Italy EU – Plastica Italia Sat, 18 Sep 2021 16:10:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Italy EU – Plastica Italia 32 32 Where does Italy stand in the ranking of purchasing countries / making sustainable (in Europe)? Sat, 18 Sep 2021 13:39:51 +0000

Photo credit: Edward Berthalot – Getty Images

Influence of contagion on fashion, environmental activism and awareness of the ravages of fast fashion. To what extent and how has our style of shopping changed today? Well, if it was a classroom, most of us would have raised our hands by now, “My shopping style is more sustainable” (a lot is expected of that). The statement will make the designer smile (with obvious satisfaction) Vivian Westwood, champion of environmental sustainability, always with the motto “Choose well, buy less, keep it in time” Description of the method. But as we start to become more and more people in Italy who prefer ethical and sustainable fashion brands over fast fashion, let’s ask ourselves: Where is Italy on the list of the best countries for sustainable purchasing?

The question is answered in a new study, Retail sale of luxury cashmere. Analyzes monthly research in 64 countries and compiles the source List of the 10 best countries in Europe Sustainable purchasing. Warning: However, this does not mean that Europe has a world leader. Indeed, the greenest buyer in the world is the United States with 29,700 searches on the net related to the question of “sustainable shopping”. Then there is Europe, with a total of several states with 74,130 monthly searches.

Photo credit: Imaxtree

Only 10 European countries are included in the ranking of the best countries for sustainable purchasing Find out where Italy is: In issue # 5. Belfast is preceded by: the United Kingdom (with 24,500 monthly searches), Ireland (1,060), Germany (1,010) and the Netherlands (830). That’s up to Italy, which ranks fifth with 740 monthly searches. Then, from top to bottom, follow: France, Denmark, Spain, Sweden – perhaps the biggest surprise – Greece.

Photo credit: Edward Berthalot – Getty Images

Based on all of this, there are some keywords that users search the net for for lasting brands. The list prepared by the source lists those taken as study material, namely: ethical shopping, ethical fashion, moral clothing, sustainable fashion, sustainable clothing, eco fashion, second-hand clothing and clothing organic. From these keywords, a reflection: This is it Sustainable purchasing Go in two directions. On the one hand, there is a preference for new brands Stable fabrics (like organic cotton), responsible production with workshop workers located in their country of origin (in Italy, this is what makes a product made in Italy). On the other hand, the phenomenon of the circular economy derives from the purchase of pre-favored clothing and accessories: the second-hand one has now lost its negative connotation. New online trading platforms, where millennials and gen ezd prefer to buy their favorite items (at very low prices).

Photo credit: Edward Berthalot – Getty Images

The study confirms: “Generation Z and Millennials prefer frugality to fast fashion. “Used Clothing Stores Near Me” Has Seen a + 5000% Search Increase Over the Last 5 Years. Joe mclaren N. PeelThe brand author of the study commented on the results: “The media played a crucial role in raising awareness of sustainable purchasing choices and in explaining the environmental and social impact of purchasing. As a result, consumers are increasingly intelligent in evaluating their choices. “But we don’t stop there, there is still a lot to do.

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9 EU Mediterranean countries hold summit in Greece Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:29:56 +0000

Nine European Mediterranean countries are holding a summit in Athens on Friday afternoon to discuss issues ranging from climate change to migration and Afghanistan.

The one-day rally, dubbed EUMED 9, brings together leaders from Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece and Cyprus, along with recent additions from Slovenia and Croatia . Portugal is sending its Foreign Minister, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will also attend the meeting.

Climate change and its effects on the region will be the first topic of discussion, after this summer saw devastating forest fires sweeping the region. Greece has been particularly hard hit, the country’s worst heat wave in decades fueling hundreds of forest fires which have pushed its firefighting resources to the limit and prompted it to appeal for international aid .

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis blamed the fires on climate change and pledged to make tackling what he described as a climate crisis one of his government’s top priorities.

Leaders are expected to issue a joint statement at the end of Friday’s meeting “which clearly sets out the priorities of all European Mediterranean countries in the face of climate change,” Mitsotakis said, ahead of a meeting with his Croatian counterpart, Andrej Plenkovic, before the start of the summit.

Migration will be another main topic of discussion, with Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta being on the main routes used by smugglers to bring people into the European Union.

Greece has long been the fastest route to the EU, with its eastern Aegean islands located close to the Turkish coast. Greece and the EU as a whole were keen to avoid a repeat of 2015, when around a million people, many of whom were fleeing the war in Syria, entered the bloc, the vast majority arriving on the Greek islands since then. Turkey.

Alarmed by recent events in Afghanistan, Greece has made it clear that it is further toughening its stance on migration. It has already beefed up border security, using technology and increasing patrols on land and at sea to keep potential migrants out.

The country has also been widely accused by rights groups and migrants themselves of carrying out illegal summary deportations at sea of ​​people who reach the Greek islands, without allowing them to seek asylum. Greek officials vehemently deny the allegations, but say they are vigorously patrolling the land and sea borders.

During the conference, Greece and Cyprus are also expected to address the issue of Turkey, a neighbor with whom they have a series of disputes, including over energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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The Dull Man Story Theory Thu, 16 Sep 2021 22:50:27 +0000

ECOME ON the most robust of EU veterans find meetings of its finance ministers difficult. “Crush the soul” is the verdict of a regular participant. The EUBean counters are not given their roles for their personalities. When EU leaders meet, there is a sense of history being made; when finance ministers get together, a feeling of life is gone.

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Yet it is the boring men and women of European finance ministries who hold the continent’s fate in their hands. A debate on the reforms of the Stability and Growth Pact, which regulates the bloc’s public finances, will chart the course of the club for decades. It will reveal where the power in the EU is really lying, how it will cope with the climate crisis and even if the EU can maintain any global weight. “The history of the world is but the biography of great men,” wrote Thomas Carlyle, a 19th century historian. The future of EU will be the biography of the boring. Call it the dull man theory.

The crux of the debate is simple. As it is, EU countries should have a public debt of no more than 60% of GDP and a budget deficit not exceeding 3% of it. If there is a violation, a government must come up with a plan to return to fiscal sobriety. When the principles were first defined in the 1990s, it seemed like a laudable goal. In 2021, it’s a weird joke. The average debt to GDP in the euro area is around 100%. In Italy, it is 160%. Even Germany exceeds the limit with 70%. The European tax corset has no strings.

There are several ways to change it. The first is to change the EUand more appropriate targets for economies hit by a financial crisis, eurozone crisis and pandemic in just over a decade. The second would keep 60% and 3% as the final destination, but would change the speed at which countries must meet their goals. The third option is a clever sleight of hand. The European Commission, the arbiter of spending, could be allowed to change its interpretation of the rules. A final option is not to change everything, but to allow illegal spending in certain areas, such as environmental policy.

Just as the great men of history once fought, the EUThe Dull Men are ready for a long bureaucratic trench warfare. Who comes out on top next year will say a lot about the union. An alliance of countries opposes excessive relaxation of the rules. A group of eight of these frugal types, including the Netherlands and Austria, along with a mishmash of Scandinavians, Latvians and Czechs, signed a letter demanding that strict rules be maintained. These countries, spread across the north and east of the continent, pride themselves on sound finances.

Their debts are low, but so are they. Together, the eight have a population identical to that of France. Yet the EU historically strengthened the power of European tiddlers. When it comes to changing the EUof the treaty, only one country can veto it. Even if the vote is set by qualified majority, as would more technical adjustments, a charge from the Lilliputians can still hamper progress.

On the other side of the debate, the bigger Brobdingnagians are slowly starting to assert their will. A stimulus fund of 750 billion euros (890 billion euros), including 390 billion euros in subsidies – indeed, money transfers from the rich EU the poorest countries – was seen as a victory for southern Europe. A gang of countries led by France, Italy and Spain pushed the hardest for this. (Germany allowed it, rather than supported it.) It was, however, the first time in centuries that southern Europe had what it needed, at least fiscally. If they handle the same trick with the spending rules, it will suggest a more permanent change.

Dull Man’s theory has a penchant for compromise. Civil servants and madmen have a solution: rather than changing the rules, bypass them. A “green tax pact” would allow governments to spend freely on environmental measures, says Bruegel, a Brussels think tank. This would give some leeway to Olaf Scholz, possibly the next German Chancellor, who has ruled out rewriting the rules.

Such agreements are how the EU functions, via compromises where everyone can claim victory. Hawks can say the rules haven’t changed; the doves can go and spend the money anyway. This would not mark a wild change of jurisdiction for the commission either. She has already played the role of fiscal Greta Thunberg, agreeing or rejecting the government’s spending plans in the € 750 billion stimulus fund, in part on the basis that they are sufficiently green.

Gray men go green

A greenery waiver would have wider support than previous attempts to bend the rules. France has often argued, in vain, that since its military adventures were for the benefit of all of Europe, such expenses should be exempt. Not all EU countries are sending soldiers to the Sahel, but all face big bills if they are to reduce emissions to 55% of 1990 levels, as promised. A deal on green spending can certainly be done without anyone getting too excited.

But a more delicate debate will emerge as climate science and economics collide. If the costs of green transformation are limited, then any fiscal room for maneuver should be low. If they are important, then a more fundamental change in EU fiscal policy is needed. Bruegel article suggested annual government spending of 0.5% to 1% more GDP would be necessary; others suggest it will take a lot more. Part of the future of the planet rests on a struggle of a few percentage points over a spreadsheet.

It is this deaf battle that will determine the EUrole of in the world. EU leaders may fret about the club’s global influence, focusing on sexier topics such as the Indo-Pacific and the bloc’s future military capability. But the debate on spending will be more substantial. Regardless of the power of EU exerts, ultimately, because of its economic weight. Italy, its third-largest economy, struggled to grow for two decades, in part because of a fiscal straitjacket. Fixing the EUinternal economic problems, whether through green spending or the diplomatic struggle, will do more for the EUof world power than of its geopolitical schemes. In the EU, dullness is fate – and it is the Dull Men who shape it.

This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the title “The Dull Man theory of history”

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Interpol – News from the European gaming industry Thu, 16 Sep 2021 11:02:38 +0000 Reading time: 3 minutes

The number of gambling players continues to increase in Italy, and the reason is simple: Italians love to gamble. Italians love casino games such as poker, slots, jackpots, and bingo.

Gambling in Italy has been around for centuries. It should be remembered that it all started with the Roman Empire, when the predecessor of the modern backgammon game, Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, became popular among the Roman legionaries.

According to Italian law on criminal regulation, gambling is illegal whether it is held in a public place or in a private club. However, the Italian authority also considers that there is a difference between games of luck and games where the outcome depends on the skill of the player. Because of this consideration, sports betting, lotteries and certain other activities fall under the category of legal and regulated gambling activities.

AAMS (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato – Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies) is the regulatory body responsible for inspecting operators and regulating the gambling industry in Italy by issuing licenses for operators approved.

Since March 2010, foreign gambling operators can launch real money online games. Before this change, gambling operators were required to obtain an Italian.

AMMS license

The Agenzia Dogane e Monopolio di Stato (AAMS) is responsible for ensuring the good conduct of online operators, preventing violations of the rules of the game and avoiding any fraud, corruption and money laundering in the gaming sector. Italian money.

The Italian Gaming Authority is responsible for issuing licenses. The licenses cover games of skill, poker games, casino games, sports betting, lotteries, bingo and horse pools. The number of licenses that can be issued by AAMS is limited to 120.

AMMS license costs

The Italian regulatory authority AMMS requires them to pay € 350,000 + 20% VAT to cover the costs of technical management, administration and supervision. Online casinos also have to pay a 27.5% corporate tax and an additional 0.6% based on their turnover. Once the license is granted, the operator can offer online gambling for a period of up to nine years.

AMMS License Terms

It is not that easy to qualify for an online gambling license in Italy, all operators have to meet certain requirements. These include the financial, technical, social and other aspects of the business sector.

To obtain a license, the operator company must manage games in Europe with a turnover of at least 1,500,000 € over the past 2 years. The company must operate at a high technical standard, provide stable, secure and easy-to-use services and be incorporated as a limited company. Other important requirements are also imposed, the operator must have reliable administration members, official residence and Italian-speaking technical support in one of the EU countries.

Some important additional requirements:

  • Casinos cannot advertise their services to underage players.
  • Players must have at least 90% winning margin or ROI on casino games.
  • The prize must be paid within the week.
  • Casinos should use software that has been proven to provide a safe gaming environment without fraud or risk.
  • Casino operators must apply and maintain measures for secure transactions.

Although the AAMS license gives Italian customers a sense of security, the license also has its drawbacks. According to, a growing number of Italians are looking for casinos approved by other regulatory bodies such as Curacao. This shows that not all Italian players are happy with the Italian gambling laws imposed and the way the escape option is going.

Non-AAMS casinos

Non-AAMS casinos are casinos that do not have an AAMS license, but usually have licenses issued by authorities in other countries. Are non-AAMS casinos safe to play? The answer is yes, they are also reliable and safe. There are many other gaming authorities that offer protection to iGaming players and operate around the world, such as the Curacao Gaming Control Board, the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, and the Swedish Gambling Authority.

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Italy to make COVID “Green Pass” compulsory for workers (Minister) Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:41:00 +0000

ROME, Sept. 15 (Reuters) – Italy will make a COVID-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for workers in the public and private sectors, a minister said on Wednesday, becoming the first European country to do so as he tries to speed up vaccination rates and eradicate infections.

The pass, a digital or paper certificate showing that a person has received at least one dose of vaccine, tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus, was originally designed to facilitate travel between EU states .

But Italy was one of a group of countries that also forced people to access places like museums, gyms, and indoor dining in restaurants.

Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini told public radio that a cabinet meeting on Thursday would be “an important moment” to expand the mandatory use of the document.

Italy has also gradually extended the use of the laissez-passer in the workplace, despite friction over the issue within Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s coalition of national unity. Gelmini said the government was now ready to go further.

“We are moving towards a mandatory Green Pass not only for public sector workers but also for those in the private sector,” she told RAI radio.

“The vaccine is the only weapon we have against COVID and we can only contain the infection by vaccinating a large majority of the population. “

Italy has the second highest death toll from COVID-19 in Europe after Britain and the eighth in the world.

About 73% of its 60 million people have received at least one injection of COVID and 65% are fully vaccinated, figures broadly in line with most other countries in the European Union.

Thursday’s cabinet meeting can be tense. Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, leader of the co-ruling League, has repeatedly resisted extending the use of the Green Pass, but his party is internally divided on the issue.

It remains to be seen whether the government will go as far as Gelmini, from Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia party, announced it.

Opponents of the Green Pass say it violates freedoms and is a backdoor way to force people to get vaccinated.

Discussions to make it mandatory for public sector workers only had already sparked muffled protests, which would likely be stronger if extended to private companies.

Several other European countries use the health pass for leisure and travel, but none have made it compulsory for all workers in the public or private sector.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Emilio Parodi, written by Gavin Jones, editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Q&A: Everything American Travelers Need to Know About EU Restrictions Sat, 11 Sep 2021 08:53:39 +0000

(CNN) – It was too good to last.

While the summer saw much of Europe opening up to American visitors, offering them the chance to fulfill their lockdown dreams of eating ice cream in Italy or visiting Paris art museums, the end of the season has brought new restrictions and the gates of the continent are starting to close.

The news prompted various European countries to update travel restrictions for Americans, while some have banned entry for American travelers altogether.

Unsurprisingly, the changes have caused widespread confusion, especially for those planning to travel to Europe in the coming months.

Here’s a look at the stricter rules and what they mean for American travelers.

Can Americans still travel to Europe?

Other countries may soon restrict access to Americans.

Clara Margais / Picture Alliance / Getty Images

Yes they can. Only a small number of countries have so far restricted all non-essential arrivals from the United States. Since the EU opinion, Bulgaria, Norway and Sweden are the only ones to restrict all access.

However, while at least one destination – Greece – has ruled out imposing new travel restrictions in the near future, it’s safe to say that Americans, especially those who aren’t vaccinated, are likely to face more restrictions in the days and weeks to come.

What are the new European rules?

However, his advice is non-binding. There is no pressure for countries to adopt this measure and they are free to ignore it if they wish.

This means that there is no general rule covering the continent. Instead, each destination country is free to adopt or ignore the advice according to its own preferences.

Given the value of American visitors to European tourism economies, it is likely that any decision to restrict their arrival will be taken with considerable reluctance.

What do EU rules mean for Americans traveling to Europe?

Much more paperwork, uncertainty and research, that’s for sure.

Ultimately, this means that traveling to European countries is likely to become more difficult for Americans in the coming weeks, although not necessarily impossible.

As the rules change, it is up to individual travelers to verify their eligibility to travel. While airlines can also perform pre-departure checks, they won’t need them to sell tickets.

It’s worth consulting CNN Travel’s Unlocking the World guides for up-to-date information, if available, or the U.S. Embassy in the destination country. And then keep checking back because the rules can change with just a few days’ notice.

Some countries may keep their doors open, but adjust requirements such as pre-departure Covid testing, quarantine arrangements, or proof of vaccination.

Which countries can Americans visit in Europe?

Croatia is still open to Americans.

Croatia is still open to Americans.

DENIS LOVROVIC / AFP via Getty Image

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain are currently all open to fully immunized Americans.

The restrictions in place vary from country to country. Many destinations require travelers to submit a negative Covid test upon arrival, while some have both testing and quarantine measures in place for vaccinated visitors.

France currently has no travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Americans, but a negative Covid test performed no more than 72 hours before arrival is required before they can enter Italy. A mandatory 10-day quarantine is set for fully vaccinated US travelers visiting the Netherlands, while those entering Germany must provide a negative Covid test result before being allowed entry.

Fully vaccinated Americans are allowed to travel to the UK, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

However, different testing and / or quarantine measures have been implemented in each country.

Is travel to Europe safe?

No travel during the pandemic is entirely without risk from Covid, even for vaccinated travelers, and the best way to stay safe is to stay at home and minimize exposure to the virus.

That said, if safety protocols such as mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitization are followed, there is no reason travelers cannot travel safely in Europe. Statistically, most Western European countries have lower Covid rates than the United States.

There are still some Covid hot spots – Montenegro has seen a significant increase in the number of cases recently – so it’s worth checking the travel advice from the US Embassy to destination. Again, this is a matter of research.

Are other countries going to close their borders?

It is not entirely clear. As several European countries have introduced new restrictions for American travelers based on advice from the EU, it is possible that others will follow suit in the coming weeks.

The restrictions are due to the spread of the Delta variant of Covid in the United States, with cases reaching their highest number for many months in July and August. As numbers remain high in September and colder months are expected to fuel the spread of the disease, further restrictions appear likely.

What should I do if I have booked a trip to Europe?

If you’ve booked travel to a country that remains open to Americans, you shouldn’t experience any issues as long as you follow all of the recommended advice.

But if the rules have changed since you booked, many hotels and airlines recognize issues with Covid and restrictions and may offer refunds if you booked directly. It is worth asking.

As with all travel during the pandemic, however, there is a risk that you will find yourself out of pocket.

Luis Araujo, president of the European Travel Commission, a non-profit organization that promotes tourism on the continent, points out that American travelers are still a high priority for Europe despite the rule changes.

“American travelers are of critical importance to Europe, and most European destinations are still open to American visitors and eager to welcome them back to our shores,” Araujo told CNN Travel in a statement.

“That said, we must accept that we are still living with the reality of this ongoing pandemic and that we will experience setbacks on the road to recovery.

“Travelers from the United States should always be aware of sanitary measures and obey the rules at their destination.”

Should I book a future trip to Europe?

As mentioned above, with all travel plans in the current pandemic, there are risks that they will need to be changed or canceled. If you are looking for an escape that is completely free from bureaucratic hassle, uncertainty and stress, then the answer may be a no direct.

But Araujo insists that US citizens should “continue to plan their trips to Europe”, while keeping “an eye on all the latest travel rules and cancellation policies”.

He adds: “Travelers are best advised to check the Reopen EU website and the websites of the national tourism offices, which contain all regularly updated information and safety requirements, including information on tests, passenger tracking forms, as well as any other health item. measures in place.

“With current vaccination rates and safety protocols in place, safe international travel is absolutely possible, as this summer season proves.”

Which European countries have banned unvaccinated American travelers?

The Netherlands is now demanding that vaccinated Americans be quarantined.

The Netherlands is now demanding that vaccinated Americans be quarantined.

Ramon Van Flymen / ANP / AFP / Getty Images

Denmark, Finland, France, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain have all banned non-essential unvaccinated US travelers. Meanwhile, all non-essential US travelers are prohibited from traveling to Bulgaria, Norway and Sweden, regardless of their vaccination status.

What vaccines are accepted in Europe?

To be considered a fully vaccinated visitor, travelers must have received a full dose of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen – two weeks before their trip.

Can I travel to Europe with unvaccinated children?

The new rules will not impact children too young to be vaccinated. Children under 12 can travel with vaccinated adults to European countries where American travelers are permitted to enter. But while those under 12 are exempt from all restrictions in some countries, others require a negative Covid test.

Those aged 12-18 are subject to the same rules and restrictions as adult travelers. Again, it is worth rechecking for each destination in case any variations from these guidelines are introduced.

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Companies flout EU rules and make Italy hotspot for illegal timber trade in Myanmar Wed, 08 Sep 2021 09:32:24 +0000

Burmese teak in a lumber yard. Photo courtesy of EIA

  • Negligible fines and inadequate enforcement make Italy a hotspot for Myanmar’s illegal timber, according to a new report.
  • At least 27 Italian traders have imported Burmese teak to Europe, although imports of timber from Myanmar are against the law.
  • Italian traders are exploiting the country’s inadequate enforcement to ship timber to the rest of Europe and circumvent EU sanctions and regulations.

Negligible fines and inadequate enforcement make Italy a hotspot for Myanmar’s illegal timber despite EU sanctions and regulations against the latter’s timber trade, according to a new report.

The EU has long banned the sale of illegal wood products in its markets under its 2013 EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). Not all of Myanmar’s timber comes from illegitimate sources, but the industry’s history of poor governance, lack of documentation and corruption makes proper due diligence an impossible task. Member States therefore developed a common position in 2017 recognizing that Myanmar’s timber imports are against the law.

In recent years, increased surveillance of the illegal timber trade and tougher sanctions against stray companies have deterred shipments from Myanmar to many EU countries. But Italian companies continued to import large quantities of high-value Burmese teak (Tectona grandis), according to the report by the UK watchdog Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Even after European authorities imposed trade sanctions for funneling money to Myanmar’s military rulers and decimating forests, Italian timber traders showed no sign of stopping, he said. he declares.

Log yard in Myanmar. Photo courtesy of EIA

The EIA report, released in September, identified 27 Italian companies that import Burmese teak into the EU. Some of these companies continued to import timber products after Myanmar’s coup in February, researchers said.

From March to May this year, Italian companies imported more than 4.31 million euros ($ 5.09 million) of timber from Myanmar, according to trade data. Teak, often used for the decks of luxury yachts, accounted for the vast majority of imports, accounting for over 80% of the total value.

“There has been a call from the people of Myanmar to help prevent the flow of funds that support the military coup,” Faith Doherty, EIA’s forestry campaign manager, said in a statement. “By continuing to trade, these companies effectively support the military junta and its brutal repression of the Burmese people as well as the destruction of the country’s forests. “

Between 2001 and 2020, Myanmar lost tree cover roughly the size of Switzerland, according to data from Global Forest Watch. Logging of teak and other valuable hardwoods has contributed to this degradation, with the forestry sector providing critical funding to the country’s military rulers for decades.

In 2011, the military ceded some power to a quasi-civilian government which began to step up efforts to save Myanmar’s forests. Exports of rough logs were banned in 2014, coupled with significant reductions in annual operating limits set by the state. Prior to the coup, the government had also worked with the private sector to improve timber legality verification processes.

Myanmar illegal timber trucks. Photo: Courtesy of: EIA

The EU is Myanmar’s third largest timber market, accounting for 19% of imports by value. India and China, the two biggest markets, together account for 53%, data-driven of the EIA.

Italy has been Myanmar’s largest importer of timber products among EU member states since 2013. Its market dominance has further increased after EU authorities developed a common position against them. Myanmar timber imports in 2017. While Germany, the Netherlands and others cracked down on illegal trade. , carried out raids and imposed heavy penalties, Italy imposed minimum fines.

Among the 27 timber traders, CF Wood, which supplies raw timber to yacht builders, has been fined twice for importing timber from Myanmar. Sanctions available to law enforcement authorities range up to € 1 million ($ 1.2 million), but CF Wood paid a total of € 8,675 ($ 10,253) for its offenses – about 1% of the value of the Burmese teak it imported from 2018 to 2020, the researchers found.

Italy imported Myanmar EUTR products (in millions of euros) relative to all EU countries (and UK) from 2011 to 2020. Photo courtesy: EIA

In 2020, Italy imported nearly 24 million euros ($ 27.4 million) of timber products from Myanmar, accounting for 66% of Myanmar’s total timber imports into the EU. A few large importers are responsible for most of Italy’s imports, according to the report, including Timberlux, Sangiorgi Legnami, GTH Italia and TWB Solutions. Yet the size of their workforce does not match their scales: Timberlux and GTH Italia each have only one employee, while TWB Solutions has two, according to the report.

Further investigation of Timberlux and TWB Solutions shipments showed that a significant portion of the companies’ timber was destined for other European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. .

“This leads the EIA to believe that GTH Italia, Timberlux SRL and TWB Solutions are a channel to import teak from Myanmar,” the researchers wrote, with traders exploiting the inadequate application from Italy to ship timber to the rest of Europe and bypass the EUTR.

GTH Italia’s lawyer told the EIA that his timber was purchased in accordance with the EUTR. Timberlux and TWB Solutions said they “never shied away from responsibility” by collaborating with authorities, and any allegations that they were responsible for illegal timber imports from Myanmar were “absolutely false, unfounded, misleading, abusive. and devoid of any foundation “.

Children standing in a lumber yard in Myanmar. Photo courtesy of EIA

In correspondence with investigators, Italian traders admitted that they were unable to comply with the EUTR as they could not guarantee that Myanmar’s timber came from legal sources. In June, the EU imposed additional sanctions on Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE), a state-owned military-linked company that according to local regulations is the only possible source of legal timber in the country. Still, traders have not confirmed they will stop imports, according to the report.

“Various decisions have made it clear that it is impossible to import teak and other timber from Myanmar and remain in compliance with the [EUTR], even before sanctions directly targeting the exploitation of Myanmar’s natural resources were put in place earlier this year to tighten the ban – and yet we are there, ”Doherty said.

“EU Member States, and in particular Italy, must stop turning their backs on the Burmese people, get serious and put an end to this shameful situation. “

This article first appeared on Mongabay and has been republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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EU citizens reject EU-imposed crypto regulations – Bitcoin News Sat, 04 Sep 2021 08:52:14 +0000

Most European citizens reject the idea of ​​a cryptocurrency regulatory regime imposed by the European Union (EU) on its member states, according to a recent poll. Most of the citizens polled favor independent regulation of cryptocurrencies in each country, compared to 25% who approve of regulation imposed by the EU. However, most of the citizens surveyed admitted that they still didn’t know much about cryptocurrencies in the first place.

Europeans reject EU crypto laws, favor local proposals

European citizens are against the implementation of EU-imposed cryptocurrency laws, according to a recent survey commissioned by Euronews. The poll, carried out by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, a global consulting firm, interviewed more than 31,000 citizens in 12 states of the European bloc: Germany, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

The survey found that most Europeans support locally issued laws instead of a set of rules imposed by the European Union. Citizens of Greece (51%), Italy (47%), Estonia (46%), the Netherlands (41%), Germany (40%), Latvia (39%) and France (37%) said they would prefer their own government to regulate cryptocurrencies.

In addition, a surprisingly large number of citizens would prefer the issuance of local cryptocurrencies instead of a digital euro, showing that more and more Europeans are attributing economic inefficiencies to the integration of the European Union. . Dimitar Lilkov, from the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies in Brussels, said:

Much of the population remains convinced that the crisis was caused by bad decisions taken at EU level and not by serious shortcomings in their national banking sector.

However, the affiliation of each country to the EU prevents this from becoming a reality. Italians (41%), Greeks (40%), Estonians (39%) and Spaniards (37%) recorded the greatest support for the initiative. Regarding this, Likov said:

Eurozone countries wishing to use a digital currency would be linked to a potential digital euro, led by the ECB in coordination with the eurozone banking system.

For him, any country issuing its own central bank digital currency should leave the EU to do so due to the possibility of a digital euro occurring in the future.

Cryptocurrency still unknown

The survey also found that most European citizens had just heard “a little” about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. This shows that, even with the recent boom in crypto assets due to a bullish season, it is still possible for people to learn more about cryptocurrencies and their proposals. In fact, the lack of knowledge about cryptocurrencies again emerges in the survey as the main reason Europeans have avoided buying crypto assets.

How do you feel about the EU imposing crypto regulations on its member states? Tell us in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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ICE launches Micro MSCI USA and Micro MSCI Europe index futures on ICE Futures Singapore Wed, 01 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000

SINGAPORE–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, and MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), a leading provider of critical decision support tools and services for the global investment community, today announced an extension of its existing license agreement to ICE Futures Singapore. As part of this, ICE plans to launch small-sized futures contracts based on the MSCI USA and MSCI Europe indices on the Singapore-based ICE exchange on October 11, 2021.

Micro futures, which are denominated in US dollars, allow investors from across Asia to access the US and European stock markets on a single platform in a cost effective manner. Their small contract size (equivalent to a notional value of around $ 20,000) allows granular trading and precise risk management.

The indices are designed to be representative of large and mid cap stocks in each region. While the MSCI USA index represents all the opportunities for American equities, the MSCI Europe index covers 15 developed countries in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom).

“MSCI is committed to providing tools, services and information to investors, enabling them to manage their portfolios for better results,” said George Harrington, Global Head of Derivatives Licensing at MSCI. “We are delighted to be working with ICE to bring enhanced trading and risk management solutions to investors in Asia looking to seize opportunities in the US and European markets. ”

“ICE is leveraging its strong partnership with MSCI to provide investors with a way to trade global equities from Singapore, designed to meet demand in Asia for smaller contracts,” said Lucas Schmeddes, President of ICE Singapore Futures. “Tailored to the Asian market, ICE Futures Singapore connects regional and international participants on its platform to unlock business opportunities and provide access to global markets. ”

Micro MSCI USA and Micro MSCI Europe Index futures will trade alongside other contracts on ICE Futures Singapore, including Micro Asia Tech 30 Index futures, Bakkt® Bitcoin futures, as well as the Mini Brent Crude, the Mini US Dollar Index®, the Mini US Dollar / Renminbi offshore and Mini US Dollar / Singapore Dollar.

ICE lists over 100 MSCI index futures, capturing the full range of equity opportunities defined across benchmarks including MSCI ACWI, World, Emerging Markets and EAEO to indices country, sector and factor specific. To learn more about MSCI Index Futures, please visit: and micro-msci. MSCI® and the MSCI Indices are trademarks and service marks of MSCI Inc. or its affiliates and are used under license.

About the intercontinental exchange

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. We provide financial technology and data services in major asset classes that provide our clients with access to essential workflow tools that increase transparency and operational efficiency. We operate Exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, and clearing houses that help people invest, raise capital and manage risk across multiple asset classes. Our global fixed income data services and execution capabilities provide insights, analytics, and platforms that help our clients capitalize on opportunities and operate more efficiently. TO ICE Mortgage Technology, we’re transforming and digitizing the US residential mortgage process, from consumer engagement to loan registration. Together, we transform, streamline and automate industries to connect our customers to opportunities.

Trademarks of ICE and / or its affiliates include Intercontinental Exchange, ICE, ICE block design, NYSE, and New York Stock Exchange. Information regarding additional trademarks and intellectual property rights of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and / or its affiliates can be found here. The key information documents for certain products covered by the EU Retail and Insurance Investment Products Regulation can be accessed on the website of the relevant exchange under the heading ‘Key Information Documents (KIDS ) ”.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 – Statements in this press release regarding ICE’s business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risk. and uncertainties. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in forward-looking statements, see documents filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of ICE, including, but not limited to be limited to the risk factors in ICE’s annual report. Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, as filed with the SEC on February 4, 2021.


Source: Intercontinental exchange

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]]> 0 European rivalry has pushed the continent to the fringes by … Sat, 28 Aug 2021 11:12:31 +0000

(MENAFN – Syndication Bureau) AFP photo: LNA War Information Division

The final communiqué from the Berlin summit on the future of Libya was long, but most observers expected one word: “ceasefire”. It was there, but not as a statement, only as a pledge that the parties would work towards one.

Still, the summit was a sort of diplomatic victory. Berlin had succeeded in bringing together representatives from 12 countries on four continents and three global institutions and in getting the military commander, Khalifa Haftar, to comply with the statement. It was a small price, but one that had eluded Russia the week before, when Haftar in Moscow had walked away without signing a ceasefire, and had escaped Italy a few days before, when the rival of Haftar, Fayez Al Serraj, the head of the internationally recognized administration in Tripoli, refused to meet the Italian Prime Minister in Rome when he learned that Haftar was also in the city.

The Berlin summit gave new impetus to European countries, after a long period when the United Nations process stagnated and the countries of the continent were sidelined.

However, this diplomatic momentum could be short-lived if the countries of the European Union cannot put aside their rivalries. The decline of European influence in Libya did not happen only because of the increased involvement of Ankara and Moscow. In fact, it was the rivalry between European countries themselves that pushed its influence to the fringes and created space for others to enter.

Although it was a NATO-led force that ultimately overthrew Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, European influence in Libya has been waning for years, mainly due to the open rivalry between France and Italy. Their main energy companies, Total and Eni, are vying for deals in Libya, but politically there was open war, from 2017, when Emmanuel Macron was elected president and, within weeks, called talks. Libyan peace talks in Paris without inviting the Italian leaders.

The standoff between Paris and Rome was born out of Libyan issues. Long ignored, Libya is part of a political dispute over the ships crossing the Mediterranean, and economic over the gas reserves there.

The political aspect is better known.

As chaos raged in Libya, its long coastline became North Africa’s main point of departure for migrants from across the continent, many of whom headed to Italy. The consequences for Italian politics were swift, as the country swung to the right.

But there is also a broader political standoff: the Libyan conflict has had repercussions in West Africa, where France is heavily involved, and Paris still sees itself as one of the EU’s main intermediaries. and did not want to give up this position on migration and security in Rome. , quite simply because the Italian coasts were more affected by the arrival of boats. These tensions have led to periodic wars of words, with France even recalling its ambassador to Rome a year ago.

There is another reason for Europe’s sudden diplomatic push into Libya and Franco-Italian tensions, and it lies in the exploitation of the vast gas reserves under the Mediterranean.

Since the enormous Zohr gas field was discovered off the Egyptian coast in 2015 and the Leviathan gas field off the Israeli coast, there has been a rush to reorganize political ties in order to take advantage of these. reserves and export them for sale.

He brought a new urgency to the bitter conflicts. Turkey’s relations with Cyprus and Greece, Israel’s relations with Egypt and the Palestinians, and the European Union’s relations with Ankara have all been affected. Russia is also heavily involved, as the country supplies 40% of Europe’s annual gas, which is clearly threatened by the discovery of new reserves.

So when Turkey signed a surprise deal with Libya in December to create an exclusive economic zone across the Mediterranean, it caused a stir across the European Union. The deal could block Egyptian and Israeli attempts to sell gas to Europe. With the new Russian-Turkish gas pipeline launched this month, European capitals were scrambling to respond to this sudden outburst of a burgeoning Turkish-Russian-Libyan alliance.

This entry space for Turkey and Russia was created mainly by the Franco-Italian rivalry. Italy has tried to support the Al Serraj administration but also to be a peace mediator; France has quietly supported Haftar. Neither has offered a clear plan for Libya.

Rather, it belongs to those who are most willing to use force, which at the moment means the states of Turkey and Russia, and Haftar’s forces. Unlike Italy and France, Turkey and Russia found themselves on either side of a conflict – as they had done in Syria before – but managed to come together to chart a course to be continued.

The communiqué negotiated by Berlin cannot hold, because it tries to freeze the status quo of a conflict still very moving. There has been no condemnation of the stationing of Turkish troops in the country – Syrian troops, in fact, adding another unpredictable layer to the conflict – despite Egypt’s protests against these new troops next door. There was also no plan on what to do with Haftar’s troops, who might still attempt to move towards Tripoli.

If Europe is to truly find a way back to relevance in Libya, it will have to do more than organize big summits with global players. It will take a plan and resources to make a difference on the ground. Because while the European countries quarreled among themselves on the margins, others pushed into the center of the battlefield in Libya.

Faisal Al Yafai is currently writing a book on the Middle East and is a frequent commentator on international TV news channels. He has worked for news organizations such as The Guardian and the BBC, and has reported on the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.


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