Inside these posts: Europe

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McDonald’s February sales up worldwide

McDonald’s Corp said global sales at established restaurants in February rose 3.9 percent, as strong sales in Europe helped offset a U.S. market that was hit by high unemployment and rising gasoline prices.

February sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were up 2.7 percent in the United States, helped by strong demand for its McCafe beverages, the fast-food hamburger chain said. Get the full story »

Boeing considered underdog for tanker contract

Boeing Co. is the underdog to land a $35 billion contract for aerial refueling tankers that the Pentagon is expected to award as early as Thursday, analysts said.

If conventional wisdom is right, EADS North America would win its first major U.S. Defense Department deal and be the front-runner to replace the entire half-century-old tanker fleet in contracts expected to total more than $100 billion. Get the full story »

WTO finds Boeing got illegal subsidies

Plane maker Boeing received unfair subsidies from the U.S. government, according to a World Trade Organization report on Monday, and Boeing and its European rival Airbus immediately quarreled over the scale of the support.

European rival Airbus said the report showed Boeing had received at least $5 billion in illegal subsidies and was only able to launch its 787 Dreamliner with such support. Boeing denied the assertions. Get the full story »

Euro zone moves toward deal on debt crisis

Euro zone countries are working on a “comprehensive package” to solve the bloc’s debt crisis, which could be approved by February or March, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Wednesday.

“We can’t just solve the problems over the short term — if there are short-term problems — but also over the mid-term,” Schaeuble told reporters, adding that euro zone states were trying to reach agreement on a “comprehensive package.” Get the full story »

‘Austerity’ is top-searched word in a rocky year

It provoked protests in European capitals from Athens to Brussels, hurt sales of Heineken beer and stole the spotlight at a June G20 summit in Canada. “Austerity” is now Merriam-Webster’s top word of 2010.

“Austerity,” which the Springfield, Massachusetts-based publisher defines as “enforced or extreme economy,” spiked to the top of the company’s top ten list based on the number of searches at its website,

Coupled with No. 2 “pragmatic,” the list reflects a year when searchers were still worried about a rocky world economy, said Peter Sokolowski, the dictionary’s editor at large. Get the full story »

Spain OKs new austerity measures to calm markets

Spain's Finance Minister Elena Salgado speaks on the country's new austerity measures. (AP/Victor Caivano)

The Spanish government has approved a package of new austerity measures and economic stimulus that it hopes will ease investor fears about its debt.

The moves include selling off nearly third of its national lottery, partially privatizing airports, cutting a jobless benefit and trimming taxes for small companies.

The measures were agreed to at a weekly cabinet meeting Friday. Get the full story »

Jet suppliers cite potential gain from Airbus move

Aircraft suppliers Rockwell Collins and Goodrich said on Thursday they could gain new business as a result of this week’s announcement that EADS unit Airbus would upgrade its A320 plane with better engines that offer 15 percent fuel savings.

Airbus, the world’s largest plane maker, said it would spend roughly $1.3 billion to improve efficiency of the narrowbody aircraft. Its main rival Boeing is also mulling whether to upgrade its competing 737 plane. Get the full story »

Airbus ready to upgrade A320, may say on Weds.

Airbus has virtually finalized a decision to upgrade its best-selling A320 passenger jet with new engines and the $1-2 billion project could be announced as early as Wednesday, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The project is designed to fend off competition from new market entrants like Canada’s Bombardier and shore up the European planemaker’s position against rival Boeing. Get the full story »

EU launches formal Google probe after complaints

European Union antitrust regulators launched a formal investigation on Tuesday into Google after several search service providers complained that the company had abused its dominant position. Get the full story »

Oil slips on dollar rise, euro zone woes

U.S. oil prices slipped in light post-holiday trading on Friday as Europe’s debt crisis pushed the euro to a two-month low against the dollar and investors eyed tensions between North Korea and South Korea. Get the full story »

Irish unveil 4-year plan to cut $20B

Ireland unveiled the harshest budget measures in its history Wednesday, a four-year plan to claw back $20 billion using spending cuts and extra taxes. Some 24,000 state employees could lose their jobs and the sales tax could soar to 23 percent.

The plan seeks to cut $13.3 billion from spending and raise $6.7 billion in extra taxes from 2011 to 2014 to combat Europe’s worst deficit.

The government’s long-awaited austerity plan is a prerequisite for Ireland to get an international loan estimated to total $115 billion. The bailout is still being negotiated with experts from the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank in Dublin. Get the full story »

Effort to oust Ireland’s PM as bailout progresses

Lawmakers in Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s own party mounted a rebellion Tuesday to try to oust him, an effort that could trigger a snap election and delay a massive EU-IMF bailout of Ireland. Cowen’s Cabinet colleagues in the Fianna Fail party said they were confident, however, that the rebels don’t have enough votes to pursue a no-confidence motion against Cowen.

The Cabinet gathered at Cowen’s office to complete its four-year plan for unprecedented budget cuts tied to Ireland’s international bailout. The plan, which proposes to slash $20 billion from the country’s 2011-14 budget deficits, is to be published Wednesday. Get the full story »

Caterpillar retail sales up 48% in last 3 months

Caterpillar Inc. said retail sales of its heavy machinery rose 48 percent in the three months ended Oct. 10, a slightly slower rate of growth than the 53 percent increase reported in the three months ended in September.

The world’s largest maker of heavy equipment said retail sales were up most sharply in Latin America, where they rose 59 percent. The U.S. company saw the slowest growth in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, where sales were up 40 percent.

Central bank expects Ireland to take EU-IMF loan

Ireland’s central bank chief said on Thursday he expected Dublin to receive tens of billions of euros in loans from European partners and the IMF to shore up its shattered banks though the government said it had made no request yet. Get the full story »

Oracle’s Ellison accuses SAP of $4 billion theft

Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp’s outspoken chief, charged that German arch-rival SAP AG stole billions of dollars of his company’s copyrighted software.

Ellison made the allegation as the the star witness in the U.S. software maker’s software-theft lawsuit, which is captivating Silicon Valley. Get the full story »