EU Powers Suffer Shock Defeat as Irish Take Key Finance Job

(Bloomberg) — The euro region’s smallest nations staged an uprising to put one of their own in charge of finance ministers’ meetings and strike a blow against the bloc’s major powers.

Ireland’s Paschal Donohoe won a secret ballot of 19 colleagues Thursday to become president of the Eurogroup, defeating the Spanish favorite, Nadia Calvino, who was backed by the European Union’s four biggest economies.

Germany, France, Italy and particularly Spain were angered by a loss that they failed to see coming, said one official with knowledge of the process. Smaller countries from eastern Europe said they felt that in backing Donohoe they were supporting one of their own, said another.

The fact that both leading candidates came from countries that were bailed out during the sovereign debt crisis is a sign that the EU is ready to turn the page on the divisions of the austerity years. Yet the small

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How EU Finance Chiefs Squandered Their Influence With Bickering

(Bloomberg) — Jeroen Dijsselbloem had been running the euro-area finance meetings for less than three months in 2013 when he stepped, bleary-eyed onto the stage at 4 a.m. to tell Cypriot savers they would have to help shoulder the cost of saving their country’s banking system.

With the single currency close to implosion at several points during the Dutchman’s tenure, traders around the world would soon get used to tuning in as he helped to thrash out a series of critical rescue packages in the meetings of Eurozone finance ministers, known as the Eurogroup.

Today the fallout from the coronavirus is raising familiar concerns about the resilience of public finances in the European Union. But the cohort of ministers who followed Dijsselbloem in the Eurogroup have largely gone missing. The election of a new president to fill his former role on Thursday offers the club a chance to revive its

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Ridgefield Releases Results of Coronavirus Impact Survey

RIDGEFIELD, CT — Revenues are down, online sales are up, and most jobs are preserved, according to Ridgefield’s Economic & Community Development Commission.

The information came in the form of the released results of the Ridgefield COVID-19 Business Impact Survey. That questionnaire, distributed in June, was designed to gauge how the town’s 600 businesses and nonprofit organizations are performing during the COVID-19 pandemic

In all, 145 businesses and nonprofits responded to the survey that measured five categories including Operations and Supply Chain, Workforce, Finance, Business Resources, and Future. Data collected from the survey will help Ridgefield’s leaders gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 business climate and inform which resources to pursue in support of Ridgefield’s business and nonprofit community, according to ECDC chair Geoffrey Morris.

“The town now has a clear picture of how Ridgefield businesses and nonprofits are faring in the COVID era,” Morris said. “We can

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FCA to tell lenders to extend payment freeze on car finance and high-cost credit

New and nearly new cars are displayed for sale on a forecourt of a car dealership. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
New and nearly new cars are displayed for sale on a forecourt of a car dealership. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Friday indicated that it will tell rent-to-own firms, car finance providers, and pawnbrokers to keep offering payment freezes to borrowers in financial difficulty in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Under extended proposals, customers who have yet to request a payment freeze would also have until 31 October to do so, the FCA said.

Under a payment holiday announced in April, the FCA ordered firms to give drivers a three-month freeze on payments if the pandemic had left them in temporary financial difficulty. It told firms not to end agreements or repossess vehicles for such customers.

READ MORE: Quiet end to the week for stocks as US coronavirus numbers in focus

Firms offering rent-to-own, “buy now, pay later” and pawnbroking agreements were also

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