World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany's conservative newspapers on Friday accused ECB chief Mario Draghi of writing a "blank cheque" to troubled euro zone states that could put the entire currency at risk, with top-selling Bild warning his policies could make the euro "kaputt".
The Italian president of the European Central Bank unveiled a new plan on Thursday to lower the borrowing costs of euro zone states like Spain and Italy by buying their bonds.
Germany's central bank opposes the ECB's move. Chancellor Angela Merkel has supported Draghi while insisting Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann's public criticism of the bond-buying has been useful too.
For the country's conservative newspapers, many of which have taken an increasingly euro-sceptic stance as the three-year-old euro zone debt crisis wears on, Draghi's latest measures went too far.
"Help without end for crisis countries," said Bild on its front cover, adding that Draghi had signed a "blank cheque" and that his policy endangered the independence of the ECB. It cited German politicians saying the ECB had gone beyond its mandate of safeguarding the stability of the currency.
"Draghi sets off Germany's alarm bell," was the headline in the conservative daily Die Welt.
Business daily Handelsblatt, which often voices concern at the financial burden of the bailouts on German taxpayers and business, had a cover story on "the Rise, Fall and Resurrection of the Bundesbank" and gave prominence to Weidmann's warnings.
Inside, Handelsblatt criticised "the democratic deficit of the euro rescuers" - and linked the ECB's chosen path to next week's ruling by Germany's Constitutional Court on the legality of the euro zone's new bailout mechanism and budget rules.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a sounding board for Germany's monetary hawks, wrote that "the border between monetary and fiscal policy has been blurred" and called the argument that bond-buying was within the ECB's mandate "far-fetched".
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, attending an awards ceremony for Draghi late on Thursday, reiterated the government line that using monetary policy to solve the euro zone's fiscal problems could not be a permanent solution.
But senior Merkel MPs like her deputy floor leader Michael Fuchs insisted the ECB was acting within its mandate, telling Reuters: "As long as there is conditionality, it is okay."
A controversy surfaced recently after the Public Account Committee (PAC) released a report accusing senior government officials of having fraudulently authorized payment of at least $122 million of public funds to a private company
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez left the meeting visibly angry and declined to comment on the outcome.
A number of potential deals under discussion in recent months could benefit from concessional financing from Tokyo.
The WTO has lurched from one disappointment to another over the past decade as it tries to find a balanced trade deal that all its members, now numbering 160, could support.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he expected the oil market "to stabilise itself eventually" but did not comment on talks with Russia held on Tuesday
Ergun Olgun, the Turkish Cypriot negotiator, said their own exploration would continue and even accelerate if Greek Cypriots pressed ahead with their plans to allow multinationals to exploit the area.
The decision to devalue the naira, according to analysts and central bank figures, appears aimed at saving the country's dwindling foreign reserves
Oil market watchers are divided on the outcome of OPEC's meeting in the Austrian capital. Predictions range from a large production cut to revive prices, to a small reduction, or none at all
The proliferation of smugglers' routes into Bolivia shows how difficult it is to eradicate illegal mining without better coordination across frontiers.
Falling crude prices are fueled by slowing global growth and increased supply.
Ukraine's leading banks said most of their loans to Crimean individuals and businesses were now delinquent.
Deputy Energy Minister Jaime Himende said that "Mozambique has great hydroelectricity potential, and recently they have taken some bold steps to use renewable resources efficiently"
Obama, who hosted Modi in Washington in September, will in January become the first U.S. president to visit India twice, completing a remarkable warming in the relationship
The combined damage inflicted on Russia's economy by Western sanctions and falling oil prices totals about $140 billion.
PM Mahlab said that Egypt eyes sustainable growth to improve the living conditions of Egyptians, noting that the Egyptian economy is currently recovering.
The French economist calls for redistribution of global wealth, which he says is too concentrated in the hands of the few.