French PM strives to push for pension reform amid calls for “unlimited” strikes

French PM strives to push for pension reform amid calls for “unlimited” strikes

The French government’s determination to push for pension reform does not appear to be wavering in the face of mounting calls for protest by trade unions, students, teachers and the ‘yellow vest’ movement. EURACTIV France reports. The government in Paris is determined to push ahead with its pension reform, even if this means that strikes could block part of France. That is because the rail workers’ General Confederation of Labour (CGT-Cheminots) initially called for an unlimited strike to take place on 5 December, to protest against the amendment of the…

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Rafael Nadal pushes off the edge of the abyss to defeat Medvedev in thrilling style

Rafael Nadal pushes off the edge of the abyss to defeat Medvedev in thrilling style

Rafael Nadal arrived in London with a new wife and an old abdominal injury, his mood turning angry and dark when he had to deny that either were in any way linked to each other or his form on the court, a suggestion that hovered on the outer edges of good taste and credulity. He was not a happy Spaniard. However, the boyish smile returned with interest when he came from 5-1 down in the third set to defeat the languid young Russian Daniil Medvedev in one of the great…

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EU worries about climate change and stops funding fossil fuels

EU worries about climate change and stops funding fossil fuels

The European Union should phase out its funding of oil, gas and coal projects, EU finance ministers said in a joint statement on Friday (8 November), in a move that could mark a major shift in the bloc’s efforts to combat climate change. It is the first time EU finance ministers have backed a declaration urging an end to fossil fuels funding altogether, having called previously only for an end to funding for coal power plants. The statement, adopted by EU finance ministers, retains some ambiguity, however, saying it “encourages”…

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Bulgarian dissident sums up 30-year “criminal” transition

Bulgarian dissident sums up 30-year “criminal” transition

Petar Boyadjiev, a Bulgarian dissident and political refugee living in France, has talked to EURACTIV Bulgaria about his “disgust” with people in power in his native country, who he says waste or misappropriate EU funds instead of using them to the benefit of society. He also revealed interesting facts about the relationship between the late communist leader Todor Zhivkov, in power from 1956 to 1989, and the current Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. Boyadjiev, born in 1941, distributed leaflets in 1966 together with a friend, calling for Bulgaria to leave the…

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The study shows that banks take only “surface” climate measures

The study shows that banks take only “surface” climate measures

Despite an explosion in green finance, banks have made only superficial changes to their lending practices, with fossil fuel funding going virtually unabated over the past years, according to a new report by Boston Common Asset Management released on Monday (11 November). The report “Banking on a Low-Carbon Future: Finance in a Time of Climate Crisis” highlights the slow pace of change when it comes to greening the financial system. Efforts to green the financial sector have been “largely superficial,” the report says, with banks “failing to change their lending…

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EU finance and education ministers hold “historic” meeting to increase skills investment

EU finance and education ministers hold “historic” meeting to increase skills investment

Ministers of finance and education of the EU member states met on Friday (7 November) for the first-ever joint Council with the aim of discussing the importance of education for a strong economy. “Today is a historic day, since for the first time ever we had the opportunity to discuss topics related to education together with finance and education ministers,” said Li Andersson, minister for education in Finland, which currently holds the Council’s rotating presidency. Although the ministers spent more than three hours discussing this issue, there were no proposals…

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The Commission is wary of the side effects of the Libra control

The Commission is wary of the side effects of the Libra control

The European Commission has called for a “proportionate” and differentiated approach to regulating digital currencies including Facebook’s Libra, as the EU needs to preserve is developing Fintech environment. EU finance ministers (Ecofin Council) agreed on Friday (8 November) on a draft statement calling for an EU approach to “appropriately tackle the challenges” raised by ‘stablecoins’, digital tokens backed by sovereign currencies. Regulators and decision-makers across the planet are looking into these digital currencies, powered by blockchain technology, after Facebook announced in June it would next year launch Libra, its own…

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Tactical vote or conviction, what will guide the elections in Spain?

Tactical vote or conviction, what will guide the elections in Spain?

Spanish voters are heading back to the polls on Sunday (10 November) for the fourth general election in less than four years to see if they can finally put an end to the political deadlock. EURACTIV’s partner Euroefe reports. An overarching uncertainty this time around is whether people will vote tactically by pooling votes behind a party most likely to win, or instead cast their ballots in line with precise political convictions. Another factor that could affect the result is voter fatigue. Having alternated in power since the return of…

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Europe risks losing strategic influence in the Western Balkans

Europe risks losing strategic influence in the Western Balkans

Trouble spots and tensions surrounding the European Union are continuing: Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Eastern Mediterranean. In the south of the European Union, an arc of geopolitical instability is being formed and we must not allow it to expand, ten former foreign ministers warn in an open letter. *The signatories are listed at the bottom. Stability, democracy and prosperity in Southeast Europe are directly linked to the consolidation of the European project and the completion of the reunification of our continent with the accession of Western Balkan countries, a process…

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“There is no way to avoid electrification,” says BMW

“There is no way to avoid electrification,” says BMW

Consumers are increasingly turning to electric vehicles – and they’re liking it, said BMW’s chief lobbyist in Europe, calling on policymakers to accelerate charging infrastructure deployment to support the roll-out of electric mobility on a mass scale. “Our customers, what do they do? The good news is that they are starting to buy electric vehicles,” said Andreas Klugescheid, head of external affairs at the BMW Group, referring to plug-in hybrids as well as fully electric vehicles. The EU’s newly-adopted CO2 emission standards for cars mean “there is no way around…

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