Europe

European Central Bank policymakers still see the recent inflation surge as temporary, but a growing number appear to be acknowledging the risk that price growth may exceed their relatively benign projections, Reuters reported. Inflation hit 3% last month, well above the ECB's 2% target, and could even climb to 3.5% by November, but the bank then sees a rapid drop that will drag price growth back below 2% for years to come. A surge in commodity prices, supply bottlenecks and growing signs of labour shortages are, however, challenging this "hump-shaped" profile for consumer price growth.

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France urged its European Union partners to consider whether to delay negotiations on the bloc’s future trade agreement with Australia over what Paris says is a lack of trust sparked by a major defense deal among the U.S., Australia and Britain, the Associated Press reported. French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said that he would raise the trade pact and the security implications of the deal, known as AUKUS, at a meeting with his counterparts in Brussels, and that France would ensure that it is discussed at EU summits and ministerial meetings next month.

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Adria Bankruptcy to Be Concluded by 2024

The bankruptcy procedure of Slovenia’s former national carrier, Adria Airways, will be concluded within the next three years, according to its administrator, Janez Pustatičnik, Ex-Yu Aviation News reported. Adria Airways’ creditors have reported 151 million euros in claims against the company. However, Mr. Pustatičnik has approved only 87.7 million euros in claims. Among them, the largest claim, at 6.6 million euros, has been made by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines. Jet owner AeroCentury has four million euros in claims, while the Rolls Royce Corporation has 2.2 million.

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The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal filed by ex-president of VIM Airlines Rashid Mursekayev and his wife Svetlana against a ruling declaring them bankrupt, according to court records, RAPSI reported. The Moscow Commercial Court declared the spouses bankrupt in late May. The asset-sale procedure was introduced in their case for six months. In November 2020, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow issued an arrest warrant for co-owner of VIM Airlines Svetlana Mursekayeva in absentia on scale credit fraud charges.

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ITA Prepares to Bid for Alitalia’s Brand

The change of the guard between the historic Alitalia and the newly created ITA as Italian flag carrier is less than a month away, but the situation is far from defined, airlinegeeks.com reported. Alitalia is going through its bankruptcy procedure and will stop flying on Oct. 15; on the same date, new state-owned carrier Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will take over some of its routes and will begin its adventure with 52 aircraft and 2,800 employees, putting it at roughly half the size of its predecessor.

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The U.K.’s grid operator delayed the restart of a key power cable from France by almost a month, potentially deepening the nation’s energy crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Half the capacity of the IFA-1 U.K.-France line will come online Oct. 23, following a fire that knocked out the conduit earlier this month, National Grid Plc said in a remit notice. It had originally targeted Sept. 25 for the partial restart. Full 2,000-megawatt capacity is not expected until March 27. The delay comes as the U.K.

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The U.K. energy industry is facing a wave of bankruptcies amid a gas-supply crunch that has sent electricity prices soaring, leaving suppliers vulnerable, OilPrice.com reported. Since the start of the year, seven electricity suppliers in the country have gone under, Bloomberg reports, because of failing to hedge against price hikes. This meant that they sold electricity to clients at lower prices than the current ones. They must now buy it expensively and then sell it cheaply, which is the fastest way to bankruptcy.

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The World Economic Forum will return to the Swiss ski resort of Davos in 2022, after the pandemic forced organizers to shift to Singapore and then cancel their meeting altogether this year, Bloomberg News reported. The in-person event is scheduled for Jan. 17-21 and designed “to address economic, environmental, political and social fault lines exacerbated by the pandemic,” the group said on Thursday. It is working with the Swiss government and health experts to establish the appropriate safety measures.

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The Council of Romania’s Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) on Sept. 17 withdrew the operating license of City Insurance, the country’s biggest insurer that owes its position to the massive portfolio of mandatory car insurances, bne Intellinews reported. The ASF will now initiate bankruptcy procedures against City. The Romanian insurer, set up and controlled until June by Romanian businessman Dan Odobescu, the brother-in-law of former prime minister Adrian Nastase, failed to observe the recovery strategies required by the ASF in June.

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On Aug. 3, the Council of Ministers finally approved the long-awaited bill for the adaptation of our insolvency legislation to EU Directive 2019/1023 regarding preventive restructuring frameworks, discharge of debt and disqualifications, according to commentary published by The Corner. In addition, measures to increase the efficiency of procedures concerning restructuring, insolvency and discharge of debt. Great hopes had been placed on it because it was thought that it would help to save companies that, although going through a difficult patch, were viable.

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