Government Policy

  • 2015-03-23 08:18


    By Steven Arons

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - As Germany sails towards another record-busting export surplus, its institutions are preparing for a public relations campaign against curbs from abroad.

    The German economy achieved its highest-ever trade surplus by far last in 2014, busting through the E200 billion threshold for the first time to land at E217 billion, more than 10% over the previous year's level.

    This astronomic figures has raised eyebrows abroad, with the EU Commission deciding last month to upgrade Germany to 'stage 3' of its economic imbalances procedure, which "requires specific monitoring and decisive policy action".

    "Large and protracted surpluses may reflect economic inefficiencies with low domestic investment and demand," the EU Commission wrote at the tim

  • 2015-03-20 14:53


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the second section of excerpts from Standard & Poor's research update Friday, in which the outlook on Portugal is revised to "positive" and its ratings affirmed at BB/B:

    Continued:

    The rating remains constrained by what we view as Portugal's high private and public sector indebtedness, and a weak external economic balance sheet. Public and private sector debt remained at 392% of GDP at the end of 2014, down from the peak of 410% in 2012, but well above pre-crisis levels. The narrow net external debt as a share of current account receipts (at 282% in 2014) is among the highest of all 129 sovereigns currently rated by Standard & Poor's (see Sovereign Risk Indicators, Dec.

  • 2015-03-20 14:51


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are excerpts from Standard & Poor's research update Friday, in which the outlook on Portugal is reised to "positive" and its ratings affirmed at BB/B:

    Overview

    -We project that Portugal's economic recovery will broaden during 2015-2017, as investment rebounds further from still low levels of 15% of GDP versus 23% of GDP before the 2008 crisis.

  • 2015-03-20 13:30


    --Hill Republicans Split Between Defense, Deficit Hawks
    --Both House, Senate Budgets To Boost Funds For Defense
    --House Democrats To Offer Full Alternative Next Week

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Congressional Republican leaders managed to muscle fiscal year 2016 budget resolutions through the House and Senate Budget Committees this week, but they are not yet out of the woods.

    The House and Senate Budget Committees passed broadly similar Republican budget resolutions Thursday on party line votes.

    Both budgets achieve more than $5 trillion in 10-year savings, although a large portion of their savings come from repealing the Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama will not let happen, and unspecified mandatory and discretionary savings.

  • 2015-03-20 11:56


    By Angelika Papamiltiadou

    BRUSSELS (MNI) - Greece's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras said Friday that his government will draft and send its creditors a package of reforms as soon as possible so that the Eurogroup Finance Ministers can hold an emergency meeting and unlock funding for the cash strapped country.

    Speaking at a press conference after the end of the EU Leaders' Summit in Brussels, Tsipras reiterated that he, along with his peers and the heads of the EU institutions, reaffirmed the February 20 agreement and that the fifth assessment review which has been delayed since September will not be concluded.

    "Greece is not committed to conclude the fifth assessment review, this is clear now.

  • 2015-03-20 11:05


    By Angelika Papamiltiadou

    BRUSSELS (MNI) - Greece's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras said Friday that his government will draft and send its creditors a package of reforms as soon as possible so that the Eurogroup Finance Ministers can hold an emergency meeting and unlock funding for the cash strapped country.

    Speaking at a press conference after the end of the EU Leaders' Summit in Brussels, Tsipras reiterated that he, along with his peers and the heads of the EU institutions, reaffirmed the February 20 agreement and that the fifth assessment review which has been delayed since September will not be concluded.

    "Greece is not committed to conclude the fifth assessment review, this is clear now.

  • 2015-03-20 10:50


    --UK Cameron says "disorderly Greek exit" remains a major threat

    BRUSSELS(MNI) - European leaders said Friday that talks in Brussels with Greece had helped clear the air in what had become a problematic relationship, but they stressed that no money would be disbursed unless Athens convinces the institutions in charge of its rescue to sign off on a new reform programme.

    "Greece has the opportunity to pick reforms they do not want, and replace them with other reforms as long as they remain within the same framework and if they have the same effect" on the budget, the German chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters at the close of a EU leaders' Summit.

  • 2015-03-20 10:35


    By Martin Baccardax

    LONDON (MNI) - European investors will begin navigating one of the most active weeks of the year next Monday as a host of European Central Bank speakers and some key economic data releases will likely set the tone for currency area optimism in the coming months.

    With the ECB's newly-minted programme of programme of quantitative easing pushing Eurozone bond yields to record lows and holding the single currency firmly in place against the US dollar, investors are betting the combined tailwinds, coupled with falling oil prices and improved consumer sentiment, will boost the region's growth prospects.

  • 2015-03-20 10:22


    --UK Cameron says "disorderly Greek exit" remains a major threat

    BRUSSELS(MNI) - Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined Friday that no money will be disbursed to Greece unless the government in Athens can convince the institutions in charge of its rescue package to sign off on the its reform programme.

    "Greece has the opportunity to pick reforms they do not want and replace them with other reforms as long as they remain within the same framework and if they have the same effect" on the budget, Merkel told reporters in Brussels at the close of a EU leaders summit.

  • 2015-03-19 21:52


    ATHENS (MNI) - The following statement was released early Friday by the EU Council:

    We fully adhere to the agreement of the Eurogroup of 20 February 2015.

    In the spirit of mutual trust, we are all committed to speed up the work and conclude it as fast as possible.

    Within the framework of the Eurogroup agreement of 20 February 2015, the Greek authorities will have the ownership of the reforms and will present a full list of specific reforms in the next days.

    We reconfirmed the practical agreement on the process: The policy talks take place in Brussels.