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EU fiscal rules won't be changed, says Juncker

22.10.14 @ 19:55

The EU's rules on debts and deficits will not be re-written, Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs in his first speech as European Commission president. “The rules will not be changed,” said Juncker, whose team was backed by ...

Bank rescue fund to rely on big lenders

22.10.14 @ 09:29

Europe's biggest banks will foot almost all of the bill for a new EU rescue fund for stricken lenders, according to a plan published on Tuesday (21 October). The draft rules released by the European Commission put flesh ...

New accounting rules save EU deficit

21.10.14 @ 18:01

Budget deficits in the EU were within the limits set out in the bloc's stability pact in 2013 thanks to changes to accounting rules, the bloc's statistical agency Eurostat revealed on Tuesday (21 October). Eurostat ...

Sex and drugs drive EU growth surge

17.10.14 @ 09:23

Ask a politician in any EU country what they would give for an extra 2 percent on their nation's economic output without any policy changes, and you are likely to be offered a couple of limbs and a body part. Yet ...

EU watchdog to close loophole on bank bonuses

15.10.14 @ 18:57

The EU's banking watchdog is poised to close a loophole allowing banks to use special allowances in a bid to get round the bloc's rules on bonus payments. Under the rules passed by MEPs and ministers in 2013, banks are ...

UK's Hill set to survive after second hearing

08.10.14 @ 09:32

Jonathan Hill is set to be approved as the EU's next financial services chief, following his second grilling in the European Parliament. Speaking on Tuesday (7 October), for the second time in a week, with MEPs on the ...

ECB announces €1 trillion bond-buying plan

03.10.14 @ 10:24

The European Central Bank will start buying bank securities worth up to €1 trillion between now and the end of theyear, president Mario Draghi has announced. Speaking at a news conference following the monthly meeting ...

MEPs summon UK's Hill to second hearing

01.10.14 @ 21:19

MEPs have summoned the UK’s European Commission nominee, Jonathan Hill, to a second hearing amid concerns on Banking Union and Eurobonds. Hill impressed deputies with his personal commitment to the EU post during the ...

ECB to change rules to buy Greek, Cypriot debt

01.10.14 @ 09:21

The European Central Bank (ECB) is set to change its rules to allow it to buy asset-backed securities with junk ratings issued by Greek and Cypriot banks. The ECB’s executive board, meeting Thursday (2 October), is to ...

Malmstrom rejects accusations of working with US to weaken data laws

29.09.14 @ 18:19

EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom on Monday (29 September) rejected allegations she colluded with the Americans to water down EU data protection rules. The allegation surfaced over the weekend in a blog ...

UK commissioner deprived of power to oversee bankers' pay

27.09.14 @ 09:19

The European Commission has played down suggestions that it had deliberately stripped the UK's commission candidate of responsibility for policing the EU's bank bonus rules. Officials with Commission President designate ...

AnalysisFailure to launch: Is the ECB's tool-kit empty?

22.09.14 @ 18:02

During the EU's seven year economic slump, the European Central Bank (ECB) has, to most observers, stood alone among the EU institutions in having had 'a good crisis'. As analysts and policy makers again become ...

Juncker's economic balancing act

11.09.14 @ 09:29

Even Jean-Claude Juncker’s critics would agree that the new Commission president is a skilled deal-maker. His division of portfolios for the new look EU executive announced on Wednesday (10 September) is a masterclass ...

OpinionThe ECB: An act of determination or desperation?

05.09.14 @ 09:26

In yet another attempt to revive the eurozone recovery and fight low inflation, the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday (4 September) emptied its toolbox almost entirely. With another rate cut, an ABS (asset-backed ...

Draghi cuts interest rate, launches new stimulus measures

04.09.14 @ 18:33

The European Central Bank has cut interest rates to a historic low and unveiled a raft of bond-buying programmes to stimulate lending, in a move that surprised financial markets and analysts. The Frankfurt-based bank ...

Berlin-Paris tensions re-emerge as ECB ponders stimulus

02.09.14 @ 09:29

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is testing the mood of EU governments as he ponders whether to unleash a new wave of monetary stimulus to boost the eurozone's struggling economy. On Monday (1 September), French ...

Draghi urges new stimulus to stave off stagnation

25.08.14 @ 09:26

The European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing to step up its attempts to breathe life into the eurozone’s stagnant economy. During a speech in the US on Friday (22 August), ECB chief Mario Draghi called on eurozone ...

France scraps deficit target, as eurozone recovery halts

14.08.14 @ 19:17

France has all but abandoned a target to shrink its deficit, as the eurozone endured a turbulent day that raised the prospect of a triple-dip recession. Figures published by Eurostat on Thursday (14 August) indicated ...

German economic slowdown poses risk for EU recovery

13.08.14 @ 09:29

Fears that the eurozone’s recovery could stall have heightened after new German data indicated the bloc’s economic powerhouse is performing at its weakest level since 2012. Published on Tuesday (12 August) the ZEW think ...

AnalysisStabilising global finance: are EU states doing enough?

11.08.14 @ 09:23

The global economic crisis, from which the world is still struggling to escape, began as a banking crisis in the United States. It spread to Europe through the European banks that were heavily invested in the US ...

Don't touch EU stability pact, warns ECB's Draghi

15.07.14 @ 09:27

ECB boss Mario Draghi urged EU leaders not to meddle with the bloc's rules on debt and deficits on Monday, warning that it could turn the tide on much needed economic reforms. Addressing MEPs on the Parliament's ...

OpinionGreek workers face arrest for being on strike

13.07.14 @ 15:07

A law selling off one-third of Greece's Public Power Corporation (PPC) to private investors was recently rushed through parliament by the government following demands by the Troika, which has been effectively decreeing ...

German draft law clears path for EU to directly fund ailing banks

10.07.14 @ 11:04

The EU’s bailout fund has moved closer to being able to directly pump money into troubled banks after the German government introduced a bill allowing direct bank recapitalisation. The draft law will now require ...

AnalysisEurope's attention finally shifts from bailouts to tax cuts

08.07.14 @ 19:10

It is a sign that the European economy is no longer in crisis-territory that tax cuts rather than bailouts dominated Monday’s (7 July) meeting of eurozone finance ministers. Ministers at the monthly Eurogroup meeting ...

AnalysisRegaining faith in bricks and mortar

23.06.14 @ 10:15

One of the abiding memories of the 2008 financial crash which plunged Europe – not to mention the western world – into the deepest economic depression since the 1930s was of a property bubble which burst spectacularly ...

OpinionThe ECB and low inflation: no such thing as conventional policy

04.06.14 @ 07:53

The eurozone has been suffering from record low inflation for several months now. Last October the inflation rate dropped below 1 percent and has remained there ever since. This low pace of price increases is dangerous ...

AnalysisFrance falls victim to EU's economic powers

03.06.14 @ 09:39

Being singled out for censure by the European Commission is nothing new for the government of Francois Hollande. But the timing of the latest veiled threat from Brussels could hardly be worse. Ten days ago Marine Le Pen ...

EU warns France on budget efforts

02.06.14 @ 22:14

France must take further action to cut its budget deficit to the EU's 3 percent limit in its upcoming emergency budget law, the European Commission said Monday. The stark warning was contained in the commission's annual ...

Portuguese court throws out 'unconstitutional' pay and pension cuts

02.06.14 @ 09:30

Portugal’s supreme court threw out cuts to welfare and public sector pay in the latest challenge to Pedro Coelho’s government. In a ruling announced on Friday night (30 May), the court stated that public sector pay cuts ...

Ministers near deal on 'step-by-step' transactions tax

06.05.14 @ 09:29

Ministers anxious to bring in a tax on financial transactions are hoping to secure a political deal introducing a levy in 2016, in talks planned on Tuesday (6 May). A document outlining plans for the tax's gradual ...

EU recovery 'gaining traction', amid fears of low inflation

05.05.14 @ 18:18

The EU executive raised its growth projections across the Union to 1.6 percent for 2014, while its forecasts for the eurozone remain unchanged at 1.2 percent. Neighbouring Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania are forecast ...

Portugal and financial transactions tax top agenda this WEEK

05.05.14 @ 09:41

Siim Kallas, the acting commissioner for the eurozone, will present the bloc's spring economic forecast on Monday (5 May). The report will assess whether EU countries are set to meet their economic growth projections, ...

EU top court throws out UK challenge to transactions tax

30.04.14 @ 15:21

The European Court of Justice on Wednesday (30 April) rejected a UK legal challenge to plans by eleven countries to set up a financial transactions tax (FTT). The main thrust of London's opposition to the tax relates to ...

EU commission calls for shareholder powers on corporate pay

10.04.14 @ 09:07

Company shareholders would have a legally binding 'say on pay' under a new proposal by the European Commission published Wednesday (9 April). The reform, which forms part of a re-write of the bloc's corporate governance ...

Financial sector spends €120mn on EU lobbying

09.04.14 @ 21:31

The EU's financial industry spends more than €120 million per year and employs over 1,700 lobbyists to work in the EU institutions, according to new research by transparency campaigners. The report on "The fire power of ...

Common debt fund needs EU treaty change: report

01.04.14 @ 10:01

The EU treaties and democratic constraints block the way to establishing a fund to pool eurozone debt, according to a European Commission report released Monday (31 March). The report by a commission expert group led by ...

Czech government backs EU fiscal pact

25.03.14 @ 09:28

The Czech government has agreed to adopt the EU's fiscal pact, as the new centre-left administration of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka continues to tread a more pro-EU path than his predecessors. The decision, taken ...

EU clinches accord on bank wind-down rules

20.03.14 @ 16:40

The EU is set to complete the final piece of its ambitious banking union after lawmakers agreed a deal on rules for winding down failed banks. Bleary-eyed MEPs and ministers announced agreement on a compromise text at ...

Stiglitz: ECB should scrap inflation targets

07.03.14 @ 09:34

The European Central Bank (ECB) should scrap its target to keep price inflation at 2 percent, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Thursday (6 March). Speaking at an event organised by the European ...

EU rules clamp down on bank 'risk takers'

04.03.14 @ 19:28

The European Commission has published rules aimed at making it easier to identify financiers involved in their bank's riskiest trading activities, as part of reforms aimed at capping bank bonuses. Drafted by the ...

MEPs back cap on credit card fees

21.02.14 @ 09:24

MEPs have backed plans to cap card payment fees charged to shops by credit card giants Mastercard and Visa in a move aimed at saving €6 billion per year. In a vote of the parliament's economic affairs committee on ...

LetterCapping interchange – not the future for electronic payments

20.02.14 @ 17:58

In an article Credit card companies are pocketing dazzling profits published on EUobserver on 14 February, MEPs Bas Eickhout, Sven Giegold and Jean Paul Besset present a number of arguments related to the future ...

OpinionCredit card companies are pocketing dazzling profits

14.02.14 @ 17:10

Payment card companies such as Visa and Mastercard and the banks that issue their debit and credit cards have been pocketing dazzling profits as a result of unfair competition. After years the European Union is finally ...

Ministers time-wasting on bank union talks, MEPs say

06.02.14 @ 21:15

MEPs have accused EU finance ministers of delaying tactics in negotiations on a single resolution fund for eurozone banks. Deputies in Strasbourg voted on Thursday (6 February) by a strong margin to back a parliament ...

MEPs agree four-year jail term for insider trading

05.02.14 @ 09:28

Financiers in the EU who rig interest rates or take part in insider trading could face years in jail under legislation backed by MEPs on Tuesday (4 February). As part of new rules which will come into force in 2016, ...

Merkel coalition partners side with MEPs on EU bank fund

01.02.14 @ 14:40

Hard fought concessions won by German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on the EU's banking union plans have come under friendly fire from his social democrat coalition partners. Under a painfully agreed compromise ...

Mastercard set to lose legal battle with EU over payment fees

30.01.14 @ 20:00

US credit card giant Mastercard looks set to lose its legal battle against an EU cap on its payment fees, following a legal opinion from the European Court of Justice. The dispute follows a Commission ruling in 2007 ...

Barnier launches EU bid to ban risky bank trades

29.01.14 @ 20:18

The EU's biggest banks could be banned from speculative trading, under legislation proposed on Wednesday (29 January) by the European Commission. EU financial services commissioner Michel Barnier told reporters that so- ...

AgendaGreece, banking union and Putin dominate this WEEK

27.01.14 @ 09:27

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be in town on Tuesday (28 January) for the 32nd EU-Russia summit, with the volatile situation in Ukraine likely to be the elephant in the room. Relations between Moscow and Brussels ...

EU bonus cap to have little impact on bank pay

23.01.14 @ 18:28

The EU's new bank bonus rules are unlikely to have much effect on executive pay, according to leading credit ratings agency Fitch. In a paper published on Thursday (23 January), Fitch, which is one of the so-called 'big ...