BRUSSELS, June 29 (Reuters) – EU leaders signed a growth and
jobs pact on Friday that aims to pump 120 billion euros into the
region’s stalled economy, but only about half of that money can
be counted on quickly and officials have doubts about how
effective the plan will be.
Conceived as way to counterbalance Germany’s focus on tight
budgets, the French-backed pact aims to free up money to invest
in infrastructure and jobs at a time when one in 10 euro zone
workers are unemployed and the economy is on the brink of
BRUSSELS, June 29 (Reuters) – Euro zone inflation held
steady at a 16-month low in June, kept in check by a sharp fall
in oil prices and supporting an already strong case for a
near-term interest rate cut by the European Central Bank.
Consumer prices in the 17 countries sharing the euro rose
2.4 percent year on year in June, EU statistics office Eurostat
said on Friday, the same rate as in May and as expected by
economists in a Reuters poll.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment fell by more than expected in June, as managers of businesses and in factories across the currency area saw little reason for cheer as the region’s economy stalls, even in wealthier, northern nations.
The European Commission said on Thursday its economic sentiment index slipped by 0.6 points in the 17-nation euro zone to 89.9, compared to the 89.5 point average forecast in a Reuters poll. It was the index’s third consecutive monthly decline and the lowest level since the end of 2009.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union lifted financial sanctions against Hungary on Friday after Budapest convinced its European partners it was committed to keeping spending within EU limits.
EU finance ministers in March blocked 495 million euros ($625 million) in EU funding from 2013 after losing patience with Hungary over its failure to meet its budget deficit targets.
LUXEMBOURG, June 22 (Reuters) – European finance ministers
examined ways to strengthen their banking sectors and break the
link between troubled banks and indebted countries on Friday,
with concerns about Spain’s stricken banking system top of their
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has urged the euro
zone to channel aid directly to struggling banks rather than via
governments, but Germany and others are opposed to such direct
lending, which is not possible under current rules.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund urged the euro zone on Thursday to channel aid directly to struggling banks rather than via governments and called for the European Central Bank to cut interest rates, saying the future of the euro was at stake.
The stark message from IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, delivered to euro zone finance ministers who met in Luxembourg, will increase pressure to forge a unified approach to tackling problems at struggling banks such as those in Spain.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The fate of the European Union’s banks, struggling to ride out the debt crisis, will take centre stage on Friday when ministers turn to the question of forging a banking union, a crucial step to stand behind their troubled lenders and the euro.
Although the 17 countries in the euro zone share a single currency, their governments set their own economic course and have been left to resolve their national banking problems.
MADRID/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Spain’s borrowing costs will probably hit a new euro era high at a debt auction on Thursday, a few hours before it sheds light on the dire state of its weaker banks and possibly makes a formal request for European Union funds to rescue them.
Madrid should show that it can still borrow on financial markets at the sale of short and medium-term bonds. However, the amount raised will be modest and the price punishingly high as international investors steer clear of Spain, leaving the often troubled domestic banks to buy up the bonds.