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Le Télégramme - France | 30/10/2014

France will not cancel Mistral delivery

Russia's Vice Prime Minister Dmitri Rogosin has interpreted an invitation to the French city of Saint-Nazaire in mid-November as confirmation that France will deliver the controversial Mistral class helicopter carriers. According to Paris, President François Hollande will take the final decision on the day of delivery. Ridiculous hair-splitting, the regional daily Le Télégramme scoffs: "What a joke! This actually means the decision has long since been made. ... Several reasons can explain this decision. Moscow has already paid and the reputation of our defence industry in a highly competitive market is at stake. The situation in Ukraine has eased somewhat and the elections have taken place, even if the pro-Russian separatists continue to exert pressure. The bottom line is that America's demands [to cancel the Mistral delivery] are part of an economic war being waged unremittingly by our allies, who often turn their back on their hallowed principles." (30/10/2014)

Avvenire - Italy | 31/10/2014

Italy must use EU's Youth Guarantee

With its Youth Guarantee the EU aims to ensure that all people under 25 get a job offer within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. Instead of getting caught up in his job market reforms Italian Prime Minister Renzi must focus on making sure that Italy takes full advantage of the funds offered by the Youth Guarantee scheme, the Catholic daily Avvenire urges: "Italy's regions have access to 1.5 billion euros in total. An experimental phase of a few months would suffice to show that Italy's real problem is not a lack of money. The funds are there but they are either not being used or are being put to poor use. ... Because what has been the result so far: countless meetings, programmatic agreements, new web portals and a couple of ineffectual commercials. ... So far the Youth Guarantee hasn't helped stimulate youth employment and has done even less to ease the path from school into the world of employment." (31/10/2014)

El País - Spain | 31/10/2014

US monetary policy years ahead of Europe's

The US Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday the end of its monthly purchases of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities aimed at stimulating the economy. It justified the step pointing to positive developments on the labour market. Washington is at the end of a journey Europe hasn't even embarked on yet, the left-liberal daily El País criticises: "While Washington has concluded its cycle of expansive monetary policy with halfway satisfactory results (although the economy hasn't reached its growth potential and salaries are stagnating), the Eurzone hasn't even started that cycle yet. True, the euro starts out at a disadvantage because it encompasses more than just one country, lacks its own treasury and the national economic policies are erratic and contradictory. But this doesn't excuse the lack of debate about monetary and fiscal policy, or the never-ending 'bureaucracy' that serves as an excuse for delaying decisions that should have been taken years ago." (31/10/2014)

Irish Independent - Ireland | 30/10/2014

Water tax for Irish households unfair

Demonstrations against the introduction of a water tax for Irish households are planned for tomorrow, Saturday, in more than 70 Irish cities. The problem is less the fact that water is to be taxed than the way it will be done, columnist Martina Devlin writes in the conservative daily Irish Independent: "This resistance isn't just about people's dislike of yet more taxation. This is about injustice: at being saddled with an expensive quango, and taxed twice for the same commodity - we already pay for water through VAT and other taxes. And while I accept the need for conservation and investment, the Government's proposal of a flat charge for two years shows water charges are really about revenue generation. As it stands, householders have no incentive to turn off taps under a flat tax system." (30/10/2014)

Neatkarīgā - Latvia | 29/10/2014

Lithuanian gas terminal no blessing for Latvia

The floating liquid gas terminal Independence was moored in the Lithuanian Baltic harbour Klaipėda on Monday. Despite the delight at the prospect of reduced dependence on Russian energy this development is not necessarily positive for neighbouring Latvia, the national-conservative daily Neatkarīgā notes: "For Latvia it no longer makes any sense to build a liquid gas terminal, because in theory the Lithuanians could supply all three Baltic countries with gas in the future. While the terminal gives the Baltic states more energy security, it also dampens Latvia's hopes for new investments in a terminal of our own. This time we are not obliged to support the Lithuanians at any price. The monopoly of the Latvian gas company Latvijas Gāze [shares of which are owned by Russian company Gazprom] doesn't end until April 2017, and we shouldn't risk any penalties by purchasing gas from its rival in our neighbouring country." (29/10/2014)

Radikal - Turkey | 30/10/2014

Turkey has not seen the end of mining disasters

Eighteen miners were buried deep underground when a shaft collapsed outside the southern Turkish town of Ermenek on Tuesday. There is little hope that they will survive. The accident is the result of an overly ambitious economic policy, the liberal Internet paper Radikal criticises: "The government has set itself the very ambitious goal of becoming one of the ten biggest economies by 2023. ... But we have neither oil nor gas. ... According to the government's strategic plan, more energy is to come from regional sources. Instead of focusing on renewable energy the emphasis has been placed on coal. The opening of new mines has been made easier and state-run mines have been privatised. The red tape is being minimised and the laws changed. ... In view of the rising production costs no one bothers about safety measures. It's clear that we can expect the number of mining fatalities to keep rising." (30/10/2014)

Trends Tendances - Belgium | 29/10/2014

Why Belgians don't care about climate protection

The EU's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to drop by 24 percent by 2020 compared with the reference year 1990, surpassing the target value of 20 percent, the European Environmental Agency announced on Tuesday. The liberal business magazine Trends Tendances explains why Belgium lies significantly below the European average: "Alarmist discourse doesn't work. ... The other drawback in mobilising a large number of citizens against climate change is that we're not facing a concrete enemy. There's no one we can point our finger at in the fight against the deterioration of our climate and say 'He (or she) is the problem'. ... Basically, the media advantage of the economic crisis over the climate crisis is that the economic crisis is here and now: it affects how much money I have in my pocket. This is a regrettable attitude, but it proves yet again that we are our own worst enemy." (29/10/2014)

Proto Thema - Greece | 30/10/2014

Greek employees far too selfish

For over a year 595 cleaners formerly employed at the Greek Ministry of Finance have been protesting because they were dismissed at the troika's behest. They want their jobs back, but only at their former place of work. An unsocial attitude, the liberal weekly Proto Thema writes in its online edition: "The cleaning ladies' logic is: Who cares if the neighbour's house is burning down. It's not my house. They are trying to defend only their own interests but expect all Greek society to back them. ... That's what the public sector is like in our country, and it would be a good thing if everyone understood that it's the employees who think that society owes them something. … And that they should be allowed to decide where and how they work and how much they get paid." (30/10/2014)

Mandiner - Hungary | 29/10/2014

Hungary's Internet tax bad news for small firms

Thousands of people demonstrated again on Tuesday in Budapest against plans for a new Internet tax. The government had presented a modified law at the start of the week according to which firms will pay no more than 16 euros per month. But the Internet tax would still hit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hardest, journalist Ákos Gergely Balogh writes in the conservative opinion portal Mandiner: "The Internet tax would put the SMEs at a double disadvantage if the modified law put forward by [ruling party] Fidesz goes through. Firstly the tax could ruin the small and medium Internet providers unless they pass the costs on to the end users. ... Secondly in view of the high rates for Internet access the costs the Internet tax entails for SMEs would be a major financial burden." (29/10/2014)

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | 29/10/2014

Portugal must end turbulence at TAP

Cabin crew strikes at the national Portuguese airline TAP in protest at deteriorating working conditions will likely affect thousands of passengers this week. The liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias holds out little hope that plans for the company's privatisation will be realised any time soon: "The airline got off to a particularly turbulent start in the second half of the year. Delays in putting six new aircraft into operation at the same time as eleven new routes to South America and Europe were launched have resulted in major chaos. ... All this is part and parcel of a company's existence. The difference with TAP is that no decision is being reached about the privatisation of the company which has been planned for 14 years now. ... But the likelihood that the status quo will persist is great. Or rather that the turbulence over privatisation or non-privatisation will be passed on to the next government." (29/10/2014)

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