EU leaders to discuss response to economic crisis
Today @ 09:24 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to discuss the best ways to get out of the economic crisis. But despite some calls to spend more to support the bloc's ailing economies, most of the attention is expected to be focused on the need for better regulation of the financial sector and on "fine-tuning" the existing European economic stimulus package.
The two-day summit comes just as the International Monetary Fund presented the outlines of a gloomy forecast for this year, saying the world economy would shrink by some 0.6 percent, instead of growing 0.5 percent as previously thought.
In the face of the persisting economic turmoil, France and Germany's leaders sent a letter to the Czech EU presidency and to the president of the European Commission on Tuesday reiterating what they see as an urgent need to reform the financial system.
More on: http://euobserver.com/9/27801
Russia backs EU in pre-G20 stimulus debate
18.03.2009 @ 17:42 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Russia is siding with the European Union ahead of the April G20 summit in London in opposing new stimulus measures and instead putting the focus on regulatory reform. But Moscow has warned against IMF meddling in the social affairs of its neighbours in eastern Europe.
On Tuesday (17 March), Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's economic advisor and negotiator or "sherpa" in diplomatic discussions leading into the London summit met with the head of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's cabinet in Brussels to discuss his country's perspective on the financial crisis.
More on: http://euobserver.com/9/27800
Government borrowing soars to £75bn
Britain's budget deficit soared to a record high last month, threatening to leave the government's budget calculations in tatters, data released this morning showed.
The Office for National Statistics reported that public sector net borrowing (PSNB) reached £8.991bn last month, the highest February figure since records began in 1993.
This pushed the total PSNB figure for the current financial year, starting in April 2008, to £75.2bn – another record.
Economists said today's figures underlined the weak state of the UK public finances. "The fiscal outlook is pretty awful and it is going to take a long, long time to repair it," said Ross Walker of RBS Financial Markets.