EU approves Growth and Job Plan

European Union leaders approved a 120 billion-euro ($149 billion) plan to promote growth in the 27-nation bloc that includes a capital boost for the European Investment Bank.

The government chiefs agreed on a 10 billion-euro capital increase for the EIB today as a centerpiece of the long-term growth plan, which includes infrastructure financing, tax-policy pledges and more focused use of EU funding. It also calls for project bonds and support of small and medium-sized businesses.

“The growth agenda is a sign of our unrelenting commitment,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy said in a press conference in Brussels on the first day of a two-day summit. “It brings together all concrete measures that we will swiftly take.”

The growth plan came before leaders took on the thornier measures to prevent the euro area’s financial crisis from swamping Spain and Italy. They’ll discuss buying Spanish and Italian government bonds to bring down borrowing costs that are near euro-era records, Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said. He also proposed that bailout funds buy collateralized government debt in primary markets.

Van Rompuy said other elements of the growth-promoting strategy, such as those dealing with financial stability and the future of the euro, have not yet been finished.

The leaders will continue meeting tonight to discuss the long-term future of the EU and its 17-nation common currency. “We are making progress,” he said, adding that debate on short-term measures isn’t blocking the path to agreement. Leaders also continue to discuss an EU patent, he said.

Bloomberg

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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell