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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 09-01-08

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] December 2008: Business Climate Indicator reaches an all-time low in December
  • [02] December 2008: Economic sentiment falls to record low levels in both the EU and the euro area
  • [03] "We are more intelligent together": EU citizens value science and call for more cooperation at European level
  • [04] Postal services: EU reforms on track but more progress needed in some Member States, says Commission report
  • [05] Financial services: Commission encourages applications for the new Payment Systems Market Expert Group
  • [06] Commission asks Council to provide a medium-term loan to Latvia as part of coordinated multilateral and bilateral financial assistance
  • [07] Four more countries lift labour market restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers
  • [08] Danuta Hübner en Bourgogne (France) se félicite de l’orientation des investissements européens vers l’innovation et le développement durable
  • [09] Euro area unemployment up to 7.8%
  • [10] Euro area and EU27 GDP down by 0.2%
  • [11] Commission clears acquisition of Oximeplus by Teijin Pharma and Esteve Midday Express of 2009-01-08 Reference: MEX/09/0108 Date: 08/01/2009 EXME09 / 08.01

    MIDDAY EXPRESS

    News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

    Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communicationb

    08/01/09


  • [01] December 2008: Business Climate Indicator reaches an all-time low in December

    The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area fell more markedly this month than last and reached its lowest level since January 1985. The continued steep decline of the indicator signals a deteriorating trend in year-on-year industrial production growth, which is likely to turn out clearly negative in the fourth quarter. All five underlying components of the BCI deteriorated. Managers reported a sharp fall in the production trend observed in recent months while stocks of finished goods increased. Their assessment of the current overall order books and export order books is increasingly negative. Looking ahead, production expectations in the euro area worsened notably compared to last month and are now at their lowest level since 1985.

    [02] December 2008: Economic sentiment falls to record low levels in both the EU and the euro area

    In December, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) declined considerably in the EU and the euro area, continuing the sharp fall in sentiment already observed in the October and November surveys. It fell by 7.0 points in the EU and by 7.8 points in the euro area, to 63.5 and 67.1 respectively. This puts the ESI for both the EU and the euro area at its lowest since the current series was launched in January 1985.

    [03] "We are more intelligent together": EU citizens value science and call for more cooperation at European level

    According to a new qualitative study published today regarding the image of science and the perceptions and attitudes on the European research policy of the EU citizens, science is highly valued and intimately linked to the idea of progress. However, science also gives rise to some fears and reservations – mostly of possible misuse by mankind. The study also reveals support for a more coordinated European research policy and the need to pool human and financial resources to do research on issues of common interest such health, environment or energy. These comments come from group discussions that were carried out in the 27 European Union member states during summer 2008 and which included men and women aged 17 to 60 years, drawn from a mix of social groups.

    [04] Postal services: EU reforms on track but more progress needed in some Member States, says Commission report

    EU reforms in the postal sector are well on track, but some Member States need to speed up their transition towards full market opening and to remove remaining barriers to competition. These are the conclusions of the European Commission's latest periodical application report on the EU postal sector. The creation of an Internal Postal Market is included in the Lisbon Strategy as a crucial element of the EU's single market policy.

    [05] Financial services: Commission encourages applications for the new Payment Systems Market Expert Group

    The European Commission is to create a Payment Systems Market Expert Group (PSMEG). The group will be composed of experts competent in the area of payments. It will aim to gain inputs on payment issues, including fraud prevention, from a range of stakeholders, in particular the payment industry and users. Interested candidates are invited to send an application to the Commission by 6 February 2009.

    [06] Commission asks Council to provide a medium-term loan to Latvia as part of coordinated multilateral and bilateral financial assistance

    The European Commission today agreed to propose to the Council to provide medium-term financial assistance to Latvia of up to € 3.1 billion. The proposed European Union loan is the biggest of the contributions put together with the Nordic countries and the IMF, among others, and which will total up to €7.5 billion.. The financial assistance is conditional on a major economic adjustment programme already adopted by the Latvian government designed to limit and progressively correct the budgetary and other imbalances. Ultimately, it will put the Latvian economy on a sounder and more sustainable footing.

    [07] Four more countries lift labour market restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers

    Greece, Spain, Hungary and Portugal have lifted restrictions on access to their labour markets for Bulgarian and Romanian workers, the European Commission announced today. The four countries join ten other EU Member States which had already opened their labour markets for workers from Bulgaria and Romania. Restrictions remain in eleven Member States.

    [08] Danuta Hübner en Bourgogne (France) se félicite de l’orientation des investissements européens vers l’innovation et le développement durable

    La Commissaire Dabuta Hübner sera en Bourgogne le 9 janvier afin de voir comment la région utilise les investissements européens qui lui ont été alloués dans le cadre de la politique de cohésion. Elle sera reçue par le Préfet de la région, M. Christian de Lavernée, et par le Président du Conseil régional, M. François Patriat. Au Creusot, elle visitera plusieurs projets qui ont déj bénéficié du soutien de l’Union européenne. La ville a parfaitement réussi diversifier ses activités économiques en s’appuyant sur son glorieux passé dans la sidérurgie et en misant sur la recherche et l’innovation.

    [09] Euro area unemployment up to 7.8%

    The euro area (EA15) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 7.8% in November 2008, compared with 7.7% in October. It was 7.2% in November 2007. The EU27 unemployment rate was 7.2% in November 2008, compared with 7.1% in October. It was 6.9% in November 2007. Eurostat estimates that 17.466 million men and women in the EU27, of which 12.180 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2008. Compared with October 2008, the number of persons unemployed increased by 274 000 in the EU27 and by 202 000 in the euro area. Compared with November 2007, unemployment went up by 1 134 000 in the EU27 and by 1 059 000 in the euro area. These figures are published by Eurostat.

    [10] Euro area and EU27 GDP down by 0.2%

    GDP declined by 0.2% in both the euro area (EA15) and the EU27 during the third quarter of 2008, compared with the previous quarter, according to second estimates from Eurostat. In the second quarter of 2008, growth rates were -0.2% in the euro area and 0.0% in the EU27. In comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP grew in the third quarter of 2008 by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.8% in the EU27, after +1.4% and +1.7% respectively in the previous quarter. In the third quarter of 2008 and among the Member States for which seasonally adjusted GDP data are available, Slovakia (+1.5%) recorded the highest growth rate compared with the previous quarter, followed by Ireland and Poland (both +1.2%).

    [11] Commission clears acquisition of Oximeplus by Teijin Pharma and Esteve

    The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Oximeplus, S.A. of Spain by Teijin Pharma Limited of Japan and Laboratorios del Dr. Esteve, S.A. (Esteve) of Spain. Teijin Pharma supplies solutions for both pharmaceuticals and home health care. Esteve manufactures and markets pharmaceutical preparations and drugs intended for human and veterinary use. Oximeplus provides hospital and home oxygen therapy. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. 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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