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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 ...

Court slaps down UK challenge to EU short-selling ban

22.01.14 @ 18:24

The European Court of Justice has in a surprise move thrown out a UK legal challenge to EU rules on short-selling. The ruling refers to legislation adopted in 2012, which gives the Paris-based European Securities and ...

Eurozone bank network getting smaller

21.01.14 @ 17:52

The number of banks in the eurozone fell by almost 4 percent in 2013, according to data published Tuesday (21 January) by the European Central Bank . There were 6,790 monetary financial institutions (MFIs) based in the ...

British charity attacks billionaires ahead of Davos forum

21.01.14 @ 09:30

As the world's richest and most powerful men and women prepare to meet in the Swiss resort of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum on Wednesday (22 January), the British development charity, Oxfam, has issued a new ...

MEPs issue threat over bank resolution plan

17.01.14 @ 08:57

The European Parliament is prepared to pull the plug on plans for a common rule book to wind up failed banks, deputies said on Thursday (16 December). Ministers reached agreement in December on a new authority to deal ...

EU lawmakers agree deal on commodity trading

15.01.14 @ 09:07

EU lawmakers reached a breakthrough on new rules to crack down on commodity speculation on Tuesday night (14 January) in Strasbourg. Under the so-called Market in Financial Instruments directive (MiFiD) that will ...

AnalysisGreece in search of dignity, as crisis subsides

13.01.14 @ 18:28

After more than four years of international humiliation as the result of an economic crisis that has piled innumerable indignities on its people, Greece is keen to restore some national pride. "Our common quest" is the ...

AnalysisIs the Greek economy ready to come off life support?

09.01.14 @ 09:29

After six consecutive years of recession, the Greek economy might finally be allowed to leave its life support machine this year. The country's debt burden should start to fall in 2014. So should unemployment. It may ...

AnalysisEU bank resolution, Schleswig-Holstein, and how to make sense of it

20.12.13 @ 11:31

“Only three people ... ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business - the Prince Consort, who is dead, a German professor, who has gone mad, and I, who have forgotten all about it." At least, that is what the ...

EU ministers clinch deal on failed banks

19.12.13 @ 09:27

EU finance ministers have agreed new rules on how to wind up failed banks - the key pillar of a "banking union" designed to stop a repeat of the crisis. The deal, finalised in Brussels late on Wednesday (18 December) ...

EU reaches deal to protect bank savings

18.12.13 @ 09:26

EU lawmakers have made a breakthrough in banking union talks after agreeing on rules to protect people's savings, ending a two-year impasse between MEPs and ministers. Under the deal brokered on Tuesday night (17 ...

EU in new bid to broker bank closure deal

16.12.13 @ 11:26

EU officials have a new proposal on the table as they try to agree on rules to wind up ailing banks this week. Eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels on Tuesday (17 December) to discuss the fresh compromise, ...

'We can't go mad again' - the reality as Ireland leaves its bailout

14.12.13 @ 08:14

Ireland will become the first eurozone country to exit a bailout on Sunday when it completes its €67.5 billion three-year programme. However, those hoping that this brings an end to an austerity programme that has seen ...

Europe's banks need €110 billion to keep credit ratings

13.12.13 @ 09:31

Europe's 50 biggest banks need capital injections of up to €110 billion to remain strong enough to sustain their credit ratings, Standard and Poor's has said. In a report published Thursday (12 December), the rating ...

EU lawmakers reach agreement on bank rescue rules

12.12.13 @ 09:28

MEPs and ministers have agreed new rules to rescue insolvent banks that would target bondholders not savers, following the final round of talks in Strasbourg. The bank recovery and resolution directive, which will apply ...

Ministers edge toward bank resolution deal after marathon talks

11.12.13 @ 09:29

EU finance ministers have edged closer to a deal on rules to wind up stricken banks, following more than 12 hours of talks in Brussels. After a marathon meeting went on well into the early hours of Wednesday (11 ...

AgendaBanking union tops agenda for ministers this WEEK

09.12.13 @ 09:29

Eurozone finance ministers will meet on Monday (9 December) in Brussels with progress on the latest stage of banking union topping the agenda. With Ireland and Spain exiting their programmes in the coming days and weeks ...

EU financial tax is legal, commission lawyers say

06.12.13 @ 09:24

The EU's financial transactions tax is legal and would not discriminate against countries outside its remit, according to lawyers working for the European Commission. A report by the commission's legal team, seen by ...

Banks to pay out €1.7 billion in rate-fixing scandal

04.12.13 @ 19:02

Eight European banks have been fined a total of €1.7 billion after the European Commission found that they had been participating in illegal cartels to fix the multi-trillion euro market of financial derivatives. The ...

UK has 75 percent of EU's millionaire bankers

01.12.13 @ 08:43

More than 75 percent of Europe's banking millionaires are based in the UK, according to a report by the EU's bank watchdog. More than 2,700 UK-based bankers were paid more than €1 million in 2012, compared to a further ...

Eurozone unemployment down first time since 2011

29.11.13 @ 17:54

Unemployment in the eurozone fell for the first time since February 2011, according to figures released on Friday (29 November). The jobless rate fell to 12.1 percent in October 2013, according to EU statistical agency ...