Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘German’

MEPs debated German Presidency’s animal welfare priorities with Julia Klöckner

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 novembre 2020

EU rules on protection of animals during transport have been legitimately criticised and they clearly need to be improved and revised, Minister Klöckner told MEPs. The current law has been interpreted too freely in many aspects, she said, and insisted on clear and more binding rules. She also informed MEPs that she had asked the Commission to tackle this problem as a matter of urgency.The German Council Presidency will also be pushing for an EU-wide animal welfare labelling, as mentioned also in the Farm to Fork strategy, Minister Klöckner said. The label should inform consumers about the added value of the product in terms of animal welfare, she explained, adding that she would like the Council to adopt conclusions on this matter in December.While many MEPs who took the floor agreed that existing EU rules should be revised to improve the welfare of transported animals within the EU but also beyond its borders, some of them insisted that it should not lead to bans on transport to non-EU countries.Several speakers called for transporting carcasses, or meat and meat products instead of live animals whenever possible. Others insisted on ensuring that imports from non-EU countries are subject to equally high animal welfare standards as those applicable in the EU. Ways to improve and harmonise controls across the EU and at its borders, but also in non-EU countries, for instance on resting or watering facilities, and to support shorter supply chains and local slaughterhouses were also discussed.

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German Constitutional Court ruling and primacy of EU law

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 luglio 2020

Legal Affairs and Constitutional Affairs Committees took stock of the impact of the 5 May 2020 German Constitutional Court ruling on the EU legal order and examined potential courses of action.The hearing brought together MEPs from the two competent European Parliament Committees and a number of experts, with a view to discussing the legal and constitutional consequences of the ruling from an EU law perspective. Markus Ludwigs (Julius-Maximilians-Universität in Würzburg), Renáta Uitz (Central European University in Budapest), Diana Urania Galetta (University of Milan) and Joseph H.H. Weiler (NYU School of Law & Harvard Centre for European Studies) presented their views and answered MEPs’ questions during the ensuing discussion.The discussion focused mainly on the validity of the judgment in light of a series of issues around its legal reasoning and the way it applied (or failed to apply) general principles of EU law, such as the principles of conferral and proportionality, the delimitation competences between the EU and the member states, and the uniform and equal application of EU law. MEPs inquired about ways to redress the situation and manage consequences on the EU’s legal system. Several MEPs and guest speakers examined the option of an infringement procedure being launched by the Commission, while also aiming to reduce the probability of similar instances in the future by improving legal dialogue.References were made to the impact that a potential treaty review could have in addressing EU legal order issues and the role of the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe in this regard. Many highlighted that action is required to prevent the erosion that can take place if diverging views on the supremacy of EU law, the rule of law, national constitutional identities and the future of the EU itself go unchecked.

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Joint hearing on the consequences of the German Constitutional Court decision

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 13 luglio 2020

Brussels Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 9.30 – 11.00 European Parliament in Brussels, Altiero Spinelli building, room 1G-3, with remote participation. The hearing will bring together MEPs from the two competent European Parliament Committees and a number of experts, with a view to discussing the legal and constitutional consequences of this ruling from an EU law perspective. Markus Ludwigs (Julius-Maximilians-Universität in Würzburg), Renáta Uitz (Central European University in Budapest), Diana Urania Galetta (University of Milan) and Joseph H.H. Weiler (NYU School of Law & Harvard Centre for European Studies) will present their views and answer MEPs’ questions during the ensuing discussion.
On 5 May 2020, the Second Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court delivered a judgement concerning the implementation in Germany of the bond-buying programme of the European Central Bank (ECB), declaring that the public assets purchases programme (PSPP) exceeds the competences of the ECB. Although this ruling does not affect the ability of the ECB and the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) to continue the implementation of the programme, it has put in question the role and attributions of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in the constitutional architecture of the European Union, and to a certain extent, the primacy of EU law.

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COVID-19 and German constitutional court decision top meeting with ECB’s Lagarde

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 10 giugno 2020

MEPs quizzed ECB President Christine Lagarde for the first time since the pandemic and the German constitutional court’s ruling on the ECB’s bondbuying programme.During the quarterly ‘Monetary Dialogue’ with Ms Lagarde on Monday, Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs focused almost exclusively on the ECB’s actions to dampen the pandemic’s negative effects on the economy and the decision of the German constitutional court on the ECB’s Public Sector Purchase Programme.Whereas numerous MEPs supported the ECB’s decisions to launch and recently strengthen its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), seeing it as essential to the EU’s economies, others mentioned various reasons why the Bank had done too much too soon. The detractors cautioned against the risk of providing cheap money to multinationals and environmentally dirty companies, allowing national governments to avoid providing fiscal stimuli, and continuing to penalise lenders and savers by keeping interest rates very low.Numerous MEPs asked about the effects of the German constitutional court’s unprecedented decision in May to dismiss a ruling of the European Court of Justice on the ECB’s Public Support Purchase Programme launched in 2015 to stabilise the Eurozone.A few MEPs asked how the concerns raised by the constitutional court would affect the need for the ECB to be held more accountable, namely through its relations with the European Parliament. Others asked about the potential effects on how the ECB would structure its other purchase programme (the PEPP), going forwards.

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Best’s Market Segment Report: AM Best Assigns Negative Outlook to German Life Market

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 5 aprile 2019

AM Best has assigned a negative outlook to the German life insurance market. This reflects pressure from low interest rates remaining the key challenge for the sector, insurers’ limited ability to decrease reliance on traditional policies and operating results remaining under pressure. A new Best’s Market Segment Report, titled “Market Segment Outlook: Germany Life” states the European Central Bank’s decision to maintain favourable liquidity conditions gives little reason to expect rates to rise in the near term. In this environment, the large duration gap on life policies sold in the past makes the guarantees of these policies increasingly costly. As a result, more and more German life insurers have de-emphasised the sale of these products. As insurers explore optimal solutions to manage their back-books, AM Best expects more portfolios to be placed in run-off, potentially leading to market consolidation.The report also looks at the impact of the German government approving an amendment to reserving rules in October 2018, introducing an interest rate corridor that effectively decreased the required Zinszusatzreserve (ZZR) contributions from 2018. ZZR is an additional interest rate reserve introduced in 2011, to ensure insurers reserve more effectively for high guaranteed crediting rates during periods of low interest rates. Whilst the recent change will substantially ease the strain on reported operating performance of German life insurers under local GAAP reporting in coming years, results will remain under pressure. AM Best views the economic solvency position of German life insurers as better represented by Solvency II (SII) reporting after excluding transitional measures, although aspects of SII remain problematic. The aggregated balance sheet of the German life segment remains strong, as measured by SII.AM Best anticipates that the German life insurance sector will continue to address its vulnerability to the low interest-rate environment and its correlated issues by reducing its cost structure as well as focusing on capital-light products. The majority of German life insurance players are attempting to reduce cost by advancing their digital and technological capabilities in order to improve agility and achieve efficiencies that will mostly originate from increased automation and streamlined processes.

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Catella: Positive outlook for German real estate markets in 2018

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 23 gennaio 2018

catella10Rising rents, falling vacancy rates, residential climbing to third-strongest asset class, retail under pressure.The latest overview of the 2018 German rental and investment markets from Catella Research shows that the economic situation is supporting the positive trend.The nation is in a very good position economically, with a recent correction of the GDP growth forecast to 2.2% by 2019. The boom is becoming more dynamic due to very good consumer conditions and higher exports rates. Expected wage agreements in the coming quarters lead us to believe that the consumption rate in Germany will be at a very high level for the seventh year in a row.For the next four quarters, Catella Research expects a similarly high uptake of office space, even though the strong focus on CBDs until now is shifting towards outskirts/arterial roads/development areas.We expect:
– A significant decline in vacancies due to strong take-up and refurbishment (including repurposing for residential use).
– A slight increase of prime rents in the new-build/first-time occupancy segment (+1.5%) for 2018.
– Excellent economic growth will be apparent in existing properties, where average rents will increase by approximately 2.5% for new contracts or extensions (after refurbishment).
– A slight decrease in transaction volume due to extended due diligence, a shift towards portfolios, and foreign investors causing significant internationalisation of the market.
– By mid-2018 yields will sink to approximately 3.25% in the top 7 markets because of the increasingly competitive position, premium mark-ups for trophy buildings and portfolios becoming the norm.“No question. The socio-economic signs for 2018 could not be better; the quantifiable risks are included in this,” says Dr. Thomas Beyerle, Head of Group Research at Catella. He continues, “No significant interest rate increase is currently expected, but instead an increasingly competitive market in which the quality of the properties is slightly declining. The boom in residential investments will sustain throughout 2018. By the end of the year, retail could lose its traditional second spot in turnover rankings to the residential segment,” Beyerle predicts.Investments in retail properties will come under strong pressure, and Beyerle expects a price correction. Investors are increasingly seeing short-term leases, even in prime locations, and are faced with structurally decreasing footfall, a lack of innovation, and underestimation of consumer digitalisation.

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Security: committee debate with French and German ministers

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 marzo 2017

Network-SecurityGerman federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière and French Minister of the Interior Matthias Fekl will debate EU measures to improve the security situation in Europe and future challenges in the field with the Civil Liberties Committee. Effective protection of the EUs external borders, ensuring complete interoperability of all EU information systems, enhanced police cooperation among member states, the use of encryption and the need to revise the EU 2013 Cybersecurity strategy and prevent radicalisation are expected to be among the issues debated with the two ministers.

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Catella wins prestigious German real estate award

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 marzo 2017

catella10Catella has been awarded a real estate prize in the Refurbishment category for its Living Circle project at the Real Estate Managers 2017 event in Germany. Catella’s Living Circle project is one of the biggest conversions of office space into residential in Germany, and won in competition with projects by major developers. The imAward 2017 event, arranged by German magazine Immobilienmanager, took place on March 2 in Cologne, with 420 invited guests. The awards started in 2009 and have evolved to become the most significant in the German real estate business. The jury, consisting of 14 specialists, chose Catella’s Living Circle project in the Refurbishment category with the motivation:
“Catella solved two challenges with the Living Circle project. The urban challenge: the old “Thyssen Trade Center” in Dusseldorf had been an empty office building since 2011 and was not usable for new tenants. The market challenge: the residential market in Dusseldorf has a high demand surplus for affordable housing. Dusseldorf needs more housing to regulate the local market. Instead of demolition, the award winners decided for a conversion of the existing office building and to keep the landmark character of the architecture. The inner courtyards offer green oases with a high-quality environment, including a kindergarten and supermarket. The central location also provides close connection in all directions. The exceptional rents represent another important fact: 20% of the apartments are price capped with a maximum rent of EUR 8.50/m2, and the rest have an average rent of only EUR 11.65/m2, which is also below market rents. The Living Circle is one of the biggest conversion projects from office to apartments ever realised in Germany. Moreover, it is the first development in Dusseldorf to apply the rent policy concept.” “This project was extremely challenging for our team and required a lot of work. But the result has been worth it – a unique and sustainable investment product. The fact that the jury decided on our project against this tough competition gives us even greater motivation in further projects,” says Klaus Franken, Head of German Project Management at Catella. (photo: catella)

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German Nation Brand Devalued by US$191 Billion Following VW Scandal

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 ottobre 2015

volkswagenThe revelation that as many as 11 million diesel vehicles have been fitted with software designed to deceive emissions testers, has dealt a hammer blow not just to Volkswagen’s reputation but to the entire German nation brand. Germany has lost its position as the most powerful nation brand according to Brand Finance. The firm, which specialises in brand valuation and strategy, evaluates the financial impact of the image and reputation of the top 100 countries, publishing the results in an annual study, the Brand Finance Nation Brands report. The report shows measurable damage to the long-term financial potential of ‘brand Germany’. Its value has dropped by US$191 billion to US$4.2 trillion, down 4% on 2014.“German industry is lauded for its efficiency and reliability while Germans as a whole are seen as hard-working, honest and law abiding. That such an iconic German brand, the ‘people’s car’, could behave in this way is beginning to undo decades of accumulated goodwill and cast aspersions over the practices of German industry, making the Siemens bribery scandal appear less a one-off than evidence of a broader malaise” said Brand Finance’s CEO, David Haigh.Until this episode, 2015 had actually been a fairly positive year for Germany’s international reputation and the prospects of its nation brand. Germany has garnered worldwide admiration for its receptivity to Syrian migrants. This influx of generally young people and families will provide a fillip for Germany’s labour force, though the goodwill generated by sympathetic stance has been overshadowed by VW’s deception.Replacing Germany as the world’s most powerful nation brand is Singapore. As the city-state celebrates its 50th anniversary its citizens can be rightly proud of the nation they have created. The chief architect was of course Lee Kwan You. The vision, pragmatism, longevity, intolerance of corruption and relative benevolence of the country’s first prime minister and elder statesman are widely seen as the key reasons for its success. Haigh continues, “Though the passing of Lee Kuan Yew in March this year is a sad loss, he leaves a legacy that few can hope to better. Singapore is now seen as modern, innovative, industrious, welcoming to outsiders and increasingly culturally rich and has left its neighbours, including Malaysia (from which Singapore was ejected 50 years ago) far behind it.”
Though some way off the top spot, the fastest growing nation brand this year is Iran. Its brand value is up 59% to US$159 billion as Hassan Rouhani’s moderate approach slowly shifts international perceptions of the country’s potential and eases restrictive sanctions. A fractious relationship with Sunni states will remain an impediment to trade and investment locally but with a market of 77 million people, vast hydrocarbon reserves and a highly educated population, Iran certainly has a receptive audience globally.
David Haigh comments, “Iran will need to assiduously manage its communications with its newfound suitors making a carefully assessed nation branding strategy almost as important as traditional diplomacy. Managed correctly, Iran’s ancient treasures, sophisticated population, strategic location and natural assets could be used to transform its reputation.”Though Singapore is the most powerful brand, being closer to its full potential than any other nation, in sheer value terms The US remains dominant. It is the most valuable nation brand, with a national brand value of US$19.7 trillion. The USA is undoubtedly a powerful brand with an inviting business climate, however its value comes in large part from the country’s sheer economic scale. Not only is there a large, wealthy market predisposed to ‘buy American’ but also an unrivalled group of established companies and organisations exporting worldwide whose American heritage forms (to a lesser or greater extent) part of their appeal. The US’ world-leading higher education system and the soft power arising from its dominance of the music and entertainment industries are significant contributors too. This soft power will help the US to retain the most valuable nation brand for some time after China’s seemingly imminent rise to become the world’s biggest economy.

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Independent report finds Dutch and German development banks failed to comply with environmental and human rights standards in financing the Barro Blanco dam in Panama

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 giugno 2015

Kiad, panamaAmsterdam/Bogota – Last Friday, a long-awaited report by an independent panel found that FMO and DEG, the Dutch and German development banks, violated their own policies by failing to adequately assess the risks to indigenous rights and the environment before approving a US$50 million loan to GENISA, the developer of the Barro Blanco hydroelectric project in Panama. FMO and DEG’s response to the findings, while acknowledging some deficiencies in their assessment, does not commit to any measures to address the outstanding policy violations. Even while the report concludes that “the lenders have not taken the resistance of the affected communities seriously enough,” it appears that FMO and DEG continue to do so.
In May 2014, the Movimiento 10 de Abril (M-10), representing indigenous peoples directly affected by the project, with the support of Both ENDS and SOMO, filed the first complaint to the Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM) of the FMO and DEG. The complaint alleges that the Barro Blanco dam will affect part of the Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous territory, flooding their homes, schools, and religious, archaeological, and cultural sites. Despite national and international human rights obligations, the Panamanian government, GENISA and the banks failed to obtain the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of the Ngöbe-Buglé before the project was approved. The ICM found that the “lenders should have sought greater clarity on whether there was consent to the project from the appropriate indigenous authorities prior to project approval.”
“We did not give our consent to this project before it was approved, and it does not have our consent today,” said Manolo Miranda, a representative of the M-10. “We demand that the government, GENISA, and the banks respect our rights and stop this project.” The ICM found that “while the [loan] agreement was reached prior to significant construction, significant issues related to social and environmental impact and, in particular, issues related to the rights of indigenous peoples were not completely assessed prior to the [loan] agreement.” The banks’ failure to identify the potential impacts of the project led to a subsequent failure to require their client to take any action to mitigate those impacts. The environmental and social action plan (ESAP) appended to the loan agreement “contains no provision on land acquisition and resettlement and nothing on biodiversity and natural resources management. Neither does it contain any reference to issues related to cultural heritage.”
“This failure constitutes a violation of international standards regarding the obligation to elaborate adequate and comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessments before implementing any development project, in order to guarantee the right to free, prior and informed consent, information and effective participation of the potentially affected community”, explained Ana María Mondragón, lawyer at the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA).
While FMO and DEG acknowledged in their official response to the ICM’s report that they “were not fully appraised at credit approval,” they made no further concrete commitments to ensure that the rights of those affected by the dam will be respected. The banks claim that they are “facing limitations in their influence” over government processes to come to a satisfactory agreement with all stakeholders involved. Their actions, however, reveal a different story.
In February, the Panamanian government provisionally suspended construction of the Barro Blanco dam. Subsequent to the suspension, the government convened a dialogue table with the Ngöbe-Buglé, with the facilitation of the United Nations, to discuss the future of the project. Rather than encouraging the Government of Panama to respect the rights of the Ngöbe-Buglé, FMO and DEG have requested that Panama’s environmental authority reconsider the suspension and allow their client to resume construction. In February, they sent a letter to the Vice President of Panama, expressing their “great concern and consternation” about the suspension and noting that it “may weigh upon future investment decisions, and harm the flow of long-term investments into Panama.”

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German chancellor visits Guangzhou

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 8 febbraio 2012

(Ucan) German chancellor Angela Merkel, on an official visit to China, encouraged the Bishop of Guangzhou on February 4 to engage more in social service to help build a harmonious society based on freedom and equality.Bishop Joseph Gan Junqiu of Guangzhou met Merkel for 30 minutes after showing her round the gothic Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, commonly known as the Stone House Church, built in 1888.“Merkel asked about the basic condition of Guangzhou diocese and the Church in Guangdong province, such as the number of Catholics, their age, occupations and what activities do they have besides regular Masses,” Bishop Gan said.

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