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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 05-10-28

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>


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] Commission disappointed with WTO arbitrators' ruling against proposed banana import tariff
  • [02] La Commission rejette les demandes présentées par le Portugal et l'Italie visant lui faire prendre en considération les effets du projet de concentration "Gas Natural/Endesa" sur leur marché
  • [03] Commission clears acquisition of Fitness First by BC Funds
  • [04] October 2005 : Business Climate Indicator for the euro area continues to improve
  • [05] October 2005 : strong upturn of economic sentiment in both the EU and the euro area
  • [06] Flash estimate - October 2005 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.5%
  • [07] Economic Partnership Agreements : EU and West Africa agree next phase of negotiations
  • [08] Commission helps to advance food safety and food quality research
  • [09] Ministerial Conference within the framework of the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation (BASREC)
  • [10] Autre matériel diffusé Midday Express of 2005-10-28 Reference: MEX/05/1028 Date: 28/10/2005 EXME05 / 28.10

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Press and Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Presse etb

    Communication

    28/10/05


  • [01] Commission disappointed with WTO arbitrators' ruling against proposed banana import tariff

    The European Commission will study carefully the implications of decision by the World Trade Organisation's arbitrators on 27 October to reject the proposed new import tariff for bananas. The Commission had proposed a single tariff of €187 per tonne for bananas imported from countries - mainly in Latin America - enjoying Most Favoured Nation status, as well as a duty-free quota of 775,000 tonnes for ACP bananas, as from 1 January 2006. It is regrettable that the arbitrators did not use this opportunity to provide more clarity as to how this long-standing dispute could be resolved.

    [02] La Commission rejette les demandes présentées par le Portugal et l'Italie visant lui faire prendre en considération les effets du projet de concentration "Gas Natural/Endesa" sur leur marché

    La Commission européenne a décidé qu'elle n'était pas mieux placée que les autorités de concurrence portugaise et italienne pour examiner les effets du projet de rachat d'Endesa par Gas Natural, deux sociétés espagnoles, sur les marchés portugais et italien. Elle a donc rejeté la demande de l'autorité portugaise de la concurrence, laquelle s'était jointe l'autorité italienne, visant lui faire examiner les effets de la concentration proposée sur les marchés portugais et italien. Ces décisions sont sans préjudice de l'appréciation portée par la Commission sur la dimension communautaire éventuelle de l'opération Gas Natural/Endesa (et donc le cas échéant sur la compétence exclusive de la Commission européenne pour statuer sur la concentration). Il conviendra, pour cette appréciation, de vérifier si l'une des deux sociétés réalise moins des deux tiers de son chiffre d'affaires dans un seul Etat membre (l'Espagne), selon le mode de calcul prévu l'article 5 du règlement sur les concentrations.

    [03] Commission clears acquisition of Fitness First by BC Funds

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of sole control of Fitness First Holdings Limited (Fitness First) of the UK by BC Funds of the Channel Islands. BC Funds are private equity funds managed by CIE Management II Limited (CIEM) of the Channel Islands. Both BC Funds and CIEM are ultimately controlled by the UK company BC Partners Holdings Limited. BC Funds are pure financial investors and are as such not involved in the day-to-day management of the companies they invest in. The Fitness First Group operates membership based health and fitness clubs in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, France, Italy and, Spain, as well as in countries outside the EEA. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

    [04] October 2005 : Business Climate Indicator for the euro area continues to improve

    Following its constant improvement since June, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area continued to rise in October. After having risen above its long term average of zero in September, the upturn in October further strengthened this position. The positive development of the BCI in October was reflected in all underlying components. However, the improvement of industry managers' opinions was more pronounced for the export order books and the production expectations than for the total order books, the production in recent months and the stocks of finished products.

    [05] October 2005 : strong upturn of economic sentiment in both the EU and the euro area

    Economic sentiment continued to improve in October both in the EU and in the euro area. At 1.7 points in the EU and 1.9 points in the euro area the improvement was stronger than in previous months, indicating that the economy has overcome the soft patch between autumn of last year and June of this year. In both areas, the upturn in October lifted the economic sentiment indicator (ESI) above the long-term average of 100.

    [06] Flash estimate - October 2005 : Euro-zone inflation estimated at 2.5%

    Euro-zone annual inflation is expected to be 2.5% in October 2005 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat. It was 2.6% in September. Euro-zone inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro-zone. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (12 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate, 11 times differing by 0.1 and once differing by 0.2, in January 2005, over the last two years). Further information can be found in Eurostat News Release 113/2001 of 5 November 2001.

    [07] Economic Partnership Agreements : EU and West Africa agree next phase of negotiations

    The European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson met with West African Ministers on the 27th October in Brussels to agree on the next phase of the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the two regions. Ministers agreed to start negotiations in 2006 and endorsed a calendar setting out a precise timetable for the talks. This will mean starting work on drafting the text and legal provisions of the EPA and issues connected with market access, including the effect of an EPA on productive sectors in West Africa.

    [08] Commission helps to advance food safety and food quality research

    A workshop entitled "Food Safety and Quality in support to EU Policies" will take place at the National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia on 28-29 October 2005 with participants from nine different countries. European Commissioner for Science and Research, Dr Janez Potočnik, the Slovenian Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technologies, Dr Jure Zupan, and the Director of the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana, Dr Peter Venturini , will officially open a new €3,5 million experimental infrastructure at the Institute. The experimental equipment includes a new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) 800 MHz spectrometer. This is the largest scientific equipment of its type ever installed in Slovenia and one of the biggest in Europe.

    [09] Ministerial Conference within the framework of the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation (BASREC)

    On 28 October Andris Piebalgs, Energy Commissioner, addressed the Ministerial Conference organised within the framework of the Baltic Sea Region Energy Cooperation (BASREC). At the conference, held in Reykjavik, in Iceland, the country currently holding the yearly Presidency in the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Commissioner said that regional energy cooperation, including cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region, is an important tool for addressing the current energy challenges, including security of energy supply and sustainable development.

    [10] Autre matériel diffusé

    Speech by Janez Potočnik : "Educate to Innovate: Creating and Disseminating Knowledge" at EIB Annual Forum 2005 (Helsinki)

    Opening remarks by Margot Wallström at meeting with the Federalist Inter- Group for the European Constitution (26/10, Strasbourg)

    Calendrier du 31 octobre au 5 novembre 2005 From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/


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