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Mammoth EU-Africa summit tackles Central African Republic

African and European leaders opened crisis talks Wednesday on the "terrifying" violence in the Central African Republic where peacekeepers have been unable to stop a deadly spiral of Christian-Muslim strife. As leaders of the two continents headed into Brussels for a mammoth summit locking down parts of the city, 13 European Union and 12 African leaders gathered for crisis talks on the situation in CAR with UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Euro rally is over, say FX forecasters, as dollar gears up

By Jonathan Cable LONDON (Reuters) - The euro's recent rally is over as desperately low inflation and tepid economic growth will force the European Central Bank to keep monetary policy loose or possibly drive it to ease even further, according to a Reuters poll of forecasters. Taken this week, the poll of over 60 foreign exchange strategists predicted a euro would be worth $1.37 in one month, $1.33 in six and just $1.29 in a year. Those forecasts are slightly stronger than in a poll taken a month ago.

Greece is back, market return in sight-PM

By Renee Maltezou and Deepa Babington ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has put the worst of a debt crisis behind it and is considering issuing new debt within three months, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told Reuters on Wednesday. Greece has enjoyed a sharp revival of fortunes since its debt burden nearly sent it crashing out of the euro zone two years ago. Its economy is set to emerge from a six-year recession this year while bond market yields imply its borrowing costs have dropped to four-year lows.

CEE currencies seen firming after short-term retreat

By Sandor Peto BUDAPEST, April 2 - Central Europe's economic recovery should strengthen the region's main currencies by about 2 percent against the euro in the next 12 months, a monthly Reuters poll of analysts showed on Wednesday.

British EU membership key for success: car industry

Britain's membership of the European Union is "crucial" for the success of the automaking sector, the nation's car industry body said in a key report on Wednesday. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed the key finding of its study, produced by accountancy firm KPMG. "The attractiveness of the UK as a place to invest, and the competitiveness of the domestic automotive industry, is enhanced by the UK's membership of the EU," concluded the report entitled "The UK Automotive Industry and the EU".

Greece: Debt relief talks could start in May; unspent bank rescue cash could avoid 3rd bailout

ATHENS, Greece - Long-awaited talks between Greece and its rescue creditors to make the country's debt sustainable could start as early as next month and would likely last until the fall or beyond, a senior official in the Greek government said Wednesday. Greece's national debt is still considered unsustainable despite massive spending cuts, after the recession shrank the economy by about 25 per cent. Debt is predicted to reach 175 per cent of gross domestic output this year.

Greece to return to markets for medium-term loans by June

Greece, fighting to emerge from bailouts which began in 2010, will try to return to borrowing normally on the medium-term debt mark by June, Greek press reports said on Wednesday citing the finance minister. This is some months earlier than had been expected. "We are going to try to issue small bonds" with a life of three or five years "in the first half of 2014", the Ana news agency reported, citing Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras. He made his remarks to the press late on Tuesday outside a meeting of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers in Athens.

Germany ready to help Greece if it needs more money

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany will support further financial help for Greece, should the country require more aid after the current bailout ends this year, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday. Euro zone governments have lent 240 billion euros to Greece in exchange for tough reforms and fiscal austerity after the country was cut off from markets in 2010 because of its unsustainable public finances.

European ministers take sobering look at social impact of crisis

By John O'Donnell ATHENS (Reuters) - The economic crisis in Europe put 6 million people out of work and driven others into poverty, according to a think-tank study looking into the social impact of the slump that was examined by European finance ministers for the first time on Tuesday. As host, Greece, the first euro zone country to be bailed out during the crisis, put it on the agenda of the regular meeting of EU finance ministers that has more usually focused on appeasing financial markets with tough spending reforms.

EU calls on France, Greece to stick to reforms

Eurozone officials urged France's incoming government on Tuesday to stick to reform pledges, and Greece to capitalise on its austerity sacrifices in return for a long-delayed 6.3-billion-euro slice of bailout cash. The loan disbursal announced at a two-day meeting of European finance ministers, after seven months of tough talks between Greece and its EU-IMF creditors, will enable Athens to repay maturing debt in May. And Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras later said a planned return to financial markets would happen earlier than originally announced.
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