Europe

Angela Merkel’s tenure will be remembered as Germany’s, and Europe’s, cruelest paradox: On the one hand, she dominated the continent’s politics like no other peacetime leader — and is leaving the German chancellery considerably more powerful than she had found it. But the way she built up this power condemned Germany to secular decline and the European Union to stagnation, according to a commentary in Jacobin. There is no doubt that Germany is today stronger politically and economically than it was when Merkel became chancellor back in 2005.

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Irish EU Commissioner Mairéad McGuinness has warned U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to abandon his threats to set aside Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit special trade status, the Independent.ie reported. McGuinness was speaking after a visit to London for talks on the U.K.’s money market status in the EU after Brexit, which included a meeting with British finance minister Rishi Sunak. She said the EU will soon publish new proposals to deal with practical problems on the North’s trade with England, Scotland and Wales, especially focused on ensuring medical supplies.

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More and more Netherlands residents have foreign savings accounts, the NL Times reported. This was reported by financial comparison site Geld.nl based on its own research. In recent months, in particular, foreign banks active in the Netherlands have seen their products become more popular. According to Geld.nl, this is because they offer relatively high interest rates. “If you look at the savings accounts, the top five with the highest interest rates are all accounts from foreign banks,” said expert Amanda Bulthuis of Geld.nl.

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Governments around the world have long encouraged motorists to buy electric cars. Now they are starting to grapple with a consequence of the green drive: dwindling income from fuel taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. Several countries have sought to phase out gasoline and diesel cars by offering tax and other incentives to drivers who buy new electric vehicles, part of broader efforts to cut carbon emissions. But in places where more EVs are hitting the road, income from fuel taxes, which often accounts for a significant chunk of public revenue, is falling.

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Orange2Fly Applies for Bankruptcy

Orange2Fly charter flight airline has filed for bankruptcy, ekathimerini.com reported. The Greek carrier, which was set up in September 2015 with share capital of 200,000 euros, has a fleet of four Airbus A320 aircraft, but in those six years of operation it failed to strengthen its financial report. In 2020 it had a negative net position of 7.8 million euros, with accumulated losses of 9.5 million euros and total obligations of 11.6 million euros.

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A Moscow inspection of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) filed a bankruptcy application against the owner of the Tavern Taras Bulba restaurant chain, Yury Beloivan, who had been put on the international wanted list in a tax-evasion case, according to the Moscow Commercial Court’s records, RAPSI reported. Earlier, the court had scheduled Beloivan’s claim for his own bankruptcy for November 8.

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Based on similar cases in the past, Ziarul Financiar daily estimates that the damages left by bankrupt insurer City Insurance will reach RON 2.5bn (EUR 500 mln), Romania-Insider.com reported. Based on existing regulations, the mutual guarantee funds for the insurance industry (FGA) are supposed to cover the bankrupt insurer's liabilities, using its reserves set aside for such situations. The government on September 22 passed an emergency ordinance to allow FGA to disburse money faster, before the final bankruptcy of the insurer (as stipulated under existing regulations).

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Spanish airport operator Aena could lose up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion) of revenues between 2020 and 2025 after Spain passed a law on Thursday pegging retail tenants' rent to air traffic until footfall reaches pre-pandemic levels, Reuters reported. The much-disputed minimum annual guaranteed rents owed to Aena will be reduced in direct proportion to the passenger flow in each local airport, according to the text of the law, and will remain as such until travel returns to 2019 figures.

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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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