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Daily News – 18.08.2008

Midday Express of 2008-08-18

European Commission - 18/08/2008

EXME08 / 18.08

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

18 / 08 / 08

  • Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, today welcomed the release of the opposition politician Alyaksandr Kazulin.

“This is a positive step, long expected by the European Union. Alyaksandr Kazulin’s imprisonment was in direct breach of Belarus’ international human rights obligations. I also expect the immediate release of the remaining political prisoners in Belarus. I very much hope that Mr Kazulin’s release will help to create a positive momentum in EU-Belarussian relations.”

  • Commission clears acquisition of Xella by Goldman Sachs and PAI

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition of joint control of Xella International GmbH of Germany Goldman Sachs Group Inc of the USA and PAI Partners SAS of France. Goldman Sachs is active in global investment banking and financial services. PAI is active in private equity. Xella produces building materials for walls and limestone products. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

The first estimate for the euro area trade balance with the rest of the world in June 2008 gave a €0.1 billion deficit, compared with +7.5 bn in June 2007. The May 2008 balance was -3.9 bn, compared with +1.2 bn in May 2007. In June 2008 compared with May 2008, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.4% and imports by 2.9%. The first estimate for the June 2008 extra-EU trade balance was a deficit of €20.1 bn, compared with -9.1 bn in June 2007. In May 2008, the balance was -21.3 bn, compared with -15.0 bn in May 2007. In June 2008 compared with May 2008, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.5% and imports by 2.7%. These data are released by Eurostat.

Rediffusion

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en vertu du règlement CE sur les concentrations, la création d'une entreprise commune, qui sera dénommée Capacity Allocation Service Company for Central Western Europe («CASC»), par CEGEDEL Net S.A. (Luxembourg), ELIA System Operator SA/NV (Belgique), EnBW Transportnetze AG (Allemagne), E.ON Netz GmbH (Allemagne), RTE EDF Transport SA (France), RWE Transportnetz Strom GmbH ( Allemagne) et TenneT TSO BV ( Pays-Bas). Toutes les parties sont des exploitants de réseaux de transport d'électricité, chargés du fonctionnement des réseaux à haute tension dans leur zone de contrôle respective. Après avoir examiné l'opération, la Commission est parvenue à la conclusion que le projet n'entraverait pas de manière significative l'exercice d'une concurrence effective dans l'Espace économique européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui ci.

  • Autre matériel diffusé

• Memo sur Nomination par la junte au pouvoir en Mauritanie d'un nouveau Premier Ministre: un signe négatif

A disposition au secrétariat de Jonathan Todd (BERL 03/315):

Notification préalable d'une opération de concentration :

ACEA / ONDEO ITALIA / ACQUE BLU JV

DIEHL / THALES / LAUPHEIM

CLN/WAGON/WM JV

INDAVER/ NEIF/ JV

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