12 Jan '11, 2am

Europe launches new era of economic coordination

BRUSSELS: Europe on Wednesday opens a crucial chapter in its efforts to end the deficits and debts plaguing the euro, with national budgets in the future to come under EU scrutiny before coming into effect. Drawing from the costly lessons of the eurozone debt crisis, now endangering Portugal and Spain, the European Union agreed on a series of steps in the past several months to reassure nervous markets. Among them is the first ever "European semester," a programme kicking off Wednesday to coordinate economic and budgetary policy in the wake of fiscal disasters that led to bailouts of Greece and Ireland last year. The initiative brings the EU closer to the elusive goal of economic governance between 27 vastly different countries, ranging from export-driven Germany to farm-heavy France and formerly communist Poland. "Last year's developments have confirmed that piecemeal sol...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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