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Futures News - WSJ.com: What's News Europe
From today, February 20, 2019
- EU's Trade Surplus With U.S., a Bone of Contention for Trump, Hits Record
The European Union reported a record trade surplus with the U.S. last year, a development that could weigh on slow-moving U.S.-EU trade talks and comes as the Trump administration prepares to deliberate hefty tariffs on European car imports.
- Vatican Envoy to France Is Investigated for Sexual Assault Charge
French authorities placed the Vatican?s envoy to France under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a local Paris official last month, the latest in a string of embarrassing episodes involving Holy See diplomats.
- Trade Friction Stymies Growth in Germany and Japan
Japan and Germany avoided slipping into recession as 2018 drew to a close, but the world?s third- and fourth-largest economies seem set for a year of weak growth amid uncertainty about global trade.
- Sweden Recalls Ambassador to China in Twist in Bookseller's Detention
Sweden has recalled its ambassador to China and opened an internal investigation into her role in arranging a meeting where Chinese businessmen allegedly threatened the daughter of a detained Swedish bookseller, Sweden?s Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
- Prince Philip Won't Be Charged Over Car Crash
British prosecutors decided not to pursue charges against Prince Philip, the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, after he was involved in a car crash near the royal estate in Sandringham last month.
- As Brexit Deadline Nears, EU Loses Confidence in May
As the clock ticks down on the U.K.?s planned departure from the European Union, EU leaders are still waiting for a signal from British Prime Minister Theresa May on the next steps in negotiating a critical divorce deal.
- European Union Agrees to New Copyright Law
The bill is aimed at reining in tech giants and throwing a lifeline to news publishers. It is expected to be formally approved by mid-April, after which EU governments will have two years to include it in their national laws.
- Italy's Far-Right Firebrand Takes Aim at Europe
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, head of Italy?s ruling League party, has tapped into Italian anger at the country?s ineffectual political establishment. But a look at his decisions in power suggests he is more of a pragmatist than his rhetoric implies.
- U.S. Rejects New European Dirty-Money Blacklist
The revised list, released Wednesday, results from efforts by the EU to tighten longstanding measures against money laundering and terrorism financing since the publication of the Panama Papers in 2016, which revealed how global elites avoided taxes or laundered money through offshore shell companies.
- As Brexit Clock Ticks Down, May Plays for Time
With just over a month until the U.K. leaves the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May?s efforts to garner support for a Brexit deal will go down to the wire.
- In Germany, a Cold War Deal to Host U.S. Nuclear Weapons Is in Question
Angela Merkel?s ruling partners are reconsidering their support for a decadesold arrangement that puts Germany under the U.S. nuclear shield, a development that could further undermine the country?s relationship with the U.S.
- Trial of Catalan Separatists Pushes Spain Closer to Snap Elections
The return of tensions over Catalan separatism is threatening to bring an early end to the government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
- Europe's Biggest Job Opening in Years: President of the ECB
Europe?s faltering economy and fractious politics are complicating the region?s biggest personnel question in years: Who will replace Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank?
- U.K. Posts Slowest Growth in Six Years Amid Brexit Worries
The U.K. economy experienced its weakest growth since 2012 last year as businesses slashed investment in the face of growing uncertainty about the way in which the country will leave the European Union.
- Italy's Populist Government Takes Aim at Central Bank
Italy?s populist government launched an unprecedented attack on the country?s central bank over the weekend, saying its top brass should be replaced because it had failed to supervise effectively the country?s troubled banking sector.
- Italians Begin Demolishing Bridge at Center of Tragedy
Italy began demolishing the remains of a highway bridge in the northern city of Genoa whose collapse last year killed 43 and exposed the perilous state of the country?s infrastructure.
- Experiment With Guaranteed Income Creates Less Stress but No Jobs
A much-watched experiment in Finland failed to provide evidence that offering people a guaranteed income is the answer to some of the insecurities caused by potentially profound changes in the jobs market.
- As U.S. and China Draw Up Trade Barriers, Germany Fights Back
Germany said it would step up efforts to shield important industries from foreign takeovers and competition, as it seeks to counter what it called growing protectionism in the U.S. and China.
- Europe's Economy Starts 2019 With a Whimper
Europe?s flagging economy got off to a weak start in 2019, as Italy showed few signs of emerging from recession and the uncertainty around Britain?s exit from the European Union dragged on U.K. growth.
- U.K. Stocks Lack Backstop as Brexit Deadline Approaches
U.K. stocks have become some of the most shunned assets in the world. One big reason: Investors have lost faith that a weaker pound will lift shares if Brexit takes a turn for the worse.
- Upscale London Home Sales Hit New Low During Brexit Disarray
The growing uncertainty surrounding the U.K.?s exit from Europe is hobbling the prime property market in central London as home buyers wrestle with ongoing political uncertainty.
- U.S. Military Finds a Warm Welcome in Once-Wary Greece
Much of Greek society has long been suspicious of U.S. power as a result of Washington?s support for Greece?s 1967-74 military dictatorship. Yet Greece?s current government is cultivating the military ties.
- U.K. Moves to Ease Import Regulation in Case of No-Deal Brexit
British businesses trading with the European Union can apply for a special status allowing them to circumvent some of the hurdles that a disruptive departure from the bloc could create, the U.K.?s tax authority said Monday.
- Secret Truck Routes and Backup Storage: One Firm's Brexit Crisis Plan
European businesses with cross-border operations are wrestling with when to pull the trigger on their worst-case-scenario Brexit plans.
- EU Struggles to Reach United Response to Venezuelan Crisis
A group of European countries is set to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela?s interim president but the European Union is struggling to agree a common stance on the Venezuelan crisis.
- Nuclear Pact Breakdown Unnerves U.S. Allies
The U.S. decision to exit a decades-old treaty on intermediate-range nuclear forces is unsettling Europe, which sits in range of a Russian missile system that U.S. officials say breaches the 1987 pact.
- For Many British Pets After a No-Deal Brexit: Staycations
Pet passports issued by the EU will no longer be valid for U.K. pets in the event of a no-deal Brexit, forcing animals and their British owners to take onerous extra steps if they wish to travel together in Europe.
- Italy's Tough Approach on Migration Stirs Trouble for Hard-Right Hero
An Italian court case targeting the hard-line immigration policy pursued by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is stirring tensions within Italy?s government and drawing criticism from Rome?s EU neighbors.
- Czech Tax Office Bars China's Huawei on Espionage Concerns
The ban is seen as the first in a succession of similar restrictions on the Chinese telecom giant and its rival ZTE likely to land in the Czech Republic as the U.S. pushes its European allies to restrict Huawei and ZTE from building internet infrastructure on the continent.
- Political Malaise Drags Down Europe's Growth
The twin engines of the eurozone economy, France and Germany, are cooling, a trend that deepens the economic pain at the root of ?yellow-vest? protests and other tensions across the continent.
- May Seeks to Renegotiate Brexit Deal With European Union
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would seek to reopen Brexit negotiations with the European Union in a bid to wring concessions as the clock runs down on the U.K.?s exit from the bloc.
- Europe Opens Channel for Trade With Iran
France, Britain and Germany, defying threats from Washington, established a special payments company intended to secure some trade with Iran and blunt the impact of U.S. sanctions.
- ECB Open to Resuming Quantitative-Easing if Necessary, Draghi Says
The European Central Bank is ready to use all its policy tools to support Europe?s softening economy, including by restarting a recently shelved bond-buying program, ECB President Mario Draghi said.
- Greece Ratifies Historic Accord With Macedonia
Greece ratified a U.S.-backed deal with Macedonia that aims to help stabilize the Balkan region but is polarizing Greek society.
- 'These Are Our Friends'; Russians Push to Preserve North Korea Ties
A small but committed group of Russian business owners and ethnic Koreans are braving U.S. ire to maintain business ties with Pyongyang, waiting as long as possible to comply with sanctions deadlines and lobbying Russian officials to pull Moscow out of U.N. resolutions aimed at bringing North Korea to heel.
- ECB Worries Over Economy Mount, But Officials Stand Pat on Rates
The European Central Bank opened the door to new stimulus measures to prop up the region?s economy, as policy makers navigate fractious U.S.-China trade negotiations and disruptive political events such as Brexit.
- Europe's Political Funk Sets Back Its Economy
Gloomy economic forecasts set the tone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as Europe?s recovery appears to be running out of steam and its politics shaken by the growing strength of nationalists.
- French 'Yellow-Vest' Protesters to Seek European Parliament Seats
A group of ?yellow-vest? protesters plan to create a list of candidates for European Parliament elections as the antigovernment movement seeks to translate support on the street into lasting political influence.
- Russia, Turkey Leaders Discuss Deeper Partnership in Syria
Russia?s president and his Turkish counterpart discussed in Moscow how to divide up control of northern Syria when U.S. troops leave, highlighting Washington?s diminished say in Syrian affairs.
- Upcoming Poland Conference Not a Stage to 'Demonize' Iran, U.S. Says
The U.S. said Tuesday that a controversial conference on Middle East stability next month in Poland, jointly hosted by the State Department, won?t be focused on Iran and will have a broader agenda.
- Google Fined $57 Million in Biggest Penalty Yet Under New European Law
Google was fined $57 million by a French regulator?the biggest penalty levied yet under a new European privacy law?alleging the search-engine giant didn?t go far enough to get valid user consent to gather data for targeted advertising.
- After Brexit Defeat, May Offers Little New on Leaving EU
Theresa May told the House of Commons that she wants to go back to the European Union and again seek tweaks to the Brexit agreement she spent months negotiating with the EU. Last week that deal was rejected by a historic margin by British lawmakers.
- Macron's Tumble Tells a Larger Story
French President Emmanuel Macron?s absence at Davos is a sign of how quickly the fires of populism can engulf world leaders, even those perched at a seemingly safe distance.
- The Shrinking of the Political Middle---and What It Means
As the far right and far left gain strength, countries find it increasingly difficult to get things done?both domestically and globally.
- Russia Flexes Its Muscle in the Middle East
Moscow looks for stronger ties with traditional allies of the U.S.
- Privacy Problems Mount for Tech Giants
Tighter privacy rules have had some benefits for the biggest companies. That may not last.
- Why Oil Prices May Hinge on U.S.-Iran Showdown
Electric vehicles, renewables and climate change could impact the oil market down the road, but won?t have much of an impact in 2019.
- Brexit's Looming Impact
Uncertainty has a high price.
- Investors' Best Option: Keep Faith in U.S. Stocks
European and emerging markets are too dependent on the choices of a handful of Chinese officials.
- How to Fix the World
Readers offer their solutions for the polarization of politics, income inequality, privacy and more
- For Industrial Robots, Hacking Risks Are On the Rise
5G promises to make factories a lot smarter. And that means they?ll be a lot more vulnerable.
- IMF Lowers 2019 Global Growth Forecast
The global economy is starting the year on weaker footing, particularly by poor performance out of Europe, according to new quarterly forecasts from the IMF.
- Trump, Key European Leaders Skip Davos Amid Turmoil at Home
President Trump?s decision to stay in Washington to deal with the partial government shutdown has changed the script for this week?s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
- Under U.S. Pressure, Germany Bans Iranian Airline
Germany?s government banned an Iranian airline from operating in the country following U.S. allegations that its aircraft transported weapons and fighters to war-torn Syria. U.S. officials say the move against Mahan Air is the result of longstanding pressure from the Trump administration.
- EU Countries Face a Menu of Challenges
Among the problems EU members face: a slowing economy and a fragmenting political landscape.
- Despite Wins, EU Frets Over Rule-of-Law Fight
Euroskeptic governments for several years have bloodied the European Union?s nose by flouting its authority. Brussels has recently scored some points, though officials increasingly concede that only a change in public attitudes in the bloc?s east can really prompt governments to shift course.
- France's Yellow-Vest Movement Ignore Calls to Debate
Thousands of protesters took to the streets across France on Saturday for the 10th consecutive weekend of demonstrations, despite efforts by President Emmanuel Macron to channel yellow-vest anger through public debates over the next two months.
- Alpine Tunnel Splits Italy's Populists
A fight over a proposed high-speed railroad that includes a 35-mile tunnel under the Alps threatens to rupture the young government because of an uncomfortable fact: The two parties sharing power represent diametrically opposed electorates and ideologies.
- Central Banks Struggle With Policy Settings
The eurozone?s economic slowdown has taken European Central Bank officials by surprise, potentially disrupting their plans to lift short-term interest rates this year.
- EU's Focus for U.S. Trade Talks Risks Trans-Atlantic Clash
The European Union made its opening bid in trade talks with the U.S., outlining a narrow goal of slashing tariffs on industrial goods, including motor vehicles, that sets the bloc on a collision course with Washington?s broader agenda.
- Berlusconi Is Back for One More Try
The octogenarian Italian businessman turned politician said he will run in the European Union parliamentary election. Mr. Berlusconi?s pitch to Italians included a call to throw out the country?s populist government and defend Europe?s Christian roots.
- EU Nations Set to Snub Washington's Latest Anti-Iran Push
Fresh U.S. efforts to enlist Europe in its pressure campaign against Iran faced a setback after officials said ministers from several European Union countries will likely skip a summit organized by Washington on Iran and the Middle East.
- U.K. Parliament's Rejection of Brexit Deal Puts European Union in a Bind
The British Parliament?s overwhelming rejection of the Brexit agreement reopens a tortuous debate that EU governments had hoped to avoid, over what fresh concessions, if any, to offer U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May without shattering the bloc?s unity.
- U.K. Parliament Roundly Rejects May's Brexit Plan
The outcome prompted the head of the opposition to call for a vote on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May?s leadership, as uncertainty deepens around the U.K.?s exit from the EU in just over two months.
- Germany's Sharp Slowdown Fans Fears That China Woes Are Spreading
The economic outlook for Europe and the world darkened after growth in Germany slowed sharply last year, hit by weaker exports to China and softer demand at home.
- Macron Tries to Channel Yellow-Vest Anger Into 'Great Debate'
The government of Emmanuel Macron kicked off a ?great national debate? intended to channel the anger of the ?yellow-vest? protest movement and shield the French president?s pro-business agenda.
- Polish Ex-Security Official Charged With Spying for China
A former senior Polish intelligence official, arrested with a Huawei Technologies employee last week, has been charged with spying for China while he worked in government with top-level access to Polish and allied intelligence.
- EU Explores Ways to Counter China's State-Backed Capitalism
Concerns about China?s state-backed capitalism are prompting the European Union to reassess its competition rules with an eye to allowing large mergers or a more muscular response to foreign competitors.
- Draghi Says Eurozone Economy Weaker Than Expected
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bloc?s economy was weakening unexpectedly amid rising headwinds originating outside the currency union, including an economic slowdown in China.
- Theresa May's Brexit Deal Hangs in Balance Ahead of Crucial Vote
The British Parliament looks set to reject a proposed Brexit deal by a huge margin, a defeat that will likely trigger a no-confidence vote in British Prime Minister Theresa May?s government and force yet another round of frenetic negotiations with her European counterparts.
- Russia Warns U.S. Moves Threaten 2011 Nuclear Pact
Russia has stepped up criticism of U.S. efforts to implement a major arms treaty with an unusual message to lawmakers accusing Washington of undermining the New Start deal. The dispute comes as a separate arms treaty between the two sides is on the verge of collapse.
- Spy Charges Put Huawei's European Ambitions in Jeopardy
Polish officials are debating how to defuse any potential security threats related to Huawei after the bombshell arrest of an employee.
- U.S., EU Set Conflicting Goals for Looming Trade Talks
The U.S. and European Union are staking out sharply different goals for coming trade negotiations, raising the prospect for renewed trans-Atlantic commercial tensions.
- Polish Politician Dies After Stabbing, Sparking Uproar
The popular mayor of a major Polish city died after being stabbed during a public address, sparking an uproar in a country torn by political tensions between the conservative government and liberal opposition.
- May's Brexit Deal Faces Likely Defeat as Deadline Nears
British Prime Minister Theresa May likely faces a defeat in a vote Tuesday on her plan to leave the EU, setting the stage for further political turmoil that will test the U.K.?s historically stable political institutions.
- U.K. Parliament's Vote on Brexit Deal Explained
British lawmakers are set to vote this week on the terms of the divorce deal that Prime Minister Theresa May has spent two years hammering out with the European Union following the 2016 referendum vote to leave the bloc.
- OECD Sees Further Slowdown in Global Economy This Year
The U.S. and many other large economies are set for a further slowdown this year, although there are signs of stabilization in China, according to leading indicators released by the OECD.
- Britons Most at Risk in a Messy Split From EU Are Least Worried
Ahead of vital Brexit vote on Tuesday, many residents of U.K. manufacturing hubs closely linked to the bloc say they value their sovereignty above the economy.
- Greece Edges Toward Political Uncertainty Over Macedonia Deal
Greece?s unlikely governing coalition of left-wing and right-wing populists was thrown into disarray after the defense minister resigned, a move that added uncertainty to resolving the name-change deal with Macedonia.
- Poland Urges NATO Allies to Coordinate Against China Cybersecurity Challenges
Poland is joining the U.S. in pressing its NATO allies to coordinate efforts to address security challenges from China after the arrest of two men on charges of spying for Beijing.
- Huawei Fires Executive Charged in Poland With Espionage
Chinese telecom company Huawei fired a sales director who was arrested in Poland on espionage charges, saying he brought it ?into disrepute.?
- French Antigovernment Protesters March for Ninth Straight Weekend
For the ninth consecutive Saturday, thousands of protesters clad in yellow reflective vests gathered in French cities in what is becoming a weekly test of the momentum of their antigovernment movement.
- Huawei Executive Is Charged With Espionage in Poland
Polish authorities detained and charged a local sales director of Huawei, a Chinese national, with conducting high-level espionage on behalf of China, amid widening global scrutiny of the technology giant.
- Snowbound Europe Struggles to Dig Out After Deadly Storms
Alpine countries across Europe are battling record snowfalls that have claimed the lives of over a dozen people and severed road and air access to entire communities.
- Name Change to 'North Macedonia' Approved by Macedonian Parliament
Macedonia ratified a U.S.-backed deal with Greece to change its name to ?North Macedonia,? opening up a path to membership in NATO and the EU.
- Pompeo Courts Arab Support Against Iran While Touting U.S.'s Mideast Role
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used a speech in Cairo to rally the Arab world against Iran, casting the Islamic Republic as the Trump administration?s top concern in the region at a pivotal moment in U.S.-Mideast relations.
- Surprise Winner Declared in Congo Presidential Election
The Democratic Republic of Congo?s electoral commission declared opposition leader Félix Tshisekedi as the winner of the December presidential election, a stunning announcement that contradicts an unofficial tally by the largest observer mission.
- Iran Confirms Arrest of U.S. Navy Veteran
Iran said it has arrested a U.S. Navy veteran on charges it didn?t disclose, a move that threatens to further strain relations between Washington and Tehran after the Trump administration reimposed sanctions last year on the Islamic Republic.
- Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Advise Private-Equity Firm
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is following the well-trodden path from politics to private equity. He will advise Switzerland?s Partners Group on so-called impact investments.
- Kidnapping of Norwegian Multimillionaire's Spouse Revealed
The wife of a Norwegian multimillionaire real-estate tycoon was abducted more than two months ago, police said, gripping public attention in the rich Nordic country.
- Jihadists Behind Bars Pose New Risks for Europe
A terrorism trial starting in Brussels on Thursday highlights the difficulties Europe?s courts and prisons face containing the spread of jihadist ideology behind bars.
- Standoff Over Stranded Migrants Ends as Europe Opens Doors
A row over the fate of 49 migrants held for weeks on two rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea ended when Malta reached a deal to allow them to disembark before being transferred to other European nations.
- As Unemployment Shrinks in Europe, Big Disparities Linger
The eurozone?s unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate in more than a decade, a sign that the economic slowdown is unlikely to turn quickly into a recession, but rates in Southern Europe remain high.
- Saudi Arabia Sells More Than $7 Billion in Bonds
Saudi Arabia priced a large international bond deal, drawing support from a roster of Western banks in the kingdom?s first debt sale since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- Riches to Rags: Swiss Central Bank Swings from Record Profit to Large Loss
One year after posting a record profit, the Swiss National Bank swung to a 15 billion franc loss in 2018, as a double whammy of weaker global equity markets and a stronger Swiss franc eroded the value of its massive holdings of foreign stocks and bonds.
- Erdogan Rebuffs U.S. Call to Protect Kurds
President Trump?s plans for a rapid withdrawal of American troops from Syria were thrown into disarray when Turkey?s president rejected a request to protect U.S. allies fighting in the region, and instead threatened military strikes against them.
- Pledges Made by Italy's Populist Government Come Up Against Economic Reality
Italy?s government has offered to shore up an ailing bank with public money, in a sharp U-turn after attacking mainstream politicians for years for bailing out Italian banks with taxpayers? money.
- Departures Resume From London Heathrow Following Drone Sighting
Heathrow Airport, one of the world?s busiest aviation hubs, temporarily halted departing flights late Tuesday after a nearby drone sighting, the second shuttering of a London airport due to drones in less than three weeks.
- Germany Shows Symptoms of Deeper Economic Pain
Fresh signs of a weakening German economy are raising fears that last year?s slowdown could spill into 2019, deepening the challenges facing policy makers.