Showing posts with label revista presei. Show all posts
Showing posts with label revista presei. Show all posts

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The management of OMV Petrom, namely Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe, as well as the representatives of the Romanian state on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, Sevil Shhaideh and Radu-Spiridon Cojocaru will be invited to appear in the hearings on the Investigation Commission for the activity of the ANRE, the members of the Commission decided on Thursday.  This is the third invitation sent by the Chamber of Deputies to Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe, who refused to show up twice for the hearings, and announced she would send in all the answers to the Comission in writing. Dumitru Costin, the president of the National Union Block (BNS- Blocul Naţional Sindical), yesterday said, in the Parliamentary commission concerning the activity of the ANRE, that OMV Petrom has caused the Romanian state a loss of 7 billion lei, according to some audits made by the Court of Auditors, and the money has yet to be recouped, even though the loss was uncovered in 2015. Iulian Iancu, the president of the Commission, said: "Colleagues have requested extending the invitations again to the management of OMV Petrom. Personally, I don't have much hope. In fact, I had given up making any further invitations. But following the statements of Mr. Costin, I will resume the invitations addressed to Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe and to the members on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, who are the representatives of the Romanian state". Iulian Iancu also said: "Dumitru Costin, the head of the National Union Block (BNS), has presented to the Commission for the Investigation of the activity of the ANRE a document which has also been submitted with the Romanian government, specifically to the General Secretariat of the Government, to the attention of the prime-minister, in which Costin says that, he has received from the Romanian authorities documents concerning OMV, which describe investigations at various stages concerning tax evasion when it comes to salaries, VAT, the modification of the formula and the incorrect payment of royalties by OMV, which, according to the presented data, resulted in a loss of over 1 billion Euros, data backed by the report of the Court of Auditors. That document states that the case has reached the court.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The square, one block from Rome’s main train station, was strewn with mattresses, overturned rubbish bins and broken plastic chairs.   Hung on the building was a sheet made into a banner saying: “We are refugees, not terrorists,” in Italian. A small fire burned on the pavement and a sheet hanging from a first-floor window was set alight by squatters inside.  Witnesses who arrived at the square after the clearance operation described a scene of carnage.  “When I arrived at about 9am trash was scattered all over. About 50 people were still in the square, which had been partially closed down to traffic in the meantime. They were sad, frustrated and with no idea where to go,” said Francesco Conte, founder of TerminiTv, an online channel based in Rome’s Termini train station.  About 100 people had occupied the square since Saturday, when most of about 800 squatters were evicted from an adjacent office building they had occupied for about five years.Police said the refugees had refused to accept lodging offered by the city and that the operation was also necessitated by the risk presented by the presence of cooking gas canisters and other flammable materials in the square, which is surrounded by apartment buildings.  Most of the squatters were Eritreans and Ethiopians who had been granted asylum. Many have been in the country for up to a decade. They ran the building as a self-regulating commune that outsiders were not permitted to enter.  The refugees have previously complained that the accommodation offered to them elsewhere is not of a permanent nature, and that moving would result in the community they have established being split up. The area around the square is full of shops owned by the refugees’ compatriots.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A bizarre interview that Bannon gave to the liberal magazine the American Prospect – in which he claimed there was no military solution for North Korea, called the far right a “collection of clowns”, and said the left’s focus on racism would allow him to “crush the Democrats” – may have altered the balance of the power inside the West Wing. For an aide long suspected of leaking freely about rivals, Bannon’s excuse that he thought the call was off the record was not helpful.  Bannon’s departure leaves a major void in the White House, depriving it of a man once seen as Cardinal Richelieu in cargo pants, an unkempt schemer adept at manipulating the president, who was famously depicted as a childlike naif to his aide’s Grim Reaper in a Saturday Night Live sketch. The characterization – summed up in a Time magazine cover that hailed “the great manipulator” – reportedly annoyed the famously thin-skinned president and contributed to his fall from grace.  Josh Green, the author of the book Devil’s Bargain about Bannon and Trump, told the Guardian: “Bannon may be the only person in the White House with clear and distinct politics of his own.”  His absence means more power and influence for figures such as Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the national economic council chair, Gary Cohn, who have few, if any, ideological ties to the Republican party and the conservative movement.   Bannon has long occupied an unusual position in the White House. In an administration that one outside ally compared to Baskin Robbins, “composed of 31 flavors,” Bannon represented “the nationalist Trump coalition” as opposed to “a lot of people that were not only not Trump supporters but anti-Trump people”.  One Bannon ally told the Guardian that the West Wing had seen a “four-on-one fight” recently, with Bannon taking on a coalition of Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Cohn and national security adviser HR McMaster. In the ally’s eyes Bannon represented the populist “burn it all down” path while others in the administration wanted Trump to “move the center” and work with the establishment.  A White House source claimed to Axios: “His departure may seem turbulent in the media, but inside it will be very smooth. He has no projects or responsibilities to hand off.”  Bannon had also stood out as the lone White House staffer to defend Trump’s comments on Charlottesville in recent days.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The extraordinary public rebuke by the United States’ closest surveillance partner has revealed an emerging characteristic of Donald Trump’s White House: a willingness to antagonize even its allies instead of admitting error.  GCHQ, the UK surveillanceance mammoth intimately linked to the National Security Agency (NSA), has taken public exception to an allegation repeated from the White House podium that, if true, would probably shatter the Five Eyes intelligence alliance so dear to both Washington and London.  Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, credulously repeated on Thursday an account by a Fox News pundit, Andrew Napolitano, that GCHQ laundered surveillance on Trump at the behest of Barack Obama. Napolitano, who is in no position to actually know, made the allegation apparently to explain away the emerging consensus, even from senior Republicans on the intelligence committees, that there is no basis to Trump’s claim that Obama ordered that surveillance.  GCHQ practically never responds to stories about its operations. But the implications of this one are severe. There would be no way for the NSA and GCHQ, which are joined at the hip, to continue their partnership if GCHQ was willing to interfere in the US political process.  On Friday, 10 Downing Street said it had received assurances from the White House that it will not repeat the allegation, which suggests that the White House did not realize the implications of what it said. The context matters here. Spicer repeated Napolitano’s allegation for the same reason Napolitano made it: to defend Trump’s evidence-free assertion, on 4 March, that Obama had Trump’s team placed under surveillance.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Romanian gambling sector has the best regulations in Europe, which has been admitted in the meetings which the National Gambling Office (ONJN) had at the level of the European Commission and the events it has attended, according to Odeta Nestor, the president of the Office. Besides, all the representatives of the sector, claim, in unison, that in its current form, the legislation in effect is known as being one of the most advanced internationally. Nevertheless, there are still small improvements that could be made to the new legislation, especially when it comes to online gambling. Concerning this aspect, Odeta Nestor told us: "I think that an amendment of the Fiscal Code, to implement retention tax for players, would be the best. Besides, the office has made this kind of proposals for the amendment of the legislation, because I have noticed, based on the functionality of the last few years, that everyone would benefit more through this kind of taxation system: players would be taxed correctly, and the state would earn more in taxes. Right now, aside from the fact that there are players who don't report the entirety of their own gambling revenues, this process is also bureaucratic and difficult".

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Persoanele fizice care vor să-şi izoleze termic locuinţa vor putea cere de la stat o sumă nerambursabilă de până la 40.000 de lei, în cadrul programului „Casa verde Plus”, se arată într-un act normativ al Ministerului Mediului, Apelor şi Pădurilor (MMAP), ce a fost publicat ieri în Monitorul Oficial. Totuşi, pentru a putea beneficia efectiv de bani, cetăţenii trebuie să aştepte stabilirea sesiunii de înscriere.  Regulile pentru participarea în programul denumit, pe scurt, „Casa verde Plus” sunt incluse în Ordinul MMAP nr. 2.425/2016 pentru aprobarea Ghidului de finanţare a Programului privind efectuarea de lucrări destinate eficienţei energetice, beneficiari persoane fizice. Acesta a fost publicat astăzi în Monitorul Oficial, Partea I, nr. 34 şi se aplică deja. Însă înscrierea cetăţenilor va fi posibilă abia după ce autorităţile vor stabili o perioadă anume în acest sens.
 
Prin intermediul programului „Casa verde Plus”, statul vrea să încurajeze folosirea materialelor izolatoare organic-naturale pentru a reduce consumul energetic al clădirilor, cu scopul de a îmbunătăţi calitatea mediului. Banii nerambursabili vor fi acordaţi persoanelor fizice atât pentru casele aflate în construire, cât şi pentru cele deja existente, însă, aşa cum reiese din actul normativ, numai dacă acestea au cel mult parter şi două etaje.  Concret, persoanele fizice vor putea cere o sumă de până la 40.000 de lei (dar nu mai mult de 120 de lei pe metru pătrat izolat şi finisat), care va fi acordată sub forma unei prime de eficienţă energetică. „Finanţarea se acordă sub forma unei prime de eficienţă energetică în valoare de maximum 40.000 de lei, aferentă cheltuielilor eligibile, dar nu mai mult de 120 lei/mp izolat şi finisat, pentru izolarea locuinţelor aflate în faza de construcţie şi pentru izolarea locuinţelor existente”, scrie în ordinul recent publicat, citat de avocatnet.ro.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for only the second time in a decade.
Janet Yellen, the chairman of the Fed, described the move as “a reflection of the confidence we have in the progress that the economy has made and our judgment that progress will continue”.  But with “considerable uncertainty” surrounding the economic outlook, how is Donald Trump’s election as US president likely to shape the path of interest rates?   After the financial crisis, the Fed slashed rates close to zero in a bid to support economic activity and prevent a bigger rise in unemployment.
It kept them there until December 2015, when it raised its target range to between 0.25pc and 0.5pc.
The Fed's main interest rate remains close to zero - Highcharts CloudTarget Fed Funds Rate (%)Chart context menuThe Fed's main interest rate remains close to zeroSource: New York Federal Reserve20042006200820102012201420160123456HighchartsTuesday, Dec 16, 2008 Target Fed Funds Rate (%): 0.125
Back then, policymakers signalled that four more interest rate rises were on the way if world events turned out as they predicted.  They didn't.  At the start of 2016, stock markets were rocked by fears over the Chinese economy, and policymakers opted to keep rates unchanged, noting that they were "closely monitoring global economic and financial developments".  The Brexit vote in June also caused concern among policymakers.  Even before the vote, policymakers noted that "the upcoming British referendum on membership in the European Union could generate financial market turbulence that could adversely affect domestic economic performance." While the Fed's mandate states that policymakers must "promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates" in the US, global events matter.  The US presidential election also gave policymakers reasons for pause.  At the start of last month, they judged that "the case for an increase in the federal funds rate [ie. interest rates] has continued to strengthen but [we] decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives."  While the UK voted for Brexit and the US voted for Donald Trump, the market reaction has been relatively calm.Investors are now expecting a mini-economic boom in the US and have pulled cash out of bonds and emerging markets and into US equities. Following last night's announcement, yields on two year Treasury bonds climbed to a seven-year high on expectations of faster rate hikes.
Implied borrowing costs across Europe also ticked higher, with UK benchmark 10-year gilt yields

Friday, December 16, 2016

Raiffeisen Bank has snuck a gloomy prediction for the Romanian economy in the prospectus of the MedLife IPO, which it intermediates. "Most analysts claim that Romania needs a new stand-by agreement with the IMF", the MedLife prospectus , published yesterday in order to inform the investors interested in the Romanian stock market and in the MedLife shares in particular. The announcement is mind-boggling, especially as politicians and government members assure us that we are going to have economic growth, higher wages and lower taxes. Furthermore, prime-minister Dacian Cioloş has publicly announced that he would challenge all populist laws with the Constitutional Court. "Raiffeisen Bank" has dropped the aforementioned "bomb" in the Medlife IPO, five days ahead of the parliamentary elections. Except it hasn't taken responsibility for it directly, instead alleging this idea is the result of consensus from "most analysts", without naming them. It is not out of the question that "Raiffeisen Bank" just wanted to make noise and draw attention from investors, as the Romanian stock market has failed to become attractive, despite the projects for expansion conducted by the Bucharest Stock Exchange (the Project to remove the barriers to the entry on the stock market) and by the Financial Oversight Authority (the STEAM project, which has as its goal the move up to the emerging market status) and having brought in Pole Ludwik Sobolewski as CEO. Despite all these efforts, the BSE daily turnover only occasionally passes 7 million Euros a day. "Raiffeisen Bank" has stood out lately, precisely by the fact that it has threatened the Romanian government with a lawsuit in the International Court of Arbitrage, as well as following the ruling of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), which accused the bank of trying to intervene in the ruling rendering process in relation to the laws concerning the banking sector. The bank later changed its tune and sponsored an event of the Romanian government, which was attended by German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Business confidence in Europe's biggest economy, Germany, has fallen unexpectedly after the UK Brexit vote, according to a closely watched survey.  The Ifo business confidence index, based on about 7,000 company responses, fell to 106.2 points for August from 108.3 in July.  It was the steepest monthly fall in more than four years and took the index to its lowest since December 2014.
Despite the gloom, the euro was up slightly against the pound and dollar  The latest drop follows a much smaller decline in confidence in July immediately after the UK voted to leave the EU.  Economist Carsten Brzeski at ING-DiBa said the ongoing decline "suggests that German businesses have suddenly woken up to Brexit reality".  "It is not the first time that the Ifo reacts with a delay of one or two months to global events,'' he said, adding that at present, the German economy remained in a "virtuous circle".  Across the sectors it examines, the Ifo found confidence had fallen in all but construction and services.  "The German economy has fallen into a summer slump," Ifo president Clemens Fuest said.  Other official figures released earlier this month showed the German economy grew 0.4% in the second quarter compared with the previous three-month period.  That was a slower pace than the 0.7% growth in the first quarter, but double what economists had expected.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Oil charges into bull market territory on hopes of output freeze Brent crude charged into bull market territory, smashing $50 a-barrel, as the world’s biggest oil producers prepared to discuss a possible output freeze at next month’s Opec meeting in an attempt to curb the global supply glut.Since hitting a low of $41.69 on August 3, oil has rallied almost 22pc, touching an intraday high of $50.87 yesterday - its highest level since July 4 when it touched $51.29. The latest leg up in the black stuff is pinned on the hopes that Opec’s meeting in Algeria on September 26 to 28, which takes place on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum, will revive talks on freezing production levels to help bolster prices. It was also lifted by the weak dollar which makes commodities cheaper for other currency holders. However, the oil price bounce comes less than three weeks after it fell into bear market territory, having fallen by more than 20pc from June 8 to July 29 amid oversupply concerns and pressures about slowing economic growth. Joshua Mahony, of IG, cautioned: “Given that this market turned higher almost instantaneously after confirming a bear market earlier in the month, perhaps this definition should be something to worry about rather than drive enthusiasm.”
The return of the bulls prompted oil majors to make gains, BP rose 2.8p at 435.6p, Tullow Oil climbed 5.5p to 239.6p and Amec Foster Wheeler advanced 13.5p to 540.5p.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

  In a banking system built on the foundation of money being created by banks through granting loans and fractional reserves, insolvency is the natural state of things.  In this context, the confidence of the depositors and the guarantees granted by the state, along with the permanent support of the central banks, represent essential conditions for the functioning of financial institutions. "The truth about banks" is the title of an article from the Finance & Development magazine of the IMF (author's note vol. 53, no. 1, March 2016), in which the authors, Michael Kumhof and Zoltan Jakab, write that "banks create new money when they grant loans, a phenomenon which can start and exacerbate financial crises".   Creating money out of thin air represents "a critical vulnerability of financial systems" for two reasons which have been known at least since the time of the Great Depression in the first half of the 20th century. First of all, "if banks are free to create money when they grant loans, then that amplifies the potential to create cyclical booms and busts, especially when banks mistakenly assess the debtors' repayment ability", according to the economists of the IMF.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged Wednesday and said it’s closely monitoring global economic and market turmoil, but gave no signal that it’s retreating yet from plans to raise rates gradually this year.  An increase was not expected Wednesday after the Fed lifted its benchmark rate last month for the first time in nearly a decade -- by a modest quarter-percentage point -- and said it aims to nudge up the rate slowly the next few years amid tepid economic growth.  Some analysts expected the Fed to hint that even a March hike had become less likely after this month’s troubling news about China’s slowdown, sharp fall in stock and oil prices, and concerns that the 6 ½-year-old U.S. recovery may be petering out. Adding to that mindset is that the cheap crude and a strengthening dollar have further pushed down meager inflation. In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed said it’s “closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labor market and inflation, and for the balance of the risks to the outlook.”  The comment suggests the Fed is taking a wait-and-see approach to the recent troubles, but isn’t yet backtracking from plans to gradually boost interest rates. Last month, the Fed provided a more upbeat view, saying the risks to its economic and labor market outlook were “balanced.” On Wednesday, it didn't say risks had shifted to the downside but did note it's keeping a close eye on the overseas troubles.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The International Accounting Standards Board® (the Board) today issued a new accounting Standard, called IFRS 16 Leases. It replaces accounting requirements introduced more than 30 years ago that are no longer considered fit for purpose and is a major revision of the way in which companies account for leases. Leasing provides an important and flexible source of financing for many companies. However, the old lease accounting Standard (IAS 17 Leases) makes it difficult for investors and others to get an accurate picture of a company’s lease assets and liabilities, particularly for industries such as the airline, retail and transport sectors.  Listed companies using IFRS Standards or US GAAP are estimated to have around US$3.3 trillion of lease commitments; over 85 per cent of which do not appear on their balance sheets*. That is because leases to date have been categorized as either ‘finance leases’ (which are reported on the balance sheet) or ‘operating leases’ (which are disclosed only in the notes to the financial statements).  This somewhat arbitrary distinction made it difficult for investors to compare companies. It also meant that investors and others had to estimate the effects of a company’s off balance sheet lease obligations, which in practice often led to overestimating the liabilities arising from those obligations. IFRS 16 solves this problem by requiring all leases to be reported on a company’s balance sheet as assets and liabilities.  Accompanying the Standard, the IASB has also published a separate Effects Analysis, which outlines the costs and benefits of the Standard. It clearly demonstrates the need for the Standard and that the benefits outweigh the costs.  The Board has given careful consideration to feedback received and has introduced several cost-saving measures for preparers, such as exempting ‘small ticket’ items as well as leases of 12 months or less. The publication of a separate Effects Analysis follows on from a report to the IFRS Foundation Trustees in November 2014 by the Effects Analysis Consultative Group. The Effects Analysis can be accessed here. A separate Project Summary, including an overview of the project history and how the Board has responded to stakeholders’ comments during the development of the Standard, can be found here. *Based on a sample of 30,000 listed companies using IFRS or US GAAP, over 14,000 companies disclose information about off balance sheet leases in their 2014 annual reports. The future payments for off balance sheet leases for those companies totalled US$2.9 trillion (on an undiscounted basis).


Friday, December 18, 2015

Truth and dicussion...about QE . UE and the Dollar

There is no jobs growth. The total hours worked in the US economy is the same as 15 years ago and most of the other economic indicators have been going south for months. The Fed is trapped and there is no way they can raise rates other than by a purely token amount without sending the whole thing rapidly to the dogs; in fact a recession next year is odds even if the Fed does nothing. We will get Big Bust 2 within the next 18 months...THERE WILL BE NO RATE RISE! Yellen knows full well you can't taper a Ponzi, so unless Goldman Sachs has massively shorted the markets and ordered its central banker minions to hike rates to crash the markets, Yellen will come up with yet another in her endless list of excuses to punt yet again on a rate hike. THERE WILL BE NO RATE RISE. Period. It's not like the Fed has any credibility left to lose. ..According to some soothsayers, there will be a 0.15% Fed rise BUT....after New Year there will be some more easing, say....$50 Billion. This time around the money printing will be in subsidies for the middle income earners. If the FED does not do this there will be turmoil and public protests. The Obama admin does not want this, not after the California shootings and most probably some more in the Christmas holiday season. The Obama gov needs the support of the public NOW more than ever....The Fed exists solely to further enrich the already super-rich. That means facilitating the looting and asset-stripping of the "middle income earners" (a soon to be extinct class) as part of the Fed's "No Billionaire Left Behind" monetary policy. The Fed will NEVER subsidize or otherwise give a damn about "middle income earners," much less savers, pensioners, and non-speculators, with whom it is in a state of undeclared financial warfare...The whole casino economy is built around perceptions. There are no relations between economic fundamentals and the value of the stock markets or the amount of public and private debt. A simple lack of confidence or misplaced rumor can cause a panic among investors. And then there's the trillions of debts owed in US dollars by entities who don't use the U.S. dollar as there native currency., Yellen will not raise rates in the absence of some exogenous event, i.e. a phone call from Goldman Sachs or the bond market going haywire as "investors" belatedly realize Yellen & her central banker cohorts are going to inflate away all government and TBTF banker debts and liabilities. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

France - " eletions, Doctored"- the Bruxelles natzies win....huoooo !!!

The far-Right Front National was thwarted in its bid to clinch a historical electoral victory in France on Sunday after failing to secure power in any of the country’s 13 regions, early results suggested.
The ruling Socialists of President François Hollande appeared to have fared better than expected, taking six regions, while the opposition centre-Right also took six, including the Paris region for the first time since 1997.  Voting had taken place under high security with France still under a state of emergency exactly a month on from the jihadist attacks in Paris that claimed 130 lives – a climate that helped the FN reap historic gains in round one a week ago. But in a major upset - IT IS CLEAR THAT THE ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN "DOCTORED" by the organizers (fake results) , Marine Le Pen, the FN leader, failed to take power in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, losing heavily to Xavier Bertrand, the candidate of Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-Right party The Republicans (formerly the UMP). The results will come as a major relief to the Socialists, who had controlled all but one of France’s regions before the elections and had expected a pendulum swing to the opposition.
President Hollande clearly hopes his party’s decision to pull out of two regions where the FN stood a chance of winning will give it the moral high ground ahead of 2017 presidential elections and bolster its claim to being the “only rampart against the far-Right”.  The organizers, and I mean the thieves represented by a young stupid gigolo named Manuel Valls, the prime minister, who had warned of future “civil war” should the FN take power, said: “Tonight there is no relief, no triumphalism. The extreme-Right threat has not been averted. I have not forgotten the first round results.” They will do all they can and more to prevent the people from expressing their ream choices.

 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Well, it looks like the oportunity to vote will be barred in the EU...

Denmark delivered a pointed rebuke to Brussels last night as the country rejected a government proposal to deepen the EU member's participation in the bloc's justice cooperation. After a three-week campaign when the two sides were neck-and-neck, 53 per cent voted 'no' compared to 47 per cent who voted 'yes'. The result will be a worrying reminder to David Cameron of the risk he is taking in putting the UK’s membership of the EU to a similar referendum vote. "The Danish have said 'No to more EU!'" exclaimed Kristian Thulesen Dahl, leader of the Eurosceptic Danish People's Party (DPP) at the start of his celebratory speech to party activists in Copenhagen's Christiansborg Palace. "This is a significant no. I have full respect for the Danes' decision." Mr Lokke Rasmussen said after the result. He said he would hold a series of emergency meetings with other political parties on Monday over how to move forward, before meeting Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission's president and EU President Donald Tusk in Brussels the following Friday. "It's my experience that parties on both the yes and the no side agree that it would be a disaster for Denmark and the Danish police if we slipped out of Europol," he said.  Soren Espersen, the DPP's vice chairman, told the Telegraph that he felt the result could aid the UK's own negotiations. "I see this as a support for David Cameron because he needs to tell Brussels that it's not only the British who have these anti-federal feelings. We've always had them and we still have them to a rather tremendous degree."

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Confidence among shoppers in Germany has dipped according to a survey, amid worries over Europe's largest economy.  The forward-looking GfK consumer sentiment indicator fell to 9.3 points for December from 9.4 points in the previous month.  The score is the lowest since February, but was above analysts' predictions.   Confidence in the economy among German consumers dropped for the sixth consecutive month, although the pace reduced.  Concern about the labour market led the way, according to the survey of 2,000 shoppers, with 69% of all those surveyed expecting an increase in unemployment due to the influx of asylum seekers this year.   This month's survey was conducted before the attacks in Paris on 13 November.  In contrast to general sentiment, optimism for making a big purchase improved, with the sub-index for willingness to buy climbing by three points to 48.9.
GfK analyst Rolf Buerkl said he was optimistic for this year's Christmas sales, as customers might be tempted to shop online if they are concerned for public safety.  "It is possible that a few people here and there will avoid going to the Christmas market or visiting a shopping mall," Mr Buerkl said.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Sixteen Romanian energy projects are included by the European Commission on the list of projects of common interest (PCI) to achieve the objectives of the Energy Union, according to the first annual report on this initiative. By including them on the list, projects are eligible for funding via Connecting Europe financing facility.  European Commissioner for Climate and Energy, Arias Cañete, said at the launch of the report: “A modern and reliable energy infrastructure is an essential element for the energy to circulate freely in Europe. All these projects will support the integration of energy markets, will diversify sources and supply routes and will end the isolation of some Member States. Our funds, invested in these projects, will serve the goal of providing to all Europeans clean energy at affordable prices.” Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President responsible for energy union, said: “After nine months, we can say with confidence that we did not strayed from the path to realize the Energy Union. My messages for 2016 are clear. First, the EU should continue to play a leading role in the transition to a low carbon economy. Second, this transition should be socially equitable and focused on the consumer. Third, geopolitical challenges that we faced this year will not disappear. Also, 2016 will be the year when we will establish a robust system of governance, ensuring predictability and transparency, the environment that investors need. In conclusion, 2016 will be a year of accomplishments!”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

There are three parallels between the Eurozone and the migration crises: the hybrid nature of European governance structures that are little prepared to face up to major external challenges; the preeminence of Germany as a key player; and the important role of a peripheral country – Greece – as a conduit for an external challenge that is becoming an internal crisis.  These issues will determine whether and how the EU will overcome the refugee crisis. They are also, all the same, the areas in which the EU’s capacities have been most stretched by the Eurozone crisis.  First, much as the Eurozone, Schengen reflects the willingness of EU member-states to cooperate in an area that touches upon the core of national sovereignty (border control), but without fully delegating decision-making and legislative and regulatory initiatives to a supranational agency (like the Commission in ‘first pillar’ policies). While the involvement of the Commission can be significant, political impetus requires intergovernmental agreement while effective implementation relies on national policies, in border control as much as macroeconomic policy. This makes both structures slow in responding to external challenges.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Europe braced for a revolutionary Leftist backlash after Greece  .. He has vowed to block anti-austerity measures such as reverses to wage cuts, rehiring of public sector workers, and halting privatisations. A constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds majority vote in the country's 230-seat parliament. It cannot pass with the support of the Socialists who are the second largest party in parliament.  If the motion fails, Anibal Cavaco Silva, the president, faces the choice of appointing a caretaker regime for six months, or relenting and allowing the Leftists to enter power.
He is due to make a decision in the coming days. Indebted Portugal is still the problem child of the Eurozone . The political stalemate comes as Portugal's economy has stalled. GDP growth ground to a halt at just 0pc in the third quarter for the former bail-out country. Portugal's former international creditors in the IMF and Brussels have urged any new regime to continue cutting government spending, reduce debt levels and make crucial economic reforms. "Since the onset of the eurozone crisis, Portuguese voters have shown remarkable loyalty to their traditional political parties," said Ben May at Oxford Economics. "The pace of structural reforms has dwindled and could even go into reverse under a Left-wing alliance", he said