RIGA (Reuters) – As the buses carrying European finance ministers left for a gala dinner in the Latvian capital on Friday night, one of the party hung back at the hotel and then wandered off alone into the dusk.
Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis had other dinner plans, he said, after a bruising first day of meetings in Riga that underlined his isolation as he tries to avert national bankruptcy.
RIGA (Reuters) – Spain will make a bid to EU leaders in the coming weeks to take over as chair of euro zone finance ministers’ meetings, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Saturday, seeking a post that shapes key policies in the single currency bloc.
The post, long sought by Madrid to balance what Spain sees as a loss of influence in the European Union, is held by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem. His term expires in July, although he is well-respected and would like to continue.
RIGA, April 24 (Reuters) – European governments have failed
to implement most of the reforms that could help bring down the
EU’s chronic unemployment problem and are doing less as the euro
zone crisis ebbs, according to an EU document presented to
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Greece, the European
economy looks to be growing again but policymakers worry that
the region may be trapped in a period of low growth, unable to
tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.
RIGA, April 24 (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers
warned Greece on Friday that its leftist government will get no
more aid until it agrees a complete economic reform plan, as
Athens lurches closer to bankruptcy.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis faced a harsh
morning in which euro zone ministers bemoaned talks they felt
“were going nowhere” and one minister said that maybe it was
time governments prepared for the plan B of a Greek default.
RIGA, April 24 (Reuters) – Greece offered some concessions
on Friday on reforms demanded by international lenders in return
for new funding before Athens runs out of money, but euro zone
creditors said negotiations needed to speed up to get a deal by
After talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday
in Brussels, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he wanted
a deal by the end of this month. Merkel, in a comment seen as
underlining the determination of Europe’s main paymaster to keep
Greece in the euro zone, said “everything must be undertaken to
prevent” Athens running out of cash.
RIGA (Reuters) – Greece offered concessions on Friday on some key reforms demanded by international lenders in exchange for new funding for the country as Athens quickly runs out of money.
In a blog published on the day when euro zone finance ministers meet in Riga to assess progress on a comprehensive package of reforms, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis agreed to some of the creditors’ conditions.
CATANIA, Italy/LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union proposed doubling the size of its Mediterranean search and rescue operations on Monday, as the first bodies were brought ashore of as many as 900 people feared killed in the deadliest known shipwreck of migrants trying to reach Europe.
Three other rescue operations were underway on Monday to save hundreds more migrants in peril on overloaded vessels making the journey from the north coast of Africa to Europe.
CATANIA, Italy/LUXEMBOURG April 20 (Reuters) – The European
Union proposed doubling the size of its Mediterranean search and
rescue operations on Monday, as the first bodies were brought
ashore of some 900 people feared killed in the deadliest
shipwreck while trying to reach Europe.
Three other rescue operations were underway on Monday to
save hundreds more migrants in peril on overloaded vessels
making the journey from the north coast of Africa to Europe.
CATANIA, Italy/LUXEMBOURG April 20 (Reuters) – European
Union foreign ministers met on Monday under pressure to produce
more than words and save desperate migrants drowning in the
Mediterranean, as bodies of the deadliest known wreck of its
kind were brought ashore in Malta.
The death toll from Sunday’s disaster off the coast of Libya
was uncertain but likely to be the highest in modern times among
migrants trafficked in rickety boats across the Mediterranean.
Officials said there had been at least 700 people on board, some
reportedly locked in the hold. It comes days after another wreck
believed to have killed around 400 people.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – EU foreign ministers promised on Monday to do more to stop migrant deaths in the Mediterranean by increasing rescues and catching traffickers, stung by a weekend tragedy that killed up to 700 people off the Libyan coast.
Many European governments have long been reluctant to fund rescue operations in the Mediterranean for fear of encouraging more people to make the crossing in search of a better life in Europe, but they now face outrage over the refugee deaths.