Business in Brief

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details 27.09.07
Publication Date 27/09/2007
Content Type

Postal liberalisation target

  • Member states are to approve a timetable for the opening of EU postal markets next week (1 October). Under the proposals, new member states and Greece would have a two-year extension beyond a 2009 deadline to open up their markets for letters of less than 50 grams. Companies from member states which have not opened their markets would not be allowed to operate across borders.

Commission gets its lines crossed

  • Differences of opinion within the European Commission over how best to regulate fast-moving telecoms markets surfaced this week with the leaking of criticism from the competition department of plans by Viviane Reding, the commissioner for information society and media, to promote the separation of telecoms companies’ network and services divisions and to set up an EU regulator. The enterprise department also criticised the proposals, which are to be released in mid-November.

UK and Ireland opt out rules on outlaw workers

  • The UK and Ireland have chosen to opt out of an EU directive which would, if agreed, criminalise employers for hiring illegal workers. The UK is concerned about how an employer could be defined while its employers’ lobby, the Confederation of British Industry, warned about the increased bureaucracy. Ireland is still studying the directive and could opt in at a later stage, a spokesman said.

Railway rights

  • From autumn 2009, railway passengers in the EU will be entitled to refunds for delays, the European Parliament voted on Tuesday (25 September). The new rules agreed with the Council of Ministers apply to domestic as well as cross-border trains and foresee a transition period. The third railway package also mandates the opening of international passenger routes to competition with effect from 2010.

Kroes unveils list of concerns over insurance sector

  • The Commission yesterday (26 September) unveiled the conclusions of a two-year investigation into the business insurance sector. Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes raised concerns about market fragmentation, the pricing of commercial insurance policies and conflicts of interest in the brokerage market, which are liable to inflate prices and reduce choice. The report recommends ending in 2010 exemptions applying to certain types of horizontal agreements.

Finnish nuclear plant

  • A French government guarantee, which allowed Finnish electricity producer TVO to construct a nuclear power plant with French industrial conglomerate Areva, was not illegal state aid, the Commission said yesterday.

Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), in his understated central banker’s jargon likes to call the current upheavals in world financial markets "a correction". What we are actually witnessing, however, is not a mere wind of change, but a maelstrom.

Source Link