Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition! I already did.
It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Europe and the World

EU considers 'pause for thought' on GMOs

EU environment ministers have failed to agree to force Austria to lift a national ban on GMOs, highlighting deep divisions among the 27-member bloc over the issue.

For the third time in a row since 2005, the environment ministers failed, on 30 October 2007, to find a qualified majority for or against a Commission proposal to lift restrictions on the provisional prohibition of the use and sale in Austria of two genetically modified (GM) varieties of maize. It will now be up to the Commission to make the decision.

The Commission proposed forcing Austria to drop its national ban onimporting two types of GM maize (MON810 and T25) and processing them into food and feed in order to conform to WTO rules (see EurActiv 19/12/2006). (source)

On that you may want to check this too.

My comment: Now, this is an important one! I was considering publishing it in a separate post but I don't have the time. Please, do check the sources on this as I think it's EXTREMELY important! I don't understand how WTO can force any country to import things that that country finds not safe for it's population. I hope Austria holds steady on this. It's not even question of GMo /which I think unsafe/ but of not interference with a country's internal politics! You simply can't force a country to open its market for something. Especially when that something has the same property of creating its own market like the cocaine! It's wrong! And yeah, so WTO can't protect the interest of Austria, but it can do it for USA and the rest?! Come on! That's wrong!!!

EU overtakes US in productivity growth

For the first time since 2001, the EU has outstripped the US in
productivity growth, according to a recent competitiveness report from
the European Commission that sees Europe 'on a growth path'.

The EU hailed its best economic performance since 2000 with growthrates
at 3% and worker productivity growing strongly at 1.5% in
2006,according to the Commission's annual competitiveness report,
published on 5 November. Productivity grew stronger in the EU than in
the US (1.4%) in what the Commission hopes is a "long-term trend". (source)

My comment: YAY! Go, Europe, go! No need to tell this is probably mostly due to the emigrants from the new members...

Germany plans law against foreign takeovers

Germany plans to introduce a law preventing takeovers of strategic industries, in a move directed against sovereign wealth

funds orginating in countries such as Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and China. The law also targets hedge funds and state holdings from non-EU countries, such as Russia's Gazprom.

The law would give the German federal governement the right to veto any foreign investment amounting to 25% or more of a company's stakes. When such an investment is notified, the government would have four weeks to
either approve or veto it. In cases of secretive investments on stock markets, the governement would have three months to decide and could even call for a roll-back of the deal - a move that is intended to encourage foreign investors to notify partial takeover bids. (source)
My comment: Well, it's the normal thing to do-if foreign investors control industries that are essential to the life, they can easily put a country on its knees. So I'm with that idea!

One Europe, one tax: plans for a common consolidated corporate tax base

A Commission plan to introduce a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) is likely to benefit large enterprises but smaller companies will be "out of their depth" when choosing between national and European systems, according to a new Deutsche Bank Research paper by Frank Zipfel.

The 25 September paper admits that the plan to harmonise the corporate income tax base, due to be unveiled before the end of the year, could potentially help companies cut their tax compliance costs.

However, he fears that the CCCTB will cause higher administrative costs for public sector authorities in the participating countries.
Moreover, he warns that a CCCTB involves "considerable curtailment of the member states' tax autonomy", and as decisions relating to taxes require unanimity, he believes that "the chances of a CCCTB being realised for the EU-27 are rather small". (source)
My comment: I'm not sure if that can be done currently, but I'm sure it should be done! So the least we can do is to start working for it...

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