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Eurozone News

Smooth-talking Lagarde faces first ECB grilling

Frankfurt Am Main - New European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde makes her first monetary policy announcements Thursday, with observers hunting for clues to her leadership style and the bank's response to stuttering eurozone growth.

EU budget rules need rethink, says new commissioner

Frankfurt Am Main - The EU's new economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said the bloc should consider loosening its strict budget deficit rules to respond to climate risks and weak growth, echoing a similar call by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Merkel, Macron praise Draghi's 'European dream' as ECB chief bows out

Frankfurt Am Main - French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday lauded Mario Draghi for defending "the European dream" in the face of opposition as he handed over a divided ECB to Christine Lagarde.

Departing Draghi looks to bind wounds at ECB

Frankfurt Am Main - At his final press conference Thursday, departing European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will downplay differences among policymakers over September's big-bang stimulus package, hoping to limit their impact on the institution's effectiveness, ana...

Key moments in Draghi's eventful ECB tenure

Frankfurt Am Main - Mario Draghi hands over the keys of the European Central Bank to Christine Lagarde on October 31, leaving the former IMF chief a eurozone economy struggling to stay in gear.

Eurozone fiscal rules 'should be revisited': ECB's Draghi

Frankfurt Am Main - European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said Monday that eurozone fiscal rules "should be revisited" to allow countries more flexibility to spend where needed to boost growth and fight downturns.

Key EU ministers ignore budget rule revamp for Italy

Apo - The EU's most powerful members on Saturday ignored a call by Italy to reform the European Union's budget rules, handing an early setback to the pro-European government in Rome.

Moment of truth for ECB on new round of stimulus

Frankfurt Am Main - After 2019 opened with hopes the European Central Bank could begin "normalising" policy after years of buttressing the eurozone, governors appear set for a fresh unconventional turn Thursday, under pressure from financial markets.

Lagarde signals plan to stick to Draghi's ECB expansionary path

Frankfurt Am Main - The ECB's next chief Christine Lagarde signaled Thursday that she would stick with Mario Draghi's controversial expansionary monetary policy that has propped up the eurozone economy amid growing risks to growth.

ECB set to sketch path for new stimulus

Frankfurt Am Main - The European Central Bank is likely to point Thursday to a cut in interest rates in September, analysts say, although recent hints about kick-starting sluggish growth and inflation might even bring forward a move to this week.

Central bank outsider Lagarde to chart new ECB course

Frankfurt Am Main - IMF chief Christine Lagarde may be breaking ground as the first woman to be nominated as head the European Central Bank, but her political background and lack of central bank experience raise important questions about monetary policy independence in h...

EU states adopt 'panda bonds' in Chinese outreach

Paris - EU members Hungary, Poland, Portugal and soon Austria are strengthening ties with China by issuing attractive "panda bonds" that help Beijing raise its profile on international financial markets.

ECB under pressure to ease growth, inflation fears

Vilnius - European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is expected to outline plans on Thursday to offer fresh assistance to banks and hint at further options to counteract rising worries about growth and inflation in the eurozone.

ECB debates switching course before change of helmsman

Frankfurt Am Main - Politics will have an unusually large role in picking a new chief for the European Central Bank this year, as the switchover coincides with European Parliament elections and the choice of a new Commission.

Estonia's new far-right finance minister goes to Brussels

Tallinn - Known more for strident nationalist and anti-immigrant rhetoric than a strong line on fiscal policy, Estonia's new far-right finance minister Martin Helme is due to attend his first Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

ECB to hold course as threats to growth linger

Frankfurt Am Main - The European Central Bank will hint Wednesday at moves to support the eurozone economy but stop short of new action, analysts expect, as the Frankfurt institution eyes lingering political risks.

Eurozone delays Greece debt relief over reforms

Apo - Eurozone ministers on Monday held back granting Greece debt relief because the government failed to implement reforms promised during the massive bailout that ended last year, officials said.

Latvia central banker gets green light to travel abroad

Riga - Latvian prosecutors on Tuesday said they had temporarily lifted a travel ban on the eurozone country's central bank chief who is facing bribery charges, allowing him to attend a board meeting of the European Central Bank.

Eurozone growth shudders on trade worries, French protests

Paris - Global trade war fears and disruptions caused by anti-government protests in France pushed business growth in the eurozone to a four-year low in December, an influential survey showed Friday, raising concerns the region's economy might stall.

End of an era as ECB set to withdraw crisis-fighting stimulus

Frankfurt Am Main - A chapter of eurozone history will come to a close Thursday, with the European Central Bank widely expected to withdraw a key element of support for the economy while reassuring observers fearful of the growing risks.

EU finance ministers reach eurozone reform deal

Apo - EU finance ministers agreed reforms to better fight against a financial crisis on Tuesday that fell short of the original ambitions to relaunch Europe by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Italy sticks to big-spending budget in high-stakes EU standoff

Rome - Italy's populist government defied the European Commission Tuesday by sticking to its big-spending budget plan, risking financial sanctions in a high-stakes standoff with Brussels.

Italy to defy EU over big-spend budget

Milan - Italy's populist government was set Tuesday to defy the European Commission, preferring to risk financial sanctions than revise its big-spending budget.

Italy vows to keep euro despite Brussels standoff

Rome - Italy will not leave the eurozone, populist Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday, despite a standoff with Brussels over Rome's big-spending budget.

Rome says Brussels 'failed' with Italy economy forecast

Milan - Italy's finance minister on Thursday rejected a European Commission forecast that its deficit would balloon thanks to its big-spending budget as a "technical failure".

EU commissioner denounces 'fascist' Italian MEP after shoe scene

Paris - European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Friday stepped up his criticism of an Italian politician who symbolically "trampled" the commissioner's notes rejecting Italy's budget.

EU rejects Italy's budget in eurozone first

Strasbourg - The European Commission on Tuesday rejected Italy's draft 2019 budget, the first time the EU executive has ever sent a member state back to the drawing board over spending plans.

Italian PM to EU: 'No room' for modifications on budget

Apo - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned Wednesday that Rome would not change a government budget for 2019 that defies EU rules, putting Rome on a collision course with Brussels.

Greece hails new post-bailout chapter but concerns remain

Atenas - Greece turned a page on eight years of spending cuts and three straight international bailouts on Monday but experts warned that the country's economic challenges are far from over.

Has the eurozone learned from its Greek odyssey?

Apo - Greece will formally turn the page on its debt saga this week, but the eurozone remains vulnerable to further crises, with economists particularly worried about the situation in Italy.
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