuters, which
is to be issued after next week’s meeting.
LUXEMBOURG, March 5 (Reuters) – The latest steps by Greece
to overcome its budget problems are strong and tough, and help
from the euro zone is not likely to be needed, Eurogroup
Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday.
Juncker, who chairs monthly meetings of euro zone finance
ministers, was speaking after a meeting with Greek Prime
Minister George Papandreou and two days after Athens announced
additional budget austerity steps of 2 percent of GDP.
BRUSSELS, March 2 (Reuters) – European Socialists proposed
on Tuesday setting up an emergency fund to prevent defaults by
euro zone countries such as Greece that run into trouble, but
there is scant EU appetite for radical institutional reforms.
The fund would be part of the European Investment Bank
(EIB), the European Union’s government-owned financing arm which
issues bonds to secure cash for projects such as energy or
motorway construction, the Socialists said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation remained subdued in January, final data showed, cementing expectations the European Central Bank will keep interest rates on hold for months to come as economic recovery remains fragile.
The European Union statistics office confirmed its earlier estimate that consumer prices in the 16-country currency bloc rose 1.0 percent year-on-year, up from 0.9 percent in December.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone states urged Greece on Monday to announce more deficit-control steps by mid-March if needed, but said nothing new of last week’s pledge to defend the country if debt market pressures spin out of control.
At talks among finance ministers, Greece asked the euro zone to bear with its fiscal plans as announced, and warned that last week’s offer of support by EU leaders may not be enough to stem a debt market squeeze on governments in the region.
BRUSSELS, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Greece faced down pressure for
deeper budget cuts at euro zone talks on Monday and warned that
last week’s support pledge by European leaders may not suffice
to stop the debt market squeeze on governments in the region.
Greece last Thursday became the first country in 11 years of
European monetary union to require such a pledge after mounting
concern about its ability to service a bloated debt sparked a
market frenzy that drove bond yields up and the euro down.
BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The euro zone’s economic
recovery lost steam in the final quarter of last year as gross
domestic product barely expanded, with France the only one of
the currency area’s four biggest economies to post growth.
The 16-country area’s GDP edged up 0.1 percent in the
October-December period compared with the previous quarter, and
contracted by 2.1 percent from the last quarter of 2008, EU data
office Eurostat said in a flash estimate. [ID:nBRQ009717]