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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-02-23

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Paroleb

23/02/99


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] La Commission autorise une entreprise commune dans le secteur des cartes de crédit émises par les magasins
  • [02] Single Market : Action Plan bears fruit
  • [03] Les prix à la production industrielle en baisse depuis huit mois
  • [04] Earthquake in Afghanistan - ECHO humanitarian aid
  • [05] Pàdraig Flynn spells out the challenge facing conference of international tobacco control experts : "Every new generation of teenagers who begin to smoke represents a failure"

  • [01] La Commission autorise une entreprise commune dans le secteur des cartes de crédit émises par les magasins

    La Commission européenne a autorisé une opération par laquelle la Banque Nationale de Paris S.A. (BNP) et le Groupe Cofinoga, qui est controlé par les Galeries Lafayette, acquièrent le contrôle commun de Creation Financial Services Limited (Creation) par l'achat d'actions de Sears Group. L'augmentation des parts de marché suite à l'entreprise commune sera limitée et ne pose pas de problèmes de concurrence.

    [02] Single Market : Action Plan bears fruit

    Significant progress towards improving the functioning of the Single Market and making it a reality for citizens and business has been achieved by the Single Market Action Plan, according to an assessment just published by the European Commission. Endorsed by the Amsterdam European Council in June 1997, the Action Plan set out an ambitious 18-month programme in the run up to the introduction of the euro. Particular successes include cutting the "fragmentation factor", i.e. the percentage of Single Market Directives not yet implemented in all Member States, from 35% to 13.9%, putting in place structures for problems to be resolved directly between Member States, accelerating infringement procedures against Member States where Single Market rules are not applied, adoption of Directives on transparency of potential barriers to electronic commerce, protecting biotechnology inventions, conditional access services and gas liberalisation and stepping up coordination on direct taxation. The Dialogue with Citizens and Business has also proved successful at raising awareness of Single Market opportunities. The Commission will shortly outline specific measures for the proper functioning and development of the Single Market.

    [03] Les prix à la production industrielle en baisse depuis huit mois

    (! embargo 12h !) Au mois de décembre 1998, les prix à la production industrielle de l'Union européenne (UE15), mesurés par rapport au taux de croissance annuel, ont baissé depuis huit mois consécutifs, selon les données publiées aujourd'hui par Eurostat, l'Office statistique des Communautés européennes à Luxembourg. D'après les estimations d'Eurostat, les prix se sont dépréciés de -2,5% dans la zone euro et de -2,2% dans l'UE15, au mois de décembre 1998 par rapport au mois de décembre 1997. Ces résultats tenaient principalement à une sévère chute des prix dans le secteur de la fabrication des produits pétroliers raffinés : -18,7% dans la zone euro et -19,2% dans l'UE15. Cependant, la plupart des autres activités industrielles ont aussi connu une croissance négative. Un calcul fictif des prix à la production industrielle n'incluant pas le secteur de la fabrication des produits pétroliers raffinés résulte en un taux de croissance négatif de -1,6% pour la zone euro et de -1,1% pour l'UE15. Tous les Etats membres, excepté le Luxembourg et la Grèce, ont enregistré une tendance à la baisse. Le Portugal (-6,2%, novembre 98), la Finlande (- 4,5%) et la France (-4,2%) ont connu les chutes de prix les plus importantes. Les Etats-Unis et le Japon ont aussi subi, l'année dernière, une chute des prix à la production.

    [04] Earthquake in Afghanistan - ECHO humanitarian aid

    The European Commission has made available new funding worth 750,000 euro for emergency and rehabilitation aid to victims of the earthquake that hit Afghanistan on February 11. The aid, managed by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), will complement an ongoing emergency relief effort. This is being led by several international organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, which received a grant worth 1.5 million euro from ECHO for medical aid and air transport at the start of this year. About 50 people died, over 300 were injured, and about 12,600 houses were destroyed in the earthquake, which struck the provinces of Wardak and Logar, south of Kabul. More than 100,000 people are said to have been affected.

    [05] Pàdraig Flynn spells out the challenge facing conference of international tobacco control experts : "Every new generation of teenagers who begin to smoke represents a failure"

    (! embargo 7 pm !) European Commissioner responsible i.a. for Health matters, Pàdraig Flynn, today gave a keynote address on the opening day of the secnd European Conference on Tobacco or Health being held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The Commission is funding the conference through the "Europe against Cancer" Programme as an occasion to bring together experts from around the world in the field of tobacco control. It is also the occasion of the first Iberoamerican Conference on Tobacco and Health, providing an excellent opportunity for European and Latin American partners to develop smoking prevention strategies based on the sharing of experiences. The experts will discuss a wide variety of topics over the week, including, new ways to protect children from becoming smokers, new strategies on smoking cessation, and the role of nurses and pharmacists in smoking prevention and cessation.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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