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European Central Bank: Greek banks’ access to funding depends on final bailout review

ATHENS: The European Central Bank (ECB) said Greek banks’ access to (ECB) funding beyond February will depend on Athens successfully completing final bailout review and reaching a deal on a follow up plan with its European Union (EU)/ International Monetary Fund (IMF) lenders. The ECB has helped out Greek banks by exempting them from requirements on the collateral it accepts for ... Read More »

German’s Westwing receives €25m in new funding from Rocket Internet

BERLIN: Westwing, German’s online homewares retailer has received 25 million euros ($29.7 million) in new funding from existing investors, including founding shareholder Rocket Internet. Rocket Internet said that based on the financing round, Westwing’s valuation rose to 449 million euros from 353 million. Other Westwing investors include Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and US private equity fund Summit Partners. Founded in ... Read More »

Anti-Immigration Movement in Germany, marcher stimulated both sides of debate

BERLIN:  The appearance of thousands of anti-immigrant marchers in Dresden has galvanized both sides of the immigration debate in Germany and reignited a discussion about national identity. Spurred on by a large influx of refugees from the Middle East, Africa and other areas of war and upheaval, growing numbers of protesters have been marching in Dresden on Mondays against what ... Read More »

German inflation weakens sharply to its lowest rate in 2014

BERLIN: German inflation weakened sharply in December to its lowest rate in more than five years, the country’s statistics office said Monday, raising the odds that consumer prices in the eurozone as a whole fell last month for the first time since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009. The report from Germany, Europe’s largest economy, comes on ... Read More »

France, German borrowing rates hit all time lows on Greece fears

PARIS: France and German borrowing rates reached new all time lows on Tuesday amid fears over the prospect of Greece leaving the eurozone. German 10 year Bund fell to 0.484 percent, while the France’s 10 year debt hit 0.772 percent on the secondary market. At the weekend German government said that Berlin sees a Greek exit from the eurozone as ... Read More »

German savers feel difficult to keep $2.3tr in cash, deposits on low ECB interest rates

BERLIN: German savers face a tough question that’s about to get tougher to park their 1.95 trillion euros ($2.3 trillion) in cash and deposits as the European Central Bank (ECB) lowered interest rates hit them hard. German savers accounted for 17 percent of the euro area’s 11.1 trillion euros of deposits by non banks at the end of November, are ... Read More »

German govt seeks Greece to stay in euro zone

BERLIN: The German government wants Greece to stay in the euro zone and there are no contingency plans to the contrary, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday, responding to a media report that Berlin believes the currency union could cope without Greece. Gabriel, the Economy Minister and leader of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), also told the Hanoversche Allgemeine ... Read More »

Euro falls to 9-year low, Greece forces ECB to unleash quantitative easing

LONDON: The euro slumped to a nine year low on Monday as investors bet that the prospect of inflation across the region turning negative and mounting political uncertainty in Greece will force the European Central Bank (ECB) to unleash quantitative easing (QE). The euro fell to $1.18605 EUR in early Asian trading on Monday, its weakest level since March 2006. ... Read More »

Euro police seize 100kg heroin, cocaine; 400 smugglers arrested

DUBLIN: Euro police has busted a major heroin-smuggling network based in Macedonia, including distribution hubs in Austria and Germany, with the arrests of 400 people, officials announced here the other day. The gang is suspected of having brought large quantities of drugs from Macedonia to the EU. According to a report from the Euro police, some 400 people have been ... Read More »

Germany’s migration office opens EU Refugee Centers in North Africa

BERLIN:  The high number of refugees drowned last year when trying to flee North Africa to get to Europe, President of the Germany’s Federal Office for Migration, Manfred Schmidt, said it was about high time to look for new approaches and solutions to the refugee crisis. In 2014, about 3,500 refugees lost their lives in the waters of the Mediterranean ... Read More »

Euro starts New Year at 29 months lows in Asia

SYDNEY: The euro started the New Year at 29 month lows in Asia after the head of the European Central Bank fanned expectations it would take bolder steps on stimulus this month, underlining the US dollar’s rate advantage. The latest lurch lower came after ECB head Mario Draghi said the central bank stood ready to respond to the risk of ... Read More »

Increase in rail fare by 2.5pc hits commuters in England, Wales

LONDON: Trades Union Congress (TCU) has complained that the recent hike in rail fares has outstripped wage growth despite the service being plagued with delays and overcrowding. The TUC said the UK had some of the highest rail fares in Europe, and that UK passengers spent respectively more than twice as much of their salary on tickets compared to those ... Read More »

Gold smuggler ordered to pay £4.3m in tax, or face extra decade in jail

FRANKFURT: A ’24 carat’ gold smuggler from Dubai who brought £100 million worth of gold into Britain, named Chaudhry Ali was jailed for nine years in 2012 in big VAT fraud is ordered to repay £4.3million in tax, or he would be implemented to face extra imprisonment in jail. Chaudry Ali, 52, was jailed for nine years in 2012 for ... Read More »

Angela Merkel’s party member asks ECB not to buy struggling euro zone states bonds

BERLIN:  Angela Merkel’s party’s senior member warned the European Central Bank not to pour money into Greece and other struggling euro zone states through bond purchases, saying this would reduce pressure on them to pass much needed reforms. Michael Fuchs, deputy parliamentary floor leader of the German chancellor’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said we should not pump extra money into these ... Read More »

Germany customs seizes 380,000 cigarettes, 2,000 mobiles,180kg drugs at Gurion Airport

BERLIN: Germany customs seized 380,000 cigarettes, 2,000 mobile, 180kg drugs at Gurion Airport in 2014. At least 9,000 incoming airport passengers failed to declare NIS10 million in diamonds, jewelry, gold, cigarettes, cellphones, unreported cash, and designer drugs, reports Globes. Jewelry worth NIS1 million and gold worth NIS1.5 million was seized as well, in addition to three gold ingots carried by ... Read More »

ECB’s Peter Praet says weaker oil prices call for more action

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank’s chief economist said weaker oil prices could unbalance inflation expectations and that the ECB may need to launch quantitative easing (QE) to keep prices stable. Peter Praet said the plunge in oil prices could mean euro zone inflation is negative during substantial part of 2015 and that price competition resulting from weaker oil prices could contribute to ... Read More »

Germany, America Customs sign pre-clearance immigration agreement

BERLIN: The Customs of Germany and America has signed an agreement of pre-clearance immigration according to which there should be an easy process of immigration for the natives of both countries in on another. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Global Entry programme is available at 42 US airports and 12 pre-clearance locations, has more than 1.8 million members enrolled ... Read More »

2015 German growth may be better than expects next year

BERLIN: Europe’s biggest economy, Growth in Germany could be better than expected next year and the situation in Europe is not as bad as many people think, the president of Germany’s Bundesbank said. Jens Weidmann member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council also reiterated his opposition to ECB plans to buy sovereign bonds. Weidmann said as things are at the moment ... Read More »

Germans to get additional 1 euro per hour after minimum wage comes into on New Year

BERLIN: As New Year approaches, Berlin bakery worker Jessica Arendt is not just looking forward to the fireworks. In 2015, she says, “I’ll be able to afford a few more things”. A national minimum wage comes into effect in Germany on January 1, and that means an additional one euro (US$1.30) an hour for the 23-year-old. Mathias Moebius, a bakery ... Read More »

Germany: Cheap money shouldn’t stop reforms in euro zone

BERLIN: Wolfgang Schaeuble, German Finance Minister expressed his reservations against the European Central Bank launching a bond buying stimulus programme and praised Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann’s arguments against such moves. Schaeuble said The ECB can make its decisions independently. But cheap money should not be allowed to dent the reform zeal in some countries. There is no alternative to structural ... Read More »