Keyword: eurobanking

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  • Ireland economy grows 7.7 percent, leads eurozone

    09/18/2014 7:54:42 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 18, 2014 9:28 AM EDT | Shawn Pogatchnik
    Ireland’s economy is growing at a rapid pace last experienced at the tail-end of the Celtic Tiger boom, government statisticians reported Thursday as economists declared an end to the country’s financial doldrums. The report from the Central Statistics Office said gross domestic product grew 7.7 percent from July 2013 to June 2014, the biggest annual rate of growth since early 2007. It said quarterly GDP rose 1.5 percent versus the January-March quarter. Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the figures suggested that Ireland would record around 4.5 percent GDP growth this year, accelerating the country’s escape from debt woes that forced...
  • Investors buy German debt at negative rates

    09/17/2014 12:06:48 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 17, 2014 1:15 PM EDT | David McHugh
    Investors have bought billions of euros in German treasury notes that pay negative interest—meaning the purchasers agreed to pay a small fee for the privilege of lending the German government their money. […] Germany auctioned €3.34 billion ($4.3 billion) Wednesday in two-year notes at an average yield of minus 0.07 percent. Rates are very low all over, and German debt is considered ultra-safe, so security-minded investors are paying for safety. Expectation the European Central Bank will buy bonds has also driven down yields, which move opposite to prices. And the small negative yield on the notes is still a better...
  • For Europe’s vast unemployed, hopes remain dim

    09/06/2014 6:19:31 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Sep 6, 2014 9:02 AM EDT | Paul Wiseman
    For the struggling Spanish shopkeeper or the Portuguese restaurant owner, the European Central Bank’s latest economic stimulus plans won’t likely provide much relief anytime soon. If ever. Confronting a stalled economy and painful unemployment across Europe, the ECB is doing what it can. It surprised economists and investors Thursday by cutting its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 0.05 percent. And it announced plans to pump money into the financial system by buying bonds backed by assets such as auto and credit-card loans. But Europe faces a crushing array of problems—from burdensome regulations to growth-killing budget policies—that analysts say remain...
  • France and Friends: Merkel Increasingly Isolated on Austerity

    09/06/2014 4:20:58 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | September 03, 2014 – 04:41 PM | Nikolaus Blome, Ralf Neukirch, Christian Reiermann, Mathieu von Rohr and Christoph Schult
    The debate over Germany’s insistence on eurozone austerity has flared anew as an ailing France continues to demand economic stimulus. The European Central Bank may now be siding with Paris, leaving Merkel looking increasingly alone. […] Berlin is particularly alarmed by the stance taken by ECB head Mario Draghi. At the annual conference of top central bankers from around the world at Jackson Hole, Wyoming in August, Draghi surprised those present by saying “there is leeway to achieve a more growth-friendly composition of fiscal policies.” It was a comment that came close to the kind of debt-fueled growth stimulus measures...
  • EU exit could force Wall Street banks to desert Britain

    08/22/2014 1:51:28 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 11 replies
    telegraph.co.uk ^ | 18 Aug 2014 | Bill Gardner
    Wall Street banks could desert Britain if the country decides to leave the European Union, senior figures in the industry have reportedly said. Some major institutions are believed to be already drawing up plans to move activities abroad amid concerns that the UK is drifting further away from the EU. Most US and Asian banks currently run their main European operations from the UK, which gives them a passport to provide services across the EU. But if the UK left the European Union, it is believed to be unlikely foreign banks based in London would carry on receiving the same...
  • Canada-EU free trade deal may pave way for US agreement

    08/06/2014 10:38:43 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 1 replies
    bbc.com ^ | 6 August 2014 | BBC
    Canada and the European Union have agreed the final text for a free trade agreement that could provide a blueprint for a US-EU trade deal. Tuesday's deal will cut tariffs between Canada and the EU by 98% and could boost trade by 20%, or about $20bn.
  • London warned of big threat to jobs if UK quits EU

    08/03/2014 11:11:38 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 8 replies
    The Financial Times ^ | August 3, 2014 | Jim Pickard
    London could lose more than a million jobs if Britain quits the EU and fails to adopt more outward-looking trade policies, according to a report commissioned by Boris Johnson, the London mayor. In those circumstances, the capital could shed 1.2m jobs and lose out on tens of billions of pounds of gross domestic product, the report says.
  • Bundesbank chief urges Britain not to quit European Union

    07/26/2014 8:11:26 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Reuters ^ | Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:30pm EDT | Marc Jones
    The head of the Bundesbank appealed to Britain on Wednesday to stay in the European Union, saying membership of the bloc had given the country an economic lift and posed little threat to London. In a speech to business people and bankers in central London, Jens Weidmann broke the central bank’s traditional silence on political questions, saying the European Union would benefit if Britain “continues to make its voice heard”. “The EU is stronger today because of Britain’s contribution to it,” Weidmann said, adding that the country’s trade with EU neighbors had been boosted by more than half because of...
  • Eurozone economy dead in the water, with crisis expected to carry on 'a long time'

    07/24/2014 8:13:54 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 22 July 2014 | Jeremy Warner
    It's taken a long time, but the International Monetary Fund finally seems to be talking some sense about the beleaguered deficit economies of the eurozone. In a new analysis of continuing imbalances within the single currency area, it pretty much concludes that the situation is hopeless without the sort of eurozone-wide macro economic policies – monetary as well as fiscal – which are specifically rejected by the high command in Berlin. OK, so it doesn't quite say that, but even so, this will make deeply depressing reading for the struggling economies of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
  • EU budget running low on funds, commission warns again

    07/17/2014 12:07:08 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 17.07.14 @ 20:36 | Benjamin Fox
    The European Commission has warned that it is running out of money again, in the latest standoff between the EU institutions over its unpaid bills. The EU executive says that the bloc’s budget faces payment gaps worth €4.7 billion covering research and employment programs, cohesion policy, and costs arising from the refugee crisis in Ukraine and Syria. An autumn cash flow crisis for the commission has become a perennial fixture in the EU calendar.After repeatedly warnings from the EU executive that flagship programs such as the Erasmus student exchange scheme and the European Social Fund were within weeks of running...
  • Juncker elected: promises more social EU, more political commission

    07/15/2014 11:15:55 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 15.07.14 @ 13:50 | Honor Mahony
    Jean-Claude Juncker was elected European Commission President on Tuesday (15 July) after promising a more social Europe and paying tribute to the major integrationist politicians of the previous generation. The former Luxembourg PM, who has been on and around the EU stage for the last two decades, received 422 votes, easily surpassing the minimum 376 needed. Of the 729 MEPs that took part, 250 voted against him, 47 abstained and 10 votes were void. In a 50-minute speech before the ballot, the center-right politician said he wanted the European Commission to be “very political” and indicated he will try and...
  • German draft law clears path for EU to directly fund ailing banks

    07/11/2014 10:12:12 AM PDT · by Olog-hai
    EU Observer ^ | 07/10/14 @ 11:04 | Benjamin Fox
    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 recapitalization. The draft law will now require approval in the Bundestag, but is planned to enter into force in November. “This is an important step to stabilize our financial sector … and to increase further the trust in our common European currency,” said finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Wednesday (9 July). He added that the law would help “rule out the risk that the taxpayer would have to accept liability, as in the...
  • Europe’s attention finally shifts from bailouts to tax cuts

    07/08/2014 10:23:15 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 07/08/14 @ 19:10 | Benjamin Fox
    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 agreed to sign off the next €1 billion tranche of Greece’s bailout program almost as an afterthought. Instead, the main item of discussion focused on how they can cut business costs and increase the pay packet of the average European. In its annual set of economic recommendations to the EU’s 28 countries last month, the European Commission urged 11 euro-area countries to reduce their so-called...
  • Juncker: Economics commissioner will be a Socialist (European Union)

    07/08/2014 10:04:23 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 07/08/2014 @ 18:01 | Valentina Pop
    Future EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday (8 July) promised that the economic affairs commissioner post will go to a Socialist, as part of a grand coalition-type bargain between the center-right and center-left. He made the commitment before MEPs from the center-left S&D group, whose support he needs to secure his appointment as head of the EU executive in a parliament vote next week. In his opening speech, he emphasized several issues dear to the Socialists’ hearts. He said he favors “equal pay for equal work”, a minimum wage across Europe—if not harmonized, then at least as a “recommendation”—as...
  • The student dream? Make me a bureaucrat (Germany)

    07/03/2014 8:41:24 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 03 Jul 2014 07:59 CET
    Students at German universities have shown themselves to be a risk-free lot in a survey by Ernst & Young. The civil service is their most popular choice of future profession, while job security is valued above all else. […] The number was higher for female students (36 percent), but government work also came in first among men with 23 percent choosing it as their preferred career path. […] Other future positions popular with students were in the fields of science (19 percent) and culture (17 percent). Consultants and auditors were the private sector jobs most interesting for students in Germany...
  • More Money Please: A New Plan to Boost Europe’s Straggling Investments

    07/01/2014 4:38:22 PM PDT · by Olog-hai
    Der Spiegel ^ | July 01, 2014 – 05:37 PM | Christian Reiermann
    The euro crisis may have eased recently, but companies and countries in the common currency zone still aren’t investing enough to fuel growth. The best solution, a Berlin economics institute argues, is to establish an EU-wide investment fund. […] But simply ratcheting up public expenditures, as some Southern European governments have advocated, is not a sound strategy for improving the situation, the [German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)] believes. “One of Europe’s biggest weaknesses is the lack of private investments,” (Marcel) Fratzscher says. “We have to close the gap by way of a European investment agenda.” …
  • Former EU officials and an MEP land ‘revolving door’ jobs

    06/30/2014 4:51:23 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 30.06.14 @ 09:29 | Nikolaj Nielsen
    A handful of former EU officials and an outgoing top MEP have landed jobs in industry sectors that they legislated on. The cases highlight what pro-transparency experts describe as a “revolving door” where policymakers are hired to work for private companies with a vested interest in EU-level legislation.Last October, two consultancy firms hired João Pacheco. Pacheco was at that time the European Commission’s deputy director of agriculture. Today, he is the director for European markets AFJ and associates in the US. He is also president at the Brussels-based JSPacheco-International consultancy firm. …
  • EU cracks down on corporate tax avoidance scheme

    06/20/2014 6:33:14 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 20, 2014 6:36 AM EDT
    The European Union is closing a loophole that allows companies to shift their profits between different country divisions to avoid taxation. […] EU officials say tax fraud and firms’ aggressive cross-border tax avoidance schemes cost the bloc’s governments an estimated €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) a year. …
  • EU to launch corporate tax probe into Ireland and others

    06/11/2014 6:53:35 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 06/11/2014 @ 09:28 | Benjamin Fox
    The European Commission is to launch a formal investigation into whether tax breaks used to attract international companies breach the EU’s state aid rules. The probe, which is likely to target Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, is set to be announced at a news conference on Wednesday (11 June) by EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia. Irish broadcaster RTE on Tuesday reported the launch of an investigation into the arrangements of US-based software giant Apple, but EU officials have also been gathering information on tax deals in Luxembourg and the Netherlands since last autumn. EU countries have promised to crack down...
  • Ex-Premier Blair: ‘British Understand the Folly of Leaving the EU’

    06/03/2014 2:08:03 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 12 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | June 03, 2014 – 05:45 PM | Carsten Volkery
    Not much has been heard from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair lately. But in recent days, he has waded into the debate surrounding the next EU Commission president. In an interview, he also predicts that the British will vote to stay in the European Union. […] “I believe that Britain ultimately will vote to stay in Europe. In the end, the British understand the folly of leaving Europe. I don’t accept that the British are as anti-European as everyone says. It is a matter of fact that no-one has ever won an election on a platform of hostility to...
  • The Democratic Deficit: Europeans Vote, Merkel Decides

    06/02/2014 12:55:17 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | June 02, 2014 – 05:44 PM | (Spiegel staff)
    Before the European Parliament election last month, voters were told the poll would also determine the next Commission president. In a silent putsch against the electorate, Angela Merkel is now impeding the process. She fears a loss of power and Britain’s EU exit. […] … Merkel had hardly begun her speech last Friday before she got right to the point. With her hands set on the podium in front of her in the Regensburg University auditorium, she said: “I am engaging in all discussions in the spirit that Jean-Claude Juncker should become president of the European Commission.” German news agency...
  • Hollande’s taxes blamed for France’s failure on Commission debt targets (EUSSR)

    06/02/2014 12:42:07 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 06/02/2014 | James Crisp
    France will miss its European Commission debt targets this year and in 2015 because of its excessive taxation of companies and high spending on healthcare and pensions, the EU’s executive said today (2 June). Under EU law, governments must not run budget deficits higher than 3% of economic output or gross domestic product (GDP). If they do, they fall under the excessive deficit procedure, which could lead to fines. […] European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro Olli Rehn blamed France’s expected failure on weaker growth forecasts for 2015 and the fact that some stability measures were...
  • Ken Rogoff calls for European Union army (Harvard economics prof/IMF chief economist)

    05/19/2014 12:23:10 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 12 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8:26PM BST 17 May 2014 | Katherine Rushton
    The European Union must pull closer together and establish a strong military presence, so it can act as a “moral anchor” to the United States, the economist Kenneth Rogoff has warned. Speaking ahead of next week’s European elections, Mr. Rogoff, a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said the EU should strive to become more “like a single country”. […] He added: “It would be a very good investment of German taxpayers’ money to write down debt in the periphery countries. There are a lot of ways to do it. You can be very opaque about it. The...
  • The European Union Hasn't Made Any Difference At All To Britain's Trade

    05/05/2014 8:39:43 AM PDT · by mac_truck · 3 replies
    Forbes ^ | 5/5/2014 | Tim Worstall
    One of the standard arguments about Britain’s membership of the European Union is that it’s vital that we stay in because so much of our trade is with other European Union countries. Implicit in this is the claim that this is a result of our being in the EU. The dropping of trade restrictions resulting from the Single Market rules for example. The problem with this argument is that it depends upon an empirical claim: that Britain’s trade with the European Union countries has increased since the foundation of that Single Market. And it turns out that that doesn’t seem...
  • 10 years of EU membership through the business eye

    05/04/2014 11:51:08 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper
    maltatoday.com ^ | 4 May 2014 | Frederick Attard
    Ten years since Malta accessed the European Union, the country’s business community has been provided with the necessary platform to expand their produce and improve their opportunities, but while the majority of companies have flourished amid increasing competition, some failed to meet EU standards. In the wake of Malta’s milestone anniversary, Sunday newspaper Illum interviewed four business directors – all of whom voiced their delight at how the local business community improved since May 2004. Famalco’s Business Director Hermann Mallia, Saint James Hospital Director Maria Bugeja, Impressions Managing Director Ron Mifsud and the CEO of Malta Business Bureau Joe Tanti,...
  • Weapon of Last Resort: ECB Considers Possible Deflation Measures (European Central Bank)

    04/23/2014 7:01:40 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | April 23, 2014 – 06:18 PM | Christian Reiermann and Anne Seith
    One of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s most important duties is watching his mouth. One ill-considered utterance is enough to sow panic on the financial markets. But during a press conference earlier this month, Draghi allowed himself a telling slip. Speaking to gathered journalists at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Draghi twice almost uttered a word he has been at pains to avoid. “Defla…”, Draghi began, before stopping himself and continuing with the term “low inflation.”Yet despite Draghi’s efforts, the specter of deflation was omnipresent in Washington during the meetings. And it...
  • EU lawmakers smooth way for class actions against cartels

    04/19/2014 1:17:25 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Reuters ^ | Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:18pm BST | Foo Yun Chee
    European lawmakers on Thursday eased the way for cartel victims to claim compensation from companies under new rules that also shield price-fixing whistleblowers from being the main target of million-euro lawsuits. The green light from the European Parliament came nine years after the European Commission broached the idea, seeing it as an additional tool, on top of fines, to deter companies from breaking antitrust laws. According to the Commission, only one in four cartels and antitrust infringements faced damages claims in the last seven years. Its 2010 estimate put the cost of unrecovered damages of infringements at over €20 billion...
  • EU parliament gives final nod to banking union

    04/16/2014 1:15:03 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 16.04.14 @ 09:21 | Valentina Pop
    MEPs on Tuesday (15 April) overwhelmingly approved the creation of a new authority and fund for failing banks—a missing element to the so-called banking union aimed at minimizing the public cost of future financial crises. The final vote on the creation of a €55 billion fund financed by the banks themselves passed with 570 MEPs in favor, 88 against and 13 abstentions, while new rules in cases where public money needs to be used for winding down banks also gathered a similar majority: 584 votes in favor, 80 against and 10 abstentions. One key concession won by MEPs from governments...
  • Germany in renewed push for EU treaty change

    03/29/2014 12:14:26 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 28.03.14 @ 09:50 | Valentina Pop
    German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has said discussions on revising the treaty to secure the eurozone’s architecture will begin after the May EU elections. “After the EU elections, the debate about treaty change will be back on the table. The federal government will plead for institutional improvements, at least in the eurozone. The monetary union needs a joint finance- and economic policy, with corresponding institutions,” Schäuble said in an interview with Handelsblatt published on Thursday (27 March). He repeated his call for a eurozone parliament and a permanent chief of the Eurogroup, the informal gathering of eurozone finance ministers. …
  • Italian mob has €200bn annual budget

    03/25/2014 1:34:35 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 25.03.14 @ 19:08 | Nikolaj Nielsen
    The Italian mob’s annual budget is bigger than that of the EU, with most of the money spent outside Italy, the country’s foreign ministry says. “Organised crime has an annual budget of more than €200 billion,” said Giovanni Brauzzi, security policy director at the Italian ministry of foreign affairs, on Tuesday (25 March). “They invest only 10 percent of this budget in Italy; the rest they invest in countries in Europe and elsewhere. They have good friends everywhere,” he added. The EU’s annual budget for 2014 in comparison is around €140 billion. …
  • EU nations agree on rules to fight tax evasion (tax avoidance actually)

    03/20/2014 5:43:47 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Mar 20, 2014 8:31 PM EDT | Raf Casert
    European Union nations on Thursday agreed on a sweeping policy to fight tax evasion after tiny Luxembourg dropped its reservations to new rules which render its secretive banking culture more transparent. Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel confirmed at Thursday’s summit of EU leaders “the willingness of the government to take that road,” a key step to scrap the banking secrecy for foreigners. […] The legislation proposes an EU-wide automatic exchange of data on bank deposits to allow governments to identify and pursue tax evaders with foreign accounts on home soil. Van Rompuy said it would “close down loopholes, promote automatic...
  • Top German court: euro bailout fund is kosher

    03/18/2014 6:57:48 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 18 Mar 2014 11:41 GMT+01:00 | (AFP)
    Germany’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that the European bailout fund, the ESM, was in line with the country’s constitution, throwing out numerous objections by euroskeptics. Confirming a preliminary ruling dating from September 2012, the Federal Constitutional Court said it saw no obstacles to Germany taking part in the €500-billion European Stability Mechanism, set up to bail out troubled countries and their banks. Nevertheless, in the ruling, presiding judge Andreas Voßkuhle insisted that it must be “the Bundestag [lower house of parliament] which retains sole responsibility over Germany’s public income and spending, even with regard to its international and European...
  • Irish economy in surprise decline, threatens debt-cutting plan

    03/18/2014 6:45:43 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 14.03.14 @ 09:29 | Benjamin Fox
    Ireland’s economy suffered a shock decline in the final months of 2013, posting negative growth for the year and casting a pall over the country’s full return to the financial markets. Data from the country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday (13 March) indicated that its gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, turning a year that had been expected to yield modest growth into a 0.3 percent recession for the year as a whole. […] Analysts attributed the decline to the so-called pharmaceutical patent cliff, with a sharp drop-off in revenue from pharmaceutical sales...
  • Survey shows growing distrust against the euro in France

    02/18/2014 7:21:11 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 18 February 2014 | (EurActiv.fr with Reuters)
    Less than a hundred days before the European Parliament elections, French citizens are less and less attracted by the EU project, according to the latest opinion polls, with a quarter now in favor of quitting the eurozone and reintroducing the franc, EurActiv France reports. 42% of surveyed French citizens think that the country’s EU membership is a good thing, a six-point decrease compared to April 2012, according to the survey by OpinionWay for TV news channel LCI and Le Figaro newspaper. […] Another fundamental EU policy, the free movement of persons, is also increasingly disliked by the French. A survey...
  • EU’s Reding warns Brexit would isolate London’s City

    02/18/2014 7:16:54 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:43pm EST | John O’Donnell
    London’s financial services center would lose access to the wider European Union should Britain quit the bloc, the EU’s justice chief said on Monday, warning that such a move would reduce its status to that of an offshore center. Viviane Reding’s blunt comments come amid a heated debate in Britain over its future in the 28-country European Union and will reinforce fears in the City of London that a departure from the EU will hurt its position as a global financial capital. “The City would most definitely lose its unhindered access to the (EU’s) single market in the case of...
  • Europe or Democracy? What German Court Ruling Means for the Euro

    02/11/2014 9:44:05 PM PST · by managusta · 8 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | February 10, 2014 | SPIEGEL Staff
    Germany's Constitutional Court ruling last Friday marks a significant escalation in efforts to rein in the European Central Bank. The ruling's message? Either the European Court of Justice has to stop bond purchases or German justices will. It is also a clear indication that Germany's highest court is extremely skeptical of the ECB. Draghi's 2012 announcement that the ECB would embark on unlimited sovereign bond purchases from ailing euro-zone member states, the court found, is incompatible with European law. The ruling notes that OMT "exceeds the mandate" of the ECB and "encroaches on the responsibility of the member states for...
  • EU has ‘no corruption-free zone’

    02/03/2014 9:09:16 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 03.02.14 @ 19:51 (Feb. 3) | Nikolaj Nielsen
    Corruption across the EU bloc is costing taxpayers billions, as member states fail to tackle the problem head on, according to the European Commission. The Brussels executive on Monday (3 February) published its first ever bi-annual anti-corruption report on each of the 28 EU countries, citing public procurement and obscure political party financing as among the most pervasive problems. […] Public procurement contracts, equivalent to one-fifth of the total EU economy, are said to be the worst affected with up to a quarter of their value lost to corrupt practices. …
  • European Banks Boycott Israeli Banks Because of ‘Settlements’

    02/01/2014 6:13:54 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 24 replies
    INN ^ | 2/2/2014, 2:26 AM | Elad Benari
    Two of the largest banks in northern Europe have announced they will boycott Israeli banks because they operate in “occupied territories”, the Walla! Hebrew-language news website reported on Saturday. The two banks in question are the Swedish Nordea Bank, which is the largest bank in Scandinavia, and the Norwegian Danske Bank, which is the largest bank in Denmark. […] The Walla! report comes on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry threatened Israel that a failure in the peace talks would lead to global boycotts and delegitimization of the Jewish state. …
  • German top court to rule on whether ECB (European Central Bank) can buy bonds

    01/30/2014 9:34:56 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 30.01.14 @ 12:48 | Valentina Pop
    Germany’s constitutional court is expected to rule this spring on the legality of the European Central Bank’s bond purchases, a scheme that has eased the eurozone crisis by calming markets. Udo Di Fabio, who served as constitutional judge between 1999-2011, told an audience at the Berlin-based Stiftung fur Familienunterhmen on Wednesday (29 January) that the court is “deliberating at the moment if the ECB can buy bonds at all.” According to EU laws, the ECB is prohibited from direct government funding, meaning direct bond purchases when a national government tries to sell debt on the markets. But in the past...
  • Germany’s Schäuble signals support for eurozone parliament

    01/28/2014 11:30:29 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:19pm GMT | John O’Donnell
    Germany’s finance minister said on Monday he was open to the creation of a separate European parliament for countries using the euro, a step that could deepen divisions within the European Union. Wolfgang Schäuble’s comments, made during a visit to Brussels, challenge the very foundations of the European Union, where lawmaking for all 28 nations is by the bloc’s current parliament. Splitting that body, critics believe, would represent a dismantling of one of Europe’s biggest symbols of unity. But Schäuble said a separate parliament for the 18 countries in the eurozone would allow the smaller group to integrate more closely....
  • Defiance against the EU reaches record levels in France: Poll

    01/23/2014 5:48:12 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 15 January 2014 | Aline Robert
    Trust in national and European institutions has hit a record-low in France, according to a recent poll, leading to a feeling of “gloom” among a growing number of citizens, and perhaps even a rise in support for the reinstatement of the death penalty, EurActiv France reports. […] Trust in others is also falling, underlining a lack of confidence in society which is symptomatic of a broader phenomenon: only 24% of the French think that others can be trusted. The French are highly skeptical of all those who are supposed to represent them, whether politicians, journalists, analysts or trade unions. […]...
  • 2014 will test Franco-German alliance, analysts predict

    01/23/2014 5:43:02 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 23 January 2014
    Three prominent political analysts spoke with EurActiv.de on the 51st anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, evaluating the Franco-German partnership in 2014 and challenges for the years ahead. Frank Baasner, director at the Franco-German Institute in Ludwigsburg (Deutsch-Französisches Institut Ludwigsburg), said the time had come for renewed reflection, fifty-one years after the Élysée Treaty was signed. 2014 would be a historical year, Baasner said, with Germany, France and the rest of the EU putting the bloc to the test as they tackle the still unfinished eurozone crisis and military intervention in Africa. […] The assessment of prescribing a uniquely French solution...
  • Eurozone bank network getting smaller

    01/21/2014 12:31:45 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 21.01.14 @ 17:52 | Benjamin Fox
    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 euro area at the start of 2014, compared with 7,059 one year ago, a 3.8 percent reduction. Crisis countries Cyprus and Greece saw the largest reductions, losing 26 percent and 17 percent of their financial sector firms over the past year. Greece now has just 62 financial institutions, while Cyprus’ sector has fallen from 409 firms when it joined the EU in 2004 to...
  • German Gold Manipulation Blowback Escalates: Deutsche Bank Exits Gold Price Fixing

    01/17/2014 8:04:49 AM PST · by Errant · 34 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 17 January, 2014 | Tyler Durden
    Germany's blowback against gold manipulation is accelerating. Following yesterday's report that Bafin took a hard line against precious metals manipulation, after its president Eike Koenig said possible manipulation of precious metals "is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal", today the response has trickled down to Germany and Europe's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, which announced that it would withdraw from the appropriately named gold and silver price "fixing", as European regulators investigate suspected manipulation of precious metals prices by banks. As a reminder, Deutsche is one of five banks involved in the twice-daily gold fix for global price setting and said it...
  • MEPs call for dismantling of EU bailout “troika”

    01/16/2014 6:03:44 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 16.01.14 @ 09:58 | Valentina Pop
    The “troika” of international lenders, which sets the terms of eurozone bailouts with little or no democratic oversight, should be replaced by an EU system which is accountable to the European Parliament, MEPs say. “All European instruments that are not based on EU law are provisional. EU instruments should be based on the community method, with the European Parliament acting as democratic legitimator and control body,” Austrian center-right deputy Othmar Karas told press in Strasbourg on Wednesday (15 January). Karas is drafting a report together with a French Socialist colleague, Liem Hoang-Ngoc, on the work of the troika. The name...
  • Reform or lose us as member, Britain’s finance minister tells EU

    01/15/2014 9:29:11 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    Reuters ^ | Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:54am EST | Andrew Osborn
    Britain told its European Union partners on Wednesday the EU’s treaties were “not fit for purpose” and there must be reform or it would quit the bloc. In the latest blast of euroskepticism from Conservatives in Britain’s coalition government, finance minister George Osborne said EU treaties had to be changed to protect member states like his own that don’t use the euro. The comments, made at a conference in London on reform of the 28-nation EU, are unlikely to be embraced by integrationists in Brussels, who want Britain to remain in the bloc but have become irritated by its demands...
  • UK parliament should have right to veto EU laws, MPs say

    01/13/2014 1:53:12 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 13.01.14 @ 09:13 | Benjamin Fox
    The UK parliament should have the right to throw out EU laws, according to a letter from Conservative MPs to Prime Minister David Cameron. In the letter, made public on Sunday (12 January), 95 Conservatives (out of a total of 225) stated that the House of Commons should be able to block new EU legislation and repeal existing measures that threaten Britain’s “national interests”. A national parliament veto power would allow the UK to “recover control over our borders, to lift EU burdens on business, to regain control over energy policy and to disapply the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights”....
  • We want a United States of Europe, says top EU official

    01/12/2014 10:02:30 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 30 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 5:52PM GMT 08 Jan 2014 | Bruno Waterfield
    A campaign for the European Union to become a “United States of Europe” will be the “best weapon against the Euroskeptics”, one of Brussels’ most senior officials has said. Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission and the longest serving Brussels commissioner, has called for “a true political union” to be put on the agenda for EU elections this spring. “We need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers—the European Parliament and a ‘Senate’ of Member States,” she said. Mrs. Reding’s vision, which is shared by many in the European institutions,...
  • Foreign minister attacks ‘brainless’ euroskeptics (Germany)

    01/09/2014 10:06:27 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 09 Jan 2014 11:58 GMT+01:00 | (AFP)
    Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned on Thursday that the economic crisis in Europe could still prove “dangerous” for the EU by encouraging political forces hostile to the bloc. Steinmeier also dismissed euroskeptics, who have gained political ground over the EU debt crisis, as “brainless”. “I am concerned about the situation in our union,” he told Ta Nea daily ahead of visit to Greece. “The crisis in public finances is not over yet… the economic crisis could activate centrifugal political forces that could prove dangerous to the European Union as a whole.” …
  • EU power shifts from Brussels to Berlin

    01/06/2014 9:52:37 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 06.01.14 @ 09:34 (Jan. 6) | Valentina Pop
    While the eurozone crisis in 2013 lingered in most countries, Germany seemed to be doing better than ever. It had low unemployment, high productivity and exports so strong that the European Commission asked it to do more to help ailing periphery countries in the single currency bloc. Chancellor Angela Merkel—the most powerful leader in Europe—was elected once again and took up a third mandate in a coalition government with the Social Democrats. […] The famous question—“Who do I call when I want to talk Europe?”—has no answer. The EU is too complicated. But 2013 showed that calling Berlin (or bugging...