PRAGUE (Reuters) – Manufacturing in emerging Europe’s biggest economies shrank for the ninth straight month in December, with Poland’s pace of deterioration stabilising but that of the Czechs plunging to a three-and-a-half year low.
The data adds further pressure to policymakers across the European Union’s eastern wing who have cut interest rates and eased back on austerity programmes to combat a downward spiral in growth that has sent many countries back into recession.
PRAGUE, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Belt tightening by recession-hit
consumers in the European Union’s eastern wing has put paid to
fears of runaway price growth, opening the way for quicker
monetary easing by most of the region’s central banks.
Polish, Hungarian and Czech rate setters have already eased
policy in the hope of spurring domestic spending. But arguments
are building that they can afford to take more decisive action.
PRAGUE, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Angry at government austerity
measures and fearful of losing jobs, Czechs keep piling their
cash into savings – confounding authorities’ efforts to end the
country’s longest recession in 15 years.
The central European nation’s economy shrank for a fourth
straight quarter from July to September, data confirmed on
Friday, making its economic contraction the longest in the
European Union outside the euro zone.
PRAGUE, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Manufacturing in the EU’s two
biggest eastern economies shrank for the eighth straight month
in November, pointing to a further slowdown in Poland and a
fifth month of recession for the export-dependent Czechs.
With the euro zone debt crisis hitting consumers in their
main export markets, the countries of central and Eastern Europe
have cut output of the cars, electronics and other manufactured
goods that are their main source of national income.
PRAGUE (Reuters) – When Czechs cast the lone European “no” vote against the Palestinian Authority’s bid for semi-statehood at the United Nations this week, it was no surprise from a country Israel has named as its best friend on the continent.
Once the punchbag for aggressive neighbours before World War Two, the central European state of 10.5 million has long backed the Jewish state and its main ally, the United States.
PRAGUE (Reuters) – Hungarian Jews have asked Russia to return scrolls and valuable religious items looted by Nazis and the Red Army in World War Two and their claim has been backed by the Budapest government.
Some 300 to 400 Torah scrolls and thousands of vestments, crowns and other articles are being held in museums and storage in Russia, said Slomo Koves, executive rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation.
ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek parliament approved an austerity budget for next year on Sunday, allowing it to extend its international financial bailout and avoid bankruptcy.
With backing from all three parties in conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition, the bill passed by a more comfortable margin than a separate package of deficit-cutting measures on which some of his allies had abstained on Wednesday.
ATHENS (Reuters) – When Greece’s government pushed through a law last week aimed at slashing public wages and raising taxes, its biggest threat was not the firebrand opposition or the 100,000 protesters thronged at the gates of parliament.
It was the assembly’s workers themselves, a well-connected group that has long evoked disdain for enjoying the kind of lavish pay and benefits that have become emblematic of the public sector excess at the heart of Greece’s debt crisis.
ATHENS, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Greece is expected to approve a
2013 budget on Sunday that includes unpopular spending cuts and
tax hikes so it can receive an international aid payment and
The parliamentary vote is a test of confidence in Prime
Minister Antonis Samaras’ three-party coalition government as it
tries to steer the country through a debt crisis and out of a
ATHENS, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Greece’s coalition government
hopes to overcome its own divisions and defy protesters’ fury at
parliament’s gates on Wednesday to push through an austerity
package needed to secure an injection of aid and avert
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to narrowly win
support for the cocktail of budget cuts, tax hikes and labour
reforms. The smallest party in his conservative-liberal
coalition will oppose the measures, leaving him with a margin of
just a handful of votes.