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Hungary's increasingly aggressive moves against media, judiciary and central bank independence will be discussed by European Union heads of states on Friday.
CNBC's Kelly Evans reports European shares were relatively unchanged in morning trading.
EU officials worked on a rescue package for Cyprus on Friday, hoping to get approval from the IMF and euro zone finance ministers later in the day.
Robin Doumar, managing partner at Park Square Capital says that private equity firms and institutional investors can fill the void left by a pullback in bank lending.
EU and IMF officials planned to work on a rescue package for Cyprus through the night in Brussels to get an outline of a bailout program to euro zone finance experts.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban dismissed criticism that changes his government has made to the constitution are anti-democratic.
European leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday hinted that some countries could be given more time to meet their deficit goals as they address high unemployment and seek to ease the pain of tough austerity measures.
European shares opened slightly higher on Friday, with some focus on a European Union (EU) summit and finance ministers meeting in Brussels where Cyprus is expected to be high on the agenda.
British citizens using Guernsey to keep their money from the prying eyes of the taxman will have to declare their assets to the Treasury under an agreement designed to combat tax evasion. The Financial Times reports.
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, tells CNBC that the EU needs a combination of budgetary discipline and strategic investment in growth to relaunch the economy, and should work hard in regaining citizens' trust.
Steen Jakobsen, chief economist at Saxo Bank, tells CNBC that lager is one of the worst industries to be in, citing Carlsberg's '10 years of under-performance' to back that up.
Michael Gallagher, director of research at IDEAglobal, tells CNBC that investors should be shorting bonds as the euro zone heads towards another crisis, centered this time on France and Spain.
Italy's parliament convenes on Friday almost three weeks after last month's inconclusive election, with the parties still deadlocked over how to form a government.
Thanos Papasavvas, strategist, fixed income and currencies at Investec Asset Management, tells CNBC that the period before the September elections in Germany is crucial for European leaders to push Germany into taking a more dovish stance on EU reforms as she tries to win over supporters of her main challenger in the elections. The opposition SPD places a greater emphasis on growth than Merkel who has stressed the need for austerity.
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Thursday that the central bank was not seeking any further fall in the level of sterling which now appeared to be fairly valued.
Oleg Deripaska, the CEO of the world's largest aluminum company Rusal said global commodity producers need to cut output by up to 10 percent.
CNBC's Simon Hobbs reports on all the market moving events in Europe today, as stocks resume their rally and the EU summit begins.
European markets posted strong gains on Thursday, extending a two-week global stock rally.
Fredrik Reinfeldt, prime minister of Sweden, says there are still countries in Europe in need of austerity because of their huge deficits.
The Bank of Italy told Italian banks to further hike provisions they set aside against bad debts to take into account the worsening economic scenario and asked lenders which posted losses not to distribute dividends or bonuses.
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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes has "no time to waste with speculation" that the telecom giant might be interested in M&A. That's after it posted a 34% jump in gross profit margins.
There's "no drama whatsoever" at Suez Environment, says Jean-Marc Boursier, the deputy CEO in charge of finance. That's despite the need to "battle a bit" given the European economy, and to continue with cost cuts.
Find out more about the next steps for the $93 billion game industry, from game practices to entry into the cloud.