BRUSSELS, May 5 (Reuters) – The European Union will
implement a free-trade pact with Ukraine from next year despite
Russian pressure for another delay, according to a draft
statement prepared for a summit with six of the bloc’s eastern
neighbours this month in Riga.
The joint declaration, which is likely to antagonise Moscow,
commits to the deal from Jan. 1, 2016, a date already a year
later than planned as Russia seeks to oppose European efforts to
integrate Ukraine and move it out of Moscow’s sphere of orbit.
BRUSSELS/BEIJING (Reuters) – Seizing on the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties, Beijing has launched a diplomatic offensive to move Sino-European relations beyond trade and raise China’s international profile, buoyed by its success winning European participation in a new Asian bank.
A two-day visit by European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to Beijing on Tuesday to meet top Chinese officials, including Premier Li Keqiang, follows up on a visit by the head of the European Parliament in March and comes ahead of a China-EU summit in Brussels in June.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Confidence in the euro zone’s economy slipped slightly in April but business morale improved and household expectations of rising prices suggested that the threat of deflation may have been overcome.
The European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator fell by 0.2 points to 103.7, worse than the 103.9 that economists had forecast in a Reuters poll, although there were no signs that a recovery that began in December is falling away.
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.