Update on tougher tobacco rules from the EP

On 8th october, I decided to post something about a vote in the EP regarding tobacco marketing and labelling. Here is an update…

MEP’s have voted on 8th october in order to implement stricter rules, adopting a position which is essentially comparable to what decided member states in the Council last June. Difference of opinion between the council of Ministers and the EP were not very importants so health campaigners and lobbies thought that the legislation will be be approved before the end of the current parliamentary term.

It was voted on 8th october during the plenary session to increase pictorial warning on tobacco boxes from 30% of the whole surface to 65%. MEP’s also refused like the council a ban on slim cigarettes even though they appeared to be more attractive for young women. But they agreed on the idea to ban the addition of artificial flavours with an exception for menthol.

MEP’s preferred to treat e-cigarettes as tobacco products even if the council wanted to deal with such products with a medical classification. Especially in countries such as France, market authorization is quite complicated and time-consuming and e-cigarettes manufacturers warned MEP’s about that. No more than 30mg/ml of nicotine content will be allowed, no sale for people aged below 18.

MEP’s Rapporteure Mc Lavan was given a mandate to negociate with the council. This is a great news because without this mandate, it would have been impossible to reach an agreement before the up-coming european election of 2014. According to Tonio Borg, the European Commissioner for health, it is possible to adopt a law within the mandate of the current parliament. Significant steps needed before this directive could become law.

l’initiative populaire et l’UE

Vous devez probablement, si vous vous intéressez à l’Union européenne, avoir entendu parler du droit à l’initiative populaire. Je ne suis plus sûr complètement de l’intitulé en français. C’est le principe imposant à la commission d’étudier une questions si elle a été approuvée et signée par 1 million de citoyen(ne)s des Etats membres de l’UE.

Et bien figurez-vous que la commission européenne s’apprête à faire face à ses premières responsabilités envers le peuple européen au sujet de 3 thématiques. La première est assez nauséabonde compte tenu de mes convictions : il s’agit d’essayer d’opposer quelque chose aux fonds utilisés pour promouvoir le droit à l’avortement. La seconde concerne la lutte contre la privatisation des infrastructures de distribution de l’eau potable, et la troisième concerne l’interdiction de certaines expériences sur les animaux.

Intéressant de voir que le journal european voice précise que ces demandes de prise de position de la commission sont issues de trois réseaux pour lesquels la mobilisation d’un grand nombre de signataire est assez facile, davantage qu’une pétition issue de la société civile sans organisation soutien : l’église et les lobby pro-vie, les syndicats de la fonction publique ainsi que les organisations écologistes ou de défense des animaux.

Compounding interest

What is interesting about compounding interests is that you get not only on you initial deposit, called principal, but also on the interest you get every year.

Usually, it compounds continuously but we would assume, that it is compounding annually.

So, if you take the actual interest rates on regulated deposits in France, that’s 1,25% per year. Let’s assume that you have 100€, so you will get 100+ 100(0,0125), for two years it’s 100+ 100 (0,0125) 2;, or for n years : 100 + 100 (0,0125) n. It’s not easy to calculate.

But how solve this question ? How long does it take to get a certain amount of money, given your principal deposit and the interest rate ? Woooh. This is where the log (logarithm) function is  useful. So let’s put this following equation ….

100(0.0125) x; = 200
How to calculate “x” ?

First we need to simplify :

1(0.0125) x = 2  or

0.0125 x=2

x = log 0,0125 2

Let’s enjoy here the original video …

La dette dans la zone euro n’est pas que publique. Debt in the euro zone is not only public.

  • Well, today I want to stress something about debts in the eurozone. You probably heard a huge amount of fuss regarding public debts, especially in Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland… but is it the real issue? It may not be.
  • In fact, private debt, either from companies or private corporations, either by households through mortgages, credit card debt, student debt or car debt, is a big issue. The real thing that matters about the banking union in the EU is that from 2014 and 2015, there will be a systemic investigation from the ECB into the balance sheets of all european banks. Balance sheet is composed of liabilities (what the bank borrowed), assets (what the bank owns) and equity. I don’t remember well about all these category but I strongly recommend you to watch this tutorial in the khan academy website. This is the major step towards a better regulation. I can’t help quoting Dominique Strauss Khan (former managing director of the IMF) when he was interviewed for the first time in a english-speaking channel, CNN, a few months ago : “the European banking system is ill”. We need to add implicitly : more ill than in the US. ECB officials will then start peering into the banks’ balance sheets and impose common standards for loan quality.
  • Watching a documentary such as Noire Finance from Arte will help you to understand that EU banks are vastly more important than in the US. A big bank can represent half of the GDP of its member state whereas in the US, it’s not possible. So a rescue from governments is possible in the US but very costly in the EU. This process is supposed to find out which banks are viable now, which will need more capital and which should just be closed down quickly.
  • Europe is always thought of as having a sovereign-debt crisis, and it has. But the origins of the problem lay less with government spending than with excessive private borrowing. Corporate debt in Spain, Ireland and Portugal represent no less than 200% of GDP before the crisis. Thanks to mortgage write-downs and faster growth, America’s households have unwound about two thirds of the excess debt built up during the boom years. Most Euro-zone countries have achieved far less private sector “deleveraging”, for three reasons. First the fiscal austerity imposed on Europe’s peripheral economies deepened their recessions. Second, weak banks have been reluctant to recognize, and then make provisions for, non performing loans. And third, European bankruptcy law is less debtor-friendly than America’s. Europeans typically remain liable for unpaid mortgage debt.
  • The household debt burden is especially extremely important in Ireland and the Netherlands (around 100% of GDP). Paying the mortgage strains household finances and crimps consumer spending.

Le Parlement européen tente de rassurer les citoyens européens face à l’inquiétude qu’a causé prism

Le projet de règlement sur les données personnelles sera examiné aujourd’hui en Commission « Libertés civiles, justice et affaires intérieures ». Après examen des 4000 amendements déposés sur ce dispositif encadrant la manipulation de ces informations sensibles dans toute l’Europe, un texte sera voté en vue d’un compromis avec l’ensemble des États membres de l’Union. Pour l’eurodéputée Françoise Castex, l’enjeu est maintenant de restaurer la confiance dans l’Internet.

Voici le lien de l’information, pointant vers un site tout à fait “reliable”. (en français).

Il est tard 2:58 AM et je n’ai pas le temps de commenter cette info. Compte tenu de l’intérêt que je porte au travail du PE (Parlement européen), j’ai pensé qu’il était important que je partage cette information. Par la même occasion, il faut signaler que ma députée européenne socialiste (PS), vice Présidente du groupe SD, travaille à la commission LIBE. Vous aurez probablement des nouvelles sur son site internet.

There you have the link, from a reliable french website (in French language). It is late, 2:58 AM and I don’t have time to speak about this information. Given my commitment to the work of the EP, I thought it would be important for me to share this. By the way my socialist MEP, Sylvie Guillaume, vice President of the SD Group in the EP,  is working with the LIBE Comitee. You would probably get additional informations from her website.

Sites utilisés :

http://www.pcinpact.com/

http://www.sylvieguillaume.eu/

 

 

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