Tag Archives: Euro zone

The former Italian PM Conte took up an assignment to try to revive the 5 Star Movement | Instant News

ROME (Reuters) – Former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a technocrat who previously rejected direct affiliation of any party, on Sunday took on the task of reviving the fortunes of the 5 Star Movement as it struggled to find a way out of politics. crisis.

FILE PHOTOS: Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his partner Olivia Paladino leave after an official handover ceremony with upcoming Prime Minister Mario Draghi at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, Italy February 13, 2021. Alberto Pizzoli / Pool via REUTERS

5-star, the largest group in parliament thanks to its victory in the 2018 election when it won 32.7% of the vote, its support has continued to shrink and now stands at around 15%.

His decision this month to support a new national unity government led by former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi further divides and weakens him, sparking defections from members who see him as a betrayal of the original 5-Star anti-establishment identity.

“Giuseppe Conte has accepted the task … putting together a project to re-establish the 5 Star Movement,” the party said after a Rome meeting between Conte and 5-Star top brass including its founder, former comedian Beppe Grillo.

It said Conte would lead a “total restructuring” of 5-Star, which Grillo created in 2009 as an anti-system protest movement.

Ecology and the fight against inequality and corruption will remain the main board of the 5-Star platform, the party said in a message on Facebook, adding that it would work more closely with associations and movements not directly involved in party politics.

Conte is one of the most popular politicians in Italy and has always been close to a 5 star. A survey by the Ipsos agency in January gave him an approval rating of around 56%.

By attributing his fortune to the 5 Star, Conte will lose his previous status as a non-partisan mediator between the 5-Star and the center-left Democratic Party (PD), a key backer of his government that collapsed in January over the coalition. broken.

Nonetheless, he is expected to try to forge a stable alliance with the PD to try to compete with the right-wing party bloc led by the League of Matteo Salvini which is currently leading in the polls. The next election is scheduled for 2023.

After Sunday’s development, it is hoped that Conte will soon be formally appointed as the new 5 Star leader, replacing caretaker Vito Crimi. Alternatively, he or she can join the steering committee together with a small group of other senior members.


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Take AstraZeneca’s ‘fantastic’ vaccine, Germany alerts a skeptical public | Instant News

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government and health chiefs on Friday urged the public to take the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, trying to stem a wave of skepticism about its effectiveness and safety that has left most of the country’s supplies unused.

FILE PHOTOS: AstraZeneca logo reflected in syringe droplets in an illustration taken on November 9, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

Health authorities in several European countries – including Germany – are facing vaccine resistance after side effects including fever and muscle aches caused some front-line workers to admit to illness, putting extra pressure on already stretched health services.

Germany also recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine be given only to people aged 18 to 64, which critics say is counterproductive to efforts to contain the pandemic. EU regulators have declared it safe for all.

“We highly recommend it: this vaccine is safe and effective,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told a news conference.

“… It protects oneself and others, like the other two vaccines,” he added, referring to two other vaccines approved for use by the European Union, from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna.

The health ministry said this week that it delivers only 15% of available injections, confirming concerns that Germany is being selective, slowing down vaccination efforts.

Lothar Wieler, head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, said data from the UK and Israel, where there have been extensive vaccinations with the AstraZeneca drug, show that the product is “very, very effective”.

A study of 500,000 vaccinations in Scotland found that the vaccine reduced hospitalizations by up to 94%, which is “fantastic”, and rejecting it would not be “technically, objectively justified”, he said.

A lackluster reception from AstraZeneca prompted Spahn at the weekend to offer vaccinations to primary school teachers and child care workers earlier than planned.

On the streets of Berlin on Friday, some Germans said they would take it.

“The reports I hear and read about are definitely positive, not just negative,” said Kerstin Schlebthorst. “Yesterday I actually heard someone say that it works differently but is just as safe. I think this has been approached very hysterically. “

Wieler also reminded the public to be vigilant in enforcing social distancing because there is a risk if it doesn’t undermine progress and trigger a third wave of the epidemic.

“We will eradicate serious diseases through vaccinations and immunity and protect ourselves from them, but we will not be able to eradicate them,” he said.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Paul Carrel; Edited by Maria Sheahan and John Stonestreet


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Italy’s MPS seeks to reduce legal risks as the EU considers the viability of the bank | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Monte dei Paschi bank in Siena is seen at the entrance of a bank in Rome, Italy, 16 August 2018. REUTERS / Max Rossi

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Monte dei Paschi (MPS) said on Thursday it was working to reduce its legal risk as the European Union assessed the ability of state-owned banks to stay in business before opening up more public aid.

Italy saved the MPS in 2017 at a cost of 5.4 billion euros ($ 6.6 billion) to taxpayers. Now it stands ready to cover at least part of the 2.5 billion euro shortfall in lenders, but wants to first find a buyer for it.

MPS said it would proceed with a cash call if the merger failed to materialize.

In a statement on Thursday, it said that significant uncertainty was clouding its planned capital increase due to an assessment by the EU competition authority on the bank’s ability to stand on its own.

($ 1 = 0.8212 euros)

Reporting by Valentina Za; Edited by Gareth Jones


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UPDATE 1-Telefonica is in exclusive talks with investors for the Brazilian fiber unit | Instant News

(Write with COO comments)

MADRID, February 25 (Reuters) – Telefonica is in exclusive talks with financial investors about setting up a joint fiber optic venture in Brazil, Chief Operating Officer Angel Vila said Thursday.

The Spanish telecommunications group plans to expand high-speed fiber-optic coverage to more cities in Brazil, following a similar project launched in Germany in partnership with insurance company Allianz.

“Brazil is the size of a continent. Our capital expenditure (capex) will not reach everything, “Vila told Reuters.

After speaking with many potential partners, the company has held exclusive talks with “international operators with a financial and infrastructure profile”, said Vila, declining to name investors.

Talks have progressed, he added, but “in this situation you can never say 100% that you will sign.”

Previously Vila told analysts that the second phase of development could be done through agreements with fiber owners such as the American Tower.

Telefonica is already using the infrastructure of larger US companies in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Vila said they “may be interested in consolidating” the agreement.

Vila said she could not confirm a Bloomberg News report that exclusive talks were held with Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot el placement du Quebec (CDPQ), due to a confidentiality agreement.

“CDPQ is a top class long-term global investor, that would be very attractive,” he added.

American Tower did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CDPQ could not be reached immediately.

Telefonica plans to hold half of the business through Telefonica and its local branch Telefonica Brasil.

Vila told analysts by conference call that it could expand the unit later through acquisitions.

Telefonica cut its dividend after reporting a 10% drop in previous 2020 earnings on Thursday, although it expects business to stabilize this year. (Reporting by Isla Binnie, Eid by Inti Landauro, Kirsten Donovan)


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EUROPEAN POWER – Friday prices rose due to lower German winds, solar power output | Instant News

PARIS, February 25 (Reuters) – European spot electricity prices for delivery on Friday rose on Thursday due to lower forecasts for wind and solar power generation in Germany.

* Over-the-counter baseload prices for Friday delivery in Germany rose 6.2% to 48.30 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) at 1009 GMT.

* France’s future contract added 6.2% to 48.25 euros / MWh.

* Power generation from German wind turbines is expected to fall 1.8 gigawatts (GW) day-on-day to 13.4 GW, while solar generation is expected to drop 2.2 GW to 3.6 GW, Refinitiv data show.

* “We expect wind power output to fall in the first half of the day, and increase in the latter half of tomorrow,” Refinitiv analysts said.

* French wind power supply is expected to increase by 1 GW to 3.6 GW, data show.

* Refinitiv forecast shows the average daily German wind power supply will fall to around 3 GW early next week before rising to 8 GW next Friday.

* France’s nuclear capacity reaches 75% of the total installed.

* More than half of EDF’s nuclear reactors could be operational for a decade longer than planned after maintenance work was carried out, French nuclear security watchdog ASN said on Thursday.

* French electricity demand on Friday is expected to rise 700 megawatts (MW) to 56.9 GW and fall in Germany by 390 MW to 64.2 GW, Refinitiv data show.

* Further along the curve, German Cal ’22 baseload power edged up 0.1% to 53.20 euros / MWh, following higher fuel prices.

* France 2022 contract added 0.2% to 54.25 euros / MWh.

* European CO2 allowances expiring December 2021 edged down 0.1% to 39.10 euros per tonne.

* Coal for northern European delivery in 2022 rose 0.9% to $ 69.1 a tonne, after hitting the highest level since February 1 at $ 69.20 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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