BERLIN, Aug 29 (Reuters) – German consumer price inflation
looked set to slow in August but hold well above the European
Central Bank’s target of just under 2 percent, based on initial
reports from individual states on Monday.
Annual inflation rates in Hesse, Brandenburg, Saxony and
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) eased, in line with a cooling of
Europe’s largest economy. The monthly index in all four states
fell, partly due to lower energy and fresh food costs.
BERLIN (Reuters) – German consumer sentiment fell slightly going into September, a survey showed on Thursday, hitting a 10-month low as the euro zone debt crisis and fears of another recession in Europe and the United States weighed on consumer expectations.
The figure added to signs that growth in Europe’s largest economy is moderating. The GfK survey’s sub-index tracking consumer expectations for the economy plummeted to 13.4 from 44.6 in the previous month. However, a sub-index tracking consumers’ willingness to buy rose marginally on the back of a strong labor market.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany said on Wednesday that it wants a financial transaction tax outlined by Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to apply to the whole European Union, not just the 17 euro zone states.
With euro zone banks and exchanges worried about being put at a disadvantage to EU financial centers outside the currency zone, notably London, Merkel’s spokesman made clear that the intention was to make the tax apply to all 27 EU members.
ZURICH/BERLIN, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Switzerland and Germany
have agreed to tax money stashed by German citizens in secret
Swiss accounts, in a deal that will water down Swiss bank
secrecy laws but allow the country’s lenders to maintain client
Strict secrecy has helped Switzerland build up a $2 trillion
offshore financial sector, but the country has faced an
international campaign in recent years against tax evasion as
cash-strapped governments seek to boost revenues.
By Sarah Marsh
BERLIN (Reuters Life!) – Spies from former communist East Germany demonstrate the art of disguise by donning fur wigs, fake moustaches and dark glasses in a Berlin exhibition of recently uncovered and once highly classified photographs.
German artist Simon Menner, who put together the exhibition “Pictures from the Secret Stasi Archives,” said it should show how something that seems harmless, such as these images that could be shots from a spy film spoof, can harbor danger.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Angela Merkel has vowed for months to do all in her power to save the euro zone while doggedly resisting pressure from Brussels and other capitals to move toward some form of fiscal union for the 17-nation bloc.
Now the tension between these dual pledges — one intended for her European partners and the other for an increasingly eurosceptic domestic audience — is building to breaking point.
BERLIN, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Euro zone investor sentiment
plummeted going into August, hitting its lowest level since
September 2009 amid concerns global policymakers lack the tools
to respond effectively to a deepening economic crisis, a survey
Market research group Sentix said on Monday its headline
index fell at its fastest pace on record to -13.5 in August from
5.3 in July, missing even the lowest forecast in a Reuters
survey of economists for a drop to -1.0 by a long way.
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will intervene decisively on markets to protect Italy and Spain from an accelerating debt crisis, a monetary source said on Sunday, indicating it would buy government bonds of the euro zone’s third and fourth biggest economies.
The agreement of the bank’s policy-making Governing Council marked a watershed in the ECB’s fire-fighting after modest bond buying efforts last week failed to stem contagion to the currency bloc’s larger economies.
BERLIN/PARIS, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is
considering buying Italian government bonds to support the euro
zone’s third largest economy and keep markets at bay until the
currency bloc’s own rescue fund can take over.
ECB sources said the central bank will decide whether to buy
Italian bonds to try to stem the euro zone’s debt crisis from
widening in a conference call which began at 1700 GMT.
BERLIN/PARIS, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Germany and France on
Sunday reiterated their commitment to implementing the
decisions of last month’s emergency EU summit, in an effort to
restore confidence in turbulent financial markets. "They stress the importance that parliamentary approval will be obtained swiftly by the end of September in their two countries," German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a joint statement. Twin debt crises in Europe and the United States are causing global market turmoil and stoking fears of the rich world sliding back into recession. [ID:nL3E7J700K] Before troubled financial markets reopened on Monday, Merkel and Sarkozy underlined the importance of the decisions made at the European summit on July 21. They would allow the euro zone's bailout fund to buy bonds of debt-stricken states on the secondary market "on the basis of an ECB analysis ...and on the basis of a decision by mutual agreement of the member states, in order to avoid contagion." After a week that saw $2.5 trillion wiped off world stock markets, political leaders are under searing pressure to reassure investors that Western governments have both the will and ability to reduce their huge and growing public debt loads. Worries are growing that Spain and Italy will be the next victims of the euro zone debt crisis. Merkel and Sarkozy said they welcomed the recent budget consolidation measures by Italy and Spain, stressing that "complete and speedy implementation of the announced measures is key to restor(ing) market confidence." Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced new measures on Friday to speed up deficit reduction and hasten economic reforms. The European Central Bank faced a decision on Sunday whether to buy Italian bonds to try to prevent the euro zone debt crisis from widening. [ID:nL6E7J707B]= For the full text of the statement issued on Sunday, please click on [ID:nL6E7J70E0] (Editing by Marguerita Choy)