Europe Prepares To Come Clean On Hidden Bank Losses

2 boats carrying migrants capsize on way to Europe

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The companies, which include Germany s EON SE, RWE AG (RWE) , and France s GDF Suez (GSZ) and represent half the regions generation capacity, warned that current policies are discouraging investors and steering Europe towards an energy crisis. In the EU, companies pay three times the price of gas in America, twice the price of power, Eni SpA (ENI) Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni said at a press conference in Brussels today. How can we dream of an industrial renaissance with such a differential? Enel SpA (ENEL) Chief Executive Officer Fulvio Conti called for an end to Robin Hood taxes and aid. Id rather see the Sheriff of Nottingham for most of the legislation. Lets restore normal and eliminate state intervention and subsidies. The EU started a debate in March on a new set of climate and energy rules as the 28-nation bloc seeks to ensure security of supply and cut greenhouse gases. A framework for the decade to 2030 is needed to give investors legal certainty, spur innovation and prepare for a global climate deal, the European Commission said in a consultation paper at the time. At the same time, the EU is considering options to overhaul the 53 billion-euro ($72 billion) carbon market after emission-permit prices slumped to a low of 2.46 euros in April amid a record glut of permits. In addition to broader reforms in coming years, the emissions-trading system needs a short-term fix, GDF CEO Gerard Mestrallet said. Without a carbon signal, we will not have any visibility, and we will not be in a position to invest. Carbon Collapse The collapse of the carbon price has made coal, the dirtiest source of power, also one of the cheapest. The switch to coal and requirements to buy renewable power have sapped the profitability of natural-gas-fired plants, leading to the widespread shutdown of combined-cycle gas turbine plants, which are among the cleanest. Fifty-one gigawatts of the blocs electricity capacity is mothballed, equivalent to the combined capacity of Belgium , the Czech Republic and Portugal , the utilities said in a brochure given to reporters today. Energy consumers should be billed only for energy, said EON CEO Johannes Teyssen who also is president of the Eurelectric industry lobby.

The European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi reacts during the monthly news conference in Frankfurt, February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

Puglia, Getty Images) SHARE 83 CONNECT 38 TWEET 8 COMMENTEMAILMORE Egypt’s state news agency says a boat has capsized off the coast of the city of Alexandria, killing 12 migrants and leaving 116 survivors. Meanwhile, Italy’s coast guard says many of the 200 migrants aboard a boat that capsized off Lampedusa have survived and helicopters are taking the injured to the Sicilian island. Coast guard spokesman Marco Di Milla says “a good number” of the estimated 200 people have been rescued. He says the coast guard received a satellite phone call from the boat and was able to locate it based on the satellite coordinates. A Maltese armed forces statement says that since the boat was in Maltese search and rescue waters, a Maltese aircraft was sent up and reported that the boat had capsized and that “numerous” people were in the water. The aircraft dropped a life raft and a patrol boat soon arrived at the scene. ALSO THIS WEEK: Italy detains suspected boat captain as death toll hits 275 Egypt’s state news agency says the coast guard received a call for help Friday from a boat carrying the migrants and naval forces went out to the rescue. It said the survivors were 72 Palestinians, 40 Syrians, and four Egyptians. The nationalities of those who drowned were not immediately available. Officials said rescue efforts continued. At least 70,000 Syrians are registered in Egypt as refugees. Many non-registered, including thousands of Palestinians who also fled the war in Syria, use the country as a stop before making the perilous sea trip to Europe. Thousands of Egyptians also make the sea journey to flee poverty and high unemployment. SHARE 83 CONNECT 38 TWEET 8 COMMENTEMAILMORE Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

“The effectiveness of this exercise will depend on the availability of necessary arrangements for recapitalizing banks … including through the provision of a public backstop,” Mario Draghi said on Friday. “These arrangements must be in place before we conclude our assessment,” he said. But the ministers’ talks face an additional hindrance because Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, is not expected to attend the two-day Luxembourg meeting. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, in talks to form a new government. During the region’s debt turmoil, the European Union conducted two bank stress tests, considered flops for blunders such as giving a clean bill of health to Irish banks months before they pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The ECB’s new checks are seen as the last chance to come clean for the euro zone as the bloc tries to set up a single banking framework, known as banking union. The debate opens amid ebbing political enthusiasm for banking union – originally planned as a three-stage process involving ECB bank supervision, alongside an agency to shut failing banks and a system of deposit guarantees. It would be the boldest step in European integration since the crisis. “We have to find a solution now,” said Michel Barnier, the EU Commissioner in charge of financial regulation, urging faster progress in the slow talks. “The next financial crisis is not going to wait for us.” ANGLO-GERMAN AXIS? In one sign of the divisions, Britain has repeatedly refused to sign off on the first pillar of the banking union framework, allowing the ECB monitor banks. Having earlier agreed, London now wants additional assurances from ministers this week that Britain, which is outside the euro and polices its own banks, will not face interference from the ECB-led euro bloc. Britain is likely to find a sympathetic ear in Berlin, which wants to keep London on side in its push to prevent stricter EU emissions rules to protect its luxury car makers.