Europe

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday announced a second round of sales tax cuts as part of the right-wing government’s efforts to fight inflation after it reached a 21-year high last month, the Associated Press reported. Morawiecki blamed surging consumer prices on high energy costs, saying they are the result of Russian gas prices and the European Union’s policy on greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more
OneWeb Ltd., a U.K.-backed satellite company, has been sued in the U.S. by a former Donald Trump business partner who claims he wasn’t paid for helping to secure rocket-launch rights in Kazakhstan, Bloomberg News reported. Giorgi Rtskhiladze, a Georgian-American businessman, said he played a role in helping OneWeb connect with business and government figures in Kazakstan, who paved the way for the company to launch satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and to operate a ground station for its internet network, according to the lawsuit.
Read more
Taiwan will set up a $1 billion credit program aimed at funding projects by Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies amid economic pressure from China over an office that the island opened in the European Union country, Lithuanian officials said Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. It follows Taiwan’s announcement last week about creating a $200 million investment fund to help Lithuania amid a diplomatic row with Beijing. American and Lithuanian officials say China has blocked imports from the Baltic nation, a close U.S. ally.
Read more
Germany is blaming the collapse of a shipyard business on its Malaysia-based owner Genting Group, saying the conglomerate refused to contribute to a government bailout plan, the Associated Press reported. The MV Werften shipyard in northeastern Germany, which Genting bought in 2016, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday after getting into financial difficulties over the construction of a massive cruise liner. The German government had earlier said it was willing to discuss a 600 million-euro ($678 million) bailout plan that would protect 1,900 jobs.
Read more
Prominent cabinet minister Michael Gove promised tax cuts down the line as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under pressure from senior Tories to reduce the burden on ordinary Britons, Bloomberg News reported. Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Brexit chief David Frost have criticized Johnson’s approach to tax in recent days, with the former calling for the premier to scrap an upcoming increase in payroll taxes to fund the National Health Service. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Frost said Johnson should return to a low-tax agenda.
Read more
Europe’s unemployment rate has fallen below its pre-pandemic level, but a surge in wages this year doesn’t seem likely even though higher inflation has weakened workers’ spending power, according to economists and officials, the Wall Street Journal reported. At 7.3%, the eurozone’s unemployment rate was below pre-pandemic levels in October, having hit a pandemic high of 8.6% in September 2020.
Read more
Portugal will allow students to return to school from this week and nightclubs to reopen on Jan. 14 despite a record surge in COVID-19 cases, with hospital admissions still well below levels seen earlier in the pandemic, Reuters reported. "It is evident that the Omicron variant is less severe ... vaccination has been effective against it," Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference, referring to the fast-spreading variant that emerged in late 2021.
Read more
The impact of the pandemic on the productive fabric has caused that in 2021 a total of 5,496 companies in Spain have been doomed to bankruptcy, despite the fact that the government approved the granting of aid for companies affected by the pandemic and has kept the obligation for companies to present a tender when reaching a situation of insolvency and not being able to cope with debts, CVBJ.biz reported.
Read more
Yesterday’s announcement came as sources claim the Barcelona-based aviation company were facing debts of up to €300 million, TNT Magazine reported. Lawyers for the company are reportedly keen to avoid being forced into involuntary bankruptcy by creditors. Last weekend saw travel chaos as close to 20,000 passengers were stranded with just a few hours notice. Spanair employs around 4,000 people and is the 4th largest airline in Spain.
Read more
Euro zone bond yields edged up on Friday and kept near recent highs as annual December inflation in the bloc jumped unexpectedly to another record high, Reuters reported. Consumer prices in the bloc rose 5% annually in December, defying analyst expectations that inflation had likely peaked and the fall to 4.7% from 4.9% in November that a Reuters poll had expected.
Read more