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    EU Wins 2012 Nobel Peace Prize 02:17

    EU Wins 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

    by EUXTV (10/12/12) 1 views

    Despite a year marked by one of the worst crises in decades and repeated scenes of social unrest across the continent, the European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel peace prize. The Norweigien prize committe awarded the 27-nation bloc for its 60 years of contributions to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The award today by the Nobel Committee shows that in these difficult times the European Union remains an inspiration for countries and people all over the world and that the international community needs a strong European Union', said President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. The committee also praised the Union for rebuilding Europe after World War II and for spreading stability after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. 'We must never forget that at its origins the European Union brought together nations emerging from the ruins of the devastating 2nd World War and united them in a project for peace, built on supranational institutions representing the common European interest. The European Union, starting with the European Community, has reunified countries split by the Cold War, and made it around values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, justice, the rule of law and respect for human rights', said President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. The award is thought to be an attempt to encourage greater integration in the EU as the eurozone crisis has threatened to tear the European project apart. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee and the international community are now sending a very important message to Europe that the European Union is something very precious, that we should cherish it for the good of Europeans and for the good of the entire world', said President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. The Nobel peace prize is worth 1 million euros and will be handed out on the 10th of December in Norway, a country that has so far refused to join the Union. It remains to be seen who will pick up the award.Distributed by

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    Eurogroup Launches Permanent Rescue Fund, Says Spain Does Not... 02:26

    Eurogroup Launches Permanent Rescue Fund, Says Spain Does Not...

    by EUXTV (10/9/12) 1 views

    Eurozone's new permanent rescue fund was launched on Monday at a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg. Funded by taxpayers' money, the so-called European Stability Mechanism will have a 500 bn euro budget to help finance debt-ridden countries. The start of the European Stability Mechanism marks an historic milestone in shaping the future of the European monetary Union. The Euro area now is equipped with the effective firewall which of course is a crucial component of our strategy to ensure financial stability in the Union', said president of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker. Germany is the biggest contributor to the bailout fund. But the German solidarity towards struggling eurozone economies does not come for free. Bailed out coutries must implement tough austerity measures and reforms in exchange for help. 'As of today the ESM is fully operational with lending capacity of 200 billion euro that will grow in the next 18 months. In addition to that we will have the 92 billion euro of the EFSF which is committed for the macroeconomic adjustment program of Ireland, Portugal and Greece', said Managing Director of the ESM Klaus Regling. The fund's first task will be helping recapitalise the Spanish banking sector. 40 bn euros have already been agreed. Whether Madrid will request a full-blown bailout is a question that still remains unanswered. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said as he arrived for the meeting that Spain was not asking for help and did not need it. Greece was also on the agenda. Eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund also held a long debate on whether Greece should be granted 2 more years to meet its deficit target. While the IMF is believed to favour the idea, countries such as the Netherlands and Finland remain opposed. 'We also stress that before the next disbursement; Greece should clearly and credibly demonstrate its strong commitment to fully implement the program. The 89 prior actins agreed in March implemented by the 18 of October at the latest', said Juncker. 'Greece the review of the program continues and it is making progress. I believe that there is the necessary willingness on the part of the Greek authorities to agree the measures needed to set Greek public finances back on a sustainable path', said Olli Rehn. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is in Greece in what is her first visit to the country since the euro crisis started. Heavy police presence will be expected across Athens as protests against the Chancellor's visit have been organised. -0-Distributed by

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    EU Nuclear Reactors in Need of Safety Upgrades 01:54

    EU Nuclear Reactors in Need of Safety Upgrades

    by EUXTV (10/5/12) 1 views

    Despite the 'hundreds' of defects pointed out by a commission's leaked report, the European Commission on Thursday said that the safety of all nuclear reactors across Europe is 'satisfactory”. “The safety situation in the EU is at good level and satisfactory. There is no nuclear power plant which must be shut down immediately for safety reasons', said Günther Oettinger, Member of the EC in charge of Energy. Earlier this week, the leaked Commission's safety review underlined that many of those nuclear plants failed to meet international safety standards. The so-called 'stress tests' revealed that improving these plants could cost Europe up to 25 bn euros 'Nearly everywhere, there is a major potential for improvement regarding the state of the heart especially in the wake of Fukushima', said Günther Oettinger, Member of the EC in charge of Energy. In the aftermath of the Fukushima incident in Japan last year, MEPs urged the Commission to take stronger stance on the nuclear industry. Green MEP Rebecca Harms on Thursday said that “this exercise has been orchestrated to cause as little stress to the nuclear industry as possible. While the report found deficiencies in many of Europe's nuclear reactors, there are no real proposals for follow-up”. There are 143 nuclear power plants across Europe. 47 of those nuclear power plants have more than 100,000 inhabitants living nearby. -0-Distributed by

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    EU Plans Deeper Single Market 02:12

    EU Plans Deeper Single Market

    by EUXTV (10/4/12) 2 views

    EurActiv article: The Single Market is considered by many as the biggest European achievement since the Union was created. It was born 20 years ago to ensure EU citizens can live, work, study or shop in any country. With more than 500 million consumers, EU businesses are also free to sell their goods and services anywhwere across the continent. Today, the European Commission believes that the single market holds the key to get Europe out of the crisis. European Commission's vice-president Michel Barnier on Wedensday put forward new proposals to further develop the single market. The plan aims at increasing growth, employment and confidence in the EU. 'I am very happy to confirm that this morning, the college adopted the Single market act II. This is a collective piece of work and it is a very important piece of work. It is the follow up to the first stage of the single market act which we presented a year ago in a context of very lucid diagnosis of the internal market which Mario Monti had carried out', said Commissioner for Internal Market Michel Barnier. Improving cross-border mobility of citizens and business across Europe or the digital economy are some of the new proposals. Barnier expects five of the 12 proposals to be adopted by the end of the year "if there is political will". 'Now, we think that 5 of these 12 proposals, if the political willing is there in the Council and the Parliament, these five could be adopted by the end of this year; the one on patent, strengthen cooperation, the risk capital passport, the investment fund for social entrepreneurship and the proposal on alternative conflict settlement and the directive on the counting standards', said Commissioner for Internal Market Michel Barnier. The first Single Market Act was adopted in April 2011 as a response to the economic crisis. Some of its proposals are still being discussed by Parliament and ministers. -0-Distributed by

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    Georgia Goes to the Polls After Abuse Video Scandal 01:42

    Georgia Goes to the Polls After Abuse Video Scandal

    by EUXTV (10/1/12) 41 views

    Georgia is going to the polls on Monday in a crucial day for the future of the country. Tension is high after images of prison guard abusing inmates were broadcasted on national television. The scandal sparked protests across the country and damaged the government's reputation. Earlier this year, the European Commission expressed its concern over Georgia's state of democracy and judicial system. Many international observers, including a handful of MEPs, are in the country to monitor the smooth running of the elections and avoid any possible fraud. 'There are quite crucial elections taking place in Georgia today. They are being observed by OSCE/ODIHR team. We expect our preliminary reports tomorrow, after which we will issue our reaction. We have made very clear that the expectations for this elections are extremely high and they will determine the intensity and pace of our relations with Georgia', said European Commission's spokerperson Maja Kocijancic. The parliamentary elections will pose the biggest challange for incumbent President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been in power for almost 10 yeards and led the country in a short war with Russia in 2008. He has portrayed the elections as a choice between a Western-infuenced country or a Russia-dominated one. The opposition leader, a billionaire bussinessman, vowed to use his wealth to fight poverty and wants to restore ties with Moscow. Later next year, Georgia's parliament and prime minister will gain more power after constitutional changes will come into force.Distributed by

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    China Restricts Press Access to EU-China Summit 01:25

    China Restricts Press Access to EU-China Summit

    by EUXTV (9/20/12) 4 views

    European and Chinese leaders gathered in Brussels on Thursday for the 15th EU-China Summit. No 'big decisions' were expected but the summit aimed to 'consolidate' relations between both powers. The summit created controversy as journalists were left hanging when the usual post-summit press conference was called off. The Chinese authorities wanted to impose restrictions on the number of journalists allowed into the conference. The EU said no. According to the Brussels-based international press association, China was concerned over the presence of certain journalists who are critical of the Chinese government. Meanwhile, this was the last EU-Summit for China's premier Wen Jiabao. During his10 year-mandate, trade relations with Europe have increased. He is set to hand over power in the next congress of the Chinese Communist party in October.Distributed by

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    Dutch Elections to Test EU Popularity Amid Euro Crisis 01:42

    Dutch Elections to Test EU Popularity Amid Euro Crisis

    by EUXTV (9/11/12) 4 views

    EurActiv article: After an election campaign dominated by the euro zone crisis, the Netherlands will go to the polls on Wednesday in what could be a decisive day for Europe. Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte is currently leading the polls with 35 seats in the 150-seat parliament. His center-right, pro-austerity VVD party is expected to form a coalition government. However, the outcome of the election is still uncertain as many voters remain undecided. 'The day after tomorrow is election day in the Netherlands, quite important for Europe. So it is of course important for political parties and so on. It's quite important for Europe, will there be a government afterwards, European oriented or is it “pull out the plug and we are living in out island”, Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said at a Lisbon Council event. Dutch citizens are getting increasingly frustrated over recent austerity cuts imposed by Brussels. They are also becoming weary of continuous demands for financial aid to bailout debt-ridden countries. Rutte's government collapsed in April when his ally, far-right PVV's leader Geert Wilders refused to support further austerity measures. While Wilders is unlikely to make it into government, some experts believe that his anti- immigration and anti-Europe views have forced mainstream parties to become more Euro skeptic. Only recently, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised interview that Greece should not get any more money from Dutch taxpayers. Europe is watching closely. -0-Distributed by

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    ECB's Draghi Presents Eurozone Rescue Plan 02:07

    ECB's Draghi Presents Eurozone Rescue Plan

    by EUXTV (9/6/12) 1 views

    This is the man who claimed he can save the euro. After weeks of uncertainty, European Central Bank's chief Mario Draghi on Thursday unveiled a much-awaited bond-buying plan. The scheme includes buying 'unlimited' amounts of short-term government debt from troubled countries and it is designed to lower the borrowing costs of Italy and Spain. Draghi also said the scheme was a "fully effective backstop" and that the euro was "irreversible". But the ECB will only intervene if debt-ridden countries request financial aid from the eurozone rescue fund and only under strict conditions. “If the Central Bank were to intervene without any action on the government side, without any conditionality, it would not be effective”, Draghi said. But not everyone on the ECB's governing council agreed with Draghi's attempt to rescue the single currency. Earlier this month, Germany's Bundesbank president showed strong opposition to the idea. He warned that debt-laden countries could excessively rely on the ECB and therefore, fail to implement tough economic reforms. While Mr Draghi was announcing the ECB's plans, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was meeting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to discuss the eurozone crisis. Spain has so fur refused to ask for a full-blown bailout.Distributed by

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    MEPs Disclose Draghi's Bond-buying Plan 01:40

    MEPs Disclose Draghi's Bond-buying Plan

    by EUXTV (9/4/12) 1 views

    Despite a strong German opposition, the ECB could buy government bonds maturing in three years or less. This is what European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi suggested to a closed hearing at the European Parliament on Monday, according to MEPs present. "I understood the exchange in such a way that in the future there will be again interventions by the ECB." ALSO "I would see this in such a way that there could be tensions in the ECB Board, that's why he did not wanted to comment in public.", said Sven GIEGOLD (Greens/ALE, DE). Draghi is set to unveil details on the ECB's bond-buying plan next Thursday. The scheme is aimed at easing borrowing costs for eurozone debt-laden countries. Only hours before the ECB's meeting, Spain is due to issue 3.5 billion euros worth of two and three-year bonds. The ECB's programme would only consider helping those countries who request financial aid and only in exchange for tough reforms. MEP's on Monday also voiced concern on whether a European banking union will be feasible. It still remains unclear if the banking union will cover all banks in the eurozone. EU commissioner Michel Barnier is due to publish the EC's plan on banking supervision on September 12th. "We will continue to work in the following days on this ambitious proposal, it will tackle all the banks of the Euro zone and of course with the support of the National supervisor”, said Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal market and services. Ahead of a decisive month for the fate of the euro, rating agency Moody's warned on Tuesday that the EU's triple A credit rating could be downgraded.Distributed by

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    EU to Unveil Banking Union Plan on Sept 12th 01:38

    EU to Unveil Banking Union Plan on Sept 12th

    by EUXTV (8/31/12) 3 views

    European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said on Thursday that he will unveil a banking union proposal on September 12th. The proposal will coincide with his “State of the Union” speech at the European Parliament, and will outline a plan that could see the European Central Bank increasing its powers of supervision and intervention. The banking union is expected to focus on euro-zone members, as non-eurozone countries are likely to opt-out. EU leaders agreed at the last EU summit in June that more banking integration is the solution to stop governments bailing out debt-ridden banks. Meanwhile, EU Affairs ministers agreed on Thursday to hold an extraordinary summit in November to discuss the EU's next seven-year budget. Under the Cypriot EU presidency, European ministers met in Nicosia to put their “wish lists” for the next long-term budget on the table. Earlier in June, the European Commission proposed to raise this budget to over 1 trillion euros. This is almost a 5% increase from the current figure. Many member states however oppose the idea. The goal of the Cypriot presidency is to reach an agreement by the end of 2012. -0-Distributed by

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