A spat in the European parliament over how much protection should be afforded to consumers buying mortgages reflects ongoing tensions between the right to invest in property and the need to curb the type of easy credit at the origin of the 2008 financial crisis.
Europe may be slowly emerging from the deepest recession in decades but businesses continue to struggle to access finance. EurActiv's network asks whether the credit crunch is ending and what governments across the EU are doing to help.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has put around 1,000 large companies on its 'watch list' of loans at risk of going sour. A number of corporate borrowers have seen their credit ratings drop in recent months, putting millions of euro in jeopardy.
As the threat of sovereign debt default looms over Greece, the turmoil engulfing the euro zone is exacerbating the ongoing credit crunch for companies, according to BusinessEurope, a Brussels-based EU industry federation.
Businesses across Europe are facing an ongoing cash crisis, according to the European Central Bank (ECB). A new ECB study shows access to credit continues to slow the economic recovery but banks foresee easing of credit standards for homebuyers this year.
A new government agency will be established to ensure major Irish banks lend to small firms, in an effort to reboot business activity. The move comes as part of a tough budget, seen by observers as a step towards stabilising the Irish economy.