At the European Council of 18 October, the EU heads of state agreed in theory on a union for 6,000 banks in the eurozone but which will not see the light of day until 2014. "The Chancellor's has tied the appointement of single supervisor to the German elections," writes the Madrid daily.


Merkel doesn't give in and puts off banking union to 2014 – ABC

In a statement, the leaders of the eurozone "recognized the efforts and progress of Greece in discussions with the troika (EU-ECB-IMF)" and stressed that the "Eurogroup will take the necessary decisions" when it meets on 12 November. Athens daily Ta Nea interprets this as a green light for the payment of a tranche of 31.5 billion euros which Greece urgently needs. On Thursday, tens of thousands of people marched in Athens to protest against austerity imposed by the troika.


A text worth 31.5 billion euros – Ta Nea

In a speech to the German parliament before traveling to the European Council in Brussels, the Chancellor proposed a new EU Solidarity Fund to support reforms in countries in crisis. Paid for by future proceeds from a financial transactions tax, the fund could finance projects. Angela Merkel proposes to make access to this fund conditional on economic reforms.


Merkel wants a solidarity fund for countries in crisis – Der Standard

50 years after the bloody crackdown on a demonstration in Paris for Algerian independence, President François Hollande said in a statement that "the Republic clearly acknowledges these facts." The French government had so far refused to admit that the event had even occurred, in which between 150 and 200 people were killed by the French police, many of them dumped in the Seine.


October 17, 1961: State crime admitted – Libération

In one year, cigarette sales in Belgium have increased by over 30% and for rolling tobacco by 40% while the number of Belgian smokers remains stable at 18% of the population. This is explained by the fact that lower tobacco prices are attracting consumers from Belgium's neighbours, especially the British and the French. In Belgium, a pack of cigarettes costs 5 euros less than in the UK and 1.50 euros less than in France.


Belgium exports cancer in Europe – Le Soir

Częstochowa, famous for the Black Madonna to be found in the monastery of Jasna Góra (Luminous Mount) will be the first city in Poland to co-finance in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for childless couples. Strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and conservative MPs, IVF is not paid for by the Polish state. Częstochowa’s left-wing mayor will offer 3,000 zlotys (€731) for treatment to couples residing in the city for at least a year.


Under Jasna Góra they will pay for in vitro – Gazeta Wyborcza

One year before the German election, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her SPD (social-democrat) opponent Peer Steinbrück clashed openly for the first time during a debate in the European Parliament. Though it was noted that for the first time ever the Chancellor spoke passionately of the EU, there was no clear winner. The paper notes that Steinbrück, despite his training as an economist, will struggle to challenge the Chancellor on the subject of the euro.

Tit for tat in verbal duel – Frankfurter Rundschau