EXME 12 / 30.04
Midday Express of 2012-04-30
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Tomorrow, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will begin a two-day visit to Kenya during which he will address the issues related to food insecurity in Kenya and in the Horn of Africa region, which is often affected by recurrent drought. The Commissioner will present an EU initiative, called "Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE)", which will help people in the Horn of Africa to recover from the recent drought and to strengthen their ability -and that of the regional economy- to better withstand future crises.
The European Commission is giving an additional €20 million to assist victims of last year's monsoon floods in Pakistan and people displaced by recent military interventions. This will provide shelter, food, healthcare, clean water and sanitation. It brings the Commission's 2012 humanitarian funding to Pakistan to €55 million.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Police / Vice-President of the Commission, has today inaugurated the Office of the European Union to Myanmar, in the presence of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Chief Minister of Yangon Region U Myint Swe. In her opening remarks she stressed that the office demonstrates the commitment of the European Union to Burma/Myanmar and the ongoing reform process.
Merger: Commission clears acquisition of of FluxSwiss by GIP and FLUXYS G
The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by US companies Global Infrastructure Partners-A1 LP, Global Infrastructure Partners-B LP and Global Infrastructure Partner-C LP ("GIP") and Belgian company Fluxys G of Swiss company FluxSwiss SA. Currently FluxSwiss is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fluxys. GIP is an investment fund specialised in infrastructure and infrastructure-related assets worldwide. Fluxys, which is ultimately controlled by the Belgian Publigas, is the holding company of a multinational group of companies which own and operate natural gas transmission infrastructure in Europe. FluxSwiss manages a natural gas pipeline in Switzerland. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.
Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 2.6% in April 2012 according to a flash estimate issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. It was 2.7% in March.
Computation of flash estimates Euro area inflation is measured by the Monetary Union Index of Consumer Prices (MUICP). To compute the MUICP flash estimates, Eurostat uses early price information relating to the reference month from Member States for which data are available4 as well as early information about energy prices. The flash estimation procedure for the MUICP combines historical information with partial information on price developments in the most recent months to give a total index for the euro area. No detailed breakdown is available. Experience has shown the procedure to be reliable (19 times exactly anticipating the inflation rate and 5 times differing by 0.1 over the last two years).
In the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the third quarter of 2011, the household saving rate increased while the household investment rate remained almost unchanged in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In the euro area, household disposable income decreased by 0.4% in real terms, after -0.3% in the previous quarter.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with the third quarter of 2011, the business investment rate decreased in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27. In the euro area, the business profit share declined, as wage costs increased while value added fell slightly.
The Commission has closed an in-depth investigation opened in January 2012 (see IP/12/29) into the proposed acquisition of a branch of the Italian state-owned ferry group Tirrenia by Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione ("CIN") of Italy, after the parties abandoned the notified transaction. CIN was initially created as a joint-venture between Tirrenia's main competitors, Grimaldi, Marinvest and Onorato Partecipazioni. Grimaldi and Marinvest now withdrew from CIN. A new transaction, involving the remaining shareholder Onorato Partecipazioni and possibly other new shareholders is expected to be notified to the competent competition authority.
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