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EU's Barnier draws up law separating banking activities

European banks may have to separate their speculative and risky businesses from their regular banking operations, according to draft legislation being drawn up by EU Commissioner Michel Barnier. In an interview published in the business daily Handelsblatt on Wednesday, Barnier said he intends "to present the legislation by the end of the year". His proposals will follow up on the Liikanen Report into separating banks' riskier activities from the utility-like operations of retail banking.

French minister comment "absurd, false": EU's Barnier

PARIS (Reuters) - European Commissioner Michel Barnier struck back on Monday at a French minister who criticized the European Union's executive arm, calling his remarks "absurd" and saying France should stop blaming others for its own problems. French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg accused European Commission President Manuel Barroso at the weekend of fuelling far-right groups through austerity policies, the latest in a growing war of words over EU-imposed measures to cut debt.
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