Opinion

Paul Taylor

BNP says no more ground to give in Greek talks

Paul Taylor
Jan 25, 2012 17:05 UTC

DAVOS, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Financial markets’ sentiment
towards the euro zone may have turned the corner, but banks will
offer no more concessions in crucial talks to reduce Greece’s
private sector debt, BNP Paribas chairman Baudouin Prot said on
Wednesday.

He said the European Central Bank’s move to flood the
banking sector with almost half a trillion euros in short-term
loans had helped to change the mood.

“I am a cautious optimist,” Prot told Reuters at the World
Economic Forum in Davos.

“We are starting to see signs of a shift in sentiment
towards Europe. The ECB three-year financing facility was really
a catalyst. We are on the right track, but we need to keep
moving forward.”

Greece is hoping to wrap up tortuous negotiations this week
on a bond swap that aims to knock 100 billion euros ($130
billion) off its debt burden when private creditors return to
Athens for a fresh round of talks to avert a chaotic default.

As euro crisis fears ease, focus turns to growth

Paul Taylor
Jan 25, 2012 08:33 UTC

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 25 (Reuters) – There is a
palpable sense of hope at the annual Davos World Economic Forum
that the euro zone is edging away from the brink of catastrophe
but business leaders say Europe’s woes are still holding back a
global recovery.

A growth strategy is the missing ingredient in the policy
cocktail that euro zone leaders are mixing to save the currency
bloc from break-up. Without economic recovery, re-election will
be tough for presidents in Europe and beyond this year.

The 2,600 political and business leaders attending the
five-day Davos Forum meet against a backdrop of improved market
sentiment driven by signs the euro zone may escape recession and
that intense market pressure on Italy and Spain is easing.

History repeats itself in euro crisis debt spat

Paul Taylor
Jan 23, 2012 11:31 UTC

PARIS (Reuters) – There are weeks when it can sound as if the European sovereign debt crisis is going round in circles.

Barbed exchanges between Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and German Chancellor Angela Merkel carry echoes of a prolonged dialogue of the deaf between Greece and Germany two years ago when Berlin was resisting calls to bail out Athens.

Then as now, a debt-stricken government pushing through spending cuts, tax rises and economic reforms pleaded for lower interest rates and stronger European (read German) support to convince citizens the pain is worthwhile.

Analysis: History repeats itself in euro crisis debt spat

Paul Taylor
Jan 23, 2012 06:52 UTC

PARIS (Reuters) – There are weeks when it can sound as if the European sovereign debt crisis is going round in circles.

Barbed exchanges between Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and German Chancellor Angela Merkel carry echoes of a prolonged dialogue of the deaf between Greece and Germany two years ago when Berlin was resisting calls to bail out Athens.

Then as now, a debt-stricken government pushing through spending cuts, tax rises and economic reforms pleaded for lower interest rates and stronger European (read German) support to convince citizens the pain is worthwhile.

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.

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.

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