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The European Parliament adopted by a large majority, on 11 December, the Cyprus Presidency‘s compromise amendments to the legislative package setting up a unitary EU patent. The Competitiveness Council endorsed the amendments the day before. After the stalemate that followed last June‘s EU summit, these two successive green lights pave the way to authentically unitary patent protection, common to most of the EU. After a number of failures over translation arrangements, the new legislative package consists of three texts: a draft regulation (co-decision) setting up the unitary patent, another establishing translation arrangements (Council regulation) and a draft intergovernmental agreement setting up the court system. Twenty-five member states will engage in enhance d cooperation on the two regulations, after Italy and Spain decided not to participate in the system due to their objections to the translation arrangements. (EUROPOLITICS.INFO)

The Greek government is on course to receive a long-delayed €34.4bn aid payment after it fell only just short of its target in a bond buyback programme intended to wipe about €20bn from Athens’ sovereign debt pile. According to people briefed on the transaction, Greece on Tuesday night had received offers from private investors to sell €32bn in bonds back to Athens for an average of 33.5 cents on the euro, in essence agreeing to a 66.5 per cent voluntary loss on their holdings. (FT.COM)

Britain is set to be joined by Sweden outside Europe’s banking union, a move signalled on the eve of crunch talks that will strengthen the hand of countries demanding safeguards against a powerful eurozone bank supervisor. Stockholm is the second biggest banking centre outside the eurozone and Swedish ministers have kept their options open on joining the banking union while expressing their strong objections to the limited rights given to non-eurozone members. (FT.COM)

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