BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Deflation hit five peripheral euro zone countries in September as inflation slipped to its lowest for five years and exports faltered, data on Thursday showed, offering little hope that the bloc will avoid its third recession in six years.
While consumer inflation at 0.3 percent was unchanged from Eurostat’s Sept. 30 estimate and met market expectations, Greece, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia showed deflation in the month on persistently depressed household demand.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – France faced renewed pressure from euro zone peers on Monday to tighten spending next year, amid a growing rift over its plans to flout European budget rules.
The dispute with France, the euro zone’s second-largest economy, over its planned budget, is an added problem for the bloc, which is hamstrung by political division while its economy is slowing.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – France and Italy will keep pressure on Germany this week to use government money to revive the euro zone’s stagnating economy but in a sign of inertia, a promised list of projects to create growth will not be ready until December.
European finance ministers take the argument to Luxembourg on Monday for two days of talks following last week’s International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington. There, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ruled out “writing checks” for the euro zone.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – China and the European Union are closing in on a deal to resolve a long-running telecoms dispute by the end of the month, people close to the matter say, potentially putting an end to one of the most divisive issues between the two big trade partners.
The EU’s trade chief is ready to drop an investigation into what Brussels says are illegal subsidies to Chinese makers of equipment for mobile telecom networks if China makes concessions.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Balkan countries seeking to join the European Union must do more to tackle organized crime and corruption, the European Commission said on Wednesday, while also urging Serbia to safeguard press freedoms.
Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are all seeking membership of the world’s largest trading bloc and the EU has moved fastest to help integrate the Balkans. Near neighbor Turkey also wants to join.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union reprimanded EU candidate Turkey on Wednesday for political meddling in the judiciary, saying a response to a government corruption scandal has harmed the independence of the judiciary and weakened civil rights.
The unusually harsh language by the European Commission, the European Union’s executive, raises questions about Turkey’s chances of EU membership almost a decade after negotiations were launched.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will criticise Turkey on Wednesday for failing to safeguard the independence of its judges and says it wants to have more discussion on rights as part of Ankara’s bid to join the European Union, according a senior EU official.
The Commission, the EU executive, will make the calls when it publishes its annual report to assess how far Turkey and other countries aspiring to EU membership have progressed in bringing their rules into line with EU standards and values.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Dutchman set to help run the new EU executive promised on Tuesday to cut red tape, echoing a pledge by incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to focus on priorities to regain voters’ trust.
The comments by Frans Timmermans, at a parliamentary hearing to confirm his nomination as Juncker’s first vice president, are likely to be welcomed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has urged Brussels to cut back on EU regulation to help him persuade Britons not to vote to quit the European Union.