Tag Archives: EU

Report: France formally moves to ban Mercedes vehicles using contested refrigerant

By Jonathon Ramsey

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That didn’t take long. Shortly after a French administrative court gave the French government a ten-day window to reconsider its ban on registrations of Mercedes-Benz A-, B- and CLA-Class cars using the prohibited R134a refrigerant, the government cited an EU directive to formalize banning the sale of the cars. The country’s environmental ministry said that registrations “will remain forbidden in France as long as the company does not to conform to European regulations,” meaning so long as they do not use the approved R1234yf refrigerant.

Daimler had won the administrative court decision by challenging France’s application of a “safeguard” provision in which the EU allows a country to block sales of cars that would “seriously harm the environment.” In spite of Daimler’s victory, France has cited that very provision as basis for the continuation of the ban.

Daimler got permission from Germany’s KBA federal motor authority to keep selling cars with the coolant banned by EU politicians, and is using that national permission as the right to sell the cars throughout Europe. Meanwhile, above that battle, German politicians are asking the EU to let Mercedes sell the cars in France while the KBA does more testing, at the same time as the EU is threatening Germany with repercussions if it doesn’t bring the KBA and Daimler into line.

The German carmaker has said France’s “argument is absolutely incomprehensible” and has vowed more courtroom action. The three models comprise most of Mercedes’ business in France; more than 4,500 vehicles have been kept from being registered, 2,704 of which have already been sold.

France formally moves to ban Mercedes vehicles using contested refrigerant originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

EU researchers get 2T bps capacity thanks to network upgrade

European Union researchers using the GEANT network will, from Wednesday, be able to access capacity of up to 2 terabits per second.

GEANT is the superfast pan-European research network that helped discover the Higgs Boson particle at the CERN Large Hadron Collider near Geneva. It was also the only Internet connection to Egypt during the so-called Arab Spring revolution in 2011, according to the European Commission.

The upgrade to the network began in September 2012 and was coordinated by DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe), which leads the project consortium of 41 partners.

Using the Infinera DTN-X optical transmission platform deployed on the GEANT backbone — comprising 8,592 kilometers of fiber — and 35 Juniper MX series universal routers, testers were able to activate 2T bps of long-haul superchannel optical capacity in June. The test route was between Amsterdam and Frankfurt, as this was deemed to be one of the busiest in Europe.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Report: PSA Peugeot-Citroën gets EU approval for life-line loan from France

By Damon Lowney

PSA Peugeot Citroën is approved by EU to receive governent bailout.

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PSA PeugeotCitroën has been struggling to offer low finance rates to customers since its banking arm, Banque PSA Finance, had its credit score downgraded, which in turn has made it hard for the French carmaker to compete with brands that offer lower finance rates, such as Volkswagen. The French government recognized the catch-22 and, after negotiations with PSA and European Union approval, has guaranteed the banking arm seven billion euro in bonds to secure its debt and lower borrowing costs, Automotive News reports. The infusion of bonds will be spread from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016.

As part of the requirements for EU approval, PSA agreed to refrain from acquisitions in excess of 100 million euro per year and curb its debt levels, Automotive News reports. The EU Comission was required to approve the bond infusion before it could take place in an effort to reduce to a minimum “the damaging effects for competitors who have not received support from public funding,” said Joaquin Almunia, EU Competition Commissioner.

In addition to the bonds for Banque PSA, a diesel-hybrid program will also receive 86 million euro from the French government, which was also approved by the EU Commission.

PSA was hit hard by the European auto-market recession and posted a loss of five billion euro last year, and it still has an appetite of 100 million euro per month. We hope this is the start of a turnaround for the struggling automaker.

PSA Peugeot-Citroën gets EU approval for life-line loan from France originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Can Algerian Energy Buck Downward Trend With EU Help?

By Christopher Coats, Contributor

Even before North Africa’s recent political earthquake, Algeria’s vital energy sector was on the rocks. Despite substantial hydrocarbon reserves, the country’s production had steadily declined in recent years due to dwindling interest from foreign firms. A mix of industry instability, unfavorable revenue agreements and institutional corruption had made it difficult to justify the risks of operating in the country. Making matters worse, European demand for natural gas was declining with the financial crisis and U.S. purchases were wavering amid the North American shale boom. By the time political movements ousted long-standing leaders in neighboring Libya and Tunisia, putting pressure on the country’s leadership, Algeria was already fighting a dangerous narrative of industry decline. For a country so completely dependent on energy revenue and exports for every level of government spending, this wasn’t just bad news – it was destabilizing. While Algeria largely avoided the kind of violence and instability that forced leadership changes in Tripoli, Tunis and Cairo, their post-Arab Spring experience has not been without challenges. In addition to domestic pressure for labor and political reforms, mostly in the form of targeted protests, the country’s energy industry has faced pressure from outside its own borders. In January, militants from Mali crossed the border and targeted a BP and Statoil gas facility near the Libyan border. Touted as a response to Algeria’s support for European action against a Mali-based separatist movement in the north of the county, the raid and ensuing government response left scores dead, including dozens of foreign workers. Coupled with concerns about the country’s energy industry, including wide-spread corruption allegations at state firm Sonatrach, the raid chipped away at the confidence in Algeria’s already beleaguered energy sector. So, it would seem that recent news of a fresh agreement with the EU that, “establishes a framework for co-operation, which covers… oil and gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency, legal and regulatory reform, progressive energy markets, infrastructure development and technology transfer”, could not come at a better time. For Algeria, the new agreement means a vote of confidence from one of its largest customers, despite declining gas demand that is not expected to return for another two to three years. For Europe, it means a further step towards stabilizing a resource line from North Africa and meeting long-term goals of reducing dependence on less favorable resources, most notably Russia. Further, by casting Algerian reserves as “a priority area” for Europe’s strategic energy interests and security, it helps pave the way for EU infrastructure funding that has become increasingly elusive in recent months. Five years in the making, the new agreement is welcome news for both sides of the Mediterranean. Still, details of the new partnership remain vague and it is unclear whether EU support will mean more enthusiasm from European firms that have expressed concern about operating in Algerian in recent years. Six months on from the gas facility attack, both BP and Statoil have resisted sending foreign workers back to the project site. Earlier calls for policy reforms and …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Egypt arrests more Islamists as EU foreign policy chief visits

Egyptian police have arrested two leaders of an Islamist party, the latest to be swept up in a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, while the European Union’s foreign policy chief was to meet with officials in Cairo on Monday in an attempt to mediate an end to the political deadlock.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

EU’s Ashton Adds to ‘Settlement’ Discrimination – Global Agenda – News – Israel National News

By Dave Robbins

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is pushing for comprehensive guidelines to introduce separate labeling for products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria,  Israeli-daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday. Read More: EU’s Ashton Adds to ‘Settlement’ Discrimination – Global Agenda – News – Israel National News.

The post EU’s Ashton Adds to ‘Settlement’ Discrimination – Global Agenda – News – Israel National News appeared first on Endtime Ministries | End Of The Age | Irvin Baxter.

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Who will benefit from the new EU telecoms regulation?

Removing mobile phone roaming charges in the European Union may prove more expensive for customers in the long run, a telecoms expert has warned.

E.U. Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes proposes doing away with roaming charges, with legislation due to be presented in September. Although consumer groups have cautiously welcomed the idea, she has faced huge opposition from the telecommunications industry.

Paul Reynolds, director of the Competition Economists Group, on Tuesday said that removing roaming charges may not even be great news for customers. CEG economists provide economic and financial advice on competition and regulation.

“Removing the difference between roaming and domestic call charges does not simply mean that roaming charges will disappear, we may see domestic prices go up,” he said. “So although customers who roam a lot may get better value, others could well see their bills increase.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Apple's Report Will Reveal How Bad European Consumer Demand Is

By Tero Kuittinen, Contributor After notably weak European sales data from Nokia and a major miss from BlackBerry unit volumes, all eyes are now on Apple’s EU performance. One of the key surprises of Nokia’s report was how the device sales in Europe declined by -9% sequentially from the March quarter. This happened despite the wide launch of the cheap Lumia 520 in EU markets. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Iran denounces EU blacklisting of Hezbollah's military wing

Iran says the European Union’s decision to blacklist the military wing of Lebanon’s Hezbollah was “strange” and “uncalculated.” Foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi told a news conference in Tehran Tuesday that the decision by the EU to place the Shiite militant group on its terror list serves Israel’s interests and will only complicate the situation in the Middle East. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News