|16/11/95, Volume 1, Number 09
ANDALUCIA'S small- and medium-sized businesses are to receive a substantial cash injection from the EU. An estimated 25,000 new jobs will be created in the region as a direct result of its five-year grant worth 224 million ecu. The money will be used to buy new technology, improve the workforce's skills and raise the quality level of Andalucean products.
ESTONIA and the Commission have signed an agreement which will allow the EU's executive to open an office in the Estonian capital. The agreement, which is to be followed by similar ones with Latvia and Lithuania, is a sign of the EU's readiness to strengthen ties with the Baltic states. This “is an important step in the development of the relations between the Baltic states and the European Union”, said the Commission, whose Stockholm office currently represents the Union in the region.
AN Indian reporter has won the European Commission's annual Natali journalism prize for an in-depth series on the working and living conditions of India's poor written for The Times of India. Mr Sainath thanked the Commission for its recognition of his work, the subject of which is “extremely unfashionable,” in India. He said he would spend the 5,000 ecu prize money to exhibit photos of India's poor taken while researching his articles.
HANS van den Broek welcomed Ukraine and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia's (FYROM) decision to join the Council of Europe. The Foreign Affairs Commissioner congratulated the organisation on its contribution to European unity, saying it had played a defining role in negotiations leading to the signing of the stability pact.
AN internal row between two of the Commission's departments has delayed plans to reduce EU vehicle emissions and annoyed experts from member states. The failure of the directorates-general for environment (DGXI) and industry (DGIII) to agree on how far rules should go prompted angry words from national experts, who expressed irritation that the Commission presented two options instead of one at a meeting in Brussels held earlier this week.
THE Commission has ordered Hamburger Stahlwerke, a German steel company, to repay loans worth 174 million deutschemarks granted to it by the City of Hamburg in 1994. The Commission said the loans amounted to unfair state aid.
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