Budget

Lagarde says EU should turn to domestic demand for growth

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During a speech in Frankfurt’s Frankfurt European Banking Congress (ECB) on Friday, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde broke tradition and spoke more about politics than policy. As the sole ex...

Brussels warned France and Italy over high debt levels

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Brussels have warned France and Italy over their alarming levels of public debt, meaning that their future budget could deviate significantly from EU's fiscal rules and deter investors. The European Commission's opinion published on Wednesday...

Italy calls for ESM reform amendment​

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Italy wants to improve rather than veto the reform of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) at the next Eurogroup in December, and an Italian official told Reuters. On Tuesday the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte...

Brussels approves 2020 Italian budget but ESM row escalates

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The European Commission greenlighted Italy’s 2020 budget plan but not without reservations about its compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact. Italy is not alone. Similar reservations were expressed about Belgium, Spain, France, Portugal, Slovenia,...

EU allocates €200 million for the promotion of agri-food products

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The European Commission has earmarked €200 million in 2020 to fund promotional activities for the agri-food products both inside and out of the European Union. According to the Commission, Brussels' policy for promoting agri-food products...

German manufacturers project 4% nosedive in industrial output

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Germany’s manufacturing output will drop by 4% in 2021, mostly due to weaker demand, the German industry association (BDI) said on Tuesday. In a country where one in five jobs depend on {mostly manufacturing} exports,...

Fury in Italy over Eurozone debt-restructuring reform

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Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte aims to postpone the reform of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) at December’s EU summit, ANSA reported on Tuesday. A draft of the reform was agreed by eurozone finance ministers...

IMF calls on Finland to seize environmentally harmful subsidies

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on the Finnish government to review a policy of environmentally harmful subsidies, including €3,5bn those for peat production a year. Finland is committed to becoming a carbon-neutral society...

German business calls for bigger deficits

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Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz brushed aside demands by both unions and businesses On Monday to ditch the balanced budget policy as the economy is slowing down. Germany’s BDI business lobby and...

Italian coalition government faces crisis on two fronts

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The Italian coalition government is fighting two battles, one in Brussels and one in Rome. The leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) MS5) Nicola Zingaretti and the leader of the Five Star Movement (MS5),...

Italy urges caution in giving ESM debt-restructuring mandate

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Italy’s Central Bank’s governor, Ignazio Visco, said on Friday that he favours reforming the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) but without triggering market panic. The euro zone’s bailout fund has been designed as a lender of...

Eurozone edging towards recession without policy response consensus

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According to data released this week, the Eurozone hovers over the prospect of a recession, and there is no policy consensus over how to react. Europe's biggest economy, Germany, narrowly escaped recession, technically defined...

Moody’s threatens to downgrade Britain’s sovereign debt profile

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The UK's credit rating could be downgraded by rating agency Moody’s, according to a rating issued on Friday. The UK is currently rated Aa2 - the third-highest grade for sovereign debt. The rating agency changed...

Lagarde uses first speech as ECB President to reach out to fiscal conservatives

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Christine Lagarde delivered her first speech as President of the European Central Bank on Monday, reaching out to her critics to signal her political neutrality. Lagarde made no reference to monetary policy but reached out...

As Eurozone economy loses momentum France takes the economic lead

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Eurozone economic sentiment deteriorated in October according to data released by the European Commission on Wednesday; the same gloomy numbers are likely to be confirmed by Eurostat on Thursday. The decline is driven by manufacturing....

Portuguese government vows to hike minimum wage by 25% in four years

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Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa promised on Saturday to raise the monthly minimum wage by 25% to €750 euros by 2023 while reducing public debt below 100% of GDP. Costa was reelected on October 6...

Italy’s budget not to deviate significantly from EU rules

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The 2020 Italian budget will not deviate significantly from EU rules, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri responded to a question by Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici on Thursday. Gualtieri admitted to a "slight deterioration" of...

IMF calls an Italian medium-term plan to reign over Italian debt

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Italy requires a credible medium-term plan to reign over its public debt, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s Europe department Poul Thomsen said on Friday. Noting Italy’s decade-old low growth, Thomsen called for labour...

The eurozone gets a mini-budget

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Following two years of continuous negotiations, EU finance ministers agreed on Thursday on €17bn budget to be spent over seven years. This was even less than the widely floated €20bn. The budget is meant to...

Eurozone unemployment continues to slide even as growth decelerates

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Unemployment is falling even as the economy is slowing down in the eurozone. The biggest decline in countries with the highest jobless rate:  Spanish unemployment went from 13.8% in August from 13.9% in July and...

Italy seeks expansionary budget

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The political parties supporting Premier Giuseppe Conte's coalition government have come to a consensus over budgetary policy. Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri of the Democratic Party (PD) has drafted the 2020 budget law that averts a...

Germany wants to cap EU budget to 1% of GDP

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Germany wants to cap the EU’s next seven-year budget (2021-27) at 1% of GDP. In 2018, the Commission proposed a seven-year budget of roughly €1.1 trillion or 1.11% of the bloc’s Gross National Income (GNI). Given...

Eurozone divided over stimulus policy

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Mario Draghi’s monetary policy package announced is being fiercely contested and may no longer be sufficient to stave off a recession across the whole of the Eurozone. Draghi has argued that the Eurozone’s economy is...

Italy requests a fiscal time-out to boost growth

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Following a meeting with the President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Italian premier Minister Giuseppe Conte asked for fiscal space to restart the Italian economy. Addressing the press, Conte said that the...

Rome’s new government faces old fiscal deadlocks in Brussels

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The second Giuseppe Conte government in Italy retains ambitious spending plans that may be in conflict with Brussel’s demands to reign over the public deficit. Ahead of submitting the 2020 budget, Conte’s administration intends to...

Swedish central bank goes against the tide to tighten monetary supply

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Sweden’s central bank, or Riksbank, was the first among developed economies to introduce negative interest rates during the crisis and will now be the first to hike those rates over the next two months. The...

Greece follows Ireland and Portugal in seeking early IMF repayment

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Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras has announced that Greece will submit an official request to the Eurogroup seeking permission to repay a loan to the International Monetary Fund, a move that would follow similar...

Johnson tries build a viable no-deal narrative

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The political pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to abandon the idea of no-deal, but as the economy walks towards a recession, the British prime minister is trying to built up the economic viability...

The politics of AI in the financial markets

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Technology is and has always been a crucial part of finance. From the first promissory notes in the Netherlands and China, there was a race with counterfeiters that parasitically undermined trust. As in any political...

Online selling VAT fraud could see a Brexit headache for UK’s HMRC

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Officials are preparing for an uptick in VAT compliance problems as the UK leaves the European Union. Online platforms like Amazon Marketplace and eBay are already under pressure to make sellers pay their share...

Argentina’s peso is in free-fall

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The century-old saga of Argentina's boom-bust economy has taken another ominous turn as the Argentine peso is now trading at 57.95 per US dollar on Wednesday, which is equal to a 22% loss of...

German business confidence drops for 11th consecutive month

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A monthly executives survey of 9,000 German firms published on Monday by the Munich-based Ifo economic think tank confirms the widespread impression of a nosedive in business confidence. For the 11th consecutive month, managers operating...

Italy’s parties weigh options for new government or snap elections

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Italy's centrist Democratic Party reiterated its position that it would be open to the possibility of a second Giuseppe Conte government, Senate Chief Whip Andrea Marcucci said on 26 August after his party and...

Italy pushing for new government by Tuesday

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Italy's 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democratic Party started negotiations on Friday over the weekend to form a new government following the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last week. Both parties reported that progress...

Sino-American trade war escalates

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US President Donald J. Trump is escalating the trade war with China; markets in Asia nosedived on Monday morning, with the Chinese yuan reaching an 11-year low. Ahead of the G7 Summit on Friday evening,...

The Netherlands join the deficit consensus

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The Dutch government is considering a deficit-finance stimulus program, prioritizing infrastructure, research, and education the government said on Thursday. The plan would entail the Netherlands borrowing an additional €50bn on the current historically low or...

Italy’s opposition wants alternative government following Conte resignation

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Italy’s main opposition party The leader of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, has called for the formation of a four-year alternative government in order to approve the country's 2020 budget. This was the...