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Europe Top News and Analysis Belgium

  • BRUSSELS-- Winemaker Cherie Spriggs had watched the bad weather over southern England's vineyards all season long. Thierry Coste, an expert with the European Union farmers' union, said Wednesday that France's grape harvest is expected to slump by almost 20 percent compared with last year.

  • BRUSSELS-- The European Union's farmers' union is warning that drought, cold and hail have conspired to produce the worst wine harvest for the region in up to half a century. Farmers union expert Thierry Coste said Wednesday that France's grape harvest is expected to slump by almost 20 percent compared to last year.

  • However, rising speculation that Spain will soon ask for help to keep its borrowing costs down continues to shore up European markets, particularly in Madrid. The surprise decision late Tuesday by Moody's to maintain its credit rating on Spain has also helped shore up sentiment.

  • BERLIN-- A top German government official on Wednesday dashed hopes of swift progress on strengthening Europe's financial sector, saying this week's summit of the bloc's 27 leaders won't make any final decisions on setting up a single banking supervisor.

  • Parliament must approve the measures within the next few weeks so that Greece can keep receiving bailout money it desperately needs to stay solvent.

  • The EU's anti-fraud office sent a report to the Commission after it investigated a complaint by Swedish Match, a tobacco producer. The Commission said that a Maltese businessman had tried to use his alleged contacts with Dalli to get financial benefit from Swedish Match in return for pressing Dalli to influence future tobacco laws on snus.

  • BRUSSELS-- EU Health Commissioner John Dalli has resigned over corruption allegations involving tobacco legislation, but denies wrongdoing. The EU Commission said in a statement Dalli resigned `'with immediate effect. " Snus sales are banned in the European Union, except in Sweden, which insisted on an exemption when it joined the EU.

  • BRUSSELS-- Inflation in the 17- country eurozone was lower than previously expected in September. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said Tuesday that prices were 2.6 percent higher in September than the year before, down from its previous estimate of 2.7 percent.

  • Spain May Pay Price for Delaying Aid Request

    Spanish Prime Minister  Mariano Rajoy has deferred seeking help from a financial assistance program that Europe has tailored to Spain’s needs. But many are increasingly worried about the costs of further delay.

  • The Commerce Department said Monday that retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September to $412.9 billion. Traders are looking ahead to a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels later this week. The dollar rose to 78.70 Japanese yen from 78.38 Japanese yen and to 0.9340 Swiss franc from 0.9329 Swiss franc.

  • LONDON-- Upbeat signs from the world's two largest economies propped up markets Monday, at the start of a week that could offer greater clarity on the economic fates of Greece and Spain.

  • ATHENS, Greece-- Greece's finance minister says talks with the country's bailout creditors over austerity measures are unlikely to have concluded in time for this week's European Union summit meeting, as originally hoped.

  • The "Europe" sculpture by Belgian artist May Claerhout, outside the European Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium.

    The European Union may still be celebrating Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize win, but one of its founding members is finding it very difficult to find the political unity the wider region was lauded for.

  • LONDON-- A round of figures showing China's economy is in relatively good health helped buoy markets Monday, at the start of a week that could offer greater clarity on the economic fates of Greece and Spain. After a lackluster trading session in Asia, the news on China encouraged investors in Europe.

  • BRUSSELS-- The leader of a separatist party won the race to become mayor of Antwerp, Europe's second biggest port city, and vowed Sunday to use the power base to seek wider autonomy for Belgium's wealthy Dutch-speaking region of Flanders.

  • BRUSSELS-- The leader of a separatist party has won the race to become mayor of Antwerp, Europe's second biggest port city, and vowed to use the power base to seek wider autonomy for Belgium's wealthy Dutch-speaking region of Flanders.

  • BRUSSELS-- Early results from Belgian municipal elections Sunday showed widespread gains for a separatist party that is seeking autonomy for the wealthy Dutch-speaking region of northern Flanders.

  • Then, out of the blue, after three years of back-biting and seemingly daily financial crisis, the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for fostering peace on a continent long ravaged by war.

  • Nine other euro zone states joined France and Germany-- which have strongly pushed the measure-- in approving the tax at a European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels this week, despite vocal opposition from Britain and Sweden. After heavy diplomatic pressure from Berlin, Spain and Italy agreed to support the measure, as well as Slovakia and Estonia.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 12- The European Union provisionally approved new economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme on Friday, with senior diplomats giving their backing to measures against Tehran's banking sector, industry and shipping.