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Feb 1, 2015

Fed’s ‘solid’ growth view faces test as Greek drama unfolds

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s upgraded view that growth in the world’s biggest economy is “solid”, and so capable of withstanding an interest rate rise this year, will be put to the test by U.S. jobs data this week.

Ructions over Greece’s new anti-austerity government will also continue to grip markets, and could overshadow economic data in the coming days.

Jan 30, 2015

Euro zone prices fall at record-equalling pace in January

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone consumer prices fell at a record-equalling pace in January, more steeply than expected and supporting the backers of the European Central Bank’s money-printing plan to combat sustained deflation. The European statistics office said in a first estimate on Friday that prices in the 19 countries using the single currency in January were 0.6 percent lower than a year earlier, after a 0.2 percent decline in December.

This was a sharper fall than 0.5 percent decline forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

Jan 26, 2015

EU open to Greek debt extension, not forgiveness

BRUSSELS, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Europe showed a willingness on
Monday to give Athens more time to pay back its debts, but
little sign that it would yield to a new Greek government’s
demands of debt forgiveness.

European Union leaders and policymakers responded to Greek
anti-bailout party Syriza’s election victory on Sunday with
warnings that a debt restructuring for Greece would send the
wrong message to other euro zone members.

Jan 25, 2015

Should the euro zone really fear demon deflation?

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – If the multi-billion dollar consumer electronics industry can function fine with constantly falling prices, why is deflation in the broader economy such a threat?

Falling prices may really be more a symptom of malaise rather than a cause for further grief.

Jan 21, 2015

Brewing goliaths struggle to fit in at craft beer party

NEW YORK/BRUSSELS, Jan 21 (Reuters) – At Top Hops on
Manhattan’s hip Lower East Side, drinkers can choose from 20
beers on tap from Dark Penance to Devil Dancer and over 600 more
in bottles.

The bar is tapping into the surge in demand for craft beers
and finds only the occasional customer opting for Budweiser or
other brands of the two major brewers Anheuser-Busch InBev
and MillerCoors .

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.

    • 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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