Phil's Feed
Apr 27, 2014

Congestion capital Brussels looks to unclog traffic arteries

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – For two years running, Brussels has been named the most congested city in North America and western Europe, a mark of shame for the capital that guides Europe’s environment and transport policies.

The disgrace has, however, had the effect of uniting Belgium’s environmentalist Green Party, center-right rivals N-VA and business and motoring groups in a call for a solution whose time may finally have come – charging drivers for distance traveled. Tests have already begun.

Apr 24, 2014

Heineken’s African boost tempered by Asia, Russia

BRUSSELS, April 24 (Reuters) – Heineken, the
world’s third largest brewer, sold more beer in the first three
months of 2014, with a pick-up in Africa, the Americas and some
of Europe partly offset by a flat Asia and weakness in Russia.

The brewer of Europe’s best-selling Heineken lager, Sol,
Tiger and Strongbow cider said on Thursday it was encouraged by
a positive start to the year in Africa and the Americas and its
sharper European business.

Apr 4, 2014
via FaithWorld

Belgian Trappist monks overwhelmed by their “world’s best beer” tag

Photo

(Two glasses of Trappist Westvleteren beer are seen at the brewery in Westvleteren February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

Having a beer rated as the world’s best and selling out in minutes should be a brewer’s dream, but for the Trappists who brew Westvleteren ale at a monastery in western Belgium it seems more of a burden.

Apr 4, 2014

Belgian Trappists overwhelmed by world’s best beer tag

WESTVLETEREN, Belgium, April 4 (Reuters) – Having a beer
rated as the world’s best and selling out in minutes should be a
brewer’s dream, but for the Trappists who brew Westvleteren ale
at a monastery in western Belgium it seems more of a burden.

Monks at the Sint Sixtus abbey have been selling to locals
since 1878, limiting production so that brewing never took over
monastic life or earned more than the community needed.

Mar 31, 2014

Snam, Fluxys to pool assets in European gas pipeline drive

MILAN/BRUSSELS, March 31 (Reuters) – Italy’s Snam
and Belgium’s Fluxys have agreed to extend a joint
venture to pool gas assets in Europe that could help create a
more unified gas market across the continent and make it easier
to trade gas.

The move comes at a time when Europe is increasing efforts
to reduce its dependence on Russian gas after Moscow’s
annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region raised the spectre of
possible pipeline interruptions.

Mar 31, 2014

Euro zone inflation drops to lowest since 2009

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation hit its lowest level since November 2009 in March, a shock drop that raises expectations the European Central Bank will take radical action to stop the threat of deflation in currency bloc.

Annual consumer inflation in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5 percent in March, with the pace of price rises cooling from February’s 0.7 percent reading, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Monday.

Mar 30, 2014

ECB wrestles with ‘danger zone’ inflation

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s dilemma over barely rising prices seems likely to dominate a week starting with a euro zone inflation estimate and ending with U.S. jobs figures, the monetary policy driver on the other side of the Atlantic.

After more than a month of East-West tensions centered on Russia’s annexation of Crimea, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia’s Vladimir Putin finally spoke to each other on Friday, suggesting a possible diplomatic path out of crisis.

Mar 14, 2014

EU struggles to convince U.S. to export gas under trade pact

BRUSSELS, March 14 (Reuters) – The European Union has yet to
convince Washington to commit to exporting U.S. gas under a
transatlantic trade deal despite two days of talks on the issue,
highlighting the challenges Europe faces to reduce its reliance
on Russian energy.

Tension between Russia and the West over the future of
Ukraine is spurring the European Union to renew efforts to end
decades of dependence on Russian gas. One solution would be
greater access to abundant U.S. resources.

Feb 26, 2014

AB InBev sees return to growth in Brazil with World Cup boost

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest brewer, forecast the Brazilian and Mexican beer markets would return to growth this year due to the soccer World Cup and stronger economies, but cautioned about higher input and marketing costs.

The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona said the World Cup would boost beer sales by 1 to 2 percentage points in Brazil, its second-largest market which shrank last year due to a wet summer and high inflation that sapped disposable income.

Feb 23, 2014

Euro zone inflation to offer clues on ECB action

BRUSSELS, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation due on
Friday will be firmly in the sights of financial markets eager
to establish whether the European Central Bank (ECB) has enough
ammunition to ease monetary policy in the following week.

Inflation in the 18-member euro zone unexpectedly slowed to
0.7 percent year-on-year in January, matching a four-year low
set last October and confounding expectations for a rise to 0.9
percent.

    • 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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