1. Did France, Italy Just Get Away with Breaking the Rules?

    France and Italy make relatively minor budgets adjustments to avoid a confrontation with the European Commission.

    The European Commission provisionally accepted France's and Italy's budget proposals for 2015 on Tuesday, saying it could not "immediately identify cases of 'particularly serious noncompliance' which would oblige [it] to consider a negative opinion at this stage in the…
  1. India’s Modi Relaxes Labor Inspections, Reduces Compliance

    The conservative prime minister makes it easier for businesses to comply with rigid and numerous labor laws.

    India's conservative prime minister, Narendra Modi, introduced a new system for labor inspections on Thursday that he said would be the first step in liberalizing the country's notoriously inflexible jobs market. Under the new regime, a computerized…
  1. French Economy Minister Seeks to Buy Time with Deregulation

    Emmanuel Macron hopes reforms can convince the rest of Europe to give France more time to reduce its deficit.

    France's economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, unveiled a series of economic reforms on Wednesday that are meant to convince the country's European Union partners it is committed to liberalization even as it fails to meet the bloc's…
  1. All Is Not Well in Germany But Merkel’s Coalition Slow to Act

    To sustain its competitiveness, Germany needs to invest. But the government has different priorities.

    When Marcel Fratzscher published Die Deutschland Illusion last month, it set off quite a bit of self-reflection in Europe's largest economy. But whether its central message -- that although Germany is now outperforming its peers, its future growth prospects could be dim --…
  1. Unwilling to Reform, France, Italy Miss Budget Targets

    Slow to structurally overhaul their economies, France and Italy continue to miss their fiscal targets.

    France and Italy on Wednesday announced separately that they would fail to meet their budget targets before 2017 in a setback for the austerity and economic liberalization agenda of Europe's largest economy, Germany. In a statement accompanying its draft…
  1. Rising Rail Fares Boost Support for Renationalization in Britain

    Rising fares and rail ownership by foreign companies fuels British support for renationalization.

    This week, it was announced that rail fares in the United Kingdom will rise 3.5 percent -- more than double the rate of consumer price inflation and six times as fast as the growth in wages. This has led to some head…
  1. Russia Retaliates Against Western Sanctions, Economy on the Brink

    Banning cheap fruit and vegetables from Europe could push the Russian economy over the edge.

    Russia on Wednesday suspended beef and cattle imports from Romania. While it cited an outbreak of mad cow disease in the former Soviet satellite state -- first reported in July -- the timing of the embargo suggests it…
  1. Hungary to Build Russian Pipeline Over European Objections

    Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has no intention of withdrawing Hungary from the construction of Russia’s South Stream pipeline.

    Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán said on Tuesday his country will go ahead with the construction of its part of Russia's South Stream gas pipeline, despite objections from other European Union member…
  1. Japan’s Abe Shies Away from Structural Economic Reforms

    The “third arrow” of the Japanese prime minster’s economic reform program underwhelms.

    Japan's prime minister, Shinzō Abe, finally unveiled the "third arrow" of his economic reform program on Tuesday but the measures hardly signified a decidedly more liberal policy. The conservative leader promised to lower Japan's corporate tax rate, currently the highest in…