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  • BERLIN, Jan 30- Discussion about a debt reduction for Greece is not in tune with reality and Greece can only get an extension of its aid program if it is prepared to uphold the promised reforms, a spokesman for the German finance ministry said on Friday. "The reality is simple- at the end of February an aid program expires which in order to have an orderly ending, needs...

  • Fitch: Greece deal possible, risks high Friday, 30 Jan 2015 | 6:08 AM ET

    ATHENS, Greece— The ratings agency Fitch says an agreement between Greece's new left-wing government and rescue lenders is still possible but is warning that drawn-out negotiations pose a "high risk" to the country's fragile economy. The agency said Friday both sides have a "strong incentive" to reach an agreement to release the remaining money from 240...

  • Germany's DAX, up 0.3 percent, outperformed the pan-European index after data showing German retail sales increased for a fifth consecutive year in 2014, rising by 1.4 percent in real terms, reflecting the buoyant mood among consumers in Europe's largest economy. "Retail sales in Germany and Spain, as well as consumer spending in France, are above expectations.

  • *Greece drops resistance, says "not a Russian puppet". BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. Germany said that decision would depend on...

  • *Greece drops resistance, says "not a Russian puppet". BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers extended existing sanctions against Russia on Thursday, holding off on tighter economic measures for now but winning the support of the new left-leaning government of Greece, whose position had been in doubt. Germany said that decision would depend on...

  • ATHENS, Jan 29- Greece's tourism minister promised on Thursday Athens had no plans to curb all-inclusive resorts on its sun-drenched islands, after suggestions new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had declared war on the popular packages. All-inclusive deals that limit added food and bar expenses for vacationers are especially popular among the millions of...

  • *EU considering new sanctions after rebel advance in Ukraine. *Greece's position unclear, signs of division emerging. BRUSSELS/ KIEV, Jan 29- European Union foreign ministers agreed on Thursday to extend existing sanctions against Russia by six months but were still debating whether to impose new measures, with the new government in Greece sowing uncertainty...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- Greece's credit rating could be cut if talks with its international creditors do not make progress by the time of Fitch's next review in May, one of the firm's senior ratings directors said on Thursday. Fitch is the last of the big three ratings agencies, after Standard and Poor's and Moody's, to send a warning to Greece's new anti-bailout coalition.

  • *Greece's position unclear, signs of division emerging. BRUSSELS, Jan 29- Greece's new leftist government exasperated its EU allies on Thursday at negotiations over extending sanctions against Russia, leaving the other 27 member states guessing as to whether it would support new sanctions or veto them. Leaders of several EU countries and officials of the bloc...

  • ATHENS, Jan 29- Greek bank deposits fell in December for the third straight month as savers stepped up withdrawals amid rising political tensions and the prospect of a stand-off with the country's international creditors, and bankers expect the trend will have accelerated in January. Corporate and household deposit balances in December fell 2.4 percent...

  • *France sees mediation role between Athens, EU. PARIS, Jan 29- Greece could be given more time to pay off its debt if it keeps its budget in balance and maintains promised reforms, French officials said on Thursday. But careful: all that depends on the commitments to reform that Greece will make, "he added.

  • EU to extend existing Russia sanctions over Ukraine Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 8:32 AM ET

    BRUSSELS— The European Union extended by six months an existing set of sanctions against Russian and pro- Russia separatist officials because of the continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and was planning further action, officials said Thursday. The new radical left-wing government in Greece didn't fall immediately in line with plans for further actions...

  • *Greece concerns weigh on Europe, Athens stocks up. LONDON, Jan 29- European stocks slipped and the dollar strengthened on Thursday after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view of the world's largest economy and signalled it was on track to raise interest rates this year. Greece, where an anti-austerity prime minister took over on Monday, also kept investors...

  • BEIJING, Jan 29- China is closely monitoring the policies of the new Greek government after Athens said this week it will stop the sale of a majority stake in Greece's biggest port, China's trade ministry said on Thursday. The Greek government last year had shortlisted China's Cosco Group as a potential buyer of a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority.

  • Greece misinterpreted over Russia sanctions -minister Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 5:33 AM ET

    ATHENS, Jan 29- Greece's new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis rejected suggestions that complaints from Athens over a European Union statement on Ukraine meant it was preparing to veto sanctions against Russia. EU foreign ministers are expected to ask the European Commission on Thursday to prepare a new round of sanctions against Russia, aimed at...

  • ATHENS, Greece— The first European official to visit Greece since the country elected a new left-wing government said Thursday that he expects clashes over how to lighten the country's bailout— not rash actions from Athens. European Parliament president Martin Schulz said he had concluded after discussions with 40- year-old Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras...

  • UPDATE 1-Greek bank shares edge back up off record lows Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 4:49 AM ET

    *Morgan Stanley issues upbeat note on Greek bank shares. The Athens Stock Exchange FTSE Banks Index, which had slumped 27.7 percent on Wednesday to hit all-time lows, rose 6 percent, with investors encouraged by a note from U.S. bank Morgan Stanley. "With Greek bank stocks down up to 30 percent yesterday and down 40 percent in the last week, we re-iterate the long-term...

  • *Greece concerns weigh on Europe, Athens stocks up. LONDON, Jan 29- Stocks fell in Europe and Asia and the dollar strengthened on Thursday after the Federal Reserve took an upbeat view of the world's largest economy and signaled it was on track to raise interest rates this year. Greece, where a radical leftist prime minister took over on Monday, also kept investors...

  • LONDON, Jan 29- German bond yields fell on Thursday as worries over Greece's new anti-bailout government buoyed demand for top-rated assets from investors who were also starting to think the U.S. Athens looked to set to endure a fourth day of market jitters since Sunday's election with its newly-instated government at loggerheads with international...

  • European shares fall; Vallourec sinks after warning Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 | 4:05 AM ET

    *Vallourec warns of 1- 1.2 bln euro impairment, shares fall 6 pct. Vallourec featured among the top losers, falling 6 percent after the steel pipes maker warned of an impairment charge of 1.0- 1.2 billion euros on the value of its assets, blaming turmoil in the oil market. Also, Vallourec has not impaired anything in the U.S., whereas market conditions are deteriorating...