European Union

France's growth push sets up showdown with Brussels

Tag teams (clockwise from top left) … France's President Francois Hollande and Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano hope their economies will move forward with the appointment of reform-minded Matteo Renzi and Manuel Valls as prime ministers. Photos: EPA, AP, Xinhua, Reuters

There is, after all, hope for France and Italy, the two main reform laggards in Europe's single-currency area.

Friday, 4 April, 2014, 5:25am

High minimum wage kills jobs and makes poor worse off

US President Barack Obama's move to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers may kill jobs in the country. Photo: AP

US President Barack Obama set the chattering classes abuzz after his unilateral decision to raise the minimum wage for newly hired federal contract workers.

1 Apr 2014 - 3:21am 7 comments

Perils of Ukraine’s revolution

Regime uncertainty. Photo: AFP

At a time when cynicism and scepticism about European integration are at a record high, the drama unfolding in Ukraine is a salutary reminder that the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law remain a beacon of hope to many in post-Soviet Eastern Europe.

28 Feb 2014 - 5:12am

Fed subjects big foreign banks to same standards as US ones

Foreign banks with sizeable operations on Wall Street such as Barclays had pushed back hard against the plan because it means they will need to transfer costly capital from Europe. Photo: Reuters

The United States Federal Reserve adopted a tight new rule for foreign banks on Tuesday to shield the US taxpayer from costly bailouts, ceding only minor concessions despite pressure from abroad to weaken the rule.

20 Feb 2014 - 12:52am

Shipping lines say proposed EU emissions rules will hamper their operations

The EU wants carriers to report the total weight of fuel and cargo on each vessel. Photo: Reuters

Shipping lines are fighting a new environmental regulation that they said will not only lead to stringent control over their operations but will also pave the way for a carbon trading policy resembling the one that sparked controversy in the aviation sector.

29 Nov 2013 - 1:13am

EU trying to close 'letter-box subsidiary' tax loophole

Apple has used aggressive tax planning, including making use of an Irish subsidiary, to avoid having to pay billions of dollars in taxes. Photo: Reuters

The European Commission will attempt to close a loophole that allows companies to cut their tax bill, a top official said on Monday, but the EU executive will first need to persuade member countries to back the change.

The commission wants rules to prevent companies setting up “letter-box subsidiaries” in countries solely to qualify for a softer tax regime and cut their bill.

26 Nov 2013 - 9:20am

China and Europe make up after averting subsidy row

European firms accused Chinese rivals of dumping €21 billion worth of solar panels at below cost in Europe last year, in the biggest EU-China dispute by far. Photo: Reuters

China and the European Union sought to mend ties on Thursday after narrowly avoiding a trade war this year, but the EU's trade chief told Beijing to stop handing out state subsidies that Brussels said were illegal.

26 Oct 2013 - 1:24am

EU revives emissions charging plan

Earlier emissions legislation was shelved by the EU. Photo: Bloomberg

The European Union on Wednesday revived a proposal to charge foreign airlines for emissions over European airspace, drawing the ire of airline groups which say it goes against the spirit of a recent global aviation deal and could reignite trade tensions.

18 Oct 2013 - 4:31am

Euro zone’s queasy feeling as it looks in Japan mirror

Opposition in Europe has mounted to austerity measures, with protestors calling for authorities to create new jobs and push banks to start lending again. Photo: Reuters

Monetary policy that cannot get traction; weak banks that cannot or will not lend; an economy trapped in a twilight world of low growth, haunted by the spectre of deflation.

If this combination sounds familiar, that’s because it is.

11 Jul 2013 - 1:38pm

IMF says ’imperative’ for euro zone to revive growth

European leaders meet to discuss the region’s surging unemployment on July 3. The IMF has urged euro zone leaders to concentrate on the urgent need to bring down the jobless rate. Photo: EPA

The euro zone must take coordinated action to revive economic growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a strongly worded statement that cited the need to repair bank balance sheets, advance a banking union and support demand.

9 Jul 2013 - 10:42am

IMF tells Italy: press reforms, create youth jobs

 Former premier Silvio Berlusconi plans to abolish a property tax which the IMF is urging the Italian government to retain. Photo: EPA

The International Monetary Fund has pressed Italy to do more about “unacceptably high” unemployment, especially among young people and women, and urged it to bring back an unpopular property tax whose return could threaten the survival of Premier Enrico Letta’s coalition government.

5 Jul 2013 - 2:19pm

China expects to end solar trade spat with EU next month: official

EU regulators have accused Chinese solar panel makers of selling their products below cost. Photo: Xinhua

China expects to resolve a multibillion-US-dollar solar trade spat with the European Union by next month, a senior mainland industry official said yesterday, after a newspaper reported that Beijing had made a new offer to the EU to settle the dispute.

6 Jul 2013 - 3:03am

Portugal, Greece risk reawakening euro zone beast

A political crisis in Portugal could reawaken the euro zone crisis, sending yields surging and pressuring government finances. Photo: AFP

A teetering Portuguese government has underlined the threat that the euro zone debt crisis, in hibernation for almost a year, may be about to reawaken.

4 Jul 2013 - 3:01pm

EU charges banks with blocking exchanges from derivatives market

The European Commission’s latest move against 13 top investment banks could result in heavy fines. Photo: AFP

EU watchdogs have charged 13 top investment banks with blocking exchanges’ access to the lucrative credit derivatives market, hitting the sector with the latest in a growing list of regulatory headaches.

2 Jul 2013 - 1:01pm

Bitter-sweet occasion for Croatia, EU's 28th member

Making EU flags in Zagreb for celebration's last night to mark the country's recognition as an official EU member state. Photo: Xinhua

From today, Croatia is the 28th member of the European Union, a milestone that caps the Adriatic republic's recovery from war but is tinged with anxiety over the state of the economy and the bloc it joins.

2 Jul 2013 - 12:04am