The Commission will monitor closely the imposed restrictive measures on capital movements in Cyprus

The European Commission reminded in a statement made on 28 March that an exception to the principle of the free movement of capital must be interpreted very strictly and be non-discriminatory, suitable, proportionate and applied for the shortest possible period. This statement was made in the light of the capital controls imposed by the Republic of Cyprus that will remain in force for 7 days.

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The compromise text on the "CRD 4" package, approved by the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council

With the exception of the United Kingdom, the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council approved the agreement already reached by the European Parliament and the Council on the "CRD 4" package amending the EU's rules on capital requirements for banks and investment firms.

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The Commission seeks opinions on how to foster the supply of long-term financing

The European Commission published a public consultation under a Green Paper with the aim at gathering views on how to foster the supply of long-term financing and how to improve and diversify the system of financial intermediation for long-term investment in Europe.

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Negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Japan officially launched


The European Union and Japan have officially opened the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement. These negotiations will cover a wide range of trade-related issues between both parties such as the reciprocal access to public procurement, some regulatory issues, competition and sustainable development.

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The Eurogroup and the Cypriot authorities reach an agreement for the financial aid programme application

The agreement reached in Brussels by the Eurogroup and the Cypriot authorities includes the necessary elements for the implementation of the future macroeconomic adjustment plan. The agreement will involve the immediate resolution of the second largest bank in Cyprus, the Laiki Bank, as well as the restructuring of the Bank of Cyprus. All insured depositors in all banks will be fully protected in accordance with the relevant EU
legislation.
 

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MEPs stressed that individual investors' money must also be better protected

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee underlined that investment fund managers' bonuses must be capped, and their salaries must be linked to their funds' performance. According to the responsible MEP of the report, Sven Giegold, the UCITS bonus cap will help strengthen investor protection and reduce risky speculation.

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The Eurogroup reaffirmed the importance of fully guaranteeing deposits below €100 000 in the EU

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, reaffirmed the Eurogroup's readiness to stand ready to discuss with the Cypriot authorities a draft new proposal, which it expects the Cyprus authorities to present as rapidly as possible. In a meeting with MEPs, Mr Dijsselbloem also told them he doubted that there really was a possible 'Plan B'.

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A report shows that education budgets in member states are under pressure

The European Commission presented a report which shows that cuts of more than 5% were imposed in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal, while Estonia, Poland, Spain and the UK (Scotland) education's budgets saw decreases of 1 to 5% in 2010. The cuts have also resulted in reductions in the number of teaching staff in 10 member states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and UK.

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