Christmas hamsters push Tesco sales to the records

Christmas hamsters push Tesco sales to the records

Tesco saw “record” sales over Christmas as customers spoiled themselves in lockdown with online orders of deluxe range products. UK like-for-like sales were up 8.1% in the six weeks to 9 January as the supermarket saw a 14% jump in demand for goods in its Tesco Finest range. Sales of vegan Christmas alternatives also surged, it added. Big grocers have benefited at a time when non-essential shops and restaurants are closed due to Covid. Tesco said customers had “looked for more opportunities to treat themselves” as the UK faced strict…

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FTSE 100 suffers worst year since financial crisis

FTSE 100 suffers worst year since financial crisis

Pension savers and investors’ nest-eggs have been hit as the UK’s leading share index had its worst year since the height of the financial crisis. The FTSE 100 index fell 14.3% over the year, marking its worst performance since 2008, when it slumped 31.3%. Despite the poor performance, the blue-chip index has recovered significantly since the start of the global pandemic when it was a third lower than now. Analysts have said that next year is likely to be better for investors. “The factors which worked against the FTSE-100 in…

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Leaders to push Brexit trade talks beyond latest deadline

Leaders to push Brexit trade talks beyond latest deadline

London and Brussels agreed on Sunday (13 December) to more talks on an elusive trade agreement, even though they still have a long way to go to avert a turbulent ‘no deal’ exit for Britain from the European Union’s orbit at the end of the month. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the president of the EU’s executive Commission, Ursula von der Leyen gave negotiators a Sunday deadline to find a way to resolve an impasse on arrangements that would guarantee Britain zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU’s single…

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EU aims for 30 million zero-emission vehicles by 2030

EU aims for 30 million zero-emission vehicles by 2030

The European Commission wants to see ‘at least’ 30 million zero-emission vehicles on European roads by 2030, Reuters reports based on a Commission draft document. That zero-emission goal would require around three million charging points for electric vehicles and up to 1,000 hydrogen refuelling stations, according to New Mobility News. That would be a significant undertaking as there are currently 200,000 charging points and 177 hydrogen stations in the EU. A move towards 30 million zero-emission vehicles could help the Commission reach its target of reducing emissions in Europe by…

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Eurozone agrees reform to eurozone bailout fund

Eurozone agrees reform to eurozone bailout fund

European finance ministers agreed to crucial reforms of the eurozone’s bailout fund, which had been put aside for a year amid reluctance from Italy and the coronavirus crisis. The fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), will become the bloc’s lender of last resort as soon as 2022. It will also see its financial firepower strengthened, and its authority to supervise countries in difficulty will be increased. Created in 2012 in the heat of the eurozone debt crisis, the ESM was used to stop countries including Greece from going…

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Pandemic Motors: Europeans snap up old cars to avoid public transport

Pandemic Motors: Europeans snap up old cars to avoid public transport

Want a cheap used car to nip around town without running the gauntlet of coronavirus on public transport? Welcome to Pandemic Motors, we have just what you need. Across Europe, people are snapping up old bangers, clunkers, Klapperkasten, tacots and catorci, desperate to avoid buses and trains but wary of splashing out on a shiny new motor in uncertain economic times. “Public transportation is terrific here, but with the COVID and all that, it’s better to avoid it,” said Robert Perez, who recently moved to Spain’s capital Madrid from Argentina….

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The EU’s green finance taxonomy: an Orwellian mechanism

The EU’s green finance taxonomy: an Orwellian mechanism

The European Commission’s sustainable finance taxonomy bears all the hallmarks of failed governance: opacity, imprecision, and subjectivity with a punitive approach albeit not assumed, writes Daniel Guéguen. In short, it’s an Orwellian mechanism, he argues. Daniel Guéguen is professor at the College of Europe and associate partner at EPPA, a specialist management consultancy. The word “taxonomy” has the whiff of authority and makes one think of a kind of economic statism. Regulation 2020/852 of 18 June 2020, adopted via co-decision, sets a “framework for sustainable investment”, i.e. investment that contributes…

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European app makers urge regulators to think outside of the bubble

European app makers urge regulators to think outside of the bubble

As app makers, we may not immediately come to mind when discussing the perils of platform regulation. After all, the new competition rules will only directly apply to large companies acting as ‘gatekeepers’. This opinion is the result of a collaboration between the following members of the ACT: Francesco Ronchi, Synesthesia (IT), Vincent Keunen, Andaman7 (BE), Peter Deckers, SyndoHealth (BE), Sveatoslav Vizitiu, Wello (RO), Kim Baden-Kristensen, Brain+ (DK), László Grad-Gyenge, Creo (HU), Fernando Guerrero, Lucient & Nouss (ES), James Hanson, Layers Studio (UK), Philip Tudor, Multispectral Limited (UK). Speaking about…

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Belgium fined €2 million over taxation of rental income

Belgium fined €2 million over taxation of rental income

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ordered the Belgian state to pay a fine of €2 million for ignoring a 2018 judgement on the taxation of rental income. The original case dealt with the way Belgium taxes income from property rental differently depending on whether the property is situated in Belgium or in another member state of the EU. Belgium is the only member state of the union that does not tax rental income on the basis of the amount of money received, but rather on the cadastral income…

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Unions warns: Unemployment will double unless emergency measures are taken

Unions warns: Unemployment will double unless emergency measures are taken

EU jobless figure could double and reach 30 million people unless governments prolong their support measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, unions warned EU governments in a letter seen by EURACTIV. There are currently 15.6 million people unemployed in the EU, with 1.7 million more since the start of the COVID crisis in March. According to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)’s latest research, based on information gathered from national affiliates, this figure could increase by 14 million if national governments opt for a sudden withdraw of the emergency…

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