EU budget clearance for France and Italy comes with an asterisk

International — Link

The European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs accepted revised French and Italian budget plans but warned of close scrutiny.

France bows to EU pressure and pledges further budget cuts in 2015

International — Link

Finance minister tells Brussels an extra 3.6 billion euros will be cut from public spending next year, placing France 'in line with EU rules'.

France 'not seeking new EU deficit target'

France — Link

French finance minister insists Paris is maintaining current deficit-reduction targets, while EC predicts it will miss them both this year and next.

The Trojan Horse of private finance rolling into Europe


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose conservative right Popular Party was elected to government in a landslide victory in November, earlier this month named Luis de Guindos, formerly with Lehman Brothers and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as his new economy minister. The appointment, announced last week, was the latest manifestation of a viral pattern now spreading across Europe, whereby technocrats are filling the posts of national governments and private sector "experts" are shaping EU decision making. Ludovic Lamant reports.