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Jan 17, 2015

Dozens held across Europe in Islamist suspect sweeps

PARIS/VERVIERS, Belgium (Reuters) – Belgian, French and German police interrogated dozens of Islamist suspects on Friday as much of Europe remained on heightened security alert after last week’s killings in Paris and raids in Belgium in which two gunmen were killed.

In Paris there was a fresh scare when a gunman took several people hostage at a post office in a northwestern suburb. A siege ended when he gave himself up to police. No one was hurt. Authorities said they could not confirm whether the incident was related to terrorism.

Jan 16, 2015

Fifteen detained after Belgian police kill Islamist gunmen

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian police were questioning 13 suspects on Friday detained during raids against an Islamist group they feared planned to attack police and two other people were held in France, state prosecutors said.

A spokesman told a news conference there was still no apparent link to last week’s Islamist attacks in Paris and the identities of two gunmen killed during one of the raids on Thursday, in the eastern town of Verviers, had yet to be confirmed.

Jan 16, 2015

EU says part of Amazon’s Luxembourg tax deal “cosmetic”

BRUSSELS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Luxembourg took just two weeks
to sign off a partly cosmetic deal that allowed Amazon
to shift a large part of its European profits to an untaxed
entity, according to EU antitrust regulators.

The European Commission, which rules on competition and
subsidies in the European Union, announced in October that it
had opened an investigation into a tax ruling struck in 2003 and
published details of its case on Friday.

Dec 18, 2014

Luxembourg accedes to EU antitrust demand to divulge tax data

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Luxembourg acceded on Thursday to the
demand of the European Commission to release data to further EU
antitrust regulators’ investigation into whether it allowed
multinationals to pay excessively low taxes.

The European Commission launched investigations this year
into whether U.S. retailer Amazon and a unit of Italian
carmaker Fiat benefited from unfair state aid to the
detriment of competitors as a result of Luxembourg’s tax

Dec 17, 2014

Uber turns to Brussels in battle to gain ground in Europe

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Uber has taken its battle for
acceptance in Europe to Brussels with a complaint against a
French law, the first of what could become a series of
challenges to EU member states reluctant to open their markets
to the online taxi-booking service.

Launched in California four years ago, the service has
rapidly become popular in a number of countries because it often
undercuts established taxi and minicab services.

Dec 17, 2014

EU court says Hamas should be removed from terror list

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should be removed from the European Union’s terrorist list, an EU court ruled on Wednesday, saying the decision to include it was based on media reports not considered analysis.

However, in its ruling, the bloc’s second highest tribunal, the General Court of the European Union, said EU member states could maintain their freeze on Hamas’s assets for three months to give time for further review or to appeal the verdict.

Dec 14, 2014

Fed considers time to end free money pledge

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve would give the clearest signal next week that its easy money stance is ending if, as some expect, it drops its two-year long pledge to keep interest rates close to zero for a “considerable time”.

The Fed, which meets on Tuesday and Wednesday, first inserted that wording in its post-meeting statements in December 2012, promising then to maintain its highly accommodative monetary stance for a considerable time after its asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens.

Dec 5, 2014

Belgium’s former Queen Fabiola, widow of King Baudouin, dies

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium’s Queen Fabiola, widow of King Baudouin and queen between 1960 and 1993, died on Friday at the age of 86, the royal palace said.

The Spanish-born queen, who was at the center of a row last year over royal allowances, had been ill for some time and her breathing never fully recovered from a lung infection in 2009.

Nov 27, 2014

EU’s Juncker survives no-confidence vote over tax deals

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission’s new president, Jean-Claude Juncker, comfortably survived a no-confidence vote on Thursday brought over news that Luxembourg had lured multinational businesses with super low tax rates during his period as prime minister.

The censure motion in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, was resoundingly defeated by 461 votes to 101.

Nov 27, 2014

EU lawmakers urge regulators to get tough on Google

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a motion on Thursday urging antitrust regulators to get tough on Google and other Internet search engines and consider breaking them up.

The resolution in the European Parliament (EP), the strongest public signal of Europe’s concern with the growing power of U.S. tech giants, was passed with 384 votes for versus 174 against.

    • 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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