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Jun 30, 2015

Euro zone inflation softens in June on energy dip

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation softened in June, moving away from the European Central Bank’s target as energy costs weakened and the price rises of food and services eased after a spike in May.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday that consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose by 0.2 percent year-on-year in June from a 0.3 percent increase in May.

Jun 29, 2015

EU’s Juncker slams Tsipras government and urges Greeks to vote ‘Yes’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker delivered an emotional condemnation of the Greek government on Monday, accusing it of betraying his efforts to broker a loan deal and urging Greek voters to defy their leaders by voting “Yes” in Sunday’s referendum.

Accusing leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his ministers of playing “liar’s poker” with the future of Europe, the European Commission president said if Greeks rejected what he called a final, fair offer from creditors to save them from bankruptcy, it would be taken as a signal that they wanted to quit the euro, and the Union.

Jun 24, 2015

EU industry group says trade defenses against China must stay

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European businesses from bicycles to steel will release a report on Thursday concluding that China has a state-led and subsidized economy and should not benefit from a change of global trade rules next year.

The alliance of more than 25 European industry associations, called Aegis Europe, believes China should not be granted market economy status at the end of 2016, as Beijing expects, and that to do so would threaten the survival of many European companies.

Jun 18, 2015

U.S., EU, China’s maritime regulators seek closer antitrust cooperation

By Philip Blenkinsop

(Reuters) – Maritime regulators from the United States,
China and the European Union agreed on Thursday to cooperate
more closely to monitor increased tie-ups among shipping groups.

European and Asian container shipping groups have formed or
expanded vessel-sharing alliances in the past year and the four
main groupings control more than 90 percent of the market on
major global routes.

Jun 17, 2015

EU re-launches failed plan for common tax base for multinationals

BRUSSELS, June 17 (Reuters) – The European Commission
re-launched plans on Wednesday to introduce common tax rules for
multinationals, saying that public anger over tax avoidance and
a new approach should win over EU member states that blocked the
idea four years ago.

The Commission, the European Union’s executive, said it
wanted a ‘common consolidated corporate tax base’ (CCCTB) to
prevent “aggressive” tax planning measures such as artificially
shifting profits to the country where rates are lowest.

Jun 16, 2015

U.S. trade deal seems distant dream after early optimism

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – When U.S. trade chief Michael Froman opened talks in 2013 on an EU-U.S. free trade deal he said he was confident it could be reached on “one tank of gas.” Two years later, negotiations have all but stalled.

This was to have been a unique trade deal between open, developed economies whose high wages meant trade unions did not need to fear job-sapping floods of cheap imports.

Jun 15, 2015

Lenders have already made big concessions to Greece: EU Commission

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece’s creditors have already made substantial concessions in talks on new funding in exchange for reforms, the European Commission said on Monday, stating its position for the first time to correct a “misrepresentation” of facts by Athens.

Talks between Greece and its creditors broke down on Sunday because Athens did not accept the creditors’ demands for deeper reforms of pensions, value-added tax (VAT) and of its administration, labor markets and industry.

Jun 5, 2015

Luxembourg to vote on giving foreigners a say in state

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Luxemburgers vote on Sunday on extending voting rights to foreigners — a move that would not only be unprecedented in Europe but could expand the electorate of the tiny but cosmopolitan grand duchy by as much as 50 percent.

The referendum is backed by liberal Prime Minister Xavier Bettel as part of a modernizing agenda that includes lowering the voting age to 16 from 18 and introducing 10-year term limits for ministers, following the 19-year rule of his conservative predecessor Jean-Claude Juncker, now the EU’s chief executive.

Jun 4, 2015

Top EU court rules German nuclear fuel tax is legal

LUXEMBOURG/FRANKFURT, June 4 (Reuters) – A German tax on the
use of nuclear energy does not breach European Union laws,
Europe’s top court said on Thursday, dealing a blow to
utilities’ hopes for a multi-billion euro refund.

Germany’s top three energy groups – E.ON, RWE
and EnBW – have said the tax, of which they
have paid about 5 billion euros ($5.67 billion) – is illegal and
favours other electricity sources, demanding the tax be repaid.

May 28, 2015

Steel body Eurofer files EU complaint over Italy steel aid

BRUSSELS, May 28 (Reuters) – European steel association
Eurofer filed a formal complaint on Thursday at the European
Commission against what it said was illegal state aid for
Italian steelmaker Ilva.

Eurofer said that about 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion)
allocated to Ilva by the Italian authorities is not compatible
with European Union regulations.

    • About Phil

      "I am responsible for Reuters news out of Belgium and Luxembourg, which has led to many long nights outside parliament in Brussels awaiting news of fraught coalition talks and state bailouts of Belgian banks. I have previously worked in London, Amsterdam, where my work included consumer electronics group Philips and the Lockerbie trial, and Berlin, where I covered the Hamburg trials of suspected September 11 conspirators."
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