EU finance ministers wrestle with recession

European Union finance ministers Tuesday gave British plans to insure toxic assets a lukewarm reception at talks in Brussels designed to organize a collective response to the bloc's recession and malfunctioning credit markets, dpa reported.

"(British Chancellor Alistair) Darling briefed us about the contents of this package, which has lots of interesting ideas," said Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, who chaired the meeting as holder of the EU presidency.

But responding to the credit crisis "in a coordinated fashion does not mean that all countries will choose the same instruments," he said.

The centrepiece of Darling's plan, launched soon after Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced possibly the biggest losses in British corporate history, involves a massive insurance scheme to protect banks from so-called toxic assets.

By capping banks' potential losses, the government hopes to encourage them to restart lending to businesses and consumers.

But Kalousek said one of the main difficulties involved in assessing the plan was that it would likely "take time for such instruments to take effect".

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck also expressed "scepticism" at the plan, which Britain has hailed as a model for Europe.

But it elicited a more favourable response from European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

"The measures announced by the UK government are very interesting. There are aspects that deserve further and immediate discussions," he said, adding that the European Commission would soon be providing guidance to EU member states on how to dispose of bad assets.

There was, however, no disagreement on the fact that European financial markets have yet to fully recover from the global credit crisis, which reached its apex with the collapse of US investment giant Lehman Brothers in September.

"The situation now is clearly better than two or three months ago. But we all agree that the functioning of credit flows is not adequate. This is a matter of priority," Almunia said.

As Steinbrueck said prior to Tuesday's talks, "clearly, the necessary trust has not been restored."

Shortage of credit is one of the underlying causes of the deep and prolonged recession which Europe faces this year.

On Monday, the European Commission issued fresh economic forecasts predicting a 1.8 per cent drop in the EU's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009. GDP in the 16-member eurozone, which excludes many fast-growing countries from Eastern Europe, is set to shrink by 1.9 per cent.

Discussions in Brussels focussed on the implementation of the various economic recovery plans that have so far been put together by national governments.

Officials in Brussels say 18 such plans, totalling some 190 billion euros (250 billion dollars) over the next two years, have so far been submitted to the European Commission.

By far the biggest stimulus package - 82 billion euros spread over 2009-10 - belongs to Germany, the bloc's largest economy.

At their meeting, ministers agreed on the need to accompany such temporary measures with structural reforms designed to improve Europe's long-term competitiveness.

Furthermore, ministers vowed to stick to the EU's strict competition and state aid rules.

And while acknowledging that their budget deficits would likely breach EU rules as a result of increased public sector spending during the downturn, ministers said they remained "fully committed to sound and sustainable public finances."

Spain and Greece have already had their credit ratings cut over the worrying state of their public finances, with experts predicting Portugal and Ireland may soon suffer similar downgradings.

Finally, ministers formalized a 3.1 billion-euro (4.1 billion- dollar) loan to Latvia designed to help the Baltic country cope with the global credit crunch.

The EU loan, which had already been approved in principle by EU governments, is part of a 7.5 billion-euro balance of payments support package which includes assistance from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and individual countries such as Denmark, Norway and the Czech Republic.

Turkmenistan increases imports of dried legumes from EAEU countries
Turkmenistan increases imports of dried legumes from EAEU countries
Export of cars to Kyrgyzstan spiked - Turkish Ministry of Trade
Export of cars to Kyrgyzstan spiked - Turkish Ministry of Trade
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
Loading Bars
Latest
Over course of these 28 years, there have been so many useless meetings, so there is no difference - Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijan responds adequately to Armenian provocations along entire front
BP’s upstream output goes down
Azerbaijani people will not forget this injustice - President of Azerbaijan
Review of four Georgian banks that ended third quarter on high note
Enemy already running away from us we will continue to chase them, because we are right and we are strong - President of Azerbaijan
EAEU increases exports of dairy products to Turkmenistan
BP’s net wind generation capacity rises
If you want to save Armenia, tell it to leave our lands, get away immediately - President Aliyev
Frozen state of Karabakh conflict was in everyone's interests, except Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
More citizens of Georgia to receive access to natural gas in 3 years
Number of Uzbek small businesses created over 9M2020 revealed
We have created new reality, everyone has to reckon with new reality now - Azerbaijani president
If ceasefire continues and issue remains frozen again, this cannot suit us - President of Azerbaijan
Georgian Airways releases flights scheduled for November
Less than two weeks after Heydar Aliyev resigned from all posts, Armenian separatists rose up and demanded that Nagorno-Karabakh be separated from Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
Anglo Asian Mining gives update on Vejnaly contact area
Pakistan supports Azerbaijan in its just struggle - Ambassador
Iran still working on releasing its frozen funds from South Korea
EBRD allocates loan to Azerbaijani group of companies
Azerbaijan's Cabinet of Ministers amends some rules of Cadastre Land Management Center
After Bolshevik revolution, there was great danger that Bolshevik government would hand over Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia - President Aliyev
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister to visit to Azerbaijan
BP’s net debt falls amid completion of JV with Reliance
Central Bank of Azerbaijan may receive new powers
Turkish ministry says Iraq minimizes import of domestic defense products
Azerbaijani currency rates for Oct. 27
Iran to operate desalination plant in Bandar Abbas
Liabilities of Turkey's Azerbaijani subsidiary bank notably grow
Armenian troops shelling Azerbaiajni Tartar district's city, villages
Kazakh Gas Refinery to buy construction materials via tender
Turkmenistan increases imports of dried legumes from EAEU countries
Pakistani National Bank's branch in Baku reveals its 9M2020 total assets
Kazakhstan's export volumes to Europe drop
Azerbaijani MP informs Turkish public about situation in Nagorno-Karabakh region (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan's Aktau port to buy pumps via tender
OPEC+ extension could prolong drag on overall GDP growth
Private sector may be used for modernization of power plant equipment in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani parliament approves resolution to rename Veng village to Chinarli village
Volume of money supply in Georgia reaches new record high
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan change
Kazakhstan's goods import from Netherlands surges
Data on 9M2020 cargo movement from Italy via Turkish ports disclosled
Turkmenistan buys various polymer products from Russia
Information about shelling of border post on territory of Armenia is false - MoD
Peaceful conditions in Karabakh needed to prevent further environmental damage - UNEP
Azerbaijani oil prices edge down
Turkey's 9M2020 export of defense industry products to Georgia grows
Georgia reports 1,824 new coronavirus cases
Kazakhstan increases iron ores production over 9M2020
Tight oil growth will never be as rampant in future
First Honorary Consulate of Ukraine opens in Azerbaijan
Liberation of Gubadli and Khanlig means breakthrough to Lachin corridor - Azerbaijani MP
Uzbekistan reveals volume of agricultural, forestry, fishery production for 9M2020
Ceasefire violations of Armenia must be considered for OSCE MG to yield concrete results - Turkish MFA
Volume of loans issued by Georgian commercial banks up
Bryansk Machine-Building Plant ready to increase locomotives supply to Turkmenistan
Iran’s Shazand Oil Refining Company supplies fuel to IRISL Group
Armenia is like Trojan horse inside CSTO - Turkish government
Russia's Bryansk Machine-Building Plant, Turkmenistan discuss terms of locomotives delivery
Cherries, grapes top list of fruits and vegetable products exported from Uzbekistan
Total volume of non-bank deposits in Georgian banking sector up
Azerbaijani MFA calls on int'l organizations to investigate breach of children rights by Armenia
Singapore ready to share with Uzbekistan experience in forming digital gov’t
France's import of defense industry goods from Turkey decline
Info on death of defense minister of illegal regime in Nagorno Karabakh issued
Assistant to Azerbaijani President Hikmat Hajiyev interviewed by Al Jazeera TV channel (VIDEO)
Armenia established corridor to bring PKK into Azerbaijan’s occupied territories - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Blast at Pakistan religious school kills at least seven, including children
Uzbekistan to introduce Chinese standards into automotive industry
EBRD, EU provide another support to small, medium-sized businesses in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan strongly condemns shelling of Euronews' crew by Armenia - president's aide (VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for October 27
Tractors with telepathic system used to cotton planting in Turkmenistan’s Lebap region
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for October 27
“Jewish Journal” publishes an article on Armenian protest in Los Angeles equating Israel to Nazi Germany
Armenia didn't respond to Azerbaijan's requests for release of war prisoners - Commission
Iranian government eyes to attract investors for Markan coast development
Iran to submit budget plan for new year
Armenia confirms liberation of Gubadli city by Azerbaijan
Iran`s return to FATF blacklist restricts its exports
Destroyed military equipment of Armenian Armed Forces - LIST
Chief of staff of Armenian Army motorized rifle division killed
Latest situation at front line on Oct. 27
Chinese mainland reports 16 new imported COVID-19 cases
Brazil's COVID-19 cases surpass 5.4 mln
U.S. Senate confirms Trump's Supreme Court pick Barrett in nearly party-line vote
5.2-magnitude earthquake hits central Iran, no casualties
Czech Republic to introduce night curfew from Wednesday
61 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
Germany reports 8,685 new COVID-19 cases
Footage from liberated from occupation Gubadli city (VIDEO)
Footage from liberated from occupation Khanligr village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Armenia does not want to take bodies of its deceased soldiers as it fears anger of people - Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan
Kazakh PM meets with Turkish Defense Minister
Footage from liberated from occupation Padar village of Gubadli region (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan neutralizes one of 3 missiles shot by Armenian troops at Azerbaijan's Tartar
Azerbaijan's Bank Association denies lies spread by Armenian side
Effective co-op in field of border security established between Azerbaijan, Iran
Armenian Armed Forces shell Azerbaijan’s Tartar by using 'Smerch' missiles
All news