Recovery fund faces new hurdles with first disbursements

Recovery fund faces new hurdles with first disbursements

The European Commission could find it difficult to transfer the first tranche of the recovery funds to all member states according to its calendar, as most plans are expected to be approved at the same time and there will be limited capacity to borrow from the markets. Last July, the EU’s € 800 billion recovery fund was greeted as a historic deal. But its slow implementation, doubts about its size, problems with its ratification in some member states, especially Germany and Poland, and difficulties in drawing up national recovery plans…

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Sales of drinks soar in England as pubs reopen terraces

Sales of drinks soar in England as pubs reopen terraces

After three months of lockdown, pubs in England hit record sales of beer, wine, and sparkling wine, which were 113% higher on 12 April than on the same day in 2019, the last comparable date before the pandemic took hold. Despite being limited to trading outdoors – just under 40% of premises in Britain have outdoor spaces – this marks a good start for the hospitality sector, according to food and drink insight company CGA. “The first day of trading after England’s lockdown showed a fairly solid performance and demonstrates…

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Free ports and the blockchain come together to speed up seamless trade

Free ports and the blockchain come together to speed up seamless trade

Some say they can boost manufacturing while others claim they are used to launder money and avoid tax. The issue of “free ports” has never been more topical, not least in the post-Brexit era. But are freeports really all they appear to be? What exactly is a free port? Typically, when goods enter a country, they have to follow the import regulations of that country. This often involves a tariff—a tax on those imports. A free port or “free zone” is an area that is inside the geographic boundary of…

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What Belgium’s two ‘milestones’ for relaxations mean

What Belgium’s two ‘milestones’ for relaxations mean

Besides a decreased number of patients in intensive care, two “milestones” in Belgium’s vaccination strategy should also lead to further relaxations, the Consultative Committee decided on Wednesday. Following the restart of schools and the lifting of the non-essential travel ban on 19 April, and the end of the “Easter pause” on 26 April, the next relaxations will be based on milestones in the vaccination campaign, announced Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. First milestone: 70% of over-65s vaccinated “The first milestone is when seven out of ten people over 65 years…

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