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Europe Top News and Analysis Belgium

  • BERLIN-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is endorsing a proposal for a top European Union official to be given the power to veto member countries' budgets, and is suggesting the bloc could set up a fund to finance projects in struggling countries. Merkel addressed Germany's Parliament ahead of an EU summit starting Thursday.

  • BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets rose Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and the latest data from China suggested the worst of its slump is over.

  • BRUSSELS-- European leaders are gathering again in Brussels to discuss how to save the euro currency from collapse and support countries facing too much debt and not enough growth. The leaders of the 27 countries that make up the European Union will discuss how to support their banks, one part of the crisis.

  • ATHENS, Greece-- Labor unions in recession-hobbled Greece are holding another general strike against a new harsh austerity program, as European leaders beset by a deep debt crisis and economic stagnation gather for a summit meeting in Brussels.

  • BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets rose Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and enabled investors to overlook slower growth in China. The U.S. Commerce Department said builders started construction on new single-family houses and apartments at the fastest pace in more than four years.

  • BRUSSELS-- Europe is considering limiting the amount of food-based biofuels that can count toward its renewable fuel targets while a drought in the U.S. has pushed up food prices worldwide and millions around the world go hungry.

  • 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.