In March 2013, the EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with February

Eurostat published its latest figures with regard to the unemployment rate in the euro area and in the EU, which show that the euro area unemployment rate was 12.1% in March 2013, up from 12.0% in February. The EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with February. The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, and the highest in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

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The Commission postpones the correction of the excessive deficit in Spain to 2016

Following the approval of Spain's National Reform Programme and Stability Programme by the Spanish Government, the European Commission welcomed these programmes. The Commission also underlined that the postponement of the correction of the excessive deficit (to below 3% of GDP) to 2016 is consistent with its assessment. On the other hand, the Commission is consulting on the European System of Financial Supervision.

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€21 million redirected from Regional Funds to help promote growth in Cyprus

The European Commission has announced the reprogramming of a plan that will help promote growth in Cyprus and strengthen the impact of EU regional funds there. In particular, it will redirect €21 million worth of Regional Funds to help the country deal with the current socio-economic crisis and ensure a quicker delivery of available investments particularly when it comes to supporting small and medium sized business and the employment of young people.

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The financial crisis continued to exert a significant impact in holding back economic growth in 2012

The European Financial Stability and Integration Report (EFSIR) presented by the European Commission shows, among other conclusions, that European proposals for the establishment of a banking union stem from the need to deepen economic and financial integration in Europe.

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New platform created by the Commission for fighting tax evasion

The European Commission sets up a Platform for Tax Good Governance that has as main aim to monitor member states' progress in tackling aggressive tax planning and clamping down on tax havens.

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The government debt rose in the EU and the euro area in 2012, while the government deficit of both zones decreased

Eurostat published its figures regarding provision of deficit and debt data for 2012. These figures show that the government deficit of both the euro area and the EU decreased in absolute terms compared with 2011, while the government debt rose in both zones. The data published also show that seventeen member states had deficits higher than 3% of GDP. Spain (-10.6%), Greece (-10.0%), Ireland (-7.6%), Portugal (-6.4%), Cyprus and the United Kingdom (both -6.3%) had the highest deficit in 2012.

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The deal on the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism (SSM), approved by the Coreper

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council approved a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism (SSM) for the oversight of credit institutions. Once formally approved by both institutions, the Council and the Parliament, the European Central Bank will assume its supervisory tasks within the SSM either on 1 March 2014 or 12 months after entry into force of the legislation.

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A Parliament's resolution argues that the ECB should do more to promote growth and jobs

MEPs adopted in plenary session a resolution that stresses that the European Central Bank should do more to ensure that its cheap loans to banks were being passed on to the real economy and the ECB itself must become more transparent and accountable in line with its growing role in the Eurozone crisis.

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MEPs rejected to freeze auctions of a portion of CO2 emission quotas

The European Parliament voted against freezing auctions of a portion of CO2 emission quotas, so as to boost the price of EU polluter's permits. A majority of MEPs felt that interfering with the supply of credits would undermine confidence in the Emissions Trading System (ETS). On the other hand, MEPs agreed to temporarily exclude intercontinental flights from the scheme.

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