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Daily News – 16.08.2012

EXME 12 / 16.08

Midday Express of 2012-08-16

News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne

Working Time: Commission agrees to extend time for social partners' negotiations on reviewing EU rules

The European Commission has agreed to a joint proposal from the European social partners to extend the negotiating period on reviewing the Working Time Directive to 31 December 2012, given that their negotiations are making progress.

L'Union européenne se mobilise pour protéger l'environnement en Algérie

La Commission européenne a adopté un programme ambitieux de €34 millions en faveur de l'environnement en Algérie. En se focalisant sur la protection de la zone côtière algéroise, qui abrite près de 5 millions d'habitants, le programme vise, en partenariat avec les autorités algériennes, à placer l'environnement et la lutte contre les conséquences du changement climatique (par exemple dans l'aménagement du littoral) au cœur des politiques de développement du pays.

Euro area annual inflation stable at 2.4% and EU 27 stable at 2.5%

Euro area annual inflation was 2.4% in July 2012, stable compared to June. A year earlier the rate was 2.6%. Monthly inflation was -0.5% in July 2012. EU annual inflation was 2.5% in July 2012, also stable compared to June. A year earlier the rate was 2.9%. Monthly inflation was -0.4% in July 2012.

Commission clears acquisition of Fitness First by Oaktree Capital Group and Marathon Asset Management

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of UK-based company Fitness First by Oaktree Capital Group Holdings GP LLC and Marathon Asset Management LP, both US-based companies. Oaktree Capital Group is an alternative and non-traditional investment fund, Marathon Asset Management is an investment fund specialising in distressed and situational investing, and Fitness First operates health and fitness clubs in Europe, the Far East and Australia. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Support for Syrian children in Jordanian schools- feature and photos

Although the international community cannot do much directly in Syria to stop the violence, the EU has over past few months approved €63 million to assist the Syrian population affected by the crisis, mainly helping those who had to flee their homes. Some of the projects we finance and support focus on children of refugees and their education. We have a feature and photo story at your disposal from a Jordanian school in Ramtha, which is one of the many across the country providing remedial courses and recreational activities to children throughout the summer to prepare them to move to the next grade when the school year starts afresh in September.