Opinion

Paul Taylor

Pressure for more ECB action after summit falls short

Paul Taylor
Dec 14, 2011 12:25 UTC

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Pressure mounted on Wednesday for the European Central Bank to intervene more decisively after financial markets judged that yet another EU summit had failed to resolve the euro zone’s debt crisis.

But Germany’s powerful central bank chief, Jens Weidmann, an influential voice in the ECB, made clear his opposition to ramping up the ECB’s purchases of euro zone government bonds.

He also said the Bundesbank would only provide fresh funds for the International Monetary Fund to help fight the euro zone crisis if countries beyond Europe did so too.

The euro sank to an 11-month low against the dollar, stocks slid and Italy had to pay a euro era record yield to sell 5-year bonds as nervous investors awaited a possible credit rating downgrade for one or more euro zone countries. <GVD/EUR>

Rome had to pay 6.47 percent to sell 3 billion euros of bonds, up from a record 6.29 percent a month ago, highlighting fierce market pressure ahead of a year in which Italy has a gross funding goal of 440 billion euros starting in late January.

Analysis: Cameron puts Britain offside and offshore in Europe

Paul Taylor
Dec 12, 2011 00:07 UTC

LONDON (Reuters) – David Cameron has put Britain offside and offshore in Europe.

In his failed last-minute quest for special treatment over financial regulation, the prime minister has taken Britain out of the room where decisions on the future of Europe will be shaped.

The consequence could well be a prolonged, bitter parting of the ways between the British and the rest of the European Union, culminating in an acrimonious divorce in which both sides lose.

Cameron puts Britain offside and offshore in Europe

Paul Taylor
Dec 12, 2011 00:00 UTC

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – .David Cameron has put
Britain offside and offshore in Europe.

In his failed last-minute quest for special treatment over
financial regulation, the prime minister has taken Britain out
of the room where decisions on the future of Europe will be
shaped.

The consequence could well be a prolonged, bitter parting of
the ways between the British and the rest of the European Union,
culminating in an acrimonious divorce in which both sides lose.

Sarkozy, Draghi winners in EU rift, Cameron loses

Paul Taylor
Dec 10, 2011 12:12 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Napoleon dreamed of it, De Gaulle fought for it, but Nicolas Sarkozy may have achieved it — a Europe of Nations with France in the cockpit and Britain on the sidelines.

The French president emerged as one of the big winners of a European Union summit on Friday which ended with up to 26 member states agreeing to move forward in economic integration around the euro zone, and Britain alone in staying out.

“Of course this is not just a long-standing desire, but a long-standing goal of French politics … because in the French tradition Britain never really belonged to the European Union, dating back to De Gaulle,” said a senior EU official who attended the summit, referring to the French president’s veto of British entry in 1963 and again in 1967.

Analysis: Sarkozy, Draghi winners in EU rift, Cameron loses

Paul Taylor
Dec 9, 2011 18:42 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Napoleon dreamed of it, De Gaulle fought for it, but Nicolas Sarkozy may have achieved it — a Europe of Nations with France in the cockpit and Britain on the sidelines.

The French president emerged as one of the big winners of a European Union summit on Friday which ended with up to 26 member states agreeing to move forward in economic integration around the euro zone, and Britain alone in staying out.

“Of course this is not just a long-standing desire, but a long-standing goal of French politics … because in the French tradition Britain never really belonged to the European Union, dating back to De Gaulle,” said a senior EU official who attended the summit, referring to the French president’s veto of British entry in 1963 and again in 1967.

ECB limits bond buying, eurozone looks to banks

Paul Taylor
Dec 9, 2011 14:43 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is capping its weekly bond purchases at 20 billion euros and euro zone officials hope its new bumper liquidity provision will allow banks to buy more government debt and ease crisis-hit states’ borrowing costs, ECB sources said on Friday.

The bank has bought no more than 22 billion euros worth of bonds in any week since it reactivated its bond-buy programme in August. ECB sources said it would keep purchases to a maximum of 20 billion euros now and is not considering bigger action in response to an EU summit decision to create a fiscal union.

Twenty-three of the EU’s 27 leaders agreed to pursue tighter integration with stricter budget rules for the euro zone, though Britain said it could not accept proposed amendments to the EU treaty after failing to secure concessions for itself.

Exclusive: ECB limits bond buying, euro zone looks to banks

Paul Taylor
Dec 9, 2011 14:13 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is capping its weekly bond purchases at 20 billion euros and euro zone officials hope its new bumper liquidity provision will allow banks to buy more government debt and ease crisis-hit states’ borrowing costs, ECB sources said on Friday.

The bank has bought no more than 22 billion euros worth of bonds in any week since it reactivated its bond-buy program in August. ECB sources said it would keep purchases to a maximum of 20 billion euros now and is not considering bigger action in response to an EU summit decision to create a fiscal union.

Twenty-three of the EU’s 27 leaders agreed to pursue tighter integration with stricter budget rules for the euro zone, though Britain said it could not accept proposed amendments to the EU treaty after failing to secure concessions for itself.

Europe splits over fiscal union

Paul Taylor
Dec 9, 2011 08:49 UTC

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe divided on Friday in a historic rift over building a fiscal union to preserve the euro, with a large majority of countries led by Germany and France agreeing to move ahead with a separate treaty, leaving Britain isolated.

Twenty-three of the 27 leaders agreed to pursue tighter integration with stricter budget rules for the single currency area, but Britain said it could not accept proposed amendments to the EU treaty after failing to secure concessions for itself.

After 10 hours of talks, all 17 members of the euro zone and six countries that aspire to join resolved to negotiate a new agreement alongside the EU treaty with a tougher deficit and debt regime to insulate the euro zone against the debt crisis.

Europe splits over fiscal union, UK isolated

Paul Taylor
Dec 9, 2011 08:31 UTC

BRUSSELS, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Europe divided on Friday
in a historic rift over building a fiscal union to preserve the
euro, with a large majority of countries led by Germany and
France agreeing to move ahead with a separate treaty, leaving
Britain isolated.

Twenty-three of the 27 leaders agreed to pursue tighter
integration with stricter budget rules for the single currency
area, but Britain said it could not accept proposed amendments
to the EU treaty after failing to secure concessions for itself.

After 10 hours of talks, all 17 members of the euro zone and
six countries that aspire to join resolved to negotiate a new
agreement alongside the EU treaty with a tougher deficit and
debt regime to insulate the euro zone against the debt crisis.

Insight: Conflicting visions at core of euro zone crisis

Paul Taylor
Dec 6, 2011 10:48 UTC

PARIS (Reuters) – Same bed, different dreams.

Since the inception of the euro, France and Germany have pursued divergent visions of European economic and monetary union. In two decades, the French have become a little more German, the Germans a little more French. But the gulf remains.

With the fate of the 17-nation single currency at stake at a summit this week, 20 years almost to the day since the Maastricht summit at which European leaders agreed to merge their monies, the same battles are still being fought out.

Between sovereignty and federalism; between “stability” and growth; between more solidarity and stricter discipline; between a directorate of big states and a more democratic organization for the continent; and between a tightly-knit “core Europe” and a broader but looser union.

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