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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 99-08-05

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <http://europa.eu.int>

MIDDAY EXPRESS

News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Porte-Parole 05/08/1999b


CONTENTS / CONTENU

  • [01] "Le riz jaune" pour prévenir d'une carence en vitamine A
  • [02] Hutchison and Rotterdam Municipal Port Management abandon their joint acquisition of ECT
  • [03] La Commission approuve les aspects de la version révisée du TACA qui concernent le transport terrestre, mais elle continue son enquête en ce qui concerne les dispositions relatives au transport maritime
  • [04] Business and Consumer surveys for July 1999: clear improvement in economic sentiment

  • [01] "Le riz jaune" pour prévenir d'une carence en vitamine A

    Un projet financé par l'Union européenne - le Carotène plus - a permis d'incorporer avec succès la production de la ß-carotène dans le riz. Cette avancée scientifique majeure, qui a incidemment coloré les grains de riz en jaune, permettra la prévention de carence importante en vitamine A dans les pays qui comptent le riz comme aliment de base.

    [02] Hutchison and Rotterdam Municipal Port Management abandon their joint acquisition of ECT

    On 10 March 1999, Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd. (Hutchison) and Rotterdam Municipal Port Management (RMPM) notified to the European Commission their intention to acquire joint control of European Combined Terminals BV (ECT). The in-depth investigation had shown that the merger would have created a dominant position for ECT/Hutchison on the market for stevedoring services to deep-sea container ships in Northern Europe. On 30 July 1999, Hutchison and RMPM decided to abandon the proposed concentration, so the Commission has no grounds to continue its present procedure under the Merger Regulation and no final decision on the planned operation will be adopted.

    [03] La Commission approuve les aspects de la version révisée du TACA qui concernent le transport terrestre, mais elle continue son enquête en ce qui concerne les dispositions relatives au transport maritime

    La Commission européenne a approuvé la règle interdisant l'application de prix inférieurs aux coûts ("not-below-cost" rule) de la version révisée du Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement (TACA) par laquelle les parties peuvent convenir de ne pas facturer un prix inférieur aux coûts quand elles offrent des services de transport terrestre dans le cadre d'une opération de transport multimodal. En ce qui concerne les aspects maritimes de l'accord, la Commission considère que les discussions constructives "Post-TACA" qui ont eu lieu entre les armateurs et la Commission serviront de base pour une solution qui sera profitable aux échanges et mettra fin à la longue dispute entre les armateurs, d'une part, et leurs clients et la Commission, d'autre part. Cependant, la Commission a décidé de continuer son instruction des dispositions de la version révisée du TACA relatives aux échanges d'information et dans quelle mesure ces dispositions pourraient fausser la concurrence entre les parties pour leurs offres de contrats de services individuels aux chargeurs.

    [04] Business and Consumer surveys for July 1999: clear improvement in economic sentiment

    (! embargo 12 am !) The latest results from the business and consumer surveys conducted by the European Commission's Directorate General for economic and financial affairs are published today. The consumer confidence indicator rose in the euro-zone in July while remained constant in the European Union (EU). This can to a large extent be attributed to the important improvement observed on the consumer confidence in most countries and to the fact that consumer are more optimistic about the general economic situation in the future. Confidence in the industrial sector rose consistently in both the euro-zone and the EU, following the positive trend initiated in March. France, Italy and particularly Germany contributed to this improved situation. Capacity utilization in industry maintains a similar level to the two previous quarters, furthermore, managers expect the capacity constraints to decrease appreciably and the outlook for new orders and exports is optimistic. The construction confidence indicator was stable for the EU and slightly increased for the euro-zone. Although there have been increases in Germany, Portugal and Spain, these have been partially offset less optimistic data from other countries, especially from Italy, Greece and Denmark. Consequently, the economic confidence indicator for July shows a significant increase for the euro-zone and an slight improvement for the EU despite less favorable results from the United Kingdom.

    MIDDAY EXPRESS


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at http://europa.eu.int/
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996


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