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Euro zone leaders talk banking rules, unity

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 01:37

EU finance ministers meet to discuss global banking rules but say an agreement should wait until the new U.S. administration clarifies its approach. As David Pollard reports, the summit took place as Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel met in Berlin to discuss current threats to the EU.

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The euro zone's power couple - together to talk of threats. From Germany's Angela Merkel, Islamist attacks. From President Hollande of France, populist politics. And from both a show of what the EU needs to overcome them: unity. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER PHILIP HAMMOND, SAYING: "Britain remains a fully engaged member of the European Union and I am here today for discussions with my finance minister colleagues. We will continue to take a full part." In Brussels there was even a show of unity from one member state about to leave. And a sense at this ECOFIN meeting that the cracks are being opened up from outside. A lack of agreement on one key item - global banking rules - blamed on disagreements with the US that predate Donald Trump. Though he could mean new disagreements too. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN FINANCE MINISTER, PIER CARLO PADOAN, SAYING: "A possible return to protectionism, if it occurred, would be harmful, since we all know that trade integration is a big source of growth." And there was fighting talk - from European Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. The euro will live on, he said - refuting claims that it was dead. A suggestion made this week by Trump's likely new ambassador to the EU. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "The European project has been heavily invested upon and within by any number of generations of European politicians over the course of the last 20 to 30 years and I think generally they are unlikely to give that project up without a fairly aggressive fight." With Britain soon to trigger its Brexit divorce, round one of that fight may be about to start.

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Euro zone leaders talk banking rules, unity

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 01:37